25 before Christmas

So a while ago I mentioned that I wanted to do 25 parkruns before Christmas. When I told Andy, he thought I meant run a sub 25 minute parkrun (although he did think that was possible)- but no, I meant run a total of 25.

But, for the last few weeks I have done no running at all. I had a cough, it cleared up, I did the Hatfield 5 mile race, and a run on the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, and then the cough was back with a vengeance. One Thursday I could barely speak (made for amusing times at work asking the children with the loudest voices to say things like “tidy up time” ), and from there it got worse. I even went to the doctors last week but depressingly was told that I could have it for 6 or 7 weeks and not to worry, just do the steam inhalations to help get things out.

Anyway, by the end of last week I was feeling loads better- I actually had energy again, and after seeing my dad on Friday night we agreed to go to parkrun in the morning.

I felt fine, and I wrapped up warm as I knew I would be doing a gentle jog at the back, no chance of warming up. But as soon as we started running, I didn’t feel so good. Every step was hurting the back of my ribs- I think they are a bit bruised from all the coughing, and because of that I was then not being able to take really deep breaths. The parkrun course is beautiful, and again it was lovely weather- sunny for the most part but cool. I felt like I was right at the back, but I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter where I finished- the lovely volunteers would wait. I was trying to take longer strides to minimise the pain (it only happened when my foot hit the ground) but that didn’t really work. I did feel a bit fed up when I got to the 4k point at the same time as when I usually finish, but quickly talked myself out of that negative thinking.

When I got to the finish line my dad was waiting for me- I think a bit worried as I was so much slower than usual. But once I stopped I felt OK, and we had a good chat on the walk back to the car and the drive home. I still can’t decide if it was a good thing or not, but it did help me decide about what to pack. (Andy and I are off to Spain for Christmas, and I was considering taking running things just in case, but after that I decided that enforced rest would only be a good thing).

Anyway, I do love getting the text results through, and when I got mine this week I felt pretty pleased. My time was 35.35 (I do like repeating numbers) and I was 125th out of 133 runners. When I first started running, I did a 5K race for life, and my finish time then was 35 mins- it was the first time I had run without a walk break, and the furthest I had ever run, and I was so proud of myself for doing something that I didn’t think I could do.

I think what I realised this weekend is that finally my mindset has changed. Even though I have now been running for years, I still felt like someone just starting out, and a bit of an imposter at races. But this weekend I felt like, even though I had not run for a few weeks, in fact I am a runner, I have just been out with a bad cough, and once I am back to full health I will be running regularly again.

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And here, for fun, are candy cane cupcakes that I made last week. They are chocolate cupcakes (the Hummingbird recipe) and then butter icing with some peppermint extract and pink colouring. I saw on TV how to do swirls, and thought I would give it a go. Inside the piping bag you paint strips of colouring (which got very messy indeed) and then put the pink icing into the bag. Then, as you pipe, the swirls appear.

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I am not the best at piping, but I thought they looked quite pretty. I added some crushed candy canes to the topping, and then sprinkled with edible glitter (or non-toxic glitter as I think it is officially called).

Wow, look at that, a post about running and cupcakes! Who would have thought it?

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18 thoughts on “25 before Christmas”

  1. I’m so sorry this terrible virus has dragged on for so long for you 🙁 I do hope that the air in Spain is somewhat rejuvenating – the damp and cold here in the UK can’t be helping matters. I think your time doesn’t matter when you’re recovering from something that severe – just showing up is an achievement in itself! I definitely think that a sub-25 is possible for you though: just look at all of the improvements you’ve made in speed this year. It’s only a matter of time before it happens.

    I love the swirly effect on those cupcakes too – so pretty and clever!


    1. Thanks- yes hoping that the slightly warmer air will help with things, as well as resting (and not going to work).
      I was not sure at all about the piping- it made such a mess and I was sure that it would look awful, but I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

  2. Sounds like that reinforced rest over Christmas is just what you need. I’m glad you didn’t overdo it on the parkrun, but lovely that you could tick off your 25th run before Christmas. Dan and I are hoping to make Sheringham parkrun whilst back at my parents’ on Christmas morning this year having not been able to make it for a little while now.
    The piping swirls look great on the cupcakes. Definitely one to try out, although I agree, it does sound messy!

    1. I love the sound of a Christmas morning parkrun- there are two near me on New Years day so perhaps I shall be OK to give one of them a go.
      The piping was messy (I got it on my hands when putting in the last two stripes as the first stripe was already in the bag) but that doesn’t seem to matter with the final result.

  3. Haha I love the idea of “Toxic Glitter” as opposed to the non-toxic one you got. It brings up images of some very nasty fairies on a revenge rampage. The cupcakes look awesome. See it’s fiddly things like that (putting stripes of colour in a piping bag) that would be so far beyond me. I can barely get past the basics. But I guess practice makes perfect. I just don’t think I have much patience.
    Of course you’re a runner!! Glad to hear you do see yourself as one now. And well done for getting round parkrun despite not being very well.
    Have fun in Spain!

    1. I think they can’t officially call it edible glitter because you don’t digest it or something, but it OK to consume. Versus the glitter you get for crafting activities I suppose. I like the image of the fairies getting their own back!
      Thanks 🙂

  4. I think the rest in Spain decision is a good one and hopefully the slightly warmer climate will help clear you up quicker. Have a fantastic Christmas & holiday xx

    1. I think it was on a Mary Berry show that I saw it, and as I had a bit of time I thought I would give it a go. Really making the butter icing takes longer than actually piping- that is what I usually lose patience over!

    1. Thanks Laura- I am sure I have felt like a runner for a while but it seemed to dawn on me this weekend.
      Thanks, hope you have a lovely Christmas too 🙂

  5. Well done you for finishing the run anyway! Hope you have a lovely relaxing Christmas and recover well 🙂 It doesn’t hurt to have some time off running every now and then, especially when you’re body is telling you to! (Even though we don’t do time off very well!) xx

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