No doubt you’ll be sickened to learn that I got exactly what I wanted this Christmas morning.
Yes indeed – I got sunny, frosty weather and a brilliant Christmas morning long run!
I’d been looking forward to my Christmas morning run for weeks. However, the recent stormy weather threatened to turn it into a real sufferfest. The blustery conditions have persisted since the start of December, and after yet another wind-tunnel run yesterday I was getting a bit fed up with it.
But like some little Christmas miracle, this morning brought blue skies, crisp air and calm conditions. I was ready to rock, baby!
I ran 12 miles this morning – my longest run and first double-digit mileage since the Dublin Marathon at the end of October. Without being too conscious of time or pace, I covered the distance in an hour and 45 minutes, which reassures me that my basic fitness is good even when not training for a specific race.
My ancestral homeland of Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland, The World is experiencing something of a running boom these days. There are some great running routes here; this morning I went up by the local third-level college and then along a new bypass that has a tarmac path for pedestrians and cyclists all the way alongside it. With no street lights there you couldn’t run it in the evenings, but otherwise you can build up a great head of steam for a couple of miles of uninterrupted tarmac that’s easier on the joints than concrete.
After that, I headed out on one of my favourite routes – out to the sea and Blennerville windmill. On a sunny winter’s morning the scenery is spectacular, and somehow invigorating and relaxing at the same time. This is where I run when I want to recharge the batteries.
And coming back in from Blennerville, I saw on the opposite bank of the canal another manifestation of the local running boom – a group out training for the Tralee Marathon on 16 March. The organisers have started up training groups for runners of all levels, plus a full calendar of shorter races throughout the year, all designed to create and maintain interest. Fair play to them.
(Of course, this morning I put on my game face and took down that group! Lucky for them that they were on the other side of the canal – and I’ll let them away with their pretending that they didn’t see or hear me putting manners on their Christmas run.)
So that’s the Christmas morning run done – a resounding success. Now for Christmas dinner, a few glasses of wine, and plenty more junk-loading for the rest of the day and night.
Enjoy your Christmas run if you have the opportunity for one, and enjoy the rest of the day.