Christmas – family, food and running

I took a bit of a break over the Christmas holidays to chill and reset myself so I’m a bit behind on blog life but here we go anyway…

Christmas is really one of my favourite day’s of the entire year. There’s something about knowing that a huge number of people are doing something very similar to you on the same day. You feel part of something, a collective and a togetherness. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but a vast majority do and it’s nice to feel part of something bigger.

On Christmas Eve I volunteered at Netley parkrun rather than ran as my leg is still not 100% and I wanted to run the Christmas parkrun and knew I couldn’t do both. The weather was so cold and windy that after helping set the course up and then cheering on two laps of the three lap course I quickly headed back to the start/finish area and then sat in my car with the heating on full blast while watching to see when I was needed to help clear down. I was so cold and, it must be said, a bit grumpy. I don’t think it helped that when I stood complaining about being cold someone said to me, “oh you’ll be warm as soon as you start running”… except I wasn’t going to run! I can understand why they thought I would though as I was in my gym gear (with a coat) as I was going to head to the gym afterwards and get my endorphins that way.

But anyway, I stayed at my parents for Christmas Eve and then got up early the next morning and headed to parkrun once again. But this time with my dad in tow as he was going to do the Christmas parkrun too. It’s funny because we were both feeling a bit nervous about it; me with my shin and him with not having done a parkrun in a few months, and not having done the new hillier Netley either.

The weather was far better though, for which I was eternally grateful for. I’d gone with a Christmas-themed fancy dress and was grateful for the warmer temps.My dad had his new Netley parkrun t-shirt on as well, bless him (oh I also have to make a correction to a previous post where I’d said he lost 20% of his body weight – which wouldn’t have made any sense. He’s lost almost 2.5 stone, which is ten percent of his body weight… stupid Anna).

Two of my lovely friends, April and Jo, also came to Netley which was lovely. We “met” via Instagram and social media and though I’ve met April a few times in ‘real life’, I’ve never met Jo. So it was nice to see them both at such a festive occasion.

April and I ran together, with my friend Mike, but Jo was super fast (despite coming back from a niggle herself!) – she came first at the Southampton parkrun just the day before…naturally. But April and me tend to be around the same speed so it was nice to run and chat. My shin played ball and only niggled a tiny bit so I was quite happy.

But it did still feel hard. When you haven’t run consistently or for any great distances in a while it always feels pretty bloody awful regardless of pace!

The Netley Abbey Running club has festively set-up a table with Baileys shots for anyone who dared, and then set it up at the finish at the end. They were raising money for charity and quite a few people went for the shots!
All in all it was a very festive parkrun, with lots in fancy dress and a band playing. My dad did very well, getting a 5 minute PB with a time of 46:32 minutes, which even beats his Lee-On-Solent time (a vert flat course) and he wasn’t last! He was over the moon.

Then we packed up the course and headed back home to celebrate Christmas. I helped my dad with the lunch prep, we opened presents, ate chocolate (well, my granddad and I did, while my parents were very restrained).

Amongst other bits and bops I got some very nifty lifting shoes for Christmas.

They’re for the gym and specifically for lifting. They should help my form a bit more and basically keep me planted nicely on the ground and support to help me lift. I love the colour personally 😉

Then after cooking we got down to the main event…

I had a couple more plates of the main dinner…so tasty. I’m all about the stuffing and honey roasted parsnips. And the turkey of course 😉 I was in charge of pudding so I went for an M&S Chocolate and Orange Melting Middle Pudding (*cough* maybe two of them…because having too much is always better than not enough!). I actually didn’t realise it was chocolate orange until I was eating it and wondering why it was so zesty. I’m not a big chocolate orange fan so it wasn’t the “rock my world” situation I’d imagined. However it was obviously very good and though we didn’t eat both puddings we did crack into the second one.

Then we went for our annual walk down the beach. Unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worst and it was cold, wet and windy and we really just wanted to get it over with. It was nice to then get back home and curl up with a good movie. We watched It’s a Wonderful Life, which I’ve never seen before. I was a bit dubious about it thinking it was going to either be boring or ultra cheesy. I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was and I was fully moved at the end, sobbing away at just how lovely it was. After another mini portion of leftovers and Christmas TV I was ready for bed! A really lovely Christmas 🙂

How was your Christmas?

What’s your favourite part of the Christmas dinner?

Christmas – lots of food and parkruns

So Christmas has been and gone far too quickly! Depressingly quick. It’s still nice to be off and enjoy the time to relax and see friends.

Rolling back to Christmas then, the morning began with me dressing up like an idiot in fancy dress (with Alfie) and heading to the Netley Abbey parkrun. I was staying at my parents and before I left I somehow managed to persuade my dad to take a photo of me. I was heading there early to help set up which is why it looks so dark.Christmas fancy dress runIt was so lovely seeing everyone and wishing them merry Christmas. Lots of people had dressed up too so it felt very festive.Christmas parkrunThe run itself was tough. I felt like I was plodding the entire time. My body just didn’t want to go any faster. Luckily my friend Mike felt similar so we ran together, taking it easy, dreaming of the turkey to come later 😉 I managed 24:58 which I wasn’t too happy with (considering Mike and me had said we’d aim for an easy 24…whoops). Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And when I’m dressed in a tutu on Christmas day I’m not going to complain about it!

Alfie loved his time at parkrun and got ridiculously muddy. He also managed to get his little Santa outfit off at the end as well, bless him. I think he felt a little ridiculous in it. Can’t understand why personally…Christmas fancy dress dog

We cleared up quickly and parted ways, everyone heading off for their respective Christmases. I went straight back to my parent’s house where I first had to get Alfie in the bath and clean. My parents thankfully took over so I could go and shower and not delay the celebrations. I enjoyed a cheeky glass of Bucks fizz with my porridge and then we opened presents.

I got some lovely gifts which I was rather chuffed with. My parents had bought me some Nike pro shorts (I’m obsessed), some bits and bobs and some items for my new flat.Home decor

The ‘A’ is battery powered so I can turn the lights on and off.

Then I helped my dad cook the Christmas meal. We both really enjoy cooking so it was quite fun. We had Christmas music on, peeling carrots, scrubbing parsnips and just enjoying the day. The food, as always, was awesome. We had a prawn and salmon starter and for main turkey with all the trimmings.Christmas Dinner

It rocked my world. I probably say this every year, but Christmas day is my favourite meal of the year. I just love it. I requested for broad beans as one of the veg as it’s one of my favourites (I know I’m weird). And we had Monopoly crackers!!!Monopoly Crackers

After dinner we went for a walk with the dogs. The weather was so mild but fairly windy. It was great to see all the houses all lit up and people enjoying Christmas. Walking on Christmas day is one of my favourite things to do. It’s a shame we didn’t go down the beach but it was just ridiculously windy and dark so we kept it simple with round the block.

When we got back we had pudding. Normally you’d have Christmas pudding in the UK but no one really likes Christmas pudding in my family. So my mum and granddad had a panacotta and my dad and me had giant portions of a melt in the middle chocolate pudding with ice cream. LITERALLY THE BEST THING EVER.Chocolate puddingThen we played the Logo Game which we’ve now played for the third time in a row at Christmas. Christmas dayI love it. I stayed at my parents over night, which meant I could get into PJs and watch some Christmas TV into the evening with them (where I enjoyed round 2 of Christmas dinner with the leftovers…because it’s Christmas!)

The next day, Boxing Day, was the proper parkrun as it was Saturday. My tummy didn’t feel in too great a shape to run it must be said…All that food. But surprisingly I felt far better running than the day before and I managed to shave almost a minute off my time (24:12). I felt myself getting stronger as the run continued as well which was great. I usually warm up into a run about five miles in… I’m a slow burner I think (and probably why I hate 5ks and 10ks).

I spent the rest of the day at my parent’s again and my sister, her fiancé and little girls came over. It was manic but lovely. Ellie, my little niece who I ran the kid’s race the other week with, loved her Nike leggings I bought her. She even asked me if one day we could run together and I could run at my top speed and hold her hand so I could pull her along. Bless her!

So Christmas this year was very chilled, a little bit different to normal but full of fun, happiness, family and (let’s be honest, the best bit) GOOD food. Now it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m going to be heading to my friend’s house for a chilled evening of lots of food, films and games.

How was your Christmas?

What’s your favourite Christmas food? Mine is the whole turkey dinner.

What are you/did you get up to on New Year’s Eve?