So that’s the Christmas festivities over for another year. Now I have a fridge full of leftovers, a huge pile of washing and endless things to watch on TV .
I think my favourite day was Christmas Eve. I do love my Thursdays starting with a tough training session on the beach and this was the toughest one ever. We slithered down the slope onto sands that looked like gingerbread topped with icing sugar and Ian really put me through my paces with the 12k kettlebell and some brutal accumulator circuits. But I felt fantastic, so strong and energised. And I got to try out my warm base layer – so I was lovely and toasty.
I love working with Ian. He’s so good at just pushing me a bit harder than I would myself, but not expecting too much. An ‘excellent’ from him is well earned. It makes me fill up with pride and want to try even harder next time. We slithered back up the slope for a post work out stretch and exchanged cards and Christmas wishes.
After that it was full on mission tidy-up at home. Kitchen, front room, bathroom, bedroom. Hoovering, dusting, putting things away. Changing the sheets was especially taxing after some killer tricep exercises. And then before I had chance to catch my breath I was running up and down stairs helping our first set of guests bring their luggage and presents in.
Pretty soon the front room was packed with people and presents and everyone talking ten to the dozen. Quite different from just the quiet old two of us.
First festive meal was a big success. Everyone squeezed round the new table and tucked into some champion steaks that Gary had butchered last week, with fresh organic veggies from the farm. We hadn’t thought about pudding, but luckily my mum had brought a chocolate cake. Fab – can’t remember the last time I had cake I haven’t made myself.
I felt pretty special on Christmas Day. A couple of unexpected text messages and phone calls from my dad and sister on Christmas morning made me feel that even though we weren’t all together, the people that matter most to me were all thinking of each other.
Six of us opening presents was pretty noisy, especially when some of the jokey books were opened. I loved all of the surprises and the fact that, like my birthday there was a running theme to many of my gifts. I got some gorgeous new training kit and shoes, as well as books and DVDs. Can’t be anything left on my Amazon wishlist! Thankfully my choices went down well too. Even though Gary was convinced that the bottle of Dandelion and Burdock was going to be a nice bottle of port!
Then onto Christmas dinner, which seemed to take forever to prepare. I thought cooking the turkey for three hours would give us plenty of time to get everything else ready and have a bit of a chill out, but it seemed we never stopped peeling, chopping, boiling and prepping until everything was ready to put on the table.
No one had anywhere else they had to go, so dinner was ready when it was ready and everyone enjoyed it. Especially my mum who has done it herself for so many years. It’s nice to be able to let her enjoy it without all the work. I really hope I told her how much I appreciated it when she was cooking for me.
Suitably stuffed, everyone cleared out of the kitchen and got the Scrabble board out and left us to get on with the tidying up. Thank goodness for dishwashers! Though Christmas dinner for six took two loads – so there go my green credentials.
I was meant to run on Boxing Day, but the icy conditions meant the race was cancelled. I felt really guilty as everyone had chivvied themselves out of bed and were coming to watch me in the cold. I still had all my pre-race adrenaline swirling around when we all got back to the flat. So I’m afraid I left them to it and went for a quick run along the beach, figuring that would be the safest place underfoot.
It was Boxing Day last year that I first went for a run because I wanted to. That was really the first day I knew it had clicked and it was no longer about ‘doing the cardio’ – it was something that I enjoyed in and of itself. So it was important to me to mark that anniversary. And now I feel like I’ve created my own tradition.
I love running on the beach next to the waves. There’s something so free about it. Despite it being busy with people walking their dogs or just getting some fresh air after a day’s indoor indulgences, I felt like I was in my own space, just enjoying the way I was feeling in my own skin. No time, no target distance, just a nice wee run. Here’s to many more in 2010.