This week’s running – 25th to 31st December 2017

andy_lis_christmas_cannon_hill_parkrun

Our first ever Cannon Hill Christmas Day parkrun

So, who got a visit from the jolly fat man, and who became a jolly fat man from overindulgence? Put me down for one of each!

Cannon Hill Christmas Day parkrun

This was my fourth year of visiting a parkrun on Christmas Day, and my first at Cannon Hill in all the years I’ve called the venue my home event (there was one way back in 2010). There was a great vibe in the air, expectedly, with many familiar faces making appearances. Simon, Nigel and Dave joined me, with Lis opting to volunteer to help the event get underway.

With Christmas Day falling on a Monday, that meant the pace was firmly to be easy and of recovery in nature. Dave shot off like a rocket, whereas Simon and Nigel held back with me; topics of discussion included Nigel’s and my love of brining turkeys, and Nigel possibly being in the doghouse for nipping off to parkrun (he was actually OK)!

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

10 miles with 2 at half marathon pace

Lis and I alternate which of our respective families we spend Christmas Day with. In 2017, we had my parents with us, so we spent Boxing Day and a few additional days with Lis’ folks.

I had intended to visit the University of Birmingham one final time for 2017 before heading to Wales, but it never happened, so I made do with a 10 mile out and back route to Usk with some pace work thrown in.

The route’s largely flat, with a couple of steep climbs thrown in here and there for good measure. Needless to say, I opted to cover half marathon pace on the flat and out of the way of the strong gusts of wind that blew!

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Illness strikes again!

Ever since 2012 when I began running with some serious intent behind the training, I’ve picked up a cold or the flu leading up to, or during, the Christmas break. It’s really as simple as it appears; I have more time on my hands, so I do a bit more training than usual to also suppress my immune system; couple that with socialising with all and sundry and I pick up all manner of bugs.

At the time of writing this post up, I look to have sidestepped any colds and flus that have done the rounds this season (touch wood). But! I did unfortunately pick up a bout of food poisoning (dodgy peanut butter) to have my stomach doing cartwheels and leave me being unable to efficiently take on much nutrition from food.

Rogiet parkrun

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Me and Ben at Rogiet parkrun – photo by Lis Yu

For those wondering, it’s pronounced Rog-it and not Ro-jiet as I originally thought!

Rogiet parkrun emerged from the ashes of the former Caldicot parkrun, which you may recall me missing out on numerous times due to cancellations aplenty over the summer. With the Gloucester New Year’s Eve 10 Mile race the following day, I wanted to finally get myself over to this event but absolutely had to hold back and take it easy. Lis and I invited our friend Ben to come and join us, taking in his third different venue since his parkrun debut in October, whereas this became my 23rd.

The Rogiet event couldn’t be any more different from its original Caldicot format! Caldicot formerly took place on a largely flat and straight service road, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to safety concerns from cars finding their way on to the course. The new event takes place inside Rogiet Countryside Park and is entirely off-road for a much slower paced run.

As promised, Ben and I kept the pace easy and conversational. By holding back early on, we were able to move our way through the field with relative ease as others ahead of us tired and dropped back. The course was a pretty confusing affair, with a couple of switchbacks, a crossroad, and all over multiple laps! Also, the mudbath that was promised delivered; if I were a regular at the event, I could be convinced to buy a cheap pair of cross-country spikes to gain some much needed traction!

In spite of my finishing time of 27:55, I still ended up finishing in 23rd, and Ben achieved his highest finishing position to date with a time of 27:54. Taking first place in 20:35 was a celebrity – CJ from Eggheads. If I’d not had the race the following day, I reckon I could have given him a run for his money for a decent battle out there.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Gloucester New Year’s Eve 10 Mile 2017 review

For the full write-up, please click here.

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One thought on “This week’s running – 25th to 31st December 2017

  1. Lovely to see you both for the Christmas Day parkrun! I scored a Decathlon voucher for Christmas and bought two new winter running tops which are super, however also ate pretty well all the chocolate in the world. Hm. Happy running to you and Lis for 2018!

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