I’ve had a very strange December. All the usual pre-Christmas stresses were compounded by a loss of any Internet at home. No online shopping, no running my online business, no blogging. Time pressures have also meant very little running.
All of these frustrations have paled into insignificance with today’s news. Today we had to say goodbye to our beautiful old cat, Holly. She was 17 years old, we’d had her since she was a little kitten, she was often grumpy, she’d been ill for quite some time, but we all loved her dearly. She was the ‘black’ part of ‘Black and Tabby’, she was a unique feisty cat and she will be very sorely missed.
Find yourself a lovely big clump of heavenly catnip and sleep well, little one.
I did think with a name like the Pudding Run this race promised to be great. The fact that it sold out in a week back at the end of September was another good sign. I actually was given a place by a lovely man who was injured and I was able to transfer the place to myself just a few days before (how come bigger races can’t do this?!) I was even offered a lift by a friend, Julia, which was a good omen and great company.
As soon as we got to race HQ it was obvious why this race is so popular. It raises funds for the local primary school, so it has a lovely atmosphere, and the youngest baggage reclaim team I’ve ever seen. The runners were a mixture of super keen club runners, ordinary runners like myself, and runners who’d made the effort and were wearing Christmas jumpers and hats. The course was as flat as advertised which was great for PB chasing but one open section suffered from strong head winds over the flat fields. I always find laps of a race hard, so unsurprisingly I came to the end of the first 5K lap thinking
“I’ll just stop now. I don’t need to do another lap.”
“But you won’t get your pudding!”
“I don’t even like Christmas pudding!!”
Fortunately by the time I’d finished this internal monologue I’d passed the finish line and was on my second lap. It was hard, I didn’t beat my PB, I was overtaken on the final straight by a lady in an amazing Christmas Tree hat, but it was a great race. There was even a choice of puddings, so Grinches like me could have syrup sponge or chocolate pudding instead. It was great, and I will be signing up next September.
Normally I would say hilly and muddy beats just about any other run hands down (unless you’re after a PB of course). So a showdown between a hilly and muddy 10K race vs. flat and fast 10k race would normally be easy to call. Add in the fact that you get a medal at the hilly and muddy race, but not at the other, and you’d assume I didn’t even have to spend a second agonizing over a decision. Simple pimple.
Hang on though, put those trail trainers down – the flat and fast race isn’t an ordinary race. It’s the 10K “Pudding Race”. It sold out in a week back at the start of October, and you might not get a medal at the end but you do get a Christmas Pudding. Ah – that muddied the waters for you, didn’t it?
To cut a long story short, I put my trail trainers back in the muddy bag they live in, and took my road runners out this morning for some ‘bursts’ to try and get my legs used to running fast without getting distracted and slowing down. Apart from the large tractors on little lanes which meant I had to leap into the hedge, they went well.