Christmas Eve: parkrun. Hard effort if possible.
Ask the parkrun tourist hive mind for gorgeous parkrun courses in Yorkshire and you end up with a list as long as your arm. Ask for flat tarmac parkruns in Yorkshire and your list will read (1) York, (2) Um…, so on Christmas Eve I headed off to York. The course was perfect. One and half laps of the racecourse, essentially flat and not too congested, and with the unofficial bag tree at the finish, there’s even a built in half mile warm up as you jog to the start. On a dry, windless day it has PB course written all over it. Throw in stiff winds, driving rain, hail and a runner who hadn’t packed so much as a windproof jacket, and you end up with a bedraggled slowcoach with hands that were so numb they couldn’t grip the finish token.
Christmas Day: easy parkrun
This morning, I headed to Dewsbury. Three gently undulating tarmac laps, a mere 20 minute drive from the house and the promise of company. What could possibly go wrong? Other than a whopping great big tree across the bottom half of the lap which activated the B course. Three laps became six and gently undulating morphed into hill reps. It was a blast! Friendly volunteers, the added camaraderie of runners trying to count beyond the fingers of one hand and weather that had been blessed by the parkrun weather fairy. It may have strayed out of the realms of easy, but as a start to Christmas Day it was superb.
After a somewhat stressful December, back-to-back parkruns (even with added weather and hills) were exactly the Christmas present I needed.