Wow, what a truly amazing, brilliant day.
It's not often that I set an alarm on a Sunday morning for 7am so that I can travel just over 20 miles in a Santa outfit to run 10k or 6.4 miles in old money. But this Sunday was the Portsmouth Santa Fun Run, and it certainly lived up to it's name. It was just what the Dr ordered.
It was only about three weeks ago that I made the decision to sign-up and do the Santa Fun run being cajoled and encouraged by my new running chums Clare Horan and Jenny Jones and I'm really chuffed that they did.
After a horrible five weeks including a break up, some stressful work bollocks and a hideous cold (have I mentioned before I never get sick! I promise I will stop whining about being poorly soon) running has been a great help. Surprising I know, but being outdoors, pushing myself, meeting up with friends and getting those endorphins flowing through my veins is like a tonic and a healthy one at that. And so the Santa Run appeared to be an excellent idea.
I haven't done a big run since the Great South Run which is 10 miles, which wiped me out for a couple of weeks, followed by all of the above, my furthest distance in all that time has been 5k and probably only about four times. Eek, my training has been quite low on the agenda and I was unsure of whether I'd actually be able to do it.
So Sunday started with the most beautiful sunshiny morning, not a cloud in the sky, no harsh wind and even feeling pretty warm, which is great for running, not so great in a running outfit hidden by a Santa outfit. It all gets pretty sweaty, pretty quickly.
Awash with Santa's
Arrival in Portsmouth saw the hurried dressing up as Santa with the obligatory bright red Christmassy lipstick for the ladies, it is Christmas after all and you've got to get a bit of glamour into running if you possibly can. There was a posse of 10 of us, some running 5k and some running 10k and I must admit to feeling a teensy bit jealous that I hadn't put my name down for the 5k. In our posse was Clare Horan, Jenny Jones, Catherine Alpin, Barbara Boshier, Emma O'Brian, Linda, Mike and Evelyn (?) and Orelio who wasn't running as he was feeling pants. And we all cut a very fine Santa figure.
At the start line there were Samba drums which are amazing at getting you jeed up, warmed up and buzzing with excitement and the sea front was awash with Santa's. I think there may have been about 1,500 Santa's down at the sea front, and it was fabulous to see.
And then we were off, up the promenade with the sea on our right and an enormous snake of red far off into the distance, snaking their way eventually back down the shingle beach (that was tough!) and back onto the promenade to continue the journey along the sea front.
Running ain't so difficult with support from friends
And it was tough, and it felt like a bloody long way, my legs felt heavy around the 7k mark, I was coughing but there was no effing way I was going to give in and walk. I have to give a big thank you to Clare Horan, Jenny Jones, Linda and Evelyn for all their support on this run. It was tough for lots of reasons but also bloody brilliant fun.
And now I'm home, bathed, warm, a glass of red and smiling on the inside.
So if you're toying with the idea of starting to run, at the very least aim to do the Portsmouth Santa Fun Run for the RNLI, it's a great day you won't forget in a hurry.
Here's a Merry Christmas to all, have a wonderful time with your friends and loved ones.