It’s one of my manyyyy favorite times of the year: Christmas time in NYC! (Other favorite times of the year: NYC Marathon weekend, my birthday, the entire months of May and September, and Labor Day weekend.)
The temperatures are dropping, the holiday lights and decorations are up and I am almost done with all of my Christmas shopping. I kicked off the holiday season this weekend by a fun “race” and an all day Santa bar crawl. Also known as: NYRR Jingle Bell Jog and Santacon. And it was amazing.
About a month ago, my friend Noelle suggested we sign up for the NYRR Jingle Bell Jog as a fun race. Though it was kinda pricey ($50? for a 6K? In Brooklyn?), I decided it’d be nice to get out there and do a low key run with her and Terence. Since I haven’t been running much, I knew I was in no shape to even attempt to race this, so I told them I was happy to run, jog, walk, or cartwheel as slow or as fast as they wanted to. I know I have a HUGE problem with doing races when I’m not in shape and not going to PR. However, signing up for this race knowing that I would just do it for fun, not as a race, alleviated a ton of stress since I never had to alter my mindset.
It was perfect! Molly also joined us and drove us to Brooklyn bright and early on Saturday. We actually missed the gun going off between trying to park and using the portapotties. Whoops?
But, no stress here! We hopped in the corrals and took off at a leisurely pace, just enjoying the bells ringing on our shoes and fun costumes. We were going between 8:30 and 9:00 pace, dropping it down to 7:30 pace the last half-mile or so. We finished just under 32:00. For comparison, my college 6K PR was 22:58 on a hilly/grassy XC course…. so probably not comparable at all actually. A new personal worst time? Sure. A new most festively fun race? Yep!
We had SO much fun, we even made it onto the NYRR photo gallery. My life is now complete.
We quickly headed home, showered, and changed into MORE festive attire and got ready for Santacon. My third year doing it, Santacon is always a blast and an excuse to be ridiculous and make friends with hundreds of other fun people dressed as Santas. Except, I am different and I’m a reindeer
After a few bars, we ended up at a Japanese Karaoke bar in Midtown, belting out top hits such as “Barbie Girl”, “Build Me Up Buttercup”, and “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a dozen santas singing off tune to weird Japanese videos.
After the race, drinking all day, and a very unexpectedly fun night, I spent all day Sunday glued to my bed watching season 2 of Parenthood and doing a bit of work. Healthy living at it’s finest.
Weekends like this makes me wish Santacon came more than once a year! But alas, I have another fun weekend coming up with my friend Kristen coming into town, and a Secret Santa exchange on Sunday! Let the festivities keep on comin’!
On the running front, I’m finding it harder than I thought to run outside. It’s dark, it’s cold, and I’m full of excuses and lacking motivation. I’ve got about 2-3 weeks of easy running left before I start to really think about training for Boston, but I still want to build a little base. After struggling through 3.5 miles yesterday, I knew I needed running buddy motivation to get me out the door again. So, I met up with Alex at 6:15 this morning (gah) for 6.5 miles around the reservoir and bridle path. It was dark for about 5 of those 6.5 miles, but we had so much to catch up on since the marathon that the miles flew by!
Since I was up so early and had a bit of time I decided to stop at the gym to do some core and lifting work. I was so encouraged by your responses to my post on strength training and really appreciated the suggestions. I did a few exercises on the stability ball and headed over to the circuit machines, and actually have a feeling I’ll be sore tomorrow!
Any tips for winter running now that it’s getting darker and colder? How are you celebrating the holidays? Got more strength training tips?!