I love Christmastime! Everything is so festive and filled with such infectious good cheer. And I especially enjoy holiday-themed activities, so I’ve booked up my calendar with them—and plan to share with you as many as I can in effort to spread the peace and joy and warmth of the season. I’ll start with the Jingle Bell Jog that Todd and I participated in last weekend.
Organized by the New York Road Runners Club, the four-mile road race took place along the winding pathways of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I’d never run there before, but had heard that the course mostly traveled in a flat circle. Imagine my surprise when, for most of Mile 1, we plodded up a huge hill! The good part, though, is that the slow pace gave me a chance to hang back with a close friend who was also competing in the race and share the experience with her. The bells tied to our sneakers jingled all the way up the hill. And despite the climb, the first mile passed by much faster than expected.
In Mile 2 I sped up, though the slow pace of the first mile would come back to bite me in the end and cause me to finish just short of my 40-minute goal. Miles 2 and 3 passed by in a blur, with Todd staying at my side the whole time. I’ve been using Pandora radio on my phone during runs and, though the music is generally really upbeat, I hit a slump of ballads and un-runnable songs somewhere in Mile 3. I got frustrated having to switch back and forth between stations because Pandora only allows a certain number of skips per hour. Mile 4 felt the longest: I had a stitch in my side the whole time and, as I sprinted toward the finish, I felt a little queasy. To make matters worse, another racer stopped short right in front of me a few feet from the finish line, so I swerved around her at the last minute but threw off my sprint. I finished in 41:58. Afterward, they handed out free hot chocolate to all and prizes to the fastest finishers.
The second holiday-themed activity happened a few days later; it’s one that we’ve said we wanted to do for years but never found the time for: building a gingerbread house. Though I would have liked to make it from scratch, we just bought a kit and worked from there. Todd and I had so much fun trying to pipe the icing in a straight line along the windows and door, and I think we ate more of the candy than ended up on the house. I decorated a little gingerbread man with a hat and a scarf to represent Todd, and I he made one that looked like me—if I looked like a blob with two buttons! Now I just have to resist picking off gummy bears every time I walk by it…