Tuesday, December 25, 2012

After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working. -Kenneth Grahame

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 525:

Now that the Holiday Craziness has hit a bit of a lull (after the crazy 12" snowstorm we're now cleaning up from!), I feel compelled to tell you all about the awesomeness that was my Christmas Day.

While in Christmas' past, this would involve me sleeping in until Whenever, putzing around the house in my PJ's while my mother made a big dinner and eating myself silly on carb-laden holiday treats... I'm happy to say that this Christmas (Aja 2.0!) was a little different.

Thanks to the creative ingenuity of my fabulous Spartan buddy, Stacey, I was up *before* 8am and preparing to head out in 16 degree weather for a "Festive Run" on Christmas morning. We were instructed to dress festively and prepare for an easy 5K.

Race Bibs!
Upon our arrival, Stacey passed out our race bibs. Yes. Race bibs (there's rumor that next year might have finisher medals!)! We were all rocking a festive array of clothing - Santa hats, candy cane striped socks, red and green running attire, infamous "ugly" sweaters... you name it. Stacey, our fearless organizer, was even toting a handful of jingle bells for merry-making along the way.

Festive Run Style!
Our festive crew geared up and pinned on our bibs and headed out behind our leader to greet this holiday in sweaty style. Being a Spartan and always ready to throw in a curve ball, Stacey headed us up the infamous Hill, to start. We started plowing up it and my out-of-condition (sigh) legs were a little cranky, but they were not what forced us to slow to a walk; there was actually a bit of ice that made running uphill near impossible. Not to be deterred, we trudged up the hill and resumed our run into town.

Stacey, leading the Merriment!
Turning onto the main street, we set about running a long run throw the downtown of the booming metropolis of Barre, VT. The snow was coming down heavy, in big scenic flakes, and it was everyone's picturesque dream of a White Christmas.

We were forced to go a little slow and shorten our stride a bit to accommodate for the occasionally slippery terrain - you'd know when one of the ladies had found a slightly slippery patch by the "eee!!!" followed by a giggle and continued footfalls.

Running through the main part of downtown (down one side of main street and up the other!) was the most entertaining. Drivers headed to their holiday destinations beeped and waved and smiled at The Crazies that were out taking on a Festive Run. However, if there's one thing I've learned in this Spartan Shape-Up journey, is you really just can't care what other people think... otherwise, when would you run around carrying a tire, or dropping to do burpees?

Overall though, we seemed to bring a smile to everyone's face, as Stacey would grin ear to ear and enthusiastically shake her bells and wave at the cars, while the rest of our group would laugh, smile and try not to fall on our butts.

I'm happy to say that, despite my body reminding me VERY enthusiastically that we haven't been running enough, a grand time was had by all (and hopefully, this is just the first of our festive runs!). We all made it back to our start warm and toasty and unscathed, and ready and energized to tackle the rest of our holiday plans.

It has been interesting to reflect on how things have changed, since committing to a healthier lifestyle. While I will admit there have been slip ups and backslides (I can't even TALK about ridiculous amount of cookies that have been eaten the last few days - the rest just hit the trashcan!), I recognize that I have made the change to mostly healthier decisions. While it would've been easier to stay in bed and laze around in my PJ's, I willingly suited up and went out for a merry run in the sub-20 degree weather. It can be done folks, sometimes it just takes a little longer to get your head in the right place.

Now, since I've run for every holiday so far... I wonder, what is my New Year's Day plan? HMMMmmmmm......

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