A weekend of muddy running and too much festive cheer

Good morning and Happy Monday! I can’t believe that in two weeks time it will be Christmas Eve.

When this post is published, thanks to some train issues I’ll be heading back to Wallingford slightly later than originally planned.

I’ll rewind a few days to what was a reasonably productive but tiring weekend. I need to remind myself that I’m 39 not 19, and can’t drink as much alcohol as I could in my prime!What you Had Meme


As per usual, Friday evening wasn’t very exciting. I’ve no idea how people find the energy to go out on a Friday, by the time I get home from Wallingford I’m usually completely shattered. After a slightly stressful journey which saw me do an impression of Anneka Rice in the centre of Oxford, it felt good to be home. As I didn’t have any food in the house, I treated myself to a takeaway from the Hungry Sparrow, made a start on the washing mountain, and caught up on The Apprentice. I still can’t work out who is actually going to win this year. Could it be the first year there are no winners

On Saturday morning I woke well before my alarm. As I didn’t have any marathons to enter and wasn’t heading to parkrun, I stuck on another load of washing and headed back to bed for a snooze. At 8:30 I woke up feeling completely disorientated, dragged myself out of bed, pulled on some running gear and ran the short distance to meet up with Ellen.

After a quick discussion we decided to run in Sutton Park. Last week we ran six miles and paid the price. On Saturday we decided to have fun and to aim for a slightly shorter distance. The weather was more or less perfect for running; cool, sunny but quite windy in places. We decided to head towards the Jamboree Stone and then past Keepers Pool. After what felt like a speedy run across Arena Field, we reached the Jamboree Stone, and found ourselves briefly joining in with Sutton Park parkrun.

We ran through some woods and decided to stop for a rest and to get our breath back.Sutton ParkSlightly challenging hill tackled at a sensible pace, we started to run again and found ourselves heading back towards the Jamboree Stone. As we were feeling good, we decided not to stop at the ice cream van, but to head straight back towards where we started our run.

We ran back down the slightly challenging to run on stony path – my fragile left foot doesn’t seem to appreciate running on stones – and back towards Little Bracebridge Pool. We were sensible and walked across the somewhat slippery wooden bridge and then carried on running again.Wild poniesAs we were running past the pool, Ellen unfortunately twisted her ankle on the uneven surface, so we paused our Garmins and stopped for a couple of minutes. I think the so-called wild ponies wondered what on earth we were doing. Fortunately, Ellen’s ankle seemed to be okay and we were able to walk the half a mile or so back to her house.

Ellen made me a cup of tea and some toast, and after an enjoyable chat, I put my muddy trainers back on and started to run back home. As I approached a busy crossroads I told myself that if it was busy and I couldn’t cross without stopping, I would have to run up to the local Boots to collect my prescription. There was a lot of traffic, so I ended up running up what felt like Mount Everest towards Boots. At least the run back from Boots was downhill.

I got back home, had some lunch and then spent several hours completing the most complicated job application I’ve ever seen. Not much fun, but I need to start applying for more jobs as my temporary contract ends in March. Job application successfully completed and submitted, I treated myself to a large glass of Malibu and Coke, had a quick shower and then got ready to go to mums.

Colin collected me and four large bags of Christmas presents and we headed to mums. I was treated to some homemade chicken pie and mash, watched Dad’s Army for the millionth time and then made a start on decorating the smaller Christmas tree that will be spending the festive period inside the conservatory. It was so cold in there – I could actually see my breath and felt like I was outside – I didn’t spend long decorating the tree.Christmas treeI wasn’t too worried about my complete lack of Christmas tree related creativity because I can pretty much guarantee that the cats will destroy the tree within a week. I watched the end of Six Days, Seven Nights, said my goodbyes and started to walk the three miles or so back home.

While I was walking, one of my drinking partners in crime Anna sent me a text; she was in the Butlers Arms with a couple of other old school mates. This left me with a dilemma. I wasn’t exactly dressed for the occasion but didn’t really have time to walk home, get changed and then head back to the pub. I reached the pub and decided to sneak in looking a little scruffy. Everyone was so drunk; I doubt they would have cared what I was wearing.

I had a great evening, and after knocking back far too many pints knew that I would wake up feeling terrible.

Guess what? I woke up feeling terrible. I didn’t get out of bed until 10:30 and then felt guilty because I’d wasted most of the morning. I spent the morning struggling to write Christmas cards while watching the European Cross Country Championships.European CrossWatching other people running somehow managed to make me feel worse, so I headed out for a walk. I think the fresh air did some good as I felt much better when I returned back from my lap around Four Oaks.

I made some soup for lunch and then treated myself to a lengthy nap. When I woke up it was starting to get dark, and I realised I didn’t have much time to get myself organised for the week ahead. I’d completely forgotten that the Newcastle v Wolves match was on TV, luckily my friend reminded me. When I realised I’d only be able to watch the first half, I felt even less enthusiastic about the prospect of a four hour journey back to Wallingford.

I checked the trains, saw that my train to Oxford had been cancelled, and decided to delay my journey until this morning. Once again I was reminded that I’m incredibly fortunate that I have supportive colleagues and the option of working from home.

And then this happened, thank-you Wolves 🙂

I can already tell that I’m going to really miss my job in Wallingford when my temporary contract comes to an end in March. The Christmas meal I’ve organised for my team takes place on Tuesday. I hope that I got our food order correct and that most people enjoy their choices.

Did you have a good weekend?

How often do you really let your hair down?

Do you enjoy work parties?


4 thoughts on “A weekend of muddy running and too much festive cheer

  1. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    It’s so nice that you can work from home- it makes so much sense if it’s possible.
    I always wonder when I see people out running during parkrun time, why aren’t they running in the parkrun?
    Enjoy your Christmas meal – I always think organising that sort of thing is a real headache. We do a little team afternoon tea with about 10 of us, and there is a big work do but I am away that night so I can’t go. I prefer the smaller things anyway because then you can talk to everybody.


    • Emma says:

      The EA is a really good at making sure people have a good work life balance. I’m really going to miss working there when I finish in March.
      The Christmas meal seemed to be a success, not too many people moaned and most people seemed to have a good time. Organising it was made slightly easier in that I only had one date and one time to work with. I left contacting restaurants so late the choice was limited. Stressful for me but I got to tell people where we were going. It’s a shame you couldn’t make your work do. Like you, I prefer smaller groups and events.


  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    Sometimes you do just need a bloody good lie-in. I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it. It’s a decent way to spend some time in my opinion! Good for the body and soul.
    I enjoy work parties now that I’m at Wiggle as everyone is kind of my age and – whereas previously I was amongst a lot of men in their 40s and 50s so though they were absolutely lovely, I was more their surrogate daughter than someone to party with (not that I party anymore haha). I will be going on Thursday night and I probably will get a bit squiffy.


    • Emma says:

      I definitely need a lie in now, I’m so tired this week. I’m blaming the lack of daylight, my noisy housemates and trying to do too much during the weekend. Still, I found out I’ve not used enough annual leave so I’ll have to take two weeks off during Christmas/New Year. Happy days.
      I really miss the work parties we had when I worked at a pub in Worcester, now they were epic. I did feel I was surrounded by a strange mixture of people at the recent work party. Some were nearing retirement, others were younger than me, some I’d never actually met before, awkward.


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