Festive Cheer!

As I type this post, I am full of festive spirit (beer)!  Christmas is only 17 days away, and I’m starting to get excited (having banned even a sniff of the ‘C’ word in my classroom until December).  I get really cranky about Christmas stuff being on display/Christmas music being played/literally anything to do with Christmas if it isn’t December, because I think that all the overexposure sucks the joy out of the holiday.  So my ban on Christmas until recently means I am extra stoked this year, even though I’m staying here in Scotland for a change (last year I was in Australia, and I started this blog just before I left, and the year before that I was in Houston).

Because I’ll be staying at home this year, I figured it was about time I get a Christmas tree.  Now, my vacuum cleaner broke about a week and a half ago (I have since bought a dustbuster as a miniature hero to step in until the Dyson engineer can come out), and my flat is tiny, so there was never going to be a real tree.  Most artificial trees were also way too big, and by the time I hit the shops, most of the small ones had sold out.  So I was glad that, a few nights ago, on a whim, I went to a shop a little out of the way and managed to bag their last 3 foot artificial tree in stock.  And to those of you with houses, no, that is not a typo, my tree is three feet tall.  Behold the beauty:

IMG_20121206_205513And yes, it sits on top of some shelves, but I have a tree, and I have presents (including one from my Fetch secret Santa!) underneath it.  That, for me, is commitment to the season!  As is my chosen headwear for today:

IMG_20121208_175749Now, this wasn’t for any old walk about Aberdeen city center.  No, no, no, this was to go and watch my friend Dylan, and my other friend Iain (who I go to spin class with) sing in the Granite City Chorus at Aberdeen Art Gallery this afternoon.  The group sang a half hour set of Christmas songs and were really good!  Despite the fact that my friend Dylan has been singing with the group for well over a year, this is the first time I’ve seen them perform:

IMG_20121208_171728I also have a feeling Dylan is the youngest member of the group…

In running news, my butt building has been going well, and I had a sports massage on Thursday where I was told there was a noticeable improvement to my shins and calves.  They had been feeling pretty good during my few short runs so I thought I’d try a 5 mile run on Friday night.  Along the icy pavements.  And at points in cold, sleety rain.  This is what the streets looked like on Wednesday night:

IMG_20121205_224209It snowed more overnight, and after people walking on the sidewalks the next day, combined with a very cold following night, it became like trying to walk on a wet ice rink.  At some points during my run I was literally pulling myself along the ground using a wall next to the sidewalk (so not my fastest 5 miles), but there were still some runnable sections.  Apart from the conditions, the run was fairly good.  Not much shin pain, not too out of breath.  And then I woke up this morning.

My left calf has been unbelievably tight and tender today, so I’m not sure if it’s just sore from the massage and run, or what.  I managed to do a step class and Body Pump this morning without much issue, but I have a Santa run (thankfully only 6k) to get through tomorrow, and possibly a few extra miles earlier in the day, so I’d really like the pain to go away!  I’ll hit the foam roller a bit tonight and slip into something sexy (compression socks) tonight.  Hopefully that’ll help.  If not, tomorrow is going to be a bit sore.

Hope everyone else is having a good weekend in the run up to Christmas!