December is such a busy month for most of us as we prepare for the festive holidays and the new year. Work, extra shopping, more eating, more drinking, lots of socialising … all crammed into 31 days of December. Or maybe that sounds like most months for some of us.
By the time Christmas day is here many of us are quite tired and try our best to wind down for a few days. Last month I found myself slipping with my exercise and healthier eating, making me feel lethargic. So I decided to challenge myself with my running again.
I took up jogging/running four years ago. I’m not athletic and had never run before, so I was very much an unfit beginner at the age of 42. Over the last four years, with lots of practise I found that I could run, but I was slower than most other runners I’d met. In the beginning I found it extremely difficult and not fun at all. I almost gave up.
I’m so happy I didn’t! With some perseverance, determination and My Peak Challenge, it has given me so many positive rewards. You know how I love getting outdoors, well this was another way of seeing some of Scotland and the land right on my doorstep. Running also seemed to help lift my mood and give me more energy.
So my mini-challenge for December is the Marcothon challenge, the brain child of Marco Consani who is an ultra runner. It’s a personal challenge to run every day in December for 25 minutes or 3 miles, whatever comes first.
Yikes! I was a bit worried at first, would my body be able to cope? So far I’ve completed 12 days and feel okay. I do need to be sensible though and listen to any aches or pains.
Enjoy some photos of my running jaunts. I’ll let you know next year if I was successful. Fingers and toes crossed!
Running with a beautiful sky and trees
My first day of running on 1 December was very motivational! I ran my 25 minutes one way and took these photos on the way back.
Isle of Arran
On day eight I wanted to run somewhere different, so I jumped on the ferry to my favourite island the Isle of Arran! This was a very inspiring run with all the beautiful scenery around me. It was 8 December and the sun was shining like a warm spring day.
The ferry sailing
I was excited. I ate my breakfast on the ferry, brown toast and jam to give me some energy. The sun was rising but still quite low in the sky. It was a colourful sky all the way.
I had been told of a walk along Brodick beach called the Fisherman’s walk that takes you to Brodick Castle the scenic route. I wanted to run this path as looking at the scenery whilst I was running was my plan.
I took a few photos before I started my run.
Goat Fell mountain was sitting there beautifully and I started to reminise about my summer solstice sleepover in June.
I took a deep breath and started to run along the bay to see if I could find the Fisherman’s walk. It wasn’t very well signposted from the main road that I could see anyway. I took a lucky guess and headed towards the swing park on the beach and that’s where it started. This route is also the start of the Arran Coastal Way.
I ran 5k this day then walked back to take the rest of these photos. You’ve no idea how many times I wanted to stop running and capture a photo though! I kept seeing beautiful shots.
I loved running across this board walk. It was so much fun! It looks longer than it is though.
The path took me up on to the beach. It was really difficult for me running on the sand. I ran down towards the sea thinking the firmer sand would be easier, but the beach wasn’t straight and I was running at an angle. I slowed down a bit on the beach but kept going as I was looking for the exit signpost.
I couldn’t believe that the wild gorse bushes were blossoming with yellow flowers in December.
I eventually came out on to the road beside Cladach Visitor Centre near Brodick Castle. I knew where I was but I still hadn’t run my 5k. I kept running up the road until I reached my distance. The walk back was so relaxing after that.
Unfortunately the battery on my phone was draining quickly with all the photos I was taking.
I looked for somewhere to go for food and a drink. The Little Rock Cafe beside the Arran Active shop was just the place to replenish my fuel. Friendly service, good food and a fabulous view across the bay.
After a quick browse round the shops it was soon time to head back to the mainland on the next ferry.
When I boarded the ferry I walked to the coffee lounge to buy a hot drink. I ordered a peppermint tea. “Sit in or take away” the waiter said. I kinda laughed as I was on a ferry and where was I going to take it. The waiter said he often gets strange looks when he asks that question.
Take away was really ideal as I sat outside at the back of the ferry with my warm drink. I watched Arran become smaller and smaller as we sailed across the firth of Clyde back to Ardrossan.
The sun was slowly setting across the Holy Isle. It hadn’t moved that far since sunrise in the morning. Beautiful beams of light peeked through the clouds and lit up the sea making it glisten and sparkle. My phone battery was now totally flat, so no photos, only the memory of it in my head.
Have a lovely time over the holidays everyone! I wish the new year to bring you all good health, lots of love, adventures and happiness.
Thanks for reading.