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All the best Christmas things come in 12s; Days, Ks and Pigs in Blankets

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Everyone has heard of the 12 Days of Christmas and the doves, golden rings, leaping lords, milking maids and laying geese, but this December I undertook the MedalMad 12k of Christmas Virtual Running Challenge with the howling wind, freezing rain, biting cold, infernal hills!

My usual run routes are along the Thames so are pretty flat in profile, but as this run was going to be a short(ish) run I decided to mix it up a little bit and throw in some ups and downs along the way. Greenwich Park has some pretty gnarly ones but as it was my first dose of hills in a while I decided for the more gradual ones over the shorter, sharper bastards. Of course more gradual doesn't necessarily mean easier. In fact it often means longer. Similar can be said of Blackheath Common (start of the London Marathon) which backs onto Greenwich Park.

After running along the river, around the Cutty Sark and through the Old Royal Navy College it was time to head up The Avenue. This climb was tough (even though I managed to overtake a cyclist) but it was pure heaven in comparison to running into a headwind whilst crossing the Common. If there's one thing I hate more than hills, it's headwinds. Probably because it's so hard and the benefit of a tailwind is never as much as the of the effort needed to run into it. The best thing about running up a hill, however, is getting to run down the hill.

Despite the natural obstacles put in my way I managed to work my around the 12k route, albeit in a slightly slower pace than I would have liked, and earned some more cha-ching MedalMad bling. The medal is a wonderfully traditional snow globe themed winter image and has definitely whet my appetite for what challenges are to come in 2018.
Now, about those 12 pigs in blankets!

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