On Christmastime and My First (and only) 10K Race

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November didn’t have too many big moments. Or maybe nothing in November really could compare to meeting David Beckham, because let’s be honest that was really the denouement of my year life.

I made my visit outside of London, and it was much needed downtime, because I needed to be in more peaceful surroundings. An old friend introduced me to someone (Joe) that lived in Oxford, so I made a day trip there. I took a bus to Oxford and just enjoyed the quiet ride and beautiful scenery along the way. Joe was a great tour guide, I couldn’t tell you everything we saw but I remember feeling at ease internally out in a serene atmosphere, something I wasn’t getting at the time in London. And it gave me a chance to eat and drink in a new setting, which to be honest– that’s always what I’m looking forward to when I go someplace new anyway. Priorities.

Christmas time–this was one of my favorite memories of my time in London. I spent I think about a week squatting at my friend Richelle’s flat and enjoying the holiday with her family. Weeks before Christmas, she had randomly said to me that there were a group of people who were raising money for victims of the hurricane that hit the Philippines that year by running a 10K through central London on Christmas morning– and in case you didn’t know this about me, hey I’m Lyka, and I’m half Filipina and half of my family lives in the Philippines. So I instantly agreed, because I love a good cause. Mind you, I haven’t ran that far in about 4.5 years, and at the time, my workouts were primarily based lifting and lowering weights so… I wasn’t exactly in primed for running at the time. I ran approximately 4 times in preparation for that 10K, and not a single one of those runs was a 10K run. I do not advise this. To be fair, I was in arguably the best shape ever, you could literally bounce a quarter off my butt. I don’t know if that really has anything to do with anything, but you’re welcome for the visual. I just really wasn’t into cardio at the moment, especially running.

But I digress– Christmas morning rolled around and I remember Richelle and I getting ready for the race. We had porridge/oatmeal with dried fruits that day. I remember because I wasn’t an oatmeal person, but it was particularly delicious and the most perfect thing to have prior to a race. Who knew. I rode along with Richelle’s family to Westminster, which was our start and end point. We warmed up as a group and started on our run around central London. The run proved to be.. pretty useful because I finally could see where things laid out above ground. I took the tube most of the time, and occasionally I’d ride a bus for short distances, but most of my traveling was done on the Underground. Landmarks were a lot closer than I imagined them to be, that’s for sure. If you can imagine a tour of London where you see Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, the Palace, the Millenial Bridge, The London Eye– well that was my run. I surprisingly kept a steady pace the whole time. My legs felt like well oiled machines because after a short while it felt like nothing– in the best way possible, because as someone who isn’t a fan of running, you want that sweet spot where you stop thinking about running and just do it. I’m not kidding when I say I’m thoroughly surprised I didn’t pass out somewhere in London that day. While I spent a lot of time dreading to see if I could even finish, I really liked it. After that day, and realizing I could actually do this, I would just run for no apparent reason around my area. Here’s a video from that day:

And I ran that whole race with my hair down. Because– Lyka Boss.

After the race and the must-needed shower, I recall us opening presents. Lots of Lindt chocolate was involved. Lots. Later that night we went to another flat where Richelle’s extended family was and in typical Filipino fashion, we ate. And drank. I think I siphoned a lot of my alcohol to Richelle because I’m not so hardcore that I can drink liquor straight. Unlykaboss. It was a great Christmas, and arguably one of the best ones I’ve ever had. It’s what I imagined a Christmas would be like if I was raised with siblings and actually had a family that did normal family type things.

I don’t remember much about my time in London in the following month, but it included lots of essay writing, lots of running to avoid working on my theses (plural for thesis, I had 3 to do), and a last minute trip to Spain. Until next time..

P.S.
An old post I wrote was posted on Talking Soup magazine, if you haven’t read my thoughts of forgiving myself and being a single mother– click and enjoy!

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