Chris, hopefully we'll enjoy the cruise as much as you did. I share Mick's reservations about cruises but this one does tick a lot of our boxes. We really enjoy our usual fly-drive holidays, which we plan and book ourselves. They take a lot of planning and just for once it was nice to pick up the phone with credit card handy and 30 minutes later it's all done and dusted. Plus we'll get at least a taste of places which at our time of life we'll never have the time or money to do on individual holidays.
The cross-country on Saturday was hard-core stuff. Most of the course was on muddy paths through the rough pasture of the Town Moor. Two very steep hills on each of the three laps, the first of which is of the type where one could walk up nearly as quickly. Only a 100 yards or so but a real thigh-burner. It was cold and windy, with a brief flurry of sleet.
I managed the 7.2 miles course at an average pace of 8:37. That's fine for me but I am rubbish as cross-country, however much I enjoy it. A friend who's in his mid-50s was about 7 minutes ahead of me. In a road race of that distance the difference would be about 2 minutes. There are a few other examples like that with runners I know well.
It doesn't bother me in the least as everyone has their own strengths. I enjoy the variety xc gives and they are definitely great training sessions!
Chris, sounds like you have some good plans for next year. I really can understand the attraction of ultras even if they aren't for me.
Mick, that sounded like a nice run. I envy you having gym friends. At mine everyone keeps to themselves pretty much. Very British I suppose.
Ceal, have a great time on your mini-cruise. We've just booked a cruise for our 25th anniversary in June. It goes from Istanbul and visits Ephesus, Bodrum, Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos and Athens. Not sure I'm really a cruise person either but it sounds very relaxing and a nice change from the DIY holidays we normally have. A gym and jogging track round the ship will be nice too.