If you’re looking for something festive and fun to do during the holidays that also helps you and your family get active, check your area for short distance runs and races. We chose to do the Tacky Light Run this year with the entire gang and it was a blast. It helps, of course, that it was unseasonably warm for this time of year in Virginia.
One thing that really makes this different from other races is that it takes place in the evening and, having done similar things in the mornings, I wasn’t sure how my body was going to react but I have to say that it went much better than I expected! My legs never got those crazy cramps since I was already warmed up and ready to go!
We spent the afternoon using supplies that I had left over from my days when Hayley still enjoyed making cosplay costumes. We made ourselves vests with red, white and gold fabric and decorated them (and cheap Christmas hats) with buttons, bows and other silly stuff. We bought a package of glow sticks that could be used as necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other adornments and then we put on the gear supplied by the actual race.
When we got there, we noticed that other people had threaded thin glow sticks through their stroller wheels and, fortunately, I had brought extras so we quickly copied. We also put some battery-operated Christmas lights all around Caleb to make his ride more festive. Once we were all decked out, we looked ridiculous but it was so much fun. There were thousands of people and the music was so great at the starting line.
Once we got going, it was cool that the course led us through neighborhoods that included houses that competed in the Tacky Lights Tour. It was cool to see the residents camped out together, projecting movies such as Elf onto outdoor screens for the walkers/runners to see. They handed out treats (shots to the grown-ups), cheered us on and even sang carols. It was one of those moments that really made the world feel hopeful and happy during a time when so much is going wrong.
I will admit that, after a while, I started to struggle since the neighborhoods were so much hillier than I expected. I had anticipated a flat course but this was anything but! I had recently completed the HCA 8k in Richmond and, being newly pregnant, I was huffing and puffing to climb, what felt like, Mount Everest! Still, I hung in there and it was entirely worth it to go through the race and enjoy those wonderful holiday feelings with my family.
Caleb stayed asleep for most of it but woke up in time to see some of the best lights. He started crying when we hit the dark patches. We noticed, though, that even when we are driving, he’s cool in his car seat as long as it’s daylight and he can see everything. Once the sun goes down, he’s not a happy camper. He sleeps without a nightlight so I don’t think he’s necessarily afraid of the dark, I just think he likes to see what’s going on around him when he’s in unfamiliar settings. I can’t say that I blame him!
In the end, I skipped going all the way back down the hill to the starting/finishing area and Josh collected my medal for me. We had used Map My Run to keep track of distance and, according to those calculations, we walked 7.14km. Not a bad haul since I was only expecting it to be a 5k but that’s because I didn’t read the website properly!
Afterwards, we came home, and, after a nice meal we pigged out on chocolate. There’s no point in lying about it but, at least, we had exercised earlier in the day to help offset the caloric punch. Besides, our definition of “pigged out” (three pieces each from a box of chocolate) is a little more conservative than most people but, either way, it’s the holidays and we chose to have fun. Between our tired legs and full bellies, we all definitely slept well that night, though!