Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was a good day. We began the day running Lynchburg's Genesis House Turkey Trot. It was a family affair. Besides Todd and I, my sister, brother and his girlfriend ran the race while my brother-in-law watched the wee ones. The race was a tad bit discouraging. Last week I ran the Run for Their Lives 5k at Peaks View Park which was the flatest course I've run to date. I finished that course, which was mostly Elementary School students, in 25:15. I was hoping to come in close to that this morning. However, the run through Rainbow Forest was more than I had anticipated when the sign up sheet read 'rolling hills'.

After the race we stopped by to see my mother-in-law at work and get a newspaper to scan the Black Friday Ads, however, I still haven't found a moment to look them over. We then went to Cracker Barrel with my family for breakfast as it was about the only thing in our little town open.

We came home and I set right in to making dinner. I cooked and baked all day and we finally ate at a little after 5. The spread was beautiful and I had to fight the urge to take pictures, we stuffed ourselves so much that most of us have gone to bed without pie and the tablecloth is headed for the wash after only an hour's use.

After our dinner Todd packed up a care package for my brother and his girlfriend who are camped out at Best Buy to buy gifts for us to give to people. We took that by Best Buy and saw their camp set up complete with Todd's younger brother's tent from cub scouts from some year's back.

Now we are home, most everyone has gone to bed and the kitchen is a mess. I however, am to tired to clean it or do just about anything other than look throught the ads and set my alarm clock for 4 am.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because Shirley, I'm sure you want to hear about something other than running.

In case you have somehow failed to notice, Thanksgiving is creeping up on us, it will be here, whether we're ready for her or not, a week from tomorrow. I love Thanksgiving, but for reasons other than Turkey, for which I obviously won't be having any. I love Thanksgiving because for me, it marks the beginning of the holiday season (I don't care when you put your Christmas stuff out Target, so there).

The day itself, the last Thursday in November, is really not my favorite holiday, it in fact, seldom even feels like one. I have gone to my grandparents house that has since become my aunt's house, since I was a baby. When I was a kid it was possibly my favorite holiday of the year, four whole days with my four male cousins, the longest visit we had from them all year. But as I grew up and drifted from my cousins Thanksgiving has slowly lost that zing it used to posess.

This year, I'm taking a stand. Not to hurt anyone's feelings but I am breaking the tradition. I finally decided that what good is a tradition if all the meaning is gone and you no longer enjoy it. I decided some few weeks ago to take Thanksgiving back for my family this year. Now that we have three children I want to begin anew with our own traditions and routines. I want Thanksgiving to be about giving thanks, appreciating all that we have to be thankful for, to appreciate that freedom of want, to bask in the love of the company we hold dearest. I want less boxed and frozen foods, I want homemade pies and fresh cranberry sauce. I want, no matter how small the feast, to make it feel for the first time in a long time, like a holiday.

I don't mean to sound as though I do not love or appreciate my extended family, they will, I hope, come around our house on Friday for our annual Black Friday Feast, it's just that the meal at my grandparents house has lost something, maybe it's my grandfather's presence, maybe it's me. I don't know exactly, I just know I'm not as happy there as I once was, and I want that spirit alive in me again. I don't want to be the Scrooge of Thanksgiving (of course I will be when it comes to scrubbing and peeling potatoes), I just want to try something new this year and hope it feels more alive and real to me.

I feel like a little kid in essence already, pouring over cookbooks and sample Thanksgiving menus. Searching for the perfect Pecan Pie Recipe (which I have never even tried) and the accompanying perfect Pumpkin Pie recipe (which astonishingly I have never tried either). I have bought the wine and choosen the tablecloth. I have been searching myself as to the perfect way to send the message to my family that above all is more important than the food; that I love them, that I am thankful for them and that without them pecan pie is just a lot of sugar and Thanksgiving is just another Thursday.

Here's hoping it feels like this (sans the Turkey of course)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trying to be faster...

I know that I am not the first person to say this, nor will I undoubtably be the last, but we have been very busy. Some days I don't know where the hours even run off to and the weeks are flying by. Our most recent race this past weekend snuck up on me before I even had a chance to really get any training in. This 5k was my third but my first 'trail race' in which we did a double loop through an Orchard in Bedford at the bottom of the Peaks of Otter. It was a beautiful trail complete with four hay bale jumps and apple tree branches to weave around. I was nervous about my time as I had been fair warned that trail races are much different than road races. With that warning however, I was still only able to make time to train twice. Jordan and Erin also did the race and my wonderful brother was on hand to watch the wee ones and to take snapshots. This is my favorite, coming in for the finish.

The Peaks are beautiful, I recommend that anyone whom hasn't done so already make every effort to make it to Bedford, Virginia sometime in their life to take in the beautiful mountains as well as the hike up Sharp Top Mountain.
Jordan won the top door prize valued at $65 and Todd came in 5th in his age division.
My time suffered a tad, but less than I was expecting. I came in 11 seconds slower than my last race, but that race had no real hills to speak of and no hay, so I think it was a wash.
We have signed up for three more 5ks in the next month and I am taking my training more seriously. Yesterday we ran four miles outside which the treadmill just cannot beat and today I went walking with a friend four miles pushing the over 100 pound stroller and kids. It too, was quite the workout. I have started seeing how fast I can run a mile and my first time was 8:01, I plan on using that to work down from and to help me increase my overall 5k time as well as longer distance running at a slower pace.
My 'goals' for this past race were to come in under 30 minutes and to come in under 100 out of the more than 180 runners. I am proud to say that though the goals may sound easy I did meet both of my goals, but just barely. I came in at 29:59 and 97th.
Our next race is Girls on the Run. It's a local organization at the schools around here that promotes healthy living to young girls and trains them to run a 5k. The 5k event is open to the whole community and we have signed up to run it. Todd, my wonderful coach, plans on running with me that race to try and push my time to under 28 minutes. We'll see how it goes.