Monday, November 26, 2007

Eating and sleeping and running, oh my!

Nothing like a nice long weekend to refresh the batteries and be incredibly productive. That was the idea, although only partially successful in execution.

Thanksgiving morning I had a nice 5 mile run with Pam and Bree. We extended our usual route in Danville and then had to run around in a small circle to get the final bit of mileage. It was cold, crisp and a good morning for a run.

I spent the rest of the day at Ellen's house. It was a small gathering this year, just Ellen, her boyfriend, her daughter and me. There of course was enough food for about eight additional people. She had bought her turkey at Costco and it was 24 pounds. Yeah, for 4 of us. Way too much, even if if had been the only food there. Which it wasn't. We talked, ate, drank and had a great time. It was nice getting all caught up with everyone.

Because it was so big, there was still lots of meat on the turkey carcass so I took it home for soup. That hadn't been on the agenda for Friday but I just couldn't see it going to waste. Friday morning I chucked it in a pot with some water, onions and carrots and left it to simmer down. I skimmed the fat on Saturday, simmered it some more, skimmed it again on Sunday and added some lentils, veggies and spices. Yum, dinner for the whole week!

I spent Friday night at my bro's house. He was serving mostly leftovers, with a fresh turkey and fresh appetizers. I brought a salad -- ok, the makings for a salad, he threw them together. A few other friends came bearing even more food including an assortment of fresh oysters. My goal was to carefully watch what I ate and to drink only one glass of wine; I had noticed all the CHP's on the freeway and also knew I was getting up early for a long run. The food was incredibly good but I left before dessert was served -- too much temptation and it was getting late (late in relative terms, actually pretty early if I wasn't planning on rising at 5am).

And rise I did, feeling just a little off. I didn't think it could have been the food since I had been sensible about what I had so I chalked it up to lack of sleep. I did the morning stuff and headed down to the Alameda Creek Trail in Fremont to meet the other idiots sensible runners. Although I was exactly on time at 6:45 am they were all set and waiting for me. That doesn't usually happen, normally I'm the first to arrive.

It was cold (about 38 degrees according to my car), which I kept telling myself was good training for Rocket City. But I had a feeling from my first steps that it wasn't going to be a good run. I felt sluggish and stiff and heavy. I covered my mouth with my buff and breathing warmed air helped a bit. I knew the group wouldn't stay together for too long. Although I'm slowest, Anita will normally stay with me. Pam and Mary Ann start talking and running faster and faster, and which group Sandy stays with depends on how she's feeling. For the most part she stayed with Anita and me. By the time we finished the first 10 mile leg I was toast. I just wanted to crawl in my car, turn on the heat and go to sleep. But I didn't. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then Sandy and I headed off in the other direction.

I knew that running an additional six miles was probably a very bad idea. We went one mile, then another half, then another half, then called it a day and turned around. I was afraid that if I was three miles from the cars I'd never make it back. Actually, I knew I'd make it back, there wasn't any question that I could have run that extra mile, but I was afraid that it would take so much out of me that two weeks until the race wouldn't be enough time to recover. We stuck to the 9:1 run:walk the entire time, with only the last couple of uphills being an exception. We finished 14 miles and decided that would have to be enough. I think it was a smart move.

That afternoon I slept for four hours. Sound asleep in bed. I woke up stiff and a bit sore from the run, feeling like I had a cold coming. Great timing. Although if I get a cold now, it'll be gone by the race.

I've been wanting to pack away some of the items I have on display shelves in my family room. Although I love everything and love to look at all my stuff all the time, there's too much and it's a pain to clean. Don't tell anyone, but I haven't dusted those shelves for a couple of years, there's just too much to move and everything is tiny and delicate. First I had to find a good storage container and luckily I had one stuffed with cheap holiday decorations. Those mostly went in the trash, except for the lights I planned to hang outside (and never got around to). Then I spent several hours Saturday night carefully packing away delicate glassware and other things. Then I'd go through a couple of shelves elsewhere and sort those, then other sorting and packing and throwing away. I'm not done (and the shelves are still not dusted) but I made lots of headway.

I'm almost done knitting the Temescal Bag, I just have one strap and finishing and felting left. It's been nice this weekend having something simple to knit while I socialized but I'm kinda looking forward to knitting something else. Something more in my colors. Hmm, what's next?

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