Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Ok, so I didn't get a Barbie dream house or an easy bake oven or a radio flyer wagon or a red rider bb gun, but my holiday weekend was pretty friggin awesome in my opinion.

The holiday festivities started Wednesday with my work lunch and yankee swap. The lunch was mass produced hotel food and I had requested a vegetarian meal and was betting on it being not very good so I brought my own lunch just in case. Thank God I did. As predicted it was pasta primevera and there were almost no vegetables in it at all and gross pasta with what appeared to be alfredo sauce. I didn't even bother to try it. Slow start to the holidays, but just warming up. The yankee swap was entertaining, the first gift I got was two bottles of wine in a very nice box that said 'PEACE' on the outside so I joked that it was just what I wanted World Peace. It didn't stay in my possession very long, apparently lots of people want World Peace. So, I knew that if I took anything really good I wouldn't keep it and I might end up with something really bad so I took a mediocre gift that I knew I would at least enjoy (it just happened to be the gift I bought). It was a trivia calendar. It's on my desk, I got to keep it and World Peace got passed around the room over and over again.

After work I went to downtown Boston to finish up some last minute shopping and get dinner before going to the RaceMenu Holiday party. I arrived at the RaceMenu HQ a little early and helped them set up and finish prepping some of the food. The party started around 7pm. I met a few new team members and some of RaceMenu's clients and sponsors. It was a fun night, I even won a raffle prize and a new bright orange RaceMenu winter hat.

Thursday work couldn't end fast enough. My brain was already in long weekend mode and I was ready to start the mini-break. I took Friday off for my bed to be delivered and to bake a few more cookies to give as gifts. Thursday night when I got home I went for a nice 7.35 mile run on the hilly non-hill loop through Andover and Tewksbury and a little of Lowell. I settled in for the night and watched some random Christmas movies barely able to sleep knowing my new bed was coming the next day.

I was suppose to go for a run Friday morning before the sun came up with Cherie in Methuen but when I got up it was slushing out - not quite rain and not quite snow, just gross cold wet nastiness that I did not want to run in. So, I bailed on the run and decided to clean my house instead. Got my old mattress ready to be taken away and swept the dust bunnies from the floor where my old box spring had sat for the last 5 years (I had the bed for 5 years before that too in a different apartment). The furniture delivery guys showed up promptly at 8:00am and were in and out in a matter of minutes and my new bed was set up. Before I even had time to lock the door behind the delivery men Fatboy Slim had already jumped onto the new bed and claimed it. I was worried he wouldn't be able to get up there, but he made it.

I finished baking cookies and met my friend Ann for lunch in downtown Lowell. I hooked her up with some cookies and fudge and we had yummy thai food at the Blue Taleh. After lunch I was really tempted to take a nap on my new bed, but I still had things to do. I got my car inspected and finished cleaning my house, then I went for a quick 4.4m run before hopping in the shower and awaiting the arrival of my friend Erin coming for dinner. I hadn't seen her in at least 3 years and she was the one that originally helped me lose most of my weight. I met her at the fitness center in the fall of 2006 when I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle and she moved to Colorado in the late summer of 2007 before I hit the 100lb. mark and ran my first half marathon. I still remember the first 'run' I did, she cheered me on the whole way and ran the last quarter mile with me. We were going to Life Alive for dinner and I was so excited to see her I could hardly contain myself.

Dinner was amazing, of course, Life Alive can do no wrong. Afterwards we went back to my house for tea and just chatted and caught up. We were up until 10:30pm! I know that's not really that late for a Friday night, but it's way past my bedtime. It was so nice to see her and tell her all about all the amazing things I've done since she helped me lose weight. We talked about the Boston marathon and all of our different race experiences and training stories. We talked about nutrition and fueling your body right. We just talked and talked about anything and everything. It was seriously the best present I could have gotten, reconnecting with a dear friend that means the World to me - Priceless.

Saturday the holiday happiness continued. I went for an almost 8 mile run with Kim and Ryann, they had moved to a new town 20 minutes away earlier in the week and we were all suffering from Lowell Ladies run withdrawal. The run was a Greater Lowell Road Runners Christmas Eve morning tradition and the crowd that showed up was bigger than ever, there had to be 40 people there. We wrapped up our run and went back to my house for coffee and breakfast. I made pumpkin muffins with the Trader Joe's Pumpkin bread mix. YUM! Even Ryann ate 2 of them, she's only 9 months old! Cherie came over too and gave me an awesome present - Life Alive gift card and an apron that says I run so I can eat cupcakes! So funny. Kim got me a great running top that is actually long enough to fit my abnormally long torso AND a funny little toy joke gift - Grow a boyfriend. It is a little plastic man that grows in water.

Saturday night I went to my friend Jenine's house for Christmas eve dinner and her daughter Madison's birthday party (she was born on Christmas day). I brought presents for Madison and Dylann and cookies and cupcakes for everyone else. The girls loved the gifts I brought and I had a great time hanging out and chatting with Jenine and her family. Later in the evening Madison got a really great game called 'Headbandz' and we all played a few rounds. It was hilarious. The game consists of plastic headbands that you wear and cards with different objects on them that fit into the front of the headband. The object is to ask yes or no questions and figure out what object is on your headband. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. When we finished the game most people had gone home and it was bedtime. I told the girls I needed to go home so Santa wouldn't skip my house. They insisted that I tuck them in first. SO CUTE! Finally, I said goodnight and went home.

Sunday morning, I did my last long Goofy run - 15 miles before heading up to Portland for brunch with my mom and brother. The run was awesome. A little chilly and snowing a bit, but that just made it seem like a Christmas miracle. About half way into my run my front water bottles had frozen solid, luckily I still had two bottles in the back that were ok. I felt great the entire time and averaged a decent pace, right on target for a 4:30 or 4:45 finish in Goofy. Drove to Portland and my brother made pumpkin pancakes. I brought a toy for his dog Logan and foolishly thought it would keep him entertained for hours. Logan destroyed the toy in less than 10 minutes. I got my brother a forever lazy. Funniest gift ever. And a vegan cookbook for my mom, she's going to try the Engine 2 diet.

When we were done eating we went to the movies to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It was ok, might have been better in a theater that was a little larger. The screen they had it showing on was only a little larger than my TV. The room was only about 6 seats wide, 2 on one side and 4 on the other. Didn't matter, it was entertaining and had some cool explosions and stunts. When we came out of the theater it was snowing! I was starving, but needed to get on the road and head home. I got home around 9:30pm and went straight to bed.

Monday morning, the only day all weekend that I didn't have to get up early, Fatboy Slim had other plans. He meowed and walked over me back and forth, then started knocking stuff off my dresser and then played with the blinds in my window to get me out of bed. It was 5:00am!!!! I got up and gave him food assuming that was the reason for all the ruckus and he mysteriously disappeared.......back to the bed! The little brat just wanted me to move so he could have the big cozy bed all to himself!

I finished the weekend with some errands, grocery shopping and avoiding the mall and getting gas in my car for the upcoming week. Sad the long weekend was coming to an end but overjoyed with how awesome it was and how great all my friends are. Now onto the New Year and celebrating the end of 2011 and the start of 2012. I think I should finish the year with roughly 1700+ miles and over 50 races including 2 marathons, my first half ironman, and a tough mudder. It's going to be really hard to top that in 2012, but I will definitely try!

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