Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holy Crap it's December!

This year has gone by so fast. I can't believe it. I hope this month goes by just as fast. I don't have any races planned yet for this month, but I'm training hard for the Goofy Challenge so I don't really have time to squeeze in a fun holiday 5K. Plus, I have a a few holiday parties to attend and will be bringing some yummy treats to each of them so that means when I'm not running I need to be baking.

Speaking of yummy food, Thanksgiving was AWESOME! I got up early and went to the Ayer Fire 5K with Kim and Ryann and Daisy. It was cool but not cold and very sunny. Perfect morning for a little run. As an added bonus I was able to give the fire department a stack of flyers for the stair climb, hopefully they bring a team. Kim and I ran the race together, unfortunately Ryann and Daisy were not allowed to run with us so they cheered instead with their grandparents. The course was mostly flat with a few rolling hills. It went by really fast, Kim was on fire, I had a hard time keeping up with her. We finished in 26:44 at a 8:37 pace. Not bad. Probably my fastest 5K in a while. After the race I hopped in my car and headed home to start cooking for my family.

It worked out perfect. I got home and threw the turkey breast in the oven then jumped in the shower. I had prepared pretty much everything the night before and only had to wait for it all to cook now. My mom, brother and grandmother drove down from Portland and arrived just in time. The entire meal was ready at noon. We started with Butternut squash and apple soup. Then we dug into the main courses. The turkey was just for my mom and brother, I had wild rice stuffed acorn squash and veggie gratin and mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, green beans, roasted brussel sprouts and wild mushrooms. I even made some cranberry chutney. Everything was perfect. My brother actually really really liked the veggie gratin. The stuffed squash was ok, I would pre-cook the squash if I made it again because the stuffing kind of dried out. Here's the gratin, it tasted just as good as it looks. AMAZING!!!

After my mom and brother each had 2 or 3 helpings of everything we needed to digest a little before moving on to dessert. My grandmother, unfortunately, is starting to show her age. She was a little confused and quiet for most of the meal. She didn't know who I was or where she was. It's really sad. She enjoyed the food and I told her it was great to have her visit. My brother brought his dog Logan with him and it was hilarious to see his reaction to my cats. Lola hid under the couch and Fat Boy Slim didn't really care, he was just pissed that we moved his food dish and he couldn't eat. Logan was terrified of both cats. He wouldn't even look at Slim and he found Lola under the couch and she quickly let him know she didn't want to be friends with a swift swat to the nose.

Finally, we decided we had room for dessert. I couldn't decide which cheesecake to make so I made two! My usual pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap pecan crust and caramel swirl AND a new recipe - cranberry swirl with a cran-raspberry compote.
OMG! This might be my new favorite cheesecake. It was delicious. A little tart and a little sweet, not too heavy or dense. The crust was yummerific, made with vanilla wafers and lots of butter. My brother loved it and said, "I'm going to take a small slice of this one and leave it for you and take the rest home with me." With a pretty good food coma about to set in, they had to drive back to Portland and bring my grandmother back to her nursing home. I passed out on my couch as soon as they left.

Black Friday I did NOT go shopping. Instead I got up and had some tea and breakfast and lounged around watching the today show and the news and then went for a nice 7.5 mile run. I was a little tempted to go shopping after my run out of boredom, but decided to nap on my couch instead and watch movies.

Saturday, the Lowell Ladies did a nice 7 mile run and I added on to and from Kim's house to make it 10.3 for me. We kept a really great pace for the whole run. It felt really good. I was bored afterwards so I decided to brave the mall and see what all the fuss was about and maybe get a few things. There really wasn't anythign I needed or wanted. I got some work clothes and that's about it. In the evening, I went to downtown Nashua with some friends. They have a 'Holiday Stroll' and we thought it would be lights and local stores and spirit, but it was mostly spirits and I don't mean the holiday kind. Nashua earned it's nickname "trashua". The stroll was more like a street festival with crappy food trucks and vendors selling trinkets for kids. None of the stores were open and none of the restaurants were either. It was kind of lame.

Sunday morning I completed the long weekend with another long run. 16 miles! Getting Goofy. A little over a month to go and I need to get my back to back long runs done. It wasn't pretty, but I did it. I wasn't tired and my legs felt fine, but for some reason I just felt like the force of gravity had doubled on me and I was being held back. It was taking twice as much energy to move my body forward. I think I over dressed and got dehydrated. I never drink enough when it's colder out. Sure enough when I got home I had lost several pounds in sweat while out running. It wasn't as fast as I would have liked but it wasn't really slow either. I'm still on target for a strong finish in the Goofy Challenge (as long as the weather doesn't kill me).

This is what it's all about:
The bling I will get for running 39.3 miles in 2 days. I can't wait!

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