Turkey weekend recap

What I did
Being as it was Thanksgiving and all, Clay and I headed to my mother’s house on Thursday since it was her turn to have us for the holiday. As usual, her meal presentation was impeccable and we gorged ourselves thoroughly. My Derby Pie, in all of its bourbon-y goodness, turned out incredibly well and was a big hit on the desert table. In between mouthfuls of walnuts and chocolate, Clay kept asking me if I would make it again soon. Shortly after dinner, Clay and I excused ourselves to take a two-hour power nap in preparation for Black Friday shopping.

Black Friday was a total bust. We got to the mall at about 12:30 am and after only 5 minutes into our shopping excursion, I was totally over the whole thing and ready to go home. It was too noisy, too crowded, and none of the deals were that spectacular. For some reason the whole outing was lacking the joy and holiday spirit that was so apparent last year. The blatant displays of materialism were so overwhelming that I found myself feeling annoyed rather than jolly. So after only about an hour of browsing, Clay and I packed up shop and headed back to my mother’s house.

I’m not sure what my rationale was (just morbid curiosity?), but the next morning I hopped on my mom’s bathroom to scale to see what the damage was after spending the better part of the last 24 hours stuffing my face with turkey. Surprisingly, I’d lost another .3 pounds. It was a Christmas miracle.

Friday night we hosted a dinner for my in-laws at our townhouse. I made slow-cooker cheesy ravioli that we washed down with my in-laws favorite sweet red wine. I felt bad about our awkward seating situation that had Clay and I sitting at our pub table while my in-laws and Grandma sat at a folding card table, but hey, that's the nature of being in your 20s. Afterwards we played a few rounds of Smart Ass, the only board game where you can get away with calling your elder a “dumb ass”.

Saturday Clay and I spent most of the day running around town in preparation for putting up our Christmas decorations. The last stop of the evening was at Menard’s where we scored a gorgeous tree for only a few dollars. We typically end up with a scotch pine or some sort of similar tree, but this year we bought a fir (maybe white fir? I’m not sure. I don't speak tree.), and it is the most luscious, full-bodied Christmas tree I’ve ever had. It’s positively gorgeous and looks picture-perfect with the classic red and green bulbs we used this year. We were up til’ all hours of the night decorating it and singing along to Christmas carols on Pandora (and when “Carol of the Bells” started playing, I called my sister’s voicemail and let it record the song since she’s completely terrified of it. Yes, my sister is scared of a Christmas carol.)

What I ran
Running 6 miles the day after Thanksgiving probably wasn’t my brightest idea ever, but I pushed through it. My time was about a minute and a half slower than I’ve been running lately, but I’m justifying my sluggish workout by blaming it on Derby Pie, post-Thanksgiving mimosas, and my mom’s leftover riced potatoes. Luckily I saw a group of my friends walking on the same trail at the beginning of my run when I was still feeling energetic and optimistic.

But I more than made up for that crummy run the next day by running 3 miles at a 7:18 min/mile pace. I have the Reindeer Romp 8K (doesn't this sound like most festive race EVER???) this upcoming weekend and I want to be in top form! I have it on good authority that this race is pretty competitive and if you want to place high in your age group, it's actually encouraged that you run the 5k instead. It really doesn't make much difference to me because no matter what race I run locally, the women in my age group are superhuman and can run half marathons in an hour and a half and 5ks in 20 minutes.  I never have a prayer of placing anyway. Good thing I'm not into running for the awards and prestige!

My running app that records my mileage sent me a notification this afternoon letting me know that I’ve ran 775 miles so far in the year 2011. I’m really hoping to get far beyond 800 miles by New Years Eve. I’m still amazed at how much running has changed my life for the better and I honestly can’t imagine myself without it.

What else happened
Today is my last day of work before starting my new job and I have to say, it’s bittersweet. My co-workers took me out to lunch at an Afghani restaurant to say goodbye, and I’m sitting at my desk feeling sad that these are my last few precious hours as their colleague. Like any job, working here has had its ups and downs, and I’m very thankful to report that they’ve been mostly ups and that I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really outstanding people.

I also found the greatest Christmas ornament on the planet. ---->

Oh yeah, Joey ate an entire bag of rolls while we were out buying our Christmas tree on Saturday. We came home and discovered that he somehow jumped high enough to pull the bag off the counter (which amazes me because the bag was nowhere near the edge of the counter, thus leading me to believe that my dog has magical, gluttonous powers). He looked positively miserable and his stomach was bloated for hours (serves him right). I kept poking him in the belly and calling him “McYeasty”.

In case you didn't get a chance, feel free to skip on over to my "How To Train for Black Friday" guest post at the Perspective running blog!