I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas and that everyone had safe travels and enjoyed all the festivities and didn’t over indulge too much. We are finally getting back to a normal life after a very busy holiday weekend.
Where to begin? So much to talk about.
Jennie and I celebrated our Christmas together on the morning of the 24th.
Starting off the holiday with some holiday treats! Donuts… Mmmmmmm. I had to pick up a couple things at the grocery store. As I was leaving, I saw someone else checking out with a bag of donuts. So, I headed back into the store and got a half dozen donuts. Just couldn’t resist.
Jennie was excited with her new desk. I still have a couple final touches to do on it, and it could use one more coat of paint, but Christmas crept up quicker than I thought… and it turns out that winter weather isn’t the optimal condition for paint drying quickly.
The first of many running/triathlon related gifts. Jennie got me a new Nike Dri Fit shirt and two pairs of Dri Fit shorts (can you tell I like Nike Dri Fit???). On top of that, she got me a pair of CW-X Stabilyx tights!!! I am so excited to try them out on my long run this week. And in case you were wondering, the fact that the blue in the shirt matches the blue in the shorts, which also matches the blue in the tights is no coincidence. It would even be a safe guess that Jennie has her fingers crossed that the next generation of the Brooks Dyad shoes have blue accents. Gotta match to look good!
I also got a new headband and a balaclava to help keep me toasty warm in our frigid weather. I wore the balaclava on my run today, and it was amazing. It kept me warm the entire time, and I didn’t overheat.
After celebrating our Christmas, it was time to pack up and begin to make the rounds. We made a stop at my Grandma’s house, and then it was off to my Grandpa’s. The highlight of the party at my Grandpa’s is always the White Elephant game. I get really into prepping for it and wrapped our gifts appropriately.
The first gift was packaged in a wooden box. This particular box keeps getting passed around year after year, and each year someone adds a new embellishment to it. So, this year, I added hinges and a lock to the box to replace the wing nuts that had previously held it closed. To open the box, you needed to solve a series of mathematical questions in order to determine the combination to the lock – geeky I know, but what did you expect?
The second gift, I was even more proud of. The gift itself was a Bacon Genie. To wrap it, I put it in a shoe box wrapped in pink, added legs made out of a paper towel roll, and a snout. It was a big hit, and we had a couple people fighting over it- hence the pig’s broken leg.
After celebrating at my Grandpa’s, we braved the weather and headed across the state. The weather was awful. Freezing rain and blowing winds. The first 30 miles or so took forever, and we managed to get up to a speedy 35 mph down the expressway. There were cars in the ditch all over the place. Not fun.
We even had to pull off at a rest area to bang the ice off of the windshield wipers and to chisel the ice off of the spray nozzles for the windshield cleaner. Thankfully, after we got through Lansing, the freezing rain changed to just rain, and then it eventually dried up completely.
After opening presents and engaging in a mildly violent sword battle, we had a delicious breakfast.
When the cinnamon roll is larger than the rest of the food, it is a good day.
After relaxing for a bit, it was time to head off to Jennie’s Grandparent’s house.
Posing in front of the tree with my beautiful wife, and then squeezing everyone (Bro-In-Law #1 Brad, Bro-In-Law #2 Ryan, and Future Sis-In-Law Marie) onto the couch.
The day after Christmas brought a visit to Jennie’s second set of Grandparents. It also brought about a very rousing game of Smart Ass. I highly recommend the game for anyone who loves a little competition and little trivia. I think my 13 year old brother-in-law enjoyed the game simply because it allowed him to say “ass” repeatedly and not get in trouble.
Once we returned home, it was off to my Mom’s for yet another celebration. My Mom got us one of the most unique gifts we have ever received – half a share of a CSA to the Trillium Haven Farm. We knew about this ahead of time, and we will be splitting a full share with my Mom. It will definitely be interesting to try. She also got us a Market Fresh Cookbook that should help us learn to cook some of the stranger things we will get (like Rhubarb, Kale, and Eggplant).
Yoshie was all ready to head out in the snow when he tried out Jennie’s new rain boots. Maybe he thought that if my Mom got Yak Trax, he needed something to protect his feet.
And finally, another group shot with Jennie and I along with my brother and his girlfriend Nancy.
Running (The Actual Purpose of This Blog)
My running was very minimal the past week. But that is OK, because it is what the schedule called for. It felt weird to have a long run of 6 miles and the rest of the runs only 4 miles. Despite being relatively short distances, they were very mentally challenging runs to do. Part of it was that there was so much going on that they were hard to fit in. But, the other part was that it didn’t seem like it was worth getting all bundled up and cold for a 30 minute workout. It probably took more time to get ready before the run and then shower after the run than it did to actually run.
Today, though, was back to the normal routine. I had an 8 mile run scheduled. I was sort of dreading it all day because I didn’t know how well I would transition back into a long run. However, my legs felt better than I expected. The rest did them good. I finished the run in just over an 8:00 min/mile pace and felt amazing.
The rest of the week is going to busy with both work and running. My long run this week is going to be 16 miles on Friday. Yikes. I haven’t done 16 since the Grand Rapids Marathon in October. Hopefully the weather isn’t too bad and I don’t have to spend all my energy trudging through the snow.
Thanks for staying with me during this long post. I’ll try and keep up on my updates this week so that I can keep them short, sweet and to the point.