This is also the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so I’ve had four days off work. And I still haven’t found time to blog.
I ran last Saturday. I knew I had a cold, but it was just in my sinuses, I didn’t have a fever, and my resting heart rate wasn’t elevated. I ran ten miles that day, and I hoped to run the following day as well. (There was a 5-mile run on the calendar.) I couldn’t. I was pretty tired on Sunday, and I decided not working out was the better choice.
I took part of Tuesday & Wednesday afternoons off. I needed to bake a couple of pumpkin pies for CFF Cycle for Life donors. I’d hoped to get them done before Tuesday, but alas, I was pretty tapped out. I roasted the pumpkin last weekend. I made the pie crust Monday evening, and Tuesday was pie night. That left Wednesday making pies for our Thanksgiving dinner and doing the last of the household preparations for guests. (I lost Monday evening to a City Council meeting.)
I knew my parents were planning to come over Wednesday, weather permitting. I didn’t hear from them, so I assumed the were coming over. I came home and got to work on the pies. Normally, I make a pumpkin pie and a “mock cherry” pie. (The mock cherry pie is made with cranberries and raisins. It’s interesting to recall that not that long ago, cherries were only available during a brief time, and cranberries were far more available in the late fall; now, cherries are available through more of the year, and cranberries are a seasonal treat.) Recently, my mom mentioned that pecan pie is one of her favorites. Because they’re our guests, I decided to make a pecan pie instead of the mock cherry, even though I’m not a big fan of pecan pie. (Too sweet, too gooey.)
I made a bourbon pecan pie, and oh-my-lands was it divine! It was so good the pumpkin got ignored, despite the homemade whipped cream available as a topping and the pie’s lovely braided crust edge. It was so good the whipped cream detracted from its amazingness. Clearly, the bourbon pecan pie was a winner, and I’ll be making it again.
I put our 20-pound turkey in our countertop roaster, and once again, it was done far sooner than either the roaster’s instructions or the turkey’s label would have suggested. Instead of 4 hours, the turkey was done in about 2 1/2. This has happened every year we’ve used the roaster. My best guess is that because the heat source is so much closer to the bird, it cooks faster. (It’s a guess.) Next year, I’ll get the thing out the day before and turn it on with an oven thermometer in it. It might be too warm. However, even cooking too fast, the bird turkey out nice & juicy. (I like my turkey a little on the dry side, but everyone else seems to love the way they turn out.)
Jim did a beef roast instead of a ham this year. We’d roasted a ham a few weeks before Thanksgiving, so we reheated some of that ham with the glaze Jim usually makes. In addition to the meats, we had mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (plain – we don’t sweeten them), ‘regular’ stuffing, cornbread & sausage stuffing, green bean casserole (mostly for Jim), and Brussels sprouts. My stuffing turned out a little too dry, but I think I was the only one complaining.
My parents left Friday morning, and I went for a run in the afternoon. It was my first run since the previous Saturday. If I hadn’t been doing all that work for Thanksgiving, I probably could have run earlier. But I opted to make sleep a priority, and I think it paid off. Friday’s run was short & flat. It felt good. The days without exercise were making me cranky, so I need the run for my mental well-being.
I decided I’d run again on Saturday, and I’d stick to dirt. I doubted I was ready to tackle a hill, so I went to Chamna. My goal was a ten-mile run, but this nine-mile run was enough. I was tired by mile six. I debated walking the rest of the way back to the trailhead. Part of the difficulty was my track took me through brush that wasn’t a trail; more likely, I was following a game trail. That’s harder work than running on a trail. By mile seven, I was back on the trail, and I got a short-lived second wind. My right knee began to hurt (my IT band), and that really sapped my energy. I walked the last mile.
I was a little concerned that I’d done too much, and that I’d bungled up my IT band. I hoped to be awake early enough to get in today’s scheduled 5-mile run before church. I woke up a little before 8 – as I have most of this 4-day weekend – and decided that trying to do the run before church would make it more likely I’d end up skipping church. Pushing the run to the afternoon was a risk, because it’s so easy to get bogged down in all the “have-to’s.”
This was another very slow run. I didn’t try pushing it. And I made it back home in time to see most of the Seahawks game.
I’m up in the air. This past week was a heavy training week, and this upcoming week is scheduled as a recovery week. I’m inclined to stick largely to the training schedule, but, if my body agrees, do last Wednesday’s interval workout this coming Wednesday. I have a race in two weeks – the Deception Pass 25K – and I’m hopeful I’m ready for it. It has a 6-hour cut-off, and I’m fairly confident I can make that. It will be a different experience, because the weather is quite different over there — last year, it was a downpour — and I’m not accustomed to dealing with obstacles like tree roots and the only muddy trail race I’ve done is Multnomah Falls. This race has about 3000′ of elevation gain and loss, so it’ll be a challenge. The highest elevation is under 450′, but the elevation profile looks like constant up & down. (It’s hard to get an idea of the grade, though, and without that, it’s hard to figure out what my pace is going to be.)
But right now, I’m grateful I was able to get out and run at my pokey 15:00/mile pace for the last several days. I’m hopeful I’m bouncing back from this minor cold, and I’m really hopeful I won’t get another one before the Badger Mountain Challenge.