Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy New Year and random thoughts

We're only 2 weeks out from 2006 and another 2 weeks of food, food, fudge and beverage. I tried Rachel Ray's 5-minute fudge recipe. Easy & dee-lish. Just make sure you have plenty of people around to help you gnaw on it or it's dangerous to waistline.

On Thanksgiving Day I went with my family to the local turkey trot 5k. This was the first time with my new son. He had a good time bundled up in the stroller. This was my 12th turkey trot in 13 years. It has become quite a tradition. Several of my family members make a point to join me. My wife, Dad, father-in-law, brother-in-law and his girlfriend have been out there with me for many of those years. My cousins and their friends use to join, but I haven't seen them out there for a few years. I still see and hear from several people who I've introduced to T-Day running over the years. And, I typically see the person who introduced me to it on a cold November day in 1993. She's still a great runner and she's usually at several of the races each year. I remember thinking that running 5k (or 3.1 miles) seemed nuts, especially on a cold Thanksgiving day. I figured everyone would run off an leave me. Nah. I found that there were plenty of people my speed and slower. It was a long 3 miles, but it has turned into 13 years of good quality exercise. Hopefully, we'll continue the tradition so my son can pass it along.

I was able to run my second fastest 5k ever. Not terribly fast at 21:23 (21:29 by the race clock), but still much better than I thought I could run even ten years ago. This year was a good year for running, for the few I did (new son). I ran in 5 individual races and one relay race. In two of the races I set personal course records and I ran a strong five mile leg on the relay race. I also tried a cross country race. Wow! That was fun. It was quite an ankle workout, but it was a nice change of pace from the usual road race. Of course, I credit much of this performance to watching the ole' calories and it was worth it. I can't describe the feeling of running that last mile in a 5k. You've been pushing at about 85% - 90% of the max for more than two miles and you kind of have an out-of-body experience. My legs are turning over automatically and smoothly, my lungs are sucking in air near capacity and I think that all the slow trudges, the consistency of exercising regularly and watching my calorie intake over the past year was worth it. And, I also thank whoever for letting me have such a great experience. I am thankful for every day that I get to move my body and enjoy the outdoors.

Good luck over the next few days. Have fun and indulge some. If you can keep yourself from going overboard now you can definitely do it in the blah, ho-hum months ahead of us.

Happy New Year!

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