Feliz Thanksgiving

My day started off with a Crossfit workout, and it was followed by a Bloody Mary my husband fixed. I’m not a fan of Bloody Mary’s, but I do like all of the vegetables, so I ate them and drank very little. Math is an area of weakness, and since today is Thanksgiving, a day in which the cooking process requires specific calculations, I figured I’d play it safe and hydrate with H2O.

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Quick and Dirty WOD which began with a one mile warm-up run.

 

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Morning Vegetable and Protein Drink Bloody Mary

 

I grew up in Miami, FL, which is technically an extension of Latin America, so my Thanksgiving celebration was very non-traditional. In lieu of Turkey, we had chicken. Sides consisted of rice, beans, plantains, and salad marinated with lime and salt. There were no mashed potatoes, or gravy. In fact, the only time we ever ate mashed potatoes with gravy was when we ate at KFC. For the first couple of years we lived in the United States, we had no idea what gravy was. We’d go to KFC and the gravy would come with the mashed potatoes. My family could never figure out how Americans could palate such “thick soup.” Our ignorance was brought into enlightenment when a friend of ours told us gravy was not soup, rather, a “sauce” that was poured over the mashed potatoes. Once we discovered said culinary combo, we were hooked. I also never knew what “stuffing” was until I joined the Marine Corps, where among many things, was introduced to pumpkin pie.

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Gobble, Gobble, Gobble. This was our second time cooking the turkey. We brined it for about 15 hours and stuffed it with celery, onions, and carrots.

 

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Boat load of gravy. This was my first gravy creation from scratch! So proud of myself. Never knew how much butter was needed for Thanksgiving recipes. Good thing we only consume gravy once a year.

 

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My husband made pumpkin pie from scratch, including the crust (my favorite part). Not pictured is the whip cream that we whipped ourselves.

 

This year, we as family stayed home and decided to do all of the cooking. My daughter made the stuffing, my husband made the pies (he’s such an awesome man), and I made the mashed potatoes along with the gravy. It was A LOT of work, but I’m very proud of the fact we spent time together making memories as a family. I’m so thankful for my family, my health, the fact we have an abundance of food, and our health. Happy Thanksgiving!

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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My two-year-old, my ten-year-old, and yours truly. My hubby is the camera man. Ready to eat Turkey, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, stuffing, mixed vegetables, salad and rolls (not pictured), and pumpkin pie with whip cream for dessert.

 

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Our dog, Jake, participating in the eating festivities. He consumed Turkey Breast and mixed vegetables.

 

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Carving the Turkey.

 

Long Slow Distance Run on Snow

The temperature read 0 (zero) degrees when I saw my Yahoo weather app on Saturday morning. It was seven in the morning, and decided it would be best to just do my eight mile run on the treadmill. It would be warmer, and I wouldn’t have to worry about falling on the snow and ice on the roads. Keeping warm and looking out for my safety trumps running on six inches of snow anytime. However, my decision to run was based on more than just warmth and safety. The truth of the matter is, I’m afraid of running outside when it’s cold and there is snow on the ground. I’m afraid of the discomfort of being cold. I’m afraid of being over dressed, or under dressed. I’m afraid I’ll only go halfway of my desired distance. I’m afraid of seeing how slow I am. In other words, I was avoiding the experience based on “irrational” fears and justifying them as being “logical” by stating I wanted to be warm and safe. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is not imperative to run on snow to make one a courageous runner or a runner for that matter. It is completely rational and acceptable to choose to run on a treadmill when it’s cold and snowy outside without analyzing the decision. However, for me, I knew that I was limiting myself as a runner, and I was not comfortable with that decision. I also had to accept the fact that I now live in a city where snow is a part of life, and no matter how much I wish I was living in Florida again (Florida is my home state), wishful thinking was not going to make the snow go away. Thus, I recognized I needed to go outside and not be taken hostage by the weather.

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A view of the snow covered roads. Not all of the sidewalks were cleared, so I was forced to run on the snow.

 

For my run, I wore arm warmers, a long sleeve technical shirt, a long sleeve hoodie, and a running jacket. Two bottoms (running tights lined with fleece and wind pants) and compression socks protected my legs. I wore a running hat and glasses to cover my head, and gloves to protect my hands. There was an attempt to wear a scarf to cover my neck and mouth, but I discovered my breathing fogged my shades, so I nixed the scarf. Of course, I lathered on sunscreen because I knew it was easy for skin to burn when there is snow on the ground.

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I had quite the load of laundry this week.

 

There was a mixed emotion of excitement and fear when I started my run. Not only was this was my first time running on packed snow, it was also my first time running with attachments to the bottom of my shoes to help with traction and prevent from falling. There was very little wind, and it was really sunny when I finally stepped outside. There was a sense of calmness and peace as I was surrounded by white mountains and the sparkling glitter that bounced off the snow created by the rays of the sun. The only movement on the street was the one made by the footprints of my feet on the snow.

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Much to my surprise, the time I spent outside went by so fast. The only time I slowed down was when a dog in a fenced yard came barking at me. He seemed to be limping and running on three legs, and his fur seemed like it was covered with frost. There was quite a distance between the yard where the dog was and the road I was running on. I tried to get close so that the dog could bark louder in hopes someone would look out the window. However, the house seemed empty despite the fact I saw a bicycle parked by the door that did not have an accumulation of snow like the cars parked next to it. There was also a pair of tracks made by a car, but I still did not see anyone peeking out the window. Worried that the dog might have been out all night and was perhaps limping due to frostbite, I began shouting, “Is anyone home? Your dog is limping?” I repeated the aforementioned sentences numerous times, but to no avail. I then tried calling the dog, but instead of barking, he ran further away from the fence. I did not see a dog house or any type of shelter that the dog could protect itself from the bitter cold. I was at my halfway point (four miles from home), had forgotten my phone at home, and the only mammals that could hear me were some horses across the street that were huddled together to keep warm. It must have only been a minute, but it felt like an eternity as I pondered whether I should go in and pick up the dog myself and rescue it. Different scenarios ran through my head: Some crazy armed person will come out and shoot you. The dog will bite you and you’ll both be hurt. I decided I was going to make it my mission to run back home as fast as I could muster to call the humane society and report the dog. For the next four miles, I repeated in my head the address of the home and ignored the pain at the end of my fingertips. I learned my gloves were not warm enough and I made a point to open and close my hands while trying to hide them underneath the three layers of sleeves.

There was such a feeling of triumph when I reached the last mile. I soaked in the moment of glory and quickly grabbed my phone to call the humane society. It then dawned on me that my eight mile run was not only meant for me to face my fears, but perhaps to help a fellow furry friend in need.

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My husband, always supportive, catching me in action.

 

 

 

Are you more afraid of running in frigid temperatures or hot temperatures? Do you know how to layer for winter running?

 

 

Veteran’s 10K Run, Treadmill Run, and Plenty of Snow

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Snow on Thursday Night

The calendar may say it’s Fall, but last night, Mother Nature made it clear she’s running the show. There was about 6-8 inches of snow that fell in my neck of the woods yesterday, and the snow continued covering the ground throughout the night.

Despite the fact snow makes the nights brighter, the streets quieter, and children giddy, I’m like Grumpy Cat – Grumpy.

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Alright, enough whining. Despite the fact it’s no longer warm out, I must admit my running has been great.

On Saturday, November 8, my husband and I ran a local Veterans 10k race. The race was coordinated by members of a local private school. Because my husband and I both served in the Armed Forces, our entry was free (what a deal!). Saturday was the first day of the winter vortex we are experiencing, so it was a very chilly 21 degrees at the start of the race. Did I mention we (my husband really) were pushing my two-year-old daughter in the jogging stroller?

My pace for the race was slower than I expected (10:05), but I found it took a good two miles before my muscles warmed up. It also didn’t help the course started with a steep hill. I’m not sure how many runners there were, but there were two station aids and it was very well-marked. Much to my surprise, there were very generous prizes for top three winners and age group winners. All runners received a handmade medal made by students of the local school. I hate to admit I would’ve put forth more effort had I known there were prizes (this is the first local race I’ve run where any awards have been handed). Overall though, I enjoyed the company of other runners on a cold day where my run would have turned into a treadmill run. My daughter though, she cried the entire way and screamed “Put me down. I want to walk.” It was hard to ignore the screams at times.

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The finish line of the Veteran’s 10K. I’m holing the hand-made medal and a loaf of pumpkin bread I purchased.

Monday was the 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, so I knew I had to go for a run to celebrate. Cold weather running really intimidates me, but despite the fact it was cold and windy, I did not let it phase me because of how I excited I was to run for The Corps. After all, it was the Marine Corps who introduced me to running. I was so proud of myself when I saw that my average pace was 9:31.

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This was back when it was the 225th Birthday of the Marine Corps.

I really wanted to workout on Tuesday to honor Veteran’s Day, but my husband had the day off, and we ended up car shopping in a city two hours away from where we live. After spending five hours at the dealership, we left without a car because we felt we could have gotten a better deal.

Wednesday was another one of those days where my body pined for running, so I knew I’d run (on the treadmill) as soon as my daughter napped. Six miles later, I felt sooo good! There was a recent article comparing running outside versus running on the treadmill I found really interesting. The article addresses whether running on a treadmill is easier than running outside. The theoretical answers surprised me. I’m digressing though. My run was incredibly awesome, and my last mile was a comfortable sub 9 mile.

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Staying warm indoors and running six miles on the treadmill like it’s still Summer.

Thursday was a brutal Crossfit cross training day that consisted of three different workout with: 90 thrusters (45lbs), 90 pull ups, /90 power cleans (75lbs), 90 dips, / 75 sit-ups, 50 jerk presses, and a 25 calorie row! There were breaks in between the three workouts, but I was wiped out at the end.

It was my intention to do a short run today (Friday), but I’m sore, and it’s cold, and I don’t want to run on the treadmill (excuses). I am planning on doing an 8 mile run tomorrow, so I’m using up all of my excuses today so I won’t have any left tomorrow.

Oh, and my Hoka One One shoes are treating my feet very well. I’m planning on doing a review before the end of the month.

One more “Oh.” On Wednesday morning, my husband received a call from the dealership. The sales person said they would shave an additional six hundred dollars off the vehicles price, and would deliver the vehicle to us so that we could do all of the paperwork in our house. Thus, we ended up getting an amazing deal for a new 4WD (four-wheel drive) vehicle. It was perfect timing, because it snowed the day after we purchased it.

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Friday Morning made for a very bright and snowy day.

Has snow fallen in your neck of the woods? Do you enjoy the process of buying a car?

Running Detour

It’s been 17 days since my last half marathon, and I’ve only logged 14.55 miles between those days. For a couple of months now, I’ve had a malingering pain on the heel of my left foot that I have failed to address because the pain was mild. Immediately after my last1/2, the pain went from a 4 to a 7, but I attributed it to the energy I placed going down a hill during the race.

Since I hail from a Latin American lineage of prideful and stubborn women, going to a doctor was not an option. In all honesty, culturally speaking, going to the doctor is usually a life or death situation, and despite the fact I’ve lived in the United States for most of my life, there are certain norms and traditions that are ingrained within my DNA.

After an extensive Internet research, and a self-diagnosis of mild Plantar Fasciitis, I decided to invest on a pair of shoes: Hoka One One Conquest. Let me start off by saying the shoes were expensive ($170), but there was a 30 day money back guarantee, so I figured they were worth trying.

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I ran a slow 5K on the treadmill to test out my shoes. I don’t want to review the shoes yet, because I’ve only used them twice, but the heel pain was absent while running.

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This past Sunday, I ran a slow 10k outside and I was pleased with the performance of the shoes. My left foot is having a hard time adjusting to the forefoot striking created by the design of the shoe, but I once again ran pain free.

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On another note, it’s no longer sunny and warm outside. Fall and Winter are my least favorite seasons of the year, so stepping outside is very challenging. I have a strong aversion to cold weather, and I exhibit less fear running in scorching hot conditions than frigid and windy conditions. The weather is going to be a very big factor I’m going to have to overcome if I want to meet my marathon goal.

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Speaking of the weather, the last half marathon of the year within a three hour driving radius occurred this past weekend, and I did not get to participate due to scheduling conflict and my foot. Since I still have not given up on my goal of running a half-marathon every month for 12 months, I signed up for a virtual race where the funds help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For $25, I get a bib and a medal and need to complete a 5K or a 30k before the end of November. I still have to complete 5 more half-marathons, and they may all have to be virtual half-marathons given the lack of races in my neck of the woods from now until next Spring.

Do races come to a halt during Fall and Winter in your city? Have you ever participated in a virtual race?