Remember Thanksgiving? Well, in my blog-slackery I never posted anything about it. So I thought, Hey! I'm gonna go ahead and still blog about it.
This year it was just us here for Thanksgiving. My cousin Karen, and her family, went to NY over Thanksgiving to attend Karen's sister's wedding. Knowing it would just be us took a lot of the stress off the occasion. I knew that even if it took until Friday for the turkey to cook, it wasn't a big deal, we would just eat on Friday. Because of this approach, the days leading up to Thanksgiving were pretty laid back as well.
Kennedy, Lincoln, and I got up early on Thanksgiving, bundled up, put on our running shoes, and drove to Madison to participate in our first Thanksgiving Day run. Kennedy and Lincoln had signed up to run the 5K (Kennedy's first race ever), and I signed up for the 10K, my first 10K ever. My stomach was in knots the whole way there. I had done no hill training and a few days before the race I had heard that there were a few hills near the end of the course. This really worried me. My goal was to run the entire thing, but I began to have some serious doubts on the drive over.
The spirit of a race is lots of fun, and I found myself anxious to just get started. The 10K started first, thankfully, and we were soon jogging over the start line. I determined early on that I wouldn't worry about people passing me, which was good because I was passed by thousands of runners. I am known for being a slow runner, but they just kept passing and passing like I was standing still. I wondered what on earth my time was looking like, but was pleasantly surprised when I passed the first mile marker and found that although I was slow, it was my best time. And I just plugged away at it. 2 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles. Each mile marker revealed that I was maintaining my personal best pace. Around this point, however, I began to be concerned that I would finish the race in dead last. I determined that if I died trying, I would keep from being passed by the last runner. Mile 5 is where the hills began. Challenging, but not a deal breaker. I was still running. Mile 6 seemed to be all hill. The last, big hill seemed to go on forever. I was neck in neck with an old lady that come hell or high water I was NOT going to finish behind! I dug deep, proud of the fact that back in the stragglers, the back of the entire race, I was the only one, in my view, who did not walk at some point on the hills. At the top of the last, big, hill, the finish line was in sight and I had left the old lady behind. I dug a little deeper, pushed a little harder, passed another lady I had been leap-frogging the whole time, and finished my first 10K without walking. It was a personal victory, despite finishing last in my age group. Kennedy and Lincoln were waiting at the finish line to cheer me on and take some pictures of me. (Those pictures are on our other camera still. Someday I'll transfer them. Maybe.) We grabbed some goodies at the food tent and munched them and sucked down water on the way to the car. Kennedy was frozen through and through and said she would never do a winter race again. I think she would have been OK if she hadn't had to wait for me. We headed home, grabbed some hot cocoa on the way, and cranked up the heat in the car. I seriously never thought I'd be able to run a 10K, but now I'm wondering if a half-marathon might be in my future.
We spent the rest of the day cooking, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, and eating.
It was quiet, easy, relaxing, and fun. Except I was exhausted by the end of the day. Running in the morning and then spending a lot of time on your feet in the kitchen and then eating turkey will really take it out of you! Lincoln built the kids a fort in the living room. I think they actually slept in it that night too.
I am thankful for my beautiful children and amazing husband. I'm thankful for my health that allows me to do all of this. I'm thankful for my husband's job that provides our food and home and the comforts we enjoy there. And I'm thankful for my husband and friends who encouraged my to go for the 10K and never doubted I could do it.