I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving. I was blessed to sit around, catch up on homework, play board games, visit with friends, and run for about five straight days over the holiday and weekend. My grandma came from Phoenix and my aunt Tonya came from Rochester for the weekend. My brother Dylan graduated from Carleton a few days before Thanksgiving, so he was home and stress free. A couple of his teammates biked fifty miles from Northfield to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. They got lost a few times, so we ended up eating without them, but they made it before the snow got too heavy.
I ran my first ‘hard effort’ of the season at the Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5k on Thanksgiving Day morning. My teammates who are running Club Cross Country Nationals on December 8th (Meghan Peyton, Heather Kampf, Ladia Albertson-Junkas, and McKenzie Melander) all ran the race, except for Meghan who got to go do a 5k in San Jose, CA. Although the race is not the best place to put in a serious racing effort, it is lots of fun, and I will not give up the tradition of running the race every year. I started participating in the race as a fun post-cross country activity in high school, followed by a great way to catch up with high school friends while I was in college. Now the race serves as a rust-buster in the fall before the Team USA Minnesota team starts our serious racing. Thankfully, this year I was not harassed by older women who I got in front of at the starting line. However, I did have to dodge some young children, old dudes with headphones, and a guy in a giant turkey hat who had not quite figured out start line etiquette of road races. Which is: if you aren’t one of the top men or women, start behind them. I took 3rd in the race behind McKenzie and Heather and ran around 16:50. Not bad for a hard effort without crossing the line into racing.
My favorite part of the weekend was my double-run on Friday morning. I ran twelve miles with a couple Run n Fun friends, Joe Sepe and Frances Eanes, as well as my roommate Elizabeth. My mom, aunt, and grandma made eggs, bacon, fruit salad, and pancakes from scratch for us to munch on after the run. No sooner had we finished eating then eight of my Southwest High School teammates came for a short run around Lake Harriet, followed by another brunch prepared by the wonderful women in my family. I was so lucky to get to hang around my friends without worrying about cooking or cleaning up. I don’t know a better combination than eating, running, friends, and family.