Friday, November 29, 2013

thanksgiving 2013

Despite very generous invitations to Maine, New York and California, we decided to stay in Utah for Thanksgiving this year, meaning it was just H, me and B for the holiday and our own, peculiar holiday traditions.

I had signed up again for the Cold Turkey 6K Run; for the last six weeks I've been practicing running uphill at the gym.  Thanksgiving morning came bright and sunny (although a little bit inversion-y due to the high pressure system that's been locked in place over the valley for the last week), with temperatures in the high 30s - perfect for a road race.  We got up to the capitol at about 8:45 a.m. and worked our way through the crowd to the start line.  This really is such a fun race.  Everyone is mellow and happy and looking forward to the extra slices of pie that running nearly four miles will afford us.

Chilly in the shade

The course was familiar: run from the capitol to City Creek Canyon, uphill along the canyon for 1 mile to the turnaround, back down the canyon and then continue the descent through Memory Grove to the finish.  It took my legs a little while to warm up - and my hands too as I wore my gloves until the turnaround - but once we started up the canyon, I felt pretty good.  I kept my eye on a girl in a green tanktop, planning to keep up with her.  I actually passed her right before the turnaround but then she stretched out her legs for the descent.  I managed to keep her in sight but didn't stay with her.  The uphill portion felt better than the downhill, surprising; the downhill seemed long.  But I managed to put a little bit of speed on for the finish and felt great with how I ran.  I don't have the results yet but H said that I came in about six minutes before he expected to see me (hence no photo of the finish).  I'd like to think that this was my best time. [Updated: It wasn't, by about 3 seconds.]

Much warmer after the race

The winners of the race (one guy and one girl, each of whom finished well under 30 minutes) each got a smoked turkey and a $100 gift certificate to Log Haven.  I got a couple of cups of hot cider and a sense of satisfaction - everyone was happy.

H had once again called a bunch of bars, hoping to find some open for a post-race beer.  Most of the places he called were closed for the day, several weren't opening until 11 a.m. or later, and he even found two - the Barbary Coast (4242 S. State St., Murray) and Uncle Bart's (837 S, Main St., SLC) - that claimed to be open at 10 a.m.  We drove by those two places, however, and they were pretty sketchy so we decided to just head home.  I love dive bars.  I don't so much like scary bars.

The rest of the day continued to be as mellow and pleasant as the start.  H went up to Alta for a couple of hours and when we got back, we made a carb-heavy Thanksgiving dinner together: chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes, green beans, my grandma's stuffing and pumpkin pie.  The chicken pot pie was good and I finally got the stuffing right this time after several years of too much sage/too dry/etc.  H makes really good smashed potatoes too - I had seconds.  Add some beer, some wine, some football and some Arrested Development reruns and you've got a nice evening.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Race results (and history)
2013:  35:44.40, 7 out of 24 in age group, 243/682 overall
2012:  n/a (Thanksgiving in California)
2011:  35:41.33, 249th out of 656 overall
2010:  37:22.76 (course changed due to ice/uphill finish), top half of finishers
2009:  35:53.32, top half of finishers

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