Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s not as stressful as Christmas, when we’re usually traveling hundreds of miles to see family, but it’s a big enough deal that we make a point of doing something fun. In years past, we’ve done some great camping trips in Big Sur or Death Valley or the Mojave (the birthplace of the trash can turkey adventure), and it’s always been a great time.
This year we had another adventure planned – to ride our road bikes down to Manhattan Beach along 101 and the PCH, meeting Carl’s brother Kyle halfway, and then doing the whole trip in reverse the following day. This plan fell through for a variety of reasons, however, the most important being Carl got an interview for a faculty position at the University of Wyoming and would be flying out the morning of the 25th. Moreover, I had a lot of work to do in the lab (but that never really changes), Kyle was sick, and the bicycling thing seemed pretty complicated when we really started scheming. So instead Kyle came up from Manhattan Beach to join us for the holiday and we went to a friend’s house for a delicious traditional turkey dinner.
I think the highlight of this Thanksgiving for me, however, was that I was able to run not just one but two turkey trots. The first was the UCSB turkey trot on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This race was really fun! It was our first time doing it and the crowd was somewhat different (mostly UCSB students as opposed to community members), but both Carl and I took first (the race, in Carl’s words, was “not very competitive”) and won iPod Shuffles. Not to mention the post-race festivities were great, and included free FRS, free Woodstock’s pizza samples, Chipoltle “burrito bucks,” and a raffle. We didn’t win anything in the raffle, but someone who won a whole case of FRS gave us half of it. We made out like bandits!
The second turkey trot was the Santa Barbara 4 miler. Unlike UCSB, this race turned out to be really competitive this year. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t take first for the women’s division, but it was so great having other women up there with me! I ran a 13-second PR for 4 miles (23:20), which I definitely would not have done if the other women (Shawna Berger and Sara Dillman) were not present to push me. Carl had a great race, too, running an almost PR of 21:18.
So if you’ve been reading my other blog posts, you’re probably saying to yourself right now, “What is this girl thinking running two races in a week? Wasn’t her last blog entries complaining about injuries and asking for advice on cortisone?” Yes, that’s absolutely true, but all I can say is that I think my injuries are finally (fingers crossed) going away. I wish I had some scientific explanation for why the healing process happened so suddenly, but I don’t – my body never has made much sense. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve done my time on the elliptical trainer, and the gods of running are having mercy on me. That’s not to say the races didn’t hurt at all — my legs definitely ached more than usual after the first turkey trot, and even more so after the second (not surprising seeing I’ve only run about 30 miles easy since St. George), but amazingly my feet feel almost normal.
I am still somewhat fixated on my 2:47 marathon time which I am growing more and more confident that, barring injury, I can achieve. Unfortunately the marathon I was planning on doing (Pacific Shoreline in Huntington Beach) is sold out, but I’m currently in contact with the RD and I think they will let me in with elite status. If this falls through I might look into Austin, although I’m not too excited about making another major trip to run a marathon (unless, of course, I qualify for the trials in Boston). Now I just have to “deal with my zeal” as Carl says so that I can continue on this healing streak and train appropriately for the next big race.