Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Run (or two)

Ahhh, I'm sitting down in a quiet, warm house while the kids are napping and Miguel is out picking up tamales.  The last couple of days were a blur as we neared today's big day.  Friday night we had an impromptu lounge-wear pizza (and salad) party at our place.  A few friends and their kids came over and we had a fun, relaxing evening.  I drank 3 glasses of wine!  And I liked it.

On Saturday Miguel got up and went mountain biking with his friends while I stayed home with the kids talking up Santa.  Fortunately the wine didn't interfere with my running plans.  A couple friends showed up to run with me.  We did a 5k loop from my house.  It was the first time I ran with someone other than Miguel and I felt like a real runner going down the street chatting with my two running partners (Thanks Danielle and Catherine!).  How cool!  We maintained a 12 minute mile pace without too much difficulty.  I think I can firmly say I have achieved that pace.  It's no longer a struggle.  I don't think I can keep it up on the long runs yet but that's something to strive for.

On Saturday evening we were lucky enough to get an invite for dinner at a neighbor's.  They have a little boy around Myra's age and a grandma was in town visiting and would be cooking dinner.  And boy did she!  She made a seafood dish she calls Sinfonía de Mariscos (Seafood Symphony).  Oh. my. goodness.  I don't go nuts about food very often but this had so many things I love.  Lobster, shrimp, scallops, salmon and it was in creamy mushroom sauce.  I went back for seconds.  And possibly thirds.  With all the champagne it's sort of foggy.  And then for desert she made fruit trifle!  All from scratch.  That picture was taken with my cell phone so it doesn't do it justice but you get the idea.

The meal was especially cool because my mom couldn't be in town.  She's in Southern California tending to my ill grandfather.  My mom makes a similar seafood dish and strawberry trifle is a signature dish of hers.  It felt like home.  Thank you Karen and Nestor for a great evening - so much fun!  Only bummer was we had to leave so early to put the kids to bed.  I was planning on taking Christmas day off from exercise but in the midst of all that eating I knew it would be a good idea if I went for a run.  I said this run would be "off the record" since it wasn't for training but just an effort to make a dent in some of those calories.  Miguel and I ended up staying up until after midnight putting toys together.  That tiny kitchen was a lot of work! But I will still hoping I'd get that run in.

We got up this morning and had tons of fun with the kids opening their presents.  Marek got a scooter and Myra got a little kitchen and an easel.  The whole thing was perfect and I can't believe this is my life.  My mom got me a garmin running watch, a forerunner 110.  I got it charging right away so I could use it on my run.  We got the kids out to the local high school track after lunch.  The kids kicked around the soccer ball while I did 13 laps around the 1/4 mile loop.  According to the garmin I maintained a sub-12 minute mile (11:47, 11:44,11:20) for all three miles.  Really?  I'm skeptical.  I was trying to hurry on that last mile so I'm not surprised that was faster.  Maybe the totally flat track allowed me to run faster than usual?  How trustworthy are these garmins?  Miguel took that picture of me with his cell phone.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much smaller I'm looking these days. Anyway, it said I burned 461 calories so that's at least a dent in last night's meal. It was totally worth it though. I'd eat that meal right now if you put it in front of me!

We're having another big dinner tonight, steak and baked potatoes.  I'm turning the calorie watch off for one more evening and then tomorrow it's back to reality.  I plan to drink a few more glasses of wine before the night is over.  Well, I'd better wrap this up and get back to the celebrating with my family.  Blogging always reminds of my goals, which is good, even when I'm indulging!

Oh!  I want to share a cool thing Miguel got me for Christmas (besides my electric teakettle for the office).  It's a wall thing to hang race bibs on.  I love it! 

Alright, I'm signing off.  Before I go - To all those celebrating this holiday season I wish you a healthy, active winter!!  I'll close with our 2011 installment of a photo with Santa. 


  1. What a great Christmas, Michelle! And you DO look smaller. A lot! And fit. So glad you're back in the groove. Sub 12 min miles sound pretty consistent these days. Give the kiddos a kiss for me please. That kitchen looks fun. Hopefully I'll get to come play with them soon : )

  2. Sounds like a GREAT Holiday!!!

    Way to go on the running are looking GREAT!

  3. When you run on a tarp track your times do tend to be a little faster. For some reason the terrain makes it easier to maneuver through. I ran track in high school and I always set PRs whenever I ran a race on a tarp track. Garmins are extremely accurate especially the newer models such as the one you received for X-mas. Way to go on sub 12's! I love reading your blog. I stumbled upon it three years ago through a friend of a friend. You're an inspiration and I admire your honesty and modesty. Keep up the good work and Happy Holidays!


  4. Thanks for all the info Melissa! I didn't even know this was called a tarp track. And the pace is encouraging to me, at least I know I can run that fast under some conditions. And thank you for the kind words about me and my blog :) It's very encouraging.

    And Kristy and MaryFran - as always, thank you for cheering me on! I get so much out of your encouragement, you just don't know.

  5. Great work getting out there with all the holiday craziness. I did a bike ride on Friday but had no hope of any workouts yesterday or today. Garmins are SUPER accurate. If you want some fun beyond just the watch, download your workouts to It's free and keeps track of all your times, distances and elevation climbed. My cycling has improved dramatically since I started using it.

  6. I love crying baby santa pics! We have our share too. My favorite was our easter bunny pic of a then 1 year old screaming and holding a flashlight that he took everywhere with him :)



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