If I would wait until the end of my mini-vaca to blog about it much detail would be lost to the abyss of age related memory retention, so I figure I’ll drop a couple entries along the way.
We had my first ever Thanksgiving Eve dinner when Katie and Daniel came over to eat the food Cindy had been preparing most of the day. I ate way more than was sensible and felt like a blob afterward, building my resolve to get out and run the next morning.
This Thanksgiving was the first time in probably 15 years that I didn’t get up well before the crack of dawn to volunteer, run, or time a Thanksgiving Day race. It felt odd but it felt downright bad to allow myself to do nothing bright and early. I got up without an alarm before 7 and after powering up with Pop Tarts, threw on my running shoes and headed to the track. I was quite surprised to see 7 or 8 people walking around the track already when I got there. I guess they all were trying to negate the expected caloric intake of the day, just a little bit.
I was not in great condition to run. On Wednesday I had really aggravated my right side doing weighted pull ups. My lower back also has been sore for the last several days. However the basic necessities of running, my knees and hips felt passable. So originally I planned to put in my standard 13 laps which clocks in around 3.4 miles on the GPS. About 5 laps in I decided that since it was Thanksgiving I should put in extra distance so the new goal was shifted to 14 laps.
That goal remained until I got to lap 13. I realized that for the first time in quite awhile my body had kicked into running cruise control mode. Runners will tell you this is when you just feel like you can continue without feeling like you are struggling each stride. I’m not quite sure why it kicked in yesterday but when I started lap 14 I realized I could easily get a 15th lap as well which would put me at just about the four mile distance of the Gobble Gobble race that I skipped, so I continued to run.
As I was about halfway through my 15th lap more internal dialogue continued. I thought that doing 15 laps in the second lane should be real close to four miles ( I wasn’t wearing a GPS), BUT if I do a 16th lap, something I haven’t done in around a year, I would ensure that I covered four miles plus, eclipsing what I would have put in at the race. I was still running without feeling significant discomfort so I pressed on, finishing the 16th and final lap with my customary 100 yard “sprint” at the end.
I’m not sure why I felt the best I have in months on the track, nothing leading up to it would have indicated that would be the case. Regardless of the reason, it felt good to at least put in the energy, effort, and distance despite not being an official race participant this year.
I returned to the house and after eating breakfast didn’t waste much time before working on one of my list items, Christmas decorations. I targeted outdoor decorations, I had time to work since we were not hosting this year, instead traveling to Cindy’s mom’s place for the holiday meal.
I used every splitter, timer and extension cord I had in my inventory (I have a lot), to fill the front yard with a half dozen holiday objects as well as lights on the front trees. It felt good to at least get a chunk of the to do list started.
I thought it would be good to have some of my toys with for the dinner to provide some sort of entertainment. I threw both Minipros, the Meepo, and the One Wheel in the back of the Tacoma. We met Katie there. The whole gang on Cindy’s side of the family showed up. Cindy brought the tofurkey she made for me Wednesday along so I could maintain my pescatarian commitment. There was a huge spread of food but I managed to not pig out to the same degree as I did Wednesday evening. However I did down four Miller Lites to help elevate my social interactions so that may have made up the calories.
As I hoped, the PEV’s got a good workout after we ate. Cindy’s brother really liked the Meepo and may get one for himself.
We stayed a little longer than we thought we would. Cindy was having a good time interacting with her family members, many of which she doesn’t get to see all that often. We did have a built in reason to leave however, the six baby chicks that are residing in the guest bathroom. They are now approaching two weeks old and seem to be growing rapidly and doing well. I was absolutely exhausted by 9PM. Playing WoW wasn’t even a remote desire, I just wanted to crash in bed.
So this morning for Black Friday I didn’t do anything dumb like shoot out of bed with an alarm to join the zealots that have been shopping all night long. I got up without an alarm and went out to tend to the daily chicken clean up duties. Cindy had a class to teach late morning so I headed out to get a few things a dip my toe into the Black Friday shopping experience, barely. I only went to three places, AutoZone, Home Depot, and Sam’s Club. Of the three only Home Depot was a crowded mess and by BF standards it still wasn’t horrid. Sam’s Club was downright enjoyable, it was that sparsely populated.
So I returned home and started grind mode. I just was buzzing around tending to things both on and off the to do list. I added a cool snowman I bought at Sam’s to the front yard collection. It’s the only non-inflatable character we have in the yard but it looks very sharp, night and day. I prepped the inside of the house for interior decorations requiring moving a bunch of furniture around and lugging the two artificial trees from the small shed. I went as far as setting them up, just letting the actual decorating of the branches as a joint project for Cindy and I. My mom’s old tree, despite being artificial is acting like a real tree, dropping “needles” like mad. I’m not sure how long it will be in a presentable state but we dressed it up enough with ornaments so that it still looked sharp.
When Cindy got home we dug into the tree decorating along with the the other things we sit around the house for the holiday season. It took a solid 90 minutes at least until we had the storage boxes emptied out. I let Cindy handle the last few inside tweaks as I headed outside once again. I wanted to at least get started on the MASSIVE pressure washing project I have planned. Just doing the pool area OR the sheds is a big pain in the ass. I plan to do BOTH and several other areas as well.
I only got started around 3:30 so I knew I had limited light to get stuff done. I set the goal of getting the pool frame blasted off at least, the most miserable thing to clean of all. The reason it sucks so much is the difficulty in reaching parts of the frame that are over the pool itself. To get certain beams I have to attach four extensions to the pressure wand which stretches somewhere around ten feet, absolutely melting my shoulders and forearms as I try to support it. I slowly worked my way around the cage, soaking myself as I did, which is normal. I got the frame blasted off just as the light was fading. I left everything hooked up and sitting on the lanai, ready for me to begin round two tomorrow. I would not be surprised if I put in another three hours or more tomorrow de-crudding whatever gets in my way.
As is always my plan, my intent is to grind myself into the dirt during the front end of my mini-vaca so that I can enjoy the last couple days without self inflicted to do’s looming overhead.