Well, I got the Turkey Trot done yesterday morning. It had to be record high temps for downtown Cleveland on Thanksgiving Day, in the low fifties and dry, albeit a bit windy. I had trouble deciding what to wear. If it were to be a little colder or a little warmer, it would have been clear, but I just couldn’t decide, and brought extra clothes with me to Public Hall, where step-off was to begin, to be guided by what other, more experienced runners were wearing. This was only my 2nd Turkey Trot, after all. Turned out what I wore down there was the right outfit after all. I got pretty hot after the difficult first mile, which was so, so crowded and includes a big hill, but then on the straightaways there were big patches of quite cold wind, so I was glad for the long sleeves.
Friends came to cheer me on this year, which really made it feel special. And my best friend ran the exact same 5 miles down in her home in Florida at the same time I ran my race in solidarity, even when surprised by a downpour. To run knowing people are thinking about you, you kind of feel their energy I guess, and it helps you decide to keep going when you sometimes otherwise think, fuck, what the hell am I doing this for out in the cold wind, and dang my foot hurts and why are there so many people WALKING and so many dogs to trip over. So it was great to have that support. I cut four minutes off of last year’s time, which is pretty darn nice.
Today was my big meal. I hosted for 10 people, including myself, the most I’ve ever cooked for. Mom came over early and we started the day with our traditional Thanksgiving day breakfast (yes, I know it’s the day after, but this is when I typically have the meal) of a small sliver of pie and a glass of wine. I tried to make my grandma’s poor-man’s cheesecake and while it was a miss, it wasn’t bad pie, so we had that and some white wine and toasted grandma. I honestly had a really good time and loved it from start to finish. Even how hot it got in my apartment, the chaos of not knowing where my son was and what he was up to with the other two kids that were there, the stomach ache from eating too much and yes, even all the cleanup, which gave me a sort of Zen in taking care of it. As I dried and put away each dish, I thought of what went in to making the item that was served on it, and how much everyone seemed to really genuinely enjoy the food. The turkey came out perfect and I carved it for the first time myself. The homemade noodles were a big hit, as was my “famous” crock pot stuffing, and Mom’s gravy pulled everything together nicely. The coup de grace was a new dessert I tried this year instead of pumpkin pie – pumpkin pots du creme with maple bourbon whipped cream. They came out beautifully and I was actually really pleasantly surprised. The only real mishap was that I served a squash-ginger-carrot soup shooter to start, and it was a little too lukewarm when I served it (didn’t want it to be super hot and scald people) so folks had to get it out of their little shot glasses with a utensil. And one of the shot glasses I had was plastic, and it accidentally fell into the disposal and got ground to bits; little bits I had to pick out of the disposal or else get charged some fee from property management. But other than that, I think it really went well. It was a rich mix of family and friends, new and old, and ages ranging from 6 to 73. It was a bit of a logistical deal to cram everyone in here, but I somehow knew it would just all come together and people wouldn’t care if they ate with a tray table or at the kid’s table or whatever, and I was right.
The weirdly mild weather looks to be sticking around for another week or so. A lot of rain, but some clear and sunny days coming up next week, though not as warm. My thoughts are already turning toward the next run. My hamstring issue, which has plagued me since June, is 90+ percent better, and the quad problem, which is recent, seems almost gone as well. Now I just have to beat back the plantar fasciitis, which seems to slowly be subsiding, and settle into a winter weather running pattern that my lungs and body can put up with. Because it’s really winter now, even though the patio door was open all day and it’s raining. And that’s when the waistline creeps. Must keep at it. There are leftover pots du creme, after all.