Saturday, December 24, 2011

Toys for Tots Weekend: Part II - 12ks of Christmas

Hello and Happy Christmas!  (It always makes me feel very British and Dickens-y to say "happy" instead of "merry."  Maybe I should actually read "A Christmas Carol" - I'm a huge Dickens fan, but that's one of his that I've never actually read.  Possibly a sad result of having seen at least 3 film versions of the tale.)

Sporting my race shirt - I wore
this to work the day after the run.

Last Sunday, Jared and I marked one of our favorite annual traditions: running the 12ks of Christmas in beautiful downtown Kirkland.  This year, we added to the fun by swindling our family members into the affair!  You may recall I was starting to have significant pain in my left knee (suspected IT Band and Hamstring as culprits) in the final two weeks before the race. 

Some of the post-run brunch gathering

I am far and away more sentimental than competitive.  I ran two half marathons this year, one in May and the other in October, and even though I was proud of myself for training and all that, my most eagerly anticipated race this year was probably the 12k. 

It pleases me to say I did not meet my foreboding injury with typical Megha-Hysteria.  (Generally this involves an all or nothing attitude like "Stick to the Plan or Die Trying" or "Quit Now.  No More Running.  Ever" and heaps of crying.  Cute stuff.) 

I eased way off on my runs, sticking with only one or two a week as the race approached, and added lots of foam rolling, while continuing Crossfit to keep my cardio fitness up. 

Well, my time was not faster than last year.  I decided to give up on having a time goal and try not to be injured.  My non-time goal was to beat Santa.  Which I did, passing him and his fit wife around 10 or 11k.  As you can see from our times, the hubby and I did not run together this year.  He and my baby brother (who was quite the track and cross-country competitor back in high school) stuck with me for the first mile or two, and then headed of at my encouragement.

And I actually had a great time.  There are always so many folks dressed in costumes, and one house in the first mile always has Christmas playing as we run by.  This year even included a tent of carolers singing the 12 Days of Christmas, with little kids standing out front offering high-fives.

Honestly, my greatest disappointment was the fact that I forgot my camera and consequently broke down and bought official race photos.  Pricey, but I've never actually bought any before...and for my favorite race, I think it was worth it.

Jared & his Grinch shirt

Me with furry socks!!!
After the run(s - most of the family did the 5k while we did the 12k), everyone headed back to our place for some brunch with additional family.  Jared made these amazing pinwheel pastries, and my mom brought a killer breakfast casserole.

Jared's mom brough satsumas to share and his sister and brother-in-law brought makings for mimosas.  Our families know how to eat well.

After everyone left, we were on to our final dinner of the Men's Health: Shop Once, Eat for a Week plan.  Steak plus yummy salad.

We subbed in different sorts of kale for the arugula in the salad.  Technically we should have had leftovers from Tuesday's hero sandwiches, but we'd put it in eggs and on other sandwiches throughout the week, which was good as it would have been wilty by Sunday night (we didn't do the dinners 5 days in a row).

All things told, I'd highly recommend the dinner plan (except do chicken breasts instead of roasting a whole bird)...and I'm now in physical therapy for the aggravated IT band.  Oops.

You tell me: Have you ever had injuries that you decided to "run through"? What strategies worked for you?  How did you stay in shape while taking time off from running or other activities?

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