Christmas Dreams and Good Runs

the eric face

I just got off the phone with my brother.
Talked to him for an hour and a half.
I love our conversations.... we go from bust-a-gut laughter to sad reminiscing.. about our Dad or our solid big brother to baby sister advice (and sometimes it's the other way around... baby sister gives advice too) and everything in between.

Among the many things we talked about, we discussed the upcoming holiday plans. And we dreamed. Dreamed about our perfect Christmas and how we might do it now that we're not little kids anymore. It included both of my brothers coming down and staying here (with their families of course). We would all go out to eat and have a wonderful dinner somewhere, or maybe make a big homemade feast. We'd chat and play games and have fun all night long roasting s'mores in the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate, and making Christmas cookies. Then they would all spend the night and in the morning we would all wake up and open our presents under the tree like one big happy family. And when we all have kids? So much fun!

I don't know if this will happen this year as all the weekends in December are already mostly filled up and don't look to be allowing for an overnight Christmas shindig, but I really hope we start this tradition in 2011. Oh my gosh, it sounds so wonderful. And I think having my own Christmas tradition will make me love Christmas that much more. I'm slowly learning to love it again, and it feels good.

Eric, I love our phone conversations but we really need to see each other more often. We're only a two-hour drive apart. Let's make it happen.

In un-related news, I totally killed my training run tonight. I'm so proud of myself! Everything about the day told me I didn't want to run. I woke up with a scratchy/sore throat and stuffy head and even skipped my weights class this morning. After a long day at work and class, running was the last thing I wanted to do. I had a million excuses not to do it. But I found out that apparently if your sickness is above your neck you're still allowed to run so I finally said JUST DO IT (Nike style).

My run, per my new Runners' World SmartCoach program, called for a 2 mile speed run with half mile recovery jogs and a 1 mile warm-up and cool down. So I was running along and then about 1.3 miles in I remembered I was supposed to run faster... so I did. I got to the "speed" pace.. I was pushing myself but I didn't feel like I wanted to die (which I usually do during speed runs). Once I got to 1 mile at that pace I felt pretty good so I just held the pace instead of taking the recovery jog. And then I held the pace (even got to a little faster the last mile) for 3 miles! I was pretty proud of myself! I had never held a pace that fast, that consistently, for that long before by myself. It's easier for me to run faster in races or when I run with someone else, but I've never done it just by myself. Usually I just kind of run comfortably along. AND if I figured right, I actually PR'd my 5K time if you figure the time for my last 3.1 miles! Crazy! I also had negative splits which is always good too :)

Needless to say, it was an AWESOME run and I'm definitely glad I did it! I'm thinking about running a 5k this weekend to see what I can do! We'll see..

I think this means that my SmartCoach training program is a little on the slow side as far as paces go. Which I thought anyway when it told me my "easy" runs should be at a 12:08 pace! I can't even run that slow if I try!! Either way though, it still has me PR'ing in Vegas by 9 minutes, but I think I'm going to re-evaluate the paces and push myself more! I'm excited... 4.5 weeks to go!!!

P.S. Because I hate posts without pictures, here's one of my lunch today:

Strawberries and grilled chicken on mixed greens topped with feta cheese and raspberry viniagrette dressing AKA the best lunch ever. It's part of my new "no bread/carbs" for lunch in November goal. (I'll write a post about my November goals soon. Maybe. It seems to be the cool thing to do in blogosphere.)

On that note, I am off to bed.

Okay, I added one more picture to the top of the post which you've now already seen. It's of my brother so you can get a visual of who I was talking to.

Okay...and one more in the middle. Just do it.