Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. All the family togetherness of Christmas with none of the gift-giving pressure. This year was lighter on the family togetherness, as my two oldest sons are in Oregon and Japan and a niece lives in Alaska, but all of my brothers were home.

With a 5-day weekend I managed to fit in plenty of active time, too. I'm not sure it balanced out the amount of turkey, stuffing, and dessert I ate between our two family gatherings, but it felt good to log some time outside.

Wednesday: Slept blissfully late, made Jacob pancakes, and did some cleaning. I wasted plenty of time, but we managed to get in about 40 minutes at the gym together before I had to take our dog to the vet. Frontline-resistant fleas and arthritis.

Thursday: My tri club has an annual group trail run on Thanksgiving morning. I annually show up too late to actually run with anyone. That's ok, because I've done so little running lately that I doubt I could've kept up.
Started my Thanksgiving Day on the trails. Like a slow ninja, I managed to get in my whole run without seeing most of the tri club group I'd been too late to start with. #trailrunning #optoutside #soloturkeytrot

I spent the first half mile calculating how much further I had to go -- .1 mile: I only have to do that 19 more times... -- before settling into the run and enjoying it. I was painfully slow but really glad I made it out. 3.1 miles, 45 min.

Friday: I'm not a shopper and don't like crowds, so my Black Friday tradition is of the two-wheeled variety. This year Mickey, Chuck, and I hit a few local trails. We started out with more climbing than I'd expected and I spent the majority of the day feeling slow and not very good at mountain biking. My mood picked up after they convinced me to ride over a rock table I've scuttled past since I rode it in February.
CW, Zombie, BV
It's not hard at all; it just looks scary to me. 

CW, Zombie, BV
...and back down...

CW, Zombie, BV
Really cool spot on the trail.
I hadn't been on the first trails we rode in a couple of years, so I was happy to see that, even feeling slow, I was faster than I was in the past. The other two trails showed less improvement since I've been on them more recently. 30.5 miles, 4:05

Saturday: The St. Louis Orienteering Club's annual Turkey-O is another of my favorite holiday traditions. This was the third year it was held in the Mississippi River bluffs above Grafton, IL, so I was familiar with the amount of climbing I'd have to do. I ran the 3-hr course solo while Jeff and Jacob did the 1-hour course with some friends. It certainly wasn't my best navigational outing, but it was a gorgeous day and a lot of fun.  7.6 mi, 2:55.

2016 Turkey-O
High above the river and about to take a terrible route downhill.
Sunday: I slept too late to go running with friends as planned, and as achy as I was when I did get up that's probably a good thing. My legs were sore, as expected, but my upper body was worse. Weird. I did a lot of crawling through thick vegetation, using trees to haul myself up and down steep hillsides, and falling, so apparently all of that contributed.

We cooked breakfast together, then while the guys watched football I walked the dog, aimlessly wandered the house, and thought about what to do. I was feeling kind of down and really just wanted to curl up under a blanket with a book, but rain was in Monday's forecast and Sunday was almost certainly my last chance to get outside. Eventually I talked myself into a mountain bike ride with the promise that I could quit after a half hour.

I really didn't want to run or rode or do much of anything today, but it's supposed to rain tonight and I'm not likely to manage any mtb time after work this week. I made myself go for at least a half hour of no pressure riding. I ended up with an hour of
Half fall brown, half spring green. Still beautiful.

I made no effort to ride hard, just focused on trying to be smooth and braking less. It was a fun, no-pressure ride, and I ended up riding for just over an hour. At one point I came around a curve and was just struck by how magical the trees looked. Our unseasonably warm temps have led to a mixed messages combination of muted colors and bright greens. If it wasn't for the stark wintry sky you'd almost think spring was just around the corner. 7.5 mi, 1:04


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