Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Twenty Miles for Christmas

It is Christmas weekend. The shopping is (mostly) done. But after missing last week's long run (actually taking a much-needed break), and it being three weeks prior to the Arizona Marathon, I need one more long run.

And lo, the gods of marathon training weather did smile upon the runners of Boston, and did give them the most beautiful Christmas Eve morning for running. Temperature was in the 40's (similar to what AZ marathon starting weather will be in 3 weeks). Most of the snow and ice has melted along the Charles River trails. After a breakfast similar to what I will eat prior to my marathon, I run 20 exquisite miles from home, to the river, along the trails to the Science Museum on the Boston side, back to the Eliot bridge, and another pass back to and across the Harvard bridge then back home. Around 10 or 11 miles I'm feeling tired, but by 14 or so feel invigorated again. The last 4 or 5 miles I pick up the pace to 8:30 and faster. My legs really ache and it feels great.

After relaxing in the tub for a bit, and another breakfast, I have just a few groceries and one or two last minute gifts to pick up and am back home. It being still early in the afternoon, we all go for a walk around Fresh Pond. New to the area, we do not have a church home and almost at random choose a Christmas Eve service to attend. The remainder of Christmas Eve is spent eating club sandwiches by the fireplace, listening to Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales" and Alexi Murdoch's great version of "Silent Night", and opening gifts that have arrived from various relatives around the country. Then it's off to bed. Kind of tired.

Christmas morning starts early for Anita and I -- we haven't finished wrapping everything yet. But by about 9:00am the coffee and cranberry bread is served up and the Norman Rockwell Christmas morning ensues. (OK, Norman Rockwell probably didn't include Mimosas in that image.) The hand-knitted stockings are emptied and gifts are opened, one at a time so that everyone can enjoy. Yes, Elizabeth, I got new running gloves (yeah!), and a set of Yak-Traks (for running on those snow-covered trails). All is well. There is chocolate. I've only been in the house two weeks (Anita and Kai one week, and Anja three days) but we have our Christmas together. And that ritual, even amongst the stacked boxes and unfamiliar surroundings, continues to bond us together as a family. As it has done year after year. And Christmas dinner will be, as always, wonderful (and not because I make most of it).

I start the roast ribeye (au poivre!), and prepare the fresh green beans. Anja will, as usual, prepare the smashed potatoes. I then get to work on dessert (like we need it after all the chocolate). In acknowledgement of our new environment, dessert will be a cinnamon chocolate bread pudding (bread pudding being a traditional New England dessert). Dinner starts with a salad of fresh greens with a maple-lime dressing and a bottle of Shiraz (Rosemount Estate) accompanies the roast. Everything goes off without a hitch.

Life in Cambridge is good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your blog shortly before you moved and have apprecitated your commmitment to your training schedule. This post had a warm, homey feeling though you're just settling in. Hope you have a great experience in Arizona.

1/05/2006 7:39 PM  

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