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So I ran my first race this morning – the Turkey Day 5K!  There were over 20,000 people running, they said, and lots of people dressed up in turkey hats, costumes, etc.  Some people were wearing other costumes; I saw a Pilgrim couple and a Native American couple (dressed up, that is; they didn’t look Native American to me!), a candy corn, a Hulk, and some other leftover Hallowe’en costumes.  Most everyone else was wearing the orange shirt we got.  I wore what I usually wear to jog – it was 50 degrees and sunny, and at one point I was wishing I actually wore my shorts.

I started near the front, probably thirty seconds to a minute after the start time, and it was weird because I had to run short steps because there were so many people crowded in.  I wove around and tried to get where I could run my stride.  I think I was actually running pretty fast because about halfway through I was suddenly super tired.  I’ve been running 5K the whole time, especially the last couple months it’s been at least that if not more, but my time has been just around 10-11 minute miles.  (I did get a 9:11 minute mile one day that was 28 degrees and I was COLD!)  So today I actually had to stop at the 2-mile marker and walk a little (I had a stitch too), and again at the 2.5-mile marker, just for a second.  Even with that, they said 32:20 when I crossed the finish line!

Kent and I hung around for another 20 minutes or so, looking for the one guy dressed up as a turkey.  He had started at the back of the pack and Lifetime Fitness (the sponsor of the race) was going to donate $1 to Second Harvest Heartland (our local food shelf) for every person he passed.  I saw a lot of turkeys, but I wasn’t sure which one he was.

Then we went to Kent’s cousins’ house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I brought roasted winter veggies (parsnip, carrot, acorn squash, sweet potato and purple potato, red onion, turnip, etc.) and apple crisp with crystallized ginger and cranberries.  I was sort of good but not really…who can pass up pecan pie and stuffing?  Not me!  🙂  We sang some Christmas carols and played some games.  During the afternoon it clouded over and got cold and snowed about an inch!  All the evergreen trees had beautiful white frosting…I do love winter!

All told, it’s been a lovely Thanksgiving day — I am especially thankful for my warm house and for my body that is getting more in shape every day (well maybe except today)!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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I had a hankering for baked beans and brown bread the other week, so I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some Jacob’s Cattle beans, which according to John Gould in his book The House that Jacob Built (a book I love dearly), are the only beans to use for baked beans.  He also says to use a well-seasoned bean pot on a wood stove, and to put in salt pork (or bacon), but I had to adjust a little.  I used a crockpot and some G. Washington broth.  And a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, Maple Baked Beans.

The beans turned out really thick and juicy, although if I do it again, I will put in more beans per broth.  Then I needed to find the brown bread.  I remembered buying brown bread here somewhere, but since this is the Midwest, it’s easier to buy lefse in the grocery store than New England brown bread!  I thought about making some, but I didn’t have any cans.  So I started looking online to see if I could find out where it was sold.  I found some on Amazon I could have gotten with free 2-day shipping (yay Amazon Prime!), but I wanted it NOW.  I finally found some at Lund’s, which is five minutes from my house, and I ran and bought four cans, although they were the kind with raisins…aaah, it’s ok.  And yes, the B&M company is based right in Portland, ME — a little taste of Downeast Home! 🙂

So today for lunch I sat down with some maple baked beans, brown bread, and steamed broccoli with salt and single-source olive oil from Spain….Ahhhh, bliss. 🙂 Who needs turkey?

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All right.  I’ve been running, as those of you who see my Facebook posts and Mapmyrun posts know.  I haven’t been losing any weight, however.  It’s a little annoying.  Maybe I am eating more to compensate? Maybe running twice or three times a week (I haven’t managed to be very consistent) and nothing else isn’t enough?  I know I need to do yoga or other strength training too, only I never seem to manage to do it.  The holidays are coming up and I’m a little afraid.  Last year I was at the same weight and gained 6# over the holidays — then lost them (and a few more) by summer and gained them all right back during the summer classes I took.  I managed to get the 6# off again (to my current weight), but haven’t really budged more than two pounds in either direction for the last two months, despite semi-regular running.  As I said.

So one of my FB friends posted this challenge — a Skinny Snowman challenge.  I do better with some support or incentive, so I’m going to take this challenge.  Starting Sunday the 25th, I’m going to try to maintain, or even lose, during the holidays!  That means, for me, since I already eat pretty healthfully, I will need to plan my meals better, do some strength training, and step it up on the cardio (time to actually *try* to get those 10K steps on my FitBit!).

Anyone want to join me?  You don’t have to lose, just maintain, but maybe it will help you feel less sluggish when Dec. 31 rolls around and you realize it’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions you just spent a month making more difficult…Here are the rules and point charts!

Anyway, please cheer me on!  I will post at least weekly about this during the next 5 weeks (starting the 25th), and I will need some encouragement — Christmas is my favorite time of year and part of that is the lovely Christmas treats…and I’m going home for a week between Christmas and New Year’s, and my family is all about food, and not much about exercise….See why I’m afraid?  I will definitely need help! 🙂

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And just for the record, I weigh 150#.  I am trying to get my weight down to 125 from 179, which it was two years ago now.  Haven’t done too well after the initial weight loss, but still trying!

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Well, Wednesday I had parent-teacher conferences.  Eight of my 29 kids’ parents showed up.  That was actually ok, because my reading masters class ended Wednesday night and I had two half-finished assignments from before plus the huge ending assignment to do.  (Note: If you assign weekly papers that are involved, don’t assign double the work for the last assignment.  It’s just rude.)  I worked on my band blog, shameless self-promotion, cough, cough, then did the research for the ending assignment.  Took forever.  I had to write a grant for a $10,000 gift to allow digital reading devices (Kindles, etc.) in my class.  I chose to do it on Kindles and found some good information, but it took a long time.  I printed it out at the school, spent some time with the other band teacher fixing trumpets, and then went to teach piano and have choir.  We needed to set up 10 tables with 8 chairs each in the fellowship hall for a funeral on Thursday and a birthday party on Saturday, plus I had been working on washing all the church’s dishes — there were mouse “things” found in some of them.  They must have 500 dishes.  I only got about a third of them done, but that was ok.  I went home about 9:30, played on the piano a little, and then settled down to slave away.  I didn’t finish the assignments till 6:15 am. Grr.  At least I didn’t have to teach on Thursday.

I slept till 9 and then went over to the church to practice before the funeral.  After the funeral, I went to the MEA teacher workshops over in St. Paul (the reason we didn’t have school Thursday or Friday).  I went to two and then headed back over to the church to clean some more.  I took a little detour and sat in the parking lot with a book.  I felt like I had been quite good enough and deserved to be a little irresponsible 🙂

Friday I slept in and basically did nothing except read all day.  I ran a couple errands late in the afternoon and made supper for Kent (quite an occurrence, let me tell you).

Saturday we slept in a little and then got up and drove up to Duluth.  We had sweet potato fries at the New London Cafe, then went and hiked another section of the Superior Hiking Trail.  5.4 miles and back, so that was a nice little hike.  We got back about 10 pm and raided the freezer for the birthday ice cream I’d gotten at Cold Stone and put there for a “rainy day”. 🙂  We watched some Boston Legal and I went to bed with a book.  (Yes, I read a lot.  If you are around me much, you know that for sure.)

Sunday I slept in again and we worked on cleaning up the house.  I read a little, cooked a little, and got over to the church about 8:45 pm.  Oops.  I did the very least I could do to get it ready for Monday, but I was still there for over 5 hours.  Got to bed just before 3 am, and Kent was still not home from closing Taco Bell.

And today, I had two good classes, a nice breakfast in a pretty-clean kitchen (in a fairly-clean house!), and now I will go to the chiropractor and piano lessons, then to the church again….

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Amen.

(I’ve exercised for over an hour, been good with my food, had a Pampered Chef meeting, taught three piano lessons, and I’m zonked!  Somehow that took all day.)

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[I did read two books and finish a third.]

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