Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Bittersweet Holiday Season

 The holidays were bittersweet this year for me and our family.  It was the first season with out my Dad and the anniversary of losing my brother in law Frank.  My dad used to give us one special present when we were young and it was often shoes wrapped in brown packaging paper.  I always thought my Dad did the wrapping but recently found it out it was probably his secretary at work.  I liked that present, though.  It was special because it was from him.  Not that I didn't love everything else (shopping, wrapping, cooking etc) that my Mom did, of course.  It is that way in my immediate family now.  Is it in yours?
Thanksgiving with the Lynd Pugh Family

My brother Steve and his grandchildren 

The bitter was the absence of my Dad and Frank.  The sweetness was spending time with family and friends.  Kelly, Aiden, my Mom and I went to Yosemite for a few days before Thanksgiving and then spent the holiday with my brother Steve and his wife Dayna and her family.  It was different but nice to be a part of another family's traditions.  And Christmas eve brought us to my church, Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  We have a new minister and I enjoyed her homily that night.  The morning was the same as usual with gifts and breakfast, again we missed my Dad.  And dinner seemed more relaxed than ever before with a nice meal at my Mom's.

After Christmas we went to the desert for four nights with some good friends.  We had a lot of fun hiking, biking, shooting bb guns, launching rockets and more.  One special celebration we did was let off paper lanterns that were like mini hot air balloons.  We lit and sent off one each hour starting at 9pm and all made wishes for the new year.

AND another great thing about vacation was I ran a lot!!  I ran in Yosemite. I ran in the neighborhood. I ran in the rain.  I ran in the desert.  Uphill and downhill and around a lake.  Okay now I am sounding like Dr Seuss.  But really,  my running has been going great.  I am feeling strong and determined.  I haven't had any injuries and have been slowly increasing my mileage.  I have been pretty much faithfully following a plan that includes interval runs, tempo runs, core work outs (though I still need to do that more often), easy runs and long runs.  Friday I will run 10 miles with Alisa in PQ preserves.  Then I will do a few more short ones and on January 19th I have my 5th Half Marathon.  If that goes well then I am signing up for the real deal on May 4th.  I am super excited and scared to tackle this endeavor.

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