Tag Archives: Texas

Getting Ready To Move

That’s right.  I’m moving!  Not physically (yet), though, but keep reading to find out more on that.  It’s a virtual move.  I’ve bought a new self-hosted domain, which means once I make the switch, you will no longer see sitename.wordpress.com, it will just be sitename.com.  And it won’t be The Urban Retrofit anymore.  I hope you all come with me on this new move.  I’m really excited about it and down the road, I’m looking at getting a new look for the blog, but one step at a time.  It’s kind of like a home renovation.  First I’ll make the move, and then I’ll overhaul the site, one page at a time.  Expect to see the move very, very soon!  (Like, hopefully if I don’t procrastinate too much with it, this week!)

So a real move?  Yes, Nick and I have been talking about moving for a while.  Now that I’m home, I’ve been tasked to get in touch with a realtor.  It’s in the middle of my list of things to do, among applying for jobs, and drinking 65 ounces of water every day (a february goal that hasn’t been going so well).  Our current residence is Nick’s place that he bought several years before we started dating to I’ve left a lot of the “should we rent”/”should we sell” thoughts to him, although I’ve definitely given him my opinion here and there.  Since it’s his place, I don’t want him to feel like I’m forcing him to move (unless I get a job outside the DFW area).  But the reality is, we are cramped for Texas standards.  We’d like to have a yard so we can get a dog and so I can have a garden that actually gets enough sunlight to produce anything.  We’d like to have more than one toilet.  We’d like to have room to entertain.  We’d like to have our own spaces; Nick, a man cave and guy room, me, a more efficient kitchen and a space for me to pick up my painting again.

Since we aren’t committed to Dallas for the rest of our lives and because I’m on the job hunt, once the ball is rolling and we have a renter or buyer lined up for our current home, we will probably rent in the Dallas area until it’s time for us to pack up and make a new home elsewhere or plant our roots here.  Now I just have to put things in action and get in touch with a realtor.

Do you have any thoughts or advice on moving? A virtual move or a real move.

Advertisements

La Madeleine Inspiration


Last Thursday evening I had a Delta Gamma Foundation of Dallas meeting at La Madeleine.  These meetings have a tendency to drag of forever so I made sure to order dinner.  Typically, when I know that I will be eating out, I go online and look at menus ahead of time.  Otherwise, I’ll spend way too long trying to decide what I want while the waiter or waitress is impatiently tapping on his/her note pad waiting for me to order.  Having a plan ahead of time spares everyone the agony of my decision-making process.  Last Thursday was no different.  I had a plan to order the Turkey Bistro sandwich, however once I arrived to La Madeleine, I saw all the flashy signs for new entrees.  So new, they aren’t even on the website yet!  The pictures scrolled on their electronic screen of the new dishes and my mouth began to water when I saw the new pork dish.  I wish I could remember what it was called exactly (since it’s still not online yet), but it was something like Balsamic Glazed Pork with Roasted Vegetables.  Yum!  Of course my original plan totally changed and I ordered this new pork dish.  The guy at the register even said it was amazing, so it was an easy switch.

My buzzer finally went off signaling me to get my newly anticipated Balsamic Glazed Pork.  Just as the menu described, it came with roasted vegetables and a quinoa salad.  The meeting began and I enjoyed my dinner.  Losing concentration on the topic at hand, my thoughts quickly went to, “I can totally make this at home!” and “In fact, I can build on it, adding other veggies like brussels sprouts and cauliflower.”  I spent most of the two-hour meeting thinking about recreating this yummy dinner and before I knew it, it was time to head home!

Fast forward a few days, I stocked up the refrigerator and went to town making my La Madeleine inspiration.  While I don’t have an exact recipe for you yet (I’m horrible about measuring things and it still needs a little tweaking anyway) plan on seeing one soon!  But in the meantime, here are a few snapshots of my version of Balsamic Glazed Pork with Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Salad!
Balsamic vinegar simmering and reducing down to a nice thick glaze

The one of the biggest heads of cauliflower I’ve ever seen (and it was the smallest one at the grocery store)!  This picture doesn’t do justice as to how large this cauliflower is!  The sign at the grocery store said it’s from Texas.  As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas!

The finished product.

 And the all important close up shot!

I’m working on my photography skills.  As you can see, I haven’t mastered the art of making food look amazing.  It doesn’t help that you can see the paper towels, soap, and dish scrubber in the background!  Ha!  Eventually I’ll upgrade to using a real camera instead of my phone to take all these lovely pictures, but for now, you’ll have to use your imagination and know that most everything I whip up is pretty yummy despite poor picture quality!  Nick can attest to that, too.

Uncertainty Has Gotten The Best Of Me

I have to make a confession.  I’ve decided to stop training for the Austin Marathon.  Not knowing if I will be around for the race has made it extremely difficult to stay on track.  Not to mention that, boy, is it time-consuming.  I get really lonely after a while!  I do plan on running a marathon eventually, but the timing isn’t right for the Austin Marathon.  With that said, I am still training…. for the Austin Half Marathon.  Since I’ve already achieved the half marathon already, I won’t have any disappointment if I don’t run in the Austin Half Marathon.  I’ve done some more research and there are actually three half marathons pretty close to each other, so if I can’t make the Austin race, then hopefully one of the other two will work in my schedule.  First up is the Texas Half Marathon in Dallas.

I think this race is mainly for people training for the Big D Marathon in the spring, so it won’t be nearly as exciting as the White Rock Lake Marathon/Half Marathon.  After the Texas Half Marathon is the Austin Live Strong Marathon/Half Marathon

followed by Cowtown Marathon/Ultra Marathon/Half Marathon in Fort Worth.

I think this one is a big deal, but I don’t know a ton about it.  (If you aren’t from the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, I should point out that the two cities are very different and tend to be rivals.  People in Dallas don’t really follow what’s going on in Fort Worth and vice versa.)

So instead of following my marathon training schedule, I’ve reverted back to the half marathon training schedule, with a few minor tweaks.  I’ve kept my short runs at three miles instead of starting at two and working my way up to three.  I’ve done the same for the mid-week medium runs, starting at four miles instead of three.  And finally for the long runs, my base has been eight miles, with a 10K scheduled for next weekend and possibly two 15K races in the weeks to come.

So there you have it.  Uncertainty got the best of me, but I’m not completely getting off track.  Even if it is JUST a half marathon, it’s still a half marathon and in my book, that’s still a worthwhile achievement!

Top 15 Christmas Questions

So I’m borrowing today’s blog idea from Food And Fitness 4 Real, who borrowed it from Clean Eating Chelsey, and beyond that, I don’t know where it came from, so thank you ladies for a fun blog survey!  This survey is going to be a little tough for me, since Nick and I have only had two official Christmases together and we will be out of town for this year’s Christmas.  So I’m going do a hodge-podge of our Christmases together as well as the Christmases from growing up.

1. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree?
Growing up: definitely wrapped, under the tree.  Where would the fun be of gifts that didn’t need to be unwrapped
Christmas with Nick: Normally wrapped, next to the fire-place.  This year they were (we did our Christmas a week early) unwrapped.

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2011

2. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Growing up: White for sure!  On both the house and the tree.  I always wanted the colored twinkling lights as a kid, but in retrospect, I appreciate the white.  They are much classier.
Christmas with Nick: Mixed.  We haven’t had a “real” tree (see explanation below) since we’ve been together, but we’ve hung lights on the balcony outside as well as the staircase guard rail inside.  Nick bought the colored lights.  I bought the white lights.  (If I have my way, eventually we will use all white lights.)

3. Do you hang mistletoe?
Growing up: Yup!  We had a big ball of it.  It was fake, but now that my mom lives in Oregon they’ve got that stuff growing wild on the trees that line the drive up to her house.
Christmas with Nick: No, it’s hard to find mistletoe, real or fake, anymore  but I saw a write-up in a magazine that I recently read with a place that you can order it from (the company is in Oregon, of course).  If we were staying in town this year, I would have ordered some.  I would like to start that tradition up again!

4. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Growing up: Probably breakfast.  I think it changed every year, but we always had a nice breakfast together on Christmas morning.
Christmas with Nick: Starbucks.  It’s not really a dish, but it’s something we’ve had together on Christmas morning the past two years.  We venture out to the Starbucks across the street- Nick gets a Venti Caramel Macchiato and I get a Tall Non-fat Chai- and bring them home to sip on as we open presents.  (Besides, I think of Thanksgiving more of a food holiday than Christmas.)

5. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Growing up: Ooh, that’s tough.  I really have to think about that one…. I remember getting underwear that had frills on it and I was so embarrassed to open it in front of everyone.  I was probably 7 or 8.  I don’t know if that’s a favorite holiday memory, but it’s a memory that stuck with me, and it’s funny to think about it much later in life!
Christmas with Nick: This question doesn’t apply.

6. Snow, love it or dread it?
Growing up: Growing up in New England, it was part of Christmas and the holiday season.  As a little kid, it was fun to play in the snow, make snow angels, sledding, and go skiing.  As I got older, particularly when I was in grad school in Michigan, I HATED it!  It was pretty and serene for a few hours and then it was miserable.
Christmas with Nick: Now that I live in Texas, I miss the seasons.  It doesn’t feel like the holidays with out snow.  (The grass is always greener, right?)

7. Real tree or fake?
Growing up: Real, all the way.  Being in New England, it was almost a tradition (I say almost because it didn’t happen every year) to go to the Christmas Tree farm and cut our own tree down.  (Ah, that’s a good holiday memory from growing up!)
Christmas with Nick: Real miniature tree.  Our place is way to small for a normal sized Christmas tree.  Last year was the biggest of our trees, residing on top of the coffee table.
Christmas tree of 2010
Christmas 2009 was a rosemary tree.  This year’s tree is more like a fern.

8. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Growing up: presents.  Haha 🙂
Christmas with Nick: Spending the day with Nick and starting to build our own new traditions together (although there are very few right now).

9. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Growing up: That’s another tough one.  Chocolate chip cookies maybe or chocolate chip pie.  I don’t really remember a lot of sweets from my childhood.
Christmas with Nick: Like I said, I think of Thanksgiving as being the food holiday.  I could care less about having sweets at Christmas.  But if someone brings a sweet treat to the office or we are at a holiday party, I’ll probably have a little nibble.

10. What is your favorite tradition?
Growing up: I guess this is the almost tradition of going to the Christmas Tree farm and cutting a fresh tree.
Christmas with Nick: Starbucks!

11. What tops your tree?
Growing up: When I was very young, we had an angel.  As a teenager, my mom changed it to a big red bow with the ends streaming down the tree.  It was very pretty.
Christmas with Nick: Our biggest tree we had (see picture above of the Christmas tree 2010) came with a bow on it (Thanks for the Christmas Tree topper, Whole Foods!).  This year our “fern” tree is too delicate for ornaments or anything to put on top of it.

12. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Growing up: I loved all the traditional Christmas carols.  I used to sing them with Jim, my step-dad, in the car to ourselves.  We Three Kings Of Orient Are really sticks out in my mind as one we sang a lot.
Christmas with Nick: My boss’s son, Austin, who is six, visits our office every now and then.  Back in September when Austin came for a visit, my podmates and I heard this little kid voice singing religious Christmas songs.  We all started to giggle, it was so cute listening to Austin sing the songs that he’d been learning at Catholic school (several months prior to the holidays)!  So while it’s not a specific song per say, hearing the songs from a little kid’s voice is always a hoot (and I’m sure that’s exactly how I sounded way back when Jim and I would sing together in the car).

13. What do you leave for Santa?
Growing up: Cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
Christmas with Nick: Nothing, although, Nick probably pours him some Crystal Light in the middle of the night.

14. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Growing up: Wake up early and wake everyone else up.  Open presents and eat breakfast.  Sometimes it was eat first then presents, other times it was presents (and coffee for the adults) first and eat breakfast after.
Christmas with Nick: Sleep in (which for me is 7:30 AM), go to Starbucks, come home and open presents and maybe have a bagel sandwich for breakfast.

15. Do you prefer to shop online or at the mall?
Growing up: Well, the internet isn’t what it is today back then, so for sure the mall!
Christmas with Nick: If I can get it online, I totally will.  Otherwise, I go to the store.  I avoid the traditional mall at all costs, going to stores that have stand-alone locations or are in more of a strip mall, like a free-standing or strip Gap or Target.  (Dallas traditional malls are the worse in terms of crowds that I’ve seen in all the places I’ve lived, while the strip malls aren’t nearly as bad.)

Of these questions, which is your favorite?  Answer it in regards to how you celebrate the holidays.

Training On The Treadmill

My friend Abby commented on my recent half marathon recap post, asking if I planned on continuing on to a full marathon.  The short answer is yes, I am training for the Austin Marathon in February.    Back in October, I made the unofficial decision to keep going after the White Rock Lake Half Marathon and work towards the full marathon.  The long answer, though, is maybe.  There is a chance I won’t be around that weekend to go down to Austin for the race.  I won’t know for sure until January, which makes training very difficult.  With the White Rock Lake Half Marathon, I registered for the race several weeks before I started to train for it.  I was motivated the whole way through; I had already paid the $85 registration fee, there was no turning back after that!  With the Austin Marathon being up in the air, it’s hard to keep myself going, but I’d rather be trained and not be able to go to the race than not be trained and go to the race!  On a side note, I meant to post this with my half marathon recap, but I totally forgot.  Here is my completed training schedule for the half marathon with the paces and times for all of my runs.  I’m not particularly fast, but I’ve come along way from the middle of September.So now it’s the “dead of winter”, which is a term I use loosely here in Texas- it’s 70 degrees out today, and I’m reluctantly training.  However, being the “dead of winter” it is dark, dark, dark by the time I get off of work.  Now most women running alone in the dark are afraid of being attached by someone lurking in the bushes.  For better or worse, I don’t have that fear.  I do have a different running-in-the-dark-fear.  I have developed a dislike for running on sidewalks in my neighborhood because they are uneven, lacking ramped curb cuts in various places, and suddenly stop for no apparent reason so I’ve come to prefer running on the street.  Running on the street at night is a wee bit dangerous, especially in a place like Dallas where the car rules the road.  So my fear is two-fold: I’m afraid I’ll be hit by a car if I run in the road and I’m afraid, that with the lack of visibility, I will trip and twist my ankle or worse by running on the crappy sidewalks.  To me comparing my fear(s) with what I consider most women’s fears of running alone at night are like getting in a car crash versus getting in a plane crash.  I feel like my odds are greater for getting hit by a car or falling and twisting my ankle than getting abducted by a serial killer.  Maybe I’m way off, but that’s at least how I think.   So my fears have led me back to the gym.

After running on the dreaded treadmill while we were in Mexico last month, I thought getting back on the treadmill was going to be miserable.  To my surprise, though, it hasn’t been so bad.  I zone out and pretend I’m outside.  It’s not quite the same, but I’ve mentally determined every quarter-mile of my outside run and when I look down at the treadmill dashboard to see how far I’ve gone, I refer that to my mental image of where I would be in the neighborhood.  The best part is that I don’t have to run up the dreaded hill at the end!

Anyway, here is my training schedule for the full marathon, including the first 12 weeks that I completed in training for the half.  Things have already been pushed around in the past two weeks and the holidays present their own challenges, but I’ll do my best to stick to it and hopefully within a month I will know for sure if I’m training for nothing or training for my first full marathon!  (Hopefully I can keep my motivation up for it in the meantime!)

My First 13.1

I know, I know, I said I was going to write this blog entry earlier this week, but the professional photography wasn’t live when I thought it would be and then the rest of the week got away from me.  Excuses, excuses.  Anyway, I’m here to give you the full report on my very first half-marathon!

All week long the receptionist at my office kept talking about the big cold front that was coming in over the weekend and how it was going to pour all weekend long.  I didn’t want to believe her.  Every time I check my weather app it forecasted blue skies on the race day, but Friday morning I checked and it looked like the inevitable might happen… the rain and the cold.  But still Saturday looked  worse than Sunday, so I was hopeful that mother-nature would get it out of her system the day before the race.  That evening, Nick went out with his friend and when he came home a few hours later he had this troubled look on his face.  He played me the voicemail that was on his phone from his godfather, Ken, who was given only a few months to live during the fall.  More or less, this was the voicemail:  “Hey Nick, it’s Ken.  Guess what, I’m in the French Quarter.  We are making our way to Texas (from Florida) and will be there for the weekend.  Sunday would be a great day for us to get together.  We’ll be staying in Hubbard (about two hours from Dallas) at my sister’s place.  Give me a call when you get a chance.”  The timing of this couldn’t have been worse.  Obviously we needed to go see him but what were we going to do about the race.  I said it was just a race and we could forego it and drive down to Hubbard Sunday morning.  Nick, knowing how hard I trained and how important this race was for me, nixed that idea right away.  After throwing a few ideas around as to how we would make this work, we decided that we would leave straight from the race, stop at the 24-Hour Fitness in downtown Dallas to shower, and continue on to Hubbard to visit with Ken.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.

Saturday morning,  Nick and I headed down to Fair Park Saturday morning to go to the expo and pick up our registration packets.  On the way there, Nick asked me what my goal was in regards from this race.  I told him I just wanted to cross the finish line.  That was my original goal when I signed up to do this race.  Obviously over the 12 weeks I learned where my pace might actually fall and so I had an ideal pace in my head, but if I didn’t fall within that pace and finish time, I wasn’t going to beat myself up over it.
Race Expo
The expo was pretty cool.  We stopped by the Luke’s Locker booth and got some good deals.  The women’s stuff was pretty picked over but I got two new pairs of Nike Tempo shorts- my preferred running shorts- on sale, so I can’t complain too much.  The expo was very crowded so we didn’t stick around too long.  Plus, with the race and a trip to Hubbard the next day, we wanted to get all of our weekend chores and errands done on Saturday.

Saturday night we packed our bags and got our running clothes together, had Nick’s favorite pasta dinner and I called it a night.  Nick on the other hand stayed up working on his iPhone games.  I work up periodically and came out to remind him of the time and how many hours were left until we had to get up.  I don’t think he appreciated it that much!  He finally came to bed around 2:00 AM for a few hours of sleep before the alarm went off at 5:00 AM.  We had a quick bite to eat, grabbed our stuff and were out the door, walking into a light drizzle of rain and 30 degree temperature.

In the 12 weeks leading up to this day, I thought I would be so nervous, but when we got into the corrals and walked towards the starting line, there wasn’t an ounce of nerves in me.  I was just filled with excitement.  We crossed the start line and we were off!  At this point the drizzle turned into real rain and as we wound our way through Deep Ellum and into downtown, the rain continued to pick up.  I felt pretty emotional in the first two miles.  I was excited to be apart of this race.  25,000 people came together on this freezing cold, rainy day to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles.  For some reason, this really touched me.  The miles passed and I was drenched, despite wearing a trash bag the whole time.  At about mile 4 I decided there was no point in avoiding puddles.  My feet were soaking wet and they weren’t going to get any more dry over the next 9 miles.  I was gratefully for having wool socks on instead of cotton socks.  My feet stayed warm the entire time, despite being soaking wet.  At mile 7 I hit a wall.  I was fatigued and needed to walk just a little bit, just to the top of the small incline, which was about a block, if that.  At mile 8 I decided it was finally time to start drinking water, a challenge in itself.  I grabbed the first dixi cup I saw and took one small sip before dumping the rest of it down my chin.  That little sip was going to have to hold me over until mile 9 and the next water stop.  After repeating the same experience at miles 9 and 10, I stopped running at the water stop at mile 11 and walked with the water, drinking two full cups.  At the end of the water stop, I tossed my two empty cups and started running again.

Right around mile 11 I spotted my boss and his wife and their two kids who had come out to cheer.  When I spotted them I was so happy to see familiar faces.  I really appreciated all the spectators who came out to watch that day.  It was a huge help getting through the miles, but seeing familiar faces really perked me up.  Thank you so much Brian, Koko, Austin, and Miles for coming out!  I know the weather was awful so thanks to you four and every spectator who was out there for sticking it out and giving the runners the support!

The last few miles are a bit of a daze for me now.  I remember thinking somewhere after mile 11 that I was crazy for wanting to continue on and train for a full marathon!  Around mile 11.5 or so, the marathon and half marathon joined up again (we split at about mile 8- the full went north to run around the lake and the half went south towards downtown, Fair Park, and the finish line) and I saw the first place marathon runner pass me and head to the finish line.  Damn was he fast!  At mile 12 my Nike+ GPS paused and stopped playing music, which was über frustrating.  I couldn’t get the music to play so I ran the last mile in “silence”  I’m so glad that happened on mile 12 and not mile 2.  Running 1 mile in silence is torture enough!  Fair Park was in distance.  I crossed through the gates and saw the finish line just around the corner.  At this point, I think I stopped feeling the motion of my legs running.  I ripped off the garbage bag that I wore the entire race and made my way to the finish line.
Just crossed the finish line with garbage back still in hand
Clock time of 2:33:21

As I crossed the finish line I grabbed a mylar blanket and about burst into tears. The past 12 weeks had been so emotional for me.  Deep down I knew I could do it, but fears and doubt filled me along the journey.  Running my first half-marathon has definitely been a mind over matter situation for me.  And honestly, after so many miles, my body becomes numb and I don’t feel anything physically anymore!

From the picture above, you can see that my clock time was 2:33:21.  My official chip time, though, was 2:09:42.  I am quite pleased with my time.  They ushered us into the finishers pavilion to get our medals and finisher shirts, so I didn’t get to see Nick finish.  I got my finisher picture taken, despite shivering and dripping all over the place.
Freezing cold, dripping wet finisher picture

Once Nick and I met up we decided that going to 24-Hour Fitness to shower was a horrible idea and that we’d rather take hot showers in the comfort of our own home, so we headed home before taking off for Hubbard, TX.

(Okay, I’m wrapping up, so bear with me for just a little bit longer.)  In sum, it was a very rewarding experience.  Even though it was pouring rain and freezing cold the entire time, I wouldn’t have asked for my first half marathon to be any other way!  Here are the things I was so grateful for on the race day:
1. Wool socks
2. Garbage bag
3.  A hat (which I never, ever wear when I run)
4. Spectators
5. My boss and his family for coming out and supporting me
6. My friends and family who were thinking about me from afar
7. Nick for being my cheerleader along the way, telling me I can do it no matter how frustrated I got!  I’m so glad we got to do this race “together”.  Although we didn’t really physically run together, having you in the race with me and being a part of this goal of mine means so much!  I love you!

Thanks everyone for your support!

Turkey Trot to Stuffed Turkey

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!  I wanted to post this on Thursday night after our Thanksgiving feast, but we didn’t end up eating dinner until our usual dinner time- 7:30 PM and the tryptophan kicked in shortly after that so we were off to bed early.  And, well, yesterday was a wash, this morning finally comes the Thanksgiving recap!

After loading up on carbs on Wednesday night (whole wheat spaghetti and bacon meatballs, courtesy of Real Simple magazine), Nick and I headed to bed early for our 8-mile Turkey Trot race the next morning.  We were able to “sleep in”, which for me is sleeping until 7:15 AM for this race, finally, since it didn’t start until 9 AM unlike our past races, which have started at 8 AM.  After gearing up, we jumped in my car and headed for downtown.  Oddly enough, it was super foggy out.  We rarely get fog in Dallas, but this is the second time we’ve had such thick fog in about a month.  We made decent time getting to downtown, but the second we exited the highway, we were in bumper to bumper traffic.  I was starting to worry that we were going to miss the beginning of the race, but once we parked and had our last-minute emergency trip to the porta-potties I realized that we really hadn’t missed much.
Nick took a quick picture of the pony ride that was set up there.
The crowd at the start line.

This race was packed!  So many people came out for it!  As I mentioned above, Nick and I were running the 8-mile race, but there was also a 5K race, both of which started together and the 8-mile race broke off from the 5K at about mile 2.5.
I was in mid-pose change in this picture, so it’s not a great shot, but you get the idea: it’s me before the race.

We finally made it to the start line, about an hour after the race began and boy were those first 2.5 miles miserable!  They weren’t difficult in terms of hills or anything like that.  They were just full of people walking and dogs on leashes and strollers.  It was nearly impossible to run!  I really wish there had been a better system for walkers and runners.  It was mostly dodging people and cutting people off for 2.5 miles.  I even saw women carrying their Gucci  or Prada or whatever $3,000 designer purses.  For real people, this is a race.  No need to sport your designer labels for this!  The moment I saw the first of several of those women, I though, yes, this is quintessentially Dallas!

After the two races split apart, I was a much happier runner.  The race took us from City Hall to Deep Ellum, back through downtown, over one bridge over the Trinity River, into Oak Cliff, back over another bridge over the Trinity River, past the convention center and back to City Hall.  It was actually a really good run after leaving those annoying designer handbag carrying walkers.  My Nike+ GPS was about 3/10 of a mile off, but it contribute that to all the dodging and weaving back and forth for the first two miles.  My chip time came back at 1:20:06.  Not too back for what ended up being 11 minute miles for the first 2.5 miles!  I grabbed a couple of bottles of water and got out of the way of the incoming finishers and headed to the side to cheer Nick on as he made his way to the finish line.
Nick, a few yards away from the finish line.

I was getting cold now that my sweat was drying up so we headed straight for the car to head home.  After a nice long hot shower and about two hours of relaxing on the couch to recoup, I started out Thanksgiving feast.  The menu consisted of:
Pomegranate and Arugula Salad
Herb Biscuits
Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Four-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
Homemade Gravy
Stuffed Turkey Breast

Not exactly the healthiest menu, but it sure was tasty.  I tried to make half-size of most of the recipes since I knew that was a lot of food and we still have a ton of leftovers.  Here are a few cooking and food pictures of the meal.
Cutting up a pomegranate for the seeds for the salad.
Reducing POM juice down for the salad dressing- a substitute for the hard to find pomegranate molasses.
Simmering the cranberries with a cinnamon stick, orange zest and juice, and sugar.
Kneading the biscuit dough and cutting the disks out with a pint glass from Brews.
The biscuits, ready to go in the oven.  5 regular sized biscuits and 1 mini biscuit.  I guess my Brews pint glass was a little too large of a “cookie cutter”.
The stuffing for the Stuffed Turkey Breast before it was all mixed together.
Sauteing brussels sprouts.
The resting turkey breast, fresh out of the oven.
And finally, the entire spread, plus a bottle of red wine that we picked up on our recent trip to California.

I hope everyone had a great holiday, enjoying time with loved ones, eating yummy food, and relaxing.  I know I sure did!  Now it’s football time.  Go Blue!! Let’s kick those damn Buckeyes in the butt!