Greetings from 15,000 feet and above! (Just kidding, this was 24 hours ago and I was too tired to post this when we got home.) Eric and I are currently crammed onto a Spirit Airlines flight back to New York, and it’s quite cramped quarters even for me! The tray table doesn’t pull out, so my laptop won’t even fit on it…and my elbows are to the back of the seat. You know an area is small if I’m saying it’s tight! For those who are wondering, our flight attendants did not recreate the humorous atmosphere that they did on our flight to Chicago, which makes me a little sad. I was looking forward to some corny jokes to take away the sting of leaving Chicago and the holidays behind.
Our visit to Chicago wrapped up pretty nicely with some time spent with friends and family, some time at the movies, and more than enough time eating cookies. I’m currently sad that I didn’t stuff my pockets with leftover sugar cookies, and I’m definitely anticipating sugar withdrawal in the coming days. It’s a tough life, my friends.
For those who were wondering (and those who noted I’m a bad blogger who didn’t include any pictures of the finished results of cookie decorating…), the final products came out something like this:
Eric did a good job of proving his cookie decorating worth – certainly a type of initiation into my family!
As for Unbroken, I was going to put something about seeing the movie in this blog post, but I feel like I have more to say about it…as well as a few things related to it. Hopefully I will actually turn that into a blog post instead of something I just write in my head and never get down on paper. But my short version of it would be: Read the book. The movie is good, but the book is so much better.
Remind me to write that blog post.
One ever ongoing aspect of my visits home is running at home! As I mention every single time I head home, I love revisiting my old running routes. These are the routes when I learned to run, learned different paces, ran further than I ever did before. I trained for high school cross country and track on these roads, and then I took to the streets to begin training for my first marathon. I still know all the mile markers without even using my Garmin – back in the day, I didn’t have a Garmin (gasp! I know…), but I knew just about where the mile marks were so I could check my pace. Old school, let me tell you. And lots of mental math on the run!
Running in Chicago (well, suburbs) was pretty good this year – I had checked the weather before leaving, and it didn’t seem like it would be too cold. Some capris, a long sleeve base layer, a light long sleeve shirt, gloves, and a headband – good to go. My first run, I wore everything but the gloves and headband…but since it was sunny, I ended up stopping halfway through and took off the base layer. A light long sleeve shirt in Chicago in December? This is madness.
Of course, that all turned around on me the next couple days when it was gray, windy, and more like 28 degrees. At least you warm up after that first mile…
I don’t know if there’s something different about these running routes, but I always manage to run a bit quicker of a pace than what I’ve typically been running in NYC. Admittedly, I’ve been struggling to call an 8:00/mile pace "easy" these days, but once I got home, I was flying at 7:50/mile like it was a walk in the park. One of my favorite running routes has the wind in my face on the way out 99% of the time…and it’s uphill. ("Hills" in the midwest…) When I turn around to head back, it’s downhill with the wind at my back and I fllyyyyyyyy. 7:16 mile? No big deal. I like it because I’ve felt like such a slug lately, and I get really down on myself. The truth is that I really need to put in some work, but I’m not that out of shape, specifically for easy runs, so I shouldn’t be dragging at an 8/mile pace. These runs certainly make me happy and give some hope for some faster days.
The day after this run, my legs felt super sluggish, so I held the pace back to 8:10-ish to shake the legs out. Look at me, being smart about paces. Don’t worry, that didn’t last long…
I told myself over and over again that I wouldn’t pick it up on the way back, that it would keep it easy. NOPE NOPE NOPE. Sometimes your legs just carry you…
So running was lovely, the cookies were lovely, being home and snuggling with a dog for a few days was quite lovely. Our flight back to NYC was delayed by about 2.5 hours, which didn’t get us back to our apartment until almost midnight. Fail. And just like that, the holiday season is over, as I’m back to work. I’m working both NYE and New Year’s Day – I typically enjoyed working NYE on night shift because we always had lots of food and hats and got to crowd into an empty patient room and yell, "Happy New Year!" as loud as is appropriate in a hospital at midnight. I will most likely be lucky to make it to midnight, but that’s alright. A wrap up on 2014 and looking ahead to 2015 will be coming soon!
I hope you all enjoy your last day of 2014 – yikes!