I never got around to writing up my run on Sunday, and then yesterday we had loads of fun decorating that I wanted to share, so here is more of an annotated photo dump!
I did have at least somewhat of a ‘run with purpose’ planned for Sunday – actually TWO purposes. First I wanted to put some new hardware to the test, and second I wanted to do a long run at a solid pace – part of my ‘ready for a half-marathon at a moment’s notice’ goal for the winter. I managed to do both – but the first one was somewhat of a comedy of errors!
In terms of the run itself, I chose the ‘airport loop’ with the addition of one of my hill routes and the 1-mile add-on neighborhoods off of the main local street. Overall it was a great 14.5 miles, and it felt great. Gorgeous day!
The hardware I was working with was the Polar RC3 GPS watch – with heart rate monitor strap, the Magellan Echo – which syncs to my iPhone over Bluetooth, and my trusty old Garmin. I got them all setup as shown in the picture at the top so they wouldn’t bump each other and started them up and was on my way. Things started acting up when the heart rate snap came loose about a mile into my run; then a couple of miles later my shoe came untied and I needed to stop; finally I got a large rock in my shoe so I stopped to remove it and re-attach the heart rate strap!
And after I got home I discovered that the heart-rate monitor gives up looking for the watch after a while, and that I must have bumped the Echo at some point between tying and reattaching, because MapMyRun lost a mile or so, and the Echo stopped … errm, echoing my data. So on my NEXT run I just brought the Polar RC3, and the subsequent one will use the Echo, and so on.
After the run and as I was working on decorating and picking things up around the house I decided to try the ‘100 Burpee Challenge’ as part of the Elf For Health. Burpees are a great challenge, and I ended up doing mine in four sets of 25 – I put up some decorations, did a set, put together the nativity scene, did a set, and so on. Anyone who tells you they’re easy … isn’t doing them correctly!
Speaking of setting up the Lenox Nativity scene, here is the final product. I have always loved this – we’ve had it for years and years, and if you look you can see there are actually THREE styles of figures! That is because Lenox keeps retiring the other ones we have! Last year the little glass loop holding the star broke, so I need to get something to reattach that, because it adds a nice touch.
The weekend before last Lisa and I were out doing some shopping, and she was looking for something festive to wear when working on Black Friday. At Target she found an amazing light-up Christmas tree hat. Here she is in the hat along with the scarf, sweater and other things she wore to work … oh, and a cherry martini courtesy of her personal bartender.
The night we got Lisa the hat we were shopping for a new Christmas tree. We had gotten a fake tree about 10 years ago when we finally accepted that the allergies Lisa and Chris had to trees were making them sick and it was time to get a fake tree. Last year part of the tree would no longer light up (despite being one of those ‘will work with dead bulb’ trees), and no matter what I did I couldn’t find the source of the problem. So it was time – and we found one that was a solid replacement!
Some of the traditions we have while decorating are putting on the fire, tuning into ‘Sounds of the Season’ on Time Warner’s Music Choice, putting on our Santa hats and drinking egg nog! I love egg nog, but somewhere between a fairly rich dinner and the fact that we drink skim milk, I have to confess that the egg nog felt like drinking liquid cheesecake to me!
Lisa found a couple of collars for the dogs, one with big bells and the other a jester collar. Riley took to his big loud collar without a problem, and while Rosie seemed fine with hers, the second day I discovered a scattering of little jingle beads under the kitchen table. When I sat down for a bit and she sat near Danny and I, we watched her picking them off the collar! So much for that! But for fun, just before decorating the tree I put the collar on Leo, who was not amused but tolerated the collar:
Having a pre-lit tree means no testing or de-tangling light strands, but we still had to untangle the cranberry and gold stands we wrap around the tree … and at some point the strands got the better of Lisa!
Our tradition is that our Lenox crystal star is the last thing we put on the tree. This year the boys wanted to do it – and even with a 7.5′ tree they didn’t need the step-stool!
After that Lisa put the tree skirt around the bottom … and it was time for Chris to strike an oh-so-vogue pose!
And – here is the finished product! After this we just hung out on the couch and enjoyed the view for a while.
We had an absolute blast together and are looking forward to sharing new and old traditions in the coming weeks through Christmas and into the New Year!