CLOSEOUT SPECIAL: 2007

Ahhhh, the Christmas season is upon us. I love this time of year. Preparing for this ThunderRoad Half Marathon has been a challenge for a few reasons: I normally am “off season” during the holidays for unstructured workouts, mental relaxation, and the loads of eustress (I think thats the term) of playing Santa, volunteering, and working my butt off. The sun still comes up way past 7 and down by 6 so I’m still SAD. Fortunately all it takes is a jolt of some DP Max or a SF Monster and I’m good till 8pm.

Work has been busy as I still learn the ropes of the store. Have had plenty of help with a good crew to work with and vendors who are more than helpful at sharing information all make it enjoyable to struggle with. You definitely get an inside edge to what products are coming out, which one want to come out, and what will be coming out. By taking the wise advice of The Teach, who forewarned me in many areas and continues to be a trustworthy advisor, I have to admit in a month or two, I think I’ll have it. With the Asana Turkey Trot race drawing a record crowd of close to 5000, the week of Thanksgiving was a rough one. A few 14 hr days, plenty of work, and little sleep made for a weary MC and G. I even had a dream Scott made me dress up as a turkey and race people – those who beat me got a coupon towards a purchase in the store. (A shout out to BioFreeze for the samples – we’re spreading the word).

We manned the water station on race day and as usual – had a blast. The weather was comfortable and hit the 60′s. Seligman and her crew added to the laughs that day. G’s boss and wife – Selby and Kathy – invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. Gina finally had a holiday where she wasn’t cooking up a storm. She did bake a few good treats and was with me most of the time helping out during the race so she was pretty happy NOT to cook. Great Harvest Bread put out some serious bread for the holidays – ambrosia, pumpkin swirls, stuffing bread and now Chocolate babka!!! Whoa!!!

Talk about a comfortable home - we sat out on their patio, drank some homemade sweet tea, and had a delicious southern style dinner. They were perfect hosts with whom we shared stories of life, work, people, etc. We continue to impress everyone with how we took a chance and basically came down here with nothing. I was so comfortable on the couch, lounge chair, and patio, I couldn’t help but want to take a nap. An 8 hr one.  Then again maybe its because we still have none of those.  

Once Thanksgiving is over, the bonanza begins. Just like in NYC, the crazed shoppers can’t wait for Friday. Wacks, seriously. Dudes got internet, catalogs are replacing actual mail, phone orders, you name it on buying a gift and they have to wait on line at 1am some 30 days before Christmas??? Duh, Duh Duh Duh.

That Saturday I was volunteering for the SouthEast Region Foot Locker HS Cross Country Championships. I got a call Friday evening at work asking me to be there at 7:30am. So off I was at 5:30 for a long run and finishing at the park. I did get the chance to see both the full moon and sunrise at the same time! Gorgeous.

But damn it was cold – like 25 cold!! If it wasn’t for the free gear to warm up, and G coming to the rescue with some hot cocoa and a jacket I wouldn’t have lasted. Or at least my feet wouldn’t.  

I had a great time since I had to hand out certificates to the first 24 people – for 8 races. Met some great folks along with some regulars at the store, and by 12, I was out. They run a smooth event but have too many folks standing around in volunteer bibs not really doing anything. Just seeing the kids run though in that weather is worth the time – it is fun. Especially during a holiday weekend.  

We got a real tree this year. Gina always wanted one since we didn’t bring our collapsable, lights-already-on-tree from NYC. She DID bring all here decorations, stockings, etc. We spent the past weekend getting the house set up. St Gabe’s was having a tree fundraiser so we bought a small 5.5. ft tree there. It does make the room smell real nice. We water it too. Never knew that. We got our cards, gift ideas, and Gina even elfed herself. No joke, check it out at http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9629827602

Yeah, its Christmas time!!!

Gotta give a shout out to Bob and Melissa at InsideOut Sports for doing the bike fit for me. Bob gave some great pointers and we will start tinkering with adjustments after next week.  I look forward to them being my shop of choice for tri-gear next season. I highly recommend them to any tri-geek in Charlotte.

Also to Scott for simply being a rock. Yo if you knew what this guy has been through the past few months, you’d agree. Nuff said. A rock.   

Now the race is less than a week away. Can’t wait. Been doing well and will just let it rip – a full year taper. Close it out. Then its time to enjoy the holiday and use the Advent season for its true purpose (I cycle my training to end before Advent – faith reasons). Gina and I have the Christmas Eve wine on tap.  

MC

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