Merry Happy Whatever!

We celebrated with Monopoly smackdown. It was awesome.

I hope you all had the merriest, happiest whatever-ist you celebrate this time of year.  I am going to ramble on a bit but as you will see, it is all tied together.  I think.  It could be the cold medicine. 

I spent my holiday plagued by the black death or lung rot.  Really it is a very bad cold.  Or flu.  Or sinus infection.  Or something.  I am not exactly sure what was worse:  the stabbing pain in both my ears, feeling winded as soon as I rolled out of bed or the realization that I wouldn’t be able to run.  I am voting for the running part. 

Despite the persistent feeling that I would be suffocated by my own mucous at any moment, we had a great holiday.  In lieu of running, I ate more than I should have but as it turns out not as much as I might have.  Given my status as the holiday version of Typhoid Mary I was largely confined to the house over the long weekend but frankly I was just fine with that.  The days of congestion, fever and persistent hacking had exhausted me and not running left me cranky and frustrated.  I wouldn’t have been good company anyway. 

I did exchange presents with a few brave loved ones, most of whom were either already sick or had just gotten over it.  We’re not terribly big on the present thing (I prefer to give than receive) but running was definitely the theme!  There were two new winter tops and an awesome vest, all from Marmot and all so warm and toasty.  Bill, bless his soul, braved the running store to find just the right Brooks headband for me.  And my stocking was filled with gels, blocks and sport beans galore.  And new Thorlos.  I didn’t know anyone was paying attention to my sock fetish.  And of course there was the Garmin I got early because Bill loves me so much he couldn’t bring himself to make me wait a whole month to use my bright new shiny Garmin.  (Good man!  Even better man, I have diamonds!  Eek!  Gorgeous!!! ) 

My sister-in-law sent us a Breville Pie Maker. I think she wanted mini pumpkin pies but we made loads of pasties (pass-tees, get your mind out of the gutter), just like we enjoyed in Scotland this summer. AMAZING!

By Monday I was starting to feel a little more human(I could marginally breath at that point) so I stepped on the scale, took a deep breath and tried not to scream.  Look, I know I’m sick.  I know it’s the holidays.  I know there is no way I gained 8 lbs in four days but it was enough for me to inhale the Flonase, take a few decongestants and trot over to the gym for a slow and painful treadmill run followed by yoga.  But I felt better.  Yoga has that effect on me.  But the two miles at a 14:30 pace almost killed me.  So of course, I hooked up with Roland on Tuesday night to run at the Marina.  I warned him I would be slow and hacking.  Yeah, not so slow.  And amazing the hacking didn’t start until 3.5 miles in. 

I think I should get an award for consistency.  I mean, if I am going to be slow at least I can settle into a pace and maintain it right?  I chased down the (almost) four mile run with an hour of yoga and I felt even better.  But still, I largely missed the holiday with the black death lung rot sinus infection thingy.  Fortunately, the holidays here are more about fun and festivities with people we have fun and festitivities with all year.  Growing up my family rarely celebrated holidays on the holiday due to work schedules and the like so as a general rule I lack a certain attachment to major holidays.  In fact, the real party for me is New Birthmas. 

Yes, that is completely made up but it is something we along with our friends came up with a few years ago.  You see, with adult lives and adult responsibilities and extended families that perhaps don’t understand our more laid back approach to the holidays, it became necessary for we as friends to celebrate largely separately.  The problem then became when?  Our schedules are always packed and finding time for extra holiday dinners after surviving/enjoying the actual holiday dinner presented increasing challenges.  On top of that, we stopped doing the whole gift exchange thing for holidays and birthdays.  What to do?  What to do…

Every New Year’s we gather early in the evening for a holiday dinner, complete with a white elephant gift exchange.  Bill will even make another round of his Christmas fudge just for this occasion.  Then around 10 pm we begin the mass birthday celebration complete with old school party games.  My favorite is the Hungry Hungry Hippo tournament though this is only because I have yet to find a wind-up toy capable of winning the wind up kitchen relay.  Yes, we are adults and yes, there was a lot of alcohol involved. 

Bill and Brandon in the Hungry Hungry Hippo Final

A Rainbow of New Birthmas Jello Shots

And finally we switch to New Year’s around 11:30.  Neighbors of the host, I apologize in advance for the fire crackers and bottle rockets.  I don’t know who found the box of fireworks in their garage a couple years ago but it was spectacular to say the least.


I may have missed much of the last holiday weekend, but I am very much looking forward to an epic New Birthmas celebration which I will follow up with a 10 mile trail run in Auburn on New Year’s Day.  I do not expect to set a new PR on the run after a night of Hungry Hungry Hippo.  I’m sorry, it’s just not going to happen!

I hope you all received everthing on your wish list and Happy New Birthmas to all!