We have a new Thanksgiving tradition to "Move your feet before you eat." Sean and Marci have been running the Oceanside Turkey Trot 5k since it began five years ago, and I joined them last year. We all signed up again, and we brought along four more to the fold.
While they were cheering us on at the marathon back in October, Marci began working on Kristy to encourage her to step across the line from supporter to participant. By the time the race was over, she was semi-convinced to do the Turkey Trot. Marci said she would be walking it since she would be seven months pregnant, so it seemed harmless. Even so, I think Kristy bargained that she would walk it if Holly would.
Marci is not only a good salesman, but an enthusiastic advocate for running. Soon she had talked Holly and Matt into the 5k, so there was no backing out.
While we were driving up, Kristy made some construction paper Indian headdresses and Pilgrim hats. When we met up with Sean and Marci, they were wearing foam turkey hats. Several other people ran in full costume as turkeys, Indian princesses, and one pair ran as a gorilla chasing a banana. It was the first running event for Matt, Holly and Kristy, and this one is a great mix of people celebrating Thanksgiving in an fun, festive and active way.
I ended up running by myself as I had signed up for a challenge to see if I could beat my previous 5k PR. The ladies planned to walk while pushing the kids, but Matt had been getting back on the road after several bouts with injury, so he wanted to do some running. He and Sean ran the whole race together.
Although she said she had planned to walk, soon Marci was encouraging Holly and Kristy to run a bit. Taking on a coach/drill sergeant persona, soon she was saying they should alternate one minute of running with one minute of walking. Kristy was glad she had worn her sneakers instead of the warmer boots she had planned on.
I think the person that loved it the most was Annabelle. She LOVES to be outside, and whenever the ladies were running and there was more wind in her face, Annabelle was giggling. From what Kristy and Holly were saying, knowing that Annabelle was having a ball, it made it easier when it came time to run.
I surprised myself with a new PB of 21:20, about a 45 second improvement. After I finished, I backtracked and ran in with Sean and Matt. Then I went back to meet up with the ladies and get some more pictures. It was a really great morning. Since it was their first 5k, and event of any distance, Matt, Holly and Kristy came away with personal bests as well.
We went back to Sean and Marci's to hang out for a bit, before going our separate ways. The rest of the crew was headed to LA to spend Thanksgiving with Sean's family. Kristy and I couldn't make it since we both have pooches that need medical attention at this point. We debated whether to go out for dinner, or make our own Thanksgiving at home. We kind of split the difference.
We went out for dinner for Thanksgiving and had a lovely meal at the Prado in Balboa Park. The restaurant had a special menu for Thanksgiving, and we both enjoyed every single thing we picked out, right down to the fancy drinks. We were seated on the terrace and were surrounded by trees and twinkling lights. After dinner we walked around Balboa Park talking in the beautiful lights.
Today we (and when I say we, I mean 99% Kristy) are making a more traditional Thanksgiving feast for dinner tonight. We are also planning on a ham dinner with Matt and Holly on Sunday, so we are going to stretch Thanksgiving into four days.
Almost every year I have been with my family on Thanksgiving. Last year, we had a smaller gathering of friends over at Matt and Holly's, but though I worked for a decade in a restaurant that hosted Thanksgiving, I had never dined out on the day. Dinner at the Prado was excellent, and I am looking forward to the extended weekend of Thanksgiving goodness.
One tradition maintained, another updated. This was a different sort Thanksgiving, but wonderful.