Thanksgiving Thanks.

At 7:14am on Thanksgiving morning I picked up a lifelong best friend and headed to Troy for the 65th Running of the Turkey Trot for what was to be my very first 10K. The sun was shining brightly, the coffee was especially soothing. The conversation shared during the short drive to Troy was nothing short of, we got this.

Me: I’m thinking a max 10:30 minute mile. If you want to go ahead of me, please do.

BFF: Don’t be ridiculous, the whole point of today is to spend the time together.

Some things in life are truly priceless. You can’t capture them other than in deep places of the heart and in those bright pockets of your memory from which you will then draw a warm inner joy and thankfulness for many, many years to come.

Completed: 10K. 6.29 miles. In 59:26. Avg. pace: 9:28 per mile. There is the purest joy found in the completion of a goal you’ve long set out to achieve.

Great. Full.

Today I ran six miles. At an avg. pace of 10:35 per mile. It is the first time ever in my entire life that I have run six miles in one outing. What an incredible feeling. It was right around mile 4 when I thought, why not just keep going and so I did.

And during those last two miles I remember feeling incredibly grateful for my body. The ease at which it kept going and going. Its strength, its stamina, and its willingness to go. The pace kept me. I was simply along for the ride.

Bring on the Turkey Trot 10K.

Short Term.

I like Goals. Long Term and Short Term Goals. They do well for the individual. Goals are bigger than you. They make you bigger than you are. They keep you focused. And on track. You are not the only beneficiary from working towards and achieving goals, those around you benefit as well.

Right now my Short Term Goal is to eat clean from now until Thanksgiving Day. At 8am on Thanksgiving Day I will be running my first ever 10K, The Troy Turkey Trot, with my BFF, Sandy. Sandy is a thoroughbred runner. I’ve given her more than one out from this, having to run with me at a pace which will most likely be a solid two minute per mile slower than her usual. She sees this as a great opportunity to spend time together. Something we rarely get to do these days. She’s a rock star. Personally I think she’s nuts. Not a legume, more of a walnut, or cashew.

Back to the eating clean goal – I’ve read a lot of books on food. Primal Blueprint. It Starts with Food. Zone. You may already know by now, eating Paleo is a large faction of the Crossfit Community.

I’m 100% Paleo, 80% of the time.

Crossfit did not invent Paleo but it is a well exercised term and way of life in the CF community. The book that spoke to me most: It Starts with Food. In the end, you have to learn your body, what works and does not work for you. Be realistic, listen, see how you feel. In every capacity.

While clothes that fit exceptionally well is a huge reward for eating clean, my primary goal in eating clean is a clean mind. When I’m eating healthy, my mind is  focused, open, intensely optimistic, and living as if all the good in life does not wait for me in the future, but actually exists Right Now. This is a great place to be. Borrowing Crossfit’s mantra for the next 27 Days, my diet will be as follows: meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.

I will not be measuring. I will eat when I’m hungry, as much as I want until satisfied. Truth is, when you’re eating healthy, you do not overindulge.

The lovely and glorious jar of Cookie Butter? My reward at crossing the 10K Finish Line. It’s currently sitting on the top of my fridge. Unopened. It looks down at me (eye to eye, really…) and says, I’m here, waiting for you. I say, I will not open you until Thanksgiving Day. Clearly defining your goals is helpful. Apparently having conversations with your food can be too. I’ll keep you posted.

… and the body follows.


Let’s just pause here for a minute, shall we. Can you taste them? Feel the gooey chewy texture in your mouth as you bite down into one, or three of them?

‘Are you going to have one?’ My co-worker asked.
‘No,’ I said. ‘Not today.’
‘Why are you taking a picture of them?’ she asked.
‘Because I love them.’ I said.

And I do. But today, and for the next 28 days, leading up to the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, I will continue to love them dearly, love them from afar. Last night during Ladies Night I PR’d on my overhead. Clean and jerk 105lbs. This was a huge goal. I’ve been struggling to reach a goal of 100lbs. overhead for a long time. Wanting very much to compete in Heavy for the Holidays, but coming to terms with the reality that the competing weights minimums just might be too heavy for me. For now.

Still, I’ve been working. There are profound days of discouragement, but last night was a huge hurdle overcome. I feel empowered again. My diet is a huge part of that. When I feel healthy, when I have had enough sleep, when I am eating clean, and behaving myself and in a good routine, my mind is clear, optimistic, forward looking in all things possible and good and soon to be. And the body follows.

So, for now, hello lovely cookies. Thank you for existing. There’s a time and place for you. We will meet again. At the end of this finish line. In 28 days. In Troy NY. After I have completed my first ever 10K run. Till then, I bid adieu.