November 30, 2007

Go Cranberry! Go!

My sister called me the Sunday before Thanksgiving and told me that she was participating in an event called the "gobble wobble" through the YMCA in Abington. Note: This is the second blog this month that mentions the YMCA.
The Gobble Wobble is a 5K where runners can dress up as thanksgiving characters and vie for prizes awarded for the best "Corny Plumage."
I love costumes and even get kind of depressed that Halloween only comes around once a year....thus, I try to find other events to dress up for throughout the year like RPS tournaments and The Royal Stumble. So as unappealing as the idea of running a 5k after doing a beer promotion sounded, the costume contest had me sold.

Patty and her sis-in- law Casey, were going to be a baked potato and cranberry sauce. Casey's husband, Bill, a pilgrim. Together we made up TEAM family feast. And what a team we were.
My costume was one of a colonial serving wench. I borrowed a bonnet and apron from my friends place of employment and oddly enough had the other components. I looked straight out of a 1777 tavern.
I got about 4 hours of sleep. woke up at 7:30 and was on autopilot. Next thing I knew I was in a Dunkin Donuts on Broad st...hoping some java would make me feel remotely human again.

I get there at 8:10. I have never been early for anything...ever. So things were off to a good start. I was supposed to meet my sister Patty there, but her phone was turned off. We didn't have a set meeting point. SO I just sat in my car (when later would prove that I should have been stretching) and waited. and waited. And as I waited I watch runner after runner walk by towards registration in plain jane and boring boris normal running gear!

Where were the Turkeys, and the pilgrims, and the attempted cornucopias?
Nothing. I didn't see one person in costume. Was this a cruel joke? Was my sister finally getting retribution for me missing my Nephew's baptism a year and a half ago?

I waited some more, then finally my phone rang and it was my other sister Kathy. She was like" where are you?" and I was like "Where ARE YOU and why isn't any one dressed up?" she said people were I just hadn't seen them yet and to meet them in the front lobby.
I walk two blocks, not a turkey trotting.
then I see them, and even THEY are in normal running gear. The saw my look of disgust and immediately confirmed that their plumage was in the car. Thank goodness. Our name was registered as the Family Feast. You can't be a family feast with just a colonial Serving Wench.
But this wench actually wasn't going to be serving...on mile two, she was definitely getting served.
My garb was so hot I could barely take it. I am sweating my non-existent balls off.
I finally rolled down my knee highs and rolled up my leggings to expose about 9 inches of shin which very well may have saved my life.
My timing was awful. four minutes longer than my previous 5K. I'm going to blame it on the hills. I've got to blame it on
something. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I haven't run in two months.
I tried to keep my spirits up by chanting "Family Feast" every mile marker. I was totally embarrassing myself, but the only people I knew in abington were dressed like Thanksgiving side dishes, so I thought I had nothing to lose. My sis's sis- in -law is actually a spinning instructor at the Y, and knows all 10,000 members. So as she's running down the leaf laden path, someone screamed "go Cranberry! Go!" I had to stop laughing to regulate my breathing and focus on the task at hand, but it was pretty funny. If I knew more people maybe they would have chanted "GO colonial serving wench! Go!
There was actually a "stadium finish" with Chariots of Fire blasting. Meanwhile I was singing the St. elmos Fire theme song in my head. I do this a even concerns me.
"I can climb the highest mountain
cross the widest sea,
I can feel St. elmos fire, burning in me."
I think my sister, Kathy, does it too..but we don't talk about it.
We finish the race, I drink a gallon of water, and I look like a tomato.
But feel the adrenaline and I feel good. I am ready to chow 5,000 calories down.
We retreat to the gym for them to announce the awards. As previously mentioned, there aren't that many runners dressed for the day, so I am pretty confident that we have first place for corny plumage secured. Just look at us.
The gym is a cacophony of sound. Families comparing cranberry sauce recipes, kids screaming, dogs barking, and one poor woman on a mic trying to announce this year's winners.
They were giving out three types of prizes...competitive ones for time, raffle prizes, and costume prizes.
Out of the noise haze, I heard, "Suzanne woods, 933" I shouted "that's me, that's me" and made my way through the jealous crowd. I won a $30 gift cert. to Cin Cin. Which came at a great time, because I owe Lance not one, but two dinners.

Then we went on to win First Place for the costume contest. We had the corniest Plumage in all the race, and now we get to treat ourselves to some Hoagies courtesy of Lee's Hoagie House! This was great. I felt like Shannon miller in the 1992 Olympics. I won every prize you could hope to win sans the prize for actually running a good race.;)
I "CLeaneD Up! " People were probably wondering "who's that woman?"
"Look at her in all her bonnet glory!"
" I'd like to shake her hand."
or maybe
"she still looks like a tomato."
We went back to my sis's so she could ready our feast. After all that early morning excitement, I took a nap so I could be good to go for when the rest of the family that wasn't part of our family feast arrived.
The rest of the day was grand, My father barely yelled at me for the parking tickets I continue to rack up. (it's really an awful feeling to have to think about the parking authority at Thanksgiving- talk about things I am NOT remotely grateful for). My nephews were adorable.
The food was fantastic. We had everything from Baked Brie with Raspberry Chipotle Jam..that perfectly sweet/savory combo that I love so much to Corn Pudding, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, a variation on Waldorf Salad that wasn't oozing mayonnaise and celery (which is good b/c I detest both those ingredients). Sweet Potato Casserole, Pizza Dip with Fritos (kids love it-my feelings for fritos are very comparable to my feelings for mayonnaise and celery), and tons of other stuff.
I paired up a South African Herbal Blossom Mead with Apple Crisp and was in post race state of euphoria.
I typically don't care for Mead, but as Tria's menu states, "This is one of the most amazing fermentable beverages known to man."
It has hints of apple, rose hip, hibiscus and cinnamon.
It was the most perfect, I had to add that to my list of things to be thankful for.
And then I noticed that its gotten rather long.
Longer than any other year.

I guess gratitude grows by first words and little curls.

trips to the hospital to welcome instead of farewell.

rewarding jobs. an amazing boyfriend and special girlfriends...
and the support of a family that makes every day the best day I ever lived.

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