Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#OptOutside

Is it just me or has this year flown by?  I can't believe it's almost December!  I'm not ready!

This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend and I had so much to be thankful for.  The four day weekend started off with an easy run on my local recreational trail on Thanksgiving morning.  Every day I am grateful to be able to run out of my front door onto one of the most scenic recreational trails in the country.  How many people can say they can run by the ocean every day?  It never gets old.

Afterwards, I headed out to San Jose, CA for Thanksgiving dinner with my Dad's side of the family.  Holidays are hard to parse out when you have a huge family so I tend to celebrate Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family and Christmas with my Mom's side of the family.

Per usual, we had a ton of food and I was actually smart this year and showed up wearing clothing comfy enough to allow me to indulge in eating all of the food.  Stretchy pants for the win!  Three (or five) platefuls later, and I was happily lounging on the couch in a severe food coma catching up with my cousins and cracking up at the usual shenanigans that tend to ensue when we're all together.  I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt (and not just from all the food I ate), my face was sore and I had tears streaming from my eyes.  Gotta love family time! 

All of the food (minus the dessert table) and my Auntie.  Isn't she cute?

Of all the things I'm thankful for, I'm especially thankful to be blessed with the family that I would have picked for myself if given the choice.  I know how extremely lucky I am to sincerely love, and love spending time with, every single family member on both sides of my family.  What's even more amazing is that both sides of my family love, and get along with, each other!  It's a rarity that I never take for granted. 
 
Some of the fam.  We had a photo fail and forgot to take a pic with everyone.
 
The day after Thanksgiving was a planned family hike at Mission Peak in Fremont, CA to burn off all of the turkey day calories.  We were all anti-shopping and wanted to do something active outdoors so it was a perfect opportunity for some family bonding.  The majority of the family was still in a food coma state that morning so it ended up being a party of two and my cousin luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) got to share all of the miles with me.
 
It was so pretty!  I'm glad we decided to hike so that I could enjoy the view
 
Since my cousin isn't a runner, we agreed to hike instead.  I had only been to Mission Peak once before and ran it was during the hottest part of the day in the middle of summer.  Needless to say, I didn't get to enjoy the view at all.  I took full advantage of the fact that we were hiking and soaked in all of the views.  There were gaggles of wild turkey that would meander across the trail (I'm pretty sure they were thankful not to have been dinner the night before!), lots of cows lazily grazing on the hillside, and plenty of birds and rabbits.  I cheerily said good morning to every person (and every animal) we came across and made plenty of new friends along the way.  To say I was in my happy place was an understatement!
 
My new friend.  We were doing the mannequin challenge
 
In what seemed like no time at all we reached the summit and we took some time to soak in the view.  It was gorgeous!  Apparently it tends to get really packed up there so we were lucky enough to have hiked early enough to miss the huge crowd.  Per usual, I chatted it up with random strangers about all things running, hiking and food.  And of course I had to take an obligatory pic on the Mission Peak pole!
 
On top of the world
 

That view!
 
After a while the crowd at the summit started growing and we noticed that more and more people were on the way up so we decided to head back out.  Instead of going back down the way we came, we opted to go back down the opposite way on another trail that was considerably less crowded (we saw maybe 10 people along the way).  Much to my cousin's chagrin, I made the executive decision for us to run the entire way back. 
 

Don't let that smile fool you.  She hated me for making her run. HA!
 
Listen, I know I'll probably get some flack for "forcing" my cousin to run but hear me out.  I know her.  I know how far she can go, how much she can be pushed and what her personal fitness goals are for the upcoming year.  She's more than capable of running, and she fully admits that she loves how she feels afterwards.  All she needs is a little tough love to get her started.  So we ran.  A little over three glorious miles of mostly downhill and oh man were my quads burning!  I haven't bombed downhill that hard in a while.  By the time we got back to the parking lot and stopped my legs were jello and I loved it.  And my cousin who swore up and down that she hates running, ran the entire way and had the biggest smile on her face when we finished.  She did it!  I can't tell you how proud I was of her and, most importantly, how proud she was of herself.
 
Saturday was a rainy, dreary day.  Perfect for an active recovery day.  I hit up my local recreational trail for an easy walk/jog since my quads were shot.  I knew the soreness was only going to get worse the next day so an easy activity was the perfect way to try to minimize the upcoming soreness.
 
Sunday was a full rest day which was exactly what I needed because my quads HURT.  I literally cringed every time I had to stand up or tried to sit down cross-legged or with my legs under me.  Any thoughts of a downhill marathon being a fun idea were thoroughly quashed. 
 
So what do I do when I can't workout or run?  I eat!  I met up with my Uncle (who is also my godfather and second dad), Auntie and cousins for breakfast at a Filipino restaurant in Milpitas.  My cousin, who I consider my other brother, was in town from L.A. so I wanted to spend some time with him and the fam to catch-up.


Dad#2 and my second family

After breakfast we headed to my other cousin's home to hang out, catch-up and basically dote over the baby.  She is so dang cute and one of the happiest babies I've ever seen!  Playing with her made me miss my niece but thankfully I'll get to love on her soon when I visit for Christmas.  And of course I had to spend some quality time with my four-legged niece, Casey.  Sweetest dog ever!  I may or may not have tried to steal her but she didn't quite fit into my purse.

Casey!  Love my four-legged niece
 
As sad as I am that the long weekend is over, I am so glad to get back to my normal routine.  I'm realizing that as fun as eating all of the food is in theory, in reality it's not so fun.  I felt so sluggish and gross and my body certainly felt the impact of eating a ton of junk without the corresponding hard work out/run to balance it out.  Happy to be back to the grind!
 


How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you #OptOutside or brave the Black Friday shopping crowds?
 


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