Hope you had a happy New Year’s Eve! Mine was fabulous. 🙂

I ran the Lights on the Lake 5K, which is part of the local YMCA’s yearlong race series. I’d never done any of their races, but it was well organized and fun. Lights on the Lake is a drive-thru holiday light display set up inside an amusement park, and the 5K was three laps inside the park. This was at the end of lap 1, and I was feeling great. (Each lap was just less than a mile; the .1 was the distance between the start/finish line and the park entrance.

At the end of lap 2, feeling — and looking — a little rougher. I knew this race was going to be harder than a 5K should be, because I haven’t been able to run as much as I’d like, between weather and the holidays.

Push toward the finish!

Giving a thumb’s up to the accounting manager from work, who was standing along the finish line and thinking,  Wait, am I really going to beat my time from September? Not only did I feel slow — I was slow. I took two or three walk breaks that at the time felt ridiculously long and lazy, but in reality were probably 15 to 30 seconds. (I’m terrible at estimating.) I didn’t feel mentally defeated like I did in Johnstown, though — it was cold and I hadn’t been running a lot, so I just decided to chill out. And I still did pretty good!

My friend Wendy and her husband, Scott, came up for my race. Wendy and I are good friends, but I was still blown away that she would drive 40 minutes to stand in the cold, calm my nerves before the race, loan me her fancy gloves and even snap photos (both she and Scott were working the cameras — one had mine, and one had Wendy’s). Such great friends — and just all around awesome people. 🙂

Scott is such a good sport that he even let us pose (and we are clearly striking a pose, ha) for silly photos after the race. After our photo shoot, we headed to Chili’s for dinner and to meet my friend Sam — he’s back in the states after his first semester teaching at an international academy in Brazil.

Sam and I went to college together, and even though we’ve both lived in many different places since graduation, we haven’t gone more than six months without seeing each other since he graduated in 2004. He even drove 6+ hours for my graduation in 2006.

I can’t go to Chili’s without getting the chicken tortilla soup.

Chili’s has a “guitless gourmet” menu, in which all options are less than 750 calories (which to me is really not all that “guitless,” but I guess these are the healthiest compared to their other options). I knew I’d be eating later at my friend Melissa’s party, so I when with the Guitless Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. It was good, but the broccoli had been cooked so long it was about 1.5 seconds away from being mush. For someone who doesn’t like broccoli all that much to begin with, I was just not into it at all, even after I scraped the light ranch dressing off the sandwich and on to the veggies.

After that, though, all sensible eating went out the window — I ate way too much at Melissa’s party.

Buffalo chicken dip — buffalo chicken is my weakness, I guess! I did not intend to take such a big glob, but I did, and I ate it all. Not pictured: mini cheesecake, can of Rolling Rock, champagne, and good-luck midnight hot dog. No wonder I was kind of sick when I got home!

Sam and I were going to head out for a walk this morning, but it is windy and half snowing, half raining. 😦 Grrr!