It’s (almost) Christmas!

It has taken a while but the Christmas spirit has finally arrived in SLC. Gifts are wrapped, Christmas music is being played on a continuous loop in work, at home, in the car. Our kitchen is full of food and wine and we are ready to go. Bonus: we are due to get a winter storm on Thursday so we are 100% likely to have a white Christmas. This is a huge deal for someone who grew up in Ireland and could go for years without seeing white stuff on the ground. And I’m hoping to get a chance to get out on these:

Snow shoes!

Snow shoes!

A friend was upgrading her set and kindly donated these to me. So I’m hoping there is some trekking through snow in my future.

But before the storm hits I had a chance to continue my return to running. J is signed up for his first ultra in February and wanted to hit the trails. This sounded like an awesome idea. Well, it didn’t feel so awesome climbing 1000 ft in about 3.5 miles. We topped out just under 6000 ft and got some beautiful views across the city and valley. And you know that what comes up must come down! Rollercoaster-ing those downhills was a ton of fun. 7.15 miles pain-free (well except for my lungs) and my longest run since October 12th.

It was a little muddy up there.

It was a little muddy up there.

Sunday was a rare occurrence here in Utah – running in the rain. Because it happens just a couple of times a year it was surprisingly easy to convince myself to go out for a short recovery run. I was also excited to try out some new shoes. I bought these Altras way back in September, but between marathon training and an injury break they have been sadly sitting in their box waiting for the chance to make a break for it. I ended up doing a little over 3.5 miles – a little longer than I’d planned mostly because my sense of direction is so bad that I can get lost on streets I’ve ran a million times before.

Pretty! And a Utah local!

Pretty! And a Utah local!

My very first impressions: They are incredibly light and the toe box does let your toes splay out. I did notice that although I wear a size 7 in my Brooks PureCadence that the same size in these shoes felt a little snugger. I think I’ll keep them for very short runs for now. My ankle felt a little achy on Monday – and my calves were incredibly tight (no real news there) so I’m going to take it easy with these guys. Luckily for me, Sarah at RunningonHealthy just wrote a blog post about switching up your running shoes. I think she might be a mind reader.

The rest of the weekend was spent in a baking/cooking haze. We had a cookie exchange party on Saturday night. I have never baked a cookie that I have been happy to share with other people………..the baking gods do not want this to happen. But I can make biscotti – especially the chocolate chip variety – so that is what I brought. We ended up coming home with a ridiculous amount of deliciousness that I have been slowly working my way through as after lunch and after dinner treats.

Damn - I need to stop hanging out with people who bake such deliciousness!

Damn – I need to stop hanging out with people who bake such deliciousness!

As you might know I am also slightly obsessed with Skinnytaste (the biscotti recipe is from her website) so I tried out her butternut squash lasagne recipe for dinner and a white bean crostini recipe for a savory party snack. That woman can do no wrong in my book.

All from Skinnytaste.

All from Skinnytaste.

But the food highlight of the weekend was saved for Sunday afternoon. For my birthday, J had booked me into a cooking class for October at the Sur la Table in downtown SLC. Unfortunately, they had to cancel that class and couldn’t rearrange it until December. By that time I had found a couple of girlfriends to go. It wasn’t too hard – the class was described as “Cooking with Decadent Chocolate”. We got there at noon and immediately were offered coffee, water and a freshly-made (and amazingly delicious prosciutto frittata). The class was a mixture of hands on cooking and demonstrations (like seeing how to make your very own caramel). The key seemed to be splashing your cash on the fanciest chocolate that you can afford. We (well mostly the instructor who was super nice and informative) made pistachio and peppermint bark, chocolate caramels, chocolate and cherry biscotti and rum and raisin truffles. Everything tasted so good and we got to take samples of everything home to *cough* share *cough*.

My parting gift of chocolate with more chocolate.

My parting gift of chocolate with more chocolate.

I had never done a cooking class but it was so fun. They even do date nights but I think I’ll have to work on J for a little to convince him to come cook with me.

I think I’ve mentioned already that I’m hoping that some running-related gifts make it under my Christmas tree. But I couldn’t stop myself from treating myself to my first ever grab bag from ProCompression. Three pairs for a little under $38. Happy Christmas to me!

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Happy Christmas everyone!

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20 thoughts on “It’s (almost) Christmas!

  1. I’m glad you’re excited about your snow storm. I hate snow and would love to go years without it, haha. It’s awesome that you can trail run where you are…I would love to put some mountains in the middle of Indiana. Merry Christmas!

  2. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to you!
    Those snow shoes look awesome! We are having abnormal high temps this Christmas – no sign of the white stuff. Hope you get out to enjoy it!
    I too ordered a grab bag of compression socks – now to just wait for them to arrive!

  3. Happy Christmas! I’m totally jealous of your snow. Christmas Eve is supposed to be pouring rain and unseasonably warm then freeeeeezing cold by nightfall. 😦 My snowshoes are quietly weeping in the corner. They’ll get there work out soon enough. Enjoy!!!!

  4. Yay snow! I wish we would get more in Alaska, it’s pretty weak so far. I was hoping for snow shoes for Christmas so I’m pretty jealous of yours! And that cooking class sounds awesome. I can bake pretty well but I’m terrible at cooking so that’s something I want to work on more in 2015.

    • I’m the opposite – good at cooking but my baking still leaves a lot to be desired. I always pictured Alaska as being absolutely covered in snow. Now I just need to find some snow-shoeing buddies.

  5. I’ve never had a white Christmas before, but it sounds like a pretty fairy-tale to me! A cooking class is a fun date idea! And my boyfriend could probably use a few cooking lessons too πŸ˜‰ Have a Merry Christmas! I hope Santa brings you a lot of running gifts! πŸ™‚

    • Sur la table does date night classes! I haven’t managed to convince my husband to take one yet. I think I could try out a California Christmas one year. Sunshine, shorts and grilling on Christmas Day sounds like a blast!

  6. Fun times to be had out your way! Thanks for the blog shout out. I am so excited to hear more about the Altras. Rock has some toe issues and I have wondered if these might be what he is looking for. And you don’t get rain in Utah? I had no idea! I LOVE running in the rain (minus freezing rain that my parents are getting here in MI). I have always wanted to take a cooking class at Sur La Table. No doubt in my mind that you bake amazing stuff. Merry Christmas!

    • My husband only runs in Altras and loves them. I’m hoping they’ll work for me too but I don’t think I’ll know for sure for a little way longer. Plus they’re from Utah which is pretty cool. Technically SLC is in a mountain desert climate so we rarely get precipitation so running in the rain is still a novelty for me. And we’ve only had freezing rain once in the whole time I’ve lived here – that was scary! And the sur la table classes were pretty awesome.

  7. Hooray for pain free long run! That’s excellent news! I also treated myself to my first-ever ProCompression grab bag. It should arrive today and I can’t wait to see what I got πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas!

  8. I would love to go snowshoeing one day! and Yay for painfree runs! So happy for you πŸ˜€ And you got to celebrate with a Sur La Table cooking class… jealous! Merry Christmas!

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