Monday, November 27, 2006

Eating to run, running to eat

Thanksgiving eats

With any visit home, there is always good food. When Thanksgiving rolls around, things just get kicked up a notch, as Emeril might say!

Over the course of the week, we feasted on pot roast, BBQ ribs, grilled tri-tip, and Dad's famous seafood chowder (a Thanksgiving tradition). Mom and I made lefse, the Scandinavian potato pancake (think of it as a Norwegian tortilla!). And we went to town one day and had lunch at a new restaurant called The Crooked Spoon Cafe. It was good eating all the way around.

Mom and me making lefse

On Thanksgiving Day, we never do a turkey (turkey always comes later in the weekend). We have always opted to do something different. This year, the theme was wild game. A successful hunting season gave my brother plenty venison and grouse. A friend of his gave him some pheasant and duck as well, so the meal would truly be a feast.

The venison roast and duck were roasted in the oven. But my brother decided to do something different with the pheasant and grouse. Those were injected with a flavorful marinade and went into his turkey fryer! The meal was excellent. Everything tasted great, and the pheasant and grouse were truly juicy and moist (both are hard birds to cook because they are so lean).

The Thanksgiving Feast

The Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend is when we usually have our turkey. And with that, we usually do something a little different, too. For years, Dad has put the turkey in his smoker for just a couple of hours. Then, Mom will finish the roasting in the oven. This way, the bird gets a hint of smoke flavor, and because you finish it in the oven, you also get the turkey juices for a slightly smoky gravy (something you would not get if you finished the bird in the smoker). It is simply the best. I look forward to this every year, and it certainly did not disappoint!

Over the trail and through the woods

During the holiday week, I went running several times to work off the massive amount of food I consumed! It was ideal running weather all week with morning temperatures in the low 30's, for the most part.

On Monday, I did long, slow 8 miler on the flat service road. For the rest of my runs, I broke out the trail shoes and went through the woods and up the hills!

One of the woodland trails

I did three runs in the woods, two 5 milers, and one 6 1/2 miler. I hit some of the ski trails and dirt roads behind my parents' house and worked my way north. At that time, there was no snow, so it was a good time to take advantage of the trails before they succumb to the wrath of winter!

According to my altimeter, on my 5 mile route through the woods there is nearly 500 feet of elevation gain. On the 6 1/2 miler, there is close to 800 feet of elevation gain, so I got in more than my fair share of hills!

It was very quiet and peaceful in the woods, and it made running seem like fun as opposed to work (which is a good thing when you are running uphill for a half an hour straight!). I got to see some spectacular sunrises, as well as some outstanding views of Lake Superior when I was running back down the ridge. I can't think of a more enjoyable way to burn calories from the week!
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