I won the lottery, sort of.

The mini vacation is over and we are back to the grind over here.  I don’t mind it so much except that, okay, I do, I mind it.  I mind it a lot.  I hate being behind on anything but especially work because let’s face it, work generally sucks anyway regardless of whether you’re ahead or behind but behind is worse because then it just takes forever to get through the day.

man returns to work

Thankfully I’m not too far behind because we were only away for four days.  We left Wednesday evening after my appointment with the cardiologist, which, by the way, went okay.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was an ironman but not thrilled when he told me that endurance running was not really good for the heart according to recent studies.

back up hater

I told him that I had read many recent studies that contradicted some of those theories and we agreed to disagree and then I told him about my favorite trail in Venice and suggested he try it out sometime.  He told me endurance running is not good for the heart and that he should really listen to his own advice because neither are triathlons but he said he understood the endorphin high.

Then he scheduled an echocardiogram for a later date and we parted ways.

cash me ousside

On Thursday I had a blast taking my Mom and my Mother in law shopping at University Town Center.  It was my mother in law’s birthday and mom and I wanted to take her out all day and shop til we couldn’t shop anymore and that’s exactly what we did.  I may have even gotten a few new things from lululemon because, LULULEMON!

lululemon

On Friday we had some friends down from Vermont and we all went out to celebrate at the Casey Key fish house.

Casey Key Fish House

Casey Key Fish House

After dinner, we showed our friends how the better half lives and drove down Casey Key.  The wind was blowing really hard and the waves were crashing over the road but I got some great pictures.

Casey Key Beach

Mom went to Fort Meyer’s to visit with a cousin on Saturday and MacGyver and I took our friends down the Shakett Creek canal.  It was cold as shit and I froze my ass off for most of it but the pictures were totally worth it.  Take a look at a few of them.

Shakett Creek

Shakett Creek

up the creek

On Sunday we went over to the in-laws and MacGyver took us out on the boat.  It was chilly but there were a lot of people out on the water, more that I expected.

Goin boatin

The hat lasted about 2 seconds!

boats on the water

Boats on the Water, Fire in the sky….

We drove down towards Venice since the wind was still pretty bad but instead of heading the way we typically do we went in to an alcove and headed toward a beach area.  It looked like this,

Hidden Beach

We got out of the boat and and walked up the beach and there were trails everywhere.

Beach Trails

So we decided to follow them.  I took pictures of course, for scientific reasons, you know, to share with you on the blog.  And also in case we got lost at sea and someone found the phone they could possibly locate us.

hidden beach trail

It seemed to go on forever but it got more and more interesting.

trail hill

And then it opened up to this scene.

Hidden Beach

paradise beach

 

Paradise! Who knew?

It was waiting there all this time and we had no idea!  It was breathtaking.  Apparently it’s a well-kept secret but people do know about it because there were people with tents camping all over the island and lots of people with lounge chairs hanging out.  It was stunning though.

Paradise Beach

And just in case you’re wondering, I did run quite a bit this weekend as well.  I ran a total of 26 miles on the legacy trail.  As always, it was wonderful but my long run on Saturday was epic.  I was plugging along around mile 3 or 4 when a bicyclist came rolling up and I looked over and saw an ironman logo on the shorts and at first I thought it was a friend of mine whom I always see when I’m running there and I got ready to say hi but even though the face was familiar it wasn’t my friend.

It took a minute to sink in but then it hit me.  It was my cardiologist!

I sped up to get right beside him and then I said, ‘I’m glad to see that one of us listen to the others advice!’  He laughed and said that it was an awesome trail.

That it is, and running is good for you too!

On more thing that happened this weekend.  Mom and I had bought lottery tickets on the way to Nokomis and I totally forgot about them because I almost never play.  On Sunday morning I checked them and of course they were losers, except for one.  I picked the powerball number.  Did you know that you win money when you pick the powerball number?  You do!  I won 4 bucks!  I’m a winner!  Winner winner, chicken dinner.

How was your weekend?

The best present ever, and I got it!

Happy December 27th or as we like to call it, National Fruitcake Day!

You Fruitcake

Have yourself some fruitcake and live a little why don’t ya…or not.

You could just have an orange.  I happen to know they’re in season right now.  I know this because our Nokomis house is about 3 blocks away from Nokomis Groves and I’ve already been there three times.  I’ve also been to the orange tree at the vacant house at the end of the street and all the other rogue orange trees I can find because I cannot get enough of the sweet citrus goodness.

oranges

I could live on Oranges alone. No really, I could

 

So, in case you’re wondering, we’re still in Nokomis.  Yeah, I know, we WERE supposed to be back on Sunday night but then Sunday night came and MacGyver decided to sleep on it and then Monday morning came and I was getting ready to go out for a run and MacGyver was all like, ‘hey since I got the dates all mixed up and my sister is actually coming tonite’ maybe we should just stay down here for a few more days.’  And I was like, ‘yeah, since YOU got the date mixed up jackass, then yeah, we should.’  So, we’re still here.  I don’t care, I can work from anywhere.  Of course MacGyver is out fishing.

i aint mad

Go ahead and go fishin honey, I aint mad.

But enough about that, let’s get to the fun stuff and do some recapping and such.

This year was going to be a tough one for me because even though the kid is older, Christmas day is also his birthday and with him being in Columbus I knew it was going to be hard not having him here.  Thankfully, we have facetime and we were able to talk to each other quite a bit so it wasn’t so bad.

My Mother and Father in law are at their home in Englewood for the Winter and Spring so we were able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with them which was wonderful.  I may have showered everyone with too many presents but I couldn’t help myself.

Everyone was also kind enough to indulge me and let me make a birthday cake for kid even though kid isn’t here.

bday cake

Happy Birthday Kid. We had a Gluten Free cake so you’re probably glad you missed it 😉

As for me, I only had to things on my list this year.

(It’s true, close your mouth before a fly gets in.)

The only things I wanted this year were a new pair of running shoes and I wanted to hit the double digits again.  As in miles.  I wanted a double digit long run before the end of the year.

MacGyver came through with the first thing and I already knew about them because they were sitting on our kitchen table for about a week before we came down to Nokomis thanks to the promptness of the shipping department at Brooks Running!

Brooks running

Brooks Launch 3’s

The other thing was strictly up to me and I thought I might be pushing it if I tried to do it on Christmas Eve but I was also worried that it might be my only opportunity since we may be at our cabin for the New Year and after not being there for the last 8 or 9 months, I have no idea what my running trail looks like or if I even have one anymore so, on Christmas Eve, I headed out.

I hit the Legacy Trail a bit later than I actually wanted to but I got out there and anytime that I felt I was pushing myself or the pace was too fast I took a deep breath and slowed it down.  I put my phone in my pocket and I relaxed.  I purposely did not look at my phone.  I listened for the 5 mile alert from my app, turned around and kept going.  Only, when I reached the trail head near my house did I pull the phone from my pocket and that’s when I realized I only had a tenth of a mile to go!  I was ecstatic.

10 MILE RUN

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!

Double Digits.

Best Present Ever.  I didn’t need anything else.

I have to be honest, I was a bit sore a little later in the day and I was afraid to push it the next day so I walked an easy 3 miles on Christmas day and just stretched my legs and enjoyed the fresh air.  It felt amazing.

I’ve been on cloud 9 ever since.

On Christmas Day we took a little boat ride with the dogs.  Hank really wanted to fish.

hANK AND bOOMER ON THE BOAT

Is the little dog actually gonna steal the fish? Nah, he aint gonna steal that fish. No way.

Hank steals the fish

That fish is GONE!

 

The dogs were exhausted after the boat and fishing trip and promptly passed out afterward.

dogs

I ran the trail again on Monday and again this morning and I was thinking about what the new year has in store for me, and my plans for the coming months, the year, and life in general.  You may remember about a month ago while running in Kapok park near my house a bobcat ran along side of me, well this morning up ahead of me, it was a Florida Panther!

panther

fl. Panther

 

This time my pictures aren’t as good but I’m going to go back and I’m determined to get more.  I’m starting to think that these are my spirit animals.  They’re beautiful creatures and the fact that I keep seeing such elusive animals must mean something right?  It must!

I’m playing the lottery.

Don’t forget your fruitcakes!

Are you working this week? 

How was your Holiday?