Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Everyone should love coming to my blog, because sometimes you get nothing but text, and sometimes you get overloaded with way too many pictures of my friends and I. Today is one of those days.

I feel I've been remiss in my discussion of running groups. I've done nothing but praise mine and encourage people to join, but I haven't warned you of the dangers. 

Peer pressure. To sign up for more races, and longer and more difficult endurance events. To be fair, I'm the one who does the majority of the peer pressuring, but I need to warn you, because you could encounter someone like me in one of these groups. 

Here's my next challenge:

 A half ironman triathlon (is it still called half ironman if it's not an Ironman brand race?). I know I have quite a bit of work to do in the areas of swimming and biking, but I think I've proven I can be a slave to a training plan and get where I need to be. Plus I'm doing it with my good friends Jackie and Lily, and training with them is so much fun. We had been discussing it for a long time, so we finally agreed to make the plunge on our 12 mile run Saturday morning. P.S. We climbed 2,952 feet on that run, which means we are badasses. Too bad my next marathon is totally flat.

My body might even benefit from a temporary break up with distance running and appreciate the switch to some other activities?

I love (maybe an unhealthy amount) my family's holiday traditions, enough for a whole other post on them, but I still think it's nice to create your own traditions as an adult. I didn't think Eric and I had done that yet, but, yesterday, I realized that we do have a holiday tradition of our own.
Us in 2008 - so young!

Every year that we've been married, we've competed in an annual Flipcup event that the Baltimore Sports and Social Club puts on. If for some reason you don't know what Flipcup is, well, you have been missing out. It's a game where you put a little beer in a plastic cup (a shockingly tiny amount for me,  like, so little that other people try to fill you up because they can't even see it), and stand in a line on one side of a table, with the opponents doing the same on the other side. When it's your turn, you drink the beer, and set the cup on the end of the table, and use your fingers to flip it over, so it's face down on the table. Harder than it seems. The first team with all their cups flipped is the winner of that round.

It's called an event because there is no winners or losers, or even anyone keeping score. For a competition weiny like me, that's heaven.

I love photographic trips down memory lane. Let's look at Flipcup through the years.
2008 - our first Christmas as husband and wife
2009 - different shirt, different year, same facial expression

Look at that beard and glasses! He looks so different now!

2010 - Team Santa

2011 - Team Santa again, before playing

2011 - after playing

For every picture I've posted of Eric and I that's sweet and nice like the one above, there's work that goes in to it. See below to witness the process.

See, not easy. I also wanted to clear up that myth that some people seem to have that marathoners are super healthy people who do nothing but eat spinach and drink Gatorade at all times. I think my blog has pretty clearly documented that chocolate, wine, and running are all equally important parts of my life, but just in case anyone is confused, here are three runners who've done multiple marathons, but also feel it's important to devote a Saturday entirely to drinking games here and there.

I make it my mission to share the truth.

Flipcup in action - notice the sun, indicating this is the middle of the day

The flipping technique
After two hours of flipcup, we hung out with our teammates at the bar for another few hours, then headed over to Carolyn and John's to watch A Christmas Story. The cool kids on the team went to more bars, since it was only like 6:30 pm. I'm not cool, so watching Christmas movies at a friend's house is my idea of a heavenly Saturday night.

So uncool, I pulled over and refused to drive until everyone in the back put their seatbelt on. That's how I roll.

Of course, no event is complete for me without dessert, so I made "Christmas pie". Christmas pie is what happens when you plan to use the leftover cookie dough in your freezer to make cookie bars, and realize you only have enough to cover a pieplate, not an actual pan.

Double dark chocolate chunk cookie base, covered in melted white chocolate, candy canes, and Christmas sprinkles. As easy as it is delicious.

The night ended like this at the late hour of 9pm. Carolyn and I know how to handle our beer (hint: drink almost none of it) and finished the movie and hung out until around 10pm, when despite shaking and yelling his name, Eric refused to budge, so I had no choice but to throw cold water in his face. Luckily, he didn't even remember that in the morning.

What holiday traditions do you have? Are they as grown up and mature as ours?

Do you think I can handle the half ironman or am I totally screwed?


  1. Haha, awesome tradition! Also - I did work for the Baltimore Sports and Social Club this week! I got to mentioning broomball and then I was like, "Alyssa?" but forgot to mention it. So random but awesome to me. It takes so little to make me happy when I'm working.
    No real traditions yet for hubby and I - this will be our first Christmas not with family so we have to make our own.

  2. Wow, that is absolutely fantastic! My family is always drunk by 11 AM on Christmas, but never from anything cool like flip cup. We just all drink whiskey sours while suppressing our emotions like good little WASPs. And yes, I think you will rock a half ironman. It can't be worse that running 55 miles, right?

  3. You'll kick butt at Kinetic - I badly want to do it but am coaching a meet that weekend. Boo.

    Also, if you have leftover Christmas pie, please send it to me.

  4. Now I want to play flip cup with Gatorade, like a real runner.

    Lake Anna is beautiful and you should enjoy swimming there. Also, it's really close to King's Dominion, so you can make it a weekend of wacky fun.

    I think a half ironman won't be close to running 55 miles. You won't be in the woods, there won't be stream crossings, and you begin and end in the daylight!

  5. I am not comfortable with where Eric's hand is on that blown up Snowman.

    You will kick butt at the half ironman!

    I love the Santa shirts and socks - where did you find them??

  6. don't be silly - you ran 50+ miles (like how i remembered the "+"?)...of course you can do a half ironman!!!

    i love me some flipcup. i'm fiercely competitive when i play too.

  7. I wasn't sure where this holiday-traditions post was going when it started with the snowman-fondling photo...

    A half-ironman is definitely near the top of my "WANNA-DO" list for 2012. Of course, now that I've been vocal about it... I should maybe, well, you know... buy an appropriate bike... and attempt some laps in a pool. *ahem* Total technicalities.
    So - I'm jealous - but that's all a random aside, I ABSOLUTELY think that you will ROCK a half-ironman! :)

    And - I love flipcup.. and beer pong..., too!

    Man, why I do have to live so far away from awesome bloggers/people such as yourself?!

  8. I too love the socks...and want the recipe for that Christmas pie! I can't wait to read about the half ironman! :D

  9. Unfortunately, my holiday traditions usually involve being on call :-(

    And you can DEFINITELY handle the half iron!!!!!!!!!!! not only are we going to handle it, but we are going to have a blast along the way! I'm already figuring out how to rearrange my garage so we can fit 4+ bike trainers in there during the winter. That way we can continue to gossip throughout the entire ride, while we are nice and toasty and indoors :-)....i haven't figured out how to make the swim workouts fun yet, but i'm on it...ill come up with something. can't wait!


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