Easter this year was really wonderful. Instead of rushing from house to house and fitting in as many relatives as possible, I relaxed. Don't get me wrong - I love to see my family and don't think its a holiday without them, but sometimes having a low key celebration is just perfect. This year it was. On Saturday night my brother, his girlfriend and I went to my dad's house for an Easter dinner and then went to the Easter Vigil. At our church, the Easter Vigil always begins outside and we gather around a fire as the priest says prayers and we all light our candles. Does every church do this? It just occurred to me that I've never been to an Easter Vigil anywhere else. My dad has been in charge of building a fire in the large basin every year since I can remember, and this year my brother helped him, too. Its really nice that they worked on something that is such a special part of the ceremony.
On Sunday morning I slept in, finally dragging myself out of bed when I heard my mom blow drying her hair. It was really nice to get a full eight hours of sleep - that doesn't happen often! We had some tea and toast together as we prepared brunch. I made strawberry peach scones and my mom made bacon and her famous scrambled eggs (she holds the title for best scrambled-egg maker).
I based these scones on Jenna's recipe for whole grain strawberry pop tart scones (but added peaches and made a few other minor adjustments). For my second time making scones, these came out really well - I think they tasted great - and Pat loved them, which is a big deal coming from a former scone-hater. The batter was very wet and a little bit hard to work with (I had to bake a large circle for 15 minutes before I could cut them into pieces and then bake more) so I'm going to make another attempt at them this week and see if I can get the recipe to work a little bit better. I will certainly post about them if I'm successful!
A little while later Jim and Kristi joined us, and we all enjoyed our Easter brunch.
I was conservative with the bacon and didn't finish my eggs because after brunch I needed to go for a long run. My next half marathon is this Sunday, so I needed to get in one long run before then - the last long run I did was the C-Ville Half Marathon.
After letting breakfast settle for a bit I headed out into the beautiful sunshine. The day before had been very cold and rainy, but Easter was gorgeous - sunny and in the mid-70s! Just being outside felt wonderful. I didn't have any GU or other running supplements with me so I brought a small bag of jelly beans to keep my sugar levels up. I think the Easter Bunny would have approved.
Its been years since I did a long run in my hometown and really explored on foot, and as the miles passed, I realized that I was having a great time. I've been bogged down by sore muscles and heavy legs in the past few weeks, so I'd almost forgotten what it was like to run and not be counting the minutes until I could stop. I can honestly say that I loved every minute of my run!
Some highlights of my run (roughly in order of appearance):
- Spring flowers in bloom everywhere I looked (I especially love crocuses, daffodils and tulips).
- Running by my old middle school.
- Katie's old house that is so full of memories. From 5th grade through senior year of high school, I probably spent half of my time at her house.
- South Bridge Boat House - my dad loves coming here to rent canoes and boat down the river.
- Running through the center of town, past all of the familiar (and new) shops and restaurants.
- Seeing the Sunday morning bike crew gathered in the town square, refueling and chatting together.
- The Old North Bridge - which now has bathrooms and water fountains (very exciting when you don't pack water on a long run in the heat!)
- An SUV full of guys hanging out the windows yelling "HEY-O!! Happy Easter!" (I think they may have had a few mimosas at their Easter brunch).
- Hutchin's Farm - the organic farm I worked at in high school and one summer of college. The fields are even more beautiful than I remember and I immediately wished I could run through them and look at all of the baby produce being planted (but decided to restrain myself - running into your old boss after 8 miles of running isn't the best way to reacquaint yourself). I mostly worked in the farm stand, but one summer I planted and picked berries - that was a long, hot summer.
- Church-goers in their Sunday best, leaving church and enjoying the sunny day.
- Running past my old elementary school, which was recently rebuilt and is the first green building in Concord (the high school is being worked on next).
- On my cool-down walk I ran into some neighbors that live a few doors down from my mom and had a chance to catch up with them.
I'd planned a ten mile run but ended up doing eleven miles. I felt great throughout the whole run, and didn't feel tired at all when I finished, I felt refreshed! Why can't every run be like this?
I ran at a comfortable pace the entire time and only pushed myself to go faster at the end. My finishing time was 1:42:54, which is a pace of 9:19.
After my run my mom and I sat down to have a snack and chat. I started with another scone and some hard boiled Easter eggs.
Over the course of the afternoon we talked and munched on other treats - fresh fruits and veggies and Easter candy. The day was wonderful - it was so nice to sit and talk with my mom and just relax.
Now I hope we can get some more of that warm weather to carry us until summer! I'm done with cold and rainy days!