Saturday, February 25, 2006

A 20K Run and a Russian Birthday Party

This morning I had 24K/15M on the schedule, but as I stepped outside in the near freezing temperatures and brisk wind I had my doubts that I really wanted to do this with my lingering cold. After a the first few kilometers I could tell that this was not going to be a high power run, I felt weak and sore. I settled into about marathon pace and ran over part of my normal 14K loop, then on to the neighboring town’s running trails (Graben).

After about 1 ½ hours I decided that I had enough so turned around and headed home. I ran around two hours, roughly 20K/12M at an average pace of about 6:00/K (9:39/M) – which is my planned marathon pace. I doubt the extra half-hour of running that I missed really will make too much difference at this point and probably limiting the miles will help me get rid of my cold faster.

This afternoon we were invited to our neighbors wife's 70th birthday party. Our neighbors are Russian-German, or in other words they were allowed to return to Germany after the Wall came down in 1989. We were one of the few friends that were invited to the party, typically this is a family affair and it is considered an honor for an “outsider” to be invited.

The party was held at the church parish house four buildings down from our house. There were about 70 people present, the most family. There were huge piles of food – meats, potatoes, salads, cakes, sweets and of course Vodka (our whatever you wanted to drink) to wash everything down.

Needless to say we ate well today. Of course I made sure that I filled my plate a couple times, don’t want to offend the host ;-) There was lots of toasting going on, it seemed like the head of each family part have a little speech (sometimes in German, sometimes in Russian) and we all toasted the birthday girl! It was quite a friendly group, we felt quite welcome.

After 4 hours or so we decided to head home, it was pretty much just the closer family left so we took the cue. We avoided the Vodka, which was flowing like water, but I did have a glass of excellent German wine - my wife doesn't drink alcohol.

I feel like I ate a side of beef all by myself, I am contemplating going for a walk. Tomorrow I think a green salad will do. Have a nice weekend!

Wow, I became full just reading your report, Jack. Sounds like a fun day, though.
That sounds like some party! I'm hungry!
I hope someone throws a party like that when I turn

Good job on the run.
That sounds like such a fun party. I bet it's such a great cultural experience.
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