Sunday, November 25, 2012

Making changes, giving thanks and trotting like a turkey

As of Monday, Nov. 19, I am officially the Web Content Specialist at the City of Irving. It's an exciting time to join the city. It recently received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and new developments (DART's Orange Line and Water Street in Las Colinas) are positive signs for the city of 220,000.

My career has been a winding one. This latest move is just what I had been looking for — new challenges, more structure/organization and all-around positive.

For those who follow me on Twitter, the biggest work-related change on that channel is already apparent: The hourly links to random, interesting stories are no more. That's no longer part of my job. Instead, part of my new gig includes overseeing the city's Facebook and Twitter pages. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that the views I share here or post on my personal Twitter page do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Taking a photo with a timer is always a comedic process.
This photo shows it's worth the effort.
Thanksgiving was great this year. In addition to starting a new job, I have countless blessings for which I am thankful. Good friends, wonderful relationships and abundant love are at the top of the list. I was happy I had so much free time this holiday to spend with my sister and mother. We reminisced about past holidays, put up/decorated two Christmas trees and had a fantastic dinner at Central 214 at Hotel Palomar — the Potato Gruyere Gratin might be the best side dish I've ever had. And the incredible gnocchi with ricotta salata, buttercup squash and mushroom was dynamite. Considering it's meat-centric holiday, I was very impressed with the thoughtful selections for vegetarians on the menu. My compliments to chef Graham Dodds for putting together such a wonderful array of seasonal treats.

That's me in the middle, just about ready to pass out from
sprinting the final half-mile. I love that the pic has the
Omni Hotel and Reunion Tower in the background. Dallas!
Eating such an immense, delicious, high-calorie feast is made all the easier when you start the day with a bit of physical exertion. My sister and I participated in the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot. Celebrating its 45th year, The Trot is a 5K/8-mile race that is more "fun run" than anything I've ever done. There's always a first for everything, yes? Since this was my first (only?) 8-mile race, an automatic PR was in the bag. Considering how congested the streets were for the first two miles (strollers, dogs, walkers, oh my!) I was pleased with my time of 1:01:42. It's not easy piling into a corral with 40,000 other people and negotiating jam-packed city streets. I didn't expect the race to be as seamless, runner-friendly or organized as the half-marathons and marathons I've raced, so I wasn't too disappointed (frustrated at times, sure) with the chaos of the race.

In just 13 days, the Dallas Marathon will start near the same spot as The Trot. This training cycle is winding down, and I am feeling great. Last year, I didn't have much of a clue what I was doing. I was fairly certain I could finish the race, but I didn't know what it would be like. Entering this year's race, I have improved my training and I better understand what it takes to run this distance. If all goes as planned, I'll have a great accomplishment to share on this blog.

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