This Week’s Top 6-2-3: Thanksgiving Style


1. Awkward Family Moment: Started the holiday weekend by taking my nephew O’Neill out to dinner for his 21st birthday. We sat at the bar of our favorite restaurant as we’ve done for years. He abstained from drinking because he took an oath not to for his golf scholarship. No alcohol was needed for us to have a great time. Some old friends spotted me with a handsome dude and the wife approached us inquisitively, “Amelia?” “Hey!” I replied. “Steve (the restaurant owner) said you were dating a handsome, hot guy…” and she looked at O’Neill wondering, “Is this your guy?” “OH, NO!” I answered quickly, “Well, he is a handsome, hot guy! Can’t you see the resemblance? This is my nephew!” I found myself rifling through my iPhone pics to show I wasn’t that much of a cradle robber. O’Neill took it in stride.

2. Turkey Trail Trot: I opted against doing the Long Beach Turkey Trot and running on the boardwalk. Thought I’d be better off training on the trails for the XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run in December.

3. Lost: Crystal Cove was closed to due to unsafe conditions (rain). So I ran at the far end of Aliso Woods Wilderness. It’s been years since I’ve been around those trails. Probably 15 years at least. I got lost. I ran/walked an extra three miles. This made Todd laugh his butt off and save the voicemail to play for his brothers Thanksgiving night. It was funny.

4. Lovin’ It: My getting lost gave him more time to ride his cyclocross bike on the same trails, so it didn’t matter if he made us late for dinner because it was my fault already!

5. Dinner: It was excellent. The highlight was the entertainment portion, which included my brother-in-law’s brother Jimmy in an arm wrestling duel with O’Neill and then a full-on food fight with a couple of cans of whip cream with my niece. We were all in fits of laughter. Jimmy’s dogs were happy to clean the floor. Yup, we’re a really mature bunch.

6. Dessert: Back at Todd’s, we waited for brother Brad and girlfriend Caroline to arrive. This is a family of jokesters. I am VERY easily punked. We waited. We drank. Suddenly, his condo shook. The cat, Seven, freaked out. Me too. Turned out it was Brad, shaking the sliding-glass door. Spiked my heart rate more than that trail workout. This East Coast chick doesn’t like earthquakes.


1. My sister Jane (O’Neill’s mom) set a 10K personal record of 50 minutes (at the age of 56)! Hey, she didn’t take an oath not to drink. That’s worth celebrating! And it gives me hope that I can get faster too. Her secret? Yoga every morning!

2. I took advantage of the Black Friday special to sign up for three more triathlons at Bonelli Park next year. I’m psyched! I need a lot more races under my belt to get over this race-start anxiety bug-a-boo.


1. Todd crashed badly at his cyclocross race on the last lap. I waited for several minutes holding my iPhone camera waiting for him to cross the line. Then I heard Todd call out to me from the medical tent. After hearing the medic’s play-by-play, I’m so glad I didn’t witness the crash. He wondered if Todd would get up. Todd has never crashed out of a race.

2. He rode his bike gingerly back to the car. He has nasty tire mark gashes in the inside of his left bicep, a stiff right shoulder, and a really banged up right calf. He’s been hobbling around ever since.

3. I left my rehab quality ice gel pack behind for him to use this week with instructions, “Ice, ice baby!” Despite the limping, he rode for an hour and forty minutes last night and recited all the wildlife he saw out there today. It was a very long list!