My new Thanksgiving tradition is to go for a run. Not a formal Turkey Trot like many towns have, just an average solo run from my house, down the road, and back.
My first Thanksgiving run was two years ago. That year, the first snow dropped about two feet of fluffy snow in a single day right before the beginning of the gun deer season. Cold temperatures and deep snow meant that some hunters were stranded in their deer camps, while others couldn’t get get to theirs. On Thanksgiving day, it was cold, maybe only 15 degrees out. I bundled up and went for a three mile run, excited to be outside and have the day off. The roads are quiet on Thanksgiving, and so I probably only saw a car or two. Near the end of my run, a man was driving his four-wheeler in the opposite direction. We were both bundled up and looked cold. I was enjoying my run and felt that of the two of us I had the better deal, but he may have thought otherwise.
I don’t remember last year’s run, except that I did run and that I remember thinking how different the conditions where from the previous year. We had a mild fall last year, and it was only on the evening of Thanksgiving that the weather switched and our first snow started.
This year, the conditions were somewhere in between those two years. Our first snow came about a week ago, and a few inches of sloppy, slushy snow fell last night. Getting ready to run, I put on wool socks and prepared to have cold, wet feet the entire time. But I was lucky and the snow on the road had melted enough that I didn’t need to run through much slush. It was almost entirely quiet out on the road, mostly just the sound of my steps and my breathing. In covering 4 miles, I encountered only two trucks. The highlight was watching a crow (or a raven; I still can’t tell the difference) fly from tree top to tree top and listening to the sound of its wings. There were some chickadees too, and a few screams from my neighbors’ kids playing in the woods back behind their house. But other than that, it was very quiet. Just me and the woods and my thoughts.
While I ran, I listed off some of the things I’m grateful for: the health of my friends and family; that I have such wonderful friends and family; that I can run 4 easy miles without much effort; that my feet weren’t sopping wet. I thought a little about what I want to do better next year, too. But mostly I just ran and didn’t think too hard.