My New Thanksgiving Tradition

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

An Open Letter to My Pre-Workout Self

Dear Maria,

I know you don’t want to work out. I can imagine exactly how you feel right now: tired, burnt out, unmotivated, and/or slow. Also, probably hungry. Just about anything seems better than changing clothes and getting down to it. Suddenly, work just got a lot more interesting didn’t it? Or did you suddenly realize an errand that needs running? Or has it just been a really really long day and you feel like you just need to go home and relax?

Yup, I’ve been there. I totally get it.

But here are three reasons why I think you should do that work out even though I know how much you don’t want to. Continue reading “An Open Letter to My Pre-Workout Self”

Two Rules to Dress for Cold-Weather Running

When it gets cold, I forget how to get dressed.

As fall transitions to winter and the temperatures start to drop below freezing, I respond by piling on more and more layers (and eating more and more cookies, although that’s not the point here…). This sounds warm and cozy, but it’s problematic when I go for a run. Just the other day, which was beautiful and sunny, I looked at the snow on the ground (just 2 or 3 inches), the temperature below freezing, and the slight wind and decided to pile on the layers so that I could stay warm during an easy run. Well, I’d severely overdressed. Not much more than a half mile in, I was unzipping my light jacket, and ditching my gloves. At the first mile mark, I had to ditch my hat and tie the jacket around my waist.

This situation reminded me of two great rules for dressing for cold weather running that (when I follow them) work like a charm: Continue reading “Two Rules to Dress for Cold-Weather Running”