Saturday, November 27, 2010

The challenges of holiday running

ne thing about holidays, they tend to break routines. For an athlete training for the Olympics, that isn’t always a good thing.

Many people assume that you just take holidays and weekends off. Most runners don’t take days off, we still need to be out there, even when our family and friends might be comfortably planted on the couch.

So it’s a challenge to keep up the running through the holidays.

I’m hoping that we’ve started a new family tradition this Thanksgiving — running in a Turkey Trot. We were
celebrating Thanksgiving on the East Coast with my husband’s family. When we’re out there I love to run Plymouth’s Old Sandwich Road.

It’s a very pretty, peaceful run.

This year, for the first time, they held a 5K race in that area on Thanksgiving morning and much of our family competed, while grandparents and kids watched. After that, it was back to the house for
feast preparations and plenty of good eats.

One of the things that helps me during the holidays is making sure I get my run in early, before the real festivities begin. If I wait, then I have this cloud of guilt hanging over my head and it just ruins my holiday anyway.

So while everyone else is puttering around, just getting ready for celebrating, I need to get to running.

At the same time, I don’t like people pushing me out the door. I have got to muster up the urge to run myself.

When it’s cold and I need to run, I usually bundle up and walk around the house until I get the urge to run.

My poor mom. During high school and college when I was home during the summer she would try to wake me up early and try to get me out running before it got too hot. That was something I really didn’t enjoy.

One of the many good things about having Quin around is he makes sure I stay in a routine. When I have just a limited time to run, I don’t wind up procrastinating and wait too long for the urge to run to hit me. I just have to run or miss it.

This year, we were going to try and combine some outside time and my running. There’s a real nice bike path near where we were staying so Quin and the family could walk along there while I went for a run.

What are we going to do once Quin understands the whole Christmas Eve? Santa Claus is coming, let’s get up at 5 a.m. on Christmas? I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Heck, my sister would wait until after I got back from my run to open presents.

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