Run For The Holidays

One of my favorite times of the year to run is just a few days away.

It’s time for the annual Thanksgiving Day run. In the past, I’ve been lucky enough to race (a 5-miler in Fargo), enjoy a conversational outing with running pals, and strike out on a long-distance venture in unseasonably warm weather (a 16-miler around Lake Bemidji in 2011).

So regardless of the weather, I always love running around the holidays, no matter the weather. It may sound cliche, but it does remind me how grateful I am for the freedom and opportunity to run, sometimes sharing the experience with like-minded friends, and focus on what challenges lie ahead.

This year, my hope will be to spend it running hilly gravel roads with a friend. Then I might get the chance to eat a modest Thanksgiving meal with more friends and family.

It’s particularly meaningful this year as I reflect back on 2013. It’s been a challenging and rewarding year with numerous life transitions. Some of those transitions have been documented here, others I’ve kept to myself.

After a 15-miler indoors Saturday, I’m grateful for the past and encouraged for the future.

Running hasn’t been easy in 2013.

Still, 15 miles on the hard track at the club the other day reminded me that there are still really good days. It wasn’t a blistering pace, but about a minute faster per mile than most of my runs in recent months. It felt exhilarating to run comfortably for so long. And despite the hard surface leaving me beaten up, my post-run recover went well as I kept moving and refueled properly. Enough so that the 5-miler on the treadmill Sunday felt challenging and equally exhilarating.

With my long run on Thanksgiving just a few days away, and more desert trail races planned this winter, I’m ready for some major improvements and a great year of running in 2014.

Have fun running this Thanksgiving, and if you’re looking for a race, check out my race listing to find one.