Sunday, November 8, 2009

Running Through the Holidays

Does it seem like the holidays are being thrust upon us earlier and earlier? I had not even carved my pumpkin this year before I walked into a store to hear Christmas carols and see Christmas decorations. What happened to Thanksgiving?

On a long morning run on October 31st with a friend, she said “the rush starts tomorrow”. At the time I did not know what she meant, then, later that day was when I saw my first Christmas tree of the season, and I knew what she meant.

What does that mean to us runners? Well, it means that we don’t have to worry quite so much about Christmas cookies and sweet potatoes and dressing – with gravy. But it also means that we have to keep up our running schedules in spite of all of the hustle and bustle, on top of the usual hustle and bustle. Holiday parties, changes in schedules as kids are out of school, oh, and who can forget the shopping, wrapping and cooking!

But, if you are like the many who love to run late fall and winter longer distance runs, the last long runs are critical to having a great race. I know I have suffered through a Disney marathon in January when I “cheated” myself out of those last long runs because my schedule would not allow. I paid for it dearly at about mile 17 when it hurt more to walk than to run. I know I am not alone.

So, as we enter the downhill slide into the holidays, be sure to not only make holiday plans, but make running a priority. The holidays will take care of themselves.

And, let me be the first to put in a word for Thanksgiving that seems to have been skipped this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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