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Run, Cookie!

Run, Cookie! ☺

Hey all. It’s Thanksgiving evening as I write this . . . yup feeling full and fairly happy with myself as my jeans remain buttoned and my belt at the same position as it was BEFORE the meal. : ) However, it is safe to say that I have consumed more calories than most days. ☺

I hope you were all able to find a Turkey Trot to participate in this year. I was visiting my parents in Wisconsin and ran the 5-mile Festival Foods Turkey Trot. I ran it. Did not race it. It was a fun and relaxing run with thousands of other runners and walkers, not to mention quite a few strollers and dogs.

I kind of view Thanksgiving as the end of my running calendar. From this point on it’s about training and hopefully increasing my mileage a bit. What are your

Dan Van Veen Keeps Holiday Running Practical

plans? Well, sure a lot of people say that they “plan to run,” but let’s say that the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are really challenging for runners, seriously.

FIRST, we start with Thanksgiving bellies, followed immediately by Black Friday (which is a crazy event for some as far as the weird hours kept), and then it’s immediately December! Uhhh, I ask you, how many Christmas parties, church events, relative visits, office parties, special trips to see lights (and food), additional demands on your time can there possibly be in so few days? : ) And EVERYWHERE you turn it’s drink this, eat that, taste this, sip that!

So, back to our “plan” to run. The trick is to really plan it. Look at your calendar. The nights you’re going to be out later at an office Christmas party or watching your niece in the Christmas play followed by meeting over at your relatives house, yes, those nights. Are you REALLY going to get up at 5 to run if you were up until midnight? Instead, let’s be realistic by PLANNING for those nights out by COMMUNICATING to our friends, family, and co-workers that “Yes, I’ll be there, can’t wait, but I really can’t stay too late” (so no surprise when you leave early) OR simply move your run to a different day within that week and make your day or days off coincide when the previous night you know you’ll be getting too little sleep.

One other thing to keep in mind during the Christmas season -- the weird food. Even if it’s your FAVORITE food that you have EVERY December, let’s face it, our bodies aren’t used to all the different things we consume basically just 4 weeks out of the year. You know how you aren’t supposed to eat anything new or unusual prior to a race, think about what your body is going through with all those Christmas-season treats and foods it’s not used to. Those foods are likely going to throw you off. Headaches, lethargy, just wanting to sleep . . . yup, it’s hallmarks of the season (oh, yeah, and for those of you who are Hallmark Christmas movie addicts, I know they’re tough to turn off…so just don’t turn them on after 9…go watch the early news or something)! ☺

But don’t beat yourself up if you have days that you struggle. Understand what you’re putting your body through and don’t bully it, because the only thing worse than having a bad run is forcing yourself to run when you’re wiped out and then getting sick and feeling miserable for 7 to 10 days.

Finally, this Christmas season, work at being thankful for the gifts and blessings you already have in your life. Christmas is really a season, I believe, that is about giving . . . and if you don’t have the finances to give, that’s okay; I think giving people kindness, courtesy, encouragement/hope, caring, appreciation, and a hand (all things that are free) can be far more valuable than money. : )

Have an awesome run today!


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