Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ready! Set! Gobble!

Nine years ago, my family started a Thanksgiving tradition.  What started out as a simple goal to finish an eight-mile race has since evolved into my huge passion for running.  Today, I can't think of a better way to start the day than to be privileged to be a part of sea of  humanity with a commonality for giving thanks for family and health.  Many cities across the country are catching on to the Turkey Trot trend and cool, brisk November family-friendly races are becoming just as popular as pumpkin pie and football.

In 2002, I was clueless about dry fit or wicking fabric or that cotton socks were a HUGE mistake.  The only way I knew how to buy running shoes was to go to a sporting goods store and pick out a cute pair.  I didn't care about my stride or my arch or the pronation of my feet.  I had no idea what GPS was and I certainly wasn't concerned with my pace, heart rate or how to fuel my body.  I just wanted to run and I wanted my family to cheer me on to the finish line! 

I never thought when I ran my first Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot eight years ago that it would be the beginning of many major races for me. I was inexperienced and naive, but I was driven to finish. I had participated in several 5k races, but eight miles seemed nearly impossible. I made a plan and I committed myself to it! I not only successfully completed that first race, I've gone on to run several half marathons and and am currently training for my fourth full marathon.

The Turkey Trot has grown to unimaginable sizes in the past ten years as thousands crowd the streets in Downtown Dallas.  Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same for us until we've been a part of the morning festivities.  The eclectic crowd consists of families, competitive and not so competitive runners, walkers, a few dressed up turkeys, a lot of dogs, many strollers, a Pocahontas here and some Pilgrims there, and the man who runs merely in a speedo and feather each year.

This year marks the ninth anniversary of our Thanksgiving Turkey Trot tradition.  While I run, my boys hang out in the family activity area and make their way to cheer for me my last mile.  They've learned to time it just right and we have a system for finding one another one the race is complete.  Eight years ago, I finished my first race with bloody feet from wearing the wrong songs and slept like a baby the rest of the day from pure exhaustion.   This year, it's just a short eight-mile training run a week before the White Rock Marathon.

Whether it's 30 degrees outside or I'm six months pregnant, nothing has broken our tradition. The Turkey Trot is what defines Thanksgiving Day for us.  We'll be a part of it regardless of any circumstances and I'm thankful to be able to call it my favorite day of the year.

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Leah said...

I did a Turkey Trot last year in Palm Springs and I plan on doing another one this Thanksgiving too. It really is a great way to start such a day.

Booyah's Momma said...

What an awesome tradition to start with your family! Although the man who runs wearing only a speedo and feather? Yeah, I could probably do without that part. :)

DB said...

That settles it--I'm running in a speedo with a TWO feathers this year. Look how far you (and your hair) have come!

Liz said...

I love that you have such a distinct memory of time where you found the thing you love so much! That's really cool!

Lula Lola said...

You're a great example for your family and for blog readers! And boy, you really are a runner, if you're doing it on Thanksgiving day! You're very impressive lady! :D

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