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Thanksgiving Marathons

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Rebecca Dance

I do not run on a regular basis. I have the hips and knees of an elderly woman hidden in my twenty-year-old body, so running is just a painful experience all around. The fastest I move is when there are chocolate chip pancakes in the morning at Commons. This shift into a more sedentary lifestyle since high school has caused my distrust for people who enjoy running to skyrocket. People who actually like running and look forward to doing it activate my fight-or-flight response. 

           A group of people that terrify me more than any other are people who get up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning to go run races. If you get up every morning and go for a run and it happens to be Thanksgiving, you are excused. If it’s your annual Thanksgiving 5k, or half-marathon, or marathon, or whatever else you might call it…I have nothing further to say to you. 

I just don’t understand what the appeal is. In my mind, the holidays are cheat days every day, disregarding the calories that you eat, and sleeping in for an extra thirty minutes. I don’t get why someone would choose to wake up early and run for miles and miles on a day specifically meant for staying home and eating so much food that you have to be rolled around. Choosing to run for an extended period of time for fun just doesn’t match up in my head. We had an event called a “Turkey Trot” when I was in middle school – a race that functioned primarily as a food drive. Children brought mountains of canned goods to enter the race because participation got us out of class thirty minutes early the day before Thanksgiving. However, there was a mysterious difference between the number of canned goods and the people who gathered at the starting line. I will admit to being one of the disappearing children.  

Eating Thanksgiving dinner is basically an extreme sport of its own – people may as well be training for eating competitions at the dinner table. It would upset the equilibrium of the body to do hard exercise in the morning and then eat your body weight in rolls a few hours later. It just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. I usually tell people to live their lives their way, but this is something I am actively discouraging. 

(Granted, I do also believe that those people who run on Thanksgiving morning stand a better chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse, but that’s a discussion to be held at another time.)