Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope some of you were able to get out and get moving before stuffing your faces 🙂 This whole idea of running a half-marathon on Thanksgiving morning is relatively new to me, but I don’t see myself doing it any differently in the years to come. It just takes a few hours of my time and my husband and I still manage to get a delicious dinner on the table. I definitely like the idea of being able to eat what I want with little worry.
As I reflect back on my childhood holidays, I have difficulty remembering my mother ever cooking a turkey. It wouldn’t surprise me if she never took on the challenge. She was far from domestic. I know that she would rather have been running than cooking. As I find myself in the kitchen, I realize that I am really not that great at whipping up these holiday feasts. My mother did not teach me how to bake an apple pie. I learned that when I lived for 4 months in the Bahamas while studying sharks (sounds silly, I know). If it weren’t for my step-mother, my poor husband would be forced to eat frozen dinners and take on a majority of the housework. My step-mother is the queen of domestic. She actually thrives on cooking and cleaning. She can’t go a day without grabbing the bottle of bleach. So, I guess I managed to get the best of both worlds.
Therefore, when it comes to family traditions, nothing really stands out pre-step-mother era. I am not one of those daughters who whips out the recipe passed down to her from her mother who acquired it from her mother. I don’t have those memories of smelling my mother’s apple pie as it bakes in the oven or helping her frost the cookies. Yeah, sometimes I get a tad jealous when I hear of my friends talking about their mothers in this way. I hope they are thankful that they still get to spend holidays with their mothers.
Yet, what I do have that most don’t, is the passion to run. That is what my mother passed on to me. It makes these Thanksgiving 1/2 marathons all the more special… similar to the feeling of nostalgia you get when baking that apple pie from your mother’s recipe. Not only that, but I have my own daughters now and I can pass along the family traditions that I think are worthy. Just yesterday, my oldest helped me make a pumpkin pie. Next year I will show her how to make “my” awesome apple pie. And why not get in a good turkey trot?
Right at this moment, my husband is participating in his first Ironman Triathlon. For those of you who aren’t familiar with those, it basically involves swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then running 26.2 miles. Sounds crazy, right? I used to think so, but now I am not so sure. Would I be willing to do it? Definitely not right now, but who knows what the future holds. Until this moment, I didn’t realize how much dedication it takes to endure a full day of strenuous activity. As I repeatedly search online for status updates regarding my husband, I can’t help but think “this is taking all day” and I don’t mean that in a negative way but in the “wow, incredible” way. It takes a lot of passion for someone to have that type of self-discipline. Today I ran 12 miles and that only took 1/8 of the time it is taking my husband to complete this race. He is covering 140.6 miles!
I always knew that my husband was the athletic type. If you have been reading my blogs, then you know that I have been the inconsistent athlete. When I met my husband he actually received the “most athletic” award for our group in the military. He often talked about the workouts he endured during his college years. I can’t believe that I even attempted to run with him when I “liked” him back in the day. I had issues when I was in the military because I couldn’t do the stupid sit and reach portion of the fitness test. Seriously, a runner doesn’t need to be flexible… thank goodness I know that now.
After we got married, my husband was kind of like me when it came to fitness… up and down. I think he liked to blame the kids even though he wasn’t the one who had to get pregnant, gain weight and then lose it! He would often commit to a race of some sort and then complain that he wasn’t ready… yet, he would easily overcome the challenge. It actually made me sick. He would barely train while I would attempt consistency and fail miserably. Now I can FINALLY say that I am able to WHOOP him when it comes to running. However, he TOTALLY has me beat with this Ironman stuff. Get me on a bike and I will show you the best way to fall off.
Anyway, even though he doesn’t always think so, he has that passion within and I know that it will always be there. I admire him for that and I am so thankful I married someone who could motivate me. I did kind of inherit that competitive nature from him (okay, some of that was already in there… but it has definitely been compounded by my intent to beat my husband at every race). Now I have all of this passion brimming at my fingertips and I am wondering how I can best use it to help others. Even though I am usually cursing at myself by mile 8, it just feels so good to be running. And I am so PROUD of my husband for doing something that I can’t even imagine doing right now!