No, I’m not talking about the murder of millions of innocent turkeys.

Perhaps your mind jumped immediately to the discussion of religion and politics at the Thanksgiving table.  Though it might be wise to steer away from those topics in the interest of familial harmony, that’s not what I’m talking about either.

Nor am I referring to the hours and hours people while away watching football on TV.

I’m talking about The Annual Turkey Day Challenge, a torturous ritual thought up by the husband several years back when we began to tire of the time constraints, driving distances, parking nuisances, and maddeningly large crowds of many of our local Turkey Trot races.

The Challenge is a 10K trifecta of fleet-footed suffering:

Part 1: The Presidential Pardon

A steady 5K run around the neighborhood, ending at a local lake.  (The name of this segment comes from the temporary pardon the husband gives me for being such a slow and uncommitted runner.)

Part 2: The Energy Gobbler

A 1.5 mile fartlek around the lake.  (A fartlek is not a gastrointestinal malady.  It is a Swedish term for “speedplay” and is in essence a form of uneven interval training in which you sprint from, say, this tree to that street sign, then slow down to a walk or a jog, then sprint from that park bench to that bush, then slow down to a walk or a jog, and on and on it goes.)

Part 3: The Dessert Justifier

The misery culminates in a series of sprints up a nearby hill – we ascend one time for each course of the Thanksgiving meal.  So that’s… let me think: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberries, gravy (yes, we count that as a course for the purposes of this tradition), and pumpkin pie – and one more for the post-prandial digestif… that’s eight courses and eight agonizing sprints up the hill, followed by a recovery jog home.


Turkey Day Challenge
The Turkey Day Challenge always ends with some post-run relaxation…
… followed immediately by mimosas and bellinis.

Do you have any dubious Thanksgiving traditions?  I’d love to hear about them – I need something to distract me from the pain during next year’s Turkey Day Challenge.

9 thoughts

    1. I have a personal rule: I never use the word “hate” and any form of the verb “to run” in the same sentence. But at the same time, I would never call running fun. Kickboxing class is fun. XC skiing? Fun. Squash? Definitely fun. But running? Never. 😉


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