Thanksgiving Traditions…..

I’ve lived in Illinois now for way too long 14 years.  It doesn’t really seem like that long but on the same hand it feels like forever.  It’s not where my heart is but I’ve learned to develop some traditions for me in an attempt to stay sane without my family down the road for back up/support.  In 2006, I ran a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.   That first year, I just went where a friend went and had to drive forever, then showed up and found out it was an untimed “fun” run.  Hmmmm…… not my thing but it was fun.   Plus it made me realize that was how I wanted to start my Thanksgiving  mornings for as many years into the future as possible.  The following year (2007), I ran the Running For Kicks 4 mile Turkey Trot in Palos Hills and I’ve done the same each year thereafter, except for the year I had Michael.  The route is not easy but its close to home and it definitely makes me feel as if I earned my Thanksgiving Dinner!image

I looked back at my times today for a giggle, thinking about each year and how I handled the hilly route on that particular year.  I had anticipated 2012 being my worse year but I was better than that first year where the course filled with hills was a total shock surprise.

  • 2007 – 34:21 – Holy Hills
  • 2008 – 32:33
  • 2009 – Mr. Michael arrived
  • 2010 – 31:53
  • 2011 – 31:55
  • 2012 – 33:58 (6 months post injury)

So the Turkey Trot is a wonderful tradition which I’ve had on the schedule for many years now and its absolutely one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s short, fast and not too painful a great start to the day.  I normally take as many people from my neighborhood as I can strong-arm into running fit in my car.  Plus, I’m now part of an amazing group of runners, the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club (AKA – The F’N Runners) and I can always count on a few members to show up to enjoy the fun. 


The additional friendly faces make the race that much more fun!  Then I go home to a turkey already cooking in the roaster, courtesy of hubby and Mr. Michael, and I cook & clean for an IL family dinner which includes anyone and everyone who would like to come.  YUMMMMM….

A new tradition, which I just started last year, is hosting a run at a local trail on Black Friday.  I don’t recall ever having gone Black Friday shopping and I have zero interest to do it now.  It happens to be a day that many of my run friends have off, so the idea was to start an “all inclusive” run that would include as many people from different running groups as possible.  Last year was a success so despite my recent return to running, I decided to set it up again.  Here is the 2nd Annual Black Friday Runners at Waterfall Glen in Darien, IL!

Waterfall Glen_11-23-12

Please note that despite the fact that these lovely people could have been shopping Black Friday sales, it would have been perfectly understandable if they had just wanted to stay in bed.  The temp was barely 30 degrees and the wind was CRAZY.  It was very cold.  We didn’t do much lollygagging but just made short introductions, took the photo and ran!  We had people in this group from as far south as Monee/Peotone, as far north as Addison, as far west as Manhattan & as far east as Lansing, IN!  Very diverse group of people from all over.  I was super proud that they all came out and I know these specialty Friday runs will continue to grow!  Next Waterfall Glen Run – Good Friday (2013).

I love the idea of traditions and keeping a little bit of routine in our crazy lives but I also love the idea of spending time with as many different people as possible.  There are sooooo many amazing runners in our area and I’d honestly like to know them all by name!  So I float around a lot, running new trails and meeting new people.  Making memories and doing what I love…….RUNNING.  Therefore, many of my traditions are running related. 


Do you have any Running Traditions? 

** Making Memories thru Tradition ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Traditions…..

  1. Great post TTF. Traditions…well…ya…Mel’s Turkey Trot is definitely one of my traditions. You posted some pretty good times a few years for what is undoubtedly a hilly, challenging course to run hard and fast on! This is the 2nd year in a row that I crossed the finish line and nausea overcoming me just post-stopping. My one true, physiological measure that I was giving it my all out best….irrespective of the finish time…and hence… now becomes a tradition for any race intended to be run super-fast!

    I like to think of Boston Marathon to be a tradition….but don’t want to be perceived as bragging or anything…but this April will be my 5th straight. And since in the April 2014 Boston Marathon, I will be 60-yrs old…I will move up to the 60-65 division…and hence only need a 3:55, so if I can run anything close to my current 3:35 potential….have good opportunity to get myself into a 6th straight Boston. Is it simply a lofty goal to run consecutive BM’s…or tradition…not sure yet?

    But…finally…that Black Friday Waterfall Glen run was awesome and it will be a new tradition for me. Next year we might all want to come dressed entirely in black! Black Friday….Black Apparel…but the zebra striped outfit qualifies as black!

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