San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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December 7th, 2009
Run with Moe: 'Tis the season

Run with Moe: A column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

As much as I thought this year was going to be different, I became aware this week that it might just be the same old tradition that occurs every year at this time.

In my case, it started with an office pre-Thanksgiving luncheon followed by a Thanksgiving dinner and looks to be followed up by Christmas goodies and meals along with other holiday reasons for eating large meals with friends. I thought maybe that by backing off a little on the amount of food I placed on my plate, things might be different this year.  I could have avoided all of it by not stepping on the bathroom scale the other day and ignoring this yearly holiday tradition of watching the numbers on the scale become larger week after week.

It seems that I am not alone in following this tradition, as I have talked with others that follow the same path toward gaining weight with the advice of, “It only happens once a year”.

True, it does only happen between the months of November and January, but it takes from February to October to get back to a starting point so you can do it again the following November. It starts with Thanksgiving, heads toward celebrations around Christmas parties, then comes January and the New Year parties and celebrations, and, lately, it seems that Super Bowl Sunday will be added to the list of reasons to sit back and enjoy company and good food.

Runners seem to fare better than many others, as this time of year is considered to be marathon race time and those big meals are just so many carbo-loading meals for a long run the next day. If you are not a marathon runner, then entering a 5K or 10K race every week is the next option to keep those scale numbers steady.

For immediate relief to combat this tradition come down on Tuesday evening, Dec. 15, to the Hays County Courthouse at 6:30 p.m.  The Annual Christmas Lights Fun Run is scheduled and, in the past, this traditional run has gone on rain, shine or cold weather. I have been on very cold runs with only about three runners of questionable mental logic showing up for a run and as many as a dozen runners laughing and splashing through a very wet and raining evening.

This run, even as a listed “fun run,” seems to defy any logic from the weather and continues on year after year. Wear clothes that can be seen in the dark, such as reflective vests, belts, carry flashlights and light-colored jackets. Costumes of holiday dress are encouraged, and there have been some very original running wear designs for the holiday season.

It seems there are always a good number that will have bells attached to their shoes to resemble a sleigh ride in the snow atmosphere. All in all, it is a fun time for all levels of runners and walkers and, on occasion, there have been in-line skates, skateboards and even a bike rider a few times.

After the run, everyone will gather at the San Marcos Activity Center for some light food and conversation about runs past, present and future, as well as just getting to visit with friends and meet new friends. It is one way to get a head start on keeping the bathroom scale numbers down, as well as having a good time.

For those women that are more into the competitive side of running, the ladies can enter the Holiday Half Marathon (and 5K and 10K) runs on Dec. 13 at the Tanger Outlet Center. The beneficiary is for breast cancer research in a nationwide run that is ending the season here in San Marcos. It is a run for women only, but men can always volunteer and get some exercise cheering the women on as they run.

Looking ahead for the spring racing season, it looks like San Marcos will have a very good race schedule here locally. I have heard of several new races that are in the planning stages, and if they come about, local and area runners will be kept busy this spring.

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