Almost everything about this upcoming Thanksgiving is unconventional for me. For starters, my folks are traveling to Austin, which means for the first time in my adult life, I’m playing host. Except, my first hosting gig will be made possible thanks to one of my favorite restaurants who is providing the big feast. With the exception of my famous pumpkin bourbon pie I’ll whip up Thanksgiving Eve (seriously, it’s a crowd pleaser), I’m relatively hands off for this one. And couldn’t be more excited. 

Fresh off two back-to-back months of travel alongside an intense month of work for all of Team Krause, we agreed on one thing: let’s keep it simple so we can enjoy each other’s company and truly relax. What a novel concept. I’ve always said that living kindly means more than exercise and counting calories — it’s about finding a balance that works well for you and ultimately makes you happy. The holidays have the potential to provide more stress than fun, but only if you let them.

We’re starting new traditions this year. Unconventional or not, I like this notion of doing what’s best for me at this particular time; minimal cooking, zero stress and enjoying family time that doesn’t happen enough. While I can’t tell you what the ideal Thanksgiving should look like, I can tell you that I’m going to indulge, relax and still find time to train for that half marathon. I don’t know that we’ll ever find the perfect balance, but here’s how I plan to make Thanksgiving work for me.

  1. Stay activeNew tradition! For the first time ever, we’re running our local Turkey Trot as a family. Everyone has embraced a healthier lifestyle and it’ll be nice to wake up early and do something good together. Plus, I’m determined to not let a holiday alter my half marathon training schedule too much.
  2. Daily check-inEvery single day, check in with yourself. If you don’t like what’s going on, change it.” My friend Steve Sisson of Rogue Running shared this piece of advice that I now live by. Taking daily inventory on how you feel allows you to adjust as needed. While my family is here, we have a lot of dinners and events planned, which usually equates to lots of temptations. I require a daily check in to ensure I simply feel good.
  3. Indulge. Yes, I’m eating pie. My rule on indugling is as follows: I only indulge on the things that I love. This Thanksgiving, it’s homemade apple pie (no canned ingredients, no frozen crust). My second rule: no guilt after. What’s the point of enjoying a treat and feeling guilty after? Don’t get caught up in guilt or shame. And if you over-indulge, tomorrow is a new day. 
  4. Drink plenty of waterEasiest one in the book! When I’m fully hydrated, I notice I crave less, stay fuller longer and feel my best.
  5. Embrace the down time. I am constantly on the go. At this point, it feels weird when my day doesn’t begin with a 5am coffee and run. My workout routine won’t take a backseat while my family is visiting, but if my folks want to grab coffee and catch up, my run can wait until later.

I’m embracing family time that I rarely get. That’s what the holidays are all about — spending time with those you love and giving thanks.

*Team Krause at Keystone Ski Resort on Thanksgiving Day in 1992

image sources, top to bottom: thanksgiving tablepie (original source unknown)


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Kelly Krause