Runner's High Beats Tryptophan at Turkey Trot

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

Turkey TrotRolling out of bed at 5:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morn proves you are just a little crazy. There I said it. It is in the public record. I wanted to go on a training run for a forthcoming half marathon with our city's 41st annual Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot run of eight miles. My theory was that a

Runner's High beats Sleep Caused by Tryptophan.

You know Tryptophan. It is what makes you sleepy after eating the turkey. Well I survived the run and I ate the turkey later and away I go blogging so my theory proved right.

With my runner's high along the race route this is what I observed today:

Beauty - a sea of colorful humanity, particularly on two long bridges one leaving south of the downtown and the other bridge with miles of runners on it approaching the glistening skyscrapers in the blue, morning sky. Boston and New York City marathoners can appreciate the awesomeness of this spectacle. This race with its three mile fun run had 30,000+ people running, the largest in the country on this holiday.

Kindness - a lady RUNNING with her golden labrador retriever in front of me at one of three water stations picked out a cup off the table and was giving her dog a drink in full stride. Amazing. She thought of the dog FIRST.

Challenge - on one of the long uphill battles against some hills, a wheelchair racer was struggling, but not giving up to get up the hill. He made all of us around him proud of his determination with his two arms on the wheels and not giving up.

Encouragement - At the six mile mark, many missed the sign indicating that distance and others said, hey, if we were running a marathon we'd have 20 miles more to go. It made the final two miles seem like a breeze. And finally,

Humor - we live in a way too high tech world. This one guy had an iPhone strapped to his upper arm. He is Bluetooth talking to who knows who crossing this bridge. The crowd laments to him vocally give me a break!! Then we must have had some native New Yorkers or Californians in the crowd with their cell phone law background. The next one passing him said, "Don't you know you're not supposed to talk and run?" A cast of characters out there pounding the pavement.

So if you ever need the antidote for not falling asleep in the Easy Chair after the big bird and the football game, catch me south of downtown Dallas Thanksgiving day morn. You'll see some interesting people and maybe as a bonus lose some pounds for the day. : ) Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one wherever you were at.


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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Oops, PS, I meant to mention that LIke the other William that commented I don't run any more. Fast walks but no more running. At least running like you are referring to. Congratulations of the discipline to still be doing that and I am sure it was amazing this morning. Hope your Thanksgiving was awesome Gary.

Nov 27, 2008 10:59 AM #11
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Loved your post -- you're a proactive guy.

Nov 27, 2008 12:13 PM #12
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Gary, see, this is why you're the Best!

Your post inspired me AND I felt that knot in my stomach and some tears in my eyes.  Humanity at its best. 

Definitely worth of top billing on the Optimist Board. 



Nov 27, 2008 12:25 PM #13
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Hi William: Now YOUR day sounded great!! I am going to have to remember that Petite Sirah wine. The running with me has gotten better over time. Go figure.

Hi Li: Got to live life and immerse yourself out there!! ; )

Hi Mirela: Thanks for the Group recognition. There really are a whole host of characters at these races, especially the LARGE ones. Some people were even dressed up as turkeys with feathers on their head in honor of the day.

Nov 27, 2008 12:32 PM #14
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

GARY, I'm sure there is NOTHING that could make me get up at 5:00 on a Thanksgiving morning to run but it sounds like you had a great time.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2008 12:50 PM #15
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Gary, good for you. I think Russell was headed to Dallas for a run as well. I know that here in Sacramento we had the annual Run to Feed the Hungry with over 27,000 participants. I was busy cooking but it sounds like it was fun! Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 27, 2008 01:30 PM #16
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Hello Marchel: It was fun, but the early morning start you have to be serious about wanting to do it. Apparently a lot of others have made this a tradition along with their turkey.

Hi Gena: That's a huge number of participants in that Sacramento run for a good cause. I read that about Russell too.  

Nov 27, 2008 01:38 PM #17
Pat Tasker
Shorewest Realtors - Germantown, WI
Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI)

You do hae a lot of time to think while running a race...Good luck with your upcoming half marathong!

Nov 27, 2008 02:08 PM #18
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Gary - I did a 5k one year on Thanksgiving. Me, husband, daughter (16) & son (11). But, I remember still sleeping off the turkey later in the day. You'r2 have done a 1/2 marathon is something I could never have fathomed even in my prime. Nowadays, my back would never take the pounding - those days have come and gone! But, I always love to watch - the daughter was a distance runner, I always loved attending her meets and cheering her on!

Nov 27, 2008 04:15 PM #19
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Gary,

Wow, what a great day, sure sounds like fun to me, glad to hear you had such a good time. I loved what you had to say about the run itself, it's like a micro communnity in many ways.

We have a turkey trot here too, my friend Marlene and I were registered for today. I stayed at her place last night, she's only minutes from the harbor and we were up at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Only problem, we had a downpour so we stayed in. I've done the rain, not nearly as much fun for me personally.

Good luck in your half!


Nov 27, 2008 04:35 PM #20
Laura Watts
Positive Properties, LLC - Laurinburg, NC

Gary-Glad you had a good RUN. It is amazing what you will see if you just take the time to look and I think you expressed that very well in your blog. Good Post. Thanks for sharing.

Nov 27, 2008 04:58 PM #21
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes


It sounds as though you had a wonderful fillde will all kinds of good stuff and after the run was still able to blog about.  ;-)

Thank you sir for sharing your thoughts.

Nov 27, 2008 10:38 PM #22
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Gary, you certainoly earned the turney dinner you had later.  I'm glad you had a great time. 

Nov 27, 2008 11:25 PM #23
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

What a wonderful way to start your Thanksgiving Day! I did not run...but I did get up early. From the sound of the was a fast-paced but wonderful day. i really enjoyed your Thanksgiving observations! GBU~

Nov 28, 2008 12:53 AM #24
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Gary----6am?  Does counting chasing sheep count?

Nov 28, 2008 12:59 AM #25
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

I will do the turkey trot today. Once you eat turkey, it's nap time for me! Will have to tack on an extra mile or two on the treadmill!

Nov 28, 2008 01:05 AM #26
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Well, I am impressed!  I would have been in the ER getting oxygen, not writing this beautiful post if I had run that far!!  Good for you.

Nov 28, 2008 07:15 AM #27
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Pat: Yes, as the miles unwind you do have time to think. Also thinking of how far the next mile marker is.

Carol: Glad your daughter is still into running.

Lynda: I'm glad you stick with the running. I agree with rain and cold. Then it can be a bear.

Laura: There's a lot going on out there on the pavement.

Don: Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one for you.

Marzena: Burning the calories doesn't make you feel as bad later on when you pig out.

Elizabeth Nieves: Glad you had a good Turkey Day.

Charles: Glad you took it easy.

Susie Blackmon: I think for some with the leftovers it may be several days before they get back up on the treadmill. Good for you : )

Susan Mangigian: My very first race well over twenty years ago, a 10K, I did pass out at the finish line and was given oxygen. I was so embarassed. I ran so fast I couldn't breathe. I was a complete idiot (but I got my race T-shirt).

Nov 28, 2008 08:05 AM #28
s.lee.p is enjoying learning about her fav author.

Hi-You know the more I learn about you, the better I like you. I enjoy reading from all your wonderful commenters as well. Two of my favorite of your commenters are Susan M. and William J. That is where I would have been if I ran 8 miles. Actually, try intensive care. Pretty sad, but true nonetheless. Another one of those things I have been my own "worst enemy" about. but know once and for all that I need to change that, otherwise I will be intensive care, but it will be for much less than an 8 mile run and I may not survive. I think that is one of the things that makes me know I have to take better care of "me" before I run out of time here on earth. You are a true inspiration and example for what happens when you take good care of yourself, mentally,physically,emotionally and spiritually. Pretty cool my friend!  If you decide to run in next year's Thanksgiving race. I may just be there cheering you on and by then you'll even recognize my smiling face in the crowd.

BTW-If getting up at 5:30 a.m. on Turkey day makes you crazy, then I think that is a wonderful crazy. What I think on the other hand that is truly CRAZY is having a big turkey dinner and then going and sitting outside in a line at Wal-Mart and waiting all night for the doors to open. Just my humble opinion. Not my idea of a good time. My idea of a good time was what I did this Thanksgiving. Relaxing,catching up on some much needed sleep, and just going to local store with little to no traffic involved. Film of that at 11. <smile> Only bad thing was, I like sleeping in my own bed without a snoring mother, dog and a bed that doesn't make my body hurt so much that sleeping is done in spurts. Oh well. Still had fun nonetheless. <smile>

Nov 30, 2008 07:11 AM #29
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

GARY thanks for dropping by my blog and telling me about this post. I have run the Dallas Turkey Trot off and on since 1983 when I ran there with my Dad and brother. There were only about eleven hundred runners instead of what, 30,000 this year? Actually my brother took off way ahead of us and my Father laughed and cajoled me the entire way as I was struggling having just begun to experience running (I still smoked at the time). Anyway it is such a great run and my times have been as lw as 63 minutes in 2001 and this year was 1:24. I just enjoy it all. When approaching the finish line this year two of the guys beside me were rattling off everything they were planning to have for Thanksgiving that day...extra rolls and two helpings of dressing and yes pie, oh for sure at least two pieces of pie and, and...

Dec 12, 2008 11:06 PM #30
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Gary Woltal

Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
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