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    Most people realize that Thanksgiving is a once a year eat-a-thon, with the ultimate outcome being that you spend the next few weeks struggling into skinny jeans and fasting in preparation for Christmas and New Year’s feasting. If you have come to this understanding, I applaud your realism. You can now pass go, collect $200, and skip to the bottom of this article for some fun upcoming events. 

    However if you are one of the delusional about to doze off into a turkey-coma, lulled by the comfort that your 2am Black Friday power shopping will negate the cornucopia of calories consumed at dinner- let me step in and offer a quick reality check.

    Granted, shopping can burn calories. It is estimated that for a 150 pound female, shopping can burn 80 calories per hour- that is if you are actively moving. If you are standing in line with your Black Friday purchases, however, you are restricted to about 30 calories. Let’s say you plan on spending 14 hours shopping (and for the sake of simplicity let’s say it’s split 7 hours actively shopping, with 7 hours of standing in line); that is a projected 770 calories. The average Thanksgiving dinner, complete with a drink and a dessert, comes out to about 2430 calories- that’s without seconds. 

    So unless you are planning on spending your Black Friday budget on kaftans, though according to Michael Kors they are somewhat stylish this season, you have some caloric ground to make up. Here are some races to help with that post-turkey slim down:

    The Otter Creek Trail Marathon- If you missed out on a Thanksgiving morning turkey trot, lace up your running shoes to get prepped for  December 15th’s Otter Creek Trail Marathon (with 16 mile and 8 mile options on the same trail). More information can be found at

    Polar Bear Grand Prix 2012-13- Maybe the idea of a trail marathon is a little daunting. No worries; the Polar Bear Grand Prix is a series of three races, all under 5 miles, designed to keep you running on the roads this winter. 

    Sweaty Sheep’s Merry Christmas 5k- Held December 22nd, the proceeds of this 5k will go towards aiding Louisville’s homeless population. So, if you’re looking for an event to torch some extra calories before Christmas, put this race on the calendar (maybe just choose to forgo the eggnog challenge)

    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I am a freelance food, arts and culture writer. Among other publications, my work has appeared at The Atlantic’s CityLab, Eater, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate.

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