How Halloween fuels an endurance athlete

November 1st already. And it feels like winter here in Northeast Illinois. Trick or treating in these parts has been postponed due to the three inches of snow that fell yesterday. So, I guess it’s okay to still write about Halloween.

Having grown up Catholic, the first of November was always a holy day (All Saints Day) and a day off for us Catholic School kids. That meant the opportunity to stay up late sorting and counting our candy haul. For years it was a tradition to sleep over my friend Tracy’s. She lived in the best neighborhood for trick or treating – lots of generous home owners, lots of kids, and streets with only a little traffic.

We grew up in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey – a wealthy suburb of New York City. It’s more recently been the home to The Real Housewives of New Jersey (for the record they are nothing like the people we knew there). It also had one acre zoning. Tracy and I both became endurance athletes, perhaps as a result of being able to navigate that whole neighborhood in just a few hours 40-some years ago!

I didn’t realize what a feat that was until my daughter started trick or treating. We lived in Paramus at the time. The entire neighborhood was quarter acre lots. Theoretically these kids were hitting four houses in the time it took us to hit one! And today’s kids are spoiled! Parents now follow the kids around the neighborhood with a wagon or maybe even the family SUV or minivan stocked to rival an aid station on a marathon course.

Back in the day we just sustained ourselves by eating some candy. I never remember having water. We must have been pretty dehydrated by the end of the night. Thankfully it was cold enough most years that I never remember working up much of a sweat. The one thing I never remember having to contend with was snow.

When my daughter and her friends were finally able to go trick or treating without parental supervision, Halloween (or rather trick or treating) was cancelled two years in a row! The first time for an unusual late-October snow, the second because of Hurricane Sandy. In both cases the area was without power. Understanding, although disappointing.

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All ready but no trick or treaters. Vernon Hills, Illinois.. Halloween 2019.

I was disappointed yesterday. I was looking forward to trick or treaters. I didn’t get many at my apartment last year. This year Kurt said I didn’t get enough candy for what he had seen in past years canvassing his development – townhouses, attached, doors that are very close together, efficient.

Since I was home all day yesterday with the candy and no trick or treaters…yeah, we need more candy for the kids expected tomorrow. I made sure I got my run in this morning. Four miles on the treadmill. Fueled with a few Milky Ways and perhaps a half-dozen Reese’s. Some things about Halloween never change.

Although too slippery for running, it sure was pretty. Vernon Hills, Illinois. October 2019.

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