As we mentioned last week, Team Tallsome has quite a few things to be thankful for and four-day-weekends should have probably been at the top of the list. Both members of Team Tallsome had bitchin’ Turkey Day weekends and we didn’t even look to cash out on the Jos. A Banks Black Friday sale – Buy A Tie get Six Fur Coats Free. Without further ado, we wanted to give everyone a snapshot into the weekend of epic we both are recapping gloomily on Monday morning instead of actually doing work.

Home, Home on the Range. Max’s Turkey Day Weekend

On Wednesday I took the day off from work to ride with my Aunt and Uncle out to Dublin, TX where they’ve been spending Thanksgiving with their friends and friends’ families for the past 25+ years. In order to make the trip, we took historic Route 281 from Garden Ridge (just north of San Antonio) to our inevitable destination roughly two and a half hours away. There are certain things that come to mind when you think of Texas, but when you live in a thriving, semi-urban city like Austin (or any of the big three: San Antonio, Dallas, or that other really sweaty place), you forget what most of the state is like. I’ve made countless trips across the Midwest, I’ve seen acres and acres of soy and corn, but there’s nothing that can prepare you for the vastness of the Texas hill country sky. It’s big, REALLY big, and although it was impossible for me to count the number of cacti and cows as the land whipped by while my dear uncle exceeded the speed limit by 20-30 mph, it seemed like both of those figures could’ve been infinite.

In due time we did in fact reach our destination: a working ranch that has been in the Powell family for over a hundred years that is used to raise (wait for it) Longhorn cattle. Welcome to Texas.

Besides the fact that I suddenly found myself in what looked a scene straight out of Friday Night Lights, I was soon told that there would be upwards of 40 people present for thanksgiving. For those of you who don’t know about the “tradition” that I’m used to with turkey day, let’s just say this was about as different as you could imagine. Here’s a quick breakdown of foods eaten over the course of the three days spent on the ranch: gumbo, smoked corn beef, taffy, turducken, wild duck, dressing/stuffing, enchiladas, chocolate pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, ham, and maybe a vegetable or two in there. This does not include the impressive array of booze that was available, which included: probably 10 types of beer, red wine, white wine, sangria, prosecco, champagne, and flavored Tito’s vodka, all of which led to much joy, rational decision making, and an intense 7am headache.

However the crux of the experience occurred just after our mid-day thanksgiving feast when I suddenly found myself trying to look/sound as bad ass as you possibly can while repeating “pull” and firing a 12-gauge Beretta (eat your heart out R. Kelly). That’s right folks, we went skeet shooting for dessert. Well, actually we had pie first, but the guns played the role of dessert’s dessert. I wish I could tell you that I was a natural, but having never been into paintball/Call of Duty, lets just say I preserved a whole bunch of targets for reuse.

All around, it was a lovely time with some of the most inviting and friendly people I imagine I’ll ever meet, almost all of whom can drink like fish and drop anti-Perry bombs like it’s nobody’s business. Did I mention I woke up to coyotes howling in the middle of the night? Imposing wildlife for the win!

The Egg Nog Challenge and more. Matt’s Turkey Day weekend.

When I was 16 years old and a junior in high school my parents talked me into running cross country to better prepare myself for the upcoming basketball season. I was reluctant at first, but ultimately dove in and learned more in two years running cross country that I use today than the lifetime I spent trying to dunk and getting yelled at for shooting free throws right handed (I’m a lefty) during basketball practice.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when one of my old high school cross country buddies invited me to join in the Second Annual Egg Nog Challenge taking place during Cincinnati’s world famous 102nd Annual Turkey Trot. The six mile run takes place Thanksgiving morning and is a great way for weird people like me to enjoy not being hungover on Thanksgiving morning.

The major snag in the Turkey Trot for Egg Nog Challenge participants is  (you guessed it) chugging copious amounts of your favorite milk based holiday treat throughout the six mile race. Each runner is paired with a partner and the only rule requires teams to finish a half gallon of nog before crossing the finish line. Feel free to vomit now, it’s only going to get worse friends. Welcome to the retelling of the Egg Nog challenge!!!

So I was partnered with a friend of mine, Hilary, who played college soccer, may be one of the smartest people I know and finished a marathon earlier this year. Unfortunately for Hilary, she had Big Daddy Jared on her squad bringing only one hellacious mustache to the table and very little (if any) athletic ability. The other two teams were former cross country runner’s from my high school and I have to add in one little note about these guys…They might be some of the craziest motherf***ers I’ve ever come across in my entire life. These bros would have no problem taking down a eight mile run in 95 degree heat in high school and still have enough time to talk trash to each other afterwards. Needless to say, I didn’t give our team much of a shot at victory (or even completion of the race for that matter) heading into the showdown.

Hilary and I decided that our strategy would be to cruise the first three miles together chugging as much as possible together, hopefully have little to chug in the last three miles where Hilary would take off and I would finish any nog we had left and make sure to yell at our competition (15,000 other people) about their weak attempt at being thankful. After a good warmup we headed to the start / finish line and got prepared for the start of what be the most amazingly terrible decision I’ve ever made.

Big Daddy had no idea what was to come.

Promptly at 9:00AM some lady from Channel 12 gave the start signal and we took off with the first chug of the nog, that I was prepared to be awful but it tasted surprisingly fantastic. Then we ran about 100 feet before Hilary and I both wanted to hurl. It’s hard enough to run at a reasonable pace and show off my ‘stache, adding in the egg nog was a pretty difficult task, however, we carried on and were galloping through downtown Cincinnati. The first mile went by incredibly quick and we managed to take down quite a bit of the elixir of Christmas-y joy. Mile two was pretty quick and the awkward glances and morbid stares started to increase as we continued on our journey. As we crossed mile two I could feel my man thighs getting a little tight and my lungs feeling a little sharp with pain to add onto the rumbling of 800 calories of milk, eggs and Reindeer piss rolling around in my gut from the nog.

Knowing my place on the team, I told Hilary to take off and not worry about any more of the nog as she already looked green and may have puked if she had to drink anymore. So Hilary scooted off hoping to get us a lower combined time and I promised to down the rest of the nog before the finish line. At this point we had about half of our allotted nog left. Four miles. 12,000 (or so) calories in Santa Juice. And one man ‘stache. I was determined to knock this s#%^ out!!

After I realized how much of man I must look like to the other competitors and spectators, I got a small second wind and headed towards Kentucky with a full head of steam. Then I started doing some math and realized that I was in mortal danger of falling into the Ohio River if I yakked on the bridge. Things turned south at this point. I got a little greedy with some of my chugs and every other person seemed to ask me 1.) If I was really drinking egg nog 2.) What booze was in the egg nog 3.) If I had puked yet.  I was polite to everyone and joked about my near puking incidences and they laughed their fat faces ahead of me while I had a gut full of Mrs. Clause’s special sauce. I really wanted to just scream “NO, I’m not ACTUALLY drinking this, I’m just putting it to my face and slugging it down my gullet for fun and it just looks like I’m drinking it!!” but I held off my rant and kept on plugging.

By the time I got to the four mile mark I committed to taking one major chug and then leaving any left overs for the finish line. Horrible decision. About half way to the five mile mark, on the route back to Ohio I seriously thought that my demise was near and I would be yakking all over the other contestants, (including the super hot young lass in spandex I was using as a “pacemaker” for like two miles) and Thanksgiving would be ruined by my failure. I had to keel over at the five mile marker and really look into my soul and decide if I was going to wimp out and walk to the finish after poured out the nog like a whimp. As I thought about Thanksgiving and the sacrifices Benjamin Franklin made to try and hook up with Pocahontas I was brought back to the goal of Turkey Day glory and decided to suck it up and run out the final 1.2 miles of the race. Another horrible decision.

As I approached the finish line I was slugging nog, trotting, almost puking, farting incessantly and making sure I wasn’t going to puke on any unknowing spectators. I took my final few chugs and crossed the finish line and nearly lost it on a race official. I had to keep my shirt over my mouth the hold myself steady and I took a reassuring breath of amazement at my own accomplishment. I made it, somehow, and in a personal best for 10K to boot.

Rumblin & Stumblin

After the race, the Egg Nog Challenge participants gathered and we all told stories of perseverance and laughed  at how idiotic we all were. Hilary and I finished dead last, despite her amazing push at the end to keep our times low. Somehow it seemed that finishing last in the Egg Nog Challenge is like finishing first in the race of life.

Sweating out straight nog!

I’ll save everyone the details of the rest of my weekend because my boss needs me to do something and I can’t act like I’m writing a really really long email and get away with it anymore. However, I will share one quick story from the rest of the weekend…I randomly met Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at a gas station after the Egg Nog Challenge. We talked about how my mustache was creepy as hell and he told me that he lost a bet once and had to grow a ‘stache. With that said, I know which Bengals jersey I’ll be snagging for Christmas while I quietly never sipping egg nog again.