Run Joyfully; Run Like A Child

Running Streak Day 586
YTD Mileage: 1216 miles

The days of August are here, with the full force of heat and humidity that wilts one’s

IMG_3887
Barton Creek Greenway, ATX (this area accessed by Hill of Life trailhead)

resolve to keep up with training as surely as it wilts the vitality of every living creature and plant that exists in a somewhat harsh environment such as ours in South Texas. With an October race (Oregon Coast 50k) looming large, my training schedule at this point includes ever increasing weekend long runs. The problem is that along with those ever increasing long runs is my ever increasing summer season fatigue. Motivation to run is difficult to muster when I knows that within minutes I’ll be soaked to the skin, clothes as wet and sticking to skin as if I’ve been swimming, and my breathing labored in the heat. When the temperature is cold, I know I will warm up pleasantly shortly after I begin the run; however, when the temperature outside is near triple digits, I know I will just continue to heat up as my run progresses. Continue reading “Run Joyfully; Run Like A Child”

Yoga Sandals Meet Trail Running

Inexpensive, comfortable, and minimalist, yoga sandals double as minimalist trail running footwear.

Running Streak: Day 525IMG_3753YTD Running Mileage: 883
YTD Biking Mileage: 20

A couple of weeks ago, Phillip and I wanted to explore the Canyonlands trails in Lakeway, a small community on the outskirts of Austin. We had never run in this area before, but I had heard that it is hilly and beautiful; I definitely wanted to take advantage of the long Memorial Day  weekend to finally try out those trails. I had a bit of a trail running dilemma that weekend, however. Even though I can run barefoot on just about every type of surface, I’ve yet to master barefoot running on the rocky, technical Central and South Texas trails. Luna Leadville huaraches have been my trail running footwear of choice for the past few years, and although not perfect, they worked better for me than any other huarache / sandal-type footwear I’ve tried in my nearly ten years of barefoot running. A few weeks after running the BB50 in April, while running some singletrack along the Leon Creek Greenway in San Antonio, one of my huaraches suddenly broke. My friends and I were nearly finished with our run, so I just took off the unbroken huarache and carried both while I finished the last .5 mile barefoot.  Continue reading “Yoga Sandals Meet Trail Running”

Running With Alligators: Belated BB 50 (4/16/16) Race Report

Running Streak Day: 505IMG_3340
YTD Running Mileage: 785

Before I delve into the bittersweet details of my particular Brazos Bend 50 race (I ran the 50k, Phillip, the 25k) experience, I have to offer praise to Trail Running Over Texas. Oh my goodness! What a well organized, runner-friendly race this company hosted! The TROT people anticipated and provided for every runner’s possible needs. The food offerings at the tables were abundant and varied (even some gluten-free items, which sadly, because of my stomach, I could not enjoy – but more about this unfortunate state of affairs later). The volunteers were amazingly patient, kind, and helpful. I absolutely fell in love with TROT this day (BB 50 having been my first TROT race). TROT 4 – Ever : )

Brazos Bend State Park is located a little drive from the nearest cities (Rosenberg, Sugarland, Richmond). Phillip and I, following the recommendation of a Strava friend who lives in the area, reserved a room in Rosenberg. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and drove straight to the park for packet pick-up. We wanted to make this drive for two reasons: to know where we were going on race day, and to check out the type of trails we’d be running. I wanted to run the 50k barefoot all the way, but I had read that much of the trail was actually covered with large rocks or gravel. I run the gravel surface at Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake, but always and forever Town Lake to us) in Austin barefoot, with no problem, so a gravel surface in general would not necessarily present an obstacle to my running the race without my usual rough trail-running go-to Luna Leadville huaraches. Continue reading “Running With Alligators: Belated BB 50 (4/16/16) Race Report”

A Run A Day Keeps the Lazies Away???

I notice that the date of my last blog post is February 7th, some – uummm – three months ago. The space

1st Place AG @ Cocoa Women's Half Marathon, January 2015
1st Place AG @ Cocoa Women’s Half Marathon, January 2015

between that post and the previous is even greater! At that time, I only brought my blog up to date concerning my goal of finishing my first 50k. I’ve set some running goals and run some races between my successful Cloudsplitter 50k completion and now. I’ll recap swiftly! I set and met a goal to run a sub-two Decker Challenge Half-Marathon in December (chip time 1:56:57, 4 / 22 AG). I set and met a goal to run a sub-two Cocoa Women’s Half in January (Chip time 1:53:10, 1 / 44 in AG). I set and failed at the goal of a 4:15 – 4:30 full Austin Marathon (see Wild Hare 50k, same song, second verse as they say). I turned off at the half, and finished with probably the slowest half time since the first half I ever ran. I saved face some with the next race after that one – which happened to be the very next Saturday: the Street to Feet 5k (chip time 25:09, 1 / 32 AG). My business (ATX Ultra Eats) sponsored the inaugural Mission for Life 5k / Half-Marathon on March 21st. I ran the 5k; the half-marathon was turned into a 20 miler at the last minute, due to flooding of the course along the San Antonio River. Continue reading “A Run A Day Keeps the Lazies Away???”

Out of A Running Slump, Onto the Roads and Trails

Running is depressing me at the moment. I had a triumphant weekend, with a successful ten mile run Saturday and a successful fifteen mile hill

Barton Creek Greenbelt
Barton Creek Greenbelt

run yesterday. Today, I find myself once again rebelling against running in the cold weather that returned over night.I’m back to where I was last Thursday, when I aborted a run at its inception, went home, and finished off a bag of Tyrell’s sweet chili and red pepper chips. As I polished off those chips, I read an article about ultrarunning in the Trail Runner Inside Dirt that arrived in my email box that afternoon. Although, as one person stated in the comment section that follows the article, training for ultras is somewhat unstructured, I’m pretty sure that no one would suggest foregoing a run to stay home and eat a bag of chips as part of a successful training strategy for an ultramarathon, which is my ultimate goal (believe it or not!).

The problem is that we’re having another (really, honestly, super) cold snap. The temperature warmed up quite a bit Saturday and Sunday, which is why I had good runs over the weekend. I did manage to make myself run in the bitter cold last Wednesday, the first day of our most recent arctic front. That day I ran on the river in Austin before driving to San Antonio, even though the temperature was in the thirties and the cold wind made the wind chill factor even lower. I was uncomfortable at first, but I knew I would warm up tolerably for the short run for which I had time. I also knew I would feel better after my run, for having run, than I would feel if I skipped it just to avoid discomfort.

I’m not sure what happened to that woman who triumphed over her resistance to the cold run that day. I must have left her in Austin. The next day, after checking the forecast for the day, I decided to run about 2 pm. According to weather.com, the sun would be peeking out by that time, and the temperature would rise to about 40 degrees (from the 28 degrees with 19 degree chill factor at the time I was looking at the weather). Apparently, weather.com lies. As the morning hours passed, I began to suspect that the forecast was incorrect. The sun stayed stubbornly behind a cloud, and when the time came for me to prepare to run, the temperature was 30 degrees with a 23 degree wind chill factor. Even so, I pulled on my long compression-fit pants and a long-sleeved compression-fit shirt, pulled a knit cap over my ears, looped a scarf a couple of times around my neck, grabbed an extra pair of gloves, and then a pair of black socks for my feet. Yes, I actually covered my bare feet against the cold. I drove to the Stone Oak area so I could include those hills in my run: specifically Tabernacle Hill. I pulled on two pairs of gloves, put the socks on my feet, secured my scarf, tucked my hair up under my knit cap, and stepped out my car to begin my run. Continue reading “Out of A Running Slump, Onto the Roads and Trails”