A String of Good Runs

Over the last week, I wound up doing some shorter workouts due to holiday schedules. And I had really good runs.

St. Edwards Park Trail Run

I treated myself to St. Eds late Tuesday, after I’d finished my Thanksgiving grocery store trips and some baking. At the time, I was feeling very sluggish and out of sorts. Honestly, I was quite down in the dumps. But I got over to the park for my run and took off.

I was just motoring along; as I came up to the first gate, I checked my watch — I always take splits from certain landmarks while I’m out there (from parking lot to first gate; first gate to Jester gate; Jester gate to big rock fence; big rock fence to Y; and then down to Forest Ridge entrance; same splits on the way back). I did a double take. Even though I thought I felt like crud, I was running one of my faster splits ever for that uphill section.

I started getting out of my head a little more, letting the bad mood slide, and simply concentrated on my running. Sure enough, my split to the Jester gate was even faster. I had planned on spending about an hour running, so I was curious as to where approximately 30 minutes out would put me…usually, it only takes me a ways down the jeep road. This time, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself at the big rock fence. I turned around and came back, bombing the downhill and achieving a significant negative split (and loving every minute of the downhill). It totally turned my day around.

Around the Lake

Wednesday was a fun short run at Lady Bird Lake with my friend Dr. Stephanie; normally, we run on Thursdays but she had the time off and neither of us were available on Thanksgiving. It was a nice run, and again, I found myself running faster than normal.

Ft. Worth Turkey Trot 5K

We headed off to Ft. Worth that day, and on Thanksgiving, I got to participate in my first ever Turket Trot! Normally, I’m cooking so I either don’t run or just knock something out with friends. It was a beautiful, cold, clear morning, and there were thousands of people out for the 5K. Matthew and I were running along with his Ft. Worth cousins, their dad, my father-in-law, and his step-daughter.

We all took off; Elmo had warned us that there was no real running at first because seeding according to pace just didn’t happen. And that was true — walkers, grannies, and baby joggers had all practically toed the start line. It took me quite some time just to get to the starting matt and then it was a slow first mile. But that felt good, and I found myself warming up and running faster and faster.

Both of my nephews came up from behind and ran with me for a bit. The next thing I knew, I was done. For the first time in forever, I’d run under a 10-minute-mile pace in a race and I’d never even really breathed hard. It was so fun to pass people and enjoy the crowd! I was on a race high for most of the morning.

I think I need to do some shorter fun runs more often to get myself back in the game (the only bad thing is how much those short road races cost…gaff!)

Trinity River Trail

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day, and the next morning I did a short hour-long run from my sister-in-law’s house, picking up the Trinity River trail. It’s a lovely run that I’ve done many times. They are so lucky to live where they do, with such a beautiful trail and a great park just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Rest Day

I took Saturday completely off; Friday had involved about 8 hours of driving (from Ft. Worth to Nacogdoches to Austin) and I rewarded myself with sleeping in. According to my training schedule, I was supposed to have taken Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off, but that much down time doesn’t agree with me. So I chose Saturday as a complete rest day with the others being shorter and easier than I’d normally do.

Hilly 10-Miler on the Road

Last night, I joined the Hill Tribe for the weekly hilly 10-miler. I love that run! It’s a fun group of people and a very entertaining and interesting road run with some of North Austin’s nastiest hills. I absolutely loved doing most of it in the dark; the last time I was able to come was before the time change. Now, the run starts earlier (at 5PM) which gave us about 45 minutes of light before the headlamps and flashlights came out. I laughed at myself at one point, remembering how I used to make fun of people who ran on the road with headlamps. I am that dork! And we finished up that run some 10 minutes faster than the last time I’d done it. I’d like to think that’s due to my hard work and not just cooler temperatures.

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