Yesterday: 9.5 hilly miles in 8:18 min/mile
Today: 7.1 easy miles on trail, 8:19 min/mile
We are amidst the holiday season, and what an excellent time it is for running! The weather is cooler (in the Northern hemisphere), many of us have time off from work, and with lots of holiday food going around, the extra calorie burn is helpful. Furthermore, if you are extra nice, maybe someone will gift you with some fun new running gear.
On Wednesday, I put my run off until the evening because boyfriend needed a ride to the airport. I had a fair amount of work to do and couldn't get out until 5:30pm, which is when it starts getting dark these days in Austin. I decided that if I was going to run in the dark, I would make it festive. I drove down to Townlake and combined a 4 mile hilly loop through a posh neighborhood with a 2.8 mile loop along the river. This was my first time running the route at night and I was pleasantly surprised! The neighborhood was beautifully lit up with lots of twinkly lights and decorations. I usually don't enjoy evening running as much, but this run was particularly festive and enjoyable.
This week I am house/dog sitting for a family that lives in west Austin. Texans refer to this part of the state as "hill country," largely because the rest of the state is so flat by comparison. And while there are no mountains, west Austin definitely has some extreme terrain including rolling hills, ledges and ridges. I fancied myself a pretty strong hill runner, but running out here has definitely humbled me. Very few of the roads out here are interconnected, so there is no direction for me to run that doesn't involve ups and downs. While it makes planning my routes rather intimidating, I am confident that a week of Texas hill running will make me much stronger.
Happy Holidays to all, and remember to get that run in! It will make your Christmas day that much more enjoyable.