Sun? Warmth? What is this you speak of?

5 04 2014

Having owned San Antonio for two days, we traveled on towards the Capital of Texas, Austin. A huge part of the motivation for this vacation adventure was to meet up with M who is the reason I have done 13.1. It was a combination of her dream and J’s throwdown that pushed me past my five-mile runs. We had an amazing time running together and I was so looking forward to a second. It’s so odd how a run that should be grueling seems effortless with a true friend by your side.

On Wednesday, we did touristy things all morning and had Enchiladas del Mar for lunch. Super yum, but in hindsight might not have been the best option. But it’s vacation, you have to live a little, right?

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Austin, Texas y’all!

About 5:30 we ditched the man and kids with pizza on the way, and headed to Rogue. M has been training with them for a few years and it’s such a huge part of her life, and success, that I was so excited to head over there.

We arrived to your average strip mall, where there was your not so average running shop tucked amongst a liquor store, grocery store, Starbucks, and pizza shop. Inside there was a polished industrial vibe, and a large track area where others were gathering. Two huge dry erase boards drew my attention right away. One, in the process of being updated, was the calendar of events for the month. The other was divided into a weekly format with multiple rows indicating the different training schedules in progress. There were three separate groups training tonight: a couch to 5k group, a impressively large group of youth runners, and our half marathon training group. As the half group is racing in ten days or so they were cheery and seeming confident. The coach was welcoming and possibly a bit concerned when I confessed I hadn’t run in over 60 degree temps in a good six months.

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FFF, what begins with F?

We set off to warm up on the way to the track at a nearby middle school. The sun, who had hidden behind the clouds most of the day, was smiling above us. It was strange not having every inch of skin covered, bare arms felt odd. Enchiladas still in my belly, I got into a nice stride quickly. I fiddled with the Garmin that had been handed down to me, with M providing much needed tutorial sessions along the way. “Why is it beeping now?”

Before I knew it we were at the track. Coach led us in some stretching, with some colorful descriptions from a fellow trainee (“open” and “denied” will likely make me giggle like a junior high school kid for the near future) and then he explained the workout. He spoke of half marathon pace, adjusting pace and other real running terms. I think I was lost by about his third word. I knew M would tell me what the hell to do, so it was all good. I’m thinking maybe I should try to determine my version of these paces he spoke of, since currently I just kind of run two speeds. My lunchtime trying to get three miles, a shower and make lunch in an hour pace, and my long run more of a jog pace.

M and I discussed a plan and started out. Much to my surprise I felt really good. I was able to just zone out and chatter my head off to M. We complained, we reflected, we even full out bitched a bit. It was perfect distraction to the fact that I was in long run territory. I suck completely at counting laps and was pleasantly surprised when the workout was complete. We drank some water, and then took it slow back to the running shop. As M opened the back door in I let out a long contented sigh. I felt full and whole for the first time in quite a while. I guess family time, friends, warm temperatures and that ever important vitamin D straight from the source is good for the body and soul.

I was knocked back into a reality by a very uncharacteristic kids-are-freaking-out mayday text from the man. My oasis of me time was over for the time being. But at least that didn’t stop the sun and warmth, a week of that has been pure bliss.

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Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio


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