Thursday, July 26, 2012

Training in Texas

I knew that sticking to a training schedule while on vacation would be hard. I think I underestimated exactly how hard it would be.

Last Friday afternoon I started the trek to Austin to visit my friend Melinda and her boyfriend. They moved out to Austin about a year and a half ago for her job, and have fallen in love with the city. I’ve heard great things about the city before they moved, and thanks to a generous birthday gift from Dan, I was able to afford a long weekend. Friday was a rest day so I was so far on track with my training plan. ;-)

Saturday was supposed to be my long run day (9 miles) but I had hurt my back earlier in the week, and running made it worse. I decided to flip my cross training day with my running day, to give my back a chance to heal. Instead we went kayaking on Town Lake:

My back felt great after the kayaking, and it felt good to be active. We went out for some great Mexican food that night, and then saw one of Melinda’s friend’s play at the Continental Gallery. Austin is known for its music scene, so it was nice to get out there and see someone Melinda actually knew. We stayed for her whole set, about an hour and a half, and then left since Chris was going to come with me to tackle the 9 miles.
 Mmmmm guac!

We left for the Town Lake Trail a little later than I would have liked, and a little earlier than he would have liked. Compromise! The first mile we went out fast (for me) – finished in 10:52. I told Chris there was  no way I’d be able to sustain that, so he could just go ahead. Around mile 2, the Mexican food from the night before struck. Luckily, there are bathrooms along the trail, and I prayed that it was a one and done incident. I was not so lucky. I had to stop again around mile 4, this time in a hotel. 20 minutes later I tried to start back up on the run, and my stomach wasn’t having it. I didn’t want to hold Chris up, so I decided to walk the two miles back to the car and wait for him there. I resolved that this would count for my Tuesday 3 mile run, and would try again then.
Around the 3 mile mark on Town Lake Trail.

Luckily my disruption didn’t ruin my day. We toured UT’s campus, went to Driftwood Winery, and then to Saltlick for dinner. I’m surprised I didn’t die and go to heaven, that’s how fantastic it was.

Monday we had a lazy day. We went to the Whole Foods Headquarters for lunch, and then tried to go to Barton Springs but it was closed due to flooding. We hung out by the pool instead and grilled for dinner. Monday is also supposed to be a rest day. I’m really good at following that part of the plan, aren’t i?

Tuesday I dropped Chris at work and drove back to Town Lake Trail to conquer the 9 miles again. It was hot. There was  no shade. I had to pee. The first mile was a success (11:09) partially because I was frantically running to find a bathroom. The rest of the run was a disaster. I have chafing everywhere – the entire outline of my sports bra, some sports on my legs, under my arms, even a spot on my hand from the water bottle. I wasn’t wearing running socks (only packed one pair – dumb!) and I got blisters so badly that my mile 4 rest stop was at an Embassy Suites to buy Band-Aids from the hotel gift shop.
Congress Street Bridge around the 4.5 mile mark, after getting my Band-Aids.

I refilled my 20 oz water bottle four times over the 9 miles, and was so thirsty still after. It took well over 2 hours and I walked most of it. Even walking was tough, but I got the 9 done. You win Austin, you win.

Yesterday I was exhausted from lack of sleep and still sore from Austin’s victory. Tonight I’ll be doing the 5 miles I was supposed to do last night, and tomorrow morning I’ll do the 3 miles I am supposed to do today. Tomorrow evening I am going on another mini vacation to visit friends in Boston. Hopefully the cooler Boston weather will lead to more successful runs.

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