I decided to be adventurous today and run the Brays Bayou trail from my home to Hillcroft, which is 10.6 miles and roughly halfway to my parents’ house on the west side of town.
It was cool when I started out, but very humid. It’s a strange feeling to be covered in sweat yet not hot, but that’s Houston for you. Although most of the Brays Bayou trail is unshaded, this isn’t a problem in the early morning when the low angle of the sun and the fact that much of the trail in the Med Center is below street level work in one’s favor, creating shade. There were a lot of cyclists on the trail and a number of runners and dog-walkers in certain popular sections, so I felt safe even though once I was past Buffalo Speedway I was in unfamiliar territory and wasn’t sure how safe the trail would be to my turnaround point.
Some stretches of the trail have water fountains at well-spaced intervals, but there were places where you could easily run several miles without finding water, so it’s a good thing to always take some along. Here’s the most unusual water fountain I saw today.
By the time I reached my turnaround, the sun was fully out and I had begun to realize that running a straight out and back route of this length presented some psychological challenges. The route as a whole was no longer than most of my Saturday morning runs, but running looped routes close to home puts you in a very different mental space from being more than ten miles from home with only your own feet to get you back. And did I mention it was very hot out by now?
I spent much of the way back fighting my own brain, which was at least a distraction from the heat. Once I got to the Med Center I was in need of some cold water, not the outdoor water fountains which run cool at best and are often hot in the summer. I went up to street level and went into the nearest medical facility, figuring they’re in the business of caring for people so of course they’ll let me use a water fountain. Not only that, but the very kind folks at Texas Orthopedic offered me a cup of ice in their lunch room. Maybe I looked pathetic. I hope not.
Refreshed, I finished my run with no difficulties and was greeted by my lovely Tid when I got home. Sure, I was hot and stinky and my calves wanted to cramp up, but when someone like this runs out into the hall to say hello, you just have to take a minute for an ear rub, right?
I’m making carrot cookies tonight. Dan and I decided that we like the way they came out last weekend when I doubled the recipe and made it moister by adding applesauce. The end result is actually more like carrot blondies than carrot cookies, so maybe that’s what I should call them.