Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Run Report

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.


Thomma Lyn said...

Awwww, what a cutiepie Tid is! An ear rub was definitely in order. :)

And *whew*, good job on your run, and I'm glad you got a cup of ice! Heat is difficult -- takes a lot out of a person. Our hikes have been hot lately, too.

The carrot blondies sound sooooo yummy!

the Bag Lady said...

Good heavens, sounds like your run was something! Nice of the medical centre to supply you with ice, though.
Love the water fountain photo. And Tid is looking very well, and deserving of an ear rub.

Just did a quick comparison of our weather - we will be at 81F by 9 am, compared to your 75F. Of course, your high is supposed to be 94F while we will only reach 88F!!! We are supposed to reach 91F later this week, which is really hot for us. Our normal daytime highs are around 72 - 75F. The Bag Lady is afeared of melting....

Leah J. Utas said...

I got quite a kick out of the armadillo fountain. It seemed quite inviting.
Tidbit has certaintly earned ear rubs.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I was thinking about you last night and your commitment to running. I wanted to take the bike out, but it was raining and taking a road bike and its thin tires out in the rain... didn't sound like a good mix. I need more seasoning (and to get caught in a couple of rain drops) before I do that.

Hopefully later today, I'll take a spin, but it's not looking good.

Rabbits' Guy said...

A good hard run, tidbit waiting, and some carrot cookies ... :<)

Glenna said...

Yummy--carrot cookies! I find your commitment to exercise (and healthy eating) very inspiring! Hi, Tid!

Jill said...

Love the water fountain. I am liking that they are putting more of them in. Great run! One of these days I will have to try running the trail instead of just biking it.

RoadBunner said...

Sounds like a satisfying run. Glad Tid got her ear rub, too! Maybe she wanted to use you as a salt lick.

Vickie said...

What a nice way to be greeted when you get home all tired! And I've done the out and back on the endless trail runs before. Definitely more psychological that pysical to overcome.