Sunday, September 27, 2009

HARRA Cross-Country Relay

For at least a few weeks now, I've been able to run again. I am enjoying it as much as ever. With nothing more strenuous than a half-marathon as the goal (mid Jan 2010) means that training can be fun and even relaxing. No need to get up at 0500A on a Saturday morning for a long long run. Ten miles is about the longest distance I've tackled in many weeks. And that is at a leisurely pace (no Garmin involved) after reading the paper, having breakfast and enjoying a large mug of rooibos herbal tea. The closest I have come to marathoning since April this year, is wearing my Boston Marathon running cap.

Kathleen and I have been running together at least twice and mostly three times per week, including most Saturday and Sunday mornings. Every Thursday we do a track workout at Reagan High School with the Houston Striders. It is a great excuse to then go on to Field of Greens for one of the best sandwiches in town, a vegan BBQ Sandwich with some of the best french fries you can buy anywhere. They also serve large slices (we sometimes share one) of a killer vegan chocolate cake, from Whole Foods. Friendly waitstaff, and lots of other vegan and vegetarian options and even some (real) Salmon if you absolutely have to have something with a face or a mother.

Yesterday I was part of a 4 person Striders team running the 4 X 2-mile HARRA Cross-Country Relay, along some undulating terrain on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, just east of Shepherd Street and adjacent to Memorial Drive. Despite some cooler weather earlier in the week, Saturday dawned hot and humid and then some, so by 500p when the race got underway, we were running in typical Houston summer sauna-like conditions. Which means that after 1.5 miles of running hard and negotiating at least a couple of nasty sharp uphills, you are done. It was good to see some people that I had not bumped into for many weeks, and to make some new running friends in the persons of Mark Gonzales and Victor Curo, who made up the team with Jose Castaneda (we ran the Texas Independence Relay together in 2007) and myself. It was nice meeting you and thanks for coming out guys!


Amy said...

Glad to hear you are back at your running! It makes such a difference, mentally, when you finally decided to let go of those longer distances that are so hard on your body. The only way they will get me to do another half is if my mom and sisters manage to get us into the Nike Women's Race in San Francisco some time in the future.

Alexandra said...

So good to know you found the fun in running again! I am working at the same thing and starting to find it!