If you’ve been reading for a while (bless you for that), then you know it’s been a very looooooooooooong time since I actually trained for something. I ran my last race in January of 2012, then had a brief stint training for the 2013 Houston Marathon before scrapping those plans to go to India. So, it’s been a bit of time since I was really focused on running.
A very large part of that was that the city I lived in was not very exercise-friendly. Besides the fact that it was very hot and very nastily humid for most of the year, it wasn’t very safe. Where sidewalks existed, they were often very narrow, unlit, uneven, and sporting many a hole. Then they would just come to an end. Additionally, people were haters. I’ve had multiple drinks thrown on/at me, diapers thrown at me, I’ve been chased by dogs, had people pull over and yell terrible things, and had interactions with many a creeper. Those experiences were not unique to me at all, so trust me when I say it’s not a good situation.
So, my standards for outdoor running are pretty low. Typically, if I run without someone purposely swerving at me or yelling “hey fatty, run faster,” then I feel like I’ve had a pretty good day. Last night, I had my first outside run in Austin. I had no intention of running outside for at least 6 more weeks, but I’m an idiot and had no choice.
I wore my running shoes home from the gym on Tuesday night, then forgot to take them back to work with me yesterday. So, running after work at the campus gym was out. Then, I couldn’t get in my apartment gym to use the treadmill because my gate opener (which was supposed to also deactivate the lock to the gym) didn’t work. That would have been way too simple of a solution. So, in the spirit of actual dedication to training, I laced up and hit the street.
A cold front came in so it was only about 87 degrees, and since I only had two miles and the humidity was a fabulous 30%, it really wasn’t the end of times as expected. No one yelled, no one threw anything with me, and I felt safe. There were these nifty guard rails between the road and the sidewalk even.
And there were paths. Actual paths for the sake of exercise. Other runners waved and smiled. There was a water fountain that had actual water in it. I wasn’t even on special trails, just running along a road. It was so wonderful. I can’t imagine how amazing it will be when it actually gets cooler. What is this wonderful place????