Do That / In Shape / It's Culture / It's Life

Running the Rice University Trail & Run for Wellness 5K

New Year’s Resolutions

This week marked the “happy half-way” point in my half-marathon training and just about two months left until the Woodlands Half Marathon. I’ve gone from dreading three-mile runs to actually looking forward to sprint sets and exploring new trails for my long runs. It’s been a big transformation, but I still have a long way to go and some heavy mileage and cold weather ahead of me. My original training plan had me running three times a week and cross training twice a week. I always got in my cross training (getting paid to teach yoga certainly helps with my motivation…) but getting in that third run is a bit of a struggle. Honestly, out of the eight weeks that I’ve been training, I think I’ve done that third run like twice… Switching from a super-team oriented sport of water polo to the super individual lonely activity (can you call it a sport?) of running has been a transition and as much as I love to run these days, sometimes happy hour and brunch get in the way….

But here I am internet WORLD,  with you here to witness me saying that it is 2015 and it’s a new year and a [slightly] newer me. I resolve to get in that third run no matter what it takes (I foresee some early mornings tbh). It’s about seven weeks till my half marathon and I can totally handle the additional seven assigned runs.

Thank you! Hold your applause.

Rice University Running Trail

Rice University Outer LoopThis week’s adventures in running took me to Rice University. My training schedule had me running six miles for my long run so I took the opportunity to go explore the trails around Rice. The outer loop tracing the edge of Rice’s campus is 2.9 miles. By the time you run from your car to the trail you can easily make it an even 3-mile loop.

I was able to park easily enough on Rice’s campus. I went on a Saturday (during Christmas break) and the gates for the parking next to the football stadium were all up. If I didn’t get lucky and park there,  I would have parked in Rice Village or in the neighborhoods nearby and ran the 2-3 blocks over to the trails. I also like to park in Palmer Memorial Episcopalian Church which is across the street from Rice on Main Street (you don’t have to pay for parking there).

The Outer Loop has nice maintained gravel trails lined with trees that trace the Rice’s campus. I figure during the summer time these trails are bomb because they are super shady–but also probably super packed. I would NOT recommend these trails after a rain. Thin black plastic lines the trails to I guess keep the gravel in place–but it also keeps the water in place and I ran just as much in the muddy leaves under the trees as I did on the actual trail. I went a few hours after it had rained and it was major puddle central. I basically played hopscotch through the puddles for 75% of my run. Between running through a thunderstorm last week and these major puddles this week, my new Nike’s are certainly getting worn in quickly….

 The Houston Wellness Project

I’ve totally raved about this before, but the Houston Wellness Project is super cool and has a free Run for Wellness 5K Series that occurs on the first and last Sunday of every month. You can register for free to get a race chip and bib. I attempted to do the race once before at the Heights location. (They call it The Heights, but it’s more like a block north of Downtown Houston…) but it was the weekend of daylight savings and I ended up showing up an hour early…oops. Anyways, in keeping with my New Year’s Resolution I am getting in my third run and had a blast and a half running the free 5K this past weekend with my friends. And if you’re into the getting fit/healthy/training for a marathon thing, I totally encourage you to check out the HWP! The next race is in George Bush Park on January 25.