Halloooo running world! I’m making progress on my half marathon training plan and this past week I ran the longest amount of consecutive miles ever (10 miles)! Constantly breaking my personal records here. It’s pretty fun and I’m crazy proud of how far I’ve come. Also remember my New Year’s resolution to not skip that third run on my training plan?? Yeah I did it this week! *snaps for me*
I do however would like to note that none of my long runs seem to go according to plan. Last week was six miles of puddle jumping around Rice, and the week before was nine miles of hills in a thunderstorm. Despite trying to schedule my long run during a clear skies time, the weather this week remained consistent with my previous weeks’ training and was just as wet. The only difference? About 30 degrees cooler….aka I ran 10 miles in a 35 degree drizzle.
At times it was quite miserable. Miles 1-3 were okay. A few puddles here and there, nothing I couldn’t handle. But around mile 4 the rain began…thankfully I have this fabulous running strategy to ensure that I get my entire mileage in no matter what happens. It involves running in a straight line in the exact opposite direction of my home/starting place so when I turn around I have no choice but to run that exact distance back. Earth shattering, I know. Highly effective. Anyways, mile 4 is basically mile 5 which is basically halfway, and when you’re running in the near-frozen rain what’s the difference of an extra one or two miles? Stealing the phrase from Map My Run, I was all about the #DeclaredItDidIt. My face froze at one point. I stopped being able to enunciate my words properly because my jaw was basically frozen. At that point, the weather should have just given up and started to snow…I guess there’s always next week to hope for snow…
Brays Bayou Trail
This week’s running adventure took place on the Brays Bayou Trail. The trail is 16.4 miles long and runs along Brays Bayou on either side stretching from UH Main Campus through the Med Center/Hermann Park to Braeburn Glen Park (ie Bissonet and Gessner). I started on the trail where it meets up with Hermann Park. I parked in the parking lot next to the Houston Zoo and ran through Hermann Park for about a mile until I crossed Bill Coats Bridge at the Bayou. I then ran east tracing the trail along MacGregor until it ended at Greek row on UH (no kidding, there was like 15 sorority houses at the end) and looped back on the other side.
The direction I ran was a nicely maintained trail that varied between cement and asphalt. (My research indicates that there may be some portions that are unfinished and just dirt.) On the eastern end, there are few trees, so it’s probably pretty hot during the summer. However, there are signs along the trail that say “Meadow Coming Soon”. If the city has anything planned like what they did to Buffalo Bayou, then the trail is probably going to be gorgeous in a few years. The trail goes through some neighborhoods where the houses range from super shady drug fronts with broken windows to southern mansions with chapels. It was a bit sketchy at times, and I’m glad I ran with my friends. One guy slowed his car to a near stop to cat call at us. #aggressive #nothanks
I enjoyed running on the Brays Bayou trail because it was 10 miles of brand new adventure. There was one stretch in particular where I felt like I was in the middle of a Mario Kart course –that urban wasteland kinda vibe. If I went to UH or worked at the Med Center I would probably run along the Brays Bayou all the time because it’s so convenient. However, for shorter runs I would probably stick to Hermann Park on that side of town.
Hermann Park is home to the Marvin Taylor Trail, which is a 2-mile loop around the Hermann Park Golf Course and Houston Zoo. It’s a big wide gravel trail with huge shady trees covered in Spanish moss-gorgeous. Near the end of our run when I was trying to get in that final mile before looping back to the car, I zigged and zagged around all the Jessie Jones Reflection Pool, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and Japanese Garden. Hermann Park is officially the most gorgeous park in the city. Absolutely love it. Such a beautiful, interesting place to run or walk.
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