Saturday, July 12, 2014

Running in Austin, Texas: Walnut Creek Park

I should be tapering, not running, before my return to the Tahoe Rim Trail 100-mile next week but, I promise, I spent more time sitting and following Hardrock 100 this Friday night and Saturday than on my feet, running! It was both humbling and inspiring to read the live updates of on Kilian Jornet's perfect race leading not only to his overall win but a new course record (of course!). Now I'm really intrigued by Kilian's quote at the finish "Hardrock was the last race on 'the list'." I now he is on another quest, climbing all the highest and most challenging summits on all the continents, and in record time each, but he is only 26, he can't just disappear like that from the running circuit... We had three club teammates in the race this year, John, Kristina and Chihping. Not only this is the toughest course of the 100 or so 100-mile races in the US, excluding Barkley, but the conditions were awful on Friday with heavy rain and lightnings especially for the lead runners. In these condition, Chihping was the first of the three to drop and Kristina didn't make one of the cut-offs on Saturday morning, heartbreaking. Now, John (Burton) did amazing, finishing 12th overall and 11th men in the midst of a very strong competition. Kudos to him for this outstanding performance!
Being in Austin for a few days to teach in a boot camp for new hires in our business rules practice, I had the joy to run with Max this Saturday morning as he just started working for IBM here in Texas. Max took the lead to make me discover the trails near the IBM site, in the North of Austin. In the process I got some good last minute heat training for next week (TRT is supposed to be hot again this year, hopefully not as hot as last year though).
Here is a shy but adventurous turtle exploring the trails away from the creek:
We started West of Mopac running through the Balcones District Park, then crossed an area called Centrum to end up picking trails randomly in Walnut Creek Park. An easy 9-mile run but a good sweat!

As you can see on the pictures, Austin is quite green in these preserved creek areas. That reminded me the run I did along another creek in Austin last year, Barton Creek Greenbelt, South of Austin. And, rereading this post, I realize it was also a week before a 100-mile race, one which I won actually (Headlands Hundred) so maybe I'll have a better TRT this time! I hope so, especially as Toshi accepted to pace me again, go Team Farther Faster!
Well, if it doesn't, it will be because Judy is missing, being in India this month, volunteering, so for a very good cause! ;-)
Looking forward to next week for some hilly trails in amazing Tahoe. For a glimpse of heaven, and not too much taste of hell this time hopefully... See some of you up there, have a great week in the meantime!


M @readeatwriterun said...

I so enjoy reading your blog posts. Impressive how you take advantage of travel to get runs in different places with distant friends and explore. Wonderful turtle picture!

Big Johnny Burton said...

Thanks for the shout out Jean! Hardrock was amazing. So rugged and difficult, but also so amazingly scenic and beautiful.

Speaking of running in beautiful places, best of luck to you this coming weekend up in Tahoe! Kick some butt.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Jean!