Sunday, April 14, 2013

Running San Antonio

Last week I had the good fortune of running in San Antonio, Texas.  I left on the Wednesday and returned late Sunday night.  I managed three little runs; 6 miles, 7, miles and then on Sunday, 15 miles. I was attending a national conference in this, the Home of the Alamo.

The first little run, 6 miles, was out the front door of the hotel and onto the river trail. The trail hugs the banks of the San Antoni River and meanders through the heart of the city. It's congested and touristy but very pretty.  Shops and restaurants line the trail and it's thick with pedestrians.  I saw the odd runner but truly, as gorgeous as it is, it's not the best place to run because of the crowds.  The river walk branches off into several directions so it's easy to get spun around.  You're also well below street level so there are virtually no reference points. I made my way back to the Hyatt showered and returned to the area where I discovered Springer, a local beer with a bit of a bite.  

The second little run was away from the crowds.  I planned 6 mile route that led out of the downtown area.  I planned a circle route but I managed to get myself lost.  It was all fine until I found myself under this huge freeway with roadways zigging and zagging about 20 feet overhead.  The area was a little run down and I must say I was feeling a little unsafe.  

The third little run was the most pleasant. I was well fuelled from the previous evening's meal and I managed to convince the front desk to extend my check-out to noon. I left the hotel after a mediocre Starbucks coffee (does Starbucks serve anything but mediocre?).  I ran from city centre to the San Antonio Zoo, met up with some local runners and had a nice chat.  I was out of water so one of them gave me chilled bottle of water; nice that.  I ran through a forested area and over a bridge.  A man flagged me down to chat about my Minneapolis Marathon tee-shirt.  He was from Wisconsin and was feeling a little homesick. 

Watching the clock I realized I better head on back to the hotel.  I passed by the San Antonio School of Art so I had to detour to see it up close... stunning. I realized I had about 45 minutes to spare so I ran beyond my hotel into the wealthy end of San An.  Back on the river trail which is now the back yard of zillion dollar gated condo developments.  I ran and I ran.  I just did not want to stop.  Finally I ran out of trail.  There was a group on bicycles so I chatted. I asked how to get back to the hotel and they gave me a couple of options.  I asked if the lived in the area and they chuckled and replied they were housekeepers for several different homes in the area.  

Back at the hotel just before noon, showered, packed, sitting on the patio of my favourite restaurant with a very chilled Springer, thinking yes, it is indeed a good day to be alive.. all pumped up on vitamin D.

Back in Winnipeg I ran 22 miles today on dry pavement with warm sun and I was strong right to the finish. The Ottawa Marathon is about 40 days away and it don't seem so scary anymore.

It's a good day to be alive.