Run #6 – Dallas, Texas

According to Google, Irving is a suburb of Dallas so I think I’m in the clear when I say my sixth run in a new city this year occurred in Dallas. Having now survived an absolutely brutal winter in Portland (something like 85% of days between October and April have had cloud cover and rain), I’m trying to soak up the sun anywhere I can find it. Lucky for me, Dallas was experiencing 90 degree days last week when I was traveling for work.

Although typically I’ve always favored a rainy 50 degree day to run, at this moment in time all I want to do is be overheated and sunburned. My hotel was in Las Colinas, a “upscale” area of Irving, situation on a huge man-made lake, fully paved with walking trails and canals.

Typically, my success criteria for a run in a new city includes a high level of pedestrian safety, scenic or natural views, a high density of other runners, and hopefully some type of waterway…which were all in effect right outside my hotel lobby.

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As it was 89 degrees (and incredibly windy), I made a pact with myself to simply do the best I could, walk if necessary, and not worry about speed or distance. This plan mostly worked, except when I got lost attempting to avoid a wedding photoshoot and navigate around construction. Overall, I had a good run and I won’t complain.

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Afterwards, I spent my time chilling in the hotel pool and nursing my feet (which were SO not used to running on smoking hot pavement). I was hoping to replicate a more efficient run the next day, but the weather report turned sour and instead of getting caught in a potential thunderstorm, I treated myself to laps in the pool.

If I lived in Dallas, this would be a fantastic regular running route so I hope to return in the near future and give it another go.

Run #4 – Paris, France

My last (and only) time in Paris was a bummer because my knee was taking orders from my knee surgeon to take the summer off from running. I couldn’t get it out of my head that I never got a chance to run in Paris, and felt a redo opportunity would have to present itself at some point.

Lucky for me, that “some point” was this week. Though the first couple of days I was still shaking off some jet lag, yesterday morning I woke up and hit the road at 8:30am (a.k.a: the crack of dawn for the French). During mid-day, the sidewalks and bridges are clogged up with pedestrians and rogue bikers, but in the morning there are relatively few people out in the most touristy areas. I randomly chose to run up and down the Seine, along the paved paths rather than the uneven stone sidewalks on the street level.

Along my route, I saw many other runners (sadly none of them women), commuters, and the occasional fisherman.

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See? No people.

It was also a nice time to catch Notre Dame before it the tourist rush filled the square.

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See? Just a few people.

As I knew we would be walking the rest of the day, three miles was plenty, and just enough to get me started for a day of eating all of the things.

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Today we took the train to Barcelona so you can pretty much guess what Run #5 will be. Lord knows I need to exercise off egregious amount of food we are eating.

The 2017 Calendar

Haven’t made a bucket list for the year, but wish you had? January isn’t even over. Why not just grab a napkin, set a time for 5 minutes, and jot down a bunch of things you’d like to learn, see, try, or challenge yourself on? I usually start with a big list of around 35-40 items and trim it down to 20-25. The first step really is just putting the pen to the paper.

Once you’ve gotten that far, then what? (Hint: ball up the napkin and toss it out isn’t the answer).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about setting goals, it’s that you’ve got to have a pretty specific plan to achieve them, no matter how big or small they are. Every year I set 20+ goals and so I sketch out a calendar of when I hope to check each goal off. I can’t leave them all hanging and expect to do them in December – that’s just irresponsible.

Except that today as I sat down to make my 2017 bucket list calendar, I realized that I don’t think I ever made one for 2016 – which might explain why last year was my least successful year (the three jobs and a nightmare boss might have had something to do with it, too). I think I got a little cocky last year and thought, I’ve done this enough that I don’t need a calendar…it’s in my head. It’s not that goals got forgotten exactly, but without a plan, I didn’t set staggered deadlines.

January of 2016 was an ugly time. When I think back to my daily life, a big grey cloud was hanging over me. Of course, it didn’t take long for me to find a better working environment, but that cloud muddled my enthusiasm for my personal life, too. This year, I have zero excuses. Everything is coming up Deacon lately, and I’m ready to attack my loftiest bucket list yet.

Here’s my calendar:

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The colors represent loose categories.
Orange = exercise/fitness
Blue = food & drink
Red = buying or selling
Green = all the crazy-pants miscellaneous

Notice that burpees come up twice, mostly because I feel like June might be too busy, or maybe I would rather do some birthday burpees in September. Collecting shark teeth on Topsail Island and getting a tattoo with a former student are also not listed because they require some planning with other people.

 

Sometimes putting things on paper (or publishing it on a blog) is a little scary; the thing you wrote becomes official. My first step was to publish my 2017 list, and now that list is calendared out and it’s time to start rolling for real.