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.

fullsizeoutput_1294.jpeg

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.

image1.PNG

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 #5 – Thousand Oaks, California

This week I was invited to the Corwin head office in Thousand Oaks, California, for an insanely rigorous training that is still making my head spin. Whenever I’m in a situation where I’m expected to take in an egregious amount of new content knowledge in a short period of time, a power run before dinner is my go-to strategy to firm up all that new learning.

I was lucky enough to squeeze in three runs (and a lot of walking) over my five days, despite being cooped up in a board room for most of our time together. Compared to Portland’s never-ending soggy perma-grey days, the sunshine in southern California was an immediate reason for hitting the pavement, even if I was exhausted.

If I could sum up Thousand Oaks in one image:

Granted, I didn’t get to venture outside more than a three mile radius, but Thousand Oaks seemed comprised of chain restaurants, well-paved sidewalks, and a lot of church ladies. My best run was 3.5 miles up through a quiet neighborhood that appeared to border the Santa Monica Mountains natural areas. A windy road took me up (and I mean up 400 feet in less than a mile) where I ran across many runners, people watering their lawns, and a relatively tame bunny.

The views were pretty nice and I’ve never felt safer on a run, as everyone gave friendly waves, drove 5 mph, and gave me a wide berth, even if I was on the sidewalk. (Maybe they were just worried I was going to pass out). I would also like to give another big time shout out for how insanely clean the whole town appeared to be. While Athens and Paris may have had the history and culture, they were slathered in trash and smelled like piss. Nice work, California.

Despite not having any gas in the tank, I had some good head-clearing routes and even ran into a friendly crow (who took several hops in my direction when I said hi – hopefully he tells his friends):

I have a feeling I’ll be returning to LA in the near future and it’s growing on me.

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.

IMG_0170.JPG

See? No people.

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

fullsizeoutput_1018.jpeg

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.

fullsizeoutput_1016.jpeg

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.