Marathon training means planning several “shorter” runs during the week and one long run on the weekend, which makes it REALLY hard to train on top of weekend travel and/or socializing. I’ve been pretty good at getting my weekend miles in regardless; I love running in new places, so that definitely helps when I’m out of town.
This weekend I spent Saturday in New Braunfels floating the Comal River with friends, which seems like a relaxing way to spend the day, but I was just EXHAUSTED when I woke Sunday and had to scrap my long run entirely. I knew I couldn’t run and still have the energy to safely drive home 4 hours alone.
I was actually pretty disappointed to skip the run, even though I’d been dreading the hills in San Marcos. After I packed up, I went to the trailhead near our lodging anyway to check out the Spring Lake Nature Preserve where I’d been planning to run.
It was fantastic! At first I was sad to have missed out on running such lovely, shaded dirt trails, but when two deer ran across my path, I realized that hiking it was a better choice. Running would require keeping my eyes glued to the ground to avoid tripping over rocks, but hiking gave me the chance to see so much more and take pictures. I saw birds and butterflies and wildflowers and even an ocelot!
There was no cell phone reception and no other people in the area for nearly an hour. The morning was humid and warm but not unpleasant until just before I left. As I hiked back to the trail head, I saw a deer across a clearing in the trees, and we stared at one another for several long moments.
After an awful week of news, my time spent solitary in the quiet magic of nature was deeply cathartic.
This early in training, I can always run another day.