I traveled to the Memphis area for 10 days to spend time with my family for the holidays. While I was always on other people's schedules (sharing car) and trying to optimize my time with my nephews, I still managed to get in some great runs. Normally the weather does not allow me to run trails because they flood from rain but this year the weather was perfect and I could not get enough of trail runs.
Tuesday 12/21 I checked out Herb Parsons Lake in Fisherville, the tiny unincorporated town where my mom lives. I ran there years ago but this year I was stoked to see that a newer, slightly longer trail option existed. I felt like a little kid running through the woods, wondering if I was lost when the trail was hard to see, and silently thanking whoever marked the trail turns with ribbons...I felt like I was on a well-marked trail race course! While there were no true climbs, by the end of the run I felt the effects of the constant tiny rollers...about 7.1 miles with about 850 feet climbed...not bad for a flat trail run! I was sad to cut my run after one loop but family obligations called so I was thankful for the time out there as it was so peaceful and the solitude was just what the doctor ordered.
The new mile markers...a welcome sight
Wednesday I squeezed in a run around my sister's neighborhood in East Memphis/Germantown. Again, I got to throw in some small hills and my body liked the cold temperatures so I cranked out faster miles than I have since the beginning of the year. With 3 of the 5 miles in the mid 7s, I finished the run feeling fantastic. Thursday was another short run around the neighborhood and I was surprised at my "recovery" pace. Maybe I was so cold that I was just eager to get the run done?!
Christmas Eve I set out for an 11 miler that would take me through a greenbelt area and allow me to run some on the dirt trails along the Wolf River. I was limited by time but loved discovering the dirt trails that I had desired to run for years.
Christmas morning I awoke to snow flurries...something I had never experienced on Christmas in Memphis. I could not resist the chance to run in snow so I went to Herb Parsons Lake and had a fantastic run scampering through the woods, being careful not to fall on slick bridges and leaves, and loving the sight of flurries! I wished to stay out there but settled for one cold but heart-warming loop.
On the 26th, I was scheduled to participate in the Operation Jack Satellite Run; it was to be a 6.1 mile run as my friend Sam was finishing his 61st marathon/ultra of 2010 (ending a year of spreading awareness about autism and fundraising for Train 4 Autism). I hit the blue trail along the Wolf River and then ran to my sister's house, throwing in an extra mile just because I was loving the snow flurries. My recently weekly mileage has been low but that run pushed me to 41.5 for the week.
Snow on the blue trail
My boyfriend and his parents arrived the afternoon of the 26th so I took the 27th off from running but managed to get in some good runs on the 28th and 29th. Since I wore my Garmin for all of my runs in Memphis, it was cool to see what my easy pace was as I've been running Garminless for most of the runs around my neighborhood. I was eager to return to Cali but sad to leave the gorgeous trails of the Memphis/Shelby County area. The pace of my runs boosted my confidence but I know I need to work on endurance in 2011.