Running Farther

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/2100 sec, ISO32
“Sunrise Clouds” Cedar Park, 2021

This morning I went for an early run, intent on completing another half-marathon distance. Last week’s run was difficult due to the fact that it was a hotter part of the day, and also because I didn’t have any water until the run was complete. That’s what happens with spontaneous exercise I guess. 😋

This time around I did a bit of research beforehand and planned a route that would bring me back home a few times for hydration. It’s basically a four-mile loop, run three times, which would provide water breaks at the 4 and 8-mile marks (I put a big Nalgene on the porch). I also was starting out at 7:30 am when the temperature was a comfortable 79°F / 26°C.

As it turns out, this plan was a life-saver because at about mile 3, last night’s ramen decided to make it’s lingering presence known and a bathroom break was in order. That might be TMI, but it’s actually good to know for the future.

During the break, I drank about 300 ml of water and I also grabbed my wireless headphones before heading out for the second leg of the run. I usually run without headphones, but I was grateful to have some tunes in my ears for the longer distance. Another good thing to keep in mind for the upcoming Austin Marathon.

The second loop was excellent, and I felt really good. There are two hills on the route and I felt strong tackling them.

At the 8-mile break, I drank another 300 ml of water before starting the third loop. After running about 10 minutes I decided to take off my shirt and run “American-style”, as my wife calls it. 😂 But my shirt at that point was drenched with sweat and kind of heavy to carry in my hand so I looped back home to drop it off by my water, then set out again on the route. That little detour back home added a couple of miles which meant that I didn’t have to run the full third-leg of the route.

However, I decided to just go for it and figured that I could make a shorter loop if I felt like it and still complete the half-marathon. At this point in the run (10 miles), my legs were losing energy, but I felt no pain in my joints (I was hurting last week!) and I wasn’t winded at all, nor was I sweating a whole lot. Plus, running “American-style” is so liberating!

I ended up completing the full leg, so my total distance was an even 16 miles – my longest run ever! I’m pretty proud of that.

I’ve been registered for the Austin Marathon for a couple years now (it has been cancelled two years because of COVID-19) and am hoping that things become safe enough by February where I can run in it. It’s still up in the air, and if they decide to hold the event, I still might not do it because I don’t want to be around so many people. But we’ll see! That being said, I would like to run my own 26.2 miler well before February rolls around. I honestly don’t care too much about the event, but I do care about the distance.

If you are on Strava, let’s connect so that we can cheer each other on!

Morning Ride to the Sculpture Garden

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/1600 sec, ISO200
“Gotcha Bird with Fish” Cedar Park, 2021

Today I woke up early and went for a 7:30 a.m. bicycle ride to check out the Sculpture Garden at the Cedar Park Recreation Center. They say it’s not about the destination, but the journey… but sometimes it’s really both! The sculptures on display at this time are really cool, and I especially liked the piece in the photo above entitled “Gotcha Bird with Fish” by Siri Dehipitiya. Isn’t it awesome?!

Speaking of birds, the “journey” over to the sculpture garden took me past the small ponds adjacent to the park, and I spotted a beautiful Great Egret just chilin’ in the morning sun. Super cool.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/1800 sec, ISO200
“Great Egret” Cedar Park, 2021

Although it was only about 41°F / 5°C, the ride was super fun and relaxing because of the light traffic (being an early Sunday morning). I don’t usually ride this early but I think I should make it a habit. It’s a special way to start the weekend day.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/600 sec, ISO200
“Morning Mango” Cedar Park, 2021

Please take a look at this morning’s ride if you have some free time:

Bicycle Ride to Relax

“Sunset Glow” Cedar Park, 2021

Bicycles are kind of magical. They can be fun, push you to your limits, scary, and relaxing. People use them to commute, for exercise, to travel, for competition, and to simply go for joyrides. Sounds like a dream, right? I wish we lived in a world without cars… just bicycles, trains, and ships. And motorbikes. 😄

Anyways, here’s a video of a ride I took after work. A nice way to unwind and get some fresh air:

Tea Light

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/35 sec, ISO800
“Tea Light” Cedar Park, 2021

I’ve been enjoying tea light candles for the past week or so. I like that they are unscented but provide a nice bit of ambience, even to a bright work area. I also have a scented candle, but it’s so overpowering that I rarely use it. The only problem is that the tea lights don’t last too long. 🙁

Enjoying the Warm Weather With a Bicycle Ride

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/2900 sec, ISO200
“Kites” Cedar Park, 2021

This afternoon I took advantage of the warm weather to go for a long bicycle ride along Brushy Creek Regional Trail. When I ride on this busy path, I wear my mask 95% of the time. Of course I want to be safe during this COVID-19 pandemic, but also, it helps with allergies (as my brother reminded me). Besides wearing my mask, I also held my breath most of the times I passed by people. By riding on the relatively busy trail, I’m taking a risk, but I think wearing a mask, wearing glasses (yes, there’s a study that says this helps with safety), keeping socially distant when possible, and also holding my breath when passing people, I think the chance of catching COVID-19 is very small.

That being said, it was nice to see a lot of bicycles on the trail, from little kids to older folks. I even saw some teens cosplaying and wearing elf ears! The weather was very nice: low 70s, cloudy, with a gentle breeze. It was really cool to see kites flying above the park! By the way, it wasn’t as ominous as the photo above looks – but it’s just too fun to play with the post-processing in Adobe Lightroom. 😄

I’m happy that I live close enough to this trail that I can bicycle from my house and be there in 10 minutes or so. But even if I didn’t live close, it’s easy to access the trail by car at many points along the route.

At the eastern terminus of the trail I took a photo with my bike. Several years ago, I took a photo at the same place, so I thought it might be nice to do so again.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO320
“End of Trail” Cedar Park, 2021

I recorded this ride on my GoPro, so please join me (virtually) on the trail if you have time:

I hope you had a great day!