It’s Thanksgiving here in San Antonio and my “holiday” is off to a rousing start. It began with a lie in until 9:45am before getting dressed in yesterdays clothes to go down to the hotel lobby for a breakfast of powdered eggs and a bowl of Fruit Loops; the breakfast of champions to be sure. Then I trotted across the road for my Starbucks fix and now I’m back in hotel room and sitting here in my underwear trying to build up the inspiration to go out and run.
I need to get out. Not just to get out of the hotel room for an hour or so, but because I also I have this caloric monstrosity to burn off from last nights dinner at Lulu’s:
And believe you me, that’s a whole shit load of chicken-fried calories to burn off.
Like I said: I NEED to run.
Today’s plan calls for another 5 x (2 minutes HARD / 3 minutes easy) intervals around Woodlawn Lake. The weather is bright and clear out and it’s not ridiculously hot and humid like it has been during previous trips, so I really have no excuse. So as soon as I evacuate whatever chicken-fried turd is still stuck inside my bowels (Note: “Splashdown” occurred at approximately 11:43am), I’m out the door and gone baby. My soundtrack for today’s run is another from my pre-loaded Texas-inspired list of albums, ‘El Corazón‘ by Steve Earle.
Released in 1997, ‘El Corazón‘ kicks off with a tremendous one-two punch, the rousing acoustic ballad ‘Christmas in Washington‘ and ‘Taneytown‘ (featuring Emmylou Harris on backing vocals) a harrowing story of race and violence backed with gale-force electric guitars. Great for my warm up jog as I begin fretting about the intervals to come.
The album is a good bit more eclectic than much of Earle’s previous work, dipping into bluegrass (‘You Know the Rest‘, featuring backing from the Del McCoury Band), old-school country (‘The Other Side of Town‘), hard rock (‘N.Y.C.‘, co-starring the Supersuckers, and ‘Here I Am‘), and vintage R&B (‘Telephone Road‘). As its title suggests, ‘El Corazón‘ often deals with matters of the heart, expressed with particular eloquence on ‘Poison Lovers’ and ‘If You Fall’, though the song’s most emotionally resonant moment comes with its closing song, ‘Ft. Worth Blues‘, a moving farewell to Earle’s longtime friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt.
Once again, I had chosen something that might not be the greatest motivation for hard interval work, but the listening was still amazing. The literal translation of “El Corazon” from Spanish into English means “Heart”, and I was hoping that that sentiment alone would be enough to help me redeem myself over the 10.05k covered during this afternoon’s run. The goal today was just to simply complete the set and not expect too much seeing as how I haven’t exactly been having much luck here in the recent past. Running well and business travel have not proven to be good bed fellows.
In fact, I have to say that returning to Woodlawn Lake kind of felt like returning to the scene of a crime. The crime being the poor excuses for workouts I put in here the last time I visited San Antonio. And, boy, did I stink up the running path those days! Of course, it was stupid hot and I wasn’t feeling well at the time but, hey, still…it wasn’t with fond memories that I reflected back on this place today. Lets’ just say that I felt like I have some making up to do.
True to form, I felt like crap as the run started. In fact, I don’t think I can ever remember a time when I felt great running at Woodlawn Lake. I persevered through the first 15 minute warm up and then hit the first of my 5 2 minutes intervals. It wasn’t bad. But the second sucked and I almost packed it in right there…and then again on the 3rd, 4th and the 5th. I hung on though. I even decided to try for a few 30 seconds sprints as well (as I am supposed to do as part of this particular workout) and I labored through the first 5…then 6…and so on until I had completed all 10.
Suck it, Woodlawn Lake!
Of course, I don’t think I set any personal bests at either the pace (6:10min/km, 4 seconds on the average slower than last week) or the distance (short by 120m over last week) on today’s run but I am proud that I did indeed sack up and display the “corazon” necessary to get it done. To my surprise, my effort was also even good enough for my 3rd best effort on the Strava ‘Woodlawn Lake Loop‘ segment (11:41) as well as a PR on the ‘Woodlawn 3 Laps – 4 Mile‘ segment (37:12) – click HERE.
So, yeah…good for me.
Time to refuel with some stolen Greek yogurt from the breakfast bar downstairs and an apple and then I’m heading to work for an hour or so to hand out Thanksgiving dinners to the working employees. So as boring a day as it is and as much as I’m missing home, at least some good definitely came from it.