Sunny San Antonio

This past month I haven’t spend more than a week in one city or state until now. After a busy, but blessed Christmas break, I’ve finally enjoyed a week of relaxation and warm weather in San Antonio, Texas where I am spending a month to train with several of my teammates. At first our trip was off to a rough start when Lauren Penney and I were delayed four hours in Newark only to find out our flight was cancelled and we had no bags for three days! The earliest flight to reschedule was Monday evening, but that flight was also delayed, so I missed FSU’s entire BCS Championship victory. At first I was pretty annoyed at all of this, but then I remembered my New Year’s resolution is to be more positive, so I kept reminding myself how lucky I am to be on this trip.

We (Lauren, Kate, Ashley, Liam, and I) have ourselves a house in what the locals call “hill country” and after a few days of running here I completely understand the name. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the hills are no exception. Thursday’s easy run turned into more of a hike than run because of how steep and rocky it was, but so far its been fun exploring. The landscape is so different, but beautiful, and its made me realize how important it is to switch up your routine now and then so that you don’t start feeling stale. Although the beginning of the week was below 40 degrees, its finally warming up to the kind of winter weather I’d been spoiled with over the years in Florida. I went from wearing gloves on my first run here to swimming in an outdoor pool a few days later!

The one thing I’m not used to (besides the plethora of pickup trucks and cowboy boots) is the idea of being on a trip with a group of runners but not having a race this weekend. Its kind of nice not being nervous all of the time and being able to enjoy TexMex instead of pre-race pasta every night. Its also motivating to be able to finally train all-out with no other obligations. At first it seemed like I was going to have too much down time, but I’m quickly realizing that its not as much as I thought. Since the whole reason I’m here is to get in good training, I’ve been spending my time outside of running on massage, physical therapy, crosstraining, weight training, core, stretching, and last but not least, resting.

Yep, surprising as it seems, half of the key to being a successful runner is learning how to let yourself recover and have patience. You can’t go all-out everyday and train 24/7, so in our downtime we’ve all enjoyed plenty of Netflix, reading, napping, trips to the coffee shop, coffee naps, and finally watching the Golden Globes which made me realize I have seen hardly any TV shows or movies which brings me right back to Netflix! 
Since we came all the way to Texas, we also don’t want to spend all of our time in front of the TV, and are hoping to soak up some sun and get to do a few “touristy things” (like check out the Alamo). This past weekend we took a fun trip into Austin where we met up with some of the FloTrack guys who showed us around and led us to the best Mexican food I’ve had yet (fish fajitas!) Lauren, Kate and I walked down South Congress and went to Jo’s coffee where we met up with Sara Stevens, a Oiselle rep, and her daughter. I had my first “Frito Pie” or at least I thought it was a first until I realized it was a bowl of Frito corn chips with taco toppings, which was actually a common Winslow-Family dinner on camping trips all through my childhood. Brought back good memories! 
Afterwards we took pics by the famous “i love you so much” mural, then headed down to the river for a few running action shots for Oiselle.

The next day I got to see the river path which was literally flooded with people. It was nice to get a bit of “flat” running, but too many people for me!
Now we’re back in San Antonio, ready for another week of HARD WORK. I’m excited to see what this month of intense, uninterrupted training will do for my upcoming races. I’m also glad I have this time to relax, reflect, refocus and rejuvenate. Like I said in my last post, I want to make sure I keep running fun (keep “funning“) and being here with my teammates is definitely helping me find that balance. Especially since we started a little light-hearted competition with another group of Oiselle professional runners (Project Little Wing) which you can follow along with on Twitter (#springtraining, #SanAntraining).
My other resolution is to continue to use my running journey as a way to share my faith and glorify the Lord. That being said, I think the words that are most encouraging to me right now come from Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” 
To me, this verse is a good reminder to always work hard in life. Not just at running, and not just when you’re on a training trip. Not just when others are watching, or when it is to your own benefit. Right now, things are going pretty good here in Texas, but I know a lot of people out there aren’t able to take a month off of work to train, or escape the winter snow. I’ve been there, and I know this time of year can be tough; for the serious runners, those who resolved to hit the gym more often but are hitting their first slump, or the millions of people who are back to their 9-5 office jobs already looking forward to their next vacation–this verse is for you. It’s not always easy finding the motivation to keep up the hard work, but when you’re living your life for God and have the perspective of eternity in mind, there’s always a reason to stay motivated and keep working hard.
So that’s my little lesson for the week: It’s time to WORK HARD, but have FUN, remember to have PATIENCE, which will lead to PERSEVERANCE! 

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