Saturday, May 16, 2020

Texas Running Adventures: Friday, May 15, 2020

Good evening from Waco!  I'm off on another "Chasing Texas Counties" running weekend.

I have some ambitious goals.  Let's see if I can knock off 15 counties over the next two days.

I started this weekend off with 99 counties to go.

My daughter took me to the Enterprise close to Spring High School so I could rent a car for my weekend travels.

Two weeks ago, I put 1,079 miles on one of their rentals.  Fortunately, they didn't stop me on Friday!

I had one left - Falls County - to be complete of all counties east of Interstate 35 and north of Interstate 10 and I pulled into the county seat, Marlin, at about 7 p.m.

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) awards cities all across the United States as "Runner Friendly" communities.

I think it might be in the next millenium that Marlin will earn that designation as there's just not a lot of sidewalks to run (or walk) on.

I made my way off Highway 6 and into town only to find that the Falls County Courthouse was undergoing major renovations.

I parked on the back side of the courthouse, got my proverbial picture, which is on my @walksports Instagram account, and headed back to the east down the main street.

I passed the back of Falls County Hospital and Clinic, made it to the next cross street and turned left before coming to another street where I made a second left and began to make a return trip back to where I had parked my car.

Somewhere close I heard an indication from my MapMyRun app on my phone that I had run a mile so I knew that I needed to get another half mile in.

I circled the courthouse to the west and made a return trip down the main street only to turn left and return at the railroad tracks that ran north and south through town.

Once complete, I made a couple of social media posts and had my eye on a Whataburger that I hadn't eaten at before.

One Patty Melt combo with onion rings -- the reason why I need to keep running and brisk walking -- made it the 115th different Whataburger that I've been to, including 28 this year.

I checked in at the Hampton Inn close to the Highway 6 and Interstate 35 interchange and then started to plot how I was going to get in a 5K this weekend to complete the requirements for a virtual run that I signed up for earlier in the day.

Wait.  Me signing up for a virtual race?  Yes, the one that said that he would never do it did.

A good friend of mine (and a 10 times better coach), Gary Brimmer in San Antonio, had signed up for one in his home state of Michigan - for a cause that was important to him, but he explained that one of his runners convinced him to earlier because it would be fun and right now it is all many runners have to help push them a little bit.

So I went to Running in the and started viewing this weekend's races across the country which had to go virtual and I saw a race that I had actually considered doing -- if I was in the area -- because it was an evening race.  It was the Fergson (MO) Twilight Run.

They had a 5K and a 10K, but the cost was just $20.

I decided that I was in - for the 5K..  They say that they'll mail the event shirt.  We'll see.  Trust me, I have plenty.

I wanted to run an already established and certified course, but by the time I had it in my head that I was going to do this Friday night, I'm not sure if it would have been the best option to run the course they use in Waco for their Race for the Cure 5K.

So I decided to go from the corner right outside of the Hilton Waco at the Waco Covention Center, which is currently closed, and run to 6th Street, turn left to Webster and then left to University Parks and back to the start twice, followed by an out and back on Franklin.

Well, the first loop went OK, but as I started the second loop it started to lightning a little and rain.  So when I got to 6th Street, I reversed course figuring I might have to do loops.

I got back to University Parks and then ran a loop in reverse:  just a different take on the original plan.

As I made the right back on to Franklin, I kept listening for the MapMyRun app to tell me where the 3-mile mark was so I could make sure that I got 3.1 ... but not too much extra.

The timing was perfect because when the 3-mile announcement came the rain started to fall harder and I was 3.13 miles on the app when I made it back to the car, which was parked in the Convention Center public parking lot.

The time was 32:55 for 3.13 miles on the app, but when I got back to the hotel and measured it manually, following the roads, it was 3.24 miles.

I put the latter in my mileage logs, but recorded a time of 32:40 in the virtual results for the race.

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