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Austin is over-rated.  Sure, those breakfast tacos from the Taco Shack are nice.  And those frozen ritas at Chuys make for a tasty beverage.  But I didn’t go to Austin to eat.  I went there to run.  Well, actually I went there to celebrate Christmas with my family, but my plans for me time were setup around working out.  And that’s highly unusual.  Generally, as soon as I know I’m headed to Austin, I begin scheduling my dinners at Hyde Park and Kerbey Lane.  But this time was going to be different.  I setup a training routine for distance the first week and speed workouts the second week.  I was able to squeeze in 24 miles in week one after the road trip, but week two fell apart.  After making a leaf maze in my mom’s backyard and taking turns with Ellie on negotiating iterative redesigns, I rediscovered I’m allergic to Central Texas.

Mold Spores and Cedar.  Those allergens wrought havoc on my running in my youth.  They exiled me to Colorado over 20 years ago and remain as patient sentries ready to attack upon my return.  I dutifully curb my drinking in Austin as alcohol dilates the sinus membranes and exacerbates the symptoms.  But the leaf maze did me in and I couldn’t recover.  I’m home now and still feeling the effects.  My sinus headache became a sinus earache as I gained altitude driving home.  And my breathing is still constricted.  But I’ll try a run tomorrow anyway.  I’m excited to try my new YakTrax I got from my brother-in-law for Christmas.  The snow has been falling steadily all day – we ran into it crossing Monument Pass on the drive home – and I expect the trails to be well covered tomorrow.  I love running in fresh snowfall.  It’s gentle on my aged knees.  I already pulled the YakTrax over my shoes and set them by the door in anticipation.  I still have a four day weekend left to my vacation and I intend to enjoy some winter running.