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RudolfSomeone stuck a red reflector onto the nose of the deer in this sign.  Along with every other deer crossing sign near my mom’s house outside Austin.  This is what makes Austin weird.  Oh, and I can tell you that there are countless deer for the next 8 miles rather than just 1.5 miles.  Unless of course this sign is specific to reindeer.  I saw zero reindeer during my runs along the Brushy Creek Regional Trail, but I could feel their presence.  I believe they were nearby, playing reindeer games.

I got in 13 miles Monday afternoon.  Felt good to unwind after two days of driving.  I-35 from Dallas to Austin has been under construction longer than any airport project I know.  I swear to you there’s nearly two hundred miles under construction, and it’s been this way for ten years.  Talk about nerve-wracking.  Whereas most states require so many hours of instructor-lead driving lessons, Texas parents can home school their children with Parent Taught Driver Education packets available to order online.  I believe this is Governor Perry’s response to NAFTA, intended to put the fear of God into Mexican truck drivers as they transport goods on Texas highways.  Driving between two hundred miles of concrete barriers and half-erected raised roadways among Texans felt like navigating through a cement rainforest in a dystopian video game.

momThe holidays are inexplicably busy and I find myself errand boy for this and that.  While I initially expect to run every day on vacation, I ended up running every other day.  I squeezed in another five miles on Christmas Eve along the BCRT and then nine miles down on Town Lake the day after Christmas.  Austin renamed this area Lady Byrd Lake a few years back, but I still reference the original designation.  I like to run the 4.4 mile loop between the MoPac and South 1st Street bridges.

Today’s weather was cloudy with the warm winter rain common to Austin.  Warm to me anyway.  I wore shorts and a light shirt.  Most runners were bundled up, including gloves.  I found myself sweating non-stop.  Oh the humidity.  I found the conditions perfect for running nonetheless.  The trail was never crowded although I enjoyed the company of a steady stream of runners.  Mostly younger, no doubt out of school for the holidays.

long boardBrit and Ellie did some running down here too.  Ellie also got in some long board action.  Ellie is pictured here next to her cousin.  Rachel had to fly out to San Diego early this morning to appear in a dance routine at the Holiday Bowl Halftime Show.  I feel this is a short week for us but her family is even more rushed to get everything in.

I just got back from seeing “Into the Woods” with the girls.  Highly recommended if you like lots of singing.  Next up is dinner with Steve and Susan at Sushi Tomo – my favorite Austin sushi joint.  Karen’s parents were nice to watch over Steve and Susan’s kids so that we could go out.  This week has gone by quick but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  I’m off next week too.  There’s plenty to do around the house but I also expect to increase my mileage – weather permitting.  I need to be in shape for my return back down here in seven weeks to run the Austin Marathon.