It was less than a week after the Decker Challenge that I was back in Plano for the holidays. That meant flatter runs, bike rides with Dad, and lots of food!
In addition to the generous eating I get when visiting family, a handful of students brought me cookies or other sweets as a Christmas gift. Nice of them, and hard to say no to that! In spite of all that, my visit to Plano resulted in barely any weight gain. I suppose both running and biking every single day can offset a lot.
I always forget how difficult my normal training grounds are, because it’s “normal” to me. By experiencing the unusual, we better understand our ordinary situations. For my first few runs in Plano, I went about the same pace I do in Wimberley, but by the end of the week, I was 15 seconds/km faster, including on a 36 km training run. 15 seconds/km is a lot once you get to a certain level.
The same phenomenon probably explains why I always do better in races than I expect. Once I’m on pavement, running in straight lines, and not dealing with staircase-steep hills, it’s a lot easier to move quickly. I should practice that more often, but there’s no medium-distance loop to be found around here that meets those criteria.