Tired of Running? Try a Tri.

Sometimes you just need a break.

I graduated from college in December, after running track and cross country for ten years with few breaks in between. I was tired and decided to take six months off running.

What to do instead?

I applied myself to the gym for strength training, but a few weeks of that had me missing running. I tried swimming, using the bike in the gym and yoga, but to no avail. Try as I might, I couldn’t replace running.

Then, I saw a sprint triathlon coming up at the end of August. A 600m swim, 11-mile bike ride, and a 5k ... what better way to end my running strike?

I signed up for it without hesitation.

Training has been rough. The waterways in Austin, where I live, are contaminated, and I can’t practice in lakes. And with temperatures of 100 degrees, biking long enough to get mileage in is tough.

The easy part, though, is getting back to running. I don’t need to carry heavy equipment or worry about blue-green algae interrupting runs. Falling back into a rhythm where I can run and enjoy my thoughts and scenery has been very rewarding.

Getting used to swimming and biking have made me appreciate the familiarity of running — but I sure did need that break. Mixing it up like this can keep your mind and body fresh. Then, when you do return to the sport in earnest, you are mentally and physically ready to give it your best.

So, the next time you need a break, consider tri—ing something else. You’ll be glad you did.

Guest columnist Emily Villines graduated from Huntsville High School and Concordia University in Austin, where she ran track and cross country. She now works as an industrial design model manager at Dell.

Send race results to dpgrant06@yahoo.com.

Upcoming Races

August 24 - Heatwave 5K and 1-Mile, 8 a.m., Waterwood Subdivision, 14 miles east of Huntsville. Start and finish at the Waterwood Fire Station. See 7hills.us/schedule.htm for directions.

September 14 - Seven Hills of Huntsville Plaque Dedication 5K, 8 a.m., Huntsville. Start and finish near City Hall.

October 13 – Bearkat Bolt 5K, 8 a.m., Huntsville. Start and finish at Bowers Stadium.

October 19 - 41st Annual Huntsville Half & Quarter Marathon & 5K Run/Walk, 8 a.m., Walker County Fairgrounds. Entry fees go up on Sept. 1.

(See www.7hills.us/schedule.htm for additional races and links to individual race websites.)

Recent Race Results

August 10 - Run the Woodlands 5K, The WoodlandsGary Kroll 27:20Ken Johnson 44:54

August 3 - Southern Star Brewing 5K, ConroeDan Byrne 20:17 Angela Santos 28:43Ken Johnson 46:05

July 27 - Torchlight Run, Seattle, Washington

8k

Sheridan Grant 31:31

Darren Grant 41:06

5k

Marsie Grant 37:33

July 27 - Dog Days 5k Club Run, Huntsville

5k

Isaac Pendley 20:55

Chase Foster 22:01

Emily Garner 22:52

Kade Pendley 25:15

Joey Gaudin 27:53

Dawson Garner 28:59

Donna Freeman 30:01

Antonio Estrada 30:41

Chris DeMilliano 30:56

Emily DeMilliano 30:57

Amy Foster 31:33

Danny Freeman 32:52

Bridgette Collins 35:29

Diana Estrada 36:13

Logan Pendley 36:51

Monica Lopez 37:55

Beth Archer 38:49

Jon Rogers 39:41

Trystan Smith 40:01

Lori Cross 42:57

Shellie Geer 45:31

Bonnie Hardin 46:16

Michael Brown 46:35

Ken Johnson 47:11

Heidi Morse 49:12

Patricia Capps 49:14

Nancy Mills 53:35

Judith Wiemann 53:37

Monte Pendley 54:35

Teresa Pendley 54:39

1 mile

Zane Pendley 8:50

Brady Garner 8:50

Randy Garner 8:58

Madison Foster 11:14

Olivia Schroeder 11:19

Marilynn Johnson 18:13

Juliette Baker 38:27

Jill Baker 38:29

Cathy Bickford 38:30

July 21 - Lunar Landing 5k, Houston

Ken Johnson 43:19