Training with Tara Costa: Watching for Snakes on Desert Runs

Some days are hopscotch kind of days; some days are getting-nailed-at-dodge-ball kind of days!

After a crazy week, things have finally settled down. I was so happy that I had a few days to concentrate on training this past week and take the time to regroup before I headed off to Phoenix! My first run of the week though, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was sluggish and drained, which is not really like me. I was afraid that I had hit a road block. I am not sure if this road block was brought on by me. When it comes to my training I have a routine. First thing in the morning, I immediately just get it done. I always have the same playlist on and take the same neighborhood path. That day, after my “getting-nailed-at-dodge-ball kind of day” (i.e. crappy run), I thought it might be time for a change. Not a change in my mileage or what I am suppose to do, but a change in scenery, music and the timing of my runs.

The next day, I started the same way I always do, but I caught myself, so I stopped to change my playlist to country and took a random left…then right… than another right… before I knew it I was someplace I had never been before! My mind was wandering as I was crossing over streets that were names of various states—North Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma—and there I was day dreaming of what it would be like to go to all those states, wondering what I could do for fun in each of them. One thought led to another and I now have a new goal for myself—to participate in an organized run in every state. It would be a great way for me to see this awesome country and meet some interesting characters along the way. By the time I was done thinking about what it would be like to run through the Rockies, I was astonished to see how the time flew by. I was done with my run, but still a few miles away—this was my “hopscotch” training day!

The weekend was approaching and I was heading back to Phoenix. I knew that I would be visiting with my friend Brad and expressed my concern that I would need to get a long run in over the weekend. Brad being the champion that he is signed us up for a full moon night trail run; he understands that sometimes when things get monotonous with workouts it is good to change it up! His thinking was that an organized event like trail running and running with friends could be the variety that my training needed. He was exactly right—once the run was over I felt refreshed! (During the run, not so much.) At one point in the run, I found myself going much faster because I had to use the little girls’ room. Normally I would have just found a bush—but this is the desert and there are snakes. I am absolutely petrified of snakes, so I would not take a chance of an encounter!

Watch Tara's video blog here before her run... and here after her run.

Want more updates from Tara Costa? Follow Tara on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. You can also follow Tara’s progress on the New York Road Runners website or

Photo: Tara with her friend Brad courtesy of Tara Costa

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