H-Town Run Tourist

Make the best of your COVID 19 quarantine by running a virtual race!

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. Check out her new blog, HTown Run Tourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy

I had so many goals for 2020. I was looking forward to doing more local and foreign races. Like so many other things, it would be put off until who knows when. But, where there is a will, there is a way.

Have you ever heard of a virtual race? It is a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon that can be run anywhere at your own convenience and pace. So how do you run one?

First, you would choose the virtual race that you want to run. Many people choose by the charity that it benefits. A portion of nearly all virtual runs go to charities like Make a Wish Foundation or to benefit Sea Turtles. I love charity, but I like the swag. I'm going to be dead honest. I'm going for the ones with the best medals. Because, we all deserve a medal.

Next, you would choose where you want to do your run. It could be on a treadmill in your garage, around your neighborhood, along Buffalo Bayou, or maybe even on the Strand in Galveston. Next, you would map out the correct distance to run your virtual race. You can use running apps like WHOOP, Map My Run or Strava. You can choose to run or walk your race.

The day of your special race, you can get some of your family and friends to drive by and honk to cheer you on. If not, just get some great tunes like Hip-Hop from the mid to late 90's. Now, it is time to enjoy Houston. After you finish, submit your results and take your picture and post. After everything is said and done, wait for your swag shipment.

Now, here is an even better question? Which races are out there to do? The list is endless, so I made a list of my top 5 races. Here they are:

Allstate Hot Chocolate Run: I have been spying this race for a while. Not only does it have a cool medal, but instead of a shirt, you get this awesome hoody! I'm in. Also included in your swag bag is a chocolate bar medal and some chocolate. You have to hurry because it closes on April 30. If you are anything like me, you really want that hoody.

Coffee and Donuts: This one is a unique run. Because you can choose your own course, you should end this run at your favorite Donut shop. I'm thinking VooDoo Donut on Washington Ave after a run along Buffalo Bayou!

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Zombie Apocalypse: I can see Fred wanting to run this one. Zombies are right up his alley. I'm pretty sure that you will come back alive from this run. You also get a pretty cool medal with a zombie chasing a man dripping with flecks of blood.

Run for Sea Turtles: This one is put on by the Bad Ass Running Company. It is encouraging you to run the 10K + 1 mile in one day or do it over 7 days. They just want to see you get out. There is a cute sea turtle on the medal.

Run Houston Clear Lake: Let's support Houston Races as well. You could actually go to University of Houston ClearLake and run on campus to complete your race. The Race Houston metals are always stellar.

So, don't let your COVID 19 go to waste. Use it for the downtime and choose the race you are going to run next. For more on races and touring Houston, visit my new website: HTown Run Tourist.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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