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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After splitting the first two games of the series, including the extra-inning affair on Saturday, the Astros looked to defeat the Angels on Saturday to secure the series win and leave Los Angeles with a winning record. On the mound were two pitchers looking to shrug off bad debuts to the season. Here is how the game went on Sunday afternoon:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 6, Angels 5.

Record: 5-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Blake Taylor (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jacob Barnes (0-2, 3.86 ERA).

James walks his way into trouble

After a disastrous start to his pitching season where he was unable to record an out, Shohei Ohtani was able to sit down the Astros 1-2-3 on just eight pitches in the top of the first. However, Houston would take advantage of his struggling command in the top of the second, working three straight walks to load the bases with no outs. They then would get two more walks with two outs to grab an early 2-0 lead and end Ohtani's day early yet again.

Meanwhile, on the mound for Houston was Josh James. He, too, allowed some walks but was able to work around them in the first two innings, erasing two in the bottom of the first and one in the second for two scoreless innings.

That changed in the third when he would walk the bases loaded with two outs before Albert Pujols continued his nearly twenty-year reign of being a thorn in Houston's side, hitting a grand slam, Los Angeles' first hit of the day, to put the Angels up 4-2. James would get the final out of the third, but that would conclude his day, making it two straight starts he would be unable to reach the fourth inning. His final line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4K, 1 HR.

Valdez impresses as Bregman makes it a one-run game in the seventh

Framber Valdez was first out of Houston' bullpen, likely to try and eat up several innings. He would accomplish that mission, getting through the next three innings scoreless, holding the 4-2 score. It remained locked on that score despite Houston getting runners on base in each of those innings, as they would struggle to turn players on base into runs yet again in this series.

Alex Bregman gave the Astros a spark in the top of the seventh, leading off the inning with a solo home run to straightaway center to make it a one-run game. Valdez returned for yet another inning, another scoreless frame to keep it 4-3 going to the eighth.

Reddick ties it in the ninth, Astros win in extras

Houston would threaten to tie in the top of the eighth, getting a pinch-hitting Carlos Correa to third base after a single to leadoff the inning, but would be unable to score him, leaving it at 4-3. Valdez would record another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Astros one more chance to tie or go ahead in the top of the ninth.

Michael Brantley led off the inning with a double and was pinch-run by Myles Straw, who would score the tying run on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, but the Angels would hold the Astros there. Valdez remained in the game trying to push extra innings and would do so, erasing a leadoff walk.

Kyle Tucker started the top of the tenth on second base and moved to third on a sac fly by Carlos Correa to start the inning before scoring on another sac fly, this time from pinch-hitting Garrett Stubbs to give Houston a 5-4 lead. Valdez, well above his comfortable pitch count, was still on the mound in the bottom of the tenth, and allowed his first run, though unearned, on a leadoff RBI-single to tie the game again at 5-5. He would get one more out before Houston moved to another reliever, bringing in Andre Scrubb.

After an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, Scrubb would walk the bases loaded before getting a popout, then Houston would turn to Blake Taylor. Taylor would come through, getting a big strikeout to send the game to the eleventh. Springer started on second in the top of the inning and would score and put the Astros back in front on a one-out RBI-single by Alex Bregman. In the bottom half, Taylor would get through the inning, giving Houston the win and series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will have a day off tomorrow before picking up a three-game set with the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Tuesday. The opening game of that series will be at 8:10 PM Central. While Arizona is expected to start Madison Bumgarner, the Astros will have to pivot as they had Framber Valdez slated for that start, who made a lengthy appearance out of the bullpen on Sunday.

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