My dog Rosie and I at the Dallas Turkey Trot sporting our rivalry day spirit!

Whenever I go home to Dallas for Thanksgiving, I love to run the YMCA Turkey Trot. The Dallas Turkey Trot hosts about 35,000 energetic runners, joggers and walkers alike. This particular year, the Turkey Trot made an attempt for a world record for the most people in turkey costumes in one place.

I love this race because it’s the perfect thanksgiving tradition: burning calories before you eat your weight in delicious thanksgiving cuisine.  It’s also a lot of fun because of all the college rivalries. Those who didn’t come in turkey outfits came in all of their collegiate paraphernalia. There are fight songs from all sorts of schools going around the crowd, but non louder than our very own “Texas Fight!” fight song.

I have been running since my junior year of high school, when I joined my school’s track and field team. I was atrocious, but I loved the freedom I felt while running. I continued to run throughout high school, and love to run recreationally in college.

Running is one thing I love to do. There is nothing better to relieve stress and increase my energy (two very important things for a MPA student!).One of the reasons I love Austin so much is that there is such a large and supportive running community and so many gorgeous routes to run. Since I’ve been in Austin, I have been able to really explore the city through running. There is really no better way to see all that the city offers than by running by all its famous sites.

The beautiful view from the Lady Bird Lake trail... doesn't get much better than this!

One of my favorite routes to run is along the Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trail. This is a 10 mile loop around Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin that’s only a mile and a half from campus.

This path offers the best views in Austin, in my opinion. Between the lake and the downtown Austin skyline, it’s hard to get such a good view. Also, the path goes through an off-leash dog park, where you can go and play with them mid-run if you would like.

My two other favorite places to run are around the Capitol building and down Congress Avenue. The Capitol is surrounded by gorgeous sprawling lawns and tons of state history. Congress Ave is especially fun to run along because you are going through the heart of downtown Austin. You can feel all the energy of the city and get to pass along some of the more famous landmarks of Austin as you run down Congress.

My friend Allie and I running the LiveStrong Austin Marathon in February

Austin is also a huge racing hub. Some of the more famous are the Capitol 10K, Congress Avenue Mile, Turkey Trot, 3M half-marathon, and the Austin Live-Strong Marathon. All of these races are great opportunities to explore Austin on foot and to get a new t-shirt! There’s really nothing better than coming to class the day after a race sporting your new race t-shirt and showing off your accomplishment. It’s also a great conversation starter when you see other people wearing the t-shirts of races you participated in!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is thankful for an amazing Longhorn win over Texas A&M! What a great way to end the rivalry!