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zilker treeFor stock traders, the Santa Claus Rally ends on Jan 3rd.  My 2013 running exploits will end with my vacation on Jan 1st, so I’m giving it my all in a final sprint.  These final days include significant driving time too, so I can’t run every day.  I began with a ten mile run Monday after a half day drive to Austin from Abilene.  I ran this in Round Rock on the BCRT.  After that brutal 2.5 day drive down from Colorado, this was the perfect recovery.  The weather was sunny and 55° or so.  I ran in shorts and layered a long sleeved shirt over a short sleeved shirt.

mom and the boysAn added wrinkle to my last running week is that I only packed my minimalist Merrell trail gloves.  They pack nice because they are so small and light.  The risk is whether or not I can log any real miles in them.  I ran this first ten miles strong but my legs were super fatigued the next day and I could only run six.  I took off Christmas day, as much to recover as due to the time suck.  Even on vacation, not every day can be all about me.  I could have squeezeed in a run but opted for family time.  I figured the recovery day might be smart considering these high impact shoes.

I was ready to go Thursday and ran 4.5 crisp miles on Town Lake.  I park at the boat ramp near Austin High.  The modern Austin downtown cityscape does little to dent my nostalgic mood racing past Auditorium Shores.  I recall running here with my high school buddies thirty years ago.  Or the very first Capitol 10,000 that started on Congress Avenue and ran entirely on the Town Lake trail.  I have great running memories from my high school years.

Matt's El RanchoI think about my past year of running too and on my plans for 2014.  I had my best year ever in terms of strong performances and injury-free running.  I don’t even care to run faster next year, I feel satisfied I’ve reached my target times.  I’d like to be able to maintain my 10K time in the Bolder Boulder and remain in the B starting wave.  That will require some speed work to hold a 7 minute pace for six miles.  I’ve already registered for the Austin Marathon in February and the Moab Half Marathon in March.  I’d like to run the marathon in about 3:45 but will be happy with anything under 4 hours.  I don’t think I have any time goals for Moab but will want to race against any of my other neighbors who are going too.  Lastly, I’m certain I want to run either or both the IPR and Durango Ultra again next year.  Those are my plans.  Mostly just looking to maintain consistency with this year and stay healthy.  These photos are all family pics taken over the holidays in Austin.  Happy new years.