luge crashWith below zero temps all week, I trained Monday through Thursday on that little elliptical machine to the right of this picture.  Juxtapose this shot of me to that contraption as I just walked in from a twenty mile romp over snow packed trails in 32°.  This is my last chance to prep myself for the Austin Marathon on February 16th.

The idea of running twenty miles today, and the eighteen I ran last weekend, is to establish confidence with the marathon distance.  It’s too late to actually get in shape.  In fact, a number of runners would be tapering these last two weeks.  I just don’t have that luxury.  I have a job and family commitments that don’t allow me to fully live up to my self-centered, narcissistic potential.  And no way would I trade the weekend snowshoeing with Karen for a few more miles.  We’re headed back up to Brainard Lake tomorrow to experience all this fresh snow.

While I felt super slow today, I actually ran thirty seconds faster per mile than on last weekend’s eighteen miler.  I’m losing confidence that I’ll maintain a nine minute mile pace next week, but that’s not critical.  Goal number one is to run comfortable.  If that means a ten minute pace – fine.  I do expect to start off with an eight and a half minute pace.  Hard not to with the excitement of a big event.  I’ll try to settle down as I cross Lady Byrd Lake on Congress Avenue at mile two.  I’ve run this before so I know what to expect on hills.  I’ll run easy up South Congress and unwind a little coming down South 1st.  I’m confident I’ll run well and enjoy this event.  I’m ready.