Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
The seven weeks between the first two race of the Austin Distance Challenge are the longest gap between any of the races. In seven weeks of training, a lot can happen.
For the most part, training has gone well. My runs, particularly my long runs, have gotten more consistent, and I’ve gotten faster at all distances. Part of this simply comes from getting better a few months into a training routine, and part of it is because I’ve been sticking to my routine better. But a big part of it is probably the cooler temperatures.
Usually there are still a few scorchers left in September, but there hasn’t been one since Labor Day. Mostly due to all the rain. Sometimes it’s been comfortably cool, but other times, it’s merely not hot and incredibly humid, which isn’t much better. The rain has finally ended, and now almost at the end of October, the cooler, drier air has been much more conducive to running at speed.
In the meantime, I’ve been meaning to slim down and become a leaner, more efficient runner, but plateaued for a while. Finally, in the last week or so, I’ve been able to keep working my way down. I’m still a little too addicted to sugar and simple carbs.
While the next race is only a 10-miler, and therefore represents only 15% of the distance covered in the Austin Distance Challenge, it’s a similar distance to the next two races, both of which are half-marathons. You would think since the marathon alone makes up 40% of the total distance, the series would strongly favor marathon runners. But as it turns out, two half-marathons, plus another race of similar distance, make up 55% of the series (the remaining 5% is in the very first race, a 5k). So you could reasonably say the series most strongly favors good half-marathon runners.
As a result, this next race, which is similar to a few others in the series, should tell us a lot about how the series will go. If I add a substantial amount to my lead, one could assume I’ll be in good shape after the next few races. If another runner starts gaining on me, not a good sign.
In the meantime, keep on running...