Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
Cowtown Marathon Prep
A few weeks ago, the looming race was the San Marcos Half Marathon. Considering the distance of the race was shorter than half of my training runs, the distance wasn’t a challenge. Instead, the small field meant I had a chance at winning, but only if I could run fast. Speed has never been my forte, and I hadn’t worked my way into the best shape, but I managed to make it happen.
Two weeks later, the Cowtown Marathon presents a different challenge. I’m fully aware I’m not going to set a personal best, so speed isn’t a concern for this race. This time, the main obstacle is the distance. My longest two training runs were 34 and 36 km, and they went “alright” and “acceptable”, respectively. Normally, before a marathon, you should have a few more runs of that distance under your belt, and at least one of them should go well.
As far as all other training is concerned, it’s all comparable. Mostly...OK. Not at an ideal level, but considering I only began training in earnest eight weeks ago, that’s not bad. Normally, getting in shape for a marathon would take longer, but I might’ve pulled it off. I’m a little worried about what’ll happen in the last 10 km of the race, but there’s not much that can be done about it now.
The taper has begun, and overall, that pleases me. There have been a few days I forced myself through a run I didn’t want to do, particularly on cold, rainy days. It’ll be nice to dial back the training and have a little more free time, and to be able to take a day off without kicking myself.
This weekend, I was called upon to chaperone a high school academic contest. Once a year, we go to a contest where the teachers’ “hospitality room” is beyond impressive. It’s probably the best meal I eat each year. A buffet of homemade Chinese, Thai, and especially Indian food, with catered deli sandwiches and Mediterranean pizzas thrown in for good measure. Not to mention the excellent breakfast tacos and softball-sized muffins at breakfast, and the pies and cheesecakes for dessert.
The meet is always the third weekend of February, which in years past, has been perfect timing: the Austin Marathon is the weekend before the meet. But this year, I’m running the Cowtown Marathon, which takes place one week after the meet. I had to exercise a modicum of self-restraint, and in the presence of such riches, it wasn’t easy.
With the Cowtown Marathon one week away, there’s not much left to do but maintain a level of fitness. There’s not enough time to get more fit, at least to any significant degree. A few easy runs and a strict diet for seven days are all that stands between me and the Cowtown Marathon. Take it easy, and then let’s do this thing.