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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

I've kept my eyes on the weather reports throughout the last couple days, and I've been watching the big blue monster creep closer and closer to my former home town. Chicago is getting crippled with snow as we speak, and it's a little strange to be in a town where the chance that we might possibly see some flurries tomorrow night is terrifying in and of itself.

But we've got some weather issues of our own, at least for Texas. Tonight could be - so they say - the coldest night in Austin in 20 years. Of course it is, because I just moved here. But it could be worse, I suppose. I could be buried under a foot of flakes.

All of this really just makes me very happy that tomorrow is my rest day. But to really enjoy a rest day, I have to earn it, which is what this morning was about.

I had six miles to work through today, and I managed to get out of bed in time to get it all done before the work day started, as usual, thanks to my wife not letting me snooze. It was cold and a little rainy, but really not too terrible. Certainly not as bad as it would be tomorrow.

My basic focus was on keeping as steady a pace as I could. If I can make my legs run the miles, the adrenaline will do the rest, and today, I didn't have any trouble keeping the legs going. My knee was a little troublesome for the first mile or so, but it faded before too long. I felt pretty strong throughout the whole run, which was almost surprising, but not nearly as surprising as hitting the wind for the first time.

At about a mile and a half, I took a turn to the north and swallowed a mouthful of cold air. And what surprised me was that it wasn't that bad. My lungs are far more conditioned today than they were a few weeks ago. I was feeling great about this, when I turned another corner and crossed Congress Avenue bridge.

If you're not familiar with Austin, this is an unprotected bridge about 50 feet over the surface of town lake. Nothing will wake you up like the windward side of a high bridge in 25 mph, 35 degree winds.

And still, I made it home. In fact, my finishing hill barely bothered me. Whether it was my imagination or some runner's high, as I stared ahead at the incline, I was almost able to convince myself (or rather, my legs) that it wasn't uphill at all. That it just seemed that way because of the perspective. I really think that if I wasn't so familiar with the territory, I actually would have doubted whether there was any rise.

And I finished strong, which is always important.

The only real concern was that my knee flared up a bit as soon as I finished. It only lasted for about 30 minutes, and I have the rest day tomorrow, so I'm sure it's fine.

So, tomorrow, I'll still get up early, and maybe do some of that yoga that I am supposed to be doing on my days off. Or, maybe, I'll stay in bed and hide from the frozen world for an extra 30 minutes or so. I hope it's the former, but I guess we'll see.

All in all, it was a pretty standard day. My biggest point of interest was noticing, in all my time on weather.com, that the ten-day forecast now goes to February 10th. For me an event gets real when the date is on the ten-day forecast.

We're getting close now.

Today's run:
37 Degrees, Wet
6.03 Miles
48 Minutes, 42 Seconds

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