After having taken a break after the Dallas marathon, I started training for my second marathon in my hometown of Austin. The race is going to be in mid-February and I started training full-force again in the beginning of January. I joined another marathon training group that had already been together for four months. It was a little tough getting back to into the swing of things and get integrated into the group. I was a little rusty but the base fitness was still there and I was able to get acclimated pretty quickly. Knowing that Austin is a tough course and that I'm still new to distance running, I'm not setting my expectations too terribly high. If I can have an as good or better experience as I did in Dallas I would be happy.
The training has been going well and I'm feeling pretty strong. The IT Band issue has gotten much better. Hasn't completely gone away but it's more in control. As the preparation for the race is peaking, I entered the Rogue 30K as a final tune up. The race is a 30 kilometer (~18 mile) race through the suburban neighborhoods of Cedar Park, TX.
My plan was to treat the race as a long training run that also simulated the race environment. I was to practice my race plan and, more importantly, sticking to it. The morning was cool but not cold. Not ideal conditions but it couldn't be worse than Dallas. I ran a pretty good race for the most part. I stuck to my race plan and felt pretty good, up until about mile 15. Things started getting pretty tough and seem to just keep getting tougher.
I managed to push through and finish strong. Although I wasn't quite on the pace I wanted to, I was happy how I finished and felt like it was a pretty good tune up for the marathon to come. The post-race Double Dave's pizza wasn't bad either.