What do all these pictures have in common? They were all taken at Town Lake, the site of many Saturday long runs. ever since I joined the M-F work force a couple years ago, saturday has been long run day. It kicks off the weekend, and gets the long run out of the way if there are chores or fun plans to do. I try to have a quiet friday night to get ready for Saturday’s run which can be anywhere from 12-30 miles (one time 40…..ouch). Doesn’t always happen though….it’s hard to say no to time with friends after a hectic work week just to sit home and live like a monk……so I’ll compromise. I’ll go out but only one drink and home by 1000-1100. I always pack my gels and supplies the night before. Saturday starts with the alarm going off at 430 or 500. I always immediately think ” why am I doing this to myself?” Once I am up it gets better. the drive down to town lake involves more second guessing….why I am out driving right now?!? once I get to town lake, I see my friends…sometimes there are 3 or 4 of us, sometimes just one other. A few mumbled greetings and we are off. The conversation starts to flow and the miles click by. I enjoy seeing all the other runners out, and watching the streets and trails slowly fill. We start with just a couple other folks on the trail at 530 and finish with a crowd. It amazes me how much of Austin gets covered in 20 miles. It seems like we can see it all. We’ll feed off each other’s energy and get zapped by each other’s fatigue, but eventually the end of the run comes. If it is a good day, there is a quick change of clothes, and a great breakfast immediately follows. Getting up after breakfast involves some pain….not the best idea to follow a long run with a long sitting session, but well worth it for breakfast tacos or pancakes. we’ll see each other off and go about our weekends. I look forward to this tradition all week. For a couple or more hours on Saturday morning, I forget about all the looming projects at work, and all the stress. It’s like going out for drinks without the hangover….we have great discussions and a good laugh all while trying to get some serious miles in. If the run is long enough, it can leave me a little depleted the rest of the day…but that is the perfect excuse to go out to dinner later. I love starting my Monday after a weekend of long running….some recovery during the week, and then I ready to start all over again on saturday.