There are all sorts of different schools of thoughts on how to do long runs (how far, how fast, how hilly, how often), but—to me—the greatest debate is when to run them: Saturday or Sunday?

For years and years, Sunday was it. The Sunday morning long run was simply a long-established tradition. I’m not exactly sure how it evolved, but most races back then were on Saturday. That meant we could do short races on Saturday morning and still come back the next day and go long.

CADENZAEven if there wasn’t a Saturday race, Sunday had its downside. Because of the importance of the long run, activities and yard work on Saturday had to be kept to a minimum which was always next to impossible. Because my kids were young, I had all sorts of duties that kept me on my feet all day and tended to compromise my long run the next day.

Still, Sunday was made for long runs and even in the winter, when I lived in the Snow Belt, I pounded them out, trying to get ready for the Austin Marathon. Often, on dark, mid-winter Sunday long runs, I was so alone, I felt like the only person on the planet foolish enough to run 20 miles. I lived in a semi-rural area and it wasn’t unusual for a friendly policeman to stop and ask me if I needed a ride.

I never needed a ride; what I needed was a change.

Somewhere along the way, I evolved and began going on Saturday. At first, the Saturday routine was unfamiliar but I quickly developed a new one which, over time, made a lot more sense to me.

Going long on Saturday morning, meant I had the cleared the rest of the weekend and no longer had to worry about giving my legs a break. It also meant I could enjoy Saturday football and didn’t have to concern myself with eating too much. Ditto on Saturday nights. Running long on Saturday didn’t exactly put a hole into Sunday running plans. I just went shorter and easier.

Doing long runs first thing Saturday also meant that it gave me some flexibility in terms of weather. If Saturday was really crappy, I could just wait a day and go Sunday.

The greatest thing though about Saturday long runs is much less pragmatic. When my posse and I are over and done with it, I’m always flooded with a very real sense of accomplishment that I don’t get from anything else. I have completed something and the weekend has barely started. Even if I don’t get anything else accomplished, I will still have done at least one thing of significance–my long run.

And on Saturday.


O Tia Martinez, who has been the top woman runner in town for the last couple of years, has left the Rogue Elite team as well as Steve Sisson’s coaching and has walked away from the financial support and equipment she received from Adidas. The reasons for her departure are a little obscure—including rumors of conflicts—but all concerned put a happy face on it and say the split was amicable. Martinez, a single mother of a young son, says she left Rogue “for a change of scenery and a new adventure.” She told me, “There are many new faces on the team who are all wonderful people, but I would prefer to stay in a smaller environment. I’m grateful for what Steve and Rogue have done for my career. I have been talking with a coach and right now we are trying to sort out the details. I will be running for myself and that simple thing is more than enough to keep me going.” Martinez said she’s staying in Austin for the time being, but adds, “Who knows what will happen?”

O Kristen Findley, who was Martinez’ teammate at Rogue and finished second to her in the Run for the Water 10-Miler three weeks ago, won the first Kansas Road Mile Championship on Sunday in Wichita. The 23-year-old Vanderbilt graduate ran 4:49.89 (just a tick slower than her track PR) to set the all-time women’s road mile for the state of Kansas and picked up $700.

O Quinn Carrozza, the 17-year-old daughter of Sheila and Paul and a member of the junior national swim team, has switched her verbal commitment from the University of Arizona to UT. Carrozza, who doesn’t swim in high school competition, has trained for years with Longhorn Aquatics.

O Creep of the week honors goes to 24-year-old Ryan Alan Lamberth. He was arrested Wednesday by the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and charged with improper photography at the women’s bathroom at The Rock, right off the Butler/Lady Bird Lake Trail at Austin HS. The police allege that Lamberth made videos on his cell phone of women using the bathroom between late August, 2013 and early September of the same year. According to the police, about 10 videos were made of unidentified victims. If you have information that can help identify the victims (or believe you are one), contact APD’s sex crimes unit (512/974-5230). Lamberth is free after posting a $10,000 bond.

O If you’re thinking about running the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon on December 14th and haven’t entered, you’d better hustle. Dallas announced yesterday that only 100 slots remain in the marathon and a few more than that are still available in the half marathon (but should go quickly).

O Keeping it in the family: Elise Reina, the daughter of Reuben Reina (and cousin of Austin’s Rio Reina), won the Arkansas State Cross-Country Champs (7A) last Saturday in a time of 19:03. Her older sister Valerie runs at Arkansas where her father—one of the famous Running Reinas of San Antonio—was a two-time NCAA champion and eight-time All American. Reuben also won the 1985 Foot Locker National High School Cross-Country Championships.

O The UT men’s and women’s teams are headed today for Fayetteville, Arkansas where they will compete tomorrow (Friday) in the NCAA South Central Regional Championships. The Longhorn guys are ranked second in the region to Arkansas and, led by seniors Craig Lutz and Mark Pinales, should qualify for the NCAAs. (UT men have only missed qualifying once in the past 10 years.) The women are ranked seventh in the region (behind Arkansas, Baylor, Lamar, Rice, SMU and A&M) and it seems highly unlikely they will advance to the Big Dance.

O We have kept you up to date on the changes coming for the 2015 Austin Marathon & Half Marathon. If you happen to run under Mopac by the Johnson Creek Trailhead you might notice an orange number eight painted on the far north side of the street. That’s the new mile 8 of the race. Follow along westbound on Lake Austin Blvd. and you can find the 15K point as well as other mileage markers. The team at Conley Sports is promising to release the finalized version soon, but if you see a guy on a bike led by two police vehicles, that’s Danny Spoonts – your official course certifier.

O What I’m listening to this morning: “Eat A Peach” by the Allman Brothers Band. Half of this great album was recorded in the studio (with one song credited to Duane Allman) and the other half was live material left over from “At the Fillmore East.” This would be the last album Duane Allman ever appeared on. Anyway, after 45 years on the road, the Allmans have finally called it quits.

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