A year ago I was a week out from my first round of PT since Blue Cross didn't want to approve the MRI my doctor wanted to confirm my meniscus tear. Of course, since I have such a fragile psyche I spent most of my days trying to wrap my head around a life without running. Turn in my "IRUN262" license plate, take the 2016 Boston magnet off Abby, throw away the 20 or so white tech shirts with stains on the armpits that I couldn't wear in public, toss the running shorts and tights, donate my NYCM jacket (not Marshall or Boston, though) to Goodwill, dismantle the marathon shrine and map, box up the medals and race photos. It was a dark time.
Yesterday the wind was pretty strong, but the sun was out and it was warm enough for a run in short sleeves. It was also the third week of Vermont City training. And it was Tempo Tuesday!
Let me back up a couple of weeks. Week one was a bust, with snow and ickiness. There was no Tempo Tuesday for week 1. There was, in fact, no running at all the first half of the week. One day on the stairs and another with the bands/weights, and one resting. Thursday-Friday-Saturday were as per the plan, though, and the easy weekend ten was nice. Ended up with half the mileage I wanted to start, but the runs were good anyway.
Week 2 (last week) was closer to the schedule. Missed two days instead of three (one with a family thing and the other with rain that I could have run after but I'd already decided to skip and ate dinner and ... stuff. But, even though I'd thought I should not start Tempo Tuesdays until I was at full mileage, of course I couldn't resist doing it early. Added 3 at tempo effort in the middle of 7 that day. Averaged a little over 7:30 and was sufficiently gassed at the end. No extra aches or pains afterward. Win.
Saturday was another good test. 14 miles - the most since the 2017 Rehoboth Marathon. I'll admit to some trepidation after the cold mess that was my Snowbuster a couple of weeks ago. I remember back when I started this marathoning thing what a scary thing 14 miles was. Not gonna lie - images of me walking most of the last 2-4 flashed through my head more than once during the week. So I was really careful on the front half, keeping the pace at or just over 9:00 pace. Had to stop twice (at mile 3 and at mile 12) for bathroom breaks, which was annoying, and one short stretch for my second Hammer Gel (mile 10). Other than that, it was an excellent long run. Finished up with a few 8:40-ish miles. Felt fine the rest of the day, which I did not expect. Figured I'd be on the couch.
With the missing days (16 miles worth), 35 for the week.
Monday was an easy 7. Ran up the Target bike path, then west on Eight Mile to the country club. Stopped at the light I caught a movement at the corner of my eye. There was a guy running up the path crossing mine. I said hello, but he didn't acknowledge my existence. He had earbuds, but still. It's one thing to be passing along the road or trail and be lost in your head, but standing next to another runner for 60 full seconds and not even making eye contact? Weird. When the light changed, he followed me for about a hundred yards, then turned off somewhere behind me - I never saw when or where, but he was gone.
Normally, my tempo runs start and end with a mile warm up and cool down. Since I'm not up to full mileage yet and am being careful not to add speed and distance at the same time (see how smart I am now?), I'm not doing that exactly yet. Last week I made it 2-1/2 w/u and 1-1/2 c/d (it fit the traffic lights better than 2 & 2). This week I went for 1-1/2 and 1-1/2, with 4 at tempo. Had a couple of stoplight breaks, but no bathroom stops. 7:37 average. Another win.
Big rain coming in this afternoon and evening, so I make take today as a rest day. Or maybe it's a band/weight night. See what I feel like when I get home.