I hit the Mahomet trail this morning for a five-mile solo outing and it kicked my butt. Sad to say, this pretty tame trail was the toughest run I've done (length+terrain) in a long time. In the month or so since solving that pesky shoe issue, I've done most of my solo runs using an 8 minute run/2 minute walk strategy, and that's worked pretty well to get me past that weird injury hump - so well that sometimes I forget it's time to take my walk break. I can't say that happened this morning, though. The run felt good but hard, especially because the walk breaks didn't coincide with any of the hills.
But the temps were cool, the humidity low, and the prairie was bursting with yellow and purple flowers and butterflies. Being by myself gave me the chance to enjoy that, and also to plan my fall semester. Not my teaching or research, but my running. Here's The Plan: if I run at Mahomet on lots of Sunday mornings this fall, maybe even adding a bit of mileage, then by the time November rolls around I should be ready to join the TuffGirls on their Saturday morning 8 mile Parking Garage Runs (yes, it's exactly what it sounds like it is). And if I can spend a good chunk of winter Saturdays doing that, then I'll be ready to ramp up for whatever next spring has in store.
That's The Plan, anyway.