Well, I’m back. Thanks for the warm thoughts, everyone!
What a morning. Oh wait, it’s afternoon now.
Left the house early in anticipation of crappy road conditions. Oh yeah, they were crappy. Plows hadn’t even hit the highways yet! Arrived at Minnehaha park at about 8:50 AM; the coach and one other woman were there. Coach says that only the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River Road is plowed and suggests that we come back tomorrow to do our long runs. (He also says that both of us need only run 10 miles this weekend.) I was disappointed at that prospect; long runs on SATURDAYS, dammit! Luckily, the other woman (I’ll call her Jo) seemed to feel the same. She offered me a guest pass to her YMCA so we could run together. It has a 1/10 mile track and treadmills. I quickly agreed. An hour later (normally a twenty-minute drive) we reached her house, greet her dog and husband and grab the guest pass. Thirty minutes after that, we entered a YMCA located in a northern suburb.
Jo’s normal routine is to run 20 laps (2 miles) and hit the treadmill for a mile, all the while working the Galloway method (nine minutes running, one minute walking). Walking to the treadmill after the second mile counts as the minute of walking. We folllowed her routine and man, what fun! I thought I would slow her down too much and she’d have to go off on her own – she’s an experienced marathoner who is aiming for a 3:30 this time – but we ran the together the whole time and talked most of it. I felt energetic and only the slightest bit tight in my calves.
So I didn’t have to slog through snow and didn’t have to do the whole thing on the dreadmill. A great first “official” long run that I hope was an omen of things to come.