My recent running has been the height of mediocrity. Nothing bad, nothing good. A few runs cut short by twinges, none of which proved significant.

More troubling, with each run I start off hurting badly. I always start out the run from my door and am a bit slow at first. Now I’m feeling not stiff but just awful. By the block’s end, I wonder if I can go farther.

With a race coming up on Sunday, I figured that I would do a tempo tonight. The Mount Vernon track is now open. (That picture’s from 2007, shortly after it was put in.) It’s an 8-laner about 1/2 mile from home. So I headed there. I have a pair of compression socks (another story on them but if Jaymee can wear them so can I) and wore them as well as my new Asics Hyperspeeds.

Not wishing to dawdle, I decided to start shortly after arriving. It rained about an hour before I got there and there were some puddles on the track. Nothing major though.

The track itself seems so long. It has the 8 lanes and is in a field. The straights just seem to go on and on. Could I do it? 20 minutes/14 laps? The only way to find out was to start. And that’s what I did.

I should note that my head has been all over the place recently on this running stuff. Not helped by the getting-going aches. Although unlike some periods I’m not going around aching at other times. But I feel so SLOW. Old and slow.

So this was important. And I surprised myself. Just as it was 2 months ago, when I was encouraged by another tempo run, so it was tonight. Indeed, almost exactly the pace from before, this time 14 laps in 21:43 (a 6:13 pace).

Still, I feel quite behind. I need to get miles. More miles. A longer long-run. At least I don’t feel like just hanging it up. Now if I can just feel comfortable on Sunday. That’s the big unknown, translating a relaxed but fast pace into a relaxed but fast race. It’s annoying.