I had found a number of excuses for why the first tempo run of the training cycle didn't happen.
But happily, I can retire one of those: the "there's no good place to do it!" one.
There was a tiny park near my West Des Moines park that I liked because it was exactly a half-mile away — perfect for warmups and cooldowns — and had a quarter-mile loop that was mostly flat. It was much easier to run for time, not distance, in such a setup.
As it turns out, the neighborhood across the street from my new apartment does have a few flat roads, and they're even about a half-mile from my building, too.
Traffic is minimal, which is important given the state of the sidewalks (the ones on which I wiped out a week or so ago ... they did not improve during our thaw/refreeze).
So yesterday, I continued putting my recent resolutions into action. I scratched off the workouts that seemed most like "junk miles" to limit my options, and went for a 30-minute tempo run.
From what I could tell, it went smoothly — seemed like I picked up decent speed, like I was supposed to, and it felt like less of a struggle than Sunday's get-back-into-running run was.
Spring might not come before race day, especially with the polar vortex moving back in for the next 10 days, but I suddenly feel less like I'll fall hours short of a PR at the Friendly Sons 5K.