Training Cycle Commencement

Richmond Half training started this past week. Michelle (aka, the cross country drive co-pilot two years ago) is flying up from Mississippi to run it with me, and for her birthday earlier in the month, I sent her a Richmond in Training tee. Consider it motivation. She’s got two ankle biters rug rats precocious little girls, a husband, and a job, and I just have a, uh, job, so realistically, I’ve a better chance of staying on track with training for the next 12 weeks. But, as we’ve seen from my maintenance/base building performance, I’m about as consistent a runner as Helen Keller would be as a – I dunno – skeet shooter. Amazingly, I got in all my miles this week.

Last week by the numbers:

Sunday – 7 miles. DC’s a sleepy town these days, but once I pulled onto a running path, several groups of runners passed me in the other direction. One group was stopped at the corner of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue, gawking at something. Then I noticed what they were gawking at: gas at the Exxon in front of the Watergate was being advertised for $9.94 per gallon. No joke.
Monday – 1.5 hours Iyengar yoga. Technically, the training plan says “stretch and strengthen.” I’m sure Hal had something else in mind; this is my interpretation. More specifically, my yoga teacher had in mind mobilizing my thoracic spine. Oof. I was sore for 2 days. Thank you, Liz. I’ve missed you, too.
Tuesday – 3 miles. Temps and humidity eased off, and by the looks of Twitter, everyone – myself included – had an awesome run today.
Wednesday – 5 x 400.  Rest. I can handle speed work. I can also handle running in the rain. But I’m a baby when it comes to doing speed work in the rain. And plus, I needed to catch up on Masterchef.
Thursday – 3 miles + strength. 1 mile warmup, 5 x 400, 1 mile cooldown & Pilates. I admit, I didn’t go to the track. Instead, I relied on my Garmin being relatively accurate…uhm, yeah. Being the first set of 400s that I’ve done in years, I wasn’t sure I could even do 5, or at what pace. The training plan said “5K pace.” This seemed slow, so I plugged in my most recent race time into the McMillan Running Calculator to figure out the time I should be running my 400s. Assuming my Garmin wasn’t churning out vanity numbers, the first three 400s – with a slight tailwind – were all within half a second of each other, and right on target. The fourth one was into a headwind, six seconds slower, and missed the mark. For the fifth 400, also into a headwind, I heard footsteps behind me seconds after I started. I held off the runner behind me for as long as I could, and I also reeled in another runner in front of me. I was passed by the guy behind me, and immediately afterward I passed the runner in front of me. Then I tucked in behind the speedster for the rest of the distance (seriously, if he had bit it, it would have been a messy tumble for both of us because I was right on his heels), and clocked a 400 2 seconds faster than first three. You know, if the Garmin is right. Yay!
Friday – Rest. 3 miles. These were the three miles that I was supposed to do on Thursday, except on Thursday I did the 400s that I was supposed to do on Wednesday. And they hurt in a way that three miles are not supposed to hurt. 
Saturday – 3 miles. The beauty of the first week of training: low mileage. I ended the run at the Washington Harbor to catch Wendy paddling in the Watermans Paddle for Humanity.
Wendy = 14th dot from the right. Or something.