Remember all that bravado from Week 3, all the we’ve-done-three-miles-no-sweat-we-can-do-it stuff?
Yeah. Try doing that when you’re tired and swimming instead of running.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me get back on pace.
The Buddy System – Take 2
At some point during last week’s training team run, Dexter and I decided that it might be fun to do our Wednesday run together as well. We hatched a plan that we’d run the upcoming Saturday routes on Wednesday evenings so we could get faster on the Saturday course.
It’s a brilliant strategy. Wednesdays are typically recommended as a longer but “easy” run day in the schedule. It gives us time to figure out the course, know where our turns are and enjoy the scenery without focusing as much on turning in a good time.
One other bonus to doing the Wednesday “route run.” It makes it a little less scary to run a longer distance on Saturday if you’ve already done it – no matter how slowly – just a few days before.
So, armed with this great plan and a 3 mile route, Dexter and I met at the Retreat location and set out on our run.
We just hadn’t bargained on the weather.
The Last Gasp of a Richmond Summer
I knew it was a warm day, but since I move in a mostly climate controlled environment with only brief spurts outdoors that involve walking to and from my car, I wasn’t really prepared for what we were about to run in that evening. But I got a clue in a hurry as soon as I stepped out of the house in my running gear.
For the record, the maximum temperature that day was 85 degrees, humidity max around 80%.
Lucky for us, the temperature had dropped to about 80 degrees when we are about to run, and the humidity was nearing its peak for the day.
Fun. Swim fins and noodles, anyone?
We might have run 3 miles before, but I can very much assure you that neither Dexter nor I had run anything close to that in this kind of weather. As a matter of fact, Dexter once decided that he would go for a jog on the Vitacourse during a summer evening, and he literally dragged himself back to the car after slogging out two laps.
It’s Richmond, it’s summer, it’s why we campaign to celebrate the invention of air conditioning as a National Holiday.
Plus Side Benefits and Safety Reminders
Once we turned on to Monument Avenue, I had reminders of why we even bothered to do this at all. The scenery is lovely, and there are lots of runners who use Monument as their personal track.
Suffice to say that the architecture was not the only thing worth looking at that evening.
We did have to spend a good bit of time looking down at the sidewalk once we turned off Monument. Be careful out there, Friends – hopping on and off sidewalks, plus the unexpected uneven slabs of concrete, can be quite dangerous. I’m pleased to say that neither Dexter nor I took a spill, but we were definitely glad of the ample sunlight. Not sure I’d feel comfortable running that same route in twilight.
We finished Wednesday’s run pretty beat up and tired, with an average pace of 4.6 mph.
But we finished. And Saturday’s training team awaited.
We Test the Strategy
When we arrived on the Roof on Saturday morning, we were greeted by the most lovely, cool breeze. It was already a better run than Wednesday, and we hadn’t even taken the first stride. Coming around the corner of Mulberry Street as we made our way to Monument, Dexter and I gave each other a sideways glance, a smile and a giggle.
We had this one in the bag.
We hung in the middle of the pack for most of the way, gleefully praising the weather and moving like gazelles.
Okay, there might be a little hyperbole there. Maybe not gazelles. But certainly swifter than the fish out of water we were on Wednesday night.
34:02 minutes. Almost 5.3 miles per hour.
Nope, y’all. Not Done Yet.
Wishing you an Awesomelicious Day! More to come on our 8K Training Adventures!