A Simple Running Log

June 26, 2019

Training for 6/26/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:26 pm

Marathon training hit a bit of a speed bump the last few days.

It got hot here, which means I can’t put off my run until even the late morning if I want to get in any kind of decent run. Of course, I procrastinated anyway Monday and Tuesday. They both turned into rest days.

Instead, I stayed in the air conditioning with Pepper and did a lot of this:

pepper and me on the floor

Today, I really meant to get back on the sunrise runner wagon, but… I didn’t.

It was about 10 a.m. and pushing 90 degrees when I finally went out. To do the 11-mile long run I was supposed to have done three days ago. I love it when I make things suck as much as possible!

It was awful. My first couple of miles were around 9:00 but it just went downhill from there. It wasn’t even that humid (at least), but I convinced myself I felt so out of breath any time I tried to run, I wound up walking a ton of it. I was really kicking myself for not going out, oh, four hours earlier.

The fact NEITHER pair of my new running shoes had shown up yet wasn’t helping either. I was wearing the old Zante Pursuits, which I hadn’t worn in nearly a week, and by mile 9 or so, my left calf was getting noticeably tight again, so I walked even more.

Anyway, I eventually finished a lap of the 11.2-mile loop at what turned out to be an 11:11/mile average. Yowza.

But! Things are looking up. I got two deliveries today:

new shoes

1400s on the left, Zante Pursuits on the right.

And I’m meeting Kelly at the track bright and early tomorrow morning for this week’s interval workout, four 800s. It’s supposed to get really hot the next few days (and of course, this is only the beginning of summer), so if I’m going to make an honest effort at marathon training, I gotta get my butt back in early-morning gear.

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June 24, 2019

Jungle Jim’s 5K Splash race report

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:22 am

Well, I didn’t quite hit my 22:xx goal in my 5K this weekend, but I wasn’t too far off, and I’ve got four more summer series 5Ks to try again.

Clark and I stayed in Fenwick the night before the race. I had a good dinner, didn’t drink any beer, went to bed at a decent time and slept pretty well all night. I actually set myself up for a good effort for once.

Even better, the weather was beautiful! After all that heat and humidity all week, it was chilly and relatively not humid Saturday morning.

I drove to Rehoboth and got to Jungle Jim’s about half an hour before the 7:30 a.m. start. It took no time to get my race bib and event T-shirt. Then I ran a mile in about 9:00 to warm up.

At the start line back in the water park, I found Kelly and Corey, and Kelly’s friend Tina. We all wedged ourselves into the 300-plus pack of runners and then we were off!

Right from the start, this little kid started ping-ponging around in the pack, nearly tripping everyone within a 5-ft. radius. Here I am probably giving him the stink eye as we ran out of the park (glad I put on those reflective sunglasses haha.)

2019 jungle jims 5k start

The kid finished under 24 minutes, so he’s already a good runner — he just needs to work on his race etiquette! Namely, running in a straight line, especially right at the beginning of a race, when everyone is bunched together.

After we cleared the park entrance and got on the street, it started to spread out.

I felt pretty good for the first mile, even though it felt like it was never going to end. When it finally did, my Garmin reported a 7:12 split.

As we came up on the U-turn at the halfway point, I realized I was closing in on Corey. He’s usually quite a ways ahead of me, but he’d said before we started running he thought he’d gotten a mild case of food poisoning the day before and he still felt a little pukey.

I caught him at the turnaround, but I couldn’t get past him. We wound up running the entire second half of the race together.

After the U-turn, we passed Richard and his phone camera, capturing everyone’s best halfway-through-a-5K faces haha. I tried to pretend I was having a great time.

2019 jungle jims 5k after turnaround

I always think I maintain my pace in the second mile of a 5K, but I rarely do. Mile 2 was 7:30. Dammit.

The third mile was pretty freaking tough. I hadn’t realized we were running slightly downhill in that stretch on the way out, but I definitely noticed it was slightly uphill on the way back. I wanted to stop and catch my breath so bad! But I kept reminding myself this is what it’s supposed to feel like, and I wasn’t actually going to die. Not gonna lie, I also didn’t want to let Corey win haha.

The third mile marker was right before we turned back into the water park — 7:37. “Only” 25 seconds off my first mile! Oof.

One last sprint to the finish line right at the park entrance:

2019 jungle jims 5k finish

Then I was done, in 23:23 officially.

So, 24 seconds off my goal, but I was happy with myself for legit trying the whole way. 5Ks just hurt and I’ve gotten bad about letting myself off the hook when it gets uncomfortable.

And I get to do it all over again in less than a week! My next summer series 5K is this coming Saturday.

I ran another easy mile to cool down, then changed into my swimsuit. Even though it really wasn’t hot, we rode all the water slides that were open until they announced it was time for the awards.

I was first of 12 in my age group. I’m 2-for-2 in the summer series.

2019 jungle jims awards

I was also the fifth woman of 144, and 46th of 305 overall.

Kelly and Corey both won their age groups too, and Tina was second in hers. Overall, a pretty successful day for our little group.

We had time to ride a couple more slides before they asked all the runners to leave ahead of the park’s official opening for the day.

I went back to Fenwick. Clark and I got the Jeep loaded, fought traffic to get to Harris-Teeter to get some food and then fought it again all the way back to the beach, where we met a couple of his coworkers.

It had warmed up enough by then that it was a perfect beach day. We “fished” and sat out there on the sand all day.

surf tags

Delaware brought back the blue surf tags this year, so everyone had to replace the old white ones.

fishing poles

Poles in the sand.

pepper on the beach

Pepper’s feelings on the beach: “I hate this but at least I get to be with Clark so I will tolerate it.”

When we went back to the beach house in Fenwick, one of Clark’s coworkers, who’d been drinking all day, tried to paddleboard in the canal, his first time on one. It went about as well as you’d expect. He toppled off that thing at least 50 times! It was pretty entertaining for the rest of us, and Clark’s mom said the next day, one of the neighbors thanked us for the free show haha.

Sunday, I didn’t feel like doing my long run. Big surprise! I just did an easy 4.5 miles at an 8:51/mile average along the highway.

That afternoon, Clark and I met my mom and younger sister in Assateague and spent a few hours on the beach there. It was another gorgeous day for it.

And now it’s Monday, and I need to knock out that 11-miler I didn’t do yesterday. It’s warming up out there so it probably won’t be very quick, but it’s a long run, so it’s not supposed to be fast anyway.

June 21, 2019

Training for 6/21/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:46 pm

Happy first day of summer!

I celebrated by barely leaving my house haha. I’d thought about doing a short easy run today, but I have that 5K tomorrow morning and, quite frankly, the last two days’ runs sucked because of the hot weather and I didn’t feel like dealing with it again. (Although it’s not bad at all out there today, naturally.)

Also, I need new shoes. My left calf was getting increasingly tight over the past few days (though it feels better after I did a lot of stretching yesterday — gee, maybe I should make that a habit) and I’ve felt some twinges around my ankles, so I think my long run AND speed work/race shoes are both worn out. I will have to run in them both again this weekend but the new ones should arrive early next week.

I’ve been happy with what I’m running in, so I got more of the same, another pair of Zante Pursuits for long runs and another pair of 1400s for speed workouts and races.

As far as the weekend goes, tomorrow is, as I’ve mentioned, my first 5K of the summer series, the Jungle Jim’s 5K Splash. The course is boring but it’s the one after which we get to play in the water park, so it’s one of my favorites.

I’d love to run a time that starts with a 22, but I haven’t felt that speedy the last week or so, between the blood donation, the weather turning hot and humid and my lower legs/feet showing the first signs my shoes need replacing, so right now I’m not feeling optimistic. Hopefully I can at least improve on the 24:17 I ran in this race last year after I had to WALK a couple times in the last mile!

Sunday is long run day, an 11-miler. Other than that, I don’t know what else is happening this weekend.

June 20, 2019

Training for 6/20/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:09 am

Yesterday, I didn’t go for my run in the morning, and then it got really hot, so I put off the easy run on the schedule until as late as possible.

By 7:30 p.m., when I finally went out, it was still pretty freaking hot with the humidity. The worst part, however, was the bugs. They were out in force. I spent the whole run swatting at them and digging them out of my eyeballs, and when I was finally done, every bit of exposed skin was coated in them. GROSS.

Anyway, I finished the 4.5-mile loop at just under a 9:00/mile pace.

Today, if I was going to get my run in, it had to be first thing, so I wound up running twice in 12 hours.

It was just as disgustingly humid as it had been last night, but at least the bugs weren’t there.

Technically, today was supposed to be this week’s speed workout, a tempo run, but I have a 5K on Saturday morning, so I just did another easy run.

It was not much fun. My legs did not want to go at all, and even an easy pace felt like an absolute chore. I walked a bit of it and eventually finished another lap of the 4.5-mile loop, this time at a 9:38/mile pace.

June 18, 2019

Training for 6/18/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:58 am

It definitely feels like summer is only a couple days away out there. Today, I had this week’s middle distance run on the schedule, a 5-miler. I went out pretty early, but it was already nearly 80 degrees, 84 percent humidity and full sunlight.

It was tough. I wanted to quit the whole way around that loop! I was sweating my face off and it just felt hard to breathe.

On the bright side, even though it felt like I was barely moving, I actually managed a decent pace. I finished the 5.5-mile loop in just under 47 minutes, an 8:33/mile average.

June 17, 2019

Training for 6/17/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:38 am

Friday, I thought about making up the short run I’d skipped Monday, but I took the scheduled rest day instead. I had the first long run of the training cycle the next day and it was already going to be tough after having donated blood Thursday afternoon.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early to meet Kelly and Susan at the Salisbury park for a 10-miler. In addition to having company for the first time in a while, I had perfect running weather going for me too — it was cool enough I wore a shirt!

Still, it was a very hard run. We did three laps of the roughly 5K loop, stopping at our vehicles to drink water after each, and I wanted to get in the truck and leave every time! I felt like my breathing was out of control almost the whole way. If I’d done the run at home and hadn’t had those two to drag me along and keep me entertained, I’d have definitely taken a shortcut and probably walked a lot.

After the third complete lap, we still had to tack on a little more than half a mile to get our Garmins to 10. It finally ended in 1:36:something, a 9:39/mile average.

The run reminded me of the movie “DodgeBall,” where Patches O’Houlihan trains the team by hurling wrenches at them, telling them “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” There was a time donating blood didn’t wear me down, but those days are behind me, and that run definitely felt like a flying wrench to the face.

Of course, when it was over and I had the miles in the ol’ training log, I was glad I’d done it. I was back home before 10 a.m. and spent the rest of the day with Pepper. I cut the grass, but other than that, we had a very lazy day at home.

Sunday morning, I went out for a lap of the 4.5-mile loop. It was supposed to be a pace run (8:12/mile), but considering how impossible a much slower pace had felt the day before, I nixed that idea. Plus, it was quite a bit warmer.

Much to my surprise, I felt a lot better than I had Saturday, and while I didn’t try to hit goal pace, I ran a lot faster than I expected. The first mile was 8:44 and I kept speeding up from there, running an 8:16 pace by the end and finishing the whole loop with an average overall pace of 8:33/mile.

Not long after that, Clark finally got home from a work trip, and we put Pepper in the truck and went straight to Fenwick to celebrate both Father’s Day and my brother-in-law’s birthday with Clark’s family.

His mom made a huge breakfast and then we loaded up the Jeep with five people and two dogs and drove it out on the beach. It was pretty much the perfect beach day, and we all enjoyed soaking up the sun while watching Snoopy, who loves to dig, fling sand all over Pepper, who could not have cared less and was just trying to take a nap in the shade under the umbrella haha.

I was going to stop by my parents’ last night so I could see my own dad, but we left Fenwick kinda late and when I called my parents to see if they’d still be up, my dad said they’d gotten done cutting barley a little early that evening and he was heading to bed. So I’ll try to get over there tonight.

I also have another short easy run and strength training on the schedule today.

June 13, 2019

Training for 6/13/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:45 pm

Today was the first speed workout of this training cycle, three hill repeats, so I went out to the bridge for the first time in a while. Probably since I was training for Richmond last year. I don’t think I did a single hill repeat workout while training for Shamrock this winter.

I parked on the other side of the bridge this time, where there’s an actual parking lot near a public boat launch, instead of in the random gravel pull-off area along the side of the road where I’ve been parking since I started doing these bridge repeats eight years ago. I guess it just felt too far to drive that extra half-mile? I don’t know!

Besides getting to leave the truck in a real parking spot, I also got to do my warm-up mile on a little side road with minimal traffic, rather than on the thin ribbon of shoulder along the much busier road the bridge is on.

So overall, it was worth driving the extra 30 seconds.

Anyway, the workout was OK. It was a lot muggier today than it had been the past couple of days. Not very hot or sunny, at least.

After the warm-up mile on the side road, I ran out to the busier road and ran up and over the bridge each way, then ran up it one more time, crossed over at the top and came back down. I then did another mile on the side road to cool down.

The climbs up the bridge hurt, but that’s kinda the point. I was really glad I only had to do three today.

I wound up running a total of 3.5 miles at an 8:32/mile pace. Successful first speed workout, done.

Later this afternoon, I went to the blood bank to try to donate for the first time since I was deferred in April due to a slightly too-low hemoglobin value (iron indicator.)

I was a little worried, because I bought that iron supplement like they recommended last time, but I think I only took it a total of seven non-consecutive days. I’d pretty much forgotten about it.

Turned out last time was just an anomaly, and I didn’t need that supplement anyway, because my hemoglobin bounced back to the upper limit of “normal” all on its own. It was so high the tech asked if I’d consider donating a double unit in the future. (No! I have a hard enough time running the first few days after a regular donation.)

Everything else was good to go too. The donation went fine. And I even got a free ticket good for any day of the Delaware State Fair next month and one of a box of leftover Girl Scout cookies a local troop donated after its annual sales drive.

June 12, 2019

Training for 6/12/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:28 pm

Well, I skipped the very first day of Steamtown Marathon training Monday. I was just wiped out. I had a low grade headache all day and felt like I could fall asleep at any moment, so I took the rest day.

However, I felt much better after a good night’s sleep that night, and I have taken advantage of the gorgeous running weather here the last couple of days!

Yesterday was the first middle distance run of the training cycle, an easy 5-miler. I ran the 5.5-mile loop at an 8:41/mile average.

Today, I had another easy run, a 3-miler. The first mile was 8:50 but I just kept speeding up after that because the weather felt so perfect. By the end I was cruising at 7:30/mile and I finished the run with an 8:19/mile overall average.

I still have to do some strength training this evening.

June 10, 2019

Ten years!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:03 am

Ten years ago today, I posted my first entry on this blog about training for my first half marathon. I have genuinely enjoyed writing here since then. It’s nice to have an organized, highly detailed and easily accessible record of every race I’ve ever run (218 so far, totalling nearly 2,000 miles.) I like reading through the mundane day-to-day entries from previous training cycles as well, to see what was and wasn’t working; it’s a great reminder that no training cycle has ever been or will ever be perfect. I think a few other people have even gotten something out of reading it too.

I have recorded everything about my running here — the good, the bad and the truly ugly — and I will keep doing it as long as WordPress lets me!

Anyway, I’ve done a lot since I posted last Wednesday. Rode a bunch of water slides and roller coasters in Williamsburg, and then spent the weekend volunteering at and cheering on everyone I knew participating in what turned out to be a very weird edition of Eagleman. I got in a little running myself around all that too.

Wednesday afternoon, my younger sister and I drove down to Williamsburg. We stopped on the way in Onancock, Va., to get cookies and cream puffs from Corner Bakery. My friend Susan had recommended it while we were discussing the best local ice cream and doughnuts at about mile 43 of the Six Pillars ride last month, and I’d been looking forward to trying it ever since.

corner bakery

It did not disappoint!

After we got checked in to our hotel in Williamsburg, we went to Amber Ox Public House for dinner. The food was amazing, and they have an in-house microbrewery, Precarious Beer Project, with a great lineup of beers in a wide variety of styles. I had to get a flight.

amber ox flight

Julie got a pint of Cooling Sensation, a gose brewed with strawberries, cucumbers and mint.

Thursday morning, I wanted to go for a run. When Clark and I had lunch with my friend Emma before Shamrock in March, she’d told me about the Virginia Capital Trail, a 52-mile paved biking/walking path from Williamsburg to Richmond, and I’d been thinking about that too ever since. So Julie and I drove to Jamestown — I NEVER thought I’d willingly go anywhere near there again, after our parents made us suffer through the boring historical crap before they took us to the fun stuff when we went to Williamsburg on vacation as kids — and parked right by the trail head.

It was going to be a hot day. It was already pretty warm and very humid in the morning. I started running with a shirt on, but that lasted less than a mile.

The trail itself was really pretty. I only did the first 2.25 miles of it before turning around, but just in that brief section, I ran by historical markers and wide open fields and through the woods.

VCT field

VCT woods collage

Left: Trail through the woods, where I turned around. Right: Swamp covered in duckweed.

I ran a total of 4.5 miles at a 9:14/mile average.

We spent the rest of the day at Water Country USA. Unfortunately, my all-time favorite slide there, Rampage, was closed for the day. But they’d added a LOT of new attractions since I was last there in the late ’90s. We did them all, many of them multiple times, because there were no lines anywhere. It was awesome!

We took a break in the middle of the day to get lunch and have a couple beers by the wave pool.

water country usa

We stayed until the minute it closed at 5 p.m.

That evening, we went first to The Virginia Beer Co.’s tasting room, where I got another flight. I liked every one except the beer aged in a bourbon barrel. Blech.

virginia beer co flight

I also beat Julie in two out of three games of Battleship.

Then we had dinner at Second St. Bistro and called it a night.

Friday, we started the day with breakfast at Mama Steve’s House of Pancakes, as is tradition, then got to Busch Gardens within minutes of the 10 a.m. opening time. It was supposed to rain in the afternoon and we wanted to make sure we got to ride everything before it started, in case the weather got bad enough they had to shut down rides.

We rode Apollo’s Chariot twice — in the front row because again, there were hardly any lines anywhere! — Escape from Pompeii and Griffon. Julie also rode Tempesto, which I don’t like because it goes backwards, and I rode Alpengeist, which she doesn’t like because it jostles her head around too much.

We were in line for The Loch Ness Monster when the first storm rolled in. We’d had to wait in line forever already, because they only had one train running, and were only a few trains from getting to ride it when they shut it down. Boo.

We chose to wait. It wound up being a half-hour before the lightning moved out, but it was still raining pretty steadily when we finally got to ride it.

It rained nearly the rest of the afternoon. Eventually we gave in and spent $9 each for a poncho. It turned out to be a great investment. The rain no longer mattered!

We rode the log flume and Invadr, and then Apollo’s Chariot one more time. We asked someone to take our picture at the entrance gate. It’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!

apollos chariot

We had a photobomber in the test chair haha.

When we were ready to leave, we took the long way back to the front entrance, which took us across the bridge over the river, right underneath The Loch Ness Monster’s interlocking loops. Those were a big innovation when the ride opened in 1978.

loch ness monster

I also showed my ID to a beer vendor who’d never heard of Delaware. In Virginia. I mean, he didn’t just not know where it was; he had no idea there was a state called Delaware.

He asked what it was like and I said it was small with a lot of farmland, but also some great beaches. He said, “So it’s like South Dakota?” I said, “I guess… with beaches though. It’s on the coast.” It was a strange interaction haha.

It was raining pretty hard when we left, which made traffic getting to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel even more of a cluster than usual, and probably tacked on an entire hour to the drive home. But we made it.

I think we hit the parks in Williamsburg at the exact right time this year. It was hot enough (when it wasn’t storming) to enjoy Water Country, but still early enough in the season most kids aren’t out of school yet, so there were no lines.

Also, last year, we went in late May and there were a bunch of school groups, mostly middle school bands, in the park. This time, I only saw one middle school band group and one high school senior group. Other than that, this wasn’t a popular time for school groups either.

So overall, Julie and I had a great time on this trip!

Saturday morning, I stayed home with Pepper while Clark went to Cambridge with Dave to check in for Eagleman. Dave also checked his bike into transition that morning, but Clark wanted to do that later, so his bike wasn’t sitting outside all afternoon. Dave said he didn’t care that much about his bike haha.

When Clark got back, I went out for a long-ish run, a lap around the 10.1-mile loop.

Fortunately, the weather was really nice Saturday, so it wasn’t too hot or humid for a decent run by the time I left the house at noon.

I had to stop at the (now permanent!!) port-o-potty at the new boat launch by the ferry to use the bathroom, but other than that, I ran the whole loop at a steady clip, what turned out to be a 9:04/mile average.

That afternoon, we picked up Clark’s dad and went back to Cambridge so they could both check in their bikes.

We stopped by RAR for a beer after.

day before eagleman

Dogs are no longer allowed IN RAR, since they now have a full kitchen, but they’re allowed just outside it, so we sat on the ledge under the open garage door window. Pepper hates being left out so he kept trying to sneak over the ledge haha.

We stopped at Walmart next so Clark could get what he wanted for dinner. I asked him to check if they had the new Hazelnut Spread (Nutella) M&Ms. I just wanted one little bag if they did.

Well, they had them. I got this:

nutella m&ms

Enough to last me for… several days haha. They’re SO GOOD.

We went home and made chicken, broccoli and black beans for dinner. Clark got all his gear gathered up for the next day.

Sunday morning started painfully early. 3:30 a.m.

We dropped off Pepper with Clark’s mom and picked up Clark’s dad, then met Dave in the Taco Bell parking lot in Cambridge, where we left our truck, so we could all ride in his to the home of Bart’s friend, close to Great Marsh, where we could park.

It was maybe 5:30 by the time we were parked. We walked to Great Marsh and everyone got their body markings and set up their transition areas.

Then we had some time to kill before the swim was supposed to start. Everyone seemed to be doing the same thing to pass the time — worrying about the swim.

The weather forecast for Sunday was pretty bad. It was still sunny that early in the morning, but the wind had already kicked up, and the Choptank River was choppy. The race organizers had already moved the swim course to an area they’d hoped would be better protected from the wind, but it was choppy too.

A little before 6:30, the announcement was made: For the first time in the history of Eagleman, the swim was cancelled. Everyone would start on their bikes in a rolling start based on bib numbers.

The reaction was mixed. Some people cheered, but a lot were disappointed. Clark said it just wouldn’t feel the same. This was supposed to be Dave’s first half Ironman, but now it would be incomplete, so he wasn’t happy either. I’m sure anyone who’d been training for Eagleman for a chance to earn a spot in the 70.3 world championship race was mad too, because now Eagleman wouldn’t count.

Personally, I was really glad we hadn’t gotten the relay team registered before it sold out, because in that case, as our team’s swimmer, Kara would’ve paid all that money and not gotten to do anything at all!

At 7:05, they started letting the professional athletes go on their bikes, one at a time, every 45 seconds. A time trial start.

Once they were all on the course, they started letting go the age-groupers, based on bib numbers, from lowest to highest.

clark dave and bart before the start

Clark, Dave and Bart before they went in the transition area to get their bikes. My father-in-law snuck in before I could get a picture. It’s sunny but you can already see the storm clouds rolling in.

Clark said he’d been on a training ride with these two earlier this spring, and he got laughing to himself, imagining what he’d have thought five years ago if someone told him he’d one day be riding fancy bikes with two other guys, while they’re all wearing nothing but Spandex haha. They wear this stuff for a reason (aerodynamics but mostly to prevent chafing) but it still looks funny!

I went and found a nice spot on the bike course to wait for everyone to roll by.

clark on bike

Clark (far left) went by first. He pointed out the guy behind him has the exact same tri suit. It’s too popular now so he has to get a new one.

dave on bike

Then I saw Dave.

bart on bike

Then Bart.

My father-in-law, once again, eluded me. I didn’t get a picture of him on the bike course.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone roll by on their bikes. It was fun seeing all the variations in bike styles and other gear everyone had, based on personal preferences and how much they were willing to spend.

I was surprised to see some people still had those solid disc wheels on the rear, what with the strong winds. (Apparently they can make the bike pretty squirrely in a crosswind.) Those things sound like a small car going by — so much so, Dave said he actually yelled “Car back!” when he heard one coming up from behind him to pass at one point on the course haha.

Once all the bikes were gone, I went back to the park, got a bacon and egg biscuit from a vendor and then checked in a little early for my volunteer shift at the finish line.

It started raining not long after I got there. I’d brought my Busch Gardens poncho, which came in very handy.

For the next several hours, I first helped unwrap hundreds of finisher’s medals, then helped hand them out to everyone who crossed the line.

It was absolutely pouring when the first pro male athlete, Cody Beals, crossed the line.

pro man winner

Due to the time trial start, however, the first man across the line was not actually the winner. The guy who came across the line second had a faster overall time.

Also, this guy right here had a 1:58:57 split on the bike leg. Remember a couple years ago when I was over the moon because I did sub-3 my first time riding 56 miles competitively? This guy did sub-2! Then he ran a half marathon in 1:17.

And the guy who was the actual winner, Joe Gambles, had a slower bike split, just over 2:00, but he ran a 1:14 half marathon. Crazy!

Then the top pro women came through. The rain had eased up a little.

pro woman winner

Danielle Dingman also had the fastest time overall — a 2:15 bike and 1:27 half marathon.

The second woman was a few minutes behind her. After they’d both finished, they hung out under a tent right next to me, waiting for the third place woman to cross so they could do the champagne-spraying podium finishers pic. While they were waiting, they talked about how much the rain and wind had sucked. It’s so weird to hear professional athletes complaining about the same shit the rest of us do! It’s easy to think of them as part machine or something, but they’re really the same, just much faster.

Eventually, the “normal” athletes started coming across the line. For the next few hours, I saw the gamut of human emotion as hundreds of people finished the race. I saw people burst into tears. I saw people collapse in exhaustion after sprinting all the way to the line. Some people just kept running and looked almost pissed when the volunteers tried to slow them down to hand them their medal, finisher’s hat or bottles of water. One woman did a cartwheel, and another guy was so pumped he ping-ponged around the carpet just past the line, screaming his head off haha.

But mostly, they looked grateful to have made it. I got to drape a hard-earned medal around a lot of strangers’ sweaty, rain-soaked necks yesterday and be the first one to tell them congratulations. I loved it!

It was strange seeing that race run on such a cool, rainy day though. The last time I volunteered at the finish line, nearly every finisher wanted several pitchers of cold hose water dumped on them because it was so hot. This year, they were handing out mylar space blankets so they wouldn’t get too cold! I had on four layers myself — my own T-shirt, a rain jacket, the volunteer shirt and the poncho.

Anyway, while all this was going on, I was tracking Clark, Dave, Bart and my father-in-law on the Ironman app.

Dave absolutely KILLED it. He did the bike course in 2:37 and then ran a 1:44 half marathon. His total time was 4:25. If he’d gotten to swim, and finished it in 40 minutes like he’d hoped, and gotten out of the first transition in a couple minutes, he’d have finished under 5:10 in his first 70.3. That’s pretty impressive!

He was the only one I managed to get a picture of finishing.

dave finish line

I got to give him his medal and a big hug. I am so proud of him!

Clark was next. He finished in 5:23. His bike split was a minute slower than last year, but his run was a lot faster. He came in with a huge clump of people so I didn’t get a chance to get a picture of him, but I did get to give him his medal and a kiss. I am so proud of him too!

Not long after Clark finished, my shift was over, so I slipped out.

I found Dave, Kasey, Kaylee, my mom and Grandpop.

dave kaylee and kasey

Dave, Kasey and Kaylee. Kaylee has one of Dave’s extra gear bag stickers on her hat because hey, a sticker’s a sticker haha.

kaylee and me

Kaylee and me.

By that time, Bart and Clark’s dad had both finished, so when my mom, Grandpop, Kasey and Kaylee all left, Dave and I went in search of everyone else.

We found Bart pretty quickly, but we could not find the Clarks. Finally I got a text from Clark — they had both gotten cold after finishing, so they’d just gotten their bikes and stuff out of transition and gone straight back to the truck to put on dry clothes. So Bart and Dave got their stuff too, and we all went back to the truck.

This was the other weird thing about Eagleman this year. The last few years, when it was the usual hot weather, we hung out in the park after the finish pretty much until it was over and they were packing everything up. This year, when it was chilly and windy, we left as soon as possible.

We went back to RAR to celebrate instead.

finishers at rar

The finishers! Finally got Clark’s dad in a picture!

Then we went back to Clark’s parents’ house. I fell asleep almost immediately. I woke up a couple hours later to find a delivery pizza had magically appeared. I ate some of that, and then we came home and went straight to bed.

Today is the first official day of 18 weeks of Steamtown Marathon training! It begins with a short easy run and strength training.

June 5, 2019

Training for 6/5/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:02 pm

I’ve had a couple of rather pleasant runs since I got home.

While we were gone, the weather backed off, so I haven’t had to go out at sunrise if I wanted to run at all. Which was good, because as usual I’ve really been dragging ass first thing in the morning the first two days after coming back from the West Coast.

I went out late yesterday afternoon and did an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop at an 8:35/mile pace. The sunshine and low humidity felt so nice!

Today it got a little warmer and more humid, but it still wasn’t awful even when I put off my planned speed workout until noon.

I did a 1.5-mile warmup, then three half-mile intervals, with a quarter-mile of rest between each, and another 2-mile cool down.

My splits for the intervals were 3:32, 3:29 and 3:22. I was pretty happy with that last one!

I ran the entire 5.5-mile loop in about 46:30, an 8:27/mile average.

And now I have to take a shower and pack another bag, because my little sister is picking me up to go to Williamsburg for the next two days. We’re spending a day at Busch Gardens, as we’ve done the last couple of years, but this year we’re also going to Water Country. I’m pretty sure it’s been at least 21 years since I last went to Water Country on a family vacation.

We won’t be home until late Friday, and then this weekend is, of course, Eagleman. I’m looking forward to volunteering at the finish line Sunday and seeing how everyone does.

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