A Simple Running Log

November 16, 2018

Training for 11/16/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:04 pm

Today, I ran for the first time since Richmond, an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. It was chilly and breezy, and I still felt a little worn down by my lingering cold, but mostly it was just awesome to be out there again. I ran the loop in just over 39 minutes, an 8:41/mile average.

The weekend looks pretty quiet. We’re going to a tasting event at the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton tomorrow, but other than that, I think we’re just going to work on getting this house ready for Thanksgiving. There’s also the NASCAR season finale race to watch Sunday afternoon. And I’d like to get in a couple more short easy runs.

Monday, training begins for the 2019 Shamrock Marathon! Actually, the 18-week training plan I use started this past Monday, but I skipped the first week.


November 15, 2018

Training for 11/15/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:00 pm

Not much training to report here. I have yet to run since the marathon five days ago. I was really thinking about going out for an easy 3-miler today, but it’s pouring rain, barely above freezing and windy, so I think my first run back can wait until tomorrow.

Plus, I did donate blood a couple days ago, and the cold I thought was coming on earlier this week changed from a sore throat to a stuffed up head and runny nose, so I’m not feeling 100 percent anyway.

Did you know Thanksgiving is one week from today? I swear I thought I had two weeks until it dawned on me last night. This wouldn’t be a big deal if we didn’t host both of our families at our house. Today, I called around to get an idea of who’s coming and bringing what, and scheduled the annual Stanley Steemer carpet/linoleum cleaning for next Tuesday. They’ve really got their work cut out for them this year, since Pepper went through that phase where he’d just pee somewhere in the house at night if he couldn’t wake anyone up to let him out whenever he felt like it.

Now we just have to clean the rest of the house, do the shopping, borrow enough tables and chairs and then make our contributions to the dinner.

November 12, 2018

Richmond Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:28 am

Physically, the Richmond Marathon did not go as well as last year — I never felt great, and by mile 18 I felt pretty bad, even for mile 18 of a marathon — but I kept it moving until I crossed the line in 3:51:41.

In every other way though, the weekend was a blast!

OK, that’s not completely true. Getting there Friday was a huge pain in the ass. We left home a little after 1 p.m. It takes about 3.5 hours to get to Richmond. I expected it to take longer because of the usual traffic around the D.C. beltway and on I-95 in Virginia, plus it was raining, which makes everyone forget how to drive.

It took us six freaking hours. We did stop twice, once for lunch and once to use the bathroom, but still. SIX HOURS.

It was about 7 p.m. when we finally arrived at the expo. We were pretty quick in there. Just grabbed our race bibs and shirts, and some GU Stroopwafels for our pre-race breakfasts.

It was another short drive to our downtown hotel, the Omni Richmond, conveniently situated between the races’ start lines and shared finish line. For dinner, we walked to Southern Railway Taphouse. I had a beer there, and while I did have pasta for dinner, it was covered in a cream sauce. I knew I was setting myself up for at least one mid-race poop, but at this point, I’ve just come to expect it. Might as well enjoy a delicious meal out.

We walked back to the hotel, made plans to meet up in the morning with Kelly and Corey, who were both running the full, and hit the hay.

I slept pretty well Friday night, unlike the night before this race last year, when it was freezing cold in our room and I laid awake for most of the night fixated on the winter running jacket I hadn’t brought but became convinced I would freeze to death without in the race.

This year, the weather forecast was about 20 degrees warmer than last year, which made it way easier for me to settle on the appropriate running gear.

We were up at 6 a.m. Saturday. We met Kelly and Corey in the lobby at 6:45, then made our way toward the start lines. On the way there, Kelly and I talked about how much we loved the taper. I really can’t relate to the runners who go stir crazy with the reduced mileage. I love it!

The 8K started first, at 7. Clark was running the half, which started next, at 7:30. Just before he got in his corral, we took a group picture.

all four before race

Clark, Corey, Kelly and me before the start.

Kelly and Corey left so Kelly could make sure she got in the first corral near the pace group she wanted to run with. I hung around a couple more minutes with Clark. Then I left to check my gear bag and hit a port-o-potty once more before the 7:45 marathon start.

The port-o-potty lines were long, as they always are before a race. I thought I was about to see some violence when a spectator ran into one. Several runners near me got really pissed about that. Seriously, we’ll all be gone in 10 minutes; the spectators can hold it.

Anyway, I made it in one with three minutes to spare, and peed about a gallon. I was glad I hadn’t decided to just start and see if it would go away.

I squeezed into the second corral, a little behind the 3:45 pacer. I was trying to remove my throwaway sweatshirt and get my hat back on when I nearly got shoved over by the family of a nearby runner, trying to get pictures of him with his jogging stroller (pushing a disabled athlete) in the crowded starting corral. WHY. Take those pictures before he gets in the corral, idiots! Spectators in general were really losing points with me before this race haha.

I got myself together and then we were off to run the 2018 Richmond Marathon!

The first few miles of the course runs along Broad Street, which this year had a lot more room to run, since they finished the new bus line they were building last year. I didn’t hear anyone take out a traffic barrel this time haha.

I ran the first mile in 8:30, but in the second, I could feel my hair tie coming loose, since I’d been more concerned with not getting knocked over by those overly enthusiastic picture-takers when I’d been putting my hat back on before the start. I tried to fix it while moving, but it was just making it worse, so I had to stop on the sidewalk, remove my gloves and fix the hair tie, which just made me madder at those annoying spectators. I started running again and finished the second mile in 8:51.

We turned off Broad Street and then onto Monument Avenue. I saw a guy holding a sign that said I GAVE OUT NICKELS FOR HALLOWEEN. A runner near me yelled to ask if he had any more. He said sorry, he was out. Is there some pop culture reference I’m missing here?

Mile 3 was 8:20. I was finally starting to warm up.

The next couple of miles weren’t too bad. I ran them in 8:18 and 8:22. I talked to a runner from Alaska, working on a marathon in each state. Virginia was No. 36 for her. I asked her if she’d driven there, which she seemed to think was a really odd question, until I explained Clark and I had seen a car with Alaska plates in the expo parking lot the night before. Not hers haha.

Just before the end of the sixth mile, we hit a water stop (they were every two miles up to mile 20, then every mile to the end except 26.) I ate the first of two GUs I’d brought with me, which slowed the mile to 8:43.

There was a huge downhill in the seventh mile, which I ran in 7:53, my fastest of the race. Then we ran across the first of two bridges over the James River. Mile 8 was 8:31.

At this point, I was right on the back of the 3:45 pace group, which was pretty crowded. I saw two runners nearly trip each other, fighting for the inside-most position as we made a left turn to head down toward the river, which made me laugh. We’re in the 3:45 pace group, people. No one is winning any prize money here! Chill.

The next two miles are the best of the whole course, on a paved path along the river. It’s so pretty! I ran 9 and 10 in 8:29 and 8:37.

The 10th mile marker is about halfway up the next big hill of the course, coming back up from the river. Then we were at the next water stop.

Just past that water stop, there were two women in big inflatable flamingo costumes, holding signs that said FUCK YEAH MARATHONS! (An ode to Shalane Flanagan’s reaction to winning the NYC Marathon last year.) I honestly thought they were wearing colon costumes at first.


I thought they were this thing.

I don’t know if it was because my mom is a nurse in a gastroenterology office and brought home so many weird prescription drug promotional materials with anthropomorphized digestive organs when I was growing up, because I’m married to a guy who no longer has a colon due to a digestive disease, because I poop so much when I’m running or a combination of all of the above, but my mind definitely skipped over flamingoes and went straight to colons haha.

Moving on! The next few miles of the course are kinda boring, along a highway, with rolling hills. Miles 11 and 12 were 8:38 and 8:31. I ate my second GU as I ran up on the next water stop.

Speaking of digestive organs… I had to poop. Of course. I had to wait a few moments for a port-o-potty to open up just past the mile 12 stop, and I didn’t feel too good for a couple minutes when I did get in one. But then I was on my way again, and I finished mile 13 in 10:43, crossing the halfway timing mat in 1:53:47.

I grabbed a Honey Stinger gel at the mile 14 aid station, but held onto it for another couple miles. Miles 14 and 15 were 8:30 and 8:22. I felt like I was back on track for the final 11 miles.

Then we turned onto the Lee Memorial Bridge, back across the James River.

Last year was super cold, but we’d had no wind. This year, the wind wasn’t horrible, but it was bad enough, especially running across that wide open bridge. I tried to tuck in near taller people, but it was still very cold.

The end of mile 16 was just past the end of the bridge. I ate the gel I’d been carrying for the last two miles and grabbed a small cup of Coke from volunteers at the junk food station stop. Mile 16 was 8:46. Ten to go.

I could tell the wheels were coming off though. The next couple of miles are a very gradual uphill. Last year, I barely noticed it. This year, it felt very much like a never ending uphill.

Mile 17 was 8:51 and 18 was 8:45. Then I had to stop at another port-o-potty. It didn’t take me as long that time.

I rejoined the race right behind the 3:50 pacer and just tried to hang on. We made a right turn and the course finally flattened out again. Mile 19 was 9:48 with the second stop.

We crossed over Broad Street and then went up and over an overpass that felt like an actual mountain this time around. Mile 20 wasn’t far past that. I ran it in 8:52. Had I really been running 30 seconds a mile faster earlier in the race? That seemed impossible!

My elapsed time at that point was 2:55. Just a 10K to go.

I walked through every aid station, at each mile marker past 20, but I didn’t take any walk breaks between them (even though I REALLY wanted to.)

At 21, I got another Honey Stinger gel, my fourth gel of the race. I don’t know if it was because of the cold breeze, but I felt really light-headed, even though I felt like I’d been taking in plenty of gels and supplementing them with Powerade at some of the water stops. Mile 21 was 9:14.

The next few miles wound through some pretty residential neighborhoods with some very enthusiastic spectators, but I just wanted to be DONE.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.14.43 AM

Around mile 22, I think.

Mile 22 was 9:09, and 23 was 9:05. I skipped the spectators’ beer stop, but I did partake in a shot of pickle juice just past mile 23.

Miles 24 and 25 were miserable, and slowed to 9:17 and 9:13. It was all I could do to keep myself running at all at that point. My legs felt like lead.

We made a couple final turns, and then we were on Fifth Street, heading down the long downhill to the finish line. That hurt just as bad as anything else!

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.14.59 AM

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.14.28 AM

I finished mile 26 in 8:44 and crossed the line in 3:51:41.

I hadn’t run nearly as strong a race as the year before, but I felt like I’d hung in there when it started to really hurt, so I was happy with it. And I am always grateful to get another successful marathon finish under my belt. This was No. 20! (And my 21st marathon start.)

In the finisher’s chute, they gave us medals, a hat and a fleece blanket. Then I got my gear check bag. I had a message from Clark that he was hanging out near the beer tent. Of course haha.

On my way there, I ran into Corey, who’d finished his first marathon not far behind me, in 4:02. Then we were joined by Kelly, who’d smoked it and ran 3:21, a sizable PR.

me after richmond

In front of a finisher photo backdrop.

Then we all found Clark. I changed into dry clothes and got a beer, and immediately felt even better.

after richmond

Corey, Kelly, me and Clark after the race.

Clark ran 1:57 in the half, his best half marathon all year.

Kelly and Corey left to go back to the hotel, but Clark and I sat around a while and had a few Sierra Nevadas. (The first one is free to runners; after that, you have to pay for them.) It was a little chilly, but nothing like last year. For the most part, it was a beautiful day to sit outside and enjoy some post-race beers.

Eventually we headed back to the hotel too, relaxed a bit and took hot showers. We walked across the street to Sam Miller’s, because we’d noticed the night before they had oysters. I love oysters. We started with a dozen raw ones.

Kelly and Corey met us there, and then we all went to Stone Brewing. The combination of getting up early, running a bunch of miles and then, in Corey and Clark’s case, taking a bunch of whiskey shots with a pickle juice chaser caught up to us pretty early, and we were all back at the hotel and ready for bed by 8:30.

Sunday morning, Clark and I got breakfast at Capitol Waffle Shop, also near the hotel. It was really good. You can get just about anything on a waffle there, or you can pick one of their signature combos. I always have trouble deciding between sweet and savory, so I got one with scrambled eggs, bacon, strawberries and blueberries, which ticked all the boxes. Perfect.

We checked out of the hotel and headed home, stopping in D.C. to see Chad and Samira, and to eat again, this time at Ivy City Smokehouse. I got a huge smoked turkey sandwich that, any other day, would take me at least two sittings to finish, but not the day after a marathon. I polished it off, plus the coleslaw and fries on the side.

Then we drove the rest of the way home, listening to the NASCAR race in Phoenix on the way. Kyle Busch won just as we were turning onto our road. The final four going into the championship race next weekend in Homestead-Miami are him, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick.

We parked the car and got in the truck (which is already coated inside with dog hair, unlike the car) and went to Clark’s parents’ to pick up Pepper. Turned out he’d had a good weekend, with no health issues.

Finally, we came home again for good, and we were all asleep on the couch not much later.

This morning, I don’t feel too bad, but I’m taking the next few days off from running. In addition to the usual marathon recovery, I’m donating blood tomorrow and I also feel like I’m finally catching the cold Clark picked up last week. It’s like my body fought it off long enough to let me get through the marathon, but that’s over, so I can suffer now haha.

Next up — the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and then the Rehoboth Half Marathon, my last race of the year.

And to sum up the weekend — first, Clark’s and my stats from the race:

Me — Marathon

  • 3:51:41
  • 59th/324 F 35-39
  • 215th/1,982  women
  • 1,077th/3,998  overall

Clark — Half marathon

  • 1:57:53
  • 219th/411 M 35-39
  • 1,280th/2,834 men
  • 2,328th/7,590 overall
richmond medal bibs shirts hats

Shirts, bibs, medals and finisher’s hats.

richmond blanket

Finisher’s blanket.

pepper new richmond blanket

Pepper testing one out.

November 8, 2018

Training for 11/8/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:01 pm

Today I ran for the last time before Saturday’s marathon. I went out intending to just do an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. The first mile was 8:50. The second sped up to 8:40 and then the third to 8:30. It was clearly meant to be a progression run instead, so I tried to keep up the pattern. The fourth mile was a little too fast, 8:14, and then the fifth was a little too slow, another 8:14 (slowed because I felt like I had to poop — which I did haha), but the last half mile was exactly 4:00, an 8:00/mile pace.

I finished the whole loop in 46:30, an 8:27/mile average, and I feel pretty ready to run a marathon!

Clark and I are leaving for Richmond sometime tomorrow afternoon. We’re not staying at the Airbnb we used last year. Instead, we’ll be in one of the downtown hotels. It’s quite a bit pricier, but we’ll get a climate controlled room, a bathroom we don’t have to share with six other people and enough hot water for us to both take a shower after the race. Worth it. It’s even closer to the start and finish than that Airbnb was, so that worked out too.

Kelly and Corey are staying at the same hotel, and they’re also staying Saturday night, so we’ll get to do some post-race partying with them.

As far as the race goes, I don’t have a specific time goal in mind — you may have noticed the total lack of pace runs and sporadic speed workouts — but I ran this one in 3:44 last year, so I’d like be around that again. If I could beat it, even better.

Whatever happens in the race, it should be a good weekend. I’ll be back Monday to post all about it.

November 7, 2018

Training for 11/7/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:21 pm

Not much to report today. I just did an easy 3-miler, at 8:49/mile pace. Three days to go!

November 6, 2018

Training for 11/6/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:03 pm

Happy Election Day!

Today, I voted in my own district and then stopped at a polling place in the county I cover for the paper, for the typical “day at the polls” story. Seemed like a pretty good turnout in both places so far.

Tonight, I have to sit up and wait for the returns in the county I cover for the paper and file a story for tomorrow’s edition.

All this is after months of writing profiles and covering candidate forums. So yeah, I am more than ready for this election to be OVER. I think everyone is burned out on it.

Before I went to participate in democracy, I did a short easy run, a lap around the 4.5-mile loop at an 8:49/mile average pace.

It was just OK. It was an unusually warm and humid day for November, and very windy. At least I missed the downpours. My legs didn’t feel too peppy, but that’s normal for the end of the taper. I’m ready for this taper to be over too. Just a few more days!

November 5, 2018

Training for 11/5/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:16 am

First and foremost, I’m happy to report Pepper seems to be feeling MUCH better, finally! Clark had the great idea Friday to get him some CBD oil. We gave him the smallest dose recommended for his size, and that night, he slept for the first time in days. Clark woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and Pepper was lying on his back, paws up, completely sacked out haha. Saturday, the sleep seemed to have been just what he needed, because he was back to acting like his usual self again, instead of lurching around the house in a zombie state.

Clark and I were more than happy to also get some solid sleep for the first time all week, so we all slept in Saturday morning. I felt like a brand new woman when we finally got out of bed!

By the time I’d eaten breakfast and had my coffee, it was already after 11 a.m. I had to get my butt out the door for that last long run if I was going to get it done before the wedding that afternoon.

It was a really pretty day for a run, other than the wind. The miles with the wind at my back were a lot faster than the ones I had to run into it, obviously, but I finished the 12.3-mile loop in 1:49:30, an 8:54/mile overall average, which I was pretty happy with. Felt good!

When I got home, Clark went out for his own run. Clark’s mom picked up Pepper and then we were off to TK and Brad’s wedding in Preston.

I did not take ONE picture at this wedding, but let me tell you, TK looked absolutely gorgeous and the whole thing was a blast. My closest friends were there, and I got to see some people I’d known since my freshman year at the college TK graduated from. It was just a really good time, and I’m so happy for TK and Brad!

Yesterday morning, the extra hour of sleep after the time fell back overnight had not been enough to overcome my hangover haha. I didn’t feel TOO bad, but I also didn’t feel like running. So I didn’t.

Instead, we picked up Pepper from Clark’s parents’ house, then came home and watched the NYC Marathon, the Ravens-Steelers game, the NASCAR race from Texas, the Saints-Rams game and part of the Packers-Patriots game, before I fell asleep on the couch. It was nice to sit at home and veg out.

Today marks five days until the Richmond Marathon! At one point over the weekend, there was freaking snow in the forecast for overnight Friday and possibly into race morning, but that’s gone. As of now, it looks like it’s going to be nearly perfect, starting around 40 degrees (20 degrees warmer than last year) and only warming up into the low 50s, with partly sunny skies. I hope that holds up.

I’ve got a short run and some strength training on the schedule for today.

November 2, 2018

Training for 11/2/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:50 pm

It’s been another fun day with Pepper, watching him slowly pace around the house. I finally went out for a short run late in the afternoon. Wouldn’t you know it, I just happened to pick the one 40-minute window of the day in which he had to poop, so after I did a lap around the 4.5-mile loop, I got to clean that up. And now he’s back to pacing.

Anyway… tonight, Clark and I are going out to dinner with his family to celebrate his dad’s birthday.

Tomorrow, I want to finally get done that last freaking 12-miler I haven’t done all week, and then we have TK’s wedding.

And Sunday, I will run something, to be determined, and then watch the New York City Marathon and later the NASCAR race.

November 1, 2018

Training for 11/1/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:27 pm

I thought I’d finally do that last 12-miler today, but it’s not looking good. Pepper has been having another rough day. I hate to say it, but his bad days are getting more and more frequent. This sucks.

He seems OK right now, so I might try to run a much shorter run, but even that is questionable. We’ll see.

Anyway, last night was, of course, Halloween. I thought I was pretty clever when I put on an old Seattle Mariners jersey Clark had worn back in seventh grade, and called myself Middle School Clark.

middle school clark costume

Pepper went as One Shade of Gray, the same costume he wears EVERY year, other than the hot dog last year.

Well, as soon as Clark saw me and I told him who I was, he went and grabbed the last set of impressions my orthodontist made before I got braces.


Then he held them up to his face and said, “Look! I’m YOU in middle school!”

me in sixth grade

My sixth grade picture. Thank God for braces.

That was funny on its own, but even better, my brother, who’d had the same janky teeth before he got braces, was at our house. He said, “Which one of us are you talking about? Because that’s what I looked like in middle school too!”

Damn. Clark burned us both pretty good in one fell swoop. I bow to the master haha.

October 31, 2018

Training for 10/31/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

Happy Halloween!

Pepper has had a rough couple of days. Pretty much since we got home Monday night, he’s been antsy and generally unable to lie still for more than a few minutes, but when he gets up to pace around, he moves very slowly. And if he stands still for a few seconds, his back legs start to slip out from under him, especially on hard floor surfaces like in the kitchen.

Yesterday afternoon, he seemed like he was feeling better, so I put him in the back room and went out and ran the 5.5-mile loop at an 8:29/mile average. Clark got home from work just about the same time I got back from the run, and Pepper still seemed OK.

But for most of today, he was looking even worse. He still at least ate his dog food (and whatever else I’d give him) and drank water, but other than that, he looked like he was auditioning to be an extra on The Walking Dead, just doing this painful zombie shuffle around the house. He seems OK again now, and seems to be sleeping comfortably on the couch next to me, but I really don’t want to upset him all over again by putting him in the back room so I can go run.

So, another rest day. I might do some much-needed strength training. But no miles, so I can safely post my monthly summary now.


  • Week 1 (Oct. 1-6): 22.3
  • Week 2 (Oct. 7-13): 41.4
  • Week 3 (Oct. 14-20): 65
  • Week 5 (Oct. 21-27): 31.2
  • Week 6 (Oct. 28-31): 5.5

Total: 165.4 miles

This month’s mileage was not quite where I wanted it to be; I had to cut short my second 20-miler due to extreme digestive issues, even for me, and I still haven’t done that last double-digit run I’ve been putting off since this past weekend, first because I was on vacation and now because Pepper has been sick.

But I did stack up a lot of great runs between 5 and 12 miles, and the Baltimore Marathon, the only race I ran this month, in place of the third and final 20-miler, went really well other than a couple bathroom stops between miles 10 and 13 due to more digestive distress.

All in all, I think the final few weeks of Richmond Marathon training have been solid, and I’m feeling confident I’ll have a good race a week from Saturday.

Richmond is pretty much the only thing I have going on in November, though I’ll most likely also do the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as usual.

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