A Simple Running Log

July 16, 2018

Training for 7/16/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:34 am

It looks like doing some speed work and strength training over the last few weeks did some good, because I lobbed off more than a minute from my last 5K time at Saturday’s Race for the Ribbon 5K!

I didn’t wake up Saturday feeling like a better 5K performance was in the cards though, mostly because I barely got any sleep Friday night.

Pepper had been acting weird all day Friday, pacing the house and refusing to lie down for any more than a few minutes at a time, when he normally snoozes on the couch or the floor all day. Usually he does that when he’s feeling nauseated, but the few times he went outside, I watched him and he never puked.

That pattern continued when we tried to go to bed, unfortunately. He kept getting up on the bed, flopping down and staying put for maybe 30 seconds, only to get up and jump to the floor, pace the rest of the house, come back to bed, rinse and repeat. All night.

I finally got him to lie still for a few minutes after I locked him in a bear hug. But then my alarm started going off.

Well, I’d already paid for the race and TK was on her way to meet me to drive there together, so even though I REALLY didn’t feel like it, I got up and got ready.

It was an absolutely gorgeous morning for a race, at least! Usually this one is on a hot and muggy day, but it was barely 60 degrees when TK and I left my house at 6 a.m.

Of course, as the sun came up, it warmed up, but it was still only in the low 70s and not terribly humid for the 7:30 a.m. start.

We got our event T-shirts (I LOVE the shirts they use for this race — the material hangs well and the cuts are gender-specific) and race bibs, and then I did an easy mile and a few leg swings to warm up.

As usual, this race attracted one of the biggest crowds of the summer series. There were nearly 450 finishers, between the open, Clydesdale and Filly divisions.

The start got held up a few minutes by a garbage truck completing its route on the street on which the race starts, but we got a live rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner and a chance to cheer for Arden, the 6-year-old girl who benefitted from the race proceeds this year — she just found out she’s cancer-free, after battling it twice already.

Then we got the commands and we were off!

2018 race for the ribbon 5k start

This race was on the same course as the Father’s Day 5K last month. My goal was to run an even effort from the start, so maybe I could get through a 5K without having to walk in the last mile to settle my stomach for the first time this summer!

Even though I was kind of thirsty, I passed up the water stop the first time we ran by it near the end of the first mile. I finished that mile soon after in 7:20. The second mile wound through a residential neighborhood. The morning was feeling a lot hotter after running hard for a mile and a half and I was really looking forward to passing that water stop again!

At the stop, I grabbed a cup and walked a few steps to gulp it down, and then I started running again. The second mile marker was just around the corner. My Garmin beeped and I saw I’d slowed to a 7:40 second mile.

The first couple of 5Ks I ran in June, this was the point where I kinda gave up and let myself walk because it was getting hard and I felt like I might puke.

I decided right there I was running the entire final mile of this one. If I puked, I puked. But I was pretty sure all those times I felt “pukey” in the last mile of the last two 5Ks was just me letting myself off the hook because I was so uncomfortable.

So I kept running. I told myself “It’s a 5K, it’s SUPPOSED to feel like this!” They are HARD to race. Marathons hurt like hell near the end, but 5Ks suck from the beginning. They just end sooner.

It sure doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to end at mile 2.5 though.

I did, in fact, run that entire final mile — I even sped up a bit, back to a 7:29 — and the last 0.1 to the finish.

2018 race for the ribbon 5k finish

Almost there!

And I crossed the line in 23:13, more than a minute faster than either of the 5Ks I ran in June.

I’m still not anywhere close to how fast I used to run 5Ks, even in the middle of the summer, but it’s a step in the right direction, and definitely encouraging! Just gotta keep up the speed work and strength training.

On the boardwalk past the line, I saw Kelly and Susan. Kelly had run a new PR of 20:08! She’s definitely going to be in the sub-20 club by the fall.

I did another easy mile to cool down and got back just as TK was finishing. We exchanged our running shoes for flip flops and went to the post-race buffet at the Greene Turtle.

When they announced the awards, I had won the F 35-39 age group.

2018 race for the ribbon 5k award

In addition to being first of 18 in my age group, I was the 9th of 225 women to finish and 39th of 410 overall in the open division.

TK and I got iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts and went to Cape Henlopen State Park to lay out on the beach for a bit. It was PACKED. But it had turned into a perfect beach day. Even better, her boss called her while we were out there, and told her she didn’t have to go on the business trip she was supposed to leave for the next day, so we no longer had to get home early for her to pack.

We didn’t stay at the beach much longer anyway, but we went into Lewes and had lunch at Agave, a very nice Mexican restaurant.

When I got home later that afternoon, Clark said Pepper had still been acting weird all day. But that evening, we stayed home — Dave came over and watched the race with us — and Pepper finally started to act like his normal lazy self again.

Which brings me to Saturday night. I woke up in the middle of the night for some reason. Pepper was wedged in between Clark and me, on his back with his head half under my pillow. I thought I could hear him snoring, but I realized that was just Clark. So I kinda nudged Pepper, expecting him to wake up and move to a more comfortable position, but he didn’t respond at all.

I freaked out. I thought he was dead! Or dying — I convinced myself his heart beat seemed really slow and his breathing was shallow. I shook that dog and whisper-yelled his name several times, and nothing!

I woke up Clark and told him something was wrong with Pepper. It took a few more tries by both of us, but we finally got him to wake up. He flipped over and then stood up on the bed, and even though it was dark, I swear he gave me some serious side-eye for waking him up haha.

I was so relieved! I have never seen him sleep that soundly. I mean, I’m sure he was wiped out after missing out on 36 hours of regular naps. But that was some hardcore sleeping!

Sunday morning, it had gotten warmer and more humid, so I didn’t procrastinate too much on my long run. I went out after breakfast for the 10-miler on the schedule.

It wasn’t a particularly good run. Even though I got out there relatively early, it was still hot and I was sweating my face off. I felt better after a bathroom break in a corn field just before the end of the third mile, but I was still slow. It took me about 1:38 to finish the loop, a 9:51/mile average.

Still though, I successfully completed the first week of Richmond Marathon training!

The rest of Sunday was spent doing laundry and washing every vehicle on the property, including Clark’s ’69 Camaro, which he took for a drive for the first time in several years. In the evening, we went over to Bart’s for a bit.

Today, Week 2 of Richmond training begins with a short easy run and strength training.


July 13, 2018

Training for 7/13/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:31 pm

Today would’ve been a rest day if I hadn’t been so lazy Monday, so I made up the strength training and short easy run I skipped earlier this week.

Since I have a 5K in the morning, I didn’t do too much strength training, just abs, push-ups, three minutes in the invisible chair and another set of bench presses. Then I went out and ran a very easy, untimed lap around the 4.5-mile loop. The humidity here today isn’t bad at all, but it was still almost 85 degrees and sunny. A tad warm.

Anyway, tomorrow morning is the Race for the Ribbon 5K in Rehoboth, my third summer series 5K. It’s on the same course as the Father’s Day 5K last month, but the after party this time is at The Greene Turtle. It’s one of the best ones of any of the summer races. Plus, the race itself and a silent auction at the after party raise money for cancer research in honor of some locals. So it’s usually a pretty big turnout for a 5K around here.

My only goal is to improve on the first two 5Ks I ran. It’s been three weeks since the second one, and I’ve actually been doing some speed work and strength training, so I’m hoping it translates into SOMETHING.

After that, TK and I are hitting the beach for a little bit. As far as the rest of the weekend goes, all I know for sure is that I have a 10-mile long run on the schedule.

July 12, 2018

Training for 7/12/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:33 pm

Today I did the first speed workout on my training schedule for Richmond, three hill repeats.

I waited until just as late in the day to run as yesterday, but I don’t think it was as hot.

I drove out to the Sharptown bridge. I used to ride my bike there when I had a $400 hybrid and didn’t mind shoving it in the woods. The road bike I have now cost too much to risk someone noticing and taking it, and I wouldn’t want to put it in the woods anyway. Plus it has the clip-in pedals, so I’d have to wear different shoes for biking then running.

Anyway, I did a mile on the flat road to warm up, then ran up and over the bridge twice, up it once more, turned around, came back down and ran one more mile on the road to cool down, for a total of 3.7 miles at an 8:16/mile average pace.

Overall it went pretty well. I wore the newest 1400s I got a couple weeks ago for the first time, and I like them as much as I’ve liked all the 1400s before them.

July 11, 2018

Training for 7/11/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:15 pm

I was a procrastinator again today. I had strength training and an easy run on the schedule, but I did my usual thing and waited until it’d heated up to get any of it done.

I went upstairs first. It was late morning, so it wasn’t as bad as it could be, but it was still pretty stifling. I did abs, push-ups, three minutes in the invisible chair, lifted with the adjustable dumbbells and then did 10 bench presses.

There’s a 10-mile race in Dewey Beach on Sept. 8 that Melissa and I are talking about doing, because it’s a “Pump and Run” event — for every bench press you do before the race, you get 20 seconds off your finish time. Women younger than 50 have to bench half their body weight rounded to the nearest 5-lb. increment. That’s 60 lbs. for me, so I’m training with 65 lbs. (plus it’s easier — I just have to put a 10-lb. plate on each end of the 45-lb. bar instead of messing with the 5- and 2.5-lb. plates.) Anyway, my goal is 18 reps, which would be six minutes lobbed off my time. Today I did 10.

I’ve never done one of these events, but I’m hoping having a goal like this will get me to finally consistently do my strength training again. I feel so much better running when I do, but I just get so lazy!

I procrastinated some more and waited until the absolute hottest part of the day to run. At least the humidity is still nice and low, so it only felt like 93 instead of 103. It was a decent run in spite of the warmth. I ran three miles at an 8:35/mile average.

July 10, 2018

Training for 7/10/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:27 pm

This morning, I checked the weather app on my phone as soon as I woke up, which was smart — it was in the low 60s that early, but was going to quickly heat up into the 90s. So I did another smart thing and went out for my run as soon as Pepper had his breakfast, instead of putting it off.

I just had this week’s middle distance run on the schedule, which starts at five miles, so I did an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. It was still pretty humid, but other than that, nothing to complain about, and I finished the loop in 48:00 on the dot, an 8:43/mile average.

July 9, 2018

Training for 7/9/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:31 am

It feels so good to be able to say our annual Fourth of July party is in the books! It’s so much work to get ready, mostly because we put it all off until the last minute and then have to move at top speed for two solid days to get it done. But it was a good time as always.

Saturday started bright and early with a track workout with Susan and Kelly. I got to meet Kelly’s St. Bernard, Lily. She is adorable! And HUGE. She also loves “attacking” us as we come around the track haha. I did four 800s and only got slowed down by Lily on two of them.

My paces on the 800s were decent: 3:32, 3:31, 3:31 and 3:30. The weather was a big help. After all that heat and humidity last week, a front had come through Friday evening, wiping out the humidity and lowering the temperature a solid 15 to 20 degrees.

With warm up, recoveries and cool down, I did a total of 6 miles.

At home, we put the finishing touches on the house and garage, and then I started grilling around 1:30. I wish there was a way to grill all that chicken ahead of time. It takes about three hours to do 60-ish pieces of chicken in three separate grill-fulls, one of thighs, one of drumsticks and one of breasts. I also did some asparagus this year.

We had a first this year — the cops got called on us!

For our flag.

beer flag

Bart had initially placed it on the other side of the ditch, so the flag itself (but not the stand) was hanging over the road a couple inches. Someone driving by called the state police to report it was “obstructing traffic.”

I didn’t even know there was a cop there until she’d left, because Clark dealt with her, but he said she seemed incredibly annoyed she’d had to respond to that call. She just asked him to move the stand to the other side of the ditch and went on her way.

Other than that, it all went off without a hitch. By the time everyone had left and the garage had been straightened and locked up, I was more than ready to crash.

Sunday was another perfect, gorgeous day, but I didn’t feel like running. Instead, I slept in, we finished cleaning up and then we took Pepper to Oxford to hang out at a couple of restaurants on the water. It was a nice relaxing day.

Today is the first day of Richmond Marathon training! It begins with strength training and a short easy run.

July 6, 2018

Training for 7/6/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:34 pm

I’ve been busy today and I still have plenty more to do to get ready for this party we’re hosting tomorrow.

I started with a run though. The super humid heat is still hanging around and it already felt like 89 degrees when I went out to run around 8:30 a.m.

I did a lap around the 4.5-mile loop, with the pyramid intervals thrown in the middle — 30, 45, 60, 90, 60, 45 and 30 seconds of hard running with a minute of rest in between each. With all the recoveries, which involved some walking, I averaged 9:07/mile for the whole run. I was completely soaked when I got home.

Since then I’ve done all the shopping and made two side dishes and a birthday cake for my mom, and now I have to do some cleaning. Clark got the kegerator cleaned out and bought two new kegs for it, Michelob Ultra and Dang! IPA from Big Oyster Brewing, and he’s been power washing the house today. It really needed it — we’ve had a few randos stop up here to drop off their business cards offering power washing haha.

Tomorrow morning, I might meet Kelly and Susan at the track for a speed workout, or I might just run at home, depending on how much work I have left to do.

Then I have to grill 60 pieces of chicken before the party gets started later in the afternoon.

Sunday might be a rest day. I’ll see how I feel.

July 5, 2018

The Great American Run recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:05 am

Tuesday, I went to the beach with my mom and sister. It wasn’t as hot on the beach as it had been at home, and the water was perfect, so we stayed out there the whole afternoon.

julie and me at fenwick

Julie and me.

I got a bit burnt in all the places that hadn’t seen much sunlight yet this year.

Later, Mom and Julie went home and Clark and Bart got to Fenwick, as did Clark’s parents. We had dinner at Matteo’s near the beach house. It’s a Mexican restaurant but they were playing rock, and a couple of the songs were not the clean radio edits haha.

By 9 p.m., I was ready for bed. I was really tired anyway, but I also had 22 miles to run in the morning.

I slept OK. There was a fan in the back bedroom that, when on high, nearly drowned out the music Clark and Bart were playing in the main part of the house. Pepper stayed out there with them too, until they apparently left to go to Rehoboth in the middle of the night for some reason. Then Pepper nearly broke the door down to the bedroom so he could take up 75 percent of the twin bed I was sleeping on.

My alarm went off at 5 a.m. and I was out the door a little after 5:30.

It was another warm, muggy morning. The truck’s defroster couldn’t even clear the windshield until I was outside Ocean City.

I got to Pemberton Park in Salisbury about 45 minutes before the start of the single-loop 4.44-mile race. I’d only been to the park before for the beer and wine festivals they hold there every fall, but I was a little familiar with the trails, because I did the Hangover 5K they used to hold the second morning of the beer festival a couple of times.

I got my bib and race T-shirt. For the race, we were supposed to wear red, white and blue, so I had my bright blue Nike shorts and the red tank top I’d bought for my very first half marathon way back in 2009. Instead of my Shamrock hat, I wore a red, white and blue Kevin Harvick hat. I was worried it would be too hot, because the material definitely wasn’t made with running in mind, so I’d brought a blue headband to replace it after the first race if necessary. But it wound up being just fine, and I wore it the whole way.

Anyway, 41 of us did the 4.44-mile race, which started at 7 a.m. on the dot. We took off through the grass around Pemberton Hall, an 18th century home in the middle of the park, and then ran into the woods for the first time.

It wasn’t long before I was regretting wearing a shirt. It was so hot! I could feel it getting bogged down with sweat by the time I got through the first mile. And the flies weren’t anything like they’d been at Trap Pond, thankfully, so I didn’t need it to keep them from biting me.

The course was well-marked, but I still managed to go off of it. Actually, I just repeated a chunk of it. I saw arrows pointing to the right, but didn’t realize we’d made that turn earlier in the race and were supposed to go straight past it. I got to a clearing that looked very familiar, and even stopped and waited for the next runner to ask her if she thought we’d already run that way, but she pointed at the flags on the ground and said we must be going the right way.

I finally got myself out of that loop, but then the end of the course got a little confusing too. When we came out of the woods, it looked like a straight shot to the finish line. But nope! We had to run around the parking lot, behind the finish line, through the woods a little more and then to the finish. Every time I’d try to head straight for it, someone would say, “No! You have to go that way!” and point to an arrow going farther away from it. It was a little frustrating!

I did make it to the finish eventually, in 50:11. My watch had measured 5.1 miles, 0.7 farther than what I should’ve run. I was the 28th of 41 runners to finish.

I only had about 10 minutes until the start of the 17.76-miler. I went to the truck and ditched the shirt, which exposed my sunburn, so hey, I was still rocking the red, white and blue haha. I also got my water bottle and a couple GUs.

And then it was time to go again! At 8 a.m., we all took off for four loops of the same course.

I started with Melissa, who’d also run the 4.44-mile race. We were not running fast at all, but I still needed to slow even further to a walk as soon as we got back in the woods. I just needed to get myself together.

That first loop of the second race, I was pretty slow. I wanted to make absolutely sure I didn’t repeat my mistake from the first time around, so I just followed people, even when they were moving slower than I wanted to. I did figure out where I’d made my mistake though, and I didn’t do it again.

The second loop, I was moving quicker, but then I needed the bathroom. Of course. I had to stop in the woods about halfway through, and then again at the port-o-potty near the finish line at the end of the loop. That ate up quite a bit of time. But that was the last I needed a bathroom during the race at least.

Running into the woods for the third loop — my fourth total of the day so far — was probably when I first thought “This is so stupid” haha. I could be sitting on the beach right now, not sweating my face off traipsing through the woods over and over!

The fourth and final loop was better, but probably only because I knew it was the last time I’d have to see everything that day.

I took the whole run very easy, drinking tons of fluids along the way (there was a water stop we passed twice during the loop and another just before we crossed the start/finish line at the end of every loop, and I refilled my bottle every time) so I never felt overheated or dehydrated.

My feet started to hurt, but I think that was mostly because of all the roots I had to run over, and I hadn’t worn trail shoes.

I got lapped by the winner on my second lap! He wound up finishing in 2:09. But everyone else was far enough behind — second place ran 2:41 — that I didn’t get lapped by anyone else.

I finished the second race in 3:31:15, 22nd of 34 finishers.

All in all, I ran 22.2 miles in 4:21. Nothing fast or impressive by any means, but still, 22.2 miles on my feet on a hot, muggy day. No excuses for skipping long runs when Richmond Marathon training starts next week!

When I got back to the truck, Clark had sent me a selfie from the beach, so I sent him one back.

post race selfie

Melissa had finished 10 minutes before me. We hung out a bit at the post-race party. They had a little picnic for us, with hot dogs, chips and pie. I just had a slice of a berry pie Melissa had made. It was delicious!

melissa and me post race

Melissa and me after the race.

I left the park a little past noon. I stopped by the house to hose down my shoes and socks (there had been a few muddy spots on the course), lay out everything to dry and change into another swimsuit, and then I went back to Fenwick.

We stayed long enough to see what fireworks we could from inside the house, while I tried to calm down Pepper and Clark’s mom tried to calm down Snoopy. Poor dogs! Pepper doesn’t even flinch when we get a loud thunderstorm, but he shakes like a leaf on a tree when fireworks start going off.

And now we have to get ready for our Fourth of July party, which we’re hosting Saturday. I think we’ll get to relax a bit after that’s over.

Today, I’m not running. I’m not sore but I didn’t get up until almost 9:30 and it’s another gross, hot day out there. I might do some strength training.

July 3, 2018

Training for 7/3/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:11 am

This morning, Clark got up not long after sunrise and went out for a run. He came back completely drenched. So I was pretty excited to get out there and run myself.

Is there anywhere in the country that does not have 100 percent humidity right now? Because I need to go there. As soon as I opened the door and felt that blanket of wet air, I knew I was in for a sweat fest.

Clark had said there had been a couple irrigation systems running along the 4.5-mile loop, which was the one I was planning on running too, so I was looking forward to that at least.

Well, the timers must have ended sometime between when he ran through and when I did, because I saw the water on the roads in a couple spots, but there was nothing coming down any longer. I didn’t get a drop of irrigation spray on me.

I just got sweatier and sweatier. Other than that though, it wasn’t a bad run. I finished the loop at an easy 9:12/mile pace.

Today, I’m going to the beach with my mom and younger sister. This evening, Clark and Bart are coming down after they leave work. I’m assuming we’re going to wind up staying the night in Fenwick, so I’m taking running clothes with me, because tomorrow morning, I’m signed up for The Great American Run, a trail race in Salisbury.

It’s put on by the same guy behind the Algonquin 50K, but this one is in Pemberton Park, on a roughly 4.4-mile trail loop.

There are three options — a one-loop race that starts at 7 a.m., a four-loop race (17.76 miles — so appropriate for the Fourth of July) that starts at 8 a.m. or “the double,” both races for a total of about 22.2 miles. Guess which one Melissa talked me into signing up for.

Tomorrow is supposed to be just as hot and muggy as today. I don’t really care about that. It’s July, it’s to be expected. What I AM worried about are flies. If they’re anything like at Trap Pond last week, I’m pretty sure I’ll just do the one-loop race at 7 a.m. and be done. I am not dealing with that nonsense for 22.2 miles.

Anyway, happy Fourth of July!

July 2, 2018

Training for 7/2/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:42 am

I had a pretty great weekend in Virginia!

Friday, Clark left work as soon as possible. We got our stuff packed and hit the road. My Uncle Kerry had suggested an alternate route to avoid traffic on the D.C. beltway and I-95, but I think it actually made our trip longer. The Focus’s GPS definitely wasn’t happy with us — every 10th of a mile the entire way to the Virginia state line, it kept telling me to make a U-turn haha.

Anyway, we got to his house in Barboursville around 9 p.m. My mom has two brothers, Dana and Kerry, and they both live in the Charlottesville area. I haven’t been to either of their houses since before I could drive, so yeah, it’d been a while.

Uncle Kerry and Aunt Cheyrl had made dinner for us, and we got a tour of all the work they’ve done on their house in the last 20 years or so since I’d been there.

After dinner, Clark and I headed to our hotel in Charlottesville, with a stop at a brewery along the way. I was more than ready to go to sleep by the time we got to our room.

We woke up early Saturday morning to run. Our hotel was really close to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, and I’d read about the Saunders-Monticello trail, a pedestrian trail leading to the house, two miles each way.

We found one of the two parking lots at the trail head, which was already pretty close to full, and started running.

A quarter-mile into it, we were both huffing and puffing, and Clark asked if it was going to be all uphill. It dawned on me Monticello was described on Google maps as “Jefferson’s mountaintop home,” which should’ve been a clue, but everything looks flat on Google maps so it’d never occurred to me haha. I will say, it was a pretty gentle grade, so it’s probably only noticeably uphill to flatlanders like us.

It didn’t bother me though, because the trail was so pretty! There were a lot of elevated boardwalks like this one:

Paul Domer shot of monticello trail

Photo by Paul Domer on Flickr.

The rest of it was crushed gravel. There was enough shade from all the trees, it really didn’t feel too hot even though it was already a very warm day. And there were no swarms of flies like there had been at Trap Pond two days earlier.

We got to the top, but couldn’t go past the visitor’s center without buying tickets, so we didn’t get to see the house before we turned around. There had been a little downhill just before the end on the way up, which was, of course, a little uphill to start the way back. Clark asked if it was all uphill on the way back too haha.

It wasn’t though, and the way back was a lot more fun! We finished four miles in 39:37, a 9:52/mile average. I really enjoyed that trail.

We went back to the hotel, had some breakfast and got cleaned up, met the rest of my family staying at that hotel and went to my Uncle Dana and Aunt Christina’s house for my cousin Claudia’s wedding.

They have a pretty decent-sized piece of property in the foothills outside the city. The back yard was an absolutely gorgeous spot for a wedding.

claudia guy and her family

Claudia and her brand new husband, Guy, with Claudia’s family — Uncle Dana, Aunt Christina, and my cousins Anna and Ethan, after the ceremony.

claudia's wedding group

Julie, Dave, Clark and me. Kara couldn’t make it, unfortunately, and Mom took the picture so she’s not in it.

The reception was right there in the back yard too, with catering by a local restaurant, plenty of wine from a Barboursville vineyard and two kegs of beer, one from a Virginia brewery, Devil’s Backbone, and the other from Munich, Paulaner.

Aunt Christina is a native German, and all of her family still living in Germany came to Virginia for the wedding. I wish I had a picture of her and her four sisters. One of them is her actual twin, but they all looked like they could’ve been a set of quintuplets!

We spent the whole day there. A couple of highlights were Mom’s trash-talking side coming out during a game of croquet, and then my grandmother finally getting the dance floor started when AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” came on, of all songs! She said the next morning she didn’t even know what AC/DC was, she was just trying to get Aunt Christina’s sisters to start dancing. She also said she was paying for all that “frolicking” haha.

The party finally broke up after my uncles put on a fireworks display after dark. Clark, Julie and I hit up another brewery in town that had a late-night menu, and then we went back to the hotel and hit the hay.

Sunday morning, I said goodbye to all my family who’d stayed at the same hotel. Then I got Clark moving so we could head out too.

We didn’t go straight home though. First, we had brunch at Fig Bistro, near the University of Virginia campus. Then we drove west so we could drive part of Skyline Drive, through Shenandoah National Park, on our way back north.

Clark was not impressed — he slept through the entire 40 miles we drove through the park haha. I pulled over at a few overlooks and really enjoyed the views.

blue ridge mountains

From the Doyles River overlook.

Clark and his brother are talking about riding Skyline Drive on their bikes, which is 105 miles end to end, later this fall, and I’d like to do it too. There’s going to be a lot of climbing!

We left the park and drove home, stopping for a late lunch at The Jetty on Kent Island. I think Sunday was even hotter than Saturday had been, but it didn’t feel bad at all on the water there.

Finally, we made it home. Not long after we got back, Clark’s parents stopped by to drop off Pepper. I’d missed his stupid face!

And that was our weekend. Training for the Richmond Marathon doesn’t officially start until next Monday, so I’m making it up myself again this week. I think I’ll do some strength training and a short run today.

Finally, it’s the second day of July already, so I have to sum up June.


  • Week 1 (June 1-2): 16.5 miles
  • Week 2 (June 3-9): 23.8
  • Week 3 (June 10-16): 20.4
  • Week 4 (June 17-23): 25.2
  • Week 5 (June 24-30): 42.7

Total: 128.6 miles

That’s almost 30 miles more than I ran in May, so I’m trending in the right direction again.

Racing was blah. I ran three 5Ks that were all in the 24-minute range. But I managed to finally get myself back to the track  — twice! — for speed work for the first time in months, so I’m hoping to get those finish times moving in the right direction soon too.

The bike leg at Eagleman went well though! I didn’t quite make my goal of averaging 20 mph for the entire 56 miles, but I averaged 19.5 mph and shaved five minutes off last year’s time. I rode a total of 106.2 miles on the bike this month.

In July, Richmond training starts next Monday, and I’ve got two more summer series 5Ks scheduled. I’m also running a low-key trail race in Salisbury on Wednesday, for the Fourth of July.

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