A Simple Running Log

November 30, 2009

Training for 11/30/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:49 pm

This morning I did nothing but read a book. I was going to do some weight training, but I decided to either skip it today entirely or do it tonight because I felt I deserved the rest. This has been my long weekend since last posting last Wednesday:

If you recall, I skipped a planned run Wednesday because my left Achilles was beginning to hurt and I wanted to give it two days off instead of just one before attempting two races this weekend. I borrowed my mother-in-law’s heating pad when we went to her house for Thanksgiving dinner that night. For much of Thursday, I iced and heated it while lounging about and watching the parade. It was feeling pretty good by the time I went to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother’s house that night.

I tried to restrain myself at dinner, as I had to run a 10K the next morning, but seriously, what is that holiday for if not eating a slice of sweet potato AND pumpkin pie after a huge plate of dinner?

Friday morning, I woke up to gusting winds and temperatures that had plummeted overnight thanks to some jerkface cold front. I ate a bowl of Total and headed to Easton for the 10 a.m. start.

Kara was there to run her first-ever 5K, which was running concurrently with the 10K, and TK and Kari were there to run their third 5Ks since September.

The 10K course was relatively flat, there were enough trees and houses to block much of the wind and once we got moving I wasn’t cold, but damn that gluttony came back to haunt me. My stomach was cramping so bad it made keeping any kind of pace difficult. I was so sorry I had not signed up for the 5K when I saw the 3-mile marker. Around the fourth mile, I took some water from an aid station and walked about 30 seconds. I only had a couple miles to go at that point, so I envisioned a two-mile out-and-back from my house and convinced myself I could make it that far.

My goal had been to run in less than double my worst 5K time, which is 24:58. Anything under 50 minutes would have made me happy.

I came around the final bend to hear Kara, TK and Kari cheering for me and gratefully crossed the line. I looked at my watch, which was around 49 minutes. My friends said the race clock was at 48:55 or so when I crossed.

I’m glad they were paying attention, because, for the second time in the last two months, my timing chip failed and I didn’t get an official time. 

Oh well. I ran my first 10K, came in under my goal time and didn’t throw up, and my friends had a good time with the 5K.

One race down, one to go.

Saturday was clear and bright, but still cold and windy as hell. TK and her mom picked me up to go run another 5K in Rehoboth. I had expected to be quite a bit more sore from the 10K the day before, but I wasn’t at all. Still, I had no plans to run this race hard. I was going mostly for the Christmas shopping at the outlets afterwards.

The course was laid out near part of the course for the half marathon I ran in Rehoboth last weekend. We got going and I settled into a good pace — definitely not my best, but still a decent clip. I felt a lot better, stomach-wise, than I did the day before.

There were a ton of young kids in this race. Usually they go out at top speed and burn out by the half-mile point, but these kids must have been part of a running club. Even if I had been running my best, I would have been blown away by some girls more than 10 years younger than me.

Anyway, I finished the race in 23:31, more than a minute off my best time, but still good enough to take first in my age group. And then did some hardcore shopping.

The winds finally died late Saturday, and it was so nice yesterday morning when I woke up I went to a state park for what turned into a 7-mile trail run.

It was a pretty good weekend of running I think. And that is why I’m resting today, even though it’s technically the first day of my marathon training.

And, since this is the last day of the month, here’s a November summary:


  • Week 1 (Nov. 1-7): 31
  • Week 2 (Nov. 8-14): 27
  • Week 3 (Nov. 15-21): 30
  • Week 4 (Nov. 22-28): 15
  • Week 5 (Nov. 29-30): 7

Total mileage: 110 miles

So, I ran one more mile this month than I did in October, making this my highest mileage month yet.

I also set a new PR in the half marathon (1:49:19 on Nov. 21) and ran my first-ever 10K. And I ran a low-effort 5K faster than I ran an all-out one in May.

Next month is the first of three and a half months of training for my first full marathon. There are 99 miles on the schedule, including a 5K on Dec. 19 in Lewes.

November 25, 2009

Training for 11/25/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:15 pm

I didn’t too much this morning, just a very short walk/jog and some weight lifting. It’s tough to simultaneously recover from a half marathon four days ago and taper for a 10K in two days.

Plus, I got this weird twinge in my left Achilles tendon yesterday near the end of my easy run, and I’m trying to nip that in the bud. I had no pain at all the first couple of days after the half. Then I wore those damn Nikes to WALK all day Monday, and the next morning my Achilles is acting up. God I hate those shoes. I should have gotten rid of them. But they were practically brand new and I had no takers when I tried to sell them on Craigslist and in the classifieds, so I figured I could at least walk in them. Guess not.

It’s the same foot that reduced me to a pathetic, hobbling mess in a knee-high stability boot for a week back in June, after running in those Nikes for a month. It’s just a different tendon this time.

It doesn’t really hurt at all right now. I’m hoping a rest day tomorrow and plenty of ice and heat will patch it up for Friday’s 10K and the 5K the following morning.

And I have Thanksgiving Pt. 1 with Clark’s family tonight, and Thanksgiving Pt. 2 with my family tomorrow night. So I can’t really be sad about my stupid foot when I’ve got TWO turkey dinners with pumpkin pie for dessert to look forward to.

November 24, 2009

Training for 11/24/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:24 pm

This morning was a 5.5-mile easy run (didn’t time it because I didn’t want to be tempted to run faster), my first run since the half on Saturday. Yesterday morning was a little weight training before my day off from work, spent doing some early Christmas shopping with my friends. And Sunday was a rest day, spent eating chili made in our new Crock Pot and drinking beer while watching the Ravens almost beat the Colts and Jimmie Johnson ruin this NASCAR season AGAIN by winning the championship. I am so tired of him.

Anyway, Saturday was pretty good too:

  • Chip time: 1:49:19 (oh yes, that’s a big PR)
  • Gun time: 1:49:35
  • Overall finish: 62/370
  • Gender finish: 14/220
  • Division finish: 4/38 (but the overall women’s winner was in my division, so I got the third place award)

Yup, I ran that half five minutes faster than I did only a couple of months ago. GO ME.

I decided to go ahead and get my race packet the night before just to make sure everything was set before I went to bed. After I got home from Rehoboth, I washed my stinky running clothes, ate a huge plate of spaghetti and was in bed by 10 p.m.

I woke up five minutes before my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. I pulled on my only pair of cold weather running pants (seriously, Christmas can’t get here soon enough), a long-sleeved Under Armour shirt and my absolute favorite thing in the world, that New Balance hoodie I got on clearance this summer. My breakfast was my usual bowl of Total with skim milk. I kissed my sleeping husband goodbye and was on the road by 5:20 a.m.

I got to the race start a bit before 6:30 a.m. The vibe in the air was much different from the first half I ran, one of the Rock ‘n’ Roll races in Virginia Beach. That race had 16,000 runners; this one had 570 in both the full and half marathons combined. Not many friends or family members were there. In Virginia Beach, my brother was running too, and my husband, my sister and my brother’s girlfriend were all there to cheer us on. This time, it was just me.

The relatively small crowd of runners was milling about, trying to keep warm in the near-freezing temperatures. I was fighting the urge to go back to my car and get my hat and gloves, but I knew I’d warm up quickly once I was running and then have to carry them most of the race. I was already carrying my little packet of GU Chomps, since no gels were provided on the course.

We watched the sun rise over the ocean, and about 10 minutes later, we lined ourselves up and the race director counted down from 10 and sent us on our way.

The first six miles of the race were on paved roads in Rehoboth. We ran an out-and-back to Gordon’s Pond State Park, came up a road parallel to the road on which the race started and made a right onto a road heading north toward Lewes.

My plan was to take Powerade at the 4-mile water station, water and four Chomps at the 6-mile station, more Powerade at 8 miles and finally the other four Chomps and water at the 10-mile station. I was trying to stay hydrated and get some carbs throughout the race to prevent the severe cramps I got in my calves and hamstrings near the end of my first half marathon.

Everything was going according to plan until I tried to open that packet of Chomps at the 6-mile station. It would not tear open for anything. I came to a complete stop on the side of the road, I was getting so frustrated with the damn thing. Finally, after what felt like an eternity but was probably only a couple of minutes, I found a way in. I only ate two of them though, washed them down with water and was on my way.

Not long after that, we hit the Breakwater Junction trail for an out-and-back that covered the next five miles or so. It was absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea that trail was there. While on the way back on the trail, I caught up with this woman I’d been running behind for a while. We pushed each other through the final 5K of the race. At one point, she said, “You’re killing me!” I told her we were almost there and were on track to smash her goal time of 1:55:55 (it was her first half marathon) and my goal to beat my previous time. (I had been hoping to come in at 1:42:xx, as some stupid online calculator said I should be able to based on my best 5K time, but I realized that was a bit over ambitious near the beginning.)

It was around 11 miles (I think, the mile markers were eluding me after the 9-mile marker) that I realized my legs did not hurt. At all. They were getting tired for sure, but they did not hurt. I popped one more Chomp sometime around then, got a bit of water at the water station around 12 miles and headed in for the finish.

That was when the woman with whom I was running said it was time for our kick. And I had a kick! A small one, but still. I felt myself running faster and was amazed. At that point in Virginia Beach, I was in so much pain, I was just trying to get one foot in front of the other to get to the finish. This time, I was actually racing.

We were coming up to the finish, when that woman returned my favor of pushing her when she was feeling like slowing down. She came up behind me and yelled, “This is it! Come on! Sprint!” And I did. There were three timing mats right there at the end. I had no idea which was the actual end, so I didn’t let up until I was over them all.

I finally remembered to look down at my watch. 1:49:something. I couldn’t believe it. I had shaved five minutes off my time for 13.1 miles in only a couple of months. And I felt 100 percent better when I finished. I wasn’t hobbling and grimacing in pain, I was walking and grinning like a fool. We got our finisher’s medals, and my running partner’s husband came up to congratulate her. She pointed at me and said, “I had someone to run me in!”

The post-race spread was impressive. They had a heated tent set up. There was breakfast foods on one side (pancakes with all kinds of toppings and baked apples) and lunch foods on the other (burgers, salads, mac and cheese, baked beans.) Unlimited Dogfish Head (Lawnmower Light, Shelter Pale Ale and Raison D’Etre) and Blue Moon. Free massages.

It always takes my appetite a long time to come back after a race, so I only had a huge spinach salad and a beer. I was going to go home, but then I found out I’d won an age group award. To kill time before the awards ceremony, I got another beer, got a wonderful massage and talked to some of the other runners who had come out for the race alone.

They called my name at the awards ceremony, and I went up to the front — only to find out someone had taken my plaque! I’m pretty sure it was the second-place runner in our age group. She probably didn’t notice the first-place runner was the overall women’s champ, thus moving up everyone else a spot, and took the third-place plaque instead of the second-place one when she left.

It worked out for me, though. The race organizers promised to get another one made quickly, and they felt so bad about it they gave me a $50 gift card to the running shop that sponsored the race.

And when I got home, I found out my husband had been using his time wisely. The entire house was clean and the laundry was nearly done.

I would call Saturday an overall win for me. I would also recommend that race to anyone. It’s small enough you can actually run your own pace throughout the race and enjoy the post-race amenities. The part of the course on the trail is amazing. And everyone was really friendly.

My next big race is my first full marathon in March. Training officially begins next Monday.

November 20, 2009

Training for 11/20/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:36 pm

Rest day today. I can pick up my race packet in Rehoboth today until 8 p.m., or I can wait and get it tomorrow morning. It would make more sense to just wait and save myself a two-hour round trip to Rehoboth tonight, but I know I’ll sleep better if I already have the timing chip on my shoe and bib pinned to my shirt before I go to bed tonight.

And I’m finally starting to feel excited and not just nervous about the race tomorrow. I can’t wait to just get going!

November 19, 2009

Training for 11/19/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:11 pm

This morning was my last run of any kind before the race — three easy miles at an 8:28/mile pace, just about the exact speed for which I’m aiming for the first mile of the race to warm up.

I think I’ve figured out why I’m so nervous about this little half marathon in Rehoboth. I expected to be calmer, having raced this distance before and thus knowing what to expect. But it’s just the opposite. Since I’ve done this before, I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to improve my performance. The first time, all I had to do was finish and I’d accomplished something big. This time, if I finish in more than 1:54:10, I’ll feel like I’ve failed because I’ve put in so much training to get faster, including more miles per week and more speed work.

Finding out, according to an arbitrary online calculator, that based on my best 5K time I should be able to run a half marathon 12 minutes faster than I did in my first is not helping me give myself a break, either. I know I shouldn’t care about that, but I do.

But, I can honestly say I’m as ready for this race as I could possibly be. I did not miss a single run, and I only skipped one weight training session. I have no injuries. I found moleskin has proven effective at protecting the calluses on the balls of my feet. I have mapped out a pacing and hydrating plan for the race.

Now all I have to do is take tomorrow off from running, pick up my race packet, eat some spaghetti for dinner, get a good night’s sleep and do this thing.

November 18, 2009

Training for 11/18/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:35 pm

This morning was my last semi-tough workout before my race — a 35-minute tempo run. I did 10 minutes of warm-up, 15 minutes at a 7:30/mile pace and 10 more minutes of cool-down. It was breezy this morning, and somehow I was running head-on into the wind in three different directions. I hate that.

Tomorrow’s three easy miles, and I’m done with running until the race Saturday.

The weather forecast is looking very cooperative, too. It’s supposed to rain a little tomorrow afternoon (long after I’ve completed my last run) and into Friday morning (when I’m resting, so I don’t care) and clear up completely for Saturday. There’s more rain chances Sunday night into Monday morning, but it’s supposed to be clear again by Tuesday, just in time for my first post-half marathon and pre-10K  run.

November 17, 2009

Training for 11/17/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:26 pm

This morning was 4.5 easy miles. Well, the first couple were. Then I decided to pick it up over the last 2.5 and finished in 36:43, for an average pace of about 8:09/mile, only 20 seconds slower than I’m shooting for in the race. I just needed to reassure myself I really can run faster after Sunday’s crappy pace run.

I felt much better after that.

November 16, 2009

Training for 11/16/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:58 pm

Helllooooo, taper week.

This, the last week of training before my second half marathon, started out with the standard weight training this morning.

The rest of the week is pretty slack: 4.5 easy miles tomorrow, a 30-minute tempo run Wednesday, three easy miles Thursday, rest Friday and kick my previous time’s ass Saturday morning (I hope).

This weekend’s running was tough. The rain finally ended Friday afternoon. Saturday was not pretty, but it wasn’t raining for once. It was still a bit windy, but not nearly as bad as it had been most of the week. I went out for my 13-mile long run. I finished it right on target for my 9:09/mile easy pace, but my feet were killing me at the end. It’s mostly on the balls of my feet. They seem to stick out further than most, and they rub really hard against the inside of the shoe. I have perpetual giant calluses. But when I run for a long time, like for nearly two hours, it goes past the normal rub to full-on painful. Then I try to adjust my stride to prevent the rubbing, and the rest of my feet start to hurt a bit.

Band-Aids don’t seem to do anything, so I got some moleskin padding (and Clark asked if I was making him an old-fashioned prophylactic), cut off a couple strips and slapped them over the calluses for my 4.5-mile pace run Sunday.

Well, my feet didn’t hurt anymore, but my legs sure did. They weren’t sore, just tired from the long run the day before. I should have done the pace run Saturday and the long run Sunday. Oh well.

Anyway, I got through the first mile in 8:30 as planned, tried to speed up to 8:10 for the second mile but instead hit it in 7:50, walked a bit, ran another mile in 7:49, walked a bit more and then ran the last mile or so home at an easy pace. My legs were clearly confused. Sundays, and especially the day after a long run, are usually a day of rest, not a day of speed work.

Hence my relief to see taper week — a chance to rest up before racing 13.1 miles.

November 13, 2009

Training for 11/13/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:30 pm

Well, three consecutive days of driving, pouring rain finally broke my resolve. I had three miles at race pace scheduled this morning. I pulled on all the running clothes that had finally dried out after yesterday’s three easy miles, opened the back door and just… went back inside.

Today is supposed to be the last day of this crap. Tomorrow’s not going to be beautiful, but it’s not supposed to pour its ass off all day. Sunday is supposed to be pretty nice.

This morning was not a complete waste, however. I mapped out my plan for the half marathon next Saturday:

  • Mile 1 — start off nice and easy at 8:30
  • Mile 2 — ramp it up a bit to 8:10
  • Mile 3 — one at goal average pace of 7:49
  • Miles 4-9 — A bit faster at 7:39/mile to make up for slower opening miles
  • Miles 10-13.1 — 7:49/mile pace

Total time: Somewhere around 1:42:30, average pace of 7:49/mile

I’m hoping having this plan will let me start out slow, the way I should have in my first half marathon but didn’t. And I’m hoping starting out slow and taking those GU Chomps at about the 7-mile marker will prevent those stupid leg cramps I had near the end of my first race.

So here’s the new plan for the weekend: 13-mile long run at an easy pace as scheduled tomorrow morning, followed by cleaning the house and changing my car’s oil, and a 4-mile pace run Sunday morning to test out the progression at the beginning of the half marathon, followed by the Ravens game, NASCAR race and Zak’s first birthday party.

The weather forecast better be right about this stuff clearing up, or I’m going to be pissed.

November 12, 2009

Training for 11/12/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:40 pm

What is this, some kind of test?

This is my last week of real training before my second half marathon next Saturday. My last week of six straight days of strength training and running, and my last speed workouts. In other words, my last chance to get better before I start tapering next week to rest up for the race.

Naturally, a very late hurricane formed, trickled down to a tropical depression and then parked itself right on top of the East Coast, just in time to rain and blow gusting winds for four days straight, all of which have runs scheduled, including my 13-mile long run this weekend.

Yesterday was breezier than I like and raining, but not too bad. I survived 5.5 miles at the track.

This morning I had strength training and three easy miles scheduled. Normally, I run first, but I did it the other way around because I knew I would come back from my run soaked to the bone and not want to go upstairs to lift weights.

I finished my lifting routine, pulled on a baseball hat so the rain couldn’t sting my eyes, and headed out.

Holy crap. The first mile was head-on into the gale force wind. My fleece running pants just soaked up all that water and started to slide down. When the wind gusted, I felt like I was getting nowhere. I came very close to calling the whole thing off and just turning around.

Then I decided some little wannabe hurricane wasn’t going to stop my running, and I pushed on. It got quite a bit better when I made the turn on to another road about a mile in and was no longer running directly against the wind. And the last mile, when the wind was at my back, was pretty easy.

I was only out there about 25 minutes. When I got home, everything was so saturated I threw it in the dryer — for two rounds — and my sweatshirt was still damp, so it’s hanging up now.

I’m getting better at tolerating the rain, because I know they’ll still hold the race next weekend even if the weather is like today’s, but I still really dislike it. It’s just not much fun.

Tomorrow morning is three miles at goal race pace (23:27) and then Saturday is my longest run of this training cycle, 13 miles, at a slower pace.

And the weather forecast has it clearing up Sunday, just in time for my rest day.

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