A Simple Running Log

December 31, 2009

Training for 12/31/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:54 pm

This morning was my last run of the year, 4.5 easy miles. Appropriately, it was raining its ass off again. I don’t have a resolution for 2010, I have a wish: Stop raining so damn much!

It’s not my imagination. My farmer dad and uncle are usually done cutting around Thanksgiving. It’s New Year’s Eve and they still have 475 acres to cut (out of 600) because it’s just been that wet. Forever.

And my neighbor’s yard, which flooded in mid-October, has never dried up, because we just keep getting rained on, and rained on, and rained on.

OK, enough complaining about the weather. I did the run in 38:20, about an 8:30/mile pace, so it still went well.

Since this is indeed the last day of the month, it’s time for a December summary:


  • Week 1 (Dec. 1-5): 18 miles
  • Week 2 (Dec. 6-12): 25
  • Week 3 (Dec. 13-19): 12.5
  • Week 4 (Dec. 20-26): 34.5
  • Week 5 (Dec. 27-31): 16

Total: 106 miles

I didn’t race this month (I had a 5K scheduled for the 19th, but a blizzard postponed it until Jan. 9.) I didn’t set any mileage, distance or speed PRs. It was just the first month of marathon training, and it went pretty well, in spite of the aforementioned blizzard and the holidays, which required some juggling of the workouts.

In the end, I ran every mile that was on the training schedule.

And now, a bonus. It’s also the last day of the year, so here’s an annual summary:


  • January (estimate): 24
  • February (estimate): 24
  • March (estimate): 26 
  • April: 42
  • May: 61.5
  • June: 58.2
  • July: 95.5
  • August: 103
  • September: 82.5
  • October: 109
  • November: 110
  • December: 106

Total 2009 mileage: 841.7 miles

Notable achievements:

  • Ran my first two half marathons, with a PR of 1:49:19.
  • Dropped my 5K PR from 24:01 to 22:21.
  • Was the overall women’s champ at a 5K for the first time.
  • Ran my first 10K.
  • Ran more than 100 miles in a month four times.
  • Decided to train to run my first marathon.
  • Ran my fastest mile ever (6:46) and fastest 1.5 miles ever (10:21).

In other words, if an amateur, hobbyist runner can have a breakthrough year, 2009 was mine.

Here’s an illustration of that:

This first picture is from the Federalsburg 5K in 2008. I’m the second one in the frame (losing, haha.) Note the grimace of pain on my face, the cotton sweatshirt and socks I’m wearing (and there was a cotton T-shirt underneath the sweatshirt!), the way my left HEEL is about to strike the ground. And you can’t see it in the picture, but the clock was at 24 minutes.

Now, here’s me, in that same race a year later. Note the look of joy on my face, the wicking materials of which my shirt, shorts and socks are made and the fact there’s no one in front of me (because I was winning!) You can’t see it in the picture, but I’m landing on my midfoot instead of my heel, and the race clock is at 22:something.

What a difference a year makes, huh?

Goals for 2010:

  • Finish my first marathon.
  • Drop my 5K PR into the 21-minute range, en route to my ultimate someday goal of a sub-20 5K.
  • Run a sub-1:45 half marathon.
  • Run at least 1,200 miles this year.
  • Don’t get injured.

I will always have fond memories of 2009. It’s been an interesting year, between the running, getting probation for a DWI and getting married. I’m looking forward to finding out what 2010 has in store.

December 30, 2009

Training for 12/30/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:21 pm

It is freaking cold out there today. Just bitterly cold. I went for a 7.2-mile pace run this morning and never really warmed up. And there wasn’t even any wind. It was dead calm, but the cold air just cut right through all my fancy winter running gear and made my muscles, especially the ones in my legs, feel half-frozen.

I was going for an 8:00/mile pace, as I think that’s what I’m going to aim for in the 15K I signed up to run in San Diego a week from Saturday. I figured if I could keep that pace for 7.2 miles in frigid Delaware, it shouldn’t be a problem for 9.3 miles in warm Southern California.

I wound up finishing in 56:59, for an average pace of 7:54/mile. And darted straight for the house to avoid completely freezing my ass off.

December 29, 2009

Training for 12/29/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:32 pm

Today, it’s about as cold as it gets in Delaware. It’s around 30, but we have a wind advisory, and those strong winds dropped the “feels like” temperature to the teens.

Which means I got to try out those Under Armour running tights, as well as the Under Armour gloves and compression shirt and SmartWool socks I got for Christmas. I also layered on a fleece quarter-zip top, and, since the winds were blowing so hard, a vest. It sounds like a lot, but running gear is not bulky, so I had no trouble moving.

I did 4.5 easy miles. As always, running into the wind sucked, but all my new running clothes performed really well, especially the tights and the socks. I didn’t think SmartWool socks would make that much of a difference, but I was impressed. My feet were never even a little chilly, yet they didn’t get sweaty.

I’ve never run in anything like those tights. At first, I kept checking to make sure I really had remembered to put on pants. They’re not kidding when they call it a “second skin” fit. But after I got used to them, I decided I’m a fan. They don’t flap in the wind like the fleece pants, and since they have elastic around the hem instead of a bootcut-type opening, they don’t let cold air in.

I also took out my New Balance 905s for their maiden voyage. They are noticeably lighter than any other shoes I’ve ever run in, but they seemed pretty supportive over the 4.5 miles I ran today. I’m looking forward to my first race in them.

Which will be Jan. 9 after all. That 5K in Lewes that was supposed to be run Dec. 19 was rescheduled for Jan. 9 after we got all that snow. Clark and I had already booked a flight to San Diego for Jan. 8. Then I found a 15K in San Diego at 7 a.m. Jan. 9, and I’m now all signed up to run my first 15K (9.3 miles).

December 28, 2009

Training for 12/28/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:34 pm

I just officially registered for the 2010 Shamrock Marathon. I have paid my $100 nonrefundable fee. There is no turning back now.

So it’s a good thing I didn’t let the recent snow, or Christmas, knock me off the running wagon. With a few adjustments over the past week, I have run every single mile and lifted every single weight I was supposed to.

Last Thursday, which was Christmas Eve, I ran the three easy miles I had scheduled and lifted weights, which was scheduled for the following day. Those three miles felt like an eternity. My legs were dead.

I was happy to have Christmas Day off. I ate plenty (had to fuel up for my long run the following day, you know) and moved little (resting my muscles, of course.)

I got a lot of running gear for Christmas, including the two things I really wanted — Under Armour compression tights and New Balance 905s. Along with the tights, my in-laws gave me Under Armour socks, gloves, mini-headbands, a hooded sweatshirt and a warm weather long-sleeved T-shirt. My parents also gave me an Under Armour compression mock neck shirt. My older sister gave me a pair of Under Armour fleece gloves, and my younger sister gave me a pair of SmartWool socks. And Clark gave me my own Timex Ironman watch so I will stop using his. I think I am officially stocked up for winter running.

I was really tired Saturday morning, and the weather had turned crappy again — gusting winds, pouring rain, etc. And I had been looking forward to trying out my new tights, but it was nearly 60 degrees.

We had to be at Clark’s grandparents’ house around 3 p.m., so I reluctantly dragged myself out there around noon, dressed in shorts and my new warm weather shirt. The tights would have to wait.

The run turned out to be pretty sweet. I can’t get over how easy 12 miles feels to me now, and how much rain and wind don’t bother me anymore. I cruised straight through the run, which was a 6.5-mile loop, a brief pause at the end of my lane for some water and a 5.5-mile loop. The only time I felt tired was on the part of the second loop when I was running head-on into the wind. My new watch said I’d taken an hour and 46 minutes to run it, so that works out to about an 8:49/mile pace.

I took Sunday off, and ate way too many of TK’s Christmas cookies at Julie’s house while we played Julie’s new Wii (after watching the Ravens self-destruct in their game against the Steelers. Boo.)

Today, I’m right back at it. I did my scheduled weight lifting this morning.

This week will be a challenge. The Tuesday/Thursday short runs increase from 3 to 4.5 miles. Wednesday’s medium run increases from 6.5 to a bit more than 7. And Saturday’s long run will be 14 miles — a new distance PR, since I’ve never run more than 13.1 at once.

I’m thinking it might be time to get some energy chews for my long runs. To get in 14 miles, I’ll be running for a bit more than two hours.

Also, I made an early New Year’s resolution to take better care of my feet (I bet you’ve never heard that one before.) They have been turning into a gnarled mass of old blisters, calluses and dry, itchy skin. Last Wednesday, I got a tube of some anti-fungal callous exfoliator that came with a pumice stone. I soaked my feet in warm, soapy water, grinded the hell out of them with the pumice stone and slathered on the callous cream. I’ve been reapplying the cream every day since, and last night, I soaked and exfoliated them again. They’re already looking much better, and they feel a whole lot better too.

December 23, 2009

Training for 12/23/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:36 pm

This morning was 6.5 pace miles. Since I don’t have a real goal time for this marathon yet, I never know what pace to shoot for. A 3:50 marathon would be about an 8:46/mile pace. A 4-hour marathon would be about 9:10/mile. So I guess I’m aiming for something in that range.

Anyway, I finished the route in 55:49, so about an 8:34/mile pace. Normally, that wouldn’t have felt very hard, but today it felt like work. I’ve run a total of 20 miles in three runs over the past four days, including a run on solid ice Sunday and a run on screw shoes yesterday, during which a couple of screws poked through on both shoes and gave me blisters. I guess I was just feeling a little dead.

No matter. I’ve got weight training and three easy miles tomorrow and a day off from working out on Friday, which, of course, is Christmas. My legs can get nice and rested up for my 12-mile long run on Saturday. It was supposed to only be nine, but I had to adjust it to make up for missing the 12-miler last Saturday when we got snowed in.

This is my last post this week, so, Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2009

Training for 12/22/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:42 pm

Haha, weather! I have defeated you AGAIN!

Snow and ice can suck it, because I have my new weapon: Screw shoes.

All you need is a pair of running shoes, a pack of 1/2″ sheet metal screws and a cordless drill. Drill as many screws as you like into the sole of the shoe (the heads are what grip the snow and ice, so sheet metal screws are preferred as they have this nice “lip” that provides the most traction.)

Then go for an easy run in your winter wonderland of choice.

This morning, I only had 3 miles on the schedule, but I decided to do 6.5, since I’d skipped almost half of my 12-mile long run Sunday due to the crappy road conditions. With no screws in my shoes that day, I nearly wiped out at least half a dozen times on the 6.5 miles I did manage to finish.

I ran the same route today as I finished Sunday, and it was a totally different story. While a lot of the roads had cleared up yesterday, there were some sections that didn’t get much travel or direct sunlight, and were still close to what they were like Sunday.

I ran over all that ice like it was pavement. Those screws worked like a charm.

However, screw shoes are not much fun on clear pavement. They’re like running in cleats. And those shoes were more worn out than I thought, because those little screws poked through on the balls of both feet. I have a small puncture wound on my right foot and a nasty blister on my left.

Bottom line: Screw shoes are a cheap, effective solution to running on packed ice or snow. I just need some new, thicker insoles for those shoes.

I believe the roads will be clear enough tomorrow that I won’t need the screw shoes. But I’m sure we’ll get another round of snow and ice, and I’ll be ready.

December 21, 2009

Training for 12/21/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:41 pm

You know what sucks? Snow.

We woke up to about a foot of snow Saturday morning, and it kept snowing throughout most of the day. The race director of the 5K I was supposed to run that day had already announced it was postponed until Sunday. So no 5K, and no long run — no running at all — on Saturday. Just house cleaning and digging things out of the snow.

Sunday was clear and bright. The 5K got postponed yet again, to sometime in January, but I wanted to do my 12-mile long run. Not plowing roads is not cool, Delaware. I made it through the first 6.5 miles of that run without busting my ass, but I sure came close to doing it several times. I decided to stop pressing my luck and called it quits after those very slow and deliberate miles.

I’m hoping the roads clear up today. I’ve adjusted the length of two scheduled runs this week to make up for the loss of mileage, including lengthening tomorrow’s 3-mile run to 6.5 miles.

I think I asked for Yaktrax for Christmas. They’re these nifty little spikes that strap on to any shoe for traction in ice and snow. If I don’t get them for Christmas, I’m definitely going to buy myself a pair. I didn’t think I’d need them this early in the season, since I can’t remember the last time we got anything more than a flurry before late January. Of course, now that I’m trying to train for a marathon, it dumps on us a week before Christmas.

I hate you, snow.

December 18, 2009

Training for 12/18/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:49 pm

Today is a rest day. I have a 5K tomorrow morning. A week ago, I was aiming to PR in this race. Now, I’m hoping we can just make it to the race site.

A nice wintery storm is coming through tonight and is expected to last all day tomorrow. They’re predicting 2-4 inches of snow accumulation. Starting at 9 p.m. today, there’s pretty much a 100 percent chance of a rain/snow mix, 25-35 mph winds and temperatures in the mid-30s.

Since Delaware only salts and plows the main roads, we might have a tough time getting to the fishing pier in Cape Henlopen State Park to even run this stupid race. And if we do make it, I sincerely doubt I’ll be pulling out any PRs.

If I hadn’t already paid the whopping $15 preregistration fee, I wouldn’t consider going. But at least TK and Kari are running this thing too, so my misery will have come company.

I hope this race isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be in my head.

Anyway, at least Sunday is supposed to be decent. Still cold, probably windy, but no precipitation. If we run the 5K tomorrow, I’ll have nine miles to run Sunday. If we don’t, I’ll have 12.

December 17, 2009

Training for 12/17/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:43 pm

This morning it is cold and windy, again. I did the three easy miles I was supposed to do today, plus the weight training I was supposed to do tomorrow. Since I have that 5K on Saturday morning, I’m making tomorrow a rest day.

Speaking of weather, apparently Saturday now has a 70 percent chance of a rain/snow mix, a forecasted high of 39 degrees and will be windy. This means two adjustments to my scheme for the weekend: I’m not going to try too hard for a PR in the 5K, and the remaining 9.5 miles I’ll owe on my long run will be completed Sunday instead, when it’s still going to be cold and cloudy, but it won’t be raining.

I’m pretty excited about some travel plans Clark and I made yesterday. We’re heading out to San Diego and L.A. for a belated honeymoon for a bit more than a week in January. You know what the forecasted high temperature in San Diego is today? Seventy degrees, and there is a zero percent chance of rain. I’ll probably skip my weight training while on vacation, but I’ll keep up with my marathon training schedule. So I’ll be completing five runs out in SoCal, including a 15-mile long run. I’m already scoping out the best running spots to figure out where I’ll run.

December 16, 2009

Training for 12/16/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:43 pm

This morning was 6.5 easy miles, at a pace a touch under 9:00/mile. It got really cold overnight, again, and the winds picked up a lot, again. Winter’s only five days away. Blah.

I had a couple of companions for about a mile — two black Labs followed me until their owner came by in his pickup to take them home. They were very friendly dogs, but they didn’t have much sense. Twice a car approached, and both times the dogs were either already zigzagging across the road or they thought the car was slowing down to visit, so they would run directly toward it.

Reminded me a lot of running with Bandit when I still lived with Mom and Dad.

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