A Simple Running Log

June 30, 2010

Training for 6/30/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:07 pm

Damn, it got nice outside overnight! I left the house around 6:45 a.m. for the track, and it was about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday, and all the humidity was gone.

Just in time for a good speed workout. Hal had six 400m repeats scheduled, with 400m of recovery in between. I tacked on a half mile of warmup and cooldown for an even four miles.

There were several walkers at the track today, but they seemed to be mostly sticking to the outside three lanes. Except a pair of men who walked onto the track about halfway through my workout as I was running by, and planted themselves in the two inside lanes even though they had just seen me using the first lane.

Anyway, I’m supposed to run these repeats at 5K pace, which right now is 7:45/mile. But I want to get down to 7:00/mile sometime this year (that would be a 21:42 5K, and one of my goals this year is to run a sub-22 5K.) So I run my repeats at my goal 5K pace instead.

That means I was aiming for splits of 1:45 each. The first one was right on the money. The next three were a second slower, and the fifth one was two seconds slower. Finally, I pulled off the last repeat in 1:43.

Though they were a bit inconsistent, and some were slower than I wanted (though not much), I was pretty pleased with the whole thing. They were all faster than the five repeats I did two weeks ago.

Which brings me to the end of a very successful June. Here’s a recap:

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (June 1-5): 17.5
  • Week 2 (June 6-12): 16
  • Week 3 (June 13-19): 16
  • Week 4 (June 20-26): 15
  • Week 5 (June 27-30): 15

Total: 79.5 miles, plus another 60 on the bike.

I’m really happy about June. It was a great rebuilding month. I ran three races, set a new 5-mile PR and got my 5K time back down to 24:05, only a minute and 44 seconds off my best time. I ran two 6.5-mile long runs. I officially started training for both my September half marathon and October marathon.

July just gets better. I have two more 5Ks and possibly a 10K scheduled. All my workouts get longer, the speedwork gets more intense and long runs increase to 12 miles. Can. Not. Wait.

June 29, 2010

Training for 6/29/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:44 pm

Supposedly, today is the last day of this exceptionally high heat and humidity, and then we get a few days of cooler, less humid weather. I hope they’re right. This morning, I went out around 6:30 a.m. for 4.5 easy miles. It was overcast, but there wasn’t so much as a hint of a breeze and the air was really thick.

I finished though, with an average pace just under 9:00/mile and about three gallons of sweat in my shoes.

Tomorrow’s 400m repeats at the track, which should be pleasant in cooler weather.

June 28, 2010

Training for 6/28/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:02 pm

This morning was weight training and 7.5 miles on the bike. It just sounds hot outside — the only things that still have the energy to make any kind of noise in this heat are the cicadas. I imagine everything else is just kind of hunkered down somewhere shady right now, waiting for this heat to break.

I had a really excellent weekend in regards to running. (The rest was pretty good too, but this is a running blog, after all.) Saturday morning, Clark and I got up bright and early for the drive to Rehoboth. There was a slight hiccup when we couldn’t find the water park, but we finally found it in plenty of time for me to get my race bib and head for the starting line with TK and Kari.

However, there was not any time left for me to do my warm-up mile (I had been planning one before the race and two after to get in the six I was supposed to run Saturday.)

We took off from the parking lot at 7:30 a.m. I was feeling good. I wanted to get back into the 24-minute range (if you remember, I ran a 5K two weeks ago in 25:13.)

The course was a simple out-and-back on residential streets. Technically, all the runners should have been on the shoulder of the road, as the roads were still open to traffic, but in the first mile, we were still too tightly bunched. Some people were running a bit off the shoulder.

Most drivers, when coming up on a nearly 300-strong pack of runners, would slow down and take their time passing. Not one asshat in a green Lincoln Town Car. This jerk was flying down the road, coming within inches of the outside runners and blaring his horn whenever he felt we were getting in his way.

The kicker though, was when he came up on a runner who was, admittedly, running way too far off the shoulder — he was practically in the middle of the road. The driver pulled his car about as close to the guy as he could get it, and then laid on the horn. The runner about crapped his pants when he realized how close he was to becoming a hood ornament.

Everyone was just shocked at this driver’s behavior. There was a lot of “Slow down!” and “What the f—?!” being yelled in that idiot’s direction. What a moron.

Anyway, not long after that, we came up on the first mile marker. I wanted so badly to get back down to an 8:00/mile pace. As we came up on the marker, I got ready to glance at my watch and thought “Please be sub-8, please be sub-8.” I looked down at my wrist as I ran past the marker, and it said 7:10.

No way, no how that marker was in the right place! I haven’t run a single mile that fast since last fall. But it was still encouraging.

We kept running and came to the hairpin turnaround. At the two-mile marker, my watch read just under 15 minutes. A 7:30/mile pace still seemed too fast for me at this point, but it was more believable.

The third mile was grueling. The heat and humidity were starting to effect me. The boring residential street seemed to stretch on forever. I pulled up on the runner in front of me, then slowly let him go. I just wanted to stop running at that point. (This was the point when I really started thinking about Friday’s post regarding Bobby Labonte, and I think it helped. Thanks, Bobby!)

Here I am, at about the 3-mile marker, wondering if it will ever end. (Photo courtesy Seashore Striders.)

Finally, we turned the corner onto the street that led back to the water park. It was a short sprint to the finish, which was the main entrance to the park after you pay to enter.

And I shit you not, the race clock read 24:05 as I crossed it. I shaved off 1:08 from my 5K time in two weeks, and I dropped my average pace from 8:08/mile to 7:45/mile.

I was elated. And hot. So unbearably hot. The other three miles I was supposed to run might as well have been 30, as motivated as I felt to run them.

Just after the runner’s chute was the Lazy River in the water park. I knew we were allowed to use the water park for free following the race, but I assumed we’d have to change into our swimsuits first. But I saw other runners peeling off their shoes and darting into the “river” fully clothed.

Any idea of running three more miles immediately vaporized. I couldn’t get my shoes and race bib off fast enough. I ran into the water and just sunk to my knees, so I was totally submerged. It felt amazing. Truly the best post-race perk I’ve ever gotten.

I just sat there for a while. Finally, I gathered myself up and went in search of water. TK and Kari finished soon after. Kari found a table with bananas, peanut butter and NUTELLA. Delicious! We changed into our swimsuits, floated on the Lazy River and went down both water slides that were open.

At the awards ceremony, I got a rather ugly (though much appreciated) little trophy for placing third in my age group, my first award since my injury. I was also 63rd overall out of 270 finishers.

Around 9:30 a.m., the runners had to clear the park, so TK, Clark and I went to the beach. It was extremely packed, and it was by far the hottest day we’ve been down there this year. We were sweating just lying there. The water was still cold, but felt really good.

TK had to leave early, and Clark and I went to Dogfish Head for lunch. We each had a few strong beers and then walked back out to the beach for a few more hours.

We finally got home around 8:30 p.m., showered and passed out from exhaustion. It was a long day.

So what happened to the other three miles of my scheduled long run?

I got up just after 6 a.m. Sunday morning and headed out to finish them. But then it occurred to me that running three miles one day and three more the next wasn’t the same as a six-mile run. So I ran my 6.5-mile loop.

I was expecting it to hurt worse than it did. My legs were tired from the race the day before, Sunday’s usually my rest day and it was already really hot outside, but I managed an easy 10:00/mile pace for the loop, only stopping to retie my shoes or fiddle with my iPod.

Speaking of the iPod, this running shirtless thing has an unexpected side effect. With no shirt to catch the sweat in my armpits, I’m sweating all over the arm band holding the iPod, and they both smell like BO now. I’m going to try to wash the arm band tonight.

OK, I think that’s everything I have to say about my weekend. It was a success, for sure. I have another 5K this coming Saturday, and I would love to take off those extra few seconds and get back down into the 23-minute range.

June 25, 2010

Training for 6/25/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:57 pm

Quote of the day:

“I’m a racer, first of all. I want to race and I want to win. There is no more special feeling than winning races and being competitive. That’s what you do. Bottom line, that’s what you do.” — Bobby Labonte

I knew my favorite driver of all time couldn’t bear to drive for that shitty team. I knew it had to be tearing him up. He’s fucking awesome! And that’s why he terminated his contract with TRG Motorsports, which was on the verge of making a former champion a start-and-park driver, and is striking out to try to find a decent ride again.

It’s about damn time.

He’s starting out by filling in for Robby Gordon this weekend, which isn’t exactly Hendrick Motorsports, but it’s a start. Then he’s going to drive some races for James Finch, whose car, if you remember, won Talladega last spring with Brad Keselowski driving.

There are even some rumblings he might return to Richard Petty Motorsports next year and take over the No. 9 car when Kasey Kahne leaves to do whatever the hell Hendrick is going to find for him to do.

Bobby in the Bud car? I’ll drink to that.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m just thrilled Bobby’s making an effort to maybe be competitive again someday. He hasn’t won a race since Nov. 16, 2003. If he won again, I don’t know what I’d do. Probably take the next few days off work to celebrate.

So that’s the big excitement in my life today! And, oh yeah, I rode my bike 12 miles this morning. I have another 5K tomorrow morning, to which I’m going to add another three miles to get in the six my half marathon training plan wants.

June 24, 2010

Training for 6/24/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:28 pm

Holy crap is it hot today.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people complaining about seasonal weather (“It’s soooooo cold” in February, “It’s soooooooo hot” in August, etc.) but today is as hot and humid and just plain uncomfortable as it gets around here. We’re in the middle of a confirmed heat wave, and today’s the hottest day — temperatures around 98, high humidity and a heat index well above 100.

Clark’s been getting up early to do his workouts in the morning this week, so I’ve been getting up earlier too, because it really has made a difference temperature-wise. Until today.

I went upstairs around 6:15 a.m. to do today’s 100 push-up challenge workout and weight training, and needed the fan on full blast that early. It was not a good sign in regards to the conditions outside, in the already blazing sun.

Around 7 a.m., I headed out for three easy miles. It was like a wall of flame when I opened the door. I broke a sweat walking down the steps.

I managed to finish the three miles at an exact 9:00/mile pace, mostly by promising myself I wouldn’t spend another minute outside the rest of the day.

The top of my right foot is stil bothering me. The tongue of my shoe presses directly on what’s not a bruise, but actually a slightly swollen tendon (probably thanks to nine miles of being pounded by the tongue of a running shoe over the past two days.) It was stinging pretty bad at the beginning of my run, so I stopped to pull the laces of the right shoe out of the top pair of holes and tied them further down the foot. That made a big difference, and I was able to run on it without too much discomfort.

I just looked at my training plan and noticed I was supposed to run today’s miles at my goal half marathon pace, which is 8:00/mile. No. 1, I still haven’t gotten back to that pace for a 5K, and No. 2, it was too damn hot this morning, so next time, Hal. Maybe.

June 23, 2010

Training for 6/23/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:37 pm

I had been kinda dreading this morning since last week. It was to be my first tempo run since November, and I expected to pretty much die.

Wednesdays are speed work days on Hal Higdon’s schedule. Last week was 400-meter repeats at the track; this week was a tempo run. Hal wanted a 30-minute tempo run out of me.

Not only was this my first tempo run in months, we’re getting near-record heat here and I somehow developed a bruise on the top of my right foot that is aggravated by my running shoes.

Anyway, I got up just after 6 a.m. to try to beat the real heat. After breakfast, I did some ab exercises and invisible chair-sitting, then headed outside.

I planned a 10-minute warmup jog, 15 minutes at tempo and a 5-minute cooldown.

I covered a bit more than a mile in the 10 minutes of jogging. Then it was time to crank it up. I *think* I covered almost two miles during the 15 minutes of hard running, which means I was running at something between a 7:45/mile and 8:00/mile pace. I’ll take that at this point, as it’s faster than my pace in my last 5K a week and a half ago.

The cooldown wound up taking another 15 minutes, instead of 5, as I had to finish the 4.5-mile loop I’d started. Total time for the loop was 38:45, for an average pace over the entire thing of 8:36/mile.

Tempo run No. 1 — success! They increase by 5 minutes each time over the training plan.

June 22, 2010

Training for 6/22/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:19 pm

You know what I love? Summer. This morning I did 4.5 easy miles in the climbing heat and humidity, and I loved every second of it. I’m definitely getting back my tolerance for hot weather. A few weeks ago, I had to stop for some walk breaks on the same run, just to get my heart rate back under control. Today, I sailed right through it, at a comfortable pace that turned out to be around 8:50/mile.

Of course, there’s a big difference between running at 7 a.m. and running at 3 p.m. You won’t see me putting in any miles in the afternoon. We all have our limits.

The best part about slogging through hot summer runs is the payoff in the fall — last year, as soon as that heat and humidity started to drop, I felt like a brand new, stronger-than-ever runner. It’s no wonder September was such a good month for me. I hope this coming September is just as good.

And, in garage news, the concrete was successfully poured yesterday. We have a floor!

June 21, 2010

Training for 6/21/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:19 pm

This morning was weight training and a 7.5-mile bike ride. They’re pouring the concrete for our garage floor today, so our yard is now a construction site.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early (4:15 a.m.) for the 5-mile boardwalk race in Ocean City. I had no idea how big the race was going to be. I figured there would be a lot of runners, since they offered packet pick-up the day before, as well as the morning of, and it was chip-timed.

We were supposed to park in the inlet parking lot. TK and I got there just after 6 a.m. There were about 10 cars in the entire lot, one of which belonged to TK’s sister Kari. The three of us walked down to the boardwalk arch to pick up our race packets.

Despite the lack of cars in the parking lot, I was still expecting some kind of a crowd when we got to the arch, which was also the starting line. We almost walked right past the registration table because it was simply a card table with two volunteers standing behind it. It took three seconds to get our packets and race shirts.

OK, so it was still early. I thought maybe a lot of runners had just stayed in one of the hotels along the boardwalk, or had picked up their packets the day before. We walked back to the car, attached our race bibs and timing chips, deposited our new shirts and walked back to the starting area.

Still empty at 6:30 a.m., half an hour before the start. TK and Kari did some stretching while I did a short warm-up run. A few more runners wandered in over the next 30 minutes, but it was a surprisingly small crowd. (Later, when the results were posted, I found out there were fewer than 100 runners and walkers.)

It turned out the small field was a very good thing. The boardwalk was not closed to the public. The public was out in force, and it wasn’t very observant. So we all spent just about the entire five miles dodging bleary-eyed high school graduates on Senior Week, idiots in those 4-passenger bicycle carts or the recumbent bikes and a ton of people just wandering around, totally oblivious to the runners with numbers pinned to the front of their shirts and the cones marking off the course.

There were few enough runners that we could spread out and weave through everyone, but if that event gets big (this was only the second year) they might have to think about closing off part of the boardwalk for an hour and a half.

But that just added to the whole thing. There was a lot to like about this race. It started at the arch and headed south toward the inlet. We made a left into the parking lot and ran up the ramp to the pier where the Ferris wheel stands, then looped around, ran down the pier and got back on the boardwalk. We ran all the way to the end of the boardwalk and then turned around and ran all the way back down to the inlet.

For this reason, I think they should rename the race The Ocean City “I Had No Idea The Boardwalk Was This Freaking Long” 5-Mile Race.

The boardwalk itself was a strange running surface. The boards were uneven and flexed with every footfall.

Anyway, I really wanted to beat my time from the 5-mile race three weeks ago, just to prove to myself I’m getting faster. It was pretty tough to gauge how fast I was running my miles, because there were absolutely NO mile markers. I remembered from the race information that there was a water stop supposedly at the 1.5-mile point. There’s no way that was only 1.5 miles. When we hit that station, I looked at my watch and, if that really had been 1.5 miles, I would have been way behind my time from three weeks ago.

Anyway, after the turnaround, I just kept my eye on the Ferris wheel as an idea of how much farther I had to run. I closed in on the finish, which some jerk had placed at the top of a ramp (I didn’t even know that ramp was there at the end of the boardwalk.) As I sprinted up toward the finish line, I remembered to glance at the race clock.

42:17. I immediately broke out into a smile. My previous time was 44:34. That’s good progress for three weeks, I think. My average mile pace was 30 seconds faster than last time.

This is why I run these races. Clark once told me one of the best feelings, in his opinion, is hitting a baseball. That’s what the finish line of a race feels like to me. Especially a finish line when you set a new PR and all that work you put in is justified.

Chopping that much time off my 5-mile race was very encouraging. It just pushes me to keep running and keep getting faster.

TK and Kari finished the race, and TK also ran it faster than she ran the 5-mile race three weeks ago (Kari didn’t run that one.) TK and I then headed up Coastal Highway, found some free parking and spent the rest of the day on the beach. It was a perfect beach day.

All in all, a successful day. Yesterday was a rest day. I cleaned my car inside and out and spent some time at my parents’ house, as it was Father’s Day.

And today is the first day of summer! It’s officially upon us, my favorite time of the year.

June 18, 2010

Training for 6/18/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:25 pm

This morning I didn’t completely rest as promised. I went on a 40-minute bike ride. I feel like that thing’s been getting mostly neglected since I started running again, so I thought this morning was a good chance to get in some miles on it.

I really have to wonder what the Wii Fit is smoking. Last night, I went to Julie’s house. She got a Wii Fit Plus balance board for her birthday, so she set it up and we all did the initial body test. It asks you how tall you are and your birthday, then weighs you, figures out your BMI and puts you through some balance tests to measure your body control. Then it calculates your “Wii Fit age.”

The Wii had nothing but criticism for me. Even though my BMI was in the “normal” range, I’m supposed to gain 11 pounds to get to the “perfect” BMI of 22 (for some reason, the Wii wants every person in the world to maintain a BMI of 22. Something about having the lowest chance of getting sick if you’re that exact BMI.) And apparently my body control and balance sucks, because, based on that, my Wii Fit age is 41! I’m 14 years older than I really am.

Of the four of us, I’m the only one who does any regular exercise. I was also deemed the oldest of the group. My little Mii hung her head in shame and cried when that number showed up.

So the Wii made me set a goal to gain 11 pounds in six months (fat chance) and asked me if I trip a lot when I walk due to my terrible balance and weak core muscles. Screw you, Wii.

On the other hand, my friend Wendy, who smokes, does not exercise and was determined to be 15 pounds above the weight she needs to be to reach that magical BMI of 22, was calculated to be 25 — a year younger than she actually is.

We all had a good laugh about what the Wii thought of us. Then we started playing the games, mostly the balance ones. Some of them were actually a lot of fun. I liked the hula hooping game. Though I guess you could get the same effect by just, I don’t know, buying a hula hoop.

Anyway, tonight is Laura and Chuck’s wedding. They have a beautiful day. The weather should be perfect in the early evening for an outdoor wedding on a farm. Followed by lots of good food for sure. The Taylors always put on an excellent meal.

It will be a dry wedding, which is a good thing for me, because I have to get up extremely early tomorrow to get to Ocean City in time to check in for the race by 6:30 a.m. Of course, the concrete guy finally called Clark back this morning and said he wants to pour the concrete tomorrow, so Clark’s not going to the beach. Bah. Now I have to decide if I want to ride with TK and leave at noon, because she has something she has to do tomorrow evening, or drive myself and hang out on the beach longer. Decisions, decisions.

June 17, 2010

Training for 6/17/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:19 pm

This morning I did my 100 push-up challenge workout, weight training and 3 easy miles. My legs were definitely tired from the speed work yesterday and then the weight training just before the run, but they pulled through. They’re getting their tolerance back.

Normally I would have only done the run this morning and the weight training tomorrow morning, but I’ve decided to actually rest tomorrow, as I’m running a 5-mile race Saturday morning. I’m really only doing this race because, No. 1, I’m supposed to do a 5-mile long run this weekend anyway per my half marathon training schedule and, No. 2, I love any reason to be at the beach. But I’d still like to avoid that dead legs feeling I had in the 5K last weekend due to working out the day before.

And anyway, even though it’s a “training run,” I of course want to beat my time from the 5-mile race three weeks ago.

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