A Simple Running Log

December 30, 2010

Training for 12/30/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:47 pm

Thursdays are a day off from running for me, so this morning I did some weight training and a yoga DVD.

Tomorrow is the last day of December and the last day of the year, so my monthly and annual summary is coming up. I won’t be at work tomorrow though, and I have a 16-miler planned, so I will wait until next week to post my final numbers. I don’t like to count my chickens before they hatch. But, I will say that after I finish tomorrow’s run, I will have set a new monthly mileage record in December, but I will have fallen short of my yearlong goal of 1,200 miles by… 25 freaking miles. Damn.

December 29, 2010

Training for 12/29/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:38 pm

The roads are getting better, but they still have a ways to go before they’re clear. While the big drifts are gone, what’s left has now turned into a thick, wet slush that isn’t all that much fun to run through either.

Anyway, I did 4.5 miles this morning at a 9:13/mile average pace, which is actually right about the pace I’m supposed to be doing easy runs. I know my pace varied widely though. One mile was closer to 10 minutes, and another was only a little over 8:30. It just depended on the amount of clear pavement versus the amount of ice and slush I was running through.

The wind is finally gone, so when I got home, I set back up all the outdoor Christmas decorations that haven’t stood a chance the last three days, and reset the timer so they will actually turn on and off automatically tonight. The spotlights are still buried in the 2-foot drift in the front yard, however, so I’m just going to have to wait until they turn on tonight to find them and dig them free.

Then I did today’s 100 push-up challenge workout and abs, and stretched.

December 28, 2010

Training for 12/28/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:56 pm

I’ve done a lot of running since my last post — more than 30 miles, actually — so I’m just going to start with last Friday.

That was Christmas Eve. I had a 7-mile pace run on the schedule. It was a little chilly and breezy, but not too bad. I was aiming for 9:00/mile and easily held an 8:41/mile pace instead, all while listening to the “Glee” Christmas episode soundtrack on my iPod.

That afternoon, we went to Clark’s grandmother’s house to exchange gifts, where I received a Christmas tree ornament, decorative ceramic tree, thermal long-sleeved shirt, sweater, camisole, long-sleeved cotton T-shirt and scarf. We had steamed shrimp, chicken salad and spice cake for dinner. Then Clark and I went to my church for the Christmas Eve service. I had the time mixed up and we got there late, but not too late. Then we went to Aunt Helen’s for her party, where Aunt Gail was making her fried shrimp and crab dip, along with all the other typical Schmidt family dishes.

We got home a little before midnight, and I gave Clark his gift — the first season of “Eastbound and Down” on DVD. We’ve already watched the first disc twice and the second disc once.

The next morning, Pepper woke us up around 6 a.m., as usual, for his breakfast. But part of his gift was new giant stainless steel water and food bowls, so we kept Pepper in the bedroom while Clark got his breakfast ready and laid out under the tree, along with a 2-foot long rawhide chew. Pepper was going nuts! When he finally got out, he didn’t seem to care what he was eating his food out of, but he was pretty impressed with the rawhide. He was running around with it in his mouth, crashing into door frames and our shins. I think it will actually last him a while, haha.

Saturday was Christmas, so that was a rest day. We went to Clark’s parents’ house first. I got some new Under Armour gear — the tights, fleece-lined sweatpants and capris I wanted, along with a mock neck compression top and a short-sleeved warm weather T-shirt. I also got another ornament, Bananagrams, trouser socks (I love tall trouser socks in the winter) and the December issue of Runner’s World — from the UK. I’m pretty sure Clark’s mom picked up that one instead of the U.S. issue by accident, but I enjoyed it. I subscribe to the U.S. magazine, so I already had that issue anyway, and it was funny seeing how they’d rewritten some of the common articles to use British terms instead of American ones.

Clark’s mom always makes a huge Christmas brunch, and it was excellent: Two different cheese danishes, one with strawberry preserves and one with orange marmalade; sausage; bacon, crab and spinach quiches; fresh fruit; and warm blueberry muffins with those little crumblies on top. I really wished I had a bigger stomach that morning, haha. I just couldn’t get down another bite.

His aunt and uncle came over as well, and they gave me a pair of jeans, another long-sleeved cotton T-shirt and an ornament that holds a picture of your pet.

We went to my parents’ house in the afternoon. The authentic piece of the track from Daytona International Speedway we got for my dad was a hit — but I think he liked the chunk of raw meat (prime rib) my sister gave him better, haha. My parents gave me a sweater and a down jacket, a food chopper and a new voice recorder to replace the one I busted earlier this year (I can finally do my job right again!) My older sister gave me an Under Armour fleece pullover, and my younger sister gave me a Beatles mug and poster, which, as soon as I can get to Walmart and get a frame, will be hung in the sunroom next to Clark’s Jimi Hendrix Experience poster.

I also found some room while I was there for homemade chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread and peppermint bark.

The last stop of the day was my Aunt Debbie’s house for dinner that night, where we had turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy (not me) and broccoli casserole, with fudge, vanilla cookies and citrus fruit salad for dessert. My Aunt Helen gave Clark and me a little hand towel with an embroidered weimaraner that is now hanging on the dishwasher handle, and my brother and his fiancee gave me a necklace. Then my Uncle Lee and I ruined Christmas when he told me where the older kids’ gift cards were hidden. We were supposed to find them based on a clue my little sister and Aunt Debbie came up with, but I bribed Uncle Lee with a piece of fudge and he told me exactly where to find it, haha. My sister and aunt were PISSED, especially my sister. I had no idea they were that into the whole clue thing. Anyway, we each got a $50 Macy’s gift card.

So that was Christmas. It started to snow that afternoon. Weather reports couldn’t agree on where exactly the storm would go, so expected snowfalls ranged from 3 to 24 inches. When we went to bed, there was a dusting on the ground and the roads were a little slick, but it wasn’t too bad.

When we woke up, it was really coming down, but there still wasn’t too much actually on the ground. I knew I should get in my 10-mile long run, which I had pushed back from the day before, as soon as possible. Last year, the day after Christmas was warm and rainy, and I was disappointed I couldn’t wear my new running tights. Not this year. I pulled on my new tights, mock neck top and fleece pullover, put on my trail shoes, fleece gloves, fleece headband and “Oakley” sunglasses and hit the road.

Except for the sunglasses’ perpetual fogginess, the first 7.5 miles or so of that run was really nice. There was just enough snow on the roads so it made that Styrofoam-crunchy sound, but it wasn’t slippery to run in. Everything was so quiet and peaceful. There were hardly any cars out. I was actually enjoying myself, until I turned onto Line Road for the final 3-mile stretch and ran head-on into the wind and blowing snow. Those last 3 miles were absolutely miserable. I was so cold, and it felt like I was getting nowhere running into that wind.

When I got home, the front half of me was completely crusted over in ice and snow. There were chunks of it in my hair and the zipper on my pullover was encased. I looked like an icicle, and I felt like one too. I had to call for Clark to undo the zipper on the pullover. He looked me over and said, “Well, it looks like that was a lot of fun.”

After a hot shower, I pulled on my new fleece-lined sweatpants and felt much better. The snow fell the rest of the day, and through much of the night. Monday morning, we had about 8 inches on the ground.

The high winds continued, creating huge drifts. There was no way my car would even make it out of our driveway, and Clark said the road we drive to get to Maryland wasn’t any better after he made it to work, so I knew I had an extra day off work.

I still had training to do though. I started with push-ups, abs and invisible chair-sitting downstairs, then went upstairs for some weight lifting. I was unsure if I should try to run in the snow. There was no way I was putting screws in my shoes after last winter’s debacle, and I couldn’t drive to the gym to use the treadmill. I decided to see what I could do in my trail shoes, and if it was too bad, I would turn around. I only had to run my 4.5-mile loop after all.

So I headed out. Less than half a mile down the road, I came upon the first vehicle stuck in a snow drift. There were three people stopped trying to help free the stuck van, including two state troopers, so I just trudged through the drift and kept running. Once I got onto Woodland Ferry Road, it got better, since the winds weren’t blowing the right way to create drifts. There were no stranded cars on that road. But as soon as I turned onto Ellis Mill Road, there was another huge drift, and a Pontiac Sunfire stuck in the middle of it. Again, there were several people there digging it out already, so I just went on my way. The rest of the run wasn’t too bad as far as snow drifts went, and the trail runners had enough traction to keep up an easy pace.

Back home, I took a shower, pulled on those fleece sweatpants again and hung out with Pepper the rest of the day. Clark got his truck stuck in the drift in the driveway when he got home, but he got it dug out and then shoveled a path through the drift so I could get my car out this morning.

But I had another run scheduled for today when I got up, 8 miles. I set out for my 8.2-mile loop. The winds had slowed down a bit, so the drifts weren’t as bad, and I didn’t see any stuck vehicles. However, the snow had started to melt a little yesterday and then refroze overnight, so there was a lot more ice and a lot less snow today. Usually I would run a longish tempo run during my Tuesday morning middle distance run, but the roads weren’t having it today. I wound up running a pace more like a long slow distance run. Oh well, it’s miles in the logbook, which is better than nothing. The only time I almost fell was about two miles in, when the neighbor’s stupid dogs followed me and one ran right into my legs. I almost fell forward, but I righted myself in time and yelled at the dog, so it went home.

And now I’m back at work for a short week. Supposedly the winds will go away sometime today and it will be back in the upper 40s by the end of the week, so the snow should be dying a quick death soon, I hope. Tomorrow is another short run (4.5 miles) and Thursday is just weight training, so by the time I’m ready for my 16-miler Friday, I expect the roads will be in much better shape.

December 23, 2010

Training for 12/23/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:46 pm

Today was another relatively easy day on the training plan, weight training only. The winds really picked up overnight so I wasn’t terribly upset about not having any miles scheduled.

I suppose this will be my last entry before next week, as we have a three-day weekend for Christmas. I am completely, 100 percent finished with shopping, decorating and wrapping, so tomorrow all I have to do is my 7-mile pace run and then we’re going to Clark’s grandmother’s house in the afternoon, and then to my church and my Aunt Helen’s house for her annual Christmas Eve party in the evening.

I’m pushing back my weekly long run to Sunday, because Saturday is Christmas. We’ll spend the first part of the day with Clark’s family, and then head over to my family’s house for the rest of the day and my Aunt Debbie’s house for dinner. I love Christmas Day! It’s a long day filled with maybe a bit too much family, haha, but it’s fun.

Sunday, I’ll do this week’s 10-mile long run (it’s a cutback week) and probably head back over to my parents’ house when my grandmother comes up to visit.

Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2010

Training for 12/22/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:33 pm

On this marathon training plan, Wednesdays are pretty light. This morning was just push-ups, abs and a 3-mile easy run with Pepper.

December 21, 2010

Training for 12/21/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:10 pm

It’s finally winter! Not that I was looking forward to it at all, but the weather has been so ridiculously cold, it was depressing to think every day, “And it’s not even winter yet.”

Last night, I considered setting my alarm for 2:30 a.m. to see the lunar eclipse (it was the first time since 1638 a lunar eclipse occurred on the same day as the winter solstice) but we didn’t go to bed until after midnight and I had a long tempo run planned for this morning, so I scrapped it. There’ll be another lunar eclipse-winter solstice in 372 years, after all. I need my sleep.

This morning was to be an easy middle distance run of about 7 miles, according to my training plan. But I have decided I really like doing at least one speed workout a week, since everything else about marathon training is so focused solely on endurance. So I’m going to either run a tempo run or sprinkle in some mile pick-ups in my Tuesday morning runs.

Today, I did a mile at about a 10:00/mile pace to warm up. Then I ran the next 5.2 miles at a 7:41/mile pace. It was pretty cold and windy today, but not nearly as bad as it was last Tuesday, so while it was tough running at that pace into the wind today, it wasn’t as hard as it was a week ago. So far, I’d say last Tuesday was the coldest running day we’ve had. Anyway, I ran the final mile at the 10:00/mile pace for a total 7.2 miles in about an hour.

December 20, 2010

Training for 12/20/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:27 pm

This morning I did some push-ups, ab exercises, weight training and a 3-mile easy run with Pepper. I did all the strength training upstairs before Clark went to work, so Pepper would stay downstairs with him. At one point, Pepper opened the door to the stairs on his own and came bounding up to see me, but it didn’t take much convincing to get him to go back down and hang out with Clark instead once he realized how cold it was up there.

The weekend was very productive. Saturday morning, I ran 14.5 miles at about a 9:16/mile pace. I’m trying to keep my long runs at a slower pace like they should be (I was actually aiming for something closer to 9:30/mile on that run) but those runs are long enough, and really plodding along makes it take that much longer. Plus, it was freaking cold outside and I just wanted to get home and in the hot shower.

I ran that distance in my 100s. While my feet were a little tired at the end, they didn’t feel as bad as they did after a 12-mile run in those same shoes a couple of months ago, and my calves didn’t hurt at all. I can tell I’m definitely building up strength in my feet and legs thanks to running in minimally-supportive shoes. And the 100s are trail shoes, so they have extra traction, which turned out to be more than adequate on the mile-long stretch of road I ran that had not been plowed and was covered in hard-packed snow.

After my run, I went to Bethel and got the live Christmas tree for the front room, and wrapped all my Christmas gifts.

Sunday, I took Pepper to the cross country trail for a roughly 2.5-mile run. There was still a lot of snow on the trail, and where people had walked since the storm, the trail was icy and slushy. I didn’t know if I’d be able to run on that, but, once again, the traction on the 100s came through and I never even slipped while trying to keep up with Pepper.

Sunday afternoon, I cleaned the house, and that evening, Clark and I decorated the live tree.

And while I was doing all that, Clark and his dad and brother finished up the garage this weekend. Well, they got it to the point Clark wanted to get to before winter hit. All the siding and trim is on now. Next year, we’ll put on the garage doors and openers, and run electricity out there. But for now, we have somewhere to park our vehicles out of the weather, which is great now that it’s getting snowy. It’s been a long process and Clark has put in a ton of work from the design through the construction, and he’s done a fantastic job. His dad and brother have also been a big help, and I’m glad they were willing to do it, because once the construction got past the shoveling fill dirt point, I wasn’t very effective, haha.

And since it’s almost Christmas, Pepper got in the spirit too this weekend, after Clark’s dad dropped off a new Christmas tree collar for him. I just happened to take some pictures.

"Hey Abby, want to hear my favorite Christmas tune?"

"...fa la la la LAAAAAAAA!"

"Woah, Pepper, what the hell was THAT?"

"You didn't like that? You have no taste!"

"It's OK, Pepper, we can still be friends."

"Nope. I'm going to find someone who loves me!"

And one last shot — here’s our tree.

I had to take the picture with the flash off to get the colors, so it's a little blurry, but you get the idea.

Merry Christmas! (In five days.)

December 17, 2010

Training for 12/17/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:09 pm

This morning was weight training upstairs. Pepper seems to hate being cold, but he insists on going up there with me, because the only thing he hates more is being alone. I put his little dog coat on him, but he was still shivering, since, after all, it was only about 30 degrees up there.

Ever try to do bench presses while a 60-lb. dog tries to climb up in your lap? I really wish he would just stay downstairs in the heat, but that’s not going to happen.

I was really glad I’d done the 7-mile run yesterday and lifted today, because it snowed yesterday. While we weren’t supposed to get any more than a dusting if anything at all, we ended up with a couple of inches, and the back roads were still a little messy this morning. But I didn’t have to decide between a treadmill or screw shoes. I’m expecting the roads to be fine for my 14-mile long run tomorrow.

The rest of the weekend will be spent cleaning the house, doing laundry and wrapping all my Christmas gifts.

December 16, 2010

Training for 12/16/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:10 pm

Today, I was supposed to do weight training only, and tomorrow, I was supposed to do a 7-mile easy run. But then I got an early assignment for tomorrow morning, so I switched the days’ workouts to avoid seven miles on a treadmill tomorrow.

It was still really cold this morning (in fact, it’s snowing now), but the wind finally died, so it wasn’t all that unpleasant.

The run felt very easy. I was aiming for a 9:13/mile pace. I wound up running it at about a 9:00/mile average pace.

Then I got home, and that was when things took a wrong turn. For some reason, for the first time in a year, I had locked myself out of the house. I guess I just locked the back door out of habit when I left. I don’t carry my house key with me on my runs, and we don’t keep a spare outside. And I’m so paranoid about someone getting in our house, I knew the other two doors and all the windows were without a doubt locked.

Pepper had, of course, spotted me at the back door and was going nuts. He couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t just opening the damn door already.

I didn’t have my cell to call Clark to let me in. But then I remembered Clark once locked himself out of the house, and he used a warranty card, that looks like a credit card, in the old Crown Vic to jimmy the back door lock.

Fortunately, Clark never locks the Crown Vic, and he had driven his truck to work this morning. I found the warranty card and went to work on the door.

I couldn’t get it. My fingers were numb inside my gloves. I was fiddling with the door and the card, and Pepper was getting crazier by the second. I finally gave up and walked to the neighbor’s house to borrow a phone and call Clark.

That might have worked, except she wasn’t home. So I went back to the door and tried again. Still no luck.

I was pretty sure the neighbors on the other side of our house, the only other neighbors we’ve met, were both at work, but I started walking toward their house anyway. I noticed two dogs were outside of the house on the other side of the neighbors’, so I walked over there and knocked on the door.

Score! Someone was home! And there was a landline phone right there on the end table in the living room! I thought I was saved.

Then the damn phone wouldn’t connect any calls. I tried Clark’s cell and his work number at least 15 times, and every time, a message would come on saying all the circuits were busy and I should try my call again later. And of course, the guy who was home was the last person in the world who doesn’t have a cell phone, because “they’re too busy” — what does that even mean?

I was really getting frustrated at this point. Finally, the guy offered to try to jimmy the lock with the warranty card. We walked back over to my house, and he started fiddling with the lock. After a few minutes, I thought he was going to have the same luck I did, but then, the most wonderful thing happened — the door finally opened!

Pepper was going ballistic at this point. Usually he would come barrelling out of the house right at me, but there was a stranger, so he didn’t know what to do, which just added to his anxiety. I thanked the guy profusely and he went back to his house. As soon as he was out of sight, Pepper launched into his normal routine of high pitched barking, jumping and nipping at my wrists. But I was so happy to finally be in the house I didn’t even care.

I think Clark and I are finally going to put a spare key somewhere outside. This is the third time I’ve done this. Clearly, I’m not catching on.

And if we ever come home to find the back door unlocked and all of our stuff gone, we’ll have a prime suspect, haha.

December 15, 2010

Training for 12/15/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:50 pm

This morning I did some ab exercises and invisible chair-sitting, followed by three easy miles with Pepper. It’s so cold I added a lined vest on top of my fleece to try to keep my torso out of the wind. That worked, but my face still felt like it was about to fall off. Those balaclavas are really looking good right about now.

Speaking of Pepper, he had a bit more than a yeast build-up in his ears. He had ear mites, which really confused the vet, because he said that’s a lot more common in cats, and Pepper isn’t around cats. Also, instead of just creating crusty wax like they do in cats, the ear mites have caused some kind of infection in Pepper’s left ear, way down at the very bottom of the canal.

And, to top it all off, while Pepper was sedated for the ear inspection, the vet took a good look at the rest of him, and found atopic dermatitis on Pepper’s muzzle and in between his toes on all four paws. Basically, that’s an allergic skin disease, though God knows what triggered it. It’s very common in dogs.

All of these maladies were completely treatable — with $250 in drugs. Twice a day we give him a small pill and a shot of drops in each ear, and once a day we give him a giant pill. Also, this morning, we applied one dose of a topical treatment to the back of his neck to kill the ear mites.

Pepper didn’t notice the topical treatment, he willingly ate the small pill with a dab of peanut butter and he gobbled down the large pill like it was a treat (the vet said it’s fruit flavored and a lot of dogs actually like them), but he hated the ear drops. It took both of us to hold his head still so we can make sure the stuff gets way down in his ear canal.

But, it seems to be relieving the pain at least, because last night, we all got to sleep.

The vet said we should inspect Pepper’s muzzle next Tuesday to see if it’s still red (and therefore inflamed) to decide if we need another week of the giant pills. Those suckers are $5.50 a piece, so I’m really hoping this first week of treatment does the trick.

Guess there’s no such thing as a free dog! Oh well.

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