A Simple Running Log

February 28, 2011

Training for 2/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:27 pm

This morning was very warm, for February, but also very windy again. I did my push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training upstairs, then took Pepper out for an easy 5.5 miles.

Saturday, I ran my last 20-miler before the marathon. It went exceptionally well. I did my 14.5-mile loop first, stopping about halfway for a pitstop in the woods and to eat half of a package of GU Chomps. A few miles later, I had to stop in the woods yet again (and thought I was about to be discovered by a couple of kids riding by on a four-wheeler, haha) but I made it the rest of that loop without any more problems.

Back at home, I ate the other half of the Chomps, gulped some water and put the leash on Pepper so he could run the last 5.5 miles with me. We sailed right through those last few miles. I was tired at the end, but I felt pretty strong, which is the first time in four 20-milers that’s happened.

The first 20-miler I ever ran, before the Marine Corps Marathon last October, my legs felt like they were going to fall off in the last three miles, and I had to stop to walk twice. The next 20-miler, the first of three for this coming marathon, was at the end of January, and again, the last three miles were painful, but I didn’t have to stop and walk at all. The third 20-miler was two weeks ago, and I felt good through the whole run but was definitely beat at the end. Finally, I ran the last one this past weekend, and for the first time, I felt like I could have kept running well for another 6.2 miles if I wanted.

Overall, my time was 3:01:56 for 20 miles, average pace of 9:05/mile. It feels like I made the right decision when I chose a marathon training plan with a lot more mileage overall and three 20-milers.

Saturday night, we went to my parents’ house for a dinner to celebrate all the February birthdays in our family. Last year, I went to that dinner and could barely walk because I’d had to cut short the 20-miler at the 10-mile mark when my injured IT bands tightened up. A year ago, my dad told me I was just at “that age” where things start breaking down, and my knees would never be the same again. This year, I felt beyond great.

Sunday, Pepper and I ran our 2.5-mile recovery run on the trail and I did some yoga. Then we watched the NASCAR race from Phoenix. Bobby was involved in a 12-car crash on lap 67, but he managed to salvage a 21st place finish and stay in the top 10 in points. Jeff Gordon broke his winless streak. I used to hate that guy so much that win would have ruined my week. Now, I hate Jimmie Johnson so much, it didn’t even bother me when Gordon won.

I’ve also started rereading Kathrine Switzer’s memoir. It’s very inspiring, especially right before a marathon. It’s so weird to think that if I was born a few decades earlier than I was, I would have been completely banned from any kind of distance running because I’m a woman. Switzer and a lot of other people worked hard to dispel so many myths about women’s “fragility,” and I for one am grateful for it.

Finally, this is the last day of the month, so it’s time for my monthly summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (Feb. 1-5): 30.7 miles
  • Week 2 (Feb. 6-12): 54.5
  • Week 3 (Feb. 13-19): 41.3
  • Week 4 (Feb. 20-26): 54.5
  • Week 5 (Feb. 27-28): 8

Total: 189 miles

I ran 108.5 more miles this February compared to the same month a year ago.

Besides a lot of training, the only other thing that happened this month was Pepper ran his first 5K with me, finishing in 23:53 after a very rocky start and two on-course bathroom breaks.

The really hard marathon training is over. Now I’m tapering; I only have one more double digit run before the race, which is a 10-mile race I’m running this coming Sunday with a couple of warm-up miles to make it the 12 I’m supposed to run this weekend. Then I’m running a 5K on the 12th and finally, the Shamrock Marathon on March 20. I feel a thousand times more ready for this race than I did for last year’s.

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February 25, 2011

Training for 2/25/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:25 pm

I really wasn’t looking forward to my run this morning. They were forecasting high winds and rain. I don’t mind rain so much when it’s not on the verge of changing to snow, but windblown rain really sucks. And I just trudged through the last few miles of that 12-miler head-on into a gusting wind last Saturday, so I wasn’t feeling up to that mess again.

And, I had to be at work a little early, which meant I had to get up a little earlier than usual to fit in the run. I also didn’t get home from a late work assignment last night until 9:30 p.m. But I got out of bed at 6 a.m. when the alarm went off like a good runner, pulled on shorts and a long-sleeved shirt, ate a bowl of Total, did my push-ups workout and was on the road a little before sunrise.

It was not raining when I left the house, but the sky looked like it could let go at any moment. The roads were also pretty wet, which meant it had been raining recently. In the first half-mile, two Perdue feed trucks drove by, hitting me with a solid sheet of 50 mph chicken truck spray. Awesome.

The winds were really gusting, but they weren’t as bad as Saturday. I was never literally stopped in my tracks when I was running into them. However, around the 4.5-mile point, the rain started coming down. I didn’t wear a hat since it wasn’t raining when I left the house, so it was stinging my eyes, which I hate. Fortunately, it was a sporadic rain and it didn’t come down that hard the entire way home.

Not long after the rain started, my iPod came up with “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra.

“Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ ev’rybody’s in a play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey

Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mr. Blue Sky is living here today, hey hey”

That made me laugh.

Approaching the 7.5-mile point, I was running into the wind again, when a seafoam green Ford Escort ZX2 was driving toward me. I had seen that car about three miles before. I guess the driver remembered me too, because she slowed to almost a total stop and rolled down her window. I thought this was going to be another one of those “What are you doing?” exchanges, but she just yelled “Go girl!” and went on her way. I yelled “Thank you!” and gave her a thumbs up.

At the 7.5-mile point, I turned onto Line Road, and the wind was mostly at my back the rest of the way home. Over the last three miles, my iPod came up with “Sucks to be You” by Simon and Milo and “Caught in the Rain” by Revis. My iPod has a great sense of humor.

I finished the loop in 1:31:24, average overall pace of 8:42/mile. Not too shabby when I take into account all the wind, particularly when I was running into it.

Tomorrow morning, I am running my final 20-miler. The wind and rain should be gone, but it will be colder again. Thanks to the races I’ve signed up for over the next two weekends, it will also be my final Saturday morning long run before the marathon. I can’t believe I made it this far this year!

Besides my long run, other weekend plans include a family birthday dinner at my parents’ house tomorrow night, a short recovery run on the trail with Pepper on Sunday morning and the NASCAR race from Phoenix that afternoon.

February 24, 2011

Training for 2/24/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:44 pm

Today was another crosstraining day — weight lifting and yoga. I didn’t have time for the bike this morning.

I’m a bit tired. Usually, I’m asleep on the couch by 10 p.m. during the week, but my brother-in-law’s girlfriend is in town, and the last couple of nights, Clark and I have gone out with them. We have not been getting to bed at 10 p.m. And there’s been a lot more beer involved than usual during the week. Oh well. Believe it or not, some things are more important to me than training for this marathon, so I don’t mind being a little sleepy today.

And, I’ve gone and signed up for yet another race. Next Sunday, March 6, there is a 10-mile race in Salisbury. I’m supposed to run a 12-mile long run next weekend anyway. So I’ve already filled out the registration form, with plans to do a couple of warmup miles before the race to bring the total to 12. TK and Kari are running the concurrent 5K.

February 23, 2011

Training for 2/23/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:39 pm

Today was Let Your Dog Run Free Day, and only poor little Pepper didn’t get to participate.

At least, that’s what it felt like. After ab exercises, push-ups and invisible chair-sitting, I took Pepper on a 5.5-mile easy run. We generally get barked at a lot by dogs behind fences or on chains in people’s yards, but today our run was interrupted by three unrestrained dogs who came bounding out of their yards to check out the loser dog wearing a coat and running on a leash.

There were no physical confrontations other than the usual butt-sniffing, but I had a tough time convincing one of the other dogs to not follow us home. I would yell at it to go home, it would wander back toward its yard, Pepper and I would take off, I’d hear a faint sound of dog claws on pavement and turn around to see the other dog following us from a distance. As soon as I’d turn around, it would stop and act like it didn’t have any interest in us. I don’t know when it finally turned around, but it was gone by the time the next dog ran out to us.

February 22, 2011

Training for 2/22/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:24 pm

I missed a post yesterday — not because I’ve been slacking in my training, but because I’ve been slacking in going to work.

Actually, yesterday was my third and final “use or lose” day of personal time before my hiring anniversary Friday, so this blog will stay on its daily updating schedule for the foreseeable future. So the two people who read this can rest easy, haha.

I’ll start with Saturday. Saturday was freaking windy. Mulch that has been hanging out in the flower beds for two years was stripped clean Saturday, that’s how windy it was. And I had a 12-mile long run on the schedule.

The first four miles or so were with the wind, which pushed me along at a decent clip. The next five miles or so had the wind coming at me from various angles, so I wasn’t moving quite as quickly. Then, I turned onto Line Road for the last three miles, and BAM. Head-on. Line Road has a couple of sweeping bends in it, so for about half of it, the wind was hitting me from a slight angle, but once I rounded the final bend, it was hitting me perfectly in the face.

I’m pretty sure that is the strongest wind I have ever run into. There were gusts that literally stopped me. I was pulling my leg forward, but the wind was pushing the rest of my body back at the same rate of speed. Net gain: nothing. I’m sure the drivers passing me on that road got a kick out of it.

Thanks to the quick first third of the run, I still managed to finish in 1:50:19, average pace of 9:02/mile. Then I cleaned up the utility room, as Pepper had pooped in it for the second week in a row, and I cleaned the rest of the house. Saturday night, I went to Preston’s fire company awards dinner. It was catered by Famous Dave’s this year, so the food was actually pretty good.

Sunday, Pepper and I went to the trail for our usual 2.5-mile run. That afternoon, I watched the best Daytona 500 I have seen in years! Bobby Labonte led part of it, was IN FRONT of the big wreck and thus did not get involved in it, pushed the winner, Trevor Bayne, to victory and finished FOURTH. Bobby has been running so poorly the last couple of years, his top-five finish Sunday matched his top-five total from the previous two years. So yeah, it was pretty sweet seeing him run competitively again.

After the race, they interviewed Bobby, and he wasn’t even that happy with his finish. He wanted to win! Man, I hope the rest of the season is as fun to watch as Sunday’s race.

Yesterday, I had the day off work, so I did a little more weight lifting than I normally would, along with my push-ups, ab exercises and invisible chair-sitting, before Pepper and I went on a 5.5-mile easy run. It was warm enough I could wear my capris and a long-sleeved top with just a T-shirt over top, and I didn’t need my earband or gloves. After that, I met my friend Julie for lunch, and we stopped at Walmart, where I got a box of Tagalongs from the Girl Scouts selling cookies. After lunch, I got Pepper, and we went to Goodwill, where I finally donated the five large shopping bags’ worth of clothes that have been riding in my trunk for more than a month, and then to my parents’ house, because the Tagalongs made me want the Samoas my mom said she bought for me.

I’m going to stick to just one box of each this year, so when these boxes are gone (which they probably will be very soon), that’s it.

The weather took another dive overnight. We got a little snow, and it was much colder this morning. I was supposed to run my last 50-minute tempo run before the marathon. The roads were clear enough to drive, but they had enough accumulation on them that they were slick in some places and slushy in others, depending on the way the wind was blowing and how much traffic they’d seen. It made the run a lot more physically taxing than usual. After a one-mile warmup, I managed a 7:55/mile pace for the 50 minutes, covering 6.3 miles, but that was slower than the same run two and four weeks ago. Oh well.

I started my recovery jog in preparation for the eight 30-second sprint intervals I also had planned, but when I got back out to Line Road, I found it to be in the worst shape of the whole route. It was a solid sheet of ice. I was slipping just trying to jog. I tried to stay in the thin ribbon of powdery stuff on the very edge of the road, and I did some short sprints when I could, but for the most part, I just ran slowly the rest of the way home.

I was exhausted when I finished that run, and my feet hurt pretty bad from all the extra balancing work they had to do. I hope that was winter’s final gasp. I am completely over running in snow.

February 18, 2011

Training for 2/18/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:51 pm

I’m really enjoying this brief warmup we’re experiencing outside right now! I wish it would just get warmer from here, but it’s supposed to cool down again for tomorrow. Boo. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

Yesterday was one of my planned days off, which was great timing on my part. I did the weight training and yoga I would normally do on a Thursday, but I had time and the weather was so perfect I took the bike out for a 12-mile loop. That’s the first time I’ve ridden it since… checking training log… Aug. 27. Wow. I need to do a better job of fitting it into regular training. It worked just fine though, after I put some air in the tires.

After all of that, I did the weekly grocery shopping at Walmart (which, by the way, is overrun with old people on a weekday afternoon) and then Clark and I went to Dogfish Head’s brewery in Milton for a tour. It’s still a relatively small operation, so the tour didn’t take nearly as long as, say, the Anheuser-Busch brewery tours my family used to take every summer while we were at Busch Gardens, but it had that familiar smell of fermenting barley. I used to think it smelled so bad in the Anheuser-Busch brewery when I was young. Now that I’m 27 and a big fan of beer, I thought it smelled awesome in the Dogfish Head brewery.

We got four beer samples at the brewery after the tour, so naturally, Clark and I had to drive to Rehoboth after that to drink a couple of pints and have dinner at the brewpub near the beach.

It was a really great day off, I’d say.

This morning, I ran a 6.5-mile marathon pace run. I actually got to wear shorts! My apologies to the drivers who were blinded by my white legs, haha. My legs were a little tired, due to their first bike ride yesterday in almost six months, but it felt so great outside I ran the loop in 55:32, average pace of 8:32/mile, which is quite a bit faster than I’m aiming for in the marathon.

I’m at work now, but Monday is my final day off this month, so I almost have a three-day weekend coming up. I say “almost” because I still have to cover Preston’s fire company appreciation dinner tomorrow night, unless the part-time reporter comes in at the last minute and requests the assignment, as she did two weeks ago when I was supposed to go to Greensboro’s dinner. But TK will be at the Preston dinner, so it won’t be so bad anyway if I do have to go.

Tomorrow is a 12-mile long run. I need to clean the house tomorrow too. I should have done it last week, but I didn’t feel like it Saturday after my long run, or Sunday after we got home from the 5K. Sunday, I’ll take Pepper to the trail for a short recovery run, and then later is the Daytona 500! Bobby starts 31st.

February 16, 2011

Training for 2/16/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:42 pm

This morning, I didn’t feel any different after the blood donation yesterday afternoon, so I did my push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and 5.5 easy miles with Pepper as planned.

Outside, the wind had died, finally, but it wasn’t as warm as I wanted to believe it was, so I was a little underdressed. I want it to be spring so bad, but there’s still more than a month to go!

Yesterday, I found a couple more pictures of Pepper and me from the 5K Sunday morning, posted in an online album by the race organizers:

Kari, left, and her dog, Crystal, with Pepper and me.

The female 20-29 age group winners, plus Pepper, who was trying to eat my award.

February 15, 2011

Training for 2/15/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:24 pm

I thought the weather was supposed to be nice this week. Yesterday was warm, by February standards, but today is quite a bit colder. It was near freezing and still annoyingly windy when I went out around sunrise this morning for my 6.5-mile run.

I did a mile of warmup, and then 25 minutes at a 7:26/mile pace, followed by five minutes of recovery jogging. Finally, I ran six 30-second sprint intervals with a minute of recovery between each, and the last half-mile or so home was a cooldown jog. Total time was 52:17, overall average pace of 8:02/mile.

I’m donating blood this afternoon, but I think I’ll be OK tomorrow for the short easy run on the schedule.

February 14, 2011

Training for 2/14/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:02 pm

I had a pretty awesome weekend.

Saturday morning, I did my second of three 20-milers. I ran my 12.8-mile loop first, ate a pack of Jelly Belly Sport Beans and then ran my 7.2-mile loop. It was a really great run. I finished the entire 20 miles in 3:05:50, average pace of 9:18/mile, which is just about right. I was getting tired of running on the second loop, but I started imagining I was in the final 10K of the marathon, and when I would hit about where I knew the mile markers were, I would imagine I was running past markers 20 through 26 in the race. It worked, and I felt pretty good when I was done, unlike the first 20-miler a couple of weeks ago, when the last three miles felt like a death shuffle. Which was good, because when I got home, Pepper had pooped in the utility room again, so that had to be dealt with immediately.

I have one more 20-miler to go; I hope it goes as well as this weekend’s. And Pepper can maintain control of his bowels while I’m running it.

While on the first loop, I couldn’t help but remember my long run exactly a year ago. That was the ill-fated 19-miler that got cut short at 6.5 because my ITBS first flared in my right leg. What a difference a year makes.

Saturday night, Clark and I went to Bon Appetit for our Valentine’s Day dinner. There is no better feeling than going to your favorite restaurant with plenty of room for everything you’re served because you had a great 20-mile long run that morning. Clark and I both got the five-course dinner. For the appetizer, I got the hot Italian sausage-stuffed mushrooms and Clark got the country pate. We both got the pureed squash soup, which was excellent by the way, and then we had our salads. For our entrees, Clark got a brook trout stuffed with eggplant and bacon, and I got tilapia with crabmeat. So incredibly good. Finally, for dessert, Clark got the chocolate marjolaine and I got a sundae with a chocolate brownie topped with peppermint stick ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

I love that restaurant! I know it’s Seaford, so how good could it be? But it’s definitely my favorite. I’d recommend it to anyone.

The next morning, we all got up to go to the Valentine’s Chase 5K in Lewes. I wasn’t sure Pepper was even going to get to run it, because the vet who clipped his nails Friday clipped one too short, and all night Friday and all day Saturday he had been acting like his whole leg was about to fall off. Limping, whimpering, expecting to be allowed on the couch out of sympathy, the whole bit. But Sunday morning, he seemed to be feeling better, so I figured I’d run him a little when we got to the race site and if he looked OK, run with him in the race.

TK picked up Clark, Pepper and me and we went to Lewes. We got to the race site an hour before the race started. After we got our bibs and T-shirts, I took Pepper for two warmup miles along the course. The course was a paved walking trail through the state park. Pepper stopped to pee several times, so I figured he was good to go for the race.

Finally, at 10 a.m., it was time to go. I tried to line up kind of closer to the back. There weren’t many people there anyway, so it was just kind of one big lump of people. Clark was standing across from the start line, trying to take some pictures of us waiting.

Pepper listens attentively to the race director's instructions. OK, not really.

Then, we got the commands to go, and we were off.

Well, everyone else was. Pepper was completely confused. First, he just wanted to run to Clark:

You can see me to the right, trying to pull him back on course.

It just got worse from there! The next few minutes were a total disaster. Pepper was trying to run from person to person, and of course, all those people wanted to do was run in a straight line. Worse, Pepper’s leash was getting caught up on people. He ran in front of one woman, and I don’t know how she didn’t face plant. I was trying to yank Pepper away from her while profusely apologizing to her, but clearly the whole thing pissed her off, because she yelled, “GET YOUR DOG AWAY FROM ME!”

I finally got Pepper pulled out of the crowd. I came to a stop on the side of the course to try to calm him down and get him pointed in the right direction. I was seriously regretting bringing him along. One guy even offered to not run the race and just hold Pepper for me while I ran it. I thanked him for the offer, but I really felt like Pepper could run it.

We finally started running again. We were behind everyone, but by the time we caught up with everyone again, we’d gotten onto a wider part of the course and people were starting to spread out. We started passing other runners. I tried to give everyone a wide berth, but Pepper kept trying to run over to everyone we passed. He didn’t actually get too close to anyone else again though.

We were starting to find a groove. For the rest of the race, Pepper would drift toward runners we were passing or runners in front of us who passed us before we got to the turnaround point, but I managed to keep a handle on him, and he didn’t bother anyone else (at least, no one else screamed at us, haha.)

Within the last half mile, Pepper stopped to pee and then to poop again (though it was completely off the course in a bunch of weeds, so there was no risk of anyone stepping in it.) We passed a few more runners in the last stretch of the race. Here we are approaching the finish line:

Finally got him running in a straight line!

In spite of the very rocky start and the on-course bathroom breaks, Pepper and I finished in 23:53, which won me first in my age group. I was the second overall female finisher. I wonder how fast Pepper and I could have run it if we had just run it straight through?

Pepper and me, waiting for the awards ceremony.

At the awards ceremony, I got a little plaque. Pepper thought it was a chew toy and kept trying to take it from me so he could gnaw on it, haha.

After the race, TK, Clark and I (and Pepper of course) drove to Fenwick to see the progress on Clark’s parents’ beach house, and then stopped on Route 54 to look at a truck Clark wants. When we got home, we had lunch and turned on Daytona 500 qualifying, and we all took a nice, long nap.

This morning, I did my weight training and a very easy 5.5-mile run. I had to go without Pepper though, because I think I left his leash in TK’s car. I’ll get it back before Wednesday though.

February 11, 2011

Training for 2/11/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:56 pm

I have a funny story.

This morning, I ran a 10.5-mile marathon goal pace run in 1:31:19, for an 8:41/mile average pace. The funny part came around the 6.5-mile point, and later, when I was undressing to get in the shower.

I had to leave for the run earlier than usual, so I didn’t have to go to the bathroom before I left. I figured I would have to go at some point during the run. This particular route is very secluded, particularly between about the 3- and 6.5-mile markers, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

Well, I was nearly out of the part of the loop that would have afforded some privacy when nature called. No problem, there’s a huge bank of trees right there, no houses in sight and not a vehicle to be seen.

There was a problem. The entire outer edge of those trees was completely shrouded in a thick curtain of briars. Normally, it’s thin enough I can squeeze through it or just walk a little farther down the road and find a clear spot, but that wasn’t the case here. And I had to go there, because any farther and I’d be in a completely open area getting close to a busy road, which would mean I’d have to hold it for four miles.

Briars it was.

I tried to power my way through them — I could see clear forest on the other side — but they were catching and holding onto every bit of fabric on my clothes, even onto my hair. So I just gave up and squatted right there in the briar patch, hoping no cars passed, because I was not hidden whatsoever.

I finished my business, grabbed some leaves (nature’s toilet paper, you know), yanked up my pants and was back on the road before anyone drove by. The rest of the run was uneventful.

When I got home, I stretched and foam rolled, then undressed to get in the shower.

I pulled off my underwear and thought I caught a glimpse of some blood on the inside of the back, like where it would have been against my cheeks. I pulled the underwear back out of the hamper for closer inspection, and sure enough, there were several splotches. Curious, I walked over to the mirror and turned around.

And gasped in total shock. My ass looked like it had been attacked by a knife-wielding maniac! Both cheeks had very long, angry-looking gashes along the bottom, like where a swimsuit tan line would be if it were summer, and there were several shorter jabs sprinkled across the rest of my ass. It looked like a butt lift gone wrong.

I turned and looked at Pepper, who had been lying on the bed, pretty much asleep. He was now sitting straight up and staring at me with wide eyes, his ears perked up at full alert. It looked like my carved up cheeks had scared the crap out of him too, but I’m pretty sure he was just reacting to my reaction, haha.

So it looks like I need to be more careful about where I plunk down when I’ve got to go!

Fittingly, I had saved to my computer this image of an old Adidas running shoe ad from the early 2000s, because the girl squatting by the tree reminded me of myself:

Ha!

I’ll be more careful on my 20-mile long run tomorrow morning. Then Clark and I are going to Bon Appetit for Valentine’s Day tomorrow night, since I have to cover a stupid town meeting Monday night, and Pepper is running his first 5K race with me Sunday morning. Should be a fun weekend, if I can just stay out of the briars.

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