A Simple Running Log

March 31, 2011

Training for 3/31/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:51 pm

This morning, I did my second speed workout of the week, a 30-minute tempo run and six 30-second sprint intervals.

The overnight rain had mostly passed, but it was still misting and cold and breezy this morning. I did a mile to warm up, and then did about four miles during the tempo run, for an average pace of 7:30/mile. I did a five-minute recovery jog and then ran the sprint intervals with a minute of jogging between each. That left about a half-mile to run home to cool down. In all, I ran 7.2 miles in about 58 minutes, overall average pace of 8:03/mile.

At home, I stretched and foam rolled. It was a good workout to wrap up a pretty great month.

Let’s take a look at March:


  • Week 1 (March 1-5): 21.2 miles
  • Week 2 (March 6-12): 39.8
  • Week 3 (March 13-19): 12.5
  • Week 4 (March 20-26): 43.2
  • Week 5 (March 27-31): 21.7

Total: 138.4 miles

Even with tapering before and resting after my marathon, I still ran almost 140 miles in March. Through the first three months of the year, I’ve run 535 miles, almost half of my goal mileage for the entire year. I have a feeling I’m going to reach 1,200 miles long before Dec. 31 this year.

Much more notable than my mileage, however, was my performance in races. I ran three, and set three PRs — 1:17:34 in a 10-miler March 6; 21:57 in a 5K on March 12, which accomplished my sub-22 goal for the year; and of course, 4:02:05 in the marathon March 20. While it fell short of my year’s goal of a sub-4, it was a 41-minute PR. And besides, I’ve got nine more months to train to shave off two minutes and six seconds in a fall marathon. No point in meeting all my 2011 goals before we even get two weeks into spring, right?

April starts tomorrow. I have two races — a mud run on April 16 and a 10K on April 30 — and a whole lot of training to do. If only the weather would catch up with the calendar!

March 30, 2011

Training for 3/30/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:19 pm

First of all, happy 51st birthday to my dad!

Second of all, this morning was a repeat of Monday’s workout — weight training, ab exercises, push-ups and invisible chair-sitting, followed by three easy miles with Pepper.

Pepper was acting like a complete weirdo all morning. He kept waking us up long before the alarm went off, he would act like he had to go out and then just stand in the doorway when the door was opened and he wouldn’t lie down, he just kept pacing all over the place.

When we went for our run, he acted mostly normal, except for once when he stopped and squatted like he had to poop, then sat down and then lied down… in a ditch.

After the run, I was stretching while he was still pacing all over the living room. Then he started freaking out like he had to go outside again, which was annoying because we had just been outside for half an hour. When I let him out, he immediately puked twice in the back yard.

He seemed like he felt better after that, since he would actually lie down and stay there. I would have liked to have brought him to work, so I could let him out if he had to puke again, but I have a couple of assignments out of the office today, so it wouldn’t have worked. Instead, I just picked up anything in the utility room floor that couldn’t be easily wiped down in case he does do it again, except for his bed. I hope that was the last of it.

March 29, 2011

Training for 3/29/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:27 pm

This morning, I was out at the track by 7:20 a.m. for seven 400-meter repeats at 5K pace, with 400 meters of active recovery after each.

The track was nice and empty when I got there, just the way I like it. It’s still freezing here in the mornings though, so I had to wear tights, a long-sleeved tech shirt, a short-sleeved cotton T-shirt and a sweatshirt. I didn’t warm up enough to take off the sweatshirt until after the third repeat. I can’t wait for spring… oh, wait.

I was aiming for splits of 1:45 each, or a 7:00/mile pace, which is almost my 5K pace now. After a mile of warmup jogging, I took off on the first one at what felt like a hard but not all-out effort. The first repeat was over in 1:41.

I seriously tried to reign it in for the remaining six repeats, but they were all between 1:40 and 1:42 each.

After another mile of cooldown jogging, I had covered 5.5 miles today.

This week will be the first ever in which I’ve done two speed workouts; I have a 30-minute tempo run with sprint intervals Thursday. I’m a little nervous to see how well the second speed workout will go since I just ran hard today, and tomorrow isn’t really a slack day either.

March 28, 2011

Training for 3/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:07 pm

Now that last week, my week “off” following the marathon, is behind me, I have officially started Hal Higdon’s advanced half marathon training schedule, with the sole purpose of completely destroying my current PR of 1:49:05 in my half marathon June 5.

The plan already has me running six days a week, and since I like taking Pepper to the trail on Sundays, I will be running seven days a week. There are two speed sessions a week — track on Tuesdays, tempo runs on the road on Thursdays — two easy runs following weight training on Mondays and Wednesdays, a pace run on Fridays and Saturdays are my long runs.

This morning I started with push-ups, two trips around the weight training circuit, abs and invisible chair-sitting, 3 easy miles with Pepper, barefoot exercises and stretching and foam rolling.

I’m really excited about this training plan. I feel like I could beat the shit out of my PR already; imagine how much stronger I’m going to feel at the end of this training cycle!

The weekend went well. Saturday morning, Pepper and I did 9.5 miles. I cleaned the house that afternoon, and then that night, I went to a bachelorette party at Fager’s Island. I really didn’t think I drank that much, but I felt like absolute crap yesterday. Guess I’m getting old… after all, I’ll be 28 in four days. Around 2:30 p.m. yesterday, I finally managed to take Pepper to the trail for a few miles.

Then we watched the NASCAR race from California. The first 196 laps were a snooze, but the final four were great — Kevin Harvick passed stupid Jimmie Johnson on the last lap to win. Unfortunately, that finish was set up by a caution that was caused by Bobby Labonte cutting down a tire and smacking the wall hard enough to catch his car on fire. Boo.

Clark put up some wainscoting in the utility room yesterday, to cover the walls Pepper has been destroying when he’s home alone. I hope that stuff holds up.

March 25, 2011

Training for 3/25/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:05 pm

This morning, Pepper and I went for a trip around our 4.5-mile loop. It was below freezing, which really bugs me, because I had to dress like it’s January and Pepper had to wear his dork jacket.

Once again, those two dogs were out in their yard around the 2-mile point. I could not get them to leave us alone today to save my life. After Pepper and I finally made it past the house where they live, I figured they would let us go, but they both followed us. Pepper’s already nervous enough, but having those two flitting around only made it that much worse. I stopped to yell at them a couple of times, hoping they would take a hint and go home, but they only took those opportunities to run up to Pepper and pester him some more.

Finally, after about a mile of that, they lost interest on their own.

Then, less than a mile later, yet another unrestrained dog came bounding at us, yapping its head off. It was only one though, and it was a lot smaller than Pepper, so it didn’t hang around too long.

We finally made it home, where I did some push-ups, invisible chair-sitting, barefoot exercises, stretching and foam rolling.

Tomorrow, I’m going to take Pepper on my “long” run, which I’m thinking will be the 9.5-mile loop. He’s done it before with no problem. Then I have to clean our disgusting house. I didn’t do it last weekend because I was in Virginia Beach, and the extra week is showing.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to a bachelorette party for the girl whose wedding I’m going to in a couple of weeks. The last time I drank with her was the last time I threw up, which was more than three years ago. I’m not planning on drinking much tomorrow night because I’m not staying in the hotel room they’ve reserved, so I expect to keep my no-puking streak alive.

Sunday is the race from California, and I’ll most likely take Pepper to the trail unless it’s raining. Then I’ll just go by myself.

March 24, 2011

Training for 3/24/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

This morning I did some weight training. My right pinky toe is still sore, but the Band-Aids don’t seem to be doing anything anymore except causing more friction, so at this point I’m just letting things take care of themselves.

Yesterday, I found some of the professional pictures of me taken during the marathon Sunday:

My half-hearted attempt at waving at a photographer. I usually don't even see them.

Coming down the boardwalk to the finish.

The classic watch-checking finish line shot.

All of the pictures were taken in the last few miles of the race — I’m lucky there’s no photographic evidence of my walk breaks!

March 23, 2011

Training for 3/23/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:51 pm

I felt really good when I woke up this morning, and the rain seemed to be holding off, so Pepper and I went to the trail for three miles.

That blister on my right pinky toe still hurt a little, but other than that, there was nothing that would have suggested I just ran a marathon a few days ago and I should have kept resting today.

I also did a push-ups workout, some ab exercises and a couple of minutes in the invisible chair.

My plan for the rest of the week is to do some strength training tomorrow, probably the 4.5-mile loop with Pepper on Friday and then a longer run Saturday, somewhere between 7 and 10 miles.

And then, on Monday, I’ll get back into a structured training plan for the half marathon in Dover on June 5.

March 22, 2011

Training for 3/22/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:48 pm

I’m feeling fine today, except for the blister on my right pinky toe, which is still smarting a little.

I’m still resting however, so today I just did some yoga and foam rolling.

Yesterday, after I posted my race recap, I received this e-mail from myself, dated Dec. 29, 2010:

Dear FutureMe,
You better have a damn finisher’s medal from the Shamrock Marathon now. I hope you finished under 4 hours as well, but I won’t be pissed if you didn’t. Did you at least beat Oprah? So what are you doing next? The Ocean City Half Marathon, or the one in Cambridge? Have you registered for the summer series yet? You’d better not be injured. I don’t care how much damn snow fell this winter, you should know better now. If you are injured when you read this, I give myself permission to smack you. Run strong and happy!
(You can write e-mails to be delivered to yourself at FutureMe.org.)
Well, guess what, PastMe? I did it! I’m not injured, I have a Shamrock Marathon finisher’s medal I can open beer bottles with and, while I didn’t quite get my sub-4, I got really close and I blew Oprah’s time (4:29:15) out of the water. No need to smack me!
Also yesterday, my friend Elaine, who has a personal tradition of taking “jumping shots” after all of her races, including Sunday’s, sent me the pictures:

Deidre, Jen, Chris, Mary Jane, me and Elaine.

Chris, me, Jen, some guy who took the first picture for us, Elaine and Mary Jane.

My face looks so contorted in all of them because I kept getting hit in the teeth by my medal. Guess I need more practice at these!

March 21, 2011

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:45 pm

I don’t even know where to start on this race report.

I’ll start with the data:

  • Chip time: 4:02:05 (not quite a sub-4, but a 41-minute improvement!)
  • Gun time: 4:04:37
  • Age group finish: 72/263
  • Gender finish: 319/1276
  • Overall finish: 1147/3159

Obviously, the race was a vast improvement over the 2010 Shamrock Marathon, which I had to DNF. But what I can’t stop smiling about is how much better this race went than the Marine Corps Marathon, my first marathon finish, less than five months ago.

I’ll start at the beginning. As soon as I got off work Friday, I picked up Dave at his house and we drove to Virginia Beach. We got down there around 9 p.m., and soon after, my friend Chris, who drove up from North Carolina, met us there. It was the first time we’d met in person, having talked online a lot through the Runner’s World website, but we got along well from the start. She was there for the half marathon Sunday, but she was also running the 8K on Saturday morning.

Dave took us over to this little pizza place called Chicho’s for dinner. He’s very much a regular there. We ordered a Hawaiian pizza and a pitcher of Yuengling to split between the three of us, but Dave’s bartender friend also plunked down three shots in the middle of dinner. It was something fruity; I think it had SoCo in it, but that’s all I’m sure of. I didn’t mind taking it since I wasn’t running a race in the morning, but Chris was. She took the shot anyway. I can see why we get along, haha.

Back at Dave’s house, I saw why he was so popular in that place — there were two receipts on the fridge, both tabs from Chicho’s for more than $200. Except for one pizza, it was all alcohol.

The next morning, Dave left in his Lightning right around 6 a.m., and Chris I left a little after that for her 8K. I watched the start and then did my planned couple of easy miles. I made it back to the finish area right after Chris finished.

We went to breakfast and I had a couple of pancakes and a scrambled egg. My plan for the day was to load up on carbs from white, processed foods. Sounds counterintuitive, but I did some reading last week that suggested all the whole grains I normally eat might have been causing my digestive problems in long runs and races. Whole grains are harder to digest. White stuff is already highly processed, so it’s actually easier for the body to put it through the system. Since all I wanted was the carbs for energy, it made sense in this case to eat processed stuff. And besides, after the miserable time I had for the last 17 miles of the Marine Corps Marathon, I was willing to try anything.

After breakfast, we went back to the house to shower, and then we headed to the expo. I got my race packet, a pack of GU Chomps and a pair of cheap arm warmers. I knew it was supposed to be a little chilly Sunday morning, so I figured those arm warmers would be enough to keep me toasty until I warmed up enough while running to roll them down. I also had a pair of cotton gloves I could throw away after I warmed up.

At the expo, we met up with three other runners from our online group, Deidre, Mary Jane and Jen. Deidre got injured while training, so she deferred to next year (smart) but she and her mom came anyway to meet us and cheer us on. Mary Jane and Jen and I had registered as a team in the marathon. It didn’t mean we had to run as a team; our times would be added up and the three teams in each division with the best total times would get… I don’t know.

After the expo, Chris and I went to lunch and I got a chicken wrap and fries, and cleaned my plate once again. We walked around Virginia Beach for a while and ran into Jen. At 6 p.m., we all met once again for dinner at a pasta buffet. I was still kind of full from lunch, but I managed to put down a plate of pasta, and I still had a little room for a warm chocolate chip cookie with walnuts Mary Jane bought us all for good luck.

Chris and I got a bag of bagels and some cream cheese for breakfast in the morning, and we were home and in bed by 9 p.m.

Sunday morning dawned. Chris’ half marathon started an hour before my marathon, so she left before I even woke up. When I got up, I ran upstairs to make sure she’d left on time, and she had. I took my time getting ready, as I had packed my gear check bag and laid out all my race clothes the night before. At 6:30 a.m., I left with a bagel and cream cheese. I really wasn’t all that hungry, but again, I knew I’d need it.

I parked at a Harris-Teeter and thought I’d be smart and go to the bathroom at the store, instead of waiting through those port-o-potty lines at the race site. There were several other “smart” people waiting in line ahead of me for the single-person men’s and women’s bathrooms. Neither line moved for a long time, so long I was about to leave to head to the port-o-potties. Finally, the guy left his bathroom, and it was still another couple of minutes before the woman left hers. Apparently they knew each other, because the guy said to the woman, “Wow, we got here just in time; the line’s really long now!” Yeah, because of you two, you morons.

After the bathroom, I walked to the race site. It was freaking cold, much colder than the day before. Most people were in tights or capris. I really didn’t want to take off my sweatpants and sweatshirt, but I had to check them with my bag. I bit the bullet and stripped. I put on my arm warmers and gloves, but I was still so cold. I handed the bag to a volunteer, and realized I’d left my Chomps in there. She was nice enough to dig through the pile of identical bags to find mine, and I pulled out the Chomps and gave it back to her.

Not 15 seconds later, I heard the race announcer say the 8 a.m. start had been delayed by 15 minutes, so I had a lot of extra time to huddle in the crowd in the starting corral and try to stay warm. Crap.

There were four corrals; I was in the second. I started right in front of the 4-hour pacers. The race started at 8:15 a.m. as promised, and our corral took off about two and a half minutes later.

I purposely did not warm up at all for this race so I would be forced to take it easy in the first few miles as my warm-up. It worked; I ran a 9:16 in the first mile because my feet had gone numb from the cold wind while waiting. They didn’t really thaw out until about the 3-mile marker.

About that time, I was starting to feel pretty good. I was warming up enough that I was glad I’d stuck to my shorts and sleeveless shirt. The arm warmers were perfect. I threw away the gloves around the 4-mile marker.

The wind was at our backs until the turnaround before the 6-mile marker. I was expecting it to really suck when we turned around, but, whether it was because I ran in so much wind this winter or because there was enough of a crowd around me to block some of it, I really didn’t mind it. I didn’t even think it was that bad when we got on the boardwalk and it was really in our faces.

Around mile 8, I saw someone I recognized from our online group. She hadn’t managed to meet up with us the day before, so we’d never actually met, but I was pretty certain it was her. I took a chance and tapped her on the shoulder and asked if her name was Elaine. I was right! We chatted a bit and then she went on her way.

When we came up on the bridge after mile 9, I just started grinning. Last year, I had to walk up that bridge because my knees were in so much pain, and I shuffled the entire way to the halfway point from there. I cruised up that bridge yesterday. I cruised to the inlet and down the boardwalk. Instead of yelling, “Come on, Abigail! You can do it!” like last year, the crowds on the boardwalk and then in the city yelled, “Go Abby! Lookin’ good!” And I knew I was! I was so happy; I just skimmed over the pavement all the way to and past halfway. I hit halfway in 1:57, right on target.

Everything past halfway was new to me. It was so boring compared to the first half. There weren’t a lot of crowds, and half of the road was closed due to construction, so the marathoners running out toward Fort Henry and the half marathoners (and marathon leaders) running back from Fort Henry toward the finish each only got one lane. It got a little crowded there.

Once in the military installation, it got more spacious, but even more quiet, since civilians weren’t allowed in there. There were a couple of bands allowed to play in there and the volunteers at the water stops were encouraging, but for the most part, it was just us runners. Since we were around mile 17 and 18 at that point, some people were really starting to hurt and several were doing the run-walk-shuffle thing. But I was still feeling pretty good, and I kept chugging away.

I hit 20 miles in 3:01, about a minute off where I would have been had I kept on my 9:00/mile pace. I wasn’t too worried about it though. We ran up a long, gradual incline, which at that point felt so much harder than running up that steep bridge we’d crossed twice in the first half of the race. I knew it had taken a lot out of my legs when it finally flattened out again.

I eaten my Chomps at the 7-mile and 14-mile markers, and I had taken a CarbBOOM gel from the volunteers at mile 16-ish, which I had been carrying with me. I tried to open it to eat it around mile 21, but I just couldn’t get the damn thing open. I finally chucked it on the side of the road. I don’t know if that would have prevented what happened a few miles later.

Over those next few miles, my legs got tighter and tighter. I could also feel blisters on both feet, which wasn’t helping anything. Finally, just past the 24th mile marker, I had to take a walking break. Two more miles felt impossible, even considering I had just run 24. I kept pushing, running as much as possible, especially when I hit the 25-mile marker and got passed by the 4-hour pacers not long after, but I just couldn’t make my legs go any faster.

We rounded the turn onto the boardwalk, and there, six blocks away, was the finish line. Finally! I gutted it out for that last stretch; no way I was walking at the end! There were only a couple of other runners near me at the end, so I heard my name a whole lot more right there up to the finish line.

Man it felt good to finally cross that line, a year after I was supposed to! Finishing this one wasn’t as emotional for me as finishing my first. The race wasn’t much of a struggle for me until those last couple of miles. I never had even the slightest urge to use the bathroom the whole time, and I hit the wall much later in the race. While the Marine Corps Marathon felt like it’d never end almost from the beginning, I had genuinely enjoyed myself through most of this race.

I got my Shamrock Marathon medal — it has a bottle opener! I also got a finisher’s hat and long-sleeved T-shirt. Usually I can’t stomach food right after a race, but I felt fine yesterday and scarfed down everything they gave me — sugar cookies, a banana, a granola bar, bottles of water.

I found Chris, who had run a 1:42 in the half, and Diedre and we waited for everyone else to finish. Elaine had actually come in at 3:57, so she found us. Mary Jane finished in 4:27 and Jen in 4:51. Turns out, Mary Jane, Jen and I took third in the women’s team division — go us!

We hit up the beer tent after that. The Yuenglings were going down like water for me. I had at least five. I even ate some of the beef stew they were serving, and I hate beef stew.

After discussing our races down to the tiniest details, it was finally time for us to pack it in and go home. I said goodbye to everyone, took a shower at Dave’s, thanked his roommates for letting Chris and me stay and drove home, finisher’s medal hanging from my rearview mirror.

And now, some pictures:

Post-race celebration with Elaine, Mary Jane, Chris, Jen and me, Yuengling in hand.

Diedre, left, and Jen laughing at whatever picture was on that camera.

I didn't make it here last year -- it was so worth it!

Finisher's medal, with bottle opener above the Yuengling logo.

I wanted to look like I was biting the medal the way Olympians do, but instead I just look like I'm eating it.

I let my favorite training partner wear the medal he helped me earn. This was taken after he got done trying to chew it.

The aftermath. It really wasn't that bad. I thought there would be a lot more than four blisters.

Remember how I said I didn’t want to do another marathon this year? Well, I also said one of my goals was to run a sub-4, and that didn’t happen yesterday. Almost, but it didn’t. So it looks like I’m scouting fall marathons now!

March 18, 2011

Training for 3/18/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:51 pm

Well, this is it. My last post before the big day.

This morning, I did the push-ups workout as scheduled, but otherwise took the day off. I mostly just laid around in the floor with Pepper, since I won’t get to see him again until Sunday night. I will definitely miss him and Clark this weekend, but I know neither of them are as gung-ho about running as I am, so it’s probably better they’re not going with me. I finished packing and loaded everything in the car for the trip to Virginia Beach tonight.

It’s finally here! I can’t believe this training cycle is already over.

Two days before the race, I have to set my three goals for Sunday.

  • A: Break four hours.
  • B: Break 4:13:29 (half an hour better than my Marine Corps Marathon time.)
  • C: Just PR.

That should tell you something about how not great my only completed marathon went, since my C goal is to PR, which is usually my A goal.

Have a good weekend! I hope I will. I’ll report back Monday.

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