A Simple Running Log

April 29, 2011

Training for 4/29/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:36 pm

This morning, I left the house just before 6 a.m. to run around my 4.5-mile loop. It was supposed to be at goal half marathon pace, but I’m racing a 10K tomorrow morning, so I decided to just take it easy.

It was a gorgeous morning. The sun was just starting to come up in a clear sky. After all the storms last night moved out, the humidity was gone, the wind had died and it was considerably cooler. Little wisps of fog were hanging over the fields. No one else was out, except for a couple of cars that drove by.

It was one of those mornings I’m glad I run because otherwise I’d have never been outside at that ungodly hour to see it.

I had a good run. When I got home, I turned on the royal wedding coverage while I was eating breakfast.

I didn’t think I cared much about it, but I was immediately sucked in, and I soon realized I was going to be late to my first assignment because of it, haha.

Tomorrow morning is supposed to be as nice for running as today, so I’m looking forward to this race. After that, I have to cover something in Federalsburg for the paper. Then I need to actually clean the house, not just intend to, like all of last weekend. The NASCAR race is in Richmond tomorrow night.

Sunday, I’ll take Pepper for our trail run, and then I have a baby shower that afternoon. Crap, I still haven’t gotten a gift — I need to squeeze in a trip to Target sometime this weekend too.

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April 28, 2011

Training for 4/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:11 pm

This morning, I hauled myself out of bed and set out on my long run. Gone are the cold days when I could do a 12-mile loop without water. It was pushing 80 already at 7 a.m., so I instead split the run into two loops, the 6.5-miler and the 5.5-miler, with a stop at my lane in between them for water.

The severe storms they’d predicted had missed us, but it was really quite windy. The wind turned out to be a nuisance in any direction. When running into it, I had to work that much harder to maintain my pace. When running with it, it would whip my sweat-soaked ponytail around my head and often into my mouth. Blech.

I finished about 12.2 miles (in between the loops, I ran what I normally walk at the beginning and end of the loops) in 1:46:55, average pace of about 8:46/mile.

I was completely soaked in sweat, head to toe, but I never really felt all that overheated. I hope I’ll have a much better time getting used to hot weather running again this year than I did last year.

Well, my uncle passed away around 3:30 p.m. yesterday. My aunt said it was very peaceful. After I covered a late assignment yesterday evening, I went over to my aunt’s house. She seemed to be handling it as well as can be expected. My other two aunts, my dad, my brother and my younger sister were all there as well. We all just looked… shocked. I think that’s the best word for it.

Right now it looks like the funeral is going to be Tuesday.

April 27, 2011

Training for 4/27/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:33 pm

This morning, I had to be at a high school early to take a picture of the senior class officers for the upcoming graduation insert in the newspaper, so I was out of bed by 5:30 a.m. to squeeze in my workout.

I didn’t eat breakfast first because it was so early. Overall, I didn’t notice a huge difference until right after my run, when I was absolutely starving.

Anyway, I started with push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting upstairs. Then Pepper and I went for three easy miles.

That poor dog! There was a crop duster working on a field, right along the road we run. After we hit the turnaround point and started back toward home, the plane was coming down directly toward us every time it made a pass. Pepper had a heart attack every single time. His eyes would go wide in terror and he would take off at a sprint in any direction, looking for cover from the scourge of the skies, I assume.

I loved it! I thought the whole thing was hilarious and was kinda sad when we ran out of the plane’s path.

I got some really bad news after my appointment at the high school. My uncle, who has been hospitalized for the last two weeks after having surgery to repair a brain aneurysm, had a stroke sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. They did more surgery to remove a quarter of his brain yesterday. My aunt and his family agreed my uncle would never want to live as an invalid, so they went up to the hospital this morning to take him off the life support.

So that’s it. I really can’t believe this is happening. Just about everyone else I’m related to who has died did so after a long, drawn-out period of declining health at the end of a long life. It’s always sad to lose someone you care about, but at least we could say they lived a full life and be glad they weren’t suffering any longer.

But my uncle wasn’t even yet 60 years old, and until two weeks ago, he seemed perfectly fine. It was all very sudden. In the back of my head, I have been certain over these past couple of weeks that he would make a full recovery and come home. I keep remembering I’m never going to see him again, and it’s jarring every time.

But what I feel worst about is my aunt. They started dating before I was even born, and they got married on New Year’s Eve when I was 8, so Uncle Lee has always been a part of the family as I knew it. They were best friends. I don’t know what I would do if something happened to Clark.

I better stop… I’m making myself get all teary again thinking about this. Better get back to work and distract myself some more.

April 26, 2011

Training for 4/26/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:50 pm

It’s Tuesday, so I went to the track for another interval workout. Today I was supposed to do four 800-meter repeats at 10K pace, so I was aiming to run each repeat in 3:40.

It was another warm morning, and breezy. There were only a couple of walkers at the track and they both stayed clear of the inside lane, so no hassles there.

I did a 1.5-mile warm-up. The first repeat was 3:37. After two laps of recovery, the second repeat was 3:36. Repeats three and four were 3:36 and 3:32.

I ran another mile to cool down for a total of 6 miles today.

I was thinking about my training for the rest of the week. I’m running a 10K on Saturday morning I’m confident I can PR in. I’m supposed to run a 45-minute tempo run Thursday morning. If I run that 10K at the pace I’m hoping for, it won’t take me much longer than 45 minutes to finish.

So, I have decided to run the 10K as my “tempo run” and do a long run, which I would normally run Saturday, on Thursday morning instead. Friday, I’ll do the 4.5-mile run I’m scheduled to do, but I’ll run it easy instead of at goal half marathon pace.

I just don’t think there’s much sense in essentially doing two 45-minute tempo runs, two days apart, and this way I’ll get in my long run this week as well.

Now, I’ll just have to wait and see if there’s lightning as predicted Thursday morning. In that case, this week’s long run will just have to be scrapped. I’m not getting electrocuted.

After my run, I took my car to get its brake pads replaced. They just started squealing this weekend, and they have 90,000 miles on them, so it seemed like it was time. Well, it turns out the rear pads still have life in them (another 40,000 miles according to the mechanic — is 130,000 miles some kind of record for brake pad life?) but on the front end of the car, not only do the pads need to be replaced, but the rotors as well. I thought pads were made to start squealing before the rotors were being affected! Thanks a lot, front brake pads. Way to fall asleep on the job.

With parts and labor, this little repair job is running me $342. Oh well. I really can’t complain about this car. Brakes wear out. Except for when I ran it into a median a couple of years ago, the only other things I’ve had to replace or repair on the car are the oil, wiper blades and original tires. And the freaking gas tank keeps running dry for some reason too.

April 25, 2011

Training for 4/25/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:08 pm

This morning, I did what Clark and I agree is the toughest workout in the 100 push-up challenge workouts, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, followed by three easy miles with Pepper and then barefoot exercises, stretching and foam rolling.

It’s really warmed up here the last couple of days. Yesterday and today are both in the mid 80s, and Pepper and I have both been noticeably effected by the increased temperature. Oh well, gotta get acclimated again I guess.

Saturday, I went to Trap Pond State Park for my long run, aiming for an hour and 45 minutes. It was a pretty good run. Much tougher than running on pavement. I ran for about 24 minutes before I hit a part of the trail that is connected to the next part of the trail by a short stretch of pavement, so I ran two miles on the road before getting back on the trail. Other than that little excursion, the rest of the run was in the woods.

I took every little detour off the main trail I could find to fill up the whole 105 minutes without having to repeat much of it. I wound up on some trails that haven’t seen a lot of action apparently, because a couple of times they got so hard to follow due to overgrowth and fallen branches that hadn’t been cleaned up I actually got lost. I always managed to find my way back to a recognizable trail though.

In spite of all my detours, I still made it back to the parking lot at about the 90-minute point. I swigged some water and made myself run the final 15 minutes. It was getting warm and my legs were tired from the extra effort required to run on a trail compared to the road.

I ran as long as I’d set out to though, and I felt pretty good when I was done. I sat by the pond, drank the rest of my water and ate a Larabar.

I went to Food Lion and got everything to make the broccoli salad for Easter dinner and went home. Dave came over while I was working on that salad, and he and Clark and I started drinking. Everntually, we got Mike and Ben to come over too, and then we all went to Station 7 in Laurel. The last thing I had eaten was a couple of chicken thighs around 3 p.m. or so, and no one thought to get any dinner, so I got pretty trashed pretty quickly. Clark said I fell asleep at the bar.

Yesterday was Easter. When I first woke up around 7 a.m., I really didn’t feel all that bad. I fed the dog and got my own breakfast. But the longer I was awake to think about it, the worse I felt. I meant to take Pepper to the trail before church, but I just couldn’t pull myself back out of bed in time. I still felt pretty crappy when I left for church, but by the time I got home, I was OK.

After lunch, Pepper and I went to the trail. It was pretty warm. OK, hot. Pepper didn’t run nearly as fast as he normally does, and he even slowed to a walk a couple of times. I wasn’t feeling any better. At home, I made a chocolate milk and banana smoothie and did some yoga.

Then Clark and I took a shower and we went over to my parents’ house to hide all the candy for the Easter hunt. Per our annual tradition, there was some candy the kids couldn’t find, and since I’d hidden most of it, I was expected to remember all 12 hiding places for the mini bags of M&Ms. I guess there’s still a bag of M&Ms and a chocolate-covered Peep out there somewhere.

I was really tired by the time we left my parents’ house last night, and fell asleep almost immediately when we got home at 9:30 p.m.

April 22, 2011

Training for 4/22/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:06 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups and invisible chair-sitting, and then Pepper and I did three miles at was was probably close to my goal pace in my half marathon. At home, I did some yoga and foam rolling.

Tomorrow, I’m planning on an hour and 45 minute run, possibly on the trails at the state park outside Laurel if I feel like driving there, or on my 12.2-mile loop if I don’t. I also need to clean the house tomorrow.

Easter is Sunday, so I’ll probably take Pepper out to the cross country trail near home for a few easy miles before heading to church to make one of my two appearances per year. We’ll have dinner and an egg hunt for the kids at my parents’ house that afternoon. I’ve been put in charge of making the broccoli salad this year. That’s a big responsibility at a Schmidt dinner.

April 21, 2011

Training for 4/21/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:24 pm

This morning was my weekly tempo run. It’s sort of a cutback week, so it was only 30 minutes. Next week, it goes back up to 45 minutes.

It was in the 80s yesterday, but a cold front came through and it was down in the upper 50s or low 60s this morning. It was also very breezy. Some might even call it windy, but I don’t think it was blowing that hard.

I did a mile to warm up, then aimed for four miles during the tempo run, which would have been a 7:30/mile pace. I didn’t feel like I was pushing all that hard, but, according to the online route tracker I use to measure runs, I did more like 4.15 miles, which translates to a 7:20/mile pace. Nice.

I did some recovery jogging for five minutes, and then ran six 30-second sprint intervals with a minute of recovery jogging between each. I had about a half mile to run home for a cooldown.

In total, I ran 7.2 miles in 56:55, overall average pace of 7:54/mile.

April 20, 2011

Training for 4/20/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:45 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I went out for three easy miles.

Unless I saw pee coming out of him when he stopped, I made sure to keep dragging him along whenever he started slowing down to chew on grass, so we actually managed to fit in the whole three miles today.

Near the end of the run, a car I often see stopped. The driver rolled down his window and said he loved seeing Pepper running down the road, always with a stick in his mouth — so much so he told his wife about Pepper. Pepper’s famous now, I suppose.

At home, I did some barefoot exercises, stretched and foam rolled.

April 19, 2011

Training for 4/19/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:10 pm

This morning, I did eight 400-meter repeats at the track, with a mile to warm up, a lap of recovery jogging after each repeat and a mile to cool down, for a total of 6 miles.

As usual, I was aiming for 5K pace on the splits, which would have been 1:45 each. Instead, the first three were 1:42, 1:41 and 1:41, and the next four were each 1:40. I decided to just run as hard as I wanted to on the last repeat, and ran a 1:35 — my fastest 400 meter time to date. I’m especially pleased with that because I didn’t walk a single step on any of the recovery laps, and that was on the final repeat.

There were two walkers this morning. One was an older lady who was dressed like it was about 30 degrees, not 60, and the other was a younger woman talking loudly on her cell phone about some teacher running a disorganized class, and that’s the whole reason her kid is in trouble all the time. That’s about all I could gather.

At home, I did some stretching and foam rolling.

April 18, 2011

Training for 4/18/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:14 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting. Then Pepper and I did two very easy miles on the road. It should have been three, but my legs were kinda tired since I did my long run yesterday instead of Saturday, and Pepper was so overly distracted by every blade of grass on the side of the road it was taking forever anyway.

When I got home, I did some barefoot exercises and stretching and foam rolling.

So Saturday was my very first mud run. It wasn’t raining, as promised, but it was windy and chilly, as promised. I wore a pair of old mesh shorts, a long-sleeved wicking top I’d gotten from a race but didn’t really like and an old Air Force cotton T-shirt on top that I’d gotten in basic training.

I left very early to make sure I got parking at the race site. If it was full, I was going to have to park out on the road, which was separated from the race site by about a mile-long lane. The race started at 9 a.m. (and the co-ed team division, of which my team was a part, didn’t start until 9:15 a.m.) but I got there at 8 a.m. There was still plenty of parking.

The first thing I saw was two firefighters spraying a firehose into a giant mud pit. Turned out that pit was both the halfway mark and the finish line of the race.

My teammates, Kari and Doug, were already there. Somehow the race organizers managed to lose our packets with our T-shirts and bibs, but we were on the roster, so they made us new bibs and gave us some of the extra shirts. By this point, we had an hour to stand around in the cold wind and wait for the race to start.

Finally, just before 9 a.m., the race directors called us over to go over the course and the obstacles we could expect. I wasn’t really listening. Then, at 9 a.m., the men’s teams took off. The women’s and co-ed team members watched the men run through the first 200 yards of the course, which included the first small mud pit, and disappear into the woods.

The women’s teams took off about five minutes later, and then it was finally our turn!

The three of us had to finish together, and there were a couple of obstacles we had to complete together, so we ran the whole thing together. We stayed near the back of the pack, running up the first hill and through the first mud pit, effectively soaking everyone from about the knees down in mud. Just a taste of what was to come.

We ran maybe a half mile through the woods before we came up on the first obstacle — a pit in the ground with logs laid over top. There was no mud, but you had to get low to clear the logs. There was a huge backup of runners in front of us waiting to go through, so we had to wait a while.

When we got out of that pit, we saw runners coming toward us covered head to toe in mud. They had just cleared the next obstacle — the low-crawl. This time, there was a lot of mud.

We had to get on our hands and knees, and in some places, bellies, to get under the low ropes strung over this river carved in a mud bog. If you didn’t get out of that dirty, you cheated!

After the low crawl, we ran to a series of planks. Some were on cinder blocks, some were just on the ground. There was no mud beneath, but if a team member stepped off one, the whole team had to start over. Again, there was such a backup of runners at this obstacle that you could only try to go over the planks as fast as the person in front of you. I didn’t see anyone step off.

The next obstacle was a log carry. The team members had to pick up a roughly 6-foot log and carry it around a field together.

Next, we ran to a field where a maze was cut out. Again, there were enough runners in front of us that we really only had to follow them to find our way out — though we still managed to hit a dead end once, haha.

After the maze was another plank obstacle. This time, each team had two planks. The three members had to stand on one and pass the second plank down the line to the first member, who laid it down. Then all three stepped onto that plank, and repeated the process with the one that was now behind them. We had to cross a roughly 30-yard field that way.

After we crossed that field, we had to haul ourselves over this huge tractor tire. Then we came up on a large wooden wall. There were three places to go through — at the very top, through the middle and under the bottom. We shoved Kari over the top, I went over the middle and Doug went under the bottom.

Next, there were three hay bales wrapped in plastic we had to launch ourselves over. I had to get a good running start each time to get over them. Then we ran through a low tunnel, crawled under a net, jumped over another tunnel and then, holding hands, through a series of tires.

Finally, we climbed over and then slid down a muddy hill, right into that mud pit I’d seen coming in. We had to cross it. It was pretty deep in places, about waist-deep. On the other side, we ran about a mile and a half through the woods and then we were back at the first obstacle, that pit with the sticks over the top.

By this time, I was starting to wish I’d worn pants. I wasn’t cold, but my knees were getting scraped up on all the things we had to crawl through or slide over.

We repeated all the obstacles, except the plank one to cross the field, and then we had to run all the way around the final mud pit and crawl up one last muddy hill to reach the finish line.

It took us an hour and 20 minutes to run about five miles! It was really a LOT of fun!

Me, Kari and Doug just after finishing.

After getting hosed down by the firefighters, we headed to the food tables. They had so much food. I had a small wrap, a few boneless wings, a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw on top and a couple of small muffins. Yes, I was starving when we finished!

Then the cold started to set in. Kari and Doug had to drive to Virginia straight from the race. I went home. I put on some old sweatpants and laid an old towel on my car seat, but my wet shorts still soaked through to my seat on the drive home.

When I got home, it was just starting to sprinkle. By the time I had taken a very much appreciated hot shower, it was raining off and on. I stayed home the rest of the day. By the time Clark got home that night from working on the beach house, it was pouring. Then the lightning started. It stormed like that all night.

Sunday morning was clear and bright, but still very windy. I wasn’t at all sore, except for my slightly scraped-up knees, so I decided to do my long run first thing that morning.

The first 4.5 miles flew by. At an intersection near the ferry, I came up on something unexpected.

The road was washed out. I have never seen standing water like that around here. I knew it rained hard Saturday night, but I didn’t know it was that hard.

I mulled over my options for a moment, but decided to stay on my intended course. I took off my shoes and socks and trudged through the water. The sun was shining right on it, so I could see what I was stepping on. I couldn’t help but feel like I’d just been doing something like this the day before. I walked a little more after I cleared the water to let my feet dry a little, put my shoes and socks back on and started running again.

The rest of my route was dry, though there were some spots where the debris across the whole road indicated it had been underwater recently. The second half of the run was head-on into the wind for much of it, which is always annoying. I finished 12.2 miles in 1:46:17, average overall pace of 8:42/mile.

I did some yoga to stretch out, and then Pepper and I headed to the beach to help work on the beach house. After lunch, I took Pepper for a walk on the beach. He seemed to like the sand, but he didn’t want his feet to get wet. He would sprint away at top speed if he saw the surf washing in anywhere near them, haha. He also had a mild heart attack when we were approached by a bunch of semi-deflated balloons blowing across the sand.

I helped Clark’s mom paint the outside of the house for the rest of the afternoon. At home, Clark and I took a shower and I had pizza and beer for dinner before falling asleep on the couch before 10 p.m.

And the Boston Marathon just ended for the elite runners. An American woman, Desiree Davila, juuuuust missed winning by two freaking seconds!

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