A Simple Running Log

May 31, 2011

Training for 5/31/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:12 pm

This morning, I was at the track by 7 a.m. for my last track workout before this weekend’s half marathon. It was already 75 degrees, sunny and very humid. I ran six 400-meter repeats at 5K pace. The workout went really well — my splits were 1:41, 1:42, 1:41, 1:43, 1:44 and 1:38 — but holy shit it was HOT. I ran five miles altogether.

Making things worse, however, were the two walkers who showed up halfway through my run… wearing sweatpants! And one of them was also wearing a sweatshirt! The other was in a short-sleeved T-shirt at least. I’m one of those runners who feels worse in a race if I hear another runner breathing really heavily, or I see another runner with an awkward stride. So seeing those two in freaking sweats on the hottest morning of the year so far only added to my misery.

Anyway, the rest of my long weekend went pretty well. I got in a lot of miles and I think I’m getting reacclimated to this weather, at least well enough that I won’t die in the half marathon.

Saturday, Pepper and I did the 4.5-mile loop. Pepper got hit with his first irrigation spray. He was not a fan. He crouched down every time it hit him, like he could sink into the road and get away from it. I, of course, thought the whole thing was hilarious and stopped the run for a few seconds just so I could see the look of obvious irritation on Pepper’s face.

Later that afternoon, I took Pepper to get his nails grinded, and then Clark and I had a few people over for a little cookout that night. I was a poor host and fell asleep just after 10 p.m. I didn’t mean to, but it was just as well, because I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. the next day for my 5-mile race in Lewes.

TK picked me up at my house at 6 a.m. and we got to Cape Henlopen High School in plenty of time. We got our bibs and T-shirts, and then I did a warmup mile on the track, where the race started and ended. It wasn’t as hot as last year, but it was close.

At 7:30 a.m., we lined up on the track for the start. Last year, they started us on the football field and we had to run the length of it before getting on the track to run out of the stadium. I don’t know why they did it differently this year, but it wasn’t that big of a difference.

I had been looking forward to this race for quite a while. Last year, this was my first race after my injury, and it sucked start to finish. Near the end, a guy on the sidewalk was yelling encouragement to the runners, and when he saw me, he said, “You’re not even running, you’re jogging!” I knew I looked bad, but I didn’t know I looked that bad.

Last year, I finished the race in 44:34, was fifth out of eight in my age group and 149th out of 249 total finishers.

This year was completely different.

I felt pretty good through the first mile, which I ran in 7:19, faster than the 7:30 pace I was aiming for. But that good feeling didn’t last too long. It was hot, there wasn’t really any shade and I was sweating my face off. I took a cup of water from the first water station just before the two-mile marker, but, as usual, since I didn’t walk for a couple of seconds to swallow it, most of it wound up on my chest.

I hit two miles in 14:42. Sometime later, I tried concentrating on the fact I was halfway done to keep myself running. Man I was overheating. I hit three miles in 22:17. They said the second water stop was the fourth mile marker, but I hit that in 28:32, which I knew was way too fast. I found out later the fourth mile marker was for some odd reason painted on the road instead of being displayed on a large, yellow plastic sign on the side of the road. I never saw the fourth marker.

It was around that point though that we could see the traffic light in front of the high school, so we knew we were getting close. It seemed like such a short sprint down the shoulder of the highway to get to that traffic light, turn right and head for the stadium to finish. But it was not a short sprint. It was a never-ending death march.

Except, it did in fact end. Back in the stadium, we had to do about three quarters of a lap to get to the finish line. I imagined I was running the final 400-meter repeat of a track workout and managed to get a pretty good kick. I closed in on the two runners in front of me, but I couldn’t quite catch them.

It didn’t really matter, because I had just crossed the line in 37:39 — seven freaking minutes faster than a year ago!

I was a few seconds off my goal time of 37:30, but I was really happy with the whole thing. I was worried the weather would affect me more than it did, so I was proud of sticking to my goal pace in spite of it.

TK and Kari finished in under an hour, which was also quite a bit faster than TK ran this race a year ago, and we got our free TCBY frozen yogurts.

Then they posted the results. My time was good enough for first of 10 in my age group, seventh female finisher out of 105 and 52nd finisher out of 230 overall.

I couldn’t believe I won my age group! I got a little trophy:

Two of the three F25-59 age group winners

Then TK and I went home.

I watched the Indy 500 and cringed when a rookie, who was leading, wrecked on the final turn coming to the checkered flag, and was passed just before the finish line. The winner was so shocked he was crying his eyes out in victory lane. Then they interviewed the guy who blew it and you could tell he had been crying his eyes out since the wreck. Not that I could blame him.

That afternoon, I went to my friend’s son’s birthday party, and then we watched the Coke 600. At least, until we fell asleep. Apparently Dale Jr. came within a half mile of winning the thing until he ran out of gas. I’m sure Junior Nation was thrown into a tizzy by that one.

Yesterday, Clark and I waited until 10:30 a.m. to go upstairs and lift weights. It was sweltering. The fan wasn’t really doing much other than blowing around hot air. After we both lifted, I decided to do my first brick workout — a run and a bike ride, one after the other. Triathletes do them all the time, because they typically have to run right after riding their bike, but I had never done one.

Around 12:30 p.m., I set off on my bike. I rode about six miles to the trail. I brought a tie strap and a combination lock to try to jerryrig a bike lock, though I wasn’t really worried about anyone stealing the thing. At the trail, I was surprised by how easily I transitioned into running right after riding the bike. I did three miles on the trail, and had to help a group of kids and their moms, who were all riding bikes through the trails, find their way out. I made it back to the parking lot just as they were all emerging on their bikes. The way the kids were screaming in delight to see their cars again, you would think they had been lost in there for days.

I pulled my helmet back on and took off for home on my bike. The first mile was glorious. The air felt so good rushing over me. But then I was in full sun, riding into the wind for the last couple of miles, and I was miserable.

I made it home, took a shower and vegged out on the couch the rest of the day.

And today is the last day of the month, so here is my May summary:

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (May 1-7): 38.7 miles
  • Week 2 (May 8-14): 37.5
  • Week 3 (May 15-21): 48.3
  • Week 4 (May 22-28): 43.5
  • Week 5 (May 29-31): 14

Total: 182 miles

It was a very good mileage month. I also ran a pretty big 5-mile PR.

Looking ahead to June, I have my goal half marathon this coming Sunday. I knew when I signed up for it there was a good chance it would be hot as hell, but I hoped I caught a break. It doesn’t look like I’ll be catching a break. I have been training for this thing with the goal time of 1:41:30 (7:45/mile) in mind, but I think I’m going to have to be smart and dial it back. I am going to aim to hit my 2011 goal of sub-1:45 (8:00/mile) instead, which will still be a PR by several minutes. I think my original goal time is going to have to wait until the fall.

Clark and I are going to New Orleans for a few days the week after that race, and then I officially begin training for the Steamtown Marathon in October. I also have the 5-mile race on the boardwalk in Ocean City and the first 5K of the summer series, the one at the water park, to look forward to in June.

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May 27, 2011

Training for 5/27/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:39 pm

I got up at 5 a.m. today to run my final two-hour long run before the half marathon. It was another warm, muggy morning. Even though my shorts and sports bra still weren’t completely dried out from yesterday’s run, I put them on anyway, because I figured it wouldn’t matter about a mile into today’s. I was right.

I was originally planning on the same 14.5-mile loop I’ve run the last two times I did a two-hour run, but I figured I’d be slow today because of the heat, and I would take a shortcut home if it looked like it was going to take me too long to run the whole 14.5. Usually I wouldn’t care; I’d just run however long it took me to finish my intended miles. But I had somewhere to be for work this morning, so I had to stick to a schedule.

I wasn’t as miserably hot as I was yesterday, but it was still not a super enjoyable run. I cut a mile off the run, finishing 13.5 miles in two hours and 14 seconds, average pace of 8:54/mile. Not too shabby.

At home, I again had to wring out my running clothes and hang them up to dry. I was sweating like a pig. Clark had not yet left for work. He took one look at me after I walked in the door and said, “Gross.”

I couldn’t argue.

Anyway, that’s it for double-digit runs before the half marathon. I have a track workout and a short tempo run next week, along with a few short easy runs, and that’s it for training. I hope I either get used to the hot weather or we catch a break on race day and get something less humid and a little cooler. The race is on Dover Air Force Base, which means no shade.

The plan for this weekend is to run a few easy miles tomorrow, smash my (extremely weak) 5-mile PR in Sunday’s race and enjoy the extra day off Monday. Should be a good weekend for all of that.

Finally, I want to share these pictures of myself I found in the Seashore Striders’ online album yesterday. I’m finishing the Dam Mill 5K in Millsboro last August.

Some notes:

1. While I love the muscle definition in the first one, something about my bulging neck veins makes me think “SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!!” every time I look at it.

2. It’s amazing how much softer I look in the second one, even though it was probably taken only a split second before or after the first.

3. I have the same expression in both shots, however. That’s what juuuust pulling off a goal time looks like, haha.

May 26, 2011

Training for 5/26/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:52 pm

In general, this my favorite time of year. The weather is warming up, the humidity is creeping higher and summer is right around the corner.

In regards to running, this is my least favorite time of year. Reacclimating to this kind of weather sucks. But it will happen eventually.

Today, I was to run my longest tempo run ever, 60 minutes. I left the house around quarter after 7. I could tell it was going to be a hot run.

I hate running while carrying anything, but just in the last week I’ve heard from a lot of my online running friends about runners not making adjustments for the warm weather and paying the price. One girl ran a half marathon in Fargo, N.D., last weekend, in unseasonably warm and humid temperatures, and between the marathon and the half marathon, she said more than 80 runners had to be carted off the course by ambulance, mostly to treat dehydration. So today, I filled my little Gatorade bottle with water and took it with me.

I was really, really glad I did. As much as I hated the extra weight in my hand, I definitely needed that water. When I finished the run, my clothes could not have been wetter if I had been running in a downpour. I was just pouring sweat out of every pore.

Anyway, I had to make some other adjustments to the run as well. When Hal Higdon, the guy who wrote the training plans I prefer, put a 60-minute tempo run on the schedule today, he did not mean I should run hard for 60 minutes. He meant I should run a total of 60 minutes, with a 45-minute tempo run in there and a warmup and a cooldown. I’m the one who decided to tack on a warm-up mile, run the whole time at tempo pace instead of just a piece of it, add some sprint intervals and then do a cool down. To do all that, I would have had to run my 12.8-mile loop today, which is only a little less than a couple of miles shorter than my long runs.

Not gonna lie, because the heat influenced my decision, but I cut the run short today. I was also taking into consideration that I’m running a 5-mile race Sunday at the same pace I aim for in a tempo run, so there was really no need to do 8 miles at that pace today.

So here is how my run went — I did a mile to warm up, six miles at 7:30/mile pace (total of 45 minutes) with a water break every two miles (15 minutes), a five-minute recovery, eight 30-second sprint intervals with a minute of recovery between each and then a little less than a mile of a cool down jog to get home, for a total of 10 miles instead of 12.8.

I think I did the right thing. I was beat at the end of that run. Besides, I have my last long run tomorrow morning.

Tonight, I might go out and do a couple more easy miles after work. The quicker I can get used to this stuff the better, and the only way to do that is to run in it.

May 25, 2011

Training for 5/25/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:18 pm

This morning was the annual Caroline County Public Library volunteer appreciation breakfast. There’s this one longtime volunteer who’s a little mentally challenged, and seeing his picture in the paper once a year for volunteering is a big deal for him. So I make the effort to sit through the whole presentation just to take the group shot of volunteers at the end, even though one of the library staffers could just as easily take the picture and e-mail it to me, because I know that guy will be high on life for the rest of the day.

Since it’s a breakfast, that meant I had to be in Denton rather early, which meant, if I wanted to get in my workout this morning, I had to get up rather early.

My brain tends to work against me when I know I have to get up very early the next morning. Any other night, I would be dozing on the couch by 10 p.m. at the latest. Last night, I just could not get sleepy. I knew it was bad when I actually made it through a 90-minute episode of “16 and Pregnant” — half and hour longer than the usual episodes, which this season I have been sleeping through — without so much as a yawn.

Around quarter of midnight, I finally forced myself to brush my teeth, wash my face and try to go to sleep. It took a while, and I later woke up once to find the lower half of my body had been completely shoved off the bed by Pepper, who was now sprawled out where my legs should have been.

As expected, when the annoyingly peppy ringtone that is my phone’s alarm went off at 5 a.m., I was not well-rested or very excited. I came very close to scrapping it altogether, especially when Clark suggested doing just that so I could stay in bed longer.

Fortunately, Pepper had been awakened by the alarm as well, and he suddenly needed desperately to go out. Since I had to get up anyway, I got dressed. Getting out of bed is the hardest part for me, but once I put on my running clothes, I’m usually ready to go.

I got an extension cord from the garage for the box fan in the attic. Today was the first day I had to run the fan while I was upstairs. After I ate a little breakfast, I went upstairs and did my push-ups, abs, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting.

Pepper and I then went for a 3-mile easy run. Damn our road is busy that early in the morning! We had to stop and wait for so many approaching vehicles. I was really getting annoyed, but then I felt silly. After all, it’s a road. People drive on it.

Back at home, I did some barefoot exercises and stretching, and then went to the breakfast, to successfully document that guy’s volunteering for the paper for another year.

May 24, 2011

Training for 5/24/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:14 pm

This morning was the second of two 7.5-mile track workouts leading up to the half marathon, six 800-meter repeats at 10K pace. It was hot and muggy, the sun came out less than halfway through and for some reason the walkers were attracted to my freaking inside lane like moths to a flame (I seriously had to dodge them on every repeat but the last one!)

I wasn’t really feeling it today, but I got through it OK. After a mile of warm up, I ran the six repeats (goal splits of 3:41 each) in 3:42, 3:40, 3:38, 3:37, 3:36 and 3:32. I then ran another mile to cool down.

This is the last week of hard workouts before the half. I just have to get through this week and next week should be a relative breeze. On top of the weather warming up, I have a 5-mile race on Sunday, so I moved around some workouts so I could take it easy the day before the race. As a result, I’m running my longest tempo run Thursday morning, and then my final long run the next morning.

May 23, 2011

Training for 5/23/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:01 pm

First off, happy fourth anniversary to my ’07 Honda Civic, Colby. It’s been 91,000 mostly headache-free miles. Sorry about that time I got hammered drunk and ran you up on the median in Easton, by the way. I guess I deserve that weird little quirk you’ve had ever since the body shop got done with you, when your windshield wipers don’t quite work right if the headlights are on. And then the corollary part, where the wipers work perfectly fine if I take you back to the body shop to get it fixed. Yes, you’ve made me look like an idiot more than once.

Yesterday, I spent three hours cleaning that car inside and out, not because it was the day before our “anniversary,” but because it was pretty gross. The few times I’ve gone to a full service car wash, I wonder how the hell they can get away with charging that much. Then the next time I do it myself I suddenly feel like $19.95 is a totally reasonable fee for letting me sit in an air-conditioned office while someone else scrubs it down.

I think what I hate the most about washing the car is that, of all the chores I have to do, that is the one with the smallest return on investment. After spending hours cleaning it, it gets dirty again immediately, no matter what, just because I have to drive it down the road. There’s nothing I can do about it.

Oh well. It looks nice today.

Anyway, this morning I started another round of the last week of push-up challenge workouts, did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then took Pepper out for a run. I decided we only had time for two miles, as I had accidentally slept in this morning. For the most part, Pepper did OK on the run. He made it the whole way, though the way back home was noticeably faster than the way out.

Yesterday, I took Pepper to the trail for a few easy miles, and then I did some yoga before taking on the car.

Saturday, I did my 14.5-mile loop, and kept it around 8:42/mile. It wasn’t hard to slow it down this week. It was much warmer and the sun was out. I took a bottle of water with me and stopped to drink from it a few times.

That afternoon, I rode down to Ocean City with my brother in his Lightning, to see all the cars and trucks tooling around for the Cruise-In. That night, Clark and I watched the All-Star Race. Well, we tried to. The damn thing started so late we both fell asleep before even the first segment had ended.

May 20, 2011

Training for 5/20/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:49 pm

A year ago today, I was released from physical therapy and cleared to finally run again. Looking back on my training log posts from about the month following that is painful, haha. The weather had gotten hot early and I had lost a lot of running fitness due to my time off, making for a long, often discouraging comeback. My favorite post is one from late last May, when I’m moping about how hard it was to run my 4.5-mile loop that morning — I had to stop to walk three times. And I was just trying to keep an easy pace the whole time.

A year later, I went out this morning and easily ticked off 5.5 miles at a 7:34/mile clip. I was shocked how much I didn’t feel like dying, given yesterday’s crappy tempo run and the fact the sun was out today. I even backed off considerably over the final half-mile or so to do a cooldown, and I still came in a minute under where I should have at the end of the run, had I managed to keep to a 7:45/mile pace as I intended, as it was supposed to be my last pace run.

I then did a push-ups workout, some invisible chair-sitting and some stretching and foam rolling.

I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past year. I worked my butt off all summer to get back to where I was before the injury, and I’ve worked since then to just keep getting stronger. As much as I hated that injury, it showed me how much I liked running just for the running, which I believe is why I’ve never had a hard time getting over a bad training run or disappointing race. At least I’m out there! And as today proved, there’s always a better day to run right around the corner.

May 19, 2011

Training for 5/19/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:21 pm

Boy, did today’s run SUCK.

I had my longest tempo run to date on the schedule, 55 minutes. My plan was to run a mile to warm up, run 55 minutes at 7:30/mile pace, do five minutes of recovery jogging, run at least eight 30-second sprints and then run the rest of the way home for a cooldown.

I felt tired and sluggish on the warmup mile, but I reminded myself the first mile is always the worst of any run.

But when I started the 55 minutes, I could tell it was not going to be my day. I just felt tired, achey, blah. Flat. I hit the approximate first mile marker in 7:41, which only added to my woe. I was already slow and I had another 47 minutes to run at this pace?

I made it through 55 minutes of that torture, but I had to walk three times. Three times! I paused the watch every time I stopped though. I wasn’t letting myself get out of one second of running at that pace just for being a pansy.

I was so freaking happy when the watch counted off 55 minutes. I walked some of the recovery too. Then I ran nine 30-second sprints with a minute of recovery jogging between each and putted the rest of the way home.

In total, I ran 11.8 miles in about an hour and 39 minutes, overall average pace of 8:23/mile, which isn’t terrible, but is way off the pace of my usual tempo runs. And oh yeah — I had to WALK.

I don’t know if I psyched myself out because it was my longest tempo run ever, if I was actually behind on sleep or dehydrated or something, if I was just feeling the effects of this morning’s high humidity or if it was a combination of all of the above, but it was just a flat-out shitty run.

I also had the worst side stitch I’ve had in a long time for about the entire final mile, so I was at least dehydrated by the end of that run for sure.

At home, I gulped a glass of chocolate milk and a glass of water and did some stretches and foam rolling.

May 18, 2011

Training for 5/18/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:51 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training before taking Pepper out for three easy miles.

Just like a week ago, the last time I tried to take him with me on a run on the road, he started circling past me back toward our house as soon as we got past the neighbor’s house. Again, I just let him sprint back home so I could put him in the house and do the run on my own.

This time, however, Clark was not home when I dropped off Pepper, so I had to shut the utility room door before I left. This sent Pepper into a frenzy. I don’t know if he would have straightened up and run down the road with me when he realized he was going to be home alone, but I didn’t feel like finding out. I squeezed out of the door while keeping him in the house, gave him a very pointed look as I shut it behind me, ignored his howling and did the three miles on my own.

I don’t know what his problem is, but he better figure it out soon. For all the shit I put up with on a daily basis thanks to that dog (just yesterday I had to sop up coffee from every surface of the interior of my car thanks to him) the least he can do is just go for a freaking run with me a few times a week. That was the whole reason we specifically adopted a weimaraner, after all. If he won’t run with me, then all we have is a whiny, destructive, hyperactive dog with severe separation anxiety. Oh, and skin allergies. I just spent another $75 yesterday on meds to clear up yet another one for him.

May 17, 2011

Training for 5/17/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:53 pm

This morning I had my longest track workout to date planned, four mile repeats at half marathon race pace with a mile to warm up, a mile to cool down and a half-mile of recovery between each repeat, for a total of 7.5 miles. That’s 30 laps around a track. Ugh.

Normally, I would be thrilled with the rain that was coming down this morning, but that meant I couldn’t wear my iPod like I did the last time I did boring mile repeats. Ugh again.

But, it was on today’s schedule, so it had to be done.

The track was empty when I got there. That’s one bright spot of rain on track days — no walkers. I ran my warm up, and then my first mile repeat in 7:39, a little faster than I should have run it, but not too bad. I ran my recovery laps and then took off on the second repeat.

Halfway through, walkers showed up. To walk in the rain. This is unheard of at this track. As I was coming around to the backstretch on the final lap of the second mile repeat, I saw my biggest pet peeve up ahead — the two walkers, side by side, in the inside lanes, including MY lane, the one I had been using since before they even got there. Ugh AGAIN.

I caught them on the final turn of the lap, darted to the third lane to pass them and then immediately cut back into the first lane, kind of an immature, passive-aggressive way of saying “This is my lane, you guys can have the other five.” I finished that repeat in 7:38.

Halfway through the second lap of the recovery, I heard something strange. Were those footsteps coming up behind me? Sure enough, out of nowhere, a guy runs past me in the second lane — and then cuts in front of me back into the inside lane, as if to say, “I’m faster, get the hell out of my lane!”

The tables were turned. But I wasn’t too worried about it. I was about to start the thrid mile repeat, and then he would see I belonged in the first lane after all.

As I started the third repeat, I could see him going around the curve onto the backstretch. I thought I might even get to catch him and show him who should be in the inside lane and who shouldn’t be.

It never happened though. The next time I saw him, he was running down the sidewalk outside the track. The guy had run to the track, done two laps around it and went on his way. Which meant all he saw was me putting around the track on a recovery lap.

I wanted to yell after him, “Hey! Look! I CAN run faster than that!” But I decided that would be weird.

I finished the third mile in 7:36. After another recovery half-mile, I ran the final repeat in 7:36, and then did a mile to cool down.

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