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:


  • 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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