A Simple Running Log

September 30, 2011

Training for 9/30/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:12 pm

This morning, I didn’t have time to do my trail run, because I had to be in court early to cover a preliminary hearing for a guy charged with murder, and the sun doesn’t come up early enough anymore for me to get in those miles before I had to leave the house.

So yesterday after work, Pepper and I went to the trail to run instead.

Just as the sun is coming up a lot later than it used to, it’s also now going down a lot earlier! We got there a little before 7 p.m. and the light was already fading fast. Pepper seemed to recognize the urgency in my step, because he hardly stopped to sniff or pee on anything.

Still, it was getting dark faster than we were running, and within 10 minutes, I could barely even see Pepper just a few feet in front of me. I was certain one of us was going to trip on something and wipe out (most likely me), so I decided to take a shortcut back to the car before it got so dark we could no longer even see the trail.

We got back to the car at about a quarter after 7. I’d say we probably covered two miles before we had to bail. It was pretty much dark by then, even out in the parking lot without the tree cover. When we got back home, I also did the push-ups I would have done this morning.

That finished off September for me. Here’s my summary of the month:


  • Week 1 (Sept. 1-3): 20.3 miles
  • Week 2 (Sept. 4-10): 58
  • Week 3 (Sept. 11-17): 64.3
  • Week 4 (Sept. 18-24): 43.8
  • Week 5 (Sept. 25-30): 32.6

Total: 219 miles

My second-highest monthly mileage total ever, and only six miles short of the record I set last month! It was also my third straight month of 200+ miles.

The first week and a half or so of the month wasn’t too pretty. I ran that 20-miler that went so badly, and all the late summer heat, heavy rainstorms and high mileage were starting to wear me down. Then we got a little relief from the heat and things started to pick up. I ran a much, much better 20-miler on the 17th and then, a week later, ran my first sub-21 5K, followed the next day by a new 10K PR of more than a minute.

In nine days, I will run the Steamtown Marathon. I’ve put in 725 training miles since my June half marathon. I only have another 25 left, and then it’s race day, when all of those training miles come down to one 26.2-mile race. Which I will hopefully finish in less than four hours — fingers crossed.

I’m not sure exactly how the rest of October is going to go. There are a couple of small local races I’m considering, including a cross country trail race, and I have to figure out how I want to get ready for the Philly half marathon Nov. 20. If I make sub-4 in Scranton, I will only have one goal left to check off for the year, a sub-1:45 half marathon. And since I’m only 27 seconds off that right now, I think I can do it.

September 29, 2011

Training for 9/29/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:35 pm

This morning I did my final tempo run before the marathon. It wasn’t my last speed workout though; I still have a very short track workout next Tuesday, and then I’m done running fast until the marathon.

Anyway, this morning, it was still misty, warm and humid. I did a mile to warm up, then did the 30-minute tempo run. I covered 4.15 miles during those 30 minutes, an average pace of 7:14/mile. I jogged a five-minute recovery, and then did six 30-second sprint intervals with a minute of recovery between each. Finally, I ran the last half-mile home at an easy pace, for a grand total of 7.2 miles this morning.

September 28, 2011

Training for 9/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:36 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I did 4.5 easy miles.

It was bright and sunny when we left the house, but by the 3-mile point, clouds were rolling in and I could hear rumbles of thunder. More freaking rain? No wonder Texas has such an epic drought going on. All the rain is in stupid Delaware.

Pepper and I managed to get home in time to avoid the torrential downpour and the lightning. The storm didn’t last long, but it was pretty powerful. There was a lot of lightning followed almost immediately by extremely loud thunder.

And it’s STILL as warm and muggy as August outside. Even though we didn’t get rained on, I was as thoroughly drenched as I would have been had we gotten caught in the rain, because of how much sweat I produced in that measly short run. Isn’t it fall now? Supposedly all this humidity and heat and rain is finally getting pushed out of here by the weekend. Sunday’s high is only 63, which should be perfect NASCAR-watching weather, and, a week after that, perfect marathon running weather.

September 27, 2011

Training for 9/27/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:18 pm

This morning, I was only supposed to do six miles, according to the training plan. But my 6.5-mile route has a bridge on it that’s still washed out, so I just did my 7.2-mile route instead.

I took Pepper with me. It was pretty much a routine easy run. Nothing interesting to report, sorry!

September 26, 2011

Training for 9/26/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:18 pm

I ran two of my best races ever this weekend!

Saturday, I ran the Caroline Hospice Remembrance Run/Walk, a 5K held every year in Federalsburg. I’ve run it the last three years, and won it (for the women) the last two. I was really hoping to three-peat as the women’s winner, but above all, I wanted to break 21 minutes in the 5K for the first time. I made my 2011 goal to break 22 minutes in March, and I set my PR of 21:05 in July, so I really felt like I should be able to go sub-21.

It rained all day Friday, but fortunately, it stopped in time to not drown out the flood-prone Federalsburg marina, where the race began and ended. Race day was warm, overcast and extremely muggy. There was a 90 percent chance of rain at 9 a.m. (though it never actually rained), so the humidity was close to if not at 100 percent. I stuck with my summer racing outfit of shorts, a sports bra and a hat.

I guess the shitty weather forecast scared off a lot of people, because there were less than 50 runners in the 5K, about a third of the usual crowd. (There was also a 2-mile walk that started 15 minutes later.) I didn’t recognize anyone at the start line as seriously fast runners, so I was interested to find out who I could pace off of.

We got the commands and I took the hell off. I wanted sub-21, and I knew it was going to have to hurt the whole way.

Two teens, a boy and a girl, also took off about my pace. I ran even with the girl, the boy a few paces ahead, through the first 3/4 of a mile. I dropped the girl just before the hill at the end of the first mile, which was about when the race director, who was riding in the golf cart leading the way, dropped back to ask me what time was on my watch. The clock at the finish line hadn’t started when it was supposed to! I told him when my watch hit six minutes and he radioed that to the finish line, so they could start the clock at six minutes. So that day, official race timing was provided by my Timex. Good thing I started right on the start line, instead of a couple of seconds off it like I normally do.

We hit the first mile marker in 6:33. I was already hurting, but I expected that.

My pacer and I ran down University Avenue toward the elementary school. I thought I was holding a steady pace, but he was wavering. Every now and then I would start to creep past him, but he would surge ahead.

We hit two miles in 13:15, a 6:42 second mile and 15 seconds ahead of where I needed to be to make my sub-21 goal.

My pacer was losing steam. I passed him not long after the second mile marker, as we got to the long downhill that led back to Main Street. When we hit the bottom of the hill and turned to head back to the marina, I was in the lead.

I felt like my lungs might explode at any second, but I kept running. I heard footsteps pounding up behind me, and thought the kid had gotten a second wind. But no, it was a different guy. He passed me with authority, but he didn’t get too far ahead of me.

We got to the turn to head down to the marina and to the finish line. The 2-mile walkers were gathered on both sides of the entrance, since the walk started there. They saw the 5K leaders coming and cheered us in. I heard one woman yell to me, “Are you beating your time?” I yelled back, “Maybe!”

Truth was, I was totally smashing it! I looked at my watch at the 3-mile marker — 19:52. A 6:37 third mile! I would have to lose both of my legs to not cross that finish line under 21 minutes!

The leader and I tore down through the marina parking lot and to the finish line. He was out of my grasp, but I wanted as far under 21 minutes as I could get.

Coming to the finish line.

I crossed the line and stopped my watch:


I was elated! I couldn’t believe it! I smashed my goal time, I ran that race more than two minutes faster than a year ago and not only did I successfully defend my women’s title, I almost won the whole damn thing!

I felt completely sapped, but really great. The winner congratulated me, and as the guys behind me finished, they told me what a great race I ran and also congratulated me.

At the awards ceremony, I got a plaque:

I look so goofy because my Aunt Helen was also trying to take my picture.

The race director was seriously giddy I had almost won the race. He said it was a small race, but a really good one, and he had enjoyed watching it play out from the golf cart. Everyone gasped when he said I had come in only one second off the first place guy. Not gonna lie, I felt as close to a freaking rock star as I ever have when the race director called my name to get my award, and everyone clapped and cheered.

TK, Robyn, me and Kari (who got in from Texas too late the night before to run) after the race.

It was a pretty spectacular morning. As we were leaving the marina, the rain finally started to fall. Where was that when we were running, huh?

That afternoon and evening, I went with TK and Julie to the mall to do some shopping, and then I met Clark, Mike and Mike’s brother at the same mall to see “Moneyball.” I ate half a pound of chocolate and gummi candies during the movie, haha.

We got to bed around midnight. Clark got up really early the next morning to take his brother’s dog, which we were dogsitting, to his parents’ beach house, so they could keep an eye on him while we were at the Dogfish Dash. TK and Kari picked me up at 6:20 a.m.

Race day was a repeat of the day before — overcast and extremely muggy, but no rain. Gah. We got to the race site about 50 minutes before the scheduled start. There were a few more people there than had been at the 5K the day before, to say the least.

TK, Kari and I picked up our race bibs and T-shirts and I did a mile to warm up. I felt surprisingly good, considering the hard 5K I had run the day before. I had no idea how I’d hold up in the race, but I decided to just go out conservatively and then pick it up if I felt like it.

We got in the starting corral. There were signs with paces on them (6-minute miles, 7-minute miles, etc.) in an attempt to get people to line up correctly, but that doesn’t always go so well. Three minutes before the gun was supposed to go off, Clark showed up. He had gotten a cold last week while he was in North Carolina so he wasn’t feeling so hot, and he had missed the box of safety pins on the table so he had to carry his race bib in his hand, but he was going to give the 5K a go.

We got the command to start from Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head. It took about 15 seconds for Clark and me to cross the start line, but the race was chip timed, so it didn’t matter.

As expected, quite a few people had seriously overestimated their abilities, so there were a few traffic jams as 1,200 runners tried to sort themselves out. I picked up speed gradually, and by the time we got out of the Dogfish Head parking lot and were running down a street in Milton, I had plenty of racing room.

The entire race course wound through Milton, which is surprisingly hilly for the area. There was a nice downhill at the beginning, but we were eventually going to have to come back up it — twice, if we were running the 10K.

Looking nice and happy in the first mile of the race.

I hit the first mile in 7:17, and decided to try to hold that pace for the rest of the race.

I don’t remember all my splits from the rest of the race, but I was hanging on to that pace just fine. We came up that hill for the first time, and all the 5K runners went left to finish the race, while the 10K runners went right to do another lap.

It got quite a bit less crowded for the next couple of miles, after the split. I know I ran past the 5K marker in 21:50. I was pretty much holding my place in the pack at that point, so there’s not much to say about that part of the race.

Sometime before the 5-mile marker, the 10K course rejoined the 5K course. By that time, all the 5K’ers still out there were the walkers, and most of them were wearing costumes made out of Dogfish Head six-packs or something (there was also a recycled costume contest) so they weren’t moving too fast. The course got more interesting. Not only were there people to look at, those people were getting in the 10K runners’ way on narrow city streets. No one held me up, but there were a couple of places where it got close.

Looking considerably less happy late in the race.

There were a couple of women (runners in the 10K) in front of me as we came up that hill the final time. I closed on one as we were running uphill, but she got away from me when the course flattened back out. All three of us passed another woman before we got to the turn to head to the finish line.

I look like I'm marching to the finish line here, but I swear I was actually still running.

I felt pretty strong as I cruised to the finish line, and even chicked one last guy just before the finish. The race director calling the race was the same one who’d done the 5K the day before, so he announced my name and the fact I’d just run second in a 5K as I crossed the line, which was a nice touch.

My chip time was 45:09, another big PR! I came in almost a minute faster than my previous PR, which was set on a flat course (though on a much hotter day) in July.

I got a water bottle and headed off to the post-race party. I found Clark soon after. He hadn’t fared very well. He said he kept me in his sight until the first mile, but then… well, he had a bathroom emergency and no available bathrooms. I’ve been there, and it sucks. He managed to run/walk the rest of the way without having an accident, but it wasn’t pretty.

Soon after I finished, the beer tents opened. I got a Punkin Ale, and Clark got one for me too. (That’s how bad he felt — he didn’t even want free Dogfish Head, so he just took one so he could save me a wait in line, since we could only take one beer at a time.)

We went to TK’s car so I could put on my shirt and trade my shoes for my flip-flops. We saw TK and Kari run by on their way to the finish soon after.

I had no idea where I’d finished in the overall order, but I thought there was a chance I’d placed in my age group, so we stuck around for the awards ceremony.

It turned out I’d won the women’s 20-29 age group in the 10K! The award was a bottle opener, and they were presented by none other than Sam Calagione! I was a little tipsy on Punkin Ale and My Antonia by the time I got called up, so I gave Sam a big hug. After all, if it weren’t for Sam, there’d be no Punkin Ale.

Me and Sam! He's holding my age group award; I'm holding one of his beers.

We headed home after that. I watched the Ravens destroy the Rams, and Tony Stewart won the race for the second week in a row.

Last night, we looked up our results on Clark’s phone. My stats from the 10K were:

  • 1st/73 in the F 20-29 agr group
  • 4th/231 women
  • 35th/554 overall finishers

I was shocked. I had no clue those two women who finished in front of me were the second and third place women! The first place woman had finished a couple of minutes ahead of me.

So that was my weekend. This morning, I started another round of 100 push-up challenge workouts, did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training and then took Pepper out for 4.5 easy miles. At home, I did some barefoot exercises, stretching and foam rolling.

September 23, 2011

Training for 9/23/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:06 pm

Today is the first official day of fall, and this year we’re starting it off with three straight days of rain. Yippee.

It was hardly drizzling this morning when Pepper and I got up though, so as soon as he was done eating and using the bathroom, we headed out for 4.5 easy miles.

I did some invisible chair-sitting and barefoot exercises when I got home.

I have a couple of races this weekend. I like running in rain, so I don’t mind if it’s raining during the races, especially since it’s not really that cool right now anyway. Tomorrow morning, I’m hoping to win the overall women’s title at the Federalsburg 5K for the third consecutive year and PR in the process, and then Sunday, I’m running the Dogfish Dash 10K in Milton. I don’t know what my goals are for Sunday. I might be totally wiped from Saturday’s race. Whatever happens in the race, I know I’ll be getting some free beer out of it, and that’s the important part, of course!

September 22, 2011

Training for 9/22/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:19 pm

This morning, I ran my final hill workout of this marathon training cycle.

Pepper was pissed when I left him at home, but there’s no way I can run with him on that bridge, not to mention the question of how he’d even get out there since I ride my bike.

I tried to ignore his howling and barking as I pedaled away from the house. God that dog knows how to lay on a guilt trip!

Anyway, I rode the five miles out to the bridge, tucked the bike in the woods and ran a mile on the flat road to warm up. Then I did six repeats on the bridge, up and down and back three times. I did another mile on the flat road to cool down, for a total of 5.2 miles running. Then I got back on my bike and rode back home.

When I got home, Pepper had tried to squeeze out some poop on the floor in protest, but he had clearly gone to the bathroom already that morning, and all he could muster was a little spray that looked almost like he’d just sneezed. It only took a minute and two paper towels to clean up, but it still pissed me off. What an asshole.

I did some stretching and drank some chocolate milk to finish up after that.

September 21, 2011

Training for 9/21/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

This morning, I did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I went out for 5.5 easy miles.

This was our final Monday/Wednesday post-strength training run of that length. Next week, they drop to 4.5 miles each, and the week after that, which is the week leading up to the marathon, they’re only 3 and 2 miles each.

I don’t time these runs with Pepper, but I looked at the time when we left the house and when we got back, and 46 minutes had passed, which put our average for 5.5 miles at 8:21/mile. I wish I could run my marathon with Pepper (and he wouldn’t get bored and sit down on the side of the road after only 10 miles, haha.) He’s a perfect running partner, always ready to go and keep up a good clip.

I remember the first time I tried to run with him last November. It was a disaster. He’d never even been on a leash before, and the whole concept confused the hell out of him. Ten months later, he still has some kinks to work out, but for the most part, he has turned out to be as much fun to run with as I’d hoped.

September 20, 2011

Training for 9/20/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:19 pm

This morning, Pepper and I did a lap around an 8.5-mile route I came up with, since my usual 8.2-mile route got screwed up by the bridge that washed out in the flooding a couple of weeks ago.

It was a good run, except for all the traffic, which I had to stop for since I had Pepper and he’s not that good at sticking to the extreme left edge of the road. I’m not used to seeing so many vehicles on those roads. But everyone’s using all my back roads right now while Route 20 is closed, again due to that stupid flood. They said on the news last night it should be open again by the end of the week. I hope that’s true.

The traffic was bad enough, but then, about two and a half miles from home, we came up on a woman walking her two dogs, only one of which was on a leash. The other one, a little beagle, was friendly at least, but it would not leave Pepper alone. I tried to keep Pepper moving, hoping the beagle would lose interest, but he kept trotting down the road with us. And the woman was making absolutely no effort to call her dog back; she was too busy yelling at the other dog on the leash to stop pulling. Finally, I let Pepper take off in a sprint and I followed, hoping the beagle wouldn’t be interested in running that fast. That finally worked.

Unleashed dogs are a pet peeve of mine. I understand we’re out in the country, but when you’re walking the dog down the damn road, put it on a leash. That way you can control it when, say, there’s a vehicle approaching, or some roadkill you don’t want your dog rolling in or, I don’t know, another freaking dog coming down the road toward it.

We finally finished the run. At home, I did some stretching and foam rolling.

September 19, 2011

Training for 9/19/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:26 pm

Today is Clark’s and my second anniversary! Unfortunately, he had to go to North Carolina yesterday for a weeklong refrigeration conference, but we celebrated pretty well Saturday night. Pepper even left us an anniversary “gift.” I’ll get back to that later.

Saturday morning, I ran my last 20-miler of this marathon training cycle. It was such a nice, cool, overcast day, I wore a shirt. And then I did an out-and-back. I’m so crazy.

I’m not really sure why I decided to do the out-and-back. I ran 10.15 miles out on a route that went from our house to Galestown with a couple of extra turns added in for mileage. When I got to Galestown, I could either run the three miles down Line Road to home, which I don’t really like, and then run my 7.2-mile loop. Or I could just turn around and retrace my steps on the back roads with very little traffic, and the next time I saw my house, I’d be done.

I had my water bottle with me and had not even drank half of it when I got to Galestown, and I had all the salt caps and Chomps I needed in the little pouch on the water bottle strap, so I just turned around and went back.

It was a great run, one of my best long runs, in fact. I was getting tired of running in the last few miles, but physically I still felt good when I was done. Like I could run, I don’t know, another 5.9 miles.

I ran 20.3 miles in 3:02:47, average pace of 9:00/mile on the nose. I did a bunch of stretching and foam rolling after my chocolate milk and then took a hot shower.

That night, Clark and I went to the Brick Hotel in Georgetown, where we’d had our wedding reception, for dinner. I had cream of crab soup, red snapper with mushroom risotto and a flourless chocolate torte. I was stuffed when I left there! Then we drove to Rehoboth and I had a Punkin Ale at Dogfish Head.

When we got home, around 1 a.m., Pepper had pooped on the damn floor again. It really pissed me off that time, because we had fed him and let him out to use the bathroon on his regular schedule, but he obviously didn’t go. It’s like he knows when we need him to go, and he holds it on purpose. At least he’s stopped running through it and smearing it all over the doors and walls.

When we got that cleaned up, we had another drink each before going to bed at 2:30 a.m.

Yesterday morning, I was surprised by how awake I felt at 7 a.m. when I got up to feed Pepper. I got dressed and went out to run my 10.5-mile loop at goal marathon pace, 8:30/mile.

After the little bit of fatigue from the previous day’s 20-miler got shaken out in the first mile, I was cruising. It was another great run. I finished the loop in 1:27:17, average pace of 8:18/mile. I did some yoga after that and drank my usual chocolate milk.

Clark and I went to his co-worker’s house in Salisbury, as they were riding down to North Carolina together. After he left, I went home and watched NASCAR rain delay coverage (they interviewed Bobby again!) and caught pieces of the Ravens’ loss to the Titans. Last night, I went to my parents’ house for dinner, and Mom made spaghetti and homemade turkey meatballs. Then my aunt dropped off slices of a banana cream cheesecake my other aunt had bought from the Cheesecake Factory. I polished off everything on my plate again. I ran 31 miles over two days; I need the calories, haha.

This morning, I did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I did 5.5 easy miles. I finished up at home with barefoot exercises, stretching and foam rolling.

Last week was my final week of high mileage before the marathon. I only have three weeks of training left, and they taper down over the next two to practically nothing over the week leading up to the race. I am really confident I’m going to finally break four hours in Scranton!

This coming weekend, I have two races I’m really looking forward to. On Saturday, I’m running the 5K in Federalsburg I’ve won the last two years. I’m hoping to PR in it. Then, Sunday, I finally get to run the Dogfish Dash 10K. Of course, I’d like to PR in that one too, but I have no idea how I’m going to feel after Saturday’s race, so we’ll see. The main goal there is to finish the race and get to all the free beer! Even better, Clark is running the 5K, so he’ll be there too, along with TK and Kari.

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