A Simple Running Log

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.

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