A Simple Running Log

October 31, 2011

Training for 10/31/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:01 pm

Happy Halloween! This morning, I woke up to something truly frightening — the first frost of the season. Boo!

The first of many to come, sadly.

I bundled up and went upstairs to do push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting. Then Pepper and I did three easy miles on the road, and I finished up at home with barefoot exercises and stretching.

This weekend’s runs represented the best and worst of fall running.

Saturday was as rainy, windy and cold as it was supposed to be. I had to be at a thing for work at 11 a.m., which is probably the only reason I didn’t procrastinate on getting my run in.

I had on my capri tights, a long-sleeved compression top, a water-resistant sweatshirt, a baseball hat to keep the rain out of my face and gloves. I was worried I was a little overdressed.

Ha. I was FREEZING. Usually, a rainy run like that gets better as you go along and get used to the rain. Not so much Saturday. It was just so freaking cold, especially when I was running head-on into the wind. My clothes were completely soaked within minutes, and I just got colder and colder as I went on. My hands were definitely the worst. I could barely feel them in their icy, soaking wet gloves.

I ran the whole 14 miles though. Since a bridge is still closed on the big 14.5-mile loop I would have normally ran, I did my 9.5-mile loop, passed by my house and then did my 4.5-mile loop. It was really tough to keep going at the end of the first loop, instead of just cutting it short and going inside, especially because the wind was in my face at that time.

I finished the last 4.5 miles and booked it for the house. I tried to pull off my cold, completely saturated clothes as soon as I got in the door, but my fingers had gone almost completely numb. It took forever to peel everything off.

I got right in a hot shower after that. After the shower and blow-drying my hair, I felt a whole lot better.

I looked at my watch to see my time for the 14 miles: 2:00:36, average pace of 8:37/mile. Not bad. I obviously just wanted to get that run over with as soon as possible.

I went to my work assignment, and that evening, Clark and I went to my nephew’s birthday party.

Sunday morning was cold and breezy again, but the rain cleared out and it was a gorgeous day. I was planning on taking Pepper to the cross country trail for our usual 3-mile run, but I decided I deserved a longer run in nice weather to make up for the crap I ran through Saturday, so I took Pepper to Trap Pond State Park to run the 5-mile loop.

It was a beautiful day to run, and the trees did a good job of blocking the wind, so all we had to put up with was the chill. Pepper and I had a good run, and I got some pictures:

Pepper, stick in mouth, on one of the bridges along the trail.

Pepper was happy, in spite of having to wear his jacket for the first time this season.

Heading down part of the trail.

Trap Pond.

We went home after that, where Clark took a picture of Pepper and me:

That afternoon, we watched the Ravens come back from a pretty bad first half to beat the Cardinals, and Tony Stewart win the Martinsville race and promise to give the points leader, Carl Edwards, a run for the championship over the three remaining races. (Jimmie Johnson finished second, but he only gained seven points on Edwards yesterday, so he’s pretty much out of the running!)

I was sitting in Pepper’s favorite chair, so he kept climbing up in it to “share” it with me:

He was just trying to keep me warm, haha.

The next two weeks will be the hardest in terms of getting ready for the Philly half marathon Nov. 20. The long runs don’t get any longer than the two hours I did this weekend, but the tempo runs increase to 55 and 60 minutes. Yikes!

And finally, this is the last day of the month, so here is my October summary:


  • Week 1 (Oct. 1): 8.5 miles
  • Week 2 (Oct. 2 – 8): 16.5
  • Week 3 (Oct. 9 – 15): 45.9
  • Week 4 (Oct. 16 – 22): 46.5
  • Week 5 (Oct. 23 – 29): 41.8
  • Week 6 (Oct. 30-31): 8
Total: 167.2 miles
Quite a drop after three consecutive 200-plus mile months, but not bad considering I didn’t run at all for six days, leading up to and then recovering from the marathon.
This month was a great one for racing. I finally hit sub-4 in the Steamtown Marathon, running a 3:42:28. Then I ran my first cross country race, and Pepper and I ran our second 5K together, which went a lot better than the first one.
November is going to be a fun one. I have quite a few races scheduled — 5Ks on the 5th (with Pepper), 12th and 26th; a possible 10K on the 25th; a 7-mile trail race on the 14th; and my goal half marathon on the 20th.

October 28, 2011

Training for 10/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:17 pm

As quickly as it came, shorts-and-sports bra weather left, because this morning was in the upper 30s. I had to wear tights, a long-sleeved compression top, a short-sleeved T-shirt and gloves.

All the rain and howling wind from last night had also moved on, thankfully, so Pepper could go with me on an easy trip around the 4.5-mile loop. I briefly considered putting his little dork jacket on him, but I decided it wasn’t quite time for that.

After our run, I did some push-ups, invisible chair-sitting, barefoot exercises and stretching.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a cold, wet, windy, nasty day, but I’m going to do my planned two-hour long run anyway. I have to cover some dumb thing for the paper later tomorrow morning, and tomorrow night, we are going to my nephew’s birthday party. Sunday is supposed to be nice, so I will most likely take Pepper for a trail run before the NASCAR race and Ravens game that afternoon.

October 27, 2011

Training for 10/27/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:49 pm

The weather was weird today. When I woke up, it was totally calm and pretty mild outside. I guess I was wrong last Saturday when I declared shorts weather dead for the season.

Not only did I wear shorts, I didn’t wear a shirt. Who knew there were still a couple shorts-and-sports bra runs left on the calendar?

Five minutes  before I headed out the door, I glanced out the window and saw pouring rain. But I could still clearly the sun off to the east. I traded my headband for a hat and headed out.

By that time, the rain had trickled off to a drizzle, and then stopped altogether.

Today was to be a tempo run, a short one. I did a mile to warm up. About at the end of that mile, the rain had picked back up to a pretty steady downpour, but I had warmed up enough that the temperature felt about perfect and the rain even felt nice.

I was supposed to only do 30 minutes at tempo pace today. I was aiming for 7:26/mile pace, or  a just a hair over four miles. Instead, I ran a little faster and covered 4.15 miles (according to the not-very-scientific online route mapping site I use), which would have been a 7:14/mile pace.

I did a five-minute recovery jog. At this point, the rain was completely gone and the sun was out, lighting up the gorgeous fall foliage along the road. Then I ran six 30-second sprint intervals with a minute of recovery between each.

I had about another half-mile to run easy for a cool down to get home. In all, I ran 7.2 miles in about 57 minutes, or an average pace of 7:55/mile.

At home, I did some stretching and foam rolling.

October 26, 2011

Training for 10/26/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:27 pm

This morning, I did some ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I did three easy miles. I finished up with barefoot exercises and stretching.

This morning, I got an e-mail from a race organizer in the Dover area, the one that put on the half marathon I ran back in June. The e-mail looked like just a typical update on an upcoming race.

This one was a little different though. To get people to cough up the $15 to $25 registration fees for 5Ks, the race organizers always throw in some perks, usually a free event T-shirt and post-race refreshments. This race has those things, but there’s something extra.

You can get a free flu shot!

It’s the Stride for Community Immunity 5K, haha. The kicker is, you don’t even have to be a paid participant of the race to get the free flu shot, but I guess they’re hoping most people will think, “Well, I’m going out there to get a flu shot anyway, might as well do the 5K while I’m there.”

I like the last line of the e-mail the best: “Bring the family out for a fun filled morning at the park!”

What kid doesn’t like getting stuck with a needle? Sounds like a blast to me.

October 25, 2011

Training for 10/25/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:07 pm

This morning, I went out to the track for five 800-meter repeats.

It was a great morning for running, clear, cool but not too cold and just a slight breeze. There were a handful of walkers at the track, but they weren’t clogging up the inside lane.

I was aiming for splits of 3:26 each. I think those splits were suggested by a training calculator as Yasso 800 times (those are supposed to predict your marathon finish time, even though I’m not presently training for a marathon.) The Yasso times were faster than the 10K pace my training plan called for, so I went with them. Hey, maybe this will become my 10K pace, and the next one I run will be at a 6:52/mile pace!

Yeah, probably not.

Anyway, I did a mile to warm up and took off on the first 800-meter repeat. To run 3:26, each of the two laps would have to be 1:43. I glanced at my watch after the first lap — 1:49! What the hell? I knew I wasn’t running all out, but I didn’t know I was running so far off pace! I gunned it for the second lap and finished in 3:28. Not acceptable!

I did a lap of recovery and ran the second repeat in 3:24. A little fast, but I’d rather run too fast than too slow.

The rest of the workout went like that. Repeats three through five were all 3:24. I guess I was too worried about running slow.

I did a couple of easy miles to cool down, for a total of 6.5 miles today. At home, I did plenty of stretching and foam rolling.

October 24, 2011

Training for 10/24/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:17 pm

I had a pretty successful weekend of racing. I didn’t set any PRs, but I got to run my first cross country race and run a race with Pepper that went a lot better than the first one we ran together.

Saturday morning, I ran the Raven Cross Country Classic 5K outside Georgetown. It was held on Sussex Tech High School’s cross country course.

The race information said the open race, the one I would be running in, started at 8 a.m. (There were middle and high school races that started at 10 a.m.) I got to the race site around 7:30 a.m., got my bib and pulled off my sweats to go try to warm up.

It was really cold Saturday morning, at least compared to the previous several days. I had on shorts, a long-sleeved shirt and a short-sleeved shirt, and all I could think about was how shorts weather was definitely over. I ran about a mile and a half and was just starting to feel a little less cold.

At 8 a.m., I was surprised when the race director announced we still had half an hour until the start. Gah! I didn’t want to lose what little warmth I’d started to feel, so I took off jogging again. I did at least another mile and a half, and was starting to feel very familiar with the trail (which was a lot like Seaford’s cross country trail anyway.) I have never run three miles to warm up for a 5K, but it was necessary that day.

About 60 people ran the open cross country race. We gathered in a corner of a field. The race director told us what the blue, red and yellow directional marks on trees and posts along the trail meant, but I forgot as soon as he told us. Fortunately, about a dozen Sussex Tech cross country runners were stationed along the route to point us the right way.

We took off down the side of the field toward an opening to the right of the woods. We ran down that and then down a very wide dirt path through the woods and came out on the other side of the field. We ran along the perimeter of the woods, passing the half-mile mark, before finally entering the woods and running down the trail.

Not long after that, we hit the first mile marker, and some high school runners announced my mile time as 7:23. That was the only time I had any clue what pace I was running. I just wanted to enjoy running through the woods for that race. I didn’t have a time goal or anything.

I was pretty sure I was the lead woman. I picked off a few guys as we raced through the woods. The cold air was making my eyes water, but I was having a great time skimming over the trails, keeping my feet high so I wouldn’t wipe out the way I did on the trail a week before, haha. I wished Pepper could have run that race with me. He would have loved it. But it was hard enough to pass people on the narrow trails by myself; it would have been too much to try to keep Pepper out of everyone’s way too. Oh well. He’ll just have to stick to running my training runs with me on the Seaford course.

Past two miles, we wound back up on the wide dirt path that had led us out of the woods the first time. Some high school runners yelled we only had about 400 meters to go to reach the finish. I couldn’t believe it was already almost over.

I heard breathing behind me and thought it was one of the younger guys I had passed, trying to get me in the final stretch. We turned a corner, saw the 3-mile marker and the finish line ahead in the middle of a grassy field, and I heard a woman’s voice say, “Oh forget it! I can’t get you!”

What do you know, I was that close to losing my lead! For the first time in the entire race, I felt a little competitiveness surge inside of me and I sprinted for the finish line.

Since my first mile was a 7:23 and I hadn’t looked at my watch once for the rest of the race, I was surprised to see I ran the course in 21:59 — an average pace of 7:04 a mile. I didn’t realize it, but I apparently sped up quite a bit over the last two miles. We all got little finisher’s medals at the finish line.

It wasn’t long before I was really cold again, so I pulled on my sweats again and waited for the awards ceremony. I got a plaque for being the first woman to finish:

I was also 10th overall.

The rest of Saturday was spent doing a lot of laundry and dirty dishes. That night, Clark, Mike and I went to Dogfish Head. I volunteered to be designated driver since I had another race the next morning anyway.

Sunday morning was the Habitat Halloween Dash 5K in Federalsburg. The race didn’t start until 9 a.m., so I got to sleep in, as far as race mornings usually go.

Pepper and I got to the race site around 8:30 a.m. I got my race bib and T-shirt, and took off my sweats (though I had learned my lesson from the day before and worn capri tights instead of shorts.) I did a very short warm-up with Pepper. He was really excited and had no idea what was going on.

The race started on time. I decided to try starting at the front, all the way to one side, with Pepper, to see if not having all those people right in front of him at the start would help. As the race director was giving us final instructions, I couldn’t get Pepper to face the right way. He was standing facing everyone behind us. I was trying to get him to turn around, but he just wouldn’t. I finally had physically turn him around, just as the whistle sounded.

All those people took off and Pepper’s eyes went wide! He gave me a quick look and then took off too. He was so confused! I couldn’t get him to run in a straight line; he kept weaving because he was trying so hard to see everything that was going on around him. Fortunately, he never got in anyone’s way.

From the start, the course went down a little cul-de-sac and made a U-turn around a traffic cone. I kept Pepper to the extreme right, to stay out of everyone’s way.

After the U-turn, we started picking people off. Pepper was still having a tough time running in a straight line, but he had started to settle down by the time we hit the first mile marker.

Half the course was on a paved biking and walking path along the Marshy Hope River. It was not a very wide path. Pepper and I were running with a group of about four guys. I was mostly concentrating on keeping Pepper away from their feet. Pepper was really interested in these other people running the same pace as us.

We hit the two-mile marker. Not long after that, we got past the last of the guys in that pack. With no one in front of or near us, Pepper finally ran in a straight line down the side of the road.

We were keeping a nice, steady pace through the last mile. I could hear footsteps behind me and knew we weren’t too far ahead of at least one of the guys.

We turned a corner at the 3-mile marker and the finish line was in sight. Pepper got confused again — what were all those cones, and why were all those people just standing around up ahead? He slowed down and started weaving again, looking back at me. I was trying to keep him pointed in the right direction, but he wasn’t getting it.

The footsteps were getting close. I pulled Pepper to the side for a second to let the guy get past us. I didn’t want Pepper ruining his finish. Pepper was immediately inspired since he now had someone to chase, and we finished a second off that guy, in 21:22.

That was quite a ways off my 5K PR, but for Pepper, that was a two-and-a-half-minute improvement over the one he ran in February!

He still has some things to work on — not getting so distracted by other runners and finishing strong chief among them — but Pepper did a hell of a lot better yesterday than he did in the last race he ran.

He was also a pretty big hit with everyone else there. Everyone wanted to pet him, and the guys who had run with us in the race were commenting on how fast he was. Pepper was soaking up all the attention.

They gave out some door prizes before the awards, and I won a box of golf balls, which I promptly gave to Kari, since she actually golfs:


Then they announced the awards. Pepper and I were third overall (would have been second if he could have kept it together at the end, haha) and I was the first woman to finish. I got a handmade award that looked like a house (the race benefited Caroline County Habitat for Humanity.) I tried to get Pepper to sit for the picture:

"Hey what is that, a new chew toy?"

But, he wasn’t cooperating. We got a better picture later:

I love the look on Pepper's face. He looks totally offended by something off-camera.

TK, Kari and I, along with Pepper, after the race:

At least we got him to sit for this one.

When we got home, I enjoyed a lazy afternoon of watching the NASCAR race (Jimmie Johnson finished 26th and is now 50 points out of the lead with four races to go!) and drinking beer. And napping. Pepper joined me on that one:

I think Pepper will do well in his next race, the Tails on the Trail 5K in Lewes on Nov. 5. I’m excited there are separate awards for the top 10 finishing dogs. Pepper is going to dominate!

This morning, I did some push-ups, abs, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I did an easy three miles. I did some barefoot exercises, stretching and foam rolling when we got home.

October 21, 2011

Training for 10/21/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:04 pm

This morning, I knocked out this week’s long run, so all I have to do this weekend is run the two 5Ks I’m signed up for, without worrying about squeezing in extra mileage.

It was to be another hour and 45-minute long run, so I did the 12.2-mile loop again. It was still a little breezy this morning, but not nearly as windy as yesterday. I finished the loop in 1:47:22, average pace of 8:48/mile.

My training plan wanted me to run the last quarter of the run, or final three miles, faster than the first part of the run, but I was still a little worn out from my tempo run that was only a mile and a half shorter yesterday. So I just ran the whole thing at a steady pace.

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

The weekend is pretty light, running-wise. Tomorrow morning I’m running a cross country 5K in Georgetown, and Sunday, I’m running a 5K in Federalsburg. I think I’m going to take Pepper to run with me Sunday. It’s a small race — only 40 people finished last year — and I’d like to get one more under his belt before the 5K I’m definitely running with him Nov. 5, which encourages dogs to participate and even gives out awards to the top 10 dog finishers. Pepper’s going to own that dog division! If I can keep up with him that is, of course.

October 20, 2011

Training for 10/20/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:26 pm

Fun fact: On this day in 1995, I took over first chair French horn in the Colonel Richardson Middle School band, over former first chair Teena Wu, by correctly playing an E-flat scale during our lesson with our band director. I have no idea why that moment has remained so clearly etched in my mind since then. (I even remember the fingerings to play the scale, though I haven’t seen a French horn in more than 10 years.)

On this day this year, I ran a long tempo run and sprint intervals, that were made exponentially harder by the freaking wind.

The warm-up mile flew by because the wind was at my back. When I made the turn to head to the ferry, and then started my 50 minutes at tempo pace, it was coming from the side, which wasn’t too bad. I managed to run close to goal pace for the first two miles.

When I made the turn at the ferry, I was heading into the direction of the wind. Still though, I had the benefit of the trees in the swamp on either side of the road, so it wasn’t as strong as it could be.

Then I came up out of the swamp and holy shit that wind was strong! The trees were gone and it was only open fields around me. There were a couple of times it would gust so hard, right into my face, that I pretty much came to a standstill. At those times, I would pause the watch and just walk for a few seconds, because seriously, I was not getting anywhere in that wind, let alone at tempo pace.

Meanwhile, I had noticed three state roads trucks passed me, all headed toward the closed bridge a little farther along the route. I have been squeezing around the barriers and walking across the closed bridge since it was partially washed out a month and a half ago, but no one was ever working on it. I didn’t feel like disturbing a work zone, so I had to adjust my route a little.

I ran toward the bridge, but, before I got to it, I turned around to run back and then take a different route home. I would get the same distance, but the bonus was I got to finish the tempo portion of the run going with the wind, after I turned around. The last 17 minutes or so were a thousand times easier than when I had been running head-on into the wind with no cover.

I did a five-minute recovery and then ran eight 30-second sprints with a minute of recovery between each. I had about a mile left after those to run home at an easy pace.

Wind really takes it out of me. But I still managed to finish 10.7 miles in about an hour and 27 minutes, average overall pace of about 8:08/mile, even with the few short walk breaks and a bathroom stop. Not too shabby.

At home, I drank some chocolate milk and did a lot of stretching and foam rolling. I’m running my long run tomorrow morning, since I’m signed up for two 5Ks this weekend (one on a cross country course!) and I need to recover as much as possible from today’s hard run.

October 19, 2011

Training for 10/19/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:17 pm

It was pouring rain this morning, so I did my 3-mile easy run first, while Clark was still home, so I could leave Pepper home without him going nuts.

It wasn’t especially chilly, so I just wore shorts and a short-sleeved tech shirt, but I was wishing I hadn’t even worn the shirt by about two minutes into the run. I was running into the wind for the first mile or so, and the front of the shirt got completely soaked and clung to me like Saran Wrap the rest of the way, despite my efforts to wring it out several times.

I finished the run, put on some dry clothes, ate some breakfast and then went upstairs for abs, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting. I did some barefoot exercises and stretching to finish up.

October 18, 2011

Training for 10/18/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:08 pm

This morning I ran a fairly easy track workout.

I did three one-mile repeats at goal half marathon pace, which in Philly is going to be 7:36/mile. It blows my mind that I’m aiming for that pace in a 13.1-mile race, when a mere two and a half years ago that was my 5K pace. Now my 5K pace is a minute faster. Training works, I suppose.

Anyway, it was a pretty nice fall morning for a run here. I got to the track and found only one walker, and he was sticking to the outside lanes, so that was nice. I did an easy mile to warm up.

I ran the first mile repeat in 7:36 on the nose and it felt like a good, manageable pace. Manageable for 13.1 miles? We’ll see.

I did a half-mile recovery, and then ran the second repeat in 7:34. After another recovery, I ran the final repeat in 7:33. I did another two miles easy to cool down, for a total of seven miles today.

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