A Simple Running Log

November 30, 2011

Training for 11/30/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 7:20 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting upstairs, where it had gotten very cold since Monday, and then Pepper and I ran three easy miles outside, where it had also gotten very cold since Monday. I did some barefoot exercises and stretching when I got home.

This is the last day of the month, so it’s time for a summary of November:

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (Nov. 1 – 5): 32.7 miles
  • Week 2 (Nov. 6 – 12): 60.1
  • Week 3 (Nov. 13 – 19): 32.2
  • Week 4 (Nov. 20 – 26): 37.2
  • Week 5 (Nov. 27 – 30): 23.2

Total: 185.4 miles

My mileage total for the year is already over 2,000. I just wrote out my marathon training schedule for the next three and a half months yesterday, and December should get me just over the 2,200 mark. That’s almost double what I ran last year. Crazy.

I ran a lot of races in November, including Pepper’s best 5K to date (20:49 and no pissed off fellow runners), and my best times in the 5K (20:38), 10K (43:20), 7 miles (50:23) and half marathon (1:37:32), which also just so happened to be more than two minutes better than my brother’s best half marathon time.

December is the first of three straight months of all training, no racing. I’m taking on Hal Higdon’s toughest marathon training plan, which calls for two speedwork sessions a week, a pace run, a long run and easy runs. I will also continue with the strength training twice a week.

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November 29, 2011

Training for 11/29/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:12 pm

This morning, I headed out to the track because the marathon training plan called for four 800-meter repeats. On some training calculator somewhere, I got goal 800-meter splits of 3:21 each, which is only a second slower than the fastest 800-meter repeat I’d ran to date. Oh, training calculators. What would I do without them? They throw out crazy predicted race times and training paces and I then kill myself trying to achieve them. They keep training interesting for me, that’s for sure.

It was warm again today, but it poured rain the whole ride to the track, mostly slacking off by the time I actually got there. That meant I scored a completely empty track, because walkers just don’t do rain. I love rain on track days.

I did a mile to warm up. My legs still felt heavy from all the races I ran last week, Sunday’s long run and yesterday’s weight training. Plus, there was a strong wind right in my face while going through the first and second turns. I ran the first repeat in 3:25. Boo.

I did a recovery lap and then ran the second repeat in 3:24. Better, but still slow. Guess it’s just one of those days. They can’t all be winners.

After another recovery lap, I ran the third repeat. I clearly remember my mind wandering because I didn’t think I had 3:21 in me today, so I stopped thinking about it so hard. Imagine my surprise when I ran a 3:17 — my fastest 800 ever by three seconds.

Another recovery lap, and then the final repeat. Bam — 3:16! New PR.

I did a final recovery lap, and then two more miles to cool down, for a total of six miles today. I even got to see a rainbow when the sun came out during the cool down laps.

I did some stretching at home.

November 28, 2011

Training for 11/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:28 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I did three easy miles on the road. I did some barefoot exercises and stretching at home to finish up.

Saturday morning, TK met me at my house and we drove to Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach for the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K. Last year, I won my age group in this race and got a medium-sized pumpkin pie, enough to keep me happy for a few days. Even though I had just run a big 10K PR the day before, I knew I was going to have to go all-out in this 5K if I wanted that pie. For some reason, there are a ton of out-of-towners at this race, and a lot of them are fast.

Race day this year was great weather. A little chilly to start, but not too bad. There was some wind, but it wasn’t terrible, and so much of the race was in a residential area that a lot of the wind was blocked anyway. I wore shorts and a long-sleeved warm weather shirt.

We got to the race site almost an hour before the 9 a.m. start. TK and I sat in my car for a little while after getting our race bibs and T-shirts. Finally, about 20 minutes before the start, I decided to go do a couple easy miles to warm up.

After the warm up, I got in the starting pack and found myself next to Alan, a runner who is also from Seaford and runs a lot of Seashore Striders’ races. He asked what time I was going for and I said I didn’t know, because of the 10K I had just run. He said, “You sure do like punishing yourself on the weekends, don’t you?”

I'm in the purple shirt and black shorts.

It was another big turnout for the race, almost 400 runners. The race director gave us some instructions, but most of us have run the 5K course at Grove Park so many times we could do it in our sleep. We got the command to go and off we went.

I was already tired in the first mile, haha. My legs were obviously still a little tired from the 10K. I sucked it up though. There was a pie on the line!

I hit the first mile marker in a surprising 6:34. I did not think I was running that fast. By that time, all the runners around me had pretty much settled into place. I tried to maintain my speed in the second mile while I slowly picked off a couple other runners. I really just wanted this race to be over so bad!

I can’t remember my second mile split, but I know it was slow enough that I thought any outside shot I might have had at PR’ing had gone out the window. But right about that time, I saw a girl up ahead and decided I was going to beat her. I started reeling her in.

We made the final turn in the course that put us on the long homestretch to the finish line. She was getting closer and closer. Finally, I was close enough I could surge past her. I saw another woman not too far ahead and thought I might have a shot at her too if I really pushed it, so I went after her.

About that time, I noticed a guy, who had clearly been running the race, standing on the side of the road. At first, I thought he wasn’t feeling well so he’d pulled out of the race. Then I noticed a guy on a golf cart approaching, who asked the runner, “What happened?” The runner said, “I don’t know; she just fell down.” I finally noticed the young girl, who had gone out fast and was well ahead of me, lying in a pile of leaves on the side of the road where the guy was standing. I heard she was taken away in a an ambulance, but I never heard what happened to her or if she was OK. I hope she was.

There was nothing I could do there, so I kept running. I was still gaining on that woman just ahead of me, but I ran out of time to get her. I crossed the line and looked at my watch:

20:38.

What the hell? That was a PR by a second! Who knew? I must have really picked it up in that third mile. Good for me.

As I walked from the finish line, someone got one of the worst pictures of me I have ever seen:

I was literally huffing for pumpkin pie.

Ha! They can’t all be glamour shots, I guess.

I took a bottle of water and walked around a bit. Matt, another guy who runs a lot of these races, asked if I wanted to do a cool down jog with him, so we did about another mile while we talked about how much food we’d put down on Thanksgiving.

I found TK after that, and we headed over to the post-race party. I had a banana and a little slice of the pumpkin pies they had gotten to serve. Then they posted the results.

My official time was indeed 20:38, so I had really run one last PR in 2011. I was first of 20 in my age group, fourth female out of 199 and 23rd out of 383 finishers.

The age group award was, once again, a pie, but they kind of cheaped out on them this year, I guess because they bought so many to serve after the race.

Me and the other two F 25-29 age group winners. Look at the tiny pie in my hands.

Oh well. It was still pie for a hard-earned PR!

TK and I did a little shopping at the outlets after that. We had to go home early to get ready for our 10-year high school reunion that night.

The reunion was a bit of a letdown. There weren’t that many people there (and half of those who were there were still my close friends or my husband anyway) and the restaurant definitely shafted us on the food given how much we all paid. It was still fun catching up with the few people who attended who I don’t already see on a regular basis though.

Sunday morning, I was tired. I went back to bed after breakfast. I had a lot I wanted to get done though, so I finally went out for my long run around 10:45 a.m. It had gotten even warmer than the day before, so I got to wear shorts and a short-sleeved T-shirt. I even wore a hat and took along my water bottle.

It was a tough run on tired legs. I finished 11.2 miles in just under 1:34, an average pace of about 8:23/mile.

After the run, Clark and I set up all the outdoor Christmas decorations. I ate some lunch and watched some football after that. Finally, I got up the motivation to bring down and set up all the indoor Christmas decorations and clean the house. We got takeout for dinner and were both asleep by 10 p.m.

November 25, 2011

Training for 11/25/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 7:11 pm

Today I ran the most poorly organized race I have ever been a part of. If I hadn’t run such a massive 10K PR, I might be more pissed about it.

It was the YMCA of the Chesapeake’s annual Run for Hospice 10K and 5K. This was the 10th year they’ve held it, and the third year I’ve run it.

I like running this race the morning after Thanksgiving. It’s a good way to burn off a little of the gluttony from the day before. The first time I ran it, in 2009, I almost puked around mile 4 and my chip time didn’t register. Last year was better — I didn’t feel sick and my chip worked.

Yesterday, I didn’t try very hard to hold back on the consumption. It’s tough anyway, when you go to two family Thanksgiving dinners. Clark’s family deep-fried their turkey for the  first time, and it turned out really well. As much as I ate at their house in the afternoon, I still made room for plenty more when we went to my family’s house in the evening. I was pretty full by the time we got home last night.

I woke up this morning surprisingly hungry and ate some breakfast before heading to the race. I was hoping to run around a 44:20, which would be a 7:09/mile pace, about 15 seconds per mile faster than the half marathon pace I ran Sunday.

The weather was perfect, a little breezy, but sunny and cool. I wore shorts and a long-sleeved warm weather running shirt.

I got to the Easton YMCA around 9:35 a.m. for the 10 a.m. start. After picking up my race bib and chip, I hit the locker room to pee one last time and then headed out to my car. I pulled off my sweats, pinned on my bib, tied my chip into my shoelaces and took off for a warm up mile.

The race started and ended in the parking lot behind the YMCA. I got there just before the 10K runners were called up to start first. The woman in charge of the whole thing was blathering into a megaphone about how we had to get back onto the sidewalk after the first little loop through a neighborhood. No one was really paying much attention until we heard her end the announcement with, “Aaaaaaaaaand, go.”

I blurted out “What?” and I heard some surprised mumblings around me. Everyone lurched forward. I quickly switched to the chrono mode on my watch, only to find I hadn’t yet cleared my half marathon finishing time from last week. It took me about 10 seconds to reset the chrono and get it running again.

As we came out of the parking lot, three guys and a woman surged ahead of me. I caught the woman and passed her before the half-mile point, and then settled in behind the second and third guys, who were running together, and the leader, who was pulling away. I could clearly see the leader, running alone, and the police escort until about when we entered another neighborhood, after mile 2. This is important later.

Since I’d started my watch late, I didn’t know my real first mile time, which showed on my watch as 6:34. Much faster than I had been planning, even with 10 seconds added, and I was already feeling it. Just 5.2 more miles to go!

After the mile 2 marker, I heard footsteps slowly come up behind me, and then a guy in a yellow shirt passed me. I let him get a little ahead of me. I don’t know if he slowed down or I just picked up, but he never got very far ahead of me. He was a good pacer, as far as I was concerned, so I was just going to follow him.

I hit the third mile marker in 20:54 by the watch, and tacked on 10 seconds due to the late start, figuring I’d actually run three miles in 21:04. Not bad. I only had 3.2 more miles. I can do this, I can do this, I kept telling myself. I pictured a 3-mile out and back from my house, and imagined Pepper running ahead of me. I hung with my pacer.

I forgot to look at the watch when I passed the fourth mile marker. I am positive the fifth mile marker is in the wrong place, because I passed it in 33 minutes, meaning I ran five 6:36 miles. I’m getting faster, but I’m not there. I remember thinking the same thing last year about that mile marker.

After the fifth marker, I slowly caught back up with my pacer. Not long after that, we caught up with the back-of-the-pack 5K’ers, many of whom were walking in large groups or with dogs or baby strollers. It really sucked, because just after we caught them, we crossed the highway and got back on the street leading back to the Y, on which we were supposed to run on the sidewalk. There was no room!

I managed to get past my pacer on that sidewalk. We hit six miles. I didn’t look at my watch. I was weaving between 5K walkers and trying to stay ahead of my pacer as we approached the parking lot with the finish line. I was completely spent, but I knew I was going to run a huge PR.

If I could just get to the finish line, that is. My triumphant 10K PR was pretty anti-climactic, because I just about had to walk across the finish line, thanks to the 5K walkers pushing jogging strollers three abreast, clogging up the entire finish mat.

I looked at my watch — 43:11. I tacked on 10 seconds for the start and estimated my time at 43:21, a minute faster than I’d hoped for. My previous 10K PR was 45:09, from exactly two months ago.

I took a bottle of water and walked around, sat on a curb in the shade for a while and then did a short cool down jog. I got a change of clothes out of my car, changed in the Y’s locker room and then went to the post-race party.

This is where the race directors really pissed me off. I could look past the idiotic start and the 5K walkers who held me up in the last half mile or so. I could even look past the fact this particular 10K cost more than any other 10K I’ve ran, including the Dogfish Dash, which had unlimited free Punkin Ale at the finish.

What I can’t tolerate, however, is the total ineptitude at correctly scoring runners. They called me up as the winner of the female 18-29 age group, with a chip time of 43:20, but called up someone else as the overall female 10K winner, with a sub-40 time. I thought maybe I had just somehow completely missed this mysterious, super-fast woman (remember, I could see the lead male, who wound up running a 39-something, for the first two miles of the race) so I went and looked at the posted results.

There wasn’t one woman scored ahead of me, there were three! And I wasn’t fourth overall, I was ninth.

As far I can figure, someone either entered these other runners in the wrong race when they were entering data, and their 5K times were scored as 10K times; or these other runners signed up for the 10K but decided to step down to the 5K for whatever reason, and there was no way for the race directors to know which distance anyone actually completed.

That is just incredibly stupid, if you ask me. I don’t go to these races to win trophies or get recognized. If I had actually been outrun by three other women, I wouldn’t care, because I was really happy with my time (which was the only thing the race directors managed to do right, as far as I can tell.) But I think we all at least deserve correct results. Morons.

I am planning to cut down on the number of races I run next year. This one is going straight to the top of the cut list. I’ll just run my own little 10K the Friday after Thanksgiving next year.

I have to throw this out there though — my average pace was 6:59/mile. At the beginning of the year, I hoped to run under 7:00/mile for a 5K. I did that in June. I never expected to pull that off in a 10K this year.

Tomorrow is my final race of 2011, a 5K in Rehoboth Beach. The age group awards are pumpkin pies. I must have that pie. I only had two slices yesterday — plus a slice of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and pumpkin mousse. After the race, TK, her mom and I will hit the outlets for a little Christmas shopping, and then tomorrow night is Clark’s and my 10-year high school reunion dinner.

Sunday, I’m running this week’s long run, an 11-miler, and then I’m pulling down all the Christmas decorations and cleaning the house. I already decorated Pepper this morning — I replaced his usual plain blue collar with the Christmas tree-printed one Clark’s mom bought for him last year.

November 23, 2011

Training for 11/23/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:16 pm

This morning, I was getting ready to head upstairs for my weight training, so I said goodbye to Clark, since he was about to leave for work. He asked me what race I was training for now.

I said I am now training for the Shamrock Marathon in March. He shook his head and said someone needs to put together an intervention for me.

I said I would be doing the same thing even if I wasn’t specifically in training for another race, because I just like it.

He said, “I know; that’s why you need the intervention.”

There are worse things to be addicted to, right?

Anyway, I went upstairs and did some push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I went outside for three easy miles. It was really warm today, and very breezy. The rain that had poured all night had moved on.

There will be no post tomorrow because it is Thanksgiving. Pepper and I are going to go to the trail for the first time in a few weeks in the morning, and then we have two family dinners to attend, Clark’s in the afternoon and mine in the evening. We’ve been asked to bring three-bean salad to both dinners.

Last night, Clark told his mom we weren’t going to be able to bring three-bean salad. When she asked why, he told her things were tight financially, so we would only be able to afford two beans. I thought that was hilarious. I think you have to hear Clark’s completely deadpan delivery to appreciate it.

Friday morning, I am once again running a 10K the morning after Thanksgiving. It makes for an interesting holiday; on the one hand, I feel like I should be able to eat as much as I want because I’m running 6.2 miles in the morning, but on the other hand, I know I need to hold back a little because I did that two years ago and almost threw up in the race.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2011

Training for 11/22/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:30 pm

This morning, I didn’t feel at all sore, so I decided to do a short, easy run. Actually, I didn’t even feel sore yesterday, but I didn’t have time to run and I wasn’t feeling all that energetic anyway, thanks to the lack of sleep and abundance of alcohol from Sunday.

After getting about nine hours of sleep last night, in my own bed with Clark and Pepper, I woke up ready to get running again.

It was overcast outside, but I didn’t think it was raining, so I took Pepper with me. It turned out there was a very light rain falling. I almost put Pepper in the house at that point, but I decided to give him a shot. Besides, it wasn’t raining all that hard.

As we ran the first mile, however, it picked up. We were also running into the wind, so it made it feel heavier. I kept waiting for Pepper to start freaking out about the rain the way he normally does.

But he never did. Every now and then he would stop to shake off some water, but other than that, he just ran. He never got whiny or started jumping on me or anything.

I was still pissed at the rain though, because I didn’t have a hat, so it was stinging my eyes. I hate that.

We ran the 4.5-mile loop. The rain had mostly slacked off to nothing again by the time we got home. I did some yoga after drying off Pepper and giving him an ice cube (he thinks those are treats) for doing so well in the rain.

Yesterday, I talked to Dave about the fact my half marathon PR is now faster than his, and he said exactly what I was hoping he would say — that he might run another because he wants to beat me again, haha. He has not committed to anything, but he has agreed to keep Labor Day weekend open next year for a possible run-off for family half marathon PR bragging rights at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon.

I really hope he does it. I hope I’m fast enough to be able to run with him for the race (because I know he could run a hell of a lot faster than 1:39 if he actually trained for it.) I picture the two of us sprinting down the boardwalk toward the finish, throwing some elbows and trying to trip the other haha.

November 21, 2011

Philly Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:57 pm

This weekend was just unbelievable. I ran a huge half marathon PR, blasted my goal time and even beat my brother’s one and only half marathon time (which was the super secret goal I couldn’t share Friday for fear it would somehow get to Dave what I was up to), but that wasn’t the coolest part of the weekend.

I’ve been a member of Runner’s World’s online blogging community, The Loop, since about when I started physical therapy last year. The other bloggers (we call ourselves Loopsters) live across the country and in a few cases around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few Loopsters at some races, like the Shamrock Marathon in March and the Bulldog 25K in August. It’s easy to get along with them all because we all share an obvious common interest in running.

Somehow, everyone decided to converge on Philly this weekend for one huge Loop meet, which was named LoopPhest. I probably never would have considered running Philly otherwise, but the chance to meet 60 or 70 of these people, most of whom live somewhere our paths never would have crossed, was too good to pass up.

Friday night, I parked my car at a train station and took the train into Philly. I got to the hotel a little after 8 p.m. I couldn’t get a hold of Dierdre, the woman I met earlier this year at the Shamrock Marathon with whom I was rooming (it turned out her purse had gotten stolen earlier that afternoon in the hotel bar, unfortunately) so I waited in the lobby for someone I recognized to show up. Most of the Loopsters were staying in the same hotel, so I figured it wouldn’t be long.

About a half hour later, I saw a girl from the Loop walk in and immediately recognized her. We introduced ourselves, and a couple minutes later, everyone else came back in the lobby from dinner.

That was one of the weirdest moments of my life so far. It was like the computer had come to life and all these people I only knew as online pictures and blogs just stepped out. There was a lot of hugging, haha. Most people I recognized pretty easily. There were a couple that really threw me though, especially the D.C.-area engineer who looks so clean cut in all the race pictures he’s posted, but actually has a long ponytail. Who knew?

That night, we just hung out in the hotel bar (and all kept a close eye on our wallets and purses.) It was just me and Dierdre in our hotel room Friday night. We talked until after midnight and finally called it a night.

We were both up before my 7:30 a.m. alarm the next day. At 9 a.m., a couple dozen or so of us met to do a shakeout run. It was breezy and pretty chilly that morning, but it felt great once we got moving. We ran out toward the Museum of Art, where the race would begin and end the next morning. We all ran up the steps and had our Rocky moment, haha. Then we headed back to the hotel. We ran about 3.5 miles that morning. I felt really loose and was hoping I felt just as good the next morning for the race.

That afternoon, we went and cruised the expo. I got my race bib signed by Hal Higdon, who wrote all the marathon and half marathon training plans I follow, and Bart Yasso, who came up with the Yasso 800s, a workout that can predict a marathon finishing time. I figured those would bring me some luck.

We met up with the entire LoopPhest group after that. We all headed to Love Park for a group photo:

Then we headed to Buca di Beppo for our pre-race carbo loading feast of salad, bread, pasta and chocolate cake. I had two servings of everything, even the cake. I was completely stuffed when we left there! But we had eaten early enough that I knew I had plenty of time to digest it before the race.

I'm the third one back on the left side of the table.

That night was pretty quiet. Our other two roommates, Erin and Jessica, had arrived that afternoon, and the four of us just hung out in the room, getting our stuff laid out and ready for the race. We turned out the lights around 10 p.m.

I had a tough time getting to sleep. I was really excited about the race. When I did finally get to sleep, I stayed asleep, but I had this bizarre dream that I lost my race clothes overnight and I only had some stuff I would never wear to race in.

Erin got up first around 5 a.m. The rest of us trickled out of bed one by one. I didn’t need much time to get ready. I pulled on the shorts and tank I had laid out the night before, and the sweats I was going to check with my bag at the gear check at the start and finish area. There were no Chomps or anything to pack since I was running the half. I just dropped one salt cap in the key pocket in my shorts. Done.

We walked the mile or so to the race site. It was a madhouse. I didn’t realize Philly was such a huge race; there were almost as many runners as had been at Marine Corps last year, and I’m not a fan of crowded races. Oh well. No turning back at that point.

When I got to my bag check area, I saw a flash of glitter to my right and spotted these Loopsters, who were running as American Gladiators and therefore had a lot more balls than me:

The girl second from the right had a huge wedgie the whole race but still ran a PR.

It was time to get in the corrals by that point. I found Jaclynn, who was running the full but was aiming for about the same pace I was going for in my half, so we agreed to start together. We found the 3:20 marathon pace group leaders in our corral and waited near them for the race to start. There were a few other Loopsters in our corral as well, most aiming for slightly faster or slower paces. Jonathan said he was shooting for the 1:40 I wanted to run, so he was going to start with Jaclynn and me as well.

After the National Anthem, they let the elites and the first corral go. We were in the third. About two and a half minutes after the official start, our corral shuffled through the start line. We were off!

Jonathan immediately took right the hell off. I figured that was the last I was going to see of him until the finish area. I got separated from Jaclynn but was able to keep her and the 3:20 pace group leaders in my sights. It was really crowded in that first mile. It never really thinned out for the whole race, but the first mile was definitely the most tightly packed. I saw the first mile marker and checked my watch: 7:46. About 10 seconds off goal pace. I chalked it up to the tight quarters and picked it up.

I missed the second and third mile markers, but I was cruising with the 3:20 group. Every now and then I would bump into Jaclynn again. She looked strong. I saw the fourth mile marker and glanced at my watch — 29:56. A 7:29 average pace. I couldn’t believe how easy it felt. I couldn’t believe I only had nine more miles to run. The race was flying by. I grabbed a cup of water, poured most of it down my front instead of into my mouth, and kept running.

At that point, I decided to shoot for 7:30 pace, because the math was easier haha. That would bring me in well under 1:40 if I could keep up that pace.

In Friday’s post, I couldn’t announce my goal time, because I didn’t want my brother to somehow find out I was aiming to beat his one and only half marathon time, 1:39:49, from Virginia Beach two years ago. I wanted it to be a surprise if I beat him. I also didn’t want him to get to tease me if I didn’t beat him!

The middle miles of the race were awesome. They went through downtown Philly and the streets were lined with loud, supportive spectators. I really enjoyed that part of the course.

After the seventh mile marker, it got a little less awesome. The crowds were gone and we hit our first uphill. It lasted past the eighth mile marker. I still hit eight miles just under goal pace though, and was still feeling strong. Somewhere in that mile, some Drexel University frat boys gave me some high fives and called me a hottie, haha. I’m sure I looked like a half-drowned rat after all that water I poured on myself, but it was a nice thing to hear, of course.

I can’t remember my time at mile 9, but I was still holding my pace. Right after that mile marker though, we hit a nasty uphill that seemed to take everyone by surprise. The course was advertised as flat and fast and until that point it had been, for the most part. But that hill at mile 9 was pure evil. It went on forever, and it kept getting steeper. Everyone around me ran slower and slower as we trudged up that hill. If I missed my goal, I was blaming that damn hill!

We finally hit the top and I took off to try to make up any time I had lost. Not long after that was a pretty sweet downhill. I went flying. I hit 10 miles only about 15 seconds off goal pace. At that point I knew I just had a 5K left. I could run a 25-minute 5K and still run 1:40. I was still feeling strong, so I decided to push it for the last three miles instead of just cruising in to my goal time.

The next two miles were pretty uneventful. I was easily humming along on pace. I still couldn’t believe how damn fast this race was going! It was almost over! Before I knew it, I was coming up on the 12th mile marker.

I heard my name and saw Jonathan on the side of the course. He said he’d gone out too fast and was hurting, so he decided to wait for me at the 12th mile marker and run the end of the race with me so he could get his 1:40, but I came along a few minutes faster than he expected haha. He was keeping up with me for the first half mile. Then he told me to go ahead if I felt like I had a kick in that last bit of the race. I did, and I could see the art museum getting closer, so I took off to see what I could do.

The half marathon runners went to the right at the art museum to head to the finish, while the full marathon runners went left to go do another 13.1 miles. I was so happy I’d signed up for the half at that point. I felt awesome, but I could definitely tell I’d been running a PR pace for almost 13 miles, and I was ready to be done.

It wasn’t very crowded any more after the split. I was soon on the street with the finish line. I knew it was coming up so I gave it all I had left.

Bangle pump!

Still holding the Bangle pump!

OK, that's enough.

I  flew across the finish line and checked my watch:

1:37:32!! An eight-minute PR and two minutes faster than Dave’s time! I nailed it!

Posing with my newest finisher's medal.

I was so happy with my race. I felt great when it was over. My legs were tired but not really all that sore. I had no blisters or anything on my feet. I just felt amazing. It was one of those days where everything came together — hard training and perfect weather. It was one of my best races I have ever ran, start to finish.

My stats:

  • Chip time: 1:37:32
  • 35th/1,460 F 25-29 (top 2 percent)
  • 112th/5,901 women (top 2 percent)
  • 454th/9,401 total finishers (top 5 percent)

Jonathan finished not far behind me and we found a few of the other Loopsters who had already finished. At that point, there weren’t many people in the finish area. It was nice to get to take my time gathering my space blanket, medal and food, and then be able to just mosey right over to gear check and get my bag back.

We hung around about 20 minutes, and then a few of us started getting cold in our sweaty running clothes now that we were no longer running, so we walked back to the hotel to shower and put on dry clothes. That hot water felt amazing. I could not force myself out of it! I finally shut it off though, and then we all walked back over to the race site.

By that time, a lot of Loopsters had finished, and we were trying to meet up in the family link-up area. We all hung around there for a while, discussing our races in great detail while we waited for everyone to finish.

I hope you like talking about running, because that's the only conversation here.

Around noon, we had finally had enough of the race atmosphere, and I went with Brad, Brian and Lisa to get lunch at Five Guys Burgers. I’m not a huge burger fan, and I rarely eat them, but that really hit the spot:

I couldn't stop eating for two seconds to take a decent picture.

We went back to the hotel after that. I watched the first half of the Ravens game in my room while once again discussing the race in great detail with my roommates, and then turned on the NASCAR race when it started. Eventually, my roommates left to get their own lunch, so I went up to my friend Chris’ room. I hadn’t gotten to spend a lot of time with her yet. (We also met at the Shamrock Marathon; she’s the one who stayed at Dave’s house with me.)

Later, we went down to the hotel bar, where a lot of Loopsters were hanging out. Then the whole group headed over to a sports bar. They had a little room upstairs and let our group have it to ourselves. We passed out the Loopee Awards, which we had all voted on throughout the weekend. The awards were for things like best costume (of course one of the gladiators won that!), most like their Loop personality, loudest Loopster, etc. I didn’t win any of those, but I did get the Loopee for top female Loopster in the half. I know Vanessa beat me though; she just wasn’t at that little party to write down her time.

I also saw the end of the NASCAR season in the bar. I can’t believe Stewart and Edwards tied in points and finished first and second in the final race. It came down to wins at that point, and Stewart won his third championship.

After that party broke up, a bunch of us weren’t ready to go to bed yet, so we instead went to a karaoke bar. I don’t sing karaoke, but I enjoy singing along with others as they do.  I have no idea when we left that place. It was getting really late though.

I think it was about then when my roommate Erin called and said her room key card had deactivated and the front desk wouldn’t reactivate it for her because Dierdre’s name was the only one actually on the reservation. So I ran back to the hotel at 2 a.m. to let Erin in our room. I understand the hotel has security procedures, but I would think by that point they would know Erin belonged in that room (she had already had to get her key card reactivated once that day) and just fix her card without Dierdre’s permission. Sheesh. The poor girl was almost in tears she was so tired and frustrated.

About six of us were still not ready to call it a night even then, so we found an all-night diner and had a very late or very early breakfast. When we left the diner, we figured we better finally get some sleep. At that point, it was 4 a.m. and I had to be up in two hours to shower, pack and get to work.

The alarm came very quickly! I got up though, and Erin and I said goodbye to Dierdre and headed to the train station together. I got on my train and headed home. My car was still in the train station parking lot, thankfully, and I drove home. A little hungover and sleep deprived, but overall very happy with the whole weekend.

November 18, 2011

Training for 11/18/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:56 pm

I took today off running and just did some yoga, since Sunday is the half marathon in Philly. I’m driving up there tonight and staying through Sunday night, but I’ll be at work Monday morning to fill in how the weekend and the race went.

I would announce my time goal for the race, but I can’t, for a reason I hope I can divulge Monday in the race report. Stay tuned.

November 17, 2011

Training for 11/17/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:18 pm

This morning, I ran for the last time before the Philly half Sunday. I was supposed to do a 30-minute tempo run, but again, I just ran easy because of the races I ran over the weekend.

I did my 7.2-mile loop by myself. I was planning on leaving Pepper at home anyway, but it was raining, so I definitely wasn’t taking him along for that.

It was a little windy, which made the rain unpleasant in a couple of places where I was running head-on into it, but for the most part it was an enjoyable easy run. I threw in a couple of sprints in the last mile, just to put on a little speed.

I finished my run in 1:00:37, average pace of 8:24/mile. I’m all set for Philly, physically.

I have figured out where I’m parking to take a train into Philly to avoid both driving in the city and the $25 per night parking fee at the hotel, and the weather on race day is looking like it will be agreeable for shorts and the short-sleeved T-shirt we’re all wearing, so I mostly have the logistics figured out. I just need to pack tonight or early tomorrow morning.

November 16, 2011

Training for 11/16/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:03 pm

This morning, I did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training, and then Pepper and I got in our scheduled two easy miles between rain showers. I did some barefoot exercises and stretching when I got home.

I took Pepper to the vet for his rabies shot and a check-up. He tested positive for the organism that causes Lyme disease. He is not sick, and there is a good chance he would never get sick, but there is also a chance he could, and the vet said tick-borne illnesses often fly under the radar until it is too late to do anything about them.

So Pepper is now on a 30-day course of antibiotics that will be repeated in six months, to kill the organism. I’m pretty positive he picked it up on one of our trail runs this summer. I went over his whole body very thoroughly after every trail run, and pulled off any ticks I found, but I guess something still slipped through.

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