A Simple Running Log

December 30, 2011

Training for 12/30/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:02 pm

This is my last post of 2011. I’m saving the big year-end summary, and December’s monthly summary as well, for next week, because I still have a 16-mile long run tomorrow. Even without tomorrow’s 16-miler, it’s been a pretty big year. But I’ll wait to gush about it until all the numbers are in.

This morning, I had an 8-mile pace run on the schedule. I was able to get Pepper into his coat and harness without Clark’s help, which is a major improvement. Pepper was actually pretty cooperative. Maybe he feels like a little badass in that coat.

It was another cold but calm and sunny morning. Pepper was a little distracted in the first mile, so we ran it in 8:10, well off goal pace of 7:45/mile. But he got progressively faster as the run went on, and we wound up completing the 8.2-mile loop in 1:02:24, an average overall pace of 7:36/mile.

When we got home, I took some more pictures of Pepper in his coat, this time with the camera not set to take pictures so fine they could be blown up to poster size, so they wouldn’t be so massive they froze computers. I got some more winners:

Yup, Pepper definitely thinks he's a badass. Look at that glare!

I love that action shot! It’s now the desktop image on my computer at work.

Yesterday, I was cruising the internet when, on a whim, I decided to check out roadrunnersports.com to see if for some reason they already had the New Balance 110 trail shoes I’ve been waiting for since the summer.

Guess what — they’re here!

The thing is, I really wanted the green and silver ones I’d seen before. Roadrunnersports only has them in purple and black. New Balance’s online store has the silver and green ones, but if I buy the shoes from roadrunnersports, I automatically get 10 percent off and free shipping. I’d have to pay full price plus shipping if I order from the New Balance site. Plus, if I wait long enough, I’m sure roadrunnersports will eventually send me a 20 percent off coupon, making them even cheaper.

I wonder if I wait long enough, roadrunnersports will get the silver and green ones.

Since the only trails I’m running this winter is the 3-mile track at the cross country course, I’m not in a big hurry to get them. I can wait it out to save some money.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good New Year’s. I’ll be running the aforementioned 16-miler tomorrow, and then in the evening, we’ll go to Uncle John’s for our family’s New Year’s Eve party. Sunday, I hope to be over my inevitable hangover in time to get in a few miles on the trail with Pepper, and then we’ll probably tackle the depressing task of taking down all the Christmas decorations. I have Monday off, so I won’t be posting again until Tuesday.

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December 29, 2011

Training for 12/29/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:51 pm

Today was just not my day. I woke up still sleepy and not all that excited about running in what looked like pretty frosty conditions outside. Unfortunately, I had a 40-minute tempo run on the schedule.

I really dragged my feet, getting ready to go. By the time I finally left the house, I had already decided to skip the sprint intervals I would normally do after a tempo run, and run a shorter route, in the interest of time.

It was as cold outside as it looked. For the first time this year, I saw ice on the surface of standing water in ditches along the side of the road. Thankfully, the high winds we had yesterday had died, and it was completely still. Even so, my warm-up mile couldn’t warm me up fast enough in the compression top, short-sleeved cotton T-shirt and tights I was wearing.

Then I started the timer for 40 minutes at a goal tempo pace of 7:04/mile. It felt too hard for a tempo effort from the first step. I can’t remember the first mile split, but I was at 14:17 when I passed the ferry, an average of 7:09/mile for the first two miles. I chugged along for about another half-mile, and then I just… stopped running.

I just didn’t have it in me today, and I didn’t feel like forcing it either. The watch was at 17:37 when I paused it. Another 22 and a half minutes at that pace sounded completely impossible. I also felt even drowsier after that hard run than before, which is unusual.

I decided to just scrap the remainder of the tempo run and run the rest of the way home at an easy pace, to give my body a break. And other than a couple of short bursts of fast running, that’s what I did. I finished my 8.5-mile loop in about 1:09, an average pace of about 8:07/mile.

I had a bit of a scare about two and a half miles from home though. There’s a house I’ve run past hundreds of times, and there are a couple of restrained dogs in the back of the yard that bark like crazy every time. Today, they were not restrained. I saw one of them come tearing across the yard, barking its head off, as I passed the house. For some reason, instead of facing it and telling it to go home, like I normally would, I just kept running, thinking if I got past its yard, it would feel it had successfully defended its territory and leave me alone.

I heard dog nails hit pavement and knew it was in the road, behind me. At first I thought it had given up, but then I heard breathing getting closer behind me. The dog stopped running and started barking. Still, I kept my eyes ahead and kept running, silently willing that dog to just turn the hell around and leave me alone.

The nails started clicking and I could hear the breathing again. Then the nails stopped and the barking started. Finally, I rounded a slight bend in the road and moved out of the dog’s sight. I never heard from it again. Face off averted.

At home, I did a lot of stretching, and used my new foam roller. My old one was definitely going soft! The new one is much firmer, and I could feel it a lot more when I rolled my IT bands over it especially.

When I left the house to go to work, I couldn’t help but laugh at how much more clothing I was wearing just to walk to my car, compared to how much I had worn to run 8.5 miles. I had on a long-sleeved T-shirt, a heavy sweater, a huge scarf, a winter coat, gloves, a knitted hat, pants, knee-high socks and boots. I felt like Randy in “A Christmas Story” — “I can’t put my arms down!”

This is unrelated to my running, but I would like to reminisce about the dinner I had last night. Clark decided he was in the mood to drop some dough on a really good meal, so we went to Bon Appetit in Seaford. We also invited Dave and Kasey.

Clark and I both got the five-course dinner. My appetizer was phyllo dough stuffed with two of my favorite things in the world, mushrooms and goat cheese. Those little puffs were divine. Then I had a cup of squash soup with all spice. It was like pumpkin, only more savory. Also, well, divine. We had salads with the house dressing for the third course, and then, for our entrees, we both got the tuna steak, as rare as they would let us have it, with sliced avocado and some kind of sauce on top. I don’t have words for that tuna steak! It was perfect. My dessert was homemade peanut butter ice cream with chocolate sauce and crumbled peanut butter toffee, topped with whipped cream. Clark so liked the bit of it he tried that he almost ordered one for himself, in addition to the chocolate marjolaine he had gotten. It was that good.

I cleaned my plate every time, and I had a pomegranate martini and a glass of pinot noir. It was all so delicious! I still have a hard time believing there’s a restaurant like that in Seaford, but I’ve been there a few times now, and I’ve never eaten anything there that was anything less than amazing.

It’s probably not that interesting to read my blathering about dinner, but I just felt like writing it all down.

December 28, 2011

Training for 12/28/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:44 pm

This morning, I got up kind of late, so I only did my ab exercises and push-ups, skipping the weights, before taking Pepper out for a 4.5-mile run before it got too windy.

The run was pretty routine. When we got home, I did a couple of minutes in the invisible chair, barefoot exercises and stretching.

Yesterday, I used some of the money I got for Christmas to get a new camera, a Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS. It’s fairly inexpensive, but it got really good reviews, especially for the price. It was also $70 off at Best Buy until the end of yesterday, so it seemed like a good deal.

This morning, I got some pictures of Pepper in his flashy new running coat and harness.

And of course I had to try out the self timer on the camera:

Is it just me, or are those compression tights looking a little threadbare in the knees?

December 27, 2011

Training for 12/27/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:58 pm

Christmas is over and I’m back at work. I’ve been busy since I last posted the Friday before Christmas.

Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, I took Pepper out for my 10.5-mile long run. He had run that loop once before, in April, and that time, he had gotten bored half a mile from home and wanted to lie down on the side of the road and chew on the stick he’d been carrying. I figured 10 miles was his limit.

But Saturday, I decided to give him another shot at the distance, mostly so he would be nice and worn out when we went to Clark’s grandmother’s house for Christmas Eve that afternoon.

It turned out to be a good decision! Pepper did great. He kept a steady pace and ran the whole loop without complaint. We finished it in 1:21:35, average pace of 7:46/mile. After the run, I did some yoga.

A little later, Clark took Pepper out to throw a tennis ball for him, to wear him out even more. That afternoon, we went to his grandmother’s house. Pepper played with Snoopy for a little while, but pretty soon Pepper was passed out asleep on the floor. Our plan worked, haha.

Clark’s grandmother gave me some dress pants and a matching blazer, an ornament and some Yankee candles in one of my favorite scents, Christmas Cookie. Clark gave her some CDs she wanted, and a couple pairs of Injinji socks, the socks with the separate places for each toe, for when she goes walking. Those seemed to freak her out a little, but she said yesterday she tried on the gray pair and thought she might like them.

We had steamed shrimp, chicken salad sandwiches and spice cake, and then Clark and I went to my family’s church for the Christmas Eve service, followed by Aunt Helen’s party. Aunt Gail had made the traditional crab dip and fried shrimp, and Aunt Helen made her veggie pizza, taco salad and fruit dip with rum. We all got a little toasted, but apparently Clark and I left before the party really got going. The evening came to a halt when Corey threw a liquor bottle cap and landed a one-in-a-million shot — it bounced off Aunt Helen’s head and plopped into a glass of milk she had just poured, splashing the milk all over her sweater.

Clark and I picked up Pepper from Clark’s parents’ house on the way home, and got home just before midnight. Clark gave me a gift “from Pepper,” a three-in-one foam roller. The outermost roller is a large, hard foam roller, for rolling out legs. The middle roller is less dense, smaller and has these notches, for the upper body. And finally, there’s a little stick roller in the middle, good for packing to travel. They all fit together to reduce the amount of space they use.

The next morning, Clark set out all of Pepper’s Christmas gifts, and closed the door to the sunroom. Pepper seemed to realize something was up when he saw those doors were closed, and he started going crazy. We let him in the room, and he saw his new coat, harness, collar and retractable leash.

I really wish my camera was working, because Pepper looks hilarious in his new coat! It has short sleeves for the front legs, and fits pretty snugly. It’s fleece lined, and bright red. We think he looks like a lifeguard in it.

We zipped him up into it and then put the harness over it, which we thought made him look like he was about to go skydiving, haha.

I really wanted to take Pepper for a run to try out his new gear, but there just wasn’t time.

Pepper seemed noticeably disappointed there hadn’t been any toys or treats under the tree for him, like a little kid who only got clothes. But we knew he’d be getting plenty of treats later.

Then I noticed another pile of gifts that had not been under the tree before. “Santa” had come for me too, which made me feel bad because I thought “Santa” was serious when we agreed we weren’t exchanging gifts this year, so I hadn’t gotten him anything.

(Fortunately, Santa’s birthday is in January, so I can redeem myself pretty soon.)

Anyway, I unwrapped a Keurig coffee maker, a box of Dunkin Donuts K-Cups, a box of Starbucks K-Cups, a power wine bottle opener, a pair of Injinji socks and some Ghiradelli squares and chocolate-dipped Jelly Belly beans. I immediately set up the coffee maker and brewed myself a cup of coffee, to drink with breakfast while watching some of  “A Christmas Story” for the first — but definitely not the last — time that day.

We went over to Clark’s parents’ house for the morning. I got a new Under Armour fitted mock neck top and a sweatshirt, some more dress pants, a sweater, boots and some odds and ends in a stocking. We had brunch after that — sausage, a cheese and strawberry danish, quiche, muffins, fresh fruit and eggs Hemingway, which were poached eggs on top of salmon on an English muffin, with Hollandaise sauce. Those were really good. I also had a couple more cups of coffee, and was starting to feel pretty wired.

After brunch, everyone else passed out in a food coma, but I couldn’t seem to take a nap. I wonder why. Samira got this picture of Pepper and me, awake on the couch, while Clark snoozed on the floor:

I read some of a book Clark had gotten, about weimaraners, and I’m really wondering if Pepper even is one. Weimaraners are supposed to love water and have a strong prey drive, meaning their instinct is to chase anything that moves. Pepper is definitely the total opposite on both counts! They’re also supposed to have 6-inch tails, and Pepper doesn’t quite measure up there either, haha.

That afternoon, we went to my parents’ house. My parents gave me cash and a scarf, my grandmother gave me a check, my brother gave me a gift card to Lady Foot Locker and my sister gave me a long-sleeved warm weather shirt from Under Armour. We watched more of “A Christmas Story,” had some more coffee, this time spiked with Kahlua and Bailey’s, and ate beef sandwiches and a bunch of candy.

And there was still more to come. Clark took Pepper home late in the afternoon, because dinner was at my Aunt Debbie’s house. Her German shepherd, Ellie, hated me for about eight months after Christmas last year when we brought Pepper, and he was allowed in the house while she had to stay in her crate on the front porch. So we decided to avoid that this year. I felt a little bad leaving Pepper home alone on Christmas, but it was definitely more peaceful at dinner. Plus, we didn’t have to listen to Aunt Helen complain about Pepper farting, whether he did or not.

I found room for dinner, which was roast turkey, corn, stuffing, broccoli casserole and rolls. The “A Christmas Story” marathon finally came to an end around the end of dinner, and no one knew what to watch instead, haha.

My nephews opened their last round of gifts after dinner. Then Aunt Helen set up the game for the  “big kids” to find their gifts. We had to find six clues in the living room, put them together to make up one big clue and then figure out the hiding place based on that. We only found five of the six, but we had enough to know our gifts were “chilling with Maryland royalty,” which I thought was pretty obvious — somewhere, there was a bottle of Lord Calvert in a refrigerator or freezer, and our gifts were in there. Sure enough, we found a liquor stash in the fridge in the garage, and in the meat drawer were $50 MasterCard debit cards for each of us.

We decided we’re going to put together one of these annoying clue games for Aunt Helen on New Year’s Eve, at my Uncle John’s house, which has been in a state of renovation since before I was born. Her first clue is going to be found “near a stack of newspapers.” The next will be “in an unfinished room.” The third will be “near exposed wiring.” It’s going to take all night, haha.

Clark and I left Aunt Debbie’s, and stopped again at his parents’ house on the way home, where they were just wrapping up a poker game. We didn’t stay long before heading home, ending a very long day.

I woke up around 3 a.m. with a pretty bad stomachache, which didn’t surprise me, considering how much I had eaten all day.

I felt fine when I woke up though, and definitely needed to do something about the food baby I had grown, so I pulled on my new mock neck Under Armour top, and went upstairs for my regularly scheduled push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting.

We put Pepper’s new coat and harness on him, and I took him to the trail to do our three easy miles.

The coat and harness worked out great. Pepper found a huge stick to run with and we were rolling along through the trails. About two miles into the run, we came upon a couple, walking with their two weimaraners.

I always forget how small Pepper is for his breed until I see a normal weimaraner. Both dogs were pretty big males. The older one, who was 13.5 years old, was losing his sight and hearing, so he was a little timid, but the younger one was all about sniffing Pepper and trying to play with him. Pepper, in his bright red coat and harness, was absolutely terrified, of course!

The guy who had been walking with the other two dogs said Pepper was pretty, and then asked how old “she” was, haha. I said he was actually a fully-grown male, just a runty one. That was hard to argue with.

The couple and their weimaraners — who, by the way, were not wearing coats or harnesses — went on their way, and Pepper and I finished our run. I did some stretching and barefoot exercises at home.

We lazed about the rest of the day. I made some coffee and ate all the candy Santa had brought me. We had spaghetti for dinner, and Clark got a couple bottles of wine, so we could try out my new wine bottle opener. Of course, the one I picked to open didn’t have a cork, but a glass stopper, which you couldn’t see until the foil had been removed. So we didn’t get to use the bottle opener after all.

This morning, I rode my bike out to the Sharptown bridge for hill repeats. It was much colder today than the last time I did repeats on the bridge. I did not enjoy the bike ride at all. Stupid winter.

The run was pretty good though. I did a mile to warm up, then ran five repeats on the bridge, and a mile to cool down, for a total of 4.5 miles. I rode the bike back home and did some stretching to finish up.

December 23, 2011

Training for 12/23/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:25 pm

Happy Festivus! The holiday for the rest of us! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go watch some “Seinfeld” reruns immediately. Then we can commence with the airing of grievances, because I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and feats of strength, all around the Festivus pole, of course.

This morning, I had a 7-mile pace run on the schedule. I was planning on taking Pepper with me, but he didn’t even want to stay outside long enough to pee because it was so windy, so I left him home with Clark, who got the day off today. Unlike some people.

I ate some breakfast and did some push-ups and invisible chair-sitting before heading outside.

Today was a little cooler than yesterday, but still warm enough for shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. A strong storm blew through overnight. The rain was over by the time I left to run, but it was very windy.

The run was pretty uneventful. I held my goal pace of 7:45/mile pretty easily, except for a few parts of the route where I was running head-on into the wind. I finished the 7.2-mile loop in 56:12, average pace of 7:48/mile.

I did some barefoot exercises and stretching at home.

This is my last post before Christmas, and last one before next Tuesday. I don’t have to work tomorrow, but only because it’s Saturday. We get Monday off for the holiday.

Tomorrow, I’ll do this week’s long run. It’s a cutback week, so it’s only 10.5 miles. We’re going to Clark’s grandmother’s house in the afternoon, and then to church and my aunt’s house in the evening.

Christmas is, I believe, the only day all year I don’t even think about trying to get in a run. We always go to bed late Christmas Eve and then get up early Christmas Day to go to Clark’s parents’ house first, for gifts and brunch. In the afternoon, we’ll head over to my parents’ house, and then to my aunt’s house for dinner.

It might be a little overload on the family, but I love Christmas, and I’m glad it’s here (and I’m ready for it.) Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2011

Training for 12/22/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:08 pm

I’m loving winter. I never thought I’d say that. But when it’s warm enough to wear shorts and a short-sleeved T-shirt to run outside this close to Christmas, winter and I can get along.

Today was my second speed workout of the week, a 35-minute tempo run. The weather was absolutely perfect. Cool but not cold, sunny, no breeze.

I did an easy mile to warm up, and then set off for 35 minutes at a goal tempo pace of 7:04/mile.

I felt a little slow in the first mile, so I wasn’t all that surprised when I glanced at my watch around the end of the first mile and saw 7:20 looking back at me. I tried to push a little harder in the second mile, and passed by the ferry, the two-mile point, at 14:31, a 7:11 second mile. Still off, but better.

The rest of the run went about that pace. I ran about 4.85 miles in 35 minutes, average pace of 7:12/mile.

I walked for 30 seconds or so, then slowly ran another 4.5 minutes to make a five-minute recovery. I then ran seven 30-second sprint intervals with a minute of recovery jogging between each. At the end of that, I had about half-mile left to run home at an easy pace for a cool down.

In all, I ran 8.2 miles in 1:03, average pace of 7:40/mile.

At home, I did some stretching.

December 21, 2011

Training for 12/21/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:06 pm

Happy first day of winter! Only three months until spring.

It was pretty warm this morning for late December. I got to wear capris and Pepper didn’t have to wear his jacket.

I did some ab exercises, push-ups and invisible chair-sitting downstairs. Then I went upstairs and did my weight lifting. Pepper and I then went out for three easy miles. I did some barefoot exercises and stretching at home.

December 20, 2011

Training for 12/20/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:15 pm

This morning, I headed out to the track for an interval workout, five 800-meter repeats at 3:21 each.

It had rained overnight, and the sky was still gray, so the walkers did not come out. I had the whole place to myself, except for one high school student who took a shortcut through the stadium and down the sixth lane on her way to school.

I did a mile to warm up. On the second or third lap of that warm up mile, I heard the same jerk as a couple of months ago, calling from a passing car on the road — “Chop chop chop! Run faster. Nice job!” I told him to shut the fuck up (under my breath of course) and kept running.

I ran the five repeats in 3:18, 3:20, 3:19, 3:18 and 3:17, with a lap of recovery between each, then got my iPod and ran another two miles easy to cool down, for a total of 6.5 miles today.

I did some stretching at home.

December 19, 2011

Training for 12/19/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:54 pm

This morning, I did some push-ups, ab exercises and invisible chair-sitting downstairs, in the heat, and then Pepper and I went upstairs so I could do my weight lifting. I had to wear my thick fleece gloves again, as it has been getting really cold at night again.

Then we went outside, where it really wasn’t that bad, and did three easy miles. I did some barefoot exercises and stretching to finish up.

Saturday, I ran a 14.3-mile loop for this week’s long run. I finished in 2:00:18, an average pace of about 8:24/mile. Clark and I went to the mall and did all of our Christmas shopping that afternoon. It was as jam packed as I’d expected, but we moved quick, so it wasn’t all that painful. We got everything wrapped that night.

Yesterday, I took Pepper to the trail for a few easy miles. We ran into that same poodle we saw last week. This time, we were headed toward the poodle and his owner on the same trail, so Pepper had to actually face the poodle, which only wanted to play with Pepper. Pepper wasn’t too interested, not surprisingly, and he got fed up with the poodle’s attempts to play and smacked it right in the face, haha. We went on our way and finished our run without any more encounters.

I did some yoga when we got home from the trail. We spent the rest of yesterday cleaning the house, and Clark put up some more wainscoting in the utility room to prevent Pepper from doing even more damage to the walls.

December 16, 2011

Training for 12/16/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:27 pm

This morning was supposed to be seven easy miles, but I took Pepper with me, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

It was very windy, but warm enough I could just get away with shorts and a short-sleeved T-shirt. As expected, Pepper set the pace faster than I would have, and we finished my 7.2-mile loop in 54 minutes on the dot, an average pace of 7:30/mile.

I did some stretching at home to finish up.

Tomorrow, I’m running my 14.5-mile long run, without Pepper. Then I seriously have to go get my Christmas shopping done. It’s the last weekend before Christmas, which is actually the busiest shopping time of the year, not Black Friday, so I’m probably going to hate my life.

Sunday, I’ll take Pepper to the trail for a few easy miles, and then do some house cleaning that’s been neglected.

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