A Simple Running Log

April 30, 2012

Training for 4/30/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:29 pm

This morning, I took a day off from running, and did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting upstairs, and barefoot exercises and stretching downstairs.

Saturday, I needed quite a bit of time to get myself moving. I think I stayed in bed until 10 a.m. I put on running clothes as soon as I got out of bed, intending to do my long run as soon as I ate, but I turned on the TV while I was eating my cereal and found the “Saved by the Bell” Las Vegas wedding special was on. I had no idea such a thing existed. When I looked at the on-screen guide, I found it was a four-part episode that would take two hours. So of course I had to sit there and watch the entire poorly-acted thing.

It was way past noon when I finally mustered the motivation to get off the couch. I had been planning an 11-miler, but I was feeling pretty meh about that. First, I’m tired of switching shoes in the middle of long runs and I wanted to wear my Zeroes, but that would be kind of a long distance to step up to compared to my longest run in them so far. Also, I knew Pepper would lay on the guilt trip if I didn’t take him with me, since Clark still wasn’t home from his business trip, but that’s a long way to run at his preferred pace. Finally, I was a little hungover from the night before and I’d probably want to take water with me for that long of a run, but I didn’t want to have the leash in one hand and the water bottle in the other.

So, I put on my Zeroes, clipped Pepper’s leash to his collar, left the water bottle at home and just did the 7.2-mile loop.

It was really a perfect day for a run. It was cool and overcast and the winds were surprisingly calm, considering how hard they’d been whipping around the day before.

Pepper was clipping off 8:00 miles, which actually felt pretty good, even though it was a long run and should have been run easier. The best part of the run was a little past the 5-mile marker. We passed a couple of cows in a fenced-in field. They’ve never seemed to even notice us before, but Saturday, they decided to screw around with us and “chased” us along the edge of the fence. Pepper had a heart attack, of course!

Anyway, we easily kept up our pace through the run, and finished the 7.2-mile loop in 56:44, a 7:54/mile average pace. I can’t remember the last time I ran that loop in under an hour.

The best part was, my feet felt great. I’m sure I could have done another four miles in the Zeroes that day. The more I wear them, the more I like them. I feel like I’ll definitely be able to wear them in the half marathon in September, and perhaps even a marathon this fall.

I also wore for the first time a pair of lightweight Injinji no-show socks. I have a couple of pairs of Injinji socks, the “toe socks” with little separate sheaths for each toe, but they’re a heavier weight, and cut so they cover my ankles. They’re fine for cold weather running, but too heavy for warm weather (and the ankle-high cut looks ridiculous with shorts.) Anyway, Injinji released the lightweight no-show socks specifically for minimalist shoes, and they worked really well. I was really happy with them.

After my run, I did some stretching, and then Clark got home early that evening. We had a few people over to watch the Richmond race.

Sunday morning, I took Pepper to the trail for another run. I drove the Mercedes-Benz SUV Clark drove to the airport and back. It was his boss’s company car until his boss upgraded this year to a brand new Benz SUV. It was the first Benz I’ve driven. I wasn’t very impressed. Of course, it has 188,000 miles on it, so I have to believe a newer model with a suspension that isn’t shot to hell would be more fun to drive.

It was a pretty, sunny day for a run on the trail, and we saw the coolest thing — an albino deer! I’ve never seen one before, but one ran across the trail right in front us.

After we did our 3-mile loop, I took some pictures:

I just noticed how skeletal Pepper looks in this shot, since he was clearly sniffing something on the ground there, and this was taken when he was inhaling. I swear I feed my dog!

When we were getting ready to leave, a couple of guys in the parking lot who were about to go on the trail saw Pepper and started gushing about how pretty he is, haha. This became the theme for the rest of the day.

After I did some yoga, Clark and I took Pepper to Dogfish Head in Rehoboth for a late lunch, because they allow dogs on their outdoor deck. Pepper attracted all kinds of attention while we were eating lunch. After lunch, we walked down to the beach, and we were stopped several times by people who wanted to pet him and tell us how pretty he is. Clark said he’d never been out in public before with a dog who attracts so much attention.

All the praise started to go to Pepper’s head, I think. I took a few more pictures of him on the way home from Rehoboth, and his attitude was noticeably different from the pictures at the trail earlier in the day.

"What is this crap? I still have to ride around in the back seat of a Honda Civic?"

"No pictures in this inferior lighting. Security, take care of this, please."

Anyway, since today is the last day of the month, it is time for my April summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (April 1-7): 6 miles
  • Week 2 (April 8-14): 26.2
  • Week 3 (April 15-21): 26.1
  • Week 4 (April 22-28): 26.2
  • Week 5 (April 29-30): 3

Total: 87.5 miles

Looks like I’m pretty comfortable with 26 miles a week right now, huh?

Overall, April was a success. Once my foot got going the first week of the month, it healed up pretty quickly, and I ran more miles than in March, without getting 26.2 of them in one day in a marathon. I expect to be back solidly in the triple digits in May.

I didn’t run any races in April, but I’m getting back into it this coming weekend, with the El Cinco 5-Miler in Lewes. I’m also running the St. Michaels Running Festival 10K on May 19, the Masser 5-Miler to kick off the summer series in Lewes on May 27 and possibly my first mile race May 25. That’s a Friday evening race, however, so it depends on work.

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April 27, 2012

Training for 4/27/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:16 pm

This morning, Pepper and I headed to the trail for a short, easy run. I left the harness at home, because his chest looks really bad in a couple of spots, and just hooked the leash to the collar. I have to do something about that harness soon.

Anyway, during today’s run, Pepper hit a new low (or high, depending on how you look at it) regarding things that freak him out while running. I’ve seen him crap his pants due to a loaded trash can by the side of the road, the sound of running water and a dead leaf blowing in the wind.

Today, he stepped on a root with one of his back paws a little funny, and the paw kind of slid off the root.

That was it. But he went from trotting along to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING in about a half-second, haha.

It ripped the leash out of my hand, because really, I did not see that one coming. There are thousands of roots on a trail run. We’re in the freaking woods. As soon as I let go, the leash started retracting, which meant Pepper was now getting chased by the handle. For some reason, seeing that flying up behind him made him stop and cower instead of running even faster. So I was able to get the leash back, get him calmed down, finish laughing at his stupid ass and go on my way.

Pepper managed to avoid the rest of the roots on the trail, I guess, because we had no more freak-outs. We finished the run and went home, where I did my push-ups workout, some invisible chair-sitting and stretching.

Clark has been away on business the last few days. Pepper always drives me nuts when I’m the only one home with him, because since I’m home, he thinks Clark will be too any minute. So he spends a lot of time lying in the floor, facing the back of the house where we come in, with his ears perked up. Any little noise, real or imagined, sends him woofing to the back door. Clark’s not there, of course, so Pepper comes back, assumes the position and growls under his breath for a couple of minutes, until he hears another noise and starts the whole thing over again.

Anyway, this picture was posted on Facebook this morning, and it made me think of Pepper, since I’ve been putting up with this for the last three nights and have one more to go:

I’m pretty sure some of those noises that set him off are coming from his own ass. I’ve never heard a dog that can fart like a human like Pepper can.

Anyway, running plans for the weekend are an 11-miler tomorrow morning, probably in my Zeroes the whole way, and another short trail run Sunday. Clark should be home tomorrow evening in time for the Richmond race. I have no idea what’s going on Sunday.

April 26, 2012

Training for 4/26/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:00 pm

Before I get into today, I must update what I did yesterday. After I got home from work, I did all my push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training upstairs, where it was actually pretty warm and muggy. Then Pepper and I went out and did two miles relatively easy. After the run, I did some barefoot exercises and stretching.

I wore Clark’s Oakleys for the run. It’s the first time I’ve worn sunglasses to run. I always assumed they would slide down my nose and be annoying, but I figured two miles was a short enough distance to give it a try. It was actually nice. Even though they’re too big for my face, they didn’t slide down my nose or bounce around, and I liked not having to squint or wave away bugs from my eyes. (Does anyone else think the bugs this year are already out of control? I feel like I eat at least 10 every run.)

Anyway, I think I might use one of my gift cards to get a pair of running sunglasses that fit my face.

Then Pepper and I went over to Julie’s house for dinner. That place was a madhouse. Julie’s two kids, ages 4 and 3, were going nuts, along with Meredith’s 3-year-old kid. Wendy was there with her kid, who’s almost 1. Then there was Julie’s Lab puppy whining and carrying on in her kennel because she’s too wild to be allowed to run around the house with so many other people there. TK and her dog were there too, and of course, Pepper, who seems to have just recently realized what his genitals are for and kept trying to hump TK’s dog. He also wouldn’t leave alone Julie’s other dog, who’s 10 and would much rather just be completely ignored.

I think it’s time to get Pepper fixed. We always intended to do it, but then the vet recommended we put it off a while after we first got him, so he could get used to us before we did something so traumatic to him. And I’ve just kept putting it off, because he was never aggressive or trying to hump anything. It just didn’t seem necessary. Until lately, that is. He seems to be going through some kind of awakening, haha. Pepper’s main object of desire is this old corduroy jacket Clark’s had for years. Clark can’t even take it off the hangar in the closet without Pepper leaping to try to snatch it out of his hand so he can hump it.

It’s just a little inconvenient to get the dog fixed. It would be easiest to take him to the humane society here in Caroline County, just drop him off before work and pick him up after. But they won’t take him because we’re Delaware residents, and they’re only supposed to serve the Mid-Shore counties in Maryland. The Delaware SPCA offers low-cost neutering, but the Sussex County shelter is in Georgetown,  so that would mean driving in the complete opposite direction of work to drop him off, and then driving all the way back there to pick him up.

OK, enough discussion about my dog’s sex life.

This morning, Pepper and I ran the 5.5-mile loop. Fortunately, we got it done before it started raining.

I didn’t time it today. It didn’t feel as fast as Tuesday’s run though. It was an easy, uneventful run.

I did some stretching at home.

April 25, 2012

Training for 4/25/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:59 pm

I got home late last night due to an evening work assignment, and I had to get to work early this morning due to another assignment today, so I’ve not done anything running-related since I posted yesterday. However, I’m leaving work early today, so I’ll do the weight training I would have done this morning when I get home from work.

I don’t like shopping all that much, except for running clothes. I can spend hours in an Under Armour or Nike store in particular, trying on everything. The problem is that it can be so incredibly expensive.

To combat this, I generally buy shorts in the dead of winter and cold gear tights in the middle of a heat wave, when they’re all on clearance. (Just recently I bought for $34 a Brooks running jacket that was originally $150. The problem is it’s made for running in less than 40 degrees. It’s going to be in my closet a while before I get to try it out.) Or I wait until my birthday or Christmas so I can get stuff as gifts.

I’ve amassed a pretty hefty collection over the past few years since I haven’t changed sizes and the clothes are well-made, so they last a long time. Still, the running gear companies keep putting out more and more stuff, and I want it all.

Sigh.

Luckily, I have the $60 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card my friends gave me for my birthday, and just yesterday, I finally redeemed Cashback points earned on my Discover card for a $50 Nike gift card. I got most of those points just from buying gas the first three months of the year, when the card was offering 5 percent cash back on gas. I’ve had that stupid card since 2004, and that was the first time I’ve built up enough of a Cashback bonus to spend it on anything.

Looks like I’ve got some seasonally-appropriate new running gear in my future!

April 24, 2012

Training for 4/24/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:12 pm

This morning, Pepper and I headed out pretty early for a lap around the 5.5-mile route.

It was a cool, breezy, sunny morning. I wore my Zeroes, so this would be the longest (and, since I had Pepper, fastest) run in them to date.

It went really well. We easily maintained an average pace around 7:33/mile for the run, which once again sped up as we went along, because I remember the first mile was 7:50.

I think I’ll be good to wear the Zeroes in my upcoming spring and summer races, none of which are longer than a 10K. I was hoping I could. I really like them, and the muscle soreness has not been there the past couple of runs in them, even as I’ve extended the distance and, in today’s case, upped the pace.

Pepper seemed to have a good time running as well, but I’ve been noticing lately the harness is irritating his skin where it loops across his belly, just behind his front legs. He has a short coat anyway, but the hair is pretty sparse on his belly. It wasn’t a problem until it got warm enough that he didn’t need his running jacket. We’ve tried loosening the harness, but it still rubs his belly raw in a couple of spots. He doesn’t seem concerned with it, but I feel bad. Maybe I can attach some kind of softer fabric to the coarse harness or something.

I definitely can’t go back to just hooking the leash to his collar, because when he gets spooked by something and takes off (which happens at least once every single run) he pulls so hard on the leash the collar used to choke him. I can’t stand that hacking noise he would make, especially since he couldn’t make the connection between yanking on the leash and choking and back off.

April 23, 2012

Training for 4/23/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:19 pm

This morning, I just did my strength training — abs, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights upstairs, barefoot exercises and stretches downstairs. It wasn’t hard to take the day off from running, or even riding the bike, because No. 1, it was gray, misty and chilly outside, and No. 2, I successfully ran six consecutive days between last Tuesday and yesterday.

Saturday morning, I woke up expecting rain, only to find clear, sunny skies. I figured the rain must be coming any minute; I better get out there! (Actually, the local meteorologists were just waaaaaaay off. They said Friday the whole weekend would be wet and blustery, when in fact we didn’t see the first rain drop until Saturday night.)

It was a pretty warm, humid day, so I ran shirtless for the first time this year. I did the 5.5-mile loop in my 890s, which went fine. Then I quickly changed into my Zeroes and set out for the 4.5-mile loop.

I was thinking I’d run three miles in the Zeroes before, but as I ran, I realized I’d not run any farther than two miles in them. That meant I was running more than double the previous distance.

It turned out to be fine. The first mile felt really weird after running in the cushy 890s, but by the second mile, I was used to them. It was a really good run. I think I’ll start doing more of my weekday runs in them.

In all, I did a little over 10.1 miles total, in 1:28:something. My average pace was something close to 8:45/mile, which I was pleased with. I drank some chocolate milk and a lot of water after my run. I had sweated out a lot.

After the run, I did all the housecleaning I meant to do last weekend, with an interruption in the middle to cover something for work.

As a reporter, I’m supposed to maintain complete objectivity, so my articles are just the facts with no bias or opinion. No one has ever complained my articles are anything but, and I think I’m so good at writing objectively because I really don’t care about much I have to write about. However, this speaker I had to listen to Saturday had me squirming in my seat, because I so desperately wanted to speak up and tell him he was a complete idiot.

I was sent to cover a little speakers’ forum hosted by a relatively new organization that wants to “protect traditional values” in Maryland. The first speaker was a state senator, who talked about what the Eastern Shore would have to do to secede from the rest of the state because it doesn’t have equal representation in state government. Whatever. That’s never going to happen. I took some notes but mostly dozed through that.

The second guy, however, was the chair of a group that wants to protect marriage. You know, from the evil gays. It was all I could do to keep my jaw off the floor, listening to some of the stupid shit he was spouting. According to him, the only (straight) people who support gay marriage are business owners who are afraid of their businesses getting attacked by a pack of vindictive, ignorant gays if they don’t support it. “Vindictive” and “ignorant” are actual words this fool used to describe all gay people.

Then, he finally clued us all in on why everyone in the LGBT community is the way they are: Lesbians have daddy issues and hate men; gays hate women (he knows this because he was once picked up by a gay man who disparaged his own mother — concrete evidence right there!); bisexuals are just “kinky and experimenting”; and transsexuals are “proof you can change whenever you want.”

This guy also ran for a seat in the U.S. freaking Senate. Shockingly, he finished dead last in a four-person race. His explanation was the top two guys raised the most money, and whoever has the most money wins. OK, I’ve heard that before. But, the guy who finished third didn’t campaign at all because he had no money, yet he still managed to beat this speaker. The reason was the third-place guy’s name started with an ‘A’, so it was first on the ballot. When all the illiterate illegal immigrants voted, they obviously just picked whoever’s name was first.

True story.

Worse, all the old people who attended this little event were nodding their heads in total agreement with everything this guy said! One woman said she was horrified she’d never received any campaign literature in the mail when this guy ran for Senate, because she would have voted for him. Come on!

The whole thing was painful to sit through. I was embarrassed for everyone in that room. I can listen to someone talk until they’re blue in the face on that subject, and I will never understand how letting gay people marry is threatening straight people’s rights, or the institution of marriage. You know what’s doing that? All the stupid straight people who get married and have no intention of actually honoring their commitment, many of whom put on a facade in public, pretending to be such righteous, upstanding citizens. Give me a break.

I think the only people who piss me off more are the ones trying to take away abortion and contraception rights, and then bitching about anyone on any kind of government assistance to help with the expense of raising their kids. But those are usually the same people.

Anyway, even though there was still one more speaker after the protect marriage guy, I left. Goodbye, intolerant old people. This is why the “western shore” of Maryland looks down on the Eastern Shore. That and because it smells like chicken poop all the way to the beach, haha. But I don’t mind that part of living here.

I went home and finished cleaning. That night, Clark and I went to Specific Gravity in Salisbury for dinner, where I had one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted, Kona Koko Brown Ale. I had no idea what it was when I ordered it. Turns out it has a very strong chocolate and caramel flavor. It was magnificent, and almost as good as the Stone Chocolate Cherry Stout I had in California last year. I love strong fruity or chocolatey beers.

Back to running. Sunday morning, it was finally pouring rain as promised. I was torn between venturing out to the trail in the rain or just staying in until I was supposed to be at Julie’s house in the afternoon. I finally decided to just go run.

I didn’t take Pepper with me. It wasn’t a light rain that wouldn’t bother him with the tree cover; it was a heavy, pounding rain that would have upset him. The trail was deserted when I got there. Within a few minutes, I was soaked to the bone, and my shoes and socks were completely drenched due to all the puddles on the trail. At that point, I couldn’t get any wetter, so I just enjoyed the run.

I took it a little easier than when Pepper is with me. It was a really good run, but three miles was enough in that weather.

I took a hot shower when I got home and went over to Julie’s for the afternoon. My friends gave me a $60 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods for my birthday. Julie left the receipt in the card. The receipt has a code to get $10 off a $50 purchase if you fill out a short online survey, so really it will be like a $70 gift card. I can’t wait to go shopping!

April 20, 2012

Training for 4/20/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:54 pm

This morning, I took Pepper and my 110s to the trail for a run through our 3-mile loop.

Since we went in the morning, there was no one else there, which is just the way I like it. It was a cool, pretty morning, with no annoying people or unleashed dogs to pester us. We had an easy, uneventful run.

At home, I did my push-ups workout and some invisible chair-sitting.

This weekend is supposed to be ugly and rainy pretty much straight through. I’m planning on at least 10 miles tomorrow though, maybe the 5.5-mile loop in my 890s and the 4.5-mile loop in my Zeroes. I didn’t feel any soreness at all in either leg after my last short run in the Zeroes on Wednesday, so I think it’s safe to start bumping up the mileage in them a little.

Then I have to do some serious house cleaning. I meant to do it last Saturday, but spent most of the afternoon half asleep on the floor instead. Very important stuff, haha.

Sunday, I might take Pepper to the trail if there’s a break in the weather and my feet or legs aren’t too sore from the longer run in the Zeroes. Or I might just stay home. In the afternoon, I’m going to Julie’s house, where we’re celebrating my and Meredith’s birthdays and TK surviving another tax season, and, of course, there’s the NASCAR race from Kansas to watch.

April 19, 2012

Training for 4/19/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:09 pm

This morning, Pepper and I did a lap around the 5.5-mile route. I slowed him down a little — our average pace this morning was 7:48/mile — but it was still faster than I intended. Oh well. It didn’t feel too hard though. That might have been because it was a little cooler this morning than it was Tuesday.

I did some stretching when I got home.

April 18, 2012

Training for 4/18/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:25 pm

This morning, I did my ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weight training upstairs.

I was going to ride my bike a little after that, but when I stepped outside it was starting to rain very lightly. I was already wearing my Zeroes, so I just ran two miles very easy, without Pepper. He wasn’t happy about it obviously, but I didn’t want to run as fast today as I did yesterday.

I did some barefoot exercises and weight training at home to finish up.

April 17, 2012

Training for 4/17/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:54 pm

This morning, Pepper and I hit the road early for what I expected to be an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop.

Instead, I again let Pepper set the pace, because it’s seriously easier to just keep up with him than it is to slow him down.

Somewhere around the 1.5-mile marker, and then again around the halfway point of the run, I got this strong whiff of the inside of a Dunkin’ Donuts store. It was really weird; it smelled like someone had planted a doughnut field and the sun was warming them all up. It smelled delicious! I hadn’t eaten breakfast before the run since we left so early, and it made me really hungry. I have no idea what made that smell, but I can tell you my cereal didn’t quite cut it when I did get to eat. I was craving a Boston Creme doughnut.

I timed the run today; we ran 5.5 miles in 41:21, a 7:31/mile average pace. I remember the first mile was just under 8:00, so we sped up as we went along, which is another typical feature of a run with Pepper. The closer he gets to home, the faster he wants to get there, haha.

My 5-mile PR, from last June, was at a 7:20/mile pace, so I wasn’t too far off that today. I was definitely working hard for today’s run, but I didn’t feel like it was a race effort. This is all encouraging as I’m getting ready to get back into racing.

Two years ago, my first races back after my IT band injury were disasters, as far as my pace was concerned. I was molasses slow compared to what I had been running before I got injured, and it sucked.

It looks like I shouldn’t be too far off when I race again. I’ve decided not to run any races in April. My next race is going to be the El Cinco 5-Miler on May 5 in Lewes. It’s the night race at the state park I’ve mentioned before. Well, dusk, I guess. It starts at 7 p.m., so it won’t be dark yet. It’s a full moon that weekend too, which I suppose is why, in the race FAQs, it says headlamps and flashlights aren’t needed:

Do I need to use a headlamp or flashlight?

No.  While headlamp or flashlight use is permitted, it is not required. The races have been designed to be run without headlamps.  Running at night can provide a welcome change of pace from the daily grind, and most will find that the use of lighting detracts from the experience.

It’s going to be dark.  Won’t it be hard to stay on  the course?

The course will be extremely well marked and there will be ample volunteers. We will be using reflective markings, chemical lights, and glow-in-the-dark paint to ensure that everyone stays on course. 

Here’s my favorite FAQ and answer:

If it’s dark, couldn’t I trip and fall?

Yes, you might.  We will make every effort to provide a clear, obstacle free course and to mark or light hazards, but we can not remove all of the inherent dangers associated with running.

In other words, we see klutzes fall flat on their faces in races in broad daylight. If you’re one of them, chances are even greater you’ll do the same on a dimly-lit course.

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