A Simple Running Log

August 31, 2012

Training for 8/31/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:29 pm

This morning, I took Pepper to the trail for a short, easy run. I tried to hold him back on the speed as best I could, since I’m only a couple days away from the half marathon, but he doesn’t understand that, obviously. He just likes to run.

It was an uneventful but enjoyable run. When we got home, I did today’s push-ups workout and some stretching.

I’m really glad this weekend is finally here!

Tomorrow morning, I’m going to Rehoboth to run the Last Blast Prediction 5K, the final event of the summer racing series. This is the race where we write down a predicted finish time, then run the course with no watches, clocks or mile markers. The winners are the runners who came closest to their predicted times. There’s this guy who has won the past two years by running within a couple of hundredths of a second of his predicted time. Now that is some ingrained pacing!

Turns out Pepper is running with me tomorrow too! Clark got tickets to the Maryland football game tomorrow afternoon. His parents agreed to watch Pepper, since I’ll be on my way to Virginia Beach then, but they’re going down to their beach house tonight. So I’m taking Pepper with me tomorrow, running the race with him and dropping him off at the beach house before heading back home to get ready to leave for Virginia Beach.

I really have to keep a reign on Pepper tomorrow. If I let him run as fast as he wants, I’ll be toast for the half marathon.

They’re also awarding the winners in the summer series tomorrow. Technically, I won my age group again, but only because the real winner was the overall women’s winner, so she gets that award.

We have to get to the expo in Virginia Beach to pick up our race packets by 5 p.m. Other than that, the rest of tomorrow is pretty slack.

Sunday morning, of course, I’ll be up bright and early for the 7 a.m. race start. The weather forecast hasn’t changed much, other than the chance of rain going up to 40 percent, from 20 percent earlier in the week. It’s still going to be mid 70s and humid. But maybe it’ll be overcast as well, so that would help.

In spite of the forecast, I’m still going to go for my ‘A’ goal of a sub-1:35. I’ll know pretty quickly if it’s going to be smart to try to run 7:15 miles, or if I should just back off in that heat and humidity and wait until the December half marathon in Rehoboth to pull that off.

My complete goals for the race are:

  • A: 1:34:59
  • B: 1:37:31 (new PR)
  • C: 1:39:48 (beat Dave’s time from the same race again, even though the course is slightly different from 2009)
  • D: 1:49:04 (beat my own best time from this particular race in 2010)

Two other unofficial goals are to get lei’d by the Rudee Inlet neighborhood cheer squad around mile 11:

Showing off my leis after the 2009 race.

And after the 2010 race.

And to drink the first Punkin Ales of the season Monday after the race, something else I did after both previous runnings of this race.

Finally, it’s the last day of August, so it’s time for my monthly summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (Aug. 1-4): 24.7 miles
  • Week 2 (Aug. 5-11): 62.2
  • Week 3 (Aug. 12-18): 56.5
  • Week 4 (Aug. 19-25): 53.7
  • Week 5 (Aug. 26-31): 33.7

Total: 230.8 miles

A new single month distance record! I beat this past January’s total by a whopping 0.7 miles, haha.

It was a really good training month. I cut short by about 1.5 miles a 17-miler the first weekend of the month, but after that I got my act together and finally started finishing some long runs again. I had a decent 19-miler and a really good 20-miler five days later. The only race I ran was a 12K in Preston, in which I felt pretty comfortable at a pace slightly slower than goal pace for the half. I also won the overall women’s award again, and another $50 gift certificate, this time to VP Shoes.

After this half is over, my main focus in September will be finishing the hard part of Twin Cities Marathon training strong. I have two more 20-milers planned, and then it’ll be taper time already.

I’m also running a Color Run in D.C. with a bunch of friends Sept. 9, and I might do the 5K in Federalsburg again Sept. 22. Clark mentioned maybe going to the beach house for that weekend though, since it’s the one after our wedding anniversary Sept. 19, so I won’t run it if we’re there.

August 30, 2012

Training for 8/30/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

This morning, I was planning on an easy lap around the 10.5-mile loop. But I took (much) longer to get out of bed than originally intended, so I trimmed down the distance to my 7.2-mile loop in the interest of time.

I wasn’t quite a mile and a half into the run when I saw two figures along the side of the road ahead of me. I have terrible long distance vision, so they could have been anything at that point, really. People, sign posts, some kind of farm equipment.

As I got closer, I realized they were coming closer to me, and they were two people, running.

My first stupid thought was that they were the two kids who live in the farmhouse I was approaching, and they had missed the school bus that had just driven by me and were trying to catch it. I told you it was stupid.

I finally got close enough to see they were two women, who had clearly gotten dressed with the intention of working out. No school bus-chasing.

Even though they were running side-by-side on the wrong side of the road, forcing me out into the middle of the road to go by them, I couldn’t help but smile a big, cheesy grin at them as we got closer to each other. I can count on one hand the number of other runners I’ve seen around my regular routes in the four-plus years I’ve been running them.

And when we met, the woman closest to me smiled and said, “We’re training to be like you!”

Now if that isn’t just the nicest thing a total stranger has ever said to me… I didn’t even know what to say to that, so I just blurted out “Good morning!”

I am a goober.

That put a little pep in my step. The rest of the run felt really easy. I didn’t time it, as it was supposed to be an easy run, but it felt good. And as I was approaching our house, Clark had just pulled out of our lane on his motorcycle, so he swerved over to my side of the road so he could give me a high five as he drove by.

So yeah, once I finally got it going, I had a good run today. Which is nice, because I only have a couple of very short, very easy runs planned for the next two days before the race Sunday.

August 29, 2012

Training for 8/29/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:44 pm

This morning, as soon as Pepper had eaten his breakfast and gone back to bed after puttering around the yard a bit, I stepped outside for today’s short, easy run.

It was a brilliant morning! The humidity was down to less than 80 percent, and it was probably 10 degrees cooler than yesterday morning. I wish we could have weather more like today’s for the race in four days.

I ran a very enjoyable lap around my 5.5-mile loop at an easy pace. When I got home, I ate some breakfast, and then went upstairs to do some ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting, weight training and stretching.

I think tomorrow morning is supposed to be even nicer than today, which is great, because I have my last real run planned for tomorrow, a lap around the 10.5-mile loop, before slacking off the two days prior to the race.

August 28, 2012

Training for 8/28/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:11 pm

Last night, I did the strength training I skipped yesterday morning. It was sweltering upstairs, even after the sun went down, but I eventually made it through my push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weights, thanks to some breaks during which I just sat in front of the box fan we keep up there.

Clark went to the grocery store last night, and was gone while I was upstairs. Pepper was home with me. It was so hot up there, he chose to stay downstairs, all alone, rather than pant his face off upstairs. I’ve finally found the one thing he hates more than being alone!

This morning, I went to the track for this week’s only speed workout and my last one before the half marathon, six 400-meter repeats at 5K pace.

It was another warm and muggy morning. In Virginia Beach, the night before the race is only supposed to cool down into the mid 70s, and there’s a small chance of rain, 20 percent. But if there’s a chance of rain, that means the humidity will probably be up there. I suspect race morning will feel a lot like when I ran today. In other words, less than ideal racing conditions. Oh well. I knew that was a strong possibility.

Back to this morning. It was the first day of school for Seaford, but I got to the track long before buses started arriving at the adjacent middle and high schools. The track was completely empty when I got there.

I did an easy mile to warm up, and then ran my first repeat. I was aiming for splits around 1:40 each, and instead ran a 1:42. I always seem to run the first repeat too slow.

I jogged a recovery lap and ran the second repeat in 1:39. Better. The rest of my splits looked about like that: 1:38, 1:37, 1:39 and 1:37.

After one last recovery lap, I swigged some water and ran two more miles to cool down, for an even six miles today.

I was completely drenched after that workout. I don’t know what I hate more — strong headwinds, face-numbing cold or high humidity. It was at nearly 90 percent again today.

I’ve been putting together plans for both the half marathon this weekend and my marathon in October.

Dave, Kasey, Kara and I are riding to Virginia Beach together in Dave’s truck. We’re supposed to leave Dave and Kasey’s house at 11:30 a.m. Dave has to make a quick stop at a formal wear store in Salisbury on the way to get fitted for a tux for a friend’s wedding. The expo closes at 5 p.m., and it’s about a 3-hour drive from Salisbury, so I really hope this fitting is as quick as Dave swears it will be.

Dave has also talked to Ian and gotten permission for the four of us to stay at his place Saturday night. So it looks like everything is taken care of there.

Clark decided last night he will go to Minnesota with me in October for the marathon (it’s one of the few states he’s never visited.) I bought our plane tickets this morning, and I’ve sent a message to another runner who reserved a block of rooms at a hotel near the start line in his name so I can take one of those rooms for Clark and me. I’m really happy he’s decided to go. I promised him we’re not just a bunch of running nerds… but maybe I just think that because I am a running nerd.

Anyway, it looks like everything is coming together!

August 27, 2012

Training for 8/27/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:24 pm

Well, this is it. The last “official” week of summer, before Labor Day comes and goes. Some Dunkin’ Donuts locations have already rolled out their pumpkin coffee beverages, and the beer store we stopped at in Fenwick Island on Saturday was phasing out the summer seasonals in favor of all the pumpkin beers. As much as I love pumpkin-flavored anything, I got a raspberry-flavored iced coffee and a six-pack of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, because I refuse to let summer go before I have to, dammit!

This weekend was a decent one in terms of running. Friday evening, I took Pepper to the trail after work. He sailed right through our 3-mile loop, with barely a pause to sniff or pee on anything. We went in town so I could get some gas for the lawnmower, and then I cut the grass when we got home. I ran out of daylight to do the weed trimming, thinking I would get it done the next morning after my run. Little did I know it was about to start raining for… well, I don’t know how long, because it’s still freaking drizzling out there.

Saturday morning, I did this week’s long run, a cutback to 12 miles. I ran my 12.2-mile loop in my 1600s. It was another good long run. I finished the loop in 1:41:30, average pace of about 8:18/mile. It was cool and overcast, and rained on me off and on throughout the run. I didn’t even need any water or salt during the run. It was one of the most enjoyable running days we’ve had in a while.

We went to the beach house in Fenwick Island to celebrate Clark’s grandmother’s birthday that afternoon. Clark and I had hoped to get a break in the weather so we could go to the beach at some point, but it just rained harder and harder all day. In the evening, the lightning started. We hadn’t planned on staying overnight, but we heard the roads were getting bad in some places, and we both fell asleep while watching the NASCAR race anyway, so we wound up staying there.

We left early Sunday morning, around 6 a.m. It rained off and on some more on the way home. I was tired when we got home, so, instead of doing that day’s planned 6-mile pace run during the cool, drizzly morning, I just ate some breakfast and went to bed. Silly me thought it was going to stay like that all day.

Imagine my surprise when I finally got up from my “short nap” four hours later and discovered the sun had come out and it had gotten hot outside. I figured I better just get it over with, so I got dressed and went out.

I didn’t time it. It was extremely muggy and I didn’t think there was any way I’d manage a roughly 8:00/mile pace in that crap. It drizzled off and on, and the sun slid in and out of the patchy clouds during the whole run. I was trying to push myself on the pace, but it felt like I was moving in slow motion. The distance was only about half of the previous day’s, but I was really wishing I’d brought along a water bottle.

Judging by what time I’d started my run and the time when I was done, I finished off my 6.5-mile loop in about 52 minutes, which worked out to 8:00/mile, much to my surprise.

Of course, not long after I’d finished my run, it cooled down and started really raining again. I think I picked the absolute worst time of the day to run.

After lounging around for quite a while, I finally mustered up the motivation to get some much-needed housework done, so I did all the laundry, dusted, vacuumed and loaded and ran the dishwasher. I even cleaned out all the old food in the fridge. It no longer smells like ass when you open the door, which is nice.

I never did get those weeds trimmed. It was just too wet all weekend.

This morning, I got up at 5:15 a.m. to run before I had to be at a couple of schools to take pictures of students coming in for their first day back. I put on my little headlamp and stepped outside to find another surprisingly warm and muggy morning (I later checked my phone and saw the humidity was at 96 percent) and, big surprise, more rain.

I took off down the road in the pitch black. My headlamp seemed to be attracting every little bug in the wooded areas. I kept having to wipe off bugs from my arms, stomach, chest and face. That was gross.

I finished the 5.5-mile loop before the sun came up, and made it to the schools on time. The difference in attitude between the middle and high school kids I saw first and the elementary school kids I saw second was funny.

I have to go grocery shopping after work tonight, but when I get home, I’ll do the strength training I would have normally done after my run this morning.

This is also the last week of training before the Virginia Beach half this coming Sunday. I’ll do a short interval workout at the track tomorrow morning, but that’s it in terms of speedwork for the week. Wednesday, I’ll do my strength training and short, easy run again, and Thursday, I’ll put in a middle distance run, probably the 10.5-mile loop. I’ll take it very easy Friday and Saturday, just a few miles each day, and then I hope to blast my PR in the race.

August 24, 2012

Training for 8/24/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:58 pm

I don’t have a lot to report at the moment, sorry. I didn’t get home from the Ravens game (which we won, 48 to 17, by the way!) until almost 2 a.m., so I didn’t feel like getting out of bed four and a half hours later to take Pepper for a trail run. I might take him after work though.

Speaking of the Ravens game, Meredith and I were pretty impressed to see a kid who couldn’t have been any older than 12 but knew all the words to the Beatles’ 1963 hit “I Saw Her Standing There.” They were playing it over the PA system during a break in the game, and this kid and a few others were dancing to it at the bottom of our section. The other kids didn’t seem to know anything about it, other than it was loud and it had a beat. But one kid in an Anquan Boldin jersey and a pair of sunglasses was clearly singing all the words.

I guess it reminded me of listening to that song and the entire “Please Please Me” album on repeat all day every day for God knows how long, after Dave got it on cassette for his seventh birthday, and it made me happy to know there are still kids discovering the Beatles. That’s just good parenting right there.

One other observation from the game — in a parking lot just outside the stadium, the finish line for the Baltimore Marathon is already painted on the pavement. I wonder if they leave it there year round. It seems a little early to have put it there otherwise. That marathon isn’t for another two months.

Anyway, tomorrow morning, I’m running this week’s long run first thing. It’s a cutback week, so it’s a 12-miler. We’re heading down to the beach house after that, to celebrate Clark’s grandmother’s birthday. We might stay down there tomorrow night. Or not. Either way, I have a 6-mile pace run I’m supposed to do Sunday morning.

August 23, 2012

Training for 8/23/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:55 pm

This morning, I ran my last tempo run before the Virginia Beach half marathon.

The schedule called for a 60-minute run, but I ran what was essentially a 55-minute tempo run four days ago, and an interval workout only two days ago, so I cut back a little on the fast running. I decided I’d do two 3-mile chunks at tempo pace, with a mile of recovery between them.

I settled on my 9.5-mile loop, and ran the first mile easy. I then ran just a hair over 3 miles in 22:30, average pace of about 7:22/mile. I ran the next mile easy, and then did another 3-ish miles in 22:30, same pace. I ran the final 1.5 miles home at an easy pace.

When I got home, I did a lot of stretching and foam rolling.

Tonight, my friend Meredith and I are going to the Ravens’ preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mike has season tickets, and gave me the pair for tonight’s game, since it’s just a preseason game. It’s most likely the only live game I will get to go to this year, so I don’t care if the starters only play the first quarter, I’m still excited about it.

August 22, 2012

Training for 8/22/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:00 pm

This morning, I first did an easy lap around my 5.5-mile loop. It was downright chilly at 66 degrees! It was a pretty routine run.

I ate some breakfast when I got home, and then went upstairs, where I did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training.

 

August 21, 2012

Training for 8/21/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:59 pm

I think the school system and the county commissioners must get together and plan their schedules just to make certain days on my schedule particularly heinous, because that is the only explanation for why, on so many Tuesdays it seems, I have a school thing to cover first thing in the morning and then a commissioners meeting to sit through late at night, or vice versa.

Like today, for instance. Teachers’ first day at work was today. They had a big (four-hour long!) kick-off assembly at one of the high schools, starting at 8:30 a.m. The superintendent’s secretary called me yesterday at 4:30 p.m., wanting to know if I’d be there to cover it, because she’d seen a neighboring county’s “welcome back teachers” program had been front-page news in the daily paper yesterday.

I hemmed and hawed, explaining I had a late meeting to cover tonight so I didn’t know if I’d be in that early today, but in the back of my head, I knew I was going to cover it. Honestly, the blatant favoritism shown to our neighboring county’s news in the daily paper bugs me a little too, and of all the people I deal with on a regular basis in my job, the school people are my favorites. They’re always very helpful. I especially like the superintendent’s secretary.

So that’s why I found myself at the track very early this morning, when it was still pretty dark out, to squeeze in my planned workout of six 800-meter repeats at 10K pace.

It was a coolish morning, in the low 70s. There was one walker there when I arrived, which really surprised me, but he was leaving as I was walking toward the track. Otherwise it was all mine for most of the workout.

I did a mile to warm up, and then started my first 800-meter repeat, aiming for 3:30 splits. I ran the first one at 3:30 on the dot, but it felt a lot harder than it should have. Remember, these were supposed to have been at an effort I could — and have — sustained for 6.2 consecutive miles.

I did a single lap of recovery between each. I ran the next five repeats in 3:29, 3:28, 3:27, 3:28 and 3:28. I ran one more slow recovery lap, drank some water and finished up with two cool down miles, for a total of 7.5 miles today.

The repeats were pretty consistent, and I didn’t feel like I wanted to walk after any of them, but they still all felt harder than I thought they should have. Oh well. Not every workout is going to be great.

I went home, showered, ate some breakfast and was at the teachers’ program on time to start my most likely 12.5-hour minimum work day, depending on how long the commissioners’ meeting is tonight. On the bright side, it means I’ll have a short day again Friday so I don’t incur any overtime — maybe that’s the real reason I made sure to cover that program this morning.

August 20, 2012

Training for 8/20/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:28 pm

I had a pretty good weekend.

Saturday, I did absolutely nothing. And I mean nothing. After getting up early for so many consecutive previous days to run so many miles, the furthest thing from my mind when I woke up Saturday morning to feed Pepper was a run. As soon as he was taken care of, we both went back to bed. I didn’t get up until 10 a.m., and that was only because I was starving. Otherwise I might have stayed in bed all day.

The rest of the day went like that. I laid around like a pile of dirty laundry. I read a book. I watched the Nationwide Series race. If my friend hadn’t invited Clark and me to dinner at her boyfriend’s house that evening, I most likely wouldn’t have even showered.

It was glorious.

That evening, Clark and I went to said dinner, and stayed long enough to watch the first half of the Redskins’ preseason game before we were both nodding off on the couch. I went to bed as soon as we got home, so I’d be nice and rested up for the race the next morning.

I got up at 6:15 a.m. Sunday, ate some breakfast and headed to Preston for the second annual Colonel’s Challenge 12K.

It was a pretty nice morning to run, especially for late August. It was sunny, but not terribly hot or humid.

I got to the race site in plenty of time to get my bib and then run an easy warm up to the first mile marker and back. Just before I got to the marker to turn around, an early-’90s Honda Accord came down the road toward me, weaving between the cones marking the course down the center of the road, slalom-style. It stopped when it got to me, and as I continued to run away from it, toward the mile marker, three witty and well-spoken young gentlemen proffered thoughtful inquiries like, “Hey baby, why you runnin’?” and “Are you in first?” I actually answered back that I was just warming up for a race that hadn’t yet started, but I chose to start ignoring them when they moved on to the more typical “Hey, you’re hot! Har har har!” fare. Grow up.

Luckily, another car was coming down the road, so they went on their way. I ran the rest of my warm up and forgot about them.

By the time I got back to the park, TK was there to run the 5K, and her friend Shari was there too to run the 12K, even though she’d been running a fever of 102 the day before the race.

At 8 a.m., when the race was supposed to start, the race director made an announcement the start would be delayed 10 minutes because of a last-minute change to the 12K course. The 12K started at the park in Preston, went out to Maple Avenue, ran down to and through the Choptank Marina, ran a different road back to Maple Avenue and then ended up back at the park.

The marina was still flooded from a heavy rain storm that had passed through two nights before, enough that the race director hadn’t even been able to drive his van down the road that ran along the waterfront. Since it was about 3.5 miles from the finish line, the director figured we’d all get blisters if we soaked our shoes at that point in the race, so he sent us down a dry alley that reconnected us to the original course but bypassed the marina.

He said that would chop off about a tenth of a mile between the third and fourth mile markers, so we were now running an 11.98K. “Who runs a 12K anyway?” he said.

With that ironed out, he told us to line up on the road for the start.

I remembered two things from last year’s race — I went out way too fast and felt like total crap the final few miles, and I didn’t see anyone else after about the second mile marker, and that was a pretty lonely way to run a race. I hoped to avoid both of those things.

We got the command to go and I took off at what felt like my tempo run pace, since I was running this race in place of the 55-minute tempo run that had been scheduled for last Thursday. I was aiming for 7:20-ish a mile. This was also kind of a test run for Virginia Beach in a couple of weeks, to see if I’d still be comfortable enough after 7.4 miles at that pace to aim for that or a little faster in the half.

By the time we hit the first mile marker, I was running with my 10th grade history teacher, Mr. Smith, who was running the 12K, his teenage son, who was running the 5K, and another guy I didn’t recognize, who I hoped was running the 12K. There was one woman in front of us, distance unknown, and three guys in front of her, who I figured were all running the 12K.

We hit the first mile marker in 7:19. Perfect. I felt really comfortable.

We approached the 5K turnaround not far past that, and I saw the woman in front of me make the turn. She wasn’t just the lead woman in the 5K, she was the lead 5K runner, period. I yelled out something encouraging to her as she ran past us on her way back to the finish. Then Mr. Smith’s son made the turnaround and we all yelled “good luck” to him and continued toward the marina.

Somewhere in the second mile, the other guy and I dropped Mr. Smith. I ran just behind this other guy pretty much the rest of the way. I don’t like to talk during races, so I’d only speak up when I heard a car coming up from behind us or to commiserate when he took a large bug right in the eye. Fortunately, he wasn’t a talker either, but he didn’t seem to mind me riding on his shoulder like that at all.

I missed the second mile marker, but I saw the third one and noted we were at 22:04 at that point, 7:22/mile average. A little off goal pace, but not much, and I was still feeling extremely comfortable. We got to the marina, where I tried to drink a little water at a water stop before we made the turn onto the detour down the alley. The alley took us back to the original course, and we turned left to head back home.

We passed the fourth mile marker in 28:45, a 6:40 fourth mile because of the shortened course. Just past that marker, we made a left onto the long, boring road back toward Preston. This was the worst part of the race for me last year. It was a nearly 2-mile stretch of slightly uphill pavement with nothing but endless fields on either side, and I was totally alone. At least this time I had someone to follow.

We kept up our pace and passed five miles in 36:something. We got back to Maple Avenue and passed six miles not long after that. I don’t remember the split there.

In the final mile, my running buddy pulled away from me a bit. I didn’t feel like catching up to him, and instead just kept up my comfortably hard pace. We got back to town. I passed seven miles in 50:something and knew I had less than a half-mile to go.

When we returned to the park, we had to do most of a lap around the quarter-mile paved trail going around the perimeter of the park to get to the finish line. Last year, I was pretty much completely out of steam by the time I got to that trail, and I had desperately wanted to walk it in. This year, I felt much stronger, and I crossed the line in 54:20.

That was 22 seconds faster than last year’s race, the only other 12K I’ve ever run, but you can’t really compare them since the course was short this year. I think my average pace last year was slightly faster, but I definitely felt a lot better when I was done running this time, which I was hoping for.

My running buddy had finished about four seconds before me, and was sitting on a table with a water cooler just past the finish line when I came across, catching his breath. He held out his hand and I gave him a high five. He thanked me for pushing him the whole race, and I told him I’d just been happy to have someone to run with, and pointed out he’d pulled away from me in that last mile.

I did another mile to cool down, for a total of about 10.5 miles for the day.

At the awards ceremony, I got a trophy for being the overall female winner of the 12K. I was also fifth overall. I don’t know how many people total ran the race, as they have not yet posted results online, but it wasn’t a big crowd.

The woman who’d been leading the 5K at the turnaround did in fact win it outright in 21:57, which you don’t see often. The race director said it was only the fourth time in the 22 years he’s been putting on races a woman won one of them outright.

After they presented all the awards for both races, they did a raffle drawing for two $50 gift cards to VP Shoes, and I actually won one of them! I was more excited about that than anything else. I’m 2-for-2 in raffle drawings at that race. Last year, I won a $50 gift card to Red Lobster. This year’s prize is definitely better.

I went home, showered and spent the rest of the day, once again, lounging around. We watched the Sprint Cup Series race from Michigan, one of the few tracks where Jimmie Johnson has not won. He started in the rear of the field after an engine change, but was leading with about five laps to go. It looked like he was going to pull off the win, until God smiled on us all, and Johnson blew his second engine of the weekend while leading.

Before the announcers realized what was happening, we all heard Johnson’s live radio feed as Greg Biffle passed him for the win: “Are you KIDDING me?!” Then the telltale plume of smoke erupted from the exhaust pipes, and it was clear Johnson had realized his engine was imploding when he yelled that out over the radio.

The only thing that would have made me happier would have been if Bobby Labonte had won. He didn’t, but neither did Jimmie stupid Johnson, so it was alright.

You know what that means? It means I got something yesterday that Jimmie Johnson didn’t — a first place trophy for winning a race!

*rim shot*

Mike and Dave came over that evening. Dave said what I’ve been suspecting for some time now. He’s not running the Virginia Beach half. He said he’s run a total of about 15 miles all year. Kasey’s not running the 5K either. But they are both still planning on going to Virginia Beach that weekend, as Dave still knows a lot of people in that area from his time in the Navy.

I might have gotten a little pissy, as the only reason I ever signed up for that race was because he said all the way back in January he was going to run it, but then he said he’s really close to having Uncle Lee’s old ski boat running again, and Uncle John has already promised we can burn as much of his gas as we want if we just take him out skiing every now and then, so I kinda forgot all about the half. I’ve been daydreaming about skiing for the first time in six years ever since. I can’t wait!

This morning, I thought about skiing again while I ran an easy lap around my 5.5-mile loop, and then some more while I did my ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training upstairs. (It’s an off week for push-ups.)

Man I can’t wait to ski again!

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