A Simple Running Log

September 28, 2012

Training for 9/28/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:18 pm

Bad news. My marathon shoes are still woefully clear of Bobby Labonte’s signature.

I drove all the way to Dover last night, and got to the grocery store right before 7 p.m., when his hour-long autograph session was to start. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw a guy in a NASCAR T-shirt walking in the store. In the minute it took me to park, check my teeth in the rearview mirror for bits of the bagel I’d just eaten and pick up my shoes, I saw that same guy walking right back out of the store.

I got a sinking feeling. Maybe the line was just really, really short though. I walked in, feeling silly carrying a pair of running shoes and a Sharpie into a grocery store. There were several huge posters promoting the autograph session for 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27, but no line of people carrying things to get signed. I checked the calendar on my phone — Sept. 27. Yes, I am in the right place. Where the hell is Bobby Labonte?!

I wandered around a bit. The barista at the Starbucks counter gave me a disinterested glance, but other than her, I didn’t see anyone to even potentially ask what was going on. I finally found a table with a stack of Scott paper products behind it, which was most likely where Bobby should have been sitting, waiting to scribble all over my shoes.

It was starting to feel like an elaborate joke to get me to drive an hour out of my way for no reason. I finally checked Bobby’s Facebook page on my phone, and there it was: “UPDATE our flight is delayed appearance rescheduled for 6:30 pm EST tomorrow.”

ARRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!

At first I was confused — why is Bobby flying commercial? I know it’s been a while since he’s won a race, but come on. Then I read some more comments this morning that had been added since last night, and what had happened was, a charter plane in front of his on the taxiway had tried to take a turn too sharply and got one of its wheels stuck in the mud just off the tarmac. All the planes lined up to leave behind it had to wait until it was freed.

Defeated, I walked back out of the store with my shoes. I still had to do my own grocery shopping before I went home. Instead of the Seaford Walmart, I went to the one in Camden that has a slightly better selection. So I didn’t drive all the way to Dover for nothing, ha.

The shoes are still in my car. Yes, I’m going back tonight. Practice and qualifying are this afternoon, so he has to be in the area. I will get these shoes signed!

This morning, I took Pepper to the cross country trail for a lap around our 3-mile route. It was an easy, routine run. When I got home, I did today’s push-ups workout and some stretching.

This weekend is the last one before the Twin Cities Marathon. This time a week from today, Clark and I should be in the air somewhere between the Baltimore and Minneapolis-St. Paul airports. (If no one gets their wheels stuck in the mud in Baltimore, that is.)

Tomorrow morning is my final long run, a little 8-miler, and Sunday morning, before the NASCAR race in Dover, I have one last lap to run around my 4.5-mile loop. Next week is just a couple of dinky out-and-backs, 3 and 2 miles each, and one short track workout.

September 27, 2012

Training for 9/27/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:18 pm

This morning, I had on the schedule my last real speed workout before the marathon. There’s one more track workout next Tuesday, but it’s very short, only four 400-meter repeats.

It was warm enough here to go shirtless again. The temperature was still barely 70 degrees, but the humidity had climbed back up into the 80 percent range. It was also sunny. Nothing to complain about, though.

I did a mile easy to warm up, and then sped up for 30 minutes at tempo pace. I passed my approximate first mile marker in 7:16, then the second one by the ferry in 14:29, a 7:13 second mile. I was feeling pretty good. The third mile was the toughest, as it holds the only real incline of that route, and I hit my next mile marker at 21:44, another 7:16 mile. I cranked it up for the remaining time before my watch hit 30 minutes, and in the end, had covered 4.2 miles, an average overall pace of 7:08/mile, my best tempo run in quite a while.

I slowed to an easier pace and ran the remaining two miles or so home, for a total of 7.2 miles this morning, and then did some stretching after breakfast.

Tonight, I’m going to Dover to meet Bobby Labonte. I’m so glad I can drive now; the last time he made a scheduled appearance before a Dover NASCAR race that I actually knew about was in 1995, when I was only 12, so I had to rely on one of my parents to take me. And they both had better stuff to do than taking their daughter to meet her idol, if you can believe that.

I had an idea yesterday for something he could sign for me, but I wasn’t sure if it was ridiculous. But when Clark suggested it in a text message too, I knew it was perfect:

Perfect! My 1600s are sitting in my car right now. I’m going to ask him to sign the top of the toebox on one of them, so I can see it when I look down while I’m running Twin Cities. I’ve done all my long runs in them since the middle of August, but they aren’t too offensively dirty or stinky, I don’t think. If I was going to wear my Zeroes, I’d be a little more hesitant to ask Bobby Labonte to get anywhere near them.

September 26, 2012

Training for 9/26/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:24 pm

You know what I love? Facebook. Or maybe it was Twitter, linked to Facebook. Whatever it was, I found out just now that Bobby Labonte, the greatest NASCAR driver of all time (ALL TIME!), is signing autographs at a grocery store in Dover tomorrow night. And I’m free. Which means I will get to meet Bobby freaking Labonte again!

I have to decide what I want him to sign. A stupid hat or a diecast is too obvious. Clark suggested my giant chunk of sheet metal from one of his cars, but it’s really a giant chunk. It’s like half the driver’s side of the car. I couldn’t get it to Dover in my car, and even if I could somehow get it there, I’d have to drag it through the line to meet him.

I don’t know! I want something memorable. Think, think, think….

Speaking of people I really want to sign something for me, the race organizers of the Twin Cities Marathon announced yesterday they have four Olympic runners competing in the 10-mile race the same day as the marathon, which happens to be the U.S. 10-mile championship race. One of those runners is Kara Goucher, who finished 11th in the women’s marathon in London. She’s one of my favorite professional runners. I really hope she makes a scheduled appearance at the expo or something. How cool would that be to get her to sign my race bib? I met Hal Higdon and Bart Yasso before the Philly half marathon last year and got both of their signatures on my bib, and that seemed to bring me a little good luck in the race.

Which brings me back to today. I had a little training to get in this morning for said marathon.

I did an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop first, ate some breakfast and then went upstairs, where I did ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weigh lifting, and finished up with some stretching.

Oh, and in other running news, I got an email yesterday from the race directors of the St. Michaels Running Festival, where I ran the 10K this past May. This year’s was the inaugural event, and I’m impressed with the changes they made for next year’s event. It seems like they actually listened to runners’ feedback, which isn’t as common as you would expect.

The smartest thing they’re doing is starting the longest race first, the half marathon, instead of after the 10K. And they’re starting it at 7:30 a.m., instead of 8:15 a.m. or whatever it was last year. Late May can be pretty warm already around here, so that should help everyone.

They also rerouted the 10K course so it doesn’t use a portion of the half marathon course, which was why they started the shorter race first last year, to make sure all the 10K runners were out of the way before the half marathon runners came through.

Other improvements include more water stops (I thought the stops on the 10K course were adequate, but apparently they were a little sparse on the half marathon course), live runner tracking via social media for spectators if desired and even free beer for runners at the post-race party.

And finally, they included discount codes for all three races if you sign up by Nov. 1. Since only last year’s race participants got this email, I’ll post the codes here in case anyone stumbles across this blog and is interested in the race:

  • Half marathon: WELCOMEBACKHM (register for $55 instead of $65)
  • 10K: WELCOMEBACK10K (register for $30 instead of $35)
  • 5K: WELCOMEBACK5K (register for $25 instead of $30)

I’m definitely considering this one now, most likely the half marathon distance. That’s a pretty decent price for a half with the discount, and it sounds like it’s going to be a pretty well put-together event the second time around.

September 25, 2012

Training for 9/25/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:51 pm

Last night, I did my strength training after work as planned. I did ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then I did some stretching to finish up.

We had fajitas for dinner. The sour cream in the fridge smelled pretty weird. I learned my lesson last time, when I ate funky sour cream the night before a 19-miler and spent way too much time in the woods the next morning as a result, so I left it off my fajitas last night. It was tough, because those fajitas just don’t feel the same without a big slathering of sour cream, but I knew I’d appreciate it this morning.

Today’s schedule called for an easy lap around the 6.5-mile loop, so that’s what I did. It was another chilly, calm, sunny morning. There’s not much to say about the run itself. It was all pretty uneventful, thanks to the lack of sour cream at dinner last night, I’m sure.

Yesterday, I finally pulled the trigger on the first step to knocking off one of my biggest goals for the year. I registered for my first ultra, the Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50K in Upper Marlboro, to be exact. It’s at the same state park as the 25K I ran in July.

I have no idea how to train for this thing, especially since it’s only a month after the Twin Cities Marathon. I know you’re supposed to do back-to-back long runs on the weekends when training for an ultra, but you’re also supposed to recover after a marathon, and taper before the ultra. That doesn’t leave much time in the middle.

I feel like I’ve got the mileage base now to go run a 50K this weekend if I wanted. The marathon training plan I’ve followed has had me running pace runs up to 10 miles the day before long runs up to 20 miles, so I know what it’s like to put in a lot of miles on tired legs. Besides, a 50K is only five miles more than a marathon, and Twin Cities will be my sixth time completing that distance. (And seventh time starting it, but hey, who’s counting?)

I just don’t know how to recover from the marathon while maintaining that mileage base for the ultra.

Anyway… I would like to take this time to congratulate my sister Kara and her twin boys Jacob and Caleb. They all ran the Caroline Hospice Remembrance 5K in Federalsburg this past weekend. It was Kara’s third 5K and the boys’ first. Kara ran two minutes faster than her time in Virginia Beach a few weeks ago, and took first in her age group, as well as second overall female, and Jacob and Caleb finished first and third, respectively, in their age group!

It sounds like Kara is hooked on the running thing now. She plans to run her first 10K the day after Thanksgiving in Easton, and in March, she will step up to the half marathon distance and run the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.

I’m pretty excited for her. Obviously I enjoy the whole running and racing scene, and having another real life running friend is always a good thing. I hope the boys continue with it too, if they want.

September 24, 2012

Training for 9/24/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:32 pm

I had a rather relaxing weekend, for the most part.

Friday night, Clark and I headed down to Fenwick Island, to spend the weekend at his parents’ beach house. We got there pretty late Friday, and just picked up some beers and stayed in.

Saturday, we slept in, and then we went to Assateague Island National Park to try some surfing. Originally, I had planned to rent a stand-up paddleboard and take it to Assateague, while Clark was using his parents’ surfboard. But the guy at the rental place said the ocean was really rough due to a hurricane way out in the Atlantic somewhere, and it wasn’t a good day for paddleboards in the ocean unless you really knew what you were doing. I am not too proud to admit when I have no idea what I’m doing, haha. So we just rented a second surfboard instead.

It was extremely windy on Assateague Island. It was painful to sit on the beach for any longer than a few minutes, because of the sand-blasting effect created by the wind. It was also quite a workout just trying to walk down the beach with the surfboards, which were acting like giant sails and catching the wind.

We got our stuff down to the water, and then I left the beach to run three miles. It wasn’t a particularly enjoyable run. The only place to run was on the shoulder of a boring access road. I had the strong wind at my back on the way out, which meant I was running head-on into it on the way back. I got the miles done, changed into my swimsuit and went back down to the beach.

Clark had already been out in the water once, and said it was really choppy. I put on my rash guard and we went back out. It was impossible for a couple of newbs like ourselves. The waves were not cooperating, haha. They just kept crashing on us, ripping the boards away from us, rolling us in the whitewater. I was only able to line up and actually attempt to catch a wave a couple of times. Other than that, it was just too much work. I was worn the hell out in about 15 minutes.

Clark and I retreated back to the beach. I tried to lay out so I could dry off a little, but the constant stream of sand in my eyes wasn’t much fun. We finally called it a day and went back to Ocean City. We had lunch and dropped off the rented surfboard. We planned to go out that night, but we were both so wiped out we wound up falling asleep.

Sunday morning, we slept in again. Late in the morning, I drove up to Rehoboth Beach to run the Breakwater and Junction Trail, which happens to make up half of the course for the half marathon I’m running in December.

I’d probably have no idea this trail existed if I hadn’t run that race a few years ago. It’s in an area that looks 100 percent developed. One of the trail heads is right behind a huge outlet strip mall off the main highway, which was where I parked.

I planned on running an out-and-back along just about the entire length of the trail. I only had to run about a quarter-mile before the trail hooked up with the section I’d remembered running in the half marathon a few years ago.

I wound up running a little less than seven miles. The whole run was really great. It was a cool, pretty day, and the trail was gorgeous, as you can see:

One of many beautiful stretches along the trail.

The view from one of the bridges on the trail.

I tracked the run using the app on my phone, and what felt like an effortless run was actually at an average pace just over 8:00/mile, not much slower than my goal marathon pace. The trail was definitely worth the drive, and I was glad I’d gone there instead of just running another out-and-back along Route 1 between Fenwick Island and Bethany Beach.

I drove back to Fenwick Island and changed into my swimsuit. Sunday was much, much cooler than Saturday had been, and I really had no interest in getting in the water. I am a huge pansy when it comes to cold water.

Clark wanted to try surfing again though, so instead of Assateague, we just drove to a part of Ocean City that was supposed to still have a pretty good break. I sat on the beach huddled in a sweatshirt while Clark went out in the water. It wasn’t as windy Sunday as it had been Saturday, but the ocean was definitely much rougher. Clark got his ass kicked, haha. He was going on about he’s the world’s worst surfer when he was finally wiped out from fighting the waves, but those were some really rough conditions yesterday.

We went back to the house one more time, got cleaned up and went to Rehoboth to have an early dinner at Dogfish Head. Then we went back to Federalsburg to pick up Pepper, who had spent the weekend with Clark’s parents, and we watched the first half of the Ravens-Patriots game. When we got back to our own house, I fell asleep as soon as I laid down.

This morning, I was back on my training plan, so I went out for a lap around my 4.5-mile loop. Pepper, once again, acted like he was just dying to run with me when he saw me tying my shoes. I clipped on his leash and we went out. He trotted down the lane, out to the road and down past the neighbor’s house, but past there, he started acting like a turd again, circling around me, leaping on me and chewing on his leash.

Once again, I had to drag him along until we got about a half-mile down the road, and then he started acting a little more sane. He pulled the leaping-circling-chewing bit again at the turnaround points for a 2-mile or 3-mile out-and-back. Once we got past that second turnaround point, he finally figured out he was running the whole 4.5-mile loop no matter how awful he acted, so then he decided to just make it go by as quickly as possible. I could not slow down that stupid dog. I checked the time on my watch at the 2-mile point and the end of the run, and we’d run the final 2.5 miles in about 18 minutes, a 7:12/mile pace. Way, way, way too fast for an easy run.

I was supposed to do my strength training when I got back home, but it’d gotten kind of late, so I just took a shower and went to work. I’ll do that when I get home tonight.

September 21, 2012

Training for 9/21/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:37 pm

It’s the last day of summer. Boo!

This morning, I decided to do this week’s long run, a 12-miler, so I can take it easy this weekend. It was my last double-digit run before the marathon, now only two weeks and two days away.

Except for some digestive issues that sent me scrambling into the woods twice (seriously, what the hell did I eat yesterday?), it was an unbelievably smooth run. I couldn’t believe how fast it flew by and how easy the entire 12.2-mile loop felt. It didn’t hurt that it was another perfect running morning here, chilly enough for long sleeves but warm enough for shorts, no wind and sunny.

I finished the loop in 1:40:11, an 8:12/mile average pace.

When I got home, I was starving. Actually, I was starving the last 4.5 miles of the run. I might have noticed it before that, but that was when the urge to eat was being overridden by the need to find a nice, secluded wooded area.

I used to always eat breakfast before running, but I got in the habit this summer of going out and running immediately after I woke up, to try to take advantage of the coolest part of the day. I still ate breakfast before long runs, though. I should have done so today, I guess.

Anyway, that leaves me with just an easy 6-miler and 3-miler to run this weekend.

There are two really good races around here this weekend that I’ve run before — the Chestertown Half Marathon, which I ran in 2010, and the Caroline Hospice Remembrance 5K, which I have run the past four years, and won the past three — but I’m not racing either.

Clark’s surgeon gave him the all-clear at his follow-up appointment Wednesday, so we’re taking up his parents on their offer to let us use the beach house all weekend, while they watch Pepper at their house in Federalsburg.

The weather forecast looks great, with a zero percent chance of rain both days. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 80s, so Clark’s going to try out his parents’ surfboard for the first time this year, and I’m renting a stand-up paddleboard for the first time ever. I’ve always wanted to try one, so I’m pretty excited about it. Sunday isn’t supposed to be quite as warm, only about 70, but still a pretty day.

Of course I still plan to get in those two short, easy runs sometime over the weekend, but I won’t be dedicating an hour or three to a long run.

I’m really looking forward to my un-training weekend.

September 20, 2012

Training for 9/20/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:31 pm

Last night, Clark and I went to dinner at the Brick Hotel to celebrate our third anniversary. As usual, we visited the circle across from the hotel where we had our ceremony.

This is where we had originally planned to hold the ceremony:

Lovely, right?

Well, three years ago, someone had a seizure near that fountain a few days before the wedding, and fell and broke part of it. What are the odds? So the fountain was turned off and surrounded by black plastic fencing until they could get it fixed, making it a much less attractive setting for wedding pictures.

We moved the whole thing a few feet to the right, and got married in front of a tree instead. Last night, we tried to take some pictures of ourselves sitting on the brick container surrounding the tree.

Yikes. Try again.

Better.

We went to the hotel and had our dinner, which was excellent. I had cream of crab soup and mahi mahi with rice and squash, and then Clark and I shared a huge strawberry shortcake. I was absolutely stuffed when we left.

This morning, I went out to the Sharptown Bridge for hill repeats.

It was a perfect morning for it too — chilly, sunny and calm. I was a little too cold during my warm up mile in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, but that changed as I started climbing the bridge for the first of six repeats.

I went over the bridge and back three times, for a total of six repeats. I never time them, so I don’t really have a way to compare today’s to past workouts, but I definitely feel like a stronger hill runner than when I first tried these last summer.

I did one more mile on the flat road to cool down, for a total of about 5.3 miles today, and then I drove home, where I did some stretching.

September 19, 2012

Training for 9/19/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:49 pm

Today is Clark’s and my third wedding anniversary!

Clark and me, Meredith, Wendy, our photographer and my coworker Dan, Julie and TK on the roof of the Brick Hotel in Georgetown during our reception.

Tonight, we’re going back to the Brick Hotel for dinner, which can be considered as much of a tradition as possible after only a few years. Appropriately, the hotel’s restaurant is running a “date night” special tonight.

Clark had to be in Baltimore early today for what he hopes is his final follow-up appointment with his surgeon, so he left before I even got out of bed.

It had cooled down considerably from yesterday morning and stopped raining after the downpours we got last night, but the clouds were still there, so I took Pepper with me for an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. I didn’t time it, but judging by the time on my watch when we left compared to when we got home, we ran today’s loop at about the same pace as Saturday’s run. So I guess I don’t have to worry about getting in a marathon goal pace run this week, haha.

When we got home, I ate some breakfast, and then Pepper and I went upstairs, where I did some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting, weight lifting and stretching.

September 18, 2012

Training for 9/18/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:34 pm

This morning, I had an easy 8-miler on the schedule. It was pretty warm and humid again, even at 6 a.m., compared to the last week, but still very comfortable compared to the majority of the summer.

It was a routine run around my 8.2-mile loop. There was a strong wind today, but it was in my face only for a couple of miles near the beginning of the run, so it wasn’t too much of a nuisance. It’s supposed to rain a lot here later, but it should be nice and clear — and cooler again — by tomorrow morning.

September 17, 2012

Training for 9/17/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:27 pm

This weekend, I capped off a great week of training with two more strong, confidence-building runs.

I had originally planned to do the 20-mile long run Saturday morning and the 10-mile pace run Sunday morning, but I switched them for a couple of reasons. First of all, I stayed up pretty late (for me) Friday night, and it took me quite a while to get my butt out of bed Saturday morning. Then Clark had to go in to work Saturday morning, which meant I was home with Pepper, who freaks out when he’s left alone.

It’s been almost nine months since Pepper ran the 10.5-mile loop with me, but it was a really nice day Saturday, even in the late morning when I was finally ready to go, so I figured he’d be OK. Plus, I knew if I had Pepper with me, I’d definitely hit my goal pace of 7:54/mile. That’s the high end of his comfortable pace. Any slower and he gets annoyed with me for holding him back.

So I put on the 1600s I plan to wear for the marathon and we took off. It was a pretty windy day, but it was coming at us from an angle or at our backs most of the first 7.5 miles. There were the usual pee stops, the stick-finding mission and a couple of stand-offs with other dogs, but otherwise we were flying right along, well under goal pace, and Pepper looked like he was having a good time too.

Then we got to Galestown and made a turn that had us running head-on into the wind for the final three miles of the run. I don’t know if it was the wind or the fact he hadn’t run that far in a long time, but Pepper started dragging in that final stretch. A couple of times, he dropped his stick on the road and then just stood there and stared at me, until I finally got him to pick the thing up and start running again.

We finished the 10.5-mile loop in 1:22:18, including all the stops, average overall pace of 7:50/mile, a few seconds faster than my goal.

Pepper was wiped out, haha. He guzzled a bunch of water and I gave him a treat, and then he spent the rest of the day snoozing around the house:

My feet aren’t red. Those are my hot pink Injinji socks.

I didn’t do too much the rest of the day either, just stretched and foam rolled a lot and watched a couple of movies on TV. Clark and I had pizza and wine for dinner, and I fell asleep while he was watching the USC-Stanford game.

Sunday, I got up quite a bit earlier than Saturday, ate some breakfast and headed out for 20 miles. It was another clear, sunny day, and the wind from Saturday was gone.

I wore the 1600s again. I did the 15.5-mile loop first, taking a salt cap and a swig of water every 45 minutes. At the 10-mile point, I ate a bag of pretzel M&Ms. I love that those are considered junk food any other time, but halfway through a long run, they’re “fuel.” I had those because I didn’t remember until the night before I didn’t have any Chomps or GUs or anything, and at that point, my options were limited. I went to a Rite Aid in Seaford and looked over the energy bar selection, but there wasn’t anything that looked appealing. They had a pack of Power Bar Energy Gel Blast chews, but I tried those on a long run once before, and they sent me to the woods for a bathroom break pretty quickly.

The pretzel M&Ms worked out great though. There’s only 150 calories in a bag, so it’s not so much it felt heavy in my stomach. They didn’t upset my stomach at all and of course they tasted really good. At 89 cents for the bag, compared to $2 or $2.50 for a single bag of Chomps, they’re a good deal too. The only downside was they’re kind of a pain to eat while running. The candy coating had started to melt just a little, but it was enough that they were sticking to the inside of the bag, making it difficult to force them out of the corner I’d torn off.

Anyway, I finished off the rest of the 15.5-mile loop and went in the house to use the bathroom, ditch my shirt and get a hat (it had warmed up and gotten sunny while I was out there.) I got right back on the road to do the 4.5-mile loop and finish the run. I ran the last 4.5 miles at the same pace as the first 4.5 miles, running the whole 20 miles in 2:51:09, an 8:33/mile average pace.

That pace was 12 seconds per mile faster than the last 20-miler I ran a few weeks ago, and it matched the one I ran in January right before my foot started bothering me. Not to mention it was the day after a long pace run, and the final run of a 64-mile training week.

So yeah, I felt pretty good about my weekend of running. I’m really glad the weather cooperated over the last week, and I was happy with how my feet felt for all those miles in the 1600s. Now I can go into the taper feeling confident about Twin Cities.

It also made me seriously consider registering for my first 50K in November. I had thought about doing the 50K in July at Rosaryville, but did the 25K instead because I didn’t feel like I had nearly the training base to run 31 miles. The 50K in November is in the same state park, so I’m familiar with the trails now, and I definitely feel like I’m in shape for it, in terms of mileage. Running my first ultra was one of my goals for the year, after all.

I spent most of Sunday afternoon on the couch again, watching the Ravens’ one-point loss to the Eagles and the first race of the Chase, which, fortunately, Brad Keselowski won after Jimmie Johnson led much of it all day. In the evening, I did all the house chores I’d been putting off all weekend while Clark took care of the lawn.

This morning, I got up and did my 5.5-mile loop at an easy, untimed pace. My legs definitely didn’t feel too fresh, but they held up for the run just fine. I ate some breakfast when I got home, and then went upstairs to do some ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight training. It’s an off week for push-ups.

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