A Simple Running Log

October 31, 2012

Training for 10/31/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:41 pm

Happy Halloween!

This morning was my last midweek 10-miler in this 50K training plan. I start tapering tomorrow. Instead of the 8-miler I’ve done the last two weeks, I’m only supposed to do 6.

Superstorm Sandy (I believe that is now the official name) has completely vacated the area, and it was a lovely day for a run once the sun came up. I set out for a lap around my 10.5-mile loop with a camera, just in case there was any interesting storm damage closer to the river.

The first few miles went by, and I found myself down at the Woodland Ferry. There was a lot of debris across the roads down there, where the water had obviously been, which didn’t surprise me. The water was already getting close to the roads there Sunday afternoon, when I drove through there on my way to the trail.

This bridge was blocked off for reasons I don’t see.

All the leaves and debris across the roads and in yards shows where the water was a couple of days ago.

The ferry looked like it survived the storm intact. It wasn’t open today, and there was a state crew working on it, but that’s nothing new.

My new favorite half-charred haunted house, Cannon Hall, survived too.

Even the potted flowers on the front steps hung around.


Since I had my camera today, I took some pictures of the Methodist church and the Cannons’ gravesites.

Woodland United Methodist Church, established 1843. To the right is the small cemetery.

Elizabeth Cannon, mother of Jacob and Isaac Cannon and Luraney Boling. Also on this marker was Mary Cannon, Isaac’s wife.

Isaac Cannon.

Jacob Cannon.

Luraney Boling, sister of Jacob and Isaac and daughter of Elizabeth. She and her son built the church in 1843, and she and her daughter are the two spirits who supposedly haunt Cannon Hall.

I went on my way. The road through the swamp past the ferry was clear except for some more debris.

I just thought the sun shining through the trees in the swamp was pretty.

On the other side of the swamp, I saw a truck with a trailer holding a boat parked in the middle of a field, nowhere near any houses. It looked so out of place I had to take a picture of it.

Just in case it flooded so much this guy floated into this field and needed a boat to get out?

After another couple of miles, I was back at the bridge over the little creek where I was told an old woman had drowned.

And on the other side of the bridge, I tried to get a picture of her house, but you can see it was tough to do from the road:

And then I got a picture of the mailboxes on the other side, but someone had shut the lid on the larger one that was stuffed full of empty plastic bottles last week, so I don’t know if they were still in there.

It was less than a mile to Galestown from here, and then another few miles to get home. On the road between Galestown and home, I took this picture of the reflection of the sky in a flooded field:

I didn’t time the whole run, but I do know I got from Galestown to home in about 25 minutes, a roughly 8:20/mile pace. From start to finish I was out there a long time with all these picture-taking stops, but I guess when I was actually moving I was making decent time.

Since this was the last run of the month, it’s time for my October summary.


  • Week 1 (Oct. 1-6): 12.6 miles
  • Week 2 (Oct. 7-13): 44.9
  • Week 3 (Oct. 14-20): 42
  • Week 4 (Oct. 21-27): 52.5
  • Week 5 (Oct. 28-31): 20

Total: 172 miles

Pretty good mileage month, considering I was tapering for the marathon in the first week and then trying to recover from it in the second, and working around the whole Hurricane Sandy debacle at the end.

It was an interesting month of racing, too. There was the marathon in which I froze my butt off, but that was OK because the rest of the weekend was so much fun, seeing all my online running friends. Then I successfully ran my first trail race with Pepper, and later ran a road 5K in the middle of a 22-mile training run.

This was also the month Clark decided he’s running not only his first half marathon, but a 1:30 half marathon in February, and began training for that. He also ran that trail 5K with Pepper and me.

In November, I’m running my first ultra on the 10th, the Veteran’s Day 50K, at Rosaryville State Park. I’m wavering between really excited and pretty nervous about it, since I’ve never run that far before.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take me; the two trail 25Ks I’ve done were finished in about 2:45 each, so double that would be 5:30. It took me 5:51 to finish that ridiculously muddy trail marathon in June, which is five miles shorter than a 50K, but the trails were in much, much worse shape than I hope they’ll be for the ultra, and, having run a 25K on the same trails as this ultra, I know they’re not nearly as technical or hilly as the ones on which the marathon were ran.

I guess I’ll be shooting for anything between 5:30 and 6:00. I believe it’s an eight-hour course limit, so that gives me plenty of cushion.

Anyway, when that’s over, I’ll go back to focusing more on speed than distance again. I’m running a Ravens vs. Steelers 5K in Ocean City on Nov. 17. When you register, you have to pick the Ravens or the Steelers. Instead of awarding individual runners, they’re awarding a single trophy to the team whose top 100 finishers had the fastest cumulative time. I’m running for the Ravens, as is my friend TK, and Clark is running for the Steelers. Then there are football drills on the beach, and a Ravens tailgate and a Steelers tailgate at two pubs right next to each other on the boardwalk. This is the first time for this event in Ocean City, and it sounds like a lot of fun.

I’m also running a 5K in Rehoboth a week later, the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. I’ve won my age group the past two years, and got a pumpkin pie for my efforts. Last year’s was a lot smaller than the one two years ago, but whatever. Pumpkin pie is pumpkin pie.

Kara’s also trying to convince me to again run the Hospice 10K in Easton the morning after Thanksgiving, but I’m not sold on it yet. I’m still pissed about last year’s race, and it’s pretty expensive for a 10K.

October 30, 2012

Training for 10/30/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:09 pm

I’m back!

Hurricane Sandy, or Frankenstorm, or whatever they’re calling this thing, still hasn’t completely blown over, but the worst is definitely behind us, so I ran this morning and I’m now at work.

We got pretty lucky, I think. The hurricane made landfall farther north than originally projected. We still got a crapload of wind and rain, but it wasn’t as bad as in New Jersey and New York. At our house, there was no wind damage (the loose piece of siding on the garage that blows away on days that barely qualify as breezy didn’t even budge), no flooding or water damage, we never lost power or even our satellite TV signal and we didn’t run out of booze. Other than the wind screaming like a pack of banshees for 48 hours straight, it really wasn’t bad at all.

I talked to my mom this morning, and they had no damage on their farm, and she said she’d talked to my grandparents and siblings, who were all fine too. I just hope my in-laws’ beach house in Fenwick is OK. The coast got it a lot worse than we did this far inland.

Anyway, I have a lot to update since last Friday.

Friday, after I’d posted my blog, my sister read it and called me to helpfully point out the Habitat Halloween Dash 5K the next day didn’t start until 10 a.m., not 9 a.m. With an extra hour before I had to be in Denton, I decided to stretch out my pre-race portion of that day’s long run.

Saturday morning, I left the house around 7 a.m. for a lap around my 9.5-mile loop. As soon as I got home, I ate some breakfast, exchanged my sweaty sports bra and tank top for a dry bra and a more Halloween-colored orange short-sleeved running shirt, and drove to Denton.

It was pretty easy to find Kara in the crowd, as only about 30 people had shown up to run the 5K, haha. Kara and I did two easy miles to warm up for the race, out to the first mile marker (or where it would have been had they marked miles) and back.

They got the runners gathered at the start line to describe the course for us. They said there would be police directing traffic at “major” intersections, but none of the roads were closed, so we’d have to stay to the right and out of the way of passing cars while we were running the course, which was all through downtown Denton.

I’ve never lined up for a 5K with 11.5 miles under my belt already, so I didn’t know what to expect out of my legs. Plus, I didn’t want to feel too trashed afterwards, as I was still planning to run another couple of miles to cool down, and then run some more when I got home.

They gave us the start commands and we were off. This young kid bolted out in front. I followed him and the guy leading us on a bicycle down Market Street.

Not even a half-mile from the start, the kid had burned out, and slowed to a walk. As I passed him, an older guy in a singlet passed us both.

As we approached the first mile point, another guy, probably about my age or younger, caught up with me. He kept coughing, but it was weird; there was a pattern to it, like it was just part of his breathing. When we made a U-turn a few feet later, I got back out in front of him, and slowly pulled away from him the rest of the race, until I was finally far enough ahead of him I couldn’t hear him cough-breathing any longer.

Also, after the U-turn, I saw Kara running not far behind us, and gave her a wave and a cheer.

None of the miles were actually marked, so I couldn’t check my watch time, and so had no idea how fast I was running. It felt like a tempo effort; I was running hard, but I definitely could have been running harder.

The course took us past a house in Denton currently under construction by Habitat for Humanity, which was the nonprofit benefiting from the race. Then we went down Gay Street, past the jail and to a waterfront park, where we turned around.

I saw the old guy in the singlet coming out of the park as I was headed in. I made the U-turn in the park and as I was leaving, I saw Kara going in, and gave her another wave and a cheer.

Out of the park, we headed up Market Street past the court house. This is probably the only kill-me-now hill in Caroline County, and they put it at the end of a 5K. Diabolical!

My tempo effort suddenly felt like an all-out effort, haha. At the top of the hill, my lungs were burning and my legs were numb, but I knew I was close to the finish line. I ran down Market Street back to where we’d started. It was a left turn to the finish, and I had to slow up to let a car pass from behind before crossing the street, but then I sprinted in to cross the line in 22:01, a 7:05/mile average pace.

The cough-breather came in about a minute later, and then Kara came blasting around the corner, crossing the line in 23:59, another huge PR for her! Just since the Virginia Beach 5K on Sept. 2, she has dropped 3.5 minutes from her 5K time, from 27:29 to 23:59. I can’t say I’m surprised; she was clearly in pretty good shape already from four years of swimming, and she’s catching on to the whole running thing fast.

Kara and I did another 2-mile cool down together, bringing my total for the day at that point to 16.6 miles. We accepted our first- and second-place female awards from Kara’s youngest son, Jamie, who had been put to work by one of the race organizers. I scarfed down the roast beef sandwich and chips in my free lunch and headed home for yet another bra and shirt change and more miles.

There are pictures of this feat, but the guy from Habitat for Humanity who took them hasn’t sent them to me yet.

It was about 12:30 p.m. when I went out for one more loop, this time around my 5.5-mile route. I left the house wearing a long-sleeved shirt, because I’d been chilly in my damp bra and short-sleeved shirt after the race. But by a mile in, I’d pushed up the sleeves, and at the 2-mile point, I’d gotten so hot I just took the thing off and ran shirtless the rest of the way.

My legs and feet were definitely tired by that point, but I kept up a respectable pace and ran the whole final loop, bringing my day’s total to 22.1 miles. That is the farthest I have ever run in a single day on which I wasn’t signed up for a marathon, and I was really happy with the effort overall, especially the fast 3.1 miles in the middle.

I did copious amounts of stretching and foam rolling when I got home, and then took a hot shower. Around 6 p.m., it was time to get ready to go out for Halloween.

Since I’d spent the entire day in running clothes already, I decided to go with the dead beauty pageant costume. I put on the bridesmaid dress and then got to work on my makeup.¬†Clark broke out the mullet wig and a vintage Easy Riders T-shirt.

We met TK at her house and went to Easton. There weren’t too many people at the pub. It hadn’t even started raining yet, but I imagine the weather forecast kept some people inside. More people showed up over the next few hours, and we had a good time. Clark and I even finally remembered to take some pictures.

He was wearing Corey’s Adopt-a-Highway worker hat, but you can still see the glorious mullet wig.

Some of the makeup had started to rub off by this point, but you can see I hanged myself after my devastating third alternate finish in my last pageant.

By the time we got home that night, it had started to rain. This stupid storm they’d been hyping for days was finally approaching.

Sunday morning, I woke up to what looked like just another rainy day. It wasn’t raining particularly hard, and the wind wasn’t really blowing yet either.

I ate breakfast, got a Crock Pot of chili going, baked a batch of pumpkin muffins, did a little housecleaning and then decided to try to get in a short run while I still could. It was raining a little harder at that point, so I went to the cross country trail, as the trees tend to block some of the wind and rain.

The trail was probably at its peak for fall colors. It was gorgeous, even in the driving rain. I did my 3-mile loop, and kept running, because I didn’t know when I’d get another chance to run again. I wound up doing about 5 miles that day, I think.

At home, Clark and I finished cleaning the house and watched the NASCAR race. I was waiting for the satellite signal to go out like it usually does during heavy rains, but it stayed.

We ate chili for dinner, which turned out great, and drank a little beer. Sunday night, the wind cranked up.

Everyone had been comparing this expected storm to the one immortalized in “The Perfect Storm,” the book by Sebastian Junger which was later made into a movie. But if there was a book about a storm that should have been made into a movie, in my opinion, it’s “Isaac’s Storm,” by Erik Larson, about the “surprise” 1900 hurricane that leveled Galveston, Texas, overnight.

It’s a completely nonfiction book, but it’s the scariest piece of written work I have ever read. No other book has left such an indelible mark on me, and the sound of wind screaming around the eaves of a house always makes me think about it, and usually makes it hard for me to sleep.

There’s this one scene in the book. It’s pitch black because it’s the middle of the night, and the hurricane is roaring in Galveston. A young girl is sitting in an upstairs bedroom with her family, trying to ride out the storm, and she realizes the roof has separated from the wall right across from where she’s sitting. Every now and then a gust of wind would lift that piece of the roof from the wall, which Larson described as a yawn. And then finally a gust ripped the whole roof off and everything — and everyone — just went flying into the night.

For some reason, the image conjured by that scene is stuck in my head, and whenever the wind is screaming like it was Sunday night, I can’t stop thinking about it. It was really bad when I first read that book in college, because I was living in my parents’ creaky old farmhouse, and my room was in the creakiest, oldest section of the house. I could definitely imagine the intersection of the roof and the wall of my room “yawning” during a strong wind.

Eventually, I got to sleep though. Monday morning, the roof and everything was still intact. My office was closed (though I’m still being charged for a day off), so I stayed home with Pepper, but Clark’s wasn’t, so he went to work.

While Clark was gone, I did Monday’s strength workout upstairs, where the wind sounded even worse, since the entire upstairs is uninsulated. I don’t think I’ve ever done that workout so quickly, haha. I couldn’t get back downstairs fast enough. I did my push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then went downstairs to finish up with stretching.

Clark’s office closed around noon, and he made it back home safely. We spent the rest of the day on the couch, watching TV.

Pepper watching the rain. He wasn’t impressed.

The TV kept warning us “the worst was yet to come.” The peak of the storm was supposed to hit around 8 p.m. It came and went. It didn’t seem any worse than the rest of the day had been.

The wind was still howling when we went to bed. Again, it took me a while to get to sleep. But then this morning came, and when I let Pepper out after his breakfast, it wasn’t even raining at the moment and the wind had slowed down.

I went out to do my scheduled 4.5-mile run. It was raining again by that point, and had cooled down compared to before the storm, but it wasn’t too bad. Overall, the entire area around our house looked good. No downed trees, no structural damage that I could see. There was one spot of standing water on the road, and there was a lot of old corn husks and debris that had been washed out of flooded fields where water had been on the road and then receded, but that was about it.

I guess we’ll still be dealing with the wind and clouds from this system through the rest of this week, but the weekend looks like it will finally be sunny again.

October 29, 2012

Training for 10/29/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:58 pm

I’m updating this from my phone, as our office is closed today thanks to Hurricane Sandy, so, very briefly, I’ll just say I ran a lot Saturday, ran a little yesterday in the leading edges of the storm and I’m glad today was a scheduled rest day because it is nasty out there. I’ll embellish on all this whenever I go back to work.

October 26, 2012

Training for 10/26/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:26 pm

Last night, I did the strength training I would have done this morning — abs, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights — so I could take today as a total rest day. All I did this morning was some stretching and foam rolling.

If I’m going to get in a lot of miles this weekend, it looks like it’s going to have to be tomorrow or nothing, thanks to this stupid “Frankenstorm” that’s supposed to descend on the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday. There’s a 30 percent chance the hurricane will just head out to sea or hit the East Coast farther north, but there’s a 70 percent chance it’s going to hit the East Coast right here, and slam into a winter storm coming from the other direction. Perfect.

As much as my Sunday (and probably Monday and Tuesday) are going to suck, I feel bad for anyone involved with the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. on Sunday. First for all the runners, who had to sign up for this back in April and have been training ever since, and then for all the organizers, because after the freak snowstorm that hit the weekend of last year’s race, I bet they never thought they’d be dealing with another extreme weather event this year. And of course there are the spectators too. Those poor shmucks have to be out there as long as their friend or family member is running, and they don’t even get a medal when it’s over.

That is, of course, if this storm even happens the way they’ve been hyping it. It wouldn’t be the first time they warned us of an apocalypse and all we got was a little wind and rain.

Either way, I’m hitting up Walmart today for ingredients to make some pumpkin muffins and turkey chili. If I’m going to be stuck inside all day Sunday while it pours its ass off, I’m at least going to have something good to eat.

So, tomorrow. I’m just going to get in all the miles I can, I guess. The race doesn’t start until 10 a.m. in Denton, so I’ll probably get up early and do my 5.5-mile loop at home. In Denton, I’ll do the 5K and a couple of cool down miles, and then I’ll do another loop when I get home, of whatever distance I feel up to. It’s a less than ideal way to do a long run, but it’s better than nothing.

It sounds like we’ll still be able to go out for Halloween tomorrow night, before the storm really gets going. It figures the first time in eight freaking years I actually get up the motivation to dress up and go out for Halloween, a stupid hurricane comes along.

Sunday looks like it’ll be a wash. If it’s not too bad in the morning, I might go out for a short run in the rain and wind. Otherwise, I’ll just be at home, stuffing my face, watching NASCAR and football and waiting for the storm to blow over.

October 25, 2012

Training for 10/25/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:19 pm

Clark got up very early this morning and ran first. He learned an important lesson about overdressing today. If you’re not chilly at the beginning of a run, you’re either wearing too much clothing or it’s summer.

So when I was standing at the back door a little while later, deciding it was shorts and T-shirt weather, Clark helpfully informed me I didn’t need to wear a fleece today, like he had, haha.

The rule of thumb is you heat up by 20 degrees when you run, so you should dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is and you’re just going out for a walk.

Anyway, I went out in my shorts and T-shirt for a lap around the 8.2-mile loop.

We went to Specific Gravity for dinner last night, where we had beer, caprese salad and pizza. One or all of the above was wreaking havoc in my digestive system this morning, because I had to make a couple of emergency stops in the woods. Other than that though, it was an appreciably easy run.

My runs this week have definitely felt better than last week’s. I didn’t feel at all sore or tired for yesterday’s 10-miler or today’s 8-miler.

This coming weekend is supposed to be the highest mileage of my abbreviated 50K training. I have a 10-miler on the schedule for Saturday and 24 miles on Sunday.

I don’t know if that’s actually going to happen though. First of all, I’ve signed up for a 5K in Denton on Saturday morning now. Kara’s running it, and then the executive director of the nonprofit benefiting from the run sent me some emails bugging me to both run it and cover it for the paper, and I caved.

I always run a couple of miles to warm up and cool down for a race, but I don’t think I’ve ever run enough to add up to 10 the day of a 5K. I’m not expecting any spectacular performances in the race, as it’s been weeks since my last speed workout and I’m more worried about the 50K at this point, but still. Another five miles or so after a 5K effort sounds like a lot to me.

And then there’s Sunday’s 24-miler. I really don’t feel like running 24 miles by myself. I will do a long run Sunday, but I have some real doubts it’s going to get into that mileage range.

Plus, we now have plans to actually dress up and go out to a Halloween party Saturday night. I’m considering two options — wearing a bridesmaid dress from a 2005 wedding that’s been sitting in my closet ever since and a “3rd runner up” beauty pageant sash I bought online a couple of years ago, and painting myself up to look like a dead pageant contestant; or running over with my car a shirt to put tire tracks on it, wearing that and a pair of running shorts and painting myself up to look like a runner who got hit by a car, haha. That was Clark’s idea. He also suggested finding some kind of fake glass shards to make it look like I got impaled.

Either way, the $3 Halloween makeup palette I bought at Walmart last night won’t go to waste. I’m going to be dead Saturday night. I can’t wait!

October 24, 2012

Training for 10/24/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:42 pm

This morning, I had this week’s 10-miler on the schedule.

I got up early, but took my time getting dressed, eating breakfast and finally getting on the road, partly because I really wasn’t in any hurry to get to work after working long hours the last two days, and partly because I wanted to let the sun come up before I left.

It was a bright, sunny morning by the time I got to the ferry, three miles from home. I wanted to find the Cannons’ grave markers in the Methodist church cemetery. They were easy to pick out; it’s a tiny cemetery anyway, and the family’s graves were offset in their own little area, surrounded by a low boundary.

The first one I saw was Luraney’s. It turns out she and her son built the church in 1843. Then I picked out Isaac’s and Jacob’s, and their mother Elizabeth’s. All Jacob’s said was that he’d departed this world April 10, 1843. I couldn’t help but think how close I was standing to the spot where he’d been shot.

Already just a touch creeped out, I headed on down the road. It was really another perfect fall morning for a run here, and before I knew it, I was on that little bridge over the creek.

I stopped on the bridge and walked to the barrier on the side near the house where the woman who’d drowned had lived. It was very quiet.

On the other side of the bridge, I stopped and looked closer at the house. Kids had spray-painted graffiti on the garage door, which really isn’t surprising, considering the amount of stupid graffiti I run over on the roads back there. Other than some old curtains in a front window and a newspaper box by the road, there were no signs anyone had lived there.

I glanced across the road where I’d met the woman who’d told me that story. There’s a really dilapidated house right next to the road; I don’t think anyone’s lived there for years. I was under the impression the woman I’d spoken to lived in another house farther off the road, as there were two mailboxes where she’d been standing.

Then I noticed something weird. Her oversized mailbox was stuffed full of empty plastic bottles. I don’t think anyone’s been delivering mail there for a long time. I tried to spot the house as I ran a little farther down the road, but all I could see were a bunch of trees, a shed and a No Trespassing sign. Whatever happened to that woman?

Less than a mile later, I was in Galestown and only a few miles of relatively busy road from home. I finished off the last bit of the 10.5-mile loop and did some stretching at home.

October 23, 2012

Training for 10/23/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 7:01 pm

This morning, I had an easy 4-miler on the schedule, so that’s what I did. It was my favorite kind of fall weather — calm winds, clear sky and cool enough for a light long-sleeved shirt but warm enough for shorts.

I ran an uneventful lap around the 4.5-mile loop as the sun was coming up, then did a little stretching at home before getting ready for work.

I did a little more research (OK, Googling) on Cannon Hall near the Woodland Ferry since yesterday.

Remember the guy who built it, Jacob Cannon, who “was murdered somewhere in the same area”? By “the same area,” they meant “right across the street, on the wharf.” Apparently he accused some guy of stealing a log containing a working bee hive, and the accused met him on the wharf in April 1843 and shot him dead.

A month later, his brother, Isaac Cannon, died at home. They’re both buried in the cemetery by the church near Cannon Hall.

The whole Cannon family, which had established the ferry on the Nanticoke River sometime around 1743, was regarded as a bunch of jerks. One author wrote the brothers’ passing was “unlamented and unmourned,” and the guy who killed Jacob was allowed to go free.

After the brothers’ death in 1843, Cannon Hall and the ferry operation passed on to a sister, Luraney Boling, and according to the Delaware State Archives’ website, the house was reportedly haunted by Luraney and her daughter, Julia Ann. You know, before it burned two years ago. Luraney and Julia Ann are also both buried in the cemetery next door.

Oh, and it’s also suspected the ferry was used by the Cannons’ delightful relative, Patty Cannon, for her gang’s business of kidnapping slaves and free blacks and smuggling them down south for sale.

In 1883, the county took over ferry operations, and in 1935, the state did. Sometime in the 1950s, there was one last accident associated with the ferry — by that time, the ferry was transporting cars across the river, and one car rolled off the ferry backwards into the river, drowning people trapped inside it.

As someone who loves ghost stories, but only when they happen to other people, I’m a little weirded out by all this new information. Stupid Google.

About 3.5 miles from the ferry, there’s a bridge that crosses a little creek coming off the Nanticoke River. A couple of years ago, I was out doing a long run, and when I crossed that bridge, I saw an old woman standing out by the road. She asked if the mail carrier had been by that day; someone had been stealing her mail recently, and she liked meeting the mail carrier to get her mail.

Out of the blue, she told me about her sister-in-law, who used to live in the only other house in the immediate area, right across the road from her own. She said her sister-in-law had suffered from Alzheimer’s, and one day, she wandered out of her house and into the creek. They found her body in the water later that day.

You know what’s weird? I’ve never seen that old woman again. I think about that story every time I run that route. No one has moved into the sister-in-law’s house, and it’s covered in overgrown weeds.

Tomorrow, I’m running a 10-miler before work, which means I’ll pass both the ferry and that creek. I really wish the sun was coming up earlier now!

October 22, 2012

Training for 10/22/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:11 pm

I had a rather productive weekend, as far as running was concerned.

Friday evening, on my way home from work, I stopped by Clark’s office, and we both registered for the Surf City Half Marathon in February. It’s official. We’ve paid the outrageous registration fee, so there’s no going back now.

I put down 1:38 for my predicted finish time, as I don’t expect to be chasing a PR that day, but it’s still a race after all. Clark put down 1:30, as planned, for his finish time.

They also let you personalize your race bib. I assume it’s so if your given name, which you put on your registration, is a longish, old-lady one like mine, you can request the shorter, easier-to-read-on-a-passing-runner nickname for your bib. I’ve found I get a lot more “Go Abby!”s than “Go Abigail!”s from the crowd, so I always go with the shorter name.

Clark, however, was *thisclose* to personalizing his bib with “Hairy Guy.” I felt like a bit of a killjoy when I explained most people just go with their name. He changed it to Clark.

Anyway, that’s all set.

Saturday, I had a 16-mile long run on the schedule. I was pretty unmotivated, I have to admit. I’ve never tried to get back into mileage like this so soon after a marathon, and I felt a little envious of other runners I know who ran Twin Cities and then gave themselves a week or two off. Part of the appeal of finishing a marathon is knowing you’re not going to be in such a time-consuming training cycle again for a while.

Unless, of course, you signed yourself up for a 31-mile trail race a month after the marathon. So, after sleeping in, eating breakfast, drinking a cup of coffee and reading Clark’s “Sports Illustrated” cover to cover, I finally tied on my Zeroes, filled up my water bottle and hit the road before 11:30 a.m.

At least it was a perfect fall day for a run. I felt almost guilty for being so magnetically attracted to the couch when it was so gorgeous outside.

I was thinking I’d just do my 15.5-mile loop and call it a day, instead of doing a couple of shorter loops. I figured if I saw my house after 9.5 miles or so, I’d never go back out to finish the remaining miles. I also didn’t run the timer on my watch.

The first couple of miles were rough. I just couldn’t get into it. Then I fell into a bit of a rhythm for a while. After about six miles, though, I had to admit I just didn’t feel like doing it.

I decided to drop down to my 11.2-mile loop. I knew Clark was planning to run the 4.5-mile loop later, so I promised myself I’d run it with him, which would bring me to 15.7 miles for the day. If he wound up not running it, oh well.

I finished off the loop at 12:55 p.m. I knew my watch was at 11:22 a.m. when I started, so I’d ran the loop in about 1:33, including a few minutes to go to the bathroom in the woods once. My overall pace was 8:18/mile, even with that bathroom stop.

I wasn’t home very long when Clark put on his own shoes and headed out to run. I clipped the leash on Pepper and we went with him.

I felt surprisingly good when we left, despite the 11.2 miles I’d already run that morning. It was fun to run with someone else for once.

Pepper was being a little jerk though. He kept running ahead of and then back past Clark on the opposite side of me, and since I was holding the leash, I had to follow Pepper around Clark too. We were literally running circles around Clark while he was just trying to run in a straight line. Once, Pepper ran right into the back of Clark’s feet and almost tripped him.

With about a mile to go, Clark said his ab muscles were hurting, which isn’t surprising, considering they were cut through by a surgeon twice this summer, and told Pepper and me to go on. We ran the final mile to home a little faster, except when we had to stop to address a pit bull I’ve never seen before. It was a friendly dog though, so after a little butt-sniffing, we all went on our ways.

That put me at 15.7 solid miles for the day. Physically, I felt fine the whole run, but I was struggling mentally. Remind me not to sign up for a long distance race so soon after a marathon again, please.

Clark did a couple more miles Saturday too, putting him at 6.5 for the day, half the distance of the February half marathon already.

Saturday evening, we went to my sister’s house for a birthday party for my nephew, who just turned 9, and my brother-in-law, who just turned 40. The food was excellent and we had a great time. Kara and I made plans to go trail running together at my favorite state park in a couple of weeks, followed by sushi for lunch, and then we also made plans to all go out dinner for my brother-in-law’s birthday the week after that.

Sunday, I had a 6-miler on the schedule. But since I’d run a little short Saturday, I decided to do the 7.2-mile loop instead of the 6.5-miler.

Again, I didn’t time it, and this time, I took my camera, to get some pictures of the fall colors.

This is where every single one of my runs start.

The Woodland Ferry, about three miles into the run.

Cannon Hall, a historic house right across from the ferry, which burned two years ago and still looks like this.

It creeps me out that you can still see the bed in the room where it looks like the fire either started or was mostly limited to. I can’t help but wonder if someone died in that fire.

After taking these pictures this weekend, I finally Googled “Woodland Ferry house fire,” and found out this house is Cannon Hall, believed to be one of the oldest standing houses in Sussex County, built in 1810 by a relative of the infamous Patty Cannon, whose own house is a couple of miles from ours in Reliance.

No one was injured in this fire; the owner, an elderly woman who’d lived there 17 years, was either out back tending to animals or down the road walking her dogs. I guess she didn’t have the money to restore this place, and it’s just been sitting there ever since.

According to one local historian quoted in an article, the guy who built the house never lived there. He’d built it for his fiancee, but she died before the wedding. Then the guy was murdered in 1843 somewhere in the same area.

The woods in the swamp past the ferry.

One of my favorite stretches of this loop.

Heading up out of the swamp and back to farmland.

This final picture took me about seven or eight minutes to get. I saw one of these posted online a couple of years ago, and I’ve always wanted to try it.

You put your camera on the road, set it to the two-second self timer, hit the button and then run away from the camera. It’s a running self-portrait of sorts.

It was harder to do than I thought though. The first several shots, the camera focused more on the pavement than on me. I found a stick to kind of lean the camera against so it was looking up from the road, and finally got a shot I was happy with:

During this little photo shoot, I was even more grateful than usual for the lack of traffic or any other living thing on this route, haha. I know I looked like an idiot, fiddling with a camera on the ground, sprinting away from it, running back and doing the whole thing over again several times in a row.

I’d had enough of taking pictures after that, so I ran the final 2.5 miles or so home without taking any more.

That afternoon, my mom and sister picked me up, and we went to my grandmother’s house. We all rode to the Autumn Wine Festival together.

The wine festival was at the same park as the beer festival last weekend. They really lucked out with the weather for both festivals this year. This weekend was just as perfect for an outdoor drinking festival as last weekend had been.

We got there around 1:30 p.m. My grandmother suggested getting lunch first. My mom said no, she wanted to drink a little wine on an empty stomach first, to get a buzz, haha. I am my mother’s daughter!

So that’s what we did. We sampled a few wines, before my grandmother bought a bottle of one we all liked, to drink with lunch. Mom and Grandmom got crabcake sandwiches, and Kara and I got gyros, and we all sat at a picnic table just off the trail where Clark, Pepper and I ran the race a week ago while eating and drinking the bottle.

When the bottle was empty, we took a tour of Pemberton Hall, the historic house on the park grounds. It was built in 1741. I asked one of the tour guides if it was haunted. I figured as long as that house has been there, someone at some point must have claimed to have seen something. I was disappointed to hear there were no such tales associated with the house. Our tour guide said one of the other people in the historical society that restored the house would love to find one though, so I’m not the only one who thinks every old building should have a ghost story or two.

After a little more wine sampling, I bought a bottle to share with Clark, and then we went back to my grandmother’s house for coffee and sweet potato pie. Mom and Kara had me home before 8 p.m. We just had some turkey burgers for dinner and then fell asleep watching a movie on TV.

This morning, I didn’t have a run on the schedule, so I did my weight training, push-ups, abs, invisible chair-sitting and weights, and finished up with some stretching.

October 19, 2012

Training for 10/19/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:38 pm

Today was an off day for running, so I just did some weight training and stretching, and then came to work, where I was handed one of the most depressing assignments I’ve gotten in a while.

One of our county’s former commissioners, who was currently running for a seat on the Board of Education, passed away suddenly a couple of days ago. While on vacation in Bermuda. The news just got back here this morning.

I am the one who had to call his former colleagues on the county commission, and even his son, to ask for their thoughts for a story for Sunday’s paper. I guess his son has had more time to process it, because he was pretty composed, except for when he started talking about his own kids missing their grandfather, but the two 60-plus-year-old men who used to serve on the commission with him were both a wreck as soon as they tried to say anything.

Hearing or seeing other people cry makes me want to cry. I held myself together, but it was a still a pretty shitty morning altogether.

Then Clark sent me a message that he wants to sign up for the Surf City Half Marathon this afternoon after I get off work, so that made my day considerably better!

This weekend, I’m going for 16 miles tomorrow morning and another 6.5 at least Sunday morning. I think it’ll go well enough. That fast trail run with Pepper last Sunday left my legs and feet more worn out than I’d expected, which I think is why this week’s 10- and 8-milers were so tough. I’m feeling much less fatigued today.

Non-running plans for the weekend include a birthday party for my nephew and brother-in-law tomorrow evening at my sister’s house, and the wine festival in Salisbury on Sunday. Should be good weather all weekend for everything!

October 18, 2012

Training for 10/18/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:07 pm

This morning, I was once again out there before the sun, this time for an 8-miler.

I learned my lesson yesterday and dressed slightly warmer. I think it was a little warmer out there today anyway. Either way, I felt fine through the whole run today.

It was another sluggish run on tired legs though. I’m really glad tomorrow’s a day off from running per this training plan.

I finished off the 8.2-mile loop, and then I did a ton of stretching when I got home.

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