A Simple Running Log

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.


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