A Simple Running Log

November 30, 2012

Training for 11/30/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:00 pm

This morning was my last run of November, an easy 3-miler on the trail with Pepper.

It was another cold, frosty morning, and it was foggy on top of it, so I was glad we were going to the trail instead of running on the road.

The first mile or so was slow. Besides sniffing and peeing on things, Pepper also likes to creep forward along the trail, ears pricked up, staring intently into the distance, like we’re in a horror movie and he can see the bad guy waiting for us up ahead. I don’t know why he does it but he does, and it drives me nuts. There has never been so much as a squirrel waiting to jump us.

Finally, he found a stick to run with, forgot about all the imaginary creepers and took the hell off. The rest of the run was a lot faster than an easy run should be.

When we got home, I gave him a couple of treats, and then I did today’s push-ups workout and some stretching.

I’m not running a race this weekend, for the first time in three weeks. It feels kinda nice not to have to get up at a certain time either day this weekend.

Tomorrow, I have my final long run before Rehoboth, one last lap around the 14.5-mile route. Sunday, I’m just supposed to do a 3-miler.

I’m not sure what’s going on the rest of the weekend. I put up all the indoor Christmas decorations last weekend, so I need to get the outdoor ones up too. I’d also like to get the live tree we set up in the front window. And Sunday, the Ravens play the Steelers for the second time in three weeks.

Since it’s the last day of the month, it’s time for the summary:

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (Nov. 1-3): 18 miles
  • Week 2 (Nov. 4-10): 48.7
  • Week 3 (Nov. 11-17): 23.1
  • Week 4 (Nov. 18-24): 51.5
  • Week 5 (Nov. 25-30): 41.2

Total: 182.5 miles

Another solid mileage month. The first and third weeks were low as I tapered for and then recovered from my first ultra, the 50K I ran Nov. 10. Then I switched gears and did a couple of 5Ks the last two weekends of the month, including the one last weekend where I finally dipped back under 21 minutes for the first time this year.

Right now I’ve only written out my training plan for December up until the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon next Saturday. When that race is over, I’ll be in training for another crack at sub-3:30 at the Shamrock Marathon in March.

Last year, I didn’t race at all between December and the Shamrock Marathon, but this year, we’re going out to California in early February, and Clark and I are both running the Surf City Half Marathon on Feb. 3. I’m really looking forward to that one too.

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November 29, 2012

Training for 11/29/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:25 pm

Pardon my language, but I had a fucking awesome run this morning.

I had a 60-minute tempo run on the schedule. It’s been a long time since I did a proper tempo run, and an entire year since I did one this long.

I wimped out on a lot of tempo runs this summer because of the heat, but I definitely didn’t have that excuse this morning. The frost was so thick on the ground it looked like we’d gotten snow overnight. I didn’t want to know exactly how cold it was so I refused to look at weather.com before leaving, but it had to have been well below freezing. Luckily, it was sunny and totally calm.

I had on a compression mock neck top with a cotton short-sleeved T-shirt over it. When I was in the military, we were supposed to wear two pairs of socks with our boots, a thin polyester one to pull away sweat from the skin, and a cotton pair over those to pull it out of the polyester. I never got blisters from those heavy, poorly-made boots thanks to that combination, even in the summer when I was sweating my face off in those uniforms, and I’ve found it’s a good one to keep warm with minimal layers in cold weather when you’re working hard enough to be sweating.

Anyway, as I started my warm up mile, I admit I was a little intimidated by the length and intensity of this tempo run. I was planning on my 10.5-mile loop to get it all in, eight of those miles at 7:30/mile pace.

I finished the warm up mile, hit the start button on my watch and took off.

The watch was at 7:18 when I passed the first mile. It didn’t feel too bad. Seven more to go though.

I cruised by the ferry, the end of the second mile, in 14:38, a 7:20 second mile. Still felt good, and I was already a quarter of the way through.

The rest of the hour went like that. I was cruising, and it felt great! I ran until the watch hit 60 minutes. When I tracked the route later online, it measured out 8.2 miles, an average pace of 7:19/mile.

I ran the rest of the route home at an easier pace, finishing up all 10.5 miles in about 1:20, an overall average pace of 7:37/mile, and did some stretching at home.

I love runs like today’s! I have a short interval workout on the track early next week, but this was the last real speed workout before Rehoboth next weekend. It was definitely an enormous confidence boost. I feel like I’m in PR shape, maybe even 1:35 shape. I can’t wait!

Clark sent me this picture he took of Pepper while I was out running:

I guess he does worry about me too after all! I had no idea.

Last night, Clark’s mom took us to Salisbury for Christmas shopping. The first place we stopped was VP Shoes. They had a wall of New Balance Minimus shoes. I think I’m going to try to hold off on replacing my road Zeroes until the update is released in the spring, just in time for my birthday. But I would like a pair of Minimus trail shoes.

The problem is, New Balance has several different pairs of trail shoes in its Minimus line. There’s the 1010, the update to my current trail shoes, and the 10, which both have 4 mm heel drops, like my first pair of Minimus road shoes. Then there are several models that have a 0 mm drop, like my current road shoes.

I tried on the 1010 and the Zero trail shoes. I definitely prefer the 0 mm drop. I asked for the Zero trail shoes in a bright green:

Then I looked online today and found New Balance now has the Minimus 20v2 trail shoe (confused yet?) that also has a 0 mm drop and looks like this:

 

Decisions! I think I like the 20v2 shoes better.

What I really want is for New Balance to stop making so many damn shoes so the decision isn’t so hard for people like me who can’t afford to buy 100 pairs of running shoes.

November 28, 2012

Training for 11/28/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:02 pm

This morning, I had a short easy run and strength training on the schedule.

Clark skipped running last night because it was too cold (bad news — it’s only November, this ain’t getting better until it gets worse) and ran when he got up this morning, so I hung out at home with Pepper until Clark got back.

Pepper was very concerned about Clark the whole time he was gone:

Sitting where he could see the back door the moment Clark opened it.

When Clark got back safe and sound, I went out and ran three miles. I did not have a one-weimaraner welcome wagon waiting anxiously for me in the hallway when I got back, haha. I don’t know if I should be offended Pepper doesn’t seem to mind when I’m gone, or take it as a compliment that he thinks I can take care of myself.

I ate some breakfast, and then Pepper and I went upstairs, where I did my ab exercises, push-ups, weight training and stretching.

This morning, I went to a local nursing home for a resident’s 103rd birthday party. (I know my job is glamorous, don’t be jealous.) It turned out this was the same guy I’d interviewed for the paper a few years ago, when he was 99, and still played golf every week at a course that has since closed. He kept playing regularly until last year.

If I make it to 103, I hope I’m in as good of shape as that guy. He looked a lot better than many of his fellow residents who were probably 20 years younger, and unlike one of them, he wasn’t screaming “Jingle Bells” at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason as he walked into the dining room for lunch.

I was sitting near this iPod playing a bunch of big band songs from the ’40s. I was thinking how sweet and innocent all the lyrics were — about reading someone’s letters a dozen times or more, missing their “tender kiss,” etc. — when this upbeat little ditty came on, with a guy singing “She’s too fat for me, I don’t want her, you can take her!” I almost busted out laughing right there. It didn’t fit in at all! Not to mention it was pretty mean.

Tonight, Clark’s mom is taking us to Salisbury to point out things we want for Christmas. The only thing I’m positive I want is a new iPod nano. I have to admit it, my long runs have been boooooooring since my old one kicked it. I know a lot of “real runners” never use them and think music is for newbs, but I miss it when I’m out there plodding along for miles by myself. I don’t go into a zen-like state or have deep, meaningful thought conversations with myself. It’s either empty white noise or a cheesy pop song stuck in my head.

I think I might need a new pair of Zeroes soon too. Maybe I’ll ask for another pair of them for Christmas.

November 27, 2012

Training for 11/27/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:51 pm

This morning, I had a track workout on the schedule, six 800-meter repeats at 10K pace. But I really didn’t feel like driving all the way to the track, running 30 laps around it and then driving back home, so I did the workout on the road.

Since I don’t have a GPS watch to measure out 800-meter repeats, I figured 10K pace was about 3:30 per repeat, and I’d just run hard for 3:30, six times, with a recovery jog between each repeat.

I’d expected to run about 7.5 miles at the track, so I set out on my 7.2-mile loop. It was a chilly, gray morning, with rain off and on, so I wore my rain running jacket over a long-sleeved shirt and short-sleeved shirt, with capri tights, and a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.

I did a warm up mile and then ran the first 3:30 repeat. I think I ended it about a half-mile later, which would be about 800 meters.

I jogged for 2:15 — a 9:00/mile pace for a single lap around the track — and then ran the second 3:30 repeat. I kept doing that until I’d run all six repeats, which, including recoveries, brought my watch’s timer to 32:15 after the final repeat.

I just checked on an online mapping site how far I actually ran to get in all six repeats and recoveries. It was about 4.4 miles in 32:15, an overall average pace of 7:19/mile. I was running a little bit faster than intended, but I got pretty close for not having a GPS watch.

I had a little less than two miles to run home at an easy pace for a cool down, finishing off the entire 7.2 -mile loop.

I was soaked when I got home. It hadn’t rained very hard, but I’d definitely worn too many layers on top, and I’d gotten pretty sweaty because of it. Oh well. I’d much rather be too warm than too cold.

I hung up all my soaked clothes to dry, and then I did some stretching to finish up.

November 26, 2012

Training for 11/26/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:24 pm

I can still run a sub-21 5K!

Saturday morning, I ran the third Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K in Rehoboth Beach. Kara and TK, who were both running it also, met me at my house at 7:30 a.m. for the drive to Rehoboth and the 9 a.m. start.

It was much colder — and a hell of a lot windier — than it had been the day before. I guess a cold front blew in overnight or something.

We got to Grove Park, the site of so many 5Ks TK and I have run before, in plenty of time to get our bibs and event T-shirts.

Seashore Striders was going with the chip timing again. This was the first year they tried it for their larger events. The first race they used it was the Masser 5-Miler in May, and it was a bit of a disaster when the software refused to convert all the timing chip data into results you could actually read. It screwed up again the second race I ran with chip timing, the Father’s Day 5K, but they had learned their lesson and torn off bib tags as a back-up. I hoped they’d gotten the bugs worked out since then.

We all took off our long pants and warm coats and left them in my car, and then Kara and I immediately started our warm up.

The wind wasn’t too terrible on the warm up, as it was all in a residential area with a lot of houses and trees that blocked some of it. We did about a mile and a half, stopping at a port-o-potty at a construction site along the course to avoid any lines at the start line.

We got back to the start in plenty of time. It was the biggest turnout I’ve ever seen for a 5K around here. There were about 475 runners in the 5K, and with the one-mile walkers, there were well over 500 people lined up and ready to go.

When we were standing there, I heard somebody mention the course was different, and we’d have to go out on the boardwalk. Crap! There was nothing to block the wind out there, as we all learned in the 5K I ran last weekend. This race course usually sticks to the residential area, so wind isn’t much of a factor, but they had to change it to an out-and-back that used part of the boardwalk because they couldn’t get enough police to control traffic at all the intersections on the usual course.

The race director announced we were about to start. We all crowded up close to the timing mat. It was elbow-to-elbow there, since we all had to cross that timing mat at the start and the finish to get an official time.

They gave us the command and we were off. Immediately, a young girl who’d started right up front got tripped up and went down in front of the rest of the stampeding pack of runners. I assume she runs cross country somewhere, as a man jumped over to help her up and told her to “shake it off; it’s good experience.” She managed to avoid being trampled to death, and we all got sorted out and went on our way.

I’m right above the right arm of the kid in the purple sweatshirt, bib No. 17, in a gray T-shirt, long-sleeved white shirt and black capris. This is right after the start.

I felt pretty strong as we ran down the long, straight road leading out to the oceanfront. I really felt like I had a shot at hitting my goal of breaking 21 minutes for the first time this year.

I was steadily picking off people all the way to the first mile marker, which I passed in 6:39 by my watch. I knew I needed to run 6:45 miles to go under 21 minutes, so I was more than on track.

I could feel the wind at my back as I ran a long slight downhill to the boardwalk, and knew that was going to suck on the return trip. I took advantage of it while I could though, and blew past a few more runners before we got to the boardwalk.

The boardwalk entrance from that end was on a narrow sand-covered sidewalk. It wasn’t long before it led to the actual boardwalk, which was much wider.

The lead runners were already coming back as I got on the boardwalk. Soon enough, I was making the U-turn around the traffic cone marking the turnaround as well.

That put the wind in my face, but I was determined not to let it slow me down. I dug in and tried to keep up my pace.

I saw something out of the corner of my eye in the crowd of runners on the other side of the boardwalk — Kara waving at me! It didn’t register until it was too late to wave back at her.

I got back to that sidewalk, which was now covered in 5K runners and walkers, some insisting on walking two and three abreast, which didn’t leave much room for passing runners going the other way. There were a couple of near-misses, but I got off that sidewalk without running into anyone.

That put me back on the road. What had been a sweet downhill on the way out was now a torturous uphill, with the strong wind right in my face. Yup, it sucked as bad as I’d expected!

As I crested the hill, a delivery truck pulled out off a side street, right in front of me. It couldn’t go any faster than the runners though, because there wasn’t enough room for it to pass the people in front of me. Every now and then the driver would step on the gas, and a nice burst of exhaust would hit me in the face.

Fortunately, where we turned left to go back to the finish, the truck turned right, so that was gone. Plus, after we made the turn, we were out of the wind. Less than a mile of straightaway to go.

I glanced at my watch, which had just turned over 15 minutes. I was certain I’d missed the second mile marker.

That straightaway is always endless. I caught up with a guy who glanced over at me and said, “Oh great, now I have to work for this.”

He and I ran together. Soon I heard several footsteps just behind us; we’d been caught by a few more guys. I saw a turn in the road for the 1-mile walk course. I remembered looking at my watch on the way out, and seeing 2:54. Now it was at 18:02. If I could run this last stretch of the race as fast as I had on the way out, I’d get sub-21.

I have to thank those guys who caught me. I’m pretty sure trying to keep up with them was the only reason I actually ran that last stretch faster at the end.

Unfortunately, they also blocked me in every finish line shot the race photographer got, haha:

Wasn’t a good day for race photos for me anyway!

I crossed the line and stopped my watch — 20:51! Nailed sub-21!

I was extremely happy with that race. I hadn’t felt that strong in a 5K all year. It felt really good to run fast again.

I took a cup of water and walked back to the finish line to wait for Kara. I didn’t have to wait long — the day after running her first 10K in 46:46, she pulled out another huge 5K PR, lowering it from 23:59 to 22:24!

Kara definitely beat me for best race photo in this one.

Obviously, she was pretty thrilled with her race too. After she drank some water, we ran a cool down together to the boardwalk and back, about 2.5 miles. That brought my day’s mileage to 7.1 miles, and my calorie total (I was still in the 5,000-calorie challenge at this point) to 611.

We met TK back at my car, and we all put on our long pants and coats again. We went back in the park, where they were serving pumpkin pie to the runners.

The timing chips worked out a lot better this time. They started presenting the awards. Age group winners once again got pies. And they’d even brought back the medium-sized ones this year! They hadn’t posted the results anywhere, so I didn’t know if I’d won a pie until they announced my age group’s results.

I did it! For the third year in a row, I won the F 25-29 age group and got a pie. There were no pumpkin ones though, just apple or sweet potato. I took a sweet potato pie.

My official chip time was 20:49, two seconds faster than my watch time. I was first of 24 runners in my age group, fifth of 269 women and 31st of 478 total finishers.

Kara’s age group was next. She won hers too! We took home two pies!

The white ribbons are our medals, but who cares, when you get pie!

We went to Dunkin Donuts to get coffee. There, we saw two guys Kara and I had seen while running our warm up. They had been standing on the side of the street and jokingly told us to pick up the pace. We told them we’d taken their advice in the race and both won pies. They were very happy for us, haha.

The rest of the day was spent shopping at the outlets. That evening, Clark and I had thought about going out to dinner in Cambridge, but we opted to stay home with Pepper instead. I started working on my pie that night.

Sunday morning, I got up ready to go for my long run. I wasn’t at all sore. I pulled on capri tights and a light long-sleeved top, expecting the wind to have died and it to feel warmer than Saturday.

As soon as I opened the door, I shut it again and went back in to change into warmer clothes! The damn wind was still blowing, and the feels-like temperature was right at the freezing mark. Grrr.

Appropriately dressed, I went out to try again. It was a chilly, blustery day, but I had a good run anyway. I did my 14.5-mile loop in 1:58:04, an 8:07/mile average pace. My long run paces are getting quicker while the effort feels the same, which is awesome.

The run also burned up another 1,316 calories, which put me at 5,075 for the week. I made it! I didn’t come anywhere close to winning the cookies for most calories burnt — one woman burned nearly 10,000 — but I will get a little magnet to remind me of my accomplishment.

When I got home, I immediately changed out of my sweaty running clothes and into warm, dry clothes. After eating the rest of my sweet potato pie for lunch, I got to work cleaning the entire house and bringing down and setting up all of the indoor Christmas decorations. Clark was outside all day, wiring the garage.

Pepper was the first thing I decorated, with his Christmas collar:

Why does he look so upset in every picture with his jacket? It’s a mystery.

This morning, I got him to pose with my Santa hat:

This week is the last week of heavy training for the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon on Dec. 8. I have two more speed workouts and one more two-hour long run on the schedule, and then next week I get to take it easy.

I started it this morning with an easy 3-miler and strength training, including ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting, weights and stretching.

November 23, 2012

Training for 11/23/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:27 pm

Wednesday night, I baked three dozen pumpkin muffins for two Thanksgiving dinners the next day:

I had to taste test one before taking the picture, of course.

They tasted even better since they were shaped like actual muffins for the first time. I didn’t have a muffin pan before Clark bought one at Walmart earlier that night. Until then, I’d just been packing 12 muffin cups in a baking pan and making little pumpkin blobs. I’ve eaten about three dozen of them almost all by myself in the last few weeks.

Thursday morning was bright and clear, and pretty chilly when I left to do my run. The plan had originally called for a 55-minute tempo run. Then I decided I was going to run a 5K on Saturday, and I already did one speed workout this week, so I changed the tempo run to just an easy run around the 9.5-mile loop. Then I figured out I was going to have to run a few more miles this week to meet the calorie burn challenge, so I stretched it out to my 11.2-mile loop.

I filled up my water bottle and hit the road. It was an uneventful, easy run. I finished 11.2 miles in 1:33:24, an 8:20/mile average pace.

The calorie calculator I’ve been using gave me 1,049 calories for the run, which brought my total for the week to 2,667.

The rest of the day was spent eating and then eating some more, first at Clark’s parents’ house, and then at my own parents’ house. It was around midnight when we got home.

I wanted to do a trail run this morning, but I got up too late to drive there and back, so I just hit the road for a lap around my 5.5-mile loop. Another uneventful run. I didn’t time it, but I’m assuming it was around my usual easy pace, so the calorie calculator gave me 480 calories for that one, bringing the total to 3,147.

I’m on track to just barely top 5,000 with my 5K tomorrow morning, including a couple of miles to warm up and a couple to cool down, and the 14.5-mile run I have planned for Sunday.

I’ll be glad when this week is over. It was a fun challenge, but I hate tracking data like this.

Anyway, I had to get my run over with quickly this morning because I wanted to be in Easton at 10 a.m. for the start of Kara’s first 10K, and then the start of my friend Allison’s 5K.

I left much later than intended, as usual, and I ran into a brief road closure on the way, so it was looking pretty questionable that I’d get to see the start. As I approached the YMCA, where the race started and ended, I couldn’t see any runners streaming by, so it looked like I was going to make it after all.

I parked the car, grabbed my camera and started running for the start. I heard the 10K runners get the start command, and got myself in position to get a good shot of Kara near the beginning of the race:

Kara’s on the right. I just realized the woman in front of her is the one I followed through the middle miles of the St. Michaels 10K in May, haha.

I gave my cowbell a shake and yelled Kara’s name. She spotted me on the sidewalk and gave me a wave as she sped by.

I walked over to the start, where the 5K runners were gathering. I looked for Allison, but I couldn’t find her.

The 5K runners took off, and I started ringing my cowbell for them as they ran by. I heard a “Hey!” and saw Allison, right as she ran in the back of this little kid who had stopped in front of her for some unknown reason, haha. She grabbed his shirt to keep him from toppling forward, and they all went on their way.

I wandered out to the road to wait for the runners to start coming back by. Obviously the 5K runners came back first. I rang my cowbell for them all, told them all they were looking strong, they had this, etc. I did not tell them “You’re almost there!” because since the finish line was not 10 feet away, they were not, in fact, almost there. I hate spectators who yell that from the sidelines when the finish line isn’t in sight!

Soon, Allison came by:

I took a shortcut to the finish line and got another picture of her finishing:

She hadn’t quite met her goal for the race, but she was OK with it. While I was waiting for Kara to come back, we got a picture together:

It’s hard to see, but my really cool blue cowbell is in my left hand.

I went back out to the sidewalk to look for Kara. Soon, some runners I’d recognized from the start of the 10K were coming back, dodging all the 5K runners, one of my pet peeves about this race.

It was even more annoying this year, because all those 5K runners blocked any chance at getting a shot of Kara at the end of her 10K! I took two pictures of her, and in both she’s completely hidden behind other runners. Boo.

She came across the line strong though. The clock was at 41:something, but that was the 5K clock, which had started about five minutes after the 10K, so she wasn’t quite sure what her time was.

I don’t think she cared much at the moment though, because she said she felt like she was going to puke, haha. She walked a little bit before posing for this shot with her twin boys:

The boys’ suggestion was to just go lie down in the grass somewhere and throw up.

Kara did a short cool down, and then we all went in the YMCA to wait for the awards announcements. They only give out awards to the first place runners in age groups in this race, but I thought she had a shot at winning hers.

They did all the 5K awards first. Finally, they got to the 10K awards. They announced the winning time in her age group as 46:something, but it went to someone else.

Allison said they’d posted the results outside near the finish line, so Kara went out there to look. She ran a 46:47 chip time, finished 10th overall and second in her age group by a matter of seconds.

That’s a really strong 10K time, especially for her first one! Looks like I’m gonna have to step it up if I want to maintain family bragging rights, haha.

I left Easton and went to work for a few hours.

Tomorrow morning, I’m running the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K in Rehoboth. I ran this race last year in 20:38, my current PR. I don’t think I’m going to run a PR tomorrow, but I’d like to break 21 minutes for the first time this year. I did it twice last year. Of course, I also ran double the number of 5Ks last year as I did this year, and most of the ones I ran this year were over a consecutive five-week stretch in the middle of summer.

Kara and TK are also running tomorrow, and then we’re doing some outlet shopping.

Sunday is this week’s long run and the end of this calorie burn challenge. NASCAR is over, of course, but there’s still football to watch. And a garage that still needs wiring.

November 21, 2012

Training for 11/21/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:48 pm

This morning, I had a 3-miler and strength training on the schedule. But I figured out yesterday I’m going to have to add about seven more miles to my training plan between now and Sunday to meet this calorie-burning challenge for the week, so I stretched out the 3-miler to a lap around the 4.5-mile loop.

Clark suggested I run it backwards, so I did. It was really bizarre, how something as simple as that could make the whole run feel so weird! Except for a couple of times I’ve run with Clark, I’ve never started a run by turning left instead of right out of my lane.

I was so thrown off I couldn’t keep my easy pace as slow as I wanted, and I wound up finishing the run in about 36 minutes, an 8:00/mile pace. The calorie calculator figured out I’d burned about 401 calories there.

After breakfast, Pepper and I went upstairs, and I did my ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting, weights and stretching, another 120 calories. That brings the day’s total to 521, and my three-day total so far to 1,617.

I’m planning on running a little farther than called for tomorrow morning. Since we have two dinners to eat, it’ll be a good day to run the 11.2-mile loop anyway. Friday morning, I’ll run farther at the trail than originally planned. Then I’m going to Easton for the Run for Hospice race, not to run it but to cheer on Kara in her first 10K, and my friend Allison in the 5K. I got a cowbell at last year’s Shamrock Marathon expo and I’ve never gotten to use it, so it’s coming with me.

Yesterday, I saw something I doubt will ever happen again. On the Runner’s World website’s homepage, they have a “carousel” (since the paper developed its own website, I know the technical term) of three top stories on the right side:

For the first and, I’m sure, last time, all three of those top stories are related to me!

The “Holiday Survival Guide” is a story that ran in the December issue of Runner’s World, and they asked readers for tips on how to stay motivated and keep moving through the winter. Guess who they quoted not once, not twice, but three times?

The third quote of mine in the print edition was a pullout quote about how forcing myself outside every day during the winter has helped me gain a new appreciation for it (which is true, but I still hate cold weather) and how much fun it is to wear tights, haha. It was separated from the article, and didn’t make the layout online.

Next, the pumpkin soup story is a recipe for a creamy pumpkin soup developed and served at the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach:

I have eaten this soup! And it’s really good! The goat cheese crumbles really make it. This soup was so good, the guy sitting next to me at the bar, who had his own bowl, asked the bartender if he could get his growler filled with it.

Finally, the Runner’s Body feature also appeared in the print edition, as a professional photo gallery of real everyday runners, and they added online videos of the runners being interviewed.

That guy featured on the homepage? He’s from Houston, and went to our little Loopfest gathering at TCM. He’s hilarious, and a really strong runner. And he bought us all a round of shots he called Second Winds at the after party!

We know him as Runnin’ Brotha, haha.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2012

Training for 11/20/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:13 pm

This morning, I went to the track for the first time in weeks for an interval workout, 4×1600 meters at half marathon pace, with a lap of recovery between each. With warm up and cool down, I was planning on eight miles.

It was a chilly, cloudy morning, but thankfully the wind from the past several days had all but died. I got there when it was still pretty dark out. The track was completely empty, just the way I like it.

I did a mile to warm up, deposited my sweatshirt on the bleachers and took off for my first repeat, aiming for 7:15, which meant each lap had to be around 1:48 or 1:49.

The first couple of laps were slow, and I wound up running the first four-lap repeat in 7:17. A little slow, but I’ve learned to expect that.

I jogged a recovery lap and then ran the second repeat in 7:14. After another recovery lap, I ran the third repeat in 7:11. The speeding up trend didn’t continue on the final repeat, but I didn’t slow down either, as I ran one last 7:11.

I did a final recovery lap, swigged some water and ran two more miles to cool down.

I don’t think there are any cookies in my future in this Thanksgiving week calorie burn challenge. For all the effort I put out this morning — eight miles, half at goal half marathon pace — I only got credit for 711 calories burnt, since I only weigh about 120 lbs. That brings my total to 1,096, two days into the seven-day challenge.

There are 42 people signed up for this challenge. Many of them burnt way more just yesterday than I did the first two days combined! To be fair though, it’s not just because they all weigh 400 lbs. or something. There were a ton of miles run yesterday, and a lot of hours spent on stair climbers, ellipticals and bikes.

I’ve given up on the win, and therefore the cookies, but I really want to at least meet the challenge and burn another 3,904 calories between now and Sunday. I better look into tacking on some more miles somewhere, because my training plan as it stands isn’t going to cut it!

I’m sure I’ll be 10 lbs. heavier after two Thanksgiving dinners Thursday though, so maybe I’ll be OK after all.

November 19, 2012

Training for 11/19/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:36 pm

This weekend was a lot of fun. That calf tightness I was experiencing last week disappeared so I got to run as planned, and the NASCAR race and Ravens-Steelers game yesterday both went exactly as I’d hoped.

Friday night, Clark and I saw the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” in the theater. We got there late and had to sit in the very front row, but it was such a good movie I almost forgot how uncomfortable it was sitting that close to the screen, haha. I’m not a big action fan, but I like Bond movies, and this was probably the best one I’ve seen. Javier Bardem played the villain, and he was probably the highlight of the whole movie. The only word for his character is creepy.

The next morning, I got up when it was time to feed Pepper and was ready by 7:15 a.m., when TK picked me up to ride to Ocean City for the Ravens vs. Steelers 5K Challenge.

It was a clear and sunny but cold and blustery morning at the beach. The race started and ended on the boardwalk at 27th street. Everyone was decked out in yellow and black for the Steelers or purple and black for the Ravens. I noticed there was a cop on a horse keeping an eye on the crowd, I guess in case we got out of hand and started throwing elbows, haha.

Start line.

We got our race bibs, timing chips and event T-shirts, and then I stripped out of my sweatpants and coat to my race outfit, to do a couple of miles to warm up.

I ran to the first mile marker on the course and back. On the way out to the mile marker, the wind was at my back, and I felt like I was flying. It also felt a lot warmer that way. Then I turned around at the marker and found out what we’d be dealing with for the second half of the race — a steady “breeze” at about 15 or 20 mph, right off the ocean. It was like running into a wall, and so much colder!

I got back to the start line in time for a local high school marching band’s rendition of the national anthem. I started pretty close to the front of the pack. We had timing chips, but the last race I ran put on by this particular organizer only recorded times on a timing mat at the finish, so your official time didn’t take into account how long it took you to actually cross the start line.

This time though, the race started and ended at the same spot, so they did record start and finish times on the same mat.

Anyway, at 9 a.m., they gave us the commands and we were off.

It took me a couple of seconds to get over the starting mat, and then a few more to get into some open air, but I soon fell into a good, steady rhythm. About five women got out in front of me.

The whole way out to the turnaround, I kept reminding myself what we had to run against on the way back, so I wouldn’t run all-out while the wind was at my back and then completely die when it was in my face. I passed a couple of women and a few guys who’d started in front of me on the way to the turnaround.

As I approached the turnaround, I saw there was a Ravens woman leading the females, and a Steelers woman a ways behind her. I was right on the heels of the third woman, also dressed in Steelers colors, when we made the U-turn. I got past her not long after we made the turn.

The wind was killing me though! It was very steady, and there was no one to run behind to use as a windbreaker.

I distracted myself for a while by watching for TK on the other side of the boardwalk on her way to the turnaround, and just watching the crowd of runners in general. There was a lot of team spirit out there Saturday.

I saw TK and cheered for her. Eventually I’d passed all the runners heading to the turnaround, and now there was nothing to do except run against the wind toward the finish line in the distance.

I caught up with a guy who made a joke as I passed him about how much running against wind blows, haha. To my surprise, the next runner ahead of me was the second place female, the Steelers runner, and I was gaining on her.

I wavered between wishing the race was just a little bit longer so I could catch her and just wishing the damn thing would end, haha. I never got close enough to challenge her before we crossed the finish line though.

The Steelers runner crossing the line, with me a couple of seconds behind. The photographer didn’t take another picture of me as I crossed the line, so this is all I got.

My chip time was 21:33, good enough for eighth overall out of 252 finishers and third overall female.

Of course, the important thing was how I and the rest of the fastest Ravens runners did compared to the fastest Steelers runners. They said before the race they were scoring the 50 top runners on each team, not the top 100.

I did another easy mile to cool down, bringing my day’s total to about 6.1 miles. TK and I went back to her car to put back on our long pants and coats, and then went back to the finish area to wait for the results.

TK and me in front of the finish line. Obviously we stood on the side lined with Ravens flags.

They posted the results by team. It looked like the Ravens had a good shot at the win, if not just because so many more people ran for the Ravens. And the first place male and female were both Ravens runners, so there’s that.

Finally, they announced they had a winner. One team’s top 50 runners averaged 25:14. The other’s averaged 27:33.

And the winner was…

The Ravens!

The owners of the 28th St. Pit & Pub, the official Ravens tailgate bar, accepting the team trophy they get to display for the next year.

We did it! I hoped it was an omen of what would happen Sunday night, when the actual teams played each other.

TK and I got some hot coffee, and then drove to her boyfriend’s house in West Ocean City to take hot showers and get into dry clothes. I hate that about running in cold weather. As soon as you’re no longer running, those damp clothes feel so much colder.

The rest of the day was spent eating lunch, playing mini golf (I finished last) and playing skee-ball (based on tickets won, I crushed TK and Parker.) TK and I left a little before 5 p.m.

On the way home, we stopped to get gas outside Berlin. Not long after we got back on Route 50, TK slammed on her brakes to keep from running into a full-grown doe that was moseying across the two-lane highway. She managed to avoid the deer, but the car in the lane next to us did not.

I’d never seen what happens when a car collides with a live deer at 60 mph. Now I have.

It was a Mazda 3 that hit the deer. It was a direct hit. The impact immediately crushed the car’s headlights and destroyed the hood latch, so the hood flew up against the windshield. The deer must have died on impact too; it slid up onto the car’s exposed engine until the driver slammed on the brakes, ejecting the deer off the front of the car back onto the highway.

Oh, and there was a cloud of fur that exploded off the deer too.

TK stopped her car and called the cops. I hopped out and ran across the highway to see if everyone was OK. It was an older guy driving, and he’d had two young kids in the back seat. The driver’s airbag had gone off. The whole thing had scared the shit out of one of the kids, who was crying pretty hard, but everyone was OK.

The car was still running, so the guy slowly drove it up to the next intersection to get if off the highway. TK and I sat in her car on the shoulder for a little bit, waiting for a state cop to show up, to tell the cop where the car that had hit the deer had gone. A couple of SUVs ran over the deer in the road. We were worried a smaller car would hit it and damage the car, so TK found some old gloves in her car and dragged the deer off the highway.

Finally the cops showed up. They said they didn’t need anything else from TK and me, so we went on our way.

See, that is why I hate deer. My car is no bigger than a Mazda 3. If I hit a stupid deer standing in the middle of a dark road for no other reason than it’s a stupid deer, my car would get just as destroyed.

Stupid deer.

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet.

Sunday morning, I was ready to do my 12-mile long run. Clark had to go in town to get some stuff for wiring the garage, so I waited until he got back, so Pepper wouldn’t have to be alone.

It was about 10:30 a.m. when I finally started my run. It was another clear but windy and chilly day.

The first mile of the run was directly into the wind, which sucked (I mean, blew), but then I made a turn that put the wind at an angle. Once I got past the ferry, a little less than 5 miles in, the wind was at my back all the way to Galestown, and I was cruising.

When I got to Galestown and turned for the last few miles home, that put the wind in my face again. I hate running into wind! The last few miles were slower, but I still finished the whole loop in about 1:39, an average pace of 8:07/mile, which is pretty fast for a long run for me.

I think I stayed in my damp running clothes a little too long when I got home though, because soon I was feeling chilled and a little headachey. I changed into warm clothes and got under the covers in bed until I warmed up and felt better, and then I went outside to help Clark with the garage wiring.

We stayed out there until it got too dark to see. When I went back inside, the race was about half over. Jimmie Johnson had a strong run going, while Brad Keselowski was struggling a bit, and the championship was a lot closer than I liked.

Not long after I sat down though, fate smiled on us all. First, Johnson’ crew missed a lug nut on a pit stop, forcing him to come back to pit road to tighten it, and lose a lap in the process. Things were looking promising.

The deal was sealed a few laps later. Something broke in the car’s drive train. It was not repairable. Jimmie Johnson finished the last race of the season sitting in the garage area and getting a DNF, not winning the championship. Keselowski pulled out a 15th place finish and won the championship. And Clint Bowyer managed to pass Johnson in the points too, pushing Johnson back to third in the final standings!

Last year was the first year since 2005 a driver other than Jimmie Johnson won the championship. I had hoped Johnson’s streak was officially done, but I knew it could have also just been a fluke.

But this is two years in a row now. I think we can say the reign of terror is over. As Mike said, we have made it through these dark times, haha.

Fun fact: Brad Keselowski is only the second driver in NASCAR history to win both a Nationwide and Cup series championship. The other one is Bobby Labonte!

While all this was going on, Clark left for his first long run of his half marathon training plan. I told him to do the 6.5-mile loop, which followed Ellis Mill Road all the way out to Line Road, where he would turn right to run back to Woodpecker Road.

I watched all the post-race coverage. I took a shower. I texted back and forth with Mike, who’d invited us over to his house to watch the football game. It was taking Clark a lot longer to run 6.5 miles than I’d expected.

I started worrying. It was dark and he’d never run that route before. What if he was lost? Worse, what if he got hit by a car?

I couldn’t take sitting there and waiting any longer, so I put Pepper in the Crown Vic and drove the loop backwards, expecting to see him any second as he approached home and the end of his run.

I didn’t see him on Woodpecker Road. I turned onto Line Road, but I didn’t see him there either. I turned onto Ellis Mill Road. I drove the whole thing out to the road that leads to the ferry. No Clark.

I turned on the ferry road toward home. Finally, about a mile and a half from home, I spotted the headlamp. He was OK.

I pulled the car alongside him and asked what the heck had happened. Clark had run the loop backwards. Ellis Mill Road crosses into Maryland about a half-mile from Line Road. On that end, it’s called Delaware Line Road.

So Clark ran right past it, looking for Ellis Mill Road. He ran all the way to Galestown. He knew he’d missed his turn, but instead of turning around, he just turned on to the road from Galestown to the ferry. He ran all the way to the ferry, and was on his way home when I found him.

He’d already done nine miles of my 10.5-mile loop! I offered him a ride home since he’d already run so much farther than he was supposed to, but he wanted to finish it.

And he did! Clark ran 10.5 miles yesterday. It took him a while, but he did it.

He took a shower and then we went to Mike’s house to watch the game. Just as I’d hoped, the real Ravens won too, 13 to 10, over the real Steelers.

This morning, I did another three miles easy, and then went upstairs for ab exercises, push-ups, weights, invisible chair-sitting and stretching.

My friend Melissa, the one who brought all the cookies to my 50K last weekend, started a challenge. Everyone who signed up is supposed to burn at least 5,000 calories between today and next Sunday, and the person who burns the most calories gets added to her Christmas cookie list.

I’ve never before tracked calories in or out, but I thought maybe I’d have a shot at hitting 5,000, so I signed up.

She suggested using My Fitness Pal, an online site that takes into account your weight to figure out how many calories you burn doing certain activities.

For my easy run and strength training today, it figured I’d burned about 385 calories. Good thing I have some longer runs, including a speed workout and a race, coming up this week or I wouldn’t have a shot at breaking 5,000, let alone winning the challenge!

Today is also the two-year anniversary of the day Clark and I brought Pepper home. He had his annual exam at the vet this morning. The vet said he’s in perfect health. In fact, he said whatever we’re doing, to keep doing it. I told him about the woman in the Rite Aid parking lot who’d accused Clark of neglecting his poor, underfed dog. The vet scoffed and said Pepper was the perfect weight. So there, nosy lady.

November 16, 2012

Training for 11/16/12

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

I don’t have much to report for today. I had a short trail run planned, but decided to skip it in light of the tight calf muscle I experienced yesterday. It feels a lot better today, but not 100 percent, so I thought a rest day would help it more than a few miles.

Clark told me I was acting like a douche for wearing an Ace bandage on my leg yesterday. I told him it would only be douchey if I’d walked with an exaggerated limp just so people would ask what was wrong with me and I could complain about how I’d injured myself being so much cooler than they are. Besides, I was wearing pants, so you couldn’t even see it.

I’m pretty excited about tomorrow’s 5K! It’s the Ravens vs. Steelers 5K in Ocean City. The course is pancake-flat, an out-and-back on the boardwalk. Usually I’d find that boring, but right now I’m in the mood for flat and fast.

This is the race where we had to register as part of the Ravens or the Steelers. Instead of individual awards, they’re taking the top 100 times for each team, adding them up and giving a trophy to the team with the fastest cumulative time. There are two pubs right next to each other on 28th Street, one designated for the Ravens and one for the Steelers, and the team that wins gets to keep the trophy in its pub for the next year.

I’m running for the Ravens. I have my outfit all picked out — black capri tights that have a purple cutout on each side (I bought them because they were on clearance a couple of years ago, but they’re definitely perfect for this), a purple long-sleeved compression top and my only Ravens T-shirt. If only my shoes were purple. At least they’re not yellow.

After the race, I’m hanging out in Ocean City a little while with TK and her boyfriend.

Sunday is a pretty big day. The Ravens play the Steelers in Pittsburgh, and it’s the last race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. I also have a 12-mile long run planned.

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