A Simple Running Log

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.

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