A Simple Running Log

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.

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