A Simple Running Log

December 10, 2012

Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:03 pm

It’s a good thing there were a lot of pictures taken this weekend, because I don’t have words to describe it all!

First off, my digestive system heard it was the only thing that could stop me from getting a PR, and it stepped up to the challenge. I only had to stop once, but it was long enough that it killed my PR chances. It would have been close anyway.

But I’m fine with it. The rest of the weekend was so much fun — including the rest of the race where I wasn’t pooping in the woods — that I can get over it.

It started Friday night. I got to packet pick up in time to get a Brooks women’s cut event T-shirt, which were bright pink instead of bright yellow. I also finally spent the rest of a gift card to the Rehoboth Beach Running Company I’ve had for three years now. I bought another Brooks short-sleeved T-shirt with the store’s logo on the front and the phrase “I run this town” on the back. I was impressed the card was still good.

I ran into Melissa and Jillian at packet pick-up, which was perfect, because Melissa was staying in a hotel with her husband while Jillian was staying at Allison’s parents’ place with me, so Jillian rode with me and saved Melissa a trip to the beach house.

We were the first ones to the house. Allison arrived soon after and let us in, where we found her mom had taped a sign that said “You kick asphalt” to a mirror above the dining room table, and laid out light-up tiaras and wands for each of us on the table, haha.

It wasn’t long before Jen and Erin arrived, and the house was full. We had penne pasta and garlic bread for dinner, along with a beer or two each and some of Erin’s chocolate chip cookies and Allison’s “crack bars.” (They were made with toffee and Reese’s peanut butter cups and they were probably as addictive as crack, hence the name.) We ironed on Erin’s graphics to our shirts and talked until it was time to go to bed.

I knew it was late and I needed to get some sleep, but I had a tough time making myself fall asleep. I guess it finally happened though, because the alarm at 5:30 a.m. woke me up.

I dressed in shorts, my short-sleeved Brooks T-shirt from the Virginia Beach half marathon, arm warmers and throwaway gloves. It was somewhere in the upper 40s or low 50s at the start, which is chilly for a pansy like me, but nearly 100 percent humidity and very muggy. We lucked out on the wind though. It was almost totally calm. The rain also held off.

We ate breakfast, left the house around 6:15 a.m. and were parked on Rehoboth Avenue 10 minutes later. When we got down to the bandstand, where the race started, the lines to the port-o-potties were long, but moving pretty quickly.

Our friend JB flew all the way to Delaware from California just to hang out with us for the weekend and take pictures. He posted a bunch online, and that’s where most of the rest of these came from. The rest are from Jillian and Jen. I took some, but I left my camera at home like a moron, so those will have to wait.

The beach before the 7 a.m. start.

The beach before the 7 a.m. start.

There were about 1,850 runners in the crowd at the start. I think Jen was trying to find her pacer at the time — she found a fellow Marathon Maniac from Texas who was willing to run her into a 4:30 finish — so JB didn’t get a pre-race shot of her, but he found the rest of us.

Allison, Melissa and Jillian in the start crowd.

Allison, Melissa and Jillian in the start crowd.

Erin and me.

Erin and me.

Erin is a former college track and cross country runner. She’s run five marathons, but had never before run an official half marathon. She’s much faster than I am on a good day, but her Achilles tendons have been giving her trouble for a while now, so her plan was to run with me. If she felt good, she’d drop me, and if she didn’t she drop off.

There are no corrals or anything at Rehoboth, so it was up to us to place ourselves where we belonged in the starting crowd. About 10 minutes past 7 a.m., we finally got the start commands.

The front of the crowd taking off.

The front of the crowd taking off.

Erin and I had not done a good job of appropriately placing ourselves! We were packed in with runners going slower than we wanted.

Erin is much better at weaving through a crowd than I am, I soon found. I’m too scared I’m going to trip over someone’s feet. For about the first mile, I was just trying to catch back up with Erin ahead of me. I think I passed the first mile marker in 7:40, a bit slower than I wanted.

By that second mile, we were getting closer to people running our pace, and it got better from there.

I couldn’t tell if Erin was feeling good or not. She wasn’t dropping me, but she didn’t look like she was hurting.

I, on the other hand, felt great. The pace felt perfect. I knew I wasn’t running the 7:15s I need to break 1:35, but I knew I was on pace for a PR.

We ran up to Gordon’s Pond, where we made our first U-turn of the race. Just past the U-turn, I saw a guy out walking his weimaraner along the side of the road! I had to ask to make sure it was a weimaraner though — its tail was much longer than Pepper’s haha.

I threw away my gloves at the next water stop. I remember hitting the 4-mile marker around 29:30. We had definitely picked it up from our slow first mile. Erin was wearing a Garmin but I didn’t want to ask what our pace was.

This part of the course was in the Grove Park area, where Kara, TK and I just ran that 5K a couple of weeks before.

At mile 5, we saw JB:

Erin and me approaching mile 5. We haven't spotted JB yet.

Erin and me approaching mile 5. We haven’t spotted JB yet.

Saw him!

Saw him!

We passed Grove Park and then ran a short stint down Rehoboth Avenue, including a part over a bridge over a canal. The bridge was grated, which Erin didn’t like, but it didn’t last long.

We were heading out to the trail part of the course. Just before we got there, we passed over a timing mat. The results say the mat was at the halfway point, 6.55 miles, but there is no way, because I crossed that mat in 44:56, a 6:52/mile pace. I think we were closer to the 10K, or 6.2-mile, point there.

So now we were on the trail for an out-and-back that totaled about 5.5 miles or so. This was my favorite part of the course the last time I ran this race, and I’d been looking forward to it.

But my excitement to finally be on the trail was being drowned out my digestive system’s sudden decision to make its presence known.

Not again!

I held out as long as I could. I tried to concentrate on following Erin and maintaining her pace, but the gut pangs were getting more and more urgent. I also stripped off the arm warmers somewhere around here.

We were running down a long bridge past the mile 7 marker when I knew I was going to have to stop, and soon. Once we cleared the bridge, I knew there was a water station, and therefore a port-o-potty, coming up soon. I knew I could make it.

But then I thought about the possibility someone might already be in the port-o-potty and I’d have to wait. And then I noticed the woods were perfect for some incognito mid-race pooping — there was a slight embankment on our right, so if I climbed up and over that, no one would be able to see me from the trail.

I made up my mind. I pulled up along Erin, told her I had to go, made a 90-degree turn off the trail, scrambled up and over the embankment and took care of business.

I tried to be as fast as possible, but I lost more than a minute there. However, back on the trail, I felt so much better! It sucked having to stop in a race like that, but I knew the distance between me and the finish line was going to be a lot more pleasant now.

I hit the 8-mile marker and then the aid station. Sure enough, there were a couple of people waiting to use the port-o-potty. I whizzed right past it.

Less than a mile later, we emerged from the woods and ran down a concrete median. I saw Erin coming toward me and we gave each other a high five. She later told me she’d wondered which hand I’d used to wipe and if she’d just touched my poop hand, haha. I assured her we’d slapped left hands, and I’m right-handed, so she was safe.

I made the U-turn too and headed back to the trail. The 9-mile marker was just back inside the woods.

Now I was sharing the narrowish trail with all the runners behind me, going the other way. There were a couple of times I was almost run into by some jerk running alongside two or three other runners going the other way.

I saw Allison and Jillian on this part of the trail. Jillian was running with her camera, and got a picture of me coming at her:

I look like I'm going the wrong way.

I look like I’m going the wrong way.

I was getting tired by this point. I think my Zeroes are finally wearing out. My feet were hurting like they’ve never hurt in those shoes, and I was ready to be done with this race.

I hit the 10-mile marker in 1:15, and remembered that was the same time I hit 10 miles in Philly last November, when I ran my 1:37 PR. I definitely felt a lot more worn out this time than I did in Philly.

Just a 5K to go though! I dug in and tried to maintain my pace.

A guy running the other way on the trail yelled “15” as he passed me. I assumed he was counting off the women as we passed. Every now and then a guy will do that on an out-and-back course. I’m not sure why, but it was nice to know I might still have a shot at an age group award if I could keep it up.

Not long after that, I left the trail and was back on the pavement. I saw two women ahead of me.

As I pulled up on the first one, who was wearing black tights and a black top, I noticed something on the butt of her tights. I had to get pretty close before I was certain what it was — poop. I’d rather stop in the woods 16 times in a race than get poop on my pants. Sometimes it sneaks up on you though, I guess.

I passed her, and pulled up on the next woman. I got around her just after the 12-mile marker.

Just over a mile to go! All I could see in front of me were a couple of guys. I passed the first one as we were turning back onto Rehoboth Avenue, for the homestretch to the finish. We ran back over Erin’s nemesis, the grated canal bridge. I was pulling up on the second guy as we ran through a traffic circle.

I passed him too, and then started looking for landmarks to figure out how close to the finish we were. I saw the real estate office parking lot I’d parked in the night before.

I peered up ahead, expecting to see the finish line on Rehoboth Avenue in front of the running store, but instead all I saw was a line of spectators standing behind a line of traffic cones. Gah, what the hell? Where is the stupid finish line?

Then I heard footsteps pounding up behind me, and the guy I’d just passed was blowing by me. He turned on a side street just before the running store, so I followed him, and there it was! The finish line!

Approaching the line.

Approaching the line.

I crossed the line and stopped my watch — 1:38:44. Officially, my chip recorded 1:38:40.

In the final results, I was 3rd of 54 in my age group, 12th of 537 women and 65th of 950 total finishers.

I was pretty meh about the whole thing. At that point, all I wanted was a port-o-potty. My digestive system had very kindly let me finish the race, but it wanted to be tended to again.

So I found one. When that was taken care of, I found Erin, who had finished just under 1:37. If only I’d been able to hang with her! Oh well.

Now that I was no longer running, I was getting cold, so Erin and I walked to my car and put on dry shirts and pants. We got back to the finish line in time to see Allison and Jillian finish together, in what was a big PR for Allison:

Double Bangle pump!

Double Bangle pump!

We all went in the tent and got our first beers of the day. 16 Mile, a brewery in Georgetown, had unlimited kegs for us all. Melissa finished the half and found us in the tent.

Allison and me in the tent after the race.

Allison and me, the “locals” in our group, in the tent after the race.

Melissa, Allison, Jillian, Erin and me after the race in the tent.

Melissa, Allison, Jillian, Erin and me after the race in the tent.

So while all of us half marathoners were boozing it up in the tent, Jen was still out on the full marathon course, trying to break 4:30 and PR.

Jillian, Erin and I got my car and drove to the outlets, where I knew a trail head would connect up with the race course about 1.5 miles from the finish line. We walked to the course and cheered everyone coming around the bend, looking for Jen.

The three of us each had to pee in the woods while we were waiting. Jillian and Erin got scratched up by briars, but as a seasoned veteran, I quickly got in and out unscathed, haha.

Finally, we spotted Jen coming, and we took off with her to go back to the finish.

She was off 4:30 pace, but still going strong. Her pacer was awesome though! He was cheering along her and everyone around us.

Jen, me and Erin around mile 25.

Jen, me and Erin around mile 25.

Back on Rehoboth Avenue, Erin spotted the Man Dance sign on a gay bar as we crossed that grated bridge again. She blurted out “Man Dance?!” and I told her it was exactly what it sounded like, haha.

Allison joined us for the last stretch. People were cheering for us as we approached the finish line, and Jen and her pacer had dropped us anyway, so we stepped off the course before the turn to the finish.

Jen finished in 4:38. Not quite a PR, but considering how many marathons she’s run just in the past two months (she’s not a Maniac for nothing), a pretty respectable performance.

I ran in the tent, where they had started handing out awards, just in time to get the trophy for first place in the F 25-29 age group! I was actually third, but the first two women in my age group were first and third overall, so they got the overall awards and I and the fourth and fifth place runners moved up in the age group awards.

In addition to my trophy, I got a Rehoboth Beach Running Company water bottle and two GUs.

My trophy and water bottle winnings.

My trophy and water bottle winnings.

JB also got this picture of me snuggling with Melissa’s dog, Sid:

Don't tell Pepper!

Don’t tell Pepper!

Jen and her awesome pacer.

Jen and her awesome pacer.

The housemates after the race.

The housemates after the race.

JB gave us a lift back to my car, and then we all went back to the beach house, where we took showers, napped and ate pizza. Erin and I went to the outlets so I could test out those Bose headphones, which I have to admit are pretty nice, and to the New Balance store. I left my gift certificate at the beach house, so I had to go back the next day on the way home, but I got this really nice cold weather pullover that had been marked down from $90 to $30. With my $15 gift certificate, it only cost me $15.

Around 6 p.m., we called a cab and went to Dogfish Head for dinner. Clark met us there too.

Erin, Jillian, Allison, me, Jen and Melissa enjoying our first round at Dogfish Head.

Erin, Jillian, Allison, me, Jen and Melissa enjoying our first round at Dogfish Head.

The tiaras made a lot of people think we were a bachelorette party. When a Scottish guy with a very attractive accent insisted on buying a shot for the “lucky one,” we deemed Jen the bride to be since she was the only one who’d run the full that day. He came back with an extra shot though, so everyone pushed it on me:

shots at dogfish head

The Scottish dude, Jen and me slamming shots with DFH peanut butter vodka and something else.

We stayed at Dogfish Head until about 10 p.m., when a live band was about to start playing on the stage right behind us. Clark went home, but the rest of us walked down the street to the Purple Parrot, where things just got crazier.

Lemon drops (notice we finally got JB in a pic!)

Lemon drops (notice we finally got JB in a pic!)

Jen and I laying one on Allison, who was wearing her "teef" haha. (Hey, she's from the Eastern Shore too, so those could very well be her real teeth.)

Jen and I laying one on Allison, who was wearing her “teef” haha. (Hey, she’s from the Eastern Shore too, so those could very well be her real teeth.)

I sang "Hey Jude" again, and I didn't realize that woman was dancing right behind me until I saw the pic. She really took a shine to me for some reason!

I sang “Hey Jude” again, and I didn’t realize that woman was dancing right behind me until I saw the pic. She really took a shine to me for some reason!

We all signed a stool at the Purple Parrot. Someone else had already written "I give good head" haha.

We all signed a stool at the Purple Parrot. Someone else had already written “I give good head” haha.

We closed down the Purple Parrot at 1 a.m., got another cab and went back to the beach house. No early morning breakfast for us. We were done! I did put a hurtin’ on a jar of Nutella before I went to bed though.

Sunday morning was a little rough. Luckily, I woke up before Jillian, with whom I’d shared a king bed, so I could realize I’d slept almost naked and put on clothes before she woke up, haha. I made myself wear clothes to bed the first night, but I guess I was drunk enough Sunday night I just didn’t care!

We cleaned up the beach house and left around 11 a.m. At home, I took a shower and then took Pepper to Petsmart for his annual picture with Santa. I’ll end the post on this note. I’m warning you, your head just might explode from all the cute in this picture:

Awwwwww! Best one yet!

Awwwwww! Best one yet!



  1. Congrats on a speedy half!!! I loved your recap šŸ™‚ I ran the full and I was at Dogfish head the same time you were, I remember seeing your group with the tiaras. Seems like you had a great weekend!

    Comment by Steph — December 11, 2012 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

    • That’s so funny you saw us! We’ll definitely all be back next year. Hope you enjoyed the full šŸ™‚

      Comment by aschmid3 — December 11, 2012 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

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