A Simple Running Log

March 29, 2013

Training for 3/29/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:30 pm

I have nothing to report today. It’s a rest day, so I rested.

Once Shamrock was over, I realized I wasn’t signed up for another race until May 18. Two months is way too long in between races when it’s not winter.

I’ve been cruising local race calendars, and I think I’m going to add to my schedule the Seashore Classic Half Marathon, April 14 in Lewes. It’s pretty cheap for a half, but you get all the expected amenities — tech T-shirt (in women’s sizes!), finisher’s medal, post-race party. Plus, the course is through Cape Henlopen State Park, which is always a great place to run.

I’m scheduled for a 1:45 long run that day, which would be about an 8:00/mile pace for a half marathon. Perfect training run.

I think I’ve got enough 5Ks coming up over the summer that I don’t feel like doing any of those between now and then, but I might do the Oxford Day 10K on April 27. Maybe.

Speaking of summer, there’s a new race in Baltimore that looks interesting. It’s a 12-mile race down Charles Street, which is mostly downhill, from Towson to Power Plant Live on the Inner Harbor. At first the price turned me off completely, but then I saw runners get an Under Armour hoody (also in women’s sizes) instead of just a T-shirt. It makes sense, since Under Armour’s headquarters are right there in Baltimore. There’s also some promises of a big post-race party with good food and beer at Power Plant Live.

That one is Aug. 10, which means it will probably be blazing hot, but that just adds to the fun, right? (And also makes the hoody seem a little ridiculous, but whatever — it will get cold around here again.)

More immediate running plans for the upcoming weekend are another 90-minute long run tomorrow morning and a 3-mile pace run Sunday morning. I took off Monday since it’s my birthday, but I’ll be doing the 3-mile easy run and strength training on the schedule that day too.

Non-running plans for the weekend include Matt and Jamie’s wedding tomorrow night, church and family things for Easter on Sunday and going to the DMV on my birthday to get my driver’s license renewed. I’m a party animal.

March 28, 2013

Training for 3/28/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:32 pm

Last night, Clark put me through another strength workout at my request. I was already a little sore, still, from the first one Monday night, and by the time I finished last night’s, I was really not looking forward to a speed workout this morning.

But, like I said two days ago, I asked for this, so I’m only getting what I wanted!

This morning I woke up just as unexcited about trying to run fast as I’d expected. In fact, I thought about not running at all today and doing the tempo run tomorrow, which is supposed to be a rest day.

Then I looked at Pepper. Just like I have Clark to push me through a real strength workout, I have a ridiculously fast dog who doesn’t do easy paces.

After breakfast, Clark left for work and Pepper and I left for a run. Once again, I was in tights and gloves and an earband, and Pepper was in his dork jacket, but it was otherwise a decent day for a run.

I wore the Garmin again today. I didn’t look at it until the end of the loop, just to make sure we’d gotten in my intended mileage. I let Pepper set the pace for me.

Pepper was flying right along today. It always amazes me how totally effortless he makes running look. He takes short, quick steps, barely at a trot, while I’m doing everything I can to try to keep up.

Not gonna lie, the pace wasn’t easy for me — I’m tired of running in the 890s every day, and I could definitely feel the toll last night’s workout had taken on just about every muscle in my body.

I resisted the urge to pull back on Pepper’s pace though. I watched the Garmin to see when it rolled over to 5.5 miles, and hit the stop button.

We had just run the 5.5-mile loop in 39:02.

I’m positive I have never run that loop in less than 41 minutes. The Garmin said the run’s overall average pace was 7:06 a mile, but the best part was the individual mile splits — 7:22, 7:11, 7:08, 6:57 and 6:58, with the final half-mile also at a sub-7 pace. It was a freaking progression run!

That’s also a much faster pace than my current 5-mile race PR, which is great, because the first race of the summer series, the Masser 5-Miler, is coming up on Memorial Day weekend. Looks like I have a good chance at knocking off another PR there.

As good as I felt after today’s run, I’m definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

March 27, 2013

Training for 3/27/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:58 pm

I had a pretty late night thanks to a meeting I had to cover last night, so I was glad when I woke up this morning all I had to do was an easy 3-miler.

It’s still cold enough in the mornings to need full-length tights, a long-sleeved top, gloves and an earband. It looks like it’s finally going to start to warm up a tad in the next few days.

At least the wind hadn’t kicked up yet.

I did a routine 3-miler and then some stretching at home. I’ll do my second Clark-led strength training workout tonight, even though I can still feel the first one.

I cannot wait to get another pair of Zeroes next week. I like the 890s, and I’m glad they’re not bothering my calves so I can continue running until I do get a new pair of Zeroes, but they’re just too much shoe for every single day.

March 26, 2013

Training for 3/26/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:23 pm

Last night, Clark put me through my first real strength workout in quite a while, judging by all the pissing and moaning coming from my end, haha.

He insisted on adding a little more weight to each exercise, and he wasn’t letting me get away with any shoddy form or corner-cutting either. By the last set of triceps dips, my arms were so completely spent I couldn’t get out the last one.

But, that’s why I asked for his help, so he’s only doing what I wanted.

This morning, I had a hill workout on the schedule, so I went out to the Sharptown Bridge.

It was another stupidly cold morning for late March. So cold, in fact, it was clear the bridge surface had only recently started to de-ice itself as the sun had come up. My shoes actually slipped a few times on the first couple of climbs.

I ran up and over the bridge six times, and did a mile to warm up and another to cool down. I wore the Garmin today, mostly to track the distance. It said I did all 5.5 miles at an average 8:16/mile pace. When I scrolled through the separate mile times, the ones on the bridge were faster than those on the flat ground. That surprised me, because it always feels like I’m moving in slow motion when I’m running up that bridge. It must have just been the downhills lowering the average pace.

I did some stretching at home.

March 25, 2013

Training for 3/25/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

We had a lovely winter weekend for running. Too bad it’s the end of March, and technically spring now.

Saturday, I stepped outside for an easy 3-miler. I was wearing my Zeroes. I felt nice and springy at first, having not run a step since I crossed the finish line at Shamrock six days earlier, but soon I could feel my calves tightening up. They kept getting tighter the entire run.

It felt exactly like the pain I was getting in my left calf when my last pair of Zeroes wore out, so I’m pretty sure that was the problem again.

After the run, I went to Salisbury to use a pass for a free hot yoga class I’d gotten at the December half marathon in Rehoboth. It’s the same people running it as the one in Lewes I went to a few times last year. They just opened the new second location in Salisbury in January. It’s half the distance from me as the one in Lewes, but it’s still pretty expensive, which is why I haven’t done hot yoga since last March.

The class I took was an intermediate class I think. It didn’t feel as hot in the room as I remember, but I definitely sweated as much as I remember. There were a few poses near the end of the 75-minute class that I had to hold at a less advanced point in the progression (and I heard other people giggling as they toppled over while trying these poses too, so I wasn’t alone at least) but I really enjoyed it. I wish it was something I could do more regularly.

We were lying in our final resting poses, on our backs with our eyes closed, when the teacher came around and gave us each a short shoulder massage, I think to help our shoulders sink more into the mat. It scared the crap out of me, haha. She was so quiet I didn’t even know she was there until she had her hands on my shoulders.

After the yoga class, I got a gift for a wedding this coming Saturday. I looked for a dress to wear, but I didn’t see anything I liked better than what’s already in my closet. I did, however, get another pair of running shorts that were on sale. Of course.

I was a complete slug the rest of Saturday. That night, Clark and I went to the EVO brewpub for dinner, to use one of the gift certificates Mom gave him for Christmas. Naturally, we forgot to give the waiter the gift certificate, so I guess we have to go back again before it expires. Darn.

Sunday morning, I was enjoying lying around and doing nothing again. Clark needed to go into work for a couple of hours before the race started, so that gave me the deadline I needed to finally get dressed and out the door for this week’s long run.

I had a 90-minute run on the schedule, so I planned on my 10.5-mile loop. If I’m going to run my goal time in St. Michaels, I have to do my long runs faster than I was doing them before Shamrock. I figured anything around an 8:15/mile pace would be good enough for me.

I was sore as hell from the yoga class the day before, and I was wearing the relatively clunky 890s since the Zeroes were giving me trouble, but the run still went pretty well. I wore the Garmin, and it said I did 10.5 miles in 1:25, an 8:10/mile average. I was closer to 8:00/mile until the last three miles, which were into the wind.

Sunday was spent on the couch again, this time watching the NASCAR race from California.

This morning, I woke up to this nonsense:

march snow

GROSS. It’s hard to see in the picture, but it was still coming down at this point too.

I had to wear my winter running jacket and my trail shoes to do any easy 3-miler on the road. The wet, heavy flakes were stinging my eyes, and then, less than a quarter-mile from home, some redneck in a jacked-up truck with mud tires flew past me, close enough to throw a solid sheet of slush on me, coating me from my ribs to my feet. The peaceful “winter” scene was interrupted by several choice words, haha.

When I got home, I made Pepper come outside. The little jerk had refused to do his business out there after breakfast on account of the snow. Since I was already covered in it anyway, I stood out there with him until he finally took a dump.

Tonight, Clark is putting me through my first strength training workout of this cycle. I’m a little nervous to see what he comes up with.

They finally released the Whale Challenge results last night. They did it differently this year; instead of adding our race times, they added our overall finish position in each race.

Based on that, I was the sixth woman of 75, and the 21st finisher of 164 total completers. I was pleased with that showing.

I tried to add these latest two medals from Shamrock to the rest, which have been hanging from a little trophy sitting on a shelf. The big ol’ medal they gave us for the marathon was too much for the trophy, unfortunately, so now I have to figure out what to do with all these:

medals

Runner problems!

March 22, 2013

Training for 3/22/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:07 pm

Still no training to report here. Lame, I know. But I have a plan!

I just filled in a calendar with Hal Higdon’s advanced half marathon training plan, with an end date of May 18, the St. Michaels Half Marathon.

I’m going for 1:35 again, so I’ll be doing all my pace runs at a 7:15/mile pace.

It starts tomorrow with three miles easy, and then Sunday is supposed to be a 90-minute long run, with the final quarter faster than the first three quarters. The long runs on this plan are set out by time, not distance. The longest ones are only two hours.

Mondays and Wednesdays are short easy runs and strength training. I asked Clark for his help on those days. I slacked off on the weight training this winter while training for Shamrock. Part of it was because it was always so cold in the attic, but part of it was also because even when I did do it, I’d let myself cut back on the number of reps or sets.

Clark would take my request seriously anyway, but now he’s really determined to kick my ass; he read a feature in this month’s Runner’s World on Steve Prefontaine, and now he’s inspired to help me run at Pre’s preferred pace — “suicide pace,” haha.

The rest of the weekend looks pretty quiet right now. I need to get a gift for a wedding next weekend, and there’s a NASCAR race Sunday, but that’s about it for plans outside of running.

March 21, 2013

Training for 3/21/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:42 pm

It’s a little misleading to title this “Training” because I just took my fourth consecutive complete rest day today. I know!

I’m still waiting to see where I landed among everyone who did the Whale Challenge. I did something this morning I never do — I emailed the race director, bugging him about it. Last year they had the results up by the next day. He emailed me right back and said they’re working on those now, and they should be up by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. It’s not that big a deal, but I’m curious.

Part of my reluctance to get running again is the stupid weather. It was snowing here today. Snowing! I know everyone is complaining about the extended winter right now, but I can’t help it. I hate cold weather.

The other (smaller) reason I haven’t even so much as taken Pepper for a trail run since Shamrock is that I don’t have a training plan. I need to be told what to do by someone smarter than me. In this case, Hal Higdon. I just have to look up his half marathon training plan and write it out for St. Michaels, and then get going.

My 30th birthday is now 11 days away. I want more Zeroes. They didn’t update them this spring like I thought they were going to; they only updated the original 4mm drop Minimuses. Since they’re old news, it might be easy to find some cheap ones, so maybe I’ll get to stock up. After running the entire Whale Challenge weekend in a pair that are probably close to worn out, I’ve decided those are definitely the shoes for me. No more experimenting.

I also need to start thinking about my fall marathon if I want to save any money on registration. I’m leaning toward Thunder Road on Nov. 16 in Charlotte — eight-hour drive, $85 through May 31, but a little on the hilly side — or Indy Monumental on Nov. 2 — 12-hour drive, $80 through May 9, not as hilly. My friend Allison is working on me to go to Indy. I’ve always wanted to run the Charlotte race, but Indy will probably be a little friendlier for a BQ attempt for a flatlander like myself.

March 20, 2013

Shamrock weekend recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:44 pm

OK, I think I’m done downloading other people’s pictures from this weekend. On to the report!

Friday

I was pretty impressed with myself Friday. I told Kara I’d be at her house at noon, and I managed to scrub down the inside of my filthy car, pack the car, drive to Easton, get the outside of my filthy car cleaned, pick up medication for Pepper, drop it off at Mom’s office (and deflect a “You’ll ruin your knees!” comment from one of the doctors in her office) and be at Kara’s house on time. And she was ready to go too. Are we really related to the Schmidts?

The drive to Virginia Beach was easy. We went to the expo first to get our race packets. I also got one GU for the marathon, and Kara and I both bought a pair of throw away gloves for Sunday.

We drove to the hotel, a Days Inn on 11th Street. Jen and Angie, our roommates, were already there, so we unloaded the car and then walked down to the Abbey Road Pub for dinner.

I had to run in the morning, so I was trying to be good on the beer. I had a couple and was going to call it a night, but then other people started buying multiple pitchers of Yuengling, and those same other people kept making rounds of the table and topping off any empty glasses they saw, haha. It was just an easy 8K in the morning anyway. Fill ‘er up!

These were NOT all mine!

These were NOT all mine!

Runner's World Loopsters, plus several runners from a West Virginia running club, at Abbey Road.

Runner’s World Loopsters, plus several runners from a West Virginia running club, at Abbey Road.

While we were there, Sass, who is both on the Loop and a member of the West Virginia running club, mentioned one of the other women in his running club was shooting for a 3:30 on Sunday, and her current marathon PR was within a minute of mine. At the expo that afternoon, I’d found out there was a 3:25 and a 3:35 pace group, but no 3:30. Running the race with her sounded perfect. He promised to get us in touch before the race.

It was around midnight when we left Abbey Road, after gifting another table with some of the leftover pitchers. I got to bed around 12:30 a.m.

Saturday

I was the only one in our room running the 8K. I got up at 6:30 a.m. to get dressed and eat some cold pancakes at the hotel breakfast before meeting Kraig and Vanessa and her family at 7 a.m. to walk to the start line, about 20 blocks from the hotel. I was still sleepy, but not hungover at least.

We didn’t actually leave the hotel until closer to 7:20 a.m. We still had to check our bags and get in the corrals for the 8 a.m. start. On the walk there, Mary Jane called me, and we ran into her around 23rd Street.

After dropping off our bags at gear check, we got a pre-race picture:

Vanessa, Kraig, Mary Jane and me before the 8K.

Vanessa, Kraig, Mary Jane and me before the 8K.

Mary Jane and I got in the first corral. It was a little chilly, but not bad, and the winds were light. They sang the National Anthem, fired the gun and sent us on our way.

We were aiming for a 42:00 finish, or about an 8:24/mile pace. Mary Jane usually runs with a Garmin, but had forgotten to put it on, and I’d decided not to run with mine at all this weekend, so we were just cruising along.

The first mile was a little slow because of the crowd, but then we got some room and fell into what felt like about our goal pace. The course ran right past our hotel, and we saw Jen on the sidewalk cheering for us.

Somewhere around mile 2.

Somewhere around mile 2.

The course looped around onto the boardwalk for about a mile and a half.

I think I remember some people on a hotel balcony cheering for us.

I think I remember some people on a hotel balcony cheering for us.

The course went back to Atlantic Avenue and through the start line arch (I didn’t see anyone sprinting under it after mistaking it for the finish line this time) and then we made one last turn, back onto the boardwalk for the final six blocks to the finish. We saw several of our friends on the sideline there who’d hauled their hungover butts out of bed to cheer for us.

I told Mary Jane to put up a Bangle pump for the finish photos:

We're that good -- almost completely synchronized, if I'd only dropped my arms a little lower.

We’re that good — almost completely synchronized, if I’d only dropped my arms a little lower.

We crossed the line in 41:40, a little under goal, and then saw Kraig. He’d started in the second corral, but nearly caught us right at the finish:

Kraig photobombing our Bangle pump with his own Bangle pump, haha.

Kraig photobombing our Bangle pump with his own Bangle pump, haha.

First race of the weekend done! We got our checked stuff and headed to the beer tent. While we were in there, it started raining. I tried to stay there long enough for the rain to pass, but it was getting close to check out time at the hotel, so we gave up and started walking. It quit raining about halfway back.

The hotel staff was really riding our asses to be out by 11 a.m., so I took as quick a shower as I could, and then we headed out.

Kara and I met Jenny and her little boy, Sawyer, at The Baker’s Crust for lunch. Jenny had suggested it, understandably oblivious to the fact the restaurant had given Shamrock runners a coupon. The place was packed! We had to wait more than a half hour for a table. The food was worth the wait though. It was also really nice to spend some time with Jenny and Sawyer. We rarely see them.

After lunch, I drove part of the half marathon course to give Kara an idea of what she’d be running the next morning. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up some breakfast stuff for the next morning, and then drove to Sandbridge, where the group had rented a beach house.

The house was awesome! It was right on the ocean and had a huge common area, a covered porch and a deck. There was a pool and a hot tub on the ground level, but I don’t think anyone ever tried out either of those.

Several people who weren’t staying at the house came by that evening, and we all had a big pasta dinner. I was pretty exhausted after getting up and running that morning on not a lot of sleep the night before, so I laid out my race stuff and went to bed around 9 p.m. Before I fell asleep, Sass’s running group friend, Ashley, texted me, and we made plans to meet up in her hotel lobby before the race the next day.

Sunday

I had set my alarm for 5 a.m., but was woken up about 15 minutes before by Kara, who was highly concerned I wasn’t leaving myself enough time to get ready before leaving the house to get her to the half marathon start. Newbs, haha.

We all stepped outside around 5:30 a.m. into a much brisker morning than the day before. I told myself it only felt too cold and windy because we were right on the ocean, which helped, until I remembered the whole stupid race course was right on the ocean. Dammit!

I drove Mary Jane, who was also running the half, and Kara to within a few blocks of the half marathon start line, and then I drove in the other direction to find parking closer to the finish area. It was getting close to 7 a.m. by then, and I didn’t feel like walking 12 blocks in the cold wind to probably not even get to pick out Kara and Mary Jane in the massive starting crowd as it passed, so I just sat in the car for a while and called Clark.

When I got off the phone with him, it was about time to start walking if I was going to meet Ashley on time. I got to the hotel lobby, about six blocks from the start line, and found everyone else who was either running the full or spectating. I met Ashley, who confessed she was as nervous about trying to run 3:30 pace as I was, thank God.

We got to the gear bag truck with only a few minutes to spare before the start. I stripped off my sweats, stuffed them in the bag and handed it to a volunteer. I turned around to walk back to our corral, and faced the wind for the first time. Holy crap! It was blowing pretty hard, and it was so cold!

Ashley and I got in line between the 3:25 and 3:35 pacers. After another National Anthem, they fired another gun and we were under way.

I switched to chrono on my Timex as we jogged to cross the start line, only to find that once again, I’d forgotten to clear the time from the day before. I had to fiddle with it a few seconds after we’d crossed the start to get it started over. I do that all the time. You’d think I’d have learned by now.

Ashley had a Garmin though, and we were running just a little slower than goal pace for the first couple of miles, to warm up. The wind was at our backs for the first couple of miles, so it wasn’t too bad. After mile 2, we hit a short stretch into the wind before making another turn. I wasn’t looking forward to running a good chunk of the race into that wind later.

Ashley was pretty cool to run with. The first few miles, we chitchatted about dumb stuff, like races we’d run, races we wanted to run, her upcoming wedding, my thrown-together wedding, her cool job as a meteorologist for a TV station and my boring one writing for a newspaper.

Since I got to run with a meteorologist, I feel confident this map I made of the wind direction is accurate:

wind direction

It was one of those annoying winds that changed direction with you as you ran, just so it could be in your face the whole time.

We were holding steady at our intended pace, so you can imagine our surprise when, just before mile 5, the 3:35 pace group went blowing by us like a freight train. It was tempting to catch up with them, but we held off. Another woman came running up behind the pace group and said it was running way too fast for 3:35, so we felt better.

Between miles 5 and 6, we hit a U-turn, which put the wind in our faces. I tried to forget about it by looking out for my friends heading to the turnaround. I saw Angie, then Vanessa and then Jen. They were all running near or ahead of the pace groups running their goal times.

We ran through Camp Pendleton and then back over the Rudee Inlet bridge. We made a turn and got a brief respite from the wind before making yet another turn and heading out to the boardwalk.

Ashley and me heading for the boardwalk.

Ashley and me heading for the boardwalk.

The wind was coming right off the ocean and into our faces the entire length of the boardwalk. I can’t think of any other way to describe this section of the course, except that it sucked.

Before mile 12, we turned off the boardwalk and ran to the next street, running parallel to the boardwalk. Somehow, the wind seemed worse, like the buildings between us and the boardwalk weren’t blocking the wind, but rather creating a wind tunnel effect.

I started spotting half marathon finishers along the sidewalk, wearing what looked like mylar space blankets. What the hell? We always get cool finisher’s shirts instead of throw away space blankets, and I’d been counting on wearing that shirt under my sweatshirt when I finished. That pissed me off a little.

Then I spotted Kara and Mary Jane on the sidewalk, cheering for me as I ran by. That was a nice boost.

Soon, we were approaching halfway. I saw Sass cheering his face off for Ashley and me, and we tried to look happy for him. Brian, who had to skip the half because his calf started bothering him the week before the race, stepped on the course and ran a short stretch with me. He asked me how I was feeling. I was already in such a daze from fighting the wind I just kind of stared at him, haha. I finally formed an answer about how I couldn’t wait to get out of the wind or something.

We hit halfway in 1:47, a couple minutes off 3:30 pace but still in striking distance of 3:35 if we could just keep it up.

The next few miles were on a two-lane highway. The marathoners going out had one lane, and the back-of-the-pack half marathoners coming back had the other lane. Sure enough, the marathon leaders came through on this stretch. (I was at mile 15 as they passed mile 23.) The poor guys were weaving through walkers strolling along, three and four abreast. The leader at least had the benefit of the motorcycle, bicycle and car brigade announcing his arrival, but everyone behind him just had to deal with it.

At mile 16, we turned onto a road that had a nice tree line on one side, blocking the wind for the most part. I was starting to hurt here, but Ashley was trucking right along. I was doing everything I could to hang on to her.

Past 18, I had to let her go ahead. I just couldn’t keep it up any longer.

She wasn’t getting too far ahead, and since she was walking to drink water at every aid station, I caught up to her at the next two. Then she got too far ahead of me between aid stations, and I didn’t see her again until after the race.

It was also around here I started passing 3:35 pace group members who had blown up because of the super fast start. One of them had a pacer with her, who probably felt bad he’d ruined her race. I heard him ask her what her specialty had been when she ran in college. She said the 5K. He said, “You’ve only got two more of those to go!” which was a total lie, but I doubt it made her feel any better anyway.

I was really hurting by mile 22, mostly my calf muscles. That was normal.

But then I felt something give way inside my left shoe. It’d never happened before, but I knew exactly what it was — a freaking blood blister on the outside of the ball of the foot, where I always get them, had just popped.

It seriously felt like a razor blade had somehow worked its way into my shoe and dug itself into my foot. It burned so bad every time I landed on that foot and the shoe rubbed it.

For a few awful moments, I thought I was going to have to walk it in from there. But after a few more steps, the old familiar pain in my calf muscles had managed to overtake the one in my left shoe, and I was good to go again.

Somewhere around mile 23, on the way back to the boardwalk.

This last stretch is so damn hard. A lot of the spectators, who came out early for the half marathon, have left. Everyone around you is hurting. I had to stop and walk a little bit a couple of times, but for the most part, I was forcing myself to keep running. The faster you run, the sooner you’re done.

I walked one last time after mile 25. A passing woman reached out to me and said, “Come on, let’s run this in!” That got me going again.

Soon after, I felt like taking yet another walk break, even though I knew we were getting close to the turn to the boardwalk and the finish line. I was really fighting myself.

But then, up ahead, I saw Sass in the middle of the road again, jumping and cheering, and then I realized everyone else who had run the half or came out to spectate was lining the sidewalk, all cheering just for me! I gave Sass a little shrug, to say “Sorry I let your friend drop me,” but he didn’t seem to care, haha. I was way off my goal pace and feeling like I was on empty, but I just couldn’t help but smile.

That was the boost I needed. I ran the rest of the way to the finish line.

Coming down the boardwalk.

Coming down the boardwalk.

And crossed the line in 3:40:44!

Done!

Done!

No 3:30, no BQ, but dammit I had just run my fastest marathon ever in some less than stellar conditions. And there was a whole beer tent waiting for me!

I got my big honking finisher’s medal, and this year’s finisher’s hat. Then they handed me my “space blanket” — they were really nice fleece blankets! I should really get contacts or something. I can’t see shit, haha.

I hobbled down the food line, and then I heard my name — Ashley was sitting on a bench along the side of the finisher’s chute. She said she finished in 3:37, which was also a PR for her. We thanked each other again for the miles we were able to run together, and then I made my way to gear check. I found a tent to try to get out of the wind so I could put on my sweats. I pulled out my phone, and saw Clark had been tracking me online — he had sent me a message congratulating me on my new PR, and Kara on smoking his first half marathon time with a 2:00:55.

He also sent me this picture of Pepper, wearing his harness and my Garmin, with the note Pepper was ready to train me this summer for a fall BQ attempt:

Pepper doesn't look that thrilled about it, but whatever.

Pepper doesn’t look that thrilled about it, but whatever.

I called Clark, and then it was time for the moment of truth — I had to see what was in that left shoe. This is what I found:

bloody sock

Eeeekkk!

I slapped a Band-Aid on that puppy, pulled on my shamrock compression socks and headed for the beer tent.

Once again, we shut the place down. The kegs were dry before we finally called it a day.

me and billy in the beer tent

Me and Billy. The poor guy was signed up for the Whale Challenge when his foot rebelled, so he came to the race anyway and just stayed drunk the whole weekend. I don’t blame him!

jen and me in the beer tent

Jen and me checking out something on her phone, race updates on Facebook no doubt. Mary Jane made Jen that 26-point-brew hat she’s wearing.

Back at the beach house, we made tacos for dinner and drank some more. The West Virginia running club came over again too. (Except Ashley; she’d recently started a new job and didn’t have vacation time, so she’d had to catch a 3 p.m. flight.) Lisa had a Mason jar full of moonshine with her. We all had a shot or three.

group at beach house sunday night

The whole group at the house Sunday night. Yes, I’m still wearing my race clothes. Yes, I wore them to bed, because I’m grungy like that.

Monday morning came pretty quickly. I hadn’t gotten much sleep when I got up and finally took a shower. Everyone was sitting around eating breakfast when Mary Jane took this morning after shot:

morning after

Looks like everyone else was feeling about the same as I was!

Kara and I were among the last to leave the house. We took Brian with us, to drop him off at the airport on our way out of Virginia Beach.

We were almost to the airport when I realized I’d left my wallet and phone in the bedroom floor back at the house, about a half hour behind us. Nice one. We dropped off Brian, and then I drove back to the beach house. Thankfully, Jen and Angie were staying an extra night, so they were still there.

With the car finally completely loaded, Kara and I got burgers from Five Guys for lunch, and then headed home.

medals and bibs

They still haven’t released the Whale Challenge results, but here are my medals and bibs from both races this weekend. In a few weeks, I’ll get a little whale pin to put on one of the ribbons.

I haven’t run since Shamrock. I feel great though, so I probably will soon. I was going to do some strength training this morning, but it was cold in the attic so I stayed downstairs instead. I thought it was the first day of spring today. It sure didn’t feel like it this morning.

March 19, 2013

Training for 3/19/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:51 pm

I do not have time at work today to write a post about everything that happened over the last few days, but here is the short version:

TowneBank 8K:

  • Chip time: 41:40
  • 31st/610 F 25-29
  • 204th/4,893 women
  • 743rd/8,026 finishers

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon:

  • Chip time: 3:40:44
  • 29th/229 F 25-29
  • 111th/1,291 women
  • 486th/2,991 finishers

The final Whale Challenge standings have not yet been figured out, but my combined time for the two races this year was 33 minutes faster than last year’s.

I didn’t get my sub-3:30 or BQ, but I did PR, so I’m happy with the marathon. It was a tough day; it was cold and we ran head-on into a steady 16 mph wind for what felt like all but about six miles, tops, of the entire race. My neck and shoulders felt almost as sore the next day, from bracing against the wind, as my calves. (But today, my calves have left my neck and shoulders in the dust, haha.)

The weather Saturday, for the 8K, was just about perfect, except for a rain shower that moved through after the finish. I was hoping Sunday would be a repeat minus the rain, but we didn’t get that lucky.

Overall, the weekend was amazing. The beach house worked out great; it was a lot cheaper than getting hotel rooms, and there was more than enough room for everyone. I’ve gotten to know some of my runner friends so well in real life I can no longer refer to them as “internet strangers.”

Waiting until tomorrow to write this race report also gives me more time to steal other people’s pictures from the weekend. I’ve gotten really lazy about taking my own pictures — it’s so much easier to just save all the shots other people post!

But, I do already have some of the professional race proofs, so here’s a couple of them:

Mary Jane (green tights) and me finishing the 8K, with Kraig (in the blue shirt right between us) sneaking up from behind.

Mary Jane (green tights) and me finishing the 8K, with Kraig (in the blue shirt right between us) sneaking up from behind.

mile 23ish

Mile 23 or so of the marathon. This race wasn’t nearly as miserably cold as Twin Cities, but once again, I needed the arm warmers and the throw away gloves for the whole thing.

Much more to come tomorrow!

March 14, 2013

Training for 3/14/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:11 pm

Today was a rest day. I just did some yoga and foam rolling, and was happy about it too. It was freezing cold and windy out there this morning. At least it looked like it was, from the comfort of my living room couch.

This is my last post before Shamrock! I’m off tomorrow and Monday, so I won’t be around to report how it all went until after my Tuesday morning meeting.

Right now, everything is looking good except the weather. The last time I checked, it was supposed to be mostly sunny Saturday and Sunday. When I looked this morning, it had gotten a little ugly all of a sudden. Saturday now has a forecast for isolated thunderstorms and a 50 percent chance of rain, and they’re calling for a few showers Sunday, with a 30 percent chance of rain.

Oh well. The temperatures look OK, in the mid-40s both mornings, and if it does rain, I just get wet and then I forget about it. The wind isn’t supposed to be too bad either, and I’m good at tucking in behind other people and letting them block it for me anyway, haha.

Kara and I are driving down to Virginia Beach tomorrow afternoon, stopping at the expo first to pick up our race packets. The whole group is meeting tomorrow evening for happy hour at a pub, and then we’re staying in a hotel near the oceanfront in Virginia Beach.

Saturday morning is the first leg of the Whale Challenge, the TowneBank 8K. I put a conservative 42:00 (8:24ish a mile pace) on my registration, but that still landed me in the first corral. My friend MJ is also in that corral (she’s doing the Dolphin Challenge, which means she’s doing the half Sunday) so we’re going to run it together.

After we all hang out on the beach and enjoy the two free Yuenglings that go to the 8K finishers, we have to check out of the hotel. The whole group rented this big beach house right on the ocean in Sandbridge, just south of Virginia Beach, but when my friend Jen made the arrangements, she accidentally booked it for Saturday through Monday night, instead of Friday through Sunday, and it’d already been rented out for Friday night before she realized the mistake. Hence the hotel Friday night. Not a big deal, but she felt pretty awful, so she insisted on paying for the hotel rooms herself.

Anyway, between checking out of the hotel and checking into the beach house, Kara and I are going to meet up with our cousin Jenny, who lives in the area. Saturday evening, after we’ve all settled into the house, we’re doing a giant pasta dinner for the whole group.

And then Sunday is, of course, the Shamrock Marathon. The marathon doesn’t start until 8:30 a.m., but the half starts at 7 a.m. (The half is run on the second half of the marathon course, so they start it so much earlier to try to keep the marathon leaders from having to weave through too many of the half marathoners.) I’d like to see Kara off for her first half marathon, so I’ll be heading there early. I don’t know what I’ll do to kill 90 minutes before my race starts, but I’ll think of something.

I can’t wait to get this marathon started! I know I’ve been feeling confident in my training, but the closer I get to race day and the further I get from my last long run, the more nervous I get. I keep reminding myself all the nerves will go away as soon as I get to start running Sunday, but it’s impossible not to get a little antsy anyway.

The plan is to just run with the 3:30 pace group and let them do all the work for me. I’ll probably carry one gel with me, for about mile 7ish, but they’re handing out gels at the halfway point and mile 19, so I’ll just take theirs. Other than that, just water at the aid stations, and maybe a shot of beer or two from the spectators who hand them out in the second half.

My goals are as follows:

  • A: 3:29:59
  • B: 3:35:00 (Boston qualifying time)
  • C: 3:42:27 (PR)
  • D: Make it to the Yuengling kegs

When it’s over, I will of course partake in my four allotted Yuenglings at the finish line, and then who knows how the rest of Sunday will go. It’ll be fun though, I’m sure of that. Kara and I will head back home sometime Monday.

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