A Simple Running Log

April 15, 2013

Training for 4/15/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:17 pm

Happy tax day to TK! Since she’s a CPA, I haven’t seen her since January. As far as I know, she’s survived another one.

It’s also Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, which means they’re running the Boston Marathon right now. I’ve got a live stream of the leaders going from the Boston Athletic Association’s website, and plenty of Facebook updates pouring in on the people I personally know who are running it. The sheer size of that race scares the crap out of me, but I’d really like to do it one day. I gotta qualify before I can worry about that, though.

Anyway, I had a pretty good weekend of running. Saturday morning, Pepper and I did my pace run. As usual, I just let him set the pace and I kept up. We did the 4.5-mile loop in 31:46, a 7:04/mile average, a bit faster than I’m actually trying to run in St. Michaels. That was including the two minor freak-outs he had at the 1- and 1.5-mile points, which he knows are the turnaround spots when we’re doing a short out-and-back, and a couple of times we had to pause so he could do some mutual butt-sniffing with another dog or wait for a guy on a lawnmower to mosey on his way.

I did plenty of stretching after the run, and that afternoon, I finally cleaned our disgusting house. That night, Mike came over to watch the race.

Bobby, unfortunately, was having one of the worst days of his life — he’d been so sick, he’d spent the entire day getting fluids pumped into him through an IV in the infield care center. He started the race so he would get the championship points, but then he got out of the car during the first caution. The team had asked Mike Bliss to take over Bobby’s car. Bliss drives for a “start and park” team; they don’t have the sponsorship to be able to afford to run entire races, but the prize money for finishing even dead last is worth it if they can just get in the race and complete a couple of laps before dropping out with some kind of “mechanical issue.” However, for some reason, Bliss was keeping his team’s car out on the track, so when Bobby got out of his, there was no standby driver.

I’m sure Bobby was all, “Screw it, I’m gonna pass out if I try to turn any more laps in this car, check you guys later” and I don’t blame him. The car sat there idle in the garage for quite a while, until Michael McDowell wrecked his. McDowell agreed to take Bobby’s car back out to try to get a couple more positions and therefore a couple more points, but he couldn’t fit in Bobby’s seat! Finally they got the seats switched out, and McDowell took the car out, only to bring it back in with engine problems that finally parked it for the night. Bobby was credited with a 42nd place finish, for which he earned two lousy points.

It was only the second time I’ve ever seen Bobby start the race and then get out to let someone else take over. The other time was in 1999, when he had a broken shoulder blade.

At least Jimmie stupid Johnson didn’t win. Kyle Busch did, in Bobby’s old ride.

While I was watching all this, I ate quite a bit of pizza, had several beers and capped it off with some homemade peanut butter pie Mike brought over. (He has turned into a bit of a Betty Crocker since he bought his own house last year, not that I’m complaining!) I knew I had a long run in the morning and the last thing I should be doing is downing beers and eating sugary pie, but I did it anyway.

It was nearly 1 a.m. when I finally went to bed. I set the alarm for 5:45 a.m., as I was going to run the Seashore Classic Half Marathon in Lewes in spite of everything I did Saturday night to make it hard on myself.

I woke up around 3:30 a.m. because Clark had left the TV in the living room on when he came to bed. I turned it off, and was able to get a little more sleep before the alarm went off.

A large part of me wanted to skip the race. I hadn’t even paid for it yet anyway. But I was pretty sure if I didn’t drive to Lewes and get a command to start my long run, I’d have never started it yesterday, and I’d screw up my schedule the way I did last week. So I got dressed, ate some breakfast and hit the road.

I got to Irish Eyes, the bar that was hosting the after party, about a half hour before the race was to start, and had no trouble getting myself registered. There were no shirts left for day-of registrants, but that wasn’t a big deal.

I walked back to my car and got ready — shorts and a light long-sleeved top and this year’s Shamrock finisher’s hat. It was a perfect day for a long run in Lewes;  sunny, pretty calm for being right by the water, low humidity for once and temperatures in the upper 40s at the 8 a.m. start.

Back at the start line, I got at the end of a very long line for the four port-o-potties with only about 20 minutes until the start. I really had to pee! Luckily, the bar decided to open its indoor bathroom to runners, and I managed to get a spot near the front of the line. With that taken care of, I got in the pack at the start line.

Waiting in the start line.

Waiting in the start line, in the yellow shorts, Shamrock hat and unenthused expression.

The course was pretty simple, a basic out-and-back once you got to Cape Henlopen State Park, with a spur tacked on at the beginning to add mileage. The only possible wrinkle was the fact there was a fundraising walk for the National Kidney Foundation being held in the state park the same morning, and they were expecting about 450 walkers. However, the walk didn’t start until 10 a.m., so most of the runners should have been out of the park before the walkers started.

Just after 8, we got the command and went on our way. I went out at what felt like a reasonable pace. Not long after the start, I was running next to an older guy, when he glanced over at me and said, “Oh no, you’re that girl from Seaford, aren’t you?”

Wow, what had I done to this guy? Then he said something about Preston, and I realized he was the guy I’d tailed through the entire 12K I ran last August. He mentioned how he’d taken a large bug to the eye in that race. I remember that, because if he hadn’t been there, that would have been my eye, haha.

If I was keeping up with that guy, I knew I was running too fast, so I backed off. Sure enough, I passed the first mile marker in 7:22 by my Timex, much faster than I should be doing a long run. So I backed off some more.

By the end of the first mile, the pack had mostly sorted itself out. A couple more people passed me, and I passed a couple who’d gone out too fast, but that was about it.

After that first out-and-back, we ran through a parking lot right along the beach, then down a highway, past the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal, and then into the state park.

I was cruising right along, still under 8:00/mile pace, by the time we got in the park. We were running a bike path that would be part of the kidney walk later that morning, and someone had placed signs along it that said things like, “African-Americans and Hispanics are more susceptible to kidney diseases than members of other ethnicities.” Worst motivational race posters ever. I was longing for those corny leprechaun jokes that line part of the Shamrock course.

In the sixth mile, we ran up and around an observational tower, the first real hill of the course. It wasn’t a long one though, and we got to run downhill on the other side, so it evened out.

Just before the sixth mile marker, we ran through the parking lot where the kidney walkers were gathering. Other than almost getting run over by a moron in an Escape looking for parking, that wasn’t a problem.

On the other side of the lot, we got back on the bike path. It was somewhere around here I first felt like I might need to scope out the “bathroom facilities” in the surrounding woods. Big surprise, considering my dinner.

It went away that time. We ran up the worst hill of the course, and then passed the half marathon relay exchange point. We had to run a little farther still to get to the turnaround.

As I approached the turnaround, at mile 7.5ish, I counted five women in front of me. I made the U-turn and headed back. As I approached mile 8, the gut pains came back with a vengeance, and I knew what I had to do.

I darted into the woods and went in pretty deep before I felt like no one passing on the bike path would see me (or the bright yellow shorts I’d chosen to wear. Smart!) I lost two minutes in there, but I felt so much better. And anyway, this was just a training run, so who really cares?

I got back on the trail just behind our local barefoot runner. I really don’t know how that guy does it. Every now and then I’ll land a foot just right and a small pebble or something will squeeze between the treads on my shoe and poke my foot, and that hurts. That’s like every footstep for this guy!

I ran over the 8-mile marker just short of 1:04, so even with the bathroom break, I was still on pace for a 1:45 finish like I wanted.

I passed the barefoot guy and a couple more women. Somewhere between miles 9 and 10, we ran up around that observation tower again. I was coming up behind a couple of runners, and I heard the cop watching the intersection ask them if they were just going around that tower for the first time. They said they were, and they were the last runners. That made me feel tired all of a sudden. They’d been running the same amount of time as I had, but they still had about eight miles to go.

I hit 10 miles in 1:19 after rounding the tower the second time. The pace still felt good, and I was still on track.

The next mile took us out of the park and back onto the highway. The barefoot guy decided to pick it up at that point, and passed me. I watched him get ahead of me. First, he had the blackest feet I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe they’re ever clean! Second, when we got back on the highway between the park and downtown Lewes, he was running right on the white line marking the shoulder (which I’m sure the drivers loved) — so obviously, running on the shoulder, which was coated in tiny pebbles, does hurt his feet. I don’t know why he doesn’t just get a pair of Vibrams or something.

The last couple of miles still felt good. Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to be done running, but I wasn’t dying.

Right around mile 13, I spotted the race organizer’s unofficial photographer:

2013 seashore classic half finish

I turned the corner and crossed the line in 1:43:56, 7:56/mile average for 13.1 miles.

I was glad I hadn’t skipped it. I don’t think a solo long run would have gone that well yesterday.

I drank some water and then walked to my car to put on a dry shirt. I was sitting in the car, with the windows half down, when I noticed a kid, probably 11 or so, walk up behind my car. He walked in between it and the one parked right next to mine, and as he did, he made a fist and pounded the side of my car, right above the gas tank!

I could see from the side view mirror he hadn’t hit it hard enough to do any damage. It just so happened he was getting into the car next to mine. As he opened the passenger door, he glanced over at my car, saw my window was half down and then saw me glaring at him over the edge of it. I have never seen a kid jump in a car and slam the door so fast in my life, haha.

Disrespectful little shit.

Anyway, I went back to the bar to look at the post-race party. They had hot dogs and hamburgers, and were giving away Coors Lights and Bloody Marys. I got a burger and a beer and sat on a dock to wait to see the results.

When they posted them, I found out my time was good enough for third in my first race in the women’s 30-34 age group. The first place runner ran a 1:41 flat, and second place was only 36 seconds ahead of me. Fourth place was less than a minute behind me. So it was a pretty competitive age group.

Aw, my first 30-34 age group award!

Aw, my first 30-34 age group award!

I drove down to the beach after the awards ceremony. It was a little on the chilly side, but it was a beautiful day:

lewes beach

When I got home, I did some stretching, ate some leftover pizza (hey, I wasn’t running long again in the morning, so why not?) and got cleaned up to go to dinner with Clark’s family to celebrate his aunt’s birthday.

We went to the Kentmorr Inn Restaurant on Kent Island. We had another lovely view, this time of the other side of Delmarva:

kent island bay

I had a tuna steak, as rare as they would let me have it. Clark’s mom doesn’t like fish anyway, but I think watching me eat practically raw tuna made her a little sick, haha.

This morning, I took Pepper out for an easy 3-miler. He grabbed that giant stick as we were leaving the yard, and Clark took a picture of him running with it as he passed us on his way to work:

pepper's giant stick

I love it!



  1. I’m just watching the news about Boston. I hope all your friends running it are okay!!

    Comment by Laura A — April 15, 2013 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

    • Thank you! We’ve confirmed everyone we knew there from Runner’s World is OK!

      Comment by aschmid3 — April 15, 2013 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

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