A Simple Running Log

May 31, 2013

Training for 5/31/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:09 pm

This morning, I ran for what was most likely the last time until next week. I’m donating blood later today, and I know from experience trying to run the day after is a wheezing, soul-sucking mess. Sunday is a possibility but not a very strong one, since we’re going to Dover for the NASCAR race that day and will probably leave pretty early in the morning.

So I got up early before it got too warm and did an easy, untimed lap around my 5.5-mile loop. When I got home, I ate some breakfast, and then I went upstairs for ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting, weights and stretches.

This afternoon, Clark and I are going to the beach. We’re going to try surfing again. This could be the year one of us finally gets it, since we get to start at the beginning of the summer instead of having to wait until the end because of his evil ex-colon. (Today, by the way, is the one-year anniversary of the day it was removed.) I don’t know how trying to surf will go for me, thanks to the pint of blood I’m giving away beforehand, but it’ll still be good to be on the beach again either way.

We’re staying at the beach tonight, and tomorrow we’ll do a little more attempting to surf. We also have tickets to a beer tasting/vinyl record swap meet at the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton tomorrow afternoon.

And Sunday is, of course, one of my favorite days of the year — the first of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races! Bobby Labonte’s going to win, I can feel it!

Since today is the last day of the month, it’s time for a summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (May 1-4): 19.5 miles
  • Week 2 (May 5-11): 39.6
  • Week 3 (May 12-18): 32.4
  • Week 4 (May 19-25): 17.5
  • Week 5 (May 26-31): 22.5

Total: 131.5 miles

My lowest mileage month in about three years, not including those when I was injured. I’ve got about another month of slacking off left, until marathon training starts the first week of July.

I had an OK month in terms of racing. I suffered through that awful half marathon in St. Michaels, thanks to my own hateful colon (or entire digestive tract; I don’t really know), but I ran an awesome 5-miler last weekend.

In June, I’m just winging it again as far as a training plan goes. I have three 5Ks to run though, all part of the summer series, so I guess my winging it better include some speed workouts.

May 30, 2013

Training for 5/30/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:27 pm

I kept that ingrown toenail gel on my left big toe all day yesterday and overnight, and this morning, when I woke up, voila! The pain was gone. I highly recommend that stuff. It’s magic.

So I got dressed and went for a run. It was a warm, sunny morning here today. I just did an easy untimed lap around the 4.5-mile loop. Not a single complaint from that toe, or any other toes for that matter. I guess I’ll keep them after all. For now.

May 29, 2013

Training for 5/29/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:19 pm

The toes on my left foot are getting dangerously close to being voluntarily amputated.

After the hubbub with my left pinky toe last week (which at least was caused my habit of picking at hangnails), this morning I was randomly woken up at 5 a.m. by the big toe on the same foot, which was absolutely throbbing. For no reason!

It felt a lot like when I had my first ingrown toenail on the big toe on my right foot more than a year ago. I hobbled into the bathroom and took a look — it didn’t look like an ingrown toenail though. It looked like nothing, other than the redness around the nail. The hell, toe?? I still have the Dr. Scholl’s ingrown toenail kit, so I smeared on some of the pain-relieving gel, covered it in a Band-Aid and went back to bed to futilely try to get more sleep.

When I got out of bed later this morning, it still hurt way too much to even walk barefoot on that toe, so I didn’t try to run. Instead, I put on my flip-flops and went up to the attic for ab exercises, push-ups, weights and stretching.

This month is on track to be my lowest non-injured mileage month in a couple of years!

May 28, 2013

Training for 5/28/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:37 pm

This weekend, my 2-year-old 5-mile PR died a quick and relatively painless death!

Saturday morning, my toe was feeling OK, so I did a few easy miles on the cross country trail. In the afternoon, I went to my friend’s house for lunch, and stayed in that evening.

Sunday morning, I ran the Masser 5-Miler, the opening event for the Seashore Striders Summer Championship Series. It’s a very popular race, particularly among anyone who wants to qualify for the summer series, because it’s one of only two 5-milers on the schedule, at least one of which you have to run to qualify, and the second one is at the end of the July.

The last three years I ran this race, the weather felt like it might as well have been the end of July anyway. It’s always been hot and humid. In fact, this race a year ago was the first and so far only time I’ve ever thought I was going to puke at the end of a race because I was so hot.

And then there was this year!

We had unseasonably cool weather. It was around 50 at the start, and breezy. There were a few runners in long sleeves, and I even saw one old guy wearing gloves (and another old guy making fun of him.)

TK and I had gotten to Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes in more than enough time to pick up our race bibs and T-shirts (we got women’s cut tech shirts this year, but they were out of my size by the time I got there and I had to get a size larger) and then hang out in the car for a little while (because it was so COLD out!) before I ran an easy mile to warm up.

By the time I’d finished that mile, I felt warm enough to take off my sweatshirt and just run in a T-shirt, and headed into the stadium for the start of the race on the bright blue rubberized track.

I started a few rows back from the front. There were these two little kids in front of me. This older guy to my left told them right before the start to “not trip this time.” I scooted over so I was no longer behind them, haha.

We got the commands and the whole pack surged forward, without tripping. We ran a portion of a lap around the track before leaving the stadium:

I'm in the lower right corner in the yellow shorts and gray T-shirt.

I’m in the lower right corner in the yellow shorts and gray T-shirt.

I didn’t have much of a solid goal for this race, other than to PR. My current 5-mile PR pace was slower than my 10K PR pace, because the only 5-milers I’ve ever run have all been in May or June, when it’s warm. If I couldn’t beat the crap out of my weak ass PR on Sunday in that perfect weather, something was very wrong.

Ideally, I wanted to come in under 35 minutes, a 7:00/mile pace, but anything under 36:40 would have made me happy.

Once we left the stadium, the course took us behind the school and then led us out of the front entrance, where we crossed a highway and got on a crushed gravel trail running along the side of a road.

I hit the first mile marker in 6:40. I felt pretty good, but I knew that was a little too fast.

We left the crushed gravel trail and followed the shoulder of the road past some subdivisions. There was a water stop at mile 2. I skipped the water but noted my time — 13:25, a 6:45 second mile. Sub-35 was looking good!

Then we hit what was the hardest stretch of the course. It was slightly uphill and head-on into the wind. I was struggling, but I kept pushing. We ran into downtown Lewes, and I passed the third mile marker in 20:20, a 6:55 third mile. Still on track for sub-35, but I was starting to feel tired and I knew I was going to have to really push myself to get it.

We made a few turns in Lewes, and then got back on the road that would lead us back to the front entrance of the high school. I always hate this part. You can see the school entrance a solid mile away, but it just never seems to get any closer.

I also skipped the water at the second stop at mile 3.9. I never saw a fourth mile marker, so I wasn’t sure how I was doing.

We finally made the turn back onto the high school campus. On the way back, we got to run straight to the stadium instead of going behind the school like we had on the way out. I checked my watch at one point and saw it was at 31:30ish, and realized there was a good chance I was going to get sub-35 after all.

We ran back into the stadium and retraced backwards the part of a lap we’d done at the start. I came around the final turn in the track and tried to sprint for the finish:

2013 masser 5 miler finish

And crossed the line in 34:11! A 2.5-minute PR (and three minutes faster than the same race a year ago), and a 6:50/mile average pace, which is finally faster than my 10K pace, haha. I was so happy with that race and how I ran it.

I did another easy mile or so to cool down, with another local runner, Matt. That guy loves to talk. And you don’t even have to say anything back! He was telling me all about his training for his first full Ironman in November, and the high school track and field team he’s started working with as an assistant coach this spring.

When they posted the results, my time placed me first of 17 in the F 30-34 age group (the second-largest women’s age group in the race, by the way), sixth of 134 women and 38th of 292 total runners.

TK took this picture of me accepting my first first-place trophy in my new old lady age group:

Masser 5-miler award

After the race, TK and I drove to Assateague to her boyfriend’s house. This is the view from the wraparound second-story porch:

Not bad, huh?

Not bad, huh?

We were going to take the boat to get lunch, but by the time he got it running, we only had time to take it up to the marina to get gas and back. It was a little on the chilly side, but it was still fun to take a short ride on the bay. Maybe this summer we can try the lunch thing again.

Going under the Verrazano Bridge (named for the same guy as the one in New York City, by the way.)

Going under the Verrazano Bridge (named for the same guy as the one in New York City, by the way.)

Ocean City inlet from an angle I've not seen before.

Ocean City inlet from an angle I’ve not seen before.

I had to get home for my brother’s Memorial Day party. I didn’t take any pictures, but I did get a lot of good video of the rest of my family dancing in the back yard, haha.

Yesterday, I slept in, and then Clark and I spent the whole day cleaning stuff. It needed it, bad. I scrubbed up off the front entrance floor even more blood from Pepper’s accident almost a month ago we’d not noticed before, and then I cleaned the rest of the house. Clark washed his truck and my filthy car. He said my car was the first one he’s ever washed that he had to scrub bugs off the rear bumper, haha.

This morning, I waited until some showers had passed, and then Pepper and I did the 5.5-mile loop together. It was quite a bit warmer and muggier than it had been Sunday, but we had a good run together, and Pepper got a treat at the end, so he was happy.

May 24, 2013

Training for 5/24/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:57 pm

This morning, when I woke up, the pinky toe on my left foot was throbbing. I wasn’t too surprised; last night, I was picking at a hangnail on that toe and kinda ripped off a lot more skin than I expected. I do that all the time. Normally it just gets a little irritated, and I can go about my day without noticing it.

This one was a little worse though, apparently. It was pretty red and swollen; just angry-looking. I put a Band-Aid on the toe, pulled on socks and my shoes and realized all that pressure was making it feel a whole lot worse.

I still walked out of the house intending to run, but I realized I wasn’t even walking right as I tried to avoid putting any more pressure on the toe, so running wasn’t going to do any good.

I turned around, went inside the house, took off my shoes and socks and did my strength training in flip-flops instead. (That’s another reason I’m glad I don’t have to go to a gym to use a weight set — I wear flip-flops or no shoes at all in the attic when it’s warm enough, and no one’s there to give me weird looks.) I did some ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and lifted weights, and then I finished it all up with stretching.

I’m sure that toe will be more than fine by tomorrow. It already feels a lot better than it did when I woke up. I should probably stop picking at my nails as much as I do, but that’s not going to happen.

I’m looking forward to the long weekend. Tomorrow, if the toe’s OK, I’ll probably do a short run, and then I’m going to Julie’s house for lunch, to celebrate Meredith’s and my birthdays and TK’s survival of yet another tax season.

Sunday morning is the Masser 5-Miler. It really cooled off here after all the rain last night and this morning, so we should have great weather for it for once. In the afternoon, we’re going to my brother’s house. He and his wife have taken on Memorial Day as the annual family party they host.

I don’t really have any plans for Monday right now, beyond not going to work.

May 23, 2013

Training for 5/23/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:33 pm

Today is a very special day. It’s my car’s and my sixth anniversary! Here’s to another six years and 135,000 miles together. At least!

This morning, I decided I wanted to do just a little speed work, to feel at least a little ready for the Masser 5-Miler on Sunday morning. It was another warm and muggy morning, this time with the added bonus of the sun and a double bonus of some wind, so I settled on just doing a couple of mile repeats at what felt like a manageable race pace. I wore the Garmin so it could tell me what that “manageable” pace had been when I was done.

I did a mile to warm up and could already feel the sweat dripping off the end of my ponytail and onto the backs of my legs. That’s such a weird feeling every spring, but by June I won’t even notice it.

Anyway, I sped up for a mile, took the next mile easy, sped up for a second mile and ran the last mile and a half home, for a total of 5.5 miles today.

The Garmin said my two fast miles were 7:04 (into the wind for much of it) and 6:57 (not running with it, but trees blocked it mostly.) I’d be happy to maintain either one of those for Sunday’s race.

I think I’ve got a good chance of it too. Sunday is supposed to be 20-something degrees cooler and less humid than today, which will make for good running weather for the first time in the four years I’ve run this race. It’s always been hot and humid.

I ran the whole loop in 41:53, a 7:37/mile overall average according to the Garmin. I did some stretching when I got home.

This morning, I saw my pictures from Saturday’s race in St. Michaels. Last year, I ran the race easy and felt great, so I got some of my best running pictures ever, like this one, less than a half mile from the finish line:

Last year.

Last year.

This particular picture was so good the race organizers posted it on their Facebook page a few months ago.

Then, there was this year. This picture cracks me up — it’s the same point in the course as the picture above, but I look a lot less happy, and the pure joy on the face of the woman running next to me just makes it that much more obvious:

WHERE IS THE FINISH. WHY ARE YOU SO HAPPY.

WHERE IS THE FINISH. WHY ARE YOU SO HAPPY.

And this one, taken right after the finish, is pretty spot on too:

Blergh.

Blergh.

However, as crappy as I felt, and as pissy as I look in these pictures, somehow, the professionals at Chessie Photo managed to get a good one of me right after mile 12, when we first got on the bike path:

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 12.10.12 PM

All’s well when one of the pictures turns out OK, right?

May 22, 2013

Training for 5/22/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:45 pm

This morning started out as a repeat of yesterday — same running clothes, same weather, same easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I even finished at the exact same time by my watch. When I got home, I ate some breakfast, and then I went upstairs and did some ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights, and finished up with stretching.

It’s been pretty warm here this week, obviously more so in the afternoons. Pepper has clearly not turned down the activity level in the utility room to account for the warmer temperatures, even when the sun is shining right into it through the dog drool and dirt caked on the window of the back door. He’s been panting his face off when we get home from work, and when he’s let into the rest of the house, he finds a cool spot on a linoleum floor to flop down on.

Yesterday, I was the first one home from work. I let him out, he took a pee, scarfed down some grass (even though I yell at him every time not to do that) and then wanted to go right back in, where he inhaled all of the water in his bowl and promptly threw up everything on the carpet in the hallway outside the utility room.

It was so much water (and grass) I had to get the shop vac out of the garage to clean it up, and then yell at him — over the shop vac — when he tried to immediately inhale more water. That dog has no sense.

Today is supposed to be even warmer than the last two, so Clark turned on the air conditioning this morning, to see if that helps Pepper. It’s not even close to summer yet!

May 21, 2013

Training for 5/21/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:45 pm

This morning, Pepper woke me up around 5:45 a.m., wanting to go out, and I couldn’t really get back to sleep after that, so I decided it was as good a day as any to go for a run.

It was a warm, muggy morning. I did an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop, and then did some stretching when I got home. Right now, I like not having a training plan. It was nice to wake up and decide what I felt like doing today.

I’m sure I’ll be ready to be told what to do again by the time marathon training starts again in July.

I think I’m going to start experimenting with avoiding different foods, to see if anything in particular seems to trigger the digestive problems I get so frequently. The race this past weekend was the last straw. I’m tired of it. There are certain things I eat every single day, like milk, whole grain bread and high fiber cereal, that are consistently listed as possible causes of my problems. I really can’t imagine life without my daily bowl of cereal and milk though. And if I have to stay away from bread, what the hell am I going to eat for lunch every day, if not sandwiches?

This is part of the reason I’ve not made much of an effort to figure out if my problems are food-related — I am very much a creature of habit when it comes to my food, and the thought of having to replace one of my regulars sucks.

May 20, 2013

Training for 5/20/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:16 pm

Saturday morning, I ran the St. Michaels Half Marathon, part of the second annual St. Michaels Running Festival. There was also a 10K, which I ran last year, and a 5K.

I had to get up at 5 a.m to get ready, pick up Kara at her house and meet TK at her office parking lot in Easton by 6:30, to carpool to St. Michaels. Parking was easy enough, and we were parked on a residential street near the high school, where the race started, by 7. Since Kara had picked up all our race packets Friday, we thought we were in pretty good shape to be ready for the 7:30 start of the half marathon.

Then we tried to use the bathroom. We couldn’t see any port-o-potties from the side of the school we came from, so we went in the gym and got in line for the bathrooms in the women’s locker rooms. With 20 minutes to the scheduled start, we were not getting close at all to the bathrooms, so we bailed and went looking for port-o-potties. With a couple thousand runners expected between all three races, we figured there had to be a bank of them somewhere. We found a single port-o-potty behind the school with only about a dozen people in line, and took care of business before the race start.

Kara and I made it to the start of the half marathon (TK ran the 10K, which started 10 minutes later) in time to hear the start had been pushed back. Then we noticed the big rows of port-o-potties on the other side of the start line, haha.

They had the opening ceremonies, and then asked the half marathon runners to move up to the start.

The weather was pretty decent – around 60, overcast but not raining on us, a little humid but really not bad at all. I wore a hat, just so it wouldn’t rain, of course. I hope everyone else appreciated that. If I’d left it in the car, it almost definitely would have. I also broke out my typical summer racing outfit of shorts and a sports bra.

Finally, we got the commands, and we were off.

I felt pretty good as I took off. I also did a good job of appropriately placing myself in the start pack, and didn’t have to dodge many people, or let too many get by me.

The first mile ran through the touristy downtown area of St. Michaels. Not long after we got out of the town, we passed the first mile marker and I looked at my watch – 7:09. And it felt good!

I’d worn my Timex for the race. I don’t like racing with the Garmin, because I know I’d keep checking my pace. Turned out I didn’t need my own Garmin for that; some jerk running near me for about the first mile and a half kept yelling out the current pace to someone else he was running with. It was annoying the shit out of me. I wished I had something to throw at him, but all I had was my ChapStick in my shorts pocket, and hell if I’ll be caught without that. By the second mile, which I passed in 14:27, I’d left behind the human Garmin. I didn’t see (or hear) him for the rest of the race.

We were also running through Harbourtowne, a rather hoity-toity golf community on the Chesapeake Bay, by the second mile. The next couple of miles went through there. I remember hitting mile 3 in 21:41 (still under 7:15/mile pace) and four miles in 29:07 (a little over after stopping for water.)

We left Harbourtowne between miles 4 and 5 and got back on the shoulder of Route 33, heading away from St. Michaels. This part of the race course was painfully boring. There’s not much out there to look at. I was just chugging along, and noticed the only port-o-potties on the course somewhere around mile 6.

I was starting to fade, but I hit halfway in just over 48 minutes, so if I kept up my pace for the second half, I could still PR. Somewhere before mile 8, we hit the turnaround and got on the other side of Route 33 to head back to St. Michaels.

And this was when my arch nemesis showed up – my own digestive system. Awwwweeessssoooommmeeeee.

Nothing slows your pace like starting to feel like you might crap your pants, let me tell you. I passed the 8-mile marker in 59:20-something. I wasn’t caring about pace at that moment, but a guy running with me asked me what time I had, which is the only reason I remember it.

He pulled away from me after that. My new focus was on getting back to that port-o-potty I’d seen between Harbourtowne and the turnaround.

I really didn’t know where it was. All I knew was I couldn’t see it. I have to say, I’m impressed with how far I made it by telling myself it was just around that next bend – way past the 9-mile marker.

I still could not see that lone port-o-potty, and the gut pangs were reaching emergency levels. There were plenty of wooded areas along the side of the road, but reaching them required jumping a muddy, shallow ditch and crashing through some undergrowth. Finally, I’d had enough, and I turned off the road, cleared the ditch and made a break for it.

The wooded area was a little thin, so I ran through it, crossed another muddy ditch and found myself a nice, thickly-covered area to take care of business. I wasn’t feeling very well by this point, and it took me a while, at least a few minutes, to feel confident I wouldn’t need to make another stop before the finish. I cleaned up and busted back through the ditches, the trees and the briars, hopped back on the road and started running again. I passed the 10-mile marker not long after that, and then I finally saw that damn port-o-potty. I think someone was in it when I ran past it anyway.

While I no longer felt like I was going to have an accident after that stop, I was dealing with some pretty gnarly stomach cramps the entire final 5K, so bad I was sorely tempted to try to walk them off. I felt awful. Borderline pukey. I distracted myself by finally picking off this woman who kept sprinting away from me every time I caught up with her.

We got back to St. Michaels, where they were directing us down a side street. Right before the turn, we passed a barbecue place that had a smoker going out front. It probably smelled pretty good, but it just made me feel even worse.

Those last two miles might have been the longest of my life. My stomach still felt like I’d somehow caught a vice grip around it, and now my shoulders and arms were starting to cramp too. I felt so bad I convinced myself I’d missed the 12-mile marker – you can imagine how it killed me when I finally passed it, just before we got on the bike path that would take us to the finish line.

Another woman pounded past me on the bike path, but she wasn’t getting away from me. Soon enough, we could hear the finish line announcer.

I was still hanging with that woman as we started passing crowds lining the path, so I figured we must have been close enough to give it what little bit of a kick I could muster. I pulled away from her, only to get outsprinted by a guy right at the line, haha.

  • Chip time: 1:42:51
  • 7th/116 F 30-34
  • 91st/1,181 finishers

Not my day.

I felt like poop. Just completely drained. I didn’t even care my time was almost six minutes off my PR, I was just so happy to not have to run another step. I got my finisher’s medal and a bottle of water. I was getting pretty frustrated with my inability to open the damn thing though, until I finally realized the volunteers had already removed the caps. Geez.

TK found me, and I told her I felt terrible and just needed to keep walking. I also felt like I could use a port-a-potty again, but as had been the theme all day, there were none to be seen when I needed it.

So we got out of the finisher’s area and started walking back toward the start area. I felt OK by the time we found the table with all the water, bananas, orange slices, PB&J sandwiches and granola bars, which was a good thing, because there were still no port-o-potties to be found. The hell, St. Michaels?? Sometimes people really have to go right after they stop running!

TK and I got to see Kara run by on the bike path on her way to her 1:51 finish and a big PR. I also got a short massage that was free for the half marathon runners. Kara found us, and we started walking toward the car.

Finally, we found some port-o-potties, and I could take care of my business like a normal person. We got some dry clothes out of the car and went back in the high school locker room, where Kara took a shower (naturally), and I finally looked at my legs:

Worst briar scratches ever! At least I set a PR in something that day.

Worst briar scratches ever! At least I set a PR in something that day.

Told you I had to go.

We walked over to the runner’s village for the after-party. Each runner was allowed one free beer. I was pretty excited to see they had some local craft beers on tap, until I found out the only beer that was free was freaking Bud Light and the craft beers were $5 a pop.

Allison and her running buddy Jamie found us in the runner’s village, and Kara, Allison and I posed with a sign for a Loopster who’s currently deployed:

Kara, me and Allison.

Kara, me and Allison.

And I got this picture of TK and Jamie:

tk and jamie

After we’d all finished off our one free Bud Light, we walked down to Ava’s for lunch. I had an ahi tuna BLT and a couple of real beers, and then we went back to Easton to get my car. Kara and I stopped at Hair o’ the Dog so I could get some beers for watching the race that night. I dropped off Kara and was home by 3:30 p.m.

Pepper and I hung out all evening. Bobby Labonte neither finished first or second in the Sprint Showdown or won the fan vote, despite my best efforts, so he didn’t get to race in the All-Star race. Saturday wasn’t his day either, apparently. Oh well.

Just to top it all off, Jimmie stupid Johnson won the All-Star race. But it didn’t matter, because I was so tired after getting up so early, and the race got pushed so far back due to rain, I slept through the whole thing anyway.

Sunday, I didn’t do much of anything all day. I didn’t even get dressed until Clark suggested going to the Evo brewpub for dinner. When we got home, we were having such a great time we just hung out in our garage for a couple of hours, blaring music and drinking more beer. And that’s why I didn’t get up in time to do any running or anything before work today either, haha.

I might go for a run or do some strength training tonight. I don’t know.

It’s kinda weird; now that St. Michaels is behind me, I’m not really training for anything, and won’t be until July. I’ve got the summer series coming up — the Masser 5-Miler is this coming Sunday, and then a bunch of 5Ks — but I won’t be following a training plan for more than a month.

May 17, 2013

Training for 5/17/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:19 pm

This morning, I just did some yoga and foam rolling, as it was a rest day in advance of the St. Michaels Half Marathon tomorrow morning.

Kara is picking up TK’s and my race packets for us today, which was very kind of her, because that’ll be one less thing we have to worry about when we get to the race site tomorrow.

They said on Facebook they’ve got double the runners they had last year, and there’s only one road in and out of St. Michaels, so it’s probably going to be a bit of a cluster trying to get parked. TK, Kara and I are meeting in Easton at 6:15 a.m. (ouch!) and just taking one car into St. Michaels.

Since I have to be in Easton so early, I’ll probably have to be up at 5 a.m. tomorrow. Ouch again.

The half marathon starts first this year, at 7:30 a.m. Last year, the 10K went off first, because its course used the same first few miles of the half course, and understandably all the runners thought that was dumb, to not start the longest race first. The race organizers, to their credit, changed up the 10K course and scheduled the half to go first.

Other things the race organizers improved for this year are women’s fit tech shirts for the half-marathoners (last year we all got “unisex” tech shirts that were, I think, the second- worst-fitting race shirt I’ve ever received) and we all get a free beer from the Eastern Shore Brewing Co. after the race.

It sounds like they’ve made all the changes they needed to after last year’s inaugural event, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes off tomorrow, with all the additional runners.

The rest of the weekend looks pretty quiet. Clark is going to an O’s game for a friend’s bachelor party tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll be staying home with Pepper tomorrow evening. I’ll probably just get some beers and watch the All-Star race. I’ve been voting for Bobby like crazy to get in the race on the fan vote if he doesn’t finish first or second in the last-chance race before the All-Star race.

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