A Simple Running Log

December 31, 2013

Training for 12/31/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:28 pm

Well, that’s it! The year is done. This morning, I did my last run of 2013 — 8.4 miles with Pepper. The Garmin said we finished it in 1:09:27, an 8:16/mile average pace. Yes, my left arm hurt from holding back Pepper the whole time!

It was also cold enough for the first time since Christmas to try the new Under Armour turtleneck I got from my in-laws. That thing is awesome! It wasn’t cold enough to need the neck pulled up over my face, but it was lightweight and warm without making me too hot. It also has an extra panel on the front to block wind, and after running head-on into a cold wind for part of the run today, I found it worked really well. Highly recommended.

With that, it’s time for both my December summary and then a look back at 2013.

First, December’s mileage:

  • Week 1 (Dec. 1-7): 38 miles
  • Week 2 (Dec. 8-14): 22.1
  • Week 3 (Dec. 15-21): 28
  • Week 4 (Dec. 22-28): 19
  • Week 5 (Dec. 29-31): 12.9

Total: 120 miles

I finally cracked the triple digits again, for the first time since August! It wasn’t the 175 miles I had on the schedule, thanks to the new pain that cropped up in my left leg, but today’s run felt better than any other since Rehoboth, so I feel pretty good it’s on the way out.

As far as racing went in December, the only one I did was the half in Rehoboth, which was a typical long training run in terms of both pace and the fact I had to stop in the woods after an hour of running to use the bathroom. I was supposed to run a 2-mile night race with Pepper the following week, but it got postponed to this coming Saturday when it was raining so hard they couldn’t keep lit the luminaries that were supposed to light the course.

December was mostly just the continuation of Shamrock Marathon training. I hit some more rough patches, obviously, so I’m hoping things start to go more smoothly in January.

And now, 2013 in review. First, the mileage:

  • January: 219.4 miles
  • February: 140.6
  • March: 140.9
  • April: 165.5
  • May: 131.5
  • June: 131.5
  • July: 149.7
  • August: 175.8
  • September: 71.9
  • October: 80.8
  • November: 90.2
  • December: 120

Total: 1,617.8 miles

I ran about 270 fewer miles this year compared to 2012, which was about 350 short of 2011’s total. I don’t like this downward trend! It’s not like I consciously decided to run fewer training miles. It’s all been because of stupid injuries that have forced me to skip runs, which sucks.

The year started off pretty well. I ran that surprise 1:37 half marathon PR in Surf City the first weekend of February:

The race was the same morning as the Super Bowl, which the Ravens later won for the second time, so of course I had to wear a shirt to represent the team.

The race was the same morning as the Super Bowl, which the Ravens later won for the second time, so of course I had to wear a shirt to represent the team.

Where I also got to hang out with Clark and a bunch of my internet friends:

Group shot on the staircase at Brad's house after dinner.

Group shot on the staircase at Brad’s house after dinner.

Then I ran 3:40 at the Shamrock Marathon a month later, another PR. The relentless wind put the kibosh on my attempt at sub-3:30, but still, a marathon PR is a marathon PR. I was happy with it.

Done!

Done!

After that, things started to get a little ugly. I was still running well, but my digestive issues seemed to get more and more common. I ran a training half marathon in Lewes in April, stopping around mile 8 to use the bathroom, and then a goal half marathon in St. Michaels in May, stopping around mile 10 to hack through some thick briars so I could again use the bathroom. Then I had terrible stomach cramps all the way to the finish line, and finished almost eight minutes off my goal time. But at least I got one of my best pictures of the year, so not all was lost:

If you're going to blow your PR attempt, at least get a good picture out of it.

If you’re going to blow your PR attempt, at least get a good picture out of it.

I managed to get one more PR out of the year, at the Masser 5-Miler on Memorial Day weekend, the first time in the four years I’ve run that race it wasn’t ridiculously hot and humid already:

2013 masser 5 miler finish

Finishing in 34:11.

Maybe my mom was right when she said I should just stick to 5-milers and shorter, since I didn’t feel like I had to crap my pants at any point in that race, because the 5Ks that made up the rest of the summer series all went pretty well too. I ran them all faster than in 2012, and not once did I have to step off-course to find an emergency bathroom.

Finishing the Run for the Ribbon 5K in July.

Finishing the Run for the Ribbon 5K in July.

Accepting the first place award for the summer series in the F 30-34 age group.

Accepting the first place award for the summer series in the F 30-34 age group.

It was after the summer series wrapped up that things went south. I was training for another shot at 3:30 at the Indy Monumental Marathon in November, when a pain in my right foot that started out as a minor niggle exploded into a full-on injury after a back-to-back 19- and 9-miler one weekend. My mileage nosedived from 55 miles a week to a big fat zero.

Eventually I’d missed so many training runs, including the all-important 20-milers, that I dropped to the half at Indy, the first time I’ve ever had to do that.

The half at Indy went fine. I ran about the same pace I’d been aiming for had I managed to run the full (even after stopping to use the bathroom a half-mile from the damn finish!), but the highlight of the weekend was definitely getting to hang out with my internet friends again.

Feeling good somewhere around halfway.

Somewhere around halfway.

Allison, me, Jill, Deanna and Jillian.

Allison, me, Jill, Deanna and Jillian.

I ran a couple of 5Ks in November, including the Ravens vs. Steelers 5K in Ocean City, which was definitely short:

This is not the face of a runner who's only a few seconds off her 5K PR, as my finish time would claim.

This is not the face of a runner who’s only a few seconds off her 5K PR, as my finish time would claim.

And the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K, which was on an accurate course:

Now this is the face of a runner who's not even close to her 5K PR but is still trying haha.

Now this is the face of a runner who’s not even close to her 5K PR but is still trying haha.

And then it was finally time for Rehoboth! I’d been looking forward to this race since last year’s. The right foot injury I’d battled for most of September, October and a lot of November was finally gone, and while I wasn’t in any kind of shape to really race this one or challenge my PR, I was hoping for a strong training run, as I was now in training for next year’s Shamrock Marathon.

It started out well, but once again, I had to stop in the woods to use the bathroom. Sigh.

Finishing with a smile because I knew what came next -- the beer tent!

Finishing just under 1:48.

All was not lost though. The after party that lasted all the way through Sunday night more than made up for it, and I got to hang out with the biggest gathering of my internet friends all year. In Delaware!

friday night group pool table

I felt fine after that race, and didn’t run again for another three days, but the rest of December was spent cutting back mileage because of a weird pain in my left leg that seems to have finally sorted itself out.

So that was 2013. Between the nagging injuries in the last third of the year and my stupid butt, it wasn’t my best. I can’t complain though. I had some good races, saw some new places and got to see a lot of my old running friends, and meet some new ones.

Plus, there was plenty of fun stuff that happened outside of running, like getting the Party Barge out on the Choptank again and finding out I hadn’t forgotten how to slalom ski after all:

Me, skiing.

Skiing!

Getting a little closer, I hope, to learning how to surf:

The long board makes me look like a little person!

The long board makes me look like a little person!

Suffering through Aunt Helen’s well-intentioned 30th birthday party for Clark and me:

IMG_0584

Seeing Nashville and Memphis for the first time with Clark:

With a mic alleged to have been used by Elvis to record at Sun Studio in Memphis.

With a mic alleged to have been used by Elvis to record at Sun Studio in Memphis.

And of course, every day with Pepper:

Got him in a kayak for the first time.

Got him in a kayak for the first time!

I’m not setting any big running goals for 2014. I just want to stay healthy and see what happens.

Happy New Year!

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December 30, 2013

Training for 12/30/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:38 am

I finally have something to post again!

I wound up taking off all last week while I waited for my left leg to stop hurting so bad. I ran twice this weekend, and I think I’m OK to get back on my training plan at this point. Fingers crossed I don’t get any more annoying aches or pains to knock me off it again.

The last time I posted was Christmas Eve. That afternoon, we went to Clark’s grandmother’s house to exchange gifts, and in the evening, we went to my church’s service and then my aunt’s house for her annual party. As usual, we stayed pretty late and drank quite a bit. Clark and I might have been the last ones to leave.

It wasn’t very long after we got home that Pepper was waking us up for his breakfast. I think we both could have used a few more hours of sleep, but we had to be at Clark’s parents’ house soon, so we stayed up and exchanged our own gifts.

Clark got me a Garmin 10, to replace the old Garmin I got from a friend last year that doesn’t work very well any longer. The 10 is much smaller, not much bigger than the Timex watch I normally run with. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the bigger, more expensive Garmins, but it does everything I ever used on the old one, so it was the one I wanted. He also gave me three pairs of Smartwool running socks, which are great for cold weather, and $100 so I could buy a package of hot yoga passes.

Then he opened his gifts. I gave him an Orioles T-shirt he’d seen in a store last year that didn’t have his size, and then it was time for him to open the one I was most excited about.

Clark wanted a warmer wetsuit for Christmas, one he could wear in the early spring when the water temp is still down in the 50s. We had gone to a surf shop in Ocean City, and he had tried on a few and picked out the one he wanted. Of course it was full price in the surf shop, so I found it discounted online and ordered it the next day.

About an hour after I placed the order, someone from the shop called and said there was a mistake on the website. They didn’t have the wetsuit I ordered with a chest zip, like Clark wanted, just the back zip.

I was afraid they were going to offer to send the back zip, which wouldn’t do because that wasn’t what he wanted. But before I could say anything, they instead offered to send an even warmer wetsuit, made by the same company — that Clark would have preferred anyway but he thought it cost too much — in the same size, same color and with a chest zip. For no extra charge!

Of course I was thrilled! Stuff like that never happens to me. Somehow I managed to keep the secret from Clark for a whole nine days. It was hard! But it was worth it on Christmas morning, when I watched his face as he opened the box to see a wetsuit, which he expected, but then realized it was the much warmer one, which he obviously didn’t.

wetsuit

So anyway, if you’re ever in the market for a wetsuit, or any surfing or skateboarding gear, definitely try HBCSurf.com first. I know I will!

We took showers and put on the matching pajamas Clark’s mom had asked us to wear to their house for Christmas. It was the first time we did that, but I have to admit it was pretty comfortable, hanging out in pajamas all day.

We pared down the gift exchanging this year with his family. We got some things from his parents that fit in stockings, including, in my case, a new cold weather Under Armour running shirt with a really tall neck you can pull up over your face when it gets really cold. Later we had brunch, which is one of my favorite meals all year. Clark’s mom makes a strawberry danish, a couple of quiches and sausage, and his brother and his wife make eggs Benedict with smoked salmon or spinach.

Clark, Pepper and I passed out in a food coma after brunch. Samira took these pictures of us:

asleep

asleep 2

And then we got a group picture of the whole family in our matching pajamas:

Samira, Chad, Clark's mom and dad, me, Clark and of course, Pepper.

Samira, Chad, Clark’s mom and dad, me, Clark and of course, Pepper.

Clark and I changed into regular clothes and went over to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner. When we got there, my parents immediately asked us to take Pepper back to our house, because they thought he’d just get in the way with everyone there and all the gifts we’d be opening after dinner. Clark took Pepper home, and had to deal with the severe guilt trip Pepper pulled on him as he tried to leave again. He said Pepper didn’t bark or go crazy like he normally does; he just leaned against the wall and shook while making little whimpering noises, like he was dying of a broken heart. All alone on Christmas! Poor Pepper.

Christmas dinner somehow turned into a big family recollection of when I had a weird obsession with belts as a little kid (kids are weird!) We had one last round of gifts after dinner. The highlight was when Aunt Helen gave all us “big kids” puzzle boxes containing our gift cards; you had to maneuver a small silver ball through a labyrinth to get it to land on a spring and unlock the box. Aunt Helen swore she shook them up before she wrapped them, but half of them, including mine and Clark’s, already had the ball sitting right where it needed to be as soon as we unwrapped it haha. She was noticeably disappointed those boxes didn’t lead to hours of frustration.

It was once again pretty late when we left my parents’ house. Another Christmas in the books. When we got home, we were happy to see Pepper hadn’t left a yule log in the utility room as punishment for leaving him there.

I worked Thursday and Friday. My leg was feeling better, but I didn’t want to risk running on it too soon and setting it back, so I didn’t run either day.

Saturday, I felt like it was time to try it again. Clark wanted to run three miles and I wanted to run eight, so he and Pepper started with me, and turned around to head back home when my fancy new Garmin said we’d run 1.5 miles.

After Clark and Pepper turned for home, I decided to pick it up a little for the next few miles at least. They came in between 7:44 and 8:08 each. The last mile home was head-on into the wind, so I figured I needed a cool down anyway, and backed off. I ran a total of 8.5 miles in 1:10, an 8:16/mile overall average pace.

My leg felt pretty good when I was done too.

That afternoon, we took our friend Mark on a brewery crawl. He grew up here, but he doesn’t live here anymore, and he’d never even been to Dogfish Head. So we started at Evolution in Salisbury, then hit 3rd Wave in Delmar, 16 Mile in Georgetown and ended up at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth. I stuck to just nursing a couple 3-oz. tasters at each stop so I could drive. The whole tour was a lot of fun, and if we’d had time, we could have added Tall Tales and Burley Oak. There are a lot of really good craft breweries around here, thanks to Dogfish Head.

Sunday morning, I woke up to sheets of pouring rain. Clark’s parents stopped by in the late morning, and then his grandmother did in the afternoon. I’d thought about running, but by the time his grandmother left, the Ravens game was on and it was still pouring rain, so I figured it would just be another rest day.

However, by the time Ravens were done losing and ending their season, the skies had cleared and I had just enough time to get in a short run before the sun went down. Clark told me to get my butt out there, because I’d be cranky all night otherwise if I didn’t.

So I ran the 4.5-mile loop at an easy 8:29/mile pace (ran with the Garmin again!) and got home just before the light completely disappeared, for a total of 13 miles on the weekend. Never mind that I was supposed to do a 16-mile long run this weekend. I’m hoping I’ll be up for 17 next weekend.

I’m not running today though. I’m just going to do the strength training on the schedule, and then tomorrow, I’ll do my last run of 2013, an easy 8-miler.

December 24, 2013

Training for 12/24/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:57 am

I’m not running today. My leg feels a lot better than it did yesterday, but still not 100 percent. I never run Christmas Day anyway, so it looks like it’ll be Thursday at the earliest before I try running again.

I am so freaking sick of taking time off for these stupid strains and pulled whatevers! I’m especially annoyed that it’s the left leg this time. It used to be on my side! Such betrayal.

Anyway, I can’t be too pissy about my sore leg, because it’s Christmas Eve, of course. I just baked pumpkin muffins for Clark’s family’s brunch tomorrow morning, and now I have to get fruit to make a fruit salad for my family’s dinner tomorrow night.

This afternoon, we’re going to Clark’s grandmother’s house, and then this evening we’ll go to church and my aunt’s house. Tomorrow, we’ll go to his parents’ house first, and then my parents’ house.

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2013

Training for 12/23/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:53 pm

Happy Festivus!

I’d like to air some grievances right now, particularly with my left leg, from the knee down. I did my long run yesterday, and it really didn’t feel too bad, but all day today it’s hurt to walk on it. Anyway…

My leg was hurting enough Friday after Thursday’s interval workout that I pushed off the seven miles at goal marathon pace on the schedule. I did a little stretching that morning, but other than that, Friday turned into a rest day.

Saturday, my leg felt OK to try the goal marathon pace run, and I was going to go in the morning. But then we noticed how much progress Pepper has made on destroying the recliner in the living room, and we thought we should go do some chair shopping. The biggest tax-free furniture store around here had a sale going that offered better prices the earlier in the day you bought, so I decided to hold off on the run until the afternoon. The chair-shopping turned out to be a bust, as the only one we liked cost more than we paid for our couch — on sale — and the saleswoman wasn’t caving to Clark’s usual tactics. Then we stopped at 3rd Wave Brewing Co. in Delmar after lunch, and, well, Saturday turned into another rest day.

Sunday rolled around. I figured the seven-miler at goal pace was just gone, and it was time to move on to the long run. Last week was a cutback week, so I only had 10 on the schedule.

It was really windy, but sunny and warm, nearly 70 degrees. I waited around all morning. Around 11:30, I finally got dressed and was almost ready to go when a sheet of rain started pounding against the back door. I knew it was supposed to rain, but I thought I had until the evening, and those clouds had really rolled in fast.

I checked my phone to see if it was going to blow over. There wasn’t less than an 80 percent chance of rain for the next 18 hours. My choices were to get soaking wet or take a third consecutive rest day.

I chose to get soaking wet. Rain is never as bad as it looks through a window, so the weather really wasn’t bothering me much once I got going. However, my leg was. The whole calf and ankle felt weak, like it might even give out. I almost turned around after a half-mile.

Then it felt a little better, and I thought I should at least get in three miles. So I kept going.

I ran past where I should have turned around for three miles, continuing toward the ferry. By the time I got to the ferry, at three miles, I was wishing I’d turned around. My leg was really bothering me again.

I decided I was going to cut short the run to the 7.3-mile loop. But then, before I made it to the next turn, my leg started to feel better, almost normal.

When I got to where I was going to turn, I stopped and weighed my options. The leg felt OK. The wind had died and it wasn’t raining too hard. I had plenty of water in my bottle to finish the 10.5-mile loop. I was already soaked to the bone. Might as well finish the whole thing.

So I kept going. The rest of the run wasn’t bad. I didn’t time it.

When I got home, I immediately did some yoga to stretch out. After my shower, I used a Stick to roll the hell out of my left calf.

I was already thinking I should skip the short easy run that was scheduled for today, which wound up being a good decision, because my lower left leg has been killing me all day again. It feels like a really tight calf muscle and an annoyed Achilles tendon now, but at times today the pain has been on the other side of the leg, along the shin.

I just did my strength training today, abs, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights. I’m about to do some more stretching and foam rolling. I’m supposed to do an easy 8-miler tomorrow. We’ll see how things feel when I wake up.

December 19, 2013

Training for 12/19/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:46 pm

Today, I had this week’s speed workout on the schedule, five 800-meter repeats.

It was frosty this morning, but I waited until the early afternoon to go to the track in town. By that time, it was in the mid-50s and rather breezy.

The inside of my left ankle had been bothering me a bit all day when walking. I figured if it hurt too bad while running, I’d pull the plug.

When I got to the track, there was one walker using the outside lanes, but I had the inside lane all to myself. I did an easy mile to warm up. I couldn’t feel anything in my ankle, so I took off for the first repeat.

I was shooting for 3:30 on each one again, and ran the first one in exactly that. While my ankle didn’t bother me, both legs just felt tired and weak from the knees down. I don’t know what’s been going on with them, but it’s getting on my nerves. As I jogged the recovery lap after the first repeat, I was feeling completely unmotivated to deal with the tired legs for four more 800s, but then The Eagles came on my iPod: “All this whinin’ and cryin’ and pitchin’ a fit. Get over it! Get over it!”

Well played, iPod. So I got over it, and cranked out four more: 3:29, 3:28, 3:27 and 3:27.

I was close to the end of a two-mile cool down when, naturally, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, since fall sports ended, the port-o-potty that had been right outside the stadium was gone. There were some trees just over the fence on the backstretch, which I would have gladly made a run for, but of course school had just let out and there were kids and buses everywhere. I felt like the girl scrambling over the chain-link fence and running into the woods would have been easily noticed haha.

I cut short the cool down by a half-mile, ending my workout at a total of six miles, and high-tailed it for my car. I’ll just say I didn’t crap my pants, and my lifetime streak of not being caught using the bathroom in the woods is still intact.

December 18, 2013

Training for 12/18/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:51 pm

I didn’t post yesterday because I had nothing to write about. I never did that strength training Monday night, and I completely skipped out on the easy run I was supposed to do yesterday. I didn’t get up in time to do it before work, and by the time Clark got home from work (so I could leave Pepper with him), it was way past the point where I’ve permanently settled on the couch for the evening.

I finally got some motivation again this morning. I had strength training and another short easy run on the schedule.

It snowed overnight. This was our back yard this morning:

photo

I did my strength training upstairs first, in the freezing cold attic. I did ab exercises, push-ups and sat in the ol’ invisible chair, and then I lifted weights. I finally remembered to wear my thickest, fleeciest running gloves, so holding the metal weights wasn’t as hand-numbingly painful today.

Then Pepper and I headed out for the run. I wasn’t sure how it’d go. My left leg has just felt weird over the past week. I don’t know how to describe it; it’s not really a stabbing pain anywhere, it’s just this weird tightness that migrates from all the way up near my butt to down to my ankle. It was up by my butt when I started running.

It went away pretty quickly though, and since I’d skipped yesterday’s run, I ran just a little farther today, stretching out the scheduled three miles to the 4.5-mile loop. When I got home, my hamstring felt fine, but the inside of the ankle was sore again.

I’m sure it’s all related, and I’m sure it’s also got something to do with my laziness about stretching. It’s not painful, just annoying, so I don’t see any reason to stop running and rest it at this point. Sometimes these things just work themselves out.

December 16, 2013

Training for 12/16/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 7:09 pm

This weekend didn’t go quite like I planned, but I did get some running done.

I originally intended to do my long run Saturday morning, but my legs had felt so trashed after that easy 7-miler the day before, I decided to hold off on that idea until Sunday. So I did my yoga DVD instead, and felt a lot better after. Amazing what some stretching can do for sore, tight legs, huh?

I took Pepper to PetSmart for his annual picture with Santa Claws. This year, it said on the website the store employees wouldn’t be taking the pictures, so I brought home a decent DSLR camera from work. This is the best one I got of Pepper:

santa claws

It always amazes me what a great picture he takes, after he acts like a complete lunatic all the way from the car to the back room in PetSmart haha.

I went to TK’s house that afternoon for lunch, to finally celebrate her and Wendy’s birthdays, which are in October. We’re on the ball! Julie made pulled pork, mac and cheese, a spinach salad and a chocolate peanut butter cake. It was all really good. I also got to meet Meredith’s new daughter for the first time.

That evening, TK and I planned to take our dogs to the Santa Chase in Martinak State Park outside Denton. It was a nasty night, but it said on the race flyer they’d hold the race even if it was raining. As soon as I got there, I ran into the director of the local recreation and parks department, who said she’d had to postpone the race because they couldn’t keep lit the luminaries that were supposed to line the path. Kind of an important feature in a nighttime race. They’re going to try again the first weekend of January, so I hope we get better weather next time.

Pepper and I went home. Saturday turned out to be a total rest day, which was fine. My legs weren’t at all sore by that night.

When I got home, Mike had come over, so he and Clark and I stayed up drinking and eating pizza. I knew it was a bad choice the night before a long run, as it would pretty much guarantee I’d be running for an emergency stop in the woods at least once the next day, but it was pizza and beer! One of the best combinations in the world!

Sunday morning looked chilly and windy from inside my nice warm house. It took me forever to get moving, but I finally got dressed, filled my water bottle, put two salt caps and a salted caramel GU in the pouch, found some Christmas music on my iPod and hit the road.

The first couple of miles were slow as I warmed up, and then, right after I hit about three miles, I had to go in the woods. This was not getting off to a good start. But it got better after that. The wind was coming from a direction that was usually hitting my side, instead of head-on. My legs felt fine and my digestive system was quiet, for once.

Around the halfway point, I ate that GU. It was seriously one of the best I’ve ever tasted! I highly recommend the salted caramel flavor. If you don’t look at it, and see that it looks like slightly milky glue, you can believe you’re really eating a melty caramel.

It was also around that time my iPod started playing this version of “O Come All Ye Faithful” that always makes me tear up like a complete sap the first time I hear it every year. This was the first time I was running for this moment. Luckily, I was in one of the most deserted sections of my route, and there was no one to see the weirdo furiously wiping away tears while running down the road with a big doofy grin on her face.

If only I’d only had a 10-miler on the schedule! Because the run would have ended on a high note in that case. However, I still had another 4.5 miles to go at that point, and my euphoria faded pretty quickly. I was running head-on into a screaming wind, I was getting tired of running and my digestive system was getting antsy again. Sigh.

Someone once asked me how often I go back and forth between loving and hating running. It’s not a day-by-day thing at all. As was the case Sunday, it’s more of a minute-by-minute thing sometimes.

I had to stop in the woods a second time around the 11th mile. The last 3.5 miles weren’t terrible, but I was completely over the cold wind and ready to be done.

I finished the entire 14.5-mile loop. I didn’t time it, so I have no idea what my pace was, but I was just glad to get in all the miles for once, instead of letting myself cut it short.

That afternoon, Clark and I finished decorating the Christmas tree, and then we did a little shopping in Ocean City. In the evening, we went to Mike’s house to watch the Steelers in the late football game.

Today, I took Pepper to the trail for my easy 3-miler. I was annoyed to see a certain Toyota Avalon in the parking lot when we arrived. The old guy who drives it has this huge standard poodle that’s always off-leash and always chases Pepper, and the guy never does a damn thing to try to stop it. He almost seems to genuinely enjoy seeing my little weimaraner practically crap his pants when he sees this big white dog bounding after him.

Luckily, we made it through the whole loop without running into that guy or his dog, and the car was gone by the time we got back to the parking lot.

When Clark gets home, we’re going upstairs for strength training.

One last thing — JB was at Rehoboth, taking more great pictures. He didn’t have many uploaded to Facebook when I wrote my Rehoboth report, but he posted a lot over this past weekend. Here are three he got of me:

At the start of the race.

At the start of the race.

Finishing with a smile because I knew what came next -- the beer tent!

Finishing with a smile because I knew what came next — the beer tent!

Jen and me at Dogfish Head.

Jen and me at Dogfish Head.

He always gets such great shots.

December 13, 2013

Training for 12/13/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:51 pm

Well today’s run sure felt a lot harder than an “easy” run should.

I had seven miles on the schedule. I left Pepper home for this one, much to his dismay. He’s run almost 15 miles with me over the last three days so he could probably use the break, but I mostly left him home because he runs too damn fast for an easy run. I made sure to turn on my iPod before I left the house, so I didn’t have to hear his heartbroken wailing as I walked out to the road.

The whole thing just sucked from the first step. My legs were tired, and it was cold and windy.

I trudged along. The first half of the run wasn’t terrible, as the wind was at my back. But past the swamp, I had to run into it head-on. The rest of the way home felt like a death march. I finished the 7.3-mile loop.

I hate runs like today’s! They’re the ones the make you wonder who the hell you think you’re kidding, thinking you can run a marathon when you can barely get through seven measly miles. Luckily, they’re usually pretty closely followed by a much better run.

It’d be awesome if that much better run would happen tomorrow. I’ve got 14 on the schedule for this week’s long run. I’m going to do 10 by myself, and then Clark is going to join me for once around the 4.5-mile loop.

In the evening, I’m signed up for a little two-mile fun run “Santa Chase” with Pepper. There’s a separate division for runners with dogs. He’ll look like a little reindeer in his bright red dork jacket haha. It’s supposed to be nasty weather tomorrow night though, so we’ll see if it still happens.

If I run at all Sunday, it’ll just be a short recovery run, probably on the trail.

Outside of running, this weekend we have to finally get this live tree decorated, I’m taking Pepper to get his annual picture with Santa Paws and I’m meeting my friends for lunch tomorrow to celebrate a couple of birthdays.

December 12, 2013

Training for 12/12/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:04 pm

I’ve got a few runs to catch up on here.

Tuesday, Clark asked if I wanted to go for a run after work, so as soon as we were home, we layered up ourselves and Pepper and went out.

It was a bitterly cold night, but at least there wasn’t any wind. I had on my headlamp, the beam from which was lighting up the reflective piping on Pepper’s dork jacket. He trotted along in front of us for three miles.

Yesterday, I didn’t get my run done in the morning, so I came home from work a little early to do it in the last of the daylight before I had to take pictures of a parade that evening. Even though I got home about 90 minutes earlier than normal, Pepper had taken a dump in the utility room.

I didn’t have time to be mad at him, and I couldn’t leave him home while I ran since his room was currently covered in poop, so I put his dork jacket on him again and took him out for a trip around the 4.5-mile loop.

It was an OK run. I’d covered a restaurant grand opening that morning and eaten a few things that apparently hadn’t settled, because I had to stop in the woods about halfway through. There’s something screwed up about the fact my dog was the one going in the house while I was the one going outside haha.

Today, I had a 35-minute tempo run on the schedule. Once again, I took Pepper with me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do my usual slow warm-up mile, 35 minutes at tempo pace and then ease up again for a cooldown the rest of the way home, so I just wore the Garmin and let Pepper set the pace.

We ended up kinda doing a tempo run after all. He kept stopping to take really long pees in the first mile, so it was the slowest at 8:22. We sped up from there — 7:39 (had to confront a dog in a yard), 7:18, 7:18, 7:19. Then we turned into the wind and I slowed him down a little; the last two miles were 7:34 and 7:46, and the final 0.3 miles was at 7:38/mile pace.

We did a total of 7.3 miles in 55:33, overall average pace of 7:37/mile, which is pretty close to what I’d have run had I done a 35-minute tempo run by myself.

December 10, 2013

Rehoboth Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:53 pm

Last year, a handful of my online friends came out here to run the Rehoboth Seashore Marathon and Half Marathon, and we all did such a bang-up job of promoting it in our blogs that we had a considerably larger group this year:

friday night group pool table

That’s all 30 of us at the giant beach house we rented, after everyone arrived Friday night. The five of us wearing tiaras are the ones who ran this race last year:

Jen, Jillian, Allison, Erin and me.

Jen, Jillian, Allison, Erin and me.

There was a lot of joking Friday night about the fact everyone had come to Delaware to run a race. This scene from “Wayne’s World” had been referenced more than once leading up to the weekend:

delaware

Whatever. I like this place. The cost of living is cheap, I’m close to the beach, I don’t have to put a front license plate on my car and I don’t have to deal with a lot of other people.

We had dinner at the house Friday. Vanessa made a pasta bake and a big pot of spaghetti, and there was plenty of bread, booze and desserts to carb-load with too. Linnea eats vegan and gluten-free, and she brought a spaghetti squash dish. I figured this was a good chance to see if avoiding gluten the night before a race would help with my running-related GI issues, so I only ate the spaghetti squash. I didn’t have one beer, and I held off on all the desserts, even after I saw Bangle practically making out with one of Peg’s homemade caramels. They looked so freaking good!

I got a decent night’s sleep. The four of us in my room got up at 5:30 a.m. I’d brought way too many running clothes with me for only planning on running once the whole weekend, but I didn’t know what it was going to feel like when I woke up that morning. It’d been mild all week, including Friday, but then a cold front blew through that night, just in time for the race.

I went downstairs as soon as I got up to see if it was as bad as they’d predicted. Before I got out the door, I heard Greg announce it was “cold and shitty” outside. He was right. It felt about 30 degrees colder, and the wind was blowing. Eff.

After a lot of deliberating, I settled on capri tights and a long-sleeved top that had a mock neck and a quarter-length zipper, so I could make some adjustments if I got too warm, along with thin gloves and an earband. I also decided to wear my 1400s instead of the Zeros in a race for the first time.

The house was two blocks from the start line. For some reason, everyone wanted to leave 20 minutes before the 7 a.m. start, which meant a lot more standing around shivering in the cold wind than necessary. We found a Candy Kitchen with an overhang and huddled together to keep warm. Eventually, people started peeling off to go do warm ups, but I wasn’t running the race as anything more than the week’s training long run, so I didn’t bother.

Brian started the race with me. I knew we were too far back in the pack when three people dressed as elves carrying water bottles full of what looked like egg nog got right in front of us. It was too late to try to move up though.

The horn blew to start the race. It took us almost a minute to shuffle over the starting mat, and then we had a lot of weaving through slower runners to do.

Sometime in the first mile, I felt my right sock start to slip down my ankle. It kept right on going, until the whole back half of it was wadded up under my arch. I thought about stopping to fix it, when I felt the left one do the same thing. The hell? I’ve worn those socks with those shoes before, and never had a problem. I left them both like that the whole race. Eventually I couldn’t feel them, and I didn’t get any blisters from it.

We passed a few Loopsters in the first couple of miles that had started ahead of us. I think we saw Angie first, who would run a 4:00 marathon. Then we saw Peg, who was running her first marathon, and Bangle, who had coached her through all the training and was pacing her until he turned around with the rest of the half marathon runners at mile 9. Finally, we passed Carissa, who was going for a Boston qualifying time, 3:35 or better.

On the way out to the first turnaround, we saw several Loopsters who were way ahead, including Greg, who had a shot to win the marathon, and Erin, who was trying to win the half. They were both cruising.

The next few miles were pretty even. I wasn’t pushing the pace at all. At every mile marker, my watch was just behind an 8:00/mile pace. My chip registered at 40:05 at the 5-mile mat.

Just before mile 6, we passed a sheriff’s deputy barking at the runners while he was controlling traffic. I recognized him from a 5K I ran in Rehoboth a couple summers ago. He reminds me of basic training, yelling at us to hurry up and get off his roadway haha. Whatever helps pass the time when you’re stuck standing on a road for several hours.

Then we got on the trail. The first year I ran this race, 2009, this was my favorite part of the race. Last year, it’d rained the night before and was a little muddy in spots. This year, I didn’t think it’d rained much leading up to the race, so I was expecting it to be pretty clean again.

Well, I was wrong. It was definitely even muddier than last year. There were a couple spots where the puddle reached across the whole trail, and runners were having to step off the trail to go around it. Still, most of the trail was in good shape.

I think my pace started slipping here, but not because of the trail. Just like last year’s race, and just like so many other races, I could feel the first gut rumbles coming on. I’d been worried about it, because I hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom before the race started. I guess it was too early for my system or something.

I really wanted to make it the rest of the way without stopping for once. I tried everything to take my mind off it. A couple of times, it felt like it was getting bad, but I’d be in a spot where I couldn’t get into the woods, and by the time I could again, it would have faded away.

Approaching the turnaround. Definitely fighting it here.

Approaching the turnaround. Definitely fighting it here.

I made it all the way past the turnaround and back onto the trail when I finally could no longer ignore all the sloshing in my guts. I caught up with Brian and told him I’d see him after the race because I had to go now. Then I turned right into the woods, kept going until I thought I was out of sight, found a tree to hide behind and took care of business.

I later found out Kevin was coming the other way down the trail and saw me running into the woods haha. Perfect timing!

Anyway, with that taken care of, I felt 100 percent better. Soon I was passing the 10-mile marker. Just a 5K to go.

Not long after stopping in the woods.

Not long after stopping in the woods, and feeling a lot better.

There’s not much to say about the rest of the race. I kept expecting Bangle to catch up to me, but he didn’t. I felt fine all the way to the finish line, which I crossed officially in 1:47:58, overall average pace of 8:15/mile. A good long run that would have been a lot better without the bathroom break, of course.

Welp, glad that's over.

Welp, glad that’s over.

I was 14th of 117 in the F 30-34 group, 82nd of 781 women and 208th of 1,200 total finishers. No First Place Ass this year!

I got my enormous finisher’s medal (seriously, this thing is bigger than any marathon medal I have) and got my first post-race beer with everyone who’d finished before me. Soon we were all getting cold in our damp clothes, so we walked back to the house to change into dry stuff.

By the time I got back to the after party tent, a lot more Loopsters had finished, and more kept trickling in. I stayed until the kegs were just about kicked.

Erin

Greg, Erin, Allison, Jillian, me, Kevin and Deanna.

post race jillian allison me

Jillian, me and Allison.

Bangle looks like a little person on his tiny chair.

Bangle looks like a little person on his tiny chair.

While I might have completely phoned in that race, a lot of my friends pulled out some great times.

Greg finished the marathon in 2:45 and was fourth overall.

Greg finished the marathon in 2:45 and was fourth overall.

Erin led much of the half marathon for the women, but, in her words, "died" at the end and finished in 1:28, second overall woman and less than 30 seconds behind the winner.

Erin led much of the half marathon for the women, but, in her words, “died” at the end and finished in 1:28, second overall woman and less than 30 seconds behind the winner.

Peg finished her first marathon in 3:46.

Peg finished her first marathon in 3:46.

Carol (4:05) and Carissa (3:33) both qualified for Boston for the first time.

Carol (4:05) and Carissa (3:33) both qualified for Boston for the first time.

Ken ran 1:38 -- a big PR and good enough for second in his age group.

Ken ran 1:38 — a big PR and good enough for second in his age group.

Eventually I went back to the house. I was one of the last ones to take a shower. By the time I was dressed, the house was completely deserted. Everyone had already gone to Dogfish Head, so I teetered on down there in my stupid heels. One of the women had the brilliant idea that we should wear dresses and heels out that night.

We had dinner at Dogfish Head, and then we all moved on to the Purple Parrot for karaoke and more drinking.

purple parrot

Left to right, I think this is Kevin, Mrs. Bacon, me, Allison and Vanessa.

Brian, Jillian, me and Caitlin.

Brian, Jillian, me and Caitlin.

I left the Purple Parrot to help walk Jen back to the house, who’d been getting shots all night from a group of guys who thought she was wearing her tiara to celebrate her completely made-up impending divorce haha. It was getting close to last call anyway. When we got back there, she warmed up a bunch of food, took two bites of it all and then disappeared up the stairs to go to bed.

Not long after she went to bed, everyone else got back from the bar. Kevin, Brian and I were the only three members of the LBC still standing, and Brian and I weren’t too excited about the idea of going out for the traditional late night breakfast. But Kevin was insistent, and then he called Megan, who wasn’t able to make it to Rehoboth, to guilt us into going. It was a dirty trick, but it worked. We called a cab.

We were joined by Allison, Jillian, Peg and Angie. The seven of us piled into a Lincoln Town Car that took us to the Rehoboth Diner, where the conversation eventually turned into a big session of hating on NASCAR just to make me mad. My favorite quote of the night was when Jillian told me she loved me, and I was so smart and so pretty, but I talk like a hillbilly haha.

Back at the house, I sat down to watch TV, where I immediately went to sleep, finally. I woke up later and went to bed.

Sunday morning was low-key. A lot of people were feeling sore from running a race the day before. Not me! My legs felt totally fine. I wonder why.

It was snowing Sunday morning too. A few of us walked down to the beach. I don’t think I’ve ever been at the beach when it was snowing.

Rehoboth boardwalk covered in snow.

Rehoboth boardwalk covered in snow.

Jillian wanted to get her feet wet.

Jillian wanted to get her feet wet.

A lot of people left in the morning. The rest of us went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the early afternoon, and got back in time for the second half of the Ravens-Vikings game.

I had a bet going with Brian and Bangle, who are both Vikings fans from Minnesota (though Bangle now lives in California.) I’d gotten another blood blister in the race that had been grossing out everyone that morning, so if the Ravens won (and I was almost positive they would), those two were going to have to rub my nasty feet. If the Vikings won, I had to give them each a back rub. Peg later pointed out how uneven the wager was, but like I said, what were the odds the Vikings would actually win?

We’d been tracking the game on Bangle’s phone at lunch. It seemed like a pretty boring game, and the Ravens were up at halftime, though only by one point. At the end of the third quarter, the score was still only 6-7.

The fourth quarter, however, got pretty exciting. A little too exciting. Both teams kept scoring touchdowns and trading the lead. The Ravens pulled off one last score with four seconds remaining to finally win the game and save me from double back rubs.

I pulled off my socks and collected my winnings. Bangle got the foot with the blister — you can see it between his thumbs.

Aaaahhhhh!

Aaaahhhhh!

While this was going on, Clark was making his way back from another trip for work to Ohio. When he got home, he came to Rehoboth.

A few of us were still awake and ready to keep drinking by the time he got to the house. At some point, he and Brian went to Dogfish Head to get even more beer, where they met up with Angie, who’d gone down there earlier in the evening to meet some friends. Clark let Angie carry back all the beer he bought haha. And it was a lot of beer.

Clark brought “Dumb and Dumber” because Peg has never seen it, but we couldn’t get the stupid DVD player to work. So we just sat around and drank some more. Clark and I were the last ones to finally go to bed.

I felt worse Monday morning than I had Sunday. I think it was just a cumulative effect of all the drinking and not sleeping over the past few days. Everyone packed up and said their goodbyes. I had the shortest trip home, and I was back by the afternoon.

Other than a little 2-mile fun run with Pepper this coming weekend, I don’t have any more races planned until Shamrock in March. It was inspiring to see so many great races this weekend, especially knowing how hard a lot of my friends worked while training for Rehoboth. I haven’t had any foot pain at all since Clark and I got back from Tennessee, so I think it’s finally time to put in the work over the next few months and kill it at Shamrock.

Of course, this morning I was so tired when I was supposed to get up to do the 7-mile easy run on the schedule, I just stayed in bed haha. Training starts tomorrow for real!

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