A Simple Running Log

April 30, 2014

Training for 4/30/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:02 pm

This morning, I did strength training upstairs, which included the usual ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights. It was absolutely pouring while I was up there, but when I was ready to go for my run after, it stopped raining almost immediately.

That was a very fortunate thing, because I really needed to take Pepper with me, since he’d refused to go out and use the bathroom after breakfast because of the rain. He got wrestled into his harness and we hit the road. We hadn’t even made it past the neighbor’s yard before he had to take a dump. Jerk! He obviously really had to go, but once again, he was just going to wait until I left for work so he could do it in the comfort of the utility room floor.

Anyway, it was an easy 3-miler that capped off April for me, which brings me to my monthly summary.


  • Week 1 (April 1-5): 14.8 miles
  • Week 2 (April 6-12): 20.1
  • Week 3 (April 13-19): 42.5
  • Week 4 (April 20-26): 36.5
  • Week 5 (April 27-30): 12.5

Total: 126.4 miles

More than last month, but not much. If I hadn’t waited until the third week to get my shit together, I’d have probably had a decent mileage month. The only race I ran was the half marathon in Ocean City last weekend that I paced.

In May, I’d like to increase my mileage by not skipping so many running days. I have two races planned, the St. Michaels Half Marathon on the 17th and the Masser 5-Miler that kicks off the Seashore Striders summer racing series on Memorial Day weekend. I’m also doing a Run or Dye 5K on May 10 in Salisbury, similar to the Color Run I did in D.C. a couple years ago. I still have the same plain white shirt I wore in the first one, only slightly pre-stained with colored powder this time.

April 29, 2014

Training for 4/29/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:11 am

This morning, I took Pepper with me for a lap around the 6.5-mile loop. I didn’t really have a pace in mind, so I just let him set it, as usual.

It was a gray, chilly and very windy morning, but at least it wasn’t raining as had been expected. The first mile was head-on into the wind, and Pepper made all his usual pee stops. We finished it in 8:29.

The rest of the run, we sped up, like Pepper always does. The second mile was 7:55, and the rest were all between 7:24 and 7:41, I think.

We finished 6.5 miles in 50:something, a 7:46/mile average. It made me start thinking about the St. Michaels half in a few weeks, and what my goal time should be. After Shamrock, I was thinking if I could get my half marathon pace back around 8:00/mile, a 1:45 finish, I’d be happy. But 7:45s really didn’t feel too bad today, which would be around 1:41, and a lot closer to my PR. Of course, a lot of it depends on the weather. Sometimes it’s already hot and humid here by May 17.

April 28, 2014

Training for 4/28/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:20 pm

I think I have a future as a pacer!

Friday evening, when I went to pick up my stuff for the half marathon the next morning, the woman in charge of the pace groups said there had been some last-minute injuries and asked if I’d like to lead a group with a faster goal time. I definitely hadn’t spent much time dialing in that 2:50 pace, so I immediately agreed, and got moved to the 2:30 group. For once my procrastination paid off!

I got a bright yellow shirt that said “pace team” on the front and back to wear in the race, as well as a “2:30 pace” sign on a stick I would carry while running and a band to wear on my wrist that was printed with the elapsed time at which I should hit every mile marker. The organizer told me it was fine to bank some time in the beginning and even finish a minute or two under goal time, to give people running with me a little bit of a cushion.

We drove to Fenwick, and had barely made it into the beach house when it started pouring outside. It rained like that the rest of the night, but was supposed to clear up before the race started the next morning.

My alarm went off at 4:40 a.m. Saturday. I was dressed and out the door by 5. Clark gave me a kiss goodbye and told me to run slow.

It had stopped raining, thankfully, but it was chilly and very windy. I parked at the Ocean City inlet and was on a school bus headed for the start line on Assateague Island by 5:45. I sat with a woman who told me she was planning on running with my pace group, but I never saw her again after we got off the bus, so I don’t know what happened to her.

I had an hour to kill before the 7 a.m. start when the bus dropped us off in the state park lot. I took my sweet time in a tent, pulling on my arm warmers and taping the laminated pace band around my wrist. I dropped off my gear check bag, and took off for a short warm up to try out the 11:27/mile pace I’d be running.

That's the Ocean City inlet as seen from Assateague, behind the big annoying watermark. It's like they're trying to stop copyright infringement or something.

That’s the Ocean City inlet as seen from Assateague on Saturday morning, behind the big annoying watermark. It’s like they’re trying to stop copyright infringement or something.

The pace was easy enough, even running into the wind, and I felt pretty comfortable in shorts once I got moving. The only thing that was concerning me at that point was the dumb pace sign. The wind kept catching it and whipping it around. I was worried I was going to tomahawk someone right in the face with it.

About a mile into the warm up, which I was running down the road that leads to the national park, I really had to pee. It was pretty much deserted, so I ducked into the brush along the road rather than run back to the start and wait in one of the mile-long lines for a port-o-potty. I don’t know what the hell is growing on Assateague Island, but it tore the shit out of one of my ankles and left a bunch of barbs in it. Oh well.

I ran back to the starting area. We were less than 15 minutes from the supposed start, but only a handful of runners were anywhere close to the starting line, and none of the other pace group leaders were in sight. I walked a ways past the start mats and waited.

It wasn’t long before runners started peppering me with questions, since I looked like the closest thing to a race official around there. Are we going to start on time? (It’s 6:57 and they’re still bussing in runners; it’s not looking good.) Is there a 2:00 pacer? (There’s supposed to be.) Why are you the only pace group leader out here? (I don’t know!) Is it OK if I wear my race bib on my back, under a jacket? (I guess, but why??) And my favorite — will there be a trash can near the start where I can throw away this empty water bottle? (Do I look like a park ranger?)

There was one cute moment though. A younger woman (turns out she was a college sophomore) came up to join my pace group. Her mom insisted on taking our picture together, which elicited a very exasperated “Moooooommmm!” haha. It was her first half marathon, and I got the feeling her mom had been insisting on pictures of every little moment for quite a while.

The rest of the pace group leaders filtered in, but it wasn’t until about 7:20 that they sang the national anthem and got us ready to go. This was the first year they started the race on Assateague; until now, they’d finished there and bussed people back to the inlet. I think they didn’t have enough buses to get everyone to the start on time, because they were still dropping off people after 7.

But eventually we were finally under way!

Can you find me? The 2:30 sign should make it easy.

Can you find me? The 2:30 sign should make it easy.

Probably the biggest advantage to starting the race on Assateague was getting the Verrazano Bridge, the only real “hill” on the course, out of the way in the first mile.

More than 2,400 runners going up and over the bridge.

More than 2,400 runners approaching the bridge.

I had my Garmin set to show me my pace and the total elapsed time. There was no first mile marker, since it was on the bridge, but the Garmin showed I ran it in 11:15, just a little fast, but not bad.

The pace felt easy to keep consistent, and the wind wasn’t bad in the crowd, so I was feeling pretty good overall. We hit the first water stop just over the bridge, which I walked through.

Right after the water stop, I was joined by a guy who looked so much like Daniel Tosh I kept waiting for him to make an inappropriate joke about, well, just about anything. He never did though.

The next few miles were along the shoulder of the road. Miles 2 through 5 were 11:27, 10:59, 10:59 and 11:06. There was a short out-and-back on a side street here, and then we were back on the road.

Mile 6 clocked in at 11:00 by my Garmin. It was here that Tosh pulled away from the group, the college student said her right foot was hurting her and she might drop back, and a few other people in the group said the pace seemed a little too fast. I tried to explain to them we were almost right on target by elapsed time compared to the actual mile markers (as my and probably everyone else’s Garmins were beeping off the miles before we got to the actual markers), but they didn’t seem convinced.

This was also when an older guy asked me how my calves felt, because I land so far forward on my feet. He said he didn’t think my heels had touched the ground once the whole time.

I reigned it in for everyone. The next few miles continued along that road, except for another out-and-back through a subdivision. Miles 7 through 10 were 11:26, 11:33, 11:15 and 11:24. We were consistently a minute or less under goal elapsed time at every mile marker.

The weird thing was, as slow as that pace was compared to the Shamrock half just a month earlier, it felt normal since everyone else was running the same speed. The power of suggestion, I guess. I was getting pretty bored with it though. My feet were hurting, probably because I was running differently to run that pace, and it was tempting to just hand off the pace sign to someone else and take off.

As we worked our way through West Ocean City toward the Rt. 50 bridge, I had a new yet very familiar concern — gut pangs. I’d been waiting for that. I hadn’t been able to go before the race, and running 2.5 hours without problems is a stretch for me any day, regardless.

Mile 11 chimed in at 11:28 as we approached another water stop with two port-o-potties. I made an executive decision and darted into the open one. I was able to take care of business pretty quickly, and then took off to try to catch back up with my runners as soon as possible.

We ran over the Rt. 50 bridge toward Ocean City, and were moving faster than the line of traffic trying to get to the beach too.

Passing traffic at just over 5 mph. Suckers!

Passing traffic at just over 5 mph, while checking my pace for the millionth time at least.

Around here, I caught up with two of the most complimentary people I’ve ever met. Two women asked me if I ran for a college, because my form was so good and I wasn’t even out of breath. “You’re in college, aren’t you? You look so young!” one said. “Nope, I’m 31!” I told them. Please, tell me more about how awesome I am! This is great!

I didn’t see the 12th mile marker, but the Garmin beeped that I’d run it in 12:23 because of the bathroom stop. Just past that, a bunch of us got stopped at the last intersection before the boardwalk to let an ambulance through.

When we finally got going again and made it to the boardwalk, we had to run a little bit north, away from the finish line, before making a U-turn and running in the direction of the inlet. I had no idea how I was doing on final finish time, thanks to the bathroom break, the lack of a 12th marker to check elapsed time and getting held up at the intersection. Several runners saw me and said “Oh wow, I’m running 2:30 pace right now?” and I’d say “Maybe!” I was feeling like a terrible pacer, honestly.

We ran around the pier and then down to the inlet, to the finish line.

I'm a blur in the background here, approaching the finish. It's the only shot of me near it.

I’m a blur in the background here, approaching the finish. It’s the only shot of me near it.

Mile 13 was 11:14. I hit the stop button on my Garmin as I crossed the finish and saw:


Officially, my chip time was 2:29:51. I NAILED IT!

Just past the finish, two women I remembered running with through most of the race approached me just to thank me for doing such a great job of pacing. They’d run 2:28, which was a PR for both of them.

I got my checked bag back and sat down to dig out my sweatshirt, when a guy walked up to me to thank me for pacing, and to shake my hand.

And later, after I’d gotten my one free beer (Bud Light, bleh) and was on my way to the parking lot to leave, another woman stopped me to tell me I’d saved her race for her with my pacing. Saved her race! Me!

I thanked everyone who thanked me, and told them it honestly meant a lot to me to hear all that. I also emailed the woman who’d organized the pace groups and told her how much I’d loved pacing. She said I’m more than welcome back to pace again in next year’s race!

So that was my first pacing experience. I got an iced coffee on the way back to Fenwick. When I got there, Clark and his dad were just leaving to go surfing at the Indian River inlet. I passed on more physical exertion, and instead took a shower, ate some lunch and took a nap on the couch. That evening, Clark and I went to Ropewalk, and then came back to the house to watch the Richmond race. I slept through most of it, but I did wake up in time to see someone who was not Jimmie stupid Johnson had won!

We drove home first thing yesterday morning. We had to meet Clark’s coworker around 11 a.m. to go to the O’s game, but I needed to get in a short run first. Things in my feet and hips felt weird, probably from the weird stride the day before. I pounded out three quick miles and felt 100 percent better.

The game was fun, even though the O’s lost again (my streak continues.) This was the view from the suite:

Not too shabby!

Not too shabby!

In addition to the all-you-can-eat food and beer, the suite also got a visit from former Orioles player Jim Orsulak.

I’ve got nothing on the schedule between now and the St. Michaels race in a few weeks. Today, I’ve got strength training and a short easy run to do.

April 25, 2014

Training for 4/25/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:10 pm

Well, I didn’t get up in time to run nine 400s before a hot yoga class. Big surprise, right? However, I did get up early enough to run a lap around the 5.5-mile loop with Pepper, at just under an 8:00/mile average pace, and make it to a hot yoga class. Not too shabby!

This afternoon, Clark and I are heading down to the beach house. Tomorrow morning is the Island 2 Island Half Marathon, the one I’m pacing. I have to pick up my race stuff and meet with the woman who organized the pace groups later today. We’re staying in Fenwick at the beach house tonight, because I have to be in the inlet parking lot by 6:15 a.m. at the absolute latest to catch the last bus to the start line on Assateague Island. The race starts at 7.

Hopefully, I’ll be back in the inlet exactly two hours and 50 minutes later. There’s a post-race party there, and then Clark and I will probably hang around the beach. There’s a lot of stuff going on down there this weekend, including a big local brewers’ event at Fager’s, and a beer and oyster fest at Ropewalk near the beach house. Unfortunately, it’s also spring bike week, so there are going to be a ton of people on motorcycles all over the place. Really not looking forward to dealing with all these tourists so soon!

Tomorrow night is the NASCAR race from Richmond, which I want to see, and then Sunday, I’ll probably do a shortish run in the morning, before we head up to Baltimore for an O’s game. This time, we get to watch it from a suite paid for by one of Clark’s employer’s customers, where there’s all-you-can-eat food, including crabcakes, and an open bar with good beer. I’ve never gotten to go to a game when M&M gets to use the suite, so I’m really looking forward to it.

April 24, 2014

Training for 4/24/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:27 pm

I didn’t work out at all yesterday, when I should have done strength training and a short easy run. Then, this morning, when I should have been doing nine 400-meter repeats at the track, it was just so stupidly windy that I did the strength training and easy run instead.

I started with ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting upstairs, and then Pepper and I did an easy, uneventful lap around the 4.5-mile loop together.

I’ll try to get those 400s done tomorrow morning, but I also want to go to hot yoga, since I don’t have a lot of time left before the last two passes in my 10-class package expire. A small part of me thinks I could get up early enough to get the repeats done first thing and get to the class on time, but then the much larger part of me, that likes to sleep in and be lazy, laughs and rolls her eyes. Haha, eight miles of repeats and a 75-minute hot yoga class before 11 a.m.? Who am I kidding!

April 22, 2014

Training for 4/22/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:40 am

This morning, I had my usual Tuesday morning meeting, so I got up early enough to get in the 5.5-mile easy run on the schedule first thing.

It was a pretty perfect morning for a run, clear and a little chilly with barely a breeze. It turned into a progression run, as I ran the first mile in 8:36 and the last one in 7:55. I finished the whole loop in a little over 45 minutes, an overall average pace of 8:13/mile.

April 21, 2014

Training for 4/21/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:58 pm

Saturday, I did my long run for the week. I’d done a lot of leg exercises when I did my strength training the day before, so my legs were tired from the start. It started out tough and just got tougher. I got through the entire 11.2-mile loop though, at something around an 8:44/mile pace, I think.

That afternoon, Clark and I had thought about going to an “adult Easter egg hunt” at 3rd Wave Brewery, but the surf report was improving, so we went to the beach instead.

Clark met his dad down at the Indian River inlet to go surfing, but I decided to stay in Fenwick and take the paddleboard out again, this time in the bay instead of the ocean.

Paddleboarding went much better this time — I didn’t get anywhere close to being stranded haha. I paddled up the bay and back. It took about a half hour to get to the turnaround point, with the wind at my back, and almost twice as long to get back, paddling against it.

That evening, we drove home through Salisbury so we could get Pepper’s nails ground at PetSmart. The dog flipped out the whole way into the grooming area, but as soon as the groomers let him behind the counter, he hopped right up on the table and just stood there calmly while they did his nails. I don’t get him.

When they let him down off the table, Pepper started flipping out again. The one groomer opened the swinging door to let him out from behind the counter, and he somehow managed to get his head slammed in it, which made him squeal. When he successfully got through the swinging door, he suddenly had something so wrong with one of his rear paws he had to hold it up off the floor, which made him start spinning in circles in the corner of the grooming area haha.

I was dying laughing at him! The groomers seemed a little concerned, but I assured them he’d forget about his “hurt paw” in less than five minutes, and he was fine. Sure enough, he hadn’t even gotten out of the store before he was running on it again.

Our last stop of the evening was 3rd Wave, to get a growler for Corey’s birthday the next day. We left Pepper in the truck. We decided to get a couple pints while we were in there. We could hear Pepper barking his head off the whole time. The bartender heard me say something about it, and he said dogs were allowed in the tasting room. Like we didn’t love 3rd Wave already, now we can take Pepper in there with us!

Sunday morning, I did 3 easy miles before church. It turned into a progression run, but that’s only because of the direction the wind was blowing — directly in my face the first mile, from the side the second and at my back the third.

After church, I made some fruit salad, and then we went over to my parents’ house for my family’s Easter dinner. I got there early enough to help Aunt Helen decorate for Corey’s birthday, and hide all the candy for Jamie’s egg hunt before dinner. As usual, there was a point that Jamie couldn’t find the last few miniature chocolate eggs out in the yard, and I was called out to (unsuccessfully) try to remember exactly where I’d hidden every one of them. I know Bandit got at least one of them, so who knows how many he found when we weren’t looking.

Today, I did strength training upstairs, including ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weight lifting, and then Pepper and I did another easy 3-miler on the road.

April 18, 2014

Training for 4/18/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:35 pm

I didn’t go to hot yoga today; I had a funeral to attend at noon, so there wouldn’t have been enough time. I did some strength training at home instead, including push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and lifting weights. When I got home from the funeral, I decided to try a few miles of the run-walk intervals I’ll be doing for the Ocean City half marathon, a week from tomorrow.

I took Pepper with me. He picked up a stick from the yard and was all set to take off down the road at top speed. He was pretty disappointed when I had to hold him to 10:00/mile pace for two minutes, and then he was really disappointed when I had to slow him down to a 16:00/mile walk for three minutes.

We repeated that for three miles. All three miles were too fast — 11:54, 12:35 and 12:01 — with an overall average pace of 12:09/mile, which would work out to a 2:39 finish, 11 minutes faster than I’m supposed to finish. Guess I’ll have to try to slow down a little more.

This weekend, I’m planning on an 11-mile long run and another shorter run, probably 5 miles or so. Sunday, of course, is Easter, so I’ll be going to church in the morning and then to my family’s dinner in the afternoon, where we’re also celebrating my cousin’s 30th birthday.

April 17, 2014

Training for 4/17/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:17 pm

Today, I had a 40-minute tempo run on the schedule, but instead of doing an actual tempo run, I just took Pepper with me for a lap around the 7.3-mile loop and let him set the pace.

It was a decent morning for a run; on the chilly side for mid-April, but sunny, and the wind had finally died to just a stiff breeze instead of a full-on gale.

Pepper took a stick from the yard with him, and we were off.

The run went pretty well. He had to take six pee breaks in the first mile, as usual, and I think we finished that one in 8:06. The rest were all between 7:42 and 7:55. We finished the whole loop in 56:something, a 7:52/mile overall average. Not really tempo pace, but faster than I would have run it on my own, I’m sure.

Right before the end of the third mile, I thought I heard someone call my name, which was weird. I glanced over to the yard of a house I’ve passed a million times, and there was an older guy I see at a lot of Seashore Strider races. He lives somewhere in the Seaford area, but was doing work on that home. I stopped to talk to him for a couple minutes. He mentioned he hadn’t seen me at any races in a while. I told him about the foot problem last fall that was closely followed by the leg problem over the winter. He looked down at my Zeros and said, “I see you’re still not wearing much support on your feet…” I cheerily said “Nope!” and went on my way. Everyone’s an expert!

April 16, 2014

Training for 4/16/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:41 pm

Yesterday morning, I ran in shorts and a sports bra and was perfectly comfortable. Not long after my run, it started raining, and the temperature started to drop, until it was cold enough last night to produce freaking snow. It wasn’t anything more than a dusting, but still, it was snow, in mid-April.

Today, I had to dress considerably warmer to do my strength training upstairs, which consisted of the usual, ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and lifting weights.

It was way too windy (and cold, of course) to do my 3-mile easy run on the completely exposed road, so I took Pepper to the trail for that. It worked out pretty well — I avoided the wind, and he finally took the dump he’d refused to go out and do after his breakfast this morning because of the crust of snow on the ground.


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