A Simple Running Log

June 30, 2014

Training for 6/30/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:57 am

Saturday morning, I ran this year’s Seashore Striders Women’s Distance Festival 5K, the race I love to hate. I hate it because it’s the only one all year I actually have to care about where I finish, instead of just caring about my time, because the local New Balance store gives gift certificates to the top 10 finishers in the all-women field. If it wasn’t New Balance, I might just save myself the anxiety and stay home, but when there’s a good chance I can get a big chunk of a new pair of the only running shoes I wear funded, it’s dumb to skip it. Plus, of course, this 5K counts as one of the five I have to run to qualify for the summer series.

This would be the fourth year in a row I’ve run this race. The first year I ran it, I finished second in 21:27 and got a $75 gift certificate. The last two years, I’ve run it substantially faster, but finished down in the $15 gift certificates, because the race was the same weekend a lot of out-of-towners were in Rehoboth for the Fourth of July weekend. Some of those tourists are fast!

It dawned on me Friday the holiday vacationers wouldn’t be around until next weekend, so I might have a shot at the bigger gift certificates again, depending on who showed up (they give $75 each to the top two, and $15 to third through 10th place.) I tried not to get my hopes up too much, because I’ve really been slacking on speed work and I’m far off my best 5K times. There are also several local women who can smoke my best times anyway.

TK picked me up at 6 a.m. Saturday. We got to the elementary school in Rehoboth, got our race bibs and event T-shirts and I did a short warm up. Only a half-mile, but it was better than nothing. I felt OK. Not particularly peppy, but not terrible.

The race director called the women to the starting line in the school parking lot. I’m at the front, near the right side of the crowd here, in the white bra and gray shorts, discreetly sizing up the competition:

2014 womens 5k before start

 

I saw Susan, who I barely clipped right before the finish at Jungle Jim’s last week. Other than her, I didn’t see any local runners who have beaten me this summer. I also didn’t see the Virginia woman who’s won this race with an 18:xx the last two years. I started to think maybe I had a shot. Of course, you never knew who was just going to have an “on” day, or what random out-of-towner had decided to vacation at the beach a week ahead of the Fourth of July rush.

There was a slight change at the beginning of the course to avoid some roadwork on the regular route. Other than that, it was the same boring loop-and-a-half through a little residential neighborhood and finish back in the school parking lot. At least the weather was decent for once. Usually this race is one of the hottest of the summer, but we got lucky with temps in the low 70s and manageable humidity for once.

The race director called us up to the starting mats. I reluctantly stepped up to the front. There was a nice little “girl power” speech from the director (this race started many, many years ago as part of a national series of 5Ks to promote women’s running) and then we got the commands to go.

Taking off.

Taking off.

I was trying to relax my pace in that first mile so I wouldn’t blow up and die at the end like the 5K the week before, but it’s so hard when there are NEW BALANCE GIFT CERTIFICATES on the line! I was out front by myself by the time we got through the detour and onto the regular course.

I wasn’t out front by a lot though. I could hear plenty of footsteps and heavy breathing right behind me. As we approached the first mile marker, I could hear footsteps flying up behind me. Susan went roaring by with authority!

We passed the first mile marker right after that. The guy on the golf cart leading us through the course called out our split to us: 6:34. Wow, I’d really done a great job of holding back in that first mile! Eleven seconds faster than my too-fast first mile the week before. I’d set myself up for a blow-up again. Awesome.

Around 1.3 miles, we passed the water stop, where a lot of the guys, who’d be running their own 5K after ours, were out cheering us on. I skipped the water and plowed ahead.

I’d expected Susan to pull away from me, but she wasn’t. In fact, as we approached a turnaround in the course, I was catching her. I passed her somewhere after that turnaround, and was in the lead again.

My lead was brief, however. I heard footsteps again. I thought it was Susan coming back, but it was a different woman, one whose ponytail I didn’t recognize as she glided on by into the lead. She was wearing a race shirt from another Seashore Striders race though, so she looked local.

Soon we passed the second mile marker. The golf cart driver called out our elapsed time, which was 13-something. I heard my Garmin beep and glanced down at the split: 7:03. Nearly 30 seconds off that first mile. Yup, I was blowing up again.

I concentrated on following the leader’s ponytail through the rest of the course. I was regretting that first mile with every damn step. I had absolutely nothing left to try to run down the leader, and I was praying no one else was catching me for second, because I wouldn’t have had anything to try to hold off a challenge.

I never heard footsteps coming from behind though. We passed the water stop again, but this time, we turned off the road and ran across a bridge back to the elementary school parking lot and, thank God, the finish line.

Passing the third mile marker on the bridge.

Passing the third mile marker on the bridge.

That third mile, I would later see on my Garmin, was a 7:06. Oof!

The guys cheered us into the finish. I crossed in 21:33, nine seconds behind first place, but 14 ahead of third. And 25 seconds faster than the 5K the week before, so there’s that.

I didn’t feel so hot for a couple of minutes immediately after I finished. I was a little lightheaded. But I got some water and walked around a bit, and felt normal again pretty soon.

I cheered in the rest of the runners, including TK, and then we all watched the men line up and take off. When they were gone, I did about a mile and a half to cool down, and got back in time to see most of them finish.

With the men’s race wrapped up, they started announcing the awards. They called up the top 10 women’s race finishers first, to give us our gift certificates. In spite of my less than stellar race strategy, I got a $75 New Balance gift certificate, plus a coupon for 15 percent off regular-priced merchandise. In other words, I got close to a free pair of new shoes. Totally worth that miserable race!

Appropriate shirt is appropriate.

Appropriate shirt is appropriate.

Nine of the top 10 runners. One of them was signed up for another 5K somewhere that started at 9 a.m. and had to leave early.

Nine of the top 10 runners. One of them was signed up for another 5K somewhere that started at 9 a.m. and had to leave early.

Then they handed out the age group awards. I was first of eight in my age group:

2014 womens 5k age group

TK and I left as soon as I got my award, instead of staying until the end of the awards ceremony like we normally would, because we didn’t have a lot of time to hit the beach before we had to leave at noon.

In the interest of time, we just stayed in Rehoboth instead of driving down to Clark’s parents’ place in Fenwick. We parked on the main drag, changed into our swimsuits in the back seat of TK’s car, got iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts and walked down to the beach.

It’s been a long time since I went to that beach, which is one of the most popular with tourists because of the boardwalk. We got there around 10 a.m. and it was already shoulder-to-shoulder packed with people. I really wished we’d had time to drive to Fenwick!

I’d had enough of all those people by the time we had to leave a couple of hours later. I don’t even want to know what that place is going to look like this coming weekend.

I got home and quickly showered so I could meet my mom, sisters and sister-in-law for a belated Mother’s Day tea. I was supposed to meet them at Kara’s house in Easton at 2:30. I would have been on time, but I got stuck behind three state roads crew trucks that were supposed to be painting new lines on road, but didn’t seem to actually be doing anything other than just holding up traffic.

Eventually I made it to Kara’s house, and we all rode in her SUV to the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, which is probably most famous for being where they filmed the scene of the big wedding reception at the beginning of “Wedding Crashers.” It’s pretty swanky.

I learned my lesson the last time my family went to one of these afternoon teas, and ate lunch beforehand. The tea was really good though. I got “high tea,” which, in addition to the tea, finger sandwiches and little desserts, included sparkling wine.

Kasey took this picture of my mom and her three daughters, in the library where we had our tea:

Kara, Julie, Mom and me.

Kara, Julie, Mom and me.

We walked around the grounds a little after our tea. In one of the gardens, Mom took this picture of her three daughters, plus her daughter-in-law:

Kara, me, Kasey and Julie.

Kara, me, Kasey and Julie.

Right before we left, we overheard some wedding guests — one of whom was wearing khakis rolled at the ankle, leather loafers with no socks and a freaking ascot under his white oxford shirt and slim-fit one-button blazer — talking about their latest adventures, which included living on a boat. No, a couple of boats, actually! I’ve never even lived on one boat, let alone wore an ascot, so it was getting a little too white in there for me haha.

When I got home, I cracked open a beer and settled down on the couch to watch the NASCAR race with Clark, and later Mike, when he came over. Much better!

Sunday morning, I got going relatively early, for me, on my long run. I wanted to run the 9.5-mile loop.

I was a little tired from the 5K the day before, but I felt OK by about the third mile. Other than the corn field bathroom stop about halfway through, it was a decent long run, and it was nice to have it out of the way before noon for once.

When I got home, I helped Clark clean up the Jeep before taking it down to the beach house for good. We finally drained the battery to the point of no return, so he bought a new one. Now it should be really ready.

Clark drove the Jeep to the beach house and I followed in my car. When we got there, we took out the two paddleboards. I was on mine and Clark was on the lighter, less stable one Chad just bought.

He was doing fine on it until we got to Harpoon Hanna’s, where a ton of boats and Jet Skis were passing through and leaving wakes. Clark fell off that paddleboard three times, all right in view of everyone sitting outside at Harpoon Hanna’s haha. My favorite was the third time, when he was trying to keep his balance but pretty much walked backwards right off the back of the board.

Anyway, when we got back to the house, we picked some crabs his dad had caught in the bay. Later, we tried to take Pepper out to dinner, but we couldn’t find anywhere that would let us eat outside with a dog. We even drove all the way to Dogfish Head, where we’ve eaten with Pepper many times, but they told us the deck was closed. Boo. So we just went to an Arby’s drive-thru in Lewes and went home.

Something else exciting happened this weekend! Friday night, I was watching Wheel of Fortune, as usual, when I got a text message from Kynan, one of my runner friends we met in Sacramento earlier this year. He was registered as a team member for a group of Loopsters doing Hood to Coast, a 200-mile relay in Oregon later this summer, but he can’t make it now, and the rest of the team was hoping I’d be able to fill in for him.

I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest and I’ve never done one of these long-distance relays, so it seemed like a great opportunity. I talked it over with Clark, and we’re going to make a vacation out of it and visit Portland, Ore., and Seattle the week after the race. Clark was in Seattle earlier this year and thought I’d really like it, and now I get to go!

The relay should be fun. There are 12 runners on the team, and 36 legs of the course, so everyone will run three legs. Each leg is between four and seven miles. We’ll rent two vans and shuttle the runners to the relay exchanges until we finish as a team in Seaside, Ore. The race starts early the morning of Friday, Aug. 22, and should take most teams more than 24 hours to complete. There’s a huge post-race party on the beach Saturday afternoon.

And on top of all that excitement, today is the first day of my 18-week training plan for Marshall in November. The first workout is strength training followed by an easy 3-miler.

Today is also the last day of June, so it’s time for my monthly summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (June 1-7): 35.5 miles
  • Week 2 (June 8-14): 24.8
  • Week 3 (June 15-21): 40.1
  • Week 4 (June 22-28): 35.2
  • Week 5 (June 29-30): 12.5

Total: 148.1 miles

I think I’ve got a good enough base going into marathon training. I’ll actually be doing speed work once a week on a regular basis again. According to the plan, anyway. Racing this month was just those three 5Ks.

July has the first five weeks of marathon training, and I’ve got two more 5Ks on the schedule to qualify for the summer series. I’m also scheduled for a 50K in Upper Marlboro, which I’m just going to run to finish, with friends.

June 27, 2014

Training for 6/27/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:09 pm

Well, the surfing idea didn’t pan out at all Wednesday evening or yesterday morning, unfortunately. When we got there Wednesday, the surf report said it was really choppy. So we just got some salmon filets, squash, asparagus and fresh pineapple and grilled it all at the beach house. We also tried out a new paddleboard Chad had just bought the night before and left at the house. It’s shorter and lighter than mine. It felt less stable, but it also felt faster and like it’d be easier to maneuver in the ocean than mine.

We got up at 5 a.m. yesterday to be at the Indian River inlet at sunrise. The surf report was promising decent waves. As we drove over the inlet bridge, it looked like a whole lot of nothing out in the ocean. I sat in the truck near the sidewalk that goes under the bridge, technically a no-parking area, while Clark walked out to the beach to see if it was worth parking and dragging the board out there. There was absolutely no one else around at that hour. Except a park ranger, who was so bored he pulled up in his SUV, with the dashboard lights flashing, to scold me for “parking” there — with the engine running and the headlights on. Durrrrr. Clark returned from the beach just as Dudley Do-Right was leaving.

Anyway, Clark said it was like glass out there, so we went home when it was clear surfing wasn’t going to happen. I was really tired and went back to bed as soon as we got home.

By the time I woke up, it had gotten too warm out to go for a run, so I stayed put inside with Pepper and just did some work instead. I went out for a lap around the 6.5-mile loop around 7:30 p.m.

It was actually a pretty nice run — I felt good, and it was all just gliding by — until about the last two miles. I’m getting used to the heat, the humidity and being constantly drenched in sweat, but one thing I will never be able to handle is being coated in freaking bugs. I don’t know why, but the whole last two miles of that run, I was bombarded by a steady wave of little gnats. It was so gross! They were sticking to my sweaty stomach, chest, neck and arms, and they were flying into my eyes, nose and mouth. I ran the rest of the way either flailing my arms to try to shoo them away, or wiping the coating of dead bugs off my skin or out of my face.

When I got home, I got right in the shower and scrubbed off, but I felt itchy the entire rest of the night, like they were all crawling on me. I hate those damn things!

Today, I did about five miles on the cross country trail. Other than a few spider webs, the only thing I had to deal with was the couple making out in the middle of the trail right near the entrance. I tried to get them to notice I was coming up on them by shuffling my feet, clearing my throat, basically doing everything short of yelling “GROOOOSSSSS!!!!” but nothing was working. I practically had to bump into the woman’s shoulder as I was passing (since they were taking up 80 percent of the narrow trail) before they remembered they were on a public trail where other people might have to see that shit. Come on!

Anyway, tomorrow morning, I’m running my third 5K of the summer series. This is the women-only one (there’s a men-only one right after) that awards New Balance gift certificates to the top 10 finishers. I’m going to try to get there in time for a warm up and then go out a little more conservatively than last week, so I don’t completely die like I did last week. In the afternoon, I’m going to a late Mother’s Day tea Kara scheduled for our mom.

Sunday, I’d like to get in a lap around the 9.5-mile loop, my last longish run before Marshall Marathon training officially begins Monday.

June 25, 2014

Training for 6/25/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:03 pm

I did another 4.5-mile run on my own yesterday evening. It wasn’t terribly hot or humid, so it wasn’t too bad.

This morning, I did strength training upstairs first, including ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights. This afternoon, I came home from work a little early so I could get in an easy 3-miler, that wasn’t so easy after all because it was pretty hot and steamy at the moment. Normally I’d have waited until early evening, but I ran when I did so Clark and I can leave for the beach as soon as he gets home from work. We’re going to see if there are any good waves and grill some dinner at the house.

June 24, 2014

Training for 6/24/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:51 pm

Since Clark is out of town, my friend Allison and I had a slumber party at her house last night. Pepper did fine until we went to sleep — Allison didn’t want him up on the bed, so he had to sleep on the floor next to it. I was only awoken by dog paws trying to sneak up on the bed a couple of times last night though. Then this morning, he started bugging me for his breakfast long before it was actually time to feed him, as usual, and when I wasn’t giving in, he went to Allison’s side of the bed to try to stare her down.

It wasn’t a big deal, because we had to get up pretty early anyway, so we could get in a few easy miles before Allison’s kids woke up. We dressed nearly identically and not at all on purpose — yellow shirts, black shorts and Shamrock finisher’s hats — and I put Pepper in his harness for his first run in weeks.

We ran through a little development across the road from Allison’s neighborhood. Pepper was darting all over the place, since everything was new. He seemed to be enjoying himself, until we ran past a lawn sprinkler. Allison got to see firsthand how terrified of water Pepper is. Even though the sprinkler wasn’t spraying toward the road, he panicked and darted right in front of her, nearly tripping her with his leash. Other than that, it was a nice little 3-mile run.

Selfie or it didn't happen!

Selfie or it didn’t happen!

Pepper and I went home after the run. This afternoon, I somehow wound up looking at Etsy, and searched ‘weimaraner,’ which turned up 23 pages of results. I just hope Aunt Helen never finds out about this site. She’d go broke buying all the weimaraner gifts!

I liked this print, since I’m such a serious newspaper writer:

serious writer

 

This print made me laugh because Pepper really has eaten one room of our house:

eat this house

 

Then there was the worst candle I can imagine:

farts

The description said the buyer could pick the scent, because “who knows what a weimaraner fart smells like?” Well, let me tell you, I know what one smells like. Does the seller offer an “ass” scent? Because Pepper’s farts smell like straight ass.

And finally, there was this print, which I’m pretty sure Aunt Helen would buy first, based on the greeting card she sent us last month:

poop

The internet is a special place.

June 23, 2014

Training for 6/23/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:28 am

This past Friday, I took a total rest day from any kind of training after three straight days of doubles, and instead went to Kings Dominion with my sisters and my youngest nephew. It was a great day for it too, sunny and warm but not too hot. Other than the usual road work on I-95 in northern Virginia that was causing a massive traffic backup, it was a pretty easy drive, and we were in the park around 11 a.m.

The first thing we did was go up in the Eiffel Tower, right in the center of the park, which has an observation deck at 275 ft. I got my first good look at The Intimidator 305:

aerial view

It’s obviously the enormous red roller coaster. See that little orange one right in front of it, built over the “lake”? That’s The Anaconda, which was the new, scary roller coaster the first time I came to Kings Dominion, in 1993 when I was 10. It looks like a kiddie ride now!

Kara had developed a cold the day before and wasn’t feeling so great, so she mostly volunteered to hold Julie’s and my things and keep an eye on Jamie while we went on roller coasters.

Julie and I started with The Anaconda. I very clearly remember riding it when I was 10. The line was super long, as we were there at the peak of tourist season and it was the main attraction, and the longer I had to wait, the more nervous I got. My stomach was in knots. By the time I got to ride it, I was practically hyperventilating as it climbed the first hill, I was so freaking scared!

This time around, as we climbed the first hill, I wasn’t even thinking about it — I was fixated on the first drop of The Intimidator right next to it haha. That’s how it went pretty much the rest of the day. Julie and I rode most of the roller coasters there, but all I could think about was The Intimidator, which we were saving for last.

We did other stuff besides ride roller coasters too. We all took a spin on a carousel:

Kara on the carousel.

Kara on the carousel.

Jamie and Julie on the carousel.

Jamie and Julie on the carousel.

We let Jamie drive:

jamie driving

We rode the bumper cars, and then did the log flume and the white water rapids rides twice each. Jamie even got up the nerve to ride his first roller coaster, The Back Lot Stunt Coaster, which he liked so much he rode again.

Of course, for me, it was all leading up to The Intimidator. Finally, we’d checked off everything on Julie’s list of “must ride” coasters except for the big one.

two coasters

That’s the entrance, obviously, and another good comparison of the first drop on The Anaconda, on the right, to the first drop of The Intimidator, on the left.

I’d read a lot about this thing in advance. It’s themed after Dale Earnhardt Sr., whose nickname was The Intimidator. There are no loops on this coaster, and a lot of it is pretty close to the ground. It’s extremely fast though, and produces a lot of g-forces. It’s supposed to mimic driving in a NASCAR race, which a lot of non-fans would be shocked to find out is not, in fact, anything like driving their shitty old Hyundai down Route 1 to Dover Air Force Base every day. (I once got in a shouting match with a supervisor when I was on active duty, who was making that exact claim. There was zero reasoning with him. NASCAR haters are the worst.)

Anyway! Julie and I got in line, which wasn’t very long except for the front seats. I was getting that same feeling I had when I was 10. I couldn’t wait, but I also wanted to run haha.

We saw, I think, two trains come through before it was our turn. Everyone returning looked stunned but extremely excited. And then it was our turn!

The train cars were painted to look like Earnhardt’s race car. The seats had a very solid over-the-shoulder harness. On the back of each seat was a large graphic warning riders to keep their hands on the black grip bars on the harness at all times.

We got strapped in, a loud voice said “Drivers! Start your engines!!” and we were off!

The train is pulled to the top of the first hill by a cable lift, which makes for a much faster climb than the typical chain. It also eliminates that familiar “chink-chink-chink” sound of the chain slowly hauling you to your doom. There was still enough time, however, to realize how far up in the air you were.

Then we got to the top. It’s a 305-ft. drop at an 85-degree angle. The train crested the hill and then boom! We were flying straight down. It was over in a second, and then we were flying around the first banked turn. For the first time ever, I experienced a gray out. I was glad I’d read so much about the coaster and knew that was a common thing, because otherwise I’d have been totally freaked out when my vision faded out for a second.

The rest of the ride flew by in a flash. It was really amazing, and unlike anything I’d ever ridden before. We were going so fast! And it just felt like we were pinned to our seats the whole time.

I was shaking when we got back to the station! So was Julie. So was everyone else, I’m pretty sure. When we pulled in, one of the employees asked over the PA system how the ride was, and everyone gave a very enthusiastic holler.

My new favorite roller coaster ever!

After riding my new favorite roller coaster ever!

I’m pretty sure if I’d ridden anything else after that, I’d have blacked out for real, and we had a long ride home anyway, so we left. We hit more heavy traffic in northern Virginia on the way back, but other than that, the drive wasn’t too bad. I got home around 9:30 p.m.

The next morning, I got up at 5:30, as I was signed up for the Jungle Jim’s 5K Splash in Rehoboth, my second 5K of the summer series.

Kara had signed up for it too. She’s not trying to qualify for the summer series, but she’s training for her first sprint triathlon in October, which ends with a 5K. TK had registered, but she got in very late Friday night from a business trip and slept right through her alarm, so she sent me a message she’d just meet us at the beach after.

We got to Jungle Jim’s about 15 minutes before the start, which gave us enough time to get our race bibs and T-shirts and hit the bathroom, but no time for a warm up.

This is a really popular race because of the water park use after the finish. Nearly 400 people crowded together for the start inside the park.

Kara had said she was going to try to run 7:05ish pace, as that’s her goal for the tri. I was hoping to improve on the 6:55 pace I’d run a week earlier. So I was a bit surprised when we got the start gun and she sprinted away from me haha.

The start was really crowded, as usual. It makes a couple of tight turns at the very beginning to get out of the water park, before it gets on some residential streets.

Kara got away from me as we were running down the street just after exiting the water park. And I wasn’t moseying along either. I was really wishing I’d had time for a warm up — going from zero to race pace hurts!

I started to pick people off and catch back up to Kara. We were running together when we hit the first mile marker. My Garmin reported a 6:45 first mile. I said “This ain’t 7:05 pace!” Kara said she knew that, but she felt good. I gasped out “Well I’m glad one of us is comfortable!”

We were still running together when we reached the U-turn at the halfway point:

I'm in the black shorts; Kara is (leading me) in the blue and green shorts.

I’m in the black shorts; Kara is (leading me) in the blue and green shorts.

Man, was I hurting. I knew I’d gone out too fast and was heading for a blow-up. I knew I should have done at least a little warm up. But, I also knew Kara and I were fifth and sixth overall women at the halfway point, since we’d seen everyone in front of us after they made the turn, and I just needed to hang on.

It was around the second mile (which, according to my Garmin, slowed to 7:01) that I pulled out ahead of Kara. I thought she’d just slowed a step to get a drink at the water stop and was right behind me the rest of the way, so I tried to keep up my pace. I never looked behind to see where she actually was though.

That third mile was brutal. I was gassed. My legs felt like lead and the humidity was suffocating me. I just wanted to be done! But then I noticed I was catching the fourth woman, so I focused all my attention on passing her.

I passed the third mile marker in 7:18 (ouch!) and passed the fourth woman right at the entrance to the water park. The finish line was just ahead.

Coming to the finish.

Coming to the finish.

I officially crossed the line in 21:58 — 33 seconds slower than last week! Ouch again.

I grabbed a water bottle and then waited for Kara to finish. She came through in 23:07, and was pissed at herself because she’d had to walk a few times in that last mile. However, she was encouraged by her first two miles, and she’s got a lot of training yet before the tri, so I think she’ll be able to hit her goal pace, even after the half-mile swim and the 15-mile bike ride before the 5K.

We did two miles very easy together to cool down, and then we changed into our swimsuits and hit the lazy river and two of the three open water slides. I love this race when it’s over!

When they announced the awards, the race director said he’d bought “unisex” awards for the first time. The runner on the trophy was supposed to be able to pass for either a male or a female runner, but the race director was not impressed. He said he wouldn’t be buying them again, and he apologized in advance to the female runners for this:

It's Pat!

It’s Pat!

Personally, I’m more creeped out by the thing’s lack of a nose than the lack of a ponytail, but maybe that’s because I’m, uh, light-chested myself haha.

I got first in my age group, and a great picture of my emerging running shorts and sports bra tan lines:

2014 jungle jims awards

And Kara got second in her age group:

2014 jungle jims kara award

In the final results, I was first of 21 in the F 30-34 age group, fourth of 184 women and 46th of 372 total runners.

Kara and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and met TK at Clark’s parents’ place in Fenwick. Kara tried out the paddleboard in the canal, and then we walked over to the beach.

I walked down the beach with a Garmin on my wrist to measure the distance while Kara did a quarter-mile ocean swim. Then we all tried to lay out on the beach, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating. It was overcast and almost chilly, and it looked like it was going to rain at any second, so we scrapped it and just went to Harpoon Hanna’s for lunch.

Clark had driven down to the beach house too. Kara and TK went home from Harpoon Hanna’s, and Clark’s brother, who had spent Friday night at the beach house, left right after I got back from lunch. So Clark, Pepper and I got in the kayak and paddled over to Papa Grande’s so Clark could get some lunch.

We hauled the kayak up on a beach and were walking up to the outdoor deck when we were informed Papa Grande’s didn’t allow dogs in its outdoor dining areas. Sigh. We loaded back up in the kayak and paddled back to the house. Clark got lunch from Matteo’s instead.

We went home, showered and then went to our friend Ben’s house for his 30th birthday party. We stayed until it finally started raining at 11 p.m.

Sunday morning, it wasn’t too hot, thankfully, because I slept in, not surprisingly. Marathon training starts next Monday, and the first long run is a 10-miler at the end of the week, so I decided to do 8 yesterday and 9 this coming weekend.

It wasn’t a bad run at all. I didn’t time it, but I felt pretty good the whole way. I had to use the bathroom about a mile from home, but the corn fields are finally tall enough to use instead of the woods. Score!

That afternoon, Clark and I took Pepper to Salisbury to get his nails trimmed, and then we had lunch at the Evo brewpub. We stopped at a beer store before going home, where a passerby informed me the Jeep had a flat rear tire. I blurted out “Again?!” and got out, expecting the left rear to be slack. But it was the right rear this time.

Fortunately, Clark had put a jack in the Jeep since the flat tire last weekend, so we had the spare on in no time. When we got home, Clark figured out it was a problem with the valve stem that had caused the flat, so his dad is taking care of that today.

This morning, Clark left pretty early to go back to New York City for that same job site he had to visit a couple of weeks ago. I’ve got strength training and a short run on the schedule.

June 19, 2014

Training for 6/19/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:14 pm

Since I posted yesterday, I’ve cranked out another 10 miles — 4.5 miles last night, and 5.5 this morning.

Both runs were pretty slow and required some walk breaks to drain the water bottle I was carrying, but, while my legs are feeling progressively more tired with each run (and I’m getting pretty sick of these routes), my tolerance for the heat seems to be improving. We keep it around 80 here in the house, and it’s feeling chillier to me every day. This, of course, becomes a problem when I go somewhere like work or anyone else’s house in the summer, where it’s usually 70ish, because that feels like an icebox to me. But it’s a good thing for running, not to mention our electric bill.

A pretty big storm came through here last night. I was hoping it would cool it off a lot. It’s definitely not as hot as yesterday, but it’s still pretty warm and muggy outside (and sunny again.)

I’ve got one final 4.5-mile loop planned for tonight around sunset, and then tomorrow’s going to be a rest day ahead of Saturday morning’s 5K in Rehoboth.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving bright and early to meet my sisters and one of my nephews and go to King’s Dominion for the day. I haven’t been there since I went with Clark in 2005. Since then, they’ve built this ridiculous roller coaster called The Intimidator 305. The ‘305’ is how tall the first drop is. I guess it was added to the name to differentiate it from the original Intimidator, which is at Carowinds south of Charlotte.

Anyway, that first drop is 90 ft. taller than the first drop on the Superman coaster at Six Flags that scared the piss out of me last summer. Awesome. There are also a lot of things I’ve read on the internet about riders “graying out” (not quite blacking out) in the first banked turn after that drop because of the g-forces, but supposedly they modified the track somehow to fix that.

June 18, 2014

Training for 6/18/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:32 pm

Last night, I got in another 4.5 slow, hot miles after work, arriving back home about as the sun was disappearing, bringing the day’s total to 10 miles.

Today, I had to cover something for work that started at 7 freaking a.m., so I didn’t get up in time to run first thing. I came back home after the assignment and went out for the run around 10:30.

I think today is supposed to be the hottest day all week. It was pretty awful already at that time. Full sun, hardly any shade even in the wooded areas because the sun was so high and of course, the usual humidity. I was really glad I’d brought my 22-oz. handheld full of ice water, even though I was only planning on 5.5 miles, because I definitely needed it. I was running at a super easy pace, and I stopped to walk and drink water several times. I also needed to just catch my breath and get my heart rate back under control. Humidity makes it so much harder to breathe. I’m forcing myself to get out in the heat just to get used to it though, so I wasn’t worried about pace or time at all.

I just have to keep reminding myself slogging through these miserably hot, slow runs will pay off! Something about fall racing.

 

June 17, 2014

Training for 6/17/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:46 pm

It took me until after 8 p.m. yesterday to finally get up the motivation, but I did go upstairs and do my strength training — ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights. It was still stiflingly hot up there, even as the sun was going down.

This morning, I had my usual Tuesday meeting to cover, so I got up early enough to knock out an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop first. It was already pretty warm and humid.

I might do another 4.5 miles when I get home this evening. This week is supposed to be the hottest of the year so far, so it’s as good a time as any to do some doubles and speed up getting acclimated to this crap.

June 16, 2014

Training for 6/16/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:45 am

Friday evening, Dave and Kasey met us at our house, and we all headed down to the beach house in Fenwick, Dave and Kasey in their truck, following Clark and me in our Jeep. We were almost to Millsboro when Dave called Clark and said the left rear tire on the Jeep looked like it was slack. We pulled over and sure enough, the tire was going flat.

We had a spare in the Jeep, but the guy who sold it to us didn’t have a jack or a lug wrench. Dave had a jack, but his lug wrench didn’t fit the lugs on the Jeep. We drove Dave’s truck into Millsboro and got a four-way lug wrench, and crossed our fingers one of them fit the Jeep’s lugs. We also got a can of Fix-a-Flat in case the spare wasn’t really as inflated as it looked.

We were thrilled to find out one of the wrenches fit, and Clark had the spare mounted pretty quickly. Even better, it seemed to be holding air too. We found a tiny nail in the flat tire that we must have run over somewhere between Seaford and Millsboro. I guess we should feel lucky Dave was following us and saw it, so we didn’t have to wait until the thing blew out to find out.

Anyway, the Jeep looked a little ridiculous with three mud tires and one stock tire, but it was roadworthy again. We made it to the beach house with no further incidents.

It was too late to load up the surfboards and try surfing that evening by the time we got to the house, but Dave tried out the paddleboard in the canal, and then we went to Ropewalk for dinner.

The next morning, we were up relatively early to give surfing a try. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the hardware on the Jeep’s roof rack to hold the surfboards, so we had to put them inside. I was driving and Kasey was in the passenger seat, but Clark and Dave had to contort themselves around the boards in the back.

We were all loaded up when I turned the key only to find the battery was dead. Dammit, Jeep! We’d been talking the thing up as the perfect beach vehicle, and all it had done since Friday evening was let us down.

There were no jumper cables in the Jeep, and Dave didn’t have any either. It took about another half hour, but we found a neighbor with a jump pack and got the Jeep running. Finally, we were on our way.

We drove down to the Indian River inlet and dragged the boards down to the beach only to find… no waves. Womp womp.

Clark paddled out just because we’d gone through so much trouble to get there, but all he found was a strong current that was trying to wash him right into the rocks at the inlet. The rest of us didn’t go out. We dragged the boards back to the Jeep, which, thankfully, started on the first try and drove back to the beach house.

So that was a bust. But we got the paddleboard back out, and Kasey picked it right up.

That afternoon, we went to the Analog-A-Go-Go beer tasting/vinyl record swap meet at the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton. On the way, we stopped at a Mr. Tire and got the flat plugged and patched, so we had four matching tires again.

The beer tasting was fun. We got 12 3-oz. samples, which were printed on the label of a real 45 rpm record. They checked off each sample as you tried it.

Beer list/record and tasting glass.

Beer list/record and tasting glass.

My favorite I’d never had before was called Loren, a witbier brewed with tellycherry, Long Indian, pink peppercorns and coriander, dry-hopped with Zythos hops and conditioned with fresh organic strawberries. I don’t know what half of that means; I just copied that off the tasting notes haha. But it was fruity and delicious.

Two of the samples were set up right outside the huge new warehouse they recently built. We got to look inside the warehouse with one of the last tours of the day. So much beer!

Thirsty?

Thirsty?

There’s a steampunk treehouse outside the brewery. It was built for Burning Man in 2007. After the festival, the owner of Dogfish Head bought it for $1, and then spent another $30,000 getting it shipped to Delaware and reconstructed at the brewery. It’s not open to the public usually, but it was Saturday, so I went up.

Inside, there’s some weird stuff, like an organ with levers that are going to be hooked up to a series of chimes hanging off the tree, a huge stained glass window and an old-timey telephone that calls the reception area in the brewery. There’s also a bunch of folding chairs along the walls. Apparently the owner likes to take employees up there for brainstorming sessions. The phone is connected to the receptionist so he can ask her to call in take-out orders while they’re up there.

Treehouse from the outside.

Treehouse from the outside.

Organ and stained glass window inside the treehouse.

Organ and stained glass window inside the treehouse.

Looking down at Kasey, Dave and Clark.

Looking down at Kasey, Dave and Clark.

Dave and Kasey drove home from the tasting, while I drove Clark and myself back to Fenwick. TK wound up not making it to the beach that evening, so Clark and I just had dinner at Matteo’s, a little Mexican restaurant near the house.

Clark capped off dinner with a $40 shot of Don Julio Real tequila. It was served chilled in a snifter. He insisted I try a sip of it, even though I hate tequila and told him it would be a waste. Sure enough, it tasted like paint thinner to me, just with hints of caramel, smoke and flowers or some crap. He was pretty happy with it though.

The face of a discerning tequila connoisseur.

The face of a discerning tequila connoisseur.

The next morning, I was up at 6 a.m. for the Father’s Day 5K in Rehoboth. And I didn’t even feel hungover at all! I guess spacing the samples out over several hours instead of cramming them all into less than one, not drinking two more pints to top it off and not donating blood the day before the tasting really helped this year haha.

The Jeep started on the first try, and I got to the race site around 7 and almost immediately ran into TK. We picked up our race bibs and event T-shirts.

Packet pickup was at this pavilion right on the boardwalk.

Packet pickup was at this pavilion right on the boardwalk.

I did an easy mile to warm up, and felt pretty good. It was clear and sunny, but not too hot or humid. What was a stiff wind out on the boardwalk was just a nice breeze in the residential area where the race course would be.

Day-of registrants were taking a little longer than expected to get signed up, so the race started about 10 minutes later than the 7:30 advertised time. It was just as well, because, as has been the case the last two years I’ve run this race, a trash truck was coming up the street toward us when the race should have started.

The crowd starting to fill in at the start line right behind the pavilion.

The crowd starting to fill in at the start line right behind the pavilion.

After a few announcements and a round of applause for all the dads running, we got the horn and 400 runners were on their way.

I got by the slower runners who’d started in front of me as the faster runners who’d started farther back passed me, and the crowd was mostly sorted out by the time we got to the first turn of the course.

I tried to get into a comfortably hard pace. I told myself this was just the first 5K of the summer series for me, and I had four more to go to improve my time.

My Garmin beeped to announce the first mile almost exactly as I passed the marker on the course. I glanced down — 6:51, my first sub-7 mile in months!

Sometime in the second mile, I caught up with who I nicknamed The Tour Guide. He was definitely a local. The rest of the race, he was either calling out to random people he saw along the course who he knew, or he was yelling unsolicited “tips” about the course to his fellow runners, things like “The turnaround is just ahead!” or “Only four more blocks to go! And they’re short blocks!”

I ran the second mile in 6:57 according to my Garmin. Another sub-7, and I didn’t fall too far off my first mile pace for once!

The third mile was tough, as they usually are in a 5K. My legs didn’t seem to want to turn over anymore the way they had in the beginning, but I was keeping up with The Tour Guide.

We made the final turn, back onto the straightaway that led to the finish line. All those little uphills at the beginning were now little downhills. A young guy passed me in the final stretch, but I nipped an older lady right before the line haha.

Coming to the finish.

Coming to the finish.

I ran a 6:53 third mile and covered the last 0.1 mile (or 0.13, according to the Garmin) in 46 seconds, for a chip time of 21:25.

I was really happy with the race! I ran this one last year in 21:28, and was expecting to be quite a bit slower this time. Instead, I was three seconds faster. Looking back at the race report from last year, I ran a 10.5-mile long run the day before and it was a slightly warmer day, but still. Considering how much slower I ran the Masser 5-Miler three weeks ago compared to last year, and the fact I haven’t done a step of speedwork since, I’m calling this one a surprise win.

I did 0.9 miles to cool down, which brought my total for the day to an even 5 miles, and got back to the finish line just in time to see TK finish. We exchanged our running shoes for flip flops and went to the post-race party at Zogg’s. I had one of the free beers, a Coors Light Summer Brew. It was OK.

They didn’t post results anywhere, so I had to wait for the awards ceremony to find out I’d won my age group.

Accepting my award with one of the other two winners in the F 30-34 age group.

Accepting my award with one of the other two winners in the F 30-34 age group.

I was first of 11 in the F 30-34 age group, sixth of 167 women and 46th of 372 total runners.

TK and I got iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts, but we didn’t have time to hang out on the beach yesterday. She had to go straight home for a family Father’s Day celebration, so I drove back to Fenwick. Clark and I got the beach house back in order, drove to K-Coast so he could get a surf watch for his dad and I could get a long-sleeved rash guard, drove back to the beach house because we forgot to take out the trash, got lunch at Papa Grande’s and went home.

At home, we showered and went to his parents’ house first, to see his dad for Father’s Day and to pick up Pepper, who’d stayed with them all weekend, and then we went to my parents’ house to see my dad.

Today, I have strength training and another short run on the schedule.

June 13, 2014

Training for 6/13/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:47 pm

I actually have some training to record today.

Yesterday afternoon, after I got done moping on my blog about the fact Bobby Labonte isn’t driving anymore, I went upstairs and did strength training, including ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights. My quads were still a little sore from strength training two days earlier, so I eased off on the leg stuff a bit.

In the evening, after Clark got home from a business trip, I went out and did a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. While the heavy rainstorms from the afternoon had moved on, the humidity had not. It might as well have been raining, because I couldn’t have been any more completely soaked at the end of that run.

Today, once again, I waited until pretty late in the morning to do my run. It was closing in on noon when I left the house. It’s still muggy, but the sun was out on top of it.

Between the uncomfortably warm conditions and my still-sore legs (seriously, what did I do to these things?), I wasn’t feeling it. I did the 7.3-mile loop, but I stopped to walk and take a pull off my water bottle whenever I felt like it. Miles are miles though.

Clark and I are leaving for the beach as soon as he gets home from work this evening. Dave and Kasey are meeting us down there. Tomorrow we’re going surfing in the morning, and Kasey wants to try the paddleboard. Then we all have tickets to a tasting event at the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton. I think Mike is meeting us there too.

Dave and Kasey are going home tomorrow evening, but we’re staying down there tomorrow night too. TK will probably come down tomorrow night to stay at the beach house with us, because she and I are signed up for the Father’s Day 5K in Rehoboth on Sunday morning.

I don’t have high hopes for this race — I have done zero speedwork since that 5-miler three weeks ago, and I’m usually not feeling the greatest the morning after one of these tasting events at the brewery.

And then we’ll all go home after the race, so we can see our dads for Father’s Day. Guess I better stop at a Dairy Queen soon and get my dad another gift card!

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