A Simple Running Log

July 31, 2014

Training for 7/31/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:04 am

Well, I’m back on my bike. Grr.

My foot felt pretty sore when I woke up this morning. It’s loosened up since then, but I’m trying to be smart with it, so I’m not running today. I don’t think the long run I had scheduled for Saturday will be happening either. Right now, I’m hoping to be back on the training schedule in time for next weekend’s 5K and 10-mile long run, and going from there.

On the bright side, Marshall is still three months away, so I’m not worried about having to drop to the half for the third time in the row. On the not-so-bright side, Hood to Coast is only three weeks away. Dropping out of that relay wouldn’t only suck for me, it would screw over the other 11 people on the team, because I don’t think there’s time to find a replacement at this point. Plus, I’ve already paid the entry fee and booked my and Clark’s flights. I have to get my shit together before then, which means no running on this foot at all until it’s completely healed. So the bike it is.

I haven’t ridden yet today, because I’m waiting on someone to call me for an article for work, but I’ll go out later.

Anyway, today’s the last day of the month, so it’s summary time.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (July 1-5): 20 miles
  • Week 2 (July 6-12): 25.8
  • Week 3 (July 13-19): 34.7
  • Week 4 (July 20-26): 41.5
  • Week 5 (July 27-31): 8.5

Total: 130.5

Not impressed. I was expecting to top 170 this month, if I hadn’t had to skip so many miles after my foot started bothering me.

As far as racing went, I ran two more 5Ks to qualify for the summer series championship. One was my fastest time of the year, and the other was a hungover suckfest. I also ran that 50K, which I’m thinking might not have been such a hot idea, since all my foot woes cropped up immediately following it. Oh well, can’t undo that now.

July 30, 2014

Training for 7/30/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:43 am

Today, I had strength training and an easy 3-miler on the schedule. I did the strength training upstairs first, which included push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weights, and then I went out and did three miles on the road.

I don’t think my foot is quite as 100 percent over whatever happened to it as I thought it was. It felt a little tight this morning when I got up, but walking and jumping on that one foot didn’t seem to bother it. The only thing that did was the strap on the flip-flops I wear upstairs, so it seemed like more of a deep bruise kinda thing. So I went for the run anyway. It felt fine while running, but now it’s tightening up again. Guess I’ll just see how the rest of today goes and decide tomorrow whether or not I need to get back on the bike.

July 29, 2014

Training for 7/29/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:23 pm

Good news! I didn’t completely screw up my foot again after all!

I never ran yesterday, which was hot and muggy, but this morning was so nice I didn’t have any excuse to keep putting off finding out if my foot worked. I told myself I’d turn around and walk back home if it started hurting.

Well, long story short, it never hurt, and it was such perfect running weather I passed up both the turnaround for the 3-mile route and the turn for the 4.5-mile loop, and did 5.5 miles.

I think that’s behind me!

July 28, 2014

Training for 7/28/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:17 pm

Well, this weekend did not go as planned!

I ran 4.5 miles Friday evening. There was a… twinge in my left foot. In exactly the same spot, near the bottom of the big toe, as there had been on my right foot, about this time last summer, that eventually mushroomed into a searing pain that put me off running for several weeks and ruined my chances at finishing a marathon last fall.

I tried not to freak out right off the bat. I was hopeful it was just a passing thing, and I’d be good to go for my long run in the morning, so I stayed home with Pepper that evening while Clark went to the beach house with his dad and brother.

Saturday morning, there was definitely still a twinge there. I immediately ditched the running plans. I did strength training upstairs, where nothing bothered the toe, including traveling lunges, which were impossible when my right foot was acting up last year. So that was a good sign. I took the bike out after that, but only did 4.5 miles because it looked like it was about to start storming its ass off any minute. (It did, but I made it back home before it hit.)

That evening, after the storms had moved on, Clark and I went to his coworker’s house for a barbecue. It had turned into a very nice evening to sit outside on his coworker’s fancy new patio and drink all his Dogfish Head.

Yesterday morning, the twinge was barely detectable when I woke up, but I decided to be on the safe side and took the bike out again instead. I did the 17ish-mile loop. My butt wasn’t happy when I finally got off the seat, but everything else felt fine.

The rest of yesterday was spent at home being nice and lazy. Clark and I watched the Brickyard 400 (I know they don’t call it that anymore, but that’s what I’ll always know it as.) Bobby Labonte got another one-race deal and got in the field using the past champion’s provisional. He and Jeff Gordon were the only drivers in the field who were in the first Brickyard 400 in 1994!

My Google Fu is failing to produce even one picture of the car Bobby drove yesterday besides a crappy one taken with a fish-eye lens in a garage. Anyway, he didn’t do so hot. He started last and finished 37th, three laps down.

Gordon, on the other hand, won his fifth Brickyard 400. Twenty years ago, when he won the inaugural race, I was seething mad. Yesterday, I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down, but I was a little happy for him. Nostalgia is so weird!

Clark and I mowed and trimmed the yard when the race was over. We got take-out pizza and some beer in town and spent the evening watching episode after episode of “Snapped,” which he usually refuses to do because it makes him nervous haha. Lucky for me, there wasn’t anything better on.

Today, my foot feels normal, but I’m still nervous about trying it out, so I keep putting off the easy 3-miler and strength training on the schedule. Now it’s early afternoon and way too hot for that, so I’ll try to get up the nerve later this evening.

July 25, 2014

Training for 7/25/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:29 pm

I don’t have too much to report today as far as running goes. Wednesday evening after work, Clark, Pepper and I went down to the beach house. My brother met us there too. We grilled burgers for dinner, and then we got up early yesterday to go surfing and paddleboarding. I wish I’d thought to take a picture of the Jeep’s roof rack, which was loaded to capacity with two surfboards and two paddleboards. All our stuff, plus three people and a dog, fit easily inside. I’d say the Jeep is definitely the perfect beach vehicle.

Yesterday morning was overcast and not particularly warm. It also looked like it might start raining at any minute. This turned out to work in our favor, since it kept the majority of the tourists off the beach. It was practically empty.

We started in Ocean City, where technically dogs aren’t allowed 24 hours a day between May 1 and Sept. 30, but no one cares until the lifeguards show up around 10 a.m. One of us had to sit with Pepper while the other two were out in the ocean. I’d gotten an iced coffee on the way there, so I took the first shift with Pepper while Dave and Clark took out the surfboards.

The surf conditions were pretty decent. The waves were slow rollers, not too big and not crashing right on the shore.

While I was sitting there with Pepper, it started to drizzle. I pulled out my towel so Pepper could huddle under it, since he’s made it very clear he’s not a fan of water at all, whether it’s falling from the sky or gathered in a large body, like the ocean or, you know, a puddle. That seemed to be good enough for him, and he didn’t freak out.

Clark came out of the water soon after that. I took out his surfboard. I did OK — I got close to catching a couple of waves though I couldn’t quite close the deal. Better yet, I didn’t get any water crammed up my nose! I took out my paddleboard later. I even tried to catch a couple of waves on it. The second one, it shot the board right out from under my feet, and I landed on my butt on the board and then rolled off into the water haha.

About 20 minutes of 10 a.m., I was telling Clark we should probably leave ahead of the lifeguards when, on cue, a beach patrol truck pulled up and told us dogs weren’t allowed on the beach. So we loaded up the Jeep again and went to Assateague.

I haven’t been to Assateague all summer. I forgot what a pain in the ass it is to get to the beach we like to surf, because of, again, all the stupid tourists. The only road leading to the beach is one lane in and one lane out, so you’re screwed if you get stuck behind some asshat doing 10 mph the whole way because they’re looking for wild horses — and then COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD BECAUSE THEY SPOTTED ONE. I don’t even feel comfortable honking at them because I’m afraid I’ll spook the horse. So I just have to put up with it. There weren’t even that many people there yesterday, again because of the weather, and it still took forever to get to the beach!

Anyway, we eventually made it and got the Jeep parked. We just unloaded the surfboards that time. I also took the umbrella to sit under with Pepper, as it was raining a little harder by that point. Dave and Clark were out there for a while. By the time they came in, I didn’t feel like going out in the ocean. I just wanted lunch. So we loaded up again, crept our way out of Assateague, stopped for barbecue and made our way back to Fenwick.

Dave left soon after we got back. Clark and I stayed until the late afternoon, then went home a different way than usual so we could stop at the Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin for the first time. They had some really good beers, including a pale ale with habeneros.

We didn’t get home until about 9 p.m., so, way too late to think about running. I still haven’t done any training yet today either. The plan is to do strength training and a 4.5-miler later.

This weekend, I have no races! In fact, I have the next two weekends cleared of racing. Tomorrow, I’m doing a 13-mile long run, and then I think we’re going to a party at one of Clark’s coworker’s house. Sunday, I’m supposed to do 6 miles at goal marathon pace.

July 23, 2014

Training for 7/23/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:35 pm

I think I’m back on track. Last night, my calves still felt tight, but I went out and did three very easy miles anyway. The first mile sucked pretty bad, but then the muscles loosened up and the rest of the run wasn’t so bad. Except for the swarms of gnats the whole way, that is. I always forget how millions of bugs seem to emerge at dusk. It’s gross.

This morning, I did strength training upstairs first, including push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and weights, and then I went out and did another easy 3-miler. Everything feels good.

July 22, 2014

Training for 7/22/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:58 pm

Not much to record today. My calves were still pretty sore when I woke up this morning, so I didn’t run. They’re the only thing on me that’s still not back to normal though, so I might go for a short easy run tonight after work to try to loosen them up.

July 21, 2014

Training for 7/21/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:31 am

I guess I need to go back to Friday. I got up when Clark’s alarm went off at 5 a.m., thinking we were trying to get on the road as soon as possible to go surfing. I had on my swimsuit and was packing some things when I realized he’d only gotten up so early so he could work out upstairs first, and then leave for the beach. By then, I was too wide awake to go back to bed, so I changed into running clothes and took advantage of the unusually chilly summer morning to get in an easy 2-miler just as the sun was rising.

We packed my car and hit the road around 8:30 a.m. By that time, the sun was all the way up and it had turned out to be a clear, beautiful beach day. When we got to the beach house, we loaded up two surfboards on the Jeep’s roof rack and drove down to Indian River to see if there was anything to surf.

Finally a functioning roof rack!

Finally a functioning roof rack!

When we got to the inlet, a brand new parking lot much closer to the bridge, and therefore the beach, was finally open. It was really nice getting to park that close, and not having to walk so far with the boards.

Unfortunately, when we got out to the beach, we didn’t find many waves. We sat out in the ocean for almost an hour. Clark caught one rogue wave and I didn’t even get close. On the bright side, I didn’t get any water up my nose for once.

We still had plenty of time before my sisters and aunt were supposed to be at the beach house later that afternoon, so we went to the brand new OC Brewing Co. on 56th Street for lunch. I thought it would just be a little tasting room, but it’s actually an enormous full-scale restaurant attached to a brewery. They had 10 of their own beers on tap. I had a flight of three wheat beers — a regular wheat, a raspberry wheat and a watermelon wheat — that were all really good. The food was pretty good too. Definitely recommend that place.

When we got back to the beach house, Clark and I took out the paddleboards. Soon after, my family arrived.

Julie really wanted to go kayaking, so she and Kara paddled around in Clark’s parents’ kayak for a while. Aunt Helen wanted to see me on my paddleboard, which is when she took this:

paddleboard

(All these pictures from Aunt Helen are just crappy cell phone pics of the prints she gave me last night, so they’re a little grainy. She hasn’t yet mastered emailing digital pictures.)

Clark hanging out on the dock.

Clark hanging out on the dock. That’s Kara on the other paddleboard on the canal.

Aunt Helen, Julie, Kara and me.

Aunt Helen, Julie, Kara and me.

We all went to Harpoon Hanna’s to finally get Julie her first drink as a legal 21-year-old. The wait for the table was long, so we started at the bar.

Cheers! Margarita for Kara, watermelon crush for me and a sangria for Julie.

Cheers! Margarita for Kara, watermelon crush for me and a sangria for Julie.

We had a pretty good time, Clark and me especially haha. Julie just turned 21 and she’s already the more responsible drinker among the three of us. I normally stick to beer, but those fruity drinks were just hitting the spot Friday night. What 5K in the morning?

Aunt Helen dropped off Clark and me at the beach house, and she and my sisters headed home. I may have been feeling pretty good Friday night, but I definitely wasn’t when the alarm went off at 6 a.m. Saturday to go run another 5K.

I had a nice little hangover going. The last thing I wanted to do was run a 5K, but I’d already paid for it and it was the last one I needed to finish to qualify for the summer series, so I went anyway.

It was a pretty decent morning for a run, for mid-July. I did an easy mile to warm up. I felt a little better once I started running, but it was pretty obvious running fast was going to suck.

I got in line a few rows back at the start. We got the whistle and I lurched forward with the rest of the crowd. Another regular at these Seashore Striders races, Frank, saw me running near him and said “What are you doing back here?” I just shrugged and tried to speed up.

As we ran the first mile, it really felt like I was running as fast as I usually do. Imagine my surprise when I heard the Garmin beep at the mile marker, looked down expecting to see 6:45ish and instead saw 7:01 haha.

The second mile, I really thought I was at least maintaining that pace. Trust me, it totally felt like it. So imagine my surprise again when I heard the Garmin beep at the second mile marker and I looked down to see 7:10. Geez!

The third mile was awful. Everything was going numb and I just felt like crap. I at least managed to speed back up to my blistering 7:01 pace though.

Coming to the finish.

Coming to the finish.

I crossed the line in 21:57, a 7:03/mile average pace. For a few seconds there, I thought I was going to puke. But I walked it off. Once that passed, I didn’t feel so bad anymore. I didn’t feel like doing a cool down run though, so I just waited for TK to finish. While I was waiting, I saw Frank again. He said he’d been able to see me the whole race when I’m usually way ahead of him. He asked what was ailing me today. I said, “Well, last night was my little sister’s 21st birthday…” and he said, “And you’re paying for it today, huh?” Yup!

TK and I exchanged our running shoes for flip flops and went to the breakfast buffet at the Greene Turtle. That plate of scrambled eggs, pancakes and bacon was perfect.

TK and me on the deck overlooking the boardwalk.

TK and me on the deck overlooking the boardwalk.

When they announced the awards, I’d won my age group again:

race for the ribbon 5K awards

 

I was first of 14 in my age group, fifth of 167 women and 53rd of 329 total runners.

TK and I got iced coffees at Dunkin Donuts and then drove back down to Fenwick. Clark was awake by then, so he came down to the beach with us.

About the only time all day I saw sun was when I was running the 5K, naturally. It wasn’t a particularly good day for laying out on the beach. I wasn’t planning on going in the water at all, since I wasn’t hot and it looked rough out there anyway, but then that iced coffee went through me and I really had to pee. I couldn’t hold out any longer, so I went out in the ocean.

It was even rougher than it looked. The waves were breaking right on the shore, and there was a very strong current. It took me 10 minutes to get myself to finally pee, because huge waves kept coming along and my body would forget why it was out there in the first place, as it was too busy trying to not drown.

It was time to leave anyway not long after that. I went home, took a shower, packed another bag for the 50K the next day and then drove to Virginia. Jen had gotten stuck in traffic on her way up from North Carolina, so I met everyone else at a Thai place in Fairfax for dinner. I’d already met before Angie, Vanessa and Bob, but I got to meet for the first time Gwen, another Loopster from New Jersey, who was going to run her first 50K the next day, and two of Vanessa and Bob’s friends.

After dinner, I drove to Alexandria, where Jen and two of her friends who were also running the next day had gotten a hotel room. We all had to get up early the next day and I was pretty exhausted anyway, so we were all in bed by 9 p.m.

I slept well, and felt good when the alarms went off at 5 a.m. Sunday. The plan was to be on our way to the state park by 5:45 for the 7:00 start, but we were about 25 minutes late leaving.

Not far from the hotel, as we were still driving through downtown Alexandria, we passed a Dodge Dart all by itself, flipped on its roof with the whole front end ripped off. I have no idea what the driver had to do to destroy a car like that in the downtown area of a city, but I wish I could’ve seen it!

Anyway, we were already running late for this race start, and then we got a little lost on the way there. I got separated from Jen’s car when she made a U-turn and I had to wait for traffic to clear to make the turn myself. I finally pulled out my phone and found my own way. I was parked about 10 minutes before the advertised start. I threw 10 salt caps and a tube of ChapStick in the pouch on my water bottle holder and ran for the bib pickup line.

It turned out I wasn’t as late as I thought. There were so many people still waiting to get their bibs, the race start got pushed back to 7:30. I got my bib and had enough time to pee one last time before the start. Then we took a group shot before the gun:

Keith, Gwen, me, Jen, Angie and Vanessa.

Keith, Gwen, me, Jen, Angie and Vanessa.

Jen and I were planning to run the entire 50K together. She ran this race two years ago in 7:36, and wanted to come in under seven hours this time.

There were four race distances — 10K, 10 miles, 25K and 50K — and they all started together. Jen and I started near the back of the pack.

The start was in that field, and then we ran a little less than a mile to the trail head, where 50K runners would do three laps of the roughly 10-mile loop before going back the way we came, and finishing in the same spot.

The 10-mile loop was split in two halves by road crossings. There was an aid station at each road crossing with food and plenty of water, Gatorade and soda. My plan was to try to drink my entire 22-oz. bottle between each aid station, take a salt cap every 45 minutes and eat something at each aid station.

The first of six roughly 5-mile sections was fine. There was a bit of a backup at the trail head as the whole pack of runners tried to file one-by-one onto the single track, but once that got straightened out, we were cruising. We had to stop a couple of times so Jen could retie her shoe, and Jen had to loudly cuss out this woman who wouldn’t move over to let us by because she had her music turned up too loud to hear Jen saying “On your left!” (She didn’t even move over when Jen reached up and tapped her right on the shoulder.) It was pretty funny, to me anyway, when Jen finally got fed up and yelled “TURN DOWN YOUR FUCKING MUSIC!!!” and scared the crap out of both the woman with the earbuds and the two women right in front of her haha. Trail running is so serene!

At the first aid station, the 50K runners had to do a short out-and-back on the road to the left, to tack on enough distance to get to 31 miles. Meanwhile, 10-mile and 25K runners continued straight ahead on to the other half of the trail, and 10K runners turned right on the road to go to the finish line. Jen and I ran the out-and-back on the road first, then stopped at the aid station, where I refilled my bottle with plain water and ate a PB&J quarter and some animal crackers.

We got on the trail for the second half of the first loop. Soon we caught up with a girl who asked us if the trail had already split for the 10K. We told her she should have turned right on the road at the aid station, but now she might as well just keep going and finish the 10-miler instead. She didn’t seem terribly upset about the volunteer who told her the wrong direction and tacked another four miles onto her race haha.

I kicked roots hard with my left foot twice in this section. I didn’t fall either time, but it jammed my big toe pretty bad. My foot was throbbing for the next couple of miles, enough so that I was starting to worry I’d injured it. It felt better by the time we got to the next aid station and the end of the first loop.

We were greeted there by Bob, who was spectating while Vanessa ran her second 50K, and Ken, who’d long before finished the 10-miler. I got more water in my bottle and took some more animal crackers, and Jen and I hit the first half of the loop again, for the second lap.

This half of the trail was definitely the harder of the two, and I think the second lap was the hardest of the three, probably because we’d seen this all before, but we knew we still had to run it again.

There’s a long sandy uphill climb on this section that Jen and I had creatively dubbed Big Dirt Hill. It’s really about halfway through the section, but after we climbed it on the second lap, we were convinced the next aid station was right around every corner. It wasn’t. Not even close! We were both getting pretty demoralized, as this section seemingly took hours longer the second time than it had the first. Eventually some fellow runners caught up with us, and talking to them took our mind off the aid station and helped get us through. Finally, the aid station appeared. Everyone else must have been feeling the same way, because the whole line of runners started cheering when we spotted it.

The 50K runners had to run that out-and-back on the road again, of course. The 25K runners turned right on the road at that aid station to finish.

Ken took this picture of Jen and me finishing up the out-and-back.

Ken took this picture of Jen and me finishing up the out-and-back.

And then attacking the aid station.

And then attacking the aid station.

Now, at this point, Jen and I had run around 15.5 miles. I haven’t run farther than a half marathon since last September, and my legs and feet were feeling it. We were allowed to drop to a shorter distance mid-race as long as we told the race directors when we finished so they could get our time in the right category. Had I been there by myself, I’m pretty sure I’d have just turned right there, gone to the finish line and called it good at a 25K. But, I’d told Jen I’d run the whole thing with her, so I put that thought out of my head.

After Jen and I ran the road out-and-back, she stopped at that aid station to use some baby wipes to clean off her feet; a lot of dirt had worked its way down in her socks, which could cause blisters. Mine felt fine. I got our water bottles filled with a half-and-half mix of water and Gatorade, ate some more animal crackers and mini Oreos and followed Jen into the woods for the second half of lap two.

Again, this section felt so much longer the second time through than it had the first time! There’s a bridge crossing that I was convinced was mere steps from the end of the section, that, once again, was probably more like halfway through. After we crossed that bridge, I kept thinking we would be at the next aid station any second now, but the trail just kept going.

A couple of guys were running right behind us when I knew I was going to have to stop the use the bathroom. Big surprise, right? I told Jen I had to go. She said she’d run ahead and wait for me at the aid station. I was scanning the woods for the best place to go, when one of the guys right behind me asked if I was OK, and if I needed any fuel. I said no, I just really needed a bathroom! He looked a little embarrassed and went on his way while I scrambled up a little hill and behind a fallen tree.

I felt a thousand times better after that stop! I took off down the trail. For a little while, it felt good to open up my stride like that. I got to the aid station and the end of the second lap, saw Bob and Ken cheering again, and then saw Jen, who was ready to go. She said she was going to start walking the third lap while I was at the aid station, and I could catch up with her.

Arriving at the aid station at the end of the second lap.

Arriving at the aid station at the end of the second lap.

I tried to be quick at the aid station. I got another water/Gatorade fill in my water bottle, drank some warm Mountain Dew and was going to settle for just some more Oreos and animal crackers, when I spotted it — a huge jar of NUTELLA. It hadn’t even been opened yet, so I had to wait for a volunteer to pry off the foil seal. I slathered melty Nutella all over two animal crackers. It tasted like heaven! I could have stood there all day eating that stuff, but I had to catch up with Jen. I reluctantly left the Nutella behind and took off for the third (and final!) lap.

I was cruising along again, trying to catch up to Jen. My legs and feet hurt enough that I had to walk the uphills like we’d been doing, but I was pounding the downhills and flat sections. I still couldn’t see her, but then I heard “ABBBYYYYY!!!” from up ahead and knew I was getting close. A minute later, I spotted her pink calf sleeves and resumed my spot right behind her.

I think knowing we were on the last lap was the boost both of us needed. We were still keeping up a pace to hit Jen’s goal with time to spare, and the landmarks along that section of trail seemed to be appearing more quickly than they had the second time around. There was a weird pile of junk right off the side of the trail — Halloween jack o’lantern print, Santa Claus doll and some other stuff I can’t remember — that we’d dubbed the scary shrine. Right after we passed that, we got to Big Dirt Hill (which looked much steeper this time.) We knew not to expect the aid station immediately after the hill, so the rest of that section went well too. Near the end, we caught up with a woman whose husband had walked out on the trail to cheer for her, and even run with her a little bit. His friend had a speaker playing “Eye of the Tiger” haha. We ran with her and her little cheering section all the way to the aid station.

We ran the road out-and-back for the last time and got some more water/Gatorade mix in our water bottles at the aid station. I ate more animal crackers and some peanut M&Ms, and then we hit the trail for the FINAL SECTION! Woohoo! We were doing it! We were going to finish this bitch!

My legs and feet really did not want to run anymore, but I sped up every time Jen did. We walked all the uphills, but we ran all the flats and downhills, even when all we could muster was a “Barbie jog.” Jen said running with me was keeping her honest, as she probably would have walked more had she been alone. She asked if my body was like, Why are we running so slow? I said no, it was more like, Why are we still running at all? We’d run a marathon at that point!

The only low point of this section was when we came to a clearing, saw vehicles parked in it and thought it was the one really close to the end of the loop. We later realized it’d been a different clearing, and we still had farther to go. We were able to get over that pretty quick though.

Jen took her second of two hard falls on this section, but she popped right back up and kept going, covered in dirt. Soon, we were coming out of the woods for the sixth and final time. We passed up the last aid station and the volunteers told us to turn right and head for the finish line!

Yup, the finish line — right on the other end of this uphill paved road! We walked a little of the uphill, ran some and then slowed to a walk again. We spotted Angie just ahead. We didn’t yell to her though because we knew she was close to her goal time and we didn’t want her to feel like she had to wait for us.

We sped back up to a run for the final time, all the way to the finish line. Remember Jen’s goal time of seven hours? Well, she smashed it — we finished in 6:42:30!

We made it!

We made it!

I really did run 31 freaking miles! That’s also the longest time I’ve ever run, by almost an hour!

I was pretty sore when I was done. All my joints from my hips down were already feeling it. But, a lot of things went much better than I expected. I had no blisters on my feet except for a tiny one on my left Achilles tendon, where a piece of dirt had gotten wedged in my sock. Other than that though, nothing. I also had no chafing, and it seemed I’d taken in enough salt, fluids and calories the whole way, because I’d never felt nauseated or crampy.

I could also tell I’d been drinking enough because I never stopped sweating! My clothes were completely soaked through. I’d brought a dry bra and shirt to change into, but I had to sit in my drenched shorts. They usually dry out pretty quickly compared to my sports bras, but not that day.

Me, Angie and Jen celebrating with post-race beers.

Me, Angie and Jen celebrating with post-race beers.

I’m really glad I ran that race. I’m sore today, yes, but nothing’s injured, and once the soreness goes away, I’m hoping I’ll remember this the next time I’m putting off my long run because I don’t think I can run 13 miles (like this coming weekend.) I know running is more mental than physical, but sometimes you have to do something like this to remind yourself.

And of course, I have to thank Jen for running it with me. I’m almost positive I’d have bailed at the halfway point otherwise, but she pulled me through.

I stayed to see Vanessa and Gwen finish together, but then I had to get going. I was a little later than intended getting home, so I got to my nephews’ birthday party a little late. Fortunately there was plenty of food still, because my appetite had finally reappeared and I was absolutely starving. Burgers and hot dogs have never tasted so good!

I slept like a rock last night. This morning, I’m pretty sore. Not as bad as I expected, but bad enough that today’s going to be a rest day. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow before I get back to my regular training schedule.

July 17, 2014

Training for 7/17/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:03 pm

Parts of today’s run went OK. The important parts, I guess.

I had four 800-meter repeats on the schedule, the first interval workout of this marathon training cycle. I’ve decided all these 800 workouts are going to be Yassos, so I wanted to hit 3:30 on each.

Once again, I took my time getting out to the track. It was almost 2:30 p.m. when I finally got there. Today wasn’t particularly hot or humid for mid-July, but it was still in the low 80s and sunny.

I did an easy mile to warm up, and then took off for the first repeat. It didn’t feel like I was pushing it at all, and I expected it to be too slow, as the first one nearly always is for me. But to my surprise, I easily finished it in 3:25.

I did a slow recovery lap, and then picked it up for the second repeat. Somewhere in the second lap, things started to go downhill. I felt like I needed a bathroom, and quick. I finished the repeat in 3:21 and made a break for the port-o-potty outside the track.

With things taken care of, I got back on the track, did a recovery lap and then sped up for the third repeat. I’d barely started the second lap of it when I really needed that port-o-potty AGAIN. I was practically tip-toeing across the line to complete the second repeat — in 3:20 — and then for the bathroom again. What the hell did I eat?!

Luckily, that was the final time I had to use the bathroom while I was there. I did another recovery lap, and then started the final repeat.

I was coming around the last turn to complete the first lap when I suddenly felt very short of breath. I slowed up and finished the lap in 1:42, but I had to take a recovery lap just to get my breathing back under control. When I came back around, I ran the second half in 1:39. Had I ran them together, it’d have been another 3:21.

Normally I’d do two miles to cool down, but today I felt so dead just trying to run those slow laps I cut it to only one cool down mile, for a total of 5 miles.

I just don’t know what was going on today. I didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary before I went out there, and it was hardly the hottest day I’ve ran this summer. I just felt like poop. Oh well, at least my splits were good, so there’s a bright spot.

Tomorrow morning, Clark and I are heading to the beach first thing to go surfing. I might go for a short easy run after that, if I feel like it. Then my sisters and aunt are meeting us down there, to take my younger sister out to celebrate her 21st birthday.

I’m staying at the beach house tomorrow night, because I’ve got the fifth and final 5K I need to run to qualify for the summer series Saturday morning in Rehoboth. The best part of this one is the post-race party at the Greene Turtle on the boardwalk, which puts out a really great breakfast buffet for the runners.

Sometime that afternoon, I’m heading over to Alexandria, Va., to spend the evening with my friend Jen, who’s coming to town because we’re both running the Rosaryville 50K in Upper Marlboro on Sunday morning, along with a few other Loopsters. I’m running with her, and she’s trying to get a course record; she wants to come in around seven hours, which is about a 13:30/mile pace. I think I’ll be able to keep that up for 31 miles.

I really have no business trying to run 31 miles at any pace right now, considering a few half marathons are the farthest I’ve run since last September. If it gets bad, I’m allowed to just drop to the 25K mid-race. But I really want to try to get in the whole thing, if not just to hit all the aid stations. Ultramarathon aid stations are the greatest things in the world.

And then finally, after that race, we’re celebrating my twin nephews’ 16th birthday at my older sister’s house that evening.

July 16, 2014

Training for 7/16/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:18 pm

This morning, I was lazing about, fiddling on my phone and putting off the strength training and easy run I was supposed to be doing, when I came across a video of this former Towson University gymnast who, on Monday night’s episode of “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC, became the first woman to complete a city finals course:

I’ve got five inches and 20 lbs. on this girl, surely I can do a few push-ups if she can do all that! So I went upstairs and did ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights, and then I immediately tied on some running shoes and knocked out an easy 3-miler. Not that I’ll ever have half the upper body strength she obviously does — seriously, it’s amazing — but motivation is motivation. And good luck to her in the championship!

Speaking of TV, tonight is a big night of programming! At 9 p.m. on Esquire, “Brew Dogs” is touring Delaware craft breweries, including two of our absolute favorites, 3rd Wave in Delmar and Mispillion River in Milford. Obviously Dogfish Head is “the” Delaware brewery, but they were trying to hit the smaller, lesser-known ones. And then at 10 on MTV, the next season of “Teen Mom 2” premieres!

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