A Simple Running Log

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.

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1 Comment »

  1. Nice job with the run! 50k is my favorite distance and that looks like a good one 🙂

    Comment by Jason — July 24, 2014 @ 1:52 pm | Reply


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