A Simple Running Log

December 8, 2014

Rehoboth Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:48 pm

You’d think after more than five years of running half marathons, I’d have learned what not to do, but apparently I’m still an idiot. I had one of the worst races of my life at Rehoboth this weekend — right now I can’t think of a worse one — but, I really can’t complain, because I did it to myself and the rest of the weekend more than made up for it.

Friday morning, I didn’t run, but I lifted weights. Less than 24 hours before a half marathon, I lifted effing weights. I’ve been slacking on the strength training lately, so I should have known that would make me feel even more sore than usual the next morning for the race.

I packed the car and was at the Salisbury airport just in time to greet Jill and Karlye, from Indiana, when they walked in the terminal. We were among the first Loopsters at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth, where everyone had agreed to meet. We found Misti and Nate, from Utah, sitting at the bar. We went over to packet pick-up, right across the street, before it even technically opened, so we were in and out. Pretty soon more people started rolling in.

Group selfie at Dogfish Head. Glad I didn't have a booger.

Group selfie at Dogfish Head. Glad I didn’t have a booger.

Dogfish Head was where I made mistake No. 2. Well, where I started it. I drank waaaay too much beer. I don’t know why I didn’t have the common sense to just have one or two and then hold off on the rest until after the damn race the next day! We were probably at the bar three and a half hours, long enough to see the big unveiling party for a new beer brewed with scrapple (which wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but only because I couldn’t taste the scrapple at all.)

By then, the house we’d rented near the beach was open, so we all headed over there to unpack and eat a big pasta dinner. Oh, and drink more beer, of course. Allison brought a 12-pack of 10-oz. Buds, so I at least switched to my light beer. Still, too many beers!

Me, Allison and Corc.

Me, Allison and Corc.

The original $easlores: Jen, Jillian, Allison, Corc and me.

The $easlores and the attendees of the first Rehoboth (Lady) Loopfest two years ago: Jen, Jillian, Allison, Corc and me.

That picture was taken by JB, who showed up unannounced Friday night!

Later that evening, Clark arrived after a long day of traveling home from Germany. He and I tried to stay up to watch the NASCAR awards ceremony, but we only made it to Brad Keselowski before we fell asleep in a sleeping bag on the living room floor.

We should have dragged the sleeping bag into the ground floor bedroom we were supposed to be sharing with Corc and Jen, but when I woke up for the first time around 2 a.m., I figured it was easier to just stay where we were. It took me forever to get back to sleep, and then I was woken up again before 5 a.m. by people coming downstairs to eat breakfast in the kitchen, which was not separated from the living room by anything more than a bar. I really did not think that one through.

I pulled myself out of the sleeping bag just before 6. I felt like crap. Bad enough that if I hadn’t paid money to run and the start line hadn’t been a five-minute walk away, I’d have probably DNS’d like I did that 5K last week. Hungover, not enough sleep, didn’t eat much the day before because I’d been so full of beer and my legs were sore as hell from lifting. I really know how to prep for a race.

Of course, I had absolutely no plans to PR anyway, but I had agreed to pace Jen to her first sub-2:00 half marathon. The night before, Carissa had written “Don’t be a pussy!!!” on Jen’s bib, as a reminder to keep pushing I suppose, and then she wrote “Pussy whipper” on my bib, since it’d be my job to whip her if she started turning into one. It was a great plan — there was no way I’d leave Jen now, because then I’d just look like an asshole, running a race with “Pussy whipper” handwritten on my bib for no apparent reason haha.

The weather Saturday morning was really nice, at least. It was the perfect temperature for shorts and a long-sleeved top, my favorite running outfit, and there was hardly any wind. The rain wasn’t supposed to arrive until the afternoon, so it was overcast but not drizzling or anything.

I was able to use the bathroom before we left, but it was one of those where it just didn’t feel complete. I took a couple Imodium, but I knew I was going to have a Code Abby during the race.

The race start time was 7 a.m. We left the house at 6:48, and were in the starting pack with plenty of time for Jen and me to take a selfie:

jen and me before start

I didn’t hear the start commands or a gun or anything, but pretty soon everyone started to shuffle forward and we were off!

rehoboth start

It was a little crowded at the beginning, as usual, so I just got in line behind Jen and followed her:

jen and me after the start

Do you recognize the guy in the orange long-sleeved shirt right behind me?

Yes, that’s Clark! He swore me to secrecy, but he signed up and started training for Rehoboth a couple months ago, with a goal of also breaking two hours. His only previous half marathon was Surf City in Feb. 2013, where he ran 2:18. Somehow I managed to keep my mouth shut, so everyone was surprised to see him wearing a bib when we were getting ready to leave the house for the race. His dad also ran the race, his first half marathon. His goal was just to finish.

Anyway, the first mile felt OK. I had a headache and my legs were sore, but the pace felt easy and Jen was in a good mood, thanking every volunteer and spectator we passed. We hit the first mile marker in 9:22.

The second and third miles were our best of the day — 9:00 and 9:02. We ran out to Gordons Pond State Park for the turnaround, so we saw all the faster Loopsters running the half on our way there (because the full turned off the half course at the turnaround) and all the Loopsters behind us on the way back. I didn’t see Clark, who’d pulled away from Jen and me in the first mile, and was worried he’d had to stop to use the bathroom, but it turned out I’d just missed him.

We slowed down a bit in the fourth mile, which came in at 9:12. I was not feeling good at all, and Jen was already getting quieter, which meant she wasn’t feeling so hot either. It was going to be a long nine miles to the finish.

We slowed down more in the fifth mile, to 9:22. Right after we passed it, I spotted a port-o-potty at a construction site along the course and decided I’d feel better if I took care of my Code Abby. I told Jen to keep going and I’d catch up with her.

I tried to be quick in there, but I really wasn’t feeling well. Someone yanked on the door so I cleaned up as quick as I could, hopped out and took off to catch back up to Jen. I saw Corc, who’d gotten injured before the race and didn’t run, and JB, who was taking pictures. I yelled “I’ve already had to use the bathrooooom!” at them as I sailed by.

It was a little crowded, so I had to weave through and around people to try to catch back up to Jen. Otherwise, I’d just be a jerk in a “Pussy whipper” bib. I finally spotted her pink calf sleeves ahead as we made a couple of turns close together. I caught her right before we hit the mile 6 marker. I’d run a 9:05 mile with the bathroom break.

Soon, we were on the trail section of the course, about a 4.5-mile out-and-back. There were no huge mud puddles this year, but a lot of rocks. Jen started to slow. She said she just couldn’t go any faster, and I said I didn’t feel like whipping her because I felt like crap. Mile 7 was 9:22.

I could feel another Code Abby coming on. I knew we were coming up on an aid station and therefore a port-o-potty, but I didn’t want to take the chance of finding it occupied. Off into the woods I went! I later found out my father-in-law saw me run out there! Last year, Kevin caught me haha. It’s a tradition.

I took even longer taking care of business that time. I just felt so terrible! Right after I reemerged from the woods, my Garmin beeped Mile 8 — 12:09.

This was probably the worst possible section of the whole race to have to catch back up with Jen. The narrow-ish trail was crowded anyway, but then the faster runners were coming back the other way after making the turnaround. I didn’t want to be a total jerk so I waited for openings in the oncoming traffic before going around slower runners, but I still spent a lot of time just trotting behind people, biding my time. I saw Jillian and Brian cruise by. They asked if I’d had a Code Abby and I held up two fingers. Then I saw Clark, rolling right along on track for sub-2, followed by MJ and Caitlin, and then Jen. Soon I was at the turnaround. Mile 9 was 8:18.

It was still crowded going back the other way. Mile 10 was 8:39. I finally caught Jen. I said I hoped I could make it another three miles without a third Code Abby.

The final 5K of the race was quiet. Jen felt like she might have a Code Abby of her own brewing. I felt like No. 3 could appear at any second, plus I was lightheaded and my feet were effing tired of the rocks poking through the thin soles of my Zeros. Why didn’t I drink less beer and eat more dinner yesterday? Why’d I lift those damn weights? Why didn’t I wear thicker shoes? We trudged along together. Mile 11 was 9:47.

Sub-2 was hopeless, but Jen said she could go under 2:04:30 and at least PR if we just ran two more 10:00 miles. We got off the trail and back on the pavement, but Mile 12 was still 10:09.

One more freaking mile. Just one more mile! We were back on Rehoboth Avenue and a half-mile from the end of this seemingly endless race when I saw the final half marathon walker — at mile 5.5ish. She still had so much farther to go!

The end of the course was a little different this year. It turned off Rehoboth Avenue and took a side street to the finish line. We’d picked it up enough to run a 9:38 in the 13th mile.

According to my Garmin, it took us 1:52 to run the final 0.22-mile stretch. (I’ve never run the tangents perfectly.) I remember seeing an 8:30/mile pace as we came to the line.

jen and me finish 1

jen and me finish 2

jen and me finish 3

YAY, we’re done.

Officially, we finished in 2:04:55, a 9:33/mile average. We missed Jen’s PR by less than 30 effing seconds.

I just felt bad when I was done. Physically awful — everything was sore and my head was spinning — and like I’d failed Jen. I don’t know what I wish I’d done differently to help her though. I mean, she seemed like she really just didn’t feel great either, so a little positive encouragement or, if I’d gone the other way, bitching at her wouldn’t have helped.

Jen immediately went back to the house to shower and put on dry clothes. I went in the beer tent to see if I could find Clark and see how his race went.

I couldn’t find Clark, but I found some other friends who’d already finished and already had beers in their hands. Everyone kept telling me to get one. I felt so bad I didn’t even want beer yet. A group of us walked back to the house after they’d finished their first beers. I felt a little better once I’d put on dry clothes. I was super hungry too, but the thought of actually eating something was grossing me out.

I checked my phone, which I’d set up to receive texts with my, Clark’s and his dad’s finish times. Clark had run a 1:54 and his dad a 1:58! So at least someone had a good day! That made me feel a little better.

When I went back to the race finish area, I finally found Clark and his dad in the beer tent. I told them both they’d done great. Clark wasn’t even that impressed with his 24-minute PR since he’d only beaten his dad by a few minutes haha. He also immediately started talking about what he can do to run even faster next time. I suggested Shamrock, but he nixed that because he refuses to train through the winter again. Maybe next fall!

Clark's dad, Clark and me in the beer tent.

Clark’s dad, Clark and me in the beer tent.

Eventually, I felt good enough to start drinking again. I even took a little bit of food.

Allison, Jillian and me.

Allison, Jillian and me.

Post-race slores: Allison, me, Jillian, Jen and Corc.

Post-race slores: Allison, me, Jillian, Jen and Corc.

Pretty soon we all had enough beer in us that dancing sounded like a great idea haha. We shut down the beer tent again.

Saturday night, we went to Grotto Pizza for dinner first. Everyone else went straight to the Purple Parrot after, but Clark wanted to try that scrapple beer, so he, JB and I walked down to Dogfish Head. The scrapple beer was already sold out, but we had a couple rounds while we were there, and then met everyone back at the Purple Parrot.

purple parrot

I haven’t seen too many pictures from that part of the evening, but it was the same drunken dancing and karaoke-singing good time it always is! We closed it down too.

Sunday morning, I didn’t feel great, but I felt better than I had Saturday morning. Jen, Clark and I got breakfast at a little cafe on the boardwalk. Later, when everyone else was up, we drove to the Starboard in Dewey for their Bloody Mary bar.

When we got back to the house that afternoon, Clark was pretty tuned in. He was also still completely screwed up on sleep because of being in Germany for a week. He was cracking everyone up, telling these hilarious stories, but then when everyone else got up to go to Dogfish Head for dinner, he laid down in the back bedroom and pretty much crashed for about six hours. He definitely needed the sleep! I didn’t need any more beer either, so I stayed and took a nap with him.

This morning, I felt pretty close to normal when I woke up. Clark left early so he could go into the office today. Right after he left, I went for a short run with Caitlin and Jill. We ran four miles, through a very upscale neighborhood near a lake, all the way down the entire length of the boardwalk and then back to the house. It was a cold, windy morning, fine for a short recovery run, but it would have sucked to have had to race in that Saturday.

Jill, Karlye and I were among the last ones to leave. I dropped them off at the Salisbury airport, and that was it. Rehoboth Loopfest 2014 was officially over. I will absolutely be signing up for the 2015 race as soon as registration opens on New Year’s Eve. No pre-race beers next time though!



  1. I was looking forward to readinh about your weekend–so much more exciting than mine lol. Sorry the race wasn’t spectacular, but the rest of the weekend sounded fun!

    Comment by Laura — December 9, 2014 @ 10:51 am | Reply

    • Sorry you’re dealing with those awful migraines and Paige’s teething (just read your blog), because that does sound like a much worse weekend than I had, but congrats on Baby No. 2!

      Comment by aschmid3 — December 9, 2014 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

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