A Simple Running Log

December 15, 2014

Training for 12/15/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:53 am

It’s finally starting to feel like Christmas around here!

Saturday, I brought all the Christmas decorations down from the attic, cleaned the house top to bottom, set everything up and took all the empty boxes back upstairs. It was an impressive flurry of effort, I have to say. When I was done, I had just enough time to get in a run.

I had 6 miles at goal marathon pace on the schedule. I left a little bit before 4 p.m. The sun was already sinking and I didn’t think I had enough time to get in the 6.5-mile loop before it got dark. I was thinking I’d just do the 4.5-mile loop.

Well, I got to the turn for the 4.5-mile loop, checked the sun and thought I had enough time to stretch it out to 5.5 Then I got to the turn for that loop, and thought what the hell, the last mile of the 6.5-mile loop is on an open road, not surrounded by dark woods, so I can squeeze in the whole thing after all.

Plus, after all that Christmas decorating, I’d queued up the Christmas playlist on my iPod, and I was just in a good mood. The weather was perfect and it felt great to be out there.

So I ran the 6.5-mile loop at an 8:33/mile pace. When I signed up for Shamrock, I thought I’d train for another shot at sub-3:30, an 8:00/mile pace. Well, the pace I ran Saturday didn’t feel hard, but I couldn’t really imagine running more than 30 seconds per mile faster than that for 20 more miles.

Who knows how I’ll feel in March though? I have no idea. So I’ve decided I will just run Shamrock at whatever pace feels good that day, no time goal. If I actually make it through this training cycle injury-free and finish the race, it will be the first marathon I’ll have completed in two years. Then I’ll pick a fall marathon to train for a new PR.

Sunday, Clark went up to Annapolis to help his brother work on his new house, which left me home with Pepper. I’d planned on my 13-mile long run, but I’d either have to run it with Pepper, who gets bored after 10 miles and would hate it, or I’d have to leave him home alone for two hours and face the consequences — guilt trip at best, turds in the utility room floor at worst.

I went with the other option instead, and just did the 3-mile easy run on the schedule for today.

A couple weeks ago, one of the runners on the Loop posted an idea for a virtual race in honor of 12/13/14, which was Saturday. He asked everyone who wanted to participate to run either Friday, Saturday or Sunday this weekend, while wearing a race bib, work the numbers 12, 13 and 14 into it as much as possible, take pictures and post about it to the Loop. I did this a couple years ago when we did a 12/12/12 race.

It sounded like fun. Since the 13-miler was out the window, I decided Pepper and I would do 3.14 miles.

First I had to find us some race bibs. I combed through the stack of bibs I’ve saved from every race I’ve ever run, dating back to my first 5K in Aug. 2004. It didn’t take long to find two bibs that both had 14 on them. I wore one from a 5K last summer, and I let Pepper wear the one from my first 50K a couple years ago.

It was pretty chilly yesterday, so Pepper had to wear his dork jacket. I pinned his bib to the back of his jacket, pinned mine to my shirt and tried to take a pre-run selfie:


Clearly, it wasn’t working very well!

The run was typical Pepper. Mile 1 took 9:02, while he stopped to pee, sniff and adjust the stick he was carrying. Mile 2 started out pokey but picked it up when we made the turnaround and he knew he was headed home — 8:05. And the third mile got faster still, while he practically pulled my arm out of its socket, pulling on the leash to try to make me run faster. It was 7:39. The final 0.14 took 1:06.

Our final results:


I got some better pictures after the run.

pepper looking

Pepper is barely tolerating me at this point.

Pepper is barely tolerating me at this point.

He's upset we're still outside in the cold, and not in the warm house where the treats are kept.

He’s upset we’re still outside in the cold, and not in the warm house where the post-run treats are kept.

Eventually, we did go inside, and he did get that treat.

Stop taking pictures and HAND IT OVER.

Stop taking pictures and HAND IT OVER.

Then he resumed his favorite pastime, which is curling up in a ball on the couch and making sure I never leave his sight, ever.

I guess the motivation from Saturday hadn’t faded away completely yet, because not only did I address every single Christmas card, I went to Walmart and got what I needed to make another batch of pumpkin muffins, several dozen homemade ginger snaps and a huge Crock Pot of jambalaya. It’s very rare a mood like that hits me, but the end results were all delicious.

Today, I’m here with Pepper again, so, since I ran a 13-miler last weekend when I was only supposed to do 8, I’ll just do 8 with him instead of 13. I will make sure I run this coming weekend’s 14-miler while Clark’s home!

Also, I got an email this morning that I was selected in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April in Washington, D.C. I spectated at this race this past April, when Allison ran it, and didn’t feel much of a desire to run it myself — it attracts an enormous crowd because the course passes all the cherry blossom trees when they’re in full bloom — but so many other Loop runners had entered the lottery, I caved to the peer pressure.

Plus, I was thinking about doing the Tim Kennard 10-Mile River Run in March in Salisbury anyway, and Cherry Blossom wound up being about the same price if I didn’t upgrade from the standard cotton T-shirt to the tech shirt. I have enough tech shirts already but my 10-mile PR is old as dirt and Cherry Blossom should be a good course to kill it. I submitted my half marathon PR from Surf City last year, so I should get seeded in a good corral.


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