A Simple Running Log

February 26, 2015

Training for 2/26/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:37 pm

I still don’t feel back to normal, so I took the day off running again, which is just as well, because we got some more snow this morning and I don’t feel like messing with it.

I did get one thing accomplished though; I booked a room for Clark and me for Shamrock race weekend. In all the years I’ve gone to Virginia Beach for this race and the Rock ‘n’ Roll half on Labor Day weekend, I’ve never had to bother with hotels. I either had a free place to stay with Dave or one of his Navy friends, or someone else took care of booking a big beach house. But this year, Dave is out of the Navy so I have no free housing contacts, and it’s a much smaller group going to Shamrock so we’re not doing the big house rental.

I got a room at a place five blocks from the marathon start and four blocks from the 8K start, so I won’t have to try to sneak into the Harris-Teeter parking lot either morning, and I shouldn’t have to deal with port-o-potty lines. Plus, it’s oceanfront, so both race courses pass it, meaning Clark can just wave at me from the room balcony both days. So, overall a great location, which surprised me, considering how close we are to Shamrock weekend.

Speaking of that… this weird illness and latest snow are really screwing up my plans to try to cram in some last-minute training before this race! It’s three weeks from this weekend. I wanted to get in at least one decent long run, 16 to 20 miles, before this thing, but I feel like ass right now and the roads are terrible, so I might have to push it off until next weekend. That’ll still give me two weeks to taper.

Whatever kind of miles I do put in between now and March 22, the room is booked and the registration is paid for, so this is happening!

February 25, 2015

Training for 2/25/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:52 pm

Man, something went haywire on me last night after I got back from my run, and I still don’t feel right today.

I had an evening meeting to cover for the paper, so I got in the shower right after I got home from my run. I noticed I had a bit of a headache before I got in the shower, but I didn’t think it was anything to worry about.

After my shower, I was absolutely starving, so I made myself some eggs before I had to leave. Sitting on the couch eating them, I could feel every muscle in my torso — back and front — tightening up, and my stomach got queasy. In about an hour, I’d gone from finishing up a 10.5-mile run feeling great to feeling like I had a terrible flu working on me.

I stayed home from the meeting. Clark set me up on the couch with my heating pad on my back and his nice heavy Jeff Gordon blanket. I have never felt my back tighten up like it did last night. Everything hurt, and the only thing that made it feel any better was when Clark basically put his whole weight on my back.

He had to do the grocery shopping last night, so he went to Walmart. I felt even worse by the time he got back, and was really worried I was going to puke. Then “The Mindy Project” came on — the main character on that show just found out she’s pregnant, and one of the running themes of the entire episode was her morning sickness and the BEDAZZLED BARF BUCKET she had to carry around haha. Of all the nights! It was hard to watch, because every time she’d puke in her barf bucket, my stomach would be all “Hey, that’s a great idea!” I kept tasting those eggs in my mouth too, which wasn’t helping.

Meanwhile, Clark made a freaking awesome dinner of steak with mushrooms and garlic spinach. I got all the spinach down, but only about three bites of steak until my stomach let me know if I took one more, it was pushing the eject button. I went to bed after dinner.

This morning, I still felt sore from the waist up when I woke up, but overall I felt quite a bit better. I ate a normal breakfast and took Pepper with me to the office and then to the DMV to renew my car registration. But by the time I got done at the DMV, I felt like crap again. I was really hungry but nothing sounded appealing and my stomach felt iffy again, so I stopped at a Rite Aid and got some ginger ale and Saltines, came home and set myself up on the couch again.

So, no running today! And it’s supposed to snow again tonight and get really bitterly cold here again tomorrow and Friday. Awesome. Get out of here, February. You suck.

I really don’t know what happened. Normally I’d suspect my new shoes, but everything from my hips down felt fine, which is where I’d expect to feel a problem with shoes, not only in my back. Maybe my body is just that completely over running in this stupid cold weather. Who knows. I just hope I feel better tomorrow.

February 24, 2015

Training for 2/24/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:21 pm

Today was a pretty good day!

Even though it was still bitterly cold, the wind had eased up, so I ran the 10-miler on the schedule. I just happened to check the side steps before I got dressed, and found a UPS driver had snuck up unnoticed and left these for me:


These are the New Balance 1400v2! Unfortunately, they didn’t make a glow-in-the-dark version like the pair of original 1400s I’ve been wearing for more than a year. But I let that slide because I only paid $9 for a pair of shoes that originally cost $100. Seemed like an OK deal!

I wore them on my run and immediately liked them. I was hoping they’d work out for the Shamrock Marathon in a few weeks, and I think they’ll do just fine.

My blisters weren’t bothered by them either. They were feeling a lot better after not running yesterday anyway, but the new shoes didn’t reaggravate them.

The run itself was decent. About four miles from the end, I ran into an older woman out walking her two dogs. She and I got to talking about the people we’d run into walking and running on the road, and I told her about the only time I’d ever felt threatened, when that weird old creeper from Sharptown stopped and asked me what I’d do if he tried to pick me up the next time he saw me. As soon as I said he was from Sharptown, she knew exactly who I was talking about. Apparently he’s weirded her out before too, to the point where she wouldn’t go walking without her husband for a while. Now the old creeper has gout so bad he barely leaves the house so she doesn’t worry about him anymore. Screw that guy! I hadn’t thought about him in a long time, but that just got me pissed off at him all over again.

Anyway… when I got home, I checked the mail, and my March installment from the Lip Balm of the Month Club arrived! This month’s flavor is black raspberry!

And finally, today the Shamrock organizers posted pictures of this year’s medals. I don’t know why I get so excited about the medals, because all of mine are just in a shoebox in a closet, but I love them.

Here’s the 8K medal I’ll get Saturday:

2015 8K medalAnd the marathon medal I’ll get Sunday:

2015 marathon medal

And finally, if I can hobble just a little farther past the finish line, the Whale Challenge medal:

2015 whale challenge medal

And then to the beer tent!

February 23, 2015

Training for 2/23/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:08 pm

Last week, when it was super cold and the roads weren’t totally clear, I wore my trail shoes and my thick Smartwool socks two days in a row. I’ve never had problems with either those socks or those shoes, which I ran a 50K in last summer. But wearing them together gave me some pretty horrendous blisters on my Achilles tendons, where the collars of the shoes were grinding into those thick socks.

Saturday, the roads were clear enough I didn’t have to worry about ice or snow, so I wore my 980s and thinner socks, hoping they wouldn’t rub the blisters. No dice. I made it around the 6.5-mile loop, but I could feel those blisters with every step.

That evening, Clark went to 3rd Wave with Mike, but I stayed home. I was lying on the couch when Pepper decided he wanted the end occupied by my feet, so he started pawing at my legs to move them. Somehow, he managed to place one claw directly into the middle of the blister on my left foot and pull on it hard enough to pop it. Immediate white-hot pain! I didn’t realize it’d popped though, until I stood up a couple hours later to go to bed and found out the liquid inside it had leaked out and then dried, essentially gluing the skin together. I could barely walk on it as it unstuck itself. Damn dog!

Yesterday morning, I could feel both blisters throbbing when I woke up, before I even got out of bed. So my first order of business was a trip to Walmart to buy moleskin padding, Neosporin, medical tape and Band-Aids. When I got home, I made a pretty elaborate patch for the left blister and a slightly less-involved one for the right one, and tied on my Zeros, my thinnest shoes.

I didn’t have time for the 12-mile loop at that point, and it had actually warmed up enough I could take Pepper with me for the first time in a long time, so we set out to do the 5.5-mile loop together. It was cold enough he still had to wear his dork jacket, but I only had to wear one pair of tights and a single layer on top. Much better!

We ran past a neighbor’s house, where a guy was just hanging out in his yard in a T-shirt and jeans. It was nice yesterday, but not quite that nice haha. He called out “Pretty good day for a run!” and I yelled back “It feels amazing!”

It was about that time my blister patches started to slip, dammit. They only lasted a mile! Well, we were out there, so I kept running.

About two miles into the run, my foot found the one patch of still semi-frozen liquid on the road. The sound of my foot hitting the ice freaked out Pepper, who tried to break into a sprint, which, since I was holding his leash and had a foot on a patch of ice, almost caused me to face plant haha. Luckily, I was able to catch myself with my other foot. Pepper didn’t even look sorry.

The rest of the run was uneventful. When I got home, I tried to shovel away some of the ice and snow in the driveway while it was melted into a slush, but it wasn’t melted enough. I gave up again after about two minutes.

Clark got home from surfing, and then we all went over to Mike’s to watch the Daytona 500. I missed the end because I fell asleep, thanks to the growler of Sandstorm Clark had gotten me at 3rd Wave the night before. That stuff is lethal! It’s a Belgian tripel; very light and crisp, so you don’t even remember it’s about 9 percent ABV until you wake up two hours later and have to ask what happened at the end of the race. Bobby didn’t win, so I didn’t miss anything.

Speaking of Bobby — Kyle Busch, the current driver of Bobby’s former ride, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, broke his right leg and left foot in a crash at the end of the Xfinity Series race the day before the 500. The leg injury was a compound fracture (bone protruding from the skin!) that required surgery and will leave Busch out of racing for a while as it heals. This means Gibbs needs to find an interim driver to fill in for him. I know one former (championship-winning) driver of that very car who needs a full time gig! I doubt it will happen, but I’d be so freaking excited if Bobby got to drive the No. 18 again!

Anyway… today, it’s right back to really cold, and windy again on top of it. Between that and the blisters on both feet that feel better but still aren’t completely healed, I think I’m going to take the day off from running.

February 20, 2015

Training for 2/20/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:52 pm

Winter is such a pain in the ass!

Yesterday, I had an assignment that started at 7:30 a.m. in Denton, which meant I had to leave the house by 7. Before the snow hit Monday evening, Clark had squeezed the Jeep into the garage, meaning we had four cars in a three-car garage. (The poor Crown Vic was the only one left out in the elements.) Mine had been moved over and was kinda in between two of the doors. In addition, the driveway was still drifted over, and it was doubtful my car could make it out to the road anyway. So I just took Clark’s truck, and he got my car out when he had to leave for work.

It was freaking cold yesterday, and the wind was screaming. I made it to the early assignment, and then covered two more before noon.

I got home around 12:30 p.m. As I expected, the dog had pooped all over the utility room floor. At least there wasn’t puke though. It annoyed me that I didn’t get that upset about cleaning up poop, since there wasn’t puke. I’m sure that was Pepper’s plan all along!

I had to get an article written for today’s paper by the end of the afternoon. By the time I got it filed, it was about 3:30 p.m. and I was not interested in running anything. It looked like it had somehow gotten even colder and windier than it’d been in the morning.

So I didn’t run. I did, however, decide I was going to be nice and shovel the driveway so Clark could get my car back up to the garage. I got all layered up, got the shovel out of the shed and started digging. Yeah, nope. It was just a solid chunk of ice, and completely immovable.

I did what I could, which lasted about 10 minutes, and then I gave up and went back in. I did a little strength training, but that was it for training yesterday. Winter won again.

I had to go back out again a little later to steer my car while Clark pushed it up the drive after he got it stuck haha. We managed to get it through the snow and put away.

Today, I didn’t have to go anywhere for work, but I was supposed to drive over to the DMV to get the registration renewed before it expires Sunday. Well, I guess I’m just going to be a scofflaw as of Sunday, because the driveway looked just as bad as it did last night. I didn’t even try to get it out of the garage.

I did, however, go for a run. I waited until the mid afternoon, when the feels like temperature was supposed to be at its highest of the day: 3 degrees, thanks to the 15 mph wind (which was an improvement over yesterday at least.) And the sun was out, so that helped.

I put on both pairs of tights (first time I’ve ever tried to do that, but it worked out fine), a wool base layer shirt, a mock neck compression top over that, a heavy pullover on top of that, my thick Smartwool socks, trail shoes in case the back roads were still as bad as they apparently got by late afternoon yesterday, the Oakleys, a beanie, my super thick fleece gloves and a scarf, so I could pull it up over my face when I had to run into the wind.

I set out down the road and immediately regretted leaving the couch! It was just so painfully cold. I almost turned around, but then I realized how lame it would be to have spent more time getting dressed to run than actually running. By the time I got to the end of the first mile, I felt a little more comfortable. I did the 5.5-mile loop.

I think tomorrow is supposed to warm up a bit, and then Sunday’s supposed to be almost 50 and rainy, which should melt this stupid ass snow. And then no more snow! Even though it’s supposed to go right back to cold and shitty Monday.

Anyway, the training plan calls for a 6- and 12-miler this weekend. I think I’ll save the longer run for the warmer day. I don’t even care that it’s supposed to rain.

The big excitement this weekend is the DAYTONA 500!! It’s finally here! After Bobby wrecked AGAIN in the Bud Duels last night, he had to take the past champion’s provisional to get into the race and will start last, but at least he’s starting! We’re going to Mike’s house to watch it.

February 18, 2015

Training for 2/18/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:16 pm

It’s hard to believe it’s already been this long, but today is the 14th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. I saw some mention of it on Facebook, and it inspired me to dig up the pictures from the day my friend Julie and I met him in the infield area at Dover, in Sept. 1999.

For the first time, Julie and I were both old enough — 16 — to get into the garage area, and her dad had submitted all the necessary paperwork to get us garage passes, but something got screwed up, and when we got to the track that day, we were told Julie’s dad and uncle’s garage passes were good to go, but the two of us could only get infield passes. The infield passes were lame because the drivers were always either in their motorcoaches, which were off limits to everyone else, or in the garage area. You never saw them milling around the rest of the infield area, because there was no reason for them to be there.

We all went into the infield. Julie’s dad really wanted us to get to see the garage area, so he gave us his and her uncle’s passes and told us to just walk past security like we belonged there so they hopefully would not ask to take a closer look at the name on the passes. It worked like a charm! We were in! We weren’t bothering anyone at all, just watching the teams work on the cars and then send them back out to continue turning practice laps, as they were all getting ready for qualifying that afternoon.

That lasted about half an hour. Then a security guy — we would later learn it was Gary Nelson, at that time THE head security guy for NASCAR — approached us and asked to look at our passes. He read the names and said “You two aren’t James and Michael, are you?” Busted. To this day, I don’t know how or why we caught his suspicion.

Anyway, after a heated argument with Julie’s dad, Gary Nelson finally agreed to let us stay in the infield at least, instead of kicking us all out altogether, as had been his original plan. That gave us one shot at meeting drivers after the practice session ended. There was a set of steps that led from the garage area to a shortcut to the motorcoaches. We stood at the stop of those steps and waited for drivers.

(Coincidentally, when I volunteered to work security at those races in 2003 and 2004, while I was on active duty at Dover Air Force Base, I was usually assigned to those exact steps. I became the security guard I once duped haha.)

We met Mark Martin, Steve Park, Richard Petty (the King!!), Tony Stewart (well, we saw him and asked for his autograph but he totally ignored us), Kenny Wallace, Chad Little, Terry Labonte and Kenny Irwin Jr., who would die in July 2000 in an accident during a practice session at Loudon.

But the biggest star we met that day was Earnhardt Sr. Here’s Julie asking him for his autograph:

julie and earnhardt

He was clearly in a hurry, but he told us if we walked with him toward the motorcoaches, he’d sign our stuff. There’s another picture Julie’s dad took, of me walking next to him, but you can’t really see anything, so I didn’t bother posting it here.

So that’s my only Dale Earnhardt story. I got to go in the garage area at Dover once more before he died, but I was too worried about finally finding and meeting Bobby Labonte to care about anyone else.

You know, now that I think about it, I think I remember what I did to get security’s attention. Julie and I got down to the garage area just as it went “hot,” meaning the practice session was under way, so cars would be driving in and out and fans had to stay out of the aisle. We saw Rusty Wallace walking to his car on the other side of the aisle. We had no idea we couldn’t go over there. There were no cars coming through yet, and Julie nudged me and told me run over to him and get an autograph, so I did. I remember Rusty saying “You know you’re not supposed to be over here!” and then signing my magazine. It was a little while later Gary Nelson threw us out.

Anyway… when I was looking for that picture today, I found my eighth grade yearbook. My brother and I were just about the only Ford fans in our whole school; everyone else preferred Chevy. (I was still a Ford fan, even though Bobby drove a Chevy and then a Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing.) I forgot how much shit everyone else used to give us about Fords! There was “Ford sucks” and “Chevy rules” notes all over my yearbook, among the normal messages wishing me to have a good summer and never change. (Why did 13-year-olds always write that?)

Among all that, I found what is possibly the first note Clark ever wrote me, which was then “corrected” by my brother haha:

clark yearbook

If you can’t read it, Clark’s original message was “Abby, Ford sucks, Chevy + Gordon reign NASCAR – Clark.” Awwww!

Then I flipped to the back of the yearbook. An actual war on everything I loved had been waged on that page, by a kid in our class named Jordan, who preferred Chevy, Earnhardt and his girlfriend Leslie:

jordan yearbook

Woah, take a deep breath! Contrary to what it must look like judging by this page, Jordan and I actually got along fine haha. He was probably just hopped up because it was the end of the school year or something.

After that trip down memory lane, I went for a run. I wore my trail shoes, but it turned out I really didn’t need to. The roads were pretty much clear. I did a lap around the 6.5-mile loop.

When I got home, I let Pepper out, where I got this picture of him running back to me after I threw his rawhide chew across the yard for him to fetch:

pepper in snow

He looks like he’s about to take off like Dumbo with those ears!

And here’s looking down our road from our front yard in late afternoon:

woodpecker road

February 17, 2015

Training for 2/17/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:08 pm

Well, we got a little more than a dusting last night. There’s about 6 in. on the ground here. Nothing terrible, but it’s the first at all significant amount of snow we’ve gotten all winter.

I thought about doing a few slow miles on the road, which looked like it’d been plowed, but wound up not. I didn’t leave the house at all today. I just did some strength training downstairs. Pepper looked really worried the whole time, like he thought I was about to leave him home and go for a run in my T-shirt, shorts and bare feet.

It’s not getting warm enough to melt this crap away any time soon, so I guess I’ll have to slog through it tomorrow. Oh, by the way, I did run a lap around the 5.5-mile loop yesterday afternoon. My face was a little painfully cold by the time I got home, but the rest of me wasn’t too bad.

February 16, 2015

Training for 2/16/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:02 pm

It has gotten ridiculously cold here, and I’m not even ashamed of how much running I haven’t been doing because of it. This isn’t normal for this area and I’m not cut out for this.

Friday was a real peach of a day. Factoring in the 30 mph wind, it felt like it was in the single digits outside. I just did strength training downstairs with the adjustable dumbbells. Other than when I had to go in town to pick up a prescription, I didn’t leave the house.

Saturday was the closest thing to a decent day we got all weekend. It was a little above freezing, and the wind was “only” blowing at 17 to 20 mph. I did 10.1 miles at an 8:49/mile pace. I planned my route to avoid the wind as much as possible, but there were a few miles in the middle where I had to face it, and I was not a happy camper.

Saturday was, of course, also Valentine’s Day. I went in town and got two bottles of pinot noir, a pint of raw oysters and a huge chunk of sushi-grade tuna to make tacos with guacamole, and Clark and I had a nice little dinner at home while we watched the Sprint Unlimited, the first (non-points) race of the season. It was a decent race, though 75 percent of the 25-car field wrecked to some degree. Matt Kenseth won.

We stayed up late enough to polish off both bottles of wine as well as most of the beer that was already in the house. When the race was over, we cranked up some music. I can’t dance so I headbang haha. When I woke up yesterday, I felt like crap and my neck hurt like hell.

On top of my physical maladies, the weather was as awful as it’d been Friday, if not worse. The temperatures had dropped and the wind picked up again. Actually, it must have been worse, because the water line in the hall bathroom started to freeze, which I have never seen before. Clark got it moving again though.

So no, there was no running yesterday, just lying around on the couch trying to stay warm and watching Daytona 500 qualifying. Speaking of which, that was a shit show! Bobby Labonte’s first appearance in a race car since Indy last summer, and this is what happened two seconds in:


He’s in the No. 32 car in the bottom right corner. He got caught up in the accident created by Reed Sorenson in the No. 44, but Clint Bowyer, in the No. 15, was right to blame it more on NASCAR for coming up with this stupid “knockout” qualifying format. Bottom line, it works on non-restrictor plate tracks where drafting is not so much of a priority, but not at Daytona and Talladega, where it is. And what’s even dumber about doing this for the Daytona 500 in particular is that they were only setting the front row yesterday — everyone else’s best lap times would just determine where they start in the Bud Duels on Thursday night, after which they’ll set the rest of the starting lineup. So Bobby just wrecked his primary car qualifying for the qualifying race for the main race. If that doesn’t sound like it makes sense, it’s because it doesn’t!

Even better, the two guys who did run the two fastest laps in the final round and won the front row were… Jeff Gordon and Jimmie stupid Johnson. My old nemesis and my current one! While Bobby’s car sat wrecked. It was like 2005 all over again.

Today, it’s just as damn cold, but the wind is about as calm as it’s going to get, so I’m going to get in the 5-miler on the schedule this afternoon. Pepper will have to sit this one out though. Tonight, we’re supposed to get somewhere between 4 and 12 inches of snow, depending on which forecast you look at. Fingers crossed this turns out like the last “big storm” and we just have a little dusting when I wake up tomorrow.

February 12, 2015

Training for 2/12/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:48 pm

Well, that big nasty combo platter of dog poop and puke I found in the utility room when I came home from work Tuesday afternoon sent the message Pepper was hoping for. I’ve been too scared to leave him home alone to stick to my training schedule since then!

I was planning on a 10-miler yesterday and 5 miles of hill repeats on the Sharptown bridge today, both workouts I’d have had to do without Pepper. What I wound up doing was just a lap around the 5.5-mile loop both days, with him. He wasn’t too excited about running three days in a row, but you know what? I get even less excited by the memory of what that room looked like Tuesday afternoon, so he had to suck it up.

Yesterday was a nice, sunny day. Today, it was starting to rain lightly when we left, and by halfway through it had switched to a light fluffy snow that wasn’t sticking to anything. So, a couple of decent days for this time of year.

This afternoon, after our run, I took a lasagna over to Dave and Kasey’s house. Dave wasn’t home, but I got to spend a couple hours with Kasey and my niece. Apparently Aunt Abby has a magic touch! I held and bounced Kaylee the whole time I was there and she mostly just slept or made funny faces. Or farted haha. Kasey said she and Dave have been dealing with about four straight hours of ear-shattering crying every night for the past couple of weeks, and she was so happy to get a couple of quiet hours while someone else held the baby, she told me I can come over anytime. I’m pretty sure I just stopped by at a lucky time though.

This decent winter weather is on its way out, unfortunately. It’s supposed to really get cold tonight, and tomorrow will be very windy with wind chill values that only get into the single digits. I’ll have to leave Pepper at home if I run anyway since it’ll be so cold, so I’ll see how brave I’m feeling and maybe try to run the second 10-miler on this week’s schedule. It all really depends on what direction the wind is blowing and if I can come up with a route that keeps me out of it head-on as much as possible.

Saturday should be warmer, closer to 40 degrees, but then Sunday is supposed to get really cold again. At least there’s no real snow included in the forecast.

February 10, 2015

Training for 2/10/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:09 pm

Saturday, I took my rest day and didn’t run. I didn’t do much of anything really, and Clark and I stayed in that night.

Sunday was really nice, clear and sunny and it got up into the mid 60s. However, I was home alone with Pepper in the morning, as Clark had some stuff to get done at work before he left for a business trip the next morning. I’d had to clean up dog poop twice Friday — first after I got back from my run in the morning, and again when we got back from a brewery that night — and I really didn’t feel like cleaning up any more. So I took Pepper with me, and just did the 5.5-mile loop.

It was a perfect day for a run! Pepper didn’t have to wear his dork jacket and I got to wear shorts. Shorts!

When Clark got home, we drove down to the beach so he could go surfing again. It wasn’t as warm there as it was here at home, only in the mid 40s, but it was a lot warmer than it was when we were there a week earlier. Of course, the water was just as cold as it’d been the time before, so I didn’t go in. I just looked for shells on the beach while Pepper darted all over the place.

Yesterday, I got up just after 4 a.m. to drive Clark to work, to meet a couple coworkers who were flying with him to Memphis. I had trouble getting back to sleep after I got home, and then, naturally, I had trouble getting up and getting moving later. Yesterday turned into another rest day.

Today, I planned to get in the short easy run on the schedule before my usual Tuesday morning meeting, but there was a freezing rain coming down when I got up to feed Pepper. Everything outside was coated in a layer of ice — Pepper fell down and then back up the back steps when he went out after his breakfast haha. Running on an ice-coated road in the dark sounded like a terrible idea, so I did some strength training for the first time in a few weeks.

I definitely made the right decision! When I left the house to leave for work, it took forever just to pick my way down the ice-covered side steps and across the ice-covered driveway to the garage, which was also iced over, including the door. It was hard to hip check it without slipping. I finally got the damn thing open. The road itself wasn’t too bad, but I got stuck behind every slow-moving toadstool between home and Denton. It took forever to get there.

I was anticipating another round of dog poop when I got home from work. Pepper had refused to stay out in the freezing rain after his breakfast any longer than he needed to pee, and his butt was firing warning shots the whole time I was trying to work out, which smelled amazing, by the way.

So I wasn’t surprised at all to find turds on the floor when I opened the door, but I was surprised to find the ENORMOUS PUDDLE OF VOMIT. A fun addition! That Pepper, he’s always so full of wacky twists!

He’s lucky it was so cold today, or he’d have had to stay out until dinner, not just as long as it took me to flush all his poop down the toilet (and plunge the toilet when one of his enormous horse turds clogged it, naturally) and shop vac up all the puke. Dogs are the best.

I was seriously pissed at him, but I took him with me on my run this afternoon anyway, after it warmed up and the ice melted, mostly because I really didn’t want to risk having to clean up more poop.

It was a little breezy for my tastes, but the roads were totally clear, so I got over it. Pepper and I did 4.5 miles together and were friends again by the time we got back home. I even gave the little shit a treat.

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