A Simple Running Log

September 28, 2015

Training for 9/28/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:17 am

Well, the Dogfish Dash 8K wasn’t the down-to-the-wire shootout with my brother I’d imagined when I convinced him to let me sign him up for it almost six months ago, but it went a lot better than I expected!

Saturday, my stuffy head had turned into a non-stop snot factory, so I did not run. Instead, Clark and I (and Pepper, of course) left home around noon and met TK and her boyfriend Parker at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth. We breezed through packet pick-up, but the 90-minute wait for a table put the kibosh on our plans to eat lunch there too.

For some reason, downtown Rehoboth was absolutely packed Saturday afternoon. I mean, I expected Dogfish Head to be a madhouse because of packet pick-up, but the whole town was full of people.

The Purple Parrot was the first place we could find that had outdoor seating that allowed dogs, and didn’t have a ridiculous wait time for a table. Parker was telling us how much fun one of his coworkers said the Purple Parrot is at night. Believe me, I know! Our group will be there singing karaoke after the Rehoboth half and full marathon in a couple of months, as usual.

We were sitting at the very first table in the outdoor seating area. Pepper was being his normal self, sticking close to Clark and me and not bothering anyone else. Or so we thought. We’d been there about 20 minutes when our waitress said the huge loud group at the next table had told her they don’t like dogs and asked us to… well, she wasn’t really sure, since Pepper wasn’t doing anything. She said they just wanted us to know they don’t like dogs.

OK? I still have no idea what they were getting at. Pepper never went anywhere near the other table, and he wasn’t barking or acting like a lunatic. It was weird. And when the group left before we did, a couple of them even petted Pepper on their way out.

Anyway… after lunch, we walked down to the beach to look at the waves. It never rained this weekend, but it was extremely windy the whole time, and it was blowing from the ocean toward the shore. The waves were big and choppy, and coming up pretty far on the beach.

We left Rehoboth, and Clark and I went to the beach house in Fenwick, where we stayed Saturday night. His parents stayed there too. We got take-out for dinner and celebrated his mom’s birthday with a lemon-blueberry cake his dad made. It was pretty good!

I didn’t sleep very well Saturday night. First off, I could not get a Breathe Right strip to stick to my nose after I washed my face and put on some moisturizer, which turned out to be a huge problem. I could not breathe! I also kept having to blow my nose. And finally, I started coughing, which meant the crud was migrating from my head down into my chest. Just in time for running the next morning. Great. I tossed and turned, blew my nose and coughed all night.

We got up at 6:30 Sunday morning and left Fenwick around 7:15. I was glad to have to stop at a Wawa to use the bathroom on the way to Milton — no worrying about needing to poop during the race, and I didn’t have to wait in the port-o-potty lines before the race to take care of it either!

Parking turned out to be very smooth, with no back-ups. Dave had already gotten there. After I gave him his race stuff, I took Pepper out for a short run, to warm up myself before the race, and to give him a chance to use the bathroom before we had to lock him in the car by himself while we ran. It was in the low 70s and a little humid, but the wind wasn’t too bad in town and at least it wasn’t pouring rain.

Originally, we thought Clark’s grandmother and aunt were also coming to Fenwick this weekend, so the plan was for one or both of them to watch Pepper while the rest of us did the race. (Clark’s parents also raced.) They both wound up not coming. I was under the impression dogs were not allowed on the course, which is pretty typical for bigger races for liability reasons. So that meant Pepper would be alone for a bit, his least favorite thing in the world.

Clark stayed with Pepper as long as possible before lining up for the start. Dave and I made our way to the start corral a little earlier. On the way there, Dave mentioned his shoes were really worn in and comfortable, except when he ran in them. He said they were pretty old. I jokingly asked if they were the same shoes he’d worn in the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon six years ago. THEY WERE.

I was about to get my ass kicked by a guy in ancient Nikes and a cotton T-shirt! Oh the shame. It burned!

There were a little more than 2,000 runners in the race yesterday. Dave and I tried to start not too close to the front, but not very far back either. Just before the gun, Clark joined us.

I had no idea what to expect out of the race, personally, other than getting whipped by my brother, of course. During the warm up mile with Pepper, my lungs had started to burn a little, but my legs felt fresh, even when he was yanking me along at a 7:15/mile pace.

Only one way to find out! We got the starting commands and took off.

Dave immediately jetted away through the crowd. That was the last I saw of him during the race.

The first mile was a little crowded, as usual, as everyone tried to sort themselves out. Somewhere in that first mile, the crowd had to fit onto a little 10-ft-wide paved bike path. It wasn’t a long stretch until we’d be back on a road with more room to race, but apparently one guy got a little antsy — he was probably trying to pass people when he ran smack into a metal sign on the side of the path! I didn’t see it; I just heard the metallic DINNNNGGGG!!!! and then everyone around me gasped as they realized what that noise was. Clark, who was right behind me, did see it, and he said the guy hit it so hard he spun the damn sign around!

I passed the first mile in 7:21. My legs felt great but my lungs were starting to burn, and I was already getting a side stitch. I stopped at a water stop to drink some water. When I started running again, I immediately recognized one of the runners who’d passed me while I was drinking that water — Clark!

I caught up to him and ran most of the second mile with him. He said he was already hurting, and I told him my lungs were starting to burn.

Just before the end of the second mile, I started to pull away from him. Mile 2 was 7:39. I was thinking it was just going to get slower from there, but, spoiler alert, that turned out to be my slowest mile of the race.

Halfway through the next mile, I saw a guy running with his DOG. I had no idea they were allowed! Of course I thought of Pepper, alone and probably howling in my car at that very moment, and I felt horrible. I’m so sorry, Pep!

Pretty soon, the third mile marker came up, and my Garmin showed a 7:26. Not only did I not slow down, I sped up a little. Nice!

The next mile was pretty similar — 7:28. I wavered between thinking how much my lungs were burning and telling myself it wasn’t that bad. I actually felt surprisingly decent.

Just past the fourth mile marker, we hit a long steady uphill. It was terrible timing, that late in the race! I thought it was funny though, that all the women around me just silently chugged along up that hill, while several men groaned very loudly pretty much the whole way up. Such drama queens haha.

The road finally leveled out and then I recognized where the course was taking us — the back entrance to the brewery, which meant the finish line was close!

We ran past the lot where my car was parked. I listened for Pepper, but I couldn’t hear him.

A couple of quick turns, and there it was!

Coming to the finish.

Coming to the finish.

I ran that last 0.97 of a mile in 6:55, and officially finished 4.97 miles in 36:49, a 7:24/mile average. Considering I ran my most recent 5-mile race, in May, when I didn’t have a cold, in 38:44, I was really happy with that time.

Of course, Dave had beaten me soundly. He finished in 33:41, 30 seconds faster than my PR, and had enough time to circle back on the course and cheer me onto my finish. What a jerk haha.

Our wager had been the price of the race registration. I’d paid it for him when I signed him up for it. Since he beat me, he didn’t have to pay me back. Oh well.

By the time I’d walked through the finisher’s chute and gotten to Dave, Clark had already passed on his way to the finish, in 39:46. His dad wasn’t far behind; he finished in 40:54.

I ran back to my car to release Pepper. He had been howling after all; the course just hadn’t passed close enough to the car to hear him. That poor guy! I gave him some water and then we headed back to Clark and Dave.

We saw TK and her sister Kari run by toward the finish, but we were never able to find them in the huge crowd of people in the post-race party.

Clark’s mom walked most of the course, and finished in 1:17:32. A successful day all around!

Later, they posted the results. None of us got anywhere close to placing in our age groups, which were 10-year groupings. Dave was 27th of 412 in the M 30-39 group (and 66th of 2,017 overall), while I was 15th of 429 in the F 30-39 group (and 160th overall.) Clark pointed out the wager should have been on age group finish instead of time. In that case, I’d have stomped Dave!

We stayed until they shut down the taps at the post-race party. It was such a fun morning. My only regret is not taking Pepper with me for the race. I promised him we’ll run it next year, even if it’s the same day as the Dover race again. I’ll still want to go the race after. I’ll just skip tailgating.

When we left the brewery, we went to the brewpub in Rehoboth for lunch, and then back to the beach house in Fenwick. Eventually we straightened the place up and came home.

This morning, I’m starting to cough things up, which is a sign this crud is on its way out, literally. Apparently Clark is starting to feel sick though. Sorry!

I have an easy 4-miler and strength training on the schedule today. I think I feel well enough for that.

Tonight, we’re heading back to the Dogfish Head brewery, for the first annual Mug Club members party!

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