A Simple Running Log

October 30, 2015

Training for 10/30/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:00 pm

Today, I took Pepper to Trap Pond State Park for an easy run around the 4.5-mile loop. It’s another gorgeous fall day here, so, here are some more pictures.

Pepper and the enormous, oddly-shaped stick he wanted to carry. That look is because he wanted me to somehow make it easier to pick up.

Pepper and the enormous, oddly-shaped stick he wanted to carry. That look is because he wanted me to somehow make it easier to pick up.

Finally figured out how to carry it and run.

Finally figured out how to carry it and run.

That lasted about a half-mile. Then he just wanted to lie down and chew it.

That lasted about a half-mile. Then he just wanted to lie down and chew it.

That was the end of the stick. He left it behind and we got moving again.

A bridge on the trail.

pepper smiling on trap pond bridge

trap pond trail

trap pond

It was a pretty good run. Right near the beginning, we passed from behind this family with a golden retriever. The guy holding the retriever’s leash said to watch out for the little dog ahead. Just up the trail, we came up on another family with some kind of little terrier. I soon found out why the guy had warned me about it — that thing went absolutely batshit insane when it saw Pepper. It wasn’t even barking; it sounded like a wounded pterodactyl screeching at us as we continued down the trail, at a sprint of course. What is it with little dogs? They’re all jerks. We saw several more larger dogs on the trail today, and they were all well-behaved like the golden retriever.

Anyway, we went home and I did some strength training in the attic.

This weekend, I want to do one last long run tomorrow morning. I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow night for Halloween. Sunday will most likely be a rest day unless I decide I just have to get in another short run.

October 29, 2015

Training for 10/29/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:33 am

Today, the rain had moved on and the sun was out, so I took Pepper for a lap around the 8.4-mile loop. I also took my phone so I could get some pictures.

Soybeans around here are just about ready to start cutting.

Soybeans around here are just about ready to start cutting.

Cannon Hall, built in 1812 across from the Woodland Ferry landing, nearly burned down five years ago, but was bought in 2012 by a local couple who are restoring it.

Cannon Hall, built in 1812 across from the Woodland Ferry landing, was severely damaged by fire five years ago, but was bought in 2012 by a local couple who are restoring it.

Road out of the swamp area past the ferry.

Road out of the swamp area past the ferry.

View from behind a little gray weimaraner running down the road.

View from behind a little gray weimaraner running down the road.

Mid-run selfie with a stick, naturally.

Mid-run selfie with a stick, naturally.

Another pretty back road on a fall day.

Another pretty back road on a fall day.

It was nice to get to run shirtless again, but supposedly another cold front is coming through later today, so I might have to put on a shirt again tomorrow. Boo.

October 28, 2015

Training for 10/28/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:41 pm

Today was a pretty nasty day, very windy and rainy. I waited until late afternoon, when we got a break in the rain at least, to take Pepper out for a quick lap around the 4.5-mile loop.

It was quite a bit warmer than yesterday, and humid. And it was still windy.

The first two miles took foreeevvveeerrrr. Because of the rain, Pepper hadn’t been outside since breakfast, so he had a LOT of pee to get rid of. He also needed three separate poop breaks.

We finally got moving in the last 2.5 miles, and got home just before the next heavy shower came through.

October 27, 2015

Training for 10/27/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:05 pm

Guess what came in the mail this morning?

My new Zantes!


Since Pepper was going to have to be at home this afternoon, and I suddenly had these new shoes to break in, I only did the 4.5-mile loop today. That way I could take them both with me.

It was a nice run. The weather was overcast and a little breezy, but otherwise good. The new shoes fit great right out of the box. They will definitely be running OBX with me in a bit less than two weeks.

October 26, 2015

Training for 10/26/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:44 pm

Friday night, Clark and I went to dinner at the Brick Hotel, then to 16 Mile for a couple of beers and then to Dogfish Head for a couple more. On the way back from Rehoboth, we stopped at a Wawa, where I got a scalding hot coffee drink, which I used to thoroughly burn the crap out of my mouth and throat. Smooth. We’d had a very nice evening up to that point at least.

Saturday, I really did not feel that great when I woke up. I was a little hungover, but mostly I was just being a big baby about my burned mouth and throat. At any rate, I did not feel like running at all, so I didn’t. I did go to my parents’ house later that evening though, for my nephew’s birthday party, which was fun.

Sunday, I ran the 4-miler on the schedule first thing in the morning, which for me is an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop, and then Clark, Pepper and I rode down to the beach. We picked up both of Clark’s repaired surfboards, and he bought a 3:2 wetsuit (warmer than his spring suit, but not as warm as the 4:3 wetsuit I bought him for Christmas a couple of years ago, which is so toasty it’s left him sweating in the water… in January.)

We went to the beach house. Pepper stayed there with Clark’s mom, while Clark, his dad and I went surfing — right across the highway, in Fenwick, which is highly unusual. I guess all the bad storms at the end of September and beginning of October carved out a bit of a sandbar, and there were actual rolling waves in Fenwick, where it’s usually just short choppy ones that break right on shore, like in Ocean City.

I spent most of my time in the ocean on my paddleboard. There was another paddleboarder out there, who looked like he was both better at paddleboarding anyway, and had a nicer board than mine. He was really good. He could ride waves like he was on a short board, and I’ve never seen anyone paddle as fast as he could. I spent a lot of time just watching what he was doing and trying to do the same. Most of the other paddleboarders I see around here just look like a yahoo on a paddleboard out there, same as me.

When Clark left his long board on the beach to get his short board out of the Jeep, I took out his long board for a little while. I still suck at surfing.

Eventually I got cold, so I dragged the paddleboard back up and sat in the Jeep while I waited for Clark and his dad to get tired of surfing. Right when I got to the Jeep, this guy on the street asked me if the paddleboarding was good, or if the wind had messed me up. I told him the wind really wasn’t bad at all. I almost told him about the first time I took that thing out in the ocean over a year and a half ago and almost got myself stranded out there because of the wind, but he was already on his way.

It was a short trip back to the beach house when Clark and his dad were done surfing. We spent the rest of the afternoon there, and Clark’s parents watched Pepper so we could get dinner at Just Hooked, which was excellent, as always.

Today, I took Pepper out for an easy lap around the 6.5-mile loop. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a run, and we had a pretty good one. I think tomorrow I’ll try to make up that 12-miler I skipped Saturday.

October 23, 2015

Training for 10/23/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:52 pm

Today should have been a rest day, but since I skipped Tuesday and ran Tuesday’s 8-miler Wednesday, I ran Wednesday’s easy 5-miler today. Pepper and I did yet another lap around the 5.5-mile loop. Looking at my training plan, that should have been the last time we’ll run that loop before OBX. All the short easy runs next week drop down to the 4.5-mile loop. That should make him happy. He always tries to pull me to the turn for that loop, because he knows it’s shorter.

Tonight, Clark and I are going to dinner at the Brick Hotel in Georgetown to celebrate our anniversary, since we were in Chicago for the actual day last month.

Tomorrow, I have the last double-digit run before OBX on the schedule, a 12-miler, and then we’re going to my parents’ house in the evening to celebrate my nephew’s 12th birthday.

Sunday is a 4-miler, and we might go down to the beach. If not, I’ll be watching the Talladega race at home.

October 22, 2015

Training for 10/22/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:20 pm

Today, Pepper and I did another easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. It was another beautiful fall day for a run. Not too much more to say about it.

October 21, 2015

Training for 10/21/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:24 pm

Yesterday, by the time I’d cleaned up all the dog poop in the floor after I got home from work (seriously, how does a 60-lb. dog create that much poop, especially after Clark said he saw the same dog poop TWICE earlier that day before we left for work??), there wasn’t much daylight left and I didn’t feel like running anyway. So I just went upstairs and did some strength training in the attic.

Today, I took Pepper out for the 8-miler I was supposed to have done yesterday. It was about 11:30 a.m. when we left the house. I am not ready for cold weather if I can help it, so I wanted to let it warm up. (Plus, I’m a procrastinator.)

It was absolutely gorgeous outside today. I really could not ask for a better day. It was warm enough I wound up taking off my shirt a couple miles into the run, but it was still cool and not-humid enough that I never got too hot. The sky was a clear blue and enough of the leaves have changed colors that it’s kinda pretty now, though this area probably won’t hit its peak for another couple of weeks.

Anyway, it was a really nice run. We did an easy lap around the 8.4-mile loop. I had to drag Pepper out of someone’s yard he was about to take a dump in — while the guy was IN the yard, mowing it — but other than that, no problems.

I gave Pepper a bunch of treats when we got home because he’s been looking extra scrawny to us recently. Probably because he poops so damn much!

October 20, 2015

Training for 10/20/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:39 pm

Yesterday afternoon, I took Pepper out for a lap around the 5.5-mile loop. I didn’t feel too sore, but I wasn’t sure what to expect two days after a hilly marathon. Much to my surprise, it was a really smooth run. In fact, it felt pretty good!

I haven’t run yet today, because I had to be at a meeting this morning and the sun doesn’t rise that early anymore, but I might put in some miles when I get home from work.

October 19, 2015

Training for 10/19/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:09 am

I had a great time at the Baltimore Marathon this weekend! The race itself went really well up until about 20 miles, when my digestive system decided to act up for the entire final 10K, but overall it was a good training run and I’m feeling pretty confident about the Outer Banks Marathon, now less than three weeks away.

Friday afternoon, I got to the expo at the Ravens stadium just before 5. They had it set up so you had to walk all the way to one end to get your race bib and then all the way to the other end to get your race shirt. I know they do that so you have to walk past every single vendor, but seriously, the people who want to browse the vendors will do so whether they have to walk past them or not, and the people like me, who don’t want to, will get annoyed.

Anyway, I got my bib, No. 1050, plus a smaller “bib” I could pin on the back of my shirt that said “Full.” I wound up not wearing that one, but I kinda wished I did in the later miles of the race the next day, when it wasn’t clear who was doing the full, the half or a leg of the relay.

The race shirt was, as always, an extremely nice Under Armour shirt, in men’s or women’s specific cuts. The marathon shirt this year is red and long-sleeved. It fits perfectly. Baltimore always has the best race shirt.

On my way out, I picked up a $2 pair of throwaway gloves.

I stayed at Meredith’s house Friday night, about a 20-minute drive from the city. She made steaks, rice and steamed vegetables for dinner, and I brought some sweet potatoes to bake for a few more pre-race carbs.

I went to bed around 11 p.m., with my alarm set for 5:30 a.m. Around 2, I woke up because I really had to pee. I was staying in their basement, so I had to go upstairs to go to the bathroom. They have a 2-year-old, so there was a baby gate at the top of the stairs. I could not get that damn gate open, and all my fiddling and muttering attracted the attention of their dog, who stood on the other side of the gate and barked at me, until Meredith’s husband woke up and opened it for me. I am a wonderful house guest.

The next day, I found out there was a bathroom in the basement, right next to my room. D’oh!

Other than that little misadventure, I slept fine Friday night. I got up at 5:30, dressed in capri-length tights and a long-sleeved shirt and drove back to Baltimore. On the way there, I ate two of my homemade pumpkin muffins and a banana, and drank a small bottle of Gatorade.

The parking scammers were out again this year, trying to redirect people from the free parking by the stadium to their own lots, where they charge $10 a car. I found out last year if you turn off Route 295 where the scammers are, but keep going straight where they want you to turn next, it’s a nice little back way to the free parking. The looks on their faces when you drive straight instead of turning into their lot are a bonus haha. Screw you, scammers!

I was parked just after 6:30. I got all my stuff together and joined the crowd headed toward the race start. I made a stop at a port-o-potty, where I was thrilled to take a pre-race dump, and then dropped off my bag at gear check.

The race begins in front of Camden Yards. I met Caitlin and her boyfriend, Bob, in front of Pickles Pub, right next to the start line. The pub was open for runners to hang out somewhere warm before the race, which was really nice of them to do. That also meant we got to use real bathrooms instead of port-o-potties. Caitlin and I took one last pee before the start, I downed a couple of Imodium, and then it was time to get in the corrals.

Caitlin and me just before the start:

pre race

She runs much warmer than I do!

We listened to a good live rendition of the National Anthem and a pep talk from Baltimore’s mayor, and at 8, they fired off a huge spray of confetti and we were running!

Course map.

Course map.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.02.18 AM

I read someone’s race report who said her Garmin reported 965 ft. of elevation gain over the course.

Caitlin and I quickly separated after the start. She was going for a PR and I was just going for a training run, so I didn’t want to get caught up in her pace.

I’ve run two different legs of the marathon relay at Baltimore, so half the race would be familiar, while the other half would be new. Knowing where the relay exchanges were let me split up the race into four sections.

The first 5.8-mile section was new to me. It was also uphill the first three miles. I took those miles really easy: 9:35, 9:11 and 9:09. It didn’t feel as hard as I was afraid it would, since I only train on very flat routes and I haven’t done any hill repeats on the Sharptown bridge in a while.

In the fourth mile, we ran into the zoo, which had some nice downhill sections. Miles 4 and 5 were 8:51 and 8:49. We also got to see handlers holding ravens and PENGUINS! They were so cute!

Mile 5ish.

Mile 5ish.

We ran past the first relay exchange point at mile 5.8. Last year, I ran the second leg, so I remembered the next roughly 7-mile section very well.

Just past the relay exchange, we came up on an aid station, where a guy dressed up like a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee was holding a huge tray of glazed Munchkins! I took two, then ate one of my salted caramel GUs and drank some water. Mile 6 was a little slower because of the Munchkin stop, 9:24, but it was so worth it!

I knew the next few miles of the course would probably be my fastest of the race, as it had a lot of sweet downhills. I was right. Miles 7 through 9 were 8:37, 8:48 and 8:15, my fastest of the day.

By this point, we were running through the downtown area, near the Inner Harbor, so there were a ton of spectators. I have to say, even in the less popular parts of the course, there were good spectators, cheering us on. Baltimore really comes out to support this race.

Somewhere in the first half of the race.

Somewhere in the first half of the race.

After we passed the Inner Harbor, we ran an out-and-back through an industrial area. Not the most scenic part of the course, but again, plenty of spectators. The turnaround point just before mile 11 went through the Under Armour headquarters, where employees had a huge aid station set up, stocked with several different flavors of GU and Chomps. I took a watermelon one, which was really good, and drank some more water.

Miles 10 and 11 were 9:15 and 8:58.

The 4:00 pace group passed me while I was eating my second GU. As I took off after them, I heard one of the pace group leaders ask if anyone had missed the water and Gatorade table, because he’d taken extra. He’d also grabbed a bunch of GUs and Chomps if anyone missed those. Damn, I really need to step up my pace group leading game at Ocean City next year! Those guys were pros!

I pulled back ahead of the 4:00 group as we ran back toward the Inner Harbor. Mile 12 was 9:06.

I was almost halfway and I felt awesome, except I really had to use the bathroom. Of course! We passed the second relay exchange and I saw a bank of port-o-potties, but there was a line. I knew we were almost to the start point of the half marathon, which should have just began, so all the port-o-potties there should be just about empty.

My patience was rewarded a couple tenths of a mile later, when I ran up on more port-o-potties with no line! I ducked in one and took care of business, then ran back out to the course. Mile 13 was 10:11, and I officially crossed the half marathon timing mat in 2:01:18.

Baltimore’s half marathon set up is a little odd – that race starts an hour and 45 minutes after the full starts, at the full’s halfway point. However, they keep the two races separate for the next three miles.

There were still half marathoners crossing the start line when I ran by. It looked quite a crowd – I was glad we didn’t have to merge in with them for a few more miles.

The next section of the race, the third relay leg, was new to me. It also had the nastiest uphills on the course elevation map. Bring it on!

I really enjoyed the next three miles. After all the hubbub of the Inner Harbor area, with the relay exchange point, the half marathon start and all the spectators, it was nice to run through a relatively quiet section for a bit. It was also still pretty flat, and the marathon runners had gotten spread out enough I didn’t have to weave through anyone. Miles 14, 15 and 16 were 8:43, 9:01 and 9:00.

All of that was about to change though. Just before the end of mile 16, as I crested the first uphill, I looked down and saw where the marathon was merging with the half marathon at the bottom of the downhill. It looked like a tiny trickle pouring into a raging river. Holy crap those were a lot of half marathoners!

At first, the race organizers had a little separate lane roped off to the right side, for the marathoners. But then that ended, and the half marathoners spread out across the entire course.

My pace slowed quite a bit over the next few miles, as I was now in an enormous crowd of runners, and we were tackling the worst uphills of the course. I hardly noticed the elevation though, because I was so busy dodging half marathoners when I could get an opening. There were so many people running so many different paces on that course! Miles 17 through 19 were 9:24, 9:27 and 9:25.

Right around mile 19, we passed the final relay exchange. We were now in the fourth and final section of the course, the one I ran six years ago. It’d been a while since I ran it, obviously, but I kind of had an idea of what to expect.

According to the official race timing mats, when I passed mile 19, I was running an average pace of 9:06/mile, slightly faster than a 4:00 finish time.

There was one more long uphill in that mile. Then it flattened out and we ran down to a nice flat 1.3-mile loop around Lake Montebello.

We passed 20 miles just as we started that loop. Mile 20 was 9:31. Just a 10K to go! I felt like I could finish somewhere around 4:00, which would be awesome.

Then, it started.

All of a sudden, my gut was NOT happy. I don’t know what caused it, but it went up to Emergency Level 11 in about three steps. I slowed to a walk for the first time (other than water stops), hoping walking a little would calm it down while scanning the side of the course for anywhere to run to take care of the impending disaster.

There was nothing! The lake was completely surrounded by a residential area, and the banks along the lake had no trees, just some very thin bushes that all had spectators sitting near them anyway. I could feel beads of sweat popping out on my forehead that were completely unrelated to running.

Then, in the distance, salvation – a bank of port-o-potties at the mile 20.5 aid station. I’m sure I was doing some kind of half run, half waddle trying to get to those port-o-potties as fast as possible without ruining my tights, but I made it!

There was a line though, of course. Somehow I managed to hold on long enough to get in a port-o-potty. I tried to be quick, since there were still people waiting to use them, but I did not feel very good for a few minutes there.

Finally, I felt better, so I cleaned up and got out. Just past the port-o-potties was the aid station. I reached in the back pocket of my tights for the other two Imodium, hoping that would stop things up for the last 5.5 miles of the race, but they had disintegrated into a film of green powder. Ugh.

I took some water and ate one last GU, a vanilla bean one they were handing out at that aid station, and started running again.

Thanks to the extended stay in the port-o-potty, Mile 21 was 13:56, my slowest of the race.

We finished the lake loop and then headed back toward Camden Yards. Getting close!

Over the next couple of miles, I found out I had not, in fact, completely taken care of business in that last port-o-potty. I ran most of the way, but I had to stop to walk a couple of times when it felt like I was going to poop my pants if I kept running. Miles 22 and 23 were 10:01 and 10:00.

In the next mile, I spotted some port-o-potties off to the side of the course, with no line – because really, who needs to use one that close to the end of a race? I do! So I ran in one. Mile 24, with that stop, was 12:40.

That seemed to finally do it, and I was able to run and enjoy the final couple of miles of the race. The spectators were out in force as we ran toward the ballpark. Mile 25 was 9:04 and mile 26 was 8:51.

The last bit of the course ran down Eutaw Street, right inside the ballpark, and then came out to the parking lot between the ballpark and the football stadium. It’s a really cool finish.

The Garmin recorded 26.4 miles, and said I’d run that last .4 in 3:22.

Officially, I finished the 26.2-mile course in 4:10:41, a 9:35/mile pace.

I was 55th of 204 in the F 30-34 age group, 316th of 1,092 women and 956th of 2,510 total finishers.

Other than the poop problems (again), I was pretty happy with that race! It was a great training run, until it wasn’t. Maybe I should have just done a 20-miler alone, because in that case I would’ve been home by the time the gut problems started!

That also brought my week’s total mileage to 61.4, the most I’ve run in a single week in years.

One last note, I definitely found my marathon shoe for OBX. I ran Baltimore in my New Balance Fresh Foam Zantes. They had just enough cushioning that my feet didn’t feel like ground meat like they sometimes can after a lot of miles in the Zeros, but they didn’t cause a single blister. They were perfect. Since I’ve had that particular pair since May, I ordered a new pair yesterday for OBX.

I got my big honking medal and free food, and then got my bag so I could change into dry clothes.

Someone was NOT impressed with my run.

Someone was NOT impressed with my run.

I don’t look like I was sweating at all in that picture. I actually got cold in the last few miles of the race, when the sun went away. I was really glad I went with the long sleeves and capris, but I was wishing I hadn’t thrown away my gloves in mile 4!

I met up with Caitlin and Bob. Caitlin did in fact PR – she ran 4:13. It wasn’t as big a PR as she’d hoped for, but that is one hell of a tough course to PR on at all! She’s running the full at Rehoboth in less than seven weeks, which is much flatter, so she’ll probably be able to run an even bigger PR there.

At that point, the bulk of the runners in both the half and full marathons were finishing, so the post-race party area was packed to the gills. Rather than mess with all that, we left to get lunch.

We went to the Pratt Street Ale House, but it looked like they had some kind of event going on there, because it was absolutely packed. So we went back to Tir Na Nog, the Irish pub and grille where we ate after the race last year. A couple of Magic Hat No. 9s, crab and artichoke dip and a turkey burger really hit the spot.

Caitlin and me post-race:

post race

After lunch, we said our goodbyes, and then I drove back to Meredith’s house, so I could have a couple beers with her, since I’d stayed away from alcohol the night before to avoid gut problems during the race (which obviously turned out to be pointless.) I wound up staying for dinner.

It was pretty late when I got home. I watched the end of the Mets-Cubs game with Clark and went to bed.

Yesterday, I didn’t do a damn thing, other than eat all the food in the house in between napping on the couch. I watched some football and kept up with the NASCAR race on my phone, since it was on NBC this week. Other than Joey Logano spinning out Matt Kenseth near the end, it didn’t look like much excitement happened. Talladega is this coming weekend, and it’s on NBCSN, so I’ll be able to watch that one.

It got cold here too. This morning, it was 56 degrees in the house and there was frost on the ground outside. Pepper and I were not happy.

pepper cold

I’m now technically in the taper for OBX, but training still continues. When it warms up a little, I’ll take Pepper out for a lap around the 5.5-mile loop.

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