A Simple Running Log

April 29, 2016

Training for 4/29/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:56 am

Pepper wasn’t really feeling it this morning when I tried to get him off the couch to put his running harness on him:

pepper refusing to run


I eventually got him to get up though, and we did one last easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop before my half marathon tomorrow morning. It was a chilly, drizzly day, but not bad for running once we got moving.

Once again, all of our miles were either way too slow, like the first one, when Pepper needed a poop break, or too fast, like the last one, when Pepper just wanted to get back home as quickly as possible.

Anyway, tomorrow is, of course, the Island 2 Island Half Marathon, from Assateague Island to the Ocean City inlet. I’m really looking forward to pacing the 1:55 group! It should be a nice easy long run pace, but not too slow.

Today, I have to go to the inlet to get my race bib, pacer T-shirt and sign. I’m supposed to be back at the inlet at 5:15 a.m. tomorrow to catch the first bus out to Assateague. We’re staying home tonight, instead of at the beach house in Fenwick, so it’ll be a pretty early morning for me.

Sunday, I think I just have an easy 3-miler on the schedule, and the NASCAR race is in Talladega, which is always a fun one to watch.

April 28, 2016

Training for 4/28/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:43 pm

Today, I put off running until I barely had time to squeeze in a 3-miler before I have to leave to cover for something for the paper this evening. In my defense, I wasn’t just procrastinating; I did get a LOT of actual work done.

Anyway, when I did finally go out, I took Pepper with me. I wore the Garmin again. It was a typical out-and-back with Pepper: 9:08 for the first mile full of pee stops, 7:53 for the second mile after he picked up as soon as we turned around and 7:12 for the third mile as he sprinted for his life back toward his precious couch. Three miles in 24:12, 8:04/mile average.

April 27, 2016

Training for 4/27/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:45 pm

Today is a solid 30 degrees cooler than yesterday, and overcast. Since I didn’t take Pepper running yesterday, and I had to leave him home alone earlier to go to an appointment, I skipped the speed workout and took him out for another shorter run.

We did the 4.5-mile loop again. He wasn’t quite as pokey the first two miles as he was Monday, but they were still pretty slow — 10:08 and 9:35. Just before the end of the second mile, a dog in a neighbor’s yard boofed at us, and it seemed to light a fire under Pepper’s ass.

We were getting through the third mile pretty quickly, until we came up on a right turn. For some reason, Pepper wants to cross the road to make the turn waaaay before we’re anywhere near it. I don’t want to cross that soon, in case a car comes up behind us before we get to the turn. I don’t like the cars coming up on our back. Lately, Pepper’s gotten into the habit of slowing to a walk until I let him cross the road. He did that again today.

As soon as I let him cross the road, he sped back up. Mile 3 beeped in 7:47 in spite of the walking.

I really wanted to see how fast we could run a mile straight through, so I just let him go as fast as he wanted for the fourth mile. A couple times, he slowed down like he wanted to investigate a stick on the side of the road, but I kept him moving. He also slowed a bit as we ran past a few houses in a row that had trash cans at the ends of the lane waiting for pick up. That dog hates a trash can, especially if it’s overflowing.

Mile 4 came in at 7:15. Not bad!

We ran the final half-mile in 3:50, and finished the whole loop in 38:35, an 8:34/mile average.

Last night, we went over to Clark’s coworker’s house. They just got a cat. Pepper did the same thing he does when he sees one in our yard; he just stared at it for a long time. Eventually he got up the nerve to lie down near it. I got a couple of pictures of him with this cat that clearly hated his guts.


“Hello, cat!”     “Get out of my house.”

pepper and cat

“We’re friends now!”    “I’m plotting your death.”

That derpy smile on Pepper’s face has been making me laugh since I took this last night haha.

April 26, 2016

Training for 4/26/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:50 pm

Yesterday, I took Pepper out for a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I wore my Garmin again, to try to run my pace group pace.

I needed to slow down from Sunday’s pace, and boy did I ever. Pepper was absolutely dragging ass. The first mile was 12:12, which included a lot grass-sniffing, pee-spritzing, general lollygagging and one poop stop (for Pepper.) There was more running in the second mile, but it was still 9:47. Pepper took a second poop stop in the third mile, which came in at 10:32.

It wasn’t until after that third mile that Pepper felt like picking it up, probably because he knew we didn’t have far left to run at that point. Mile 4 was 8:19, and the last 0.5 was 4:11.

We ran the loop in 45 minutes on the dot, a 10:00/mile pace. It’s a good thing Pepper wasn’t planning on pacing with me. I don’t think I’d be invited back.

I did a little strength training when we got home, just ab exercises, push-ups and invisible chair-sitting.

Today, I did another lap around the 4.5-mile loop, aiming for 8:46/mile. I didn’t take Pepper because, A, he sucks at maintaining any kind of consistent pace until he knows he’s almost done, and B, it was too warm by the time I finally went out to do it, in the mid 80s and sunny. At least the humidity wasn’t bad at all though.

It was also pretty windy, sustained 20 mph winds with gusts up to 25 mph. There’s always a chance for wind like that during a race on the coast like this weekend’s, so it doesn’t hurt to run in it beforehand.

Once again, even running into the wind, I was a little too fast. My splits were 8:29, 8:21, 8:30, 8:38 (not bad) and 4:14 for the last half-mile. I did the whole loop in 38:21, an 8:28/mile pace.

I’ve got a speed workout planned for tomorrow, but I’ll probably do a couple more 4.5-milers at goal pace before Saturday’s race.

Speaking of races, yesterday I signed up for the 10K on May 7 in Cambridge. Clark said he and his coworker had found a bike ride in Cambridge that same morning, that offers a chance to ride the entire 56-mile course they’ll use in the Eagleman. So I started thinking about poor Pepper, home all alone that morning, and how easily he could run 6.2 miles… I emailed the race director to see if he is allowed to run with me. Apparently the only person in the world who can answer this question is on vacation until next Monday. Fingers crossed when she gets back she says Pepper can race his first 10K!

I also scored a good deal on my fourth pair of New Balance Fresh Foam Zantes, only $51 with shipping. They should be here next week.


April 25, 2016

Training for 4/25/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:41 pm

Last week, Clark signed up for the Eagleman, a half Ironman triathlon. Yes, it’s a “half,” but it’s still a pretty long way to go: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. This one is in Cambridge in the middle of June, on a notoriously hot and shade-free course.

Clark has been sorta training for it since we got back from L.A. in February. But with less than two months to go (and after officially plunking down the registration fee), his training has picked up in earnest.

First, we ran together Saturday. I had a 5-miler on my own (suddenly cheesy-sounding in comparison half marathon) training schedule, so an interval run with Clark fit in perfectly.

Pepper had come in the house limping after going out to pee Friday night, and was still acting gimpy Saturday morning, so he had to sit this one out in the utility room.

It wasn’t that hot out Saturday, but it was nearly 100 percent humidity, so it felt a lot warmer. I left the house without a shirt — it’s pretty much no-shirt time for me anyway — and Clark had ditched his by the end of the second mile.

We ran hard for two minutes, recovered for two minutes and then repeated. Then we ran hard for 30 seconds, recovered for 30 seconds and repeated that five more times. Finally, we did four 60-yd. sprints.

I am so bad at sprinting. I was cruising on those longer intervals of hard running, but Clark killed me on the sprints every time.

We ran the rest of the way home easy. We were almost there when one of his coworkers and his wife drove by. Upon seeing shirtless Clark running down the road, his coworker leaned out the window and yelled “Woohoooooo!” haha. They said they were on their way to Pork in the Park, a barbecue festival in Salisbury.

When we got home, we’d run about 4.9 miles. Pepper’s limping had miraculously disappeared while we were out running without him.

We decided to go to Pork in the Park too, but we had a couple errands to run first.

First, we went to Pedal Works Cyclery in Delmar (on the Delaware side of the line, which meant it’s tax-free, which turned out to be very important.) Clark’s boss, who is quite a bit shorter than he is, lent him a road bike a few months ago. It’s definitely too small though, which is going to be a problem in a 56-mile ride.

So Clark bought a new Specialized road bike. The guy there put Clark on a stationary bike hooked up to a computer, and spent a lot of time figuring out exactly how to adjust the new road bike to fit Clark. He also got clip-in shoes and pedals. The new bike should be ready later this week. It’s getting real!

While he was getting fitted for the new bike, I took Pepper to get his nails done. The groomer at PetSmart was so happy when Pepper came in — she said weimaraners are her absolute favorite dogs.

We went back to pick up Clark, and then we went to Pork in the Park. Clark’s coworker and his wife were there, along with their three boys. The one kid said the brisket sandwiches at The Smoke Shack out of Columbus, Ohio, was worth the wait in line. So after I’d had a couple beers, I got in line for a brisket sandwich.

I had to wait for over an hour. I couldn’t figure out what was taking so damn long. I mean, there was a big menu on a dry erase board, propped up right in between the two lines, where you couldn’t miss it while you were waiting. In theory, everyone would know what they wanted by the time they got to the counter.

In theory, yes, but in practice, not even close. By the time I got close enough to the counter to hear other people ordering, I found out several were just ignoring the menu and waiting until they got to the counter to ask an employee, “Ummm….. so, uh, what can you get?”

EYE ROOOOLLLLLLLL. I HATE people like that! Why is reading a menu so beneath you?!

Anyway… I finally made my way to the front, ordered two brisket sandwiches and was on my way in about three minutes flat. I will say, that was a damn good brisket sandwich. And they put so much meat on it, it really didn’t qualify as a sandwich anymore. It was more of a pile of brisket with two flimsy halves of a hamburger bun hanging on for dear life.

We hung out a while longer, enjoying the beer and letting people try to pet Pepper. He was attracting a ton of attention, as usual, and then doing a great job of ignoring everyone, as usual.

We left the barbecue festival and stopped at a couple of our favorite breweries, Rubber Soul in Salisbury and 3rd Wave in Delmar. At Rubber Soul, Pepper was dismayed to find not just the bartender’s dog, Banjo, wanting to play with him, but also a husky and a greyhound. The other three dogs were having a great time together, while Pepper hid under our table and hoped no one noticed him haha. He had a better time at 3rd Wave — he was the only dog in there.

Our last stop was Clark’s coworker’s house to drop him off. (His wife had taken the kids home while I was waiting in line for that brisket forever.) We didn’t stay there too long, and then we came home and went straight to bed.

Sunday, Clark packed up all his triathlon gear and went to Cambridge to do some training with another coworker, the one who got him into signing up for Eagleman in the first place. This guy lives right on the bike and run course, the same one used for both the Eagleman 70.3 in June and the full Ironman in October. He got inspired last October watching all the athletes go by his house.

While Clark was gone, I did nothing. He got back not long after the NASCAR race started. I was good and didn’t drink a single beer during the race. When the race ended, I finally got dressed to go for my own run.

I had a 12-miler on the schedule, but, well… I didn’t feel like it. I settled on the 5.5-mile loop.

Since my next pacing gig is less than a week away, it felt like it was about time to practice the 8:46/mile I’ll need to run for the 1:55 pace group. I wore my Garmin.

Yesterday was a nicer day for a run. The humidity had dropped by more than half compared to the day before. Every time I looked at the Garmin, my current pace was 8:15 or 8:20, and I finished the 5.5-mile loop in 45:45, an 8:19/mile pace. Too fast! I’d rather have to slow myself down than have to push myself to run faster though.

Today, I had to cover a couple of things for the paper. They were both outside events, so I took Pepper instead of leaving him home. He got to see the ribbon cut on a new barn for the agriculture education program at the career and technology center (from my car, where he howled through the whole thing), and then he got to attend Tractor Day at a high school:

pepper at tractor day

I called his vet this afternoon about the urine sample Pepper left last week. There’s still protein in it. The vet said he has to do some more research before he decides what, if anything, we should do about it. This might just be the way Pepper’s kidneys are — we’d never done a urinalysis before he dropped that weight — or it might be something that needs to be treated. Either way, the vet isn’t too worried about it, since Pepper gained all that weight back and isn’t acting sick at all.

Also, now that tax season is over, TK can think about things other than tax returns, so we’ve been discussing our picks for this year’s summer series. It looks like we’ll be doing the Masser 5-Miler on Memorial Day weekend, as usual. Neither of us can do the Jungle Jim’s 5K like we usually do because we’ll both be out of town, and the Women’s Distance Festival 5K (the one with the New Balance gift certificates) has been nixed, unfortunately. But along with four other 5Ks we’ve done before, we’re going to do a new Twilight 5K on July 22, that starts at 7 p.m. and should be done in time to hold the awards ceremony right at sunset. So that should be fun.

We’d also like to do a 10K in Cambridge on May 7, and a 5K at 3rd Wave Brewery on June 4. I think I’m pretty much set for the summer.

Which means I should do the training on today’s schedule, an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop and strength training.

April 22, 2016

Training for 4/22/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:05 pm


pep stretch

Showing off his new beefcake bod!


He had a follow-up appointment with the vet this morning, and he went from 57.5 lbs. March 24 to 61.7 lbs. today! We left a pee sample with the vet so he can run another urinalysis to see if there’s still protein in it, but the vet said dogs with Lyme don’t gain weight, they lose it, so he’s pretty confident Pepper is perfectly healthy, even if the urinalysis does show there’s still a little protein.

I am so relieved!

He really didn’t eat that much more over the past month; he didn’t like the high-calorie food we bought him, and he didn’t seem to want to eat more at a sitting than what we’d already been giving him. But I didn’t run as many miles with him, I gave him more treats after each run and I’ve definitely been giving him more bits of meat whenever I’m eating any — all things Pepper could definitely get used to haha.

Anyway, he did run me with this morning. We went out early for a lap around the 6.5-mile loop. I felt a lot better than I did during yesterday’s run.

This weekend is the last one before I’m pacing the Ocean City half marathon next Saturday. I have a 5-miler and a one hour, 45-minute run on the schedule. I think I’ll take the Garmin on the long run and try to run the 12.2-mile loop at my pace group pace.

Other than that, I don’t really have any big plans for the weekend. There’s a NASCAR race in Richmond on Sunday afternoon to watch.

April 21, 2016

Training 4/21/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:09 pm

Yesterday, I didn’t feel like running, so I didn’t, and today, I had a pretty crappy run. It’s like after all those awesome runs in Charleston last week, the universe had to knock me back down a notch or something.

I did this week’s interval workout, three mile repeats at goal pace for the St. Michaels half marathon. I’d like to run in the neighborhood of 1:45, about an 8:00/mile pace. Considering how easily I was ticking off several consecutive miles under that pace just a few days ago, I figured three miles with a half-mile recovery between each would be a piece of cake. Not so much!

I left Pepper at home, since we’re trying to put some weight back on him and I was going to run the 7.3-mile loop with all the warm up, recovery and cool down. He was barking in protest as I went down the lane, of course. I was already resigning myself to the fact I’d have to clean up poop when I got back.

I ran a mile to warm up in 8:27, and then ran the first mile repeat in 7:57. It didn’t feel too hard, but it didn’t feel as easy as I’d expected either. I hoped the next two weren’t too bad.

I ran easy for a half-mile, and then started the second mile repeat. I was sucking wind by the halfway point. I really hoped I was running faster than I should have been! (The Garmin was only showing what number repeat I was on, and how much farther I had to run to finish it. No current pace.)

I wasn’t quite to the end of that second mile when the need for a bathroom struck. I wasn’t too far from a trail I knew that went back in the woods, which seemed like a better deal than crashing through briars before I got to the trail opening.

I took care of business there. When I came out of the woods, I still had about a 10th of a mile left on that second repeat. I finished it in 7:41 (obviously I paused the Garmin while I was in the woods.)

My legs were toast. It felt like I was at mile 20 of a marathon, not halfway through a 7-miler with a few mile repeats thrown in. It wasn’t too hot today, in the low 70s, so I don’t know what the deal was. I just felt like I had zero energy.

I walked a lot of the recovery after that mile. When the Garmin beeped the beginning of the third and final mile repeat, I tried to pick it up again. But at that point, I was running head-on into a stiff wind and I was just gassed. I let myself walk a bit of the first half of that last repeat, until I made a turn out of the wind and ran the second half. That last mile repeat was 9:06. Woof.

I had 2.3 miles of cool down to get home. I walked a lot of that too. I haven’t felt that cruddy and out of breath on a run in a long time.

I finally made it home, finishing the 7.3-mile loop in just over an hour and five minutes, a 9:04/mile overall average pace. Not what I was expecting, but at least I did it. I hope I feel better tomorrow.

On the bright side though, Pepper managed to not poop all over the floor, so at least I didn’t have to clean up anything.

April 19, 2016

Training for 4/19/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:08 pm

I’ve taken Pepper for a couple of short runs over the last couple of days. It’s gotten warm here, like in the low 80s, and sunny, which is nice except for when you’re running. But that’s what I get for procrastinating and putting off running until the afternoon.

Anyway, we did a lap around the 4.5-mile loop both times. Both runs were on the slow side, as I let Pepper slow down and walk whenever he wanted.

April 18, 2016

Training for 4/18/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:58 pm

I’m back! I had a lot of fun in Charleston with my mom and sisters, but I’m always glad to come home.

Anyway, here are a ton of pictures from our trip.

Last Saturday, I ran a quick lap around the 5.5-mile loop and got my stuff packed. My mom and sisters picked me up a little before noon. We parked my mom’s car at our grandmother’s house outside Salisbury, and then Grandmom took Mom to pick up our rental car, a Nissan Rogue that had just enough room for all our luggage, at the Salisbury airport. It was about 2 p.m. when we had the Rogue loaded up and finally hit the road, a little later than we’d wanted.

Our plan was to take the scenic route to Charleston, sticking close to the coast instead of taking 95. Mom had made a reservation for Saturday night at a hotel in Wilmington, N.C.

Originally, we’d planned on me driving the whole way, but Mom found one little line on the rental agreement about “unauthorized drivers resulting in a loss of AAA privileges” or some nonsense, so I was demoted to navigator, and Mom drove instead. My mom is not a bad driver, she’s just a little more… cautious than I am haha.

We stopped for lunch at a little restaurant in Pocomoke, just north of the Virginia state line. Then we made the long boring drive down the Eastern Shore of Virginia, crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, drove around Norfolk and got on Route 17, the highway we would follow all the way to Charleston.

Some parts of Route 17 had a 70 mph speed limit, and others dropped down to 35 mph as it passed through towns. It wasn’t nearly as fast as 95 would’ve been, but it was a lot more interesting, which was the point.

Sometime around 7:30 p.m., we figured it would be a good idea to stop for dinner soon. While I was looking up restaurants in Washington, N.C., the next major town we’d pass through, my mom managed to go the wrong way at a split. I didn’t notice it for quite a while, until I saw a sign for an upcoming town that was not on our route. We took a detour that took us straight to Washington, but it probably added 45 minutes to what was already a longer drive than we’d expected.

Trip Advisor recommended a restaurant in Washington called Grub Brothers Eatery. We all felt a lot better after we got some food and a couple beers in us.

It was getting late when we left Washington, and we still had a couple hours to drive. We had to stop at a Walmart in Jacksonville so Julie could get a toothbrush or something. Finally, at almost 1 a.m., we pulled into the Quality Inn in Wilmington.

I don’t know what was going on in Wilmington that weekend, but all the hotels were booked solid. So we didn’t have a choice when the Quality Inn gave us the last room they had — a pet-friendly, smoking room. Even though our reservation clearly said NON SMOKING, but whatever.

The room actually didn’t smell like cigarette smoke, but it did smell very strongly of cat piss. We all changed into our pajamas and tried to get to sleep.

Something has happened to my mom in the 15 years since I moved out of my parents’ house. She snores now! LOUDLY.

I didn’t get much sleep that night. I was in the same bed as my mom, so the snoring was right next to me.

Sunday morning, I had a 3-miler on the schedule, but I nixed that immediately. For one, I was exhausted. And on top of that, it was just above freezing outside — a temperature I had not packed running clothes for — and our hotel was near a busy highway off ramp, so it wasn’t a great place for a run anyway.

Instead, we got out of that hotel as soon as possible and went to Jester’s Java in Wilmington for breakfast. Another great recommendation from Trip Advisor.

sisters in wilmington

Julie, me and Kara outside Jester’s Java.

And we were on the road again! It was about a three-hour drive to Charleston from Wilmington, but the road passed right through Myrtle Beach, so we stopped there for a bit.

walking on myrtle beach

Mom, Julie and Kara walking along the beach.

myrtle beach from skywheel

View from the SkyWheel.

julie and me on skywheel

Julie and me on the SkyWheel.

kara and mom on skywheel

Kara and Mom on the SkyWheel.

We left Myrtle Beach and kept driving south. Our next stop was in Georgetown, S.C., for lunch at Big Tuna Raw Bar. The most notable thing here was when Mom found Julie’s first gray hair. Julie was not happy, but the rest of us found it pretty funny!

julie after mom found a gray hair

Around 5 p.m., we rolled into our hotel in Charleston. As soon as we walked into the lobby, we were greeted by the front desk clerk’s 10-week-old PIT BULL PUPPY!! I was already much happier with this hotel!

me and remy

Me and Remy.

We only saw Remy that Sunday, but hey, a puppy for one day is better than no puppy. The clerk probably didn’t bring him back for the rest of the week because she was worried I was going to try to abscond with her puppy haha.

This hotel room was much better than the one in Wilmington. It was a suite; you walked into a living room area with a pullout couch, walked through a little kitchenette area across from the bathroom and then walked into the bedroom, which had two queen beds. Even better, it didn’t smell like cat piss.

It also had an indoor pool, which my mom and sisters all tried out after we’d gotten settled in. I didn’t feel like swimming, so I stayed in the room and called Clark.

After they’d cleaned up after swimming, we drove into downtown Charleston for dinner at Mellow Mushroom. It’s a chain, but it doesn’t come as far north as we live, so neither of us had ever been to one. It had really good pizza.

Sunday night, I managed to fall asleep before my mom did, but her snoring woke me up around 3 a.m. I took a quick video just to record what the snoring sounded like, and then I headed out to the living room to try to get back to sleep. Unfortunately, Mom’s snoring had already woken up Kara, and she was already on the couch. So I just laid down on the floor. Eventually, I realized my mom had stopped snoring, so I went back to bed. I had a hard time falling back asleep though, because I kept waiting for the snoring to start again.

My alarm went off at 7 a.m. so I could go for a run. Kara had said she wanted to run with me, so I woke her up.

As we were leaving the hotel, we saw two horses grazing out front.

horses grazing outside hotel

Just a couple of horses outside a hotel, as usual.

This guy was riding cross country on one horse (the other one was carrying all his stuff), and he just happened to stay at the same hotel the night before. We later saw him and his horses in downtown Charleston, where he’d attracted the attention of the local police.

Anyway, before we came down to Charleston, I’d found a greenway near the hotel, which was great, because otherwise I’d have been running along a busy highway. The closest entrance to the greenway was less than a half-mile from the hotel.

The West Ashley Greenway is a 10.5-mile stretch of a former railroad line that has been converted into a nice little biking, running and walking trail. The direction Kara and I ran Monday was all dirt, and mostly ran through farmland and marshes. It was so pretty! We ran 4.5 miles.


Greenway path.

view on greenway

View of marshland from the greenway.

We all ate breakfast at the hotel, and then we set out for our first day in Charleston.

Looking at the weather forecast, Monday was going to be the nicest day of our week. We started by driving to Folly Island, a little beach community, and renting bicycles to ride around the island.

The bike ride on Folly Island was probably my favorite thing we did all week. The weather was perfect, and since it was early April, there wasn’t much traffic. The guy at the bike rental place recommended riding to the end of the island, where we’d be able to see the nearby Morris Island lighthouse, so that’s what we did.

morris island lighthouse

Morris Island lighthouse, as seen from Folly Island.

julie on folly island


mom on folly island


kara on folly island

Kara doing her “Little Mermaid” impression haha.

sisters on folly island

Julie, me and Kara on Folly Island.

Before returning the bikes, we rode out to see the Folly Island fishing pier.

folly island pier

After we returned the bikes, we had lunch at The Grill and Island Bar, where Julie was introduced to day drinking:

julie day drinking

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

We drove into downtown Charleston, where we took a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. We saw a lot of beautiful architecture, and heard some of the history of the city.

old city jail

Old Charleston Jail.

This jail, more commonly known as the Old City Jail, housed prisoners from 1802 to 1939. It’s estimated that as many as 15,000 people died here in its 137 years of operation. The building is now used by the American College of the Building Arts, but it’s just as creepy as ever. We took a nighttime tour of it a couple nights later.

unitarian church

Unitarian Church.

Reportedly, this church was struck by the bodies of two men who were unfortunately close when a powder magazine two blocks away exploded, sometime in the 1800s. The bodies struck the church with such force that people inside it said the entire building shook, right down to its foundation.

church gate

St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The church’s beautiful wrought iron fence and gates were designed by a member of the congregation in 1822.

house with two front staircases.JPG

Wentworth Mansion.

This historic home is now a luxury hotel with an on-site five-star restaurant. Our tour guide said there’s a persistent myth that the double front entry staircase, which is present on a lot of homes from the Victorian era, was necessary because men and women had to use separate staircases, lest a man catch a scandalous glimpse of a woman’s exposed ankle. That’s a cool story, but it was actually just popular because it added interest and balance to the design.

After the tour, we did a little browsing at the City Market, a four-block open air market, and the Moon Pie General Store.

soda and moon pies

Sodas and Moon Pies.

We walked around the city a bit more.

rutledge house

John Rutledge House.

This place was built in 1763 for John Rutledge, South Carolina’s first governor after it became a state (there were 30 governors before that) and a signer of the U.S. Constitution. It’s now an inn too.

John’s brother, Edward Rutledge, was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence and also served as governor of South Carolina. Pretty important family in Charleston.

john jacob gravestone

Schmidt gravestone.

We walked through a few church graveyards. This marker outside St. Michael’s Church was the only Schmidt we could find, for John and Jacob. It’s just a Jingleheimer away from being the song we all sang in elementary school.

Our last stop Monday was the Oyster House on Market Street for dinner. We had a dozen raw oysters from Virginia and South Carolina. We even got Julie to eat one. She liked it, but she was still too worried about salmonella poisoning to eat another haha.

seafood casserole

Seafood casserole with roasted Brussels sprouts and corn on the cob.

That night, we quarantined Mom in the living room on the pullout couch. We all slept a lot better for the rest of the week!

Tuesday, I got up early again for another run on the greenway, this time on my own. I ran six miles at just over an 8:00/mile pace. It’s extremely rare that I run at home with my Garmin — I only wore it last week so I could know how far I went, something I already know on all my regular routes at home. So maybe I’ve been running that fast on my easy runs for a while and just didn’t know it, but I was pretty surprised to see those mile splits.

Tuesday was cooler and had a chance of rain just about all day. We started the day by visiting the Angel Oak on Johns Island.

When I looked it up on Google maps, I found the word “iconic” was getting tossed around a little too much:


Anyway, the Angel Oak is a Southern live oak that has been around for a very long time. Wikipedia says it’s 400 to 500 years old, but I heard other people say it was 1,500 or even 2,000 years old. At any rate, it’s enormous.

angel oak

angel oak trunk

angel oak branches

kara and me angel oak

Not sure what Kara was doing with her arms here haha.

We drove back into Charleston to visit the Confederate Museum, attached to the City Market. Photography was not allowed in the museum, but there was a lot of really interesting artifacts from the Civil War.

Then we walked over to Waterfront Park, which has the Pineapple Fountain.

pineapple fountain

all of us with pineapple fountain

We went to the Brown Dog Deli for lunch. I had a BLT with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, which to me tasted like the cheese in those Handi Snacks things when I was young. That is a good thing — I loved that cheese!

charleston cobblestone

Cobblestone street we walked past.

church graveyard

Exploring another church graveyard.

church yard

The gravestone on the left marks the grave of a couple who both died before the U.S. was even a country.

Our next stop was Carmella’s, a dessert bar. We got a key lime cheesecake and tiramisu to share, which were both excellent.

We did a little more sight-seeing in the city. We went to The Battery at the southern tip of Charleston, home to many of the city’s most prominent homes, and White Point Garden, a huge park.

battery park

One of several monuments in White Point Garden.

2 meeting street

2 Meeting St., now an inn.

battery houses

Houses along Battery Street.

We went back to the hotel. Julie, Kara and I went for a swim, and then we all showered and went to the Harborview Restaurant and Lounge for dinner.

This restaurant, at the top of a Holiday Inn overlooking the Charleston Harbor, just happened to be where my parents had dinner the first night of their honeymoon, almost 34 years ago. Awww.

Wednesday was a very busy day. I ran another surprisingly fast 4.5 miles on the greenway, we all had breakfast at the hotel and then we went to our first sight-seeing stop, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens.

Boone Hall was founded in 1681. Today, it is still a working plantation, growing all kinds of produce on its 738 acres.

It’s also the most-photographed plantation in the U.S. The TV miniseries “North and South” was filmed there, as was part of “The Notebook” — the house was Allie’s parents’ summer home, and that scene in the rowboat was filmed on the creek right next to the house.

boone hall lane

Live oaks line both sides of the 3/4-mile lane leading up to the house.

boone hall oaks

kara with boone hall house

Kara in front of the house.

mom with boone hall house

Mom in front of the house.

This house is the third one that’s been on this plantation. The first two weren’t particularly grand. This one was built in 1935, by a Canadian couple that bought the plantation in retirement. It’s now owned by a family that bought it in the ’50s, and opened it to the public for tours.

We got to tour the house, but we couldn’t take pictures. We also took a tour of the entire grounds.

boone hall brick fence and gin room

Brick fence along a garden. In the background is the cotton gin, which is being restored.

Out front, there was a line of small brick buildings — the slave quarters, for the slaves who had a particular skill, like blacksmithing, or who worked in the house. (The field slaves lived in smaller wooden structures behind the house, which are all gone.)

boone hall slave cabins

When slave labor was still legal, there were a couple hundred slaves at Boone Hall, growing cotton and making bricks (these slave cabins were built with irregular bricks that couldn’t be sold.)

Each of the eight brick cabins taught about a different aspect of slave life. I’ve heard of other plantations that either gloss over the slave thing altogether, or polish it up so it doesn’t sound that terrible, but I have to say Boone Hall did a pretty good job of acknowledging what a crime against humanity it was. A couple of the displays also talked about how the slaves managed to maintain their own culture, and the last one talked about the Civil Rights movement in the ’60s.

We saw a presentation by a woman directly descended from the Gullah, African slaves who combined all their different dialects with English to form their own new language. Her great-grandmother was a Gullah, who lived to be 117 years old.

Our last stop at Boone Hall was the cotton dock, where goods from the farm were shipped up the creek to Charleston and beyond.

boone hall cotton dock

It’s already strawberry-picking time in South Carolina, so we had to get some fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert when we ate lunch at the farm’s restaurant.

Next was a tour of Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began in April 1861. We took a ferry ride out there, from which we had a good view of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge:

charleston bridge

Approaching the fort:

fort sumter

We had about an hour to walk around the grounds.

mom with the blasted wall

Mom standing in the doorway of a wall that was damaged when the fort’s powder magazine exploded.

officers quarters ruins

Ruins of what was a three-story building that housed the officers’ quarters.


Cannons that are believed to have been brought to Fort Sumter after the Civil War ended.

artillery still in wall

Near the bottom left corner is an artillery round still stuck in the wall.

looking toward charleston

Looking out toward Charleston.

We took the ferry back, and then we went into downtown Charleston to have dinner at Craftsmen Kitchen and Taphouse.

This place had the best beer list of anywhere we’d been all week:

craftsmen beer list

Multiple pages on a clipboard!

And it also had an extremely interesting food menu. We had crispy pig ears and butter bean (lima bean) hummus, and then my mom and sisters all got the ramen special, while I had raw salmon cured with ginger and lemon, and served with Greek yogurt, strawberries, blueberries and mint. It was so good!

We had signed up for a 9 p.m. tour of the Old City Jail. I failed to read the email closely enough, so I missed the part where we were supposed to meet 45 minutes early at the tour guide’s office to walk over there together. We got bumped back to the 10 p.m. tour. Hmm, what to do with the extra time?

We went to the bar in Henry’s, where I bought everyone a round since I’d messed us up. I had something called a Battery Breeze, which was fruity and spicy at the same time.

We drove over to the jail and met the rest of our tour group there. Our tour guide talked about how many people were crammed into the jail, and how most of them died due to diseases they contracted in the jail before they were even brought to trial. Of course, a lot were also executed, many by hanging right behind the jail, where we were standing.

We went inside the jail, which was lit only by the tour guide’s flashlight. He encouraged us to take pictures with flash to see if we could catch anything, but I didn’t get anything.

old city jail tour

Tour guide with a contraption to hold a prisoner in place, by the wrists, while getting lashes. (This room had a red light in the ceiling.)

old city jail tour 2

The tour guide, standing in front of what was the morgue, said often pictures will show a woman standing right behind him, probably Lavinia Fisher, the first woman hanged in the U.S. She was held at the jail after being convicted of highway robbery.

Thursday, I ran another 5.5 miles on the greenway. We got breakfast at the Early Bird Diner, which we found out has been featured on several TV shows, including “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The breakfast was much better than what we’d been eating at the hotel. Mom got pecan-crusted chicken with waffles that were amazing.

We drove down to Savannah, Ga., since it was less than two hours away. We took a tour on a trolley, and then walked to some of the sites we wanted to see closer.

james oglethorpe

Monument to James Oglethorpe, who established the colony of Georgia as a military buffer between South Carolina and the Spanish colony of Florida.

Savannah is supposedly the most-haunted city in the U.S., and this is supposedly the most haunted building in Savannah, the Sorrel-Weed House:

most haunted house

This house was featured in the movie adaptation of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”:

midnight in the garden of good and evil

We walked through Forsyth Park, which has one of Savannah’s most recognizable fountains.

forsyth park

all of us forsyth park fountain

Then we saw the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist:

church outside

church inside 2

inside church

We got lunch at a place called Huey’s, just because that’s Kara’s husband’s name. Luckily, it had really good cajun food. I had gumbo with grits.

We got ice cream from Leopold’s, a 97-year-old ice cream shop. It was good, but not better than Dumpser’s.


And finally, we went to Moon River Brewing. I got a flight, which included a 4-oz. sample of all of their in-house beers. Usually, that’s 10 beers, but one was tapped out. I really enjoyed the nine I had though.

moon river brewing

Another one of the reportedly most-haunted buildings in Savannah, though I didn’t see anything paranormal in there.

moon river flight

Me and my flight.

schmidts beer

Schmidt’s Beer Ale clock in the bar, permanently set to 5 o’clock.

We drove back to Charleston and went straight to bed.

Friday was our last full day in Charleston. I started the day with a 5-miler on the greenway, and then we drove downtown to the Hominy Grill for breakfast.

The Hominy Grill was a pretty popular breakfast spot. We had to wait for at least an hour to get seated, and we just barely made it before they switched to serving lunch.

While we were waiting to be seated, outside in a cold drizzle, I bought us a round of mimosas. Julie swore she got drunk just on that one mimosa haha. I don’t know if that was true, but she seemed to be in a much better mood after she’d drank that and found a heater to stand under.

julie outside hominy grill

We got seated, and I got an egg, cheese and bacon sandwich on a very fluffy Southern biscuit. Definitely worth the wait in my opinion!

We were pretty close to WildFlour Bakery, so we got some pastries to eat later. I got a raspberry-Nutella turnover and a double chocolate chip cookie.

Then we drove to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. By the time we got there, Kara wasn’t feeling too great — she thought maybe the shrimp she had with grits at Hominy Grill was bad. She stayed in the car while Mom, Julie and I toured the grounds.

mom and julie red bridge at magnolia

Mom and Julie crossing a bridge over a swamp covered with duckweed.

magnolia conservatory

Orchids growing in a conservatory.


The light is bad, but if you look closely, there’s a gator on a ramp in the water, and another gator in the water, in the middle of the picture.

magnolia swamp

Reportedly, the animators of “Shrek” came to Magnolia and based the swamp in the movie on this one.

magnolia house

The house.

long white bridge

The oft-photographed Long White Bridge, just to the left of the house.

julie and me in front of long white bridge

Julie and me in front of it.

mom on the long white bridge

Mom on the bridge, after we finally found the right trail through the garden to get to it.

magnolia garden path

Path through the extensive gardens.

magnolia maze

Horticultural maze.

magnolia maze julie at the center

Julie with the statue in the middle of the maze.

magnolia peacocks

Peacocks in the parking lot.

We saw a movie after we left Magnolia, and that night, we went back to Mellow Mushroom for our last dinner in Charleston.

Saturday morning, I got up for one last run on the greenway, 4.5 miles at a 7:51/mile average pace, my fastest run of the week. I don’t know what it was about that greenway, but I had a great run all six days in a row.

The drive home was a lot faster. We took 95 through South and North Carolina. After counting 55 billboards on the highway leading to South of the Border, on the line between those two states, we had to stop there.

south of the border

We got off 95 in Emporia, Va., where we also stopped for lunch. We ate at a Five Guys, but this place was next door:

fo sho

Hermie Sadler was a mildly successful NASCAR driver from Emporia, who is now a commentator for Fox Sports 1 (and he has a younger brother, Elliott, who is still competing in the Xfinity Series.) I don’t know what “fo sho” has to do with him or Italian sports grilles, but here it is.

After lunch, we took Route 58 over to Norfolk so we could go back up the Eastern Shore of Virginia to get home. We were in Delmar, almost home, when I spotted this:

grand prix limo

A stretch Pontiac Grand Prix limo. Classy!

Mom and my sisters dropped me off at Clark’s coworker’s house in Seaford, where Clark and Pepper were hanging out. I was so glad to see them both!

And that was our trip! It’d been at least 20 years since the four of us had gone on vacation together, but it went really well.

Sunday, I didn’t do a damn thing. I slept until noon, watched the NASCAR race from Bristol, unpacked my stuff and drank some of the beer I brought home from South Carolina with Clark.

Today is Marathon Monday in Boston. The elite races ended a while ago, but several of my running friends are still on the course.

Personally, I’ve got an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop and strength training to do today.

April 8, 2016

Training for 4/8/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:10 pm

Today, Pepper and I did an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. It wasn’t notable, except for one weird incident.

I always stay to the left edge on the road, facing traffic, as pedestrians are supposed to do. We were probably only a quarter-mile down the road when this red Dodge Caravan approached us from ahead. Most cars will move over a hair when the drivers see us on the edge of the road, but whoever was driving this van swerved over to the opposite side of the center line, so far the driver’s side wheels almost slipped off the other edge of the road, and then laid on the horn as they drove past us.

For the record, I was on the very edge of the road, and Pepper wasn’t on it at all; he was out in the grass sniffing something. It’s not like we were out in the middle of the road, oblivious to anyone else who might be using it. It was such a bizarre overreaction to something 99 percent of the drivers I see on a run don’t even care about.

Anyway, we went on our way. The rest of the run was fine. We didn’t seem to piss off any other drivers.

This is my last blog post for a while. Tomorrow, my sisters, my mom and I are heading down to Charleston. I’ll be back next weekend. Pepper gets a whole week off from running with me.

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