A Simple Running Log

May 31, 2016

Masser 5-Miler recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:26 am

Sunday, I ran the Masser 5-Miler, the annual kickoff event for the Seashore Striders’ Summer Championship Series. I didn’t quite make my goal time, but I was still pretty happy with how I ran.

The day before the race, Saturday, was the hottest day of the year so far. Sunny, humid and in the 90s. Clark’s triathlon is two weeks away, so he decided to do a 30-mile bike ride immediately followed by a 10-mile run, in the middle of the day. (Eagleman is notoriously hot, so a lot of athletes intentionally train in the middle of the day for heat acclimation. We just haven’t had any hot days to do that until last week!)

While Clark was out riding his bike, Pepper and I drove to the bike shop in Delmar to get a few things Clark needed for the triathlon.

Clark finished his bike ride and then set out for the run. He was going to do the 5.5-mile loop and the 4.5-mile loop. I told him I’d do the last 4.5 miles with him.

It was about 3:15 p.m. when Clark and I left the house for the final 4.5 miles of his day (we made Pepper sit that one out and stay home alone.) It was freaking HOT. He kept apologizing for not running that fast, or needing a walk break, but it seriously was not bothering me one bit.

One of the tar and chip roads on that loop was resurfaced last year. It was so hot, the tar was bubbling up. The little tar bubbles popping under my shoes and then sticking to the soles made it sound like I was running on shards of glass.

We finished off two water bottles just on that last loop. But we finished, and Clark had hit his mileage goal for the day without dying. A win!

Sunday morning was the Masser 5-Miler. TK and I always run this race, because you have to run at least one 5-miler in the series to qualify for the end-of-season awards, and the other one is at the end of July.

This was my seventh year running this race. Some years, it’s been as hot as late July, but a few years have had cooler temperatures. In 2013, it was so unseasonably cool some people wore long sleeves (that was when I ran a blazing fast – for me – 34:11, a time I have never come close to since.)

When I got up at 5:30 a.m. Sunday and let Pepper out to pee, it felt like we were going to luck out and be on the cooler side. It was in the upper 50s at sunrise! Much better running weather than the day before.

TK picked me up at 6 and we were parked at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes before 7. By that time, the sun was all the way up and it had warmed up considerably, into the low 70s, and it was definitely on the humid side. Damn.

Oh well. Still not as bad as it could be. I did an easy mile to warm up. TK noted how sweaty I already was when I came back from that easy mile.

We got in the starting pack on the bright blue rubberized track in the high school’s stadium. The race director said the course would be a little different this year. First of all, we didn’t have to run behind the school on the way out. For some reason, I have always hated that part of the course, so that made me pretty happy. Then, he said, once we left the school campus and crossed the highway, we were not to immediately get on the crushed gravel trail along the road, because DelDOT had not maintained it like they were supposed to. We would get on the trail a little farther down the road, when it was runnable again. Whatever. I kinda missed the next part of the new course description, but I figured there would always be someone close enough ahead of me that I could just follow them. I did hear the last couple of miles were the same as always, through Lewes and then up the highway, back to the campus and finish on the track.

So. My pie-in-the-sky goal for the race was 36:30, or 7:18/mile pace. Ultimately, I would be happy with anything faster than 37:30, or 7:30/mile pace.

We got the starting commands and took off. I had started a little farther back than I probably should have, but that just kept me from taking off too fast, which was a good thing. The crowd ran a little ways around the track, left the stadium and ran straight off campus. By the time we left the campus, we were mostly sorted out and I was feeling pretty good about my pace.

We ran across the highway and down the road, before we got on the trail. I glanced over at the section of trail the race director had deemed too overgrown for us to run. He wasn’t kidding!

We got on the trail where it was still crushed gravel for a little bit, but soon it switched over to paved. I passed the first mile marker in 7:21. Typically, the first mile is my fastest, and it was already slower than goal pace.

But not much, and I actually felt pretty good! And now I only had four miles to run.

It used to be, when the paved trail ended, we got back on the road and followed it into Lewes. It was a roughly two-mile slightly uphill and unshaded stretch, and it always sucked. But the paved trail had been extended in the past year! We crossed the road and got onto the new trail section.

That good feeling I’d had at the end of the first mile was already fading haha. It felt so much hotter than I’d expected!

Still, I was passing a few people and maintaining my pace. I passed the second mile marker in 7:22. Just beyond that was a water stop. I really needed some water. I took a cup and slowed to a walk for a few seconds so I could gulp most of it and throw the rest of it on the back of my neck.

The third mile continued along the new trail section, until it met up with the road we used to run on the old course. The rest of the course was the same as it had always been.

I was really getting hot at this point. I passed the third mile marker, as we were running into town, in 7:28. I was fading, but it hadn’t gotten too bad yet. I could hang on for two more stinking miles.

We made a couple turns and then we were on Kings Highway, heading back toward the school. Before the end of the fourth mile, we passed the second water stop, and again, I took a cup and walked for a few seconds to drink most of it and throw the rest of it on the back of my neck.

I hit the fourth mile marker in 7:35. Just hang on for one more mile! There were a few women within striking distance. I concentrated on catching and passing them.

We finally made the turn off the highway and back onto the school campus. My watch was at 4.75 miles as we ran toward the stadium. One more 400-meter interval and it would all be over!

We ran into the stadium and onto the track for the final tiny stretch to the finish line. I caught the woman in front of me as we got on the track. I said something to her like “C’mon, sprint this in with me.” And she took off like she had two extra gears! I mean, look at the gap she’d put on me by the time we made it around the turn:

masser 5 miler finish 2

I am really regretting my decision here haha.

masser 5 miler finish

Thinking seriously, why the hell did I do that?

I finished two seconds behind her in 37:07, a 7:26/mile pace. She thanked me for that last push after I crossed the line.

So I didn’t make my goal time, but I finished in my acceptable window, so I was happy. I definitely held up much better through that whole race than I had in the 10K I ran three weeks earlier! No walking this time.

I felt pretty much drained after I finished. I did a very slooooow mile to cool down and bring my total mileage for the day to 7.

TK and her sister finished a little while later. We hung around for the awards ceremony. I was first of only six runners in the F 30-34 age group. A few years ago, this was one of the biggest age groups in most races. Weird!

masser-5-miler-awards

Three winners in the F 30-34 age group.

Anyway, I was also ninth of 156 female runners, and 37th of 297 total runners.

The age group win was important because the awards at the end are determined by adding up everyone’s highest finishes in their age group in one 5-miler and five 5Ks. Lowest score wins. So far I’ve got a total score of one, so I’m doing good!

I have a 5K this coming weekend, but it’s not one in the series. My first 5K for the series is June 11.

tk-and-me-at-masser-5-miler

TK and me after the race.

A girl TK and I went to college with at Salisbury was in Ocean City for the weekend, so we tried to meet her halfway for brunch at Harpoon Hanna’s in Fenwick. She wound up completely flaking on us, but the brunch there is really good, so I didn’t mind that we’d just driven an extra 40 minutes through Memorial Day traffic for it.

TK and I went home after brunch. We were both going to a birthday party for our friend Julie’s older son. Hard to believe he’s already 9!

The party was at a park in Preston. Thankfully, there’s a big pavilion there, because about halfway through the party, it started pouring. Apparently some little tropical depression had parked itself south of us, and there was a high pressure system out in the ocean just east of us, and they were both funneling moisture from the Gulf Stream straight to Delmarva. It started raining Sunday afternoon and didn’t let up again until last night. Just what we needed, more freaking rain.

After the party, I went home and watched the Coke 600 with Clark. We went over to my brother’s house to see him, Kasey and Kaylee after the halfway mark, and we heard the end of it on the radio while we were driving to Cambridge to stop by RAR Brewing. I was really happy Martin Truex Jr. finally got a win this season! He’s dominated a couple earlier races, but always had something go wrong before he could close the deal.

Monday morning, Clark went to Cambridge to swim in the Choptank again with his coworker. It was pouring at home. I wanted to go for a run, but I didn’t want to take Pepper or leave him home alone, so I waited until Clark got back.

I left for my run a little after noon. Other than the torrential downpour, it wasn’t a bad day for a run. Not too hot or windy, at least. The rain seemed to pick up as I was running. I only did the 4.5-mile loop, but by the time I got home, I was as soaked through as I would have been had I been standing in the shower that whole time.

In spite of the rain, we went to the beach house yesterday. Clark wanted to go surfing. I thought about joining him and his dad, but wound up deciding I was happier staying dry and hanging out at the house with Clark’s mom, Snoopy and Pepper. When those two got back from surfing, Clark went for another swim in the canal.

We’d bought on the way to the beach some salmon filets and ground bison meat to grill for dinner, but it was still coming down pretty hard last night, so we just went home and broiled it in our oven instead.

This morning, I had a meeting first thing, so I went out and ran before work. It had finally stopped raining for a minute, but the humidity level was at 97 percent. I did the 4.5-mile loop and was drenched again when I got home, that time in my own sweat.

I always walk the last bit home as a cool down. This morning, I noticed a turtle on the side of the road, looking like it was about to try to cross it. I almost stopped to pick it up and carry it across, until I realized it was a snapping turtle! Just hanging out there on the road, as one does.

I ran to the house to get my phone to take a picture, because in all my years running I’ve never seen a snapping turtle on the road. In the short time it took me to get back, the thing had almost crossed the road on its own anyway.

snapping turtle

It was a little one, as you can see. Probably pretty young. It didn’t hiss or snap at me. I read they do that because they’re the only turtles too big to be able to retreat into their shells.

So that was my last run of May, which means it’s time for my monthly summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (May 1-7): 22.7 miles
  • Week 2 (May 8-14): 35.2
  • Week 3 (May 15-21): 28.5
  • Week 4 (May 22-28): 29.5
  • Week 5 (May 29-31): 16

Total: 131.9 miles

Another sorta slacker month for mileage, but after the St. Michaels half marathon, I didn’t have a training plan to follow anyway.

I ran three races though: A 10K that sucked, a half marathon that would have been good if not for the digestive distress and a 5-miler that went pretty well.

In June, I have three 5Ks lined up, one at 3rd Wave Brewing in Delmar this coming weekend, and then two summer series races at the beach the following two weekends.

I’m also thinking about registering for a standup paddleboard race, which I’ve never done before.

And of course, there’s the Eagleman 70.3 on June 12! I’m not racing it but it’s probably the race I’m most looking forward to this month. Clark is going to do great!

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May 27, 2016

Training for 5/27/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:50 am

This morning, I didn’t feel like running as soon as I got up. However, I knew it was going to get hot, so after I fed Pepper his breakfast, I resisted the urge to go back to bed and got dressed anyway.

As soon as Clark got back from swimming in Cambridge, I headed out for my run. It was about 75 degrees, sunny and humid. I just did a lap around the 5.5-mile loop. My legs were a bit sore after yesterday’s speed work, and it always feels so much harder to breathe when it’s humid like it was anyway, so I took it pretty easy.

Now I’m trying to write the story on the high school graduation I covered last night. I read once food writers consider Thanksgiving to be their bane. How do you write something fresh about Thanksgiving, when everyone likes the same roasted turkey and pumpkin pie every year? Well, freaking high school graduation is mine. Everyone always says the same thing: We’re so special, because we’re the (insert school here) Class of (insert year here)! We’re going to rule the world! This is just the beginning, not the end!

I have been attending high school graduations since 1998, when I was a freshman in my high school’s band and had to help play the processional and recessional music. By the time I was one of the graduates, I was very ‘meh’ about the whole thing. And now that I’ve had to write about them, I really have a hard time drumming up any enthusiasm for it. Oh well, it’s my job. So congrats, Class of 2016! All 3.3 million of you.

Anyway… it’s Memorial Day weekend, so that means Masser 5-Miler time! Tomorrow, I’ll probably do one more short easy run, and then the race is Sunday morning. Looks like we should get decent-ish weather. It’ll be warm, but not as hot as it has been in past years. I’d like to beat my 8K time from last September. I guess I’ll say 36:30, or 7:18/mile pace. That looks too fast when I write it down like that!

Other than that, I’m not sure what we’re doing this weekend.

May 26, 2016

Training for 5/26/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:24 am

Today, I did my second speed workout this week! I got it done early in the morning for the second day in a row too! I’m on a roll!

I went in town to do some 800-meter intervals on the track. Since I did four hill repeats Tuesday, I figured I’d do four intervals today.

I have a 5-mile race in three days. I don’t know what pace to shoot for. Last September, I ran an 8K, which is just shy of 5 miles, in 36:49, a 7:24/mile pace. I’d like to think I’ve improved at least a little since then, as I’ve been consistently running, but I don’t know. Not much of that running included speed work.

Well, when I used to run 800s regularly, I generally stuck to a goal of 3:30 each, or 7:00/mile pace. Not that I think I’ll be able to maintain that for Sunday’s race, but it made for a nice even number to aim for.

Today is supposed to be around 90 degrees. It was already in the low 70s when I got to the track, and sunny. I’m not complaining though. It’s nice that it finally feels like late spring around here.

I ran an easy mile to warm up, and then took off for the first interval. The first one is always slow. I came through the first lap already five seconds behind goal pace. I picked it up a bit for the second lap and finished the first interval in 3:34.

Recovery lap, then second interval. This one went a little better, but was still slow, 3:32.

Another recovery lap, then the third interval. I finally felt like I was getting into a groove, and ran it in 3:28. Nice.

One more recovery lap, and then the final interval. Unfortunately, my digestive system reared its ugly head. I finished the interval, but had to pause once on each lap to let things, uh, settle. Those two little breaks definitely helped me run the interval faster, because I finished it in 3:20.

Luckily, the port-o-potties they set out for spring sports are still there, so I was able to take care of business in a civilized manner, instead of climbing the fence on the back stretch and running in the woods, which I have done before.

At that point, I was technically done with the intervals, but I didn’t like it that I hadn’t run that last interval straight through. So I did something I’ve never done before — I added an interval to the workout. I also liked that by running five half-mile intervals, I’d run a total of 2.5 miles at a hard effort, exactly half the distance of my next race. Not that it really matters.

So I ran a recovery lap and then ran my fifth and final interval in 3:30. I did another 1.5 miles to cool down, for a total of 6 miles today.

May 25, 2016

Training for 5/25/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:10 pm

Yesterday evening, Clark and I took the bikes out. I had a much better time keeping up with him on Kara’s bike! It was also a beautiful evening for a ride. We got home not long before the sun disappeared completely.

We did almost 19 miles in an hour and 10 minutes, which worked out to an average of about 16 mph, a little slower than the 18 mph Clark said he normally tries to ride.

We now have two bikes living in the front room:

bikes

This morning, I was smart and went out and did my run first thing, before it got too hot. (It’s supposed to be in the upper 80s today and tomorrow.) I just did an easy untimed lap around the 4.5-mile loop. My legs were a little worn out after yesterday’s hill repeats and the longest bike ride I’ve ever done, but it wasn’t too bad. It was nice to have it done so early too.

May 24, 2016

Training for 5/24/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:47 pm

Yesterday, I took Pepper out for an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. Nothing notable about it.

Today, I decided to do some speed work. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a hill repeat, so I went out to the Sharptown bridge.

It finally got warm today, like almost 80 and sunny. Unfortunately, I waited about as long as I could to go out there. I started running around 12:45 p.m.

I decided to do four repeats. Not the least I’ve ever done, but not nearly the most either. I did a mile on the road to warm up, and then ran up and over the bridge four times.

The first three went OK. I was dead by the time I started the fourth though, and needed a couple short walk breaks to get my breathing back under control. I took it super easy on the cool down mile too. It felt pretty hot. Wah wah.

I wound up running a total of 4.5 miles at an 8:57/mile pace. Not terrible, but not as fast as I usually run hill repeats. Guess I better get back in the habit! And maybe also get back in the habit of not waiting until the warmest part of the day to run.

Kara let me borrow her road bike for the next few weeks so I can ride with Clark as he finishes up his Eagleman training. I picked it up this afternoon, and we’re riding this evening. Clark had suggested riding to 3rd Wave, getting a beer and then coming home, but that’s 36 miles round trip. I don’t think I’m ready for that yet! I think tonight we’ll do a shorter ride. I’ll definitely be up for one of the beers in the fridge when we get back.

Also, this morning, the photography company that took pictures at St. Michaels posted the pictures. They’re free to download; there’s just a little sponsor logo in the corner. They turned out pretty well! I added them to my race report. I like how in a couple of them you can really see how hard it was raining, particularly in the second half of the race.

May 23, 2016

St. Michaels Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:48 am

The half marathon at the fifth annual St. Michaels Running Festival this weekend didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. The running part went just fine, but unfortunately, it got interrupted up by no less than three in-race bathroom breaks. I really have no idea why my digestive system was so upset Saturday.

Friday afternoon, Pepper and I rode over to St. Michaels so I could pick up my bib and this year’s race shirt:

shirt

Don’t think this one will ever see the light of day again.

At home that night, we had spaghetti for dinner. I even skipped the salad I’d normally eat with it because fiber is supposed to contribute to digestive distress during running. In fact, I’d been good all day – no sugar or alcohol, which seem to be my biggest triggers.

I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. Saturday. As soon as I woke up, my stomach felt weird. Kinda crampy. WTF. Not a good sign. Maybe I was a little dehydrated? So I downed two big glasses of water first thing, ate some cereal, took some more water and black coffee with me and was out the door by 5:20.

It wasn’t raining when I left home. Off to the east, the sky was a dark pink, almost red. “Red in the morning, sailor’s warning.” Well, we have radar for that now, so I already knew what was coming. I hadn’t even made it past Federalsburg when I ran into the first sprinkles.

The rain picked up as I drove west toward St. Michaels. I didn’t really care though. As long as I had my hat, which I knew was in my bag as I’d triple-checked for it before I left, I would be fine.

I ran into the traffic backup on the one road into town less than three miles outside town, but it moved quickly enough. When I got into St. Michaels, the volunteers directing parking sent me into a neighborhood and then down to the very end of a cul-de-sac, seemingly as far away as possible from the race start at the elementary school. It would be even farther from the race finish. Oh well.

It was about 6:30 when I parked, 45 minutes until race time. A steady light rain was falling. Might as well go get used to being wet. I took two Imodium, got my stuff together and jogged the half-mile to the race start area, used the bathroom (only had to pee, much to my chagrin) and then ran another 1.3-mile warmup through the side streets near the school.

About 15 minutes before the gun was to go off, I ran into TK’s sister, Kari. Kari had decided at the last minute to run the half, but she did something pretty clever. Instead of paying the registration fee, which the day before the race was up to $110, she hung around packet pick-up Friday until she found someone who’d paid to run but got injured, and was just there to get their stuff. Then she paid the $10 fee to transfer the injured runner’s bib to her own name, saving $100 but still running as a legit, registered runner! Most races don’t offer a bib transfer at all, let alone at the last minute like that, but she found one that did and used it to her advantage.

They called us to the starting corrals. I got in the first one, between the 1:40 and 1:50 pace groups. This was the first year this race had pace groups. I didn’t run with one, but having them in the corrals helped everyone sort themselves by expected pace before the race even began, which was nice.

st michaels 2016 start

First starting corral getting ready to go.

We got the starting gun at 7:15 on the dot, and we were off!

The first mile ran down the main street through town. Before the race started, I’d set the virtual pacer on my Garmin to 8:00 pace. It let me know I was right on it. The first mile was 7:58, and felt comfortable. Perfect.

2016 st michaels first mile resized

First mile.

We left town, ran a little ways up the road and then turned into Harbourtowne, a waterfront community with a golf course. Mile 2 was 7:57.

The next few miles wound through Harbourtowne. Mile 3 sped up a bit to 7:48, and mile 4 was 7:52.

2016 st michaels mile 3.5 2 resized

Running out toward the U-turn between mile 3 and 4.

2016 st michaels mile 4 resized

Coming back after the U-turn, almost to mile 4.

Right after we passed the mile 4 marker, I felt the first gut pangs. Dammit. I hoped this would be a one-and-done thing, and started looking for a port-o-potty. About three-quarters of the way through that mile, I spotted a couple port-o-potties, both of which were open. I ran in one and took care of business.

For some unknown reason, I paused my Garmin when I stopped. Force of habit, I guess. So I don’t know how long it actually took me to run the fifth mile, but I know it was longer than the 7:35 the Garmin recorded.

I felt a thousand times better after the bathroom break. Mile 6 was 7:55. I saw a water stop coming up, so I ate my one GU just before we got to it and then washed that down with some water.

Past the water stop was the halfway timing mat. I crossed it in 52:52, an 8:04/mile pace even with the bathroom break. I thought I was right on track.

The rain, which had been picking up in intensity since the race started, seemed to take it up several notches as we left Harbourtowne. I really felt bad for the volunteers at the water stops and directing traffic. It didn’t feel bad to me, but I was running. It was only about 55 degrees Saturday morning, so the pouring rain probably felt pretty damn cold if you were standing still.

We were running down the shoulder of that main road again, heading back to town. This guy running near me said something about how great his race was going, because he’d been hoping to run a 9:00 pace, and here he was past halfway running closer to 8:00. I would’ve been happy for him, but the gut pangs were coming back and I was busy inspecting the tree cover off the side of the road. I was trying to decide if I should make a run for it or hold on until we got into town and maybe I could find a port-o-potty. Mile 7 slowed to 8:07 as a result.

My gut made the decision for me. There was no waiting! I made a 90-degree turn and bounded across a ditch and then through the trees. No briars like the last time I had to use the woods on this road, at least.

Once again, I paused my stupid watch. I don’t know why! It’s not like they were pausing the race clock for me every time I had to use the bathroom.

That break took longer. I wasn’t feeling so great. I emerged from the woods and rejoined the race. We ran into town, turned off the main road and made a couple quick turns to head out toward another waterfront neighborhood. Mile 8 – the running part, anyway – was 8:00.

Now we were running out toward a loop through that next neighborhood. I tried to maintain goal pace, but I knew I was slipping. (The virtual pacer on my Garmin kept beeping to let me know I was slipping too.) Mile 9 was 8:11.

Near the end of the loop through the neighborhood was a water stop, and then the mile 10 marker. I took some water and walked a bit, trying to quiet down what felt like a third impending bathroom break. Mile 10 was 8:32.

I started running again. And the gut pangs came roaring up. There was no quieting it down. I made it back to the woods and ran in for my third and final stop, which, again, took a little while because I wasn’t feeling good. That time, I didn’t pause the watch.

I hopped out of the woods and again rejoined the race. Well, my guts were finally quiet, but I will admit I gave up on goal pace after that final bathroom break. What was the point?

There was one last out-and-back on a back road. Not long after we turned onto that road was the mile 11 marker, which I passed in 11:37 (because of the stop in the woods.) The U-turn was about a half-mile down the road, and then we passed the mile 12 marker just before turning off the road again. Mile 12 was 8:14.

2016 st michaels mile 12 resized

Not sure exactly where this is, but it’s the best shot of the rain.

The final mile ran into town and made a few turns before we got to the finish line.

2016 st michaels mile 13 resized

Somewhere in the final half-mile.

2016 st michaels mile 13 2 resized

Making the final turn.

I ran mile 13 in 8:22, and finished 13.1 officially in 1:53:06.

2016 st michaels finish resized

Finish line!

medal and bib

Finisher’s medal and bib.

I was 25th of 195 in the F 30-34 AG, and 244th of 1,547 total finishers.

The Garmin, which I’d paused for two out of three bathroom breaks, had recorded 13.23 miles in 1:49:57. I’m assuming I lost about a minute on the first stop and at least two on the second, so I think my actual running time was in the 1:46 area. Not quite my goal time, but closer than 1:53!

As soon as I finished, I saw my friend Melissa on the sideline. She’d finished in 1:38, a new PR! While I was telling her about my bathroom woes, TK found me. She and her mom had run the 5K, so they’d finished a while earlier, and had moved their car close to the race finish, which meant I didn’t have to walk back to mine. Thank God!

We walked straight through the runners’ village, where the post-race party was supposed to be held. I didn’t care about the one free beer I could get with the ticket on my race bib. (It was probably Bud Light anyway.) It was pouring rain, and now that I’d stopped running for three minutes, I was freezing cold.

TK drove me back to my car, and then we drove into Easton. TK dropped off her mom at her own car, and then TK and I drove over to her office, so I could change into the dry clothes I’d brought. I felt so much better once I got out of my soaking wet running clothes. I’d even thought to bring a second pair of shoes. The ones I wore in the race were just as soaked as everything else. (But I didn’t get any blisters, so that’s good.)

Once I was in dry clothes, I was starving, so TK and I went to Victory Garden Cafe. I got pancakes loaded with peanut butter, banana slices and chocolate chips; eggs over easy; sausage links and home fries. I had to take home some of the pancakes, but the rest of it went down.

When I got home, it hit me how tired I was. I took a nap that afternoon.

I am trying to figure out what is causing all the poop problems I’ve been having in races this year. So far, I’ve run two marathons and two half marathons, and have had to stop in every one but the Shamrock Marathon.

Maybe it’s coffee. I didn’t drink any coffee the morning before Shamrock, because there was nothing in the hotel room but decaf, and I felt 100 percent fine through that entire race. I definitely drank it before St. Michaels and Ocean City. I’m not sure about L.A. though. I think I did.

The only other thing I can think of is timing. Shamrock started at 8:30 a.m., less than a minute from our hotel room, so I didn’t have to get up any earlier or start running any earlier than normal. My routine was able to stay the same. L.A., Ocean City and St. Michaels all required pretty early wake-up calls. If that’s the problem, I guess I can just count on stopping in 90 percent of the races I run, because Shamrock’s timetable is the exception, not the norm.

Oh look, the spam in my work email just now has a theory:

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 10.35.02 AM

Hey, if Dr. Oz thinks my gut is infected, it must be so! He’s definitely not a quack who has been accused multiple times of peddling “snake oil” purely for financial gain. Seems legit!

Anyway, Saturday night, Mike and Natasha came over to watch the All-Star race. I think we settled on a hotel and flights for Sonoma, but nothing actually got booked.

Yesterday, I was pretty lazy. I wasn’t that sore, but every time I thought about maybe getting up and going for a short run, I’d look outside at the never ending rain and… nope. Best to stay on the couch and, uh, recover.

Clark got in some good Eagleman training though. He rode 33 miles and ran 8.5. The triathlon is three weeks from yesterday. I think he’s going to do pretty well.

Last week, I signed up to volunteer at the Eagleman finish line from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. I once volunteered to work at packet pick-up for Shamrock, but I’ve never before been involved in an actual event as a volunteer. I’m looking forward to it! I’ll be handing out the finisher’s medals or hats, or water bottles or something. It turns out TK and her mom both volunteered for the same time slot at the finish line too, so I’ll even know some people there.

Now that St. Michaels is over, my next racing goal is the Seashore Striders’ annual summer series, which kicks off this coming weekend with the Masser 5-Miler. Today, I’m taking Pepper for a short run and then doing strength training.

May 20, 2016

Training for 5/20/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:53 pm

Well, the truck took a lot longer than expected to finish yesterday, so I got home a lot later than expected, so I didn’t run or do any strength training.

Today, I took Pepper out for a lap around the 4.5-mile loop, and then went upstairs to do the strength training I put off all week. Is that a bad idea the day before a half marathon? Historically, yes! Oh well.

After I get done with the laundry and cut the grass, I’m taking Pepper to St. Michaels to pick up my race stuff. It’s such a gorgeous day today, in the mid 70s and sunny. Hard to believe it’s going to be such a shitshow tomorrow… and for the next two days after that. I am so sick of this cold, rainy, nasty spring.

Anyway, other than the half marathon tomorrow, I don’t have any big plans for the weekend. The All-Star race is tomorrow night, so I’ll be watching that. We should also probably get with Mike and plan out this trip to Sonoma for the race we’re supposedly taking in about a month that we have done absolutely nothing about yet.

May 19, 2016

Training for 5/19/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:34 pm

I’ve been a bit of a slacker these last couple of days. Tuesday, I never got around to running OR strength training, and yesterday, I did finally take Pepper out for a lap around the 4.5-mile loop, but I couldn’t get my butt upstairs for strength training afterwards. Oh well.

Today, I brought Clark’s truck to the mechanic near my office who’s done most of the maintenance on my car. I thought it was a little funny when the shop assistant who went to move the truck couldn’t do it because he didn’t know how to drive stick. Most people don’t really need to know that, since they’ve now got vehicles that will parallel park, brake and even back up a trailer by themselves, but it seems like someone who works at a garage would need that skill.

Anyway, whenever they get done with the truck, I’m heading back home, and I should take Pepper out for another run and finally do that strength training.

The St. Michaels half marathon is now two days away. Last year, this was the race that was so hot I wound up sick the rest of the day. We will not have that problem this year. They’re calling for rain, wind and high temps in the low 60s, which means it’ll be even cooler at 7:15 a.m. when the race starts.

The race organizers sent out an email this morning letting everyone know the race will go on even if it’s raining. (I didn’t realize there were people who thought races had rain dates until I read Shamrock’s Facebook page comments earlier this year, when the forecast was calling for rain.) The email also told us to allow even more time to get into town and parked, because “traffic will be slow on race morning due to the rain.” That’s a nice way of saying “People drive like absolute panicked jackasses as soon as it starts to drizzle.”

Oh well. I don’t mind rain, and I’m glad I don’t have to worry about a repeat of last year’s miserably hot run. I’m just not looking forward to getting up even earlier than I already had to.

In news not related to running, Kyle Busch is driving a throwback paint scheme at Darlington later this year:

throwback interstate batteries

This paint scheme is to celebrate Interstate Batteries’ 25-year sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing, so technically this is a throwback to the car when Dale Jarrett drove it, but it makes me think of the driver who took it over in 1995:

bobby labonte 1995 car

Bobby! This picture is from the 1995 Coca-Cola 600, his first career Cup win.

May 17, 2016

Training for 5/17/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:50 am

Yesterday, I took Pepper out for a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I waited until just about the last possible minute before the sun went down, mostly because it’d been just as windy all day as the day before. By the time we left, the wind had died to barely a breeze, the skies were clear and blue as the sun was getting close to setting, and the temperature was cool but not at all chilly. Basically, a perfect evening for a run. It was pretty enjoyable.

I never did the strength training though. I think I’ll take Pep out for another short run this afternoon and then do that.

Today, bib numbers were released for St. Michaels! I’m 1005.

Also yesterday, I found, through some comment section on the internet, one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen.

Back in the day, 1978 to be exact, someone made this horrible movie called “Buffalo Rider,” about a guy who, well, rode a buffalo. So a Texas-based band, Jomo & The Possum Posse, made up a little ditty about the guy and his buffalo, and set the song to clips from the movie.

It’s called Guy on a Buffalo, and here are all four parts. May you cry as hard with laughter as I have been for the last 24 hours.

This is truly some of the internet’s best work!

May 16, 2016

Training for 5/16/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:47 am

I had a pretty good weekend! Running wasn’t so great, but the rest of it was a lot of fun.

Friday, I did take Pepper for a run around the 4.5-mile loop, and then went upstairs to do some strength training. Clark got home from work right about then and asked if I wanted to go to Dogfish Head for dinner. So I cut short the strength training and we went to Rehoboth.

Unfortunately, Dogfish Head is in the second phase of their big overhaul, and the outdoor deck area is gone. That meant Pepper had to stay home, which he hated, of course.

Downtown Rehoboth was packed! I don’t think there was a big event in town or anything. There were just a ton of people there. It’s not even tourist season yet. Ugh.

We had to wait a little while to get seated at Dogfish Head, but we didn’t mind. There were some new beers to try, including a new berry wheat beer and Namaste run through a Randall with blood orange and strawberries. I had one of their new pizzas, with crab meat and artichoke hearts. Since I had my long run in the morning, I got dessert too. Gonna need those calories, right?

dogfish head dessert

Strawberry shortcake with basil-lemon sherbet.

When we got home, we found Pepper had been a good boy and not produced any vengeance turds.

Saturday, I waited until late in the morning to go run. It was pretty warm by then, in the upper 70s. I was supposed to do two hours but ehh… I settled on the 10-ish mile loop instead, which would take substantially less time.

I wore my Garmin just to try to hold myself accountable on the pace. I’ve gotten really bad about letting myself walk in training runs for no reason other than I just feel like it, so I figured knowing the Garmin was keeping track would inspire me to not feel like it.

It worked for the first five miles. I kept a steady pace between 8:30 and 8:45/mile. But then the dinner I ate the night before came back to haunt me. Or maybe it was the beers. I don’t know. I had to stop in the woods just after finishing the fifth mile, and I really did not feel so great the entire way home after that. I definitely needed the bathroom again as soon as I got in the house.

With the slower second half, my average pace for the entire 10.1-mile loop was 9:14/mile. Not much of a confidence boost, considering that was my last long run before the half marathon in St. Michaels this coming weekend, but oh well.

Clark rode his bike to his office to get some work done. While he was gone, I went upstairs and finished the strength training I meant to do the night before.

That afternoon, we drove up to D.C. to see Chad and Samira’s new place and celebrate Chad’s birthday. They’re living in an old Hecht warehouse refitted with apartments. It’s a really cool building; their apartment is on the top floor of their section of the building, and you can still see the original wood ceiling, probably 30 ft. above. There’s also a huge brick column in their apartment that was a chimney that ran up through the whole building. A lot of the common areas have different machines and things that were salvaged from the old warehouse.

While we were there, Clark, his dad and I walked over to Atlas Brew Works, in another converted old warehouse, shared a flight of all their beers and then picked two to fill growlers.

atlas brewing

Tasting room at Atlas Brew Works.

It was after midnight when we left D.C. On the way home, on Federalsburg Highway at 1:45 a.m., this jerkface cat came running out of a field across the road at full speed. I’m not swerving and risking losing control of my car for a stupid cat, so I struck it. When I got home, I found it had hit my front bumper cover hard enough to create a small gap between the bumper cover and the left front quarter panel. Thanks a lot, jerk!

I also found Pepper had taken a dump in the utility room, but I wasn’t mad. I think he had just done it, so he’d tried to hold it as long as possible, and we were a lot later getting home than I expected. I cleaned it up and went to bed.

Pepper woke us up at 5:45 a.m., whining for his breakfast. I don’t think this new low-protein, kidney-friendly food is doing it for him, because he acts like he’s absolutely starving long before he should even be hungry again. We made him hold off until 6:30, mostly because neither one of us felt like getting up already, but he made sure neither of us got any sleep for those 45 minutes.

He settled down after Clark fed him, and we all got some more sleep. It was almost 9 a.m. when I finally got up again. So no, I didn’t run anything at all yesterday.

Not long after I got up, Clark’s dad came to pick up Pepper to take him to their house for the day, while we were at the race. When I packed his dinner, I mixed some of his old food into the low-protein stuff. Hopefully that helps keep him fuller longer without compromising what the special food is supposed to be doing for his kidneys.

Anyway, Clark and I left home a little before 10:30 for Dover. First stop was the convenience store in Reliance for the traditional Bud 10s. Well, Reliance Market apparently ran afoul of local liquor laws recently, because all alcohol is temporarily gone. So we had to drive into Federalsburg to get our 10s.

Maybe because I have a Delaware ID, the guy who rang me up at the convenience store decided to tell me about Bud 10s, how they’re only sold in two places, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and somewhere in Louisiana. I just smiled and resisted the urge to “Actually…” him, since I researched Bud 10s extensively for a paper in college and know they’re sold in several more places throughout the country, and are available anywhere the distributors think they’ll sell. But it’s a nice little story, and I think the “exclusiveness” of the Bud 10s here is one of the reasons they outsell the regular 12 oz. cans nearly 2-1.

Bud 10s on ice in the cooler, we headed up to Dover. We parked at the Blue Hen mall as usual, but unlike past years, we had to wait in line for a shuttle bus to the track for quite a while. My family had gotten there just before us, so we got in line with them. That gave us plenty of time to pass around and finish off the bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 I’d also bought for my mom haha.

It was freaking COLD this year! A cold front blew through sometime after I was sweating my face off while running Saturday. It really did not feel like mid-May! It wasn’t even 60 degrees, and the steady 20 mph wind made it feel a lot colder. It wasn’t too terrible when the sun was out, but it was pretty cloudy, so there was a lot of time the sun was blocked.

Anyway, we got to our seats in time for some of the pre-race hoopla, and then they got the race going.

start of race

Start of the race. That’s our old buddy Fish Lips in the lower right corner.

Sometime around the 150-lap mark, Clark and I decided to go get some lunch. We had just left the stands when I realized my phone was gone. My WORK phone. Shit!!

I couldn’t figure out how I’d lost it. I’d put it in an interior pocket of my jacket because I thought that’d be safer than one of the outside pockets.

pocket

Looks safe, right?

Well, as I was digging through this interior pocket, I realized I’d been duped:

NOT a pocket

WTF is this?!

The inside edge isn’t sewn shut at all beyond the little corner at the top! GREAT DESIGN, CHASE AUTHENTICS.

Somehow, my ID and debit card had managed to stay in the “pocket,” but the phone was gone. Since I’d taken that picture of the start of the race, I knew I hadn’t lost the phone until I’d made it to the stands at least. So I ran back to our seats and searched. No luck. I’d gone to the bathroom once, so I walked back there, looking for the phone on the ground, looked in the stall I’d used and asked the bathroom attendant if anyone had turned one in. Nothing.

I walked back out to Clark the way we’d walked out the first time, looking for the phone. Again, nothing.

I was pretty pissed. We went to this little outdoor pub and ordered a couple beers and some food, but all I could think about was having to tell someone I’d lost my work-issued phone, and possibly having to pay full price to replace it. Worse, I was pissed about all the pictures I had on that phone that weren’t saved anywhere else.

I texted my phone from Clark’s, but didn’t get a response. Not expecting anything, I called it. To my amazement, someone answered!

It was a security guard standing along the fence in front of the section right next to ours. Someone had found it under the stands and given it to him. He’d been trying to call Clark’s phone back since I sent those texts, but it wouldn’t connect.

I sprinted back to the stands. I can’t describe how relieved I was when the security guard pulled my phone out of his pocket! It’s not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but in that moment, it felt like someone had saved my life haha. I gave him a huge hug and went on my merry way.

That is the third time I’ve nearly lost that phone, or the first one work issued me, and I only got it back because people are nice. Of course, I always have an old iPhone, so who knows what would happen if work actually issued me an up-to-date one.

I went back and ate lunch with Clark, and then we went to the souvenir… tent. I finally got a Dover T-shirt. I had one from every track we’ve visited, except the one I’d been to a thousand times.

There were only a bit more than 100 laps to go by the time we got back to the stands. They turned out to be the best 100 laps of the race though.

There was a caution around lap 350. Jimmie stupid Johnson won the race off pit road and chose to restart on the outside. But! When they got the green flag, his car pretty much refused to speed up (he later said he couldn’t shift from second into third) and he caused an 18-car pileup right in front of us. After mostly everyone else drove away, his car was still sitting there.

I had to run down to the fence to take a picture:

jimmie turned right

What happens when you turn right in a NASCAR race.

I was nice and didn’t taunt him when he got out of his car, but not everyone around us was so considerate haha.

I wasn’t even upset that Kevin Harvick got involved in that wreck, because Jimmie was done. No 11th Dover win this time!

They had to briefly red flag the race, but when they got it going again, it quickly came down to three cars: Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. I was really hoping Larson or Elliott would get their first win, but Kenseth held them both off and won. It was a really good, close race for several laps though.

After the finish, we were sitting in the stands, letting the crowd go before we did.

dad mom richard and clark

Dad, who seems shocked to find Clark sitting behind him, Mom and Richard.

clark

Clark being Clark.

I asked my sister to take a picture of Clark and me, and I have about 20 in a row, because Clark wasn’t really cooperating haha.

clark and me

clark and me 2

clark and me 3

I killed his spirit.

clark and me 4

whole group

Aunt Debbie, Julie, Dad, Mom, Richard and Mr. Wheatley (he was my middle school gym teacher, and I have a hard time calling anyone who taught me by their first name.)

Look how everyone’s dressed! In freaking May! I meant to get a picture of the one shirtless guy sitting behind us — because there’s always one on a cold day — but he left before I could sneak one.

Clark and I were hungry again by the time we got back to the parking lot, so we went across the street to Buffalo Wild Wings. We drove to Clark’s parents’ house to get Pepper, and wound up hanging out there for a while. As soon as we got home, Clark, Pepper and I crashed on the couch.

This morning, I checked the weather forecast. It’s not going to get much warmer for the rest of the week! If there’s a bright side to a spring that feels more like fall, it’s that it should be much nicer weather for running a half marathon this coming Saturday than we got for the same race last year. I shouldn’t wind up sick from running in heat this time at least.

As far as training goes today, I have a short easy run and strength training scheduled.

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