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!


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 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.


  • 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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