A Simple Running Log

July 5, 2016

Training for 7/5/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:22 am

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend! I ran a decent 5K and our party went off without a hitch, so mine was good.

Friday, I got a lot of shit done. I almost got the entire house cleaned, did all the shopping at Walmart and made two side dishes before I finally went to bed a little after 11 p.m., my alarm set for 5:30 a.m.

Every year, I think maybe I shouldn’t sign up for a 5K an hour away the morning of our party, but at this point, it’s become a Fourth of July tradition for me. This year would be my seventh consecutive Beach Paper Firecracker 5K.

I was not ready when that alarm went off Saturday morning! It took a while for it to even register that the noise I was hearing was my alarm, and that I had to turn it off and get out of bed.

Clark got up about that time too. He had plans to ride his bike to a coworker’s house, then drive together to Cambridge to swim in the Choptank and go for a run.

TK picked me up at 6. She said she’d donated blood the day before, because when she made the appointment she forgot we’d signed up for a race the next morning. So she was expecting a slow run, but it was one of the races we needed to do to qualify for the summer series, so she was going to get through it.

We found some parking near Grove Park in Rehoboth and quickly got our race bibs and event towels (instead of the usual T-shirts.) I did an easy mile to warm up. I saw Michael Wardian, an elite marathoner and ultra-marathoner from northern Virginia, also warming up. I think he and his family must come to the beach for Fourth of July, because this is at least the third year I can remember seeing him at one of these local races this time of year.

When I joined the crowd at the starting line, I was surprised to see this woman named Meryl. A few years ago, we often wound up running together in these local races, but then she stopped showing up. I saw her a couple years ago at some of the summer races, but she was volunteering, not running. She said she had some kind of illness, maybe Lyme disease, and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to run again. I think she also had an Achilles tendon injury.

But here she was, on the starting line! I asked her how she was doing. She said she hadn’t been able to run for two years, and had only started again six months ago. She’d just run her first 5K back the weekend before. She hadn’t been happy with her time, but she was running again.

She asked if I’d rather be starting farther up in the pack. I said nah, I’m not as fast as I used to be either. We wished each other a good race.

Then the race director gave the crowd the commands and sent us on our way.

firecracker 5k start

The speedsters at the front of the pack taking off. Michael Wardian is the one all the way to the left, with the sponsors on his singlet.

The beginning was a little dicey, as the tightly-packed crowd had to make its way around a turn 10 ft. past the start line. But just past that turn is a long straightaway that makes up nearly the entire first mile, so we were able to spread out after that.

I felt pretty good as we made our way through the first mile. I was mostly passing people, instead of being passed. But then I heard footsteps coming up from behind. I glanced over to see who was passing me — Meryl!

I looked down at my Garmin, which was reporting 7:10 pace. About where I expected to be. But I wasn’t expecting to be passed by someone who hadn’t run for two years!

Meryl got a little ahead of me, but I picked it up and kept her within reach. We passed the first mile marker. My Garmin said I’d run it in 6:51, the first sub-7 mile I’d seen all year.

The course at this point ran past the ocean, and then returned to the same residential area. I was running side-by-side with this other woman, but she started to fade as we ran back into the neighborhood.

I was starting to hurt halfway through the race, but I was keeping Meryl in my sights. I knew the course made a few quick turns, and then the second mile marker would be coming up.

We passed the mile marker and I heard my Garmin beep — 7:03. I always fall off in the second mile. But I knew I could take a big chunk off my last 5K time if I could hang on for one more decent mile.

We made a couple more turns, and then the course returned to the same long straightaway we’d run in the first mile, now the homestretch.

I caught back up with Meryl as we got back on that straightaway. “I’m dying!” she gasped out. I managed to get out that I was too.

We ran together most of the way back. I was on fumes. That stupid finish line was not getting any closer! Then, nearly to the end, we got caught by two more women, one who looked like she might be my age and one who looked like she might be Meryl’s. (Seriously, runners should start marking their calves with their ages like triathletes do, because it is impossible to guess age groups, especially from behind. I’ve run with women who I thought were my age, only to find out at the awards ceremony they were 20 years older!)

Anyway, we had a nice little four-woman sprint to the finish, which I lost by the way haha.

2016 firecracker 5k finish

Someone was enjoying running behind four women haha.

But! I crossed the line in 21:56, my first sub-22 in a looooong time!

I’d run a 7:05 third mile, and an average pace of 7:04 for 3.1 miles. (My Garmin measured 3.14 miles and reported an average pace of 6:59, so I like that one better.)

I was really happy with that run. I feel like I’m getting better at pushing myself again, even when it starts to hurt. I’ve taken a minute off my 5K time just in the last month, and now I’m only about a minute off my PR. I’ll be really happy if I can get my time down to the 21:30 range before the end of this summer series.

Meryl and I congratulated each other on the race, and then I took off to do a very slow cool down mile, bringing my day’s mileage total to 5.1.

This race last year, I ran 22:49 and was fifth in my age group. This year, I was first of 15 in my age group! (The woman I thought was my age who beat me turned out to be 10 years older.) I’m 4-for-4 in age group wins in the summer series. Two to go!


Two of the top three in the F 30-34 age group.

I was also the 11th woman out of 150, and 53rd overall out of 311.

After I got my award, TK and I headed out. I had to stop at a grocery store to get poultry seasoning for the chicken, since Walmart had been sold out the night before, and then we got iced coffees at Dunkin’ Donuts.

When I got home, Pepper had a nice little turd waiting for me in the utility room. But I hadn’t gotten that room cleaned the night before, so I wasn’t too upset.

Clark called a little while later. He’d gotten a flat tire on his ride back from his coworker’s house. But he got it changed and made it home on his own, so now he knows how to do that. That was his first flat on his bike.

We got the house and garage ready for the party, and around 3 p.m., I started grilling all the chicken. This was my view for the next couple of hours:


Smoking grill, beer, weimaraner, immobile Crown Vic under which the grass is starting to grow.

Then everyone started arriving. We had a pretty good time. The weather was perfect and the flies weren’t too bad, for once. We didn’t have any good fireworks this year, just some leftover cheesy ones we hadn’t set off last year.

I think it was around midnight when Clark and I closed up the garage and went to bed. I was beat.

Sunday, I didn’t do a damn thing. No running. In the afternoon, we cleaned up the garage and took all the tables and chairs we’d borrowed from Clark’s work back to his office, then stopped by my parents’ house.

That evening, our neighbors had their party. They had some REALLY good fireworks. Clark and I set up a couple chairs outside our garage and watched them. When the show was over, we played beer pong. I was down two games, but made a miraculous comeback to win three in a row in our best-of-five tournament.

pep in the camaro

Pepper hanging out in the ’69 Camaro.

tug of war

Clark and Pepper playing tug-of-war with a dog toy.

pep and me

Pepper had zero interest in the dog bed we brought out for him until I sat on it, of course. Then he had to claim it haha.

Monday, we were both off work. We slept in and then lazed about. Eventually, I went out for a run. It was a cool, drizzly day, so I could put it off until the middle of the afternoon. I did a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I didn’t time it, but it felt pretty good.

Then we went over to Clark’s parents’ house to pick crabs. It was a nice ending to the holiday weekend.

And now it’s back to work. I’ve still got two weeks until Philly Marathon training officially begins, so I’m still on my own little not-a-training-plan. I think I’ll do another short easy run today. It got hot here all of a sudden.


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