A Simple Running Log

September 22, 2016

Training for 9/22/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:15 pm

“Happy” first day of fall! I miss summer already.

Well, it’s been a pretty fun six days since I last posted. A lot lighter on the running than the previous month or so, but I think the break was good for me. I’m ready to get back into training again.

Last Friday evening, Clark and I loaded up his truck and drove straight to The Starboard in Dewey. He got his race packet, I got my post-race party wristband and we had dinner there. The athlete guide said there’d be free food and beer for the race participants, but the food was a party sub that looked like it’d been sitting out for hours and, not surprisingly, the free beer was Michelob Ultra. I really hate how they’re marketing their shitty watered-down beer as THE choice of super serious athletes just because it has a couple fewer calories and carbs, especially since if there’s two things swim/bike/runners need, it’s calories and carbs!

Anyway, we paid for better beer and dinner that didn’t have mayonnaise that looked like it might cause food poisoning, and then we went to Dogfish Head for a couple more beers.

Saturday morning, we got breakfast at this little greasy spoon near the beach house. It was us and a bunch of older biker dudes, because last weekend was also bike week in Ocean City. Between them and the tri/duathlon, there were a lot of two-wheeled twits at the beach haha.

When breakfast had sufficiently settled, I drove up to Rehoboth to run on part of the trail used for the half and full marathon in December. I’d thought about going farther, to Cape Henlopen to run a different part of the trail that only the full marathon uses, but it took so long to get to Rehoboth because of another triathlon held Saturday morning in Dewey, I just parked at the first access point close to the trail I could find.

It was a very pretty day for a run on that trail, but a bit on the warm side. I didn’t feel like carrying water with me though, so instead of the 7-miler on the schedule, I only did 4.5. Plus, the eggs Benedict I’d had for breakfast felt like they were making their presence known in the last mile anyway, so I was glad I was almost done instead of three miles of public trail away from the truck!

It was a surprisingly fast run though. I expected my legs to feel heavy after the long run the day before, but I clipped off 4.5 miles at an 8:16/mile pace and felt great.

When I got back to Fenwick, Clark wanted to go for a practice swim in the ocean, so I put on a swimsuit and went to the beach with him. It was the last weekend of summer, and a perfect one for lying on the beach. He went for a swim, then went up to the house, changed clothes and went for a run, while I sat in the sand for an hour and a half or so. That could very well be the last time I get to do that this year and I enjoyed every minute of it.

We both got cleaned up, and then we drove up to Bethany, to packet pick-up, to see if they had any GU for sale at the very small expo, because Clark had forgotten to pack any for the race. They had plenty, so he got all stocked up. We got some lunch and then went back to Fenwick.

Fisher’s Popcorn just down the street just released a new fall flavor. Can you guess what it is? Pumpkin spice caramel! I got a small bucket of that, which I washed down with a Punkin Ale.

pumpkin-beer-and-popcorn

Clark called me basic, but I don’t care!

Eventually, two of Clark’s coworkers who were also doing the triathlon, Dave and Bart, arrived at the beach house, with their wives, Tiffany and Marybeth. Dave and Bart didn’t want to drink too much the night before the race, but that, of course, wasn’t stopping Clark haha. I can’t remember what time we finally went to bed.

My alarm went off at 5 a.m. Sunday. I was so glad I didn’t have to run! We got the bikes and all the other gear loaded up, then made the short trip to Bethany. I dropped off Clark and all his stuff as close to the transition area as I could get, looped around to Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee, parked the truck and walked back to transition.

The athletes got all their stuff set up in transition, and then they walked out to the boardwalk for pre-race instructions and the national anthem. The race directors said the point-to-point ocean swim would go south to north because of the direction of the current, so we all walked down the beach 0.62 miles to the start line.

clark-before-swim

“I don’t feel like swimming… or biking… or running.”

clark-and-me-before-swim

I was looking forward to a morning of spectating.

At 7:30 a.m., the elites-only wave ran out into the water, and then the 7:34 wave, which included Clark’s age group, was called up. They were sent out right on time.

clarks-age-group-taking-off

Taking off.

clark-taking-off

I spy Clark.

swimmers

Headed out through the waves to the first buoy.

Dave’s age group also started at 7:34. Bart’s was in the next wave. Once he got going, Tiffany, Marybeth and I walked back to the boardwalk, where the swim ended and they’d be running into transition to get their bikes for the 18.5-mile ride.

All three wound up swimming faster than they’d expected. We didn’t have to wait long at all before they went by. I had just enough time to get a picture of Clark running toward transition.

clark-after-swim

Still hating it haha.

We sat there for a while, watching everyone run into transition. In addition to the triathlon, there was an aquabike (swim and bike only), a duathlon (run 0.62 miles on the beach instead of swim, then bike and run) and team relays, so there were a lot of different races going on.

We saw the leader return from the bike and take off on the 4.35-mile run with a huge lead. He finished in 1:22, a new course record.

Right after we saw him finish, we went back to transition to wait for the guys to come back from the bike. We managed to spot all three. While we were standing there, I also got to meet a weimaraner named Guiness. He was the same size as Pepper, and his owner said he was 3 years old, and therefore also fully grown. The guy said, “He just never filled out.” We have one of those miniature weimaraners too!

With all three guys on the final leg, we found a spot near the finish line to spectate. It had turned out to be a pretty warm day. We were standing in full sunlight. Every time I’d think how hot it was, I’d see a runner go by in extreme distress and think “OK, I don’t feel that bad actually” haha.

Clark was the first one of the coworkers to finish, in 2:10. Company bragging rights!

The other two weren’t far behind him. Bart and Marybeth had to get going pretty much as soon as he was done, but Dave and Tiffany hung around for the after-party. There were a couple 3rd Wave beers on tap upstairs in Mango’s, and Bethany Blues put out a barbecue spread on the boardwalk that was pretty good.

I guess Clark was supposed to get his crap out of transition before we went to the party, because when we went to get it after, the entire transition area had been broken down and we found one volunteer still watching the only four bikes that hadn’t been picked up yet haha.

We got everything loaded up again, then drove back to Fenwick. Dave and Tiffany went home, but Clark and I hung around the beach house, napping and washing sheets and bath towels.

Once we had the house straightened back up, we drove into Ocean City, had a couple drinks at Fish Tales and dinner at Belly Busters, and then stopped at Burley Oak in Berlin for a couple more beers.

Monday morning, I reluctantly got up at 6. I was so tired, but I had stuff to do before we had to leave the house at 8 to catch our flight to New Orleans.

First I unpacked my stuff from the weekend. Then I went out to run. It was still dark enough I needed to take my headlamp for the first half of the run. There was lightning way off in the distance when I left the house, but it was so far off I couldn’t even hear the faintest rumble of thunder, so I decided it was safe enough.

About two miles in, I really needed to use the bathroom. Surprise! I got that taken care of, and the rest of the 4.5-mile loop went better.

I cleaned out the mailbox when I got back home. Look what arrived over the weekend:

nascar-tickets

PHOENIX TICKETS!! I can’t wait!

I showered and packed some more stuff, and we were on the road a little after 8.

It hadn’t been raining yet when I was running, but it just started to sprinkle as we were pulling out of the driveway. By the time we got to Federalsburg, it was a full-on deluge. It was coming down so hard, the wipers on high were barely making a dent.

Fortunately, it abated as we drove through Denton, and it wasn’t raining that hard on the bay bridge or on I-97, so traffic was moving. We made it to the airport with plenty of time, especially so once we found out the flight had been slightly delayed.

Even though the flight took off late, we landed when we were originally supposed to, because they “made up time in the air.” Why don’t they just fly that fast every time?

It was sunny and hot in New Orleans. We were dropped off at our hotel, Le Richelieu, in the French Quarter, just before 2 p.m.

Technically, we were there because Clark had to do something for work the next morning, so he had to answer some emails and make some phone calls once we got settled into our room. While getting my phone connected to the hotel’s wifi, I enjoyed a nearby locked network’s name:

obamaslistening

THANKS, OBAMA.

Once Clark had his work stuff done, we set out to see some of New Orleans. He didn’t want to be out too late since he had his test in the morning, but Monday was our seventh anniversary, so we had to do something fun.

Our first stop was The Carousel Bar & Lounge in the Hotel Monteleone. It’s a working bar in the middle of a carousel. The seating area slowly rotates around the bar. It was pretty cool.

carousel-bar

When your seat has rotated to a certain point, you can watch the bartender make the very intricate mixed drinks on the cocktail list.

carousel-bartender

They also tasted as good as they looked.

My favorite moment at this bar was when I overheard three older women, standing in the entrance, arguing over whether or not the seats were moving haha.

Our next stop was SoBou, as in “South of Bourbon.” We had a few happy hour drinks and appetizers, including our first seafood gumbo of the trip.

Then we went to Crescent City Brewing. The beers were nothing notable, but I liked these “jellyfish” hanging from the ceiling above the bar, under the brewing area:

crescent-city-brewing

Our fourth and final stop Monday was The Avenue Pub. It had a very extensive selection of beers, many on tap:

avenue-pub-taps

We had dinner there too, which was some pretty good bar food. I was fading fast though — I was so freaking tired! I couldn’t even finish the first beer I ordered. Clark and I got an Uber back to the hotel and went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Tuesday morning, Clark left in search of breakfast and came back with “breakfast in a cup” from Cafe Envie. It was layers of buttery grits, scrambled eggs and hash browns, with two huge strips of bacon, in a big to-go coffee cup. Not bad!

He left to take his test, and I went out for a run. It already felt like it was in the 90s at 9 a.m. I knew it was going to be a slow one, but that was fine by me.

The first thing I knew I wanted to see was St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, only about a mile from the hotel. I love the above-ground cemeteries in New Orleans, and this one has a tomb where a voodoo priestess is supposedly buried. It’s covered in X’s, because people believe if they mark an X on it and make a wish, it’ll come true. Then they’re supposed to bring back a gift to thank the priestess.

Before I got to the cemetery, I ran through Louis Armstrong Park.

louis-armstrong-park

louis-armstrong-park-entrance

Then I got to the cemetery. The last time we were in New Orleans, we walked through Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 on our own, so I was surprised to be stopped at the gate by three people who told me I was only allowed in if I was part of a tour group. Apparently, the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Orleans wanted to cut down on all the vandalism, I assume on the voodoo priestess’s tomb in particular, so they don’t let people in unaccompanied any longer.

I asked if there were any other nearby cemeteries I could go in for free, and one guy said St. Louis No. 2 was three and a half blocks away. This old lady said, “It’s very dangerous though.”

Oh really, “very dangerous” to run three and a half blocks from here in broad daylight? We’ll see about that.

The route wasn’t very scenic — it passed through some large parking lots and a small industrial area — but the last thing I would call it was “dangerous.” I made it to St Louis No. 2 unscathed.

I could spend all day wandering through these old cemeteries, but I just made a quick lap around this one.

st-louis-2

st-louis-2-highway

I-10 passes right behind the cemetery.

st-louis-2-wall

I guess if your family wasn’t that rich you got stuck in a drawer along this wall.

Once I left the cemetery, I followed Canal Street all the way along the edge between the French Quarter and the Central Business District, to the Mississippi River.

mississippi-river

I ran along the river a ways, then through the French Market, which for the most part wasn’t open yet.

french-market

My last stop was Cafe Envie for an iced coffee, and then I walked back to the hotel. I’d covered 5 miles in just over an hour, including all the stops to look at things, take pictures, check the map on my phone, figure out where the hell I was, wait for traffic — a blistering average pace of just over 12:00/mile. And I was completely soaked through in sweat. It was so hot!

Clark got back from (passing) his test about 90 minutes later, and we had lunch at a restaurant called Tableau, right on Jackson Square. I had more gumbo and a salad, because I felt like I definitely needed a vegetable or two in my life at the moment haha.

We went back to the hotel for a nap, and then we went out to really have a fun night in New Orleans.

First stop was Molly’s at the Market, this little dive bar where I got a frozen Irish coffee that really woke my ass up.

On our way to our next stop, I saw a unicorn:

unicorn

It even has golden hoofs.

It was parked, along with the rest of the carriage tours, right outside Jackson Square.

jackson-square

Our next stop was Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, a cheesy little tiki bar with very strong, very fancy tropical drinks:

clark-and-his-fruity-drink

Clark and a Rum Barrel, garnished with a tiny umbrella, a monkey charm and edible flowers.

We wound up staying there for quite a while, because we decided to try to get dinner at GW Fins, supposedly the best restaurant in the city right now, and the earliest reservation we could get was for 8:45 p.m.

We got to GW Fins a few minutes early and were seated right at 8:45. Our waiter, Nate, shook our hands. Very fancy!

We ordered a bottle of wine. While we were waiting for that, this guy came by whose entire job was to walk around the restaurant and hand out piping hot biscuits, in lieu of a bread basket.

I am not kidding — this was the best damn biscuit I’ve ever had in my life. It was so fluffy, a little sweet and it just melted right in your mouth. If the dinner was half that good, we were in for something memorable.

Clark ordered “scalibut” — scallops and halibut — and I ordered Warsaw grouper.

gw-fins

It was incredible. This dinner goes right up there with the sweet potato pancakes at the Pancake Pantry in Nashville on the list of Things I Will Daydream About When I’m Really Hungry That Make Me Very Emotional Because They’re Too Far Away to Get My Hands On.

Also on that list is beignets from Cafe Du Monde, but I knew those were in my immediate future, so I wasn’t feeling sad about them.

We finished up dinner with espresso martinis and a slice of ice cream pie called the Salty Malty. SO GOOD.

Right around the corner from the upscale fanciness of GW Fins was Bourbon Street. I think that’s one of my favorite things about New Orleans. There’s an undercurrent of seediness no matter where you are, no matter how much someone has tried to glaze over it. There’s so much history in that city, a lot of it kinda dark. If we’d had more time, I’d have liked to have taken a guided tour — I tried to get into a running tour Tuesday morning but it was booked up. Maybe next time.

Anyway, we made our way down Bourbon Street to Pat O’Brien’s. It’s a tourist trap, but I enjoy the dueling pianos and the Hurricanes.

dueling-pianos

Souvenir Hurricane glasses in hand, we made our way toward Frenchmen Street, very close to our hotel, known for really good live jazz every night.

I can’t remember which bar we stopped in. The music was good, but the bartender was terrible! I think it took him longer to make our drinks — he kept having to stop to read the menu descriptions! — than it took us to drink them. We only stayed for that one drink.

Our final stop was Cafe Du Monde. It’s open 24 hours a day, and I can say from experience the best time of day for beignets and cafe au lait is between midnight and 4 a.m.

I spilled a little cafe au lait down the front of my shirt, which I wouldn’t have cared about at all, except I’d chosen a white, hand wash-only shirt. Smart choice. Honestly, I can’t believe I made it all the way to the end of the night before I messed it up.

Yesterday morning was rough haha. I was hungover and starving when I woke up, but getting food meant showering and getting dressed first, which sounded like way too much work. I laid in bed until I felt like my stomach was about to start eating itself.

After a shower, which made me feel a little better, I went to Croissant D’Or Pattiserie, where I had a very good quiche Lorraine. When I got back, Clark was awake and hungry, so we went back to Cafe Envie. He had a huge egg, spinach and feta wrap, and I went around the corner to Wink’s Bakery, where I got a chocolate and coconut doughnut that really hit the spot.

By that time, it was time to pack up, check out and head to the airport. When we’d woken up yesterday morning, our flight info was claiming it’d been delayed from 1:25 p.m. to 8:05, which would’ve meant getting home at 2 a.m.! Fortunately, it was soon updated to only being 15 minutes late, and then it was on time.

The flight home was fine. I was starving again when we landed, so we had one last airport meal at DuClaw. Then we stopped at the Denton pub on the way home so Clark could have dinner.

We went to Clark’s parents’ house to get Pepper. I missed his stupid face so much!

Clark’s mom said his eye had really been bothering him, so she took him to his vet yesterday. This is the same eye that I took him to the vet for almost two months ago, which the vet said was just an allergic reaction without even looking at it.

This time, the vet actually looked at it, and said Pepper has a superficial scratch on his cornea. Which means he’s had that for nearly two months! I’m kinda pissed it wasn’t fixed back in early August, when I took Pepper there the first time.

Anyway, nothing that can be done about that now. The vet gave Clark’s mom more of the same eye drops he gave me when he said it was just allergies. I’m supposed to bring Pepper back next week for a follow-up. If it’s not any better, I’m going to have to take him to a veterinary ophthalmologist.

We were home and all in bed asleep by 9:30 last night.

This morning, after Clark left for work, I took Pepper for a run, his first in a week. I wanted to do the 9-mile middle-distance run I didn’t do earlier this week.

It was warm here too, but nothing like New Orleans had been the past couple of days.

Apparently running keeps Pepper regular, because he had to stop to poop no less than four separate times in the first 3.5 miles haha.

Between all his poop stops (surprisingly, I didn’t need one), and my general sluggishness from nearly a week of eating and drinking too much, it was a slow run. But it felt good to be out there again!

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