A Simple Running Log

November 30, 2016

Training for 11/30/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:51 pm

Yesterday, I went upstairs and did some strength training. I did my usual push-ups, ab exercises and invisible chair-sitting, but instead of a full routine with the weights, I just did two sets of 12 squats and one set of 10 traveling lunges.

I feel like I ran 100 miles! Seriously, this is embarrassing. My quads and glutes are way more sore today than they were the day after Philly. Clearly I need to get back into a regular strength routine!

Anyway, last night, we got our house guest back. This was the couch situation this morning:

couch-hogs

Luckily, I got to work from home today, so I wedged myself right in between both of them. The only thing better than one snuggly dog is two!

This afternoon, I took Pepper for a run around the 6.5-mile loop. (Snoopy can’t run that far, but he also doesn’t mind being home alone, so it all works out.)

It was an overcast and breezy but unseasonably warm day, in the low 70s. The run wasn’t too terrible in spite of my screaming leg muscles. But now that I’m done running and sitting around again… hoo boy!

And that finished off November for me, so it’s time to sum up the month.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (Nov. 1-5): 24.7 miles
  • Week 2 (Nov. 6-12): 39.6
  • Week 3 (Nov. 13-19): 15.5
  • Week 4 (Nov. 20-26): 42.6
  • Week 5 (Nov. 27-30): 14

Total: 136.4 miles

Decent mileage this month, what with the tapering for and recovering from Philly.

As far as racing goes, I only ran two, a marathon and a 5K, but they were my best efforts at those distances all year, so I was happy with both.

I also got my first pair of wear test shoes from New Balance. So far I’ve only put 31.5 miles on them. I got them at kind of a bad time, since I wasn’t running much leading up to the marathon, and then I obviously didn’t want to run the race in shoes I’d barely run in. However, I like them so much, especially on that trail I ran in Phoenix, I’m thinking about wearing them for the Rehoboth half this weekend. The test ends the Friday after the race, and I have to send them back.

Looking ahead to December, I have two races planned: the aforementioned Rehoboth half in three days, and an Ugly Sweater 5K on Dec. 17.

Other than that, Shamrock Marathon training is under way.

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November 29, 2016

Training for 11/29/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:17 pm

I had a 6-mile easy run on the schedule for today, but it’s windy and raining outside and I never felt like doing it. So I didn’t. Maybe I’ll go upstairs here in a minute and do some much-neglected strength training before I have to take a shower and go cover a meeting for the paper.

Today, they posted the bib numbers for the Rehoboth half marathon. I’m 1232 and Clark is 1233. I also got my phone set up to receive text messages as we cross timing mats along the course. Just a few more days!

I’m mulling over a goal time for this race. I haven’t run a really good half in a long time. My PR is 1:37 but I haven’t run better than 1:44 since the St. Michaels half — in 2014. Two and a half years ago!

Based on the 6:58/mile pace I ran in a 5K over the past weekend, I’m going to set my A goal for Rehoboth at 7:45/mile pace, which would bring me to the finish line in 1:41:30. My B goal is 1:45 (8:00/mile pace) and C goal is anything under the 1:50 I ran in the Monster Mash half a month ago, which was a training run and required a bathroom break in a corn field.

I think my digestive system will be the biggest obstacle. Except for the first time I ran Rehoboth, in 2009, I have had to stop to use the bathroom at least once every time I’ve done this race. And I haven’t gotten through a half marathon without a bathroom break all year. St. Michaels was the worst — three times! Really hoping I don’t do again whatever the hell I did to upset it so much that day.

November 28, 2016

Training for 11/28/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:04 am

Saturday morning, I ran my best 5K in a long time, and I’m pretty happy about it!

TK and her mom picked me up around 7:30 a.m. to drive to Rehoboth for the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K. It was breezy and cold. Two weeks ago, I’d have probably been bothered by the weather, but after Philly last week, my perspective on what is truly sucky running weather has shifted considerably.

We were parked outside Grove Park more than a half-hour before the 9 a.m. start. We got our bibs and long-sleeved race shirts, and then I took off for a slightly longer than normal warm-up, since I had the time.

I ran 1.5 miles, a straight out and back on the long straightaway that makes up the beginning and end of the race course. Turned out we had the kind of wind that felt like it was in your face no matter which direction you were running. Oh well!

I got back to the park just as the race director was telling everyone to head to the start line.

My goal for the race was 21:42 or better — sub-7:00/mile pace. I ran 21:56 on the exact same course in early July. Even though it’d only been six days since a tough marathon, and I haven’t done any speed work in months, I felt like the much cooler weather than the July race would be enough to get me back under that 7:00/mile barrier.

We got the start commands and took off. There’s an immediate right turn that’s always kinda dicey right at the beginning, when we’re all packed in together and trying to sort ourselves out by pace, but then we hit that straightaway for almost the rest of the first mile and things spread out.

I felt OK in that first mile. I was trying to settle into a rhythm, but it’s been a long time since I tried to race a 5K and my body was not immediately into it.

I heard the Garmin beep as I passed the first mile marker and glanced down at the split: 6:56. Right on target! Now came the hard part though — maintaining that speed in the second mile, when I’m getting tired but nowhere close to the finish line.

I told myself I felt great and I had this. Who cares if it’s a lie?

I picked off a few more runners as the second mile took us past the boardwalk and back through the residential neighborhood. I heard the second mile beep and looked at the split: 6:59!

I only fell off three seconds in the second mile! So many times I’ve slowed down by a solid 30 seconds, and I was expecting that to be the case again. Seeing another sub-7 split was the boost I needed with one mile left.

The course took a couple more quick turns and then we were back on that long straightaway to the finish line. I’d been gaining on the only other female runner in my sight through the second mile, and resolved to catch and pass her before the finish.

When I’d been standing in the starting pack waiting for the race to begin, a kid behind me was telling someone else to concentrate on the feet of the runner you’re trying to catch, and it’ll make you speed up. I didn’t hear the logic behind the theory, but I decided to test it out. I stared at her feet as they got closer and closer. When I pulled up alongside her, she sped up for a few strides to try to match me, but then I pulled away. Got her!

I heard the Garmin beep as I passed the third mile marker, but I didn’t look down. I later saw the split was 6:53, my fastest mile of the race.

2016-pumpkin-pie-5k-finish

Coming to the line.

I crossed the line in 21:39 — a 6:58/mile pace! Nailed it!

I was really happy with my race. I’m still a minute off my PR, set in the same race five years ago, but I’m closer to it than I’ve been in a long time.

I walked around the park to catch my breath and then took off for a cool down jog. I found the house we’re staying in this coming weekend for the Rehoboth half marathon. It’s steps from the finish line, by far the best location we’ve gotten in the four years now we’ve rented a house as a group. The only downside is the street it’s on is half closed because of construction, so there’s not really any street parking immediately around it, but it’s really close to the main drag, with plenty of free parking, so it’s not a big deal.

I wound up running about another mile and got back to the park in time to catch TK finishing.

When they posted the results, I was second of 22 in my age group (first place beat me by 30 seconds.) I was also fifth of 202 women and 24th overall of 349 total finishers.

After the awards wrapped up, we got coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and then hit the outlets. I managed to find a good gift for the person I got in my family’s secret Santa exchange and shoes to replace the ones I drenched in wine last week.

That evening, Clark and I went with his parents to the Talbot Smokehouse in Trappe. I haven’t been there since it was Mitchum’s Steakhouse. Everything was delicious, when it finally arrived. That might have been the slowest service I’ve ever had.

Sunday, I ran a very slow, easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I wasn’t that sore from the 5K, but I definitely felt worn out. They sound so easy compared to a marathon just because of the distance, but the effort needed to really race one is right up there.

We were going to get our tree that afternoon, but Clark’s truck had other ideas. The clutch is completely worn out. So we stayed home instead and watched the Ravens beat the Bengals. Last night, we went over to Dave and Kasey’s for a bit.

Today is technically the start of the third week of Shamrock Marathon training, which means that race is only 16 weeks from yesterday! I’m supposed to do an easy 3-miler and strength training.

I also signed up for one last 5K in 2016, the Ugly Sweater one I ran with Pepper last year. It’s Dec. 17. Once again, it’s free with the donation of an unwrapped toy. It’s also still a prediction race. Anyone who runs within 10 seconds of their predicted time is a winner.

November 25, 2016

Training for 11/25/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:21 pm

Thanksgiving dinner prep got off to a bad start Wednesday evening:

wine

A freaking bottle of merlot fell right through the bottom of the bag and exploded on contact with the concrete garage floor. It also soaked my jeans, socks and shoes. The shoes are ruined (but they were really worn out and I was thinking about replacing them anyway) and the garage floor behind my car will forever look like a small animal was slaughtered there, but it washed out of the jeans and socks at least. I guess I should just be grateful the bag let go in the garage, instead of inside the house.

Anyway, it turned out that was the only disaster associated with Thanksgiving, fortunately.

Other than buying (and dropping) that wine, I didn’t do a damn thing to get ready to host dinner until yesterday morning. I got up at 6 a.m. and, other than a quick lap around the 4.5-mile loop with Pepper about halfway through the morning, I didn’t take a break until dinner was ready around 5:30 p.m.

It was all worth it in the end though. We had a good-sized crowd here and it seemed like everyone was as uncomfortably full as they should be after Thanksgiving dinner.

Pepper definitely got enough to eat. I bet he ate half a turkey all by himself. Once he got a taste of it, he couldn’t get enough. I caught him rooting around in the trash, licking food right off of trashed paper plates haha.

This morning, Clark’s breakfast was the beer he hadn’t finished before he fell asleep last night and part of the leftover breast from the turkey he deep-fried. Pepper was very interested in that turkey breast.

still-begging

Then he came over to me and started begging for my cereal — clearly now he just wants people food, no matter what it is. We created a monster!

With Thanksgiving over, it’s time to think about Christmas. I already started decorating this morning; I swapped out Pepper’s Dogfish Head collar for his Christmas tree one. So festive!

tree-collar

I want to go get our live tree Sunday. We waited way too long last year. By the time we went to our regular place, they had exactly five trees left that were all suffering from varying degrees of mange.

We’re also talking gifts here. I want to get Clark a really nice Garmin for his triathlons. The one he has now can track biking and running but not swimming. He’s looking at a Fenix 3, which are pretty pricey, but I’ve found some good deals on it. Also, if he gets a new Garmin, he’s going to pass down his 220 to me, which I have to admit I like better than my 10, which barely has enough battery life to get through a 4-hour marathon.

I want a new iPod shuffle, maybe a waterproof one that might survive the summer of sweat that has killed my last three iPods. I didn’t really miss it at first when the last one died a few months ago, but solo runs have gotten progressively more boring. There’s only so much nature I can listen to before I have to turn to whatever song is stuck in my head.

Anyway, as far as training goes today, I’ll probably take Pepper for an easy 3-miler here in a bit, and that’s it. Tomorrow morning I’m running the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K in Rehoboth with TK, after which we always go outlet shopping.

Sunday, I might do another short run or just take another rest day. I’ll see what I feel like doing when I get up.

November 23, 2016

Training for 11/23/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:09 pm

Today, the wind finally died, and by the late morning, it had warmed up enough to be a pretty nice day, so I took Pepper to the cross country trail for an easy run-walk.

We took our time doing our usual 3-mile loop. Everything on me felt totally fine three days after the marathon, even the Achilles that was giving me grief the last several miles of the race.

The plan for the rest of the week is to do a couple more short easy runs tomorrow and Friday, and race the 5K Saturday morning.

Tomorrow is, of course, Thanksgiving. We are again hosting my whole family at our house. Plus, it’s my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday, so Aunt Helen is putting on a birthday party for her. Should be another fun time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2016

Training for 11/22/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:36 am

No training to speak of today, as I’m still resting following the marathon two days ago.

There was something I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post though. Saturday, Nov. 19, was the sixth anniversary of the day we brought home Pepper!

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my favorite dog from the past year.

pepper in ugly sweater

Looking like a badass in his ugly Christmas sweater.

IMG_0759

On the road for a run after a snowfall in January.

pepper and banjo

Doing everything possible to avoid playing with a puppy at a brewery.

pepper and cat

Pretending that cat he just met doesn’t hate his guts.

tug of war

Playing tug-of-war with Clark.

pepper smiling in water

The day he actually voluntarily walked into the Choptank River.

me-and-pepper-on-the-dock

The day he walked right off the dock and fell head first into the canal!

pepper-and-me-coming-to-the-line

Finishing the Dogfish Dash 8K together.

pep-in-cornfield-resized

Near the end of a 12-mile run, his longest ever.

pepper-with-three-balls

Not amused by my joke that he had three balls haha.

I can’t believe he’s been here six years! Here’s to many, many more!

November 21, 2016

Philadelphia Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:13 pm

Technically, I ran my fastest marathon of the year this weekend in Philly, but the margin between it and my previous best for the year wasn’t nearly as big as I’d expected.

Basically, the entire race can be summed up thusly: COLD WIND SUCKS.

Saturday morning, Clark told me he didn’t feel like going to Philly. Understandable, as his travel schedule has been nuts for about the last two months straight, between work and our vacations, and he’d just gotten in from his most recent work trip late Friday night. I wish he’d told me about 24 hours earlier, so I could’ve cancelled my hotel room and moved into a room with a couple of my friends also traveling solo, so we all could’ve saved some money. At least the hotel I’d booked let me downgrade to a room with a twin bed (I didn’t know those even existed, but apparently they do) so I saved a little there.

I said goodbye to Clark and Pepper around 11:30 a.m. Saturday and headed up to Philly. The drive was fine. I got checked into my hotel and headed to the expo.

On the way, I stopped by my car to get a garbage bag full of old running shoes to donate to a charity collecting them at the expo. I really didn’t think this through – I had to carry that huge bag of shoes (mostly mine but also some of Clark’s) about seven blocks to the expo in the convention center. It was 70 degrees Saturday afternoon and I was pouring sweat by the time I found the donation booth, but the guy there was very impressed by the sheer number of shoes I’d brought. I was just glad to finally have them all out of my closet.

Picking up my race bib, gear check bag and race shirt was a breeze. Out among the vendors in the expo, I had two stops: first was the pacers’ table to see my friend Elaine, who was pacing the 4:30 group the next day, but she was out browsing the rest of the expo, so I missed her. Then I stopped by the Baltimore Running Festival’s booth to sign up for next year’s marathon at a big discount. I also didn’t have to pay the processing fee charged when registering through the website, and they gave me a free T-shirt from this year’s race. Since I already have the marathon shirt, I took the short-sleeved 5K shirt. I really liked the colors.

After I left the expo, I got a late lunch at Panera Bread, and then I finally met up with all my online running friends at the Love sculpture, moved next to City Hall because of construction in the park where it normally sits.

The group for LoopPhest 2016 wasn’t nearly as big as it was for 2011, but we still had a pretty sizable crowd.

loopphest-2-0-group-photo-resized

We went to an Italian restaurant called Fratelli’s for dinner. I had gnocci with tomato-basil sauce and stuck to water. After dinner, I went back to the DoubleTree, where just about everyone else was staying, and I had one Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA while people who’d run the half marathon that morning made signs for spectating the marathon the next morning.

I headed back to my hotel around 8 p.m. The wind was already picking up and the temperature was dropping. Yay, can’t wait for the morning!

I got all my stuff laid out and packed in my gear check bag and hit the hay. As usual when I have an early alarm set, I woke up multiple times throughout the night, sure I’d missed it.

When the alarm went off at 4:55 a.m., I checked the weather, hoping they’d been wrong about the cold and wind coming in overnight. Well, they weren’t. The feels like temp was below freezing, and it wasn’t going to feel much above freezing at 11 a.m., when I expected to be finishing. I’ve never worn full-length tights in a marathon before, but they were more than appropriate for this one.

I headed back to the DoubleTree to meet everyone else heading to the marathon start. On the way, I ran into a road completely blocked by police tape, with a single vehicle sitting in the middle of the road, its front end completely smashed in. I have no idea what happened there.

I took a slight detour and got to the DoubleTree on time. A few other marathon runners were already there, plus Dave, who’d run the half the day before but had volunteered to drive some of us to the marathon start.

before-leaving-for-marathon

Great shot of me choking down a plain bagel, plus Pat, Angie, John and Peg.

New this year in Philly were shuttle buses, picking up runners from city hotels to take them to the race start. We saw several pull up and leave the DoubleTree while we were sitting there. It looked like it went pretty well.

Dave took several of our marathon runners in his car, but Angie and I decided to walk the mile and a half or so to the start, because neither of us had pooped yet and we were hoping a nice long walk would get things moving pre-race. I love how nonchalant runners are about bodily functions that are otherwise considered impolite to discuss.

We got to the race site and were through security in a minute flat (basically they were just checking the race-issued clear plastic bags for water bottles and weapons) and immediately got in line for the port-o-potties. When we got out, we high-fived to celebrate a mission accomplished haha. So nice to empty that out before the race for once!

At that point, we still had about 50 minutes until the race start. Neither of us wanted to get rid of our sweats and check our gear bags yet, so we sat on a curb near the gear check trucks and waited. It seemed to get colder while we were sitting there.

Around 6:40 a.m., we decided it was time to check our stuff and get in the corrals. I took off my sweatpants and sweatshirt, put on my earband and gloves, and immediately started shivering harder in the cold wind.

I’d packed the heat sheet I’d saved from the L.A. Marathon to wear between checking my bag and starting the race, which helped, but not enough. Standing in the corral waiting for the race start, I could feel one of my butt cheeks start involuntarily spasming from the cold. Some guy standing near me asked how L.A. was (the race logo was printed on the sheet.) I said “HOT! It was so nice.”

Fortunately, they got the race started pretty much on time, and my corral was the third to go, behind the elites and the really fast normal people.

The first mile, I held the heat sheet around my shoulders, seriously considering just wearing it the entire marathon. I didn’t think I’d ever feel warm again. My feet felt like concrete blocks. I ran that mile in 8:41.

But then I thawed out a bit, and I could unwrap the heat sheet at least. It was maybe another mile until I got the feeling back in my feet. The second mile was 8:18.

I had another problem though – I had to pee SO BAD! I had to go again before the race started, but I didn’t think I had time to get through the line again before the race start, so I just crossed my fingers it would go away once I started running.

Well, it didn’t. At mile 2.2, we passed the first water stop. Just past it was a bank of port-o-potties. There was a pretty long line though. As I was making the decision to just keep running to find more port-o-potties, I noticed all the guys peeing against the wall behind them. There was absolutely nowhere for a woman to try to hide to cop a squat though. I’ve never wished so hard to be a guy!

I ran on. Mile 3 was 8:14. Just before mile 4, I spotted some more port-o-potties. The line was much shorter, and I got my bladder emptied. I felt a million times better, but mile 4 had taken 9:45 to finish.

The next few miles were a lot of fun. We ran through Center City, and the spectator crowds were thick and extremely enthusiastic. I spotted my first group of spectating Loopsters and gave them a big wave.

marathon-spectators-mile-6

Liz, Christine and Barbara around mile 6. As cold as it was running, it was probably way worse standing still, but they and several others made it to multiple points along the course just to cheer for us marathon runners, which was pretty cool of them.

I ran miles 5 through 7 in 8:21, 8:24 and 8:26. We hit our first real hill around mile 8, but it wasn’t too bad — that mile only slowed to 8:40. I’d caught up to the 3:45 pace group, which had passed me while I was in those port-o-potties, so I just hung with them.

Just before mile 9, I heard my name and looked over to see Caitlin and Dave cheering for me, which was a nice surprise. I gave them another enthusiastic wave. Mile 9 was 8:16 and mile 10 was 8:31.

Somewhere in the next mile, we hit the longest, steepest hill of the entire course. I let the pace group go a little ahead while I tried to just maintain an even effort up that biotch. It finally leveled off, and I ran mile 11 in 8:43. Not long after that, we hit a nice downhill, which led us under a railroad overpass as a train rumbled across it. I let gravity take over and caught back up with the pace group just before mile 12, which I ran in 7:58, my fastest of the day.

I was running with the group when we hit mile 13, which I ran in 8:24, and then the halfway timing mat. My watch was at 1:53, since I’d started ahead of the 3:45 pace group. If I could maintain my pace, and not need a bathroom break in the second half, I could finish around 3:46 or so, which would make me happy.

philly-2016-when-i-was-happy

I think this was somewhere just after halfway, when I was still happy.

The next mile was another easy even effort, 8:35. And then… we headed out toward Manayunk.

The next six miles were a slog along the Schulykill River, toward a turnaround in Manayunk, right into the effing wind. It was the first time all day we really had to face the wind in an exposed area.

At first, I was maintaining my pace — miles 15 and 16 were 8:30 and 8:39. Then, just before mile 17, I had to poop (luckily it hit me just as I was coming up on some unoccupied port-o-potties.) There goes my bathroom-free second half! Thanks to that stop, mile 17 was 10:04, my slowest of the race.

Three more miles to the turnaround. It got harder and harder to run into that wind, but I was plowing ahead. Miles 18 and 19 were 8:32 and 8:45. I kept telling myself to just make it to the turnaround, get the wind at my back and it’ll all be good again.

We got into Manayunk, which was thick with spectators again and full of energy. There was one last sorta long uphill leading up to the mile 20 marker, which didn’t help things. Mile 20 was 9:14. Finally, I made it to the cones marking the U-turn and I was heading back to the finish line.

I thought this was when things would feel better again, but it was not to be. I don’t know if it was the wind, the cold, my shoes (which were old and I’d meant to replace before the race but kept getting distracted) or a combination of all three, but I felt like absolute shit with a 10K to go.

My running gait was a hobble. Then my right Achilles, which has never bothered me in my life, started tightening up. A couple times I’d get a pang in it so strong I had to stop to try to stretch out my calf and get some relief. The hell!

I ran as much as I could but slowed to a walk whenever the Achilles barked at me, or when the muscles in my legs just needed a break. They felt as depleted as they had at this point in my first marathon. Miles 21 and 22 were OK — 8:55 and 9:06 — but the next few got ugly. Miles 23 through 25 were 9:18, 9:52 and 9:51.

philly-2016-on-the-way-back

This sucks.

At this point I was just hoping to hang on to a sub-4 finish. Screw 3:45; that was long gone. Everything on me felt tight. On top of that, I was lightheaded, probably from the cold wind, and starving.

This was my 14th marathon though, so I knew the finish line was ahead if I just kept moving. Just before mile 25, I heard a spectator tell a runner on the other side, who was passing mile 15, “You’re just getting more out of your money than they are,” which made me laugh. It also made me feel worse to think there were people who still had 10 more miles than I did to go!

The wind was definitely picking up too. I passed a water stop just as another 40-mph gust came along. All the empty cups on the pavement swirled around as if they were caught in a whirlpool. The wind was insane.

Three feet later I passed several more Loopsters cheering for me. It’s hard to feel bad when that many people stood out in that cold wind just to see you hobble by! I gave them a genuine smile. I am very grateful for every time I spotted one of them cheering for me on that course.

I really wanted to run the rest of the way to the finish, but damn my legs were completely wasted. I ran when I could and walked when I had to. Our names were printed on our bibs, and a ton of people were calling me out by name, encouraging me to keep going. In spite of how bad my legs (and everything else) felt, I couldn’t help but keep smiling at all of them.

By this point, my Garmin was almost four 10ths of a mile ahead of the mile markers (meaning my Garmin would beep the end of a mile, and then it’d be almost another half-mile until I passed the mile marker on the road.)

This pretty much sucks at the end of a marathon. According to my Garmin, I hit 26.2 miles before I’d even passed the mile 26 marker. I finally hobbled past that — mile 26 was 9:34 — and looked ahead for the finish line arch, but I couldn’t see anything. Did the finish line even exist?

philly-2016-coming-to-the-finish

Where is that stupid finish line?!

People were still calling my name in droves, like I was a well-known elite, so I kept smiling like a lunatic and hobbling forward. I couldn’t let down my adoring public right at the end by walking, now could I? I could hear the finish line announcer, and I heard him call my name as I ran over one timing mat, but where was that damn arch?!

I crossed a couple more timing mats and noticed all the runners in front of me were walking. Then I saw volunteers handing out heat sheets.

That was the big finish line. They’d taken down the arch because of the wind.

philly-2016-finish

Unaware I was crossing the finish.

philly-2016-finish-wide-shot

One out of four runners realized where we were haha.

I stopped my watch late. My official chip time was 3:54:16 – 28 seconds faster than Shamrock in March and 18 seconds faster than Baltimore last month. See? Fastest marathon this year, but not by much!

That time placed me 150th of 627 in the F 30-34 age group (top 24 percent), 845th of 3,947 women (top 21 percent) and 2,893rd of 8,982 total finishers (top 32 percent.) Decent.

philly-medal-and-bib

Medal featuring Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were adopted.

I was so glad to be done. I took a ton of food from the food tent because I’d been starving those final miles. As soon as I took a sip of the hot chicken broth though, my appetite disintegrated completely. That’s pretty normal.

I got my gear check bag and changed into a dry bra and base layer, then put on my sweatshirt and my sweatpants over my tights, which already made me feel a hundred times better.

Caitlin, Gwen and Ed found me. We just headed back to the hotel, figuring everyone else would do the same, since it wasn’t a good day to hang around outside after the race. We stopped at a Starbucks on the way, and I got a latte that helped quite a bit.

Later, we met for lunch at an Irish pub, where I found out none of my friends who’d run the marathon had a good race. Peg, who’d been shooting for a 3:35, finished two minutes ahead of me. She was pretty chill about it though; she got injured every time she tried to train for a marathon since she finished her first three years ago, so she was happy to finally run one again.

We all blamed that cold wind. I’ve run cold marathons, and I’ve run windy marathons, but not both at the same time. It was miserable.

After lunch, we all headed back to our hotels for naps before dinner. I couldn’t take a nap though — the NASCAR season finale was on.

A day later, I am still trying to wrap my head around what the hell happened. With 10 laps to go, Jimmie stupid Johnson was running sixth, behind all three of the other championship contenders. He didn’t have a prayer of beating any of them, let alone all three of them, to win a record-tying seventh championship.

Until a caution came out, that is. On the restart, Carl Edwards tried to block Joey Logano. In the ensuing wreck, Edwards’ car was demolished and Logano’s was slightly damaged, but still in contention. So that was one contender out of Johnson’s way.

There was a 30-minute red flag to clean up the track. Then they all pitted again before the next restart. Kyle Busch’s crew messed up something — I don’t remember what and I’m still too depressed to read an article about this race to find out what exactly happened — but that effectively took him out of the running. So it was down to Johnson or Logano.

I really thought Logano still had the car to beat, between him and Johnson, who hadn’t had shit all day. But then, on the final restart, Johnson’s car was magically a rocket ship all of a sudden. He didn’t just hold off Logano, who faded to fourth, he held off everyone else too — winning the race and his seventh championship.

I turned off the TV as the announcer was saying “Make way, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, for a new seven-time–” CLICK.

The past couple of weeks have been a real punch in the nads, I have to say.

By that point, it was about time to meet everyone for dinner. We went to another bar near the hotel. We didn’t stay out too late, and I was back in my room by 11:15 p.m.

This morning, the day-after-long-run hunger woke me up. Even though I was supposed to meet everyone for breakfast at 9, I ate first at the hotel as soon as it started serving its free breakfast at 7.

While I was sitting in the breakfast room, two guys came up the short flight of stairs leading into the room. The first one was walking normally. The second one was grimacing in pain and dragging both legs like they were made of wood.

I told him he looked like he ran the marathon yesterday. Bingo! Yesterday was that poor guy’s first marathon. We commiserated over the weather. I told him his next one will definitely be better.

Later, I met everyone and we went to the Green Eggs Cafe for my second meal of the day. I had a big ol’ Belgian waffle covered in Nutella and strawberries with a side of pork sausage. Everyone’s orders came out looking incredible — so much so most of them had to take a picture before they could dig in.

green-eggs-cafe-breakfast

Dave with his apple pie French toast and Angie with her strawberry shortcake French toast.

Highly recommend this place for breakfast, especially the morning after a marathon!

After that, I said goodbye to everyone and hit the road. The drive home was fine too, and I was back early this afternoon.

So, to sum up this weekend, I’m disappointed my race didn’t go better, but honestly I think it was mostly on the weather, which is obviously out of my control. I do wish I’d bothered to get a newer pair of 1400s though, and I definitely need to do better forcing myself to do long runs in training for my next marathon, next spring’s Shamrock.

Still, that was my third sub-4 marathon this year. (They were all 3:54s, coincidentally.) Can’t be too upset about that!

I’m going to take it easy the next few days. My Achilles was still a little tender when I got up today. I’m signed up for the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K I always run with TK the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I think I’ll be fine to run it again this year.

I have the Rehoboth half marathon the Saturday after that, and then I’ll just be right back in marathon training, for Shamrock in March.

November 18, 2016

Training for 11/18/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:01 pm

Pepper and I just did another easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop, my final run before the Philly Marathon on Sunday morning.

The weather today was beautiful — sunny, warm enough for shorts and a T-shirt, light breeze. Hard to imagine Sunday’s really going to be down in the 30s with (now) 28 mph winds. I hate weather!

I don’t really know how to feel going into this weekend. This was supposed to be my big goal race for the fall. I signed up for it the moment registration opened, at midnight April 1.

Training was… all over the place. I had a few really solid mileage weeks, like the 61-mile week last month that ended with a sub-4 marathon in Baltimore (man, that was a perfect weather day for running a marathon.) But then I had plenty of skipped and shortened long runs, especially over the last month because of travel. I mean, you’re supposed to back off the mileage leading up to a marathon, and it’s better to go into races undertrained than burned out, but this taper might have been a little excessive.

And then there is the weather. Cold and windy, my least favorite conditions. At least I know not to underdress, thinking I’ll warm up.

So what’s the plan for Sunday’s race? I don’t know! I guess it kinda depends on how I feel once I get going, and which way the wind is blowing. The wind is supposed to be coming out of the west, so I think we’re going to be running into it for a total of about 10 miles.

I’d love to shoot for sub-3:40 and finally lower my marathon PR. That would require an average pace about 30 seconds per mile faster than I ran in Baltimore, which should be doable. I never had to run head-on into nearly 30 mph wind in Baltimore though.

Anyway, whatever happens, it’ll be another marathon finish, and that’s always pretty cool in and of itself. Plus, I get to see a lot of old running friends and meet some new ones.

A lot of people are getting into town today, to run the half marathon tomorrow morning (this is the first year they’ve held the half and full on two different courses, on two different days), but Clark’s not going to be home until late tonight, so we’re not going up to Philly until tomorrow. I have to stop by the expo to get my bib (no. 1818!!), there’s a big group pasta dinner scheduled for tomorrow night and then the race is at 7 a.m. Sunday.

Clark and I are staying Sunday night too, to party with whoever else is hanging around, and then coming back home early Monday morning, so I’ll be back to report on how this all went down.

November 17, 2016

Training for 11/17/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:18 pm

Today, I took Pepper out for another easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. It was a pretty nice day for a run. Nothing to complain about there.

The rain is out of the forecast for Sunday, but unfortunately it’s still supposed to be cold and windy. Now they’re calling for 25 mph winds, with gusts up to 40 mph, and temps in the 30s and 40s, which of course will feel much colder. Definitely packing warm running clothes.

November 16, 2016

Training for 11/16/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:38 pm

Today, Pepper and I went for a run together for the first time in nearly a week.

We did an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. I felt a little sluggish the first couple of miles, only having run once for a few miles since our last one together. Pepper was pokey at first too, but that’s normal.

I felt back to normal myself by the halfway point, and the second half of the run was fine.

I wore my wear test shoes today, for their first run on all paved roads. I wish the cushioning in the sole was a little more responsive, and the fit around my ankles isn’t as snug as I prefer. Maybe they’ll feel different when they’re more worn in.

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