A Simple Running Log

March 31, 2017

Training for 3/31/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:12 pm

The website that hosts this blog is getting on my nerves. I’m sure it’s mostly this stupid employer-provided computer’s fault; I can’t update Google Chrome or anything else on it myself, but I don’t work in the same office as the administrators who can, so it’s never been updated. Whatever the reason, most days I have to open the page to post a new blog multiple times before it manages to do it without freezing.

So days like yesterday, when all I did was run another boring lap around the 4.5-mile loop and the website freezes 15 times in a row, I give up. For the two loyal readers wondering why there was no post yesterday, now you know!

Today, I ran my last run as a 33-year-old. It rained all day, so I put it off until it finally ended, in the early evening. I just did one more lap around the ol’ 4.5-mile loop. That’s all I’ve felt like doing this week. It was an OK run. It wasn’t cold or windy, but it was extremely humid.

Today was also the last run of March, so it’s time for a monthly summary.


  • Week 1 (March 1-4): 15.5 miles
  • Week 2 (March 5-11): 32.9
  • Week 3 (March 12-18): 27.2
  • Week 4 (March 19-25): 42.3
  • Week 5 (March 26-31): 22.5

Total mileage: 140.4 miles

That was about where I expected to be this month, as I tapered for and then recovered from Shamrock.

As far as racing went, I just did the 8K and marathon at Shamrock, which both went well in spite of the crappy weather.

Speaking of Shamrock, I just signed up for 2018 earlier today, while the registration price was still at its lowest. I’m doing the Whale Challenge again. It’ll be my ninth consecutive time there next year. I think we’re about due for decent running weather, for the first time in a while. Ha. Watch us get a blizzard or something.

This month, I also got my first road bike. I’ve only gotten to ride it a few times, but I put in about 38 miles on it.

Anyway, looking ahead to April, I’ve got two races planned. Well, three really. The King Crab Challenge on April 8 is a half marathon followed immediately by a 5K, and then I’m pacing the 1:55 group in the Island to Island Half Marathon from Assateague to Ocean City again, on April 29.

And I’ll be putting in more way miles on that bike!

This weekend should be fun. Tomorrow is my birthday. Other than signing up my brother and myself for the Dogfish Dash at noon on the dot (Clark would rather do a tri he did last year that unfortunately is the same day as the Dash this year), and then going to Dogfish Head for my free birthday beer as a Mug Club member, I’m not sure what the plan is. I’ll run something in the morning, and maybe ride the bike too, if it’s not too cold.

Sunday, my mother-in-law is making me a birthday brunch, and then in the evening, we’re meeting some of my family at Suicide for dinner. In between that, there’s a NASCAR race in Martinsville to watch.

March 29, 2017

Training for 3/29/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:35 pm

I feel about back to normal today. Whatever was making my head stuffy and the rest of me feel so tired the last couple of days did not develop any further, thankfully. Glad that passed relatively quickly.

I still just did another easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop, though mostly in the interest of time. I had an early afternoon assignment for work, so naturally I waited as late in the morning as possible to run before I had to be in the shower.

It was uneventful, other than the cranky old guy yelling at the roads crew guys trimming trees on one of the back roads. I had my iPod on, so I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but he seemed to have a lot of opinions on what they were doing. He was yelling at the first group when I ran by, then passed me in his truck, and was yelling at the second group about a half-mile up the road when I passed them. I’m sure his suggestions were greatly valued.

Anyway, I think Clark and I are going to try to get out for a bike ride after work.

March 28, 2017

Training for 3/28/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:04 pm

Not much to report today. I just did another slow lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I still feel a little stuffed up, but not as tired as the last couple of days. It rained off and on all morning and most of the afternoon, though it was another beautiful evening by the time I finally went out.

March 27, 2017

Training for 3/27/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:13 pm

Saturday, I didn’t feel as tired when I got up as I had the previous few days, so after I fed Pepper his breakfast, I went out and ran an easy 3-miler. It was a really nice morning for it, for once.

Clark and I loaded up our bikes in his truck (so nice to have it back!), picked up his dad and his bike and then met Bart in Cambridge.

We all rode about 20 miles, mostly on the Eagleman course. There were so many other people out doing the same thing, for a minute I thought there was some kind of cycling event going on, but it was just random bike riders like ourselves.

Bart, who also has a triathlon bike, and Clark were much faster than Clark’s dad and me, so they’d ride ahead, and then wait for us to catch up.

I felt pretty good on my bike, but a few times, the gears kept shifting when I wasn’t touching the shifters, so I’m not sure what was going on there. I should probably take it back to the shop to get that looked at if it keeps doing it.

I haven’t been wearing my Garmin while riding because it keeps records of my fastest mile, 5K, 10K, etc., and obviously I’d blow away my actual running records on the bike. But Clark wears his, since it’s fancy enough to differentiate between activities, and he said he took 1:13 to finish the ride, so I took a few minutes longer.

That afternoon, I met my mom and younger sister at their house, and we drove up to Silver Spring for the wedding. The ceremony was in their church, and then the reception was at a venue called The Other Barn (right next to The Barn) in Columbia.

All in all, it was a nice wedding. Just about my whole family went, other than Clark and my dad, who used the same excuse he always uses to get out of leaving the farm – he had chickens.

My younger sister and I pretended we were guest brides on an episode of “Four Weddings” and had a great time critiquing everything with the cliches people on the actual show use all the time haha. There was also a Mad Lib every table had to fill out, and the matron of honor read our table’s out loud, including a pretty inappropriate sentence near the end that made her and most everyone else bust out laughing. We’d almost changed the word after we’d plugged it in and read the sentence, just in case it did get read, because we weren’t sure everyone else would find it funny, but fortunately everyone else did.

It was pretty late by the time we got back to my parents’ house, but when I got home, Clark and Mike had returned from the Dogfish Head event and invited over a few of Clark’s coworkers to hang out. It was close to 2:30 a.m. when I finally went to bed.

Sunday, I wasn’t able to sleep in very much, even though I’d gone to bed so late and I really didn’t have any reason to be up at a certain time. But I was really tired, so I decided early on it was going to be rest day.

Clark and I hung around home all day. We watched the NASCAR race from Fontana and some college basketball, about the most productive thing either of us did.

This morning, I again woke up feeling exhausted in spite of doing nothing yesterday and getting a full night’s sleep, and my head was a little stuffy. I thought I was in the clear, but maybe not.

I put off a run until late in the afternoon. It was a warm day, in the mid 70s. I did a very slow lap around the 4.5-mile loop. It felt OK, I guess. Kinda sluggish.

March 24, 2017

Training for 3/24/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:56 pm

They posted the Whale Challenge results. My combined time of 4:25:08 for both races was 15th best of 198 total finishers, and third among 100 women. I believe that’s the best I’ve ever done in the five years I’ve done the Whale Challenge. I was pretty happy with that showing.

Today, I waited until the afternoon to run, because it warmed up enough to wear shorts for the first time in a while. I did an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop.

I almost think I might be coming down with something. I’ve felt really tired when I’ve woken up the last couple of days in spite of sleeping like a rock for at least eight hours straight. I thought it was just my body still trying to recover from the marathon or something, but now my throat is starting to feel dry and scratchy. I haven’t been sick in more than a year, so I’m going to be annoyed if my streak is coming to an end.

Anyway, this weekend looks like it’s going to be nice. Tomorrow morning, Clark and I are going to Cambridge to ride our bikes with his friend who’s also doing Eagleman again this year. In the afternoon, I’m going with my family to a family friend’s wedding. Clark and I never got the invitation in the mail, and by the time the groom-to-be started tracking down the losers who hadn’t RSVP’d a couple of weeks ago, Clark had already made plans to go to a tasting event at the Dogfish Head brewery tomorrow. I, however, love other people’s weddings, so I will definitely be there.

Sunday, I’m not sure what’s going on, other than watching the NASCAR race from Fontana.

March 23, 2017

Training for 3/23/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:17 am

I’ve done a couple short runs over the last 12-ish hours. Yesterday evening, I did an easy 3-miler, and early this morning, I did an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. I’m not sore but I was feeling sluggish for both runs, which I expected. Felt good to run my familiar old routes again though.

What did not feel good, however, was the weather — it got cold and breezy here again! I had to get the thermal tights out again this morning. I’m ready for spring to get here, for good.

March 22, 2017

Training for 3/22/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:56 am

First off, the free downloadable photos from both races this past weekend have been posted, so here are some of mine:

8K mile 3

Mile 3ish of the 8K on Saturday.

8K finish

Near the finish of the 8K.

marathon mile 21

Mile 21 of the marathon on Sunday.

marathon king neptune

Flying by King Neptune, coming to the finish line.

marathon finish line 2

Pretty happy to see 3:46 on my watch when I finished.

marathon finish line 3

Still smiling.

The blood donation Monday afternoon went fine. I haven’t run yet since Sunday’s race, but yesterday, Clark and I took our bikes out for another ride.

I just wanted to do the 10.5-mile loop. Clark didn’t want to ride that way because he said some of the roads in the middle of that loop are too rough, so he went a different direction before we got to the ferry. It was probably better he rode by himself anyway — all the way to the ferry, when he was behind me, I kept hearing what turned out to be his bike coasting because I was going too slow for him haha.

I didn’t time my ride because I knew I was going to be slow. Between the marathon two days earlier and donating blood the day before, I was feeling kinda rundown. But it was a nice ride anyway. The temperature was decent, for once, and it wasn’t ridiculously windy. I think I’m getting better with the clip-in shoes too.

Speaking of bikes, I sold my Trek hybrid! An 84-year-old man bought it yesterday. He said he likes the women’s bikes because they have the step-through frame, so they’re easier to get on and off of. He test rode it and was especially impressed with the brakes.

As he was figuring out a way to get the bike into his car, he said he’d been riding a 50-year-old Schwinn until now, so he felt like he’d moved up to the upper limits of bike technology. So I showed him Clark’s new bike. He didn’t know what to say about that thing!

Today, it’s really windy again, but I think I might go out later and do a short run. I don’t feel any soreness from the marathon anymore.

March 20, 2017

Shamrock Whale Challenge recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:26 pm

Well, my streak of terrible marathon weather continued this weekend. Sunday’s Shamrock Marathon was cold, windy and, worst of all, rainy. The trifecta of suck. There was a point, after halfway, running head-on into wind-driven freezing rain, things were going numb quick and I honestly thought I might have to drop out or wind up with hypothermia. But then the course shifted, the wind became a strong tailwind and I ran the last several miles feeling the best I ever have at the end of a marathon, finishing in 3:46:46 — finally going under the 3:54 I ran three times last year!

So that’s the short story. Here is the much longer one.

Thursday evening, I took my new road bike out for its first ride. This was also my first time riding with clip-in shoes.

Clark went too. Obviously he was walking away from me on his bike.

We rode a little more than eight miles before the sun went down. It was still pretty windy and cold, windy enough that my bike was being buffeted around. I’m sure Clark’s was much worse.

Other than the truck that almost pulled away from a stop sign and right into me as I was riding through the intersection (I doubt the driver was expecting an idiot on a bike in that weather), it went fine. I never even forgot I was clipped in and fell off, though I did have a hard time clipping back in the one time I had to stop at a stop sign. Something to work on.

Friday morning, I loaded up the Focus and hit the road. (We’ve been watching Snoopy since last Thursday, while Clark’s parents are on vacation, and he wanted to keep my car at home, to use as the dog taxi.)

The drive to Virginia Beach was quick enough, and I got to the expo in time to pick up my bibs and race shirts and be in line to meet Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, Shalane’s former college cross country teammate and cookbook co-author.

Most people in line with me had brought a copy of their book, “Run Fast, Eat Slow,” but I didn’t have one, so I just asked them to sign my race bibs. I told Shalane how cool it was watching her and all the other American elite distance runners at the Olympic Trials Marathon in L.A. last year. They both wished me luck in my races over the weekend.

shaking shalane flanagan's hand

I shook an Olympian’s hand!

elyse shalane and me

Elyse, Shalane and me. Basically besties at this point.

Caitlin and Angie arrived at the expo not long after, and we took a few front row seats to hear Shalane and Elyse talk about their book and running. I think I should get their cookbook. Their philosophy is all about eating full-fat and whole foods, which is pretty much what we eat anyway, and I’ve heard the recipes are delicious.

shalane and elyse speaking

Shalane and Elyse speaking.

After the expo, we all stopped at a Harris-Teeter to get breakfast food for both race mornings, and after I got my stuff into our hotel room, we got dinner at Home Republic Brewing. There were a ton of people out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but we called it a night early, since we had the 8K in the morning.

Saturday morning was a little breezy and on the chilly side, but it wasn’t raining. We put on our green running finery and headed to the start, less than two blocks from our hotel’s front lobby. So convenient!

Caitlin and I were seeded in the second corral, so we started together.

caitlin and me before 8k start

Waiting in the second corral.

The course was the same it’s always been, basically two loops, one heading south and back and one heading north and back, ending on the boardwalk.

Around the end of the first mile, I felt a strong twinge of pain at the base of my left big toe, strong enough I had to land that foot a little funny for a few strides. I was getting worried, but it worked itself out soon enough. I chalked it up to not having run for three whole days.

Otherwise, it was a good run, that got faster as I went along. My mile splits were, in order, 7:56, 7:47, 7:40, 7:38 and 7:21 for the last 0.99 miles, for a chip time of 38:22, a 7:42/mile average pace. Definitely faster than I should’ve run what’s supposed to be a shakeout run for the main event the next morning, but hey, internet results are forever!

8K mile 3

On the boardwalk, around mile 3.

8K finish

Coming to the finish line.

I had to use the bathroom almost immediately after I finished, to no one’s surprise. By the time I got to the spot in the beer tent we’d agreed to meet up, Caitlin had beaten me there, and was already celebrating a 4-minute PR with the first Yuengling of the weekend. Angie showed up very soon after. Turned out she’d snuck into the second corral too, and she finished right behind us.

We only stayed long enough for one beer each. It’s nice they give you four beer tickets for the 8K, but we were all running again the next day, so we had to be a little smart.

angie me and caitlin after 8k

Angie, me and Caitlin after the first of two days of running.

Our hotel was right across the boardwalk from the beer tent. We all got cleaned up, and then we went to Pocahontas Pancakes for a big breakfast. I had a Belgian waffle, two scrambled eggs, sausage links and bacon. It was so good!

By the time we finished breakfast, it’d started raining, but we already had a good way planned to spend a rainy afternoon, tickets to see “Beauty and the Beast.”

Judging by the parking lot at the mall, everyone else had the same idea. The lots near the movie theater were packed.

We had some time to kill before our movie started, so we walked around the mall. It’d been a while since any of us had been in a mall, and we spent a lot of the time saying, “Wow, that store’s still around?”

We got to the theater about a half-hour before show time. The showing was sold out. Luckily, we’d gotten there early enough to get three seats together that weren’t in the front row.

I really enjoyed the movie, and Caitlin and Angie said they did too. Apparently some people are criticizing it because it’s basically a retelling of the animated film that came out in 1991, but what the hell do they want? There were a couple more details added to Belle’s and the Beast’s back stories that weren’t in the original film, but really, I wanted to see the movie I loved as a kid, only live action, and that’s what I got. Haters to the left haha.

The sun was shining by the time we left the theater, and it turned out to be a beautiful evening. This was what it looked like from our hotel balcony before we left for our dinner reservation at an Italian restaurant.

saturday evening beach view

Finish line and beer tent.

It was hard not to hope the weather forecasts for the next morning were all wrong!

Dinner was fine, other than when our waitress tried to give us the wrong food and seemed annoyed we actually expected her to go get what we’d ordered instead of just taking whatever she brought us.

Caitlin had originally signed up for the marathon this weekend, but she got injured and had to miss some training, so she stepped down to the half. That meant she had to get up much earlier Sunday morning for her race, which started at 7, than Angie and I did for ours, which started at 8:30. The half’s starting line was also a much longer walk from our hotel than the marathon’s.

So we were all in bed pretty early Saturday night. I stayed up a little later, reading a book Caitlin had bought that day at the mall, but I turned out the lights before 10 p.m.

Sunday morning, we all woke up when Caitlin did to get ready for her race. Unfortunately, the weather forecasts turned out to be right, and it was windy and cold — not much above freezing with the wind chill — and raining. She left before sunrise to walk to the half start, but as the sun came up, Angie and I could look at the volunteers below setting up the finishers’ chute. They looked pretty miserable.

I read some more of Caitlin’s book. Curled up in bed with a book felt like a much better way to spend a cold, rainy morning than running a stupid marathon, but at 7:45, I hauled myself out of bed and got dressed. Full-length tights, cold weather top, rain jacket, gloves, hat.

Angie and I saw the half marathon winner finish in 1:10 before we’d even left our room for the start line of the marathon. We left minutes before the start. The less time we had to spend huddled in the starting corral trying to keep warm, the better.

The wind hit us as soon as we walked outside, but it wasn’t raining very hard at least. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad once we started moving…

I started near the back of the first corral. I went into this thinking it would be nice to finally PR, which would mean going under 3:40:44, but with the weather, I wasn’t going to be mad if it didn’t happen.

They counted us down to the start and the first corral took off.

The first couple of miles weren’t bad at all. The wind was at our backs and the rain was just a light drizzle. I was running not far behind the 3:35 pace group, no problem. I ran miles 1 and 2 in 8:11 and 8:04.

We made a U-turn in the third mile, running briefly into the wind, and hit a water stop, where I walked a few steps to drink some water. Mile 3 was 8:14.

We made another turn and headed up and over the Rudee Inlet bridge for the first time. With the wind at our backs again, I ran mile 4 in 8:04. The jacket almost felt a little too warm.

Something always happens to my Garmin before the fifth mile marker in this race. The first four miles, my watch beeps the mile split right on or very close to the marker on the course. The fifth one, it beeps the end of that mile long before I get to the marker. I have no idea why. Anyway, mile 5 was 8:16 by the Garmin, but my watch was at 5.2 when I passed the marker.

We made another U-turn in this mile, heading into the wind again. I was glad to have the jacket again. I ran mile 6 in 8:23.

In the next mile, I stopped for a couple seconds to fish out a GU from the zippered pocket on my jacket, ate that and then grabbed some water at the next aid station. I finished mile 7 in 8:36.

Right after we passed the seventh mile marker flag, we turned into Camp Pendleton, a very small state military installation (not to be confused with the huge Marine Corps Camp Pendleton in San Diego). It was the first time we had to run head-on directly into the wind, and it suuuucckked. Luckily it wasn’t long before the course shifted again, but it made me dread the upcoming middle miles that much more.

Miles 8 and 9 continued to weave through Camp Pendleton. I ran them in 8:17 and 8:23. A lot of military members were out cheering for us and offering high fives, which was a nice distraction. That course in general was really hurting for spectator support, not that I blamed anyone who didn’t want to stand out in the freezing rain and cheer for strangers!

As we were running the final stretch out of Camp Pendleton, I was near two women who were clearly running together. I heard one tell the other to pick up her pace and catch back up, and the second one said, “I can’t; this wind is exhausting!” Yikes. We weren’t really even in the wind yet. Her day was about to get a lot tougher very soon.

We left Camp Pendleton and got back on the road toward the Rudee Inlet bridge. Up and over it again, the only real “hill” on the entire marathon course. At the bottom of the bridge, we passed the same water stop we’d hit in the third mile. There was a volunteer lying on the ground on the corner, apparently trying to stay warm by huddling in a ball, while offering muted support to passing runners through her coat, which she had pulled up over her face haha.

Just past the water stop was the mile 10 marker. I ran that mile in 8:27.

We had a brief reprieve from the wind, and then we turned out onto the boardwalk.

The wind this year was coming from a slightly different angle than last year. It wasn’t quite as head-on for the roughly 1.5 miles we ran up the boardwalk, but it was pretty close. I trudged ahead and ran mile 11 in 8:31.

I ate the other GU in my jacket pocket as we turned off the boardwalk to run back through the downtown area. Ahead were a bank of port-o-potties. The gut pangs had been building over the last mile, so I ducked into one.

I felt much better once I cleared out my guts, but I had a problem — my fingers were already so numb, from the cold rain, I couldn’t get my damn soaking wet tights back up over my legs! It was a real struggle in there, and extremely frustrating. I finally got them back in place and rejoined the race.

I passed the mile 12 marker. The Garmin beeped 11:14, what would turn out to be, by far, my slowest mile of the day. Thanks for nothing, butt!

Well, at least I felt a ton better. In spite of the wind right in our faces, I ran mile 13 in 8:36, and crossed the halfway timing mat in 1:53:xx (somehow my chip didn’t register when I ran over the timing mat.)

Unfortunately, this was where the wind really got bad. There was nothing on either side of the road to block it or break it up. It was right in our faces.

The rain had also picked up, to a downpour. Angie later said she’d been in a part of the course at that time where she could hear it pinging off nearby roofs — freezing rain. I didn’t know it was actual ice pelting me in the face, I just knew it stung like hell.

I kept moving. Mile 14 was 8:47. In the next mile, I got passed by the 3:45 pace group — in which was running a guy dressed as a hot dog haha. I got passed by a freaking hot dog!

Mile 15 slowed to 8:56. I was really feeling sorry for myself here. I know that sounds dumb — no one was making me do this, and in fact I’d paid good money to be there — but it was just miserable. The cold rain had soaked through every stitch of clothing, and the driving wind was just making it feel that much colder. I couldn’t feel my hands at all, my feet were like two concrete blocks, my upper body ached from hunching against the wind and even my legs were going numb. If something didn’t change soon, I was worried I was going to have to think about dropping out, that’s how bad I was feeling.

I told myself to hang in until mile 16, when the course would finally turn and reach a stretch protected by trees, possibly breaking up that wind. Maybe it would get better.

I made it to 16, stopping just before the mile marker for another bit of water, running that mile in 9:05. Thank God, the change in direction diminished the effect of the wind. The rain had slacked up too.

I still felt like crap though. I was so freaking cold. I at least felt like I could make it to the finish again.

The next three miles were down that tree-lined road. I clumped along on my cinder-block feet, waiting for the feeling to come back. My splits for 17 through 19 were 8:53, 8:56 and 8:51.

Then something great finally happened. We turned into Fort Story and the WIND WAS AT OUR BACKS. Last year, also a very windy race day, it’d been blowing in such a way that it somehow managed to be in our face again when we ran through Fort Story. This year though, it was pushing us along, or, at worst, depending on how the course shifted, just coming from the side for a brief time.

I was pretty thrilled. I was going to let this damn wind blow me right to the finish line!

The mile 20 marker was not standing, because it should’ve been right where the wind had blown a ton of sand from the beach across the road. It was bad enough in the lane being used by the runners, where it was ankle-deep, but it was apparently a lot deeper in the lane being used by passing cars, because when I ran by, there was a Honda Civic stuck in the sand, waiting for something to tow it out. Never seen that before!

I ran mile 20 in 8:44. My elapsed time at that point was well under 3:00. I knew I wasn’t going to PR, but I felt like I could finish this race a lot faster than I had the year before.

With a 10K to go, I actually sped up. Obviously the wind was a huge help, but my legs felt amazing! Maybe they were just numb, but they didn’t feel worn out at all. I never once felt like I needed a walk break.

marathon mile 21

Passing the lighthouse around mile 21.

Mile 21 was 8:34, and mile 22 was 8:25. Just as I was coming up on the mile 22 marker, as we were leaving Fort Story, I passed the guy in the hot dog suit. He looked like he was having trouble with either a hamstring or a glute, because he was grabbing his bun and grimacing. I had a hard time not laughing. I mean, I felt bad for him, clearly having a rough time so close to the end of the race, but c’mon. It was a hot dog grabbing its bun. That’s comedy!

There was another water stop, where I drank some more water. I finished mile 23 in 8:39, and then I was running back toward downtown, the boardwalk — the finish line!

Every time I’ve run Shamrock before, this last stretch is a nightmare. My legs are always dead, the road goes on forever and I just want it to be over. Not this year!

I felt incredible. A spectator said I looked like I could run another 10 miles and you know what? I think she was right!

Mile 24 was 8:31 and mile 25 was 8:25. I could see the turn to head downtown!

I just kept flying past other runners. No one passed me in that final 5K. I was booking.

Before I knew it, I was on the boardwalk, with less than a half-mile to the finish line. My watch beeped mile 26 — 8:01, my fastest of the race! That’s never happened for me in a marathon before.

marathon king neptune

Passing King Neptune on my way to the finish line.

By my Garmin, I ran 0.35 more miles to get to the finish line, in 2:34.

Officially, I ran 26.2 miles in 3:46:46, an 8:40/mile average pace.

I finished with a gigantic smile on my face. I couldn’t believe just 11 miles earlier, I had felt so awful I thought I might have to drop, and then I felt that amazing at the end. It was a real roller coaster of emotions out there haha.

marathon finish line 2

Seriously happy with my finishing time!

marathon finish line 3

Volunteers gave me my marathon finisher’s medal, water, Gatorade, food, finisher’s hat and beach towel and finally, my Whale Challenge medal. I sincerely thanked every one of them. What a crappy day to volunteer to stand outside and help put on that race, but they did it.

I turned down the heat sheet one volunteer tried to give me. I pointed to our hotel, right alongside the finisher chute, and said I was headed straight there for a hot shower.

Which is exactly what I did. My hands were still numb, so I had to get Caitlin to untie my shoes, and then it took me forever to peel off my soaking wet tights and sports bra, but when I finally made it in that shower, it felt like heaven. I stood under the hot water forever.

In spite of all the wet clothes and shoes, I had minimal chafing, just a tiny spot where the band of my sports bra was rubbing, and zero blisters. I can’t say if the lack of blisters is more of a testament to my shoes (I wore the newest version of the New Balance Zantes I just got a few weeks ago), Smartwool socks or the massive calluses I’ve been cultivating over the years, but whatever it was, I was grateful. Always nice not to have to lance and drain a bunch of festering blisters after a race!

By the time I’d gotten out of the shower and put on dry clothes, Angie had returned, having finished the marathon in 4:17. She ran it as a training run for her first 100-miler at the end of April (by the way, 100-miler training sounds ridiculous — the Whale Challenge was a cutback week), so she was very pleased with her effort.

The half marathon course is the second half of the marathon course, so Caitlin had also had a massive tailwind for the final 10K of her race, and she managed to run another PR, to go with her 8K PR from the day before. Overall, a pretty successful race weekend for our little group!

After Angie got into dry clothes, it was time to hit the beer tent. We all used up all of our beer tickets that time.

caitlin angie and me after marathon

Caitlin, Angie and me.


Beeramid builder.

When the beer tent closed down, we went to Cactus Jack’s for an early dinner/late lunch. By the time we left there, not only had the rain stopped, the skies had completely cleared and it was sunny outside! Still chilly and windy, but that would’ve felt a whole lot better without the stupid rain. What the hell!

So I had perfect weather for the drive home, listening to the NASCAR race from Phoenix, which Ryan Newman won.

I came home to a septic system Clark said needed to be pumped out before we could use it again. Home ownership is awesome haha.

This morning, now that the numbness has worn off, my legs definitely feel like they ran a marathon yesterday. It’s not too bad though.

Our septic system got pumped out this morning too. You know what’s even better than one dog barking incessantly at the guy in the back yard trying to fix the problem? Two dogs barking incessantly!

Speaking of two dogs, Clark said Pepper and Snoopy drove him nuts all weekend, but he did get this very cute picture of them napping on the couch under blankets together.

dogs with blankets

Anyway, to sum up the weekend:

TowneBank 8K:

  • Chip time: 38:22
  • F30-34 finish: 14th/592
  • Gender: 102nd/4,761
  • Overall: 435th/7,766

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon:

  • Chip time: 3:46:46
  • F30-34 finish: 18th/109
  • Gender: 74th/607
  • Overall: 302nd/1,354

Whale Challenge:

  • Total time: 4:25:08
  • Gender finish: 3rd/100
  • Overall: 15th/198

And here is all my ~swag~ from the weekend.

Race bibs (autographed by Shalane and Elyse!), 8K, marathon and Whale Challenge medals:

bibs and medals

spinner medal

The two center sections of the marathon medal spin.

Race shirts, marathon finisher’s hat and 8K finisher’s koozie:

shirts and hat

Finisher’s towel (Snoopy is a fan):

snoopy on my towel

And that’s it! Another Shamrock weekend in the books. Today is the first day of spring too. Later today, since I’m supposed to be recovering from the race anyway, I’m donating blood for the first time this year.

March 16, 2017

Training for 3/16/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:33 pm

Today is a rest day, so this morning, I just did some yoga. Once per marathon training cycle is pretty good, I think.

Clark wants to take our bikes out for a ride this evening, but I don’t know. It’s not quite as cold and windy as yesterday was, but it still feels like it’s below freezing with the wind chill. That doesn’t sound like biking weather to me.

The weather forecast for this weekend still sucks too. Now Sunday morning calls for showers AND wind. Because just the wind last year wasn’t bad enough.

Anyway, I probably won’t bother posting tomorrow, since it’s just another rest day. I don’t know what to expect or shoot for as far as a finishing time goes this weekend. I thought I might try to PR (better than 3:40:44), but we’ll see what the weather is really like Sunday morning. I’ll be back Monday with plenty to say about it, I’m sure.


March 15, 2017

Training for 3/15/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:26 pm

Today was the last run of my Shamrock training plan, just a dinky little 2-miler, but it took me until nearly 5 p.m. to finally go out and do it, because of the weather.

It got even colder and windier here since yesterday. When I woke up this morning, the feels like temp was 9. By late afternoon, it had risen all the way to 18, with the sustained 23 mph wind. It probably took me longer to get dressed than to run it.

Anyway, it’s done, so I’ve got two rest days coming up, and then it’s Whale Challenge time!

Right now, the weather in Virginia Beach this weekend isn’t looking that great, but it’s also not looking that bad compared to the last several days of winter bullshit around here. Saturday will be in the 60s, but there’s an 80 percent chance of rain. Sunday is supposed to see showers in the morning (when we’re running, awesome!), be in the 40s in the morning and warm up to maybe 50, with an  18 mph wind.

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