A Simple Running Log

May 22, 2017

Training for 5/22/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:13 pm

I had a successful weekend of training. The St. Michaels Half Marathon was nothing impressive but a decent run, and then during Sunday’s practice ride of the Eagleman course, I surprised myself and rode it faster than my goal time for the actual race, so it looks like that’s going to have to be adjusted.

Friday afternoon, Pepper and I went over to St. Michaels and picked up Clark’s and my race bibs and T-shirts.

Some of my ugliest race shirts ever have come from this race, but this year’s really outdid itself.


“The town that fooled the British” refers to an incident during the War of 1812, when the people in St. Michaels hung lanterns in trees, so the British ships firing at the town from the water at night would think the town was farther back and overshoot, or something. For whatever reason, this was referenced on the race shirts, bibs and medals.

pepper in shirt

Pepper looks embarrassed.

Anyway, Saturday morning, Clark and I were up pretty early to get back to St. Michaels in time for the 7:10 start. Of course we were a little late leaving the house, and then we had to stop by Clark’s parents’ house to drop off Pepper, so we were later getting into town than I’d wanted.

It turned out not to matter. Traffic was moving well and we got parked with enough time to make it through the massive port-o-potty lines and get into the starting corral before they sent the first wave of runners on their way.

Neither of us had really trained with a goal time in mind. I did zero speed work in preparation for this race, so I knew I wasn’t going to be pulling some magical performance out of my butt. Clark just wanted another training run for Eagleman. We both started a little behind the 1:50 pacer.

Oh, and the weather was fine. It was a little warm for a half marathon, but nothing like the previous three days of summer heat, thankfully. It was windy too, but it seems like it’s been windy every single day this year, so what else was new?

The race started pretty much on time, which is always nice.

st michaels 2017 start

The 1:50 pacer should have been running an 8:23/mile pace, which sounded doable, so I followed him for the first two miles, through town and then into Harbourtowne, a golf course community. I thought it felt a little faster than that, and I was right – the first two splits were 8:07 and 8:14.

At the second mile marker, I guess he realized he was already ahead of schedule, so he slowed up. I kept up that pace and ran the third mile in 8:03.

The course followed some roads through Harbourtowne and made two U-turns, one just before the third mile marker and another before the fourth. I looked for Clark behind me after both turns but never saw him.

Mile 4 was 8:16. A little ways into the next mile, the course finally split off from those out-and-backs and we no longer had two-way running traffic. All the extra space felt nice. I ran mile 5 in 8:08.

The next mile was still running through Harbourtowne. I passed the mile 6 marker in 8:17.

Just past that marker was an aid station, so I ate my one GU just before it, then stopped to get water to wash it down. Past the aid station was the halfway timing mat. I crossed it in 53:41, on track for a 1:47-ish finish, which sounded good.

We left Harbourtowne and headed back toward St. Michaels. I ran mile 7 in 8:40.

This was when my butt decided to show up. Great. I was honestly surprised – I’d been able clear out my guts before the race started for once, and I really thought I had a shot at another pit stop-free half marathon, but it was not to be.

Around mile 7.3, I made a 90-degree turn off the course, jumped a ditch and darted into the woods. I don’t know if I was a little dehydrated or what, but my digestive tract was not in a good mood. It took me a while in there.

I finally felt like I could start running again and rejoined the race. We made it back to town, ran some side streets and headed out toward another little waterfront neighborhood. Mile 8 was 10:35 with the bathroom break.

Oh well, nothing that could be done about that. I did feel much better for the next mile or so. I ran mile 9 in 8:18.

I was still running pretty well as I came up on another aid station just before mile 10, but then I got a terrible side stitch. It went from nothing to feeling like I was being stabbed in the ribs in about three steps. What the hell!

I took some Gatorade and two cups of water there, hoping a little extra fluid would stave it off, but I still had to take a short walk break to try to stretch it out. I passed mile 10 in 8:28.

The side stitch was still there, but had dropped off in intensity, so I started running again. I ran past a little girl sitting in a firetruck Power Wheels at the end of her lane, telling everyone to “move it along, you’ve got a race to win” haha.

I finished the loop through the neighborhood and headed back toward town. There was still one more out-and-back down a road though. The mile 11 marker was at the beginning of the out-and-back, which I passed in 8:22.

I was almost to the U-turn when I finally spotted Clark for the first time since the race began – coming back from the turn, because he was ahead of me! D’oh! I guess he got around me when I was in the woods after mile 7.

The mile 12 marker was right at the end of the out-and-back. I passed it in 8:16. Just a little over a mile to go!

The roads were not closed to traffic, and there was some guy in a big ol’ F-250 Super Duty creeping along the course amongst the runners in the last mile. I caught up with the truck just as I was getting to one of the final turns. It was moving slower than I was trying to run, but I couldn’t go around it. There are a lot of things I expect might slow me down in a race, but a freaking vehicle isn’t one of them! I was getting pretty annoyed.

That stupid truck finally went straight at an intersection where the runners were turning, so I didn’t wind up having to follow it across the finish line at least.

I ran mile 13 in 8:14, and, according to my Garmin, another 0.2 miles in 1:31.

Officially, I finished 13.1 miles in 1:51:34.

Not anywhere close to my best half marathon, but almost 15 minutes faster than my last one in Ocean City a few weeks ago! Like I said, not impressive but still a decent run.

In the finisher’s chute, I found Clark, who’d finished less than a minute before me, in 1:50:45.

My time placed me 14th of 152 finishers in the F 30-34 age group, and 173rd of 1,515 total finishers. Clark’s time also placed him 14th in the M 30-34 age group, of 55 finishers, and 153rd overall.

bibs and medals

I also spotted my friend Melissa, and TK and her mom, who’d run the 5K that started after the half.

Clark and I walked back to my car to change into dry clothes, and then back to the post-race party. We all got one free beer with a ticket on our race bibs, a choice of a Blue Point lager, Shock Top or Bud Light.

Clark bought a $10 beer bracelet in advance, which got him as many beers as he wanted before the party ended at noon. We stayed almost until the end.

From St. Michaels, we went to Annapolis, where Clark’s family was meeting at his brother and sister-in-law’s house to celebrate his brother’s birthday.

They’ve finished the remodel and have the house on the market. It turned out really well. I don’t think I’d been there in almost two years, so I hadn’t seen most of the finished product in person. It’s gorgeous.

Clark and I took Pepper back and headed home after the party broke up. Somehow I managed to stay awake long enough to see the end of the All-Star race in Charlotte, but I went right to bed after it ended. We had another early morning planned for Sunday.

Clark’s original, very ambitious plan for Sunday was to get to Cambridge in time to go for a swim in the Choptank before the ride started at 7. We were also supposed to pick up one of his coworkers on the way, who isn’t doing Eagleman but has done some shorter triathlons, and wanted to try the 56-mile course.

As is often the case, plans changed as alarms started going off in the wee hours haha. I think it was almost 5:30 when we finally got out of bed.

As we were loading up the truck, Clark’s coworker texted he’d changed his mind and didn’t want to attempt 56 miles, so we could just go straight to Cambridge.

During the drive to Cambridge, Bart, who was supposed to be meeting Clark for the swim, decided he didn’t want to swim. He still met us at the park when we got there, 10 minutes before the ride was supposed to start, but he left before we went off on the ride. In the end, no one swam.

There was a good turnout for the practice ride. The weather was windy, again, and cool.

The on-course support consisted solely of two water coolers, one around mile 32 and the other around mile 47, for bottle refills. I wasn’t expecting rest stops like they’d had during the Six Pillars ride, but I thought maybe there’d be some food for us. I was glad I’d stashed two GUs in my flat tire kit.

The lead car, provided by a Lexus dealer in Annapolis that’s sponsoring Eagleman, left a little after 7.

lead car

I took off after most of the other riders. Clark was still getting his stuff together. I expected he’d catch me and blow by me in the first few miles.

Last time I rode this course, I let the wind scare me away from using the aero bars for the entire first 14-mile stretch to the first aid station. This time, I got right down on them from the get-go.

When I passed the parking lot in Church Creek where the first aid station had been located, I checked my watch – 47 minutes. I remembered it’d taken me more than an hour to get that far last time. I was already making good progress!

I decided to try drinking from my bottle while still moving. I was able to get the bottle out of its cage and take a drink, but when I was trying to put it back, I dropped it. Dammit! I stopped, dropped the bike in the grass and had to run back to pick up the bottle.

A group of riders came up behind me. I heard one of them yell “Biker up!” and realized she was talking about me. They were very concerned and thought I’d wiped out or something. I assured them I was fine, I was just an idiot who couldn’t ride a bike and do anything else at the same time haha. Lesson learned. Stop to drink.

I got moving again. The next section headed toward and then through the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. I love that part. It’s really pretty.

Around mile 20ish, I heard “on your left” and then saw Clark go scooting by. He said he was trying to finish in under three hours, and then he was gone.

At mile 30, I reached the point where I’d made the wrong turn during the Six Pillars ride. I made sure not to make the same mistake this time. Just past there, I stopped to take another drink and eat a GU. Once again, several concerned passing riders thought I was having a problem. I really need to learn how to eat a GU and take a drink without having to stop!

The next several miles went fine. Probably around mile 43 though, I started feeling like I was hitting empty. I know I slowed quite a bit. When I made it to where the last rest stop had been for Six Pillars, I stopped to eat the other GU and take a drink.

That seemed to perk me up, and the final nine miles or so felt good again.

I got back to the park and pulled up to the truck, where Clark looked surprised to see me already. “That was fast,” he said.

I looked at my watch and hit ‘stop’ on the timer – 3:14:51! Huh!

I didn’t time Six Pillars, but I figured it’d taken me 3:40 to 3:45 to finish the same distance that day (hard to say for sure, since I made that wrong turn and tacked on nine more miles.) So based on that, I’d hoped to finish the bike leg for Eagleman in 3:20 to 3:25.

I finished even faster than that yesterday, so my new goal for Eagleman in less than three weeks is 3:05 to 3:10. I assume it’s going to be hot that day, which it has not been either time I’ve ridden the course, so we’ll see what kind of effect that has.

Clark, by the way, made his sub-3 goal yesterday, finishing in 2:58.

We were both starving after that ride, so we went to the High Spot for lunch. I had fried soft shell crabs over risotto. That really hit the spot.

We then had a few beers at RAR, went home and took a much-needed shower and a nap. Last night, we went to Clark’s coworker’s house, who was putting his grill to good use again. I think we were there until almost midnight.

Today, I might go for a short run. I’m no longer on an actual training plan right now, but my next race is the Masser 5-Miler this coming Sunday, the first event of the summer series.


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