A Simple Running Log

June 30, 2017

Training for 6/30/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:40 pm

Happy halfway point of 2017!

Today, I really intended to run first thing, because it was supposed to get hot, but… I didn’t. Then it got hot. So I decided to wait until the evening to run.

For once, my procrastination did me a little favor though, because I’d almost forgotten these were coming in the mail sometime today:


My second pair of New Balance Zante v3s!

The first pair was starting to cause some ankle twinges, the first sign for me when running shoes are breaking down. I got them in February and ran Shamrock in them over three months ago, so yeah, I got my money’s worth out of them.

I do go through more running shoes in a year than I used to, but it’s also been nearly three years since I had my last foot injury, so I think no longer trying to wring too many miles out them was a good decision.

So now I get to try them out tonight, for an easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop.

And that will bring June to a close, so it’s time to sum up the month. (Now I really will have to go run, or this whole mileage total will be a LIE.)


  • Week 1 (June 1-3): 16 miles
  • Week 2 (June 4-10): 27.4
  • Week 3 (June 11-17): 27.2
  • Week 4 (June 18-24): 28.2
  • Week 5 (June 25-30): 16.6

Total: 115.4 miles

Kind of a slack month for running, between Eagleman, vacation and, mostly, it getting too hot to be able to wait until the middle of the day to go run like I prefer because I’m lazy.

I did put in another 101.2 miles on the bike, though it only made it out of the house three times!

As far as racing went, I only ran two 5Ks, a “fun” one on June 3, which I finished in 23:17, and then one that was supposed to be a race on June 18, but wound up being 10 seconds slower than the “fun” one because it was so humid that morning.

And of course, the biggest thing this month was the Eagleman relay, which went even better than I expected, as I broke three hours for the 56-mile bike leg, 45 minutes faster than the first time I rode the course only five weeks earlier. I was pretty happy with my progress there!

Looking ahead to July, I’ve got 10 more days until I’m officially on a marathon training plan again for Richmond.

I’ve also got four more 5Ks to run to qualify for the summer series, the first of which is tomorrow, the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K in Rehoboth. It’ll be weird not rushing home immediately after it to finish getting ready for our annual Fourth of July party. We just got back from vacation Monday night, and then Clark had to go up to Pennsylvania for work Wednesday, where he’s stuck until July 10. It just sounded like way too much work for one person to pull together a party tomorrow.

I think we’re also doing another bike ride in the Cambridge area on July 22, though we haven’t registered for it yet.

June 29, 2017

Training for 6/29/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:48 pm

I never ran today, but I did sign up for a marathon!

I am officially registered for the Anthem Richmond Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 11. Training starts July 10. I’m also signed up for the Baltimore Marathon in October, which, for the third year in a row, I will run in place of the third and final 20-miler in my goal marathon training plan. I think my fall race schedule is all planned out and paid for.

I’ve always heard great things about Richmond: Beautiful, scenic course; not-too-big field (4,000 finishers last year); the marathon and half are kept separate until the end, at which point most of the half runners should be done anyway; and usually decent running weather — though I’m sure that’ll change this year since I’m going. Sorry, everyone else.

The swag looks pretty nice too. This year, in addition to the fleece finisher’s blanket they always give out, they’re also doing a stainless steel tumbler in honor of the race’s 40th anniversary. Oh, and one lucky finisher will get a genuine ruby in their medal!

I really like that it’s a Saturday morning race too. We can get into town Friday evening, run the race first thing the next day instead of sitting around waiting, have a good time Saturday night to celebrate and head home Sunday.

I’ve also booked through AirBnB a private room in a house very close to the start and finish. It was way cheaper than any of the downtown hotels. Perfect!

Clark said he’ll go with me, and he might sign up for the half marathon. Whether he runs or not, I’m sure he’ll be up for visiting Stone Brewing’s new brewery/restaurant that opened in Richmond not too long ago.

I put down 3:30 for my finish time, for like the 12th time in a row now. Maybe if I actually follow the training plan…

June 28, 2017

Training for 6/28/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:24 pm

This morning, I didn’t have quite as much trouble getting out of bed as I did yesterday, and I was able to get my run done first thing, before a couple of appointments.

The weather here has been really nice since we got home, not too hot or humid. I had a very pleasant easy run around the 4.5-mile loop. Actually, it was 4.6, because I really had to use the bathroom by the time I got to the end, and kept running toward the house when I’d normally slow to a walk for a cool down.

June 27, 2017

NASCAR racing in wine country

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:12 pm

We did a lot in Northern California over the last several days — most importantly, seeing a race at Sonoma Raceway, bringing the total number of NASCAR tracks seen to 14 of 23 — and now we’re home. Nothing makes me appreciate Delmarva more than being away from it!

We flew out of Baltimore early Wednesday morning, landing in Oakland around 11 a.m. local time. Since it was the first day of summer, Wednesday was already technically the longest day of the year, but flying across three time zones from east to west just made it that much longer.

The first thing Julie and I wanted to see was the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, about an hour south of Oakland. Years ago, Aunt Helen gave me a book about haunted houses in America, and the Winchester Mystery House is the only one that stuck in my memory.

Sarah Winchester was married to the second president of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. when he died in 1881 after an extended illness. Their only child, a daughter, had also died, in infancy.

Sarah was told by a Boston-based medium her family was being tortured by the spirits of all the people who’d been killed by the family’s firearms. The spirits “told” her to go out west and build a house to appease them, so she left Connecticut with the $20 million she inherited after her husband’s death, and ended up in San Jose, where, in 1884, she bought an eight-room farmhouse and started adding on to it.

Construction continued 24 hours a day for 38 years until she died in 1922. The house had ballooned to 161 rooms. At one point, it was seven stories high, but the great earthquake in 1906 damaged the top three stories, and they weren’t rebuilt.

There’s a lot of odd architecture within the house — doors that open to nothing, staircases that lead to dead ends, non-functioning bathrooms, etc. Some believe that’s because the house was worked on by many different contractors without a master plan, but others think Sarah wanted to confuse all the ghosts — there’s a seance room in which only Sarah was allowed, for nightly talks with the spirits.

Clark already saw it years ago, since his family actually traveled when he was growing up, and Mike wasn’t interested, so we dropped off those two at a bar in Oakland and headed down to San Jose.

The house was once in the middle of nowhere, but San Jose has really grown in the last hundred years or so, so it’s now surrounded by development. There’s a Chipotle next door and a parking garage across the street.

We took an hour-long tour that barely scratched the surface of all the rooms and passageways in the house. It was really cool though. We got to see the room where Sarah got trapped during the earthquake in 1906; you can still see how the door got pinched shut inside the frame.

Photography was not allowed inside the house, but we did take some pictures outside, in the garden, after the tour.

winchester plaque

Plaque designating it a national and state historic landmark.

winchester side

Side of the house and an out building.

winchester door to nowhere

Door opening to nothing.

winchester julie and me

Julie and me in front of the house.

Back in Oakland, Julie and I rejoined Clark and Mike where we left them. We stopped by a local brewery someone had recommended, and then we drove across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco.

By the time we got checked into the hotel near Fisherman’s Wharf, we were all pretty tired, so we just got take-out from In-N-Out across the street and called it a night.

Thursday morning, Clark and I went for a run along the waterfront. We made it to a small beach with a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge and then turned around, covering about 4.7 miles of a lot more elevation change than we’re used to at home.

golden gate bridge east beach

Bridge view from the beach where we turned around.

We all had breakfast at a little cafe called Eight A.M. I can’t recommend this place enough! I had a bagel, one half with guacamole, ham and an egg, sunny-side up; and the other half with Nutella, sliced bananas and Rice Krispies sprinkled over top. It was so good! Everyone else really enjoyed what they ordered too.

eight am breakfast

I get hungry all over again every time I look at this picture.

Then we did some walking. We stopped by the sea lion center at Pier 39, but there really weren’t a whole lot of sea lions out there.

view from pier 41

Looking up toward the city from the pier.

We walked up all the steps along Filbert Street to Coit Tower, where we had a pretty good view of the city. This was Mike’s least favorite part of the trip haha.

fremont street steps

A small section of the steps.

me at top of steps

Me at the top.

mike at top of steps

Mike at the top haha. No, he hadn’t dunked his head in a bucket of water!

We stopped for a couple beers at a Rogue Brewing tasting room, and then went to the section of Lombard Street famous for being the crooked-est street in the country.

lombard looking up

Climbing up along Lombard Street.

lombard looking down

Looking down toward the bay from the top.

After lunch in Fisherman’s Wharf, we went to the Ghiradelli shop, and that evening, we met TK and her mom at The Stinking Rose — an Italian restaurant that specializes in garlic — for dinner. They had been hiking in Yosemite National Park for the previous few days and were about to head back home. We all just happened to be in San Francisco at the same time.

After dinner, Clark, Mike, Julie and I took a street trolley to a different part of the city. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We got to hang off the side of the trolley as it careened up and down the massive hills.

julie on trolley

Julie on the trolley.

At the end of the line, we went to Mikkeller, a bar with a pretty extensive craft beer list, then took the trolley back to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was really late by that point. Hardly anyone was out, and fog was rolling into the darkened city streets. Kinda eerie, but cool.

Clark and Mike were talking about going out somewhere close to the hotel when we got back, but they wound up going straight to bed too.

Friday morning, Clark didn’t want to run with me, so I was on my own. For whatever reason, I hadn’t gotten enough of all the hills and steps the day before, so I ran back over much of what we’d walked Thursday — the Filbert Street steps and then Lombard Street. I then ran out along a pier with a view of Alcatraz. Also out there that morning was a dude on a bicycle with loudspeakers blasting shitty techno music. It was so weird! Who rides around on a bike making everyone else listen to your horrible taste in music like that? Anyway, I ran 4.1 miles.

We got breakfast at Boudin Bakery, where I had a sourdough waffle with Nutella. I’m not sure if all of San Francisco is obsessed with Nutella for breakfast, or if I just got lucky both days, but I sure wasn’t complaining.

We checked out of the hotel and got the rental car back. Before we left the city, we drove to a couple spots that had been too far away to walk to the day before.

First up was Alamo Square. I have no idea why so many tourists flock to a park that was briefly shown during the opening credits of “Full House,” a painfully cheesy sitcom that ended more than 20 years ago, but the hill overlooking the Painted Ladies was packed.

clark rolling down alamo square

Clark was bowled over haha.

We then drove past Golden Gate Park, but we just parked by the beach and walked out to look at the Pacific Ocean.

Our last stop in the city was the ruins of the Sutro Baths overlooking the ocean. There was once a huge building on the site, built in 1894, that housed several saltwater pools and one freshwater pool. However, the maintenance costs outpaced the revenues, and the place kind of fell apart. Finally, an arsonist burned it all down in 1966. All that’s left now is some of the foundation.

ruins from above

Looking down at the ruins from a cliff above the ocean.

baths ruins

Down by the foundation.

julie at top of ruins steps

Julie at the top of some old steps.

me looking out at ocean

Me looking out at the ocean.

lands end

If you walked through a cave, this was the view on the other side.

We then drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, barely visible even while on it because of a thick marine layer. As soon as we were on the other side of it, the fog cleared and it was a bright sunny day.

golden gate bridge in fog

That big cloud is what’s mucking up all the pictures by the ocean above.

bay from other side

Cloud extending up the bay.

Our next stop was the Muir Woods National Monument, a roughly two-mile trail looping through a forest of ancient redwood trees, which grow close to 400 ft. high.

julie in muir woods

Julie walking through the redwoods.

hillside trail

Hillside trail.

me in muir woods

Me walking through that part of the trail.

We got lunch at a little Mexican place with really good food, sat in traffic for a while and finally got across another bridge to Berkeley, where we had a few beers at Fieldwork Brewing Co. We then headed north to Vallejo and checked into the hotel where we’d be spending the rest of the vacation.

It wasn’t even that late on a Friday night by the time we left the hotel for dinner, but just about the only place still serving dinner was Napoli’s, a pizza restaurant.

Saturday morning, Clark went running with me again. The hotel was not in a good area for running, so we drove to nearby Mare Island. It was once home to a huge naval shipyard, but that was decommissioned in the mid ’90s. The “island” (it’s really a peninsula) is now a strange mix of crumbling, abandoned military structures and brand new homes, with more under construction.

It also has a roughly four-mile trail running along the San Pablo Bay, which is where Clark and I ran.

san pablo bay trail

Looking out toward the bay from the trail.

After we got back to the hotel and got cleaned up, we all went first to Napa for a late breakfast, and then we drove up toward St. Helena, stopping at a couple wineries for tastings.

Wine tastings are such a rip-off haha. You pay $40 for a few sips, pretending to taste the difference in the grapes from one year to the next while the guy pouring it yammers on about how much rain the vineyard got in 2011 compared to 2012 and how it affected the acidity. Or at least, I’m just pretending to taste a difference. I don’t have a very refined wine palette.

One place we stopped charged up to $200 for four tastings! The valet parking should have been a sign. We did not stay there.

But, we were in wine country, so we found a vineyard with some slightly more reasonable prices. At least it was a beautiful afternoon for it.


Grape vines. Duh.

We went back to Napa, to a billiards place with 60 beers on tap. Not gonna lie, a mere few beers hit me pretty hard since it’d been so long since breakfast. We were going to get dinner at a restaurant there, but the wait was ridiculous, so Julie, who was the only one being at all responsible, drove Clark and me back to the hotel in Vallejo. As soon as I hit the bed, I was out like a light. Clark and Julie walked to a nearby Carl’s Jr. (Hardee’s here on the East Coast) for take out, but I was completely out of it by the time they got back, so Clark just ate my burger haha.

I woke up absolutely starving around 2:30 a.m. Just then, Mike walked in the door — with 30 chicken nuggets from the Jack In The Box drive-thru he’d gotten his taxi driver to hit on the way back from Napa. Perfect timing! I inhaled 10 of them while he told me all about some guy named Wayne he’d met at a bar, who is going to visit Mike next spring to see some of our local breweries or something. OK!

Sunday, we just got breakfast in the hotel lobby, and we headed for Sonoma Raceway. The green flag was scheduled to drop at 12:20 p.m. We left the hotel just after 9 a.m. for the 13-mile drive, thinking we had plenty of time.

WRONG. We barely made it to our seats to see the green flag! Traffic was an absolute nightmare. Sonoma is along a little two-lane highway. It’s the only way in or out. Martinsville might have been a little worse, but Sonoma is definitely solidly in the top two worst race tracks I’ve visited, as far as traffic flow goes.

Anyway, we made it. Our seats were near the top of the main grandstand, along the stretch with the start-finish line. They were shaded the whole race, which normally would be a good thing, but it was a little cool that day.

green flag

Field taking the green flag.

turn 7 back stretch

Coming down the hill from turn 7.

Sonoma was my first road course experience. I have to say, I like the ovals better. We just flat-out could not see about half of the track from our seats. Luckily, they now have the big jumbotrons in the infield that show the TV coverage, so we could watch what was happening even when the cars weren’t passing right in front of us, but I can do that at home on my living room couch! And for a lot less money.

Speaking of money — Sonoma is the second track I’ve been to now that didn’t allow us to bring in our own beer. Clark and I got one each the entire race, because they were THIRTEEN DOLLARS EACH. And that was the cheapest we could find. The barbecue stand where we got sandwiches was charging $15 for a “craft” (not Budweiser) beer!

All’s well that ends well though, because Kevin Harvick won. At least I didn’t go all that way to watch Jimmie stupid Johnson win.

harvick after win

Harvick after getting the checkered flag and turning around toward Victory Lane.

Then everyone was invited to walk the track, which was cool. We walked an entire lap of it. It’s got some pretty solid hills on it.

group at sonoma

Clark, me, Mike and Julie.

turn 9

Apron in the final turn.

I was hoping taking the time to walk the entire track would let traffic thin out a little, but nope. It was another two-hour headache to get back to the hotel. Turns out Kia Optimas are really good on gas, thankfully, because the fuel indicator on our rental car was close to empty, and there were no gas stations anywhere until we got back to Vallejo, but we made it.

So, bottom line on Sonoma: I’m glad we went, because it’s on the list of NASCAR tracks, but I’m not planning on going back. Too expensive, traffic sucks, and, most importantly, just not a great track to watch a live race because of the layout.

That evening, after we got back to Vallejo, we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant and called it a night.

I didn’t really have time to drive anywhere to run Monday morning, so I just went to the “fitness center” in the hotel, an annoyingly hot room with a couple of treadmills, a stationary bike, an elliptical and some kettlebells.

I knew I wasn’t going to get very far before I just couldn’t take running on the treadmill anymore. I tried to keep it a little interesting by cranking up the speed every half-mile, but that only got me to 3.5 miles before I was drowning in sweat and lost interest. Better than nothing, but I really hope I don’t have to do that again for the rest of the year at least.

We got breakfast at a little cafe in Vallejo and then drove back to Oakland, arriving at the airport with plenty of time before our flight boarded, for once. The flight home was fine and we landed in Baltimore around 9:30 p.m.

It was so late when we got home, Pepper just spent the night at Clark’s parents’ house, where he’d been the whole time we were gone. Clark’s dad dropped him off here around 6:30 this morning. I was so happy to see him!

And that was our trip. Today, I had a lot of trouble getting up at a reasonable time. I hate the readjustment to East Coast time so much! I did eventually go out and run an easy 3-miler though. It’s good to be home on my old familiar routes!

June 20, 2017

Training for 6/20/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:37 pm

Yesterday evening, I went out to run a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. They were calling for strong storms later that night, and the sky was a little gray to the west when I was leaving the house, but it was still hot and sunny overhead, so I thought I had plenty of time to get my run done before the storms arrived.

The first two miles were fine. Then I made a turn and was facing west again — holy crap that storm was moving quick! The sky was flat black and it looked like it was closing in fast. I got a little nervous.

The wind, which had been blowing pretty hard all day anyway, really started to noticeably pick up over the next few minutes. It was starting to feel ominous out there. Still though, I hadn’t seen any lightning or heard any thunder yet, so even if it did start to rain before I got home, big deal. I was already soaked in sweat again because of the humidity.

Then, not quite 2.5 miles into the run, the first huge lightning bolt streaked across the sky. OH SHIT. Wind and rain are one thing, but I don’t mess with lightning.

Just as it was starting to sprinkle, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a car pulling to a stop next to me. Two women asked if I wanted a ride home. I didn’t think twice and jumped right into the back seat. Just as I was pulling shut the door, the bottom fell out of the sky.

It cranked up immediately to an absolute downpour. And the lightning! There was so much of it. It was the only thing we could see out of the windshield.

It turned out I sorta knew both of the women in the car — one I’ve stopped and spoken to when I came across her walking her dogs when I was out running early one morning, and the other did my hair for my best friend’s wedding in 2005. I’ve been running past her salon on one of my regular routes for the eight years.

That was the first time I’ve needed a ride home from a stranger, and boy was I glad they showed up when they did and offered me one!

When I got home, I turned on the news, and there was a freaking tornado WARNING just north of my house. Coincidentally enough, when I told Clark about the warning, he said he just had a dream the other night that our house got blown off its foundation by a tornado, but the garage was fine. Luckily, nothing got blown away by any tornadoes last night.

Anyway, this morning, the storms had moved out and it was a really beautiful day. The humidity felt a little lower and the temperature wasn’t so unbearably hot either.

I went out and ran a lap around the 7.3-mile loop, and when I got home, I took the bike out and rode the 29.2-mile route. Other than having to clean up dog poop BOTH TIMES upon my return, it was a very enjoyable morning.

I guess the next time I go for a run it’ll be in San Francisco! I’ll be back next week.

June 19, 2017

Father’s Day 5K recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:28 am

I wrote out this whole blog post yesterday so I could just copy and paste it here this morning, and then some moron emailed me a corrupted file that seems to have completely broken Libre Office on this computer, so I can’t get to it. Thanks, moron!

Anyway, the general gist of what I wrote was that it was a hot and nasty weekend here and as result, running was very “character-building,” in the way Calvin’s dad constantly referred to it.

calvin and hobbes character

I had a couple of slow, crappy runs, including one that was on the clock and thus will live on the internet forever.

The first one was Saturday. I decided I was going to run the 11.2-mile loop — first double-digit run since the St. Michaels half a month ago, first solo double-digit training run since April.

I’m not sure this can really be counted as a “run,” per se. It was almost 10 a.m. when I finally left the house, and the humidity was like a blanket. I let myself take a walk break whenever necessary, which was a LOT, since not being able to breathe at all makes it so hard to maintain any kind of pace. It took me almost as long to finish 11.2 miles as it’d taken Dave to finish 13.1 last Sunday.

When I did make it home, I was absolutely sopping wet, and no, it hadn’t rained at all, and I didn’t come across any running irrigation systems. It had all come from within my own body. I was leaving wet footprints across the floor and I could wring out a substantial amount of water from my shorts and bra before I rinsed them out. Gross!

There was one bright spot though — I never had to use the bathroom, in spite of the heat and the junk food (specifically, hot wings) I’d eaten the day before, a combination that usually guarantees trouble. The only thing I did differently was to carry Roctane, instead of plain water, in my handheld. Maybe I just found the key. I will definitely be trying that again!

That afternoon, I helped Clark finish up pulling all the weeds from the “flower beds” (patches of dirt around our house that aren’t technically part of the yard, in which most people would probably plant something) and then we spent the rest of the evening at home in the air conditioning.

Sunday, my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. for the Father’s Day 5K. It got off to a great start — when I went outside to get my shoes, not only did it feel every bit as hot and humid already as it had the day before, my shoes were still damp from Saturday’s run. Great!

TK is on vacation right now and therefore wasn’t meeting me at my house at 6. Since I didn’t have someone counting on me to be on time, I was late leaving the house, and then I realized a mile and a half down the road I’d forgotten my running hat, so I had to go back. As a result, by the time I got to Rehoboth, I only had time to get my race bib and event T-shirt, tie on my already-wet shoes and hit the bathroom for a quick pee before I had to be in the starting pack.

I did try to jog a short warmup from the bathroom to the start line. It was less than a block and I couldn’t even make it that far before my breathing felt ragged and useless.

We got the starting commands and took off. There’s not much to say about the race. It was as awful as I’d expected. My first mile was OK — 7:15 — but then I fell off big time. Mile 2 was 7:43, and even with the finish line finally in sight, I could only manage a 7:41 for mile 3.

2017 fathers day 5k finish

Coming to the finish.

I crossed the line in 23:27, a 7:32/mile average pace — slower than my average pace in a 5-mile race three weeks ago. Woof!

I sat down to catch my breath and drink a couple small bottles of water they were handing out at the finish line, and then went off to do a longish cool down. I walked a lot of that too. I wound up doing 2.5 miles more, and it took so long, they were about to start the awards when I got back.

Much to my surprise, I won my age group. The awards this year were again those cheesy runner trophies I love so much.


I was also the seventh of 138 female finishers, and 54th of 322 overall.

I got my customary post-race iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and headed home, where Clark was doing more yard work in the heat. I cut the grass while he did the weed-eating.

That afternoon, after I’d written the blog post that I can’t retrieve now, I went over to see my dad for Father’s Day. We watched the NASCAR race from Michigan. Jimmie stupid Johnson didn’t win, so I was happy, and Kyle Busch, who my dad calls “Bucky” for some reason, didn’t win either, so my dad was happy.

Clark had gone to the beach house to see his dad, and got home late last night, then left early this morning for a work thing. I won’t see him again until he gets home tomorrow night, and then we’re all leaving very early Wednesday morning for California. Can’t wait!

Today, I would like to get in a lap around the 4.5-mile loop, but at this point it’s probably going to have to wait until early evening, because I had some stuff to finish up for work this morning and it’s gotten blazing hot out there again.

June 16, 2017

Training for 6/16/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:00 pm

I’ve just done a couple of short easy runs the past two days — 4.5 miles yesterday, 3 miles today. It’s been hot by the time I’ve gotten around to going outside to run. I’ve really got to get back into running first thing in the morning on a regular basis.

This weekend, I’d like to do a longer run tomorrow, maybe 10 or 11 miles, and then Sunday, I’ve got the Father’s Day 5K in Rehoboth, the first 5K I’m running in the summer series. And of course, I’ll go see my dad at some point that day too.

June 14, 2017

Training for 6/14/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:08 pm

Today, I again didn’t get up in time to run before a very early assignment for work, but I was done with that in time to get back home and run before it got too late in the morning.

It was still pretty hot when I went out to run anyway. Hot enough I took my handheld water bottle with me, and just about finished it off before I got back from a lap around the 5.5-mile loop. It wasn’t so long ago I could run double that without so much as a sip!

June 13, 2017

Training for 6/13/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:41 am

I have a feeling today is going to turn into a rest day. I didn’t get up in time to run before an early assignment this morning, and while I have plenty of time to do it this afternoon if I want, it’s already really hot out there again. We’ll see!

Today they posted the race pictures from Eagleman. First, the Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts:

kara coming up ramp

Kara definitely walking up the ramp after the swim exit haha.

kara crossing under swim finish

They say this is Kara crossing under the swim finish arch but the screenshot is so tiny I’ll just take their word for it.

me on bike somewhere on course

On my bike somewhere out on the course.

me on my bike horizontal

Having a good time about halfway through.

me on bike back in town

Smiling near the end because I know I don’t have to run a half marathon.

The ones of Dave are the best though. They got this great picture of him running out of the transition area at the beginning, like, “Yeah, this is going to be awesome!”

dave at beginning of run

Running is my favorite!

But then, 13 miles later:

dave at end of run


Reality had clearly set in!

Then he heard Kara and me yelling at him:

dave pointing at kara and me

And the announcer said our team name, so he finished happy too:

dave finish

They got some great pictures of Clark too.

clark swim end

Swim exit.

clark on bike

On his bike.

clark finishing run

Coming to the finish line.

Speaking of Clark, last night he told me a story. We’d both taken the afternoon off to go to the beach, and we were driving home through Selbyville. Clark asked if I knew how the town got its name. I said I didn’t.

Clark said it was named for Mr. Selby, a guy who’d caused a tragic three-school bus pile up that killed 150 children, because he was so upset his wife had beaten him in a penny-farthing race and then blogged about it for all the world to read.

mr selby

Mr. Selby on his penny-farthing.

Never mind that penny-farthings, school buses and blogging have never existed in the same era haha. Clark insisted it was a true story. When we drove past a cemetery, he said that was where all the school children had been buried.

The moral of the story — don’t beat your husband in a bike race and then blog about it, I guess?

June 12, 2017

Eagleman recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:51 am

The Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts had a successful Eagleman relay debut, Clark and Bart both shaved a chunk off their times from last year for the individual event, and even though Clark’s dad missed the swim cutoff and therefore didn’t get an official time, he finished the bike and the run anyway and got his finisher’s medal.

Personally, I made it through the bike leg without pissing off any other racers, falling off my bike, dropping anything, getting any drafting penalties, making any wrong turns or getting any flat tires, and in a faster time than I’d hoped.

So all in all, a pretty good day in spite of the typical Eagleman heat and humidity.

Back to the beginning.

Saturday morning, Clark ran one last easy 2-miler, and then I ran an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop, and that would be it until the race the next morning.

Dave, Kara and I all had to check in together as a team, and Dave had something to do in the mid-afternoon, so I went to Cambridge around noon to meet them. Check-in was quick and easy at Sailwinds Park, and then we drove down to Great Marsh Park to check out the layout of the transition area.

The relay is definitely an afterthought at Eagleman – I think about 2,200 people sign up to do the whole triathlon individually, but there were only maybe 100 relay teams. This was most apparent when we asked a volunteer captain in the transition area where the relay members were supposed to meet to pass off the timing chip during the race, and he gave us a blank look, like he didn’t even know there was a relay haha.

We walked back to see where I’d be racking my bike, which was right next to a fenced off area inside the transition area with a flag that said RELAY. I think we found it!

Anyway, after we figured out where everything was, we made plans for when and where to meet the next morning and we headed home.

Dave had ridden with me to Cambridge. On the way home, he said he’d been listening at the expo to the athlete briefing, and they’d said no electronics – phones, iPods, etc. – were allowed on the bike. Then he said, “But I can wear my headphones on the run, right?” Poor guy was devastated when he found out that was strictly forbidden! His whole plan for getting through the run was to blast Breaking Benjamin.

As soon as I got home, I got all my stuff packed for the next day, Clark and I loaded up the truck and we went right back to Cambridge. He checked in at Sailwinds, and then we went to Great Marsh to check in our bikes into transition.

I saw what Clark meant about feeling like he’d brought a donkey to the Kentucky Derby last year haha. Mine wasn’t the cheapest bike there – I saw a few that had cages instead of clip-in pedals, and one of the other relay teams basically had a beach cruiser with chrome fenders – but it was definitely on the lower end. Most people had triathlon bikes, and quite a few had solid disc rear wheels, which cost almost as much as my whole freaking bike did. I will never get over how much money you can easily spend on triathlons, especially the bike!

Bart had ridden his bike down there to meet us and check his in, and then we all drove back to his and Marybeth’s house, where Clark and I were staying again Saturday night.

That night, we all went to Snapper’s for dinner, and we were all in bed by 9.

Except for when I had to pee at 2:30 a.m., I slept through the night pretty well. The alarm went off at 5.

Dave and Kara both parked near Bart’s house around 6, and we all loaded up in Bart’s truck so Marybeth could drop us off as close to Great Marsh as possible.

The park was a madhouse, as everyone rushed around to get body markings (bib number on your arms, age or an ‘R’ for relay on your calf), set up their transition areas and hit the port-o-potty one last time.

When Clark came over to give me the bike tire pump, he also gave me a 60-second explanation of how to fix a flat with the tools in the little bag under my seat. I didn’t remember a word of it! I just crossed my fingers my first flat tire would pick a different day to show up.

With my bike ready to go, we asked someone to take our team picture before Kara got in her swim wave.

SBRS before race

Runner, biker, swimmer.

Kara was in the fourth of 19 swim waves. They let go the pro men, then the pro women, then women 50 and older, and then all the relay teams and men 55 to 59 years old. And that was it, the Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts were off!

Kara figured it would take her 30 to 40 minutes to finish. When the pros started coming out of the water, I wished Clark and Bart luck (whose swim waves left about 45 minutes after Kara’s) and got in the relay pen.

I didn’t have to wait too long before I saw Kara come running into transition – her time was 36 minutes for the 1.2-mile swim. Dave later said he’d been at the swim exit when she came out of the water, and he yelled at her to hustle up when he saw her walking out while everyone else was running haha. It’s a race!

We got the timing chip transferred from Kara’s ankle to mine, and I grabbed my bike and headed out to the bike course.

You have to walk (or run) your bike through the transition area. There’s a marked line outside it you have to cross before you can mount and take off. I guess I was nervous, because anyone watching me would have thought it was my first time trying to clip in ever – I whacked my right ankle hard on the pedal somehow and almost ran into the back tire of the bike in front of me when the guy on it didn’t take off haha. I had to just stop for a second and take a breath, and I heard a volunteer say, “That’s smart!” haha. Geez. Calm down, self! I finally got myself clipped in and took off.

As I was riding out of town, I realized I hadn’t started the timer on my watch. When I went to do that, I found out I’d never cleared out the 3:14 from the last practice ride of the course three weeks earlier. Then I couldn’t remember how to do that, on a watch I’ve been wearing for eight years! Somehow I managed to get the timer cleared out and started over, but I didn’t know how many minutes I’d already been riding.

Both times I rode the whole course before, it was cool and windy. Yesterday wasn’t windy, but it was much hotter. I brought three GUs and two bottles of Roctane. The plan was to take a swig of Roctane at every mileage marker, which were at 5-mile intervals, and eat a GU at each of three rest stops, with water they were handing out there. I didn’t want to hit a wall like I had about 16 miles from the end of the last practice ride.

The first few miles, I was still pretty hyped up, worrying about drafting penalties and getting in the way of a much faster rider, and could feel my breathing getting out of control. By the time we passed the 5-mile marker though, I’d settled down.

So, for pretty much the entire 56-mile course, I got passed by dudes on tri bikes. Every now and then I’d pass a relay rider or one of the older age group athletes who’d started in the wave ahead of or with Kara, but mostly it was age group guys who’d started in the waves behind Kara catching me and blowing by. The ones with the solid rear wheels sounded like a small car coming up from behind. I’m happy to report none of them had to yell at me to get to the right – I knew that was where I belonged haha.

I was making good time though (for me.) Even though I’d started my watch late, I was checking my 5-mile intervals at the markers, and I knew I was on track to hit my 3:05 to 3:10 goal. I kept up with my drinking and GU-eating schedule the whole way too.

The heat wasn’t as much of a factor as I’d feared either. I was sweating my face off by mile 1.5, yes, but I never felt uncomfortable. It wasn’t like running in heat, when I feel like I’m being cooked from the inside out and might spontaneously combust if I don’t slow down.

I did briefly stop three times though – at the second and third aid stations, so I could eat my GU and down as much of the water bottle I’d just grabbed from a volunteer before tossing it, as I didn’t have an open cage on my bike to hold it; and then at about mile 43, so I could swap my empty bottle of Roctane, which was in a cage I could reach while pedaling, with the full one, which was in the cage I couldn’t.

Having ridden the whole course twice before was a big help. I knew where all the landmarks were, knew about how far I had between turns, and about how far I had left to go. It flew by yesterday too, probably because I was constantly passing or getting passed by other people. There was always something to do!

I saw course officials out looking for drafting twice. They were riding on motorcycles. I never saw them hand out any penalties though.

I didn’t see any officials around when what seemed like the entire male 35-39 age group went blowing by me in a peleton haha. I’m curious how they handle that many people drafting at once!

Before I knew it, we were almost to the end. The bike course joined the run course for a few miles. The winning guy had run through already, but a lot of the other top guys were out around mile 8 and 9 when I rode through. I could hear their shoes squelching, on the other side of the road, over all the noise from my own bike, the bikes around me and passing vehicles. Talk about a sweat fest! I was so glad I was going to get to hand off the timing chip to Dave and let him deal with that.

A couple more turns and I was back in town, with a mile to go. I checked my watch – 2:50-something. Again, I didn’t know exactly what my time was since I’d started the watch late, but could I actually finish in less than three hours?

The line on the pavement outside transition was also where you had to dismount before walking/running your bike back to its rack. If I’d looked like a newb trying to get on my bike on the way out, I looked like a total shitshow trying to get off it!

After three hours of pedaling my ass off, I was wasted, but I didn’t know it until I tried to get off the bike. As soon as I unclipped my right foot, the whole calf seized up in a very painful charley horse, and I almost fell over. Somehow I stayed upright and got off the bike, but when I tried to walk forward while pushing the bike, I nearly dropped it.

I managed to start moving forward in a straight line, but I could barely move! I really wanted to run the bike back to the rack, but it was not happening. I could see Dave waving his arms at me in the relay pen, imploring me to hurry up, but I seriously could not move any faster!

I had to rack the bike, another Herculean task, before I could give the chip to Dave. Finally he had the chip and I was DONE.

Clark had told me I’d be so pumped after that bike ride I wouldn’t want to give the chip to someone else to run. Well, he was wrong haha. I could barely walk out of transition down to the water to soak my legs. There was no way in hell I wanted to try to cover a half marathon!

I mean, I knew a half Ironman had to be hard, especially on a day as hot as Eagleman always is, but damn do I have so much more respect for everyone who does the whole thing on their own, after feeling as trashed as I did after doing just the bike. And the loons who do the full Ironman triathlons are just on another level.

Anyway, Kara and I hung out in the water for a bit, which felt spectacular. Then I changed out of my sweaty bike clothes, which felt even better. We talked to a woman there who was waiting for her friend to finish, who asked me if I’d just won the race haha. Not quite!

Kara pulled up my bike split on her phone: 2:58!!

I did it! I really thought 3:05 would be pushing it, but I freaking broke three hours! I was seriously pumped about that.

About a half-hour before Dave thought he’d finish, Kara and I found a spot along the finisher’s chute to watch. It was so HOT. And we were just sitting there!

Dave was a little slower than he’d thought he’d be, which didn’t surprise me, given the heat, but he still came in at 1:57, with a “holy-shit-I-will-never-do-this-again” look on his face haha.

Kara and I cheered for him as the finish line announcer said, “And here’s another relay team – the Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts!”

Our total time was 5:39:17, and we placed 13th among all relay teams. (They don’t break down the relays into gender groupings.)

We found some shade to sit down, chill out and trade war stories from our different legs. After Dave came out of his daze, it sounded like he actually might be up to do it again next year. We all agreed we definitely don’t want to do the whole thing by ourselves. The relay is enough!

A while later, Mom and Julie stopped by the park. They were there when we heard the finish line announcer call Clark’s name as he finished.

He didn’t quite have the day he’d wanted, mostly because of the run, but Clark still took an hour off his time from last year, finishing in 6:38.

And I have to mention this – his bike split was 2:59. That’s right, I was a minute faster than Clark!

When we were in high school 100 years ago, he scored 10 points better on the SAT than I did, and I’m still hearing about that today, so I finally have a rebuttal haha.

I mean yes, I could barely walk after it, while he went and ran a half marathon, but STILL. I WAS A MINUTE FASTER.

Mom took some pictures of us.

SBRS after

Swimmer, biker, runner — done!

SBRS plus clark

The relay team, plus Clark, who did everything the three of us did all by himself.

Bart finished a little bit later, having taken about a half hour off his time from last year. He and his family went to get our trucks so we could drive our bikes back to his house. And then Clark’s dad finished too.

He hadn’t made the swim cutoff, so he was technically a DNF, but he finished the rest of the course anyway and got a medal, so there’s that.


Finisher Clarks.

When the trucks got back to the park, we got all our stuff out of transition and went back to Bart’s house, where I took the best shower I’ve had in a long time. It felt so good to wash off all those layers of scuzzy dried sweat!

We all watched the end of the Pocono race, which Ryan Blaney won – his first Cup win – and then Clark, his dad and I went to Stoked for dinner. After we dropped off Clark’s dad and picked up Pepper, we came home and went straight to bed.

Last year, the day after Eagleman was beautiful. The humidity disappeared and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees to something bearable. Not this year! It’s going to be just as hot the next few days, so I got up early and ran an easy 3-miler.

My ankle still hurts from smacking it on my pedal, but other than that, I felt fine running today. I didn’t want to do another 10 miles in that heat though. Three was enough.

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