A Simple Running Log

August 7, 2017

Training for 8/7/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:59 am

Friday evening, I ran the inaugural Naylor Mill 7K in Salisbury. It was held at this sports complex on Naylor Mill Road I’ve driven by a million times but never had any reason to visit. I thought it was just a bunch of baseball fields, but it turns out it has a small trail network too.

The race’s subtitle of sorts was On the Bacon Trail. Bacon and bacon doughnuts at the start, bacon at the one and only aid station about halfway through the race and more bacon at the finish.

It was put on by Trent, the same race dictator behind the Algonquin 50K I ran earlier this year. When our bib numbers were generated, runners who’d done Algonquin got the first numbers, and I got 2. Trent said something about how I had to live up to my bib number. He meant finishing second, but No. 2 while running means something else entirely to me haha. I really didn’t want to live up to that after all, so I skipped all the pre- and mid-race bacon.

There were 65 runners, including a guy in a bacon costume.

bacon costume

We all gathered around our mascot for a pre-race group photo:

bacon run before race

By the way, my trail shoes were the ones I’d worn for Algonquin, which I dropped in the garage when I got home from that race. They sat there for six months until I left for this race Friday. I was really hoping they had at least another 4.35 miles in them.

At 6:30 on the dot, we were off!

The first 0.7-mile or so was around the perimeter of the baseball fields, and then we ran into the woods.

So, when I signed up for this trail race, I was expecting a trail like the one at Trap Pond — flat, flat, flat. After all, we’re still on Delmarva here.

At first, it was kinda flat. But it was all single-track, with a lot of roots to watch out for, and it made a turn what felt like every five steps. I found myself second in a conga line of about seven runners, weaving through the trail.

I finished the first mile in 8:09, and soon felt like I’d found my rhythm, just following the runner in front of me.

Then we hit the hills.

Yes, hills! They weren’t long, but they were steep, and they were relentless. One after the other. It felt like we were always either climbing up or bombing down one. The trail itself kept making tight turns too.

I quickly lost that rhythm I’d had going. I was sucking wind, but I was keeping up with the runner in front of me.

I heard my watch beep the second mile — 10:36. It felt like I was working so much harder than that!

We’d been told the aid station was supposed to be at mile 2. We just kept running, but no aid station. Finally, when my watch was almost at 2.7 miles, we came up on a line of small children dangling strips of bacon. I emphatically turned them down haha:

turning down the bacon at mile 2.6

We kept running. Up, down, hairpin turn, rinse, repeat. I turned my ankle a couple of times when I landed on a root wrong, but I stayed upright. Mile 3 beeped — 10:37.

Finally, around the 5K mark, at the base of yet another steep uphill, I had to step out of line and catch my breath.

The rest of that fourth mile, I walked the uphills and ran when I could. My legs were dead, my breathing was out of control and I just felt like garbage. Worse, if my Garmin was that far off when we hit the “mile 2” aid station, I had a lot farther left to run than I thought.

Somewhere around mile 3.7, I could hear cheering at the finish line. I perked up, thinking my Garmin was actually off in my favor and I was almost done — but then the trail made another hairpin turn and sent me back into the woods haha. So mean!

Mile 4 beeped — 14:17. Yowza! This got ugly. But I was almost done, for real. I emerged from the woods and, just up a short stretch of pavement, there was the finish line.

bacon run finish

I crossed the line in 49:02, an 11:16/mile average. My Garmin measured 4.34 miles, so it was pretty much right on it.

Right behind me was the guy in the bacon costume.

bacon guy finish

My friend Melissa and I helped ourselves to some bacon once we were done running.

melissa and me with bacon

It was some damn tasty bacon too!

bacon grillers

Awards went to the top three male and female runners. I was seventh female, so no golden bacon for me, but Melissa got third for running a 43:16:

melissa with bacon award

It was a fun evening! I’m glad I found out about that trail. It’s only about a half-hour from home, and it definitely makes for a good hill workout.

I met Clark afterwards at 3rd Wave. We had a couple beers there, went home and made some burgers for dinner. I was out like a light after that.

Saturday morning, I ran the 6-miler on the schedule. It was a very slow, clunky lap around the 6.5-mile loop. My legs just did not want to go again that soon after the hilly trail run the night before.

That afternoon, we met my brother, his brother-in-law, Wes, and Wes’s wife, Megan, at the Choptank marina for some boating. Dave even said Pepper could come with Clark and me, after we assured him Pepper would not, in fact, go to the bathroom all over the boat. I never should’ve told anyone I’m related to about that one random time last year Pepper took a dump in my car for no apparent reason, because now they all think he just poops everywhere.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day, except for one thing — the wind. The water was really choppy. We weren’t sure we were going to get to ski at all, but when we made our way to our usual spot, it was smooth as always.

We beached the boat for a bit first. Pepper was pretty impressed with his own newfound skill for jumping in and out of the boat haha. He even walked out into the water a few times, to try to grab a “stick” that was actually a mostly-submerged log. He had to settle for a mouthful of bark.

Dave, Wes and I all skied after that, and then we rode up to Dover Bridge(s.) We just happened to be there when a larger boat wanted to go through, and they had to open the current bridge. I’ve never seen that from the water before.

dover bridge open

Following the other boat through.

dover bridge actually closing

This rickety old thing is being replaced by the new fixed-span bridge because it gets stuck open so often, but it actually closed this time.

pepper on the party barge

Pepper hanging out.

We went back to our skiing spot, and Dave, Wes and I all went out again. We spent quite a while after that just floating in the middle of the river. It was an absolutely perfect day for that.

I tried to ski a third time, but I’d had a couple too many Sandstorms at that point haha. I think I tried to get pulled up seven times, but it was like I’d completely forgotten how to do it.

We went to Suicide instead to get dinner, which we got to go, so we could eat it on the boat. We were just getting back to the marina as the sun was going down.

sunset on the choptank

Sunday morning, I definitely did not feel like doing a long run. I slept in, and when I woke up, I just felt exhausted overall. I took my time eating breakfast.

It was around noon when I thought I should go out and run at least a short run. I was just going to do three miles, but it turned out it was a really nice day for a run — not too hot or humid — so I stretched it out to the 4.5-mile loop.

Later that afternoon, I met Dave, Wes and Megan again for a quick trip out on the boat. We only had a few hours, but it would be the last chance to go before Dave gets back from a two-week vacation.

The wind had died from the day before, and it seemed like everyone was out there on the river. The marina parking lots were packed full of cars and boat trailers.

I was pretty relieved when I got up on the ski on my first try haha. I’m not kidding, that was really bothering me Saturday night and all day Sunday! I was seriously worried I’d just flat-out forgotten how to do it.

We were back at the marina and had the boat trailered again before 6. When I got home, I got cleaned up, and then Clark and I took Pepper to Capsize, a restaurant in Oxford we’d not tried before. It was a perfect evening to sit out on their deck overlooking the Tred Avon River. Everything we ordered was really good too.

Today, I will run something. I really should do the long run I missed yesterday. It’s supposed to storm though. We will see what happens.

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