A Simple Running Log

April 27, 2018

Training for 4/27/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:07 am

North Face Endurance Challenge D.C. race weekend is HERE!

Today is a rest day ahead of 31.7 miles tomorrow. I’m leaving soon to head to D.C. First stop is the airport to pick up my friend Chris, who’s flying out here from Colorado. Then we’ll make our way to the hotel we’re staying at tonight, near the shuttle pick-up/drop-off point for the race.

Our 50K starts at 7 a.m. tomorrow. (Two more of my friends are coming here from Michigan to do the 50-miler, which starts two hours earlier.) It rained hard here overnight, which I assume means the course got rain too. I’m having some flashbacks to 2012, when I ran the marathon at this event — it absolutely poured the entire day before the race, and the course was a total mud pit. It didn’t rain that hard this time though, I don’t think, and it’s already stopped, so hopefully it will have time to dry out a little before tomorrow.

Anyway, after we get this little 50K out of the way, we’ll have some fun in D.C. Sunday morning, we’re cheering on some more friends running a half marathon in the city, followed by brunch. We’re also staying Sunday night, and doing some sight-seeing Monday before she has to fly home.

Should be a blast!

Clark is racing this weekend too. He’s doing the Island to Island Half Marathon from Assateague to Ocean City, the one I’ve paced the last few years. Looks like we’ll get much better running weather this weekend than last year — that was the year it got super hot and humid all of a sudden and we all had a horrible run.

I’ll be back to report on it all Tuesday!

April 26, 2018

Training for 4/26/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:50 am

Today, I did the speed workout I’d been putting off the last couple of days, five 800-meter repeats. I was really tempted to just skip it altogether and do another easy run, but I decided instead to stop being such a slacker, programmed a warm up, five half-mile intervals with quarter-mile rests and cool down into the Garmin and hit the road.

I did a mile in 8:53 to warm up, then started the first interval. Boy does running hard hurt right now! Having finally done some strength training yesterday afternoon for the first time in eons wasn’t helping either.

The first four went OK. The fifth was total torture. I was running into the wind at that point, and I was completely gassed.

I did a long cool down after the last interval to complete the 7.3-mile loop in 1:02:47, an 8:37/mile average.

When I finished the whole workout, I could check my interval paces: 3:43 (7:26/mile pace), 3:29 (6:58), 3:28 (6:56), 3:29 (6:58) and 3:44 (7:28.) So three out of five were just below 7:00/mile pace, which is progress compared to the last half-mile interval workout I ran.

EDIT: OK, I’m back, because something weird just happened and I have to add it.

So, the truck has been having some electrical/battery-related issues lately. It was in the shop Tuesday, but the mechanic said he only had to tighten a terminal on the battery and it went back to charging fully, which seemed to fix the problem. However, when I tried to leave in it today, it didn’t even make it all the way out of the driveway before the power steering died and then the engine cut off.

I pushed the truck back into the driveway and came back in the house, pretty annoyed with the whole thing. I was sitting on the couch when there was a knock at the front door.

It was some old guy I didn’t recognize. I looked out to the driveway and saw he’d squeezed his car in between the front of the truck and the edge of the road. I assumed he was going to ask what happened to the truck and offer to help or something.

Well, no… he said he hadn’t seen me out running in a while and he stopped at my house to make sure I was OK! Because the roads are so dangerous!

It took me a couple seconds to form words because I was so confused at first — seriously, who DOES that?? — but I assured him I’d just been out for a run earlier today and no, no one has run me over yet.

He seemed very relieved to know I wasn’t a street pizza somewhere. I told him I always run against traffic and I’ve never had a close call. That made him happy too. So he went on his way.

I mean, I guess it’s kinda nice to know the regulars are looking out for me, but it was also really weird to get a house call from a total stranger!

April 25, 2018

Training for 4/25/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:34 pm

Today, I went upstairs and actually did some strength training. I did push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and lifted with the free weights. It was a little toasty upstairs, since it’s finally starting to feel like spring.

As soon as I was done up there, I put Pepper’s harness on him and we went out for a short easy run. And it was EASY. He was so pokey today. I don’t know if it was because it was a little warm or what (it was only in the low 70s, hardly a heat wave.) But I just could not get him to move any faster than a slow trot. I felt like I was doing everything I could to avoid stepping on his feet the whole time.

We eventually finished a lap around the 4.5-mile loop at a 10:08/mile overall average.

April 24, 2018

Training for 4/24/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:57 pm

I was up way too late last night, I had a lot of crap to do today (and I’m still not done), it’s windy and I don’t want to leave Pepper alone or make him run two days in a row so — no run today.

I did run yesterday though. I took Pepper with me for a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. It was a typical slow, easy run with him. The highlight was getting to explain his kidney disease to another concerned passerby, this time a school bus driver who didn’t quite look convinced I wasn’t just using “he’s sick” as a cover for not bothering to feed my dog. Anyway…

Today I’ve been looking over the course guide for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K in northern Virginia. I’m mostly concerned with the aid station placements. Nothing motivates me to keep running like knowing exactly how close I am to my next chance to stuff my face. And there are plenty of chances in this race — eight to be exact, over a 31.7-mile course. The farthest we have to run between them is the 5.6 miles to the first one after the start. After that, they’re only 3 to 4 miles apart. Nice.

April 23, 2018

Coastal Delaware Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:42 am

I had a good run at the Coastal Delaware Half Marathon this weekend, other than the two mid-race bathroom breaks I was forced to take. Other than that, we got perfect weather to run a beautiful and well-supported course. This just might become another annual event for me.

Friday evening, Clark and I (and Pepper, of course) headed down to the beach. We were a little late getting to the beer dinner at Dogfish Head, but they hadn’t even collected the plates from the first course yet when we sat down, so we were able to quickly catch up.

It was three courses — salad, a shrimp dish and then sourdough toast with ricotta cheese and chicken, all paired with a different sour beer. Then they gave us each a Miracle Berry tablet. Once those had dissolved on our tongues, they gave us the same three courses and beers, plus a dessert course and additional beer pairing, and told us to try it all again.

The tablet was supposed to flip our sweet/sour tastebuds, which would flip the flavor of the beer and food. Honestly, the food didn’t taste different to me, other than the key lime pie they gave us for dessert (which tasted like bread after the tablet), but the beers did taste super sweet the second time around, with no hint of sour. Later, one of the chefs came around to see what everyone thought, and he said some of the other staff at the restaurant had taken the tabs and were eating lemons like oranges just because they could haha.

Packet pick-up for the race was at the new convention center, a short walk from Dogfish Head. We had enough time to get there before it closed after the dinner. We got our bibs and after party wristbands, a swag bag with a pint glass and a car magnet (I put free race magnets on the fridge), and our event T-shirts, which are a cotton-polyester blend in gender-specific cuts. It’s one of the nicer race shirts I’ve gotten.

co del swag

T-shirt, pint glass and magnet. You had to finish to get the trucker hat.

We also each bought a GU Stroopwafel for before the race, and Clark picked up a GU gel for during. (They were handing out gels on the course, but it wasn’t until mile 8, which is a little late in a half in my opinion; I’d brought one from home to eat closer to halfway.)

Anyway, we were all set for race morning, so we drove to Clark’s parents’ place in Fenwick, where we spent the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning, Clark and I each did a short run. He only wanted to do two miles, to try out a brand new pair of shoes he’d just gotten in the mail the day before. When he got back from that, I went out for a 5-miler.

It was a breezy day and still a little chilly. I just did an out-and-back along the highway running from Fenwick to Bethany. The wind was right in my face on the way out and it felt way tougher than I liked. Of course, when I turned around, it was pushing me along, and suddenly running felt a million times easier. I finished in 43:31, an 8:41/mile average.

That afternoon, one of Clark’s coworkers arrived, with a new guy they just hired. He’s moving out here from Ohio after he graduates from college next month, so I guess he came out for the weekend to see what the housing situation was like. Several of his soon-to-be coworkers took turns entertaining him while he was here, and Saturday was Clark’s day.

I had a feeling this was going to mean drinking, which could mean trouble for the race the next morning. Yes, it was supposed to be “just” a training run, but I do not enjoy hungover runs of any distance or effort, especially ones I had to pay for.

I did my best to be sensible throughout the day. We went to Papa Grande’s first, for lunch, and I had a couple beers there. Then we hung out at the house for the rest of the afternoon. I only had one more, and then I ate up a big chunk of time pedaling the beach cruiser to the Dunkin’ Donuts all the way down on 120th Street in Ocean City to get an iced coffee, because the one in Fenwick hasn’t yet reopened for the season.

I volunteered to drive when we went to dinner. We drove up to Lewes to go to Big Oyster, since the outdoor seating area is covered and we could take Pepper. I nursed a single beer there. Finally, we stopped at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth, and I just had one more before I went back out to the car to sit with Pepper and listen to the end of the NASCAR race.

So I didn’t drink too much — five beers over 10 hours isn’t going to kill me — but it was still later than I liked when we got back to Fenwick and finally went to bed.

I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep that night. Clark’s coworker passed out on the pull-out sofa bed we were supposed to sleep on, so Clark and I wound up in the twin beds in the back bedroom. Guess whose bed Pepper picked to squirm around on and take up more than half of?

My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m., though I was already up to let Pepper out. It was kinda cold out there that early! I was a little worried about the running clothes I’d brought for the race — shorts and a thin long-sleeved top — but I hoped it would warm up a bit when the sun came up.

I got dressed, got Clark up and moving, and we were on the road only a few minutes later than I’d intended.

On the drive up there, I ate the Stroopwafel and a banana, and gulped down one last bottle of water.

I wanted to get there early in case it was hard to find parking, or we wound up really far away from the start/finish area, which was on the boardwalk right at the end of the main strip in Rehoboth. Turned out that was not a problem at all. I got a spot really close to the boardwalk, one block over from the main strip.

We got there so early, I got to see the start of the marathon, which went off first at 7 a.m.

marathon start

Appropriately, the guy wearing bib No. 1 would go on to win. (Dave Fredman Frederick photo.)

Once the sun was up, it was a perfect day for running, not too cold but just chilly enough to stay comfortable.

This was the view to the left of the start line:

view on the other side of the start line

Rehoboth Beach. (Fredman photo.)

I had 30 minutes until my own race start. Next order of business was to find a bathroom. I expected to find a bank of port-o-potties somewhere, considering they had about 2,600 runners between the three races that morning. But no — the only bathrooms were the public ones, and the women’s line for the one right there on the main strip was already at least 150-strong.

Fortunately, I found another open public bathroom one block past the start line, and took care of business there. The lack of port-o-potties at the start and subsequent massive bathroom line is the only real complaint I had about the whole race.

I went back to the truck to get get out of my sweats and get ready to run. The race provided a gear check area at the start/finish, but we got to park so close, I didn’t use it.

In spite of getting there so early and parking so close, I still managed to be one of the last ones to the start line. Clark and I were both seeded in the first corral based on our predicted finish times, but as we were walking toward the start line, it looked to me like there weren’t any openings in the fence other than the back. I thought hard about trying to squeeze through the rungs in the fence, but decided to run to the back of it and try to move my way forward from there.

I didn’t get too far. I wound up between the 2:15 and 2:30 pacers before I couldn’t go any farther without shoving people, and I’m not that big of an asshole.

I had company though — Kelly got there late too, because of the bathroom lines, so we started there in the second corral together.

They let the first corral go at 7:30, and then the second a few minutes later.

It was so crowded at the beginning. I followed Kelly through the crowd as we ran down the boardwalk. It’s pretty narrow, so there wasn’t a lot of room. We got hung up a couple of times, and Kelly turned around and said “I hate this!” haha.

Once we got off the boardwalk and onto some streets through town, it got a little better. We had some room to run. Kelly took off and I didn’t see her again until the after party.

The first couple of miles wound through a residential neighborhood I know very well from other Rehoboth races. I was still weaving through some people, but mostly I was just cruising. My first two miles were 8:19 and 8:09.

We left the neighborhood and ran past the ocean.

2018 coastal delaware third mile

Somewhere in the third mile.

Just before the first water stop around mile 2.5, I heard someone call my name. It was Clark! I’d just passed him. Assuming he’d had to start farther back too, I blurted out, “What the hell are you doing up here?” Turns out there WERE openings in the fence between the first and second corral, so he’d started where he was supposed to! He pushed me forward and told me to keep going, so I did. That was also the last I saw of him until after the race.

I took some water at the first stop. Mile 3 was on the road toward Gordon Pond State Park. I ran it in 8:11.

2018 coastal delaware mile 3

Headed out toward Gordon Pond.

In the next mile, my guts started rumbling. I knew there was another water stop when we got to Gordon Pond, so I crossed my fingers there’d be an open port-o-potty.

I took some water at the stop, then ran over to the port-o-potties. Score! The first one I tried was open.

I felt much better after that stop and rejoined the race as we ran onto the crushed gravel trail around the pond, heading toward Cape Henlopen State Park.

Mile 4 was 9:27 after that stop, and mile 5 sped back up to 8:10. In the sixth mile, we ran over a raised metal bridge Pepper hates. That bridge took us into Cape Henlopen. Mile 6 was 8:19.

Just inside Cape Henlopen, we hit the next water stop. I slowed for a few seconds to eat my GU and wash it down with water.

The next 2.5 miles or so were a loop through Cape Henlopen. I thought I’d seen every inch of trail through that park, but the first part we ran yesterday was new to me. It was also crushed gravel.

Mile 7 was 8:44, after I’d eaten the GU, and mile 8 was 8:30.

In the ninth mile, we finished that loop and headed out of Cape Henlopen the way we’d come in, over that raised metal bridge. There were still plenty of runners coming toward us on their way into the park at that point, so it got a little narrow there, and I got hung up a couple of times.

Mile 9 was 8:29. As we made our way back down the trail around Gordon Pond, I could feel my guts rumbling again off and on. I was thinking I might have to stop to use the same port-o-potty on the way back.

Mile 10 was 8:28 and mile 11 was 8:27. Just past that, we were back to the water stop in Gordon Pond State Park. My guts happened to be in ‘off’ mode at the moment, so I just took some water and kept going.

2018 coastal delaware mile 11.5

Leaving Gordon Pond State Park.

MISTAKE!! As we left the park on the road back to Rehoboth, it cranked up big time. I knew we had at least a mile to the next water stop. Fortunately, there is always another house being built in Rehoboth, so I started scanning the properties along the road for a construction site with a port-o-potty. Thank you God, there was one at mile 11.8, with two unlocked and untouched port-o-potties.

Crisis averted! I felt much better and only had about 1.3 miles to go.

At this point, I’d caught the back of the pack 9K run/walkers (that race started 30 minutes after the half), so I had to do some more weaving for the last part of the race. Mile 12 was 9:54 with that second stop.

We ran back on to the boardwalk and there in the distance was the finish line! Almost there!

My watch beeped mile 13 — 8:11 — and I glanced down at it. A woman cheering on passing runners yelled at me, “Don’t look at your watch again! The finish is right there — just go get it!” So I did!

2018 coastal delaware finish

Almost there!

I ran the last 0.24 (my Garmin was obviously off) at a 7:33 pace and crossed the line in 1:53:08, an 8:39/mile overall average.

My Garmin later helpfully pointed out my actual moving time was 1:50:14, so now I know exactly how much time I waste in port-o-potties.

Just past the line was Fredman, who got this awesome shot haha:

2018 coastal delaware half marathon after finish

Past him was a local runner who ran Boston last Monday and so was volunteering at the finish line instead of running. He said I didn’t look like I’d just run a half marathon. I thought he was nuts but looking at that picture I see I was so uniformly sweaty it doesn’t look like I’d sweat at all. Trust me, I was soaked! Turned out shorts had definitely been the way to go, and I was wishing I hadn’t bothered with sleeves.

I went back to the truck and changed into dry clothes. I waited for Clark for a while but he didn’t show up, so I thought maybe he went straight to the after party.

The after party was at Grotto Pizza on the boardwalk. The downstairs patio area was packed, but Kelly texted me that the indoors upstairs area had the same buffet and beer lines, but was practically empty, so I met her up there.

There was pizza, pasta, chicken tenders and salad. We each got three beers — Michelob Ultra, Shock Top or Goose Island IPA.

I had some food and a couple Shock Tops with Kelly and one of her coworkers who’d also ran. Clark found us there too, but he’d already eaten downstairs and just wanted the truck keys so he could go take a nap haha.

After the party, I got another iced coffee from the Dunkin’ Donuts down the boardwalk, and then Clark and I drove back to Fenwick. We hung out at the house for a while, then went to Fish Tales in Ocean City for lunch. When we got home, I unpacked everything, took a shower and eventually fell asleep on the couch.

So, to sum it up, here are Clark’s and my race stats:


  • 1:53:08
  • 19th/172 F 35-39
  • 81st/845 women
  • 207th/1,281 overall


  • 2:17:13 (he said he lost six minutes in a port-o-potty because it was so gross he had to clean it up!)
  • 54th/66 M 35-39
  • 308th/437 men
  • 709th/1,281 overall

And our bibs and medals:

co del medals and bibs

Somehow Clark got a busted medal missing the ‘2018’ piece.

That was fun, but up next is a 50K — in FIVE DAYS!

Today, I’ve got a short easy run and strength training on the schedule.

April 20, 2018

Training for 4/20/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:27 pm

Man, this cold, windy weather we’ve had all week has really been killing my motivation to go outside and run. I let it keep me inside Tuesday. Wednesday warmed up enough I could pull off shorts so I went out, but yesterday got cold again and I just could not do it. It’s more than halfway through April and I am DONE WITH RUNNING IN PANTS.

I did get some strength training in yesterday at least. I went upstairs, where it wasn’t so bad since the roof was blocking the 20 mph wind, and did push-ups, abs, invisible chair-sitting and lifted the adjustable dumbbells.

Fortunately, today, the sun came out again and I could go out in shorts again, so I got in a run.

I was kinda sore from the strength training, since I’ve been so lazy about it for so long, but it wasn’t too terrible. I ran an easy lap around the 6.5-mile loop. The first five miles were good, all around an 8:30/mile pace, but in the sixth one, I needed a bathroom bad all of a sudden. I had to walk a bit to get to the one spot left before home that wasn’t a completely wide open field or someone’s yard, so that mile was a 10:03 when I finally finished it. I ran the rest of the way home feeling much better, and finished the whole loop at an 8:45/mile pace.

Clark and I are going to the beach all weekend. Tonight, we’re going to a beer dinner at Dogfish Head. They’re serving three courses with beer pairings, then giving us some weird berry that’s supposed to flip your tastebuds for 30 minutes (sour tastes sweet and vice versa), then serving the same three courses so we can see how it affects the flavor.

Tomorrow morning, I want to go for another shorter run, and then Sunday is the Coastal Delaware Half Marathon in Rehoboth. The weather looks decent, a little chillier than I prefer, but at least this stupid wind is supposed to back off and there’s no chance of rain. I’ve never run this one but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it so I’m looking forward to it. I don’t really have a time goal for this one, but I hope to be faster than I was in last weekend’s uncomfortably warm conditions.

April 18, 2018

Training for 4/18/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:16 pm

Today was a gorgeous day for a crappy run!

I did a lap around the 7.3-mile loop this afternoon. The sun was out and it had warmed up enough to wear shorts. While it was still breezy, it didn’t seem as windy as it had been yesterday.

My stomach was in one of its moods, however. I had to stop in the woods a mere two miles into the run. I still felt gross the whole way home, having to slow down to walk off some nausea a couple of times, but I at least made it home before I had to go again.

My splits were all over the place, from 8:14 to 9:37, and I finished the loop in 1:04:30, an 8:50/mile average. Probably had something to do with leftover hot wings, but who knows. Hopefully it’s out of my system (literally.)

April 17, 2018

Training for 4/17/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:18 pm

So, Boston, huh? What a race!

I ran my first marathon in 2010. Before that, it never would’ve occurred to me to watch a televised foot race. How boring. Actually, it still didn’t occur to me for a while after that, but I got in the habit a few years ago and now I look forward to TV coverage of Chicago, New York City and Boston almost as much as I do to that of NASCAR races.

I’m so glad I did. There’s always something to be learned from watching the elites race. There are a few images from yesterday’s race I will not forget!

First, Shalane Flanagan’s port-o-potty stop just before halfway:

shalane to the bathroom

I have never related to an elite runner so much!

Someone timed her stop from door open to close and it was 13.86 seconds. I AM IN AWE. She later said she only had to pee, but c’mon. I have a hard time believing a runner favored to win the Boston Marathon would duck out of the lead pack just to take a piss. Especially considering how hard it was raining — no one would notice if she’d peed herself. That might sound gross but triathletes do it all the time, especially on the bike! I mean, there’s a reason black running shorts are so much more popular than white.

Shalane was able to catch back up with the pack after that stop but it was not her day. She later said she got super cold, and she wound up finishing seventh. By the end, 25 elites had dropped from the race, most with symptoms of hypothermia.

Which is what makes the WIN by Desi Linden — the first by a U.S. woman in 33 years! — that much more impressive!

I think my favorite part of the whole broadcast was as she was making her way down the final stretch on Boylston Street. She was all alone (second place was more than four minutes behind), just cranking it out in the pouring freezing rain.

desi on boylston

Photo by Joe Fleming.

Having lost this race by two seconds in a sprint to the line a few years ago, she didn’t crack a smile until she was about five steps from the finish.

She later said she’d felt so terrible early on she’d expected to drop out, so she shifted her focus to helping Shalane or the other top U.S. woman, Molly Huddle, win. She hung back while Shalane was in the port-o-potty, then let Shalane draft off her while they sprinted back to the lead pack together. But then she started feeling better, and what do you know. She wound up winning!

Then there was the men’s winner, Yuki Kawauchi, of Japan. Unlike most runners at his level, he trains around a full-time job, instead of training as a full-time job, and rather than picking one or two marathons to build up to and then recover from a year, he races nearly every weekend. He’s only been running marathons since 2009, but the guy holds world records for most marathons under 2:12 (25), most marathons under 2:20 (79!) and fastest half marathon in three-piece suit (1:10.)

Boston was his first major marathon win. He didn’t even know he was winning until they directed him to break the tape. He was as shocked as anyone!


Then there were all the relative unknowns who finished in the top 10 in both the men’s and women’s races, runners who also have full-time jobs and no sponsors, but pushed through the weather and had the race of their lives.


Left to right: Nicole Dimercurio, who would finish 6th; Rachel Hyland, who would finish 4th; and Sarah Sellers, who would be the runner-up and win $75,000 in a race she’d gone into hoping to crack the top 15 and qualify for the Olympic Trials. Side note — I have her shoes! (New Balance 1400v5s.)

So what are the takeaways here? Desi taught us to keep showing up and never give up. Yuki taught us to forget the “rules” and do what works for us. And everyone who finished taught us crappy weather is no excuse to skip a run.

I did my own run yesterday afternoon, an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop at an 8:45/mile pace, listening to the new album Breaking Benjamin just released last Friday. (Love it!) I had to make my own pit stop about three miles in, but I wasn’t nearly as fast as Shalane. Something to work on!

Today, I got lazy haha. Guess I forgot all about “showing up” that quick. It’s windy and cold here again. Guess I forgot about not using the weather as an excuse too! I will be back out there tomorrow.

April 16, 2018

King Crab Challenge recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:37 am

My run at this year’s King Crab Challenge at the Dorchester YMCA’s Crab Run didn’t go as well as last year’s, mainly due to the first warm race day since last fall. But I got in 16.3 miles on my feet, immediately followed by almost 20 more on the bike, so I’m calling it a good training day.

It was hardly even chilly outside when we got up before sunrise Saturday morning, a big change from the cold conditions of our last race in Lewes just a week earlier. Instead of layering up, I put on shorts and a tank top. I knew it was probably going to be a tough run, having not run much in warm temperatures in a while, but since I was running it as a training run, not a goal race, it didn’t bother me much.

Planning to ride our bikes after the race, we got them loaded up in the truck and were on the road around 6:30. We were parked at the Y in Cambridge a little after 7, picked up our event shirts and bibs for both races, hit the bathrooms one more time and got in the starting pack.

The race course this year was slightly different. Instead of a total out-and-back, we did a loop in the middle of the race. Other than the start/finish, it’s now the exact same half marathon course they use for Eagleman.

crab run map

The first and last couple of miles are in town, but otherwise it’s on rural roads with basically no crowd support, other than one family I spotted several times along the course who must’ve been driving around to cheer on someone not far behind me. I think there were 86 finishers last year; this year, there were 55. So yeah, it’s a small, no-frills race, mostly appealing to people training for Eagleman.

They said before the start there were 13 of us signed up for the King Crab Challenge, meaning we had to finish the half in two hours or better so we could start the 5K on time. Based on the 1:44 I ran in this race last year, I didn’t expect that to be a problem.

We got the start commands at 7:30 and were on our way.

The first mile and a half or so ran through a really pretty part of town, right along the Choptank River. Several guys took off, but no women went out fast, and I was in a small lead pack of about four of us, even though my first mile was an 8:15.

Around mile 1.5, we hit the first water stop, and I slowed a few seconds to down a cup of water, which I did at every single water stop we passed. I caught back up with the other women as we ran away from the river. Mile 2 was 8:23.

There was another water stop in the next mile, which I also took advantage of. We passed mile 3, which I ran in 8:25, as we got on a small connector road that was supposed to be part of a subdivision that never got built. There was yet another water stop at the end of that connector road.

Between miles 3 and 4, the mile markers got screwy. The first few, we passed before my Garmin beeped the mile. Every one from mile 4 to the end suddenly appeared long before my Garmin beeped. I mean, individual GPS watches are rarely spot-on, but this was a difference of several 10ths of a mile between two mile markers.

Anyway, the connector road took us to Route 343, a typical two-lane secondary road leading out of Cambridge. It at least had a shoulder, but it was steeply sloped, so most of us were running as close to the white line as we dared, with traffic passing from behind. I was still running with the other lead women. Mile 4 was 8:33.

There was another water stop at a ‘Y’, where we went right to start the small loop in the middle of the course. Mile 5 was past that, which was an 8:44 for me.

We were then on a narrow, shoulder-less back road. There was a little shade from some trees lining the road, which I was appreciating more and more as the race wore on and the temperatures continued to warm up. Mile 6 was 8:43.

Last year, we’d run that back road until we hit the turnaround, then ran back the way we came. This year, we made a left turn onto another little back road. It was completely shaded and the wind was blowing straight at us, which is normally annoying, but at that point felt refreshing.

Near the end of that road was the next water stop. I slowed to eat the one GU I’d brought with me and wash it down with water. I finished mile 7 in 9:09 as we turned left off that road back on to Route 343, heading back toward town.

The next couple of miles were boring. I was kind of by myself at that point, running along the shoulder of 343, trying not to think about how hot I was getting. Mile 8 was 8:34.

That was about when my guts started rumbling. Big surprise. I knew we’d be passing that ‘Y’ with the water stop and a port-o-potty again soon. I figured it would be better to take care of that on the race course, even though I was on the clock, rather than trying to make it back to the finish line, to a bathroom in the locker room and back to the start line in time for the 5K.

I made it to the water stop and hit up the port-o-potty. I lost at least a minute in there. Not one of my faster stops. I grabbed some water from the volunteers as I rejoined the race.

The rest of the race was running back exactly the way we’d run out. I passed mile 9 in 10:09 with the bathroom break. I turned back on the connector road and finished mile 10 in 8:54.

This is usually where I can tell myself “just a 5K to go,” but then I’d remember the 5K I had to do too, so I really had a 10K left. Ugh.

I was constantly checking my watch, trying to do runner math to figure out how much more I could slow down (I certainly wasn’t speeding up) and still finish under two hours.

Mile 11 was 8:40. Right after that, we passed the last water stop along the river. I really took my time finishing a cup of water, then started running again toward the finish. Mile 12 was 9:18.

That last mile felt endless. Last year, my Garmin measured two 10ths of a mile short; this year, it would be two 10ths over. That didn’t help!

I finished mile 13 in 8:34, then made the turn off the road and ran up the grass to the finish line behind the YMCA. I crossed the line in 1:57:01, 13 minutes slower than last year! My Garmin reported 13.3 miles at an 8:48/mile average — 30 seconds slower per mile than I’d planned to run.

2018 crab run half marathon finish line

Finishing the half marathon.

No time to care about that though. I had less than three minutes to get ready for the 5K. There was a table just beyond the finish line where the challengers had placed their 5K bibs. I was in kind of a fog and it took me forever to figure out how to unpin one bib and put on another!

I grabbed a bottle of water and managed to get back to the start line as they were counting down the 5K start. Just made it!

I took off “running” again. I put that in quotations because my legs did NOT want to go.

It was a slow, miserable 5K. I ran a little and walked a lot. I drank that entire bottle of water before I got to the water stop at the turnaround.

In the first mile, I first saw Bart on his way to finishing the half marathon. He came in at 2:07, six minutes slower than last year. Then I saw Clark. He had a really rough time and finished in 2:13, 26 minutes off his time last year. He was signed up for the challenge, but he didn’t start the 5K.

There’s not much more to say about the 5K. It was short — just over 3 miles according to my Garmin — and I dragged myself over the line in 34:08.

2018 crab run 5K finish line

Back to the line to finish the 5K.

My total time for the challenge this year was 2:31:09, 21 minutes slower than last year. Woof!

We sat around for a while waiting for the awards. There was plenty of food, water and Gatorade. The 80-degree weather felt pretty nice once I wasn’t running any longer.

When they announced the awards, I was second in my age group in the half, so I got a nice insulated water bottle.

crab run water bottle and bibs

Not sure where Clark’s bib went, but these are my half marathon and 5K bibs, both of our finisher’s medals and the water bottle age group award.

Race stats:


Half marathon:

  • Chip time: 1:57:01
  • 2nd/13 F 30-39
  • 4th/31 women
  • 16th/55 overall


  • Chip time: 34:08
  • 3rd/9 F 30-39
  • 19th/45 women
  • 42nd/76 overall

King Crab Challenge total time: 2:31:09


  • Chip time: 2:13:39
  • 5th/6 M 30-39
  • 20th/24 men
  • 30th/55 overall

After the race wrapped up, neither of us were really pumped about riding our bikes — the wind had really picked up by then — but we’d gone to all the trouble of bringing them along, so we felt like we had to.

We all changed into biking clothes and set out. We followed the first half of the race course, but turned right where we’d turned left around mile 7 of the run. The wind really sucked, especially in the open spots on Route 343, and it never felt like it was at our backs and helping us.

We rode 19.6 miles in 1:12:04, an average speed of 16.6 mph, a bit slower than I normally ride, but I was dead.

It felt good to roll back into the parking lot at the YMCA and know I was finally DONE! We all showered there, then went to Snapper’s and sat outside for lunch and a few beers. It was a perfect day for that.

We also stopped at RAR, then headed home. We fed Pepper his dinner, then took him over to one of Clark’s coworker’s house, where we hung out the rest of the night.

We wound up sleeping over there. I was exhausted, but I was sharing a little chair with an ottoman with Pepper (Clark had fallen asleep on the pull-out couch before we could pull it out) so I really didn’t get much sleep. I guess I fell asleep at some point, because that jerkface dog decided he wanted to go out when no one was awake to let him out, and he peed on the dining room carpet! I felt pretty bad about that.

Yesterday was a scheduled rest day, and thank God for that, because I was worthless. I spent the whole day on the couch.

I feel better today after getting a good night’s sleep, in a bed, last night. Right now I’m watching the Boston Marathon, which looks pretty miserable this year with the wind and pouring rain, and later they’re finishing up the NASCAR race in Bristol that didn’t make it far enough to be called official yesterday, also due to the weather. I also have to get our taxes done, and I have another short easy run on the schedule.

April 13, 2018

Training for 4/13/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:00 am

Today, I got my run done earlier than usual, so I could take Pepper before it got too warm (it’s supposed to hit 80 today) and so I could get it out of the way before an assignment this afternoon.

It wasn’t anywhere close to 80 yet when we went out, but it was warming up and while it wasn’t as windy as yesterday, it was still pretty breezy.

We did a very leisurely lap around the 4.5-mile loop, running it at a 9:57/mile average.

Anyway, that’s out of the way, so now it’s time to rest up for tomorrow’s King Crab Challenge at the Dorchester YMCA Crab Run in Cambridge.

I’m thinking of this as a long run in the build-up to my goal half marathon next month. I think I’ll shoot for 8:15/mile pace in the half tomorrow, which is a bit faster than I ran my most recent long run, but not too much. That will give me about 12 minutes before the start of the 5K, and then I’ll run the 5K like a 3.1-mile cool down, which was definitely all I could muster last year. And I’ll have a 16.2-mile long run in the books.

Since tomorrow’s supposed to be so nice, and Sunday is supposed to rain, there’s talk of taking our bikes with us so we can get in a ride after the race too.

I don’t care if it does rain all day Sunday, because it’s going to be a rest day for sure. I’ve already put in 31 miles this week so I think I’ll need a day off.

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