A Simple Running Log

May 31, 2018

Training for 5/31/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:36 pm

I wound up taking another rest day Tuesday. I was going to go in the evening, but then some guy stopped in the road in front of our house (because he saw our skinny-ass dog inexplicably drinking scummy water from the ditch right by the road, like he didn’t have clean water in the house??) to yell at me to feed my dog.

I completely snapped on him, and screamed the same thing I’ve been telling everyone for months: “HE HAS A KIDNEY DISEASE!” I scared him bad enough he actually apologized. So did I, for not keeping an eye on Pepper; I didn’t think I had to, because he never goes in the front yard, except that day for some reason. Thanks, Pep! The guy said (in a nicer tone) Pepper had been in the road itself and then went on his way.

I got Pepper out of the ditch and back in the house, but I was pretty upset after that. It’s been really hard, to be honest, since Pepper got sick. I’m scared we don’t have much time left with him. It’s only making it worse as it seems like more and more people are noticing his condition enough to comment on it. And the people who are total assholes about it are the cherry on top of the whole shit sundae.

So I didn’t run. (The power went out not long after that, so I couldn’t leave Pepper locked in his room with no air conditioning anyway.) Instead, I called Clark, then my brother, then a friend to tell them about the jerk out on the road.

I ran yesterday though. I did a speed workout! Since I’d put it off AGAIN the day before, I added another interval, making it five 400-meter repeats.

This rainy weather pattern is still hanging around, and while it wasn’t raining at the moment, it was extremely humid. I was already drenched in sweat that wasn’t going anywhere by the end of the warm up mile.

I also had some digestive distress, as usual. I had to stop in the woods between the third and fourth intervals.

After the final interval, I did another 2 miles to cool down, finishing the 5.5-mile loop.

My splits for the intervals were 1:53 (7:32/mile pace), 1:55 (7:40), 1:50 (7:20), 1:41 (6:52) and 1:46 (7:04.) Really all over the place. I was proud of myself for actually doing some speed work for once though.

Today, I just did another easy lap around the 5.5-mile loop. It was warmer than yesterday, and just as humid. My digestive system was REALLY upset for some reason. I stopped in the woods two miles in, but the mosquitos were swarming so bad in that particular spot, I didn’t hang around long enough to get everything out. I felt like I had to go the rest of the way home, bad enough to slow to a walk every now and then, but not bad enough to face those mosquitos again.

During one of my walk breaks, a guy in a passing truck slowed down. He said he’d never seen me walking before and wanted to make sure I was OK. I didn’t want to tell him I had to poop haha. I made up something about doing a hard workout the day before and taking it easy today.

I did the whole loop though, because if I’d done any less, I wouldn’t have even hit triple digits in the mileage column this month. I was such a slacker!

Which brings me to May’s summary.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (May 1-5): 16.8 miles
  • Week 2 (May 6-12): 15.5
  • Week 3 (May 13-19): 26.3
  • Week 4 (May 20-26): 17.2
  • Week 5 (May 27-31): 24.2

Total: 100 miles

This is my lowest total in almost three years. I took 14 days off running this month, almost half! I just had no motivation.

I did run two races, a half marathon that went fine, and a 5-miler that was miserable.

I did, however, also ride 179.3 miles on my bike, which was a nice jump from the 18 and 19 miles I rode in March and April.

In June, I have a few 5Ks lined up — two in the summer series plus the one at 3rd Wave Brewing I’ve done the last two years — and the bike leg of the Eagleman relay for the Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts. I’m not on a specific training plan for anything, but I would definitely like to improve on my mileage total from this month!

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May 29, 2018

Masser 5-Miler recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:27 am

Running didn’t go so hot this weekend — I ran my worst 5-miler in years!! — but I got in a lot of good miles on the bike, so it wasn’t all terrible.

Saturday was the only day of the long weekend that wasn’t supposed to be rainy and gross, so Bart picked up Clark and me early in the morning and we went to Cambridge to train in the heat.

Those two went out for a swim in the river first. When they got back, we all left for the bike ride.

Clark had stayed out late the night before, drinking with some coworkers, and he was dragging ass on that bike ride. It was the first time I’d ever had to wait up for him; usually it’s the other way around.

We rode out to Ragged Point.

ragged point

Abandoned house on the water.

We took a longer way back, for a total of 36.5 miles at a 17 mph average.

By the time we got back from the bike ride, it was past noon and the day had really warmed up, into the low 90s.

We all ran a loop that turned out to be 2.6 miles. Clark and I did a few pick-ups — we’d shoot for a landmark in the distance, like the next corner, and run hard until we got to it. But there was plenty of walking too. We finished that loop at about a 10:13/mile average pace.

When we got back to our house, it turned out Pepper had been home alone all morning and he hadn’t pooped! What a good boy!

We all showered, I packed some stuff for the race the next morning, and then we went down to the beach.

Saturday night, we went to Papa Grande’s for dinner. While we were waiting for a table, I got a panicked text from my brother — he thought Eagleman was in July and had somehow just figured out he only has two weeks left to train, not six! And no, he wasn’t joking!

I’m not really sure how he forgot when the race is, considering he did it last year, but he said he’s still shooting for 1:45 or better. He’ll just have to make do with about 20 total miles of running outside, instead of the 25 he was planning on haha.

It started raining Saturday night. I know this because Pepper was being an absolute pain in the ass all night and I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. We were trying to sleep on the pull-out couch at Clark’s parents’ place, and Pepper kept getting up to pace all over the house, his nails click-click-clicking on the laminate floors.

I was already awake when my alarm went off at 6. It was still raining in Fenwick, but lightly, and a half hour later, when we left to drive to the race site in Lewes, it had stopped completely.

But as we drove north to Lewes, the rain picked up, and by the time we got to Cape Henlopen High School, it was coming down pretty hard. Oh well. I got my race bib and T-shirt, hit the bathroom, then ran about a mile in the rain to warm up. The rain actually felt pretty good once I got moving.

The advertised race start was 7:30. We all gathered under an overhang inside the high school’s stadium, where the race would start and finish on the track, but the race director held off on sending us to the start line until the rain moved out. It wound up pushing back the start by about 17 minutes.

So we weren’t getting rained on anymore, but the air was still thick with 100 percent humidity. Honestly, I’d have preferred to be rained on!

We got the start commands and we were off.

The course was the exact same as last year — a little more than a half-lap on the track, leave the stadium, run behind the school, leave campus, get on the paved biking/walking trail through Lewes until about mile 4, get on Kings Highway, run back to campus and straight back to the stadium, retrace that partial lap around the track the opposite direction, done.

The first mile wasn’t too bad. It felt like it was taking forever to end, but when I heard my Garmin beep, it reported a 7:09 split.

I definitely went out too fast. However, in spite of my total lack of any kind of speed workouts in months, I still briefly thought “maybe I can hold this for four more miles!”

Ha! Nope.

I slowed down in the second mile to 7:26, close to the 7:30/mile average pace I’d gone into the race thinking I could manage. Just three miles to go.

But I was absolutely gasping for air already. I ran until I got to the first water stop around mile 2.3, and slowed to down a cup of water. I knew I was toast.

I started running again, but not anywhere near the speed of the first two miles. And even though I had eased up on the pace, my breathing kept getting so out of control, I had to take a few more walk breaks in the third and fourth miles to calm it down. I’m sure the humidity had something to do with it, but I’ve lived on Delmarva every summer since I started seriously running, so it’s hardly new to me. It was just lack of conditioning due to slacking on hard training, pure and simple.

My splits for miles 3 and 4 were 8:05 and 8:30 — I ran that pace in a half marathon the weekend before! It was getting ugly. I was trying to figure out if I could even still finish under 40 minutes, an 8:00/mile average pace.

I took one last walk break to get my breathing back under control after the mile 4 marker. A group of three or four women passed me and I started running again, determined to just keep up with them and at least run the rest of the way.

We ran back onto the school campus, through the parking lot toward the stadium. I saw Clark and Pepper cheering for me from the edge of the lot. I yelled out “This sucks!” to Clark as I passed.

One last turn into the stadium. Back on the track, and I could see the finish line a little more than a half-lap away, but it looked so far! I had no kick left. Everyone I’d been running with pulled away from me, and a few more people passed me from behind.

I finally made it to the final turn.

2018 masser 5 miler finish

That guy behind me had taken a few walk breaks during the race too and we kept leapfrogging each other in the third and fourth miles — appropriate that we finished together!

I crossed the line in 39:31, a 7:52/mile average pace. Other than 2010, after being injured and unable to run all spring, this was my worst time in nine years of running this race! I was two minutes faster last year.

At that moment though, I was just glad to be done. Just past the finish line, I saw Kelly and Susan. Kelly said she’d had a good run. I later found out how good it was — she was the overall women’s winner!

I did another slooooooow mile to cool down, then went back to the car to change into my flip-flops. Clark and Pepper were there. Clark said I had just missed Michael Wardian, a pro runner who was in town with his family for the holiday weekend and dropped in on the race, and his wife, Jennifer, gushing over Pepper. They have a vizsla, which are closely related to weimaraners, so they know crazy.

Side note — Wardian got beat again by Austen Cave, a local high school runner, who ran 5:22/mile pace to win by a full minute! That kid is already such an impressive runner.

I took Pepper with me to the awards ceremony. I hadn’t been able to find the results anywhere before they announced the winners, so I was pretty surprised when I found out my painful run-walk had been good enough to win my new F 35-39 age group. (There were only five us though.)

This is important because the summer series overall age group winners are determined by adding up everyone’s best 5-miler and five best 5K finishes within the age group. Lowest score wins. So far, I’ve got the lowest possible score.

I was also the 11th of 98 women and 44th of 196 overall in the open division (there’s also a Clydesdale and Filly category at this race.)

The awards this year were different, and pretty cool:

masser age group award

So now I’ve got five series 5Ks to look forward to. The first one I’m signed up for isn’t until June 17, so I’ve got time to do some intervals and tempo runs so maybe I won’t die such a terrible death after the first mile marker again!

Anyway, once the awards were wrapped up, Clark, Pepper and I went home, where we stayed the rest of Sunday, watching the Indy 500 and then the Coca-Cola 600.

We got some more heavy rain Sunday night, but by yesterday morning, it had mostly moved out, so Bart picked us up again and we went to Cambridge for some more training.

Bart was trying to impress this new woman he’s been talking to, who’s the president of a local tri club, so he rode the whole 56-mile bike course with her and one of her friends.

Meanwhile, Clark went for a swim, and then he and I rode a shorter loop. The natural order of the universe had been restored since Saturday, and Clark was the one who kept having to wait for me to catch up, but the pace was quicker than Saturday’s ride — I did 37.1 miles at an 18.2 mph average.

It’d been a long time since I did two rides that close to each other, so it kinda hurt sitting on the saddle from the get-go, and then it REALLY hurt by the halfway mark. Other than that though, it was a solid ride.

Clark and I then went for a run. We did 6.2 miles at a 9:15/mile average. It went much better than Saturday’s post-ride run, probably because it was at least 20 degrees cooler and overcast. It was still super humid though.

About 2.3 miles into our run, we saw Bart headed toward the park near the end of his ride. He’d ridden the course at a 20.5 mph average — by far his fastest ever — trying to keep up with that woman! Sometimes a little pride is a good thing haha.

Bart went for his own shorter run and met us back at the truck. We packed up, had lunch at Snapper’s and a couple beers at RAR, and went home.

We hadn’t gotten so lucky with the dog poop that time, unfortunately. It was everywhere!

Today, Clark was able to get his truck all the way to Federalsburg so a mechanic can hopefully finally get it running right again. It’s been more than a month since I last tried to drive it and it conked out before it even made it out of the driveway. This has been a particularly inconvenient time to not have it, since it’s the only vehicle we own that can carry both of our bikes at once, so we’ve had to bum a ride from either Bart or Clark’s dad every time we’ve wanted to take the bikes anywhere.

My next race is the bike leg for the relay event at Eagleman. I think we’re going to try to ride the course once more, later this week.

Today, however, I’m going to start easing back into speed work — four 400s — so these upcoming 5Ks don’t suck so bad. Sunday’s race made it painfully clear just how much I’ve been slacking and it’s time to stop!

May 25, 2018

Training for 5/25/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:26 pm

Last night, we had dinner at The Wheelhouse, a new restaurant that just opened on the canal in Lewes (it used to the The Wharf if anyone remembers it.) It’s dog-friendly, so we took Pepper.

Boy was that a mistake! He always gets attention in public, first because he’s pretty, but also because his kidney issues have left him noticeably underweight. The place was packed and we had to wait a while for a table to open up. We stood in an open part of the deck while we waited, near the hostess stand, and got an unending stream of “Oh your dog is so pretty, can I pet him?” followed by “Why is he so skinny?”

As usual, most people only said something like “Oh, poor baby” after I explained the kidney disease, and went back to telling Pepper what a good boy he is.

Then there was The Veterinarian Office Employee.

This lady was sitting at a table near where we were standing. We’d been there a while when she just couldn’t keep her opinions to herself anymore.

She asked if we were fostering Pepper. I said nope, he’s ours. She asked how long we’d had him. I told her seven and a half years.

She gave him a pointed look, then looked at me over the top rim of her glasses and said, “He needs some weight on him, you know.”

Gee, really?? I hadn’t noticed!

I wanted to say something smart — there is no way she hadn’t heard me tell at least three other people about his issues — but I just smiled and repeated my spiel about the kidney disease.

She wanted to know exactly what he’d been diagnosed with, because she worked in a vet’s office. She looked pretty shocked when I didn’t miss a beat and told her it was Lyme nephritis (I’m guessing she thought I was just using “kidney disease” as a vague excuse for why I was too stupid to feed my dog.) I also told her it’d never been definitively determined though, because his vet said it’d require an expensive, invasive biopsy and we wouldn’t be able to do anything more for Pepper even if we knew for sure.

Do you think that shut her up? Haha no.

She was still looking at me over the rim of her glasses. Something about that was so freaking condescending.

She wanted to know what we were feeding him. Ooh, I know the answer you’re looking for, lady! I told her he’d been on medicated food but he’d quit eating it. So after a lot of trial and error, we’d finally found something — Canidae dry food plus Fresh Pet, if you’re wondering — that he’s scarfing down twice a day the way he used to eat, and his vet said it was better to feed him something he wants instead of trying to force the medicated food on him.

Do you think that shut her up? HA. HA. NO.

As soon as I was done explaining Pepper’s diet to her in detail she didn’t deserve, she said:

“Have you tried feeding him boiled chicken and rice?”

With this look like chicken and rice is the magic pill for kidney disease and she couldn’t believe how incompetent I am.

Oh my god. I’d about had it. I could hear the steam coming out of Clark’s ears too. I managed to keep my cool and tell her you know, he’s eating SOMETHING, which is way better than what he was doing, and I’m not gonna go mess around with it unless he stops.

She repeated “Boiled chicken and rice,” like she was letting me in on the secret of life, then finally turned around to, I don’t know, probably continue to rain down her unsolicited opinions on her three dining companions’ lives.

I’d like to congratulate Veterinarian Office Employee on being, by far, the most obnoxious run-in with the public we’ve had since Pepper got sick, beating out PetSmart Is Open Lady and Quietly Suspicious School Bus Driver! Job well done, you mean old bat! You really know how to make me feel even worse about the fact my dog has an incurable disease!

We finally got seated in a section closer to the water that was thankfully nearly empty by that point.

We had a booth. Pepper was tired of standing on the wooden floor, so he climbed up on the bench next to Clark — which was also wooden. The waitress walked up right as I was taking this picture haha.

clark and pepper at the wheelhouse

Pepper was asking me to order him some of that cure-all chicken and rice, I’m sure.

She just thought it was cute. (We did stop him from climbing up on the table next.)

Dinner was fine, and then we went home.

This morning, every time Pepper went outside, I noticed some exaggerated bird shrieking. We have another pair of killdeer that have made a nest somewhere on the ground in our back yard, and they must have laid their eggs, because they are absolutely losing their minds when Pepper’s out there.

You know what’s funny though? Pepper is afraid of everything on the planet — roadkill, trash cans, dead leaves blowing in the wind — but those shrieking, dive-bombing birds don’t bother him one bit.

I mean, he took a dump in the middle of it:

FullSizeRender

Then casually strolled back to the house while these birds continued to yell at him:

IMG_7554

Ice cold haha. It’s my new favorite thing to watch.

So, running. I haven’t done any of that yet today, but I think I will soon.

This weekend is, of course, Memorial Day. The only concrete plan I have is to run the Masser 5-Miler in Lewes for the ninth year in a row, hopefully in the 37-minute range.

May 24, 2018

Training for 5/24/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:32 pm

Last night, I think I was almost asleep, when Pepper decided to use my face for a pillow. I did what any good dog owner would — slightly turned my head so I could breathe, but slowly, so I didn’t disturb him. Then I let him keep his giant block head right on mine as long as he wanted. He is such a spoiled brat haha.

Anyway, after skipping out on running the last couple of days for no good reason, I went out for a sorta long run today, a lap around the 10.1-mile loop.

It was past noon when I went out, well into the low 80s. Still, the humidity was low, so it didn’t feel too bad.

It was just one of those days though. I had it in my head it was going to be a sucky run before I even left the house, and guess what, it turned out to be. I’m pretty sure the only reason I even did the whole loop, instead of taking a shortcut and just doing 4.5 or 5.5 miles, was because I’d put Tailwind in my water bottle and thought a shorter run would waste it.

So I did get through the whole loop, including a bathroom break about four miles in, but it was slooooooow. I walked whenever I felt like it. My overall average pace was 10:24/mile. I think it would’ve been even slower, except every time I slowed to a walk, I got swarmed by those giant horseflies. It didn’t matter how much I swatted at them, they’d only leave me alone was if I started running again. So there was a little incentive to pick it up.

May 22, 2018

Training for 5/22/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:38 pm

I went out for a short easy run late yesterday afternoon. It was warm and sunny but the humidity had disappeared. VERY pleasant. That hardly ever happens! I took the wear test 880s out for their second run and did a lap around the 4.5-mile loop that got progressively quicker, finishing at an overall average pace of 8:49/mile.

Near the end of the run, I was about to make one last right turn onto the road on which I live. I usually run on the left side of the road, facing traffic, but I cross over to the right side just before making a right turn like that. Then I cross over again back to the left side.

Just after I crossed over, I heard a car coming up from behind, still a ways back but close enough it would get to the turn before I did, so I stepped off the road completely, into the grass.

I could hear the car slowing as it approached the intersection. Pretty typical, as most cars coming from that direction turn right there too.

I expected it to pass me and then make the turn any second, but the sound got slower and slower, until I realized it was stopped in the road. So I stopped too, still standing in the grass OFF the road completely, and turned to look at it.

It was this old Chevy Suburban, just sitting there at a standstill, feet away from the intersection. It wasn’t until I made eye contact with the driver — probably with an unintentional ‘WTF are you doing??’ look on my face — that he realized I wasn’t going to, I don’t know, jump out in front of his land yacht? And he finally hit the gas again and crept past me, inching around the turn.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had to pick, I prefer the overly cautious drivers to the ones who aren’t paying attention at all every time, but sometimes drivers are “considerate” to the point of being annoying. The ones like that guy, who slow to 2 mph to pass me (when I’m not even on the road!), or swerve over into the other lane completely… it’s like they’re trying to drive home the point of how in the way I am, how much effort they have to make to not run my stupid ass over, because don’t I know roads are just for cars?

Seriously people, all I ask for is like the outer foot and a half of the road. I don’t care if you slow down, just don’t ride the very edge, and I’ll take care of the rest. I’ve been out here on these particular roads for 10 years now and have yet to wander in front of an oncoming vehicle.

Today, Clark isn’t going to be home until very late tonight, and I have to leave Pepper soon to cover something for work, so I didn’t leave him to go for a run.

May 21, 2018

St. Michaels Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:31 am

In spite of the continuing shitty weather this weekend, my sister and I got to ride some roller coasters at Busch Gardens, and a bunch of my in-laws and I pulled off good runs at the St. Michaels Running Festival.

Thursday afternoon, my sister and I drove to Williamsburg. We checked in at our hotel, then went to Colonial Williamsburg for the “Ghosts Amongst Us” walking ghost tour.

It’d been raining much of the drive there, at times a torrential downpour, but it tapered off for the ghost tour. This particular hour-long tour took us inside three buildings, where we heard three stories told by actors portraying the real-life people who allegedly lived them. It was pretty interesting.

After the tour, we had dinner at Second Street American Bistro. I had a goat cheese and berry salad, and their version of shrimp and grits; the grits were in the form of fried cakes, served with andouille sausage and bell peppers in addition to the shrimp. It was more like a gumbo. Absolutely delicious! I almost finished it all off too. I was stuffed.

Back at the hotel, we watched some TV before hitting the lights. I had to explain to my sister who was who on “Friends” — she said that show was before her time and she’d never watched it. Blew my mind haha.

Friday morning, we went to Mama Steve’s for breakfast, which my parents always took us to at least once every family vacation. It was the first time I noticed it wasn’t Mama Stevie’s, as my dad always called it, which was not surprising. My dad does this thing where he mispronounces words even after he’s been corrected on it. “That’s just how I say it!” is one of his favorite phrases.

We got to Busch Gardens right as it was opening for the day, and parked in the very first non-handicapped row. I’ve never parked close enough to the front entrance to not have to take a tram, let alone be able to see the entrance from the car! It looked like we were going to have the place to ourselves thanks to the weather forecast.

front row parking

This never happens!

That is, until we walked through the front entrance, and saw a steady stream of teenagers in matching T-shirts pouring in from the bus parking lot. Apparently we’d picked one of the dates for middle school music programs participating in a festival to attend the park.

God, middle schoolers. I KNOW I was annoying at that age, especially in a group with my friends. Middle schoolers are still annoying. But I am no longer one. I am now a grumpy old person. So I spent a lot of the day gritting my teeth haha.

They were like swarms of gnats, endlessly bumping into each other and anyone else who got close. I just wanted to grab them all by the shoulders and tell them to WALK IN A STRAIGHT LINE.

I was also cringing hard seeing the boys and girls all trying to show off for each other, remembering what that was like. So I also felt a little empathy for them, which took the edge off the irritation. You couldn’t pay me to go back to being 12 or 13! The apex of awkwardness in a typical person’s lifespan, if you ask me.

Enough about them. The weather was holding off, so most of the rides were up and running.

We rode Griffon first. OK, one more thing about the teens — there was this kid right behind Julie and me, yelling “fuck”‘ the whole way up the first climb, just because his mom wasn’t there and he could haha. What a rebel! I was trying not to laugh, but mostly because I knew it was probably driving Julie nuts.

We rode Verbolten, Apollo’s Chariot twice, Escape from Pompeii twice — just to get soaked because the SUN came out and it got hot! — Loch Ness Monster and Invadr. Alpengeist wasn’t running until later in the afternoon, when we were about to leave, and I think we’d both had enough by then anyway, so we didn’t ride it this time.

busch gardens from river

Riding the train that runs around the park over the river. To the right is the first patch of blue sky I’d seen in days!

We also had brisket for lunch (where we were approached by a very bold squirrel that had to be physically swept away by a broom-wielding park employee haha) and ice cream before we left. I was thinking how much I was going to regret those food choices while running the race the next morning, when I would inevitably be searching for a port-o-potty mid-run, but at that moment, I didn’t really care. That’s Future Me’s problem!

Julie and I got back to my house around 9 p.m. She stayed for dinner with Clark and me. As soon as she left, I packed my stuff for the race the next morning, set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. (gross) and hit the lights.

Clark’s alarm started going off at 4 a.m. Saturday. It was obviously pitch black, and I could hear the rain hitting the roof as soon as I woke up. I was pretty mad at myself for signing up for a half marathon at that moment.

I stayed in bed until my alarm went off. I got dressed, choosing the brand new pair of the 880s update from the New Balance wear testing program that had just arrived in the mail the day before. I’m supposed to put a good amount of mileage on these shoes in the next six weeks, so I might as well start with 13.1 right off the bat.

880s

I’m glad they’re a LITTLE flashier than the gray-on-gray color of my first wear test pair.

First impression: These shoes felt a little heavier and firmer than the New Balances I usually wear. When I get a new pair of the Zantes or the 1400s, they feel perfect as soon as I put them on, but these felt like they were gonna need some breaking in.

We got the car loaded up and headed to Clark’s parents’ house. During the 10-minute drive, the rain picked up from a drizzle to a full-on downpour. When we got there, Pepper was so freaked out by the sound of the rain beating on the roof of the car, he refused to get out — I had to pull him out so we could leave him with Clark’s mom for the morning. Between the pouring rain and the standing water on the concrete driveway, I was soaked head to toe before we even left their house for the race, which was not helping my enthusiasm!

Clark’s brother, Chad, and his wife, Samira, who were running the half and 5K, respectively, had come down from D.C. the night before and stayed with Clark’s parents. They and Clark’s dad, who was also running the half, rode with us to St. Michaels.

On the drive there, the sky lightened up and the rain slacked off. Bart, who was already in St. Michaels, texted Clark it wasn’t raining at all there. Things were looking up!

We got to St. Michaels and found parking on a side street between the start line at the school and the finish line in a different part of town. We all had to pick up our race bibs and T-shirts first. They switched to a “dynamic” bib system this year, in which they assigned bib numbers on a rolling basis as people came to packet pick-up, rather than assigning numbers ahead of time. I was a little worried that would make things take longer, but it was very efficient and we were in and out of packet pick-up in no time.

It had started raining again by that point. Because of the weather, most of the runners already at the start were waiting inside the school, and the indoor bathroom lines were long. I hit up one of the many port-o-potties lined up on the school’s front lawn instead, and didn’t have to wait at all. I even pooped. Things were really looking up!

Back at the car, I pulled off my sweatpants and rain jacket. It wasn’t that warm Saturday morning, but it was really humid. Shorts and a T-shirt, plus a hat of course, turned out to be perfect for the conditions.

We got back to the start line about 10 minutes before the 7:10 start. I found Kelly, who was pacing the 1:50 pace group, and told her I was going to start with her but I’d probably fall back a bit because I wasn’t feeling that speedy.

The race started pretty much on time. And we were off!

33021686_1640019666120191_791354858228678656_n

Just before the gun. (Pic from the race’s Facebook page.)

As I was running over the start mat, I heard the announcer say there was no port-o-potty at the mile 6 aid station because of standing water in the area. This would turn out to be important (I think you can guess what I mean haha.)

The first mile runs down St. Michaels’ main street, lined with little shops and restaurants. There were quite a few spectators out cheering for us in spite of the weather. I skipped the water stop at the first mile marker, then heard my Garmin beep my first split — 8:01. And it felt pretty comfortable.

first mile

In the first mile.

The second mile runs along an open field until we got to the entrance to Harbourtowne, a golf course community. I started feeling some side stitches around my collarbone and shoulders, not a good sign that early! I slowed a bit and finished the second mile in 8:13.

There was another water stop not far past that mile marker. I slowed to a walk for a second to drink some water there, as I did at every water stop after that (and there were a lot.) That helped and my side stitches disappeared. Right after the first of two U-turns within Harbourtowne was the 3-mile marker — 8:01 again.

I saw Clark running with Bart, near the 2:00 pacer, on their way to the U-turn, and gave Clark a high-five in passing. There were a total of three U-turns on the course, and I saw Clark on all three of them, but the first one was the only one I managed to land the high-five haha.

Anyway, back to my run. The second U-turn within Harbourtowne came up shortly, and then we passed the 4-mile marker on the way back, which was 8:08 for me.

In the next mile, we finally turned off the part of course with two-way traffic and got the whole road to ourselves again. Nice.

But, I could feel my guts rumbling a little. Not so nice.

I remembered from last year there were two port-o-potties in this mile, not at an aid station. I looked up and saw a guy splashing through a puddle, back onto course, and thought that must be where they were. But when I got there, there were no port-o-potties! I soon saw the guy splashing through another off-course puddle again. Turns out he was just running through all the standing water near the course on purpose. OK then!

I passed the mile 5 marker in 8:06. I knew the next aid station was only about a mile away, but then I remembered there was no port-o-potty there because of all the standing water.

Naturally, that just made my impending butt issues feel more urgent. Stupid butt.

We passed a couple construction sites over the next mile with port-o-potties, but they were so far off the road, I didn’t feel like running for either of them.

I finished mile 6 in 8:18 as we approached the next water stop, where I ate my one GU and washed it down with a cup of water. Sure enough, no port-o-potty. Things were starting to get dire. I mean, there were trees there, but they were in people’s manicured yards. I was thinking I was going to have to hang on until we got out of Harbourtowne.

Then, I spotted it — another construction site, this time with the port-o-potty right next to the road! I had to splash through some mud to get to it, but I didn’t care. I felt SO MUCH better after that stop!

I rejoined the course right after the 1:50 pace group had passed, and concentrated on catching back up with them as we left Harbourtowne and headed back toward St. Michaels. Mile 7 was 9:43 after that stop.

Back in town, the course turned off onto a side street. There were a couple vehicles trying to pass all the runners on this narrow side street, and I guess the driver of the second one, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was pretty pissed at the inconvenience, because when he turned into a driveway, he hit the gas hard so the wheels spun and threw a bunch of dirt and stones onto the road.

Joke was on him though, because I was the closest one to his driveway and I wasn’t running fast enough to get hit by anything haha.

Just past that jerk’s driveway was the mile 8 marker. 8:22.

mile 8

This might be from closer to the end, but I remember seeing a photographer around here so it might be from this point in the race too.

A couple more turns led us out of town again in a different direction, heading for another neighborhood. There was a lot of unavoidable standing water on the roads over this section of the course, which covered about the next 3.5 miles. I’d started the race with soaking wet shoes, so I didn’t care too much, but I heard other runners grumbling about it. I will say though, every time I ran through a puddle, it made my shoes feel that much heavier. I’m sure that was mostly psychological but it didn’t help!

As I came up on the next aid station, I felt my guts rumbling again, so I ducked into the port-o-potty there.

That stop slowed mile 9 to a 9:26. I definitely wasn’t catching the 1:50 group now. Oh well.

The next mile led us around a loop through the neighborhood. I ran mile 10 in 8:16.

We ran back toward town. I saw Clark for a third and final time on that stretch, a little farther back of the 2:00 group, but not much.

There was one last out-and-back. The mile 11 marker was near the beginning of it — 8:32.

Shit was getting hard. My calves were tightening up. I’m sure it was something related to wearing those brand new shoes.

I also felt like I might have to poop AGAIN. Like, to the point I was slowing down and scanning off-road for potential hiding spots. There wasn’t much there though, just a thin bank of trees between the road and a big open field. Crap.

I made it to the final U-turn and headed back. The mile 12 marker was just before turning off that road — 8:37.

One more freaking mile, that’s all! My butt had quieted down at least. I turned off that road and ran toward town.

Back in town, there were a few more turns along side streets. I could hear the finish line but I couldn’t see it until I was almost on top of it.

finishers chute

Almost there.

Mile 13 was 8:30 and I officially finished 13.1 miles in 1:51:54, an 8:32/mile pace.

finish line

Done!

That placed me 13th of 158 in the F 35-39 age group, 67th of 934 women and 182nd of 1,390 overall.

st micheals swag

My race shirt (the men’s version had a crew neck and blue print), Clark’s and my bibs and my medal (not sure what happened to Clark’s but it’s gotta be around here somewhere.)

I was talking to Kelly, who’d successfully brought in the 1:50 group on time, when Chad found me — he’d finished his first half in 1:45! He later said his goal was to beat me, so, mission accomplished! And Samira had run her first 5K in 31:49, so she’d had a successful first race too.

About that time, my butt decided it needed to go again. That’s No. 4 on the day, if you’re counting! Damn brisket and ice cream. I regret nothing though haha.

Bart, Clark and his dad all finished soon after, so we all went back to the car to change into dry clothes, and then hit up the after party.

We’d all bought $10 wristbands ahead of time ($15 at the party) for all-you-can-drink beer. Everyone’s bib had a tag for one free beer as well.

We stayed until it closed down. Then we went back to Clark’s parents’ house, where his mom had made lunch for Chad’s birthday, grilled shrimp fajitas. I was starving by that point. They really hit the spot.

Clark and I wound up staying over there until 10:30. I was exhausted. When we got home, I took the time to remove all the soaking wet running clothes from the car and hang them up to dry inside the house, but then I collapsed in bed.

Sunday, I was pretty beat. I thought about a short run or a bike ride, because the weather was finally nice again. Ultimately I just stayed on the couch and ate all day, until we finally showered so we could take Pepper to a restaurant on the water in Oxford to eat some more.

Some guy there at the restaurant called Pepper a bougie dog, which made me laugh — he’s a Craigslist freebie that originally came from “a breeder in West Virginia” (seriously doubtful) and now has a chronic disease that has made him rail-thin. He’s still pretty though, so I guess some people think he looks fancy, like a pair of Louboutins or “designer coffee.”

Pep’s a bougie dog

He lives a bougie life

He’s got him 13 bougie kids

And a little bougie wife

That’s a song we sing about Pepper all the time, with whatever adjective fits him at the moment. Usually “grumpy” or “boofy.”

So that was my weekend. Up next — the Masser 5-Miler in Lewes this coming Sunday, to kick off the summer series. Guess I better cram in some last-second speedwork this week!

May 17, 2018

Training for 5/17/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:59 am

Today, I ran a lap around the 5.5-mile loop at an 8:38/mile pace. It wasn’t raining at the moment, but the humidity was so thick it felt like I was chewing the air. Apparently this “Caribbean moisture plume” is going to be hanging around until the middle of next week, so I guess it’s a good time to get used to humidity again.

Actually, I ran 5.6 miles, because I had to take a detour down a different road at one point to find a spot in the woods, when my GI tract decided to do its thing haha.

When I got home, I went upstairs and did some strength training for the second time this week — abs, push-ups, invisible chair and weights.

Tomorrow is a rest day ahead of the St. Michaels Half Marathon on Saturday. Looks like it’s most likely going to be raining for the race, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m just glad it’s not going to be 90. I doubt I’ll be setting any speed records, but I’m hoping for a decent long run.

Today, my younger sister and I are going to Williamsburg and spending the night there, so we can be at Busch Gardens when it opens tomorrow morning. We made these plans weeks ago, when we didn’t know the entire East Coast was going to be in the middle of a week and a half of getting dumped on, but it’s our only chance to go before school lets out and the park gets crowded. So, fingers crossed the storms cooperate and we get some time to ride the roller coasters tomorrow.

Tonight, we have tickets for a walking ghost tour through Colonial Williamsburg. Again, it’ll most likely be raining, but that should just make it creepier, I hope.

May 16, 2018

Training for 5/16/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:39 pm

Today was a slack day. I did run the 3-mile out-and-back, but I took Pepper with me, so it was pretty pokey. The main reason I took him was to get him to poop before we leave him home alone to go out to dinner tonight. He took a dump, so, mission accomplished.

There’s a new house on our road. The back yard was fenced in and just recently three dogs were put back there. Today was the first time Pepper ran by that house since the dogs showed up. They went insane! Pepper loved it haha. He always perks up and looks right at barking, restrained dogs as we pass, like he’s saying, “That’s right, I’m out here and you’re stuck in there, jerks!” That’s probably his second favorite part of running, behind finding sticks.

May 15, 2018

Training for 5/15/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:06 pm

Yesterday evening, I went out and ran a lap around the 4.5-mile loop. It was overcast but pretty humid — we got another round of heavy storms last night. I was sweating my face off but I felt good otherwise. My splits got progressively faster, from 8:50 to 8:04 pace for the last half mile, and I ran the whole loop at an 8:35/mile pace.

When I got home, I went upstairs and did some strength training, abs, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and weights.

Today was really hot and windy, so I took the bike out. I rode 27.8 miles in an hour and 31 minutes, an average speed of 18.3 mph. That speed varied a LOT based on which way I was riding relative to the wind. Riding head-on into it, I looked down a couple times and saw a current speed around 13 mph. When it was coming at me from the side, I was having a hard time holding the damn bike in a straight line and not getting blown off of it! But the one stretch where the wind was behind me was really fun — I hit 28.4 mph, according to my Garmin. I’m pretty sure that’s the fastest I’ve ever ridden a bike.

I’m thinking about going out to run a 3-miler after it cools off a bit (and Pepper calms down from the trauma of being alone for an hour and a half the first time.) I might just get in the shower though.

I got some exciting news yesterday! I got picked to participate in another wear test by New Balance, this time for the ninth update of their 880s, neutral cushioning running shoes. They should be shipping soon, and then they’ll be here within five days.

I honestly thought I’d screwed myself out of getting picked for any other tests after the last one, for those “skins” intended for use in a yoga studio. I must’ve put down on my wear test application I do yoga sometimes, which is technically true, except I haven’t taken a class in an actual studio in several years. I just wore my test pair in my attic to do strength training. I sent them back on time, but it took me forever to post my feedback because my stupid computer was having issues with their website, and when I did finally get it to work, my feedback was probably totally useless. I did not expect to ever hear from the wear test program again.

I got another chance though! The 880s should be a different story. I’m just supposed to run in them, which shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve never bought the 880s, because they’ve got a bit more cushioning than I tend to prefer, but I’m excited to try them out!

May 14, 2018

Training for 5/14/18

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:36 am

Saturday morning, I went out around 7 to get in a run before Pepper and I had to leave for the airport. It was already warm, so I was glad I had a reason to go out early, instead of lazing about all morning like I would have otherwise.

I ran the same 4.5-mile loop as the day before. It went a lot better, other than some muscle soreness from actually doing strength training after my last run. But my breathing felt fine and I finished the loop at an average pace about a minute per mile faster than Friday.

We drove up to BWI and picked up Clark around 10:30. Turned out he’d been making plans to go to Cambridge with Bart to do some Eagleman training in the heat that afternoon. I wanted to ride my bike anyway, so I went too.

It was around 2 p.m. by the time we all got to Great Marsh Park in Cambridge, and it was HOT. Easily the hottest day of the year so far, sunny and in the 90s. Perfect Eagleman training conditions, other than the relatively reasonable humidity. (I’m sure that will change before June 10 though.)

Clark and Bart swam first. I got myself ready for the bike while they were out there.

river

Looking out at the Choptank River toward the Rt. 50 bridge.

It was hot just sitting there. There are some rocks along the shoreline, just off to either side of this pier. I thought it’d be nice to sit on those rocks with my feet in the water while I waited. It was nice, until I tried to leave. I lost my footing on one of the rocks, slipped off and fell right into the water haha. I wouldn’t have minded — it was actually refreshing — except my left butt cheek landed square on a rock. That one hurt! I also got a couple small cuts on my feet. Brilliant.

Clark and Bart finished their swim and came back to the truck. Neither seemed to notice I was soaking wet haha. They got their bikes ready to go and we took off.

We rode the first several miles of the Eagleman course. Lovers Lane is a little side road with no traffic, so for the first time, I tried to take a picture on the move.

clark and bart on lovers lane

Bart and Clark on Lovers Lane.

A little blurry, but I didn’t drop the phone or fall off my bike.

At the end of this road, the Eagleman course goes left, but we went right instead. We made another turn onto a dead-end road heading out toward another point along the river, turned around at the end and went back.

wildflowers

Field of wildflowers along that road.

For the first time ever, I hung with the other two the whole way. I don’t think they were riding as hard as they normally do — our average speed for 21.2 miles was just under 18 mph, which is slower than they usually ride — but I was still pleased with myself. Usually they walk away from me on the long stretches when we can get down in our aero bars.

Anyway, once I got off my bike back at the truck and no longer had a breeze on me, I realized how freaking hot I was. It felt like sweat was just pouring from my forehead and into my eyes in buckets.

We changed our shoes and headed out to run.

I felt like garbage. It wasn’t my legs though. I had side stitches up and down both sides of my ribs from about mile 0.1 on.

I’d already run that morning and I wasn’t motivated to do much more, feeling as bad as I did. So I turned around at the one-mile point and slowly made my way back to the truck, for a total of two more miles at just under a 10:00/mile pace.

As soon as I got back, I took off my shoes and then dunked the rest of myself in the river. (On purpose this time.) That helped a lot!

Clark and Bart got back, having run four miles. We loaded up the truck and went to RAR for dinner and a couple beers.

We got home in time to unload the truck before a massive line of thunderstorms hit. I didn’t know we were even supposed to get storms like that.

Sunday morning, I didn’t get up in time to run or do anything before we were supposed to go to brunch for Mother’s Day.

Clark and I picked up my mom and then we met the rest of his family at The Narrows on Kent Island.

Brunch was delicious. Part of the conversation turned to St. Michaels this coming weekend; Chad is signed up for the half marathon and Samira for the 5K, their first organized races ever. I think they’ll both enjoy it.

We got home in the early afternoon, and Clark and I both crashed. I know why he was so tired, having just gotten home from that trip the day before and then doing all that training in the heat, but I don’t know why I was that exhausted. I napped off and on and didn’t even consider going outside to run anything.

Which brings me to today! St. Michaels is in five days, so, not much point in running a lot now. I will get in some shorter runs, and hopefully a couple bike rides, over the next few days.

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