A Simple Running Log

April 30, 2019

Training for 4/30/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:14 pm

Today, I finished off April with an easy 3-miler. I thought I’d run an 8:49/mile average again — which would’ve been the fourth run in a row, other than the race Sunday — but then I figured out my Garmin had some kind of glitch when it recorded a run last week, and it’s been showing that run as the one I just finished ever since. So I haven’t really been running the exact same pace every day for nearly a week.

Anyway, today’s actual splits were 8:49 (for real), 8:30 and 8:25, for an average pace of 8:37/mile. It was a little on the hot side and the bugs were out, but other than that it was a nice evening for a run.

And that finished off April, so it’s time to sum things up.

Mileage:

  • Week 1 (April 1-6): 27.1 miles
  • Week 2 (April 7-13): 28
  • Week 3 (April 14-20): 38
  • Week 4 (April 21-27): 26.3
  • Week 5 (April 28-30): 16.3

Total: 135.7 miles

I skipped a few runs, as usual, but I got in the majority of what I was supposed to run. I did all the long runs, and I even did all of the interval workouts and most of the pace runs.

It was a pretty busy month for racing too. I ran that 4.25-miler at a 7:34/mile average the first weekend of the month, and then I ran two half marathons, both in 1:54 and change, in place of two long runs. One of those had a 5K right after it, but I wouldn’t call that one a race.

In May, I’ve got my goal half marathon, St. Michaels, and then I’m running the Masser 5-Miler to kick off my 10th consecutive year in the Seashore Striders’ summer series.

I’m also riding the 56-mile Eagleman course at the Six Pillars ride this coming Saturday, which should be kinda painful, as I’ve only taken out the bike once this year, for less than 19 miles.

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April 29, 2019

New Jersey Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:27 pm

I got in another solid training run at the New Jersey Half Marathon this weekend. Unfortunately, I had to stop twice on the clock to use the bathroom, so my chip time was a few seconds slower than the half marathon I ran a week ago, rather than a few minutes faster like I was aiming for, but I had a lot of good miles in there.

Sometimes I wonder if Pepper misses me when I go to a race by myself. Judging by the snuggling that was going on Saturday morning, I think he prefers it haha.

pepper and clark snuggle

I’d be more offended by how much more he loves Clark if it wasn’t so freaking cute.

Outside, it was very windy. Before I walked out the door, I was already letting myself slack on my planned 5-miler and thinking I’d cut it down to just a 3-mile out-and-back, but it felt pretty nice out once I started running. I ran the 5.5-mile loop after all, at an average pace of 8:49/mile for the third day in a row.

I got on the road before 11:30 a.m. Stopping for lunch at Chick-fil-A in Camden was a much bigger hassle than I expected (I love the new queso dipping sauce too, but DAMN, does everyone in central Delaware need to get it at the same time?), but that was the only minor glitch on the drive to Asbury Park, N.J.

I stayed in the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel with Chris and Sara, who’d both flown in the day before. I got there a little after 3 p.m.

hotel

It actually fronts a grassy square, but the rooms on the right side of the building look out over the ocean.

Once I got to Asbury Park, parking was a GIANT pain in the ass. I won’t bore you with the details, but it took almost an hour to get the car parked, and I wasn’t entirely convinced it wasn’t going to be ticketed or, worse, towed away before we needed it to get to the race start the next morning.

Things quickly got better after that! Chris, Sara and I went to the Asbury Park Convention Hall on the boardwalk, conveniently located cattycorner from our hotel’s front door.

convention center

This place was built in 1929.

entrance

Expo entrance on the boardwalk.

There was a line to pick up bibs. They were making volunteers assign bib numbers in the system as runners checked in, rather than pre-assigning them, which seemed to be holding things up a lot. I got it eventually, along with the clear plastic bag we had to use for gear check and a wristband designating me as old enough to use the single post-race beer ticket attached to the bib.

I also picked up my race shirt, one of the better ones I’ve ever gotten. The rest of the expo was surprisingly small for a mid-size race like this one. We didn’t spend much more time in there.

Then we walked down the boardwalk and along a river to the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, where we met almost everyone else we knew in town for the race weekend. We had a couple beers there (they had a huge selection of German hefes and pilsners — I could’ve stayed there all night if I hadn’t had to run the next morning) and then went to the Crust & Crumble for dinner, where I polished off a personal pizza with Italian sausage, peppers and onions.

dinner

Left side: John, Chris and Greg. Right side: Sara, me, Liz and Jonathan.

After dinner, a few of us got one more round at the Biergarten, and then John and Greg drove Chris, Sara and me back to our hotel. We got our race stuff together, set the alarms for 4:45 a.m. and hit the hay.

I didn’t sleep all that great Saturday night, and I’m not sure why. I was really tired but I just couldn’t fall asleep.

Sunday morning, I really wanted to poop before the race. I had a plan. Chris brought me two bags of uncrystallized candied ginger from Trader Joe’s, which helps with digestive issues. (The closest TJ’s to us here in lower slower Delaware is an hour and a half away, so yeah, it was easier to get it flown in from Colorado. Thanks, Chris!) I had a couple pieces of that after I woke up, and took the bag with me so I could have a couple more pieces just before the race.

Then I did 10 minutes of ab exercises. Over the winter, I noticed if I do that and drink a cup of coffee before my long runs, I can usually poop before I start running. It isn’t always the only time I have to go before the run is done, but I’ve spent a LOT less time pooping in the woods over the past few months. The only thing was there was no coffee maker in the room, so I had to wait until we stopped at a Starbucks on the way to the race start for that.

Unfortunately, there was no movement before we left the hotel, but no matter. I still had almost two hours until I had to start running at that point, and I thought there would be plenty of port-o-potties at the race start. (Spoiler alert — there was NOT.)

We made the trek to where I’d had to park the car the day before. It was still there! And there were no tickets on it. Sweet.

Next stop was Starbucks. We got there a few minutes before it opened, but were in and out quickly once the doors were unlocked. I just got a small black coffee.

Google Maps took us on what seemed like an unnecessarily convoluted route to the race start at Monmouth Park, a horse racing facility in Oceanport. Turned out Google was just doing us a favor — it helped us skip part of the traffic backup on the main road to the park.

Even so, we sat in line for a long time, inching toward what must have been the single entry point for traffic coming from five different directions. We’d gotten there early, expecting a backup, but it was moving so slowly, we were starting to wonder if we’d be parked in time to do anything before the start but sprint to the corrals.

All of a sudden, the cops controlling traffic directed the car in front of mine to turn right, down a road that had been blocked off until then. I was directed to follow it. Thirty seconds later, we were the first two cars parked in another lot, right next to the start area. Score!

Suddenly we had plenty of time before the start. I ate a Stroopwafel and finished my coffee. We made our way over to the security checkpoint to get in the fenced off start area. Security was very serious about that “no bags other than the clear race-issued bag” rule — I heard one cop arguing with a runner over whether or not her fanny pack counted as a banned bag, and another cop made Sara take back to the car the small purse she’d wanted to keep in her gear check bag.

Sara later reminded me there’d been a pipe bomb planted in a trash can along the course of a 5K in Seaside Park, N.J., a few years ago — it exploded, but fortunately no one was in the area yet so no one was hurt — so it’s understandable this was by far the strictest security I’ve seen at a race. It’d be a lot easier for everyone if some people could just not be such stupid assholes who ruin things.

At this point, we had 25 minutes until the 7:30 a.m. start. Normally, this would be the perfect time to get in line for a port-o-potty for one last pre-race evacuation.

However, this race had the absolute worst lines I’d ever seen. It looked like every single runner was in line, and they weren’t moving at all. It was clear there was no way we’d get through one in time before we were supposed to start running. I’m not sure if it was a case of not enough port-o-potties, or if there were just that many runners really taking their time when they got in one, but it was ridiculous.

So we all stripped off what we weren’t going to wear for the run, checked our gear bags, pretended we didn’t have to pee anyway (we did!) and got in the corrals.

Chris and I were placed in the fourth corral, one behind the corral with the 2:00 pacer, even though we were both sure we’d put something faster than 2:00 down for our predicted finish time. Oh well, it would just be a slower start.

before race

Ready to go! I wore my hat because when there’s a chance of rain, it only rains if I don’t have it.

A minute later, John pushed past us. I recognized his Rehoboth race shirt and grabbed him. He was also planning to run faster than 2:00, but he started with us.

At 7:30, they played “First Call,” that bugle song you hear before every horse race, since we were at a horse racing park. (Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” was another popular song at this race, as The Boss got his start at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.)

It was about 15 minutes later when the fourth corral got to go too.

The first mile felt clunky. I was cold and I had to pee really bad. (I was super jealous of all the guys whipping it out and taking a quick piss in the trees right next to the starting corrals, by the way.) We were also a little boxed in since we’d started farther back than we wanted.

My first mile was 8 freaking 49. AGAIN. It’s like my body has been put on cruise control!

We got some room to run in the second mile and sped up so we could clear the 4:00 marathon and 2:00 half marathon pace groups. That one was 8:23.

Right past that mile marker was the second bank of port-o-potties (the first ones we passed, in the first mile, already had a big line.) There were only a couple people waiting in line for these though, and Chris and I both REALLY had to go by that point, so we got in line. John waited for us.

The handle on the one on the far end was green. We weren’t sure if it was open, so Chris knocked on the door a few times. No answer. Then she slowly pulled it open. Still nothing. It wasn’t until the door was fully open that anyone could see the dude pissing in the urinal against the wall, who hadn’t locked the door or responded to either the knocking or the door opening until he was in plain sight, and then looked annoyed. Come on, man!

Anyhow, we both got a chance to pee, FINALLY, and then the three of us took off again. Our third mile split was 9:49.

We got into a groove the next several miles. My splits for miles 4 through 7 were 8:24, 8:22, 8:36 (had to run up a bridge — the only slight “hill” on the course) and 8:29. It was fun running with those two! We chatted the whole time. I also took a Huma gel just before mile 5.

running with chris and john

John, me and Chris running over the bridge in the sixth mile.

Somewhere in the next mile, Chris said the pace was getting to be a little too much, and she needed to back off. I kept running with John. Mile 8 was 8:21 and 9 was 8:12.

But then I had to poop. Dammit!

The next port-o-potties were just before mile 10. I sent John on his way that time and told him I’d see him at the finish.

I had to wait in line again. Then, the port-o-potty I got had a handle that wouldn’t close all the way. I was at least pulling my shorts back up when someone inevitably pulled the door open on me.

I took off for the finish. Mile 10 was 10:02.

Mile 11 sped back up to 8:13. I recognized the compression socks ahead and pulled up alongside Chris, who looked shocked to see me, until the realization hit her.

“Did you have to shit?”

“Sure did!”

We ran the rest of the way to the half/full marathon split around mile 11.5. Chris said she needed a short walk break as we turned onto the boardwalk toward the final stretch, so I went on my way.

I passed mile 12 on the boardwalk — 8:38 — when my Garmin was already nearly to 12.2. I hate that! But it was expected, with two port-o-potty stops and all the weaving we’d had to do at the beginning of the race.

on the boardwalk

Somewhere on that last stretch along the ocean.

I decided to make my last mile my fastest. That got a little hard on the boardwalk, which had a bunch of traffic barrels and construction zone fencing narrowing the course, but I still ran 13 in 8:04.

final stretch

Coming to the line.

I ran the last .3 by my Garmin in 2:13, and officially finished 13.1 miles in 1:54:38.

Even though the majority of my miles were in the intended 8:15 to 8:30 range or faster, the ones that weren’t killed me. Running an extra 0.2 didn’t help either. As a result, my official average pace was 8:45/mile.

certificate

That time placed me 56th of 268 in the F 35-39 age group, 313th of 1,798 women and 861st of 3,334 total finishers.

In the finisher’s chute, we got a pretty cool medal that looks like a vinyl record and spins. We also got water, Gatorade, face towels, bananas, popcorn, some kind of nut bars, chips, fruit snacks and big ol’ soft pretzels. I hate hard pretzels, but soft ones are OK. Turns out soft ones coated in salt right after a run are perfection.

Chris and I got our gear check bags and changed into dry clothes. I realized after I’d pulled off my sweaty sports bra that I’d been in full view of an opening in the flaps of the tent haha. Between the full moon someone got in the port-o-potty at mile 10 and the peep show anyone outside the changing tent might have gotten just then, I was a regular exhibitionist that day. Who cares — I felt a million times better in dry clothes.

We then had to re-check our gear bags before we could go back into the finish line festival. This is the first race I’ve done that didn’t even allow its own official gear check bags through the secured area at the finish.

I’d read that beforehand and knew the drill, but there were a LOT of runners who hadn’t and were arguing with the cops about it. Chris later said she heard a cop tell another cop there was no way he was volunteering to work that detail on race weekend next year. I don’t blame him! There are argumentative, entitled jerks in any large group of people, even runners, who are supposed to be blissed out on endorphins or something.

Then we went to the beer pen. It was this fenced-in area where we had to stay with the post-race beers.

Everyone got a ticket for one 26.2 Brew by the Marathon Brewing Company.

me post race

My favorite part of races — in dry comfy clothes, free beer in hand, basking in the glow of knowing I don’t have to run another step that day.

Eventually, the rest of our group made its way to the beer pen.

post race beers

Chris, me, Gwen, Jonathan and Liz.

Gwen posted this picture on Facebook and tagged me. My brother said he almost called me out for holding a beer cup that said 26.2 when I only ran half that haha. He didn’t seem to believe that was the name of the beer.

We were right by the fence so we could keep an eye out for the last runner in our group, Sara. That had two advantages. One, runners who didn’t want their beers walked right up to the fence and offered us their tickets. I got two extra free beers.

And two, I got to pet this boxer puppy wrapped up in a heat sheet, who was there in someone’s arms while they also waited for a runner to come through.

puppy in heat sheet

He was SO SOFT.

You may have noticed I wasn’t wearing my hat anymore after I changed. Naturally, it started raining.

Just about everyone else dispersed after either saying goodbye or making plans to meet later for lunch. Chris and I waited in the rain until Sara finished what had turned out to not be a fun race for her, and then we waited a little more so she could drink her hard-earned beer. We were all shivering by the time we finally left the post-race area.

We got back our gear check bags for the last time and then followed some other people in the wrong direction, thinking they were going to the shuttle bus pickup to return to the race start. By the time we figured it out, we were too cold and lazy to go back, so we just stopped moving and called an Uber to rescue us haha.

Frank drove us back to Monmouth Park and then we drove ourselves back to the hotel.

We took our time showering. Then we met everyone at The Robinson Ale House next to the convention hall. Unlike after a marathon, I usually have a pretty good appetite after a half. I almost finished a burger smothered in two of my favorite things, big slabs of soft brie and a mound of mushrooms. My mouth just started watering again while I typed that haha.

Chris, Sara and I were the only ones who stayed Sunday night too. After lunch, we went back to the hotel and chilled out for a while. We watched Chase Elliott win the race in Talladega.

Clark was sending me pictures all day from Fenwick Island, where he and a couple coworkers — and Pepper, of course — had taken the Jeep on the beach for the first time this year. This was my favorite picture of the day:

pepper in th ejeep

Pepper looks like a badass but he’s really just trying to figure out why Clark is more than an arm’s length away and if he needs to go after him haha.

That evening, we went for another walk. We stopped in the Silverball Museum. They had a ton of vintage pinball machines and arcade games — and they were all fully functional and playable!

pinball museum

atari

An original Pong arcade game!

'50s pinball machines

’50s pinball machines.

Our destination was Cookman Creamery for ice cream. I got my old standby, mint chip in a waffle cone. It was delicious.

They had a freezer full of “artisan” ice creams made with weird ingredients in little jars that were $13 to $15 each.

cbd ice cream

You might be a hipster if… you pay $15 for ice cream made with CBD oil.

I also picked out a couple six packs of local beers to bring home. Then we got Korean fusion tacos and burrito bowls to go and took another Uber back to the hotel.

last night beers

Cheers!

This morning, we went back to the boardwalk one last time, to get coffee from the little shop in the convention hall. I got a Nutella chocolate milk latte special. So good!

The sun was finally back out.

boardwalk

Largely deserted boardwalk along the beach.

I drove Chris and Sara to the Philly airport, and then I drove home. It was close to lunchtime by the time I got to Camden so I stopped at the same Chick-fil-A to get some more of that queso dipping sauce haha.

So, to wrap this up, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the New Jersey Half Marathon — the course was pretty, well-supported and super flat, and the swag was great, but some of the other things that go into a race were a pain in the ass — but I’m glad I ran it, because I had an awesome time with some people I really like but don’t get to see nearly enough.

NJ half swag

Shirt, bib and medal.

That was the last race I’ll run in training for St. Michaels. Honestly, that 8:04 I ran at the end felt hard, and I’m thinking 7:45/mile pace might be too ambitious for a half in three weeks. I might dial it back to an 8:00/mile goal for this one. And I clearly need to keep working to find something that makes me poop before I start racing!

April 26, 2019

Training for 4/26/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:31 pm

Today, I dodged the thunderstorms in the area and got in yet another easy run around the 4.5-mile loop. It had stormed pretty hard this morning, but the sun was out when I ran, so it was warm and very muggy. It was also windy.

I kept my pace more consistent today but finished with the exact same average as yesterday, 8:49/mile.

I want to train right through the New Jersey Half Marathon on Sunday, so I’m doing another short run tomorrow, probably the 5.5-mile loop (really switching it up here.)

Then I get to drive up to Jersey and see a bunch of my internet running friends! I’ll hit the expo first to pick up my race packet, and then we’ve got a group dinner planned.

Sunday morning is race day. Looks like it’s going to be chilly and breezy, which is hard to imagine right now because it was so warm when I ran today. At least it’s not going to be raining anymore.

Anyway, I’m shooting for 8:15 to 8:30 per mile for this run — faster than the Crab Run a week ago, but far enough off the pace I want to run in my goal race in St. Michaels in three weeks that I can still consider this a training run.

Then we’ve got the rest of Sunday to hang out, and I’ll be home Monday morning to post all about it.

April 25, 2019

Training for 4/25/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:19 pm

I’ve just done a couple of short easy runs the last two days.

Yesterday, I did a lap of the 4.5-mile loop at a consistent 9:01/mile pace. The run itself was nothing special, but I did get to see a house on fire! It was a controlled burn of an abandoned, increasingly-dilapidated house that needed to go. I didn’t have to run right by it, but it was very close to the last intersection where I turn to go home. It looked like I ran by at the height of the fire, which was pretty cool.

Today, I did another lap of the 4.5-mile loop, but my splits were a lot more varied. I didn’t really feel like running at all when I started out, and my first mile was 9:26. I picked it up to a more reasonable 9:01 in the second mile. Then I just kept speeding up. Miles 3 and 4 were 8:44 and 8:08, and I ran the last half-mile home at an 8:38/mile pace, to finish the whole loop at an average of 8:49/mile.

April 23, 2019

Training for 4/23/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:12 pm

Well, today was frustrating!

First, my run was slow. I did this week’s interval workout, five 800-meter repeats, on the road. I ran in the morning, because I had an appointment to donate blood this afternoon, so it wasn’t too warm or windy yet.

But the intervals felt harder than I thought they should, and when I saw the paces afterwards, all but one were a lot slower than I’d been aiming for. I generally shoot for 7:00/mile pace, and four of the five were closer to 7:30. Only one was anywhere close, and it was still a 7:06/mile pace.

Even the 2.3-mile cool down at just under a 9:00/mile pace felt like it would never end. I eventually finished the 7.3-mile loop in 1:03:36, an 8:43/mile average.

Then I drove 35 minutes to the blood bank to donate. However, my freaking hemoglobin was too low. I have NEVER had a problem with my hemoglobin — usually I get a comment about how high it is! But they tested it twice today, and it was too low both times. Not low enough to be concerning, but still too low to donate.

So I didn’t get to donate today. Instead, I got a recommendation to take an iron supplement and a pamphlet on iron-rich foods I should start eating. It’s all the crap I usually eat anyway! I really have no idea why it would’ve been low today.

Anyway, that at least might explain why today’s attempt at speed work didn’t go so hot. I stopped at Walmart on the way home and got an iron supplement. I’ll try again in a month.

April 22, 2019

Crab Run King Crab Challenge recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:53 am

Saturday’s King Crab Challenge went pretty well! The last few miles of the half marathon got tough as the humidity set in, but I landed in my goal finish time range and started the 5K on time.

Friday night, we got an email from the race organizers letting us know they were keeping an eye on the weather and possible course changes due to flooding, but the race would be on.

It rained all night, and was still raining when my alarm went off at 5:15 Saturday morning. It rained while Clark and I got our stuff together and said goodbye to a visibly traumatized Pepper. (Sorry, bud!) It rained the whole way to Cambridge.

There was still parking in Great Marsh Park when Clark and I got there just before 7. We got our race shirts (hooded long-sleeve T-shirts for the King Crab runners) and bibs for the first race, the half marathon. The volunteers said they’d hold on to our 5K bibs there, and we were to come back to swap them after we finished the half.

I hit the port-o-potties in the park a couple times, and then it was time to go.

It was still raining. And the stupid wind that had been hanging around all week was still going strong, blowing at nearly 20 mph according to my phone’s weather app. It was also warm and humid. Great day for a long run.

There were 56 runners in the half marathon. It honestly surprises me this race is always so small; the course is a near-exact duplicate of the run course for Eagleman, which is the whole reason Clark runs it, and there are usually 2,200 finishers at Eagleman. Obviously not everyone lives locally, but every time we do a training run or bike on the course, there are plenty of others out there, probably for the same reason. Yet they don’t come out for the Crab Run.

Anyway, the lot of us walked across the grass to the start line on a side street near the park.

Oh, side note — among that group were two of Clark’s coworkers, Austin and Brody, who’d signed up to run it, their first organized race of any distance, on a total whim. Brody had registered the day before. Then they went to Dick’s Sporting Goods the night before the race and bought running shorts.

Clark told them to get Body Glide too and slather it on to prevent chafing. They said, “Oh, you can get chafed?” This is all crap you’re supposed to learn about in training!

It’s been 10 years since my first half marathon, but I remember it very well. I trained for it specifically for four months, and it got pretty tough around mile 10. I honestly thought they were going to die haha.

At 7:30 a.m., we got the start commands and we were off.

crab run half marathon start

Cyclist leading the lead runner in the first mile. You can see my green hat near the right side of the pack behind him.

As I’d posted the day before the race, my goal pace was 8:30 to 8:45 per mile. The wind was at our backs the first mile, and the rain didn’t matter anymore once we’d started running. My first mile was 8:11. I backed off.

We hit the first of 10 water stops in the second mile. They tried to post water stops in every spot they’ll be in for Eagleman, which is a lot, because it’s always blazing hot. I took water at every one.

Mile 2 was 8:24, still a little too fast.

In the third mile, we had to make a detour onto a sidewalk that runs through the woods along the road. They make the runners use that during Eagleman because the bike course also goes through here, and it can get congested. They’ve already marked the Eagleman run course (the green arrows), which we followed, so we had to run along that stretch of sidewalk on the way out too. It’s annoying because it’s not a straight line; there are a lot of little twists and turns.

You can see by the green arrows coming from the other direction that we at least do not have to run through the woods on that sidewalk on the way back.

sidewalk

The sidewalk through the woods finally ended and we ran across the road to get on “the bypass,” a connector road for a subdivision that never got built.

Mile 3 was 8:31.

Most of the next mile was along that connector road, and then we turned onto Route 343, a two-lane road with a steeply-sloped shoulder.

Mile 4 was 8:25.

By this time, the rain had moved on and the sun was out. The mugginess was cranking up. I’d have preferred the rain to come back myself.

Soon we came to a ‘Y’ that marked the beginning of a loop. There was another water stop there so I ate my first gel as I approached it.

Last week, I got a 12-pack of Huma gels. I’ve always used GU, but Huma doesn’t use the artificial sweeteners found in GU, so it’s been suggested they might not cause the stomach issues I’ve had in long runs that may or may not have been because of GU. It’s worth a shot.

It’s generally not a great idea to try something brand new like that in the middle of a race, but fortunately, the mocha-flavored Huma turned out to not be disgusting, and it went down easy.

Anyway, we went right at the ‘Y’ on the way out, onto a narrow back road.

Miles 5 and 6 were both along that back road. 8:20 and 8:29. The pace still felt pretty good but I was getting hot.

Then we made a left turn onto Lovers Lane, which would take us back to 343. I could feel my guts rumbling as we ran along it to the next water stop. This was definitely not related to the Huma, by the way. I’d gone three times (three!!) before the race even started and I knew it wasn’t all out. Just one of those days.

The water stop was before the turn off of Lovers Lane. Last year, there was a single port-o-potty at the next stop, back at the ‘Y,’ but I didn’t think I could hold on that long, so I sprinted off into the woods just past the Lovers Lane stop. I figured the volunteers would be looking the other way for approaching runners so they wouldn’t notice haha.

I took care of business there, ran out of the woods back onto Lovers Lane and then made the left turn onto 343. I felt MUCH better, but of course, that stop had cost me some time. Mile 7 was 10:13, by far my slowest mile of the race.

Oh well, it’s better than crapping my shorts, and I was on the ‘back’ part of the out-and-back course, so nothing to complain about, really.

Mile 8 sped back up to 8:29. I passed the water stop at the ‘Y’ — there was no port-o-potty this year! I hadn’t noticed that on the way out. I was really glad I’d gone in the woods when I did. There was nowhere else to go between there and the end of the race!

The last few miles of the race were tough. I was completely drenched in sweat that wasn’t going anywhere in that humidity, and I’d lost the few runners in my sight when I’d made that bathroom stop. It really felt like a solo long run by that point.

I trudged along the shoulder of 343. Mile 9 was 8:39.

I started to catch up to another runner, a woman, as we made the left turn onto the connector road, but she was still quite a ways ahead.

I ate another Huma before the next water stop. Lemonade flavor, and it was really good!

Mile 10 was past the water stop on the connector road. 8:53.

We turned off the connector road and I tried to just be happy we didn’t have to weave through the woods on that sidewalk again. A trio of cyclists rode by me. One told me I looked very light on my feet, which made me laugh, because I felt like I was clomping along.

Mile 11 was 8:50. I checked my overall elapsed time. I can’t remember what it was now but I knew I was going to finish in time to start the 5K.

We came up on the first/last water stop in the next mile. A guy I know from local races, Matt, was at that water stop as I ran through. He pointed at the woman ahead of me and told me to go get her, but I just laughed and said I didn’t feel like it. I’d been gaining on her, but she was still a good 30 seconds ahead of me.

Mile 12 was 8:48. A couple more turns and we were on the road along the river leading back to Great Marsh Park and the FINISH.

One last turn to get into the park. Mile 13 was 8:38.

We had to run across grass to get to the finish line. I saw that woman I’d been gaining on cross it. About 20 seconds later, so did I, in 1:54:04, officially an 8:42/mile average.

I also could see the 5K runners walking across the park to the start line. I’d hoped to have time to use the bathroom again before the second race started — kinda felt another poop coming on — but that wasn’t going to happen.

I stopped by the pavilion with the race bibs and swapped my half marathon bib for my 5K one. Then I walked over to the start line to join the crowd for another start.

The 5K crowd was slightly larger — 73 runners. I was standing at the back of the pack, on the wet grass, and an older guy offered to move over a little so I could squeeze onto the pavement and keep my shoes dry. I just laughed because my shoes were already completely drenched in sweat from the previous nearly two hours of running. I guess I was so uniformly sweaty by then he couldn’t tell I was sweaty at all.

Anyway, we got the starting commands and once again, we were off.

I took it really easy for the 5K. I could’ve run more of it, but I kept feeling like I had to poop again and had to walk it off every time haha.

The 5K course was another out-and-back along the beginning and end of the half marathon course. I kept an eye out for Clark and his coworkers on their way to the half marathon finish.

Clark went by first, on his way to a 2:07 finish. He was also signed up for the King Crab Challenge, and they may have let him start, but he didn’t want to.

I saw Bart next, Clark’s coworker who also does Eagleman and ran the L.A. Marathon last month. He finished in 2:15.

And then, before I got to the turnaround for the 5K, I saw Brody, almost to mile 12 of his first half marathon. Just then I realized who had run by just in front of him — Austin. Not only were they still alive, they were going to finish this thing under their own power! They made it in 2:27 and 2:26 respectively. I was impressed!

There’s not much else to say about the rest of the 5K. I ran as much as I could, but on top of feeling like I had to poop, I also got light-headed. I was starving! I wished I’d brought at least one more gel.

I eventually finished it. My Garmin says 32:53, while my chip time says 33:10. Not sure how that big of a difference happened — it definitely didn’t take me almost 20 seconds to cross the start mat — but whatever. Gotta go with the official chip time on a race.

It wasn’t long before they announced the awards.

Guess who was the overall female winner of the half marathon? The woman who’d finished 20 seconds ahead of me! D’oh! I had no idea there weren’t any other women in front of us. Usually, 1:53 to 1:54 is not in contention for the win in a half marathon. If only I hadn’t had to poop haha. Oh well.

I was first in my age group though, so I got a little trophy.

I was also the overall female winner for the King Crab Challenge. (I think there were only seven total finishers though!) I got a crab mallet and a little hand-painted picture of a blue crab for that.

crab run stuff

Clark’s and my bibs and finisher medals, plus my age group half marathon trophy and King Crab Challenge awards.

Our stats:

Me:

Half marathon:

  • 1:54:04
  • 1st/6 F 30-39
  • 2nd/30 women
  • 9th/56 overall

5K:

  • 33:10
  • 6th/14 F 30-39
  • 12th/42 women
  • 33rd/73 total

King Crab:

  • 2:27:14 total time
  • Overall female winner

Clark:

Half marathon:

  • 2:07:25
  • 4th/7 M 30-39
  • 12th/26 men
  • 22nd/56 overall

After the race, we all stopped by RAR for a couple beers, and then Ava’s for lunch.

When we got home, Pepper had made a pretty nasty mess of the utility room, but that had to be cleaned up immediately, because we had to leave him in that room again when we took my younger sister to the Melting Pot in Annapolis that night.

Poor Pep. Annapolis is a long ways away, and the full dinner at the Melting Pot takes a while too — we were the last ones to leave the restaurant — so he wound up spending the vast majority of Saturday alone in that room. When we got home the second time, after midnight, he hadn’t made as much of a mess as the first time that day, but the whole floor was covered in slobber and it felt like a sauna in there from all the panting.

Sunday was better for Pepper. He didn’t have to spend a second alone.

We all slept in pretty late. In the early afternoon, I went in town to get stuff to make fruit salad for Easter dinner. Then I stayed home with Pepper while Clark met Dave to go for a bike ride.

I could’ve gone for a short run like I’d planned, but I really felt bad about how long Pepper had been alone the day before. Besides, he was dead asleep on the couch after having missed so many hours of naps Saturday. So I didn’t run.

Later, we went to my parents’ house for Easter dinner.

I love when Easter is late like it was this year, because everything is actually blooming. The side yard where we had a little egg hunt for Kaylee was really pretty.

easter egg hunt

Looking for plastic eggs full of Cheerios, her favorite.

kaylee with dandelion

Kaylee and her “pandy” basket.

mom and dads yard

The pergola covered in wisteria vines.

pepper on easter

Our pointy old man, Pepper.

clark on easter

Clark LOVES it when I take his picture haha.

dave riding backwards

Dave doing some more bike training for Eagleman.

mom and kaylee with lilac

My mom and Kaylee with a sprig of fresh lilac, my mom’s favorite flower.

So that was my weekend!

This coming weekend is my next race, the New Jersey Half Marathon! I am also running it in place of a long run in St. Michaels training, but I’m going to shoot for a little faster, an 8:15 to 8:30 per mile average.

April 19, 2019

Training for 4/19/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:02 am

I never got to run yesterday. I didn’t have a chance in the morning, before some work stuff, and then that work stuff wound up taking pretty much all day. Clark and I had already made plans to go to Dave’s house in the evening, so there was no time after I got my work done either. So, extra rest day, not that I needed it.

Pepper had to be home alone A LOT yesterday, and I knew I’d feel way too guilty to leave him again today to run. So I was smart and went out first thing, while Clark was still home, to knock out today’s run, an easy lap of the 6.5-mile loop.

It’s as windy as it’s been all week, which continues to be annoying. It was also warm and humid.

Still, my easy pace actually felt easy for once, and I finished the loop in just over 58 minutes, an 8:56/mile average. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, and the wind had been at my back the whole last 1.5 miles, so loose strands of my hair kept blowing forward and sticking to my sweaty forehead. Gross.

Tomorrow is the Crab Run in Cambridge. Clark and I are both signed up for the King Crab Challenge (half marathon + 5K) again.

We’re supposed to get more severe storms tonight, but fortunately they should be cleared out in time for the half marathon start tomorrow. It’s still going to be windy and humid though. Not as hot as last year, at least.

I’m running this in place of this weekend’s long run, so I’m going to shoot for an 8:30 to 8:45/mile average.

That will get me back somewhere between 1:51 and 1:55, which will be enough time to switch bibs and start the 5K on time. The 5K has always wound up being a 3.1-mile cool down for me. Last year, my legs were so shot after running the half in the heat, I walked most of it. Still counted!

Anyway, that’ll be a good 16.2-mile day. Tomorrow evening, we’re taking my little sister to the Melting Pot, her pick for the thank-you dinner we still owe her for watching Pepper that weekend we went to NYC before Christmas.

Sunday morning, I’d like to get in another short run, and of course, it’s also Easter, so we’ve got a family dinner in the afternoon.

April 17, 2019

Training for 4/17/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:37 pm

Today, I did strength training (for the second time this week!) and a short easy run.

I went upstairs first and did ab exercises, push-ups, invisible chair-sitting and one set with the weights. Someday I will get back up to two sets. Maybe even three sets like I did way back in the day.

Then I went out and ran three miles. It was just as windy as yesterday, but blowing from the other direction, so I had to run into it the whole first mile. Then it was a crosswind that changed directions when I hit the turnaround in the second mile, and then of course, it was at my back the whole final mile. The splits reflected that — 9:11, 8:50, 8:33, an average of 8:51.

April 16, 2019

Training for 4/16/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:23 pm

Early yesterday evening, I actually did some strength training! I did ab exercises, push-ups, a couple minutes in the invisible chair and then I lifted the adjustable dumbbells. However, the wind was still ridiculous, and I didn’t feel like fighting it for a measly 3-miler, so I just skipped that again.

Today, I did the 1:45 long run I skipped Sunday with today’s intervals, three one-mile repeats at goal race pace, in the middle.

It was a stupid tough run, I guess because of the strength training. At least I hope that was the problem. I just had no go in my legs. The wind wasn’t as bad as yesterday, but it was still blowing pretty good, so that didn’t help either.

I ran the first four miles easy, around an 8:57/mile average. Then I tried to run the first race pace mile, 7:45.

I couldn’t even pull off a single freaking mile at the pace I think I’m somehow going to run for 13.1 in a row in a month! It was 7:53, and I was gassed.

Normally I would only do a half-mile of recovery between mile repeats, but I hadn’t programmed an interval workout and was just letting the Garmin auto-lap every mile, so I took an entire mile of recovery between each.

The other two intervals were more of the same — 7:56 and 7:54. And I wanted to die after both of them.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t die yet, because I still had 3.3 miles to run — into the wind, yay! — to get home. It was a long, slow trudge on stiff legs, but I eventually made it, finishing 12.3 miles in 1:52, a 9:07/mile average.

Not the most confidence-boosting run, but whatever. They happen. It’s still 12.3 miles in the books.

April 15, 2019

Training for 4/15/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:39 pm

This weekend’s training did not go as planned due to a combination of bad choices and bad weather, but I think I’ve figured out how to get my butt back on track.

Friday evening, Clark invited over some coworkers after work, which meant I drank too many beers, went to bed late, didn’t sleep great and kinda felt like ass when I got up Saturday.

At 10 a.m., registration opened on UltraSignup for next February’s Algonquin 50K. I signed up myself and Kelly, who was on the train to Boston to run the marathon. Algonquin will be her first ultra! We are working on getting Susan to run it too. I don’t think either one of them really understand how much of that race I mosey through haha. It’s nothing like a road marathon! Not the way I do it, anyway.

With that taken care of, I did go out to run the pace run on the schedule — four miles at 7:45/mile pace — even though I wasn’t feeling up to it. It was a warm, humid and breezy morning, which didn’t help anything.

I really tried to run my goal pace for St. Michaels, but it just wasn’t happening. The four goal pace miles were all over, 7:57, 7:54, 7:50 and 7:46. Oh well. I was glad I at least tried, instead of just punking out and doing another easy run.

I slowed down to an 8:26/mile pace as a cool down for the last half-mile, and finished the 4.5-mile loop in 35:43, a 7:57/mile overall average.

Apparently, the night before, Clark had made plans with a couple of his coworkers who are interested in learning to surf this summer to go to the beach to look at surfboards. So we all rode down there, along with Pepper.

We stopped at a couple of surf shops, but Clark’s coworkers were a little put off by how much long boards (better for beginners) cost, when they don’t even know if they’re going to be any good at surfing, or like it. Plus, there are plenty of boards at Clark’s parents’ house they can try. So they didn’t wind up buying anything.

We tried to find somewhere to get a beer that would let us bring Pepper, but there was nothing. Hardly anything was open, because it’s still the off-season, and the places that were open and would allow dogs outside weren’t serving outside, because it was raining.

We finally stopped at a Mexican restaurant and bar near the beach house. We parked right in front of the door, which was wide open, and sat at the corner of the bar closest to the door, hoping Pepper would be OK if he could see us from the Jeep.

Nope. He howled his face off. But the bartender immediately recognized him as a weimaraner, because she used to have one, and felt so bad for him that she let us bring him in. Clark left her a big tip as a thank-you.

We spent some time at the beach house before we closed it back up. It’d stopped raining by then, so we drove up to Dewey to a place that would let us sit outside with Pepper, to eat dinner.

Finally, we drove back to one of Clark’s coworker’s place. It wasn’t even that late when we got there, but I was really tired already, since I hadn’t slept much the night before, and I fell asleep on the couch almost immediately.

I got a few solid hours of sleep. By the time I woke up, everyone else had fallen asleep too. Looks like we were spending the night.

I didn’t sleep much more. Pepper had decided to share my part of the couch, which meant a lot of squirming around on his part. Plus, everyone else snored.

We all woke up the next morning and drove back to our house. I didn’t do anything the rest of Sunday, but I just couldn’t get up the motivation to run. I was tired after two crappy nights of sleep and anyway, it was 80 degrees and humid by noon.

So Sunday was a rest day. We watched Tiger Woods win the Masters. Clark was pretty excited. I’m not a big golf fan but even I can appreciate the comeback.

I thought I might get in that long run today…

Then, last night, I was woken up around 3 a.m. by a severe thunderstorm raging outside. The wind sounded like it was going to tear the roof right off the house. There was a ton of lightning too, but at least the thunder was a few seconds behind it.

I thought about the homes in Texas we’d seen on the news earlier that evening that had been destroyed by tornadoes. I remember thinking how we hadn’t gotten a severe weather warning yet, so it wasn’t that bad.

Just then, my phone buzzed — tornado WARNING in effect for the next half hour!

Not gonna lie, I was a little freaked out. I thought about making Clark and Pepper move with me to the dining room area in our house, where there aren’t any windows.

A few minutes later, Pepper got up anyway. He wanted to go out. While there was a tornado warning in effect. Seriously, dog?

I let him out. He’d had to poop. I get it haha. He was really quick, and didn’t get blown away.

Long story short, we didn’t get a tornado, but either a tornado or a derecho (straight-line wind storm) touched down not far from us, on the other side of the Nanticoke River in the Laurel area, and destroyed several structures, including a few homes.

Today, the storm has moved out, but the wind is still absolutely screaming. I am not doing a long run in this nonsense.

My plan is to just do the strength training and three easy miles on the schedule today, and then do the long run tomorrow, with the interval workout in the middle. This week’s workout is three mile repeats at goal half marathon pace. Hopefully the wind will have backed off a little by then.

Today was Tax Day. I e-filed our federal taxes last Friday and mailed our Maryland taxes this morning. Clark submitted online our Delaware taxes today. So we waited until about the last second, as usual, but we got it done on time.

It was also Marathon Monday up in Boston! Fortunately, by the time the race started, the forecasted rain had mostly moved out, and they got a decent-ish day to run.

I watched the elite races on TV. The men’s finish was pretty exciting — I can’t imagine trying to sprint at top speed at the end of a marathon like the top two finishers did. I am spent at mile 26.1, and I haven’t been running nearly as fast as they were.

Then I tracked all the normal people I knew. Most of them had a pretty good day, and those who didn’t still finished, which you can’t really complain about.

I even have to give a little shout-out to Jimmie stupid Johnson here, who ran Boston — his first marathon — in 3:09:07. He’d publicly said he was going for sub-3, so he might not have made that, but he also didn’t have to hobble off the course at the halfway point and take a DNF, like I did the first time I tried to run a marathon. Also, his time was a BQ by 53 seconds, something I’ve never done in 22 marathon finishes. So congrats, Jimmie!

And, as always, watching Boston has me fired up to run a marathon — even though my candy ass doesn’t want to go for a run in the wind here today haha — so I’m pulling the trigger on Steamtown in October. My next marathon training cycle starts June 10!

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