A Simple Running Log

May 28, 2019

Masser 5-Miler recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:12 am

Well, if I’d gotten the first taste of summer at the St. Michaels Half Marathon last weekend, I got punched right in the teeth by it at the Masser 5-Miler this weekend! I ran a horrible race in what turned out to be sunny, humid and 86-degree weather.

However, the rest of the weekend was pretty fun, so this post will only be 50 percent whining.

Our weekend started a day early. Thursday night, we stayed at the beach house in Fenwick, so we could go to Assateague first thing Friday.

It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. Unfortunately, it was also very windy, and it was blowing straight off the land and out to sea. We got pelted by a steady stream of windblown sand the whole time we were on the beach, and while I managed to get the standup paddleboard out, it wasn’t a lot of fun. I had to paddle as hard as I could just to keep from getting blown to Europe.

jeep with boards

Jeep with my SUP and two surfboards.

Clark’s coworker Brody went with us. He’d never surfed or SUP’ed before. He tried the SUP first and had a really hard time getting it back to shore because of the wind. It was not the best day to take a SUP in the ocean for the first time, that’s for sure. Then he and Clark took out the surfboards while I sat on the beach with Pepper.

On the way back from Assateague, we stopped at Smoker’s BBQ Pit for the first time this year. The barbecue there is amazing, but I had to go with the fried softshell crab sandwich while it was available.

We went back to Fenwick, straightened up the beach house and went home.

Saturday morning wasn’t too bad for a run. So of course, we slept in and waited until it got hot to do anything.

Clark ran first, and then I ran an easy lap of the 4.5-mile loop at an 8:40/mile average.

Later that afternoon, we were finishing up laundry and thinking about getting in the shower soon when the freaking power went out. We were supposed to go to Bart’s house that evening, but it didn’t look like our power was coming back anytime soon. We wound up taking the last load of laundry, which had been in the middle of the wash cycle, to Bart’s house to rewash and dry it, and showering there too. Total pain in the ass.

Anyway, we grilled some steaks, salmon, corn on the cob and fresh pineapple slices, which were all delicious. It was almost 12:30 a.m. when Clark and I got home.

I didn’t sleep much that night, thanks to a combination of Pepper wanting to go out twice and just knowing I had to get up early to run a race.

My alarm went off at 5:30. I was exhausted. I honestly considered skipping the race. There’s another series 5-miler in July; I could run that one instead to qualify. But then I thought about how much hotter it will probably be in July, and I’d already paid for this race… fine. I’ll run it.

By some miracle, Clark and I were able to get up, get packed and leave the house only a few minutes later than I wanted to. Then the drive to Lewes was faster than usual, and I got to Cape Henlopen High School a few minutes early. I even managed to clear out the ol’ GI tract as soon as I got there.

That was where the good luck ended though.

I ran two half-hearted laps around the track for a warm up, at what was probably a 10:00/mile pace but felt like race pace in that heat. Why the hell was it so damn hot already??

When we were called to the starting line on the track, Kelly and Susan tried to convince me to start closer to the front with them. I told them I didn’t want to get trampled, and placed myself farther back. I’d already decided this race was going to suck. Spoiler alert — it did. I don’t know for sure if it sucked so bad because of a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy, the awful weather or both. Probably both.

before masser

Pretending to be happy to run in the starting pack while Richard took pictures of everyone.

Anyway, we got the start commands and took off.

masser 5 miler start

At the start. (Fredman photo)

We did part of a lap of the track, left the stadium, looped around the school, left campus, crossed Kings Highway and got on the paved biking/walking trail along Gills Neck Road.

We were running directly into the blazing sun, not even to the first mile marker, and I wanted to die. I finally finished the first mile and saw the split on my Garmin — 7:30.

Based on the 7:32/mile pace I’d run in that 4.25-mile race in Lewes last month, which had a “hill” (bridge) we’d had to climb, I’d hoped to be able to run 7:20 to 7:30 pace for this race on a totally flat course. Here I was, one mile in, and barely holding on to the low end of that range.

We crossed Gills Neck Road to continue along the paved path. There was a water stop right there, thank God. I gulped one cup and dumped another over my head.

The path continued along a field. Honeysuckle bushes along the edge were in full bloom and it smelled amazing.

Mile 2 beeped on the Garmin — 7:54. UGGGGHHHHH. Three more miles to go!

The path took us along Route 9. Fortunately, we got to run under that bridge from the 4.25-miler, rather than over it. Mile 3 was 7:46.

The path made a couple turns and continued back through Lewes. The heat was really getting to me, to the point I felt lightheaded. I walked a bit. When I started running again, I gave up entirely on trying to run hard.

There was another water stop around mile 3.5. Again, I chugged a cup and dumped another on my head, then resumed a slow slog.

We left the paved path and got on the shoulder of Kings Highway, heading back to the school. This is the worst part of the course; you can see the turn into the school campus up the road, but it never seems to get closer.

Mile 4 ended on this stretch of godforsaken highway. 8:41. 8:41!!! I only ran one mile slower than that in the half marathon the weekend before!

One more effing mile. We ran back onto campus, directly back to the track, retraced the partial lap from the beginning going the other direction and crossed the line.

masser 5 miler finish

Mile 5 was 8:08, and my chip time was 40:17, an 8:03/mile average, nowhere near what I’d thought I was capable of running.

At the moment, all I really cared about was the fact I could finally stop running. Kelly and Susan were waiting just past the finisher’s chute to commiserate about the heat. Kelly said at one point she was also running slower than in the half marathon a week earlier — and she’d been leading a pace group there, not even racing!

We did a cooldown mile. Well, Susan and I did. Kelly took three steps with us and decided she’d had enough haha.

When they posted the results, for the first time that day, I was glad I’d bothered to show up and run. As awful and slow as that race had been, I’d still won my age group, which is important in the summer series standings.

masser ag awards

With one of the other winners in my age group.

Kelly and Susan both won their age groups too. We’re all five years apart in age, so we’ll never have to compete against each other in races with five-year groupings. Lucky for me, since they’re both faster than I am!


I felt a little better when I saw my results on Athlinks, with evidence of just how hot it really was!

After the awards, we went to the Lewes Bake Shoppe for coffee. Then Kelly and Susan went home, and I waited for Clark to make his way back to Lewes. While I’d been running, he’d driven to Fenwick to swap the truck for the Jeep and get the surfboards and SUP.

That afternoon, we met another of his coworkers, Paul, to go out on another guy’s boat, so they could go spear fishing.

Yes, spear fishing! We left Anglers Marina in Lewes, followed the canal out to the Delaware Bay and then cruised out to where the bay meets the ocean, off the point of Cape Henlopen State Park.

There’s a rock wall there, with a lighthouse. That’s where they dive and look for fish.

lighthouse at end of cape henlopen

Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, with the point of Cape Henlopen behind it.

spear fisherman

Paul all geared up.

ferry and lighthouse

The Cape May-Lewes ferry passing by.

The guy who owned the boat puttered around the wall while Paul and another guy dived. They didn’t wind up spearing anything.

The rest of us sat on the boat. Poor Pepper did not have a good time. He’s been on a boat before, but in the river. He was pretty freaked out by the constant rocking of this boat due to the waves in the ocean! And when he finally found his sea legs and started to settle down, he got attacked by flies. Clark and I spent most of our time swatting flies off Pepper and trying to keep him covered with towels so they couldn’t get to him.

We were out there maybe a couple of hours, and then we made our way back to the marina in Lewes.

lewes canal

View from the canal on our way back.

Pepper was very happy to be back on dry land! We took him to Big Oyster Brewing and had lunch there.

We’d thought about trying to surf somewhere in Cape Henlopen after that, but by that point, Clark and I were both exhausted and wanted to take a nap. So we went back to Fenwick and, after a shower, I did just that while watching the beginning of the Coke 600. It felt so nice to be in air conditioning again for the first time since we’d left our house that morning!

That evening, we stayed in Fenwick. We had dinner at Rusty Jimmies. The service was incredibly slow. The only reason we stayed was because it was the only place within walking distance we could take Pepper. It worked out though; the waitress seemed to appreciate our patience and only charged us about half of what our tab should’ve been.

We made one more stop. Vanderwende’s, a local dairy farm that makes its own ice cream, recently opened a shop in Fenwick. I got mint chocolate chip in a fresh-made waffle cone. We will definitely be hitting up that spot a lot this summer!

We got back to the house in time to see the end of the race, which Martin Truex Jr. won, before I fell asleep for good.

Monday morning, Clark got up at sunrise and checked the surf conditions. There was nothing going on out there, so we packed up our stuff and hit the road, to meet Dave in Cambridge for some Eagleman training in the heat.

We stopped by home first to unload our stuff from the beach and reload what we needed for training. We also had to leave Pepper alone for the first time all weekend. He was not happy.

We got to Cambridge a little after 9 a.m. Clark and Dave swam in the Choptank first, and then we all rode our bikes.

We did the 37-mile Six Pillars course, which shortcuts the middle of the 56-mile Eagleman course, but covers the first 14 and last 18 miles, including Egypt Road.

It was hot and windy, and the wind was right in our faces on Egypt Road, so, perfect Eagleman training conditions. I forgot my bike Garmin, so I don’t know how fast I rode, but it took us about two hours total, with a couple stops, to cover the whole loop.

Dave had to leave after the bike ride, but Clark and I ran six miles together to finish off the day. It was blazing hot by then. We did an out-and-back along the first three miles of the run course at what turned out to be an 11:19/mile average.

Back at the truck, I tore off my running shoes and dunked myself in the river. Much better!

Then we changed into dry clothes and went to RAR. When we got home, Pepper had destroyed the utility room.

The rest of the evening was low key. We just watched some TV, ate some leftovers in the fridge for dinner and went to bed early.

My next race is either the Father’s Day 5K on June 16 or the Jungle Jim’s 5K on June 22. Either way, I have a few weeks off of racing, but I definitely need to get in some speed work before they start. Today, I’ll do a short easy run and some strength training.


  1. I wasn’t going to write about my race on Sunday, but after reading your recap I feel I have to.
    Sorry about the heat, but now I feel better about my race. Lol

    Comment by ocrunnergirl — May 28, 2019 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

    • Yes! Misery loves company! I’d love to read a recap from someone else who suffered in the heat!

      Comment by aschmid3 — May 28, 2019 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  2. […] I wasn’t going to write about this race but after reading Abby’s race and getting a good laugh I decided I might as well. https://aschmid3.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/masser-5-miler-recap-4/ […]

    Pingback by Kenny Wayland 10k – Running Where Ever My Feet Take Me — May 28, 2019 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  3. I think we’re all going to write about crappy runs for a while. Heat sucks.

    Comment by runeatralph — May 28, 2019 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

    • I will definitely be complaining about it for the foreseeable future.

      Comment by aschmid3 — May 29, 2019 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  4. Wowzer! Great time in such heat!

    Comment by Chris Bouldin — May 28, 2019 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

    • Thanks!

      Comment by aschmid3 — May 29, 2019 @ 7:35 am | Reply

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