A Simple Running Log

March 31, 2020

Training for 3/31/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:25 pm

Today, I just did a virtual strength training class right after I signed off from work. I had a run planned, but it’s been a week since the last day off running, and Clark went to try to pick up some things at Walmart, so by the time he gets back from that to hang out with Pepper, it’ll be late anyway. Rest day.

So that wraps up one of the weirdest months I’ve had in, well, probably ever.

First, my mileage:

  • Week 1 (March 1-7): 56.5 miles
  • Week 2 (March 8-14): 17.3
  • Week 3 (March 15-21): 27.6
  • Week 4 (March 22-28): 37.5
  • Week 5 (March 29-31): 13

Total: 151.9 miles

It started out normal. I ran my last 20-miler before Shamrock on March 1 (making it the first marathon training cycle I actually did all three 20-milers in YEARS.) The following weekend, I went to L.A. to spectate the marathon there. I was feeling pretty pumped for Shamrock in two weeks, like I had a really good shot at finally lowering my PR from 2013.

And then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic happened.

There was no Shamrock, just a half-hearted attempt at a “virtual” Whale Challenge after the actual race got canceled 10 days out. Turned out it was easy-peasy to run the 8K leg of the challenge on my own; the marathon part, not so much. I only made it to mile 16.9 before I threw in the towel and called Clark to pick me up and take me home.

As of March 19, California is under a “shelter in place” order, so Clark and I are both working from home and only leaving the apartment to run, walk Pepper or go somewhere we have to, like the grocery store, and there’s absolutely no end in sight to this. I’m guessing it’ll be at least mid-May, but who really knows.

They’ve already started canceling and postponing May races other places, so I’m not feeling great about getting to do the May 17 race over the Coronado Bridge I’m registered for. Sigh.

We’re doing a lot of strength training — our gym is hosting a virtual challenge throughout April, broadcasting classes we can follow along online, and my friend Kelly started Facebook Live-streaming her own workouts three days a week, which I’m also going to try to keep up with. But we’re also drinking a lot more beer, because we’re bored and also trying to support all the local breweries here through this shutdown. So we’re probably going to come out of this with buns of steel and beer bellies haha.

I have no idea what to expect out of April. I’m going to try to keep running six days a week, as long as they still let us outside for that, and doing these strength training workouts. It’s nice to have SOMETHING to mark the passage of every day other than work. (Though I’m grateful Clark and I both are able to work from home, and neither of us should lose any pay due to this. I’m also grateful we seem to have avoided getting sick, so far.)

Last night, I called my dad because it was his birthday. He seemed surprised when I said I didn’t wish we were still in Delaware for this. Honestly, social distancing is easy when you haven’t made any close friends yet and none of your family is nearby! I do miss meeting the running group for long runs and working out at the gym though. I miss going to races. I miss going out to breweries and restaurants, and having NASCAR to watch (that iRacing among real drivers they’ve been broadcasting just isn’t doing it for me.) Some day!

March 30, 2020

Training for 3/30/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:21 pm

Happy 60th birthday to my dad!

Ten years ago, on his 50th birthday, we had a big family party and made him search for a series of clues that led him to his present, a Honda dirt bike my brother had restored, like the one Dad had as a teenager.


Obviously nothing like that can happen this year, but my dad probably prefers it that way. I’m sure he’ll be happier just getting a nap today haha.

Anyway, this weekend was pretty quiet.

Saturday morning, Clark and I did another virtual strength training class hosted by one of the coaches at our gym. Later in the morning, I went out and ran 5 miles along the river trail. I pushed it harder than I had on all the easy runs I’d done all week, and ran a 7:55/mile average.

That afternoon, Clark and I drove around to some local breweries and picked up beer to go.

We stopped by Dogleg Brewing Co. in Vista, which we’d been to before, but this was the first time I noticed the car wreckage on a hillside, in the middle of the industrial park. I don’t know if it was already there and they built the industrial park around it or if they brought it in for some reason.

wrecked car

When we got back to Oceanside, we walked to two more stops — both Stone and Booze Bros. had reopened for carryout.

stone open for carry out

That night, we got carryout from a burger place for dinner and started working on our beer stash.

Sunday, Clark got up early and met a few runners from our running group in Carlsbad for a short run.

When he got back, I could’ve gone out for my own run at any time, but of course I dilly dallied and put it off all day.

I finally went out around 4:30 p.m. to run 10 miles.

I started down by the beach. I read yesterday Oceanside is the last beach in San Diego County still open to surfers, but they had closed the Strand to traffic and the pier to everyone since the last time I ran through there.

strand closed


Lifeguards were the only vehicles still driving on it, which was nice.

pier closed

pier closed sign

I ran to the other end of the Strand and then did the rest of the run on the river trail.


There’s this huge wildflower field in Carlsbad that had just opened for the season before the coronavirus shut down everything, and will probably be done blooming by the time everything reopens. I won’t get to see it this year, but there are some wildflowers blooming along the river trail, so I’ll just have to be content with them.

The rest of the run was fine, other than some digestive distress the last couple of miles. I screwed up my Garmin at one point, so the distance and pace recorded wasn’t accurate, but I ran about 10 miles at around a 9:00/mile average.

This morning, Kelly started hosting her own strength training workouts from home on Facebook live, so I joined her for that first thing. I tried to steal a couple dumbbells from the gym in our building, but they’d disabled the electronic touch pad thingy to get in, so that was a no-go. But the workout was still fun, and it was good to see Kelly (and her St. Bernard, Lily) again.

Later this afternoon, Clark and I are doing another virtual strength training workout with our gym, which has a four-week challenge starting today. And I’d like to get in another short run.

March 27, 2020

Training for 3/27/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:27 pm

Today was more of the same. Rage at the slow-moving connection between my laptop and office computer for eight hours, virtual strength training class, run. Today I did 4.5 miles at just over a 9:00/mile pace.

I guess this weekend will be like that too, just with less work and more Baywatch. We’re still into that.

I’ll probably do a short fast-ish run tomorrow and an easier longer run Sunday. I think there will also be a morning virtual strength training class.

March 26, 2020

Training for 3/26/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:28 pm

Yesterday, after I got done with work for the day, I went out and ran an easy 5-miler.

It looked like the stay-at-home order was finally being followed down at the beach.

empty pier

Pier was mostly empty.

I had to run back to our apartment building about halfway through the run. I’d eaten a pint of Ben & Jerry’s between the night before and that afternoon, and running had the usual effect on that much sugar in my guts.

After I took care of that, I went out to the river trail for a little bit and then I finished up back on the Strand.

empty beach

beach sign

I couldn’t get it on the camera, but the sign was warning people to keep 6 ft. between them or the beach could be closed.

I wound up running 5 miles at an 8:58/mile average.

Today, Clark and I did another virtual class with our gym, and then we took Pepper out for a short run. He’d never been to the river trail so we took him there.

There was this weird vibe outside. Hardly anyone was out, of course. The first person we saw was outside the liquor store across the street yelling about child molesters or something. An ambulance came, I think to pick her up. We’d gotten far enough down the sidewalk I couldn’t really see why it was there. Then there was a pair of Converse sneakers sitting on the sidewalk, like someone had been standing there and just disintegrated.

Anyway, the run itself was fine. We did a 3-mile out-and-back at a 9:51/mile average.

We checked the mail when we got back. I got my first delivery from the Shamrock organizers — the Whale Challenge finisher’s shirt I paid extra for.

adjusted shirt

Fixed it haha.

Everyone was alphabetized by first name this year, which meant I’m first.

back of shirt

We should get the rest of our stuff soon.

The race shirt from the 2010 marathon, the one I had to DNF for real, is still one of my favorite Shamrock race shirts that I wear with no second thoughts, so yeah, I’ll wear this one too!

March 25, 2020

Training for 3/25/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 7:17 pm

Thanks to the slow connection with my office computer and the fact one of my coworkers quit last week but his replacement doesn’t start until next week so I’ve had to do most of his job this week on top of my own increased workload due to the amount of news related to this virus, this has been a very busy first few days of working from home.

Monday evening, Clark and I did our first in-home workout, connecting to our gym via GoToMeeting, where one of our coaches led everyone through a body weight routine. Then I went out and ran an easy 3-miler at a 9:07/mile average along the Strand and the pier.

Sometime since then, a lot of Southern California beaches closed, which, honestly, they needed to. People were not sheltering in place; they were hanging out at the beach. Lucky for me, Oceanside’s is still open, but all the public parking lots are closed, which should cut down on the sheer numbers of people milling around.

I haven’t found out yet though. I was going to run yesterday evening after Clark and I did another virtual strength training class with our gym, but I had some more work to finish up after that, and then I just didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t.

I’m all signed off for today though, so I think I’ll go out and do 5 miles.

March 23, 2020

Training for 3/23/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:32 pm

This weekend, I learned I don’t have the willpower to run 26.2 miles when there’s no official finish line to look forward to!

My virtual Whale Challenge attempt was a bust. I had no problem with the 8K distance Saturday morning, but the solo marathon Sunday was too much. There were a number of reasons I pulled the plug at mile 16.9, but honestly, it came down to the fact I just didn’t want to run any farther, so I didn’t.

Anyway, going back to Saturday morning. Clark, who was registered for the Dolphin Challenge at Shamrock (8K + half marathon), went out and ran an 8K first. Well, 5 miles. 8K is technically 4.97 miles, but we’ve never run the tangents well enough in an 8K to not hit 5 miles at the finish line.

I went out a little before noon to run mine. Since I was planning on doing the marathon the next day at a typical long run pace, not goal race pace, I decided to do a little speed workout for the 8K, and ran 5 miles at a 7:45/mile pace. First leg of the Whale Challenge, done!

The only other place I went Saturday was Walmart. We forgot to panic-hoard last week, so we needed our usual groceries.

It wasn’t too bad there. There were a few aisles that were completely wiped out, like meat, eggs and of course toilet paper, but it wasn’t like a wasteland in there.

empty cereal aisle

I thought it was funny the only cereal left was Jolly Ranchers, Twinkies (when did those become cereals, by the way??) and Grape Nuts haha.

When I got home, Pepper was not practicing social distancing.

pepper not social distancing

Side note — when Clark and I woke up Saturday morning, it was about 11 a.m. Eastern time, so I commented we should’ve been drinking Yuenglings by the ocean in Virginia Beach after the 8K right about then. I glanced at Pepper, who was looking at himself in the full-length mirror across the room and I swear he was smirking, like he was thinking “Nope! I took care of that; you’re right where you belong! You’ll never leave me again!” haha.

Sunday was obviously far from a typical marathon morning. I did not get up before sunrise and start early. Instead, I slept in, ate some breakfast and had some coffee. Around 10 a.m., I finally got my stuff together and headed out to run 26.2 miles all by myself, for no apparent reason. I was not hyped, to say the least.

It was a warm-ish day, and the sun was out. So was everyone else. I noticed everyone became regular runners or cyclists overnight last Thursday, since exercising is the only reason we should be out and about at the beach.

I started on the Strand, which was packed, with an out-and-back along the pier, which was also pretty busy.

There were plenty of surfers out in the ocean.


After the Strand, I ran to the harbor, which was even more crowded. Seriously, Delaware had to close its beaches last week after everyone flocked to them one day when it was 80 degrees, and I’m worried California is going to have to follow suit soon, because there were people everywhere.

Anyway, I stopped to visit my sea lions.

sea lions

I also stopped around mile 5 to eat half of a Lara bar. I don’t have any Huma gels left and all the running stores are closed, so I brought two Lara bars with me, planning to eat half of one every five miles. I think this contributed to my eventual downfall. They’re full of fats and protein, which is not great while you’re trying to run because they don’t break down quickly like carbs. But it seemed like a better idea than trying to run without any fuel at all.

Once I left the harbor, I got on the river trail. I was almost to mile 7 at that point. The plan was to run to the other end of the trail and back. I’d seen differing opinions on just how long the whole trail is, so I was looking forward to finding out for myself.

The trail was just as full, of cyclists mostly, but also some other runners and walkers.

I was running along just fine for the first 10 or 11 miles. After I stopped to eat the second half of the first Lara bar, things started going downhill.

My stomach was cramping, so I tried drinking more of my water bottle at every mile. Of course, that meant I was going through my water bottle quicker than I wanted to, and I wasn’t positive there would be a water fountain or anything at the other end of the trail, since I’d never been there.

Also, I had to use the bathroom. Naturally.

I could see on the map on my phone there was a public park near the other end of the trail, so I crossed my fingers that, No. 1, it had a bathroom facility or port-o-potty; No. 2, it wasn’t locked up; and No. 3, there was a water fountain.

I made it to the park, just past the halfway point of my run, and lo and behold, all three were true. I used the bathroom and refilled my water bottle. Maybe my solo marathon had been saved.

I had to keep going past the park to find the end of the trail, in a neighborhood.

end of bike trail

That answered that question! 7.8 miles end to end. Not sure what was so hard about that, people who’ve posted everything from 7 to 9 miles online.

I was at mile 14.4 of my run, which meant if I ran the whole thing back, I’d be at 22.2 and still have four miles to go. Ugh.

I started trudging back. I was gulping down water and still dealing with stomach cramping. I almost quit when I got back to the park, but I passed it and kept going.

I didn’t make it a whole lot farther though. I ate the first half of the second Lara bar around mile 16. Less than a mile later, I made it to the next major road that crossed the trail. My stomach hurt, my mile splits were getting slower and slower, I had at least six miles to run to the next water fountain and my water bottle was already more than half empty…

That was enough. I stepped off the trail and called Clark, then parked myself on a bench to wait. It was a pretty nice day to just sit in the sun. I immediately felt 100 times better.

So that was the end of that. 16.9 miles at a 9:34/mile pace, and if you want to get technical, my second time DNF’ing Shamrock!

Oh well. I tried. Kind of haha.

Clark and Pepper came to my rescue and took me home. I took a shower and felt even better. Turned out my arms and chest had already gotten a little sunburnt, so I was even happier I hadn’t stayed out long enough to slog through another 9.3 miles.

Today, it’s back to working from home on the couch while Pepper competes with my laptop for space.

I’d like to go for a short run, just a few miles, and I think we’re going to try to do a virtual strength training class from our gym sometime today.

March 20, 2020

Training for 3/20/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:04 pm

Happy first day of spring!

Also, happy first day of California’s statewide “shelter in place” order. And my first day of working from home.

pepper working from home

My laptop was getting in Pepper’s way.

I went to my office this morning just long enough to set up my work computer so I could access it from my laptop at home. It’s nice to have the option, but it is so much harder to do my job from here. I only have one monitor and everything runs so much slower through the remote access program.

It took me all day, but I finally got caught up on everything that needed to be done today.

Then I went for a run. I just did an easy 4-miler along the Strand and the pier and through a little bit of downtown Oceanside to see what’s still open for take out.


I love these little cottages lined up right along the Strand on the north side of the pier.

beach on first day of spring

Oceanside from the pier.

stone closed

Stone’s tap room is closed until this is over. Boo.

kilowatt open

But Kilowatt is still selling!

Bubbles by the Sea, the liquor store across the street from our building, is still open too, thankfully.

It’s hard to believe a mere 10 days ago, I thought I’d be in Virginia Beach right now, getting ready to run the Whale Challenge again at Shamrock. Feels like it’s been months since they canceled it.

I guess I’m still planning to run the 8K distance tomorrow and a 26.2-mile long run Sunday. I forgot to get any gels though, and the running stores are all closed right now, so I might have to improvise on fuel.

Obviously we have no other plans this weekend.

March 19, 2020

Training for 3/19/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:06 pm

Holy crap, the news these days feels like an absolute fire hose. Even in the relatively niche industry I cover in my new job, there is nonstop news related to this stupid pandemic! I have been editing and posting story after story today. Really makes me grateful to not have the general news reporter assignment I did at the newspaper I used to work at. I’d probably be tearing my hair out now trying to cover everything.

Anyway, in yet more coronavirus-related news, our strength training gym has to close as of tomorrow, so tonight is the last time Clark and I will go for an in-person class. They’re starting a 28-day virtual challenge soon to keep everyone motivated throughout this isolation period that we’re probably going to join. Like there’s anything else to do!

Last night was the final fit test for the eight-week challenge we started in January (which has been pretty much canceled too, right here at the end.) We did the same test as we did in January, a series of exercises cutting down from 100 to five reps and then a short lap around the parking lot.

I finished it almost two minutes faster last night, but what I’m really proud of is the fact I did the 50 push-ups the regular way, instead of on my knees! Feels good to make some progress.

Clark was about six minutes faster than his initial test. He crushed it!

After the fit test, Clark and I took Pepper on a 3-mile run, partly on a trail and partly on the roads near the gym. Pepper managed a 10:16/mile average on the hills.

Then we hit up another Vista brewery selling beer to go, the appropriately-named Black Plague Brewing, and went home to watch more Baywatch. What would we do in these dark times without Mitch Buchannon?

March 18, 2020

Training for 3/18/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 11:12 am

Yesterday, Clark and I went to the gym and did another HIIT class. There were only three other people there, plus the coach, but another three or four people tuned in to GoToMeeting so they could do the workout at home.

Not surprisingly, the track workout was canceled. It’s always at a local high school track, so I was wondering how that was going to work with all the schools closed.

We just went home after the gym, with a stop at Wavelength Brewing Co. so Clark could do his part to help keep small businesses afloat right now, by buying three crowlers of beer to go.

We noticed Booze Brothers had already taken down their sign outside the tasting room they’d recently opened in Oceanside. Their main brewery is still in Vista. I hope they come back to Oceanside when this is all over.

Anyway, when we got home, I had just enough daylight left to get in that interval run. I went down to the Strand.

It seemed like everyone else had the same idea. It was PACKED, with people on foot, skateboards and bikes, riding through in cars and walking their dogs.

Not that I could blame them. It was a beautiful evening and just about sunset over the ocean, which is pretty much the only fun thing that hasn’t been put on hold at the moment.

I stretched out my warm up to 1.5 miles to try to get to a less crowded area to do the intervals, but there was still plenty of people-dodging required, so all the intervals were slow as a result.

I did four quarter miles in 1:53 (7:34/mile pace), 1:47 (7:11/mile), 1:50 (7:21/mile) and 1:47 (7:09/mile), each with a quarter mile of recovery after. Then I did a little over another mile for a cool down, finishing 4.6 miles in 39:35, an 8:37/mile overall average.

Tonight is the final fit test at the gym. It’s the exact same test we did the first week — a series of exercises cutting down from 100 to five repetitions, then a short lap around the parking lot, for time. We will see how much faster we can do it now after all this strength training.

Personally I’m going to try to do all 50 push-ups the regular way, instead of on my knees like I had to the first week. I used to be able to do 100 regular push-ups, but I let that slide for a very long time!

I haven’t seen yet if the usual Wednesday night group run is still on, but that’s always on public trails/roads anyway, not a track that can be closed, so I imagine it will be. If not, I’ll just do another short easy run on my own.

March 17, 2020

Training for 3/17/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:18 pm

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It doesn’t feel like hardly anyone remembers it this year since all the bars are closed and parades are canceled in light of the pandemic, but I’m wearing a green shirt and I saw this rainbow when I got to work today.

Yesterday after work, Clark and I went to the gym for a strength training class. There were about 10 people physically there, and then we had another three tuning in through the GoToMeeting link so they could work out at home. I’m hopeful that gym is small enough it can keep operating safely through all this. If not, at least the WiFi is working at home again so we can do the online thing.

When we got home, there was a note in the door from building management. All of the common areas and resident amenities are closed until further notice, including the fitness centers in both buildings, so there goes my treadmill access when it’s dark out for the foreseeable future. Oh well.

So this morning, I didn’t even think about getting up early to run. Clark and I are going back to the gym tonight for another HIIT class, and then we’re both doing the Tuesday night track workout. I have a short interval workout on my Shamrock training schedule for today, so that lined up — not that it matters anymore, of course.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do when my Shamrock plan ends this weekend. I have a day planner I write all my training schedules into, along with all my other plans and appointments, and it is completely blank past March 22. The entire month of April is empty, and it doesn’t look like that will change.

The next race I’m registered for that could possibly happen (knock on wood) is a 4-mile run across the Coronado Bridge on May 17. Two whole months from today!

I guess I’ll figure something out. I would like to start seriously looking into fall marathons, so I can sign up for one and have that to look forward to. But the news is worse every time I look, so I don’t want to assume we’ll be back to “normal” again by October and waste more money on a race that’s not happening.

I know there are people out there with much bigger problems related to this outbreak, but dammit, this is throwing me for a loop and this is my blog, so I’m gonna pout about it here.

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