A Simple Running Log

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.

March 16, 2020

Training for 3/16/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:40 pm

What a weird last few days, and it looks like it’s just going to keep getting weirder.

Friday, I still felt tired and stuffed up when I got home, so I just took a second consecutive rest day.

Clark gave me a dose of NyQuil before I went to bed. That stuff often leaves me still feeling groggy when I have to get up the next day, but that was a chance I was willing to take.

Fortunately, when the alarm went off at 6 a.m. Saturday, I didn’t feel groggy at all. Or stuffed up. I felt pretty fantastic, actually.

So we went to the Weekend Warriors workout they’d scheduled in lieu of the hike that got postponed because of rain.

Our coach, Q, said the hike we were going to do has about 2,800 ft. of elevation gain over the roughly 4-mile route to the summit, so he tried to replicate that (and get us ready for the rescheduled hike this Saturday) by making us do about 3 million mountain climbers, in every variation he could think of. And that was just one half of the workout! The other half had plenty of push-ups, squats and lunges to go along with it.

It was probably the toughest workout we’ve done there. Each exercise was performed for a minute, with no rest in between. There were 10 exercises in each set, and we did each set twice, for a total of four sets — 40 minutes. I was glad to get that one done!

When we got home, I had a cup of coffee, and then I went out for my first run since Wednesday evening.

I wanted to do some kind of speed workout. The run I’d skipped Thursday was a short tempo run, while Saturday’s run was supposed to be one last short pace run. So I did something kind of in the middle, and ran 4.5 miles along the river trail at what ended up being a 7:53/mile pace.

The rest of Saturday was pretty quiet. We took Pepper to a brewery in Oceanside with a BBQ restaurant inside, because I finally felt like eating for the first time in a few days, and then a couple small ones in Vista we hadn’t hit yet. We got home early in the evening and went to bed pretty early.

Sunday, I was up at 6 a.m. again to meet the running group for the last long run on my Shamrock training plan.

Everything has been canceled here, and everywhere else, of course. Some of the group members were signed up for a Ragnar relay here in Southern California that was supposed to be April 3-4, but it’s been canceled. As of yesterday morning, we were all still hopeful the La Jolla Half Marathon, scheduled for April 26, would still be happening, but after the CDC released new recommendations last night banning gatherings of 50 people or more until May 10, I’m not feeling good about that one either.

We ran anyway. Kristen and I did a very enjoyable 8-mile out-and-back along the coast in Carlsbad at a 9:15/mile average.

I’m kinda pissed how great I feel right now. I am so trained for Shamrock, and now there’s nowhere to go. Sigh.

Anyway, it was another quiet day for us. Clark and I made some waffles when I got back from my run. I picked up a very slim Walmart grocery order that afternoon (a lot of our usuals were out of stock, of course.) We had a couple beers at Stone and then went to Pizza Port for dinner. Might be the last time we get to go to either of those places for a while, since breweries are now closed in California, and I have a feeling restaurants will be ordered to do take-out/delivery only, as a few other states have already decreed.

This morning, I got up at 5 and went to the gym in the building to do the easy run on the schedule. I did 3 miles at an 8:57/mile pace and 1% incline.

When I got back to our apartment, Clark got an email from work telling everyone to work from home. So I had to tell Pepper’s dog sitter he won’t be coming to hang out with her or her dog for the time being.

The more I think about it, the more I suspect Pepper is behind this whole thing! Since this pandemic started, we have canceled a weekend trip, and now Clark is home all day. Everything we like doing on the weekends — going to breweries and running events, mainly — is canceled. We’re supposed to stay home permanently.

This is Pepper’s dream!

I took this Saturday. That is one happy dog.

Currently, everyone in my office is here for work, but they’ve asked our IT provider to get some people set up to work from home starting tomorrow. I don’t think I’m in that group, and I don’t know if they plan on having us all work from home eventually. As far as I know, I’ll still have to come to the office every day. At least I got over my cold pretty quickly so my coworkers will stop looking at me like I’m Patient Zero every time I clear my throat.

Anyway, our strength training gym is still holding regular classes, so Clark and I are going to one this evening after I get off work. Who knows how much longer they’ll be allowed to hold them? The owner already set up a GoToMeeting link so people who are self-isolating can work out at home.

March 13, 2020

Training for 3/13/20

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:14 pm

Yesterday, when Pepper and I got home, I just didn’t feel like running. The main reason was this dumb cold I picked up. I felt a lot better yesterday than the day before, but still, I didn’t feel like getting on a treadmill and trying to run a few fast tempo miles. So Pep and I stayed on the couch instead.

Of course, the other reason was the fact the goal race I’ve been working toward since November is no longer happening, so I don’t really know what I’m doing right now. I was nearing the end of the taper. Now there’s nothing to taper for.

Last night, Clark suggested finishing the training cycle as scheduled and then running our own “Shamrock” along the Strand in Imperial Beach, or somewhere similarly flat and coastal. The race organizers are sending us all the race shirts and finisher’s medals anyway — including the Whale Challenge finisher’s shirt, with all the registrant’s names, that I prepaid for, so I’d like to at least complete the distances next weekend so I feel like I can wear it.

But I don’t think I’ll race it; rather I’ll treat it like an extra long run. Then I won’t need recovery time and I can jump into training for the next race on the schedule, the La Jolla Half Marathon at the end of April. That is, of course, if it even still happens. Who knows how long this “social distancing” will be necessary.

In all my years of running races, I’ve had one DNF, due to injury, and two DNS’s, both due to being sick, but this is my first experience with a canceled event. I’m hardly alone in this boat. Just about every race from now until mid-April has been canceled or postponed, so there are a lot of disappointed runners out there. Not to mention all the other huge events that have been canceled or postponed over the past two days.

It seems like the U.S. is finally taking this seriously though, so I’m hopeful they’ll get the spread under control.

And just to be clear, while I am immensely disappointed by Shamrock (and everything else) getting canceled, I don’t think this is an “overreaction” or a conspiracy cooked up by the Democrats and/or the “fake news.” Yes, far fewer people have been infected by the novel coronavirus than by the flu, SO FAR, but the ratio of people who have contracted it and died from it, compared to the flu, is much higher, so they need to get this shit under control before hospitals get overwhelmed and a lot more people die. If that means I don’t get to run my favorite race this one year, fine.

So wash your hands, keep away from people for now and STOP HOARDING TOILET PAPER. (I did manage to score a six-pack of Charmin at Rite Aid yesterday, so I think we’re good.)

Anyway, this weekend, we were supposed to do a longer, more technical hike to Potato Chip, a rock formation that apparently is pretty famous, but it got postponed too. Not for coronavirus though. It’s just been raining all week and is supposed to continue tomorrow. It’s been rescheduled for next Saturday, but it’s supposed to keep raining next week too, so who knows if it’ll happen at all.

Since the hike isn’t happening, they’re doing a workout at the gym first thing in the morning, so we’re going to that. Then I have another 4-miler to run.

Sunday, I’m supposed to run 8, my last long run before “Shamrock.” The run club is training for La Jolla and meeting in Carlsbad to run 6 to 8 miles, so I’ll probably join them for that.

There’s still a NASCAR race to watch Sunday afternoon, in Atlanta, though fans aren’t allowed to attend. They’ve put the same restrictions in place already for the race in Homestead next weekend. Everyone’s been making the same joke — that it’ll look like a regular race anyway, since attendance has been so low haha.

EDIT: Never mind, NASCAR has been postponed for the next two weeks now too. Looks like the Baywatch marathon will continue uninterrupted!

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