A Simple Running Log

May 20, 2019

St. Michaels Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:46 am

The first taste of summer arrived this weekend, just in time to make things tough for everyone running the St. Michaels Half Marathon. The inevitable bathroom break at mile 10 didn’t help my race either. I did not get anywhere close to hitting my goal, but I did the best I could.

Pepper and I went to St. Michaels on Friday afternoon to pick up race packets for Clark, Clark’s dad and me. Again this year, they assigned bib numbers as runners checked in, rather than pre-assigning them. Seems to work fine.

I got some Chick-fil-A chicken strips and waffle fries for dinner on the way home, and ate pretty early, for me anyway. I was hoping more time to digest would help get things moving before I started racing the next morning.

Poor Clark was gone all last week for work and, due to a series of travel-related mishaps, didn’t get home until 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning — 90 minutes before we had to get up for the race! Somehow, he pulled it off.

Anyway, yes, my alarm went off at 4 a.m. Saturday. I drank some coffee and did my ab routine and — voilá! — was able to poop before we left home. I was feeling optimistic.

We left the house at 5, picked up Clark’s dad and dropped off Pepper to hang out with Clark’s mom, and were in St. Michaels a little after 6, about an hour before the race started. We had no trouble finding a spot to park on a side street between the start and finish line areas.

I had to pee really bad by then, so my first stop was the start area, to use a port-o-potty. Then I ran a mile and a half to warm up.

It wasn’t too warm yet, but it was super humid. I was running about a 9:25/mile pace for the warm up, and even that felt harder in the thick, soupy air. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t that bad.

I also hit up a lone port-o-potty outside a house under construction and got to poop AGAIN. That’s twice before the race started! I was really feeling optimistic.

I joined the first wave in the starting corral. A girl in fourth grade sang a very impressive rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. And then we were off!

There was a drone filming the race start. It buzzed up from behind us as we made the first turn onto St. Michaels’ main street. Some guy running near me yelled “Wasps!” haha.

The first mile led us down that street, lined with little shops and restaurants, and out of town. My Garmin beeped the first split — 7:46.

It didn’t feel unmanageable, but that would turn out to be the ONLY mile I’d run under goal pace all day!

The second mile ran along the shoulder of Route 33 and then took us into Harbourtowne. I really thought I’d maintained my pace, but the second split was 8:08. Crap.

The next few miles were in Harbourtowne. I ran 3 in 8:01, 4 in 8:09 and 5 in 8:05. A little slow, but not bad. Again, I thought the pace felt manageable, like something I could hold another eight miles.

It was really warming up though. Fortunately, the sun had not broken through the cloud cover (yet), but I was drenched in sweat that wasn’t going anywhere.

It was somewhere in the next mile I got passed by a guy running in a SWEATSHIRT. How?!

The Garmin announced the end of mile 6 — 8:21. Oof.

I slowed a little so I could eat a Huma gel as we ran up on the next aid station. (I stopped for water at every single aid station.) We left Harbourtowne and took Route 33 back toward town.

The next mile marker was on Route 33. A woman running near me asked what mile that was as we approached it. I told her it was mile 7 and she blurted out “Are you serious?? That’s it?!” and another guy near us said “You and me both!” Mile 7 was 8:35. Shit was getting tough.

On the bright side, I was more than halfway through and I hadn’t felt like I’d have to poop yet!

We ran back into town, then took a couple turns on some side streets to head out toward another little neighborhood near the water. Mile 8 was 8:28. I swear, it felt like I was running just as hard as I had been at the beginning, but my legs wouldn’t move any faster.

I saw the leader on his way back in the next mile. I was at about mile 8.5 when he was around 12.3. Smoking fast.

Mile 9 was 8:38. This was getting ugly.

The next mile ran into the neighborhood, where we did a loop. That was when my butt made it presence known. I was not going to make it through this race poop-free after all.

I finished mile 10 in 8:37. There was an aid station past the mile marker. I came up on the lone port-o-potty there just as another runner was shutting the door. Crap. The next port-o-potty was at least two miles away. I had no choice but to wait.

So I stood there and waited for what felt like an eternity. The 1:50 pacer ran by while I could only stand there and watch. I could hear the other runner fiddling with the toilet paper a lot. Finally, she came out.

When I got in there, I saw what had taken her so long with that toilet paper — the roll was brand new, and it was that cheap single-ply that’s impossible to start cleanly, especially with sweaty hands. It was just coming off the roll in ribbons. It’s hard to clean up with a handful of thin strands!

I clawed at that damn roll until I finally got some actual sheets to start coming off, cleaned up and went on my way. I lost a LOT of time there. I felt much better though!

I finished the loop and started running back toward town again. I saw Kelly, leading the 2:00 pace group, on her way to start the loop. I also saw Bart.

By that time, the sun had come out. That finished me off. I was in survival mode. Just put one foot in front of the other until it’s over.

There was one more out-and-back on a back road before we could go back in town. Mile 11 was at the beginning of the out-and-back — 11:02 with all that lost time thanks to the port-o-potty situation. Whatever.

I made it to the U-turn. On my way back, I made the mistake of glancing at my current pace on the Garmin. 9:30!! Slower than my warm up, but I could not go any faster!

This is why I rarely look at current pace: My mile 12 split was 8:50. Slow, but not as bad as I’d thought it would be.

Just past the mile 12 marker was the end of the out-and-back. I turned right to go back to town.

There were a few more turns in town before we got to the finish line. The mile 13 marker was just before the last turn. I felt like I was running as hard as possible, but I only managed an 8:37 for that last mile.

Then I made the last turn and there it was — the finish line.

I ran 13.2 miles by my Garmin, but officially, I finished 13.1 miles in 1:52:52, an 8:37/mile average.

I was really glad to be done running! I got my finisher’s medal and a bottle of Gatorade, then hung out by the water bottle station. TK’s mom, who had run the 5K, found me in there. I bitched to her about the humidity while I waited for everyone else to finish.

Kelly was the first to come through, finishing in 1:59:48. Perfect pacing!

Melissa was next. She ran 1:46, but had been assigned to the third wave for some reason, so she’d started almost 15 minutes after I did. She’s training for a 50-miler in a few weeks and tried to convince me to run some more with her after the race. I successfully stood my ground on that one haha. No more for me today!

Clark’s dad was next, in 2:11. Bart was right behind him, running 2:12.

Apparently, there was a line on the registration form where we were supposed to supply a “fun fact” for the finish line announcer. I didn’t see that. Most people wrote something about an upcoming wedding anniversary, or how many times they’d run St. Michaels. A woman who finished just before Clark had written she runs for her kids.

And then I heard, “Here comes Clark Andrews — he runs for beer!” as Clark came to the line haha. He finished in 2:17.

I went back to the truck to change into dry clothes, and then I rejoined everyone at the post-race party. The race bibs all had a ticket attached for one free beer, but it was only good for Bud Light. Fortunately, I’d invested $10 in an all-you-can-drink wristband, and we could also get Shock Top or Goose Island IPA with that.

It felt pretty good out there just standing around and drinking beer!

group after st michaels

Clark’s dad, Bart, Clark, me and Kelly.

When they posted the results, I’d ranked pretty well, in spite of being so far off my goal. I guess everyone was affected by the weather.

I was 9th of 145 in the F 35-39 age group (and if I hadn’t lost so much time at the port-o-potty, and had finished around 1:50, I’d have been 4th!) I was also 52nd of 806 women, and 163rd of 1,270 overall.

st michaels 2019 swag

Race shirt, bibs and medals. I used to think South Carolina residents were fanatics about their state flag, but I think Marylanders have them beat now.

We didn’t quite make it to the end of the post-race party. Clark was understandably beat. He and his dad went home, while I went to Julie’s house, to finally celebrate Christmas with my friends. We weren’t able to get together for that until July last year, so we’re doing better!

We had a good time there. Julie is renting a house on a farm now. We went to visit the cows. I found out cows can spray poop. (Good thing I hadn’t showered yet.) I also got to meet a yellow Lab named after Taylor Swift. All Taylor the Lab wanted was a good belly rub. I was more than happy to oblige.

taylor the dog

I finally showered that evening, and then Clark and I met Kelly and Corey at 3rd Wave. We went straight to bed when we got home.

Sunday morning, Clark and I washed the truck and his company car. He also cut the grass.

In the afternoon, we met Dave for some Eagleman training. It was perfect conditions — hot and windy. Just like Eagleman always is.

Normally, we would go to Cambridge to train on the actual course, but there were powerboat races being held on the river, so we went to the Choptank marina.

They swam first. I hung out on shore for that.

choptank marina

Oh look, there’s the Maryland flag again.

Then we rode the bikes to Federalsburg and back. Fortunately, the wind was mostly a cross wind both ways, but it was definitely slower on the way back. We finished 20.5 miles at an 18.6 mph average.

Then we ran what turned out to be a 4.5-mile loop. Dave took the hell off, as usual. Clark decided he didn’t want to run the whole loop and he was going to turn around and do a 3-mile out-and-back.

I ran the whole loop, but it was hot and I didn’t feel like running anymore by halfway through, so I took a few walk breaks. I wound up finishing it at a 9:33/mile average.

I had a fly with me the WHOLE way. It buzzed around my head for the first two miles or so. I thought I’d gotten rid of it, but just before the end of the loop, I felt a little tickle behind my right ear, and when I scratched it, the fly came out! Apparently it’d been hanging out between the back of my ear and my headband for 2.5 miles. Gross!

Anyway, I took another much-needed shower when we got home from that, ate a big ol’ burger for dinner and then passed out. Clark and I were both absolutely exhausted.

As of today, I’m training plan-free until Steamtown Marathon training begins June 10. My next race is the Masser 5-Miler next Sunday though, so I should do some more speed work this week. I think today I’ll do some strength training and an easy 3-miler.

Advertisements

May 16, 2019

Training for 5/16/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:25 pm

Today, I ran my last training run for St. Michaels, an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. Technically, it was supposed to be a 30-minute tempo run, but the race is only two days away and I already did a pace run and an interval workout this week, so that seemed like a little much.

The run was fine. I waited until the middle of the afternoon, when it was in the mid 70s, sunny and breezy, but it wasn’t humid, so it didn’t feel bad at all. I finished the loop in 38:50, an 8:38/mile average.

And that’s it! Tomorrow I’m gonna pick up Clark’s and my bibs, and then Saturday morning is race day. I’m really glad it starts as early as it does, just after 7, because it’s supposed to get warm Saturday, near 80, so it’ll be good to get it done early.

Speaking of races, I’ve signed up for a couple more things.

Yesterday, I signed up to volunteer at the finish line at Eagleman again. I did that the first year Clark did that race, and since the relay team missed out on registering before it sold out, I figure that’s the next best way to spend the day.

And today, I registered for the Masser 5-Miler, the race I’ve run every Memorial Day weekend since 2010 to kick off the summer series.

I haven’t registered for the rest of the series, but I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out which five 5Ks I’ll do to complete the rest of the qualification requirement. Hard to believe this will be my 10th consecutive summer doing this.

May 15, 2019

Training for 5/15/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:30 pm

This morning, Pepper did something amazing. He pooped outside, like he’s supposed to, but he did it in the one place I had to clean it up anyway — on the back step, right in front of the door he goes in and out of all day. I’ll spare you the picture I sent to Clark to complain about it.

While I was scrubbing that up, Pepper claimed the spot on the couch we fight over all day, every day. I have to sit there because my junky old laptop has to be plugged in at all times, and that’s the only spot on the couch from which the power cord can reach. I’m not sure why Pepper likes it so much. Just to be a jerk, I guess.

Anyway, I had to sit in the floor for a while until he finally got up to get a drink or go out or something, and then I “stole” it back. This also happens at some point every day.

couch spot

Spoiled brat!

Late this afternoon, I did something I haven’t in a while. I took Pepper to the trail for a short run!

I only had two easy miles on the schedule. They were SUPER easy with Pepper — our average pace was 12:19/mile.

pepper and me in the woods

I like the side-eye here.

I wore the trail shoes “Pepper” gave me for Christmas, so I made him pose for a bunch of pictures with the self timer until I got one to send to Clark. (Who I suspect actually bought those shoes for me, and put Pepper’s name on them so I’d take him for some short trail runs.)

When I got home, I picked a tick off myself and two off Pepper. The worst part of the woods this time of year!

May 14, 2019

Training for 5/14/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:49 pm

Twenty years ago today, I bought my first car!

charlie

Charlie was my grandfather’s car until my family decided, without me, that I was going to buy it from him for $3,960. I was informed of this when I came home from my high school band’s spring trip. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with a “champagne beige metallic” (TAN) 1987 Honda Accord LX or my first monthly car payment. (Especially when, 10 years later, my aunt GAVE her car to my younger sister, but I digress…)

Three weeks later, I technically totaled Charlie when I sailed him through a ditch into a wheat field after I took a turn too fast on a wet road. But we used the salvage check to get him fixed as much as we could, and I drove him another four years.

Charlie was a total pile when I finally traded him in, but that was my fault. I was a horrible car owner when I was a teenager. (Big surprise.) But he always got me where I was going and never stranded me, except once when what turned out to be an 8-year-old battery died, so I traded him on another Honda.

It’s hard to believe I’ve had a driver license for 20 years. More than half my life. It felt like it took three lifetimes to get to 16!

Anyway, I’ve done a couple runs since I last posted.

Yesterday evening, I ran the easy 3-miler on the schedule. I guess I was feeling zippy, because it felt like my normal easy pace, but it turned out to be 8:31/mile.

Today, I had a short speed workout, six 400-meter repeats. I did my usual and just programmed the Garmin to measure out six quarter-miles, with a quarter-mile of recovery between each.

I did an easy 1.5 miles to warm up. My goal on the intervals was 1:45 each, 7:00/mile pace. My actual splits were 1:45, 1:45, 1:43, 1:42, 1:40 and 1:48. Not sure what happened on the last one. It felt as fast as the rest but I just couldn’t get the pace where it was supposed to be, and then it was over.

I did another mile to cool down, finishing the 5.5-mile loop in 46:35, an 8:29/mile average.

May 13, 2019

Training for 5/13/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 9:01 am

Friday evening, Clark’s coworker, Paul, invited us to go surf fishing at Broadkill Beach. I did not know people fished on the beach past sunset, but it’s a thing. By the time Clark and I drove to Fenwick, got the Jeep, drove all the way to Broadkill (north of Lewes), deflated the tires on the Jeep and drove out to where Paul was set up, it was nearly 9 p.m.

Nothing was biting that night. All Paul caught was one skate, which he took home and said he ate for breakfast Sunday, and a bunch of horseshoe crabs, which were all thrown back.

I’ve seen plenty of empty horseshoe crab shells and broken-off tails on the beach over the years, but this was my first encounter with a live one. These things have been around so long — 450 million years — they’re considered “living fossils.” And they are the stuff of nightmares.

horseshoe crab

TOO MANY LEGS.

The novelty of the horseshoe crabs wore off by about the third one. It was past my bedtime and a little chilly on the beach. So I took a nap in the back seat of the Jeep.

It was 12:30 a.m. when we left, and nearly 2 when we got back to Fenwick and got settled on the pull-out sleeper sofa in the living room.

“Settled” is not the right word for it. Pepper was all out of sorts and kept wanting to go out. I’m pretty sure I got up and let him out four times between 2 and 6 a.m. Once, I watched him, and all he did was make a slow lap around a tree in the front yard — didn’t even pee on it! — and then came right back in.

In spite of my less than restful night, I did get in my scheduled 2-hour long run Saturday morning.

It was a little after 9 a.m. when I finally got started. Fortunately, it’s still cool enough at the beach that it wasn’t a problem. It was breezy and humid though.

I’d thought about driving to Rehoboth and running the trail from Gordon Pond to Cape Henlopen, but there was an organized half marathon using it that morning. Of course, it was most likely over by the time I got around to running, but I didn’t feel like driving by that point anyway.

So I just did an out-and-back, along Coastal Highway from Fenwick to Bethany Beach, and along the boardwalk in Bethany.

I had to run head-on into the wind the whole way there, which was annoying, but I kept reminding myself that meant I’d have a nice tailwind the whole way back.

When I got to Bethany, I was happy to get off the main highway and into what I thought would be a less-busy downtown area, since the tourists aren’t here yet.

Instead, I ran smack dab into the walkers in the Bethany Beach Breast Cancer 5K Fun Run/Walk, coming down the road along the boardwalk, and then turning onto the boardwalk right where I wanted to. Dammit! I did not expect to run into an organized event that late in the morning! Especially since the whole reason I was in Bethany in the first place was to avoid a different organized event.

Reroute. I stayed on the road and got onto the boardwalk a bit farther down. A little bit of a run right along the ocean is better than nothing.

I turned around at 6.6 miles, where I stopped to eat a Huma gel. Alright, let’s go home!

I made another stop at about mile 7.2, on the boardwalk, to use the bathroom, but other than that, the run back was not eventful. I made it back to Fenwick and finished 13.2 miles in two hours and some odd seconds, a 9:07/mile average.

Later that morning, Clark’s parents watched Pepper while we went to Dirty Harry’s, a little diner near the beach house. I love their sweet potato pancakes. I had a couple of them, plus some sausage and a big glass of chocolate milk. Hit the spot!

We went home that afternoon, to get some yard work done before it was supposed to start raining. And we did in fact get the grass cut, trim the edges, spray the weeds in the flower beds and the driveway and cut down some tree branches that were scraping the siding on the garage. It started sprinkling just as we were finishing up.

That night, we stayed in and tried to stay awake through the whole NASCAR race in Kansas. I almost made it, but I finally fell asleep with about 50 laps to go. I woke up right after it ended and was surprised to see Brad Keselowski had won. He’d not been a factor for the lead at all before I’d fallen asleep. Where did he come from?

Sunday morning, we slept in. I guess I could’ve gotten my run in before we took our moms out for lunch for Mother’s Day, but being lazy sounded better.

I did get a flower from Pepper though! OK, it was a weed that got stuck between two toes on his back paw while he was outside peeing, but still, he brought it in the house. I’m counting it.

pepper's mother's day flower

I will cherish it forever.

Then Clark and I picked up our moms and took them to the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford for a three-course lunch.

I had a caprese salad appetizer and a very tasty crab cake for the entree, but my favorite part of the meal (and the reason I picked this place when I was looking at menus online last week) was the lemon Smith Island cake I got for dessert.

lemon smith island cake

The cake, plus lemon curd, fresh fruit and chantilly cream.

I almost finished it! There was a sliver of cake I just couldn’t make room for. It was a valiant effort though.

When we got back to our house, Pepper had destroyed the utility room and the whole house smelled like dog poop. Made for a very pleasant visit with Clark’s dad and grandmother, who had stopped by so we could give her two hanging baskets of geraniums for Mother’s Day. Thanks, Pep!

After they left, Clark got that room cleaned up, and then he pushed me out the door for my run.

I had a 3-mile pace run on the schedule, which I really didn’t feel like doing. I decided to run the 4.5-mile loop, so I could do a mile to warm up, then the three fast miles and a half-mile to cool down.

The warm up mile was head-on into a strong wind, and took me 9:25 to finish. And now I’m gonna speed up almost 90 seconds per mile? OK…

I tried to get my current pace to 8:00, but every time I glanced at the Garmin, it said 8:20. I couldn’t get it to budge. Then the mile ended and the Garmin reported the split: 7:42. WTF, Garmin??

The next one was more of the same, except the current pace was always 8:05. Then the mile split was 7:38.

By the last one, the current pace had finally caught up. I just felt like running that one harder though, and finished it in 7:09. Then I ran the last half-mile home at what turned out to be an 8:02/mile pace. So in the end, I ran all 4.5 miles at a 7:56/mile average.

The St. Michaels Half Marathon is now five days away! This week is all short runs, but two of them are brief speed workouts. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about running 1:45 or better in the race.

May 10, 2019

Training for 5/10/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 10:27 am

I didn’t run yesterday after all. It was hot and windy by the time I got around to maybe doing it, and today was going to be a rest day, so I just swapped them.

I got up bright and early today to knock it out while Clark was still home. I tacked on a procrastination tax too, and did the 4.5-mile loop instead of just the 3-mile out-and-back I was supposed to do yesterday.

It was cooler, but it was already pretty breezy that early, and the humidity was at 96 percent. I took it easy and ran the loop at an 8:56/mile average.

This weekend is the last one of training for the St. Michaels Half Marathon. I’ve got a 2-hour long run on the schedule for tomorrow and three miles at goal pace Sunday.

Other than that, we’ve got a quiet weekend around here. The only other thing on the schedule is taking our moms out for lunch for Mother’s Day on Sunday.

May 9, 2019

Training for 5/9/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 3:19 pm

I had a pretty good interval workout yesterday evening!

First of all, the weather was decent. It’d cooled down a few degrees from the day before and the humidity was all the way down to 70 percent.

I did a mile and a half to warm up (though, officially by my Garmin, only a mile, because I somehow stopped the timer right after I started it, and didn’t realize it until it was about to go into power-saving mode a half-mile down the road.) Then I started the first of six half-mile intervals.

I was probably more than halfway through it when I glanced down at the Garmin, which, as is its default, was only showing which number interval I was on and how much was left of it. I’ve been trying to run my goal paces “by feel” but the last several interval workouts, when I’ve checked the paces afterwards, have proven I really suck at that.

So I took the two seconds necessary to change the screen and voilá — current pace! It was slow.

I sped up, and finished that first interval in 3:38, eight seconds off my goal, a 7:16/mile pace.

The next five intervals, I kept a really close eye on the current pace. And it worked!

My splits for those were 3:31, 3:30, 3:30, 3:28 and 3:25. Much better!

I ran the rest of the way home easy and finished 6.8 miles in 55:something, an 8:14/mile average, though I’d really run 7.3.

Today, I’ve just got an easy 3-miler on the schedule.

May 8, 2019

Training for 5/8/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:07 pm

Happy birthday to my all-time favorite NASCAR driver, Bobby Labonte! I hope he got in a nice birthday bike ride today.

I am still sore in certain places from riding more than three hours on my own bike a few days ago, so I will not be going for a ride in his honor. I do have a run on the schedule though, six 800-meter intervals, but I’m going to wait until Clark gets home from work to run it, so Pepper doesn’t have to be alone.

Speaking of Pepper, he makes me laugh every day, but last night he really cracked me up. He was begging for my burger and/or fries, so I gave him part of a pickle slice. He made the weirdest face, and then he gently ejected it so it landed just so, right on my pant leg. It didn’t even look like he spit it out; it looked more like a floppy disk shooting out of an old computer. I wish I had a video of it!

And in other news, my friend TK announced yesterday she is PREGNANT! This is something she’s wanted for a very long time, so it’s extremely good news. However, she’s kinda high risk for several reasons, so her doctors don’t want her to run — which means I’ll be missing my summer series buddy this year! It’s just one summer, of course. But it’ll be really weird!

May 7, 2019

Training for 5/7/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:46 pm

We got the race in yesterday! It was still overcast when I left home, but the sun was mostly out by the time we got to the track.

julie and me in front of Dover 50

Julie and me with Miles the Monster.

They were already a few laps into the race when I got there. As soon as I walked under the grandstands, that smell hit me — burnt rubber and exhaust. I love it! When I made it to my seat, a couple people nearby were smoking cigarettes. Anywhere else, it’s gross, but it’s part of the experience at a NASCAR race for me.

The race was pretty good, but I kinda wanted to go to the Tudor Inn.

tudor inn

Martin Truex Jr. won. Fun fact — he won the Monday race the last time they had to postpone a Dover race for weather, in June 2007.

burnout

Victory burnout.

Today, I didn’t feel like going out and running this morning, when it was in the 50s. Instead, I put it off until late this afternoon, when it was almost 80.

Fortunately, I only had an easy 3-miler on the schedule. It was warm and breezy, and lunch was kinda putting the pressure on my guts the last half-mile or so, but I got it done at an 8:54/mile average.

May 6, 2019

Training for 5/6/19

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 8:53 am

Friday afternoon, I went to Dover with my brother, sister-in-law and niece to watch Cup qualifying and some of the truck race. We had tickets to New Holland’s suite.

It was Kaylee’s first live racing experience. We got there in time to see the Xfinity Series’ practice before qualifying.

At first, she was pretty pumped.

kaylee at dover

She brought an American flag to wave at the cars — close enough to a checkered flag — and several Polly Pocket sets, as one does.

But by the time qualifying started, she was already losing it haha.

kaylee losing it

Kasey’s not even fazed. Just another day when you live with a 4-year-old!

We left about halfway through the truck race.

dover 50 monster

Dave, Kaylee and Kasey with the 50th anniversary sculpture in front of Miles the Monster.

Saturday, Clark and I were up well before sunrise to get ready for the Six Pillars ride in Cambridge. We’d done the smart thing the night before and gotten everything packed, so we actually managed to pick up Clark’s dad, who was also riding the course, and drop off Pepper to hang out with Clark’s mom when we said we would.

We got to Cambridge a little before 7 a.m. Dave and Bart were there too. They all went to go for a swim in the Choptank before the ride. I went to the Y to pick up my bib and register Clark. I ran into Susan there.

There was some miscommunication here — apparently I was supposed to wait for them at the truck, but I hadn’t heard that, and I wanted to get a little head start since they ride faster than I do. So I started with Susan, thinking Clark and Bart would catch up eventually.

The problem was I also took the truck keys with me. I’m usually the one to carry them because I’m wearing a bike jersey with a zippered pocket, while Clark has on his tri suit. But Dave wasn’t riding the whole Eagleman course and he needed to move our truck so he could get his own out.

I didn’t know any of this until I got to the first rest stop around mile 14 and saw I had a bunch of missed calls from Clark and his dad. I was able to get a hold of his dad, who said they were all on their way to the first rest stop, and I could just hand off the keys there to Dave, who was turning around there anyway to head back.

So that’s what I did. I had to wait a while. Susan waited with me for most of it, but eventually went on her way. Five or 10 minutes later, Dave, Clark and Bart rolled in.

I gave the truck keys to Dave and he went back toward Cambridge. I took off for the next segment of the Eagleman course on my own.

The second segment is my favorite, as we get into the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

About halfway through that segment, just as we were making a left turn, Clark and Bart caught up with me, along with several other cyclists, all riding in a pace line. I latched onto the back of that line after it passed.

We rode like that all the way to the next rest stop at mile 30. Susan was there when we pulled in.

It seemed like everyone was at that rest stop at the same time. It was packed.

mile 30 rest stop

My favorite thing about this picture is that it caught the guy lying on his stomach on the pavement, probably stretching out his back or something. Susan had pointed him out as a shining example of how weird bikers are haha. We weren’t sure if it was the helmets (everyone looks like an uber dork in a bike helmet) or the shoes (everyone waddles awkwardly in them because the soles are rigid) or just all the Spandex, but man, it’s a weird bunch. Of course, we were part of that bunch Saturday.

Susan and I rode most of the rest of the course together. I didn’t tell her before we took off for the third segment, but it’s definitely my least favorite of the course, especially the eight miles or so on Egypt Road before the last aid station. It wasn’t too bad this time though — we were talking about ice cream and doughnuts for most of it, and it was a good distraction!

Clark and Bart had passed us again just before the turn onto Egypt Road. They were still at the last aid station when we pulled in. We all took off together for the final 9-mile section to the end.

The rest of the ride went by pretty quickly too, and Susan and I rolled back into Great Marsh Park to finish 56 miles. My Garmin reported a total moving time of 3:10:57, an average speed of 17.6 mph, about the same as that ride a year ago.

Everything on me felt fine, other than what had been in contact with the bike seat. The guy who’d installed that new seat for me a month earlier had said it would need to be broken in, and well, that was the first time I’d ridden the bike since. It was definitely not broken in.

Susan went home after that. I rode back over to our truck. Clark and Bart were there, about to take off for a run. They waited while I changed my shorts and top and put on running shoes.

It was well past noon at that point, and the day had really warmed up. The sun was out too.

I wanted to do five miles. I ran the first two with Clark. Those were 9:58 and 9:39.

Then we split up; he went left to do a loop back to the truck, while I went right to get to 2.5 miles, where I turned around and went back the same way we’d come.

I sped up a little after we split up. The last three miles were 9:19, 8:46 and 8:42. I finished five miles with an average pace of 9:18/mile.

By that time, Clark’s dad had gotten back from the ride too. We all had a beer from a cooler Bart had brought. I wasn’t too hot anymore, but I was completely drenched in sweat, and it wasn’t going anywhere in the humidity.

Bart went home, but Clark, his dad and I all went to the Y and took showers. It felt amazing to wash off all that sweat and grime! Then we went to RAR for lunch and a couple more beers.

We dropped off Clark’s dad and picked up Pepper, and then came home, where we spent the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning, I woke up to find out I’d been tattooed the night before. That’s what I get for falling asleep when Clark is still awake!

pepper tattoo

I also had B#18LAB 4 LIFE (Bobby Labonte for life) written all the way down the inside of my right arm haha.

Sunday was supposed to be race day in Dover. However, the weather was not cooperating. Stupid rain.

I had hope there’d be enough of a break in the rain in the afternoon to get in the race, but I wasn’t going to drive up there unless it looked that would happen. It stopped raining at home a little past noon, so I went for a short run, a lap around the 4.5-mile loop at an 8:37/mile average.

When I got back from that though, I saw it was still lightly raining in Dover. That did it. There was no way they were getting that race in, in my opinion. So Clark and I met Bart and Amanda at Tacos Chabelitas in Laurel to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

cinco jacket

One of the TVs there was showing race coverage. The rain had stopped and they’d gotten the track dried, gone through driver introductions and had the drivers out doing the warm up laps. Gotta admit, I was worrying I’d made the wrong decision and they were going to get that race in after all, without me — but then the next blob of rain came through and the bottom dropped out before they even got in one green-flag lap. They finally officially postponed the race to this afternoon.

Phew! I didn’t miss anything!

We were still at the restaurant when a mariachi band came in. For some reason, Bart told them Clark would dance with them when he came back from the bathroom.

clark and mariachi singer

Clark played along but he was definitely trying to figure out who did that to him.

My favorite part of this picture is the look of terror on the face of that little girl between Clark and the singer haha!

We went to Amanda’s place for a little while after that, and then came home.

This morning, I got up early to run. I’d been planning to do that long run I didn’t do all weekend, but I just really did not feel like running for two hours. So I did a lap of the 7.3-mile loop.

It was just one of those days where I never really felt like I got into a good rhythm, but I kept up a decent easy pace the whole way around and finished the loop in 1:04:05, an 8:46/mile average.

I took today off work and now I’m heading up to Dover again for the race. The rain is out of the area and it should be a much better day for it.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.