Monday, December 31, 2007

Great fun!

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- I know it's not great fun if you have to live here and do it all the time, but I donned my snow running gear and shoveled my parents' driveway.

A way to burn off a nice burger at The Country House, ranked one of the best in the city by one of its newspapers. Fries just like at Manuel's. Mmmm.

Day 365

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- When I run out over the snow, I think of the episode of Band of Brothers where Dick Winters is running across a snowy field toward the young German soldier.

Running in snow is so different. For one, it's so much easier to see -- you can almost see forever.

The cold weather makes it so much easier to run. And the crunch crunch of snow underneath is unforgettable.

Today I've run for every day this year, in the snow, in the heat, within wooded trails, in the desert.

It's been a great motivator. Here's to running through the next 365 days.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A snow cat

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- This morning I trudged out into the cold and ran around my folks' neighborhood. I think I was properly geared up, although my face was a little cold. I took off my hat halfway through the run.

I stayed away from the sidewalks at first because I wasn't sure if ice would make them slick to my running shoes. Not too bad tho.

Gear: CFLST, T-shirt, North Face pants, APA4, hat, Nike Climafit gloves.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gearing for snow

There's an orange Nike box in the back of my closet that contains a little-used item of my running gear -- a Gore-Tex lined pair of running shoes. They are probably a decade old.

But I think I may have to pull them out of the box and bring them with me for my trip to Chicago tomorrow. I like how the last four days of my year's worth of consecutive running days will be from my birthplace.

Already I can tell I'm a winter cat. Yesterday I ran twice just to be out in the cooler weather. It's no problem to be a winter cat -- as long as you stay warm.

So I'll be bringing the extra CFLSTs, running pants, gloves, windbreakers and even a hat!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Must. Ride. Bike.

I had so much sugar and other Christmas food in me yesterday that I went out for a short midnight run (Day 360) just to hopefully burn off something before going to bed.

This morning the ground was wet -- I have a no biking rule for wet pavement, but since it wasn't raining (and wasn't expected to) I decided to bike to work. The water on the ground actually helped my bike move a little faster to work (not a problem going in a straight line but trouble if you actually need to control it).

So I'm better, and happier for doing that.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Operation Cat Check 1

Today I ran out to Empire and Brigid's house, where I'm checking in on their cats while they are out.

It was about 55 degrees out, so no need for nothing but shorts and a T-shirt (FTP).

It was good to mix up the run -- it took two weeks for my right ankle to feel okay for running down Atlanta's sidewalks like a running back -- over, around and through things.

Recently, though, I've thought about taking up trail running again, especially since it's hard for me to get motivated for running around my neighborhood for the umpteenth time. This long run (Day 357) helped, but I hope to put in more variety for the weeks ahead.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cold back on

The cold weather is back!

Route: City Hall East shopping center
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Temp: 38 degrees
Gear: SST(Braves-Park), CFLST, shorts, APA5

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Back on the bike

The last two days I've commuted to work on my bike, really the first time in a while. I'd been concerned previously about trying to make it home with a lot of rush-hour cars when it was dark out, but it hasn't been so bad.

I like the idea of riding to work when I can. Would love to see hybrid owners suck it up and totally travel on their own power. lol Plus, getting a little more exercise is a plus. lol

The ankle sprain is nearly a thing of the past, it definitely doesn't hurt while on the bike and I ran last night without the brace.

Was really windy last night and running was unpleasant. Looking forward to slightly warmer temps in Vegas.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Look ma, no brace!

Because I'd walked around today without the brace, I tried running tonight without it, on the same course where I'd injured it.

And it was fine. No problems at all. I ran fast, took jumps, everything. I did concentrate a little harder on the ground.

Maybe it's the running every day. Maybe I just got lucky.

With brace

After work yesterday, I went and got an ankle brace. It fit pretty good and I could wear it with my shoes.

I ran with it for a short run, just to test things out and then wore it later on that evening.

That being said, today I just left it in the car when I went to work, just in case I need it. The ankle feels pretty good and I may even risk running without the brace today.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

But on the 1,001st mile...

...but on the way home early Saturday, I sprained my right ankle horribly. I was a block away from my house and heard a couple popping sounds. I looked down and my right shoe was at a terrible angle under my leg.

I hobbled back to the site where I rolled it and I couldn't find anything that would have made me do it.

Yesterday was a little rough but today it is much better. Reading the Runner's Complete Medical Guide made me feel better -- I would definitely know if my ankle was broken because I wouldn't be able to walk on it without severe pain.

So I'll have to just suck it up like Adrian Peterson and keep running, albeit a little more carefully. And maybe with a brace.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Make it 1,000

Leave it to Sham to help me hit 1,000 miles for the year. Earlier in the day I ran through Piedmont Park, but it still wasn't enough, leaving me with about 1.05 miles shy of the 1K mark.

Later on that evening when I got home, Sham wanted to hit Manuel's for dinner since he's on the start of his vacation. So I ran up there and ran around the neighborhood a little until I hit the milestone.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taking a bow

Yesterday I met Doug, Empire and Brigid at Doc Chey's in Emory Village and I decided to run there.

I was very happy that the steep hills on the route there were no trouble for me. Same went on the way back.

But as I was running on Virginia near the Highland intersection, I took a face plant right in front of the pasta restaurant, in front of a couple dining and another lady at a separate table working on her laptop.

I am unsure of their reactions, but I picked myself up, bowed, and ran the last block home.

I was surprised I didn't have a big injury- my left hand was numb from the jarring and the side of my right calf was red -- it later didn't even bruise. I scraped threads of rubber right off of the left toe of my APA5s.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tunica -- Rain came here

TUNICA, Miss. -- I headed out for the levy today but the fence gate was locked. So it was a shorter run than I thought. My legs were pretty tired from staying up late playing poker the night before.

A rain had come through -- it rains so infrequently back home that it was really strange to be running on wet pavement.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The cool thing about fall...

...is that even when you run at night you still get beautiful reds, yellows and oranges of fall leaves illuminated by streetlight.

Warm again yesterday, maybe about 65 degrees when I was out doing a loop about 8 p.m. or so.

I love me some cold weather for running but it's nice to just be out in shorts and a T-shirt enjoying an evening breeze.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Will run for food (er, a good meal)

What a difference a healed ankle makes.

Last night I was craving the really good chicken and vegetable soup over at Las Palmeras.

So I put on some running gear (windbreaker, T-shirt, shorts) and threw a book in a daypack and ran over there. It's about 1.6 miles from my place, according to Google. I went with a windbreaker instead of the CFLST so I would be wearing reflectors.

About halfway there, when I was passing the local high school, I could feel I was getting a lot more speed out of my ankle.

The restaurant is very relaxed and has a friendly staff. I flipped through a book on hiking in Georgia while waiting for my food.

On the way back I ran at a pretty good clip. When it's cold out (it was about 42 degrees) I feel like I hardly overheat and can run faster.

This may start a new trend -- to motivate my running to farther places by running there instead of driving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

For now, the ankle is back

It's amazing what a difference even a very minor problem can cause in running. For about a month now, I've had some queasiness in my left ankle (as described here). It doesn't hurt, is just sensitive, enough so I'll stop and walk if I can feel it.

But tonight, on a day that I've had two hours of sleep (because I had to be at work at 5:45 a.m. for a business earnings story) and my legs just felt tired, the ankle was back and I was out at full speed, even though I was so tired.

My only complaint is that my A5s felt really hard on the concrete walks of North Highland. They have 172.275 miles on them, so really are in the middle of being broken in. But still, maybe I should be alternating them with my A4s.

Weather was unseasonably warm, 65 degrees after 8 p.m. It got as high as 78 degrees earlier in the day but I wanted the weather to cool down before I set out.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chattahoochee River NRA -- Gold Branch

This afternoon went with the dogs to Gold Branch, off of Lower Roswell Road. It was absolutely beautiful because the leaves were in full color change.

After running for months on concrete, it was so nice to be out on a leaf-covered trail. The dogs are pretty much hunting breeds, so it was nice to see them trot down the trail and explore.

Sometime it'll be great to run in that area.

It was my third outing of the day. This morning I got up before 8 a.m. and went into LaDainian mode, making my way through Piedmont Park and back in about 40 degree weather. (Shorts, CFLST, T-shirt: Urban Dead, APA5).

Then I made the 1.5-mile route through the Freedom Park PATH to Susanne's and loaded up with dogs for the hike.

While the dogs were passed out in her SUV after the hike, we ate at Tasty China (585 Franklin Road, Marietta 30067), which is prolly the best Chinese restaurant in the city.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Following directions

For a while now on my regular hilly route around Briarcliff, I noticed white spraypainted arrows leading off my course onto sidestreets.

Today I followed them because I didn't want to do a bunch of hills. The arrows winded around streets, and unavoidably, up and down hills. I imagine it was part of some running club's run.

It was ok, though, since it was pretty nice day, although brisk at 52 degrees. I was a little chilly in a T-shirt for the first 20 minutes of the run, but it was all good later.

Boy there are some hills in my hood!

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Earlier walked with some dogs in a neat park, W.D. Thompson. Not sure why there are so many trailhead stakes in different colors.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The laundry run

I'm having to do my laundry by Manuel's because my landlord increased the price of a load from $1 to $2. Thankfully, Sham suggested the coin laundry near his place has a triple-loader for $3.

So I dumped off my laundry and took off down the Freedom Park PATH, the first time I've run on this section of the PATH in a few months.

The run was good. I felt hurried because I only had an hour before I'd have to leave for work.

But after I retrieved my laundry, I noticed my car's time was different from what I had on my running watch. Then I realized I hadn't moved my running watch back an hour.

D'oh.

At least I got a nice run in some of the nicest weather for running this year.

Temp: 55 degrees
Gear: shorts (Nike ACG), T-shirt (blue Eddie Bauer), shoes (APA5).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Warm again

This morning it was warm enough that I went without my windbreaker. I used for the first time these Sugoi arm warmers, prolly the first time ever in three years that I've used them.

But they did the trick, by blocking cool air off my arms and, interestingly enough, off my elbows. I was a little chilly in the T-shirt but didn't get overly sweaty at the end of the ride as I might if I was in a CFLST.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

That Halloween Shuffle

So I was minding my own business, traveling south of Inman Middle School toward Ponce when some young guy in his 20s passes me.

But, he doesn't realize that it's all uphill on that road to Ponce. So I step it up and dust him.

I turn up the road to a double set of even harder hills, in case he wants to give chase.

But I end up all by my lonesome. It really pays to have confidence running hills.

New skillz, old friendz

So when I got home I had about a half-hour left to get my bike over to the bike shop so I could get my flat tire fixed.

I wheeled it to my car and was about to take the rear tire off with the quick release when I noticed ... the brakes aren't quick-release. You have to hex wrench those puppies off.

I mean, I could take a deflated tire off but there would be no way I could put an inflated one back on again without loosening the brakes apart.

So I wheeled the bike back to my apartment and figured out how to do it. I tested putting the back wheel back on a few times before just taking the tire to Atlanta Cycling, where they kindly changed the tube in the tire for me even though it was their closing time.

Elated, I came back home and put the tire on and reset the brakes. And wheeled it around the coffee shop for a test spin. Only thing, the brakes didn't slow the bike down.

I hadn't set the brakes properly, or tight enough. I finally did, but now I'm carrying around a hex wrench on my keychain, not willing to trust my handiwork.

But the main thing is I'm really proud of myself that I figured it all out. I love having grease on my hands. I credit poker's analytics for giving me the patience to figure it all out.

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Also today, I ran into my old friend Sara on the PATH trail on the way to work. I love the connections biking to work gives you as opposed to the car commute!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Good to have a spare

This morning, as I was about to wheel out the door, I noticed that my rear tire was flat.

So I had to pump up the tires of my Cannondale mountain bike.

What a difference! It's low to the ground and not nearly as fast -- a road bike passed me and I could not keep up!

My legs ached as if I hadn't been biking for a while.

Guess this will ensure that I get my other bike back on the road.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hot/cold

It dropped about 10 degrees in between tonight's run.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Take the A-Train

Oh, forgot to mention -- this is a nifty way of finding your way around the city, on foot, on public transportation, or on bicycle, or a combination of them all.

Link here.

The limits of windbreakers

Rode this morning (7-7:30 a.m.) and it was 46 degrees, at the very edge of comfortability with my windbreaker and a T-shirt.

My new Cat Eye Opticube did well, as did its little cousin, the blinky LED.

Surprised to see dog walkers on the PATH before daylight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Running to a natural beat

Took off my headphones running down Virginia Avenue tonight as the hill picked up the sounds of the bands playing at Grady.

Temp: 58 degrees
Gear: T-shirt, shorts (was cold again for first 8 minutes but was fine later)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First for the season

Went out tonight for a run- had to wear a windbreaker but took it off about 10 minutes into the run.

Temp: 56 degrees

Monday, October 22, 2007

New toys

Went to REI today because my Cat Eye 1500-candlepower Power Opticube wasn't working properly when I rode to work on Sunday.

So I bought another one of those, plus a 3-LED front headlamp, the kind that flashes.

Also found some gloves and a thermal skullcap, which my helmet fits over, for the winter commute. It has enough room so I can pull it over my ears.

Yay!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One year anniversary

I was looking through my old running logs and it turns out that today is the one-year anniversary of my running push last year.

For the last 365 days, I ran 1,170.37 miles, missing only six days of running.

Here's to more miles! W00t!

Going long and seeding clouds

Yesterday I just had the urge to run for a while. So I started out from home, down Virginia to 10th Street and onto the famous Peachtree. It's great to run through different areas, not only for variety but also because you see lots of things you wouldn't normally see, especially in a car.

A big portion of Midtown on Peachtree between 10th and 14th streets is under construction, one area with just a big gaping hole like when I visited Ground Zero in New York a year after the terrorist attacks.

I made my way down past the art museum and to the Borders where I would usually go on those runs to take advantage of the water fountain and read poker books.

I was glad though that I made a slightly longer-than-usual run for Day 290 -- my ankle didn't hurt, my newer shoes felt fresh.

Best of all though was being able to take down half a pitcher of Leiny's Sunset Wheat with a rack of ribs with Sham later on at Manny's. (No way did either one of us finish the rack + 1/2 each that the generous staff gave us)

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This morning I was halfway through my commute to work when I felt drops of rain. Short of me deciding to wash my car, being outside on a bike with no windbreaker is like cloud seeding for the chance of rain.

Luckily though I was able to make it to work without a lot of rain pouring down. Going home will be another story, however...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Indian summer

It's gone back to being (to me) unseasonably warm, I rode without windbreaker this morning to work.

The running's been okay as well. I went back to my newer A5s and did some huge hills last night, choosing to wait until it was cool outside and also wanting to not take the routes of all the other runners out on Highland.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Day 287-288- ankle

On the last two days of running, my left ankle has almost felt flat, that is not giving me very much bounce in the beginning of runs.

I switched from a newer pair of Clone Trooper shoes (106.8 miles) to my older pair (333.8 miles) but I think I may break open one of my six fresh spare pairs.

We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Passing lane

Tonight I was making my way down Virginia Avenue near Inman Middle School when some kid with earphones passes me.

When he was about 30 feet in front of me I discovered his rate of speed wasn't nearly so fast anymore.

So I dusted him. At the stoplight I cut up the ginormous hill behind the school so if he wanted to pass me again, he'd have to really be sucking wind.

But nothing. If you're going to pass people, you need to put it out of reach or look silly when you're re-passed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chilly chilly

Riding into work today I wished I had light gloves to cut the wind. I wanted to pull the sleeves of my windbreaker over my hands but that kept me from using the brakes so I didn't do that.

Ran yesterday from home to Emory to grab food at Doc Chey's. I feel like my running legs -- especially on the hills -- are back and my range is extending again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The chill is near

My run for Day 283 yesterday was super race-pace, I was like one of those horses that freaks out from the starting gun and you never see again. I couldn't stop running fast!

I think it had to do with my new running shoes having about 90 miles on them, so they are finally broken in, the colder weather making it easier to run without redlining, and two days off from the bike so my legs wanted the same effect as cranking up huge hills.

Monday, October 8, 2007

In the nick of time

I was on the Freedom Park bike path, about the same place where I discovered my flat tire in June, when it started to rain.

Of course I didn't have any rain gear. Didn't really need much since it was just sprinkling.

But I made extra care to bike home safely, and I did.

The running, the biking

Exercise has been so much better now that the weather is much milder. A few weeks ago, I experimented with not using my iPod like I'd been doing for all of my life except this year, but recently went back to it.

I like being able to listen to music. I just don't wan't to lose my hearing because of it.

Biking has been fun as well -- I've made a few trips into Decatur and several to work the last few weeks. I like saving gas and getting a little more exercise in when I ride to work, something I have to do anyway.

Saw some older guy this morning who was headed to Georgia State.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Start of the chill

Rode into work this morning (7:15 a.m.) for the first time with a windbreaker, it was kind of chilly, but not so much that I needed gloves.

Ah. The start of fall. As a winter cat, this is good news, because I'll be able to run longer and farther and phrases like CFLST will return to the blog.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A good biking day

Especially after having to drive to Macon yesterday for work, I was really raring to ride to work today.

Met two cyclists, who both passed me, one a young kid on a road bike, no helmet, headed to Georgia State for classes I presume.

Another, a dude on a white road bike, traveling from Decatur to 10th Street near Tech.

Hopefully I'm not one of those "aging enthusiasts" mentioned in a WSJ article today on boutique bikes. Maybe I could have caught up with them. But I let each one go by. And focused on getting to work.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dark commute

After midnight last night I found myself on the bike path just because I didn't want to wait through a stoplight.

While most of it was lit, there was a whole section from N. Highland Bakery to the Freedom Park split for the Carter Center that wasn't. And that wasn't too pleasant.

If I just went on North Highland Avenue, the hill pitches are steeper than on the path. But that's better than the alternative.

My light is pretty good, but I really was going too fast to see much on the ground. One pothole I drove right over, I'm sure.

As I approached the covered area by the Carter Center split, some crazy woman was biking the other way, into the darkness. Not recommended.

And I won't be using that route to ride home again in the dark anytime soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Close call

So I'm riding to work and am about to cut across Peachtree with a green light in my favor and this toaster (without a helmet) almost T-bones me with his bicycle because he ran the light.

Some of the people on bicycles here are just terrible. I'm glad though that I did what I could to avoid a crash.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oak Brook -- The Old Course

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Today I wanted to go back to the old golf course route that I used to do on my lunch breaks about a decade ago. It's a nice route, since it is about 3/4 on that soft gray particle stone. The rest is paved.

It brings you past the golf course and McDonald's headquarters. You pass roads like Ronald Lane and Kroc Road. No joke.

I used to like it since the park district, which is also along the route, would give you free entrance if your company was in the area. I think that was courtesy of the ginormous fast food chain.

I think I ran it faster than I used to a decade ago. My legs hurt a little bit but I was happy that I was able to make good time.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Doing the Dew (rocket fuel)

This morning I had a few minutes before I had to bike to work and I drank an entire can of rocket fuel.

It helped. There have been a few times out on the hills that I've felt pretty low on energy to the extent that I thought about buying some power bars at Trader Joe's last night.

But this jolt of caffeine hit the spot. Helps to be hydrated too, I think.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A good thing about biking

A nice thing about biking to work compared to riding in a car is that you have a chance to talk to interesting people.

I jumped on the Freedom Park path this morning, intent on keeping the same cadence I had in yesterday's ride to catch up with the road biker. On the hill leading up to Highland I saw a gray-haired man on a vintage Trek road bike.

I passed him on the hill and kept going. He came up on the Highland light near the bakery and I started chatting him up. Works for Coke, rides from Decatur daily. We have about the same route, so it wasn't the rush to work but a leisurely conversation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oh, those hills

So I made the turn from North Highland onto the Freedom Park path and this younger guy on an Elite road bike flies by me.

Road bike vs. Trek hybrid. I thought I would give it a shot.

Before the overpass bridge I'm on his wheel and soon I'm asking him how far he's going this morning (6 miles).

We keep talking until the start of the giant double hill to Boulevard. I think of Miguel Indurain's giant jet engines for legs and then just keep pedaling.

My legs are quivering. For sure I'm going to get taken on this hill. To make things worse, I'm carrying four cans of Diet Cherry Coke in my bag along with a change of clothes.

But nothing. Maybe he saw I was on a Trek and thought he should take it a little easy.

It was a nice start to the work week and I'll take it as a sign that I need to start doing harder workouts -- both on bike and foot -- to get ready for the fall season.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Poker and running

If I ever thought there wasn't a connection between poker and running, I know there is one now!

Too bad I'll be playing real poker and doing some real running along the levies in Tunica, Miss. this weekend!

But we couldn't wait any longer to invite you to our first-ever BPRC Pizza & Poker Run, presented by Adrenaline Fitness and Elwood's Pizza. It's going to be a blast. You don't have to know a thing about poker and all running and walking paces are welcome!

Here's how it works: all registered participants will be given a map where four (4) "dealers" are located. You will have to visit each dealer to get a total of four (4) cards. If you take the shortest route to each dealer, you will cover approximately four (4) miles on foot. For those who wish some extra distance (this is a fun way to get in your long run for the weekend, too), there's no requirement to travel the shortest route or even to visit the dealers in any particular order. All that matters is that you return to Cherokee Plaza (BPRC-Atlanta) with four cards from the four different dealers. In somewhat true "Texas Hold 'Em" fashion, each participant will, ultimately, receive three (3) more "house" cards at Elwood's Pizza. By traditional poker hand standards, the best five-card hand you can cobble together from your seven (7) total cards (4 from the course; 3 from the "house")is eligible to win some fantastic prizes. Plenty of "officials" will be on hand to help you understand to what your cards equate if you are a poker novice. And to add to the fun, Elwood's Pizza will have pizza and beverage (yes, beer included) specials just for "Pizza & Poker Run" participants. As our inaugural Saturday evening activity, this will be fun for families, couples or individuals. Bring some friends (or family members) or meet some during the "round." Again, this activity takes place at BPRC-Atlanta (3881 Peachtree Road/Cherokee Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30319). Please call 404.816.8488 with any questions. Make sure you - - and anyone who might join you - - register below!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grocery getter

I think I outkicked a dude on Highland tonight while I was carrying five pounds of groceries (I counted up the net weights), including some food for my ailing kitty and a box of detergent.

I was ready to give up the box of detergent if things got hairy. LOL.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Vegas -- 5K run DNP

LAS VEGAS -- I'm not sure why anyone thought a 7 a.m. run in this city on a Saturday would be a good idea.

It was pretty apparent to me around midnight, with no gas in my legs, that I would not be running in this 5K fun run.

While I didn't set my alarm clock when I went to bed after 1 a.m., I did leave an open mind -- if I got up in time, I might hunt it down.

I woke up at 7:10 a.m. No matter. lol

I'll still run today to preserve the streak and explore this interesting downtown area, but definitely on my own time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vegas - Goodbye yellow brick road

LAS VEGAS -- I've posted about a recent run on my other blog, Poker Cats, here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Just a few hurdles

This morning I procrastinated like crazy before I actually made it outside -- about 8 a.m., even though I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m.

It wasn't too hot out but it wasn't pleasant.

I started out down Virginia headed for Piedmont Park but then turned back around and went through my neighborhood.

A few blocks away there were recycling bins that I hurdled over and even "Slow Down!" yard signs planed throughout the neighborhood.

I crossed Ponce and went by the Freedom Park path where the sculpture commemorating the successful prevention of the freeway through the core neighborhoods was put up.

I made my way around the path and then to Publix to pick up some baby food and tuna for poor ol' Kuro.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Hotlanta run

Didn't have a whole lot of time yesterday so I ran around my hilly Virginia-Highland neighborhood, pretty happy that I took the hills without difficulty.

It's getting to be the hottest part of the year here and I have to find ways to continue to motivate myself to run despite the heat. Before the streak (216 days and counting) I simply wouldn't run at all.

Reconnected with this girl I know after several months, and I was surprised that she is doing pretty decent mileage at about my pace five days a week, like 40 miles or so. Made me happy, since I could really benefit from a running partner right now.

I think I'd get longer runs in, more often and in the mornings, especially since recently I've been giving in to sleeping longer instead of trudging outside in the semi-humidity.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The weekend time trail

Rode this morning to work, no cars out, so it was really like one of those time trails you see on TV.

I've found that biking about once a week gives me really fresh legs for the hills. I've seen all kinds of people in our building biking to work -- lots of mysterious, cheap, bike brands. LOL.

It's the hottest time of the year so running is not so pleasant. But I'm happy with tapering off my miles right now while still continuing the streak (215 days yesterday) and hopefully increasing my mileage later on this month to get ready for some fall 10Ks.

Will be running a 5K fun run next Saturday in Las Vegas, as part of the National Association of Black Journalists convention.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ah, outlets

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. -- So I ambled into the Nike store at the North Georgia outlets and lo and behold, the 2006 Air Pegasus shoes happened to be in one of the aisles.

Score!

They had six pairs of men's 9.5 shoes. So I bought all of them.

Dana Prey and her shoe collection has nothing on this, I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Athens -- Operation Kitty Run

ATHENS, Ga. -- This was the best idea ever. After I dropped off Kuro at the Small Animal Teaching Hospital for his chemo, I took off running on campus.

It was nice because hanging out with Susanne, I haven't had much time to run each day.

I followed directions I'd been given in the past to a coffee shop -- down Lumpkin in the Five Points section of town.

Passed the basketball arena and a track. At Five Points, I went on roads where runners had been on. I found myself in a neighborhood with few cars and giant homes. The perfect place to run.

I stopped by Waffle House for some grub and then came back along a row of Frat Houses. I hadn't reached six miles yet, so near the vet hospital I turned in towards campus, passing the Creamery and the Pharmacy School.

The kicker was the shower at the teaching hospital. I would be an uncomfortable, sweaty cat, without the shower. I'd brought a change of clothes, towels and soap and shampoo.

Mission Accomplished!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A nice, uh, Monday

Decided that after a week of Vegas and Kansas City, it would be good to ride into work for a change.

And I was pleasantly surprised. The weather has been pretty cool and there was a nice breeze as I pedaled down North Highland Avenue. Only a few weeks ago would I have thought it crazy to be riding in the morning in major humidity.

The other good thing was that my cycling legs were fresh. And really fresh. The ride seemed pretty easy. It was nice that a construction crane blocked half of Baker Street except for the sidewalks.

In other cat news, I crossed a milestone and didn't even know it. My Thursday morning run in Kansas City marked 200 days in a row. Yay!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Race for Research 5K

I almost missed the race because I went to bed about 2 a.m. (7:30 a.m. start). I even was dreaming that I missed the race and was running in it late.

It's a pretty flat course around Atlantic Station, the Northside hill being the only serious one of the course.

It was pretty hot during the race and might have been nice for more people if water was given out earlier, say at Mile 1.

I chugged a Powerade before the race and didn't drink anything during it.

I was happy at my time but thought I could run faster if I did faster runs in training.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kansas City -- The heat

KANSAS CITY -- Man, the humidity is about as bad as Atlanta. Did a couple of runs so far, three loops around Mill Creek Park yesterday and a run up Broadway from 43rd St. to Knickerbocker this morning.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vegas -- Why running is good for you Part 2

I made a running-related post on my other blog, Poker Cats.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An idea

ATHENS, Ga. -- Next time I'm here waiting for my kitty to have chemo at the University of Georgia's Small Animal Teaching Hospital, I'm going to put on my running shoes and take a spin around campus.

Sure, it may be a little hot, but I spied shower facilities in the hospital's restroom...

Sounds like a plan!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ah, toasters

A quick rule of thumb: If a guy is coming up on you and he's traveling faster than you, DO NOT try to pedal harder and speed up. That makes you look like a rabbit trying to run away from a dog -- dog just tries harder.

This morning I quickly caught up with some guy on a Fuji road bike. I'm trying not to seem so aggressive so I'm just really coasting when I come by but all of a sudden he starts frantically pedaling.

It's silly because I've seen his cadence for a few minutes before I approached him -- pedal, coast, pedal pedal coast -- so it's a little silly.

It sort of took the dimensions of a Samurai movie as I approached -- I looked at all the variables. All things being equal, that road bike should be faster than my hybrid. Plus the guy looked younger than me. No helmet, though, so I pegged him for an amateur.

I turn it on and that's pretty much that.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Another addiction

Yesterday I made my way (running, of course) to Phidippides, where I noticed my favorite running shoes, the 2006 Air Pegasus, were on sale now that the 2007 models are out. (They're supposed to be lighter, but I find them ugly).

So I snatched up a pair in my size, albeit it was a narrow style that didn't seem to affect my feet.

Maybe I'll have to scour the city for more of them!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Oh that's nice

...the free MARTA Breeze card that I was supposed to get for the Peachtree just arrived today, a day after the Peachtree. LOL.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Peachtree - Down to the line

I take my Maserati to the limit/
Six seconds through traffic like Emmitt
-Lil' Wayne

So it's about 50 yards to go and who is trying to pass me but this 50-year-old gray-hair guy who's running like he's in a midlife crisis Corvette.

Only thing is, I'm driving the Maserati today.

I kick for the first time in the entire 10K race, weave through the runners and cross the Peachtree finish line with my back to him.

My first thought was, dude, this is the Peachtree, not a Peachtree qualifier. This is a fun run. Leave your suburban 'tude across the perimeter. He had been jockeying with me during the entire first mile, with fast spurts that seemed really big wastes of energy. I was just trying to get through the great crowds in the 45,000-person race. I thought he was trying to make it personal. I dropped him at Cardiac Hill.

I felt good the entire way and when I finished, I had lots left. The weather was cooler and breezier this year, so it didn't feel hot when section six started running at 8:15 a.m., 45 minutes after the race began.

I need to focus more on quality of hillwork, running hard hills hard, that is, instead of simply doing them. I felt like I was weak up the second half of Cardiac Hill and my slowest mile was the double set of hills that follow, from the Borders up to 14th Street.

This is the hardest part of the race, IMO, and I can't imagine how it's anything pleasant for nonrunners tackling it. I know that serious runners race the course, but I wonder how much of the pack gets discouraged each year after doing it. I know when I was sipping Powerade at the end of it I wasn't sure I wanted to do the Peachtree again next year. Don't really have to. Felt the same about the ING half-marathon's hilly course.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Peachtree -- I'm ready

I'm fast as lightning bro/You better use your Nikes, bro
-T.I.


I've been sick for three days where every part of my body ached and almost nothing felt right to eat. Running wasn't much of a priority, but I still eked out small runs to continue the streak (I've run everyday for more than half the year as of today).

But now I feel better, as ready for the six-mile run as a Boeing 777 preparing to jump over the Pacific.

It won't be pretty, since I'm in section six, but it'll be nice to add this year's shirt to the 2003 and 2004 ones I already have.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Messing with the streak

Almost ended the streak today because of having to go to Athens twice for the kitty, still being really sleepy around 9 p.m. because of jet lag and thunderstorms.

I tried to wait them out but it was closing in on midnight. Put on my old running shoes, no socks (since my feet would get wet anyway), found my running hat and windbreaker.

Came back at 11:52 p.m. Yay!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Back at home, with Maui legs

Late last night, and after I was terrifically rested from my 21-hour ordeal from Hawaii, I took the legs out for a spin to Buckhead, on part of the Peachtree Road Race course that will take place in a little more than a week.

Not running at 3,000-feet elevation and on non-mountain hills is a good thing. The humidity will take a little getting used to - I drank like a fish at the Kroger during my halfway pit stop.

This will be my third Peachtree in five years and the second one in which I'm totally ready to run in it. It'll be a slow race with all the people but I'm pretty happy to be in shape for it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Overload

KULA, Hawaii -- Just read an interesting reference to overloading. My legs feel tired today, maybe will have a light day on the Kula running tour.

Back to the church

KULA, Hawaii -- I didn't get to run until late in the afternoon after getting up early to see the Haleakala sunrise, taking a long nap to compensate for getting up so early, and doing lots of errands with my mom to get ready for grandpa's Thursday funeral service.

But even at 4 p.m., it was pretty cool out. It is Kula, after all.

I went back to my new fave Lower Kula Road run, taking every chance to look out over the mountain at the ocean below. I really enjoyed being on the little-used road. The last two days I've passed walkers, so it must be a decent place for exercise for the locals.

This time around, I really felt low on sugar -- a rarity for me, so I stopped at the Morihara Store for a can of Hawaii Orange-Passion fruit juice and a candy bar. Then made my way to the Holy Ghost Church -- since it was the afternoon, it was open and I slipped a couple of dollars through the donation slot since I have been grateful for the restrooms there.

Made my way back. It was a little harder, my legs felt like they didn't have any juice in them but it looks like I maintained my downhill pace.

Running near-daily six mile runs at 3K elevation has to be good for the Peachtree coming up. Yay!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lower Kula Road

KULA, Hi. -- Today I decided I would do most of the Kula Post Office run but cut it short at the top of the hill before the post office.

I ran out, along the Kula Highway to the fire station, looped back and then climbed up the hill to run along Lower Kula Road, which pretty much runs parallel to the Kula Highway.

It's so much better of a run, IMO, because there really isn't much traffic and when cars do pass you, they're only going 30-40 mph instead of 55-65.

I ran down to the Holy Ghost Church, a landmark you can see all the way from the bottom of the mountain. It was great also because there are restrooms near the church gift shop.

Then I ran back up, bought an overpriced bottle of water from the Morihara Store, and since it was so expensive, lugged it all the way back home. Three dogs along the way on Lower Kula but they were all fenced in.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Kula Post Office run

KULA, Hi. -- For nearly two decades, the run from my grandparents' house to the local post office has been a good test of my fitness.

Round-trip, it's 6.4 miles and winds down the highway of the dormant volcano that my grandparents' farm is on. Needless to say, it's a real chore to run back home, with two climbs that take me 7 and 6 minutes to run up.

But I've been running the course each trip that I was fit enough to run it (for example, did not run it in February 2006 when I was here last).

Getting down there was easy although there are two narrow spots of the highway that really make you watch for cars.

The first climb, from the post office, past Kula Elementary School, park and fire station, wasn't bad. Just trudging along.

But the very last part, up Polipoli Road, is a real challenge and treat. It winds its way up the hill at a pretty decent grade. You can't just blast your way up it, it's more of a technical climb. I split up the road on its three bridges and work my way to each one.

After I got home, I collapsed on the grass in front of my grandparents' home. Thankfully Hawaii doesn't have the bugs like back home and the air was nice and cool.

I'm glad I did the run this year but I think I'll pick other routes the rest of the trip!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yay, Peachtree!

Yesterday I found my Peachtree 10K number in my mailbox.

The bad news -- and a penalty for not running any 10Ks in a while -- my number is in the 60,000's.

Oh, well. I'll trudge through it, enjoy the run and use the experience as a way to motivate my way back into Group I-A.

Yay, cat!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back in kitty business

Today I ran to the bike shop to recover my newly-repaired bike, wearing a small backpack that had my bike shoes and helmet inside.

Atlanta is full of rolling hills, so my front brakes were pretty much worn thin. They were able to true my front wheel, so it doesn't make a noise when I apply the front brake like it used to.

The bike shop always inflates my tires to an insane amount, so the aluminum frame felt stiff and I felt every bump on the way back. But I was happy to have it and ride home.

Compared to Vegas, it's so humid here! Don't know how I'm going to ride to work tomorrow a.m. but would like to in order to avoid the bad traffic around my parking deck downtown and to save on fuel costs.

Running in Las Vegas this past weekend was super boring, btw.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How I saved $2,600

The phone rang as I was riding back on the Freedom Park PATH, I fished it out and it was Susanne. It's prolly dangerous, but I like being able to balance the phone while I ride. I only do it when people call me.

At about the same time, I felt my rear wheel was making strange rock-on-pavement rumbling sounds. So with one hand, I slowed to a stop -- my tire was completely flat.

I spun the rear wheel around with my fingers and saw there was a long staple embedded in it, my first flat tire since I've had the Trek 7700FX hybrid, about three or four years.

Aaagh. The weather was nice, so I just walked it home, about a mile or so. No big deal. I got home, picked up a kitty blanket and then went out back to put the bike in my car. Had to remove both wheels to get the bike to fit.

Dropped the bike off at the bike shop and then lingered for a while to admire the really cool looking bikes.

I'd been wanting a road bike for a while, a faster rocket, so I asked about it. I was thinking of a nice Trek, a carbon fiber model.

But after I told the guy what I used bikes for, he helped change my mind.

"I could sell you a new bike, but I also like to sleep at night," he said, explaining that for what I use the bike for, my hybrid was pretty much perfect. If I had bought a cheaper bike 3-4 years ago, I'd prolly be in about now to buy a new bike.

If I took 30 mile bike rides, then maybe I should get a road bike.

But I didn't, I admitted.

So I walked out of there, without a new bike, and saved about $2,600 in the process.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Fullersburg Woods

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- This morning I drove through Hinsdale and out to Fullersburg Woods, at my mom's recommendation.

It was pretty cool, lots of soft Parcourse-like surfaces, wooden bridges to run on, and, like the rest of the area, pretty flat.

I didn't bring a map with me, so I got a little lost, but it doesn't take too long to loop around where you can find something you'll recognize.

They claim about six miles of trails. Did about 5 miles this morning. Even though the ground was flat, my legs really felt tired.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Off-road in the 'burbs

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- As soon as I landed, I came home and then changed out to take advantage of some of the Forest Preserve trails in the area. When I lived here, I built up my mileage on the Bemis Woods trails, even running in the snow. Once, I remember running out there in my Nike shoes made specifically for running in the snow and turning a corner and coming upon a deer. It was super-cool.

Today, I started out on the bike path that goes to Brookfield Zoo. But I saw a muddy path leading off and I couldn't resist. It was hot but nice to be under the tree canopy.

I came across a grassy field and could hear the cicadas' music. After a while I turned around and made my way back to the asphalt path and back to my car. Spent some time lovingly scraping the mud off the bottom of my Air Pegs with a stick. Prolly the first time those shoes have even seen mud.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Make it 150

This morning's 5.5-mile run through Piedmont Park and in the neighborhood cut my total needed for 100 miles this month to under 2 miles and made it 150 consecutive days of running.

Yay, cat!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maybe it's just the camera angle

But today I was looking over some photos for an article that's coming out with one of our photographers and noticed I didn't look really huge in them.

So that's a plus.

This morning, some guy in his 30s-40s jogging crossed the street on Virginia and stepped in front of me.

Why do people do such stupid things?

I turned it up, full bore, passed him and sprinted up the 3/4-mile hill back home.

Of course, later on, the last thing I wanted to do was get on a bike and go to work.

But then, I'm the type of cat who routinely does the last thing he wants to do just because he can do it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A bike inspection, a playoff run

Last night, with the Pistons-Cavaliers playoff game booming from my HDTV, I turned my Trek hybrid upside down and tried to see if the rim was visibly bent from the other day.

I spun the wheel, ran my fingers along both edge of the Bontrager wheel, applied the front brake with my foot.

I feel like maybe the front brake got knocked out of alignment somehow. When it's applied, both sides of the brake come together, but only one side snaps away from the bike when the brake is released. We'll see.

I took a broken screwdriver and removed months of muck off of the gears, used a flashlight to inspect it for other damage, such as cracks in the aluminum frame. The poor bike has a hard life on Atlanta's streets, under my hands. But it's dependable, a hard hill climber.

---------------------

Running again has become like a playoff game. Yesterday I had to do about 20 miles in five days to clinch another 100-mile month. I ran in the evening when the haze and smoke from the Georgia wildfires went away and cranked out the Middlebear H-Loop run. It was awesome. Now about 13 miles to go in the next four days...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A busted rim?

Yesterday as I was making my way on East Ponce to Little Azio in Decatur, I came across a huge, square pothole in the road that almost made me wreck my bike.

I thought for sure I had lost the tire by way of bending the rim but tire cohesion remained and I made it into Decatur -- and back home again.

I couldn't find any obvious sign of rim bendage but my front brake makes a horrible sound when I use it and I can feel the wheel bumping into the brake every resolution when it's applied.

Hopefully it won't be an expensive fix. Those Bontrager rims are like $300.

--------------

Today I was hoping to go for a run before I came into work but the haze and smoke from the south Georgia wildfires are back. Had to take a pass.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Smokin' (literally)

This morning I heard the birds chirping and opened the back door so Clonie could peek at them through the screen.

But the haze from the Georgia wildfires down south had returned and it wasn't too long before I had to scoop her up and move her from the door.

A few hours elapsed and I totally forgot about it and went outside to fix my front door. The haze hadn't gone away.

I hope it'll clear up enough for a run later on. Hate to end a streak because of it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

In search of...

...a new rocket. I can't believe I'm looking for a road bike, but I am. Must be Tour de France season is approaching.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

32 Weeks Later

I thought this would be a "28 Weeks Later" post like the movie, but I went back and counted and I'm actually on 32 weeks since my big running push after I broke up with Kelley in mid-October.

So where am I at?

-6 consecutive 100 mile months
-138 consecutive days of running (every single day this year, and have missed only 7 days since mid-October)
-About 16 pounds lost
-And I can fit into nearly everything I used to be able to fit into but couldn't.

I now run in the morning and I find it's 1). much cooler than running in a hot afternoon and 2). Doesn't give me the excuse not to bike to work (to save energy for the afternoon run).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Back on the bike

I'm waking up too late to get any really long run in, most I've been able to do because of the time is 2 miles. The weather was really cool, almost cold this morning when I was out.

That, plus the high price of gas, plus eating a ginormous Ghetto Burger the night before put me back in the saddle this morning to ride to work.

It was pretty pleasant. And I'll be happy to avoid gridlock on the way home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Summer bonus

I was happy to discover this morning when I opened a box of summer clothes and found the pair of regular shorts that I use when I ride my bike to work that they fit well -- last fall they were tight!

Almost made it worth it breathing Georgia wildfire-laced air this morning on a short 2-mile run in the neighborhood before work.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Vegas -- Morning run

The intersection of Flamingo and Koval, where Tupac Shakur was killed in 1996. 5/11/07

LAS VEGAS -- It's a little after 9 a.m. and it's already brutal. It's so bright running on the Strip and my mouth feels both dry and full of fine desert dust in the area.

I set off from Planet Hollywood east to the MGM Grand near Tropicana before turning north and rounding the block at Koval. I plod along past Harmon Ave. and then on to Flamingo, where I recently learned this is the intersection where Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by in 1996.

The ground, of course, is flat and pretty boring. I normally dislike running in Las Vegas but I have to continue the streak!

After a while I trot into the Bally's sportsbook and back into some really nice A/C. LOL.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The crying tree

Today I decided I would get a good run in before heading off to Vegas later this evening. I ran just a few hours ago and already it was hot.

As I entered the PATH near Candler Golf Course, I came around the S-turn and then saw a crying tree.

The golf course's sprinklers had drenched the area before actually going on to water the course. And droplets of water were still falling from the tree.

I was glad I did the 7-mile run, but am wondering if I need to do longer runs in the heat. May scale back.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What's cooler than being cool? (Ice-cold)

This morning I had to put my right wrist behind my back as I ran in Piedmont Park because it was ice-cold! Temperature was under 60 degrees and although my wrist was chilly, it was a real blessing to run in this kind of weather.

Not sure why, but my split time down to the dog park (14 mins), which is all downhill, is longer than my return trip uphill (12 minutes).

Monday, May 7, 2007

It's cool to be cool

This morning was a real gem -- it was about 57 degrees out. Being super-cooled really helps a cat and I tore up my 4-mile loop that I do when I don't want to do the whole Middlebear H-Loop course.

It's hard to get started in the morning, but once I'm up I really don't mind it. Have to continue this in the future, since it'll get super hot in the summa.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Around, without sound

Yesterday evening, with the remaining sunlight dwindling away, I was out the door and working on the Middlebear H Loop without even realizing I wasn't plugged in.

I think it was the first time in a while that I wasn't wearing my iPod. I was only a few minutes into my run and I totally could have turned around but decided I would just run without it.

And you know what? It was fine. I ran about four miles, ditching the Middlebear course as it got dark and came back along the rolling hills along Ponce. I was happy that I ran them without effort and not even wanting to stop.

This morning, with better light, I completed the Middlebear H Loop. It was cool and misty, about 62 degrees, which made for excellent running weather. I was pretty happy that my run up L3 was nearly a sprint. I did have my iPod on for that run.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Love those carbs

I've had to be up and at work early this week to sub for someone else so I haven't been able to get up early and go running like I would have liked.

In the evening, it's really hot out, which makes running not-so-pleasant. Even worse is knowing that at 86 degrees, the weather will only get hotter. It's only May.

The running recently has been pretty effortless and I enjoy that aspect of it. I just cruise along and end my run when it's time to stop, not because I have to.

I crave pasta a lot, however in the evening...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Don't pass if you ain't got the gas

Yesterday, I'm plodding along in the 86 degree heat along Ponce when some guy with much less body fat than me passes me before Lakeshore.

Nothing like a challenge. I step it up. He turns on Lakeshore. I turn on Lakeshore.

I'm by him before the Viper Tube.

I felt good about the run, although I really needed some water halfway. I had already come back from biking to work. Love the rocket ride that's pretty much downhill into work -- and the unfortunate climbing on hills on the way back.

Now there's a purpose -- K Rose is coming to town mid-May. Guess I'll have to make these workouts count before I see her.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Tunica -- Cat clinched

TUNICA, Miss. -- Even though I stayed up until 6 a.m. (CDT) to play poker, I woke up after only a few hours, got my running shoes on and ran around the perimeter of the sprawling Grand Casino complex.

The sun was hot and bright, like something you'd get from Tatooine's twin suns. I had my Maui Jims on and I slugged past hotel buildings, pools, an RV park and the flat river savannah.

On the way back, there were overturned orange construction barrels in the Grand's convention center parking lot. I made my way to them, hurdling all of them.

I only had to run a few miles Saturday but the 5-mile run helped me clinch 100 miles for the month, with a day to spare.

Later, after a shower, I put on my swimsuit and treated myself to 10 laps in the Grand-Veranda Hotel's magnificent pool.

It was an excellent day to spend a long-weekend/vacation. And the money would come later.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Overtraining

If being up at 1 a.m. on a worknight isn't an example of overtraining, I don't know what is. I ran 3.5 miles when I got home (it was so irresistable to run in light rain and also was used to running in the evening).

My shoes are pretty close to being broken in and I am happy to be running longer. I cut the number of miles I need for 100 this month to 9, with 4 days left. So I like my odds.

But I just need to take it easy. Although I am really wanting to clinch for the month right here and now.

From dusk til' dawn

So I feel almost high at work. I got up early and did a 5-mile run through Piedmont Park before my dentist appointment, which makes 12 miles in 12 hours...

Yesterday afternoon I crunched through about 7 miles with the Middlebear H Loop route, the first time in a few weeks that I was able to do so because of the intermittent pain my new right shoe causes my foot.

But I was happy to do the full course, which I hadn't been able to do for a while. I came home and in the shower I could feel the heat coming from the back of my legs, like the hood of a car engine.

It rained shortly after I ran this morning. But that prolly won't keep me away if I decide to run this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Maui Jims and monthly goals

I'm a little behind on my monthly goal of running at least 100 miles for the month, mainly because of breaking my new shoes in (has prompted less mileage) and not properly scheduling enough time to run longer runs.

I stil have my streak (114 days in a row and counting), however.

I have about 25 miles to go this month and six days to do it. It's sort of like a playoff game at this point. I'm pretty sure I can do it, however. I'll run doubles, if need be.

The upcoming Tunica trip this weekend may complicate things but I'll find a way...

In other news, my Maui Jims arrived. It's so sick how many of them I've lost in recent years (I think this is my fifth pair). My last pair, which I used in the ING half-marathon, I had for a week before I must have dropped it in a grocery store. Ugh.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

An accidental Tour sighting

This afternoon, pedaling into work, I found the last stage of the Tour de Georgia came my way.

Right across Boulevard, I had to wait as a convoy of police motorcycles passed. Then another one that said "Race Marshal."

Then some other cars.

Then the main pack of the race. It was really cool, seeing dozens of pro cyclers whiz by on the turn. I could only identify the CSC team from Denmark. Still, it made me giddy.

Then the roads opened up and I could make my way to work.

I'm plodding along on Baker when some guy, all decked out in cycling gear (but not good enough to be in the Tour, lol) passes me in his Specialized road bike. It wasn't too long before I was right on his wheel. I wasn't even in the fastest gear.

And then I took the next two hills to Peachtree.

Let's do the math. I climbed 1,378 stairs. And then ran six miles. And then biked a few miles to an assignment today and then to work. And I'm in a hybrid. And I'm 36 and not even sore.

It's going to be a different kind of game when Trek makes my rocket. I'm just sayin'.

Recon (a benefit of running)

Right now I'm finishing off a harvest cranberry scone from the new Trader Joe's in Midtown.

I wouldn't have known it was even open yet (opened Wednesday) if I hadn't been running and passed through the shopping center's parking lot.

When I lived in California, my gf at the time and I would walk to Trader Joe's and get the scones. It rocked.

I got a bunch of stuff and then hoofed it up the Virginia Avenue hill back home. It made me a little slower, but it was worth it.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stairway to soreness (Climb Atlanta)


Amazingly, after hanging out with friends at the Sweetwater 420 Festival yesterday and even later at Manuel's, I managed to get up for the Climb Atlanta run, a fund raiser for the Lung Association.

I didn't want to drive but I had to get there an hour before the race started. On North Avenue, the Bank of America tower loomed. I often use the tower to orient myself in the city, especially at night. I wasn't sure I wanted to climb 55 floors of it this morning.

When the race started, we lined up in order of our bib numbers. I was #51, just after the first group. You entered the stairwell every 15 seconds. It was intimidating to just watch people run up the stairs out of view one at a time.

A photographer took pictures of people before they went up. This was good because afterwards I wasn't able to really stand still for a picture.

So I went up. It was eerie -- I couldn't hear people ahead of me. I thought I had the stair thing down -- I bike, I run some of the toughest hills in the city, but after the fourth floor I knew I wasn't prepared for this.

So I hoofed it. Sometimes two steps at a time, sometimes one. On later floors I took advantage of the handrails.

It wasn't too bad. A volunteer greeted you on every floor, which was just two turns of stairs. (I was expecting three or four turns like in some buildings).

A little after halfway up, the stairwell is carpeted. It was odd to be climbing stairs up carpet. I guess it's so executives won't have to scuff their shoes on tile.

At 54, I tried to run up to the last floor. But no dice.

My time was 12:50. I survived and was glad I did this unique race! But I'm pretty sure it'll take me a few days to get back to a normal running rhythm.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How cool are these shirts?




The T-shirts for the Epidemic Intelligence Service Prediction Run keep getting better and better. Kudos to the designers!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Unpredictable (EIS Prediction Run)

OK. So there are predictions and there are predictions. I came to the Prediction Run thinking it would be really ambitious to think I could eke out 17:32 on the 2-mile course, considering my best mile in the 1/2 marathon was 8:30.

I was sad I missed the run the last two years -- the 2006 T-shirt is really cool -- it's like an old 1940s horror movie ad starring Hurricane Katrina and bird flu and directed by the CDC director. LOL.

The start at Piedmont Park was fast and then when I saw people struggling on the small hills in what used to be my home turf, I turned it up. I liked the idea of blowing by the ranks of Commissioned Corps and disease detectives.

The final few meters were pretty novel -- you had to climb up a big set of stairs. But no problem. Hopefully this means I'm ready for Satty's Climb Atlanta!

My time: 15:19. I blew by two guys who were ahead of me the entire race. Rock!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Winter's back, pt. 2

On Saturday I washed all of my CFLSTs, thinking I would put them away again for the spring.

But nooooo, turns out I had to use them again. The temperature dropped here yesterday, from 57 in the morning to about 41 or so at 6 p.m. when I went running.

My paws were cold. I know in the summer I'll be wishing for this weather...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Kitty in the rain

After the Thrashers playoff game, the ground was totally soaked with a light rain that made me miss my former life in the Pacific Northwest.

I had to go running.

I had a quick dinner at Las Palmeras and then bowed out to get home and change. It wasn't too long before I was on the road with my new Air Pegs, a sturdy pair of shorts with reflectors and my inSport windbreaker.

It was a little too hot for the windbreaker but late in the run I appreciated having the extra shell. There are very few running jackets that keep the water out but it was fine. I was happy that I had a run longer than a mile or so -- it was the first time in a while that my right foot didn't telegraph to me pain from being bundled up in a brand new, inflexible shoe.

The shoes went in puddles, splashing water all over the place. They had to get muddy eventually, right?

It was great fun. Can't wait for the next date with precipitation.

Freedom (sans helmet)

Tonight I went to see an out-of-town band play in Little Five Points and I didn't want to be carrying a bag inside a venue, so I stripped things down to their barest -- I looped my Bulldog lock around my handlebars, clicked my headlamp into place and went out without my helmet.

OK, I wouldn't recommend this for anyone else. But it was nice to be out again without one. I spent a few years biking to work in Japan this way, on my old Yosemite mountain bike, a 50-minute commute each way.

I rode my old Cannondale mountain bike tonight, filled up the Kevlar-lined fat tires (the police here use the same kind of tires on their bikes), and I liked how it brought me close to the ground. The fiberglass kickstand I brought back from Japan on it also was helpful.

And no issues. Everything worked like a charm. I won't be out without my helmet more, but for once it was like freedom.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

CDC Prediction Run

I feel bad for not mentioning sooner this run, which is prolly one of the best-kept secrets in the city, the Epidemic Intelligence Service Prediction Run.

The CDC's "disease detectives" holds the run each year as part of their scientific conference. It's a 2-mile run in which the winner is the one who most closely predicts his or her time without using a watch.

It's at Piedmont Park on Tuesday (6 p.m.). And the T-shirts are pretty frickin' cool.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Make it 100

A short run today, my new shoes are still killing my feet, to mark the 100th day in a row that I've run -- every day this year.

Today I wore these old aqua blue Umbro soccer shorts -- the ones that I ran my fastest 10K in (Roseburg, Ore.) as well as several half marathons and the Hood to Coast relay.

I logged more than 74 hours of running during this time, enough for between 450-480 miles. Not a lot of mileage to be sure, but enough to keep me active each day.

Here's to the next 100 in a row. And beyond.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Breaking in shoes...

...really sucks.

And the winner is...

...a brand-spanking new pair of blue Air Pegs, exactly the same as my old ones. I did admire the red version, and I'm strongly tempted to pick it up at some point.

But no, I'm not starting a DPnation shoe collection.

LOL.

Kitty needs a new pair of shoes

During my short Easter run yesterday I wondered whether my shoes have actually met the end of their lifespan. It's a possibility, as I've logged more than 460 miles in them at this point and likely have walked a few dozen more in them.

(I generally rotate them out between 400 and 500 miles, unless I accidentally damage them, like I did to my other pair in December).

I'm hoping Phidippides still has the same style of Air Pegs that I've been using. That may be my run today, to go down there and check things out. I've worn Air Pegs since they discontinued the old Air Max Triax style, although I think I've run on some Air International Max styles (similar to the AMT) in between.

My first pair of running shoes were these anonymous gray Nike waffle trainers in high school. I went to New Balance and flashy Sauconys later, and continued to wear them when I was in Japan.

The Air Pegs are dependable workhorses. I keep a retired pair at work and another one at home- they make great bumming-around sneaks. During the move in February, I donated my old Air Max Triaxes, including the ones I used in the Portland Marathon and the Hood to Coast relay. It was time to let them go.

K-Rose says that I am too brand conscious. I think it's easy for her to say, since when you're 22 and look like a model, you can say/wear anything you want. LOL.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Winter's back

This morning, I fired up the computer and found it was a brisk 30 degrees out. So I went back to bed hoping to wait a little while to run when it was warmer out. Needless to say, I missed the Emory Physicians Assistant's 5K earlier this morning.

I had to show up at work this afternoon, however, so I got up at 1:30 p.m., hoping that it would be a little bit warmer. I gained only 8 degrees.

So I threw on the winter gear, but kept the shorts and ran the full Middlebear H-Loop course. Outside it was pretty pleasant out, I was moving at a good clip and it felt warmer than 38. (My car later going into work said it was 47).

All in all, a good day for a run.

Friday, April 6, 2007

A block of wood

I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.
-Fight Club

It started out this morning as a calm little run with a deadline. Then it turned frenzied, and fierce and faster with every hill I climbed.

At 42 degrees, it was the perfect day for that kind of thing. I brought out the CFLSTs again, although I felt a little warm in it mid-run. Maybe socks for my wrists next time.

I didn't have a lot of time this morning before I met the girl, so I went out on my regular Middlebear H-Loop course. I thought that if I felt good enough to do the whole thing, I would just call and apologize and say I was running late.

But I felt like my feet were flat today, I was wondering if the shoes were nearing the end of their lifespan (about 450 miles on them already).

So I turned back on the road that parallels Ponce and really hoofed it race-pace up the hills leading to Moreland.

I don't know why some days you run faster than others. I thought about lots of things, including how I'm prolly in shape for the stair climb. I just wanted to run faster and faster and I was really getting pissed off there were so many hills! lol.

Part of it was nervousness in anticipation of meeting up with the girl. Another part was just wanting to know my limits -- if I ran fast enough, would my heart pop out of my chest at the top of this hill? Thankfully, that didn't happen.

The allergies were doing a number on my right eye, water was coming out of it like tears. It was pretty weird but I just ignored it and kept on the run.

There was a time when I was a wad of cookie dough, as in the movie Fight Club. But as I near running 100 days in a row, I'm less and less so, no longer.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

So I met this girl....

...and she likes to run. I like to run.

She likes to bike. I like to bike.

It's a good start.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

ING Race Director's letter

Interesting e-mail letter from the race director of the ING Georgia Marathon and Half-Marathon.

I really wasn't disappointed with the race. I felt like it could have been better in a few areas that I'll outline below (and already have written about). Of course, I'm the kind of guy who can run a 13-mile race with one sip of water in between. LOL.

1). Eliminate the Juniper spur on 14th street for the half-marathon.

2). Make sure there is Powerade or some kind of sports drink available.

3). There was water immediately after the finish line but not any located after the post-race snacks. I thought that was crazy. These pretzels are making me thirsty, to steal a line from Seinfeld.

Congratulations on being a part of the Inaugural ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon!

It was truly an amazing day, one that I have been working on for more than two years. Preparing for race day was just like preparing for my first marathon. I was determined to complete it. I did my training, but I knew I really would not know what it was all about until the day was finished. Until I had completed my first marathon...

Now we know many things. We know what to do and what not to do. We know about working with the mayors, the cities and their agencies, with the neighborhoods, the vendors, our title sponsor ING and all of our sponsors, and the volunteers. Most importantly, we know more about YOU, the participants, who believed in the dream and made it come true!

The start photos are incredible and the feedback on the race course is phenomenal. Even though there were quite a few "healthy" hills, everyone seemed to agree that it is one of the most beautiful urban race courses in the U.S.

We want to thank each and every one of you for taking part in making history with our inaugural event. We had a 97% completion rate even with the record-breaking temperatures; the event was a wonderful success.

We have taken this past week to review all of the difficulties that we encountered in the various areas and I can assure you that each challenge that occurred will be resolved. We will not have the logistical and fluid problems next year. We have learned from our mistakes the hard way. I can assure you that none of these problems will happen at the 2008 ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon set for March 30, 2008. We are always open to constructive feedback, feel free to send us an email with your comments at info@inggeorgiamarathon.com.

By learning from our mistakes, we will become stronger, better, and more determined to provide the safest and most passionate marathon and half marathon possible.
We will keep this dream alive as it is here to stay! Thank you.

Sincerely,

Victoria Seahorn
Race Director
ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
Atlanta, Georgia
www.inggeorgiamarathon.com

In the Peachtree

I was checking my bank statement online this morning and I saw they cashed my Peachtree 10K check. So I guess I'm in. Yay!

I'm just sitting here in the Red Room, the screen door letting in a nice cool breeze and the sound of birds in trees behind the coffee shop and Taco Mac, Clonie eagerly sniffing out the action through the wire mesh.

I'm sort of like jelly right now, as I ran my Middlebear H-Loop earlier this morning. It had rained earlier, so it was nice and cool out. I'm not sure what I'm going to do the rest of the day, though. LOL.

I'm glad to be back on my hills. I had avoided them a little before and after the 1/2 marathon, so the first day back on them (Monday) it was difficult to get back into it.

Anyway, that's me life right now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Scrapin' away

I spent a little bit of time after my run yesterday scraping something from a dog off the bottom of my left shoe.

Occupational hazard.

But otherwise, I was really happy -- eight days after the ING half-marathon, I ran the whole Middlebear H-Loop course again. Boy, it was hot! But I felt good. My mechanics were good. And so was my focus.

Dance with the one that brung' ya. I'm going back to what works -- my hilly course.

---------

Yesterday, after I finished my run, I rode out to Twain's to meet some friends. I was a little reluctant, since I had already 1). rode a bike home from work 2). run seven miles and 3). would have to ride a few more.

The ride was okay. Coming back there were a few creepy zombie types on the road. It was a full moon.

Monday, April 2, 2007

I want a new ride

Rode today to work in anticipation of NCAA championship traffic. When I was at Baker/Courtland, some guy in a Nishiki is trying to pass me on the hill.

Get real. It's like a jet (road bike) trying to pass a helicopter (my hybrid). He didn't even do the double hill to Peachtree.

Maybe it's time for me to get a road bike as well. I could see some nice carbon frame monster that Trek makes.

Maybe I won't ever be as hardcore as DPnation, but I'm pretty close.

------------

I loved riding on the PATH to work this morning, it was a lot like a time trail, just me and the nice morning, no fear of getting hit by anything (like the Lexus that almost took me out last night when I was waiting to turn on Ponce to go to Felini's to celebrate my cash in the Full Tilt Sunday $400K guarantee tourney).

The running helps. The ride was all cake.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Dance with the cat that brung ya

I've been comfortable with running in my 'hood recently, but I think I'm going to go back to what worked really well in the past.

I think I'm going to start driving to The Carter Center after work and running my route. I'm finding that when I go home first, I procrastinate, take naps, play with cats and do pretty much anything to delay the run.

Driving to my route ensures me that I'll get the run out of the way and have more time to do things I need/want to do instead of wasting it on procrastinating.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Love being lazy

Ah. I had every intention of going and running in the Road to the Final Four 5K this morning. I woke up with enough time. But the bed was so comfy and my legs didn't really feel up to riding to work on my bike, parking there and then ambling out for the run.

Yay- $18 down the drain. I really need to be a day-of-race registerer. LOL.

I'm glad, though, that I got the sleep. I think I really needed it.

Oh well. My focus needs to be on 10Ks that will help me get back into Group IA of the Peachtree... (10K under 50 mins for IA and under 55 minutes for IB).

The quest begins...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Climbing those stairs

On a whim, I just signed up to climb the stairs of the 55-story Bank of America Plaza next month, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association.

Link is here.

I'm not sure how I'll do in this, considering doing the stairs for 24 floors to our office floor from the ground is really tiring stuff!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Back in the saddle

Today I went for a relatively short run (two miles or so), down to the shopping center by City Hall East to get a haircut. Then I ran up the long hill by Ponce.

I feel pretty good. I wasn't crazy enough to do a full run so soon, but I was a little curious to see how it would turn out.

I am glad the half marathon is over, because the weather's been so nice it's cool to ride around on a bike. I rode out to Little Five Points to hang out with my financial advisor and we ended up letting her dog loose at Freedom Park, my bike down on its side while swarms of dogs ran all over the place.

Earlier today, I put up old ribbons and medals (Hood to Coast and the Coos Bay 30K). Would be cool to earn more in the future.

I was happy with my time. I signed up for the Sprint for Cancer 10K at the end of next month so it'll be neat to see what kind of times I'm putting up.

Fast or slow, I don't really care. I'm just happy that I'm back, that I feel fit again and it's not taking too much to do it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The home-court advantage (ING Half marathon)

I can't tell you how immensely helpful it was to be running in a half-marathon where I live and on the same streets where I train everyday.

First off was waking up in my own bed and knowing I was only 20 minutes away from the starting line. In 1999, I drove more than three hours in the morning to run in the Seattle half-marathon, on a rain-filled, water-rutted Interstate 5. Not fun.

The only parts of the race I hadn't really run on were the last two miles of Peachtree and the first three miles to Little Five Points. And even then I've biked or driven those routes. As a result, I pretty much knew exactly where I was at any time.

When I got to really familiar ground (Virginia-Highland), it was really sweet. I knew that if things got real bad I could just ditch the race and hole up in my apartment. LOL.

But seriously, when I got to around mile 10 in Piedmont Park, I tricked myself into thinking that I was just doing a simple 4-mile training run.

My cross country coach in high school used to always stress it, but now I totally believe in the power of training on hills -- rolling hills and Cat. 1 monsters that you hit five miles into the run. Any fool can run on flat ground. When you come to a hill, you know immediately what you are made of.

One more good point for having the home-court advantage -- it didn't take too long for me to hobble home and shower, change clothes and then sit outside on my step, helping cheer on the marathon runners passing by.

Half Marathon live data

Bib #13783 | ATLANTA, GA - USA | Age 36 | M
START 7:18:39 AM EST
TIME Chip Time: 02:00:01 Clock: 2:14:58 Pace: 9:09
10K split: 00:57:47

Temp: 74 degrees
Gear: SST (FTP), shorts, APA3, sunglasses (Maui Jims), iPod shuffle

Day of Days (ING Half Marathon)

I just cross the hill at Ellis and the finish line is in sight. I look down at my watch -- it says 1:59:24 -- there are 36 seconds until the 2-hour mark and I don't know exactly how far away the end is.

"This is going to be a photo finish," I say out loud as I ramp up the final kick, mimicking Colonel Tai as Galactica prepared to escape a star turning supernova earlier this season.

This was a race I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I knew I would finish -- I have plenty of experience at the half and even one time -- eight years ago, in the Centralia, Wash.- 1/2 marathon, I finished it even though the longest practice run I did at the time was 4 miles. I really bonked at mile 10 and it was a painful 5K at the end.

I woke up late, missing my first alarm clock, and only waking up to my runner's watch alarm.

Then I couldn't find one of my shoes. It was left in the other room.

And so on and so on. I parked at work, chatted with Dorie for a while (gave her the Banana Nut Clif bar sample I got from the expo) and then wandered down the street.

They made you wind behind Five Points station back around to Decatur street where lots of people were waiting in line. I listened to my iPod for a while and then around 7:11 a.m. the line started to move.

At 7:14 a.m. we were at the Peachtree Street corner and then we were off. As usual, my calves really felt tight and I tried to "unlock" them as best I could. We climbed up Edgewood and eventually turned up Auburn to go past the Martin Luther King Jr. site.

I was going pretty good up Euclid in Little Five Points at the 1/2 marathon/marathon split (I really would have loved tackling the L3 hill that's part of my normal course in this race, but it was only for the full marathon).

The most challenging part of the race was Freedom Parkway. Of course, I had never run on it before and so I expected it to be hilly like the PATH trail that parallels it. But it turned out that instead of a first hill on the PATH, the parkway is cut lower. I totally took this hill and I almost felt like I was running too fast because I was dropping lots of people. Lament of a hill runner! My 10K split time was about 57 minutes.

At Boulevard, the course turned on the other side of the parkway back toward Ponce, where we ran up a HUGE hill that fortunately turned right before the Highland intersection. We joined Highland at St. Charles, and since this is my 'hood, it was awesome.

This was the first place that I took water, by the CVS, but it was in a frickin' bottle. I don't think they had Powerade the entire race -- I looked for it and would have stopped for some but did NOT want water. So I only had water one time during the entire race. (My 7-mile Middlebear H Loop routes are generally done without water, so I felt fine with that).

I held it for a while, not knowing what exactly to do with it -- I only had a few sips of it and I didn't want to waste it but I wasn't going to carry it either. So when I passed my apartment before the Virgnia-Highland intersection, I just ran up to my yard and dropped it in the mailbox!! And continued on.

There was a great girl band playing at the Va-Hi intersection and even though it was mile 8 and more than I've run recently, I knew at that point I would finish the race.

We ducked into Piedmont Park and then east up 10th Street to Piedmont, which is a nice little jog up a hill itself. Then up to 14th Street, but cutting to a hairpin on Juniper which made little sense to me. I would have much rather had them continue the course straight up the 14th Street hill and add on during Piedmont Park. I bet a bunch of people lost a few seconds at that hairpin.

On Peachtree, some lady said it was 2.2 miles to go. There's a little bit of a hill between 10th Street and, say, 4th Street. I already knew of the hill between Baker and Ellis, the last hill of the race and the last one I was worried about.

Going up this hill, I couldn't find any good song on my iPod. I kept saying 'No,' and "No."

Finally I found "Green Hornet," from the Kill Bill soundtrack, played at the part where Uma Thurman is walking through the Tokyo airport.

I was at full bore and the time was ticking down. At the very end, near the finish line, two girls joined me and we were going pretty frickin' fast. I stepped on the line.

It was exactly two hours, much better than my estimate of 2:05 and better than every half marathon I've run except my very first, 1:47:30.

I didn't bonk at all and totally ran strong. And I was happy I only had to train half as much as I probably should have!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ready or not....

I am soooo antsy going into this half-marathon tomorrow. The last three days (not entirely by choice) I've had very light runs. I've sidestepped chances to bike to work to save up a little for the race.

Some 45-year-old guy, I could hear him from a mile away, labored to pass me as I did a light run on Virginia yesterday, and then he stopped like 20 feet in front of me. After this race, I'm going to bust people like that. I was praying that he'd turn around and go back up Virginia and then I would waste him on the hill.

Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.
-Steve Prefontaine

I know I'm ready for this race.

Already looking ahead, I found via the Atlanta Track Club web site that there's a special 5K to commemorate Atlanta hosting the Final Four. I think I'm going to do it, it's in Centennial Park.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Glory Days

Oh, man. I can't believe the half-marathon is almost here. This afternoon I went with a work colleague to the expo.

Dude has done even better than I have -- he said he's lost about 40 pounds in the last year, and it really shows.

I think I can do this race. I see no reason why I won't be able to. Yet I haven't run more than 8 miles at one time. I do have one marathon and a baker's dozen 1/2 marathons, one 30K under my belt.

Whoa. I see the start time for the 1/2 will be 7 a.m. I was thinking 8:30! lol. It'll still be a little dark then, I think. Will be interesting.

Of the things I randomly collected:

-1 pair, some kind of elastic scrunchy to keep my ponytail held back (LOL)
-1 Banana Nut Bread Clif Bar (1 oz.)
-Listerine PocketPak, fresh citrus flavor
-Listerine Pocket Mist, fresh citrus flavor
-A sensations bubble massager, whatever that is
-Various coupons, including free hashbrowns and waffle at Waffle House
-Noisemakers
-Posters
-A Publix nylon bag and wrist wrap carrier
-tiny frisbee from REI
-1 race bibb, number 13783
-1 championship timing chip

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Strange Cravings

This morning at work I had a craving for a Big Mac... I can't tell you how gross that is, it's been a while since I've had one.

The running has been very smooth lately -- seven miles seems simple. I'm trying though to not really push it too much, with the 1/2 marathon right around the corner.

Normally I would take a break before the race. But I want to continue the streak (79 days and counting).

My favorite running song on iPod: Rock the Casbah

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Downgraded

The Peachtree 10K race applications are out in today's AJC but unfortunately I'll likely be downgraded to running in the general pack instead of in Time Group IA.

Oh, well.

That's what I get for not really running the last few years and playing poker instead.

These days I have it both ways -- I run and play poker. And it's pretty great.

The main advantage of running in Time Groups IA or IB is that by the time 7:30 a.m. rolls around on July 4, it starts to get warm outside. If you're in, say Group 8, you don't cross the starting line for maybe 10 or 20 minutes and it's really hot by then.

Eh. Either way, I'll be happy that I'm a part of this annual city tradition -- the largest 10K race in the country -- and for once, I'm in shape enough to enjoy running in it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

3/14/07

Course: Middlebear (H Loop)
Time: 5:45 p.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Time: 62:14
Gear: SST(Mirage), shorts, APA3

Notes: First outing using the iPod, pretty much got me to run about race pace through the entire course. I just came back from riding to work but my calves were not stretched out in first part of run. Really hot outside- I drank an entire liter of water afterwards -- and prolly could have had more.

Riding that train...

Rode to work today, and it was excellent- there's actually less hills than on my old route...

Yesterday afternoon I ran to work on the same route to pick up ... my new iPod!

It is sweet. I'll have to leave a picture of it here.

I spent much of the midnight hour downloading songs onto it. I have 75 or so on it and it only takes up 1/4 of the space.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Oh, sweet sleep

I didn't go to the 10K, on account of being sleepy. We didn't get back from "300" until after midnight, and there was that time change and the race started at 8:30 a.m.

OK. I should probably say that I do, at times, just oversleep races I haven't paid for in advance (and even those I've pre-registered).

Why pay to run when I can run for free???

Btw, I need to check out running shoes... Even though there's no tread wear on the bottoms of my shoes, I am wondering if my left leg is happier when the shoes are replaced every 300 miles or so instead of 500...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

On the Bike

My run wasn't that long this morning, since I had to be at work by 11 a.m. and I am not wanting to burn everything out before tomorrow's 10K race, so I decided I would try to go to work by bike.

It's been a while. A long while. I basically stopped biking to work because I found it was better for me to drive to work, change into running clothes, and then stop off on the Middlebear path on my way home.

But biking is 1). great fun 2). A good way to commute.

Running legs made the ride really easy. I've made two rides into Decatur in the past and I like having a one-two punch of running and biking.

I think I'm going to continue to depend on running for the bulk of my workouts, since it's really the only tried-and-true way for me to drop extra pounds. Oprah says you have to go with what works for you, so I'm doing it.

Spring is pretty much here. It'll be interesting to see if I incorporate more bike rides into my workout pattern.

Friday, March 9, 2007

It's done

So today I bought a blue iPod shuffle, with the engraving "kurocat's" on it. This, mind you, is just for running. I wanted it to be as light as possible.

Still can buy my 30-gig iPod Nano. Actually, I'm hoping that I'll be able to get it free from Poker Stars.

LOL

An iPod

I must be one of the last holdouts for an iPod, but I think I'm going to finally get one.

I'm kind of old school and don't really like to run with music, but sometimes I think it can be useful.

Now I wonder what kind of iPod I should get? How many songs do I actually need?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

3/8/07

Course: Middlebear (K)
Time: 5:20 p.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Time: 47:37
Gear: SST(Carolina), shorts, APA3

Notes: I was happy with this run, since it's the first one that I ran consecutively since Sunday's Ultimate Frisbee at Piedmont. I was worried my motivation was gone but cat is back.

Restless

It's nice outside and I'm restless for a run with only about 10 minutes left in my workday. We'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

3/3/07

Course: Middlebear (H-Loop)
Time: 6:20 p.m.
Temp: 64 degrees
Time: 68:14
Gear: SST(NPT03), shorts, APA3

Notes: It was a little too late in the day to be running but I didn't want to miss a day. I was really tired so I had a two-hour nap after work. Legs felt fine. I tripped and fell near the Viper Tube. Almost got hit by a car coming out of the road just behind Fritti. I thought he saw me, since he spent a lot of time waiting but he slammed on his brakes just as I was going past...Was happy to get in a long run though.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

All-in a basket

Here's a post about my recent Middlebear run Tuesday and philosophy on running from my other blog, Poker Cats.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

2/25/07

Course: Briarcliff
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Temp: 60 degrees
Time: 23 minutes
Gear: SST(ATL),shorts, APA3

Notes: I started out to CVS but I still had some kind of strain in my upper right leg. It actually went away later as I ran, I didn't have lots of time for a regular course, so I ran around the neighborhood. LOTS of category 1 and 2 hills up to Briarcliff, so this may be the source of new routes.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

2/24/07

Course: Middlebear (H Loop)
Time: 5 p.m.
Temp: 60 degrees
Time: 5 minutes (DNF)
Gear: SST(FTP),shorts, APA3

Notes: Started out and inner thighs seemed very sluggish for the first time so I did not push it. Later on I tried to run down at 10th Street but felt the same, so I decided to call it a day.

Friday, February 23, 2007

2/23/07

Course: Middlebear (K)
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Temp: 64 degrees
Time: 49:14
Gear: SST(El Paso), shorts, APA3

Notes: Slower going than pvs day but felt like the running was very steady and consistent. I wonder if I'm going to be putting away the CFLSTs for the season...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

2/22/07

Course: Middlebear (K)
Time: 5:24 p.m.
Temp: 68 degrees
Time: 44:51 (CR)
Gear: SST('Stars), shorts, APA3

Notes: Slight pain in the rolling side of right foot on start up but settled down during run. Was passed by bogey near Freedom Park path/North Avenue and he gained as much as a 50-second lead on me at Lakeshore. But he seemed to have some kind of problem, I caught up with him at M1, he passed me and then I dropped him permanently at M2. Also passed a rabbit at section 2 of L3. My fastest run of this course.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2/21/07

Course: Middlebear (H Loop)
Time: 5 p.m.
Temp: 64 degrees
Time: 61:44
Gear: SST(Carolina), shorts, APA3

Notes: I was glad to get this one under the belt, since two of my last three outings were really poor. But I had the carbs (5 beers from the home poker game last night), the sleep and the warmup (came off of 5-6 hours of lugging boxes and cleaning up my old apartment).

I was a little sluggish coming up Mpx but I attacked section 4 of L1 and also experimented with bursts of running on section 4 of L3. It was really cruise control, as this was one of the few times that I was running with my entire foot contacting the ground on each strike.

By Surin's, traded waves with a girl who looked like a dark-haired version of Morgan Fairchild. Totally awesome.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2/20/07

Course: Piedmont (Dog Park/Argonne/Va-Hi post office)
Time: 4 p.m.
Temp: 54 degrees
Time: 50 minutes
Gear: SST(Nike green), shorts, APA3

Notes: Still not much gas in my legs but I pretty much was better after the first 10 minutes. At the very end I felt my pace back although my legs were tired.

Monday, February 19, 2007

2/19/07 (Day 50)

Course: Middlebear (H Loop)
Time: 4:04 p.m.
Temp: 48 degrees
Time: 17 minutes (partially completed)
Gear: SST(Ptree 04), shorts, APA3

Notes: No gas in my legs, by the middle of Freedom Park I was pretty much done for. I think this was in part to the short amount of sleep I had (5 hours) the night before and the 12 hour shift I just came off of...

The day marked my 50th day in a row of running...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

2/18/06

Course: Freedom Park
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Temp: 48 degrees
Time: 17 minutes
Gear: CFLST, SST(UNLV), shorts, T-shirt

Notes: Short run to play frisbee in the park and at the same time not feeling guilty about breaking a streak of 48 consecutive days of running. On the way back, about 8 p.m. or so, I totally stepped on a shoelace and fell, hands first, both kneecaps touching the ground. Not pretty, but at least it was dark and there weren't people around.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

2/17/06

Course: Middlebear (H-Loop)
Time: 4:04 p.m.
Temp: 44 degrees
Time: 68 minutes
Gear: CFLST, SST(Jr. League 10K, 2004), shorts, APA3

Notes: My ankles felt sore near M1 and M2. Otherwise pretty solid run. Slow going, though.

Friday, February 16, 2007

2/16/07

Course: Middlebear (K)
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Temp: 44 degrees
Time: 47:41
Gear: CFLST, SST('Stars), shorts, APA3

Notes: Just a steady run through it all. Dropped a wounded rabbit at the Viper Tube.