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


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.


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

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.


Victoria Seahorn
Race Director
ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
Atlanta, Georgia

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.