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


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.