Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CTS 731: The two-year run

HONOLULU -- Got up early and it wasn't raining up here for a change so I headed out down the hill.

Decided to take a short 3-mile loop -- Nuuanu-School-Liliha-Wyllie-Nuuanu. It was pretty nice out - a few walkers but no runners at all. I took to calling all dogs I saw "poi dogs" whether they were mutts or not.

I've found that during this current streak it's not so much the streak that matters but how active you are in a particular cycle. I've run more miles at times and less.

I like that a spur-of-the-moment 5K run when I was visiting my parents in September led to two more 5Ks, a 10K and a half-marathon. And a few hundred more training miles I wouldn't have run otherwise.

I'm happy to have ended the year being able to reach Hawaii landmarks in perfect running weather.

Who knows what the new year will bring? My immediate goals still include wanting to run a sub 54-minute 10K to qualify for the Peachtree 10K. Long outset goals could include running in the Chicago Marathon in October or the Honolulu Marathon in December with maybe the Las Vegas half-marathon in December.

But we'll see -- there's a lot of miles - and a very hot Atlanta summer - in between now and then.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CTS 730: To Waikiki Niketown

HONOLULU -- It rains a lot where my grandmother's house is, so I wasn't sure when it would let up to let me run.

It started up raining right before I was going to go outside so instead I took a ride with my folks down Nuuanu to the shopping center where the Hungry Lion restaurant is.

But then it wasn't raining anymore. So I decided I would first go over to Long's Drugs at Vineyard and Pali Highway to get a poncho.

I did that and then decided I would continue on yesterday's quest to go to the Niketown in Waikiki. We saw it while driving to the wedding on Sunday. Monday I started out to go there but didn't have any gas in my legs and cut the run short.

But today it was fine. The directions were okay although there were some spots on Magellan that seemed a little seedy and didn't always have sidewalks.

I got down there in just under about 3.5 miles. It was pretty neat- there were Niketown Hawaii T-shirts and even finisher LSTs of the Honolulu Marathon. I looked around but decided not to get anything.

Coming back was a lot easier than getting there, since I knew where everything was. One thing that seemed neat about training in Honolulu is the close proximity of things -- I think you could plot a course where you'd always be near restrooms, water or food.

I came back and then went up School Street for a few blocks to my uncle's parents' shave ice store. The large shave ice is so big -- as big as a human head -- I walked about a quarter way up Nuuanu before I finished it!

Anyway, it made for a good reward to a pretty nice run.

Time: noon
Temp: ??
Gear: SST (MGM Grand), shorts, AP/D1.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

CTS 728: To Aloha Tower

HONOLULU -- It had been raining all day and I really wasn't sure when I would get to run, especially because we're limited today by my cousin's wedding, which is at 4:30 p.m.

Compounding the problem is that I accidentally left my running watch in Maui (my uncle found it and says he'll bring it to the wedding today) and my Garmin is out of batteries.

So I decided to go about it the old fashioned way, carrying my cell phone with a piece of paper and a pen and writing down when I start, when I stop, how long I have to wait at stoplights.

I headed down Nuuanu and just kept going. After a while I felt like I must be pretty close to the water, crossing through Chinatown. Eventually I found Aloha Tower and veered to it.

Coming back it was a little hilly but nothing really steep. Still, my calves were pretty tight like they didn't have much in them.

Two blocks away from my grandmother's house, it started to pour down rain. I neglected to put my Blackberry in a ziploc bag so I tried to shield it the best I could.

It got scary after I got home. It didn't want to turn on and for a few hours I didn't even have Internet access.

But all is well now.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 65 degrees (?)
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, AP/D1.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

CTS 727: The backway

KULA, Hi. -- Didn't have much time this morning so I decided to do the 4-mile loop from the back way of Polipoli to the highway.

I usually don't like it because the first half mile is pretty much all uphill. But later it wasn't bad- a great view of the sea from the top of the road, elevation maybe 3,500 feet.

I consider myself a really great hill runner but still it was pretty humbling having my calves burn out at the top.

The highway was ok- saw a couple of runners going the other way and some bikers.

Will be very happy to be running at sea level in Honolulu.

Friday, December 26, 2008

CTS 726: Tranquility lane

KULA, Hi. -- There's something different about this run -- it's lush and green on either side of the road.

Decided to run directly from my grandparent's house to Holy Ghost Church in Kula. It worked out perfectly -- it's about 1.5 miles from the house to Rice Park, another 1.5 miles to the church, and then back.

I wanted to do 6 miles so it worked out.

Only thing was about after 4 miles I started to get tired and lose my form. I'm not sure if it is the 3,000-foot elevation here or the fact that I usually do not run very well the day after a flight.

Either way, I struggled through it. The weather was perfect and I regained my form on the highway on the way back, although I could feel it a little in my legs.

Looks like this trip will be without the GPS watch. It is totally dead and while I brought the charger, I left the docking cradle at home, making this just an expensive paperweight.

Time: 10:30 a.m.
Temp: 59 degrees
Gear: SST, shorts, AP/D1.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

CTS 725: A Christmas run

Because I'll be leaving around 4:15 a.m. to get to the airport and then I'll need the next 23 hours to get to Maui, my window was extremely short to get in a run and continue the streak.

Basically it was, run right after midnight or run at 4 a.m. when I got up.

I couldn't go to sleep because of the rainfall this evening, so I decided to get it out of the way.

With my AP/D1s packed away, I took out my old, battered AP/Ds. They weren't bad at all, I trudged around, and at one point, in a puddle.

The weather was nice, even though it was still lightly raining.

The streak is still alive. Maybe it can be the beginning of a new tradition?

Temp: 59 degrees (light rain)
Gear: windbreaker, SST, shorts, AP/D.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CTS 723: Learning in the cold

Today I went out, and having learned from the day before, brought a lot less gear on my run.

It was 32 degrees but no, I didn't need a hat, gloves or windbreaker. There were times I wished I had more, but overall I was fine.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 32 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (Gold Coast), running pants, AP/D1.

Monday, December 22, 2008

CTS 722: Out comes the Garmin

Broke out the Garmin 205 today for a dual-mission run: first, to scout out where Kevin Rathbun Steak was and then to proceed to the United Way building downtown to make a donation.

By .8 mile, I didn't need my hat and gloves and at times during the run I was wondering if I should have worn shorts instead of the running pants.

Early in the run, my shins were giving me trouble, mainly because of lack of a warm-up.

But on the way back, my speed was returning because I was fully warmed-up. Even was on a 7:34 pace on the way home. lol

Time: 1 p.m.
Temp: 26-30 degrees
Distance: 6.66 miles
Gear: CF windbreaker, CFLST, SST (Carolina), running pants, hat, gloves, AP/D1.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

CTS 721: The cold returns

After enjoying a week of nice, 60-degree weather, the cold has returned.

After procrastinating around noon, cat finally set out for Piedmont Park doing a short but sweet loop. It was nice to run in mid-40s weather, but I probably run better when it's 20 degrees warmer.

I liked the energy I had on the hills. It almost felt too warm for the CFLST, so I'll have to think about that. But other times I was happy to have the sleeves cover my hands.

Time: 12:50 p.m.
Temp: 44 degrees
Gear: CFLST (William's Run), SST (Thrashers green), shorts, AP/D1.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why the streak is alive

Faulkner once was asked if he wrote every day or if he wrote when he was inspired and he said, I only write when I'm inspired but I'm inspired every day. -- Cormac McCarthy, in 2007 interview with Oprah

CTS 718: Strange weather

Today it was 68 degrees, which is a little strange for me at this time of year. Did a short run after a lot of procrastination and because I woke up later than usual.

Time: 12:45 p.m.
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, AP/D1.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CTS 716: Another work trip

I really hated the idea of again running to work but I sold my very last pair of Falcons tickets.

First I had to run to the Post Office in the opposite direction to mail off a book I sold on Half.com (The Tipping Point, for more money than I bought it. A first.)

Then I came back and got the tickets and was off. The temperature was 66 degrees and all of the troubles I had with running I didn't have this time. I think the Post Office run was sufficient warm-up.

I got to work but was super-sweaty. It was warm but nearly the perfect weather for running.

Came back home. Finished strong.

Time: 1:15 p.m.
Gear: SST (Discwing, although maybe too thick for this kind of weather), shorts, AP/D1.

Monday, December 15, 2008

CTS 715: Back to work

Ran into work again, since I sold another pair of Atlanta Falcons tickets.

I almost didn't make it there, though, since my left shin muscle was acting up. I even cut back through The Carter Center parking lot but then doubled back on the PATH course and was fine.

I really don't get a good running rhythm and/or are properly warmed up until after 2.5 miles or so.

Time: 2 p.m.
Temp: 59 degrees
Gear: SST (Blue Chip), shorts, AP/D1.

Friday, December 12, 2008

CTS 713: A run with the Poker Peaker

LAS VEGAS -- Today I ran with Poker Peaker, another poker blogger and runner.

We started out right in front of the Imperial Palace, made our way over the overpass at Flamingo Road and then up the west side of the Strip to the overpass at MGM. Then we went down to Koval and came back on Harmon before leaving for our respective hotels.

Usually I don't run with people, but this was pretty enjoyable -- we talked about everything from running to work and climbing mountains. The weather was perfect.

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Temp: 50 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's), shorts, AP/D1.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

CTS 712: Sunset on the Strip

LAS VEGAS -- With the uncertainty of whether I'd have to wait until 4 p.m. to check in to my hotel, I decided to grab a quick run right out of the airport.

Went over to Sunset Park where I remembered they had a nice red rock dirt path that is about a mile.

Was pretty nice. My left knee definitely seems a little weak -- not painful or limiting -- in some way.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 61 degrees
Gear: SST (California), shorts, AP/D1.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unleashing the D2s

Just broke out my third pair of Air Pegasus running shoes, to be labeled AP/D2, for the upcoming Vegas trip.

Normally I would wear around my old AP/D shoes but since I can't run in them anymore, I might as well break in a new pair.

Still bringing the AP/D1s to run in, since they have less than 200 miles on them right now.

CTS 710, The rain, a watch ordered

Coming off a cold, the last thing I wanted to do today was to run in the rain. Normally I wouldn't have minded it, as it reminded me of my Pacific Northwest days and the weather -- 62 degrees -- was the warmest it's been recently.

I trudged outside. My left knee felt a little funny, but I was able to accelerate on it ok without pain and I felt sluggish but it was enough for a short run.

Time: 12:30 p.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: Windbreaker, SST (Bridge-to-Bridge), shorts, hat, AP/D1.

Today, after e-mailing with Poker Peaker, who has a Garmin Forerunner 201 watch, I decided to get a GPS watch.

I ended up ordering the Garmin Forerunner 205, which is what my boss has.

My main "excuse" is that prior to The Weather Channel Atlanta Half Marathon, I would be able to guessimate pretty accurately my pace in training and would have no problem running faster in races.

But now I am wondering if my training pace is falling off too drastically and I need something to tell me how my training is in relation to pace. Keep in mind I really do not care too much about my training pace, as long as I am outside and am enjoying the run.

Free shipping was my other "excuse." Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CTS 709: Flat tire

Ran today to drop off a book that I sold on half.com at the Post Office and then decided to add a few more miles to it.

Into the first mile, I experienced the same kind of thing that I had during The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon during Thanksgiving: My left shin muscle didn't really want to be running - it didn't hurt but I could tell I wasn't going too fast.

My left leg didn't have the springiness that the right had. My legs for the most part were tired and I'm still coming over a cold I'm glad I completed the run, though.

The weather was really a gift for this time of year, and especially compared to other runs the last few days that included 32 degrees and 46 degrees yesterday.

So it kind of was a shame. But I'm glad I got the run in.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 52 degrees
Gear: LST (Brookfield), shorts, AP/D1. (Although I probably could have gotten away with just a SST.

Friday, December 5, 2008

CTS 705: Laundry run

Basic run today on the PATH to Candler while I was doing laundry. Main thing to note is that hills that once intimidated me and I huffed up aren't a problem anymore.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 46 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (Discwing), shorts, AP/D1.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

CTS 704: Birthday run

I had to get to work to prepare two more football tickets that I sold for shipping, so I decided I would just run there.

I was slightly hungover from celebrating my birthday last night into this morning, but it turned out it was one of my best and effortless runs. Maybe because I had carbed up! lol

There was a little bit of drizzle but it was fine. I got to work just as it was starting to get dark so I ran back along Highland Avenue instead of the PATH with all the rush hour traffic.

Time: 4:45 p.m.
Temp: 46 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Atlanta half-marathon), SST (Beltline), shorts, AP/D1.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Stone Mountain or bust, part 2 (Avondale Stn. to Farmers Market)

DECATUR, Ga. -- I decided to continue running on the Atlanta-Stone Mountain PATH with the intention of making Clarkston.

But I started out too late in the day and I drove around a while trying to find a place to park near Avondale Station. Possibly because of the station's proximity, all of the streets around it are marked with residents only parking signs.

So I went all the way back to the parking spaces on Howard near Carpe Diem.

The trail loops to follow the MARTA tracks and you go by abandoned houses. The isolated nature of this part of the trail made me not want to attempt to have to return when the sun was going down so I tried to connect with East Ponce de Leon and go to the Farmer's Market.

I got as far as North Clarendon and East Ponce and then doubled back on the side of the street about a half mile before I found the Farmer's Market.

For the last two legs of the Stone Mountain run, I'll probably park in Clarkston and make my way back to North Clarendon and then on another trip make my way to Stone Mountain.

Time: 3:30 p.m.
Temp: 57 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's), shorts, AP/D1.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

CTS 702: Election runoff

Not sure why, but I got up really early and decided I would use that time to vote in the U.S. Senate runoff race.

Of course that meant chilly weather. I decided I would err on warmer clothes just in case there were lines (there weren't).

It was fine for the run. But I probably wouldn't need the gloves for anything longer.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 34 degrees
Gear: CFLST, North Face thermal layer, North Face pants, hat, gloves, AP/D1.

Monday, December 1, 2008

CTS 701: Back to the dentist

Another 38 degree day, 4 mile round trip to pay a dentist bill. Wore CFLST, SST (Bally's), shorts. Was a little cold to begin with on my hands, but gradually warmed up.

I ran around noon, saw a few guys running, a little more bundled up up top than I was, but they were also wearing shorts.

Friday, November 28, 2008

CTS 697: The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon

CHAMBLEE, Ga. -- Memo to self: Even if freezing, try to warm-up a little before doing a race. Even if you don't usually do so.

We lined up in the darkness in 35-39 degree weather at the start of The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. I felt good, had actually done the mileage before the race for once, and didn't think there would be any problems.

The course follows the second half of the Olympic marathon course from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The start reminded me of something from a zombie movie -- thousands of people running in one direction along a four-lane road.

Within the first mile, the muscle above my left shin totally locked up, making it like I was running on a flat tire. My leg wouldn't allow me to accelerate and it was like that through the first six miles.

I thought about triage -- about DNF'ing the race and going home on MARTA at the N8 Lenox station. But for some reason I decided that the race was not done for me -- I would enjoy myself no matter what and finish however I could.

I dreaded the hilly second half of the race, but oddly enough the hills became my friend. The middle part of the course is the same as the July 4 Peachtree 10K and so the first large hill is "Heartbreak Hill," one that I usually dread in the 10K.

But I started running again. My shin muscle relaxed and I went up it with no problem. Same went with the next dreaded hill, a long nearly one mile incline up to 14th Street.

Then I tackled the next big hill, which stretches from 10th Street to the FOX Theatre near North Avenue. No problem.

And the next hill, from West Peachtree to Ellis Street all along Peachtree Road. These last two big hills were part of the 2007 ING Georgia Half-Marathon course and so I knew what to expect.

On the very last hill, a double set going up next to the state Capitol on Mitchell Street, I was finally able to accelerate and I hit the last mile through the Olympic gate to Turner Field pretty hard -- almost too hard, as I bruised my right foot sprinting to the line.

I had a lot of fun, guaranteed a negative split for the race (lol) but because I hadn't exerted myself too much in the first half, I had plenty of energy and was relatively fresh for the second half. I could tell as many spent runners were trying to tackle the hills with nothing in the tank.

Because I was able to finish strong in the second half, I think I can say the shin muscle thing was from not properly warming up instead of improper training for the race -- although I didn't really decide to run in the half-marathon until three weeks ago. lol

Not my best finish, but definitely one that I enjoyed, considering I didn't know how bad the injury was going to be. I've never not finished a race so I'm glad I didn't have a first there.

Time: 7:08 a.m.
Temp: 35-39 degree start, climbed to 50 degrees at finish
Gear: windbreaker, CFLST (William's Run), SST (El Paso), shorts, AP/D1.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Half-marathon packet pick-up

Yesterday I had to pick up my race number for Thursday's Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon. The expo was located at the Intercontiental Hotel in Buckhead.

Only thing is I hate driving to Buckhead because of all the traffic. So I ran there. Hopefully I won't be hurting in tomorrow's race because I ran 9 miles a few days before!

Piedmont Road to Peachtree is part of the full marathon course. It's pretty much all uphill, which says something about if you really want to run that race.

But the day was pretty nice. I was nursing a runny nose that was irritating me but it all was good.

The expo was smaller than what I remember for the ING Georgia Marathon and Half-Marathon but was pretty efficient.

Instead of the old ChampionChip, they use these light disposable strips that I imagine has some kind of RFID in them. A neat example of how the technology changes.

I got home okay, swore I would just take it easy today and can't wait for tomorrow's race.

Time: 12:45 p.m.
Temp: 54 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's), shorts, AP/D1

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stone Mountain or bust, part 1 (Candler Park-Decatur)

I've been wanting to do this for a while but had never had the running legs or motivation to do so -- to run the entire length of the Atlanta to Stone Mountain PATH trail.

Not the entire 18-mile distance in a row. In segments, like how I did half of the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas.

The other day while I was out doing laundry, I did the Candler Park-Clifton Road segment, leading up to today.

My goal was to start on McClendon and work my way to Avondale Station in Decatur (it's Milepost 8.86). Here's a map of the section.

When I started, I was not very happy. It was about 42 degrees and I was pretty cold in my CFLST, SST (Carolina, dk blue) and shorts. My legs didn't really work well since I was pretty tired.

I thought I was going to turn around. But I trudged up the hill. I didn't find Park Place on the map so I made my way to Ridgecrest and then went out to Dekalb Avenue, where the PATH continues as a separate bike road.

It was pretty nice. You pass places like Thinking Man's Tavern and the PATH brings you right into Decatur. It was nice that the trail goes right next to the Dairy Queen and Chick-fil-A is only a few blocks away.

When I reached Avondale MARTA station I turned around and headed back. I veered off course a little to use the CFA restrooms and realized that Big Peach Running Co. is right across the street. I had never been there before, so that was pretty exciting for me.

On the way back, I had no problems at all and even though I had been running about 7 miles at that point, the L1 hill from my old Middlebear course wasn't any problem at all.

I'm looking forward to a hopefully fun diversion exploring the rest of the trail!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Operation Nuevo Laredo

I wanted to get in at least one 10+ mile run before deciding if I would sign up for the Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon on Thanksgiving, and I got my shot at it yesterday.

The course was running past Atlantic Station another three miles or so to one of my favorite eateries- Nuevo Laredo.

The weather was good, about 55 degrees climbing to 61 degrees and I felt good the entire time.

While it's not exactly a run I'd do all the time (I had to cross busy Chattahoochee Avenue twice because of shrubs that blocked the way on the side of the road) I'm happy I was able to power through it.

The run ended up being more than 12 miles, and anytime I can burn up 1,200 calories in a go, that's fine with me. lol

Time: 10:45 a.m.
Gear: LST (Ted's Buffalo Stampede), shorts, AP/D1.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Operation Taco Mac - technical notes

I posted today about my run to Taco Mac-Metropolis in Midtown.

Here are the notes:
Temp: 36 degrees
Time: 9:20 a.m.
Gear: CFLST, SST (P'tree 03), shorts, AP/D1, hat.

The hat was pretty crucial since it was so windy. During the run my hands were extremely cold so probably the windbreaker wouldn't be a bad idea on other runs of the same temperature.

Normally 40 degrees is the cutoff for wearing running pants. My legs were a little cold but since they are the least crucial parts of me that need to stay warm, they were fine.

I felt like I could run forever in the cold air! I think my body doesn't heat up and lets me run longer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sapped!

Yesterday I was on my way to what I thought would be a 12-mile run, to one of my favorite Mexican eateries across town.

But I made it to Piedmont Park and then just could not go any farther. One reason was I started out a little late and would have had difficulty making it back before I had to be at work at 2 p.m.

The other reason was my body was acting like a stubborn mule. So I made my way around the park and back.

I've been hesitant to really push it because I've added a lot of miles really recently. No need for injury now.

This morning, I was scheduled to run in the Mayor's Race 2 Recycle 5K at Piedmont Park, about a mile away from my house.

How lazy was I? I didn't want to get up at 7:15 a.m. for the 8 a.m. race. I surmised that I could sleep a few more hours then go for an even longer run. I also thought that I didn't really feel like sprinting a 5K when I could run at my own, leisurely pace.

...which I did. I ran in the hilly neighborhoods near Emory University, enjoying all the fall leaves.

My mileage goal for the week was accomplished with that run and I felt refreshed when I met up with the crew at the Mexican place for lunch.

It's good to 1). Have a plan but 2). Be able to deviate from it when necessary. lol

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Will run for food


I've been following the Jeff Galloway philosophy of having an easy run the day after a more challenging one.

But today was the last day of a free breakfast promo at Ikea. So...I decided I would run there.

By Google, the distance to Ikea from where I live is 4.9 miles. But I decided to cut through Piedmont Park, saving about a mile and a half in the process.

In Fallout 3 terms, I divided up the neighborhoods: Virginia-Highland, Midtown-Piedmont Park, Midtown-Peachtree, Midtown West Peachtree and Atlantic Station.

The breakfast was nothing special ... but it was the right price plus it was the right motivational tool to get me out for another 7 mile run.

Time: 9:45 a.m.
Temp: 55 degrees
Gear: CFLST (William's Run), SST (dk blue Carolina), shorts, AP/D1.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"You are ready"

Last night I sold another pair of Falcons tickets after I was at the office so today I decided to run down there and prepare the tix for shipping.

It took me the first two miles to really get a running rhythm going but after that the run was a true cruise. My speed was good.

The last minute before I ended up back at home from the 6.5 mile run, I kept repeating to myself, "You are ready. You are ready."

I do not know why this came up. And now I wonder, ready for what?

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 60 degrees
Gear: SST (Shamrock Guinness), shorts, AP/D1.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Strong legs 10K

The Strong Legs 10K is my first 10K in earnest since the July 4 Peachtree. I had scouted out most of the course, so I wasn't too worried.

It was pretty chilly waiting around at Turner Field, making me wish I had more than just a long-sleeved T. Still, it would be above 50 degrees after the race started so no need for that.

At about 25 minutes my muscle over my left shin got tight. That lasted until 33 minutes. A few minutes later, my right foot felt numb, something that lasted until somewhere near the last mile.

As usual, I felt extremely good on the hills, able to pretty much accelerate at will.

The last mile, which was downhill, was pretty fast but I felt up to it.

Definitely a good race for downtown Atlanta and one I hope to do again.

Temp: 50 degrees
Time: 8 a.m.
Gear: LST (Downers Grove), shorts, AP/D1.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lunch place recon (Zaya)

I decided to focus my run today to find out exactly where my lunch meeting would be -- Zaya, a Mediterranean and Greek restaurant.

Early on, my calf muscles were extremely tight and maybe this discouraged me from running more miles over the summer.

I plodded along until I found the resturant. Then I turned into Little Five Points on my old Middlebear course. Along McDonough, I cut through Candler Street, since I knew I wouldn't have enough time to cover the full course in reverse and make it to lunch on time.

So I ran along the North Ave. edge of Freedom Park and back.

Very nice outside.

Temp: 69 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina), shorts, AP/D1.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A near wreck

As far as I can remember (knock on wood), I haven't had a laydown on a bicycle since I've been here -- that's more than six years.

Tonight as I was coming home, I almost did that by myself, I had turned from Piedmont onto Highland-Baker and was looking over my left shoulder to see about traffic.

Unbeknowst to me, I veered off the asphalt onto the concrete and was headed right for the curb!

I panicked and overreacted and was sure that I would fall off my bike trying to get back on the asphalt.

But whew. I didn't.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Course recon (Strong Legs 10K)

I had been hearing how hilly Courtland was on the way back in the Strong Legs 10K, so today I decided I'd run on it and see how it was, since I really hate surprises in races.

Course description is here. I went from my place on Highland to the Freedom Park PATH, caught up with the coures at Highland, followed my bike route to Central Park, turned on it.

Then I sort of cut through the course, turned on Park, continued on until Courtland and took it to the Capitol, where I turned and headed back along Piedmont for the start of the course.

It wasn't as hilly as I thought. The only bad stretch is a road overpass on Courtland near Edgewood, that I had run as part of a 5K to Oakland Cemetery in the past.

It's a really beautiful course, with nice touches running along historic Auburn Avenue.

Made for a nice day out. No knee troubles. I had the heroic horn bit from the Main Title of Fallout 3 in my head.

Time: 2 p.m.
Temp: 71 degrees
Gear: SST (Climb Atlanta), shorts, AP/D1

Saturday, November 1, 2008

William's Walk and Run 5K

I originally signed up for the 10K for William's Walk and Run but I really hate doing loop courses so I just decided to run it in at the 5K (like the Old Soldier's Day race in Alpharetta).

It was plenty cold -- about 40 degrees. While I got my bib number and really cool moisture wicking LST, I wore my windbreaker. Normally I would take it off before the race but I just decided to keep it on.

The local movie theater in the shopping center where the race registration/finish was kindly opened its doors -- there were plenty of people, including me, keeping warm inside.

The race wasn't too bad, so if I was more race ready, I'd say this could be a great 10K to do. I started off really slowly, sort of favoring my right knee, although it wasn't painful.

I just felt like I couldn't go very fast with it.

The second mile was pretty slow, but not as slow. The third mile I went about a minute faster than the first two and I was really blowing by slower runners. It's good to finish strong but hopefully I'll get my running back on pace.

Time: 8:15 a.m.
Temp: 40 degrees
Gear: windbreaker, CFLST, SST (Las Vegas), shorts, AP/D1

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Winter weather early

Cooler than most mornings. Had to look up what kind of gear to wear for this short run.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 37 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (Carolina), running pants, AP/D1, hat (but took it off later).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A turning point

Today I had to go to the office to send out a pair of tickets that I sold on StubHub.

So I decided to run there. I hadn't run that distance (about 7 miles roundtrip) in 17 months and with yesterday's post, I wasn't sure how the knee would feel about it.

But everything was perfect. I followed my bike commute route to work and I really felt good. I ran with the tune used in the Nike commercial featuring Steven Jackson.



Once I get above 6 miles in training runs, it opens up a lot of good things -- speed and confidence in the 5K and 10K, the ability to strike a half-marathon. I drop weight and clothes fit better.

I know now that a lot of it starts with the 5K -- the short, aggressive races give you confidence managing faster-than-normal speeds and the ability to handle longer training distances.

It was like throwing long - I wasn't sure how I would feel. But I'm glad I did it.

Temp: 47 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (Thrashers Shamrock), shorts, AP/D1

Monday, October 27, 2008

That knee thing

My knee felt a little funny this morning as I headed out for a run - not pain, but more like it was banged up a little bit.

Temp: 48 degrees
Gear: LST (Brookfield Zoo Run), shorts, AP/D1

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Monster of a run (Hillside Monster Dash 5K)

Even though I'd pre-registered for today's Hillside Monster Dash 5K, I didn't think I would run in it.

I have a history of being really lazy in the morning and sleeping through races, even ones I've already paid for.

I went to bed pretty early but woke up at about 2 a.m., played poker and then went back to bed.

At 3:30 a.m. I couldn't sleep. So I got some old running books out and was pretty interested to read about 10K training schedules. And injuries.

I fell asleep later but woke up at 7:15 a.m. Then went to sleep and woke up just after 8 a.m.

I knew I still had time to make the race, even though I'd have to walk a mile just to get there.

So I did.

The first mile of the race made me feel good, since it went around the park that I call the Valley of the Dogs. It was like home court for me since one of my training runs goes alongside it. On that slight incline, I felt myself accelerating beyond the group I was with.

I was ready for the second hill, up Courtenay where the race started to San Antonio to Amsterdam, one of the steepest streets in the neighborhood. That's because walking to the race I came upon cones marking the race route.

After that was the mile 2 marker. My left shoe became untied and although usually in a 5K I will run with my shoes untied I stopped because I already had been worried about my right knee (which didn't give me any problems) and didn't want something to happen to my left leg.

But it was a huge mistake. Stopping for even that brief amount of time really froze the muscle over my left shin. Still, I continued on, up to Hillpine, which easily is a Category 1 hill, and the highest part of the race.

Dutifully, I scrambled up it while other people walked at this point. I let up a little to recover after the hills, something I'll have to work on in the future (especially by running up steep hills and not slowing after cresting them).

It was downhill the rest of the way but I didn't really have a lot of downhill running energy.

Still, I really enjoyed this accomplishment and I think my apprehension about racing (and worry over whether I have any kind of knee injury) is gone now.

Temp: 51 degrees
Time: 9:10 a.m.
Gear: LST (Downers Grove), shorts, AP/D1. The long-sleeved shirt was perfect to start the race but on mile 2 I found myself pushing up the sleeves.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finally a use for long-sleeve T-shirts

When it's cold out, I usually opt for the CFLST, as it gives better layering and protection from the cold.

But cool temperatures (like today's 56 degrees) creates a problem - I tend to really heat up in a wicking shirt and it gets too hot by the end of the run.

So today I went back to the regular long-sleeved T-shirt for my 3 mile run.

It worked pretty well- no part of me was warmer than the other. I also liked having a use for the T-shirt I got from Ted's Buffalo Stampede!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How I know I need to swap out my shoes

My knees turn out to be pretty good indicators of when I need to turn in a pair of running shoes.

The past few times my AP-Ds have given me a little bit of pounding in my right knee.

So I switched to their substitute, the AP/D1s and it turns out, no knee abuse!

It's a little sad since I only got about 244 miles out of my old pair of shoes (and 300 miles from the AP/A5s before them), but I had been doing that old no-no with running shoes- wearing them walking and out and about around town.

Either way, I'm glad to have a replacement ... and no hurt knees.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An early morning run

Time: 6:15 a.m.
Temp: 54 degrees
Gear: CFLST (overkill), T-shirt, shorts, AP/D1

Because of my morning work shift and the Thrashers game later this evening, I decided to try to take in a short run as soon as I got up this morning. The weather was crisp and I felt comfortable in the CFLST but at the end of the run it felt like overkill.

It was pretty nice to be out before other people. On the way back saw a middle-aged dude who was heading out and when I drove to work also saw an older guy trotting up the road.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 652

Today I turned a simple trip to the bank for a deposit into a longer run, cutting across Ponce to the Freedom Park PATH.

Later, biking to work, I felt like my road legs were returning, I had great control over the bike on the hilly sections.

Not so cool yet that I have to wear anything other than a T-shirt and shorts. Huzzah.

Last week I was a little worried -- I was biking up Peachtree and felt a slight pain in my right knee. It's gone away since then but it was strange because I always thought that biking really didn't cause any kind of knee injuries.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ted's Bison Stampede 5K

Come with me, Hail Mary/
Run, quick see/
Now - do you wanna ride or die?
-Tupac Shakur

Wow. What a great race.

Went downtown this morning for the first Ted's Montana Grill Bison Stampede 5k.

It was really nice with some rolling hills (as usual for this town) - started off near the Ted's downtown restaurant location, went up Centennial Olympic Park drive past the CNN Center, up through Castleberry Hill (now I know there really is a hill here), past the courthouse and the state Capitol and on back to Luckie Street where the restaurant is.

I felt pretty strong the whole way and even though my mileage isn't where it should be, I was able to really accelerate and power through the rolling hills, when a bunch of the people running around me were not.

All during the race I was singing a version of Tupac's "Hail Mary."

Come with me, little kitty cat/
Run with me/
Now, do you wanna ride or die?


It was silly, but it helped.

At the end of the race, the muscle over my left shin was hurting but it's fine now.

At the end of the race, cute little Wharvey girls were giving out "Buffalo sliders," small but thick bison cheeseburgers. They were pretty good but tasted extremely salty.

Sweetwater was giving away free plastic cups of beer. I didn't imbibe because I drove downtown (didn't want to hit any runners).

When I registered, I returned back to my car to put my sunglasses away (could have used them halfway through the race) and left an e-mail confirmation of my registration. When I got to the race start, I reached into my pocket and found ... the registration! I left my bib number in my trunk, so with 10 minutes left I really had to hoof it back to my work parking deck (only a few blocks away).

I was pretty pleased -- if I increased my mileage, I prolly could be running what I was five years ago when I first came to town.

All in all a great event.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A neighborhood 5K

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- I would have been embarassed if I didn't turn out for this one, a 5K race that started about .2 miles from my parent's house.

I learned about it the 4th annual Claddaugh Foundation Run to Walk 5k before and went to sign up in the morning. The course zig-zagged around my parent's neighborhood and was pretty flat and potentially fast.

That said, I had a really strange running time. My first mile was ok, my second mile was more than a minute slower and then my third mile was the fastest of them all. Usually when your time starts to degrade that's kind of it.

Maybe it happened that way or there is a possibility that the second mile was accidentally longer than the other two?

In any event, it was fun to do a run so close to my parents' house.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A new helmet

Today my new helmet arrived. It's a Giro Ionos, a slightly different model than the Giro Atmos I've had for several years.

This one has yellow streaks and has a nice reflective surface, something that's perfect for the night rides that I typically have these days coming home from work.

After I it was delivered, I used the extra padding pack that came with it to augment my old helmet -- the padding has long since worn from it.

And what do you know? There was a crack running down the front of my old helmet.

Maybe not enough to keep me from using it if it was my only helmet.

But since I have this new one, why risk it?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wii Fit (Day 2)

When I was at Best Buy on Tuesday looking for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the store had three Wii Fits on the shelf.

Why not? So I picked one up.

It took me a few days to unwrap it and set it up (had to finish The Force Unleashed) but overall I'm pleased. It has neat balance games, the aerobics are so-so but the strength training and yoga include things that I wouldn't otherwise do.

Plus it keeps track of your weight and BMI automatically on a calendar.

I can do exercises when I'm taking a break from playing poker online, or even while watching TV. Today I did a series of reps after my morning run.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The cooler days have arrived

After a hot (but maybe not the hottest) spring and summer in Atlanta, the cool air is finally here. Hopefully this will make running easier.

Monday, September 15, 2008

An unfriendly sort

It used to be that commuter cyclists were so few in number in the city that it was common to talk to one another.

I guess with gas above $4.25 a gallon, things have changed. Even unfriendly people feel like they're forced to ride.

Once again, as I was on N. Highland on my way to work, some cyclist passes me- this time some chick on a road bike in a messenger bag.

She doesn't say anything, as do I, as we're both on the sidewalk at Ponce. When the light turns, she bolts ahead.

I keep pace but follow respectfully. If she turns onto my homecourt -- the Freedom Park PATH -- I will have no choice but to leave her in the dust.

She doesn't -- but damn. It's on. You're tagged as unfriendly and I will have no qualms to pass you on the street.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The weekend warrior

Yesterday, while I was on my way to work, some weekend warrior all decked out in road gear passed me.

What followed was three stoplights of stop and go but i was ahead on the Freedom Park PATH.

Of course, the weekend warrior raced ahead, almost hitting some little kid on the path. He was forced to slow down by a stroller, so at the base of the Highland hill, we were pretty even.

I decided to hunker down and draft off of him for the first part of the two part hill then blew him away on the second part.

It was funny to me because I was just in a T-shirt and shorts, carrying two Diet Cokes and in my hybrid.

I need to buy a rocket soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A reason to run

I knew from Armstrong’s memoir, It’s Not About the Bike, that his VO2 max (the gauge by which the human body’s capacity to transport and use oxygen is measured) is superhuman, his ship-sail lungs uncommonly efficient.

But at age 37? A 2,000-mile, 23-day race, much of it uphill? By next July? I asked him, rather ungraciously, if he wasn’t too old to get back into shape that quickly.

He laughed. And he was off and running. "Look at the Olympics. You have a swimmer like Dara Torres. Even in the 50-meter event [freestyle], the 41-year-old mother proved you can do it. The woman who won the marathon [Constantina Tomescu-Dita, of Romania] was 38. Older athletes are performing very well. Ask serious sports physiologists and they’ll tell you age is a wives’ tale. Athletes at 30, 35 mentally get tired. They’ve done their sport for 20, 25 years and they’re like, I’ve had enough. But there’s no evidence to support that when you’re 38 you’re any slower than when you were 32.

"Ultimately, I’m the guy that gets up. I mean, I get up out of bed a little slow. I mean, I’m not going to lie. I mean, my back gets tired quicker than it used to and I get out of bed a little slower than I used to. But when I’m going, when I’m on the bike—I feel just as good as I did before."
-Vanity Fair interview with Lance Armstrong

Some people don't give Lance Armstrong's comeback any credence, just like Brett Favre returning to football this year.

I just think, good for them. Michael Jordan was ridiculed for coming out of retirement but I don't think it hurt his legacy.

So there's nothing to lose but lots to gain.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 600

This is a little late but on Friday I passed 600 days in a row of running.

w00t.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Go out hard. Come back hard.

Natalie Coughlin explained her personal racing strategy to me this way, one afternoon a few weeks after returning home from the Worlds: 'Go out hard. Come back hard.'
-"A Feel for the Water," The New Yorker, July 5, 2004

I was trolling the Internets and came across a great story about swimmer Natalie Coughlin in the New Yorker -- from all the way back to 2004, before the Athens Olympics.

It made me want to run more -- two a day practices like the Olympic athletes -- and definitely harder, as I think this way in the 5K and anytime there are hills to be run and competitors to be dropped.

Here in Atlanta I've been fortunate that this summer has been less hot than usual (I don't think we've had a single 100-degree day). At the same time, it feels just as humid at times and coming back completely soaked is the norm.

Coming on 600 days in a row, my enthusiasm hasn't waned. It's now time to drop the hammer for the fall season.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Old Soldiers' Day race (30th anniversary)

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Although I didn't want to get up at 5 a.m., I made my way out to the Old Soldiers' Day race up here in the suburbs.

I parked on the Wills Road side, thinking (correctly) that when I wanted to leave Old Milton Parkway would still be blocked off.

I liked how the community center had great (large) restroom facilities.

We started out and I couldn't tell where the starting line was - my fault for not scoping it out earlier.

After Mile 1 there is a nice sizeable hill and I was able to aggressively attack it. I got past my slow start by dropping Mile 2 by about a minute less, attacking a second hill there.

But by Mile 3 I could tell that this rolling course would not be what I would need to qualify for the Peachtree, especially in the heat. So I slowed it up and went out the 5K exit instead of looping around a second time for the 10K.

Of course, the fact that it's a double loop allowed me to do that.

I really liked the race though. It was a good warmup for other 10Ks I'll do later on this year and hopefully when it's a lot cooler. For now I think if I increase my mileage I'll be all set to qualify.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A GPS watch

I am finally thinking about getting a Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch.

One of my bosses has one and swears by it. Also she said the distance that she ran in the Peachtree 10K was closer to 6.5 miles than 6.2. Hmmm.

I possibly could get it cheaper online ($149 vs. $179) but it would be nice to have for Saturday's 10K race in Alpharetta.

Btw, went up there today to pick up my T-shirt, race number and other goodies -- I was under the first 375 to register so they threw in a cap and water bottle. w00t.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A pretty good deal (Old Soldiers' Day 10K)

I've been looking to run in 10Ks to hopefully qualify for Time Groups IA and IB of the Peachtree.

So I've jumped at the chance to run in a $15 race -- the Old Soldiers' Day 10K in Alpharetta next Saturday.

Seems like a good idea to me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Biked to work

Today it didn't seem so hot out so I decided to bike to work.

No real fireworks, my legs felt fine. One thing I noticed was that they added a second bike rack at in the parking deck of my building.

Guess people are starting to take the $4 gas thing seriously.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Disc golf and running

ROSWELL, Ga. -- I was at hole 3 at the East Roswell Park disc golf course, about to make a short putt, when I saw an orange disc come my way.

The guy running up apologized. "Just running," he said, grabbing his disc and going on.

Later, with Matt and Collyn and Lisa, we saw another dude with a clear blue plastic disc, also running the entire 18-hole course while playing it.

It saves time and the wood-chip paths are great.

Something to think about.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Peachtree 10K

Yesterday, I ran in the Peachtree 10K, the fourth time I ran it.

I was in the fourth time group and although we didn't start until after 8 a.m., the weather was slightly overcast with a small breeze, so it wasn't hot like I remembered it during my first running of the race in 2003.

Backing up a little bit, because the race ended at Juniper and Ponce, I drove through the neighborhood and parked just north of 5th street on Piedmont Ave. and then walked to the Midtown MARTA station.

I noticed that the end of the race had a huge hill that ran from 10th Street to 5th Street.

When I got on the MARTA train, I was with a small group of older guys who noticed we were on the Rock Springs train. We got off at N6 Lindbergh Station, and I'm glad we did -- that train does not stop at N7 Lenox. So there were dozens of people with race numbers that likely had to backtrack and switch trains.

This year I liked how organized the race sections were. They set up lots of portapotties at Phipps Plaza parking lot, so there weren't big lines until right before the race started. There also was a water station, which was great. I had 3 cups of water and didn't drink any during the entire race.

When I got to the staging area, I was going to while away the remaining 40 minutes or so before the race by listening to my iPod. But it turned out it was completely dead. So that's nice, that I had to carry it and my headphones on the race for nothing.

This year I focused on trying to trim the times from the first three miles of the race, basically up to Cardiac Hill.

I did that and was about 3 seconds ahead of my planned finish time at Mile 3. But then I semi-bonked Cardiac Hill, putting me 34 seconds behind at Mile 4, and then the recovery mile 5 I was all of a sudden 2 minutes 11 seconds behind and in serious danger of finishing past an hour, which is my casual goal for this race, which is basically a fun run.

There were two times during the hilly sections that I thought about walking but was glad I did not. Near the end of the race it got hot so I got soaked by the water spray stations twice. It's a tricky thing because it's uncomfortable to run in clinging clothes but it turned out ok.

At Mile 6 I recovered a little bit but the changed race end on Juniper is really difficult, given the Cardiac Hill/Olympic Mile sections. I am not sure how I puffed through it.

I finished under my goal of an hour, but it was my slowest time for the four races by about 9 seconds. I think my training wasn't so good for the hills, although I felt OK at the end of the race, which is sort of a testament to running every single day for the last 551 days.

The one thing I should add was it felt like I walked a really far way to get Powerade and the race's trademark Coke/Diet Coke. I don't recall seeing any food, maybe I didn't walk far enough. I understand that Piedmont Avenue is pretty narrow, but I felt like I walked forever past corporate tents/private parties without hitting things that I needed.

Next year I'd like to put my time in on longer runs (my legs were sore after the race but I didn't experience the cramping I did in 2004 when I basically ran it without doing much running at all in the month of June 2004) and definitely hill training along the Cardiac Hill/Olympic Mile sections.

But I did the race, so I can't complain.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Spare parts

Yesterday as I was about to go to Susanne's by bike, I noticed one of my straps on my Shimano road shoes would not go in the buckle.

I thought I would have to go to the bike shop today to get it fixed. But then I remembered a year or so ago one of my buckles flat out broke and that maybe I had a spare part- the other buckle.

I went and found it and then replaced it myself. I found that the strap also was worn out. I couldn't immediately figure out how to get the strap off, although I knew that it must come out somehow since there was an extra strap in the buckle kit.

And voila! I found out how and went on my way.

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

This week I've been consciously trying to get runs in but not anything that would wear me out for the Peachtree 10K coming up this Friday. I feel ok for it, although my mileage is not what it was last year. I didn't have a chance to run up Cardiac Hill and the Olympic Mile for training. We will see...

Friday, June 27, 2008

General musings

I've been pretty pleased lately that the hill I dread on Highland-Baker on my bike route home hasn't been that hard for me lately. Mebbe I'm getting my road legs.

Recently I've gone on a salad kick for lunch -- not so interested in the heavier, greasier kinds of foods that slow me down in the afternoon (food coma?).

Running has been good -- I've "tapered" for the Peachtree that is next Friday but I might go this weekend to run up Cardiac Hill and the Olympic Mile so I can have that under my belt.

Speaking of belts, I weighed myself this morning and I've dropped between 5-7 pounds. Holla.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ten clicks at Bemis

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- Not sure what got into me, but I decided to prepare for the Peachtree 10K by running at least that distance.

It was nice and cool starting out in the very green Bemis Woods path. I must have some kind of tendinitis near my left ankle because I can feel it for the first mile or so, but it goes away.

I decided I'd run for about 31 minutes on the 6.6-mile path and then turn around and come back.

Halfway in, I settled into a sort of cruise mode, which upped my confidence for running in the 10K race. On the way back, less than a mile to go, I was in full attack mode and running as fast as I could.

Saw a deer on the way back, crossing the asphalt path, which was very cool. There also was a snapping turtle on the road with about .6 left.

Even though I was completely soaked in sweat, I felt good, which is the key. The 74 degree temperature is likely what I'll face in the Peachtree. The main difference between this route and the course are the giant hills in the Peachtree. But hopefully I will be able to use experience and get through them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A number! (Peachtree 10K)

On my way out to work this afternoon I didn't even notice the large white envelope in my mailbox. I just tossed it and the other mail on the floor on my rush to get out.

This evening I discovered it was my Peachtree 10K race number! Yay!

I'll be in Time Group 4, so not too bad considering I've been as far back as Time Group 6.

2003: Time Group 5
2004: Time Group IA
2005: Time Group IA (did not run)
2006: did not apply
2007: Time Group 6
2008: Time Group 4

My running is not entirely there -- I have a few nagging issues like slight pain in my left shin/ankle when I run and it's been keeping my miles down.

But my heart is there, to participate in a storied race and do well on the great hills in the latter part of the race.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The dry-pavement rule

There's a 30 percent chance of rain today, especially during the time that I would be returning home but I still pulled out the bike and rode to work.

I have a "dry pavement rule" for biking to work -- if the pavement is dry before I leave, I'll go, even if rain is forecast for the day. I don't care so much if I get wet riding home, since I can just shower and change at home. I just don't want to come to work looking like a wet rat.

I have misgivings if it's nice during the day and I drive to work. Plus I've seen several occasions where a "70 percent" forecast of rain means nothing at all.

During the ride in, the air was pretty cool and nice. It was still dark. One runner was already plowing down North Highland.

There's no, or little, traffic at 5 a.m. and I never have to worry about getting a good place to tether the bike at work. Now that gas is nearly $4/gallon, the small bike rack at work is always full.

Last night I made my way through Piedmont Park and the Botanical Garden for my daily run. I am glad that Maui (and the higher elevation?) has been an aid in training and I hope to continue longer distances.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Back in Atlanta

Because of the time difference (6 hours) I've been going to bed in Maui about the time I would be waking up in Atlanta.

But for some reason that didn't faze me this morning -- about 6 a.m. the cats were up and about and I noticed that it was nice and cool out, something that it really wasn't yesterday afternoon when I went for a very short run after being up for about 33 hours.

The humidity is back in the ATL and it'll take some getting used to. Being up that early on a Sunday morning was nice though -- no one was really out and I pretended that the neighborhoods leading to Piedmont Park were just an extension of the country roads I had been running on in Maui.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A slightly humid day

HONOLULU -- Went for a short run while visiting Gnome today. Ran on some roads in his neighborhood, a lot of middle-age walkers.

It's a different kind of scenery compared to Maui's country roads.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kula country roads

KULA, Hi. -- The last three days I've been doing the Holy Ghost Church-Rice Park loop on Lower Kula Road. The 3 mile round trip run is perfect for me right now and I don't think my legs are used to the elevation (at least going up hill lol).

I've been getting up and running just before 7 a.m. It's pretty easy to do that though, since it's after noon ET! The air is still pretty cool now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trail impassable

TUNICA, Miss. -- Today I ran along the road that leads to the Riverpark. As I came back, I cut through the dirt roads that lead to the riverpark trail. When I passed one of the boardwalks on the loop, I noticed that part of it was covered in water.

No problem, since I was traveling the other direction to go back out the front of the trail. But right at the end of the big boardwalk near the start of the trail, the sidewalk that connects to it was covered in water.

Not a lot, maybe ankle deep. I could have run through it but wet shoes would not be so nice to 1). run with on Sunday and 2). lug through airports on my way home. So I turned around and hoofed it back, nearly the way I came.

I took a shortcut through the green grove to the other dirt road. Along the way I noticed deer footprints -- they must have been running the same way that I did.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Riverpark in spring

TUNICA, Miss. -- Eagerly looked forward this morning to running in the Riverpark's Waterfront Trail.

I wasn't disappointed. It was so different from when I was here last in January. A storm must have come through. Mud washed all over the sidewalks. In the preserve you could see plenty of trees down.

And water came just under the boardwalks, which made me a little concerned as I ran over it. But everything was really green.

The weather was nice and it was neat to get my A4s muddy. I saw two deer as I entered the loop part of the trail. One part was still flooded, so I had to walk up and over a muddy berm, hoping there were no snakes nearby.

It was pretty neat again to be running alongside the mighty Mississippi. It's always a treat to visit a trail months later and compare seasons.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A medicine ball

While running this morning, I came across a rather large medicine ball on the sidewalk.

At the last moment I decided to hurdle it, as I hadn't ever hurdled something like that before.

I came down a little funny on my right ankle and I was telling myself how stupid I was for doing that.

But my ankle is fine now.

Really really windy on the bike ride into work this morning.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Running and cycling

That, in fact, is what one professional triathlete did. DesirĂ©e Ficker, who is 31 and lives in Austin, Tex., said she decided to concentrate on running when she ran the Austin Marathon in 2007 and came in second with a time of 2:40:28. Not only was that her best marathon time ever but it qualified her for the women’s Olympic Trials in Boston last month. The top three women in that race are on the United States Olympic team.

So Ms. Ficker gave up cycling and swimming and just ran, hoping to make the Olympic team.

“Biking hurts your running performance,” she said. “It tires your legs out, and you are using opposing muscle groups. I actually believe you are tearing up your quads to the point where it hurts when you run.”

When she eased up on bicycling, she said, her legs felt fresher and she ran faster.
-"For Peak Performance, 3 is Not Better than 1," 5/8/08, The New York Times.


This article in today's NYT is pretty interesting, dealing with whether cycling takes away from running and vice versa.

I probably will never train that much to see any effect like this. But it is interesting to think about.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back to the chilly

41 degrees this morning, had to break out the CFLST but wished I didn't have it on by Freedom Park.

A nice run, but I found myself right next to lots of rush-hour traffic coming back on Ponce.

Really felt slow going on the bike today but glad I did it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A week in review

It's been a pretty good week with some ups and downs. Today I was back in form, starting out the morning with an early run to Flying Biscuit for breakfast and then enjoying a pretty nice ride into work, although it was a little cool out.

The ride back was good. Ended up behind a really old guy on a road bike. I played it cool and stayed behind him but turned on the jets after the road turned into two lanes on Highland. I also ended up passing another commuter that previously was about a block ahead of us. Everything is good when you have biking legs.

Last week it was a little more dicey because I had mild pain on the inside hinge of my left foot- it made it hard to push off of and I think my left knee felt the brunt of this "flat" running.

But I eased up a little and found I could run ever so slowly.

Last week on the bike I found myself in one lane on Piedmont and the po po on a bike a few lanes over. Dude started pushing it so I thought about it and then really turned on the jets, passing him.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will run. For beer. To the next town.

Today I decided I'd let the promise of a cold draft beer be the motivation for a long run.

So I chose Decatur, the next town over, which is 3.8 miles away from my place.

It was a great idea, although I wasn't so sure part of the way into it.

I'm happy that my range is expanding. Too often I'm more of a winter runner who is already plateauing about this time.

But not right now. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Picking up speed

Didn't get out until around 11 p.m., after the Braves won. The air was really nice and cool. At the very end, I was able to run it in pretty fast.

I'm happy with how things are going so far...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The legs won't stop!

Ran yesterday just before dusk. I was a little surprised that even in spots where I might have stopped in the past, my legs kept going!

Rode today to work, in 55 degree weather, leaving the windbreaker at home. It was a little chilly but I was able to manage. Felt like I struggled a little more than previously to get to work.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Acquired: Biking legs

Rode today to work, 2 days rest. I really feel like my biking-to-work legs have arrived. It was pretty easy to get around and my ability to climb hills has much improved.

Today on the ride home (77 degrees) I wore my Pearl Izumi windbreaker. I thought I'd sweat like a pig with it on but it wasn't too bad. Felt breathable. And I felt like I rode faster with it on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Peaking?

Today I didn't go out to run until about an hour until sundown. I wasn't really sure where I would go, but I ambled through the neighborhood, found myself on a road that leads into Piedmont Park, went up the path through the Atlanta Botanical Garden, out onto Piedmont, then along the edge of the park until I was back on Virginia Avenue again.

I feel like I was able to break in these shoes pretty early -- they only have about 22 miles on them. It made a difference, because they felt like I was on a cushion of air!

I hope I can stay motivated and continue the miles. In the past running about 3.4 miles during a run is enough to really drop weight.

Plus with the weather this good right now, it's neat to be out and about seeing the different neighborhoods and what's new.

It helps that it doesn't get dark until late since it gives a procrastinator like me plenty of time to get a run in.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cold is back

After a week or so of temperatures in the high 60s and mid-70s, 57 degree weather greeted me yesterday.

After checking this blog, I knew that just a SST and shorts would be sufficient. But after I took the trash out, I went out and found my windbreaker. It's funny what registers as cold during different times of the year.

In the winter, I would have relished being out in a SST with this kind of temperature.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In the fog

Today I forced myself to ride to work because of the tasty beverages I had with the crew yesterday.

I made sure I didn't bring anything except my tethering cable. Wore gloves this time around.

The ride didn't seem to be much of a chore although it was slightly foggy.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

In the rain

I like to run at night because 1). There's less runners out and 2). It's a lot cooler in temperature than during the day.

I especially like to run when it's raining because 1). There's less runners out and 2). It's a training challenge to focus.

Any idiot can run when it's nice out. It takes a different kind of running cat to be all-weather.

It was only drizzling when I started out yesterday so I left my new Novarra rain windbreaker at home and brought out a much lighter one that wasn't so waterproof.

Halfway into the run, it really was raining! I had no hat, so I really had to focus with rain all over my face and in my eyes.

So I got soaked but I didn't let on. I dodged the puddles and jumped over them and made my way home like a wet cat. Happiness is the warm shower afterward. Hanging up your muddy socks to dry is a badge of honor.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The green mile

Today, despite a very San Francisco-like misty day, I decided I would ride to work. On the Freedom Park PATH, my tires were covered in green pollen and it was different to watch a green stripe roll on the middle of my tire.

Brought my rain gear just in case. My usual rule is if the pavement is dry when I leave the house I'll ride. I don't mind getting wet for the ride home, just don't want to arrive to work soaked!

With gas above $3 a gallon, I hope to ride more to work instead of driving.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bringing out the new shoes

For today's run I broke out one of my six pairs of shoes I picked up last year. My AP/A5s have about 350 miles on them and it shows.

The new shoes are like a cushion of air! It'll take a little while for me to break them in, though.

I've always kept track of my shoes with an abbreviated notation of what style they are and the city where I purchased them. If I've bought more than one shoe of the same style, I'll number them as they go along.

So, AP/A5 stands for Air Pegasus/Atlanta (shoe 5).

And these will be AP/D for Air Pegasus/Dawsonville.

I'm toying with the idea of wearing all six shoes and wearing them on different days to rotate them. Also may swap them out after 300 miles.

Runner's high

Great story today about the runner's high in the New York Times.

Day of Days, a year later

This morning I got ready for the ING half-marathon.

Only I didn't have to worry about running in it. I only had to worry about biking to work.

I thought about running in it this year, but not seriously. I liked doing it once but the hills were a bear. Plus the lack of Powerade and other problems from last year's race stuck in my mind.

Although I've run every day, my winter training really wasn't spectacular as in years past and it wouldn't have been sufficient for this race.

So, back to the bike. The course runs right by my front door in Virginia Highland. I rode down the wet sidewalk and cut through the neighborhood.

I wasn't expecting it to be that cold, but I warmed up a few minutes into it.

The course seemed a little different from a year ago -- I had to cut through it on North Avenue.

The coast was clear on the Freedom Park PATH but I had to wait at Baker-Highland and Central Park for the main body to pass and again at Baker-Highland and Piedmont.

With a little bit of water on the ground, my bike flowed smoothly on the road. It was nice that I was forced to bike, I'd like to ride more to work more often.

EDIT: I hear the race was much better put together this year, so it's something I may consider for the next.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Not trusting your inner Ferrari (Day 454)

After a long day that included more than four hours of driving, I really procrastinated running but wanted to get out before it got dark.

I headed up N. Highland but my calf muscles, as usual, felt like they had no energy in them. Not wanting to follow a line of cars up to Ponce, I turned down a side street and started trudging up the hill to Briarcliff.

I expected to stop. But I didn't. I went up the hill and then down Briarcliff to the By Way and by then decided I would do my Oakdale loop with its very nice hills.

I am not sure what to make of this. Usually you are supposed to listen to your body. But what if, after 454 continuous days of running (and lots of age), there continually are indicator lights on all the time?

Maybe my leg strength is increasing and they've just become stubborn mules accustomed to such punishment. I did feel my knees take a pounding and might retire my other pair of Air Pegs (the A5's) for better cushioning.

Temp: 70 degrees Gear: SST (Carolina), shorts.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back to Bemis

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- Today after a little procrastination, I made my way to Bemis Woods, where I last ran there in June.

I ran along the bike path (less than 5:00 to Wolf Road, at about 7:30 the shelter, and at a minute the trail turn-off) until the trail turn-off where I went last June. It was wet and muddy but there still was snow on the ground.

So of course I went.

It was pretty interesting to see the same beautiful nature preserve in a different season. There were cross-country ski-tracks. A big dog. And, in one place, a deer. I ran along that way and then turned back when I hit Wolf Road again.

When I got back to the bike path, I wanted to try and get a longer run in, so I turned left and continued down the path to I think 31st Street before turning around.

The run back was strong but I was a little sore in the legs, meaning I need to work harder at getting longer runs in. I may have to go back to The Carter Center and start from there to ensure I'm getting the course length I need.

It was about 33 degrees out. CFLST, SST (El Paso), running pants. AP/A5 (which worked really well, even in the snow).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gearing for snow (part 2)

Headed to Chicago tomorrow p.m. for Easter, which will be nice. But what I didn't realize is that I'll be giving up a weekend in the 70s for snow likely tomorrow and weather in the mid-30s.

Guess I'll have to bring all of my warm clothes and running gear. Maybe I'll plan to run only Saturday and Sunday there, with runs here Friday and Monday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A bad day to not bike

I had every intention this morning of biking to work, anticipating the snarl of traffic downtown.

But -- the time on my new alarm clock was set to "p.m." instead of "a.m." so my 6:30 a.m. wake up call did not transpire.

I was only 7 minutes off when I'd normally have to leave for my bike commute. But I didn't want to be "late," so I decided I'd drive instead.

Got stuck in a bad snarl of traffic. Got in at 7:50 a.m.

Biking for sure tomorrow. lol

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's here! (Peachtree 10K applications)

After all the stuff with the tornado yesterday, I forgot to check for the Peachtree 10K applications in the advance Sunday editions.

They've announced the new finish line will be at Ponce and Juniper instead of on 10th and Charles Allen by Piedmont Park. So that should be interesting.

Looks like this year they aren't requiring a photocopied ID like in years past.

Well, I'll have to send my check in the mail and start training!

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

I didn't get out running yesterday until after 8 p.m. I was surprised to find myself sufficiently motivated for Day 440. The weather was perfect!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The winter cat, back again

It was 38 degrees out when I finally woke up from my much-needed post-work nap. The winter cat was back, enjoying the cooler air but I didn't have a long run. (SST, CFLST, running pants, AP/A5).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Like the wheels are falling off

Just as I eased up out of a hill (with about 100 feet of hill left) on the PATH this morning, a road bike comes up and passes me. Sheesh.

It felt hard going this morning, as I really didn't have much in my legs. I wonder if that's age.

But could be the fact that I'm not in bike shape yet at all and I'm trying to immediately have it all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A flat shoe

I ran up the road to pick up some toothpaste at CVS and by the time I got there, I felt like I'd taken a jackhammer to my knees.

Maybe it's time to retire the AP/A4s.

This felt like the case again when I was just sitting here with them on and the right shoe was making a squeaking noise every time I'd roll it forward. Not a good sign.

I like to typically have 400-500 miles on a shoe before retiring it but the fact that I'm mainly running on concrete makes me wonder if they need to be retired even sooner.

I do have six extra pairs.

A nice spring day

It got colder than it had been this week but when I got outside I found it to be perfect weather for running -- 53 degrees.

I did a little bit of running while I did some errands-- mailing a bill at the post office, shopping at the natural foods store, doing some laundry.

Just a SST and shorts were fine. (AP/A4).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Getting rid of the fishtail

Yesterday when I rode home I noticed my bike's tires would fishtail a little bit when I went around curves -- a sure sign that they are underinflated.

Made sure this morning that I fully inflated them before hitting the road. Wore my CFLST, SST, windbreaker. Would have not complained to have had gloves in the 47 degree weather.

Very nice day coming back home -- 69 degrees. This girl with huge (not muscular?) thighs on a road bike cut in front of me at Ponce/Highland. It would have looked silly for me to have passed her, but I nearly did before she turned off halfway down.

I think I want to work on some hills -- my legs have been showing signs of fatigue on back-to-back days.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stuck on 58 degrees

I procrastinated until just now to run, I skirted through my neighborhood, avoiding the busy Virginia-Highland bar district. Everyone is out walking since it's so nice out.

Running through the quiet neighborhoods reminded me of the fact I'll likely have to do this more as the year goes on and it gets hot hot hot here in the Atl. It's funny that most of my running routine is at night. In the winter the days are shorter, in the summer, it's crazy to be out running when you can do the same in the shade (night).

I liked seeing the Midtown skyline as I went down the hill. Back on North Highland, I nearly pitched a fit when it looked like a white Volkswagen was going to slowly roll through the crosswalk and hit me. I was already being careful since you can't assume the driver will see you at night and I'd rather not be run over, especially on a rare instance in which I just ran out of the house with no ID.

It's just drafting

So today while I was coming home, I got passed by this 40-something dude on a Novarra road bike.

Of course, I catch up and get on his tail the rest of the way lol. I thought about drafting him but it's waaay too dangerous on a parks and rec path.

I'm sure the dude could have busted me at any time - faster bike plus I had my backpack with my laptop.

Still, it was cool chatting with him and enjoying the 63-degree weather.

And, now, for the running portion of the day... lol

Silly me

I headed out yesterday afternoon and had a real sluggish start, likely because I was trying to race that dude up two hills Thursday.

The weather was pretty nice -- 58 degrees -- and although I've been chilly at first in a SST, it was fine.

Went through the Valley of the Dogs, short run back home.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The lil' racer

I turned down Lanier and saw some dude in his 20s who appeared to want to run -- and run faster -- where I was headed. As he turned down the road I wanted, I turned north and went down Lanier.

I hadn't planned on running up the double hill to Briarcliff but I figured that since this dude turned me to the road, I'd go ahead and get that kind of run in.

Unfortunately, it was the road this ass nugget was living on.
As soon as he saw me, he sprinted up the hill, not something hard to do when you're in your 20s.

I went at my pace -- but I noticed something that would be crucial in a race. I actually closed my distance to him as he seemed to really slow up the hill.

He trotted slowly down the slope and then tried to bolt his way up to Briarcliff.

But he never got there, turning into some apartment complex. I clapped loudly twice as I passed, as I would get moral victory of cresting Briarcliff first.

These kinds of people are like maniacs in poker. You never try to match their pace, you only keep yours and if you detect some kind of weakness -- such as an inability to keep pace on a hill -- you test them there.

If this were a test of L1-L3, I likely would catch -- and maybe pass -- him there. I believe I'd also catch him in the 10K. If you give even the semblance of being able to be caught, you're doomed in a race. Powell Doctrine totally applies here.

Still I was happy for my effort. I wasn't really too far behind the dude and I know I could be training harder right now.

Plus, it took my mind off of having to do a run in the 47.6 degree weather. CFLST, SST, AP/A4s.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sets in the West

Today I started out headed west down Virginia Ave. when some chick crossed over right in front of me by Murphy's.

If it was some dude, I would have said it's on and then pounded it out until I was ahead of him.

Instead, I cut south into the neighborhood and was going to take a parallel route down by the high school.

But the setting sun was blinding! So I doubled back, continued south and then crossed N. Highland toward Briarcliff. I stopped, looking at a few house listings. $1.2M. $770K. Wow.

I made my way back up Virginia Ave. -- that hill is huge. But my speed was good and it was doable.

Kind of a short, brisk run for 32 degree weather. CFLST, SST, running pants and AP/A4s.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Clear, by bike

Rode to work today, knowing that it was to get up to 67 degrees today.

This morning, at 7 a.m., it was 41 degrees. I wore a SST, CFLST, a North Face thermal shirt (looks like a mock turtleneck) and my neon yellow Pearl Izumi windbreaker.

Forgot the gloves. Sorta wished I'd had them.

On the way home, just the SST with the windbreaker and shorts for a 66 degree ride home. Maybe didn't need the windbreaker.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good weather

...but uncooperative legs.

Went out on the Middlebear H-Loop today, trying to capitalize on perfect 56 degree weather (SST, shorts, AP/A4s) but my shin muscles were tight the entire time so I cut it short. Nice day to be out, tho.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rain: An experiment

The other evening when I ran over to Sham's to drink it was raining and I had on what I thought was a waterproof windbreaker. It turned out I had no such thing and on the very brief run (six minutes or so) I was pretty soaked.

So today, during the constant rain (43 degree weather) I decided I would try to double up on windbreakers that I thought were semi-decent. I wore my Pearl Izumi bike windbreaker underneath and then put on my Insport windbreaker, wearing my pretty much waterproof Nike running pants.

Well the pants came through in flying colors. But even in the short run of a mile or so, water began to seep through the second windbreaker.

So I'm at a loss right now. I have five windbreakers and none of them can repel water for a significant amount of time.

I'll have to be on the search for the perfect one that does. It helps to be all-weather.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kennesaw Mountain

Still semi-sore from Monday, Susanne took me yesterday with one of her dogs to Kennesaw Mountain.

Climbing up the hill really burned my calves, but I wasn't winded and could do it easily.

I enjoyed walking through the woods in a pretty nice day. I even tried bouldering, to little success. Later on that evening, I was wondering why my right wrist was sore (oh, I only had my entire weight on it!).

My legs were sore, but I did a short run, mainly to pick up a Mega Millions ticky. My bronchitis didn't help me much- I think I've bruised a rib or the muscle underneath it coughing so much recently.

So I cut the run short, since every time I'd run, it would sting. Today I've taken a few Tylenol, so hopefully that'll help.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back to the H Loop

I was feeling it today, so I decided I'd use the nice day (57 degrees) to crank out my first Middlebear H Loop in 8 months.

I'd mainly shied away from it because I'd been running lower mileage plus there are lots of hills to climb a lot closer to where I live.

I was happy though that maybe my hill training helped me climb the seven or so hills smoothly. The shorts and SST were sufficient, as were my high-mileage AP/A4s.

At about L2 there was a woman in her 20s that was steadily running up the course. At that point there was no way I could catch up with her and I was thinking hats off, since this is an extremely hard portion of the course to run.

But after L2 is L3 and I was more than a block ahead of her by the time I crested it.

At the 50-minute mark on Euclid I had to stop and stretch- I hadn't run that far in months, but resumed running (carefully) back on the PATH back home.

I was winded and sore, but it was worth it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Liking the hills

Yesterday I ran one of my harder courses, up and down the huge hills in the Emory Village area.

I wasn't 100 percent because of my cold/bronchitis but I was very happy with the way I was able to accelerate up long or steep hills.

Hopefully I'll be able to do longer runs in the future...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Will run for haircut

Procrastinated but managed to get out and run to get a haircut tonight. 47 degrees. Wore shorts, SST and windbreaker. Actually a pretty nice night to be out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Return of the Cold

After enjoying about a week of mid-60 degree weather, it was 32 this afternoon, and it looked like there were small snow flurries.

Brought out the running pants and the CFLST and even a hat. Near the end of the run, the winter cat was out and I was enjoying it. But it was pretty cold to start out with.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Back on the Bike

This morning I decided to ride to work. I hadn't done it since December but especially after going drinking with Sham last night, I decided it was time to burn some extra calories (above the daily runs).

That said, I had to look around my place for all the things I'd need to ride. Including my bike, which had become a clothes-drying rack in my bedroom. My bike cable was underneath the coffee table. My bike shoes were on a shelf in the coffee table.

I found everything and was glad. My legs were pretty good, especially climbing hills.

I ran into a middle-aged rider who was spinning and spinning his mountain bike in low gear. I was coasting down a hill while he was cranking the bike. It was funny.

I talked to him briefly at a light but let him go ahead.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A good sweat

It was 64 degrees when I was out running yesterday. I made a roundabout route and was just about to cross the street when I noticed some dude coming up the sidewalk behind me!

So I crossed the street and gunned it up the double hill to Ponce. Never saw the dude again. The hills are a cat's friend.

So I ended up with a faster-than-normal workout and a nice sweat, prolly the first time in a while since it's been much cooler.

Put on the running shoes today and ran to my election precinct -- the Ponce library -- for the Georgia primary. One friendly dude noticed my Peachtree (2007) shirt and commented on voting and getting exercise at the same time.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What a difference three degrees makes

Yesterday I went for a run after work, before the Super Bowl and was pleasantly surprised to find 61 degree temperatures.

It caused a minor puzzle because I wore arm warmers the day before when it was 58 degrees.

So I wore them on the run, only to ditch them about two minutes later.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Like Breakfast at Tiffany's

This afternoon it was 58 degrees -- warm enough for shorts but still a little cool for just a T-shirt, although in those times, my arms are a little cold for the first 8 minutes or so.

So I broke out my Sugoi arm warmers, that I bought years ago for the bike commute.

But I usually don't like wearing them, since they remind me of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

But today I put them on and made sure that they rode high enough on my arm that the end of the warmer was concealed by the sleeves of the shirt.

I ended up wearing them the entire run. It's amazing what having cool air off of your arms can do to your overall sense of warmth.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A hill chase

I was coming back from Trader Joe's yesterday along the long hill on Virginia Avenue when I saw some dude turn and go up the hill about 100 feet in front of me.

Was about 20-something, wearing shorts and a T-shirt and some sort of wool cap.

He had a pretty good pace up to the top of the hill so I didn't think I could catch him.

But when he started to go down the slight hill near the N. Highland intersection, he was gassed. At my trotting pace there was no way I wasn't going to pass him.

So I did. And then I turned it on up the incline to N. Highland.

Of course, I was about to die when I turned to go to my apartment, but at least I stuck to my theory of if you pass someone, have enough in you to defend it.

64 degrees, SST, shorts.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Drying up plans

I saw in the newspaper today that the Peachtree 10K will have to be somewhere else other than Piedmont Park this year because the city of Atlanta said that the drought is forcing them to not have any large events at the park this year.

Wonder where it will end up? My guess is Turner Field, just because of the sheer logistics of it all and there are other large races that start and end there? Maybe Centennial Olympic Park.

----------
In other news, I was a little surprised yesterday that 38 degrees didn't seem to be as cold as I thought it would be. I wore my CFLST, an SST and my climafit windbreaker along with one of my new pairs of running pants when I ran out to meet up with Sham, Empire and Brigid. It was okay. Walking out of Manuel's, some chick mentioned to her dude at the bar, "Running pants?"

If you were even remotely more of a regular, you'd see me and the crew more often. lol

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A shipment has arrived

This morning as I shuffled into work I found a box waiting for me. In it were two pairs of running pants I'd ordered last week from the Nike store. Both were on sale.

My old North Face running pants, although extremely comfy, have holes in them. I'll have to find a way to patch them up so I can continue to use them. But it's nice to have new running gear that I don't have to worry about.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

That's why there's data

Right now I'm contemplating a run in my Nike windbreaker, a plain SST and my North Face running pants.

Only thing is, it's 45 degrees out and my data from last year has me running in the same temperatures in just shorts.

I'll have to go and change. That's why there's data.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hold everything...

...It's snowing here, in Atlanta, of all places.

You know I have to go run through that!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kitty, ready trail runners

TUNICA, Miss. -- I turned the corner on the muddy trail and came across a deer about 40 yards away. Soon it was two, three, and by the time the last white tail bobbed out of sight, there had been six of them.

A storm had passed through in the early morning. I waited it out and then drove over to the Riverpark, since I didn't have a poker tourney I planned to play today.

When I drove up to the parking lot, I noticed an old muddy road with a birdhouse tacked up near the road. I made my way back over there, but decided the road/trail was too muddy for my regular running shoes.

So I went to Plan B.

I always carry a pair of old Adidas Trail Response trail running shoes in the trunk of my car, mainly because there's no need for them in heavily-concreted Atlanta. I used to run trails when I lived in Arkansas, and briefly when I first moved to Georgia five years ago. (I was heavily tempted to break those shoes out and run when I was in Blairsville last Friday).

I ran along the old road, slushing around rain puddles. I saw another wooden bridge and ran to it, thinking it was for the horse trail nearby. I ran to it but it was actually the Riverpark trail. I wandered up off of it and that's where I saw the deer, and a huge snakeskin that had been discarded long ago.

I ran back to the road and found a large green field that I had seen alongside the Riverpark. I thought it was grass, but it turned out it was some kind of huge field of clover. Bright green like some kind of HD commercial.

I ran back on the trail to get back to the car.

It was nice to walk through the lobby of the hotel wearing shorts and mud all over the bottom of my legs, shoes and socks. A sign of a good workout.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tunica -- Riverpark Trail

After a few hours' sleep after playing at the Grand Casino, I got up and looked outside-- it was all wet outside.

So instead of having a bunch of gamblers seeing this wet cat running around, I drove to the Tunica Riverpark, a postmodern museum that overlooks the mighty Mississippi River.

On my last trip, I saw a sign that said it had a "Nature Trail," and thought that might be a good place for a future run.

The river trail stretches for 1.9 miles round trip.

It's pretty nice. It starts out along the riverbank, then goes inland over a wooden boardwalk and then into the forest and around a lake. There were plenty of birds chirping when I went and it was amazing that you could get away from the manmade attractions in the area.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Like being back in Chicago...

...only there's no snow. It was 26 degrees this morning when I went out for a short run.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Kitty Bowl

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- Today a cat was greeted with about three more inches of fluffy, powdery snow on top of what fell when I shoveled yesterday.

So I put on my snow running shoes and set out. It was great fun to be bounding down powder-filled sidewalks. Those shoes worked marvelously, giving me good traction and the Gore-Tex keeping my feet dry and toasty.

It was like the cat version of a bowl game -- a reward for a good previous year of running.