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.