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.