Thursday, December 31, 2009

CTS 1,096: End of the year

A short run today, capping off about 145 miles this month to put me just shy of 1,453 miles for the year.

A great year, by cat standards, with a PR (last set in 1998) in the Nov. 7 Inman Middle School 5K, qualifying for Group IA of the Peachtree a week later in the Nov. 14 Strong Legs 10K and then closing out the year with the third of three half-marathons.

Next year? I'd like to break 1,500 miles for the year, easily done if I continue to run 30 miles a week. Of course, I'd like to continue the consecutive day streak.

And I'd like to add at least another full marathon to my resume.

For everyone out there, Happy New Year and happy running in 2K10!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CTS 1,095: The Atlanta Project

I was looking at albums of my gf's two prior trips to Hawaii over the weekend and then thought that creating an album of places in Atlanta that are part of my daily life would be great to give to my grandmother and uncle when I visit them near the end of next month.

One reason is that it's likely they won't ever travel out this way. The other reason is that I'll try to run to get all of my pictures, so there will be an added measure of motivation for my running.

I think I'll post some of the pictures that I take here, and will include my routes.

Monday, December 28, 2009

CTS 1,093: To the movies

I'd been wanting to run to Tara Cinemas for a while to catch a movie -- it's pretty much a straight shot from North Highland to Lenox to Cheshire Bridge road.

So that was my run today -- it's just under 3 miles one way from my place.

It was about 40 degrees and I opted for a short-sleeved T-shirt and shorts. At first my arms were a little cold but I warmed up within 10 minutes.

I thought the way back was going to be heinous -- an "S" curve uphill on Lenox to North Highland but it wasn't bad at all.

Earlier today at Costco I tried on a pair of Adidas running shoes -- they were only about $36. I could have pulled the trigger on them -- at the last moment they felt narrow to my feet and not very cushioned. It was also interesting that in that shoe I wear a size 9 instead of 9.5 or 10 in Nike shoes.

Time: 1:30 p.m.
Temp: 41 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina, navy), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

CTS 1,091: Just feels cold

Before I went out for a run this morning my cell phone app said it was 31 degrees. So I dressed accordingly -- I put a wicking T-shirt on over the long-sleeved shirt I was already wearing, got out a windbreaker. Shorts, shoes, and the Hammer of Dawn and I was all set to go out.

It didn't feel too bad when I was out but my toes on both feet were cold after I got indoors.

Now the temperature says 39.8 degrees. It just feels cold.

Time: 10:15 a.m.
Temp: 31-40 degrees
Gear: CFSST (ING Half marathon '09), LST (Jingle Jog '97), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CTS 1,088 Running past a blogger

Today my running time was cut short because I decided to cook a pork loin in the oven for the first time. It was well worth waiting to run!

I had an errand to do, namely return a blank notebook that I bought at Barnes & Noble to write down recipes (found a smaller notebook that I liked better on sale from the going-out-of-business Waldenbooks at the CNN Center foodcourt).

When I got home I received an e-mail from the poker blogger Falstaff who said I had run by him in the Edgewood Shopping Center. It was equally appropriate that I was wearing a shirt that said "Las Vegas" on it. lol

It's a small world because he's apparently in town for business. He lives in North Carolina.

Time: noon
Temp: 50 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas-gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas gear

Because the gf will be going out of town to visit her parents, we had Christmas early last night.

The loot included some great running gear -- first a Nathan 5K Runners Pak, which is a nice upgrade/replacement to the well-worn small Jansport fanny pack I usually wear at my side. The new pack feels great.

I also received another timely gift -- a pair of Nike Fundamental Running Gloves. They are very light, lighter than my old Nike Dry-fit gloves. Can't wait to use them on the road!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 1,086 Cornerstone, with errand

Today I had a couple of tasks that involved running but neither one was close to each other.

First I had to run to Ansley Mall to drop off a rental DVD. Then, I had sold some more tickets so I had to make my way downtown to prepare the FedEx package.

So I went down Virginia Ave. to Moreland over to Ansley Mall. No sweat. Then I made my way up Piedmont and its huge hill and then cut over to 14th Street.

Then I ran along Peachtree (the end of the Atlanta Half Marathon course) all the way up to Baker Street.

Somewhere along the rolling hills I thought of how this was like running along the back of a long Asian dragon. It totally seemed appropriate.

After I completed my errands, I made my way back along Highland Baker and North Highland until I hit the Freedom Park PATH.

Pretty nice day for a nearly 9-mile run.


I received a postcard today with my Strong Legs 10K results. W00t!

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 41 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina-dk blue), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

CTS 1,085: The half-marathon course, well most of it anyway

Sort of mid-morning I embarked with the gf along the ING Georgia Half Marathon course.

I had in my mind to do the nine-mile route that I've done in the past (and once with her) but after running the entire length of it on Dec. 3, I decided there were definitely parts of it that I liked and parts that I didn't.

So when we arrived downtown, we continued on Marietta along the start of the race course and turned on Piedmont near the Georgia State campus.

At Highland-Baker, we turned and ran along the newly-refurbished first mile of the PATH Foundation's Atlanta to Stone Mountain route. We followed this over Freedom Parkway but then continued on to Auburn Ave., just like in the ING course.

The ING course is special. It passes by so many great things in the city -- the King Center (with the tombs of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King), the historic shotgun houses and King's birthplace.

Then we turned and ran along Edgewood, cutting down Euclid and up into the hip Little Five Points neighborhood.

I cut down a road behind Moreland Ave. to preserve the spine of the hill and then we just returned along North Highland Ave., eliminating a few miles of unnecessary hills from the race course.

Still it was 10.72 miles and felt like a really decent and picturesque run.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 35 degrees
Gear: windbreaker (quickly went around the waist during the run), CFLST (Atlanta Half '09), SST (Carolina-gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CTS 1,084: Back in a T-shirt

This morning it was 41 degrees out. Much warmer than before, I decided to just run in shorts and a T-shirt. I guess I'm used to the colder weather now because it felt pretty good.

In the past I'd have to wear a long-sleeved wicking shirt with a T-shirt over it but this year I've been able to wear warmer clothes.

The run started out a little fast but I felt like my endurance was pretty good.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 41 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

CTS 1,082: 29 degrees

It was 29 degrees this morning and I sort of didn't want to run. But run we did, and I was pretty happy with how things went.

I didn't have running pants, just wore shorts, and I wore a windbreaker over my regular 40-degree running gear (even wore socks over my hands). But it wasn't too long into the gf's course that I took off the socks and put them in my pockets.

By the second mile, my windbreaker ended up around my waist. I was happy though I had it at the start of the run.

The run felt particularly effortless because we chatted about different things throughout the course. Especially while up the pretty difficult Piedmont hill.

For the first time in more than a decade, I have my eyes set on two marathons next year -- the Oct. 11 Chicago Marathon and the Dec. 12 (dunno the date yet) Honolulu Marathon.

Back in 2000, when I ran in the Portland Marathon, I wanted to do either Chicago or Portland. I chose Portland because it was close to where I lived at the time.

Right now, especially after I ran the half-marathon distance the other day as a training run, running in a marathon seems crazy and training for it through Atlanta's hot summers would be really difficult. But it would be awesome to do.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 29 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST, SST (Carolina dk blue), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CTS 1,080: Running into the past

Tonight after I came home from work I went through a few boxes that were in my kitchen and I found a bunch of running artifacts from my past:

-A picture of my Roseburg to Coos Bay relay team from 1998 (we placed first that year).
-A binder with neatly preserved information forms for the Capital City Marathon and the Seattle Marathon in 2000 (I ran in the half-marathons for both races the previous year).
-Pictures, unopened, of finishing the 2007 Peachtree 10K race after a three-year hiatus.
-My running journals from 2003-2006. Here's how I ran during those years:

2003: 560.725 miles
2004: 516.16 miles
2005: 126.9 miles
2006: 361.275 miles

It's pretty amazing. I've run nearly as many miles this year as those four years combined.

I love what I have become -- a day in and day out runner, uncompromising and determined. I'm hoping for another good year next year, with many more goals accomplished.

Monday, December 14, 2009

CTS 1,079: Bad "bounce"

Today I received an e-mail from "" to tell me that I was not selected for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler.

Wow. Bounce? Really? Might as well say "loser."

I'm surprised the race can only hold 15,000 participants. Atlanta's Peachtree 10K has 45,000 each year with no trouble. Maybe running in the nation's capital is not as sophisticated as organizers would like it to be.

Of course, the race dangles entry forms over "bounced" runners' heads by means of having them raise $500 for charity. For the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Strong Legs 10K last month I raised well over that amount.

It's highly unlikely though that I will raise a penny for the other race given its inability to properly use a transitive verb. That may have cost it thousands of dollars in donations.

UPDATE: The race director responded very quickly to my complaint e-mail saying that he will have future race notifications with the e-mail "info" instead of "bounce." I am glad the race was responsive to this issue.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CTS 1,077: Running pants

This morning it was the coldest it's been back in Atlanta for a while -- 33 degrees. So when I went running with the gf I wore my old North Face Ultrawick running pants. They are pretty comfy.

But I just felt like I wasn't running very well in them. At the top of the Piedmont hill (2.88 miles), I asked to stop and completely took them off. (I had regular running shorts underneath).

The rest of the run was fine. But running in them really irritated me this morning.

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Temp: 33 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST, SST (Claddaugh 5K), running pants, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

CTS 1,071: Running on streetcar tracks

NEW ORLEANS -- Today we decided to head out away from the French Quarter and along St. Charles. Once you get out past the traffic circle, the road is divided by a green median that contains two sets of trolley car tracks.

We saw several runners headed back along that way on the grassy tracks. So it seemed like a good fit.

We came back after turning around a little more than 2 miles in. In between the tracks are well-worn dirt paths. It made for a really nice track to run back to town in.

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Temp: 47 degrees
Gear: CFLST (took off halfway through), SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 1,070: In the French Quarter

NEW ORLEANS -- Thanks to some pretty heavy running the last two days I was able to get pretty close to making my weekly mileage goal without having to run far in an unfamiliar place.

My gf and I left the hotel and went down Bourbon Street. I've run in the French Quarter on previous trips and it's a nice place to run. There's something about the narrow streets and neon signs and the history of the French Quarter to really make a run worthwhile.

We cut back along the river and then made our way towards Harrah's New Orleans on the Riverwalk. The Mississippi River is so wide and expressive. So much history here and I get the same sense running here as I have when I have run along side the Mississippi River in Tunica.

Once around Harrah's we cut back along St. Peters and then back to Canal Street to the hotel. It was chilly but the run was definitely worth it.

Time: 8:30 a.m.
Temp: 37 degrees
Gear: North Face windbreaker, CFLST, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CTS 1,068: A half-marathon, for practice

Since last week's Atlanta Half Marathon, my running has been very sluggish. Just as in October's 13.1 Marathon, I found I had very little energy to do longer runs.

Today I was pretty sick of not running very much. Plus my weekly mileage had suffered -- I'd only done about 7 miles the last three days.

So I set off from Virginia-Highland on the last part of the ING Georgia Half-Marathon course with the intent of doing the whole thing.

Luckily, it worked! The result was a pretty pleasant run, although the hills in the first half of the race course were pretty draining.

It would be nice to incorporate some longer runs of 9 miles or more into my training -- I found that, just as in last week's half-marathon, I had little tinges of calf cramping, this time at 10.6 miles on my right leg and at 11 miles on my left.

But overall I was happy to get in a long run again.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 45 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Atlanta Half Marathon '08), SST (Claddaugh 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CTS 1,067: A lotto cat (for Cherry Blossom 10-miler)

I just registered in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in Washington, D.C. on April 11.

It's the first year for the lottery process for the group, so I won't know if I made it until Dec. 15.

But it sounds like it would be an amazing race to run in, in a great city.


It rained pretty much all day today and my running has been pretty scant ever since last Thursday's Atlanta Half-Marathon. I thought I was going to get a long run in today but by the second hill I could tell that my legs just didn't have the energy.

I was insulated from the rain but couldn't push it so I made my way home. Things were similar for me after the 13.1 Marathon in October. I'm sure I'll be back to running my regular mileage soon.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 45 degrees
Gear: Novara windbreaker, CFLST, Nike rain pants, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

CTS 1,061: The Atlanta Half-Marathon

CHAMBLEE, Ga. -- There were new wrinkles to my second running of the Atlanta Half Marathon today but in the end, only two things mattered: I ran my fastest half-marathon out of five races I've run in Georgia and finished nearly 40 minutes faster than last year's race, lol.

This year my folks were in town and I also had to get a race number before the start to a cousin I hadn't seen since she was 9 years old (14 years ago). I even missed the first MARTA train from Five Points Station (and dropped and lost my MARTA Breeze card at Chamblee Station).

But everything went smoothly. I got there with enough time to reconnect with my cousin. We got up to the start line 3 minutes before the start.

This year was a slightly warmer morning (40 degrees) than last year's race. The only thing was it seemed it was much colder in Chamblee than in downtown Atlanta where I parked my car.

No matter. I was ready to run. Besides having run the course once already, I've participated in the following races that overlap the beginning, middle and end of the course:

Beginning of Course: Big Peach Sizzler 10K, 13.1 Marathon

Middle of Course: Peachtree 10K -- 5 times

End of Course: ING Georgia Half Marathon (inaugural course), Strong Legs 10K -- 2 times

So I'd had a lot of experience with various parts. The main thing though was getting a good pace for the first seven miles right up to Cardiac Hill and making sure that I ran strongly on the last rolling 6 miles. At this point I did take a bag of Sport beans because last year I ran the race so slow they were completely out when I crossed this point in the race.

The first test was Cardiac Hill and I zipped up the double hill up to Piedmont Hospital without using burners at all. It would not be a gross estimation to say I passed about 200 people in this phase of the race. The steepest part of this hill is nothing compared to the Piedmont hill on my gf's course.

Every hill that I mentioned in last year's race was of no consequence. I kept my split times pretty consistent from mile to mile. I didn't really have a kick at the end but at the same time I wasn't trying to turn it on because I felt my race was solid throughout.

I did notice a few strange things. My left calf cramped up a little bit at mile 11.90 on my watch and my right did the same right before the finish line at 13.05 (I ran 13.30 miles according to my watch). I didn't have any water at all during the race so this could be a factor, although it likely is more that I didn't run more than nine miles in preparation for the race (unless you count the 13.1 Marathon in October).

Still, I'm happy to close out the year on a positive note. It's nice to know I can run every day and still have enough to best some of my best race times when it counts.

Time: 7:00 a.m.
Temp: 40 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Atlanta Half '08), SST (Atlanta Braves gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CTS 1,060: Half-marathon packet pick up, the sequel

Today I went to the Intercontinental Buckhead to pick up my packet for the Atlanta Half-Marathon.

Unlike last year when I ran, this year I decided to do a short run in the morning and drive there with my folks, who are in town for Thanksgiving.

It was exciting to be back at the scene where last year I was just getting back into half-marathons. My race last year wasn't the greatest so I'm definitely looking for some redemption.

This year I feel as lean as many of the other runners at the expo who also picked up their race numbers and packets.

I'm looking for a good race as a way to celebrate a very nice running year in 2009.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CTS 1,056: With the new shoes

Early Thursday morning I ran with the gf on her course. The past few times my legs felt pretty banged up after the run so for that day I decided to use my sixth and last pair of the 2006-era Nike Air Pegasus shoes that I bought from the outlet.

The shoes worked pretty well. I was surprised I didn't need to break them in, they felt comfortable, like walking on an air cushion.

Yesterday I ran across the park to meet co-workers at TAP in Midtown for lunch -- the shoes also felt pretty nice. I am wondering if I should swap out my shoes after 300 miles or so. Seems wasteful but if my feet/legs are for the better for it, then I'm in.

Today I ran to Edgewood to try and get a haircut. It was crowded so I just ran back home.

I am thinking of using the new shoes for the Atlanta Half Marathon coming up next Thursday. We'll see.

Time: 11:00 a.m.
Temp: 52 degrees
Gear: LST (Turkey Trot), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Monday, November 16, 2009

CTS 1,051 Shoes done run their course

Today I ran the gf's route, stopping in between to drop off a video. When I was running up the big hill in the middle of the course, I felt like my shoes were striking the ground with very little bounce.

I hate the idea that it's time already to be breaking in a new pair of shoes, but maybe it's time. I have one more pair of Nike Air Pegasus shoes that I bought a while ago from the Nike Outlet in Dawsonville, Ga. Six pairs at $60 each ... about $20-25 off each pair.

I pretty much blew through them this year as my mileage has increased tremendously. Still, it's been great knowing that whenever my shoes got run down I'd have another pair.

It'll be neat to eventually be searching for a new pair ... but leave that to the new year.

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Temp: 66 degrees
Gear: SST (UNLV), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

CTS 1,049: Strong Legs 10K

It's been more than five years but I finally qualified for Time Group IA (10K time under 50 minutes) of the Peachtree 10K.

As always the race at hand seemed like an unlikely one to do it with, with its rolling-hill course. I mainly wanted to take it easy and run a good race. Last year when I ran the race, I had problems with leg tightening (that later manifested itself in The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon) but still felt good about the race.

This year, I shaved about 10 minutes off that time.

I had forgotten a lot about the course in a year, not realizing that it runs by the historic Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site before looping back on what is part of the ING Georgia half-marathon route.

I was ready for what I thought was a severe hill in between Courtland and Central Park but didn't know I was on pace to break 50 minutes until the 4th mile split. At the 5th mile split it seemed like it would be all but locked up but I didn't want to bonk out at the final mile. Fortunately two fast runners joined me on the I-20 overpass when we neared Turner Field. One dropped off but I ran pretty much with the other one to the end.

After running 50:25 in the Big Peach Sizzler 10K in October and being unable to kick because of a cold, I felt that I would eventually break the 50-minute mark to qualify for Time Group IA in February's Charles Harris 10K.

But now I can take it easy if I want to and focus on the ING Georgia Half-marathon in March.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: About 50 degrees
Gear: SST (Hawaii grey), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CTS 1,047: A lighter cat

Although I only needed 4.2 miles over the next two days to hit 30 for the week (with the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Strong Legs 10K on Saturday), I decided to do a reverse route of the Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K run, adding another small loop with it.

Running that way is pretty nice because it made me feel like I was running on some fall country road somewhere.

I got home and stepped on the scale, something I haven't done in a long time -- I'm about 20 pounds lighter than I was this time last year when I ran in The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon. Although I haven't stepped on a scale in a long time, I could sort of tell because my race times correspond to the lighter weight.

Still, it's pretty cool. I don't worry about my weight (even when I was heavier), but I'll take it.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 55 degrees
Gear: LST (Turkey Trot) -- although probably an SST would have been fine, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

CTS 1,042: Inman Middle School 5K (new PR)

It's funny, the races I've recently done pretty well in recently have been the ones that I told myself I'd just take it easy at the start.

Today I ran in the Inman Middle School 5K, which is only a few blocks away from my house.

The neighborhood is pretty hilly so I just thought I would take it easy. The race started pretty fast, possibly because of all the middle school kids in it. Even a dude in a stroller was faster than me. But near the end of the first mile, a serious incline started to happen and my hill running legs started to fire up. 1st mile: 7:15.

The second mile was sort of a helping of the first. You climbed up Hillpine, which I remembered from the steep Hillside 5K run from last year and then it went down and around past Hillside school, basically the first part of the Hillside 5K.

Then it came back up Park Place and up the monster hill behind Inman Middle School. Even on this hill I could feel my legs really trying to work. I wasn't sure if the kids and a couple of people behind me would try to kick on the other side of the hill but I was pretty beat and didn't care.

Coming down the monster hill, there was a second hill and then the turn to the finish. I told myself I would kick on the hill and see what happened. What happened was that I felt like I was at my VO2 max -- I felt I was at my limit.

But I saw the time and the clock was nearing my old PR of 22:49. I went to the red zone again and then saw "22:48" when I crossed the finish.

It's pretty awesome because I never thought I would be able to run faster than that and having my original PR in Eugene, Ore. -- a mecca of runners and running greats -- was a pretty magical thing. That race was much different as it was flat and fast and at the end I got behind a much faster runner and let him pace me in.

This time it was just hills and more hills and I pushed hard by myself for the milestone.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 44-52 degrees
Gear: SST (Jingle Bell run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4

Friday, November 6, 2009

CTS 1,041: Middlebear

It was chilly in my place when I got up and I really didn't want to go outside. But I had a strange urge to go running.

I looked up the temperature -- 36 degrees -- and what I've worn in the past. I found a post from February saying that I didn't believe I would keep warm with what I'd recommended previously for that temperature, but it worked.

And it worked again. With the cold, I was able to run at a decent clip and decided I would do the entire Middlebear route.

Time: 7:50 a.m.
Temp: 35.8 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (KoL brown), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CTS 1,039: Oh, dogcrap

After procrastinating for about an hour, I finally got out for my run today. It felt a little cool out but then was nicer as I warmed up.

Right near the end of my time in Piedmont Park, just when I was thinking I should be careful cutting through a grassy area because of the fear of dogcrap, I step in ... dogcrap.

After trying to scrape what I could from the shoe, it gave me incentive to run strong the rest of the way home. I was able to give my shoe a good Lysol dousing and then later fine washing with a hose.

Time: 11:10 a.m.
Temp: 66 degrees
Gear: SST (Caesar's Indiana), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CTS 1,032: A nice spring day thrown into the mix

Unlike yesterday's all-day downpour, today's run was quite nice. Ran the gf's route and it was a nice, sunny 61 degrees out.

They were setting up a bunch of tent stalls in Piedmont Park for some kind of upcoming festival -- I wasn't wearing sunglasses so I just ran under them for some instant shade!

Time: 10:30 a.m.
Temp: 61 degrees
Gear: SST (Atlanta Braves, gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CTS 1,031: Rain here

After two enjoyable days running (CTS 1,029, 1,030) in Savannah, Ga. I left running at sea level for Atlanta's 1,000-foot elevation.

Despite the easy runs the last two days running around the city's historic squares and monuments, my legs really felt pretty tight. Perhaps it was the 3-hour, 20-minute drive there.

At any event, today was different. I got speed going pretty early and maintained a decent pace even despite the rain. At the end everything was pretty much wet but not soaked. Good armor here.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 55 degrees (rain)
Gear: Novarra rain jacket, CFLST (Fall 5 Miler), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Friday, October 23, 2009

CTS 1,027: Unseasonably warm

Today I got an early run in by taking my car to get the oil changed and dropping it off.

I'd brought running clothes for what I thought would be weather in the high 40s to my gf's place but it turned out it's more like 65 degrees out.

A pretty nice reprieve for what will only be colder weather.


I've found that playing video games makes for a nice post-run cool down. The last couple days I've plopped down in my living room and have been playing Fable 2 on the Xbox 360.


Last night I began my running wish list for 2010. This included researching races for next year, including the April 24 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, the Chicago Marathon and the Honolulu Marathon.

The lottery sign-up for the Cherry Blossom run will start on Dec. 1. Would be cool to run in it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CTS 1,022: Atlanta AIDS Walk/5K run

This is the second back-to-back race I've done this month. I felt like I ran the Big Peach Fall 5 Miler pretty hard and really had no thoughts of running this one hard.

But the race started and I ended up with my fastest 5K race in Atlanta and my fastest since I made a PR in the distance at age 27 on March 28, 1998 in Eugene, Ore.

I'm really not sure why the conditions were such. The race started and my gf and I started fighting through the backfield up the rolling hills of 10th Street. I decided I would just run with her and although I am a strong hill runner, made sure my pace kept her close.

I even had to stop for a moment at 10th Street and Juniper as law enforcement allowed cars to pass (?).

The run turned onto Peachtree and we ran until about 15th Street, ducking into the Ansley neighborhood. It's rolling hills here but I had a really good groove. My feet felt pretty good and I didn't feel like I was expending very much energy.

After Mile 2 though is a huge beyond category double hill. I attacked the first part of it only to find it go up incredibly steep and I wasn't liking it. At that point I had totally lost the gf so I waited at the top of it, on Piedmont Avenue, for about 10 seconds before resuming the run with her.

The race then went into Piedmont Park. About the middle of it, a big dude passed me and I thought he was setting up a kick so I re-passed him and then we made the final turn of the race near the finish line.

I held my own until the Mile 3 marker and then did a poor man's kick in the last .1 miles. I went deep into the red zone, hitting a 5:46/mile pace.

Also of interesting note, I wore race number "1" for the first time in my life, lol. What happened was you could sign up in person at the Big Peach stores. I signed up at the Big Peach Atlanta when my gf went there the other day to pick up her gift card for placing 2nd in her age group in the Big Peach Sizzler 10K.

No one else had signed up in person for the AIDS run, so they gave me the very first bib number. It was cool, since all along the race, people shouted out "Go No. 1!" And that was a pretty nice push for the race.

Time: 1:46 p.m.
Temp: 55 degrees
Gear: LST (Jingle Bell Run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CTS 1,021: Big Peach Fall 5 Miler

MARIETTA, Ga. -- I signed up for this race right at the early deadline figuring it would be a great race to do, even though the distance is atypical for this area.

I convinced the gf to also run in it and so we headed toward there in the early morning, especially a very cool one. I was able to use my GPS navigation on my Palm Pre so finding it was pretty easy.

The course is pretty nice. It's a rolling hills course and one that's pretty much to my advantage as a strong hill runner. But of course that's not all you have to worry about during a race.

In the first mile my left shoelace came undone. I waited until after the first mile marker to tie it. At the time I was running pretty much with the gf but when I stopped to tie it I waved her on to continue.

I thought that I would use a little extra energy in the second mile to catch up with her (I went from an average of 9:23 in the slow first mile to 7:47 in the second) but it was pretty impossible. So I just concentrated on trying to finish well.

My stomach felt a little queasy during the race so I also had to contend with that. Near the end of the race I took off the windbreaker I wore at the beginning of the run (it was pretty cold) and tied it around my waist.

But at Mile 4, there was a dude with a true miler's kick and he turned it on. Another dude ran with him at the outset but faltered and I ran him down. The miler's kick guy ended up with a very nice pace to follow, although he probably was about 10 seconds ahead of me at the very end.

I had a nice kick at the end and finished strong. I was probably about a minute behind the gf.

I am pretty happy about my race paces now. I now have about an 8 minute mile pace to fall back on and pretty consistently run under 8 in recent races.

It was a really fun race and worth doing. Would be nice to do again next year. Nice Asics CFLST also for in-store registrants.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 44 degrees (?)
Gear: Nike windbreaker, LST (Jingle Bell Run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/A4.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CTS 1,014 Four Seasons Race for Research 10K

I am not a fan of loop race courses but the thought of running a race in home territory (Midtown, Piedmont Park) was too irresistable to pass up.

It turns out the Four Seasons Race for Research is a very nicely put together local race.

Went with the gf and we signed up for race day registration. The course starts a little west of the hotel on 14th Street and continues into Piedmont Park. You wind around in the park and then get out on 10th Street and run up to West Peachtree and back to 14th Street for the first loop.

We took this one pretty easy, running about 9:30/mile the first two miles and then kicked it up the last three (I haven't downloaded my data from the Hammer of Dawn yet) but kicked it up the last three miles with somewhere around an 8 min mile pace.

The post race extravaganza was great -- the Four Seasons staff had lots of water, juice, coffee and sports drinks available. There were the typical apples, bananas and bagels available plus yogurt and danish.

I was pretty happy that for the fourth consecutive 10K this year I've qualified for the Peachtree. What once was a challenge is routine.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 65 degrees
Gear: SST (Firecracker 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CTS 1,008: 13.1 Marathon "I'm born again"

This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscle -- broken, spent, unable to move. And, were I an older man, I surely would ... but I'm a man of thirty -- of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptism -- I'm born again.
--Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns

This morning I was fortunate for the drop off by the gf to the 13.1 Marathon at Oglethorpe University.

I wasn't sure how I would be -- I had two straight days of hard 6-mile runs and then the Ted's Bison Stampede 5K, where I ran my fastest 5K in five years.

So my strategy was to take it easy and just finish.

I started out slow, with a just under 10-minute mile pace. The start was bottlenecked with runners and I didn't pay any mind. I intentionally didn't look at my watch for the first 6 miles of the race.

But I didn't realize that my mile splits were starting to drop, a regression to the mean. I ran 9:15 in the second mile, just under 9 minute pace in the 3rd.

And then I started running at the 8:40/mile training pace I run with the gf. That remained steady until mile 9, which had one of the largest hills in the race, a steep climb up Ashwood-Dunwoody. I hit that at an 8-minute mile pace.

By mile 10 I realized that the only way I wouldn't break 2 hours for the race (my best time in recent years in the 2007 ING Georgia Half-Marathon) would be if I seriously bonked and ran the last three miles at an 11-minute mile pace.

I kept things steady at mile 11 (8:35/mile) then turned it up a little for mile 12 (8:17) and then had a nice kick with .3 of a mile left in the race to end with a 7:41/mile pace.

I finished in 1:53:03, which is the fastest half-marathon I've done since doing 1:52:00 in the Capital City Half-Marathon on May 17, 1998 in Olympia, Wash.

When I resumed running in Atlanta I thought my faster days (and these times aren't even that fast) were over.

But training with a speedy gf helps and I'm enjoying a nice resurgence in my pasttime.

Time: 7:13 a.m.
Temp: ??
Gear: SST (El Paso), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

CTS 1,007: Ted's Bison Stampede 5K

After having a great experience in the inaugural Ted's Bison Stampede 5K last year, I didn't hesitate to sign up for this year's race.

This year, my friend Sham selected it for his first ever 5K race. He'd been training all summer, so why not be rewarded at the end of it all with free Bison sliders and Sweetwater beer?

Although I'd run about 6 miles at race pace each of the last two days, I decided I would just go out and try to run as well as I could. When the gun started, I was jammed up in the pack and was only able to break out of it on the incline near CNN Center.

The first mile didn't end up being too bad, about 8:30 or so. The second mile, on a Pryor St. hill that really got me last year, was even better, 7:21. On the third mile, I had really picked up my pace and was able to accelerate through other hills, such as the one near the United Way building off of Central.

I hit a 7:11 pace for the last mile and the Hammer of Dawn recorded my top speed at 16.3 mph, which is probably the fastest that I've run in a while. I had pulled behind a dude who had a great kick and followed him in.

It was my fastest 5K race in 5 years, second to a Downtown Dash for Diabetes race I did in 2004.

Last year I said that I could run this race pretty well if I increased my mileage -- and a year later, that shows.

Celebrated the end of the race with ... 7 Bison sliders, lol.

Time: 9 a.m.
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New headphones

When I first bought my iPod I bought a pair of neat looking running headphones that was advertised on the Apple site. Those lasted about 13 months.

Then I bought a second pair of Seinnheiser PMX-70 headphones. These are the current ones and they've lasted a little longer, about 20 months.

But now I think one of the wires is starting to short in one ear so today I decided to buy another pair. The good news is that now they only cost a fraction of what I bought the first two pair for. Yay!

CTS 1,003: First cool day of season

Up early for a 4-mile run with the girlfriend. It was 51 degrees out and I hadn't expected it would be that cool out.

Fortunately I warmed up pretty quickly and wasn't chilly. Some socks or gloves for the hands to start out with would have been nice.

Time: 6:30 a.m.
Temp: 51 degrees
Gear: SST (Climb Atlanta), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

CTS 1,001: Will run for ice cream

Today my gf and I wanted to do a light run after the 10K on Saturday so we decided to head out ... for ice cream! It's just a little more than 2 miles to Jake's Ice Cream.

We got there right after it opened, enjoyed a sugar cone and then ran home along the Atlanta-to-Stone Mountain PATH.

A pretty good running motivator, if you ask me.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: SST (Falcons, red), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

CTS 1,000 -- Big Peach Sizzler 10K

CHAMBLEE, Ga. -- Today for my 1,000th consecutive day of running I ran in the Big Peach Sizzler 10K. It used to be called the Buckhead Sizzler.

It was interesting to start at nearly the same place where I started The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon last Thanksgiving.

I had some ghosts to chase away, namely starting really slow in that race with my muscles locked up.

But in this 10K, it was a different kind of start. It was a little humid. It was also the first race that I'd run with someone in a while. My gf is speedier than I am (she finished in the top 3 percent of female runners) so I told her to just run and not wait up for me and I'll reunite with her at the finish.

When the race started, I totally thought I'd be able to keep up with her. But soon, like a quick rabbit, she bounded through groups of runners and was out of sight.

I kept a pretty nice pace, though. The first two miles have rolling hills but nothing along the lines of what I'm used to in the 'hood, especially running at the gf's faster pace.

I just decided to run as fast as I could -- I picked runners up ahead that I would try to keep up with. It turned out I passed three of those people.

Near the end of the race I really didn't have it in me to kick like I probably should have in the last mile. No excuses really but I was a little congested and just didn't have it in me in today's humidity.

Near the finish line a younger guy was trying to encourage his buddy to finish strong. Instead of passing the buddy, I was encouraging the dude as well. I think that's what sportsmanship is all about.

I finished just a little over the time that would get me into Time Group 1A of the Peachtree -- by 25 seconds. At mile 2 I somehow turned the Hammer of Dawn off, so I didn't have an accurate read on my pace. I'm not too worried because I've made 1A with the Charles Harris 10K in February and I think a cooler race will be enough to get me over the line.

All in all, I'm happy that a nice race like this fell on my milestone day 1,000.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees, humid
Gear: CFLST (Charles Harris '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Friday, September 25, 2009

CTS 999: 1,000+ miles for year

Today a short run to drop off a rebate check at Chase bank only to find the doors to the lobby still shut even though they are supposed to be open at 7 a.m. Chase sucks.

It was 82 degrees out. Hot and humid but I'm glad I did the run in the morning.

I now have run 1,002.81 miles this year.

Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi '04 Summerfest), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CTS 996: getting over a cold

Today I passed up a chance to do an early morning 10K run with the gf. I'm still sick from over the weekend and when we did the distance on Sunday, it was brutal. I had no energy for the hill climbs and my pace reverted to a trot.

Yesterday wasn't any better. My legs still felt sore and I had no energy.

Today my legs had energy but I don't think I did mentally. It was the first time I've ever reached Clifton Road on the Middlebear run and not completed it. Instead, I turned back and crossed Ponce to run along the pretty Lullwater.

It was nice to recon the area because finally the sculpture in Freedom Park is finished and two of the three "feet" looking pieces now gush water.

On the other side of the run, the By Way and Springdale intersection is still being worked on but there was traffic access on Springdale only.

My pace felt ok. Hopefully soon I will too.

Time: noon
Temp: 74.5 degrees
Gear: SST (UNLV), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Monday, September 14, 2009

CTS 988: errands, still dogging it

Got up today, had some errands to do which helped me get out on the road early.

It was nice and cool but still so doggone humid! I was happy that I felt like I had a good pace in spots and overall it wasn't so bad.

Last night when I was finally able to get this desktop working, I downloaded a few months of Garmin data into it. I was able to see that when I run on my own I typically do so at a 9:40/mile pace and when I run with the gf, it's 8:40/mile!

Recently, though I've gotten my on-my-own pace down to 9:15/mile.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi '04), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Friday, September 11, 2009

CTS 985, dogging it on M's course

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn to go running with the gf before I had to take her to the airport.

I went to see the Clemson-Ga Tech game last night so I had been up late.

Needless to say I was dogging it during the 6.2 mile course but had a nice pace at the end.

It's a hard run but I have pretty much acclimated to it and the gf's pace.

Time: 6:45 a.m.
Temp: 65-70 degrees
Gear: SST (Climb Atlanta), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CTS 983: Breaking out the D4s

Today I ran M's route with the gf and it was pretty good. The weather started out cool but got as humid as ever.

I wore my new D4s for the first time on a run of 10K distance. They were fine.

The course is a hard one but I am glad I am able to keep up now.

Time: 6:45 a.m.
Temp: 64 degrees
Gear: SST (Beltline), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CTS 982, recovering

Last week was a pretty good week for running. It started out with doing my Middlebear course last Sunday (the 6th) with the gf, starting from her place, which added 1.4 miles to the already 7-mile course.

Then in the middle of the week I ran the cornerstone route two times to go to work to prepare express delivery mailers for Falcons and Georgia Tech tickets I sold.

On Sunday, it was a two-fer. The gf and I ran the Cherokee Trail at Stone Mountain Park, which was pretty strenuous given the double hill near the end. The same afternoon we got on bikes and then rode 20 miles on the Silver Comet Trail, from Hiram to Mableton. It was a gorgeous day.

Of course, come Monday, my legs had little gas in them. Same went for today, with added note that I feel that my Nike Air Pegasus/D3 shoes are done, with a little less than 400 miles on them. But I am enjoying the fact it's getting cooler.

If my calculations are correct, Day 1000 will be on Sept. 26, when I am running the Big Peach Sizzler 10K in Atlanta. W00t!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CTS 976: M course, acclimated

Today I ran M's course with M. The weather was nice and cool (65 degrees) this morning and my legs felt pretty fresh.

It was the first time that I could accelerate at all points of the course. I attribute this to the cool weather plus my legs feeling pretty fresh. When I first started running the course with her, I thought it would take about 4-6 weeks to acclimate.

Well, that time is here and I am feeling pretty good about my ability to run the 10K distance.

Time: 7 a.m.
Temp: 65 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi Summerfest '04), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

CTS 966: Like on the Tour

Today my gf and I hit the road for a 6.6-mile run on her course. It was pretty breezy, despite a late (9:30 a.m.) start and I've gone back to wearing regular cotton T-shirts (SST) instead of the all-plastic wicking shirts.

It's an interesting combination when we run. My girlfriend is a speedy, all-around runner, kind of like how Lance Armstrong is in the Tour de France -- pretty good on the flats and the steep hills. I'm more like the domestiques on his team, a natural hill runner who helps pull her up the hills.

I'm getting better at her course, though, and more quickly able to recover after the steepest hill, which is Piedmont Avenue before Piedmont Park.

Today I really thought about stopping to get water while in the park but I decided not to. I ran and recovered pretty well in the bowl but after we ended the run, I drank a lot of water. Unsure whether I'll stop to get water in the future in the park.

Glad it's cooling down though.

Gear: SST (Carolina-gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CTS 963: Registered for a half-marathon

I just registered for the 13.1 Marathon Atlanta on Oct. 4. The early registration fee of $55 expires at midnight.

Originally I was not planning on running in this race because the original proposed course was going to be downtown (and seemed a lot like the ING Georgia half-marathon course). But this one will be near Oglethorpe University, so different surroundings.

Hopefully I'll do ok!

Monday, August 17, 2009

CTS 960: Middlebear

Not sure why but I ran the middlebear route today even though I had run m's route the day before.

My legs were pretty tired throughout the run. I bought a bottle of Vitamin Water at the Candler Market -- drank half of it there and then held onto it and drank the other half by the time I crossed Freedom Parkway at North Highland Ave.

I guess it's good to run a nice distance for exercise but I wonder if it has value if my legs are tired.

Also noticed there was a dude walking on Euclid that had the same make and year of shoes that I was wearing!

Time: noon
Temp: ?
Gear: CFSST (St. Patrick's Day run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.
Drink: Vitamin Water, purchased (591 ml).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

CTS 958: Fifth pair

On Friday I broke out my fifth pair of Nike Air Pegasus shoes, which I'll call D4 from here on out. I have a single fresh pair left. Right now I'm running short mile runs with them.

Running more miles means the shoes get spent more quickly. My D2s have 385.27 miles on them; their replacements, the D3s, have 314.39.

Here's to more miles and new shoes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CTS 955: Middlebear, gifted

Today I procrastinated, skipping the potentially cool morning for a mid-morning run. It should have been bright and hot, but instead it was very cool and nice. Some sprinkles.

My middlebear route was pretty easy, considering I had run a race pace course with a harder hill the day before. I brought an extra shirt but did not need it.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 76 degrees
Gear: CFSST (St. Patrick's Day run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3
Drink: 500 mL water.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CTS 946: Half of the 1/2, again

Today, because I had extremely short runs the last 3 days, my legs were really fresh and I decided to do the 9-mile route of the last half of the ING Georgia half-marathon route plus the Freedom Park PATH cut through home.

Doing this got me back on course for my weekly mileage.

It was a pretty pleasant run. I ended up not having to drink water at Peachtree and 5th unlike last time and pretty much drank only at the 5 mile point.

I did have 4 12-ounce cups of water when I stopped off at work to change my shirt. The water was almost my undoing because I felt so full when I walked out of the office tower that I didn't know if I could run.

But I did and felt really good (a lot of coolant in me?) the rest of the way back.

Time: 7:20 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: CFSST (ING Georgia 1/2 2009 and Charles Harris 10K 2009), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CTS 942: A new route, running buddy

Today I ran a great 6.2-mile route in the neighborhood. It's the route that my friend Marianne runs and I was curious to see what it was like.

I found that it is a great route! I also found that she runs a little faster than me, something that will help my running in general. We ran up some hills that a few years ago I would have been really afraid to run up.

But I think I held my own even though it was close to race pace for me. If anything it will help me get faster!

I noticed that I really didn't think about water in this pretty cool weather.

Time: 7 a.m.
Temp: ?
Gear: CFSST (ING Half '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CTS 940: Return to Cherokee Trail

Because I'd logged some great miles the last two days, I decided to give myself a treat and run the Cherokee Trail at Stone Mountain State Park. I had done this once before in April, (CTS 843) and it was pretty hard going.

This time I hoped that the run would be better since I am in much better shape. The good news was that I was able to run much more than I previously was. The bad news is that parts of it still kick my butt!

But it still is a very beautiful run -- you get to run along the shores of lakes and in a nice forest. I saw one friendly doe at the start of the run and by the lake I saw the oddity of four ducks and a turtle hanging out on a branch floating in the lake.

I think next time if it's still this hot I will go shirtless -- not too many people on the trail (I saw 2 the entire time) and my wicking shirt got soaked this time around.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 86 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Charles Harris '09), shorts, Adidas Trail Response
Drink: water, 500mL (consumed)

Monday, July 27, 2009

CTS 939: Tour de Doc Chey

This morning I had planned to get up and run to Decatur's Big Peach Running Co. to sign up early for the Big Peach Sizzler 10K in September.

But my right leg felt a little taut from yesterday's run so I decided to just drive there. I was also still sleepy because of staying up late the night before.

I took a nap when I got back and was ready to run. I had some errands to do, so I headed out on North Highland, first to the post office and then to Doc Chey's for lunch.

I was going to cut back down Lanier and head over toward Reynoldstown for my usual 5-mile loop. But I decided to continue down North Highland and do the Emory loop.

I had done this loop once before last fall before The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon and still remembered the beyond-category hill from Briarcliff Way to Clifton Way on Clifton.

I knew I was in a lot better shape, so I thought why not try it?

The hill wasn't too bad, it was just sick in principle. Think of the biggest hill you know, then at the top have it break left around a curve. Once you round the curve it just goes straight up for a second hill to the top!

I ran it ok, huffing and puffing but knowing I tackled it much better than last fall. I came around Clifton to North Decatur and then made my way to Springdale where I have my usual route back home.

As far as challenges go, it was a nice one. I'm happy to have done it -- but I don't have to do it again for quite a while!

Time: 3 p.m.
Temp: 88.5 degrees
Gear: CFSST (ING half blue), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.
Drink: none carried.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

CTS 938: Sneakin' over a new bridge

This afternoon, after I procrastinated all day, I decided to run to Ikea. I hadn't been there in a long time and a 7-mile run to start off the week sounded very appealing.

When I started down Virginia Ave., some dude passed me immediately. I wasn't really planning on giving chase because 1). I just started my run and 2). I had a lot of extra stuff on me -- my bottle of water and extra shirt.

So I played it cool but as soon as he turned down a side street he stopped. So I took chase after him and passed him and then went about another 50 feet before looping back around and rejoining Virginia Ave.

This brought me on the front side of Piedmont Park. So I just ran up 10th Street to Peachtree and then turned and ran until 14th Street.

At 14th Street and West Peachtree, I noticed something strange -- it looked like the 14th Street bridge, which has been closed forever, was open. It wasn't open to cars, but still was completed. It had a lot of construction junk still on it.

So I ran down that way, and sure enough it was open. I ran across it and up a huge Category 1 hill to State Street, where I turned to go down to Atlantic Station. I made my way to Ikea, where I gladly took advantage of their cold water fountain.

The way back was more of the same although this time I took 14th Street straight to Piedmont Park and cut through it. I went on Orme to give me a slightly longer run (I think the 14th Street bridge makes the run not quite 7 miles round trip). I did an extra loop around Lanier to make 7 miles.

Time: 5 p.m.
Temp: 91.5 degrees
Gear: CFSST (ING Georgia Half Marathon '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.
Drink: water, 500mL (carried, not used).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CTS 935: A fresh shirt, like a fresh horse on the Pony Express

Today when I woke up I knew I was going to go long. It had been a month since I had done the 9-mile route that follows the last half of the ING Georgia Half-Marathon and then zips back home using the Cornerstone route's Freedom Park PATH.

I brought a full bottle of Powerade even though I didn't think I would need it. But I'm glad I did. By the 2.6 mile mark I was really dehydrated and thought about not going any farther. But I bought a bottle of water at the CVS on Peachtree and it settled me down.

The hills on the entire route were no problem at all. By the time I reached my office building I was thankful that I left an extra cotton shirt there the other day -- the CFSST was completely soaked. So I went upstairs, changed shirts, left the soaked one there (!) and then got a cup of water and used the facilities before leaving.

And the clean shirt really refreshed me and made me think that I was only doing a 3.5-mile run now.

I ran into Sham going the other way on the PATH.

Time: 7:45 a.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: CFSST (ING 1/2 marathon-blue), SST (Hillside 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.
Drink: Powerade, 591mL, water 500mL

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

CTS 933: Introducing the CFSSTs

For the last few years races have been giving out wicking shirts for race shirts in both long sleeves (designated CFLST) and short sleeves (CFSST).

And for the last few years I've been putting the short sleeve shirts by the wayside because my belly always made wearing them look somewhat ridiculous.

But last night, on a lark, I brought them out of the drawer and tried them on - and they didn't seem so bad.

I saw a few advantages to wearing them instead of the short sleeved cotton shirts I normally wear -- they wouldn't get so clingy and heavy when drenched with sweat and they dry easily.

So today I tried one on, going up the Col du Cat spire, one of my hardest runs because it involves no less than five climbs in a circular spire that goes from Monroe and Piedmont all the way up to North Highland.

The shirt felt pretty good- it was light the entire way - I did get sweaty but it didn't seem to be that big of a deal. I could still use it to wipe sweat off my brow.

I do wonder whether the shirt, being plastic, makes you feel warmer than just wearing a cotton shirt. I also endured a little chafing on my left side of my chest.

But all in all, they are a great idea to wear and I'll likely be putting them into the rotation from now on.

Time: noon
Temp: 80 degrees
Gear: CFSST ('09 ING 1/2), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CTS 932: Cooler temperatures, but still need water

It's been pretty cool out since the weekend. I think it'll stay that way at least until the end of the week.

Because of that, I have been pretty lax in getting up early in the morning to run -- today I didn't head out until about 5:30 p.m.

I ran the Middlebear course but because of the lack of humidity I left my bottle of water behind, thinking I would rehydrate at the Candler Market if I needed to. But when I came down the hill, I thought I would be fine.

I probably should have stopped off in Little Five Points for water. But I continued on. The first thing I noticed was that my lips became extremely dry. And then my legs acted like they wanted to cramp up.

So at Buddy's I bought an entire liter of water. And drank the whole thing in the parking lot.

I don't like carrying water because of the weight and the jostling of the belt but I have to make sure I get it somewhere, even though the weather is only in the 80s.

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Braves gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Monday, July 13, 2009

CTS 925: Buying a shirt in Decatur

DECATUR, Ga. -- Today for my long run I decided to run to Decatur. It had been a few weeks since I had done so and the air was pretty cool and nice because it had rained earlier in the morning.

Once I got to Decatur, however, the skies parted and the sun beamed down and I was miserable.

My shirt was totally soaked and that's one of the few things that can demoralize me on my run. So I went to the CVS and picked out another shirt for $2.50 to wear.

That made me feel much better, although when I was coming down the hill at East Ponce toward Scott I realized that I must have dropped my original shirt somewhere -- back on the other side of the hill.

So I went back there and got my shirt, which was lying on the sidewalk.

Ugh. I haven't been happier to be back home from a run in a while. lol

Time: 2 p.m.
Temp: 77 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina, dk blue), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CTS 919: Deer sighting at Bemis

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- To keep my mileage up, I ran 8 miles today from my parents' home into the Bemis Woods forest preserve. It was actually a pretty easy run -- 2 miles to the forest preserve, then a Raptor one-five turnaround at the 4-mile mark using the Hammer of Dawn.

Right before the turnaround, I saw a deer jump across the path, a little ways in front of me. Still pretty cool to see.

Unlike in Atlanta, however, the suburban Chicago drivers have no regard for crosswalks. At the Wolf Road crossing, I had to stop traffic to let two women on bikes with toddlers in tow cross -- they had been waiting there for a while.

On the way back, this guy actually honked at me while I was crossing in the middle of the crosswalk. I was like, fuck you buddy, this is a crosswalk.

Hit me and I'll be owning your house and your SUV and you'll probably do more time than Donte.

That got me fired up to run the last 2.7 miles home.

I didn't bring any water on this trip -- I wanted to carefully monitor myself to see how I would do. I didn't drink any water during the Peachtree 10K so it was good to see what the limit is performance-wise.

Drank a bunch when I got home.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (El Paso), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

CTS 917: If you're feeling it, then do it

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- Today after my flight touched down I went out in my parents' hood for a day-after-race run. I had in my mind about 4 miles, depending on how my legs felt.

Surprisingly, I had a lot in my legs, so I mowed through the rolling hills of Hinsdale and then continued on for another 10K distance run.

It helped that the prairie is so flat. Also it was a little cooler than in Chicago but the humidity was there.

Time: noon
Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi Summerfest '04), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Peachtree 10K -- as a Peachtree 10K qualifier

My fifth running of the Peachtree 10K and the second time I've participated in Time Group 1.

This year is perhaps the most prepared I've ever been for this race. I had the benefit of running the course last Thanksgiving during The Weather Channel Atlanta Half Marathon and the double hills (Cardiac Hill and up to 14th Street) were brutal.

I'm thankful for that experience though because it taught me that even in the worst case scenario I can survive through it.

This time, 7 months later, I was a different kind of cat. Now I run the 10K distance 2-3 times a week and my Middlebear course in Candler Park is probably harder than the Peachtree.

Anyway, I got to the Group 1 corral with about a half hour to spare. The weather was pretty nice. The sun was out but there was a slight breeze.

When the race started, our group followed the seeded and sub-seeded runners. It seemed everyone in this time group ran -- I don't really remember passing many people until Cardiac Hill.

Looking at my data, I ran my fastest mile (8:00) up through Cardiac Hill. In the past, I've paid the price for attacking this hill by having a slow 5th mile. But this time my Mile 5, although slower than Mile 4, was faster than the first three miles, which are all downhill. I had a nice recovery and then ran a pretty nice finish.

Mile 1: 9:11 (2003: 10:25, 2004: 9:00, 2007: 9:33, 2008: 9:21)
Mile 2: 8:52 (2003: 9:43, 2004: 9:00, 2007: 8:47, 2008: 8:48)
Mile 3: 8:49 (2003: 8:48, 2004: 8:52, 2007: 8:58, 2008: 8:42)
Mile 4: 8:00 (2003: 8:40, 2004: 9:49, 2007: 8:32, 2008: 9:37)
Mile 5: 8:35 (2003: 9:35, 2004: 10:38, 2007: 9:38, 2008: 10:24)
Mile 6: 8:11 (2003: 9:07, 2004: 9:16, 2007: 9:39, 2008: 9:32)
Mile 6.2: 1:41 (2003: 1:45, 2004: 1:56, 2007: 1:55, 2008: 2:19)

My 53:13 time was more than 3 minutes better than my fastest time in 2007. It also qualifies for Time Group IB of next year's Peachtree. I'm pretty sure if I ran a 10K on a flat or even downhill course (like the Charles Harris 10K) I would drop below 50 minutes.

This is awesome. I can't even begin to say how nice it felt to not bonk after the double hills. I'll be basking in this accomplishment for a while.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: ??
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Friday, July 3, 2009

CTS 915: Thinking the impossible

The last three days I've tapered off my running although still keeping up with the miles to make sure that tomorrow's Peachtree 10K gives me more than 30 miles for the week.

After tomorrow, it's a kind of "what's next?" sort of thing. I easily hit 30 miles a week now, sometimes more, and it wouldn't be too hard to imagine me getting in 40, which is the minimum marathon guides say is necessary to start training for a marathon.

After I ran Portland in 2000, I told myself that I would never do another one. But that was because my base miles were poor, although I put the time in to gradually do longer and longer runs along Portland's Wildwood Trail until I could do 22 with no problem.

I'm a lot more disciplined now. I could probably do another marathon.

Problem is, I didn't realize how much planning is needed. I've always wanted to run in the Chicago Marathon. This year it will be on Oct. 11, which is the day the Atlanta Falcons are away playing San Francisco (I'm a season ticket holder).

Only problem with that is that the 45,000-person registration already is closed. I could gain entry by volunteering to raise $1,500 with a Chicago charity. That could be possible but I would have to think about that.

I looked up races in December -- the Honolulu Marathon and the Las Vegas Marathon -- both are during weeks in which the Falcons play home games, so I'm not likely to want to run then.

It's so tricky though, I feel you never know from year to year whether your training will be good enough to even attempt running a 26.2-mile race. I know I can do it this year because I've been pretty well-focused and ready and, knock on wood, injury-free.

Next year, who knows?

One of my other options could be running in The Weather Channel Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. The course is pretty brutal, an out-and-back route from Turner Field up to Peachtree and to Chamblee, follwing the 1996 Olympic Marathon route.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CTS 912: Checkpoint, half-year

Five miles in what seems like an unseasonably cool morning out of the way to close out the month of June and half the year.

Stats through 181 days of first six months: 615.92 miles, average of 3.4 miles a day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

CTS 911: Morning Middlebear

I got up a little later than I wanted but got a 7:30 a.m. start. I felt like the humidity was fine but my shirt got soaked pretty quickly.

I wanted to get this run in as a last-minute tune up for Saturday's Peachtree. I don't think I'll run another 10K distance for a training run before the race and in fact I hope to get my miles in doing very easy runs the rest of the week.

The Middlebear hills were fine and I hope that everything is similar on race day. I don't think I've run this kind of volume of running before any race. I may be over-prepared but it feels like a good luxury to have.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 74 degrees
Gear: SST (dk blue Carolina), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Friday, June 26, 2009

CTS 908: Unlocked -- Heat acclimatization

Today I got up extremely late and was out the door at 11 a.m. The last few weeks I would have dreaded this because it's been so brutally hot but I think I'm pretty much acclimated to it now.

It's awesome because now I can get more sleep! lol. I noticed this yesterday and today, both days when I've had late starts.

I'll probably still try to run as early as I can but it's nice to know this is doable now.

Time: 11:15 a.m.
Temp: 85 degrees
Gear: SST (Surgeon General's 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CTS 906: A Peachtree-ready cat

Today I got out at 6:50 a.m., not as early as I would like but early enough. The weather was pretty cool and there was a good amount of anti-Kryll effect (daylight instead of darkness) still.

I didn't have my first sip of Gatorade until after all three Middlebear hills, at the 5.22 mile mark on North Highland by Fritti, by the time I'd nearly finished the entire route. I drank the rest of the 12-ounce bottle at North Highland and Freedom Parkway, waiting for the light.

I guess I've been ready for the Peachtree for a while but I really felt extremely good today, on the attack on all 9 hills of the route.

Temp: 73 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CTS 905: Slightly late start, new equipment

Today I didn't get out until 7:15 a.m. It was fine but I want to make sure I'm out a lot earlier in the future.

Yesterday at REI I bought an Ultimate Direction waist belt that has a space to carry a bottle. I tested it out today with small 12oz. Gatorade. It can carry the 20oz bottles but I just happened to get this one today.

I also was wearing a new pair of Mizuno shorts that I found on sale at Big Peach Running Store in Decatur. They fit pretty good and it's nice to get a pair of shorts for under $40.

Normally after a long run the day before I don't really run so fast the next day. I was fine today and attacked the long hills at the end of the route with ease.

Time: 7:15 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: SST (Braves, gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Monday, June 22, 2009

CTS 904: Early enough to do Middlebear (H-Loop)

Today I finally got up early for a change and it was really nice. For one, it was cool and the sun wasn't shining oppressively yet.

There wasn't much traffic out on the road, either.

After three days of shorter runs in really killer heat, my legs were ready to run today. I had a nice pace for the first couple of miles. Then I settled in. The big McClendon hills aren't much of a big deal anymore.

I drank about half of my Gatorade at mile 3 and then the rest at the Little Five Points intersection.

I hope I can get up more often.

Time: 7 a.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (Atlanta Falcons white), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CTS 900: Milestone, Middlebear

I really procrastinated today, until it was pretty late mid-day. I thought about running to Atlantic Station but knew that the run I would want on my 900th day of running would be my hardest course -- Middlebear.

I was pretty happy. Yesterday, coming off a 9-mile run on the last half of the ING half marathon course (and a 3-mile shortcut home), my legs were tired and I turned away before I got to Mpx.

Today I felt pretty good and ran up the three tall hills on McClendon before needing to get into the Gatorade I carried.

That said, I had to stop for another bottle at a convenience store. While I was drinking that, and was totally soaked, my ego was bolstered by a cute 20-something girl who said "You're brave to run in this heat. I always try but can't."

Can't wait to make it 1,000 days in a row.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 82-87 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi Summmerfest 5K 2009), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CTS 898: 1/2 of the ING Georgia half-marathon course

I guess I don't like to let things go the way they are. I struggled in the last half of March's ING Georgia Half-Marathon so when I woke up pretty early this morning (6:30 a.m.) I knew what route I would do.

I started out in my Virginia-Highland neighborhood, went through Piedmont Park and up 10th Street. The rolling hills on Juniper are brutal but I managed OK. I turned on 5th Street and went through Georgia Tech, which is pretty nice. Then I turned and passed the Bobby Dodd Stadium before heading up North Ave.

When I ran the race I told myself this was a brutal hill. But it wasn't so bad. Neither was the Tech Parkway part that led to Marietta St. On the last mile of the half marathon, I was fortunate to just finish but this time I made it to my office building and drank the entire bottle of Gatorade that I brought.

I used my regular Cornerstone route back home, stopping at the Boulevard CVS for another bottle of Gatorade that I drank half of during the run back.

I felt really fresh the whole way. It's good to get that mental hurdle out of the way, of a last part of the race that almost beat me.

Time: 7:15 a.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (Nike Peachtree '04), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

CTS 895: Middlebear hills

I got up too late to do the Army Hooah 10K race, although I didn't set an alarm clock to try to be down in College Park at 6 a.m.

I'd already pretty much hit my weekly mileage on Friday so if I happened to get up early, fine.

But I also liked the idea of sleeping in. When I got up, however, I did want to do a longer run -- so I did the Middlebear hills.

I carried a bottle of Gatorade and I think the difference in between this run and yesterday's run in which I didn't drink any of the 'ade was the intensity. The Middlebear hills are ferocious and I ended up drinking the entire bottle (half of it by the time I was near the Candler Park Market, where I usually pick up a bottle).

That said, I need to find a better way to carry it than the fanny pack that I use. It bounces too much, although it was a joy to run with it when it was empty and I'd already thrown away the bottle.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Hillside 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Friday, June 12, 2009

CTS 894: Packing Gatorade

Today for the first time I carried a bottle of Gatorade with me during my run. I figured it was the sensible thing, especially if I needed it in an area where there wasn't any water to be had.

It was interesting because it seemed like it was a psychological crutch. Because I knew I could drink whenever I wanted to I didn't drink it at all during the 4-mile run.

I also was very happy of my pace on the hilly Piedmont Park/Ansley/Morningside/Va-Hi route.

I'm pretty glad I thought of doing this. Maybe the day wasn't as hot as other days but it's a great idea for the days ahead.


Tonight my Peachtree 10K race number arrived! Time Group I biatches!

Time: noon
Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Bridge to Bridge), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

CTS 892: New strategies in the heat

Today I decided to run on one of my old routes, to the Kroger and Borders in Buckhead. It runs along the last part of the Peachtree 10K route, so I thought it would be a good practice.

I'm finding that I need water as early as 2 miles in. I reached the shopping center around 3 miles and was surprised I didn't drink a lot of water and Powerade.

I bought a big Powerade as a last thought and really did drink almost all of it on the way back.

I felt like my pace was pretty good up the long double/triple hill from the I-75/85 overpass up to 14th Street.

It's still miserable running in the heat but pretty nice knowing that Powerade is at your fingertips. I may start wearing a belt that carries a bottle of something.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 86 degrees
Gear: SST (Ketchikan), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CTS 891: Middlebear and heat

I ran and did my Middlebear course this morning but boy it's so hot.

I did the hills really well but just am wondering when, if ever, I'll get properly acclimated.

This is the first year that I've ever had problems with staying properly hydrated.

I just have to make sure I stick with the fluids, listen to myself and keep training the way I've been.

Time: 10:30 a.m.
Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

CTS 888: Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K

I have a thing about running races that are literally outside my front door. They're hard to pass up.

I ran this race five years ago as a way to "see where I was at" regarding my training for the Peachtree. I ran fast the first two miles and then pretty much died for the third.

This time around, I pretty much took it easy. There were a lot of people and it was a jammed-up start.

Because of that, I just decided to have fun. I did pretty well on the hills and it wasn't too bad coming in.

It would have been nice if my time was better but it is what it is. I'm happy though I got a chance to participate in my neighborhood's run!

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 63 degrees
Gear: SST (Hillside 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CTS 885.5: Surgeon General's 5K

The Surgeon General's 5K was my fastest 5K in 5 years, dating back to the March 20, 2004 Downtown DASH for Diabetes.

It was also my second run of the day. I wasn't sure I'd be able to run in it so I did a run earlier in the morning just to make sure I'd have a run in if I didn't race.

I started out like usual- 3/4 in the back of the pack and not sure how fast the race would be. The good thing was it was in Piedmont Park, which is about as close to home court as a cat can have and, incidentally, part of the route I chose to run this morning.

In 2007, I participated in another public health run here, the EIS Prediction Run.

I just kept up a nice pace, knowing exactly where I was. I didn't want to run too fast because of the Va-Hi Summerfest 5K this weekend.

But I kept running, and passing a bunch of public health people. I could tell many of them weren't used to Atlanta's infamous humidity. Many of them were using their 'burners early, which meant I would just keep my pace and eventually pass them.

Even under the last 1/2 mile, I kept telling myself, 'No burners, no burners.' I did give in at the very last moment trying to catch up with the last person in front of me.

It was a strong finish and a great one. It's also telling that I'm really close to my great level of fitness 5 years ago.

I wore my old D2s because I had already worn the D3s earlier in the day and my feet felt fine.

Temp: 86 degrees
Gear: SST (Levi), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Monday, June 1, 2009

CTS 883: Decatur Square

This afternoon I knew I wanted to try for a long run. I thought about a lot of options but one had stuck in my mind for a while -- a run to Decatur.

The last time I ran there was April 22, 2008 and it was an extremely hard run because of the huge rolling hills in between where I live and there.

Also, last week on one of the long runs I think I bruised part of my right foot near the ball. My solution for this was to start wearing my third pair of Nike Air Pegasus shoes (I think I own two more), to give my foot as much cushioning possible.

I had intended to do a long run yesterday (Middlebear) but cut it short after it started to hurt after 2 miles.

So I thought I would just try it and come back if I was in pain.

But no, I just ran straight there. I bought a huge Powerade and drank it in the square before returning.

This is one of those runs that gives me huge confidence in any kind of race I might find myself in, because it's a huge edge to know you won't be defeated by any kind of hill.

Time: 6 p.m.
Temp: 90 degrees
Gear: SST (Firecracker 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CTS 878: Middlebear again

Today was laundry day but I didn't want to settle for just a 2 or 3 mile run. So I opted to do what I did a few weeks ago and run first and then worry about laundry later.

I started out, my legs still a little empty from the 12-mile run on Monday. But I started to get my pace back and felt pretty good. The edge of my right foot was a little sore, so I untied my shoe and tied it back a lot lighter, which helped.

It's awesome to run up huge hills with no effort. After L1 I was pretty dehydrated so I stopped by the Candler Market for some Powerade.

I still felt worn out after that, though and I thought I would just cut the route short after hills L2 and L3. But when I got to the Moreland intersection, I felt pretty good and continued on the course the rest of the way.

And still had time for laundry when I got home...

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: SST (Beltline), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Monday, May 25, 2009

CTS 876: Silver Comet (Hiram to Powder Springs)

HIRAM, Ga. -- I played disc golf with the crew at White Oak Park and then came back to the Hiram trailhead for the Silver Comet.

The plan was to run back to the Carter Road trailhead, giving me more than 16 miles of trail completed.

I thought it was only about 4.5 miles, giving me a 9-mile run. But it turned out it's 6 miles for a 12 mile run total.

My first run on the Silver Comet was 10 miles and it really wrecked me. So since then I've capped my long runs at under 9 miles.

But this run was good. I knew I could eke it out. Right at Carter Road it started raining- light rain. But still I was soaked so it wasn't that comfortable coming back.

I did appreciate the water fountain/rest area right after Milepost 11.

Time: 6 p.m.
Temp: 86 degrees
Gear: SST (Bridge to Bridge), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

CTS 875.5 Second run of the day

I ran earlier in the day before I went to the Braves game. It basically was a short, safety run.

When I came back this afternoon I had plenty of time and it happened to no longer be raining.

I decided to run the hilly route in an Emory University neighborhood. I didn't have any gas in my legs, it seems and a slight tinge I've felt in the back of my left hamstring (from cycling to work I think) I felt again.

But not too eventful other than I'm able to run up and down series of hills with no problem.

Time: 7 p.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (Let Levi Run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Friday, May 22, 2009

CTS 873: Summerfest sign-up

Five years ago I signed up for the Virginia-Highland Summerfest "to see where I was at," I told a friend at the time.

I knew where I was at -- a sorry level of training. That February I had qualified for Time Group IA of the Peachtree with a 47 minute time and felt I didn't have to train any more.

June came around and I had hardly run. In the 5K Summerfest race I did my best but really was fatigued in the last mile.

This year, thankfully, I don't have to ask where I'm at. I'm running the hardest hills in the neighborhood by attacking them, not just trying to survive them.

The last hill today, after five other grueling hills, up to the North Highland Post Office, I pretended I was in the Tour.

"Cat, you've got a good pace," I said.

I looked at the Hammer of Dawn. I was running at 7:30. A few moments later, it showed 6:45.

I hope I can keep up this kind of motivation and momentum. I like everything about it so far.

I'm looking forward to another Summerfest shirt.

Time: noon.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi Summerfest '04), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CTS 872: Around town

Not much to note in this 4-mile run. Started out feeling like there wasn't very much in my legs. This after I overslept three hours.

But after a bit, I got a good pace. I ran up a hill on North Highland I typically don't want to do.

By the time I got back to the Freedom Parkway/North Highland intersection on the PATH, I could tell I was dehydrated, so I headed home.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 70 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CTS 871 Middlebear H-loop

It's nice to get to this point, to get up for a run and know that you can knock out your hardest courses on a regular basis.

Took advantage of waking up early and the overly cool weather.

Time: 8:15 a.m.
Temp: 60 degrees
Gear: SST (Bridge-to-Bridge run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 869 to Atlantic Station

I think it's been a while since I've done this run and I was again surprised how easy it was.

Once daunting hills, such as up 14th to Peachtree, are now easy. My training 10K time has dropped, enough to qualify for the Peachtree 10K road race.

Time: 1:45 p.m.
Temp: 62-70 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, AP/D2.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

CTS 867: Will run for ribs

Today's run was part run, part recon. Today was a promo -- Shane's 2nd Annual Rib Giveaway, which meant if you were one of the first 100 in line when the restaurant opened, you would get a free commemorative T-shirt, a half-rack of ribs and a large cup for a drink.

I left a little after 10 a.m. so was not sure where I would be in line when I got there -- maybe 57th? Maybe out of the running?

But it turned out few people were there. I was 32nd in line and signed my friend up too.

I started to get hungry after I cooled down. Maybe ribs are not my first lunch choice, but I will run for free food!

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 66 degrees
Gear: SST (Climb Atlanta), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D3.

Friday, May 15, 2009

CTS 866: In the heat

Today I ran through Piedmont Park up by the Botanical Garden, down Piedmont to Rock Springs and back to North Highland.

I did the long hills pretty well but really thought it was hot.

Time: noon
Temp: 82 degrees
Gear: SST (Va-Hi Summerfest), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

CTS 865: Middlebear again

Today I decided to make good on my long run switch from yesterday. There was a nice breeze out, so that helped a little bit.

But it was the same old humidity that made me drenched. I was pretty happy though that I had great speed up the third portion of L3.

Time: 11:12 a.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (Ketchikan), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CTS 864: Laundry run

Today I was going to go on a long run but my laundry really was needing to get done. So I did a switch and decided to do the laundry run first.

The good news is that the tree that's been blocking the Freedom Park PATH next to Candler Park is passable because they cut away most of it. But there's a piece that still looms overhead.

My right foot was hurting a little bit like it does when I break in new running shoes. So I untied my shoes and lightly tied them on the way back and that seemed to help.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CTS 861: Bemis Woods

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- I wanted to get in a long run on my day off so I decided to run in Bemis Woods again. It's a couple miles from my parent's house to the path. It was pretty nice and cool out and now the forest preserve is pretty green.

I turned around again just after 4 miles. Maybe in the near future I'll run the entire path (12 miles round-trip).

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

CTS 860: Running down old courses

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- One of the runs that I used to do when I lived here was to run around the huge block that is Wolf-47th-Willow Springs-55th.

It's not a hard run but it's nice to know that my fitness is at a level where I am doing all of my old runs, especially the ones I used to think I wouldn't be able to do.

Time: 1:30 p.m.
Temp: 65 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

CTS 859: Will run for pancakes (Cornerstone run)

As you probably know, I am always on the lookout for an excuse to run, especially a longer run.

So when it was announced that Batter Blaster would try to break the Guinness World Record for most pancakes served, I knew I'd have to run there. Especially since it's near where I work.

The run was pretty good. It felt effortless and I made it down there. The pancakes were good and at first I was worried I wouldn't be able to run back. But the run back was no problem!

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 70 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CTS 856: Back to Middlebear

Today, buoyed by nice comments yesterday from staffers and other people in the building of the results of my recent exercise program, I tackled the Middlebear course.

The tree on the Freedom Park PATH next to the Candler Golf Course was still down over the path and I opted to climb through it than wait for golfers to make their putts next to the makeshift path created by the tree.

There also were two huge trees down near Ponce. I kept a pretty good pace through it all but was totally drenched in sweat by the time I crested L3. It was the right time for a Powerade at Buddy's.

Time: 10:15 a.m.
Temp: 71 degrees
Gear: SST (Beltline), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Monday, May 4, 2009

CTS 855.5 The new Botanical Garden

Second run of the day. I headed down to the park but the dog park wasn't crowded with dogs because of the recent rain.

I headed up the Middle Earth steps and found the new parking deck and the front of the Atlanta Botanical Garden was open. The parking deck is pretty nice and open with a great view of the park and beyond from it.

The entrance to the garden is pretty cool, with easy to see signs and ticket window.

I decided to head out past the garden to Piedmont and then up to Morningside Drive to N. Highland. I was pretty happy that it felt really easy up the hills back home.

Time: 4:45 p.m.
Temp: 71 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Peachtree start times

I'm glad I qualified for Time Group 1 this year. Last year I was in Time Group 4, which you can see starts nearly a half-hour after Time Group 1 starts.

I've had to run in Time Group 6 in the past -- 52 minutes after the start of the race.

Top-Seeded - 7:30 a.m.
Sub-Seeded - 7:30 a.m.
TG-1 - 7:30 a.m.
TG-2 - 7:36 a.m.
TG-3 - 7:47 a.m.
TG-4 - 7:59 a.m.
TG-5 - 8:11 a.m.
TG-6 - 8:22 a.m.
TG-7 - 8:33 a.m.
TG-8 - 8:44 a.m.
TG-9 - 8:56 a.m.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

CTS 854: Road detour

I did a hybrid run today, thinking I would do the Middlebear route again. But when I was on the Freedom Park PATH near Candler Park, a huge tree had fallen over the path.

It was too massive to climb over. So I cut over onto the park's golf course -- other people were doing the same.

I decided not to turn up the Mpx hill and instead crossed Ponce onto Lullwater, which is a beautiful road to run on because it is very wooded on the side. Made my way up The By Way to Briarcliff and back through my neighborhood.

Really hot and humid, but this cat is happy I got a nice run in.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 70 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

CTS 853: Errand run

A four-mile run today to literally run some errands. It was hot out but I still felt really good.

On the way back I did stop to rehydrate. Maybe it's part of the acclimation process but I can really feel the effects of when I need water. I start thinking about it a lot.

Time: 12:30 p.m.
Temp: 73 degrees
Gear: SST (UNLV), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Friday, May 1, 2009

CTS 852: Back to Middlebear

Today I wanted a long run to complement the Stone Mountain run I had the other day. I thought about running the Stone Mountain trail but decided I had gotten up too late to comfortably do that and make a noon lunch appointment.

I felt good the entire time, which is a good thing to say. The big hills, L1, L2 and L3 were as daunting as ever but I have lots of experience climbing them.

I did notice that after cresting L3 I was thinking about water a lot. Instead of gutting it out and drinking water when I got home I stopped at a CVS a few blocks from my house and drank some Gatorade.

It could be that I'm getting older and am getting dehydrated quicker. But this will be something I'll have to pay attention to from here on out.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 68 degrees
Gear: SST (Ketchikan), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CTS 849: Stone Mountain or bust: completed!

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- Today I finished the last segment of the Atlanta-Stone Mountain PATH, something I'd always wanted to do. It was cool passing by Milepost 18 into the park.

It was a cool day but the heat still made the run difficult. On the way back, I had to stop by the Texaco at E. Ponce de Leon and Mountain Industrial for some Gatorade. This is one of the advantages of running in urban areas -- you can get sports drinks when you want them!

I parked at the parking lot in downtown Stone Mountain and made my way back to Clarkston, turning around where I left off at the English Oaks apartments.

Here are the previous stories, including today's.

Time: 10:15 a.m.
Temp: 67 degrees
Gear: SST (Beltline), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus AP/D2.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CTS 847: Lake Peachtree

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- Today I did 9 holes of frisbee golf here with the intention of getting my running in on one of the many golf cart paths in the area.

I ended up going on one that went around Lake Peachtree. It was a nice find. For a while I was following the "10K" signs by the Peachtree City Running Club, but when the path and the signs continued when the lake made a bend, I decided to play it safe and just run around the lake.

Still it was a nice 3.5-mile run. Rolling hills on the end of the run leading back to the library and city hall.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (Atlanta Falcons, white), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CTS 844: Stone Mountain or bust, part 3 (N. Clarendon-Clarkston)

CLARKSTON, Ga. -- After a decent recon of the PATH on the way back from my run around Stone Mountain on Wednesday, I felt like I could go back and knock out another segment of the Atlanta-Stone Mountain PATH.

I parked in Clarkston and made my way on the local roads toward North Clarendon Road, where I left off a few months ago. (Here are my previous entries on the Stone Mountain PATH, including today's post).

It was an ok run, only a couple hills. Between Milepost 12 and Glendale Road is probably the worst condition of the PATH that you'll see on the entire trail. It's a bunch of gnarled asphalt.

Someone crashed into the PATH stop sign on the southwest corner of the North Decatur/Church Street intersection.

I made my way to North Clarkston and came back. I ran forward to the entrance of the English Oaks apartments on Church Street and came back to give me a 5.5-mile run.

Time: 10:15 a.m.
Temp: 70 degrees
Gear: SST (Hawks/Shock), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CTS 843: Stone Mountain Cherokee Trail

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- It's been a while since I've worn my trail running shoes.

About a month ago, I walked the Cherokee Trail with a friend and wanted to come back.

Wow. Even with minimal elevation, it is hard work! There are plenty of roots and rocks to dodge on the trail. Trail running shoes are like armored running shoes -- it would have been unpleasant to step on some of the pointy rocks and roots along the way.

Still, it's a pretty beautiful run- you run next to the mountain, alongside a lake.

Maybe not something I'll do all the time but I'm glad it's here and close to where I live.

I drove back along E. Ponce de Leon and was able to scout out the Atlanta-Stone Mountain PATH. I think I might try to knock the rest of this trail out in the near future.

Time: 10:15 a.m.
Temp: 68 degrees
Gear: SST (Georgia Tech), shorts, Adidas Torsion trail running shoes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CTS 842: Silver Comet (Hiram to memorial and beyond)

HIRAM, Ga. -- I lost a frisbee golf frisbee at Deer Lick Park yesterday so I had to get it. After I retrieved it I wanted to try out another frisbee golf course in Dallas, Ga. and saw that the Silver Comet trail was nearby.

So in between courses, I stopped at the Hiram parking lot and ran six miles. I didn't want to run much more than that because of my long run yesterday.

It was super nice and calm. Maybe one runner going westbound as I was coming back in. A few riders.

After about 2.3-2.4 miles from the Hiram parking lot is the Jennifer Ewing memorial for the cyclist killed in 2006. I had covered this story for my news organization and I thought it would give me chills going back.

But it didn't. The thing that seemed so odd to me is that this area is not as remote as I, a person who had never been on the Silver Comet at the time, thought it was originally.

Just a truly senseless thing.

Time: 1 p.m.
Temp: 68 degrees
Gear: SST (Ketchikan), Nike shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Monday, April 20, 2009

CTS 841: Silver Comet (Mableton to Powder Springs)

MABLETON, Ga. -- I've tried to make a point of doing a long run during my days off so today I returned to the Silver Comet Trail, picking up near where I left off last time in Mableton.

I Googled the directions for the Silver Comet Depot Bicycle Shop. There's a nice parking lot there so I parked there and headed up the trail.

Really pretty canopy of trees that nearly seem endless. After a few miles there's a pedestrian bridge you go over.

I could feel my right knee at the start of the run but my legs were in a pretty good rhythm not feeling any kind of pain later on.

I made the parking lot near Powder Springs then turned around and headed back. I liked that out that way there were only cyclists and no runners.

Time: 5 p.m.
Temp: 72 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts (ING half marathon), Nike Air Pegasus/D2.

Friday, April 17, 2009

CTS 838: Raptor one-five to Bemis

Borrowing a page from BSG, I call long turnaround runs Raptor one-five missions. Basically I'll use the Hammer of Dawn and run for a certain distance and then turn around at that spot and return.

The first time I did it was the other day when I ran 10 miles on the Silver Comet.

Even before this trip I had in my head I would get a long run in at Bemis Woods. I didn't want to do another 10 mile run so soon, as it really took a while to recover from it.

So I settled on 8 miles. Instead of leaving one of my parents' cars at the forest preserve parking lot, I decided I would just run from home and turn around when the Hammer of Dawn said 4 miles.

It's nice being able to run a bit of distance again because it means I can go places.

Not too bad down the flat grid rows in my parents' neighborhood. It was a little tricky crossing Ogden Avenue into the Bemis Woods entrance because the traffic is so bad.

I was happy to be back on the Salt Creek Trail and dutifully turned around at my spot (I was glad I didn't run farther).

All in all a pretty nice outing. I was pretty wrecked from yesterday's run but felt really refreshed today.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 48 degrees
Gear: LST (Brookfield Zoo Run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D2.