Saturday, February 28, 2009

Peachtree 10K is D-tagging it

Very cool. The Peachtree 10K will be using the D-tag electronic timing system that was used in The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon.

Here's the Thursday article from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It also makes a nice souvenir of the event. I have the half-marathon's D-tag in my running scrapbook.

The way it works is it's a bright orange strip that you tuck under your shoelaces and reattach one end of the strip to the other in a "D" shape. It must have some kind of RFID inside it that is tracked when you go through checkpoints.

It's disposable so much less of a headache I guess than when the Atlanta Track Club had to recover all of the old chip timers after a race. (And they did -- one time when I did not run in the race but still had a chip timer, they sent me letters until I returned it).

So wow. Finally a way to have an accurate time for your race. I imagine the Peachtree 10K will become a qualifier of it's own race!

CTS 789: Rain again

The last few days' runs have been greeted with light rain. It wasn't particularly bad because the temperature has been warm.

Tomorrow, however, is to be a different kind of cat -- cold. I just put away my winter running gear that I needed earlier in the week in Chicago. Looks like I'll have to pull it out again.

The AP/D1s, which I haven't worn in about 70 miles, were really comfortable and performed well despite about 338 miles of wear.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 54 degrees
Gear: LST (Brookfield), shorts, AP/D1 (because of the rain).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

CTS 787: Nicely warm

Today's run was a basic run around the 'hood combined with dropping of a pair of ACC basketball tourney tickets at the local FedEx/Kinkos.

It was 58 degrees, climbing to 64 degrees. Perfect weather. My legs still felt a little spent from the previous long run. Did a double hill along the course with pretty good speed.

Time: 12:11 p.m.
Temp: 58 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, AP/D2.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CTS 786: Back in the A, laundry run

I flew home this morning and had a three-hour window to run before I had to go to work, so I changed into running clothes and discovered I had a bunch of laundry to do.

So I went to the coin laundry and then headed up North Highland to Little Five Points and went down McClendon to Oakdale to Blue Ridge.

My legs were a little sore from yesterday's longer run so I didn't push it with a long run.

I was happy, though, to be out in an LST and shorts.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 49 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's), shorts, AP/D2.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CTS 785: Snow ... and shorts

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- After running on Monday in temperatures of the low 20s, today was a treat -- it was 39 degrees, warm enough to wear shorts!

I loved being out in shorts and running on the snow. It's so flat that the mileage was pretty easy. I made my way out to Ogden Ave. thinking I'd cross over and run into Bemis Woods. But the traffic was terrible, making me loop back into the village.

On the way back, I found a foot bridge into Hinsdale over the Tri-State. So I went that way, went by the Hinsdale Hospital, recalling the rolling hills in this area.

I stopped by the Hinsdale Library, reading the first page of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, before coming back.

On the way back, I was running on wet ground since there were no sidewalks on my side of the street. I had a nice pace and went left to plant my feet to jog right and ... whoosh, both of my feet kept going left and my side got covered in the wet mud.

Thankfully it was soft ground instead of a concrete sidewalk.

Over the 47th Street bridge back into the village a bunch of high school kids passed me -- they were running about 8 minute miles and too fast for me.

But I was happy with the run, the weather and the snow.

Time: 3:40 p.m.
Temp: 39 degrees
Distance: 6.28 miles
Gear: CFLST (Weather Channel 1/2 marathon), SST (Thrashers Shamrock), shorts, AP/D2.

The previous day it was about 25 degrees out. I wore pretty much everything, including a skull cap underneath my hat and needed it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CTS 783: A victory lap in the cold

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- Flew out to see my parents today, first chance I got I decided to do a 2-mile run in my folks' neighborhood to come full circle.

Running in the 5K race in Western Springs in September really opened things up for me, leading to several 5Ks, a few 10Ks and even a half-marathon in five months. Something to think about for the future.

It was pretty bitterly cold, especially with the wind. My legs were sore the day after the race.

Time: 12:15 p.m.
Temp: 26 degrees
Gear: windbreaker, North Face Ultrawick layer and pants, SST (Blue Chip), hat, AP/D2.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CTS 782: Charles Harris 10K

The time'll do itself. All you gotta do is show up.

TUCKER, Ga. -- I gave myself every chance to skip out on the race. I stayed up late, giving myself little chance for sleep.

But in spite of myself, I woke up early. I got myself ready to run.

I ran this race five years ago and qualified for Time Group IA (10K of less than 50 minutes) of the Peachtree 10K.

This year I had a more modest goal -- a 10K of less than 55 minutes to qualify for Time Group IB.

Although my training runs have been pretty good, I wasn't running anywhere near the 8:45/mile pace on a consistent basis to be sure I'd qualify.

It was pretty cold outside. I bundled up and waited with everyone else in a church gym. But when I went outside I immediately had to use the restroom. The line for the portajohns was long.

I tried to ignore it and just did a warm-up run. But then I discovered a Kroger was on the other side of the road -- I made a bee line for there, and sure enough, there was no line and it was a regular bathroom. w00t.

When I got out, I really had to book it to the starting line. I got there in plenty of time, as the gun started three minutes late.

My first mile I did nine seconds under the time I needed. That time surplus grew to 44 seconds in the second mile, 58 seconds in the third and up to 1:26 in the fourth mile.

The last two miles, with a nice time lead, I decided to not push it too hard. I still gained another second for 1:27 in the fifth mile and another 22 seconds in the last mile, not to mention an extremely fast last two tenths of a mile.

So I was pretty happy with things. I wanted to run fast enough to qualify but not so fast I would burn myself out and have nothing left for the last two rolling hills of the course.

I wore a bunch of gear but quickly got rid of the hat and windbreaker. I've run plenty of races with that same windbreaker tied around my waist so it was ok. Shorts would have been nice but I've done a bunch of races with my North Face Ultrawick running pants so it was fine.

I was not sure about running in my pretty new pair of shoes (only about 50 miles on them) but they had felt pretty good recently and I opted for more padding instead of less with my AP/D1s that have 337 miles on them. The D2s were great.

So w00t. Pretty happy to make it on the first try. I will say that I need more 5-6 mile runs, as I could feel that my legs were not as strong as they should have been in the 4th mile of the race.

Time: 7:48 a.m.
Temp: 33 degrees
Race time: 52:47 (about 8:30/mile pace)
Gear: Windbreaker, CFLST (William's Run), SST (UNLV), North Face Ultrawick running pants, hat, gloves, AP/D2.

Friday, February 20, 2009

CTS 777-781: The Week in Review

Earlier this week I went a few times to the park just enjoying the 3.5 mile run.

I've gotten my wake up-to-run time down (less procrastination) so it allowed me to wait as long as possible before work to run so it would be the warmest.

Today I ran down to the shopping center near City Hall East to get my hair cut. It was 36 degrees and although I didn't really trust my previous blogs' gear requirements for this temperature, I wore what was recommended anyway. And was fine.

Time: noon
Temp: 36 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (Thrashers shamrock), shorts, AP/D2.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CTS 776.5: Back to the Park

The second run of the day took me through the park again, such a nice day as it was. I'd been pretty eager to get out and about for a good run to put on the books. Weather was perfect.

First run of the day was to Manuel's to have brunch with some of the crew. Ran really fast, as I was late, and was listening to nice music on the iPod.

Time: 4 p.m.
Temp: 59 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, AP/D2.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

CTS 773: Not a nicer day in the universe

After a really difficult day yesterday I made my way down to the park and finally fell into a good rhythm.

The last two tenths of the stretch before the park there was this couple, complete with a stroller and dog. I crossed to the other side of the street as I am want to do.

Even though I previously had a faster pace than them, I could tell they were trying to run faster than me. But let's think about this: 1). a stroller 2). a dog. I got sick of listening to the lady talk aloud their social plans so I turned up the gas and entered the park on my own.

I made my way down to the dog park, something I used to do when I lived in this area but hadn't done recently. So I took my time looking at all of the dogs and enjoying a great breeze that has to make this one of the nicest days in the universe.

I came back along the opposite way (clockwise) than I normally run in the park. I was pretty slow but I don't want to push things if I am going to run in a 10K on Saturday.

Time: 2 p.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina-dk blue), shorts, AP/D2.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CTS 771: Cornerstone, warm

I am incredibly sore today after running a pair of Celtics-Clippers tickets to work. I could have just brought them to work when I had to come in a few hours later but thought that it would be great to do the Cornerstone run.

I felt really fresh into it and the new shoes did really well. On the way back, at N. Highland and the PATH, this larger woman came booking it from a nearby street onto the PATH in front of me.

It was pretty incredible, actually, because she had a bit of distance on me as I plodded along with a pretty consistent pace. But I also imagined that she was running pretty inefficently on afterburners and couldn't maintain it.

It's one thing that I learned from running in 10-mile races and the 1/2. People invariably pass me but somewhere down the line I will catch up with them, not running any faster than I had been before.

I passed her right after the bridge near the Freedom Parkway fork and at that point had a pretty good clip on the final hill to Freedom Parkway/N. Highland.

She caught up with me while I was resting at the light and when it turned green, she bolted out in front of me. This kind of running is just going to beat you down and make you not want to run anymore.

I just ran at my pace and passed her at the North Avenue intersection. I fell in with a running couple who were running at my pace (about 8:00 or 7:30 at this point) and ran with them until the Ponce light.

But at the light I crossed the street to the other side because I wanted to let them have their own run - but darn - I run at the same pace as they did! They ran on ahead and I didn't worry about it.

I really wanted to run the last two tenths of a mile back to my place pretty fast, mimicking the last part of the 10K. So I did. I'm only paying the price later on tonight at work, lol. Drank two bottles of water after the run.

Time: 4 p.m.
Temp: 66 degrees
Distance: 7.55 miles
Gear: SST (El Paso), shorts, AP/D2.

Monday, February 9, 2009

CTS 770: Too warm?

Got up this morning, had all day to run so didn't really push it. Finally got out at about 1 p.m. It was 66 degrees and really felt that way.

My legs were pretty stiff, despite getting PLENTY of rest, but I eked it out like I am used to.

Time: 1 p.m.
Temp: 66 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas), shorts, AP/D2.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

CTS 769: Early morning, and warm

The weather was so great this morning it was about 53 degrees. Despite the niceness of it, having less than normal sleep the last two days really caught up with me.

I ran a short route, my legs pretty tired. But these are the kinds of days where you earn your keep in a 769 consecutive day series. I eked it out, felt pretty strong at the turnaround and was happy I did it.

I am routinely running up series of hills where I would have been fine taking a breather a few months ago.

Leg strength really is the key for hills. It allows me to "float" up them at standard effort and plan for what I'll do on the next hill. And the next.

Glycogen is like the afterburners of a fighter jet -- sure you can burst up a hill, but after that, that's pretty much all you've got and there's nothing that will now distinguish you from a cargo plane.

But building up leg strength and speed and combining that with experience on hills -- not panicking that you're exerting too much too soon -- makes runs that once were hard pretty easy.

I'm constantly having to revisit my prior notions of routes -- in the past, I'd pass them up thinking they were too "hard" to do on a particular day. But now they are all doable.

Didn't wear the moleskin on my right foot today. It was fine during the run although the right shoe still doesn't tie as tight as I'd like.

Time: 8:30 a.m.
Temp: 53 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's), shorts, AP/D2s.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

CTS 768: Limited information

My Internet service was out last night for the desktop but when I woke up this morning I absent-mindedly turned on the computer to see the weather as I usually do before a run.

It said 44 degrees, so I dutifully put on the clothes I'd usually wear for it- and boy, was it chilly at first. I just thought it was because the sun hadn't been up for too long.

I warmed up near the end of the run but when I came home I discovered that the Internet was still down. When I rebooted the computer the Web was back up and now I discover it was 40 degrees -- I could have used the windbreaker after all.

My left knee felt a little gimpy- nothing really unusual, so I decided to keep the run light and a little shorter than I would typically run.

PS: The last two days I've been using squares of moleskin to cover the place on my foot irritated by the shoe sole. It's worked ok. Running today in the new shoes was a little better than during yesterday's run.

Temp: 40 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (Carolina grey), shorts, AP/D2.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

CTS 766 Laundry run (warm)

Waited until late in the afternoon to do this run. It finally climbed back to about 42 degrees.

Had a little more trouble with the D2s- there's a piece of foam that is irritating the inside of my right foot. May just cut it out instead of waiting for the shoe to break in.

Also had a little more trouble with the right shoe. It definitely needs to be broken in.

Time: 4:45 p.m.
Temp: 42 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (UNLV), shorts, AP/D2.

Btw, had CTS 766.5 last night- decided to run to The Vortex in Midtown to hang out with some co-workers.

It was 24 degrees but I pretty much found from earlier in the day I could hang if I had all my gear on.

I did really well with all the hills leading up to Peachtree.

Time: 10:45 p.m.
Temp: 24 degrees
Gear: Old Navy fleece jacket, Banana Republic sweatshirt, CFLST, SST (Renteria), khakis, gloves, hat, AP/D1.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CTS 765: A cold one

Today it was 27 degrees. Had to pull out all the tricks for a 3.8 mile run.

Broke out my new Outdoor Research Novo Watch Cap. Decided however not to wear it and my sunglasses when I came up on a bank I was going to deposit a check when an armored truck was outside. lol

Discovered I didn't need it for most of the day, however, I put it on for a stretch on Oakdale. It's thin but keeps the head warm. Didn't like it when my head started to sweat under the cap.

Wore everything. Needed everything. Felt just the right amount of warmth while running without sweating with four layers on, which says a lot about how cold it was outside.

My AP/D2s did really well, am wondering if I don't need to break them in so much! I did have a problem with stitching on the inside of my right foot, or wearing up against the foot.

Time: 1:45 p.m.
Temp: 27 degrees
Gear: windbreaker, CFLST, SST, North Face thermal layer, North Face running pants, Nike Climafit gloves, Outdoor Research Novo Watch Cap, AP/D2.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

CTS 764: The end of the AP/D1s?

Today I did a loop out on the PATH to where it connects with North Highland at North Highland Bakery and then took the road back home.

On both legs my knees felt shot, which usually means that it's time to replace my running shoes. I only have 336 miles on this pair but it's better to be proactive.

I'll probably only use them from now on in races -- they're pretty well broken in and today they reminded me of racing flats.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 40 degrees
Gear: CFLST, SST (El Paso), shorts, AP/D1.

Monday, February 2, 2009

CTS 763: In the nick of time

Did some errands and then remembered that even though I'd already gone to the Post Office that I had another book to ship off after selling it on

Ran up to the Post Office and then continued on to East Morningside and then to Piedmont, Monroe and Orme before connecting back to North Highland.

Monroe is pretty hilly coming back home but I ran up the rolling hills with no problem and with pretty good speed.

Ran at the right time since about a half-hour after I came back home, it was raining.

Time: noon
Temp: 50 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's), shorts, AP/D1.