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.