Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 1,153: The agony of de-feet

Today I was pretty well psyched to log another 20-mile run before tapering for the ING Georgia Marathon on March 21.

It was a little cool out but I bundled up well and brought two sticks of Clif Shot Bloks with me, with two packets of Jelly Belly Sport Beans just in case.

The run was pretty good. Right before 5 miles I hit a nice groove and covered more ground in the first hour than I had previously. The second hour seemed pretty good as well -- my half-marathon split time was just under two hours, and this was with the difficult post-Emory hills at the very end.

But as I crossed onto Los Angeles to go into the park, my motivation totally waned. I ended up with a little more than 14 miles for the run, a far cry from 20.

Still I feel like I'll be ok on marathon day. It's a little disappointing that I didn't get there but at the same time I didn't want to really struggle in a training run. My right foot felt a little bruised but that was about it.

I guess we'll see on marathon day.

Time: 9:15 a.m.
Temp: 31 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST, SST, shorts, running pants, gloves, hat, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

CTS 1,147: Frayed cord

Today when I was about to go out for a short run, I noticed there was something wrong with my iPod 3G shuffle -- it turned on but I couldn't hear anything.

Puzzled after a while, I hooked up the shuffle to its original -- but irritating -- earbuds. They worked fine. I then hooked the device up to my old headphones plus my Belkin Headphone Adapter for iPod Shuffle.

It didn't work.

Only then I noticed that one of the cords on the adapter was frayed, right at the remote control junction. It got worn out from flapping around while I was running.

Luckily I have a brand new iPod nano that I can use my old headphones on. But I still want to use my smaller iPod shuffle -- its compact size was great during my recent trip to Florida -- so I've decided to give another option a try -- a pair of Acoustibuds headphone adapters.

Hope it works.

I used the original iPod shuffle earbuds today and ran with them. They were pretty irritating to use -- the left earbud does not fit in my ear and constantly pops out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CTS 1,145: Four casinos. One day.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Despite having run nearly 10 miles the day before I decided I would at least run to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and then pick up chips.

At about 9.8 miles I found the Seminole Casino, also on the Indian reservation land. It is a little older but was neat to see.

Up the road, at 10.3 miles, I found the Hard Rock. I decided I would play poker here and then continue on my way.

Just before 15 miles I hit the Jai-Alai Dania Beach, which has some track betting and a poker room.

I continued on to the Mardi Gras casino. I only ended up with 18.33 miles for the day, which was plenty but I think I could have done more had I not already been tired from the day before.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

CTS 1,144: A casino too far

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- I used a chunk of my afternoon playing through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 before realizing that it was getting late in the day.

So a little after 5 p.m. I headed out the hotel door and up the street. I had thought that I could do a loop that would hit the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and come back for no more than 7.5 miles.

I was totally wrong. When I had gone about 5 miles, at the corner of Sheridan and Highway 1, I realized on my map the hotel was at least four miles farther. I didn't have any choice but to turn around and head back.

It was already getting dark. I was able to amble back but I had already run 9.88 miles for what I thought was going to be an easy day.

Time: 5:10 p.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: SST (Lookouts), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Monday, February 15, 2010

CTS 1,142: Looking to Chicago

Today I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, which has long been a goal of mine.

Although I don't know how it will be to train in Atlanta's heat in July and August, I did want to make sure that if I was ready for the race, that I would actually be able to get an entry, unlike last summer when I thought about entering the race.

So here it is -- Oct. 10. It is something I believe I can do. Now that I've dropped the $135 for it, maybe that will be motivation enough to train.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CTS 1,141: A heart-y surprise

I decided to get my gf chocolates for Valentine's Day but she decided to surprise me with a Nike + iPod sensor kit.

Ever since I forgot to charge the Hammer of Dawn before one long run and when it decided to break down completely, I've been thinking about having a backup option.

It looks like a pretty neat way to track your progress. The only thing I don't like about it is that the sensor battery is not replaceable and lasts for 1,000 hours. Looks like this is a built-in way to keep buying sensors.

Had a nice 4-mile run with the gf amid the melting snow today. It was nice to get out and run a little faster than I have been in previous weeks. My legs were a little more sore than usual later, though.

Time: noon
Temp: 38 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, LST (Ted's '08 5K), running pants, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CTS 1,140: Peachtree performance

This year the Peachtree 10K race is making registrants submit a 10K time (run on or after March 1, 2008) or participants will be randomly placed in one of the last groups.

I guess this is to make sure walkers stay to the back? Here is the time chart.

The required times for Groups A and B are the same times for what previously was known as Groups 1A and 1B.

I wonder if this is to make sure that runners are not running when it's too hot out as well?

Today I did a very short run among sidewalks that still had remnants of yesterday's snow and ice. My legs felt OK from the previous day's run. It was good to be outside.

Friday, February 12, 2010

CTS 1,139: Doing Twenty

I haven't run 20 miles since the 2000 Portland Marathon. I'd been frustrated my last two outings of being seemingly unable to break through 16 miles.

But a cat will not be denied.

Today I headed out early in order to get my run in before work. I looked up where I could buy Sport Beans for energy, and lo and behold it turned out that I could get some from the grocery store closest to my place. That's the only non-running specialty store in the area that has them.

And again, they are near my place.

I loaded up two bottles of Gatorade and then set off. The weather was nice and cool and I didn't really think much about running, except just to make sure that I ran nice and steady.

In Decatur, after the first hour, I stopped to drink one of the bottles and eat a bag of Sport Beans. They were pretty good, actually.

I felt pretty good going up the Lullwater-Oakdale-Springdale hills, possibly because I ran them the other day as a regular 10K distance run.

I didn't stop on the long hill at The By Way up to Briarcliff. At that point I reached two hours but couldn't refuel yet because the exhaust from passing cars was too great.

So I ran up to the top of the Stillwood hill. Then drank some of the second bottle of Gatorade. I ate some of the Sport Beans and kept eating some in the bag up the second Stillwood hill. I found that eating them while running up the hill helped my concentration.

I crossed North Highland Avenue and continued to Piedmont Park. In the park, they've already spraypainted the turnaround point so that was nice to see. Then I went up the big 12th Street hill to Peachtree (Mile 23 of the race is just before this). I continued on to Spring and then turned up to 5th Street along the course, just as I did on another run earlier in the week.

I was at 18 miles at this point, pretty much all I had to do this week. But I still had to run back home. I felt that if I was really hurting I'd stop. But it was pretty good.

I ran back along the half-marathon route on Juniper, stopped to get a bottle of Powerade on 10th Street and ran back into the park. I hit 20 miles on the hill on Virginia Avenue by the middle school.

Between 14 and 20 miles I had tinges of cramping in my legs, something that I feel got better after I had some energy drink. Maybe it's an improvement since during the half marathon I'd have some tinges at about mile 11.

The main thing though was that I felt pretty good about running and possibly could even run the whole way when the race comes.

But either way I'm happy how this turned out. I'll probably do two more long runs before the race. I think I'm ready.

Time: 8:50 a.m.
Temp: 38 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST, SST (Levi), shorts, running pants, gloves, hat, Nike Air Pegasus 26+ (AP/O).
Drink: 2 bottles Gatorade, 1 bottle Powerade
Food: 2-1/4 bags of Sport Beans

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CTS 1,137: Cold again

The cold is back, but luckily unlike places farther north, we don't have any snow. Today I went to work on the Lullwater-Oakdale-Springdale hills. They're a lot harder to conquer when I have 8-9 miles already on my feet but hopefully the muscle memory will kick in.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 31-34 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST (William's Run), SST, running pants, gloves, Outdoor Research hat, Nike Air Pegasus 26+ (AP/O).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

CTS 1,134: Like a cat, the watch comes back

While the gf was on call, I planned a long run that day. The Hammer of Dawn was on the table and I just started messing with it and it turned on, even though it was completely dead a day before and would not charge, either through the USB or by electric plug.

So I plugged it in to recharge.

I decided to go out and run on the Decatur part of the ING Georgia Marathon course. It was a little cool out but a pretty nice day.

I stopped at a grocery store for some Powerade and a PowerBar -- I am pretty surprised at how much better tasting the bars are compared to when I did the Portland Marathon in 2000.

I ran just over 13 miles, pretty thankful for my new running shoes -- my feet felt pretty great.

Time: 1 p.m.
Temp: 45 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, LST (Shamrock Run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus 26+ AP/O.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

CTS 1,133: My GPS watch is dead!

I'm having terrible luck with electronics that relate to running right now. Last month, my second-generation iPod Shuffle died.

This morning I got ready to run before work and discovered that my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch was dead. I'm wondering if it has something to do with my desktop - both my dead iPod and the watch were frequently plugged into the computer to recharge.

Of course it could be because of wear and tear.

So I downloaded the pay version of JogStats to use with my cell phone today, luckily it was at a $1.50 discount from the $4.99 regular price.

It was nice to use but I don't like carrying a cell phone around with me when I'm running. I'm pretty much immediately going to have to buy a new GPS watch, it has been that indispensable.

Stupidly I wore my old D4s because I knew it was going to be a short run. But even for that distance, I could feel the lack of padding on my feet. I'm going to have to discontinue using that shoe, even with a little more than 370 miles of wear.

I'm also finding that being back from Hawaii, I'm not as used to the cold as I used to be. Today for the run I wore a bunch of clothes I wouldn't have earlier.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 40 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST, SST (Las Vegas blue), hat, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Course correction (ING Georgia Marathon)

Earlier in the week, the ING Georgia Marathon released a different course for the marathon.

The race basically curves up Stillwood Drive to Los Angeles and back into the park, something that is pretty much home court for me. Of course, Stillwood has a HUGE hill right off of Briarcliff but I guess if you can do that for Mile 20, you can get by with the rest of the race!

Here's what it said:

In previous years, the lead marathoners encountered the slower half marathoners when the two courses merged at North Highland & St Charles. After the merge, the marathoners didn't have a clear course to the finish line. Several new features in 2010 will give marathoners a clear lane through the last 6 miles of their race.

The merge point has been moved 4.5 miles later in the course, to the intersection of 5th St & Spring St. The Half Marathon uses the same course as in 2009, but miles 19.5-24 of the Marathon are on a new, separate course through Virginia-Highland, Piedmont Park, and Midtown. View the Course Map to see the new section of the Marathon course.

From the merge point at approximately mile 24 to the finish line, the course will have pennant coning and barricades to separate the marathoners, the half marathoners, and the ING Run For Something Better middle school runners' 1-mile race on Marietta St that starts at 11:30 a.m.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

CTS 1,131 Something to remind myself...

... to always wear newer and fresher shoes whenever possible. Today I embarked on my gf's course in light, drizzling rain wearing my new Nike + Air Pegasus 26's.

They were great. Almost no need to have to break them in. Really nice support for my right ankle, which gave me some problems with my flat D4s (which have more than 365 miles on them) yesterday.

It was cold when I started, but I warmed up quickly enough. During the run I felt like my long training runs for the marathon have increased my endurance for the 10K distance.

The adapter worked fine for the shuffle and I was grateful to have music along the rainy course.

Time: 12:20 p.m.
Temp: 39-40 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, CFLST (Fall Five Miler '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus 26 AP/O.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

CTS 1,130: A fix for the iPod shuffle problem

When I came back from Maui my Belkin adapter for the iPod shuffle was waiting for me. Today I was able to try it for the first time, using the running headphones I use daily.

The adapter seems like a good solution to the iPod shuffle problem. My running headphones actually stayed in my ears and the adapter's controls weren't too far away from my arms when I ran.

I wore my D4s, which are no longer my primary running shoe. But they only had 361 miles on them and I thought I could wear them a little bit more until they hit 400 miles. But on the run, my legs were sluggish and I didn't have the bounce that I normally do during the run.

I'm happy to have finished the run but it would have been nice to be wearing fresher shoes.

Time: 12:30 p.m.
Temp: 49 degrees
Gear: Nike windbreaker, SST (Levi), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.