Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 1,183: It's why backup systems are needed

Today had a great run with the gf, running up Los Angeles and then doing the Summerfest 5K route.

We booked a pretty good pace and I was excited to see what my results would be on the Garmin but ... when it came time to download, there was nothing saved.

Fortunately I have data from my Nike+ iPod sensor. But it would have been nice to have seen the map.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 54 degrees
Gear: SST (Inman 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 1,182: Around Piedmont Park

It's a great time of the year to run in Atlanta. There are great blossoms up on the trees and the hay fever isn't too bad ... yet.

Ran around Piedmont Park and back. Was the first time since the ING Georgia Marathon that I could run under 9-minute miles. Was a nice feeling.

Time: noon
Temp: 54 degrees
Gear: LST (Ted's 5K 2008), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Upcoming races

Here's an updated list of races I've signed up for in the near future:

Sunday, April 11: Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Washington, D.C.

Sunday, April 18: Dow Live Earth Run for Water 6K, Atlanta

Saturday, April 24: Green Dash 5K, Atlanta

Saturday, June 5: Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K, Atlanta

Sunday, July 4: Peachtree Road Race 10K, Atlanta

Sunday, October 10: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Sunday, March 20, 2011: Georgia Half-Marathon, Atlanta

Day 1,181: To Phidippides

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Day 1,181: To Phidippides
It's the first time since the ING Georgia Marathon that I've been able to run under 10 minute miles.

Ran to Phidippides to sign up for the Green Dash 5K next month at Piedmont Park.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 49 degrees
Gear: SST (Carolina, gray), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 1,180 Nearly recovered

Today I ran my first post-marathon run without a lot of leg pain and one that was less than 11 minute miles. It wasn't much faster, but I'll take it.

The run took me to Little Five Points, down Euclid, up Elizabeth to North Highland and the Freedom Park PATH. Then along the sidewalk on Freedom Parkway to North Avenue. I continued on to Ponce de Leon and then up to the grocery store.

Time: 11 a.m.
Temp: 56 degrees
Gear: SST, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 1,179: Recovery run #3

Today's run was the same short course, although I stopped a few times. It was a little strange as I had a little more mobility in my legs.

After lunch today I was able to freely move around -- it was like getting shot up with a bunch of novocaine at the dentist's office and having it finally wear off, complete with feeling tingly.

I'm looking forward to longer runs. Even have crazily been talking with co-workers about trying to tackle the Chicago Marathon in October.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 47 degrees
Gear: LST (Strong Legs Run '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 1,178: Recovery run #2

Set out today for the short course. Same thing as on Monday -- my thighs still were sore, so it was hard to even run at first. By about a half-mile I had some kind of semblance of a normal running gait.

It was a little better today, the run made my legs a little more limber, making it easier to get in and out of the shower. I actually ran slower than yesterday, however.

Still was worth the price to finish the marathon.

Time: 11:15 a.m.
Temp: 56 degrees
Gear: SST (Hillside Monster Dash 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

I signed up for the 2011 Georgia Half-Marathon!

The first 200 people to sign up for next year's Georgia Marathon or Half-Marathon can do so at a rate of 50 percent off!

I did and that meant it was only $25 -- which is the cost of a 5K race these days. The link is here. You might have to use the link in the comments section of the Web page.

The next 200 people to do so only have to pay $30, a nice discount off the $50 price.

You'll notice next year ING is not the sponsor of the event. Hopefully another title sponsor will be a part of this great event.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 1,177: Almost human

How do you feel?

Almost human.
-"The Best of Both Worlds Part II, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Today I knew I'd have to run, but I didn't really know how. My thighs have been pretty sore, even just for walking around.

But I went out anyway, thinking I would just do a block if I had to. I was running like a duck for a little while, but after a bit something convinced me I could do my short run and by about a half mile, I was running fairly close to my old form.

It's a hard way to get limber but it works.

Time: 2:50 p.m.
Temp: 41 degrees, light rain
Gear: REI fleece jacket, LST (Ted's), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 1,176: The ING Georgia Marathon

So race day came and it was a lot warmer than last year, in the low 50s. Because we stayed in a great room at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, which is right before the starting line, we were able to get as much sleep as possible and then amble right down to the start.

This year the corrals were much more organized and it appeared Marietta was much better lit. It wasn't too long before we were off -- there was a 3-minute delay between the gun time and my race start.

Everything at first was really good. My 10K time was somewhere around 54:30 and then just taking it easy, I reached Mile 13 in Decatur in about two hours.

Two miles later, however, things started to become different. I developed cramps in my right calf at about Mile 15 and it alternated on both legs up the Lullwater hills. I tried to keep going and I pretty much was able to. I was really thankful for a Gatorade gel pack around Mile 18.

The one thing about going at a really slow pace is that it's not hard to get up hills. So I just plugged away, the best I could, up my home court hills -- Springdale, The By Way, Stillwood. Soon I was up on Mile 20. I was a little miffed that there was not a water station here (at a huge psychological waymarker).

On Los Angeles my right calf cramped up so bad that I had to stop for about 20 seconds. I started to walk and then it went away, so I continued running. The Mile 22 turnaround in Piedmont Park seemed surreal. At this point I just kept count of the remaining hills and did the best I could. No two races are completely alike.

Finally I made it past Mile 25 and the really long remainder of the course along Marietta. I was with a group at that point that kicked so I was able to get in under 4-1/2 hours. This was Plan B but it could have been much worse!

I beat my PR by an hour and 39 minutes, lol, having had an even worse first marathon in Portland in 2000. Even this time I don't feel like my training was up to snuff if I started to cramp up at Mile 15. But I'll take it. For the last 10 years I've really been proud of my Portland Marathon finisher's medal and I'm glad to finally add another one to it.

In the hotel room I weighed myself- I lost 6 pounds in the race and also suffered a case of a bloody nipple.

Time: 7 a.m.
Temp: 51 to 55 degrees
Gear: SST (Race for Research), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Race day

It's 51 degrees outside, 80 percent chance of rain by 11 a.m.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 1,175: Getting ready for the ING Georgia Marathon

The signs are up in the neighborhood warning people of the impending race tomorrow. Along Stillwood you can see orange directional arrows spray painted on the street.

A short run today to the Green Market, and back along Lanier. I feel pretty good, not sure how tomorrow will be, though...

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: SST (AIDS 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26

Friday, March 19, 2010

Upcoming races

In addition to Sunday's ING Georgia Marathon, here are a few races that I've signed up for:

Sunday, April 11: Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Washington, D.C.

Sunday, April 18: Dow Live Earth Run for Water 6K, Atlanta

Saturday, June 5: Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K, Atlanta

Sunday, October 10: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

There are some others that I plan to run but either have not paid for the registration yet or the registration has not opened yet for the race.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Some new kicks

Just ordered another pair of Nike Air Pegasus+ 26s. I'm finding online is much cheaper than getting them at a store. This time, and two months ago when I ordered my first pair online, the shipping is often free from the stores.

After the ING Georgia Marathon I should have about 200 miles on my current pair and I usually like to break in a new pair slowly. It's nice to have a backup pair in case shoes get wet, etc.

Day 1,173: A new watch and the Omni for race day

I used the Hammer of Dawn today on a very short grocery run this morning, I think I just have to make sure that it is fully charged -- and properly charged each time.

But because of its hiccups, I decided to keep my order for the Garmin Forerunner 405, a much sleeker and fancier watch. While it's charging right now I can't wait to use it.

Yesterday I made the decision to do something I hadn't done in two previous ING Georgia races -- I'm going to stay at the race hotel, the Omni Hotel at CNN Center on Saturday.

I decided to do it so I wouldn't have to guess what time to drive to work, which is a block away from the race start, in advance of streets closing. Last year I drove there two hours before the race started and then camped out in the office until about an hour before. When I finally went down for the race it was freezing.

So now I'll get there the night before and won't have to worry about roadblocks. This will also give me the maximum amount of sleep before the race and I can just pop down and start the race.

The next thing is that if the gf runs in the half marathon, our finishing times could be at least two hours apart. This will let her go up to the room and relax, shower and change before I finish.

Third thing is it'll be fun. I don't think I've ever stayed in a hotel in a city where I actually live. Maybe the downtown perspective will be a little different.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 1,172: Run to the movies

I'm not much of a horse guy, but I was born to do this.

Today I ran over to Atlantic Station, cutting through Piedmont Park, and over the 14th Street Bridge to see the movie Avatar.

When the movie let out, there was a bunch of light rain. I wasn't that happy to see that I'd have to run back in the rain but it wasn't too bad. At least it wasn't freezing outside...

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 51 degrees
Gear: SST (O'Highlands Jig and Jog), CFLST, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A new GPS watch!

It's funny how history keeps repeating itself. Last month, the Hammer of Dawn was unresponsive and I ordered a new watch only to find the next day the watch came back to life. I was able to cancel my order and everything was good.

But now, a week before the marathon, the watch died again. So I ordered another Garmin Forerunner 405. This time it's $40 cheaper!

Anyway, I think I'll like the new device.

Day 1,170: The Hammer of Dawn is offline (again)

Got ready for my run today only to discover my GPS watch was completely unresponsive. I've put it in the charger to see if it'll hopefully charge up again. It's kind of a bad time for this to happen, so close to the marathon.

Oh, well. Today I used a combination of the Nike+ iPod sensor and my Palm Pre, which has a JogStats app. I guess my iPod sensor is properly calibrated since both recorded the same distance.

Today I ran from the Virginia-Highland intersection the last bit of the O'Highlands Jig and Jog 5K course, with the missing hill from the race, which was challenging. Then at the end of that race, I just continued back using the Summerfest 5K course (pretty much the reverse of the O'Highlands course). At Los Angeles, I turned right instead of left and headed up the hill to N. Highland Ave., imagining all the while this was the ING Georgia Marathon.

It's funny. I think for me the marathon will be completed for me at this point, a decisive spot not a tenth of a mile away from where I live.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 48-51 degrees
Gear: SST (Las Vegas blue), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 1,169: The O'Highlands Jig and Jog's missing hill

So it seems that an entire hill was missing at the end of the race, as the Arising Runner blog has pointed out.

You can see on this map from that the race continues after the two mile mark on McLynn Ave. past Lanier pretty much back the way we started, turning on Avalon and back on Morningside before rejoining Lanier for the end of the race.

This would have made things challenging! Yet the race still was really fun.


Today I did a short run before brunch with my friends at The Highland Tap. I only needed a little more than four-tenths of a mile to gain the second, or orange, stage on the Nike+ iPod Web site. Even though I rely on the Hammer of Dawn for exact mileage, the Nike site with its challenges and unique ways of showing your progress is addictive.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 1,168: O'Highlands Jig and Jog 5K (3rd in age group)

Although I will say it seems very counterintuitive to run in a 5K race just a week before a marathon, I decided after skipping the Charles Harris 10K race last month in Tucker, Ga. that I didn't want to miss fun races.

And, this time, I said, I would just take it easy. Of course, things like that are fine to say until the first hills come.

I ran over to the start, just less than a mile and even just decided to hold onto the race T-shirt they gave me, by tucking it into my belt pouch belt. Now a cat had a tail.

The race started on Lanier near the Doc Chey's restaurant. It basically is like a modified reverse Summerfest route -- we ran up the huge double hill to Virginia Avenue and down back toward Lanier, cutting across Stillwood and neighborhood roads along the way.

I took it easy at first but couldn't resist accelerating up the hills. By the second mile I was really running in it although I was for sure someone was going to pass me in the last mile.

But no one did. I passed one person at the very end, which was shorter than the 5K distance at 2.67 miles, according to the Hammer of Dawn. Later the race director said the race motorcycle went straight when it should have turned.

But no matter. I noticed that there weren't too many time cards ahead of mine in my age group's basket -- I placed 19th overall for the men's division. And I kept watch until later on when I could see the lady write my name down on the age group winner's list.

It's the first time that I've placed in an age category since I placed second in my age group in the Salmon Creek 10K on Dec. 18, 1999 in Hazel Dell, Wash. Since runners in their 30s and 40s are really fast, I really didn't think I'd see an award in this decade.

But a neighborhood race I guess has less prestige to the ultra fast runners. And, as a cat now knows, he has to be in it to win it!

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 41-45 degrees
Gear: LST (Shamrock), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 1,165 A sensor (less) problem

Today when I went outside my Nike+ iPod sensor didn't turn on. It kept telling me to walk around -- in the rain.

Finally I decided to just not fool with it and use my Hammer of Dawn instead. It was then I realized that because of the rain, I wore my old shoes (Nike Air Pegasus/D5) and there is no sensor in it! lol.

Oh well. Guess I can just not have credit for one day.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 52 degrees
Gear: rainjacket, SST, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D5.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 1,162: Using the Nike+ iPod sensor

Today I put the Nike+ iPod sensor in my shoe for the first time and then turned it on to use during my run with the gf. I had the Hammer of Dawn on, of course.

I forgot to calibrate it so it recorded my run as about a quarter-mile longer than it was.

But it's cool to download it onto your own personal page on the Nike Web site, where you can see the progress of other runners plus how you did at each point in the run.

Time: 11:12 a.m.
Temp: 44 degrees
Gear: SST (UNLV), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 1,157: Bringing the snow back

When I came back from Chicago, it was snowing in Atlanta. I had a small window of time to run before I had to go to work, so I bundled up and did my errands.

The snow was pretty wet but I had my rain gear on. The good thing about the weather being so terrible outside was that there wasn't a line at the post office. lol.

Time: 11:45 a.m.
Temp: 31 degrees
Gear: Marmot windbreaker, CFLST (SportHill), running pants, shorts, gloves, Outdoor Research hat, Nike Air Pegasus + 26.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 1,156: A new running song

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- I'd already run on Monday morning before coming to Chicago so I was really thinking I should have brought my shoes anyway when I saw all the snow on the ground and the flat, neatly cleaned sidewalks.

But I was still able to bring some inspiration from the Windy City. One of the things from the city montage while watching the Atlanta Hawks-Chicago Bulls game at the United Center was video of the Chicago Marathon.

And their intro song fits right into running, and poker:
This is 10 percent luck, 20 percent skill/
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will/
Five percent pleasure, 50 percent pain/
And 100 percent reason to remember the name.
-"Remember the Name," Fort Minor
ING Georgia Marathon. Chicago Marathon. Honolulu Marathon.

Remember the name.