Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 1,277: Over jet lag

The last few days I've had some kind of jet lag and have been rewarded with waking up to extremely hot temperatures when I go out to run.

Today I was able to wake up earlier for once and the temperature was much more mild, with a nice breeze in between.

I've been holding myself to a pre-race taper, even though the Peachtree 10K is more of a race that's a reward for running instead of a regular race to run.

I've crossed 900 miles for the year, but now my only goal in mind is being able to finish the Chicago Marathon strong this fall.

Time: 8:15 a.m.
Temp: 73 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Patagonia), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Replacing bike brake pads

Yesterday when the fiancee and I went out on bikes to Jake's Ice Cream, I noticed that my rear brake pads on my Trek 7700 FX were clear to the nubbins.

I remember I'd replaced them before, although I couldn't find any notation of it in this blog or anywhere.

I'd hoped to get a run in using my trip to Atlanta Cycling as an errand but I couldn't find my old Cannondale hex wrench tool, so I couldn't remove the brake pads. Just as well because the pads still on the bike helped serve as a guide as to proper placement of them when it came time to taking them off.

So I drove to Atlanta Cycling and bought brake pads. I bought a set of Bontrager Linear Pull Brake Pads for $14.99, a pretty good deal. Just buying the pads themselves (you can pull out a pin on the pad assembly and slide the new ones in) cost the same price.

A new hex wrench tool cost me $11.99. I was in business.

I came back home and used the hex wrench to unfasten the brake assembly. When it's in place it's impossible for me to remove the rear tire. Once un-hexed, it was a snap to pull off the brake pad assemblys. All I had to do was unhex it and make sure I kept track of where the washers were.

Then I put on the new ones, making note of where the old pads were in relation to the tire.

This ultimately didn't seem to matter as I used the tire itself when I put it back on as to where I should properly place the brake pads, tightening them along the way.

Finally I rehooked the brake assembly and made sure the brake pads were properly spaced apart from the tire (and not rubbing against it).

A short spin around the neighborhood served as a test of the new brakes and made me feel extremely handy today!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 1,273: Back in Atlanta

Despite running where you could see the sea in the distance, I enjoyed coming back home and running on familiar routes.

The heat hasn't seemed to be a problem yet -- maybe I brought some of Hawaii's famous trade winds back with me.

My run Friday was pretty brutal. I usually don't run very well after I get off an airplane, but of course I had to continue the streak!

Today we ran out along the Spring Street course. I feel like I'm still acclimated pretty well to Atlanta's famous summer heat.

Today I also bought a 70-ounce Camelbak for my marathon training runs. I used one to pretty good effect in 2000 when I trained for the Portland Marathon.

And I must wait until Friday to go to the Peachtree 10K expo to pick up my race number. My number is in Group A and I can't wait to run in this year's race!

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 79 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Champion C9), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 1,271: Back in Kula

KULA, Hi. -- Today I ran down from the mountain, via the Kula Highway and Lower Kula Road to the Holy Ghost Church.

A man was just opening the church up, so I got to see inside. Despite its small size, it looked pretty spacious. I counted four sets of nine pews that easily could seat six each.

The view was pretty wonderful. On the way back the hills didn't seem to be that big of a problem and although I told myself it would be fine to walk up the hilly (220 feet elevation gain in six-tenths of a mile) road back to my grandmother's house, I found myself able to handle the pretty technical hill.

I was able to accelerate on the very last bit and even though I scaled their hilly driveway, I still was huffing and puffing a little.

But now I'm glad I did it! It was an excellent way to close out a sad but good trip to Hawaii.

Time: 6 a.m.
Temp: 65 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Patagonia, red), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 1,270: Running in Honolulu

HONOLULU -- I was planning on running in Maui but I had enough time in the morning to give myself another nice run in Honolulu.

I started out going down Nuuanu and then I turned on Vineyard instead of School Street. I extended up past Wyllie but then came back and then went back up the Pali to Country Club Road.

Even though it was a little later than I'd been used to (after 10 a.m.), I feel my heat acclimitization from Atlanta helped.

Saw a wonderful golf course with some kind of Japanese-temple looking lodge.

Time: 10:20 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Champion C9), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 1,269: Along the Pali

HONOLULU -- Today went down for a run that I used to do down to School Street and up Liliha to Wyllie.

After I came back up the Pali, I decided to continue on up the road to see if there were any interesting loops. I was hoping that I would be able to continue on past a country club but I turned around when I saw a guard.

Then I crossed the street and found a nice rolling street in a housing development that backed against a lush green mountain. I also saw one of the nicest rainbows I've seen in a while. This is the Rainbow State, of course.

Time: 6:11 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Champion C9), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 1,268: Down and around Aloha Tower

HONOLULU -- So this is why my legs were slow today -- 300 feet elevation gain in the last two miles!

Got in yesterday afternoon, was a little thankful to have already run in the morning with the fiance before the trip.

Today I was sad to learn that the Niketown in Waikiki is apparently closed. So I just decided to run down the mountain, through Chinatown to the Aloha Tower area, and over for another mile on Nimitz Highway past the appropriately named Forrest Avenue!

It would have been nice to have run a little earlier though.

Time: 7:17 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: (C9 red), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 1,265: A closeout run

The weather was pretty cool today so I set out for a pretty long run, along the ING Georgia Half Marathon course.

I brought along some new gear, an Amphipod waist pack with a water bottle that rests along your back.

It came in really useful. I drank nearly the entire bottle (I filled it with a water bottle before the run) before reaching my office building downtown. At work, I swapped out my technical T-shirt for a spare and drank probably 3/4 of the bottle after I refilled it.

I refilled it and was on my way.

The run was pretty nice. It was getting hotter, maybe about 80 degrees or so but I was so focused on clearing 100 miles for the month. I drank about half of that bottle on the last 5 miles home.

The run was more to enjoy than to train. I had done the same run five days ago and then also a week before.

Time: 7:55 a.m.
Temp: 75-80 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Green Dash 5K), SST (Climb Atlanta), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 1,264: A day to remember

The first time I ran with my girlfriend, about a year ago, she took me on a hilly 6.5-mile course with a hill that eclipses Cardiac Hill in the Peachtree 10K.

They say in races these are the hills in which races are won or lost. And so for a few months I've thought that when the big day came, I would propose at the top of the biggest hill in town.

Last night I already had prepared a fanny pack with the ring box inside it. I put the box in a Ziploc bag in case the pack got sweaty.

Then I made sure we would do our usual run.

This morning it was really nice out -- 72 degrees that dropped to 71 degrees by the end of the run.

My legs were a little tired but I told myself I would take it easy over the four hills that precede the giant one.

On the big hill, I steadily climbed up it. At the top, I signaled I needed to stop and started to retie both of my shoes. I held her hand with my left hand and fumbled around in the pack for the ring box.

And then proposed. The ring, from Tiffany & Co., looked wonderful on her hand. After a big of celebrating at the top of a big hill on a commuter road, we set out to finish the course.

It's the smallest thanks I can give for having a running and life buddy who has helped me revitalize my running, with two PRs in the last year and a full marathon, something I thought I'd never do again.

So thank you sweetie, and here's to more good runs ahead.

Time: 6:10 a.m.
Temp: 71 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Charles Harris '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hammer of Dawn treasure trove

Now that my Garmin Forerunner 405 is being sent out for repair, I've been using my trusty Hammer of Dawn.

I recently learned how to upload the data from the watch to Garmin Connect. Hundreds of runs now are on the website, dating back to Dec. 22, 2008.

The watch doesn't have all of my workouts, depending on days where it was out of charged when I went out for a run.

But I look forward to analyzing my data, especially from past races.

Day 1,263: A reprieve

This morning at just after 6 a.m. it was only 71 degrees. And with that I decided to just wear the cotton T-shirt I was wearing instead of going to a technical shirt.

Plus we were doing what seems like a rest day at this point, 4.15 miles on our Spring Street course, which uses part of the ING Georgia Marathon course.

It felt like a warm-up. Have plenty of time to do a double and the weather still is pretty good, lol.

Time: 6:21 a.m.
Temp: 71 degrees
Gear: SST (Portland Marathon 5-Miler), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 1,261: A watch for repair

Today's run will involve sending in my Garmin Forerunner 405, which I've only had for a few months.

It has a novel touch bezel on the outer face of the watch that, in my opinion, causes all kinds of problems. If you don't lock it during the run, anything can strike it and cause it to do other functions.

There have been times recently in which it'll switch to another function and I can't get the stopwatch/GPS part of it to stop.

They've simplified their watches tremendously, with the new rollout of the Forerunner 110 but it's pretty ridiculous that someone engineered a watch that won't turn off by itself.

So it's going in, I should be getting a replacement.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 80 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Champion grey), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 1,260: Getting ahead of the count

My running weeks start on Sunday, so getting a good start to my mileage week is always a goal.

After two days of sluggish running, I knew I'd be ready to break off a long run. The weather spotted me 2 degrees (75 degrees) from the day before and I headed off down the course to the end of the ING Georgia Marathon/Half-Marathon.

Conveniently, my work is about 5.1 miles into the route after the end of the course. I stopped for water (only 3 cups instead of 4 from last Thursday) but my wicking shirt was totally soaked. I rummaged through a drawer for an old T-shirt I stored there when I used to bike to work.

Continued on, down Marietta St. and then later up Baker-Highland to connect to Auburn Ave. where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King are entombed. This is one of two of the most special places in my running routes in the city for me and it always gives me a boost to run by.

By the time I hit the big hill on Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points I was pretty stoked -- I had plenty of energy and the rest of the way is pretty much downhill.

In Poncey Highland I stopped at a convenience store for some Powerade and drank half of it. Less than a mile later I stopped back at my place to feed my cats, drink the rest of the Powerade and change into my third shirt of the day.

Smooth sailing the rest of the way to my gf's place.

Increasingly I'll see myself tailoring my runs depending on the weather and how I feel. If I had felt tired at all during the first part of my run I definitely would have cut the run short but I felt good and now I am significantly ahead of pace for the rest of the week (would have to run 3.04 miles the rest of the week for 30 miles and 4.81 miles if I wanted 40).

Time: 7:21 a.m.
Temp: 75 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler, ING Georgia Half-Marathon '07), SST (Full Tilt Poker), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 1,259: 77 degrees, new shirts

Even at 7:30 a.m. today it was about 77 degrees. There were some cool breezes here or there but I mainly was glad my heavy miles came from earlier in the week when it was cooler out.

Later in the day I went by Target. They have some pretty cheap technical shirts for $9.99. But when I went there they were on sale for $7.50 each, so I bought three of them. Hopefully they will be good to add to the rotation.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 77 degrees
Gear: CFSST (ING Georgia half marathon '07), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 1,258: Only 74 degrees

So brutal outside today -- and it's only 74 degrees. The humidity is 97 percent, however, and I guess that's what makes the rules.

Slow going today around my Edgewood course. I can always tell that I'm tired when my legs offer up a slow pace. They felt OK but I just let them run how they wanted.

Nearly 40 miles already for the week, with one more day to log, but I'm glad to have taken advantage of much cooler (and less humid) weather earlier in the week.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 74 degrees
Gear: CFSST (13.1 Marathon), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 1,257: A good running week

I've been able to get up pretty early and run -- many times by 7:30 a.m. -- and avoid the heat, although I still end up with pretty soaked clothes.

I've run 47 miles in the last 8 days, including an 11.44-mile run along the ING Georgia Marathon course yesterday and two nice tempo runs along the gf's 6.57-mile course.

With 11 days left before I should start training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon (October 17) in earnest, I feel like I have a week and a half of vacation left before the fun really starts.


The men's results for the 2010 Summerfest 5K were just all over the place.

It recorded my time 16 seconds off my Garmin time, with a whole bunch of runners ahead and behind me just a second apart. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the case. On the female side, they accurately posted my gf's time, she was 3 seconds behind me.

Plus, according to my watch, the race course was short at 3.03 miles. For most of a year I've run the Summerfest course and know that from the start line, 3.1 miles at the finish is actually a little south of Virginia Avenue, not where they had the finish in this year's race.

Add that to the mistake in the O'Highlands Jig and Jog earlier in the year, which resulted in a 2.67 mile 5K. People who want to run in these races will have to just realize that the race series is just for fun and not something you should expect for accuracy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 1,252: Summerfest 5K (new PR)

This was my third running of this 5K, having participated in it in 2004 and last year. I've trained on this course pretty much for an entire year, having really liked it last year and being pretty disappointed in my sub-30 minute time last year.

And I think the training paid off -- I made another PR, knocking nine seconds off my previous best at last fall's Inman Middle School 5K, also in the 'hood.

The first mile was really fast, but it didn't feel too fast -- 7:08. That was faster than when I broke my PR in the Inman 5K, when I did 7:15. I had tremendous energy going up the first hill.

I felt ok in the second mile, although I could feel my calf muscles warming up from being pretty tired.

Near the third mile, crossing North Highland at Virginia, the gf passed me and I really was trying to hold on. I saw however that I was pretty close to breaking my PR, so I settled in behind an older guy who outkicked me.

He turned to look at me right before the finish line, but I was just happy settle in behind him and have my PR since I was really racing no one but myself.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 70 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Charles Harris '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/B.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 1,250: Retiring shoes

Today's 6.57 mile run with the gf marked the end of the running life of my current pair of Nike Air Pegasus+ 26 shoes.

It's been several years since I've logged more than 500 miles (500.69 miles) on a pair of running shoes, mainly because of perceived wear and tear on my knees when shoes were starting to wear down.

I've had these shoes since Feb. 1, so a little more than four months. During that time, they've been used to complete the ING Georgia Marathon and two 5Ks (O'Highlands Jig and Jog and the Green Dash).

I'm looking forward to wearing another new pair of shoes and more miles for the future.

Time: 7 a.m.
Temp: 68 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Carolina), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26.