Sunday, October 31, 2010

Milestone: 1,400 days

Today's run was short, after much procrastinating. But once I got out, I was enjoying being out there and running.

My only goal from here on out is to be consistent ... and to not procrastinate as much before runs.

Time: 9:56 a.m.
Temp: 51 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Atlanta Half Marathon '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/C.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 1,399 Be the One Run 5K

This morning I returned to Atlantic Station for the Be the One Run 5K. My fiancee knew about it for work, so I thought why not?

It was the first 5K I've run in since the Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K in June. It was the first time I ran in a 5K at Atlantic Station since the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation's "Race for Research" in 2006.

I was wearing a fleece pullover at the start but decided at the last moment to pull it off and wear it around my waist. So for the first couple of blocks, I was pinning the race number to my shirt while I was running!

There's a pretty big hill about midpoint in the race. I felt like I was able to accelerate up it halfway and then just settled in for the rest of the race. When I reached the bottom of the second hill and the intersection with IKEA, I imagined my marathon training runs along 17th Street. It made sense, and I had a steady run the rest of the way.

Overall the race was pretty well put together. Atlantic Station's Central Park is a good meeting/finishing place for events of this type. This race had "D-Tag" timing, which made things nice, although I don't really know if anyone needs a D-Tag time for a 5K.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 41 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Atlanta Half Marathon '08), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/C.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 1,397: 8 mile run

Today I ran back along part of the training course I used for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

It was the longest run I've done since the Oct. 10 race, although I did a 7 mile run last week (the previous post).

I also used my brand-new Sennheiser PMX-80 headphones that I got in the mail yesterday. The sound is much better than the Nike Motion Sport headphones I'd been using, although the latter have been dependable enough.

The run was OK, although it was still about as warm and humid as days in August. I wonder if I should continue building up miles as I approach the Nov. 25 Atlanta Half Marathon and the Dec. 5 Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.

Either way it was nice to be back on the route that helped me with my third marathon.

Time: 9:26 a.m.
Temp: 71 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Big Peach Five Miler '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/C.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 1,390: Milestone: 1,500 miles

Today's run put me past 1,500 miles for the year. And there's two full months left to go. Last year, I ran 1,451 miles, which probably was a record for me somewhere.

New headphones were the quest for today's run. I found what I was looking for -- Sony's MDJ J10 headphones yesterday. They were cheap enough and I thought I would try them out as soon as I left the store since they had packaging I'd have to tear open (and likely non-refundable in that state).

Unfortunately, the headphones kept on falling out of my right ear and the sound wasn't like the wrap-around headphones I bought from Best Buy a few days ago.

So in mid-run, I decided to just go with the other headphones and the new Sonys went into my pocket.

Later on today I decided to break down and buy the successor to my old Sennheiser PMX70s -- the PMX 80s. It doesn't look like Sennheiser makes the 70s anymore. I'm used to the better sound.

And with these, there's a 2-year warranty. Hopefully I can just return them if I have any problems.

Time: 9:09 a.m.
Temp: 51 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Locomotive Half Marathon), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/C.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 1,389: Testing out some headphones

So I ran with my new headphones today. They were ok, the sound wasn't as good as my other headphones, but they were light. And didn't fall out of my ears.

But then I saw this article in the New York Times, "Battling the Earbud-Wearing Blues," and found new hope!

Specifically, I went online and ordered a pair of Earbudi clips to attach to my iPod earbuds.

I also will probably look for these Sony MJR J10 headphones as well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 1,388: New headphones

After returning a pair of headphones I bought yesterday from the Big Peach in Decatur (one of the earpieces kept falling out of my ear), I bought a pair of headphones that have a band on them so no earpiece can fall out. We'll see.

At the running store I also signed up for the Nov. 6 Strong Legs 10K. It will be my third time running the race. It's a fun race, kind of hilly, but it's for a good cause -- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

I guess now I should be training on hills!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 1,386: Headphone troubles

When we ran this afternoon, my brand new Sennheiser PMX-70 headphones had a short in them. They're not very old. Best thing I can think of is they were at the bottom of my bag when I went out of town this weekend and maybe the wires got pulled.

I can't see myself buying another pair of these, especially since I've had to buy two so soon. Maybe I'll go to the store tomorrow and see what I can come up with.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 1,380: A day later...

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- After I ran in the ING Georgia Marathon in March, it took me four days before I could run a mile in less than 11 minutes.

Today, right off the bat, I was able to do that in the first mile of my short run. In my second mile, I did under 10 minutes and I even hit 8:16 at the end, which is very close to my fiancee's training run pace.

So I'm thankful for conditioning.

During the marathon, I developed a blister on the heel of my left foot, probably a condition of only having about 30 miles on my shoes prior to the race. As you can see in the photo above, it became a little aggravated during this short run (reminding me of Curt Schilling's bloody sock during the Boston Red Sox's World Series run) but everything's fine.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 1,379: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

For my third marathon, I came back to my hometown for a race that I've always wanted to run in: the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Flat and fast, the race attracts elite runners from all over the world and people like me who want to have a decent marathon time.

And it worked out. By the end of the race, I found myself with my best ever marathon time (since March's ING Georgia Marathon) and my best ever 30K time (since the 1998 Circle the Bay 30K in Coos Bay, Ore.) and 20K time (since the 2000 Millenium Run in Portland, Ore.).

My goal was to keep up with the pacing groups. But my start corral was far ahead of the 4:00 pacing group. I decided I would just do what I could, keeping at a 9-minute mile pace.

This worked for the first 20 miles. At that point, I knew I just had to run at the 9-minute mile pace for another mile or so and I would have a good chance of breaking 4-hours.

But this was not meant to be. Just a few tenths of a mile after I had that thought at Mile 20, my right calf started cramping up, just a tinge, so I had to drop off my pace. I knew at this point it would be difficult to run 6.2 miles in less than an hour, so I just gave myself an easy pace and dealt with the cramping as it came up.

Despite that, I finished in 4:06:39, which still makes me really pleased. It had become warmer along the course, from 61 degrees to 75 degrees plus I now know that in marathons, you reap what you sow. Four 20 mile long runs to top off my training is not enough -- next time I'll want to hit 22, 23 and maybe even 24-mile runs.

But I'm extremely happy with my run. I used more planning than sheer gutting it out and all races are different. I'm extremely proud to have a third marathon medal to put on the wall.

Time: 7:05 a.m.
Temp: 61 degrees, 75 degrees by finish
Gear: CFSST (Patagonia, red), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/D.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 1,374: With regret

Dear Runner,

We regret that we have to advise you that your application to run in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon has not been successful due to massive over-subscription.

I received this e-mail today, making me 0-2 in lottery registrations.

Oh, well. I knew the chances would be slim, as they only accept 1,000 overseas registrations. Plus April is very close to our May wedding and there is that issue with the recent State Department alert.

I'll just focus on the races that I have registered -- Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Thanksgiving Atlanta Half Marathon, and the Publix Georgia Half Marathon on March 20.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 1,373: Time for the long-sleeved shirts

With a morning at 47 degrees and nursing a cold from over the weekend, I brought out my long-sleeved technical T-shirts for the first time on a run to get a haircut.

I think I've been the most nervous before this year's two marathon races because I'm not sure how to properly taper. I've been taking it easy. I hope the training will do the trick.

My plan so far is to try to run with either the 3:55 or the 4-hour pacing groups. My corral, D, for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has the 3:55 group as its slowest, so I'll see how it goes. It would be nice to run even 2 -hour splits and try to see what kind of reserves I have at the very end.

That said, it'll be great to just finish the marathon cleanly -- no calf issues, etc. Every race is different and I have to make sure I just enjoy it.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 47 degrees
Gear: CFLST (Kennesaw Locomotive Half Marathon), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/D.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 1,370: Bringing out the new shoes

My current pair of running shoes have about 270 miles on them, well short of the 400 or so before they typically would be retired, but with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon coming up in 10 days, I decided to bring out my new running shoes to break them in.

I compared the two pairs and the new ones have a lot more tread on them. I think it'll be a good choice for the marathon. Hopefully I can break them in the next few days.

Today's run they didn't give me much of a problem at all. My right foot had a little pain starting out but they were fine.

Time: 9:15 a.m.
Temp: 59 degrees
Gear: CFSST (Big Peach Sizzler 10K '09), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/D.