Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 1,826: Five consecutive years of running

This morning I ran with sweetie, our usual route in Virginia-Highland.

It marked five consecutive years of my daily run streak. During that time I've run 6,326.96 miles, for an average of 3.46 miles per day.

I remember when I started the streak on Jan. 1, 2007. It didn't really dawn on me what I was doing until I reached 50 consecutive days.

Running everyday has added a semblance of order to my life. I knew (and still know) that if I stop, it's very easy for me to let a week, then a month, then easily a few months go by without taking a single step in running shoes.

I always thought I'd quit sometime. Just not now.

Props go out to the wife, who has steadily maintained her running, even now at 27+ weeks pregnant. She even runs faster than non-pregnant couples in their 20s who we passed this morning.

We stopped at Alon's Bakery to buy some cookies, jam and a gift card. We took turns carrying the box of cookies along the old Summerfest 5K route on the way back home.

That was just my first run of the day. Because the traffic gets so crazy downtown for New Year's Eve, I decided to just be dropped off to work today and then wore running shorts, a technical shirt and a windbreaker.

I ran home. I've done it twice previously for Falcons night games. Both times it was much colder.

I ran along Peachtree, the city's main drag. It was pretty cool to see lots of people out for the holiday. Some wearing costumes such as king's and queen's crowns, others just dressed up.

When I got to the 10th Street intersection, I marveled at the skyscrapers that make up Midtown now that were nonexistent when I first moved to the city nine years ago.

It was neat passing my old apartment building near Piedmont Park and I thought of my old night route on 10th to Virginia Avenue and along North Highland Avenue all the way to Manuel's Tavern and back.

Running is such a part of my existence here in Atlanta. Most of the city's main streets have been raceways for me in the past. Other streets are well trod training routes.

The 3.75-mile night run gave me 1,469.13 miles for the year, much less than the 1,600+ I pulled in last year. But it's given me great memories with a 10K PR (Charles Harris 10K) in February and lots of great races with sweetie.

I'm looking forward to the New Year but must admit it will be hard to top 2011.

Run #1:
Time: 10:19 a.m.
Temp: 48 degrees
Gear: Long-sleeved T (Braves red), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.

Run #2:
Time: 9 p.m.
Temp: 49-50 degrees
Gear: Technical T, long (Big Peach 5 miler), T-shirt (Thrashers green), Marmot windbreaker, shorts, Adidas running shoes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 1,823: It's frigid out!

This morning when we ran it was 33 degrees out.

I decided to wear what I wore last week when we were in Richmond, Va., for the holidays -- basically two long-sleeved technical shirts and my Marmot windbreaker.

It's still shorts weather. :)

Anyway, by the time we reached 1.25 miles, I had to take off the windbreaker. I was fine the rest of the way, although my left hand was pretty cold. Maybe I can bring one glove next time?

Running when it's that cold is interesting because it takes a lot to get me out the door, but once I do, it's pretty easy. I never heat up or overheat, and the running seems effortless.

Time: 8:30 a.m.
Temp: 33 degrees
Gear: Technical T, long (x2), Marmot windbreaker, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 1,821: That Zen way of running

When I was in cross country in high school, I was always amazed that my coach was a non-competitive runner. He just liked running just to run.

Today, I feel like I'm that way, but with a twist. I've taken that experience and made it my own. But I think I'm smart enough to not take on those who are faster than me while severely making things difficult for those who aren't faster than me but want to test me anyway.

It's the running that makes you wise, doesn't it?

Fast is nice, but if you want fast, buy a nice car -- and deal with the speeding tickets. With everything, there's a nice zone where you'll keep up your enjoyment and it won't bother anyone.

Every now and then, I'll look at this blog, or even my results on Athlinks. What does it all mean? Should I be faster? Should I be slower?

In the end, I focus on the slow times and think of how hard it was for me to come back into running, into races. I'd accepted the really slow times as a factor of age and figured, so be it.

I never could have guessed there'd be personal bests down the road, or my consecutive day streak.

But what I remember from those days is how much I enjoyed being out there, how much I enjoyed just being able to do a 5K, a 10K, even if slowly.

That enjoyment is the sweet spot of things, whether you're a turtle or cranking out PR's left and right.

But you don't want to forget the enjoyment, and the satisfaction of things. Because when you look back, all you'll see are numbers.


Today's run was my basic butterfly loop, a 4 mile course in the neighborhood. It was laborious, as it usually is the day after I'm on a plane flight, or sitting in a car driving from Richmond, Va., to Atlanta.

With the run, I crossed 400 miles on my current pair of shoes. The cool air prompted me to make a Runner's World recipe -- red lentil and black bean soup.

Time: 10:30 a.m.
Temp: 50 degrees
Gear: T-shirt, short (Beat the Street for Little Feet 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 1,795: Coldest run so far!

I thought yesterday's 9.5-mile run was chilly. Today was even chillier. When I got up it was 28 degrees.

Luckily by the time I was ready to run, the temperature climbed to 31 degrees. I was able to research prior runs via this blog, and I ran in weather this chilly last December in the Grand Canyon.

It was crisp out, but my gear was good. That's been one of the main purposes of this blog, to keep track of what to wear in all kinds of weather.

Time: 8:15 a.m.
Temp: 31 degrees
Gear: Tech T, long (Atlanta Half Marathon 2010), Tech T, short (Asics blue), Marmot windbreaker, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.