Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 2,192: Six consecutive years of running!

It seems like the year came and went. Today I needed 5.34 miles to get 100 miles for the month.

More importantly, it marked the end of my sixth year of my running streak! During this time, I've logged 7,630.84 miles!

My legs were sluggish -- that's usually the way they are after a long flight or after a road trip -- and we ran along the Beltline trail. It started off cold -- maybe 35 degrees -- and I came bundled for it, wearing running pants and a thick cotton hoodie. But not too long into the run the hoodie came off.

With baby K. being born, I had no idea how much running I would get to do. It's been great to be able to stroll him -- and having a pretty much flat Beltline path is even better.

No goals for this year other than to see what races we will do in 2013!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 2,169: Inman Frosty 5K

I should say first off that overall I enjoyed this race. I ran a PR in one of the race's previous incarnations a few years ago.

This year, the 5K took advantage of the new Beltline path. This was a plus and a minus!

We signed up for this one because it was so close to our new home. When we went to pick up our race bibs, a number of hiccups came up.

First there were only two places to pick up pre-registered race bibs -- something like A-M and N-Z. Even in other small races that I've participated in there are more than just two areas. So there were two huge lines that snaked back into a crowded staging area in front of the middle school. It might have been better for them to have used a good portion of the school's parking lot.

Next, it wasn't really clear where the start was. People assembled on the sidewalk in a huge line back. Virginia Avenue should have been closed off here, or at least half of it for people to gather before the race. We spilled over on Park Place.

Then the race began. I couldn't believe the other half of Virginia wasn't blocked off or coned off for cars -- it was just open space for runners and cars! This could have been dangerous.

 As I mentioned in last week's blog on the Beltline 10K, the Beltline is a nice place to run but can get pretty congested with lots of runners.

The race course used the Beltline path for runners coming -- and going. I could tell the fastest runners were a little irritated that younger runners were in the same lane that they were returning in. But really no one could tell which part of the path people should run in -- it wasn't coned off for the return trip.

When the race came near the turnaround through the Old Fourth Ward park, it followed the sidewalk path, which made for a very thin space for more than three-wide.

Because it really was just a community fun run I don't expect things to be perfect. And it was a very enjoyable run. It was interesting to see these kinds of situations pop up when other small runs in the community seem seamless.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 56 degrees
Gear: Technical T, short (Rock'n'roll Chicago 1/2 marathon), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 2,162: Eastside (Beltline) 10K

I signed up for this at the last moment, or at least on the last day before the $38 entry fee went up. Now that we live in a new house, the Eastside Beltline trail is one of my home routes.

I've gone the length of this section a few times with Mr. K. before -- it's about 1.7 miles. This time around, you start south of Inman street near the Krog Bar. As can be imagined, the Beltline trail is not very wide, causing huge gridlock at the beginning of the race.

No matter, I thought. I'll just take this easy.

By the time the Beltline hits Monroe Avenue, there was more running room. But then the race continued on the Beltline north of Monroe -- onto a rocky trail. Here, it was evident that people weren't used to running on this kind of surface. Luckily the wife opted not to run in this also -- it would have been a disaster for a running stroller. Maybe by this time next year the path will be paved but as it is right now really not a race for strollers.

After the dirt section, the course goes up an insane part of a hill for just a little bit until it can meet the turnaround. Then it's through the new part of Piedmont Park back to 10th Street and to the start of the Beltline.

I felt pretty good along this stretch, although at the very end I was outkicked by four guys. I'm not saying it would have happened before but I just didn't feel like I had much of a kick at the end.

Still it was my fastest 10K race since the February 2011 Charles Harris 10K, which I made a PR in. The postrace goodies were really great, and they included a pint of Sweetwater 420 beer and a turkey and avocado sandwich from evoo. Whole Foods made great fresh cranberry granola bars.

I think I'm hooked to this series -- just seeing the neat shirts from other races in the series made me jealous -- and I can't wait to see what's next.

Time: 10 a.m.
Temp: 49 degrees
Gear: T-shirt, short (Claddaugh 5K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 2,153: The Atlanta Half Marathon

After moving our stuff from our rental house to our new house, I really wanted to sleep in on Thanksgiving Day.

But this morning was the Atlanta Half Marathon, a race that I've participated in the last five years.

This year was different. With our baby K., my mileage has been consistently down to 20-25 miles. Plus when I do run, it's usually with a stroller, and pushing 50 pounds of rolling stock can mean slower times. My longest run since the March Publix Georgia Half Marathon has been about 4.5 miles.

Yet I was still game for it. I ran in the 1999 Centralia Half Marathon with my longest run being 4 miles. It hurt after Mile 10 but I did it.

So this year I told myself to take it easy. Unlike in previous years, this year the Turner Field lots charged $5 per car for parking. It was annoying because I had to stop at an ATM on my way to the race -- while it was still dark -- but after that it wasn't too bad.

The weather was pretty good -- it was 48 degrees by the time I got out of my car. The announcer was saying that people could get PRs during the event and he characterized the course as "hilly but fair."

I decided to just take it easy through Mile 7 after the course exits Piedmont Park -- and when the real hills start.

I did just that and was happy to have good acceleration up 10th Street. I was also running pretty good along the rolling hills of Juniper. I felt it was good to know the course pretty well.

At Mile 8 they gave out Sport Beans. I've always taken them because in the 2008 race when I finished in 2:30, they were out of Sport Beans by the time I got there.

This time, I decided to eat them. I usually bring a GU gel to eat at Mile 9, which I did.

I usually don't drink water during the race but at Mile 10 I had some sports drink, which spilled all over me.

After Mile 11, I could feel my legs getting strained, but I also thought a lot of people were feeling this way.

On the last hill -- the I-20 overpass, I tried to kick but felt a slight cramp in my right calf. I let up and made my way to the finish line.

I was happy with my race time. It was my slowest since 2009 but of course nothing like the 2:30 that I posted in 2008. I think I'll try to run longer runs if I'm preparing for a longer race like this but otherwise had a fun race.

Time: 7:37 a.m.
Temp: 48 degrees
Gear: Long sleeve T (Shamrock run), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 2,142: Another pair of shoes!

It looks like this time every year it's time to order another pair of shoes from

It takes me about a year to gather 2,000 points on via drinking lots of Diet Coke to get a $50 gift card for Nike.

This lets me typically order a pair of Nike running shoes for about half the cost of what's normal. The rest of the year when I don't have the $50 coupon code, I just go online to see what's cheapest and usually get shoes for about the same price.

I've done this on Nov. 9, 2010 and Nov. 24, 2011. And now today, with an order just placed for a pair of Air Pegasus+ 29s.

Getting a new pair of shoes before the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day may be just what I need, as my feet felt a little sore yesterday when I ran in the Yogli Mogli 5K.

But today when I ran to Decatur and back to meet friends for the Falcons game, my shoes felt fine throughout the 7.8-mile round trip distance.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 2,141: Yogli Mogli 5K

It's not every day that you get free frozen yogurt after a race.

Today we ran in the first Yogli Mogli 5K, benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, outside the Emory campus.

We were lured in by the complimentary yogurt after the race and the event did not disappoint. It also happened to be the first race we've done without the little one in the stroller, since my in-laws coincidentally were here this weekend!

So we both got ready for a faster race. What I remember about this race is that almost immediately you get some pretty decent hills, with the course spilling onto North Decatur, up Lullwater (like in the full ING Georgia Marathon course), but cutting over onto the By Way and then to Oxford before going back over North Decatur.

The finish is a screaming one, nearly all downhill.

Part of the way through the race the bottoms of my feet felt sore, something that may have to do with the impact of the race and the age of my shoes, which have more than 400 miles on them.

At the end of the race the muscles in front of my shins were sore, something that nearly always attests to hills and not being used to racing.

But we both had fun. We learned almost immediately that the wife placed second in her age group. Only later on in the afternoon did I look up the results, finding out that I also placed second in my age group -- and was beat out for first by a mere 13 seconds.

I guess that's something to always think about, that first place might never be too far away.

All in all, it was a decent race in a beautiful neighborhood and one that I'll do again.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 45 degrees
Gear: Long-sleeve T (Brookfield Zoo Run Run), shorts Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 2,121: I've registered for the Atlanta Half Marathon!

Tonight I finally bit the bullet and registered for this Thanksgiving's Atlanta Half Marathon.

It will be my fifth running of this race and the third for this course. Here's what I thought of the race last year.

I definitely haven't been doing any long runs (my last long run was June 13, when I ran 9.01 miles to Turner Field and back to get a Craig Kimbrel bobblehead) but I feel pretty confident in being able to eke out another half marathon if I need want to.

We'll see how it goes. I probably won't do any worse than my first running of the Thanksgiving race in 2008, when leg problems led to a 2:32 finish in the race.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 2,120: Be the One Run 5K revisited

After skipping last year's Be the One Run 5K, we returned to this nice race at Atlantic Station.

We ran in this race two years ago and it was a pretty pleasant race. This year, with the kurokitten in a stroller, we knew we wouldn't be running it nearly as fast as last time.

At about 50 degrees, it was much warmer than it was two years ago. I wore a short sleeved cotton T-shirt that happened to be the race shirt from two years ago! It wasn't planned that way but I like the shirt so much it's in the rotation.

While we waited, I had a technical long-sleeved T-shirt (Locomotive half marathon) on over it. It was really convenient to stow that shirt in the stroller when the race began.

The race started and although it was pretty congested at the start, we made our way around. Things felt really effortless running around. I recounted my adventures (the Southeast Brain Tumor Foundation run in 2006) and misadventures (not being able to participate in the Shamrock 5K the year the Peachtree 10K Road Race went to electronic registration because the site became jammed up).

I'd forgotten about a hill along 16th Street near Mile 2. The hill going up on Northside Drive was still real, though.

The race was fun and pleasant. It's nice to be a part of the fall racing season.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 2,113: Winship Win the Fight 5K

Today we took part in a nice 5K around the Emory University campus, the Winship Win the Fight 5K. It's our fourth race with Kiernan and the first one that we haven't used the car seat with the BOB stroller.

All in all, it was a good race. It's a little hilly around the campus but I don't think it bothered either one of us that much as we winded our way around.

Near the end of the race, some guy said that we were doing good and that we were the "first stroller." I don't think there's such a category but when I ran ahead to take a picture of our strolling duo near the finish line, I decided to take over the reins when I saw some dude with a stroller coming near.

Even with a stroller, I don't want to get outkicked at the end of the race! The race felt good -- I didn't feel like I was even breathing hard. I had a lot left in the tank and sort of felt like I wanted more race to run.

We finished in what likely was our fastest 5K with Kiernan, not that it matters.

In the past I was interested in PRs but I look forward to these family outings!

Time: 8:30 a.m.
Temp: 62 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (Big Peach Sizzler), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 2,110: Time for long sleeves

Today it was 48 degrees in the morning and definitely time for me to wear some long sleeves.

Because a lot of my winter running clothes have been packed away in the new house, I've been just trying to make do while the temperatures were 54 degrees, then 52 degrees this week.

Yesterday I wore a short-sleeve T-shirt and while it was OK, my wrists and hands were cold. I've been putting a blanket over the kurokitten (who wears a hat and fuzzy pajamas) to make sure that his little paws aren't too cold.

During the run it warmed up a little and I hated having to push my sleeves up in the middle of the run.

But it's tolerable for now, since I know that it will just get colder!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 2,105: Run to Turner Field

I was on Georgia Avenue on the end route of the Father's Day 4-miler when I hear a huge cheer erupt from Turner Field.

It sounded like they were cheering for me! (They actually were cheering for a home run).

I actually was late for the Cardinals-Braves Wild Card playoff game. Because I was running late, I decided to run instead of driving to the home of the Braves or taking the train.

It worked out well. I started out on the PATH trail and then took a diagonal course through the city, ending up on the last part of the Father's Day 4-miler route.

There were plenty of rolling hills but my motivation was good -- I wanted to miss as little of the game as possible. And spend the least amount of money.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 2,099: A run in Kansas/Missouri

LEAWOOD, Kan. -- Another wedding brought me back to the Midwest and, of course, the perfect opportunity to do more running, er caching.

This part of the country has really nice walking/bike trails and there are plenty of caches to be found. It was pretty cool out on both days that we ran, so we bundled up the kurokitten, as shown above.

Because we flew out here, this was the first time we used an umbrella stroller instead of our monster BOB all-terrain running stroller.

But on these nice paths, the umbrella stroller worked fine.

It was a nice way to get both the running and caching parts of my life out of the way so we could do more exploring in an area I used to call home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 2,089: A cool day (finally!)

The summer seems to be behind us now as today was the first cool morning in a while -- 52 degrees, and by the time I finished procrastinating, somewhere around 56.

One of the first reasons why I started this running blog was to keep track of my thoughts of the weather.

It nearly seemed too cool to run in a technical T-shirt and shorts this morning, but I did so anyway. A very old piece of running advice is that it should be almost too cool for what you're wearing. Your furnace will pick up and keep you warm.

I did see people in sweatshirts and long-sleeved T-shirts but by .8 of a mile I felt pretty warm. It actually is very nice to know that you won't be expending even more energy during a run by trying to keep your body cool.

I'm sure in the months ahead I'll be missing what will seem like very warm weather now.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 56 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (2011 Father's Day 4-miler), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 2,064: City Park, New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- We were in the Big Easy for a wedding and in a previous trip, made extensive use out of running in the French Quarter.

This time around, I noticed there was a giant park in the northern part of the city that was full of geocaches. So why not??

We got our car from the valet and packed up the kurokitten and took the short drive over. The park was beautiful with nice trees and ponds.

I didn't find many geocaches but we got a decent run in for the day. Maybe if we come back, we'll do more exploring here!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 2,012: The Peachtree 10K

In the past few years, I've opted to drive down to Piedmont Avenue, park my car and make it down to the MARTA Midtown station.

But this year, knowing that I would just be running the Peachtree 10K as a reward for running, I decided to run to Midtown station, a distance that is a little more than 2 miles from where I live.

It was worth it. The cool air was nice as I headed down the road. I crossed the finish line as I continued to the train station, stopping to take a quick (but blurry) picture. I caught up with a Group B runner also running to the station.

I got off at Buckhead station and walked down to the parking lot next to Macy's where there was water (thankfully) and portajohns set up. I stood there with my water, 45 minutes early, watching the sub-seeded runners go through their stretching exercises.

At about 15 minutes before the race started, I went to get in the Group A area. Only the closest entrance was blocked off. They were tying it shut. It reminded me of the craziness at the start of the 2010 Chicago Marathon. At least this time people weren't freaking out and trying to badger the race volunteers and hop the fence. We simply walked around.

It turned out the part of Peachtree where Group A was staged from was a divided street and the section of road closest to us was to capacity. The other side of the concrete barrier wasn't bad. There was a lady wearing here 2010 Chicago Marathon shirt.

The race started and I had a very even pace. I was enjoying that it wasn't too hot. At Mile 2 I made my way to the Moe's people, who usually give out things to runners. Instead of T-shirts this year it was headbands. I picked one up and continued on.

Really not much to say about this year's race but I just kept a very steady pace. I only was off of last year's pace by less than a minute, which is good for the I-don't-care-what-time-I-finish category.

It was nice that my parents, my wife and young baby K. were waiting for me at the meeting area for X-Y-Z. We strolled through Piedmont Park, picking up some great things, such as Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches, extremely sweet peaches and of course, my favorite for the South, a Diet Coke to cap off the race.

We all walked back up the hill to the house. My eighth running of the Peachtree ended pretty pleasantly.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Milestone: 2,000 days

Even though it was pretty hot outside, we assembled everyone and went out running.

Although the run was ordinary, the event wasn't. It was my 2,000th consecutive day of running.

It's such a strange thing to think about, running day in and day out, going through extraordinary lengths to make sure a run is logged, like running in an airport.

At the end of the day, it's mainly about health for me. It's way healthier for me to keep running each day, to make sure that I do, than to not and let it slip for weeks if not months.

And it helps me know that anything is possible, as long as I put one foot in front of the other and head out a step at a time.

Here's to the next 2,000 days.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 1,994: Braves Country Father's Day 4-Miler

I love my Nike Air Pegasus+ running shoes. I've trained and raced in them for years. But outside of running, they really are the death of me. They are slippery on wet surfaces and don't even get me started with ice.

I go through running shoes at a decent clip, so I'm often wearing old pairs when I'm out and about. Last Saturday, however, I slipped on loose gravel while we were tailgating at Turner Field and I heard my left ankle make two cracking noises.

What was worse was it made me nauseous immediately afterward. This wasn't good, especially with the Braves Country Father's Day 4-Miler just a week away.

Less than 3 weeks from the Peachtree Road Race, this fun run is as good of a tune up for the 10K race as any. Plus it would be my first running of it as a father.

But just trying to run on the ankle was extremely awkward, at least for the first two days. I couldn't really push off of it and it felt like a flat tire when I ran on it. I logged a mile only the next two days.

By Tuesday, I was able to get three miles off of it and the next day, when I ran to Turner Field to get a bobblehead, it turned out to be my longest run since the Publix Georgia Half Marathon in March.

When I went to bed last night, it felt a little funny. But this morning, it felt OK and I wore my new running shoes to have as much padding and support as possible. After I received my race number at Turner Field, I ran around the perimeter of the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium (now a parking lot), and while I was slow, it felt OK.

When the race started, it was a slow start like last year, a lot of dodging people. But it felt good. I didn't even feel the ankle at all. What I did feel was my calf muscles really getting a good workout on the first incline.

I made a good pace the first two miles, but was a little slower on the third mile. I guess I'm not used to running faster, as we've tended to take it easy running with baby K. in a stroller the last three 5Ks we've done this year.

The approach on Georgia Avenue to Hank Aaron Drive is super hilly. I was really just trying to hold on until this turn, where I told myself I would start running faster for the last quarter mile to the finish.

Last year I waited until I was in Turner Field to kick, and that ended up being a very short experience. So this year I wanted to start running faster at the Hank Aaron turn.

I think it worked. I focused on finishing strong and it really was a mad dash to the finish line.

I was about a minute and 40 seconds slower than last year but given my recent ankle issue, I was happy to run under 8-minute miles.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 70-72 degrees
Gear: Tech T, short (Kessler 10K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 1,991: Will run for a bobblehead!

I've run for a lot of things in my life, but never for a bobblehead.

Yet today it was just something I had to do. I had the free time and it was within range, so on a very hot afternoon (it was about 93 degrees) I headed out with a dollar in my pocket.

I got to the $1 ticket line about 45 minutes before it ultimately opened. I felt OK with my chances of obtaining a ticket to the Yankees-Braves game for that super discount price. Turner Field ended up opening the gates for ticketholders about 15 minutes before the discount window opened.

Still, the Delta Air Lines giveaway was 20,000 bobbleheads. Certainly it would be within reach.

My turn in line came and I traded my dollar for a crisp ticket, which I used to enter the park. Sure enough, there were bobbleheads galore! I got mine and put it in a Publix plastic bag that I saved just for this occasion.

I made sure I hydrated, ate some ice cream and watched some batting practice before I decided I should head home -- before it got dark and before the rain came.

The run back wasn't too bad, considering I was carrying a plastic bag with a box on the way back.

It ended up being 9.01 miles, which is the longest run I've done since the March 18 Publix Georgia Half Marathon. This was my second run for the day, which totaled 10.84 miles.

It was worth it. The attendance was 48,938. I'm one of the lucky 40.8 percent of fans who walked/ran away with a bobblehead!

Time: 3 p.m.
Temp: 93 degrees
Gear: Tech T, short (Cherry Blossom, white), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 1,990: The "A" list

Today I received an email confirming my registration to this year's Peachtree 10K Road Race.

Thanks to last year's Charles Harris 10K, I am in Group A again. This will be the eighth time I will have run in the race and the fifth time that I am in the first group. (In 2009, I was in Group IB, the second half of the first group).

Because I no longer work downtown, I'll have to make my way to the Expo on July 2nd or July 3rd without a car parking pass. Maybe I'll run down there instead.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 1,980: Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K

After being out at Manuel's until 2 a.m. celebrating my last day of work at my previous job and maybe getting four hours of sleep when the alarm went off, we dutifully made our way to the Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K.

As we pushed baby K. along N. Highland Avenue toward the start, you could see runners making their way there. A woman with a bib number ran down our street, in the wrong direction.

I felt queasy. I'd been sick the last few days and the imbibments from the previous evening -- make that the last few hours -- were all in my sinuses. I didn't feel hungover, but I'd already brought that experience to the Summerfest race.

In 2009, I ran the race for the first time in five years. I'd signed up but decided to hang out with a friend at another imbibment hangout spot up the road. I rolled out of bed and felt terrible, but really, would I be too lazy to open the door to my apartment and not make the starting line, knowing I could hit it with a rock?

That race was really brutal. I remember stopping at about 1.5 miles having to tie my shoe. But still I ran in it and I was glad that I did. The course has pretty much become a cornerstone in my training. I started running it just a few days after that race and still do today, incorporating it into a 4-mile route.

The next year, the 2010 Summerfest 5K, I ran with my then-girlfriend, just a few weeks before I proposed to her. We ran it fast and I made a PR and she won first place for her division.

Last year, we missed the race because we ran in the Rock'n'Roll San Diego Half Marathon.

So this year rolled around and of course we were going to run in it. But only as a fun run, with baby K. in the stroller.

As I expected, the start along Lanier was extremely jammed up. It's hard not to be with hundreds of runners. I was pretty amazed with my wife's handling of the stroller, given so many people out.

Because of the slower, non-race pace, it seemed pretty leisurely to me. It started to thin out a little but definitely a lot more density of runners (probably more runners) than either the 5 Que? race last month or the Beat the Street for Little Feet 5K in Coan Park in April, baby K.'s first race.

Maybe because of the number of runners, the chutes in the end were a mess. There was a huge line of runners waiting for cards in the female section, with quite a number of people passing my wife and the stroller by. I know many people never ran cross-country, but you're supposed to wait in order to get your card, which represents the order that you finished the race.

I bypassed a stroller dude in the men's line, but it didn't matter because in these last three 5Ks in which we've run with a stroller, I intentionally don't get a card because I don't really want my slower results to show up in Athlinks.

From there, it was a few more minutes of walking to get to the park area where the awards and the rest of the goodies are handed out. That meant navigating our stroller on a sidewalk behind the art tents and I decided that we should not worry about it. So we headed home.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 59 degrees
Gear: Tech T, short (Kessler 10K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 1,974: Found it

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- So my Garmin ANT+ Stick was in the trunk of my car all along. I found it while I was cleaning out the trunk to get ready for our trip back to Atlanta.

When I got home, I plugged it in and my watch downloaded a bunch of days of running it had accumulated.

So that means the one I ordered will be a spare. I guess it will be a good thing to have, since those devices, which basically are fancy flash drives, are tiny.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 1,968: Lost my Garmin ANT+ device

We just came back from a nice trip to Virginia to visit my in-laws and I discovered that somehow, the Garmin ANT+ device that wirelessly downloads my Forerunner 405 data into the computer was not in my bag.

It could have ended up anywhere, it's tiny (it really just resembles a flash drive). I searched in my car and in the luggage, but nothing. I'm hoping that maybe it will be in my in-laws' home but I really didn't want to wait to find out, so I decided to just order another one in the mail.

The Garmin website sells them for $44.99; I found one for nearly half that price through another vendor. I'm hoping it will come soon, although I guess I can just continue what I've always done for years -- keep track of my running progress by writing it down on my calendar.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 1,953: 5 Que? race in Centennial Olympic Park

This was our second stroller run with baby Kiernan. The race started and ended in Centennial Olympic Park as part of the Fiesta Atlanta.

It was a small run of about 200 people. We started off along the park and did a loop around, ending up on Marietta and turning on Means Street, which is the turn for the final mile of the Publix Georgia Half Marathon.

Kiernan fussed a little bit about halfway into the race but settled down. Mom was pushing the stroller and we passed all kinds of people as we made our way to the finish line. I'm pretty sure we were the first stroller through the chutes (she placed 8th overall for women and I was 15th for men).

It was a nice bright day out and sort of an example of what's to come for summer races ahead.

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Temp: 75+ degrees
Gear: Technical T, short (Charles Harris 2009), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 1,941: Kiernan's longest stroller run

This morning baby K. was even more fussy than normal so I decided to take him out on my regular run so the wife could try to sleep a little.

It turned out the 4.21-mile run was his longest run in a stroller. It definitely was the longest stroller run for me.

I found that pushing a stroller isn't exactly easy work. I seemed to be constantly pushing down on the handlebars, making my balance off. It also really gives your legs a workout, as you don't have the benefit of having your arms push for you.

Near the end of the run, I could tell my legs were getting spent on one of the last hills of the course.

And even though we'd run with him in a stroller in the Beat the Streets for Little Feet 5K earlier this month, I wasn't ready for the instability that running with a stroller can bring.

This model of stroller, the BOB Revolution SE, has a front wheel that turns for easier turning. They say that for running it should be locked in a fixed position. We never had any problems with it, so we kept it turning.

In the middle of the run, I was running down a hill and thought I would just keep up with the stroller's speed instead of trying to slow it. Somehow the front wheel must have turned a little and it was all I could do to keep the stroller and me from wiping out on the pavement.

Later on I tried to lock the wheel in place but it didn't seem like it could.I also found that while obviously tight turns are a challenge in keeping the stroller from tipping, uneven pavement can cause a problem. If the pavement caused one of the wheels to go up in the air, trying to control it with just two wheels can be difficult.

Yet in the end, it still was a careful run and now that I know these performance factors with the stroller future runs can be easier -- and safer.

Time: 9:40 a.m.
Temp: 49 degrees
Gear: Long-sleeve T (Braves red), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 1,932: I've registered for the Father's Day 4-Miler! (and once again a member of the Atlanta Track Club)

While procrastinating going to bed, I decided to see if registration was open for the June 16 Father's Day 4-Miler.

Last year's race was extremely fun, plus the technical T-shirt they handed out is one of my favorites.

So it was a no-brainer that I would want to run in the race this year, especially as a brand-new father.

The event is free for Atlanta Track Club members but costs for non-members. But if you aren't an ATC member you have to purchase a race package that includes a T-shirt but also a ticket to the Orioles-Braves game that day.

If you're an ATC member, you can purchase the T-shirt and/or Braves ticket separately.

So I hemmed and hawed and decided to just join the Atlanta Track Club. This move would have been beneficial if I'd done so in February so I would have had an automatic entry to the July 4 Peachtree Road Race.

But it's for a good cause and if I really want to go see the Orioles play, I think I can get tickets to the game for much cheaper than what they're selling on StubHub.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 1,931: Beat the Street for Little Feet 5K (Kiernan's first 5K)

It's safe to say I did everything I could to make sure we didn't run in this race. We'd signed up because we loved the Pete the Cat T-shirts from last year's race.

So even with a 24-day-old baby, we knew we had to participate, showing up this morning with our jogging stroller and baby. He was the only kid to be in an infant car seat attached to the stroller.

I deliberately wore brand-new running shoes that had not even been walked in. I also wore a shirt that would be warmer than needed for running.

When the race started, something interesting happened that I think it's fair to say has never happened to either one of us.

We were dead last.

And I'm not just talking about people in strollers. There was no one behind us. So when we neared the edge of the park, I really wanted for us to cut down the side street, hide our race bibs and go home.

But instead ... we ran.

Although we've run with the baby in Piedmont Park, I wasn't sure how the city's roads would be to a running stroller. The recommended age for running with a kid in a stroller is eight months.

But it turned out amazingly well. I felt super fresh and we blew by people up the first double or triple hill leading to Mile 1.

Mile 2 came super quickly and we still were passing people. It was surreal to see people really struggling to make pace.

When we returned to the PATH, I knew the race would be over in a half mile. There was a dude just in front of me, I ran up toward him, knowing that he'd try to run faster.

I was hoping he'd kick and then I would just ignite the jets and leave him in the dust. But when he kicked, my normal pace just outgained him. At the end of the race, the wife, who was pushing the stroller, also passed him.

We finished in 30:26, which is slow, but we didn't really start running until .2 of a mile into the race. I felt like I had a lot in the tank.

I didn't expect this to be a warmup kind of a race but it made me feel good where our running is at.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 50 degrees
Gear: Long-sleeved T (Braves), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 1,915: First stroller mile

With the little one riding shotgun, we walked to Piedmont Park mid-morning. I let mommy cat run around the perimeter while I walked the tot around the short loop where Wild Bill Hickok used to perform before audiences.

About halfway, however, I realized the park's paths were smooth enough, so I started to do a slow trot with the stroller.

Right away, it impressed me as somewhat of a task, since you don't get the pushing benefit of your arms. I ended up just holding on with one hand and letting the other one free, stopping if the tot seemed fussy.

But it worked and I look forward to more stroller runs with him in the future!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 1,912: Lottery winner!

Finally ... my streak of not getting into lottery events has ended. Early this morning I was notified that I got into the July 4 Peachtree 10K Road Race!

I'm 0 for 2 for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler in Washington. I'm also 0 for 2 for the Virgin London Marathon (although they only take 1,000 people from outside the UK).

Next year, of course, I'll join the Atlanta Track Club for a guaranteed spot in the Peachtree. It would make sense. This year will be my 8th running of it and you get special privileges after 10 times.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 1,906: The 2013 Publix Georgia Half Marathon registration blitz!

For the last two years, I've had a little secret regarding the Publix Georgia Half Marathon.

I never paid full price. For the race that happened Sunday, people were trying to buy bib numbers for as much as $92.

That's because for the 2011 and 2012 years, I took advantage of early, early bird registration specials that made the race cost as much as it does to enter a 5K.

This morning was no exception. The race registration began at 7 a.m. Even though I didn't go to bed until 1:30 a.m. or so, I had my smartphone's alarm clock set up.

So at about 6:45 a.m., I was at my computer waiting. When 7 a.m. finally rolled around, I was in!

The race cost $35, including the fee.

The hilly course is pretty brutal but for that price, why not? I can endure it another year.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 1,904: Publix Georgia Half Marathon

This race was interesting because of the lead up to it with lots of warnings about heat and severe weather.

Even the local news was harping on the expected heat at race day, the only thing was ... it was exactly this warm last year (61 degrees). How quickly we forget.

Like many races, I had no expectations starting out. The one advantage of having run in LOTS of races is that I wasn't too worried about race day. I even ate food I don't think I've ever eaten before a race -- fish -- and for once went to bed early and actually could sleep.

For this iteration, we booked a relatively inexpensive room at The Omni, right across the street from the starting line. This time around, I ran with my cell phone so I could meet up with the wife after the finish.

My plan for the race was to try to take it easy in the first part of the race. There are nine of what I call very major hills on this course and really they come every few miles.

My dilemma was when to really open up but after a while I decided that I liked my pace and I knew what I would get from it.

Even though it was warm and the humidity was up there, I drank no water or Gatorade during the entire race. I'd done this before along this course. I even delayed eating a pack of GU -- usually in a half marathon I'll eat it at Mile 9 and it will be good for about five miles. I ate mine close to Mile 10, on Juniper and 5th Street. I'd forgotten though that they give out the GU gels on North Avenue closer to Mile 7 in this race.

It turned out it seemed that I had maybe too much energy at the end, because during my last mile, I passed everyone I could see -- there were a few people I'd hoped to just fall in behind at the end but I ended up passing them, too.

The course changed in a few places, probably to eliminate a bottle-neck between marathon and half-marathon runners in Piedmont Park. It also had an extra block in Georgia Tech, probably to add to whatever distance was lost running through the park.

The food situation was a little different this year, too. This year they gave you a food ticket and you turned it in for a reusable bag that contained: a banana, a bag of pretzels, a bag of something else and M&M's. I drank a bottle of chocolate milk and a bottle of water before I'd even gotten there.

All in all, a great race, although it's probably the hilliest one that I've run on in Atlanta.

Time: 7:01 a.m.
Temp: 61 degrees at start
Gear: Tech T, short (CS yellow), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 1,902: I've registered for the Peachtree Road Race 10K lottery!

This year I decided to forego joining the Atlanta Track Club for a guaranteed entry into the July 4 Peachtree Road Race 10K.

Instead, I decided to throw my hat into the ring with thousands of other people vying for one of 66,000 spaces in the race's free lottery. The lottery began yesterday and goes through next week.

I heard last year only 10,000 people did not get accepted, so hopefully my chances are good.

I probably should have joined the track club but I delayed until the last moment, and that moment came at work and I was too busy at the time to join and the time ran out.

We'll see what happens. I'm 0-3 in lotteries (2010 Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler and the 2011-2012 Virgin London Marathon races, although that race only accepts 1,000 non-UK entries).

So we'll see if I will be able to run in my eighth Peachtree 10K (2003-2004, 2006-2011) this year.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 1,893: Missed by minutes

The registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opened today but I forgot about it until I was at work. By then, it had been open for less than 3 hours.

When I remembered and tried to click on the link, it said it was sold out. I thought it was some kind of malfunction on because the marathon website still said it was only 98 percent full.

Shortly thereafter the website updated saying it was full. It filled up more than 30,000 spots in less than 3 hours!

From what I saw, the marathon was a good deal -- only $92. That's about the price you'd pay to get into a Rock'n'Roll half marathon event.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon costs about $140 or so. But it takes about a week for those 45,000 spots to fill up. I'd actually passed up on registering for the Chicago Marathon because I thought I would try the Marine Corps Marathon.

With a baby on the way in April, doing an October marathon isn't really too likely. But I might have signed up.

I'll just have to keep my eye on the calendar next year.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 1,869: Cold again!

After enjoying temperatures well into the high 60s, it's cold again here in Atlanta. When we got up it was 20 degrees outside.

Procrastination always helps and by the time we set out for a run, it was ... 31.6 degrees!

I wore my typical setup for that kind of weather -- running pants, two technical long-sleeve shirts and a windbreaker. By a mile into the run, I had unzipped the windbreaker and, just as the run was about over, at 2.75 miles, I put it around my waist.

No need for a hat or gloves. I'm glad I didn't bring them.

Time: 1 p.m.
Temp: 31.6 degrees (rose to no more than 35 degrees)
Gear: Technical T-shirt, long (x2), running pants, Nike windbreaker (red), Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 1,853: 12-mile run

After lots and lots of procrastination today, went out for a 12-mile run to catch up on my miles for the week.

Run was extremely pleasant, despite the fact that I didn't want to run today. The weather started out at 48.6 degrees and climbed to 64 degrees. A single long-sleeved technical T-shirt worked for the entire run. I'm glad I didn't have a second shirt layer.

In races I usually eat a gel at about mile 9. Today I didn't have any energy gel or water but I could tell that I felt a little more tired than normal at about 11 miles or so.

Given my stiff shoe problems with my new shoes so far, I decided to wear my backups, my Adidas running shoes that I bought at Costco for $30 and use for walking/caching. They did fine.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 48.6 degrees (climbed to 64)
Gear: Technical T-shirt, long (Atlanta Half Marathon '09), shorts, Adidas running shoes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 1,849: Run in the rain; 500 miles

It had been raining pretty steadily the last few days and today was no different. The weather really reminded me of when I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Over there you had to get used to running in the rain -- or you didn't get to run.

At least over there, I had a pair of waterproof Nike running shoes that I'd bought at a Sports Authority in the Chicago suburbs.

I didn't have that kind of luxury today but I wanted to run in my regular running shoes anyway because logging about 1.8 miles today would mean I would put 500 miles on them -- that's usually when I retire them for a new pair of shoes.

It's taken me a while -- and lots of money -- trying different windbreakers to find out which one can protect me the most during steady rain. I finally found a good one -- a yellow Novarra windbreaker that is used for cycling -- it has a zipper pouch along the flat of the back.

Wore it today. My shoes got wet quickly and although it wasn't the worst thing in the world, my legs were kind of tired so I opted for a 2-mile loop instead of the 4.2 mile regular course that I have.

Although wet, my shoes were able to retire today knowing that they've put in 500 good miles of running the last few months.

Time: 11:00 a.m.
Temp: 49 degrees, light rain
Gear: Technical T, long (Atlanta Half Marathon '11), shorts, Novarra windbreaker, white Jager hat, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 1,841: Return to the Riverpark!

After 3 years and 7 months, I finally made a return to the Tunica Riverpark. Instead of having to run in casino parking lots, it's been a great place for me in the past to get in a 2-mile run on a nice trail through woods.

This time around, there was an added bonus: It was filled with geocaches. I drove over there in the crisp morning. It was about 36 degrees out. I bundled up appropriately!

I didn't park where I'd normally parked, opting for a slightly longer run along the river.

I don't think people have been around this nature trail for a while because the first thing I noticed was long pieces of animal droppings on the boardwalk. There was water underneath the boardwalk but not the flooding that I saw in 2008.

The trail has been upgraded from just a path to one with nice little pebbles that possibly could be traversed with a wheelchair.

It was cold and in the end I got a 3.5-mile run in along the entire complex.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 32 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, long (x2), running pants, gloves, Marmot windbreaker, Adidas running shoes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 1,830: 28 degrees and climbing

It was 28 degrees out for the run, but unlike the previous day, the weather climbed during the run (and for the rest of the day, too).

I bundled up like the previous day but within three-quarters of a mile out shed the hat and the gloves. By 1.8 miles the windbreaker was a little much and it was tied around my waist by 2 miles.

I don't know what the temperature was when I finished but it certainly wasn't 28 degrees anymore.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 28 degrees
Gear: Tech T, long (x2), Marmot windbreaker, running pants, gloves, Novarra watch cap, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 1,829: 24 degrees out!

Today's run is the coldest I've run in so far this winter. At 24 degrees, I really had to bundle up.

But what to wear? I looked back at this blog and noticed that I wore pretty much everything.

So I went with it all -- double layers, running pants, windbreaker, hat, gloves. At about .75 of a mile, I took my hat off. My head just got too warm to keep it on.

At about 1.8 miles, my gloves came off, although they went back on and off for the next .5 miles. In the end, I had to wear my left glove because the Garmin watch makes it harder to pull the sleeve over it.

Like other times, though, the cold made me procrastinate but once out and running it was great!

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 24 degrees
Gear: Tech T, long (x2), Marmot windbreaker, Outdoor Research hat, gloves, running pants, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27/A.