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.