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.