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.

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