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.