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.