Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 2,464: A new pair of shoes!

A brand-new pair of Nike Air Pegasus+ running shoes will be coming my way, thanks in part to my love of Diet Coke.

Each year for the last four years I've saved up points in the My Coke Rewards program. When I get to 2,000 points, I typically redeem all of those points for a $50 Nike gift card.

Today I reached the required number of points -- but when I looked, there only was a $35 Nike gift card for 1,610 points.

I looked up on the cost of the new shoes -- this year the neutral, cushioned trainers are $100, up $10 from the $90 they've been in the past.

But $65 for the shoes still is better than what I can find online, so I ponied up for a new pair.

This year is the fastest I've accumulated 2,000 points. In previous years, it's taken me about a month longer to do so and I usually am writing this post in November.

I'm glad to be doing it, since in May I had to pay full boat for a pair of Nike Air Pegasus+ 29's from a local running store after my previous pair of running shoes (with just under 306 miles on them) were presumably stolen when my luggage went missing after flying from Rochester, N.Y. to Atlanta on a Delta flight.

The replacement shoes now have more than 388 miles on them and I typically don't run in the same shoe for after I get 500 miles out of them. (Although in March I donated my Nike Air Pegasus+ 28/A's after running in them for more than 661 miles. I donated the predecessor of that shoe after running nearly 554 miles in those).

I lost a few running shirts I liked and also had my Garmin Forerunner 405 in there. That prompted me to replace it with another, refurbished unit. Unfortunately that one only lasted until the beginning of this month, when it no longer seemed able to acquire a satellite signal.

Now I am sporting a sleek, new Garmin Forerunner 610. I really like it but I much would have rather not had to replace my running watch twice.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 2,455: Children's Hospital Foundation 4-Miler (PR)

RICHMOND, Va. -- With a half-mile left in the race, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I decided to kick to the finish line, something I never have done before, at least from that far out. With .3 mile left in the race, I found sub-7:00/mile speed. With just .05 mile left, I found sub-6:00/mile speed.

The effort was worth it, since I broke by a second my personal record for a 4-mile race that was set in the June 18, 2011 Father's Day 4-Miler at Turner Field. It also broke a dry spell of more than 2.5 years since the last time I had logged a personal record in any distance. It also was the first time since the week of Jan.6-12 that I've run more than 25 miles in a week.

It also was a good day for the wife, who placed first in her age division. It's the third time she's placed in the last three races, including a first place showing in the last race.

When I knew we were going to be in the area, I started to scan for races. We found this one and how could we not support a children's hospital? So we signed up.

When we got to our in-laws yesterday, I kind of felt lazy. It felt far to drive from the suburbs to Richmond and I kind of wanted to sleep in instead of having to get up early to make the drive. But we did it.

Because this race comprised walkers and runners, we did something we usually never do -- we stood about three rows behind the starting line. So when the start came, we were a-running.

As to be expected, the start was pretty fast. The second mile was even faster as the course went downhill. For Mile 3, we slowed our pace a bit -- this wasn't the Indy 500 after all and my wife has not run very much recently.

In the past, I would have waited until I got as close as I could before sprinting to the finish. Today I just wanted to see if I could do it.

This was a well-put together race that I'm sure will be on our radar in the future, if our schedules make it possible. Not 2.5 hours after the race started we received e-mails detailing our overall place (20th), our age division place (3rd) and our pace (7:41/mile). It's a nice touch, especially when you might wait for days just to see results get posted.

Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 66 degrees (83 percent humidity)
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (CS yellow), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 29/A.