Archive for July, 2009

That Was a Dumb Idea!

Posted: July 23, 2009 in Marathon

I learned a valuable lesson this morning while in Hoover, Alabama. Make sure you plan your runs better!

After quickly mapping my daily 4-mile run the night before, I left my hotel at 6:10 a.m. and was greeted by a foggy, humid haze. Yuck. But that wasn’t the biggest issue. Turns out the road I had mapped Hoover Marriott 4-miler
was a 4-lane state highway. Oops.

Thankfully, at that time of the morning, there wasn’t too much traffic but it still got a bit hairy at times. The biggest issue came when I had to cross a bridge that ran across a river for about 200 yards. With the river roaring about 500 feet below and traffic whizzing by me, I began to wonder when exactly it was that I officially lost my mind.

Here’s the Google Map of the location.

I was quickly comforted when I spotted a guy across the bridge running just as quickly in the opposite direction. We gave each other a brief “thank-goodness-I’m-not-the-only-crazy-person” wave and kept moving.

On a related note, I’m in Alabama for the Southeastern Conference football media days. To say that SEC football fans are “enthusiastic” is putting it mildly, as you can see by the following picture.

bamamama

Advertisements

Record Low Temps

Posted: July 21, 2009 in Marathon

I woke up this morning to record low temperatures… a chilly 60 degrees at 6:30 a.m.! Considering that I went to college in Vermont and spent the first part of my life in Massachusetts, this didn’t really bother me too much. It actually felt great! I did run my typical 4-miler in a long sleeve shirt though.

What a sissy I have become in my six years in Atlanta.

One mental note: I didn’t have any energy bars in the house this morning and discovered that I really need to eat something before I run. It wasn’t a big issue, but I just didn’t feel as strong as usual going up the hills in my ‘hood.

In a related thought, after watching the Tour de France for the past two weeks, I REALLY want to get myself a bike again. I had a nice Specialized road bike in HS/College and now regret selling it.

speccialized

My town is a big cycling town and everyday I run/drive past cyslists and find myself becoming jealous of their rides.  Some day… some day.

Last year, I went out to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to visit with David Mills, the son of legendary putter maker Truett P. Mills. It was a fascinating day in his T.P. Mills shop.
tpmills
While there in his garage-like machine shop, I spent the day learning all about the company and how he makes the putters with his hand-operated machines. There are no computer-programmed milling machines. And unlike other bigger companies, TP Mills cranks out only 1,500 putters a year, the same amount other big companies produce in a month.

I bring this up because, on Sunday, Bo Van Pelt used a T.P. Mills-made putter to win the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, giving the company it’s first win since 2006.

In the world of multi-million dollar endorsement contracts, it’s nice to see a small company that can’t pay players still get the occasional victory.

Here’s my article from that day.

10 miler

Posted: July 18, 2009 in family, Marathon
Tags: ,

First, let me just say that this is a test of my blogging skills on the iPhone.

It was pretty crowded on the Silver Comet this morning at 730. (I overslept a bit.)

I remembered to stretch beforehand, which made a BIG difference. It was a perfect morning. About 65 degrees. Absolutely awesome temp for a long run.

One tip I have discovered for myself… Tie the laces on the side of the shoes not the top. This keeps them from annoyingly hitting the opposite ankle when running. A small thing but it works.

One other tip… Make sure you suck down all of the energy gel from the pack before you put the wrapper back in your pocket.

Here is a map of the run:
10 Miles silver Comet Trail
Find more Runs in Smyrna, Georgia

After the run, which took me just 1:10 thanks to the beautiful weather, I head home and take the kids to a cool puppet show!

We had a blast!

Next, it’s off to the Mets-Braves game followed by the free All-American Rejects concert. What a day.

My weekend will begin with a 10-mile run. As of Friday afternoon, my calf muscles were still feeling a little sore. Hopefully this eases before I hit the trail at 6:30 am.

When I return to Chateau Buteau, half a gallon of low-fat chocolate milk will be consumed and legs will be stretched. Then, the car will be loaded up with two kids in search of a local puppet show. Who doesn’t love a good puppet show?

Following the puppet show, me, my son and his friend will head to Turner Field for an afternoon game between the Braves and Mets. Should be fun! Nothing like a little good old fashioned National League East rivalry.

all-american-rejectsBut the real fun starts after the game, when the All American Rejects take the Turner Field stage for a free concert.

The concert is part of a much-delayed 9th birthday present for my son. Last year, I took him to see Bon Jovi. Considering he was born in NJ, it only seemed appropriate.

The only drawback to seeing the All-American Rejects… I will be missing out on my chance to see Brian Wright and The Waco Tragedies!

Anybody who has heard Brian Wright, you know that missing his concert is a true tragedy! ( I thank my good bud Mason for introducing him to me.)

Sunday then calls for an “easy” 4-miler to stretch the legs. Whew!

asics

Oh, and for an update on my sock issue, a colleague of mine suggested I check out these Asics.

Week 3

Posted: July 16, 2009 in Marathon

More Hills!

This week has been just another typical week. Thankfully the weather has been great in ATL for my morning runs. A lack of humidity has made for some easy training. I don’t expect it to keep up much longer though. August should be a much tougher month.
This week I continued with the normal schedule of 4 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Tuesday was the best day after taking Monday off. My legs felt fresh and I felt like I could easily have done 5 or 6 miles. It’s a good thing I didn’t. After Wednesday’s run, my right calf muscle started to tighten up again. By Thursday, it hurt even worse. I’m hoping Friday’s “off day” gives me time to recover enough for Saturday’s 10-miler.
On Thursday, I did some more hill sprints. It was a hard workout around the neighborhood. There are about 4 SERIOUS hills and 4 smaller ones. If I can do these hills on a regular basis, NYC’s “hills” should be easy pickins! (Ok, maybe not, but it’s wishful thinking.)
On a somewhat related note, I’m thinking of switching this blog to WordPress.org from Blogger. I still have to do some more research on it, but WordPress seems more flexible and easier to use. As a bonus, WordPress has an iPhone app, which could make it easier to update it when I don’t have my laptop.

Sweaty Socks

Posted: July 11, 2009 in Marathon

Sweaty Socks
After a much-needed day off on Friday, I had an action-packed Saturday.

It started out with a few hours on the lake with my son, his friend and his friend’s dad. The boys did some tubing off the back of the boat and Kyle’s old man did some kneeboarding. I hadn’t been kneeboarding since I was about 15, yet somehow I managed to get up on the board on the first attempt. I even jumped the wake several times and never wiped out once! 38 is the new 18!

After getting back from the lake, Kyle took off with his friend to a birthday party/sleepover, while I loaded the car up with Emily, Alicia and their bikes and headed to the Silver Comet Trail for an 8-miler.
I wasn’t sure how long my support team would last, but I planned to run to the 4 mile mark and turnaround. At about the 1 1/2 mile mark, they slowed down and I kept running.

I had never been on the Silver Comet Trail. It’s a beautiful, paved tree-lined trail that stretches for 60 miles from the Northwest side of Atlanta all the way across the Alabama border!

8-Miles Silver Comet Trail

When I told this to Alicia, she kept saying “Daddy! I don’t want to ride all the way to Alabama!” Don’t worry, I told her, neither did I.

In my rushing to get everybody on their bikes and out on the trail, I forget to stretch! Doh! I start to feel this at about the 3-mile mark, but push through it.
My biggest issue is with my socks though. As I reach the turnaround point, my feet start to feel heavy and very sweaty. The socks — Thorlos Mini Crew with Coolmax — I used were bought for me by Emily and cost something like $12 a pair! Clearly, I don’t deserve such fine socks.

They are great for short distance, but I notice a problem on the long runs. It’s like I’m running on two soggy sponges. Not a good feeling. I have a few other different pairs that I will have to experiment with on future long runs. This is a minor problem that can be easily fixed, I think.

As for the rest of the run, after reaching the turnaround point at 4 miles, I spot Emily and Alicia (who is just 5-years-old, BTW) riding right towards me at the 3.5 mile mark. I’m shocked! I never thought they would ride that far.

When Alicia sees me, she turns around and takes off shouting “Daddy, you won’t beat me!” Gotta love her spirit. About 1/4 mile down the road, I see her off in the distance as she rides off the road and crashes! Ouch! I kick it into high gear and catch up to Emily and her. Alicia rubs the dirt and gravel off her knees, cries for a minute, and jumps back on her pink Barbie bike and takes off again. Impressive. She’d make one heck of a hockey player!

As we close in on the finish line, I sprint alongside Alicia as she pedals as fast as she possibly can. We are both in a full out dash for the line… I give it every thing I have as she pedals and pedals as fast as her little legs will go. Finally, she takes the lead in the closing 10 yards and wins our father/daughter race. (Truth is, I could have taken her, I was just being the nice dad! I don’t like to lose, but in this case I make an exception.)

We load up the bikes and head back home at about 8:30 pm. Alicia falls asleep in the back of the car. What a great day! I will do 3 slow/steady miles in the morning just to stretch out the muscles. I don’t think Alicia or mom will join me though. But it was nice to have a support team on the trail for at least one day!