SALLY (ON THE) FOURTH…

Okay, so this may be the biggest (and punniest) stretch I’ve ever done for a blog post title. But bear with me, it works. Or at least I think it does.  Check out the definition:

Sally Forth (verb)-  to set out in a sudden, energetic or violent manner.

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Edition 49 of the Peachtree.

And I’m using it in reference to the Peachtree Road Race, which is held annually on July 4th in Atlanta and features 60,000 runners (the world’s largest 10K). And there’s a lot of hype (aka energy) surrounding this race each year.

So “sally forth” on July 4th… hence Sally (on the) Fourth. Get it? Bueller? Bueller?

Fine, whatever. It’s too hot and humid out to argue. And it made me smile, so it’s good by me.

Anyway this past Wednesday, I took part once again in Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race 10K. This was the 12th or 13th time (I kind of like not knowing for sure) I have run the race since 1994 and the sixth time in the last eight years. It is one of my favorite yearly running traditions.

I’ve written several times before about the race, although I think my favorite past post has to do with the people who keep spoiling the reveal of secret shirt design & color. Click here to read all about it.

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Getting in the spirit of the race, courtesy of a green screen photo at the expo.

This year featured a new wrinkle on that theme as the secret was spoiled for me earlier than it’s ever been before… even before the race started. Yup, as I was lined up in corral D (as in “D” for Devine, or more likely “D” for damn slow) I, along with a few thousand other runners, was watching the giant video screen they had erected on the street displaying pre-race coverage. Suddenly one of the TV hosts held up the winning shirt design, declaring that this was the secret shirt we were all running to earn. Cue the simultaneous sea of groans from several hundred runners who were as disappointed as I about the unexpected reveal. This is the one time I wished it actually was fake news.

That was my only complaint with this year’s Peachtree.

I truly do enjoy so many things surrounding this race… the history (this was the 49th year), the neverending sea of runners, and the incredible fan support the city shows. Toss in a holiday vibe, the patriotic feel and the promise of cooking out/partying later in the day. It’s a pretty awesome time.

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The winning shirt design.

And as for the heat, humidity, hills and crowded streets, I give them a pass on this race. It’s about the experience, not your finish time. They say this is not the race to shoot for your PR. I would absolutely agree with them, except for the fact that I did earn my 10K PR on this very course (back in 2014).

Now this year was definitely not a Peachtree PR performance for me (not even close), but it didn’t “detract from the fact” (say that fast 10 times) that I still had a blast… even though I knew the shirt design ahead of time. Which was a cool design, by the way.

And I am already salivating about running the Peachtree next July 4th when it (and me) both turn 50. Okay, my birthday is in March but we’ll both be 50 on that day. Atlanta already does a helluva job with this race, so I can only imagine what surprises they’ll have in store for all of us next year.

Just make sure to tie the hands and put a gag on that TV host.

Eat the Peach… and Run on!

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THE HEAT IS ON…

 

My love affair with summer running continues.

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And almost none of these people ran the 10K.

Last Monday I laced up my shoes for a race with Run Social Atlanta… The Monday Night Brewing 10K. Now “Monday Night Brewing” may sound familiar to you because back in December I was scheduled to do the Monday Night Brewing 10-Miler.  But that event was snowed out.

Cut to six months later and snow was not a factor in this race. Actually, I would have given various body parts for some snow (or a snowcone) because at race time the temperature was a very steamy 87 degrees. Now couple that with high humidity (it had rained just a few hours earlier) and you get conditions that approximate running on the surface of the sun. Read the rest of this entry

HAPPY GLOBAL RUNNING DAY!

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‘Tis the Running Season!

Happy Gloabal Running Day to all of my fellow pavement pounders!

Yup, June 6th is that special day each year where we decorate our shoe trees and gather together to sing holiday running songs all while sipping warm Gu packets. And remember, if Meb sees his shadow during his maintenance run today that means six more weeks of blisters. Or something like that.

I woke up this morning to show my support for this non-Hallmark supported holiday (I was at the card store the other day and they had bupkus). And how did I express my love of running?

I went for a swim.

Now before you think I’m thumbing my nose at the holiday or actively rebelling against the sport that has given me some much joy (and bling), let me ‘splain. Read the rest of this entry

ODE TO CANYON CITY…

 

Fun times.

A few weeks ago I posted about the end of legacy status (see “Lost Legacy”) and in the article, I mentioned instances where races themselves, such as the Hollywood Half Marathon, had ended their run (pardon the pun).

Well, it seems another race I know has joined the list. It was recently announced that 2017 was the final running of the REVEL Canyon City Marathon/Half Marathon. As an ambassador for the REVEL race series and a three-time runner of the half marathon at Canyon City, I am understandably sad to see the end of this course. And Canyon City holds a special place in my heart (which I’ll explain in a bit).

So let me take just a minute to reminisce fondly about Canyon City. Read the rest of this entry

SPRUNG SPRING…

 

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Pick a season… any season.

I remember in grade school being taught that there were four seasons: spring, summer, winter, and fall. And I certainly remember that spring is supposed to be sandwiched between chilly winter and steamy summer. It’s a very nice time of year. So with that in mind, I have to ask…

What the hell happened to spring this year?

After 20 years of living in Los Angeles, I just faced my first Atlanta winter. And I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of cold weather running. I really don’t like running in long pants or tights, nor do I enjoy wearing layers (I get way too sweaty).

So while I was clomping on the treadmill at the gym when it was too cold outside or when I ventured outside bundled up like a running Nanook of the North, I was secretly longing for spring… when I could shed my balaclava (I learned that word this winter), toss off my thermal gloves and enjoy a nice run in shorts and a short-sleeved tech shirt. Read the rest of this entry

MY FIRST 5K…

 

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Ready to run a 5K

My first 5K? Really?

Yeah, that kinda surprised me too.

Since I started distance running back in 2009 I’ve completed approximately 100 races of varying distances, but never once I had I signed up for a 5K. Why you may ask? Really it was for two reasons.

For starters, when I first began training for distance running, my main focus was to increase the length of my runs. As a result, I was quickly running between 8-10 miles during a training session and then even longer. 5K (3.13 miles) was really more of a warm-up distance than anything else.

I was typically running more than 5K even on weekday maintenance runs. And weekends were always my long runs, so it didn’t seem to make “training” sense to swap out those long distance runs for a short run. Read the rest of this entry

LOST LEGACY…

legacy word in vintage wood typeA “Legacy Runner” is someone who has run a race every year of its existence. For example, The Los Angeles Marathon had its inaugural race back in 1986. And 32 years later there are about 150 people that have run the race each and every year without fail. My running hat is off to them.

Now some races have stretched the legacy runner definition to include people who have run a race for a certain number of years in a row. Technically, they’re referred to as “streakers”… not the naked kind… but if you run a race time and time again for numerous years, you’re a true pavement pounder and we’ll let it slide. Read the rest of this entry

WHOOPS…

 

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That’d be me last week.

We all get a little air-headed at times. Forgetting why you walked into a room. Blanking on meeting up with your friend. Not remembering where the heck you left your keys or wallet or glasses or phone or etc…

Whenever we get busy or distracted or sleep-deprived (or a combination) we can momentarily become related to the absent-minded professor. And this condition also applies to running and races.

People may laugh at our pre-race runner’s OCD where we lay out all of our clothing and gear in one tight pile (even pinning the bib to our shirts ahead of time) and double, triple and even quadruple checking to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything. And sure we are admittedly a bit crazy, but there is a method to our madness. It’s partially to make sure we don’t have a “whoops” moment where we show up at a race missing a crucial piece of gear. Read the rest of this entry

THE SHIRT OFF MY BACK…

 

Sweet running wear.

One of the unexpected benefits of being a regular runner/racer, is I’ve amassed a second wardrobe, separate and apart from my regular clothing. Brands like Levi, Lucky and Calvin Klein must now fight for closet space with Nike, Mizuno, Brooks, Asics and New Balance. And judging by sheer numbers, I think my running clothing is winning the great Wardrobe War. And the greatest combatant in this conflict: The race tech T-shirt.

Thanks to having completed over 100 races (of varying distances) I have more than enough race tech shirts to clothe a small country. Some race shirts are really cool, some are just functional. Some are bland and some are flat out “fugly.” They come in every color known to Crayola and some that I don’t think you’d even find in the 64-box (with the built-in sharpener). One color, two colors, color stripes, color gradients, short sleeve, long sleeve, sleeveless, crew neck, V-neck, loose fit, athletic fit, tight fit, some designed not to fit anyone, male sex, unisex, insects (gotcha), finisher’s shirts, series shirts, bonus shirts, freebie shirts and seemingly countless other variations. Read the rest of this entry

JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD…

 

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Bib and Bling!

Last Sunday felt a bit weird for me for two reasons.

Reason 1: For the past 6 years straight (and 8 times over the last 9 years) I ran the Los Angeles Marathon with my T2 (Team to End AIDS) charity group during the 3rd weekend in March. It’s a truly wonderful race and was the linchpin in my annual race line-up.

But this year I wasn’t in Los Angeles come mid-March. I’m calling Atlanta home now. Instead, I was lacing up my shoes to run my first Publix Georgia Half Marathon. Read the rest of this entry

MAN VS. CAR… AGAIN

 

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Man vs. Car: the car always wins.

Perhaps the wisest thing one of my running coaches ever told me was: “The rules of physics always trump the laws of man.”

He was specifically applying this adage to the rule: Pedestrians have the right of way over cars. Of course, knowing you’re in the right offers little consolation if you get hit by a car… even one that’s totally in the wrong.

Now don’t worry. I didn’t get hit by a car. Mostly anyway. Read the rest of this entry

…ONE FLU OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST

 

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Rabbit season. Duck season. Flu season.

Last week I wrote about how I had finally overcome my continuous coughing and unplanned running hiatus and was “back at it.” Well, unbeknownst to me my best-laid plans were about to go off the rails before they even really began.

My Sunday evening started with my gym bag packed and me raring to hit the pool at the crack of dawn for some much overdue lap swimming. However, the only workout I’d be doing this week involved a 4am sprint to the bathroom. Read the rest of this entry

BACK AT IT…

 

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Shooting for a 10…

I’ve read numerous articles about how quickly you start to lose your cardio conditioning when you’re not working out. It’s kind of scary how you can start to regress if you’re inactive for as little as two weeks.

Now, if you’re suffering from a serious injury or certain kinds of illnesses, working out is simply out of the equation. You need to rest and recover or you can make things even worse.

As for me, I’ve been nursing this nasty cough for two weeks (since the Hot Chocolate 15K on Feb. 4th). Just read my prior post (“Hackety Hack”) if you want more of the deets. I’m cranky when I miss a regularly scheduled workout… and being on the sideline for over a week was really making me bonkers. Read the rest of this entry

HACKETY HACK…

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Did not see where they hid the cough.

Last week I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in the freezing rain… or as I called it “The Slog.” Well, it seems that in addition to my tech top and finisher’s medal, I picked up an additional bit of bling. An unwanted bit of bling.

A nasty cough.

Once I got home and showered in preparation for some Super Bowl snacking,  I started hacking. And I pretty much haven’t stopped.

I coughed through four fun quarters of football and commercials on Super Bowl Sunday. And that hacking kept on steadily through the night and intensified into Monday (as I rested my legs). By Monday night I was a tad bit concerned. My dad has been recovering from pneumonia for the past few weeks and the news (and social media) have been overflowing with reports of this year’s uber-nasty flu bug.

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Been eating these things like popcorn.

So I made a doctor’s appointment for last Tuesday afternoon and skipped my planned Tuesday morning run (which made me cranky). Come midday, I went to the doctor’s office and they slapped a flu mask on me as soon as I walked through the door (as a precaution). The nurse and then the doctor poked and prodded me and listened to my lungs. On the upside, I had no fever, my lungs were clear and I showed no signs of pneumonia or flu. I just had a bit of a cold and a nasty cough, due to the dry winter air…oh, and running a race in a freezing rain storm.

The doc recommended that I take it easy while I was hacking and feeling heavy in the chest. So for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was on the sidelines, just coughing and resting. I think I’ll go out for a short run on Tuesday as I’m finally starting to feel better.

On the downside, a full week off from running and exercise has done nothing to help my already less-than-peak conditioning. But better to err on the side of caution than run too soon and risk getting something that will sideline me even longer. I’ve got five weeks until my next race (Atlanta Half Maraton on March 18th) so I should still be able to get myself in a semblance of shape by then.

And on the upside, I have had a chance to read a book or two, clean up my e-mail inbox and binge watch a couple of Netflix series that I’m behind on. So it’s not a total loss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go see what hijinks Eleven and those boys from Hawkins are up to.

Hack up, avoid the Demogorgon… and Run on!

Have you been sidelined at all with an illness this Winter? And what’s your favorite current “binge” show?

THE SLOG…

Slog: A long laborious walk or march.

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Bib-tastic.

I’ve run races in the cold before. I’ve run races in the rain before.

But before this weekend, I had never run a race in the cold cold cold rain. Unlike a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, rain and cold are not two great tastes that go great together.

On Sunday, I ran the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15K (that’s 9.32 miles to you and me) in a downpour while the weather at the start was rather nippy. Needless to say, it was an experience I’ll remember. Or as I like to refer to it… a slog.

All week I had been monitoring the forecast for the race, checking my weather app almost hourly. Rain had been predicted for days, but I hoped that maybe the conditions would shift and we’d be spared from getting dumped on. Read the rest of this entry

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