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.
Atlanta summers can be brutal for running. High temperatures mixed with high humidity and hills do not make for a fun time. That’s why spring is supposedly so nice here (according to the running locals).
But apparently in 2018 winter stayed around until near the end of April and then skipped spring and went directly to summer… do not pass go or collect $200.
Actually, I think spring did occur on April 27th between 10:53am and 10:55am. Yup, a two-minute window where things were nice and seasonable outside. 120 seconds of heaven.
But here we are in May and temperatures are already 70 degrees at 7am and the humidity is getting up there. So I guess it’s time for an early start to the summer slog, where each time I run I ask myself the same question: How Wet Can Scott Possibly Get?
Answer (Every time): Totally Saturated.
Maybe to properly express this time of year I should come up with a new term, inspired by meal names. We already have “brunch,” which is a combination of breakfast and lunch. So with that, I offer the season of “sprummer” (when spring and summer merge into one sweaty sunny mess).
Yup, sprummer. Has a nice ring to it.
I do have some races planned for this sprummer, mostly 10K and perhaps some 5Ks (my newfound fun running option). And I’ve got a pair of half marathons tentatively planned for later in the actual summer (depending on how my schedule plays out).
And now as I dive into sprummer (and then summer), trying not to melt in the Atlanta sun, I can always look forward to beautiful fall weather. Hopefully, it’ll last at least three minutes before winter hits.
Enjoy your sprummer… and Run on!
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
A “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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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?
Slog: A long laborious walk or march.
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
Running outside in cold winter weather kinda sucks. There, I said it.
On Saturday I did a 10-mile long run down near the Chattahoochee River as the temperature had finally climbed into the 40s. It was the first time I’d run outside in over two weeks. Thanks to the rather chilly and windy conditions here in Atlanta, I’d been doing all of my running workouts on the treadmill (or “Dreadmill” as one of my friends says).
While I prefer running outside to plodding along on that never-ending rubber loop, the treadmill is certainly a good option when the alternative is pounding frozen pavement while reminiscing about the joys of having feeling in your extremities.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been rather spoiled running the last 9 years in Los Angeles. While most of the country has the standard four seasons (spring, summer, winter & fall), LA’s weather seems to pretty much consist of one lone 365-day season that I like to call “very nice.” Read the rest of this entry
I know it’s been a while… okay, a long while… but I’m finally back. Actually, I never went totally away but without a post in several months, I’m sure many of you wondered if I’d tripped my last Kenyan.
And as you probably gathered from past posts, 2017 was a huge year of transition for me. Pretty much everything in my life has changed and mostly for the better. For starters, I’ve relocated from Los Angeles to Atlanta (for several reasons.) While I still love LA, over the last few years, the ATL has become a very viable film market and presents me with some great new opportunities. I do still plan to spend time in LA whenever possible (looking to hopefully be bicoastal) but Atlanta will be my homebase (the place where I hang my hat) for the foreseeable future. And my whole family lives in Atlanta, so that’s a huge bonus.
In addition, I’ve gone from being stuck in a less-than-satisfying longterm relationship to once again being a happy single guy. I’ve also got a new ride (out with the old SUV in with the new) and many many other changes. Read the rest of this entry
Remember the end of the movie CAST AWAY, where Tom Hanks’ character is literally standing at the crossroads, trying to decide which way to go next in his life.
That’s kind of where I am at this moment.
For the past six weeks I’ve been navigating some unexpected waters in my life and I’m finally starting to come out the other side. I’ve been focusing solely on the day-to-day things, hence the reason “Tripping The Kenyans” has been unexpectedly dark.
During this turbulent time, I haven’t been running my normal amount (nowhere close actually) and I know my fitness has slipped. On the plus side, I have run a pair of races in the last month: The REVEL Mt. Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas and the Memorial Day 10K in Atlanta. Both were a lot of fun. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts). But since I last posted, following the LA Marathon, I’ve run the Hollywood Half Marathon for the 6th time (which was a bit of a redemption run). And I also recently had a freakout moment.
Let me ‘splain.
This past week I had to fly to Georgia for business. It was also a chance to see my family during the trip (a sweet bonus). As I packed, still recovering from the H’wood Half, I wondered whether or not to bring my running gear on the trip. I was vacillating back and forth between taking a four day break (I’ve been training hard this year and could certainly use a breather) or bringing along some gear and doing a short run if the opportunity presented itself. Which to do? Read the rest of this entry