Sunday, January 7, 2018

Going the Extra Yard

I keep saying that when I signed up for all of my January 5Ks, it was about 50 degrees outside. Having to run a second one in sub-freezing temps wasn't in my plans! Ha!
At least this morning's 5K only had a wind chill of 15.
This was the Extra Yard 5K, which was part of the College Football National Championship festivities this weekend in Atlanta. The championship game is Monday night between Georgia and Alabama.
Thankfully, we could wait inside the Georgia World Congress Center before the start, and I ran into my friend Joe inside.
Me and Joe
 Joe is a fellow Mizzou grad and a relatively recent runner. I like to think the Mizzou runners represented at the Championship Game, even if our Mizzou football team didn't make it this year. :)

At the start
I didn't run an exceptional time for this 5K. My legs felt stiff and I haven't really run at all over the holidays. Even last week's Resolution Run time was "off" my normal speed.
That's OK. I know I'll shake the lead out and start running a little more toward my usual times soon.
We got a nice finisher's medal at the end of the race, which was nice. My first medal of 2018!

First finisher's medal of 2018

Medals ready for the finishers
Pre-dawn shot of the start line
It was a fun race and a good turn out, despite the cold. I ran into Joe and also ran into some women I met last week at the Resolution Run. They actually recognized me before I recognized them. That's what I love about running: the people I meet along the way.
It was a great day to go the extra yard.

Cold start to the new year

The first 5K of 2018 sure did have a cold start!
The Resolution Run was now a 5K and had a new course at Piedmont Park. The race was nearly all inside the park, which was nice.
What wasn't so nice was the 20 degrees and 8 degree wind chill. Goodness!
I had two layers to everything, but wished I'd had a second pair of gloves. The ones I wore were a loose knit and my hands were cold even with the gloves.
The Atlanta Track Club did have portable heat lamps in the area near the start, and I made several new friends as we all huddled close to the heat!
The Track Club did a group photo before the start, which was fun.
Atlanta Track Club members before the start. I'm in there!
Resolving to run

How many layers do I have on?
I was glad I remembered a little cowl to pull over my nose and cheeks, but it was so cold that breathing into it, the water vapor on the cowl FROZE!
I was never more happy to have finished a race and gotten into the car. I'm always glad to run this race, however. It is a good start to 2018. I just hope next year isn't quite as cold!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Last 5K of the year

Well, that little bit of warm winter sure didn't last long!
The following weekend after the One Love, One Heart 5K, Atlanta got SNOW! It started coming down Dec. 8 and continued to snow right on through Dec. 9. A lot of races were canceled that weekend. I was lucky in that I hadn't signed up for any races, so it didn't matter to me.
I did have a race this past Saturday, the Lakeside Viking 5K that usually marks the final race for me of the year.
I ran it with my friend Carolyn and it was bone-chillingly cold that morning. 29 degrees! Made my lungs hurt as I ran.
Cute little boys getting in the holiday spirit!

Me and Carolyn in the nice warm gym before the race at the high school
It was not my best time, at all. I hadn't run in 2 weeks and it showed. This race isn't too far from the house (and Carolyn lives fairly close to the high school as well) but it started at 8 a.m. To get up in the very cold and dark for a race showed how dedicated we are. Or crazy. Your pick.
I forgot my iPod that morning, so my plans to listen to holiday music for this run were foiled. I did't have the holiday playlist loaded on  my iPhone. Alas, the two races in December when I want to listen to holiday music when I run and I only got to do it for the One Love, One Heart race. Oh well! Next year.
Here's to good friends, and even better running in 2018.

Warm winter

Ah, Atlanta weather.
Just when you think cool weather running has arrived, you run a race in December in relatively warm temps!
The One Love, One Heart 5K on Dec. 2 found me in capris and a long-sleeved T-shirt and I honestly wished I'd worn shorts and a T-shirt about half way through the race. Start temps in the 50s.
This is a little community race I like to do every year, since it is so close to the house and it starts at 10 a.m. I don't even have to set the alarm in the morning for this one!
No photos to show. It was just me running this year. And, unfortunately for me, one of my best running buddies is moving to Southern California, so it will be a lot of "just me" races in the coming months. Angela is moving!
She got a wonderful opportunity for work, so I'm very happy for her, but oh so sad for me. We really had fun running together not just for races, but for training as well. We'd meet out at Stone Mountain Park to run, or sign up for Atlanta Track Club races. She was on the ATC's track and field team, so she was very active with the club.
I will certainly miss her. But, I've told her that there are some western states I still need to run a race in, so she may just have to meet me for a few destination races.
With her now being in sunny Southern California, she won't have to worry about cold running anymore. It will be warm running no matter what the time of year!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Getting colder

In Atlanta we seem to have gone from summer running temps to winter. Fall seems to have passed us by!
At least that is how it felt Saturday for the DAV 5K race in Piedmont Park.
My friend Angela and I ran the race together. This is a race that benefits disabled American veterans and this year it was on Veterans Day. The announcer put the cold weather start in perspective, however. He mentioned that this is a national race in several other cities. The Boston race was also Saturday morning, where the starting temps were 4 degrees. Yikes! I'm not so sure I would have ponied up to the start line in 4 degree temps!
Ready to race
This race goes around Piedmont Park along the roads and it is surprisingly hilly. There were hand-crank bike racers as well. I felt for the one who had to take a little break along the route. Of course, I had to take my walk breaks too!
In all, it was a good race, despite the chill in the air.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Being Monumental in Indy

State No. 29 was certainly monumental.
I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon last weekend. A nice FLAT course on a cool morning. After struggling the first few miles with what felt like lead legs, a quick porto-potty break and some energy gels finally got me into gear. I finished the race with my fastest half marathon time all year, and I would have come in at least 5 minutes faster if I hadn't had to take that break!
Note to self: take care of business BEFORE the start. ha ha.
This was a quick up and back trip, with a half marathon thrown in for good measure, so I didn't get to sight see as much as I usually do. However, I got to catch up with three friends, so it was a rich weekend.
I had lunch the Friday I arrived with my friend April. She works downtown so we could easily get together, since I stayed downtown near the convention center. We walked around a bit after lunch and she showed me the canal that runs behind the state capital. It's a nice area to walk and exercise.
Ducks enjoying the canal
Next, my running friend Tricia arrived from Cincinnati for the race. She and I had never met in person, but knew each other through an exercise/running group on Facebook. It was nice to finally meet her. She was running the full marathon, as was her friend Paula, whom I also met.
Paula, Tricia and me at the race expo

Tricia and me

Ready to #BeMonumental

At the expo
It was an early start for the race, but since my hotel was just a block from the start, I didn't have a hard time getting up and getting lined up.
Setting up the start

Soldiers and Sailors Monument by night

State Capitol at night

Good morning, start line!

Here we go
The half marathon ran almost entirely downtown, but did go out into some of the nearby neighborhoods. It was a nice, flat course and really nice. It was chilly that morning, and not a ton of crowd support, but not the worst I've ever experienced.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Along the route

Some running humor
Race images
 As I got closer to the finish line, probably three to four miles out, I began "targeting" runners. I'd find a runner ahead of me and run to catch up to him or her, take a walk break, then find another one ahead of me, and so on. I think that is why I finished so well. I had good energy at the end.
Finisher's cap and medal

How every half marathon should end
I had dinner Saturday night after the race with my friend Rosie and her boyfriend, Lynn, and we had a great dinner at a Scottish restaurant in the Mass Ave neighborhood. We had run through that area earlier that day and it was a cool, funky area.
I was up and out the next morning, so it really was a quick trip -- barely 48 hours in Indianapolis. I wish I could have seen a little more of the city. There were two museums I had wanted to check out.
It just means I'll have to return and have another monumental time.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Running Uptown

Another fun race in metro Atlanta is the Uptown Rhodes Race 5K, which is now held around Halloween and includes a fun costume contest, including one for dogs.
Last year my friend Angela's dog Lucy won the contest. This year, with the threat of rain, Lucy stayed home, and, of course, it didn't rain much!
Well, we had fun anyway. If Lucy had joined us, she was going to be Goldilocks again and Angela and I were going to to be two of the three bears. Without Lucy and with threatened rain, we ditched the costume idea.
Pre-race, in a bit of drizzle
 But certainly plenty of other runners got into the spirit, including the dog owner below. She was a police woman and her puppy was the felon on the lam.
Cute costumes!
 We run through the Ansley Park neighborhood and some home owners really get into the Halloween spirit. I loved this yard with it's ship and sea monster theme.
Bet you get good candy at this house!
Along the course

All smiles!
It was a good final 5K before my half marathon in Indianapolis. State No. 29 coming up!