Archive for April, 2010

The Coveted T-Shirt

T-shirt finalists for 2010.

Five finalists in the 2010 race shirt design contest.

Today is the last day to vote for this year’s AJC Peachtree Road Race official race shirt!

Here are this year’s five finalists in the design contest. Click on the above link and pick us out a winner… or make 55,000 people very upset.

Ahhh… the storied history of the Peachtree race t-shirt: causing people to suffer through Georgia heat, humidity and hills since 1971.

It amazes me that a piece of cotton continues to own such a place of honor in our city. Many people complete the event, or sneak into the event (horrible) just to proudly don their Peachtree t-shirt each year. Whether patriotic, abstract, or downright pastel, the shirt takes a place of the utmost importance in THOUSANDS of closets. It’s a conversation starter, a badge of tradition, and good fodder for t-shirt quilts.

Throughout the years I’ve developed quite a love-hate relationship with my Peachtree shirts. No offense to our current designers, but I …

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Weather Can be a Blessing and a Curse

I’ve always run outdoors, where I’ve discovered it can be uncomfortably hot, cold, or wet.

I’ll persevere through the hot part, but not so much through freezing cold or heavy rains.

I know there are many runners out there who stick to their training routine even if it’s 25 degrees and sleeting. I’ve seen you in your sweatshirts and shorts.

Not this Miami boy. I took more days off than normal this winter because I won’t run if the temperature in the morning is much below 35 degrees.

But there is one day a year when it can’t get cold enough for me. I’ll be happy if Atlanta’s temperature ties an all-time low for July 4th about 8 a.m. About eight degrees below the all-time high of 80 for the AJC Peachtree Road Race start would be fine.

Over the years I’ve participated in the race on days so humid everyone was soaked before they reached the start line, even though it didn’t rain. And I’ve run it on days so sun-splashed and hot that I hugged the east side of …

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Adventures in Cross-Training

In an effort to enjoy my joints for many years to come, I’m trying to incorporate more cross-training into my routine.

Seems like a great idea. Less injuries. Avoid the rut of muscle memory. More potential to increase my metabolism and core strength. Less boredom and more variety.

For the past couple weeks I’ve made a concerted effort to bike, swim, row on the indoor rower (or ergometer/”erg” in rowing speak), and incorporate some resistance training a couple times a week in addition to running. But believe it or not, it’s been more challenging than I imagined to get out of my comfort zone and not run.

Running is easy – you put on your running shoes and open your front door whenever you feel like it. There are no chains to clean and lubricate and no gym crowds to fend off. As much I believe in and preach the idea of cross-training, I have to admit – I’ve experienced some challenges with my new cross-training goals. At the risk of embarrassing myself, I share with …

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Could It Be The Shoes?

A friend at work suggested the other day that I should buy a new pair of running shoes for training  the next two months and to run in the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

I’m not one to spend money in advance of need and I figured I had a few more miles in the pair I ran the race in last year. I’ve heard the rule of thumb is you can expect about 500 miles out of a pair of shoes and I thought I’d reach that mark right around July 4th.

Then he said, “But those are your 74-minute shoes.”

The blunt-speaking man is right. Those Asics with the orange trim in the photo are the same shoes that I ran an unsatisfactory 1:14.47 last year. While I had chalked my slow performance up to unfocused training leading up to the race, could my shoes have been part of the problem all along?

I’ve been an Asics man since my first Peachtree in 1979. I like the way they feel and, as marketers know, once someone settles on a brand it takes something significant to knock out the incumbent.
Asics Shoes
I ran …

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A Lesson in Freedom

Schedules. Blackberries. Deadlines.

In the words of William Wordsworth, the world can be too much with us. Our lives become so busy, our to-do lists so long, that our training can become just another thing to grudgingly check off.

runninginwoodsLast Friday I left the office late – around 6:45pm – a true injustice heading into the weekend. I had planned to head to one of my favorite running routes after work – the off-road trail in Stone Mountain Park (following connecting trails to the Cherokee Trail). Linking the trail with a little section of the PATH, I can get in a solid 7 mile run. Upon changing into my running clothes at the office, I realized my faithful Timex Ironman was nowhere to be found. As any runner addicted to their watch would react, I was beyond annoyed and, coupled with the 10.5 hr work day and approaching dusk, contemplated canning the run altogether and heading home to my porch and a cold Sweetwater.

Grudgingly, I headed to the trail head anyway – watchless and …

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Running the Yellow Brick Road

Ahh the beauty of Atlanta in spring! Flowers blooming, temperatures rising and birds singing. It’s like our city is covered in the very existential glow of life!

Cough*Sneeze*Cough. Unfortunately, that glow is yellow… and less Wizard of Oz, more miserable.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (good avoidance technique?), you know that our area pollen count is record-breaking and making breathing and normal living downright tough. Coinciding with the Easter season doesn’t help – I feel like my car was sat on by a giant yellow Peep. It seems we’ve survived the worst of it, but we’re not out of the woods yet. (Get it – Woods?! Pine tree pollen?! Yes? No? Ahem…)

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding motivation to get out my front door for a run when I know the next 40-70 minutes might just asphyxiate me. Regardless we’ve got to get out there and and start training – yellow tornados notwithstanding. Our Peachtree legs will not prepare themselves if we buy into …

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Dare to Compare: Your Three-Mile Run vs. Mine

I could say I love running up hills and that I’m actually a Massai warrior. But I don’t really like running up hills.

Since hills are pretty much everywhere in metro Atlanta I thought I’d at least try some different hills. Maybe I’d like yours better. Please help me with my Course-of-the-Month program between now and the AJC Peachtree Road Race. More on that below.

In my first post I was upfront about my undisciplined training regimen in recent years. I guess my casual approach to training doesn’t technically qualify as a regimen. If I ran a couple of miles here and a couple of miles there in the weeks before the Peachtree – Great Success!

In fact, I’ve only run as far as 6.2 miles 22 times in my life – all on July 4th. But my familiarity with the Peachtree’s 6.2 mile course, with its ups and downs, has helped keep me vertical until the finish line. So far.

Since the first two miles of the course through Buckhead are mostly downhill, I am usually well down the …

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Set Yourself Up for Success – 10k Training Plans

I know them all too well – the red-faces, the heaving shoulders, the strained looks, the pained limps… the struggle to get up yet one more hill in downtown Atlanta on July 4th. If I had a dime for every Peachtree runner who didn’t actually train for this hot, hilly and humid event I would have about 54,000 dimes… a year… for many years to come. While the idea of paying off my student loans early is intriguing, I am no sadist.

Now is the time to set ourselves up for success. Right now, today, this minute, find a training plan to follow. 

If you drive somewhere unfamiliar without directions, 90% of the time you’ll get lost. Training for a race is no different. You might coincidentally get there, but why not avoid the pain and hassle and just follow some solid directions? 

Search for your own plan, or I highly recommend these:

Novice 10k Training Plan from Hal Higdon

  • Do This: If the 2010 event is your first (or first in awhile) 10k, or if you’ve let the rainy winter get …

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Meet Lauren Dieterich

We’ve done it.

We’ve survived the online registration maelstrom. We’ve coughed up the race fee. We’re (considering) tackling the pollen tornados to begin our training for 6.2 miles down Peachtree Steet.

We, the masses, have committed ourselves to one of the best traditions our city has to offer – the one and only AJC Peachtree Road Race. And I have the distinct pleasure of joining you in preparation for the 2010 event.

Lauren and two of her brothers celebrating post-race 2009 at the 4.2 mile water station, where their Mom is the station’s Crew Chief.

Lauren and two of her brothers celebrating post-race 2009 at the 4.2 mile water station, where their Mom is the station’s Crew Chief.

My name is Lauren, a young professional living not quite ITP or OTP, but on TP. Though I realize I’m a rare species, I am proud to be a native Atlantan (we do exist!) who has been running for about 18 years now.

Around the age of 10, my father decided he needed some exercise in his life. After school while Mom was still working and Dad was escaping his home office, the local Redan High track seemed a convenient …

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Meet John McCosh

Not so long ago a runner could fudge a little bit about his Peachtree Road Race time. Those days are gone.

Now that all 55,000 runners have a chip time, all you have to do is look here to see that I ran last year’s Peachtree in 1:14.47. I thought I had trained enough last year to finish under an hour.

John McCosh (center, with cigar) has run the Peachtree Road Race 29 times. He'll blog about his experience here as he prepares for a 30th.

John McCosh has run the Peachtree Road Race 21 times. He'll blog about his experience here as he prepares for a 22nd.

But a little background is in order to explain how I could be about 15 minutes off between expectation and reality.

I’ve run the Peachtree 21 times, the past 20 in a row. My first, in 1979, I trained with a friend who ran cross country in high school. I was 20 years old and we ran multiple times up and around Stone Mountain. I reached Piedmont Park on July 4 a good bit under 50 minutes.

Then I took 10 years off and didn’t get much exercise to speak of during those years.

For the past 20 years I’ve used half-committed training for the Peachtree as a means …

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