Archive for April, 2011

Is it time to start training… or it’s time to start training

My first month of training for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Those four will miles will be coming Saturday (hopefully)

My first month of training (sort of, my past workouts disappeared) for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Those four will miles will be coming Saturday (hopefully).

I’ve done both – running the AJC Peachtree Road Race with almost no preparation and running it after spending weeks getting ready. Not surprisingly, running a long race, make that any race, goes better when you prepare adequately (especially the Peachtree, where it will be hot and humid and the weather will shock your system if you aren’t ready for it).

Ten or 11 weeks prior seems like as good as time as any to begin training. For me, that means printing a schedule of training runs from runnersworld.com rather than just running however far I feel like going. (There is a free option and several pay options from Runners’ World and many other websites have pay plans. Nike also has free plans available through Nike+. Note that most of these plans seem to recommend 12 weeks to fully get ready.)

What’s important …

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Cage match: The outdoors vs. the treadmill

running

Cmon people, get off the treadmills and join me outside!

So remember last night when it was Southeastern Armageddon 2011? Yknow, telephone poles dropping on cars, houses being demolished. Very scary and sad stuff. And, in the interest of playing Master of the Obvious, clearly not a good night for a run. It’s only nights like this that can make me attempt to face down my most formidable foe — The Dreaded Treadmill (or the Dreadmill, if you like being efficient with your words).

It’s been about a year since the treadmill and I last crossed paths. It was a stormy evening, much like last night, and, inspired by Ron Burgundy, I was craving a nice yog. I sized up the treadmill at my work gym. I had a brief flashback of the last time I tried hoofing it on a t-mill, and how after the first mile, out of boredom, I was tempted to put the speed up so high I’d fly off the back. “Oh come Yvonne,” I thought to myself, “Surely you’re being melodramatic. Surely you’re …

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The mental side of running a long way

Unfortunatly, this isn’t me. Terefe Maregu had a good run on July 4, 2008 winning the AJC Peachtree Road Race. JOHNNY CRAWFORD/ AJC

Just about anyone that has run more than a few times knows a big part of a good run is mental. I can’t put a number on it – say running is 65 or 75 percent in your head and the rest your legs – but I know my psyche plays a big part in my runs. More than half the total thought/effort when I run is in my head.

There is no way I could have run the entire Publix half-marathon earlier this year just on how my legs were working. From about five or six miles in until the end, I was in pain; from Georgia Tech until the finish, a lot of pain. But I told myself I was going to finish the thing (my first half-marathon in three-plus years), so I did in a pretty decent time.

Wednesday, in the crazy pre-severe weather winds that felt like they were also blowing against me, I had a very good run. Despite the weather – wind plus the beginnings of the heat …

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A group run run run

That's me, fourth from the left, at the Sweetwater 420 5K I ran with Team Awesome. I need jumping lessons.

That's me, fourth from the left, at the Sweetwater 420 5K I ran with Team Awesome. I need jumping lessons.

I’m not what you would call a motivated runner. I’ll get all ready to go, lace up my shoes, and then — is that a gray cloud in the sky? Is that unfolded laundry from six weeks ago? Oh my God, are they going to show us how to make papier-mache napkin rings on The Today Show? Well, I can’t POSSIBLY be expected to go for a run right now. In a minute, maybe. After that cloud disappears and I fold my laundry and I listen to Matt and Meredith engage in some witty banter.

Flash forward four hours to me still sitting on the couch, wrist-deep in a bag of Funyuns, still in my running gear. Well, if nothing else, my intentions were good. At least I thought about going for a run. And I thought about it whilst in my running gear. So it’s basically the same thing as actually running. Right?

What I really need is a live-in drill sargeant, the kind who don’t take crap from no …

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Still need a race number?

If you didn’t get a number in the lottery, this is your chance! We have 25 pairs of numbers (50 total spots) to give away on Twitter this week. Winners will still need to pay the $33 registration fee for each number.

We will ask one question (on Twitter) and chose five winners each day Monday, April 25 – Friday, April 29 2011. You have until 10 p.m. on the day of the post to submit your answer by mentioning @ajcprr in your response on Twitter. Make sure you are following @ajcprr so we can message you if you win!


Monday’s question:
What would you do for an AJC PRR number?

Tuesday’s question: Why do you deserve an AJC PRR number?

Wednesday’s question: Finish this thought: The best thing about the AJC PRR is…

Thursday’s question: Share your best AJC PRR memory! Submit your pic @ http://bit.ly/kuLzzP for bonus points & to win Reeboks!

Friday’s question: What’s your finish line anthem?

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Dare to compare – your three-mile run vs. mine

I bet my hills can beat up your hills.
I live near Piedmont Park and often run a challenging four mile urban course, including a steep climb from the park up to the Peachtree Street ridge. Anyone who ran the recent Georgia Marathon (or half) knows this stretch can turn legs to rubber.
I’m going to give you a chance to make me back up the challenge in my first sentence, but more on that in a minute.
Last year I asked commenters on this blog to nominate their favorite courses for me to try so I could compare it to my routine. I thought it would be a good way to see new sights. I called it Dare to Compare.
Also last year, I learned of a miracle invention that helped me overcome my longtime haphazard training routine to upgrade to a much more measured one.
I am not referring to a watch, although I hadn’t been using one of those to time my runs in recent years. My system was to check the clock when I left the house, check it when I returned and subtract a couple of minutes for …

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Is there a chance I’ll win the 2011 AJC Peachtree Road Race?

Not many handicappers are giving me even a snowball’s chance of winning the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4th. For starters, I probably won’t take off until after either the Kenyans or Ethiopians are huffing and puffing past the finish line.
In my favor, consider how many places I moved up from the 2009 to 2010 Peachtree.
In 2009 I was pretty close to the median Peachtree runner, if not an average one. I finished 28,182th out of 55,000, covering the 6.2 miles in about 75 minutes. Kenya’s Sammy Kilwarn crossed the finish line first at 27.22. If he was ever worried about me, he hid it well.
In 2009 I trained a tad harder than I did most of my past 20 Peachtrees, including 1997 when I thought it would be funny to stick a cigar in my mouth as I ran under the Marathon photographers near the finish line.

John McCosh (center, with cigar) has run the Peachtree Road Race 22 times. He'll blog about his experience here as he prepares for a 23rd.

John McCosh has run the Peachtree Road Race 22 times. He'll blog about his experience here as he prepares for a 23rd.

Fast forward to spring 2010. When I agreed to write for …

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