Archive for May, 2011

The perfect park

No Piedmont Dog Park for me until my run is over. Cuteness = too distracting.

No Piedmont Dog Park for me until my run is over. Cuteness = too distracting.

Since I moved to Atlanta in September, I’ve been a bit lazy about exploring. Mostly because I’m navigationally challenged, so I figure even if I get lost, as long as I stick close to home eventually I’ll wander onto my street.

I live in Grant Park, so, as you might guess, I tend to run in Grant Park. It’s a nice combination of incline and flat road, with enough variation in scenery that it keeps boredom at bay but not so large that you it swallows you up. But when I was almost taken out by a gaggle of overexcited third-graders standing outside Zoo Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, I figured it might be time to branch out a little bit.

Sad that it took a bunch of 10-year-olds to change my running world. In the past two weeks, I’ve done two runs each in Freedom Park and at Piedmont Park, and I’m mad at myself for not having expanded my running horizons sooner.* Both offer a great change of scenery …

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Headphoning over to the dark side – running with an iPod

Will one of these soon become a necessary part of my runs? (Apple)

Will one of these soon become a necessary part of my runs? (Apple)

The time may have finally come. I have $100 gift card to Amazon.com, and it looks like I’ll be spending it on an iPod nano. Color is still TBD. You read that right, a new iPod will soon be purchased (I got my last iPod more than five years ago), and it will be one made for running. The new nano comes with a built in clip (no nasty-smelling armband needed), an FM radio, a pedometer and it is equipped for Nike+. You can even turn it into a wristwatch. Since I need a new iPod and I am getting one equipped for exercising with it, I’ll give it a try.

If you read my bio – you likely haven’t – you would know I can’t stand running with headphones/listening to music. There are lots of reasons; mainly that music doesn’t do much to motivate me. It actually annoys me because the songs that play are never what I want to hear. I took Yvonne’s suggestion to check out jog.fm, but after entering my pace, none …

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There’s an app for that

iPhone: Runner's best friend or greatest foe?

iPhone: Runner's best friend or greatest foe?

I’m a bit of a late adopter when it comes to technology. Right around the time people were starting to get Facebook pages, I finally caved in and created a MySpace page; I carried around my Discman, chipped and dirty, like an old-school badge of honor for too long before getting an iPod; and I finally turned my flip phone in for a smartphone a few months ago.

I admit I’m a bit scared of change, but the sad part is that once I finally join the rest of the world in the 21st century, I get mad that I allowed myself to miss out on all the cool benefits some of the technology has to offer. Take, for instance, all the awesome running and fitness apps on iPhones and Droids.

I have a giant app crush on RunKeeper, which, using GPS, tracks your course, how many miles you’ve run, your pace and how many calories you’ve burned. You can also take notes on how the run went, so you can go back later to determine if there’s a correlation between, …

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Runnin’ on the road, avoiding streetcars along the way

Running on the neutral ground/streetcar tracks in New Orleans, the goal is to not get hit. Photo credit: Carl Purcell/New Orleans Metropolitan C&VB Photo credit: Carl Purcell/New Orleans Metropolitan C&VBRunning on the neutral ground/streetcar tracks in New Orleans, the goal is to not get hit. Photo credit: Carl Purcell/New Orleans Metropolitan C&VB

Are running shoes in your suitcase when you leave town? I made sure my new green and gray New Balances were packed when I left for New Orleans Monday morning. And I made sure they were used Tuesday.

Certainly there are issues running away from home. First, you have to find a place to run, and that’s not always as easy or simple as it sounds. And you must find time. Generally, you are traveling for a reason, and running might not be at the top of the list. Wherever you are will present unique challenges, but also unique sightseeing opportunities. Running gear is additional stuff to pack.

What about New Orleans? My main success was not getting hit by a streetcar running up St. Charles Avenue.

The good: There were no hills. The streetcar neutral ground (the tracks) becomes a de facto off-road running trail (good since the …

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Talkin’ bout runnin’

I have a friend who nearly gags every time she sees one of those “26.2″ or “13.1″ stickers on a car bumper, signifying that the driver has run a marathon or a half-marathon, respectively.

“Honestly, what’s the big deal?,” she says, as she gives the death glare to a sticker. “I could run that far too if I really wanted to. These people aren’t better than me! THEY’RE NOT BETTER THAN ME!!” Or something along those lines.

She sounds a little bitter, no? But maybe she has a bit of a point. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of running a marathon or half-marathon, or even a 10k (PRR, holler!) or 5k, especially if you’re new to running. But there is a subset of people who are Runners (with a capital R) and they don’t want you to forget it.

These are the people who start seemingly every sentence with, “Oh, well when I ran my first marathon…” and give you those, “It’s a running thing, you wouldn’t understand,” types of looks if you haven’t taken a sip of the running cult Kool-Aid. …

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