Archive for the ‘Yvonne Zusel’ Category

It’s almost here — are you ready?

It sounds delicious, but shoving a giant plate of pasta into your mouth the night before a race isn't such a great idea. / Photo by Getty Images

It sounds delicious, but shoving a giant plate of pasta into your mouth the night before a race isn't such a great idea. / Photo by Getty Images

Where did the time go? It’s hard to believe that a few months ago, we were talking about registering for the AJC Peachtree Road Race lottery, and now the race is only two days away.

Which begs raises the question — what are you doing over the next couple of days to make sure you’re in prime racing condition? I’m not talking about training — if you haven’t been training, well, good luck to you. Maybe it’ll be a 4th of July miracle and you’ll actually cross the finish line intact.

No, I’m talking about the things you do in two or three days leading up to the race to ensure success in crossing the finish line.

There are various schools of thought on what to do before a race, but most people agree on things not to do, many of them regarding what you eat and drink. For instance, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually not a good idea to …

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Have cold, will run

sneeze

This guy knows what I'm talkin' bout./AP photo

I’m sick. I’ll spare you the gory details, but there’s lots of sneezing, coughing, and dirty looks from co-workers involved. I’m feeling and sounding pretty gross, but what I’m most concerned about is the effect my little cold might have on my weekend running schedule.

Normally, I’m the type to use any excuse not to run — especially I’m scheduled for a long run — including spotting a cloud in the sky and noticing a “Law & Order: SVU” rerun on TNT. However, the Peachtree Road Race is barely a month away, and it’s getting harder and harder to make excuses.

But is illness a legitimate excuse to skip a run? A study tested runners with colds, and had some continue to run and some remain sedentary. Results showed having a cold did not hinder runners who continued to run, nor did running cut down on the length of a cold. So, it seems, running with a head cold is A-OK. But the same article notes that more severe illnesses can be …

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Dealing with the elements

Women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya, left, and men's winner and compatriot Wesley Korir kiss the trophy at the finish area of the 2012 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 16, 2012. / AP photo

Women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya, left, and men's winner and compatriot Wesley Korir kiss the trophy at the finish area of the 2012 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 16, 2012. / AP photo

Hills and distance were only two of the challenges runners doing the Boston Marathon on Monday had to contend with — unseasonable heat threw another hurdle into the mix. Temperatures reached 87(!) degrees, scaring away more than 4,000 runners who had registered for the race, and causing 2,100 who did run to be treated for dehydration and exhaustion.

Which begs the question — how prepared are you to run in extreme weather? The temps for last year’s Peachtree Road Race were 74 degrees at the 7:30 a.m. starting time, and it only got hotter. For PRR first-timers who haven’t run in humidity, make no mistake — it was sock-drenching, T-shirt soaking humidity. I don’t say that to scare you, but to prepare you.

The treadmill may be tempting on days when it feels like the air is so heavy, it …

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What races are you running to prepare?

The 5K Pack Hike in Lawrenceville is Saturday, May 5, 2012.  Photo by Jason Getz

The 5K Pack Hike in Lawrenceville is Saturday, May 5, 2012. Photo by Jason Getz

Now that the mad dash to register for the AJC Peachtree Road Race lottery is over (Good luck — may the odds be ever in your favor!), it’s time to start looking ahead to the actual race.

If you’ve never done an organized run, it might not be a bad idea to do a 5K to prepare for the PRR. Sure, a 5K is only half the distance, but it’ll help get you in the organized running mindset and give you an idea of what to expect come race day in terms of running in a big group, packet pickup and fighting people for port-a-potties. And it’s just a nice way to motivate yourself as the weather gets more humid (Mom would be so disappointed if you skipped the race you paid $30 to enter).

There are a ton to choose from in the next few months, including the Run for Orphans 5K in Alpharetta Saturday, March 31 (it’s also a Peachtree qualifier if you want to use the time toward next year’s PRR registration); the …

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The importance of start wave placement times

Submit a start wave placement time -- or live to regret it! -- Photo by Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com

Submit a start wave placement time — or live to regret it! — Photo by Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to register for the AJC Peachtree Road Race…it seems like only yesterday that we were discussing our favorite — and just a few not-so-favorite — moments from last year’s race. With the deadline for registration fast approaching (you have until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, March 22 to get in on this — register now before it’s too late, go go go!), it’s time we had a frank talk — go ahead, sit down — about submitting start wave placement times.

I learned the importance of this the hard way last year, when I apparently didn’t enter the correct time from a PRR qualifying race and ended up getting a less-than-desirable start time. So, learn from my mistake — that’s what I’m here for (well, that and complaining about having to do training runs in ridiculously high humidity). In the “Start Wave Placement”  area of the registration form, make sure …

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So…how’d it go?

ajcpeachtree.0705JGHappy post-PRR day! Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July and a great run. After all the build up to the main event, it’s kind of hard to believe it’s over. As a Peachtree Road Race newbie, I’m happy to say I had such a good experience that I’m already looking forward to next year’s race. I was impressed at how well-organized everything was and had an awesome time people watching — and of course celebrating post-race with a giant brunch. Here are some of my highlights — and just a couple of lowlights — from yesterday:

THE GOOD:

The flag: Seeing the giant American flag hanging from the crane at the starting line was an inspiring way to start the race.
The costumes: There were the expected red, white and blue get-ups, which were nice, but I loved the unexpected — the group of guys dressed as bald eagles, the girls in nude body suits and neon wigs who made me do a double take, the runners in head-to-toe colored spandex suits. It was a fun way to distract myself when I was …

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Do you stay with your friends when you run?

A few years ago, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix with my then-boyfriend. We had trained together for a few months and had the same goal — to finish at about two hours. Because we were running at about the same pace, we figured we’d cross the finish line together — we never talked about what one would do if the other one got a cramp or got tired or got mowed down by an overzealous Kenyan.

We were in perfect sync until Mile 10, and then he turned to me and said those fateful words: “I have to pee.” He told me next time we passed an alley, he was going to duck in and relieve himself. He told me to keep running. “Are you sure?” I asked him, secretly wanting to keep going, but feeling guilty for not waiting for him. He assured me it was fine. So I left him. And when I crossed the finish line without him — he finished five minutes later — I didn’t feel nearly as excited as I know I would have if we would have done it together.

I remembered reading about this couple

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It’s the final countdown

Over the holiday weekend, it occurred to me that the PRR is just about a month away. How the heck did THAT happen? It seems like only yesterday that we were slip-sliding all over the place, trying to keep our balance whilst jogging on the ice.

I don’t know about you, but I start getting a little bit anxious about a month before a big race. There’s something about knowing I only have about four more weeks of training that gets my heart racing (in both a nervous and excited way). It’s also around that time when I start  really kicking myself into gear — I stop drinking as much, I start eating better and I don’t allow myself to skip a run. Training goes from a second or third priority to a top priority. It almost feels like I’m cramming for a test — I know I should be doing this stuff for the entire training period, but I’m a procrastinator. The month mark gives me a little extra motivation.

What types of prep do you start doing a month before a big run? Does your routine change …

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I’m runnin’ in the rain

In the couple of months of summer-like weather we’ve had so far in Atlanta, I’ve come to realize that if it isn’t super hot and humid, it’s pouring rain and humid. I’m used to running in inclement weather from years spent dealing with Chicago winters, but I’ve never lived somewhere where it seems to rain every other day.

It’s hard enough for me to motivate myself to run when it’s decent outside; a drop of rain has me heading for the couch and a couple of episodes of “The Wire.” But it’s become apparent that if there’s any hope of me training for races over the summer, I’m going to have to suck it up and force myself to run in the downpour.

These marathoners have some good tips, including using Vaseline to prevent chafing and changing shirts halfway through to give your soggy body a reprieve. One writer makes a good point: It very well could rain on race day, and you can’t just roll over that morning and go back to sleep (well, you can, but all those days of training would go …

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Is there room for beer in running?

These hashers know what they're running for: beer.

These hashers know what they're running for: beer.

I left something out of my blogger’s bio: I love beer. I have a special fondness for craft brews, and if it’s served in a cold pint glass, all the better. But really, I don’t discriminate.

As you can imagine, my love of hops and barley doesn’t exactly jive with my love of waking up early and getting in a long run. But surprisingly, some people have found a way to make beer and running peacefully co-exist. The Hash House Harriers, an international group (with an Atlanta chapter) that dubs itself as “a drinking club with a running problem,” ends its runs with a pint or five. The Sweetwater 420 5K — which offers participants a free pint of beer at the end — sold out when it took place in April, and an event called “The Beer Mile” — which consists of a variety of rules but starts with competitors drinking four cans of beer and running four laps on a track — has been embraced by those into “digestive athletics.” This blogger drew …

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