Showing posts from September, 2009

Race #54 – Hit the Brixx 10k/5k – Charlotte NC – 09/26/09

The Hit the Brixx 10k and 5k are among the most eagerly anticipated races of the year in the Charlotte area, and with good reason — a great downtown Charlotte start and finish, lots of free food and beer afterwards, two separate starting times so you can run both races, and it’s the 8th race of the 9-race Run for Your Life Grand Prix series. It was a special race for Linda and I, being the first race that we have repeated since we became runners back in September 2008. We both ran just the 5k last year; this year we both ran the 10k. Last year’s race was the first 5k that Linda completed and today’s race was her first attempt at a 10k. Although she’s had some problems with shin splints lately, thanks to some new  calf guards from 2XU  she finished her first 10k in fine form with no pain at all. Before the race I heard that the first two miles were mostly downhill, then it leveled off for a couple miles, and the last two miles were mostly uphill. Luckily that seemed to be an oversimp

Race #53 – Run for Green Half Marathon – Davidson NC – 09/19/09

It was my second half marathon in two weeks, which qualifies me for the “ Half Fanatics .” On the downside, I wasn’t quite as perky as in last week’s half marathon in Asheville. In my mind before the race, Davidson seemed like it would be nice and flat, relatively speaking. In reality, not so much. There were plenty of hills to go around, but everybody in the half marathon had to run the same course as me, so no complaints, and I did manage to finish 1st in my age group with a time of 1:40:07 (7:39 pace), which was just 21 seconds slower than last week’s finish. Race pace is something I need to work on in the coming year. As you can see from my mile splits (below), I tend to start out too fast then progressively slow down throughout the race. I once again reverted to the Galloway run-walk-run, only slightly less than last week, taking a total of fifteen 20-second walk breaks. Ouch! I need to work on that. You can see a generally slower trend mile-by-mile in my pace as I took more walk

Race #38 – CityKids VBS 5k Run – Hickory NC – 09/13/09

This was the 10th annual CityKids VBS (Vacation Bible School) 5k sponsored by First Baptist Church in Hickory. For Linda and I, it was our second race in 12 hours and a 50-mile drive after getting home at almost midnight after last night’s China Grove race, but I always look forward to running in Hickory, the place where I grew up and still consider my hometown even though I’ve been gone for 30 years. From the parking lot where we registered for the race I could look across the block at the corner of 3rd Avenue, where my family lived when we came from New Jersey in 1964. It’s now just an empty field, but I always re-live those Wonder Years memories anytime I pass by that spot. At the start of the race we ran down a couple of blocks, hung a right just before the railroad tracks, and were met by the deafening rumble of a freight train heading through town. It was strange to hear nothing but footsteps a couple minutes later after the train had passed. The race course twisted and turned

Race #52 – Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon – 09/12/09

If George and Frank Costanza were to have a discussion about the Asheville hills, it would probably go something like this: Frank: You know they have different hill sizes? George: I know about the size of the hills. Frank: You got the A, B, C, and the D. That’s the biggest. George: I know the D is the biggest. I’ve based my whole life on knowing that the D is the biggest. After having spent a good portion of my morning running 13.1 miles through the hills of Asheville, I have to take issue with D being the biggest. The D’s were easily outnumbered by the DD’s and DDD’s, and there were a few times I thought I was going to have to get on my hands and knees and crawl up to keep from tipping over and rolling to the bottom of the hill! As I’ve done many times in the past and will no doubt do in the future, I reverted back to the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run method, or Gallowalking as some call it, and according to my Garmin I walked no less than 17 times during the race (solidifying my posi

Race #51 – Labor Day 5k – Gastonia NC – 09/07/09

It was a perfect way to start my second year of running. My first official “run” had been Labor Day 2008. We were in Tulsa that day, but I had seen the advertising for the Gastonia Labor Day 5k and kind of wanted to see if I could do it. For the previous couple weeks or so I had jogged around Martha Rivers Park a little, decked out in walking shoes and blue jeans. But for that run in Tulsa I wore shorts — just like a real runner — and running shoes (cheap ones from Shoe Carnival, but running shoes nonetheless). It turns out that Labor Day 2008 was the first day of the rest of my life, and that first 25-minute run was magical, instantaneously transforming me from mall walker to runner. Linda and I were both excited about the Labor Day 5k. Out of 50 races over the past year, this was only the 2nd one in our home town of Gastonia. Equally exciting was having so many of the runners from the Gastonia Running Club in the 5k. There were at least 10 of us — Mary, Jennifer, Tammy, Aarin, Carri