Sunday, August 29, 2010


Miles Run: Saturday 5K, Sunday: 8 miles

Saturday was the annual Yiasou Greek Festival 5K.  Since Jo did the trail run last week, it was my turn this week.

We went down to Charlotte to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church:
It's on East Boulevard in the city.  I was pretty excited about this, since I don't get to run in the city very often, particularly East blvd, which is one of my favorite parts.

I had decided i would try to go out a little harder than usual, just to try to keep some speedwork.  There were about 1,000 people there, which for Charlotte is a huge race.  So big in fact, that they had to split the start into two separate lanes.  As I once read when faced with a left/right decision 84% of people will choose right, so i chose left, which turned out to be a good decision.  The race started off ok, but i was feeling a little bit short of breathe.  I figured it was due to the high humidity and the fact that i've been feeling a bit congested recently.  So i kept plodding along.  All of a sudden the 1 mile mark was upon me.  I was a bit surprised since i was figuring about a 9:15 first mile at best, but it was 8:50.  I guess that explains why i was out of breathe.  Of course, i ultimately wound up paying the price for going out fast.  By the third mile, i was really huffing and puffing.  I also had to stop and tie my shoes.  I didn't pay a lot of attention to the course map, but as i was in the third mile, i looked over and saw some people i had passed in the first mile, so i'm guessing that the course looped back on itself./

I finished in 28:55, which wound up being around a 9:23 pace.  My pace 2 weeks ago at the uptown amphitheater race was 9:37, so hopefully that means some improvement.  I wish i hadn't wound up slowing down in the last mile, and could've kept up the pace.  After the race they had smoothie king (really refreshing), and great harvest bread company.  I got to hit their Mediterranean Olive Loaf again.  Yum!  And interestingly enough the post race refreshments included hot dogs and beer.  Um, guys it's like 8:30 am!  But Julia had no problem going for the hot dogs.  I tired a half cup of the beer just to see what it felt like at 8:30 after a race.  eh.

That's my time!?!
After the race, we headed for the Dowd YMCA where i showered and changed.  I've been in the dowd Y more in the last month than in my home Mooresville Y in the last 2!  We then headed to the whitewater center.  We had a reservation to go whitewater rafting.  It was quite a ride.  I wound up falling out of the boat and got stuck underneath it.  Nothing like drowning.  I pushed my way out after what seemed like and eternity, even though Jo told me it was only a few seconds.  After a lunch, we went to the adventure course.  This is basically wires suspended 20 feet up in the air that you walk across while harnessed in.  I have to say, I'm becoming a bit of a coward in my old age.  Julia and Jo scooted across, but i was pooping in my pants.  I eventually got across.  On the other hand, Julia had already done it 3 times, and Jo once.  So I'm hanging onto that.

Sunday we woke up early and it was Jo's turn to go outside first.  I was sitting here watching the temperature rise and dreading my run.  Julia came down and said "Daddy, can you run on the treadmill, while mommy's gone, so we can have family time after?"  So what was i going to do?  I hit the treadmill for 7 and a half miles, probably the longest run I've ever done on the treadmill/torture chamber.  Thank God for the DVD player.  Finished off district 9 and started surrogates.

After that, we headed for the high school track so Jo and i could both calibrate our Nike+ sensors.

After that, we got to take the boat out and swim in the lake, which thankfully was a little cooled that the 99 degrees it was last week.  At least it was a bit refreshing today.

While I'm looking forward to the weather colling off before i have my long runs, it is nice to go in the lake after a long run.  All told, i got in 8 today, which was a bit longer than i was planning.  

Overall, fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wait! What!?!?! I Won!?!?! Really!?

Miles Run Saturday:3, Sunday:7, Tuesday:4

Saturday we went to the US national whitewater center, a really cool place (, that has whitewater rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, zip lining, flatwater kayaking, etc.  A really fun place.

Anyways, they had their annual 5K/10K off road races.  It was Jo's turn this week so she did the 5K.  The trails are pretty hardcore, over rocks, trees, around water, etc.  The race started in the parking lot.  All gravel.  a lot of time was spent looking down to see where to step
Jo getting ready
Listening to final instructions

Interestingly, there was a pretty large group of people, but the trails are quite narrow, so the start narrowed down considerably.
The start
So of course there was a logjam at the start, but at least they had the timing mats, so your time only started once you got going.

Sprint for the finish
After the race started, Julia and I headed for the finish line.  I've done cross country races before, so i know that the times are a bit slower than regular road races.  But right around where i was expecting her, Johane came around the corner and headed for the finish.
Into the final stretch

Glad it's over
She crossed in a decent time, and was pretty tired after, but she didn't feel like she finished in a good time at all.  So she headed for the showers, and i got to run the course.  I have to admit, it's been a while since i ran that course, and it was way hillier than i remembered!  So after i ran too, we headed home to pick up the cat from the animal hospital.  Since i didn't have time to shower, i was still in my sweaty running gear.  Good thing i didn't take the time to shower, because we got a flat tire on the truck and i had to sit on the side of the road and change it!  Anyways, got the cat (just in time), took a shower and took the boat out.  Went swimming in the lake, where the water was 95 degrees, and stopped to have dinner out on the lake. 

Eating dinner overlooking the lake with a cool breeze blowing was awesome.  No better place to be, and one of the great things about where we live.

Anyways, at night Jo and i were talking about her run, and were trying to figure out what her average pace per mile was.  I suggested we just go look at the results posted online.  Well, when we went online, it turns out that Jo won her age group!  Not bad considering she thought she had a bad run.

Sunday dawned bright and early for me, as i knew i had a longer run to do, and i wanted to go before it got too hot, and i also knew that Jo had her long run to do after me.  So i did a 7 around the neighborhoods nearby.  It was pretty humid, but i had a better run than i thought I'd have.  I really realized that Isle of Pines is pretty hilly after all.  Nice downhill all 2 miles to the end, but all uphill all the way back.  Overall though, I was pleased to get through the 7.

And today, I got up early again, headed down to work and did the 4 miles on Mallard Creek near the office.  It's an interesting run since the course is basically U-shaped.  Start off downhill for a while then a LONG uphill, and then back.  I noticed some definite improvement over just a few weeks ago, though part of that could be the fact that it was a little cooler and less humid this morning.  Could the humidity finally be breaking?  I hope so.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Someone REALLY doesn't want me to run today

Miles Run: 4.2

So Julia was staying over at a friends house last night, which meant that Jo and I could (finally) get up and run together this morning.  This really doesn't happen often, so it was going to be fun.  However, when the alarm went off, there was a torrential downpour going on, so that was that.  We debated getting up and going to the gym and running on treadmills next to each other, but the rain really killed that idea.

So I went to work with the idea that I'd run after, since I had until 8PM to pick up Julia from dance.

So I like running in Charlotte sometimes, and I was eager to try out the recently completed greenway at little sugar creek, so I ran out of work (no pun intended), and hustled down to freedom park, got around the corner (keeping an eye on the storm clouds), pulled into the driveway, and.......was greeted by a closed gate and a park ranger who told me the parking lot was closed due to flooding.  So there's a way onto the greenway in the opposite direction and he told me that part was open and just park next to the tennis courts and i could run over and jump on.

So i parked my car, got my stuff together, and ran the 2/10 of a mile to the greenway, went past the ranger, and.....found the greenway underwater.  What the?  So i went back to the ranger, who looked at me like he hadn't just spent 5 minutes talking to me, and told me that yes the greenway was underwater.  Excuse me, brain surgeon, but you just told me it was fine!!!

So then i decide i can run through the park, but NOW he tells me that there will be another torrential downpour within the next 2 minutes.  OK, so much for that idea.

So at least I'm about a mile from the Dowd YMCA, so i can go over there.  On my way over, it looks like it's clearing up, so i figure I'll run outside near the Dowd.  Of course, as i pull in, now the torrential downpour starts.

So now it's like, ok, I'll go inside and run on a treadmill.  Well I've never been in the Dowd before, so I wandered around a bit.  The Dowd is probably as big as the New York Health and Racquet Club I was a member of in NY.

Except the NY pool was NICE.

Anyways there's 4 floors of workout equipment.  So i go to the first floor.  All new treadmills with TV's.  Sweet.  Except for the 5,000 people using them.  There's almost a person waiting for every machine.  crap.  Next floor.  Not as nice but still with TV's.  Same deal.  Third floor.  Starting to get not quite as nice, and still full.  Finally on the 4th floor, there's a spot.  An older treadmill, no TV.  Now i have a very short attention span and i get bored real easily, so a TV is a huge help.  OK whatever.

So i got on the treadmill and did my 4.2.  But really, really boring.  And of course i got the treadmill looking out over downtown Charlotte, which was cool, except when i got to watch the sky clear up after 5 minutes, and i got to see all the joggers going by.  Great.

The woman on the treadmill next to me didn't even have music on.  I have NO idea how you do that.  I can barely take being on the treadmill with music and a tv.  It's like torture.  Anyways my run is done.  So, thank you, and good night!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2, 2, 2 runs in one!

"All i ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by" - John Masefield

"or at least a running trail" - Marc Hirschfield

Miles Run: 4 (Tuesday night)/ 4 (Wednesday morning) = 8
Well, I guess I'm not doing such a great job already since I missed yesterdays run.  But it was a quick 4.35 miler on the treadmill at the gym before going out with some friends for drinks and dinner.  Nothing exciting to report, except that the gym is hot!!  There's only a few treadmills under the fans, and i didn't get one.  At least the treadmill i got was under the TV that was showing ESPN>

I didn't get home until after midnight last night and set my alarm clock for the usual time this morning, thinking I'd be too tired to run.  But when i woke up i realized that every time i try to run at lunch these days it just doesn't happen, and i have a chiropractor appointment after work (sore hip) so that wouldn't work.  So i got up and figured I'd head to work and run at the university Y.  Well after getting on the highway i started to think about the greenway i was checking out on the Internet yesterday that's in Davidson.  So somehow i pulled up the instructions on my ever-useful iPhone and headed over there.  After some slight confusion as to where the actual trail was, i started off.  It was OK.  A bunch of the trail is right next to Davidson/Concord road which is not exactly the ideal location for a trail.  Another part of it is actually down a side road to a obscure park.  I would've never even known if not for a kind woman who was running by.  And then another kind man who told me how to get back to the park where my car was.  Thank you!

I got back to my car a bit short of my target so i wound up having to run around the neighborhood a few times.  As usual recently, as i got to the end i was starting to get a bit overheated, and i was glad the run was over.  Starting to think that the humidity is never going to break.  It was 92% when I started running.  Yuck.

Chiropractor again tonight, so we'll see what happens with the running tomorrow.  Jo has the 5K at the whitewater center on Saturday.  Should be fun.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Got off the damn computer and start running

So i was off to a bit of a slow start today.  It's been a long week and i was just tired.  Plus, since i did a race yesterday, Jo got to go do her run first.  So of course I was sitting here and playing with the computer and decided to hook up Skype to do video calls.  And one thing led to another and she got home, and I was still playing and it got to about 10:30.  So i couldn't decide what to do.  So i just went outsie the house and ran down Isle of Pines.  I did the first 4, but then the sun came out and it got hot.  The 4 miles was one of the best 4 milers I've had in quite some time.

I wanted to do at least 1 more so i came inside and did the last mile on my nemesis the treadmill.  so boring, but i did it.  Now i have tomorrow off and then back to the road on tuesday!

So today's lesson-get your butt outside and do what you have to do!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You got HOW MANY porta potty's for this Race?

So we got up early to head to the inaugural edition of the Rock N Run 5K at the NC music factory, where we saw the goo goo dolls not 4 days ago.

So without going into too much detail, let's just say I'm used to hitting the porta potty before any race.  It's just something that happens.  Now I may be spoiled by being from New York, because this is the sight I'm used to seeing before a race:

However, when I rolled up to this race, I was unpleasantly surprised to see 2, yes that's right, 2 porta-potty's for this race.  Now granted this was the 1st annual running of this race, but still, just 2?  Surprisingly the lines for the 2 potty's weren't as bad as I expected, but seriously guys, next year, you might look into a few more.

Aside from that the race was pretty good, and hopefully it'll stick around for years to come.  The course was not too hilly, unlike most downtown Charlotte races, though there were some in there.  It was a for the most part, an out and back course.  Before the race started the clock counted down how many minutes until 8, and shockingly enough when it got to 8, the race started whether you were there or not.  I kinda like that, since most races these days have endless delays.

The weather was also interesting.  It was pretty overcast most of the time, and it looked like we could expect a thunderstorm any second.  On the way to the race, it started sprinkling, but it held up.  Unfortunately, all these clouds resulted in a race time humidity level of 86%, which is NOT my thing.  Anyways the race started with a marching band and kicked off.  I decided that i would try and push it a little in the first mile, and try and see what i had.  I went out pretty strong, even though the humidity made it almost impossible to breath.  Got through the first mile in 9:18, slowed down a little bit in the second mile, and pulled up at mile marker 2 at 19 minutes.  Not great for about 8 years ago, but these days not bad at all.  However the third mile is when the wheels fell off the truck a bit.  I got pretty overheated and the lack of breathing for the first 2 miles finally caught up with me a bit.  I wound up walking a little bit in the third mile and finished the last 1.1 miles at 29:53 for an average pace of 9:37.  Still not bad for me these days.

While I was pretty happy with the first 2 miles, of course I'm now obsessing over mile 3 and wishing it could've been better.  All I can say is that I obviously have some work to do.

The finish area had a pretty nice setup for a first year race.  At least a dozen companies, and the food was pretty good, including hero sandwiches.  Not bad. There was even a band playing on the little stage there.

Overall, a good race, and hopefully it'll continue on for years to come.

And I've got my work cut out for me.
Oh, and we followed up the race with a visit to Carowinds.  Long day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

On local running and the death of local cuisine

While today's blog isn't about me, I say it counts since it's a race that Jo did.

Our town of Mooresville, NC has a running series in the summer called the miles of Mooresville.  For a single entry fee, you can enter any (or all) of the races.  There's 1,2, and 3 mile races.  Jo wanted to get some training in so we headed over there so she could do the 3 with our friend Laurie, who is one of the couple that introduced us to Mooresville about 8 years ago.  So we blame them  (just kidding).  Anyways the race series is in downtown Mooresville, or what i call Mooresville Mooresville, since it's the actual town, where true North Carolinians are from, not the part of Mooresville where I live which is mostly just us Yankees.

The town is pretty cute and has interested old time items such as this about:

Unfortunately, while heading to the start, I passed the best and (almost) only upscale restaurant in town, called Soiree, which is now apparently closed.  So much for cuisine in town.  I'll pretty much have to head to Charlotte for a special occasion, unless I go to the North Harbor Club.  What a bummer.  We'll miss you Soiree! 

Anyways, onto the race.  The races were a series of 1 mile loops through town.  If I wasn't doing a 5K tomorrow, I definitely would've wanted to do this race.  So like I said, Jo ran with our friend Laurie

Jo finished in a respectable 30 minutes.

Julia and I are definitely proud of Momma. 

So that's it for today, have to go eat dinner and get ready for the early wake up to head to Charlotte for the Rock N Run 5K.

Thank you and keep running!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First One

Well, this is my first post.  I decided to setup a blog to cover the running I'll be doing.  So my plan is to post a pic of where i run as well as a little bit about the run and what's going on.  Hope you like it. So this morning after running just last night, I got up early and headed over to Birkdale to try out a new trail I heard about.  Hard to believe that right behind the shopping center that there's a woodsy running trail, but there is.  So it's a pretty nice trail, it reminds me of the duck pond park in Ridgewood, NJ where i did a lot of my marathon training.  Except that the Birkdale trail is 3 miles round trip, while Jersey was 20!  So no long training runs at this place.  It was pretty humid this morning and i was tired, but i finished the 3 miles.  Looking forward to the Rock 'N' Run 5K this Saturday at the uptown amphitheater.

Today's pic is the movie theater at Birkdale.  I love this place.  The style of it reminds me of the Saratoga Springs resort at Walt Disney World.  I love the stars inside the building on the ceiling.

Anyways, welcome to day 1!