Monday, January 31, 2011

Point-to-Point vs. Out & Back or Loop Races

The more I looked at my old race bibs the more I thought about the races they represent.  One particular triathlon comes to mind. It's a race for which I don't have a bib, the Macon sprint triathlon.  A point-to-point race that takes place on Memorial Day near Macon, Georgia.  The year I participated was probably way back in 1990.  Even so, it created my aversion to point-to-point races.

A point-to-point race is one where the start and finish are some distance apart, usually something just less than the total distance of the race.  The distance between the start and finish is usually covered with shuttle buses or, in the case of the Peachtree Road Race, MARTA.  The longer the race the further participants have to travel and the more logistical hurdles to climb.  As opposed to a foot race, a triathlon takes the logistical hurdles of a point-to-point race to an exponentially higher level for participants, race directors, and volunteers.  The positive side of a point-to-point race is that the scenery is always changing.

On the other side of the coin, a loop or out-n-back race might be less scenic because participants see the same things more than once.   On the positive side, volunteers can be better utilized, communications between all involved are usually better, spectators are better accommodated, and no sweaty bus rides.  Logistically, they're better for triathlon participants because all your gear is in the same location. 

As I remember it, the Macon Triathlon race itself was fine, the volunteers were friendly, and it's a fundraiser for a worthy charity, the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home.  In the year I participated, race parking was at the children’s home, the swim start was at Lake Tobesofkee, and the run finished at children’s home.  Since the race was on Memorial Day, all gear had to be cleared out of the lake side park after participants started the bike segment.  This was done to make room for families and BBQ'ers to enjoy the park for the holiday.  Race volunteers collected the gear and brought it to the finish.

Following the gear collection, one of my fellow triathletes found himself without his car keys.  They had been left at the park with his other gear.  He eventually located his keys at the finish but not until after I had driven him to the lake and back.

Of course I'm not saying that I'll never do a point-to-point race or even the Macon Triathlon again.  It's just that if I have a choice I prefer a looped course.   

Do you prefer point-to-point races or loop races and why?

My Old Race Bibs

What to do with my bibs from past races?  I was looking through some old fitness stuff the other day and found several race numbers I’d worn in the 1990’s.  There they were in a file cabinet amongst the user manual for my treadmill, various documentation for my other fitness equipment, a cloth Southern Bicycle League patch, the sales receipt for my 1989 Trek 1500 road bike, etc.

They include bibs from the 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996 Peachtree Road Race.  The PRR numbers are 3158, 3138, 70404 and 20055, respectively.  I think the 1993 bib # 3158 might be from my one and only PRR sub-seeded wave start.  I don’t know for sure since the 1994 bib is almost the same number.  Maybe I was sub-seeded in the 1991 or 1992 PRR.  Those bibs are long gone (if they ever existed).  I wish the Atlanta Track Club would post the results from their earlier races.

Old Race Bibs from the 1990's
Along with my PRR bibs I also found a bib from the inaugural GA400 race.  I don’t remember the distance or the year but I do remember that GA400 had just opened and this was the first race.

The last old bib is from the 1994 Atlanta Half-Marathon.  This was the race where I screwed-up my knees.  I should burn this one!

I wonder what happened to all the other race bibs I’ve worn over the years.  There was the Macon Triathlon, a 10K in Brooks, GA, several races in Oklahoma City, OK, a 5K in Griffin, GA when I ran my 5K PR of 18:21, and others.  I remember the Macon Triathlon because it was the race that created my aversion point-to-point races.

Anyway, I guess it’s time to buy a bib folio.

Maybe next I'll discuss my old triathlon apparel starting with my speedo-style Scott Tinley tri-suit, circa 1990.  On second thought, I think I've already said enough!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Susan and I took a little jaunt through the neighborhood today.  Susan's still getting used to her new 2011 Felt ZW75 road bike.  She got her bike late last year just before the cold weather hit Atlanta.  I'm still riding my 2010 Quintana Roo CD0.1. 
The weather today was beautiful, even better than yesterday.  The temperature had to be close to 70-degrees in the afternoon.  It's nice to finally be able to get outside without wearing 3 layers of clothes (and still being cold). 

I know Spring really isn't in the air but it sure felt like it was today!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Perfect Day for a Run

The weather was great today.  The temperature was 58-degrees with beautiful blue skies and no wind.  It was a perfect day for a run.  If I had only gotten more than just a few hours sleep last night!  I was surprised that I felt so good.  I ran my usual loop around Lake Spivey this afternoon.  Today's distance was 9-miles including a short detour down South Bay Drive along the southeast shore of the lake. 

My finish time was 1:07:06 at a 7:27 pace.

Stats: Avg HR: 170, In zone (120-180): 57:41, Above zone: 7:15, Below zone: 2:10, Calories burned: 940

Susan and I will ride our bikes tomorrow.  The weather is supposed to be even better.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Peachtree Road Race Qualifying

Qualifying for the Peachtree Road Race just got a little harder!  I've been looking at the 2010 PRR starting wave qualifying times for months now.  I took a closer look the other day and realized that some of the times have changed for the 2011 race.  My 2010 Peachtree City Classic 15K finish time still qualifies me for the sub-seeded wave this year but, who knows, that same time might not be good enough in 2012.

These times represent the slowest time required to qualify for each wave.  Waves may be sub-divided based on  the final registration numbers. 

Top Seed Wave Start Times.
2010 PRR
Top Seed Wave Start Times
5K
5mi/8K
10K
15K
10 Mile
1/2 Marathon
Top Seed Open Men
17:36
29:05
36:30
56:00
1:00:00
1:20:00
Top Seed Open Women
19:18
32:00
40:00
58:00
1:05:20
1:30:00
Top Seed Masters Men
18:20
30:05
38:00
1:01:00
1:02:30
1:25:00
Top Seed Masters Women
20:01
33:20
41:30
1:03:00
1:08:00
1:32:00

2011 PRR
Top Seed Wave Start Times
5K
5mi/8K
10K
15K
10 Mile
1/2 Marathon
Top Seed Open Men
17:36
29:05
36:30
56:00
1:00:00
1:20:00
Top Seed Open Women
19:18
32:00
40:00
58:00
1:05:20
1:30:00
Top Seed Masters Men
18:20
30:05
38:00
58:27
1:03:01
1:24:06
Top Seed Masters Women
20:01
33:20
41:30
1:03:00
1:08:00
1:32:00

Sub-Seeded and Walker Wave Start Times.
2010 PRR
Sub-Seeded and Walker Wave Start Times
5K
5mi/8K
10K
15K
10 Mile
1/2 Marathon
Sub-Seed
20:15
33:23
41:59
1:04:35
1:09:36
1:33:00
A
24:05
39:43
49:59
1:16:59
1:22:59
1:50:51
B
26:00
42:52
53:59
1:23:11
1:29:39
1:59.43
C
27:12
44:52
56:30
1:26:50
1:33:32
2:04:41
D
28:23
46:49
56:59
1:30:54
1:37:58
2:10:44
E
29:34
48:48
1:01:29
1:34:46
1:42:07
2:16:23
F
30:46
50:47
1:03:59
1:38:36
1:46:16
2:21:40
G
31:57
52:45
1:06:29
1:42:27
1:50:24
2:27:07
H
33:08
54:44
1:08:59
1:46:17
1:54:31
2:32:33
J
34:20
56:44
1:11:30
1:50:09
1:58:40
2:38:00
K
35:39
58:55
1:14:15
1:54:21
2:03:11
2:43:56
L
37:11
1:01:28
1:17:29
1:59:17
2:08:29
2:50:53
M
38:52
1:04:16
1:21:00
2:04:09
2:14:14
2:58:25
N
40:47
1:07:26
1:25:00
2:10:43
2:20:46
3:06:56
P
43:11
1:11:03
1:30:00
2:18:20
2:29:01
3:18:23
R
45:34
1:15:24
1:35:00
2:25:52
2:37:00
3:28:07
S
48:28
1:20:11
1:41:00
2:34:54
2:46:41
3:40:44
T
52:46
1:26:50
1:50:00
2:49:04
3:02:07
4:02:28
U
1:00:37
1:40:11
2:06:00
3:12:19
3:26:45
4:32:50
W
>1:00:37
>1:40:11
>2:06:00
>3:12:19
>3:26:45
>4:32:50

2011 PRR
Sub-Seeded and Walker Wave Start Times
5K
5mi/8K
10K
15K
10 Mile
1/2 Marathon
Sub-Seed
20:15
33:23
41:59
1:04:35
1:09:36
1:33:00
A
23:01
38:07
47:59
1:13:45
1:19:27
1:45:47
B
24:28
40:15
50:59
1:18:22
1:24:25
1:52.23
C
25:54
42:37
53:59
1:22:59
1:29:23
1:59:00
D
27:20
44:59
56:59
1:27:35
1:34:21
2:05:37
E
28:32
46:58
59:29
1:31:26
1:34:29
2:11:07
F
29:59
49:20
1:02:29
1:36:02
1:43:27
2:17:44
G
31:25
51:42
1:05:29
1:40:39
1:48:25
2:24:21
H
33:08
54:44
1:08:59
1:46:17
1:54:31
2:32:33
J
34:20
56:44
1:11:30
1:50:09
1:58:40
2:38:00
K
35:39
58:55
1:14:15
1:54:21
2:03:11
2:43:56
L
37:11
1:01:28
1:17:29
1:59:17
2:08:29
2:50:53
M
38:52
1:04:16
1:21:00
2:04:09
2:14:14
2:58:25
N
40:47
1:07:26
1:25:00
2:10:43
2:20:46
3:06:56
P
43:11
1:11:03
1:30:00
2:18:20
2:29:01
3:18:23
R
45:34
1:15:24
1:35:00
2:25:52
2:37:00
3:28:07
S
48:28
1:20:11
1:41:00
2:34:54
2:46:41
3:40:44
T
52:46
1:26:50
1:50:00
2:49:04
3:02:07
4:02:28
U
1:00:37
1:40:11
2:06:00
3:12:19
3:26:45
4:32:50
W
>1:00:37
>1:40:11
>2:06:00
>3:12:19
>3:26:45
>4:32:50
X
No
Time
Sub-
mitted
Y
No
Time
Sub-
mitted

The wave times in red indicate where the times have been reduced.  The green times indicated where the times have been increased.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Freedom Run 10K

I just found out about the Freedom Run 10K and 5K last week while driving to Warner Robins, GA for the Museum of Aviation Marathon.  The race takes place at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia on February 12th, 2011.  My buddy Jim runs this race every year, except last year when he swore off all races.  He has since recovered from those crazy thoughts and hopefully we'll both run it this year.  I've just got to convince my wife that this is a good idea!

CSU President, Tim Hynes is an avid runner.  Race Director Mike Mead, is the Assistant Athletic Director at the University and the Head Cross Country/Track Coach.  Coach Mead is also a contributor to the popular Run Georgia website.

The important thing about the Freedom Run 10K is that the course is USATF certified and that it's considered by the Atlanta Track Club to be one of the ten Peachtree Road Race qualifying races in the Metro Atlanta area.  The 5K course is not certified.

Here's a look at the 10K course.



Registration is only $20 before February 7th, 2011.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

ATC Peachtree City 10K - Race Report

The 2011 Atlanta Track Club Peachtree City 5K & 10K took place in Peachtree City, Georgia on January 22nd at the Glenloch Recreational Center on Stevens Entry.  Race registration was free for wife and I.  We're ATC members.  Registration for non-members was only $10.  There was no t-shirt but they did have awards (for some).  I ran the 10K and my wife was going to run the 5K but it was too cold.  Instead, she took most of the images for this report.

Stretching inside the rec. center before the race
The rec. center facility include a heated building with two large rooms.  The room above was full of runners escaping the cold and stretching.  The other room was used for registration before the race and for food and the awards presentation after the race.

The 5K and 10K finish line tent
Crossing the finish line with a bunch of 5K'ers
Headed back to the start (post-race) to recover my jacket
The race finish area
Time keepers collecting the results
The race security force and troop transport vehicles
The finish line time caller-outer
The finish line
Much like last week's Museum of Aviation race in Warner Robins, Georgia, the weather at the start of this race was 28-degrees and blue skies.  The course is predominantly on the city's golf cart paths through the woods.  This is the case for all the Peachtree City races I've run.  Why run in the street if you don't have to?  Time "caller-outers" were located at each mile.  There were also probably about a dozen runners, that weren't participating in the race, enjoying the morning by running on the course.

I hoped to end the race with a sub-40 minute finish time.  It would be the first time I've had done that since I ran a 10K in Brooks, Georgia around 1990.  I remember running that race in 39:40 after having worked all night long.  I need a bit more sleep these days.  I used that finish time for the one and only Peachtree Road Race I've run where I started with the sub-seeded runners.  I've run about a half-dozen PRR over the years.

My results for the Peachtree City 10K was a finish time of 42:10 (chip time) with a 6:47 pace and 4th in my age group.  No award for me, again! That's my third 4th place age group finish in a row.

My next attempt at a sub-40 10K will be the Charles Harris 10K on February 26th in Tucker, Georgia.  That is unless I run the Freedom Run 10K in Morrow, Georgia on February 12th.  Both 10K races are USATF certified and included in an Atlanta Track Club list of the top ten PRR qualifying races in Georgia.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Bike Ride Since Thanksgiving

I've been running a lot to the detriment of my bike training.  My last ride was about 2 months ago around Thanksgiving.  I had a flat that day so I remember it well.

Today, four of us set out on a 30-mile ride through Fayette County.  Bill Payne, Chip West, Richard Black and I started at Harp's Crossing Baptist church south of Fayetteville and headed south'er through Brooks, Georgia.  This has been a popular area for cycling for years.  I remember riding my red Trek 1500 road bike there 20-years ago with the now defunct Spalding Sprockets out of Griffin, Georgia.  Traffic has increased a bit since then.  The weather was sunny with a temperature of 52-degrees.  It was a good day for a ride, I just wish I was in better shape.

Bill with his Cannondale road bike
"Ironman" Chip with his QR Lucero Lite
Richard with his Cannondale Slice
The Crew
Our average speed was only about 18mph.  That's mostly because Richard and Chip had to wait for Bill (who was kind enough to wait for me).  The last time we rode together I felt like Cal Naughton Jr. in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  Shake and Bake!  This time I was more like Lt. Dan Taylor in Forest Gump before he got his new legs.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Museum of Aviation Marathon - Race Report

The 15th annual 2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon takes place on Robins Air Force base in Warner Robins, Georgia on January 15th at 8:00am.  I woke up at 4:00am had some coffee, a smoothie, and a bagel.  I bundled up and headed out the door at 5:25am to pick-up my buddy Jim.  Jim registered to run the 5K and I registered for the full marathon.  It would be my first marathon.  We arrived at the Museum of Aviation parking lot at around 7:10am.

Convair F-106 "Delta Dart"
Thunderbirds General Dynamics F-16A "Fighting Falcon"
When we left home the temperature was 21-degrees.  It was a balmy 26-degrees outside the museum.  Packet pick-up was in the main museum building.  It was warm inside the building and a lot of runners were taking advantage.

We headed back to the car with our t-shirts and race bibs before lining up at the start.  As I waited for the race to start, up walks my buddy, Dave Rehm.  Dave and I ran the Peachtree City Classic in October.  He beat me!  Luck was on my side today though, Dave had just completed the Goofy Challenge last weekend and is scheduled to have knee surgery on Tuesday.  He should be tired and hurt!  Dave paced me for the first 10 miles then, in my naive exuberance, I decided to pull ahead.  I next saw Dave at the 13.1-mile turn-around in his own Matsuki Terada moment.  You may have seen earlier this month when Terada while leading the Tokyo-Hakone Relay Marathon took a wrong turn 200-meters before the finish.  Dave's moment occurred just before the turn-around when he went straight instead of turning left toward the museum.  He quickly recovered though and was back in the race.

Time for a second lap.  The marathon course is 2 laps around the base.  I settled into my run as pain from various parts of my body started to make itself known.  My back hurt, my thighs hurt, my knees hurt, my calves hurt, my feet hurt...  On Friday I bought a pair of Sugoi Compression socks and Sugoi tights at my local bike shop.  My on-line order for a pair of 2XU Compression Socks had been cancelled by the retailer.  I coated the toe box and heel area inside my new Sugoi socks with BodyGlide but I got blisters anyway.  My shoes may have been too loose.  I don't think I'll race wearing compression socks again.

My buddy Chip says that a marathon is 2 races, the first 20-miles and the last 6.  I now know what he was talking about.  I dreamt of a 3:15:00 finish, had hoped for a 3:20:00 finish, thought a 3:30:00 finish would be good enough, and ultimately finished 4th in my age-group with a 3:31:57 chip time.  Dave is in the same age group and he came in 5th.  I beat him by 1:23.  Jim was the only one of us to leave with a trophy.  He took 2nd in his age group.

(l-r) Jim, me, and Dave
Overall it's a good race.  The course is level except for 2 short hills.  There are plenty of water stations and volunteers along the course.  The venue offered easy access, plenty of parking, ample heated indoor space and post race food.  The finisher's medals are nice as are the long-sleeve cotton t-shirts. 

2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon Finishers Medal
2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon T-Shirt Artwork
The chip timing was limited to start and finish mats but it worked well.  Don't expect many spectators along the course though.  The Air Force Base is on a secure facility so the only spectators will be in the museum area.

Lockheed C-141C "Starlifter"
The weather was a beautiful 55-degrees with blue skies for the drive home.

Now, how am I supposed to get these Band-Aids off of my nipple without causing any further pain?  I think I wait a few days and maybe they'll just fall off!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gate River Run Qualifying

The race director for the Gate River Run has come to his (or her) senses.  The Gate River Run is a 15K USA Championship race in Jacksonville, Florida.  My hometown!  They have changed the wave start qualifying times by several minutes making it easier to qualify for the wave starts.  The previous 301-1000 wave 10K qualifying time required a 40:00 finish time from a qualifying race.  Now it's 44:00 and I am in!  I used my ATC Resolution Run 41:21 finish time to register.  http://www.gate-riverrun.com/qualifying.htm

New 2011 Wave Start Qualifying Chart.

5K
5 Mile
10K
15K
10 Mile
1/2 Marathon
Marathon
301-1000
-N/A-
Under 35:00
Under 44:00
Under 1:08:00
Under 1:13:00
Under 1:38:00
Under 3:25:00
1001-2000
Under 24:00
Under 40:00
Under 49:00
Under 1:15:00
Under 1:22:00
Under 1:47:00
Under 3:50:00
2001-3000
Under 27:00
Under 44:00
Under 55:00
Under 1:24:00
Under 1:32:00
Under 2:02:00
Under 4:12:00
3001-4000
Under 29:00
Under 47:00
Under 58:00
Under 1:30:00
Under 1:38:00
Under 2:10:00
Under 4:25:00
4001-5000
Under 30:00
Under 49:00
Under 1:02:00
Under 1:33:00
Under 1:42:00
Under 2:15:00
Under 4:40:00

The image below shows the starting waves.

For reference, the Old 2011 Wave Start Qualifying Chart.
Old 2011 Starting Wave Qualifying Chart
I'll see you in Jacksonville on March 12th, 2011.

Icy Outside - Run Inside

The outside temperature got above freezing today for a few hours.  This allowed much of the snow and ice to melt in areas.  In other areas, not so much!  It was still too nasty to run outside.

I'm sticking to the plan so I hit the treadmill for a quick 5-mile run.  This is the only week of my 20-week intermediate marathon training plan that I've stuck to my plan.  Just a 4-mile run tomorrow and a 2-mile run on Friday and that's it.

The weather on Saturday is supposed to be partly cloudy with a low temperature of 30-degrees and a high of 51-degrees.  As my wife said "it might be in the 50's on your drive home".  I'll bring plenty of clothes on Saturday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Marathon Packing List

My first marathon is only a few days away and I don't want to forget anything that I may need on race morning.  I've created a list to help me remember what to bring.  A list of item for any foot race would of course include shorts, shoes, socks, race belt, etc. but a marathon isn't just any race.  This is especially true since it's my first marathon and the weather will be cold.

The marathon is the Museum of Aviation Foundation Marathon in Warner-Robins, Georgia on January 15th.  My buddy Jim will also be running.  After running 48 races in 2009 Jim took off from racing all of 2010.  He should be well rested! 

Since the race takes place on Robins Air Force Base proper identification is a must.  In fact, runners will surrender their ID's while on the base.  They'll be returned upon departure.


Marathon packing list items
On with the list!

The clothes I plan to wear or bring for before, during, and after the race are; a coat, running pants, shirts (short sleeve & long), shoes (2 pairs) shorts, socks (2 pairs), and gloves.

My gear will include; Band-Aids, BodyGlide, heart rate monitor and strap, race belt, sunglasses, toilet paper, towel, trash bags, and a visor.

The nutrition I'll bring will include; bagels, Clif Bars, Gatorade, GU, Perpetuem, and water.

The miscellaneous stuff includes; the race address and directions, backpack, camera, identification, race documentation, wallet and money, lip balm, gum, and reading glasses.

Since my knees aren't what the once were I'll also bring; Ziploc bags, a cooler of ice, cellophane wrap, ibuprofen, and paper towels.

I'm also going to pack and gas up the old jalopy the night before the race. 

Lastly, since I'll be driving, that morning I'll give my car keys to Jim so he's not left out in the cold for hours while I'm still on the course.

I sure hope I've covered everything!

Snow Day Chicken Soup

My wife Susan and I woke up this morning to 2" of snow and ice outside.  We were going to be stuck inside for the day so, Susan decided a hot bowl of soup would be nice.  Susan had boiled a whole chicken and some chicken breasts a few days ago to make the broth in preparation for this soup.  Max would like to have some chicken soup too!

Max checks out the snow
Max and Susan at the mailbox
Max and Susan taking a short walk 
Max and Susan headed back home
Max checks out the snow again
Max's feet on the icy snow
The ingredients for Mexican chicken soup include; 1 whole chicken, 2 large bone-in chicken breasts, 4 large carrots in large chucks, 4 ribs of celery in large chunks, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 large onion diced, 1 10oz can of Rotele, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of coriander, fresh cilantro, fresh avocado, fresh lime, 1 large jalapeno pepper, 1 14oz bag of short grain rice, salt and pepper to taste.

Susan skimmed off the fat from the broth
The broth heats up
Some of the ingredients
The ingredients simmer
The soup is ready to eat
Chicken soup served in a bowl
Coronas - it is a snow day after all! 
So, if any of you are snowed in too, enjoy the day - Carpe Diem!!

Snow Day

It's the second day we've had snow this winter.  We had about 2" of accumulation over the night.  The snow started as freezing rain at about 7:00pm last night.  I guess it will be the treadmill today or nothing!

The street with a few vehicle tracks.
Not many drivers braving the roads this morning.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Marathon in Six Days

As my friends relax in Orlando, Florida after finishing their marathon today I still have to train for my race on Saturday. During the past two days I've only logged about 5 miles on the treadmill. That's not so bad since I'm in my training taper period. Today my training plan called for me to run 10 miles. I ran a distance of 10.3 miles. My finish time was 1:26:49 at a 8:26 pace. I'm not trying to kill myself at this point!

Stats: Avg HR: 162, In zone (120-180): 1:25:21, Above zone: 0:20, Below zone: 1:08, Calories burned: 1183

The weather was mostly cloudy with a light wind and a temperature of 34 degrees.

2011 Goofy Challenge

As residents of metro Atlanta empty store shelves and brace for the coming winter storm, others are enjoying warmer climes. 

Kudos to Atlantans Richard Black, David Rehm and Charles West for competing in the 2011 Goofy Challenge half-marathon and/or marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida this weekend.

Half-Marathon Results:
David Rehm - 1:35:10
Charles West - 2:11:44

Marathon Results:
Richard Black - 4:32:28
David Rehm - 3:24:00
Charles West - 4:44:02

I can't wait to see the pictures!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Dog Max

A house is not a home without a dog and no blog is complete without some tribute to ones dog.

My dog's name is Max.  Max is a 3 1/2 year old 120-lbs Silver Sable German Shepherd.  Max's mommy is a Sable German Shepherd.  His daddy is pure white and 140-lbs.  We got Max from family friends in Ball Ground, Georgia.  They had several litters of shepherd puppies over the years but don't breed them any more.  Max was the largest puppies in the litter.  His puppy name was Mr. Big!

He's the best dog I've ever had the abundance of hair not-withstanding.

Max as a puppy with our now gone Cocker named Sadie with that "Why Me!" look.
Sadie says "You better not be touchin' me!".
Max working on his "Couch to 5K" training.
Max is an affirmed ball junkie.
I'd like to say that Max is a great running partner but that would be lying.  In fact, he's a terrible running partner.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anti Monkey Butt

A possible alternative to the popular BodyGlide is the lesser known Anti Money Butt anti friction powder. Anti Monkey Butt’s ingredients include talc, calamine powder and fragrance. The powder is very fine and the fragrance is barely noticeable. The label states that the powder is for “indoors or outdoors, work or play - or on occasions when you sit on your butt all day”.   Even if you don't suffer from red buns you've gotta love the picture on the label.


Anti Monkey Butt and BodyGlide are anti-chafing product options that are surely more desirable than using axle grease or nothing at all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Winter Safety Gear

This is a brief look at some safety gear I use for running outdoors in the winter with the early nights that come this time of year.

After running a 10-mile loop near my home some time ago I found myself at mile 6 in almost total darkness. The majority of my route is on residential roads with streets lights, but about 2-miles of it is on heavily traveled road with no street lights. I found myself being blinded by vehicle headlights.  I was wearing a bright bellow yellow Descente Velom jacket.  With few reflective surfaces it just didn’t fit the bill for night time running.  I also found that, as one would expect, it was difficult to see the road after the sun went down.  Stepping on a pine cone was a constant worry.  One should know that running at night is probably not the smartest thing to do but sometimes ones schedule doesn't allow otherwise.

I purchased a Petzl Tikka XP2 headlamp. The headlamp offers 5 lighting options including high, low, and flashing, as well as, a red LED with continuous on and blinking modes. The modes are a bit difficult to select with only 1 button but it's not a deal killer. It provides 60 lumens of light which is plenty to see the road ahead. A standard 40 watt incandescent bulb produces about 450 lumens. The road won’t be bathed in light with the XP2 but it will be directed where you’ll need it as it's adjustable for several angles.

I tried to take night-time images of the light in use but my abilities fell short.

I also purchased a Nathan LED vest. This vest provides a lot of reflective surface area and 5 red LED’s on the front. The LED’s are powered by a small watch battery and offer 2 modes of operation, constant on and flashing. The vest also has a zippered small pocket.

I've also got a Canari Velo shell jacket in killer yellow.  I've only worn it once and like it so far.  Like the Velom it's just a windbreaker and has no lining.

My shoes are sporting a pair of Yankz reflective laces.  I wasn't wearing these when my shoe lace came untied during the ATC Resolution Run on Saturday.

The images below were taken with a Nikon D50 DSLR camera using only the camera flash. 

The black iron fence is barely visible in the images.

(l-r) Nathan vest, Canari Velo Jacket, Descente Velom Jacket, standard white tech. shirt, and Yankz reflective shoe laces at the bottom.  Image taken at 20-feet.
Image taken at 25-feet.
Images taken at 30-feet.
Backs of the same gear
For my bike I've got a Cateye TL-LD610 tail-light.  This light is described in a previous post.  Just in case you missed it, the TL-LD610 has 5 LED's with 4 modes of operation and up to 60 hours of operation.  Installation comes via the FlexTight tool free universal mounting bracket.  The design of my QR CD0.1 didn't allow for easy installation.  I overcame this obstacle by mounting the tail light to a CO2 cartridge already mounted on my XLAB Carbon Wing.  I found that the CO2 cartridge unscrewed while riding so I used some Teflon tape to better secure the cartridge.  Locktite would have done just as well.

These are just a few of the items that one might use when running or riding at night.  I'd recommend all of these but more importantly, if you're going to run at night be sure to wear something that's highly visible.

A word of caution, some of these items are a bit lacking in the quality construction department.

Descente jacket sleeves unravelling
Nathan vest shoulder seam coming undone 
I haven't bought a bike headlight yet but I'm looking at the Cygolite Expilion 250.