Weight I have lost

Monday, October 30, 2017

Race for Rest 5K

So where was I?

Well, D and I ran the Virginia Highlands Summerfest 5K, hungover. We didn't go to a birthday bottle share because we had this race. Then I saw a bar had my favorite beer on tap. And there was an uber, and sleep, and lots of water, and running in really hot conditions. Both of us finished it (I'm not sure if what we did could be classified as running), and then went home, and thus concluded spring running.

So in the end of August, I was starting to gain back some weight I had lost. I knew I had to start training for the Monday Night 10K, which I'm vastly under-trained for, but I'll kvetch about that another time. I also knew I had Celebrate Po's Life 5K (Romp and Stomp), so race season had begun. And eating properly (read: Drink less beer).  I am supposed to be finished another round of Couch to 5K this coming week, so why not do a 5K the week before? And somehow hurt my knees walking up and down the stairs. I had to cut out 3 runs because of knee pain, but I still did walk the distance. I felt reasonably ready for the Race for Rest 5K.

Friday night, D and I got the standard pizza carb loading. Like I said before, it doesn't matter how long the race is, if running is involved, pizza will be had. We came home and tried to figure out what to wear. I washed socks; he went and bought a pair of headphones. We were both bummed it was going to pour down rain for the whole race, but oh well.

I got up around 6:45. It now said it would rain at 10. It was 55 degrees. Long sleeve shirt (I wear the same style pants regardless of weather, so it doesn't matter). We walked the dogs, I ate a Clif Z Bar (5 points), and drank some water. We waited for running partner A (remember her?!) to come pick us up. In the car, we talked about beer. A talked about a lot of stuff. She is more of a morning person than D and I are. It's good though, because she'll not mind if you are quiet. We found the brewery (Oh yeah, the race was at Monday Night Brewery's Garage, which is fairly new...1 month old). So we stood outside. Our friend W came, and he is even less talkative, so A carried the conversation up until the start. We did move around a lot to stay warm.

Photo by ALB
Photo by D

Finally we lined up right as it started to rain. The whopping 5 drops. And then we were off. To get out of the brewery is a steep hill. I was running up and trying to find a pace. I was sort of following A, and noticing we were on a curb. Then BAM! This guy hit me in my chest, sort of like stopping short except we weren't in the car. I was not happy and ran around him, right as an ambulance was trying to cross the street. My bad. I got across the street, and then was a long downhill followed by some rolling hills. It wasn't that bad but I knew I was going too fast, especially since this race was an out and back. I would have to come back up that hill. So all of a sudden, they put us on the Beltline, or as I call it, the Fancy Sidewalk. The concept of it is good, but the execution? Why did they make it concrete and not asphalt? I typically avoid all races involved with the Fancy Sidewalk, since the doctor said the sidewalk is what caused my bursitis and piriformis. It's why I run all around the Penitentiary at ridiculous times of the morning, or find a street with really wide lanes. Anyway, the irrational thoughts that my hip was going to break right then and there got me to Mile 1 at 12:24.

I ran more of the Beltline. I have actually run it before at the Atlanta Beltline Westside 5K, but I'm pretty sure we ran it in the reverse direction. I got out to the street with the 2 runners that we all hate (if you're slow). You know the ones. They walk next to each other talking. They only run if you pass them. It's annoying mostly because you know they are going to sprint at the end and beat you. Anyway, I was running up a slight hill at a major intersection, and of course, they passed me. Whatever...Mile 2 had dinged, but I forgot to see my time. By 30 minutes, I was at 2.30 miles. I was back on the road to the brewery. My legs were tired, and I didn't feel like going anymore. But I decided to just keep my feet moving. I sang some, I looked around. I watched cars pass. I kept looking at my watch. It was ticking too fast for the mileage. I knew I had that one hill to still go up. I started up it and my watch dinged 3 miles. My legs were shot. I had been walking every 9th minute, so at 39 I started walking. I wasn't up the hill at 40 minues. Finally up it, and a downhill finish. I tried to sprint (guess who passed me?) but my knees said they weren't having that. So I crossed at 42:51.

Photo by W
Photo by ALB
D went to the car to get our wallets and beer and taco passes.  And this is why I run! Where else at 10am can you be with good friends, running, eating tacos and having beer?  And it was for a good cause.

Photo by ALB (Cool Glass)

Having a few beers (photo by ALB)

West End Mural (photo by ALB)

Another Mural (photo by ALB)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


After the Topgolf 5K, I did a few more runs and then got hurt.  First it felt like I pulled my groin or re-cracked my pelvis.  And I had a blister on the other side that I get when I run 12+ miles, except I was barely running 3.  So I took a week or 10 days off.  The blister got really bad, and I realized it wasn't one, but a cyst.  And it was hitting the other leg, thus affecting my gait.  So I got that sort of drained, I got some meds and a little more time off.  D and I ran the Tri-Cities 5K again.
I decided that the goal of that race was to run without pain, because I was still concerned about the groin/pelvis.  Thankfully, albeit slow, I ran it pain free.  I didn't write a race report, because except for being slower than usual, there wasn't anything going on with me, and I've written about the course, here, here, and here.  I ran the next Saturday, and then we had the 3T5K.

When I first heard about the 3T5K, I was like, "Yes!"  It is at 3 Taverns Brewery. I like their beer, it is relatively close, and hello, a 5K followed by beer at 8:30am.  What's not to like?  Oh and then I got sent a $5 discount code.  Woohoo!  So D and I signed up.  Our friend W, did too.

On Friday, D and I went to get our obligatory carb-loading pizza (doesn't matter the size of the race, we always get pizza).  The slices were huge.  We couldn't remember the last time we had a slice from Avondale Pizza.  We always get whole pies.

Slice of Sausage, Tomato, Extra Cheese

So after that, we went and picked up our bibs.  Georgia (for now) has weird beer laws, and you can't buy a pint at a brewery. However they were having a discounted tour (tour the brewery for a fee, and get 4 9oz beers free).  So we did that.  And then came home.

More Friday Night Carb Loading

In the morning we got up, and got ready.  I was feeling a little nervous.  We got to the brewery and W got there right as we did.  We chatted and went to the start.

The race started right at 8am in front of the dogs' daycare (we didn't take them there).  Of course being Atlanta, there was not a chip start (although there was a chip finish).  I still don't get that...it is almost every race, and it is not just one race organization...eh.  It ran to the beginning of New Street and turned right onto College.  Then another right onto Sam's Street.  I didn't even realize there was a street right there (that went anywhere).  It was relatively flat.  Then came a big downhill.  It was nice, and I really liked my pace, although I knew it was slightly too fast.  Right after crossing S Columbia Drive, I walked for 1 minute.  I continued running and was pretty sure I saw W with a group of the really fast runners way out ahead of me (as in, I still had to run 2 streets to get to where he was).  Mile 1: 12:30

So I started running up Heatherdown.  There is no down on that road.  It was all uphill.  I got to 14 minutes and had to walk up part of it.  I noticed a woman who would run past me every time I passed her.  I guess she thought she could take me.  The thing was, she would stop running every time she passed me.  It was very annoying.  Anyway, we turned off Heatherdown, and got onto Missionary Dr/Inman.  It was relatively an slow uphill grade. I walked at 19 minutes.  She continued her passing me, then walking thing.  We passed the Winnona Park Elementary and turned up Avery.  (2 MIles was 13:XX)

Slightly rolling hills (they finally went down).  I tried to stay running every 4 minutes/walk 1.  We turned on Winnona and then did a little offshoot. At the offshoot, I saw if I ran the woman.  I knew I could create distance on the hills.  Somehow I got some momentum to run to each cone.  The rest of Winnona was uphill.  Back onto Avery with a little more hill, and then right onto College.  Yay!  Downhill.  I was feeling decent, albeit tired. I wasn't going to break any records, but I started relaxing and thinking about the beer.  I could see I had one more hill. We ran with traffic which was a little scary because the sun was directly in our faces...so I couldn't see, which made me think drivers couldn't see.  The cops did a great job of keeping the cars in their lane.  I started thinking that I was pretty sure I could beat 41.  I was trying to remember what I ran at Tri-Cities.  I couldn't remember. That beer was going to taste good.  I crossed Columbia and started getting towards the old Ace.  I really wanted to walk.  I started up the hill.  Eh, walking was good.  I could see D and W waiting at the last corner, so I ran again.  Finally got to the corner.  Yay.  I ran down the hill to the finish line.  Then we went and got beer! I don't know where that woman finished, except behind me!


Both D and W had good races.  We ate beer, listened to some awful music (it was not the band that was inside, but Spotify or Sirius outside).  We ran into a friend T, who ended up winning his age group.  We finished our beers and then went home.

The next day, we met back up with W again (we may have had some more beer on Saturday with him), and celebrated another brewery's birthday.  (Wild Heaven 7).

Hanging out at Wild Heaven

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Topgolf 5K

First, I realize there is a big lapse here.  I never did write about the first 5K after breaking my back or the cancelled first 5K of 2017.  But such things happen.

I debated to continue to write because 2016 was full of lows. A month after I broke my back, my mother-in-law passed away.  Then came a depression, after the physical therapist told me I would never run again.  The another doc found a lump in my breast and I had to get that figured out (benign).  And I was going to another doctor, because I was averaging 4 hours of sleep a night.   I worked hard to get out of the depression and to prove the PT wrong.  This kind of bled into getting back to sleeping normally again.  The breast thing took care of it self, thankfully.  Every time I seemed to be going ok, my back would flare up.  I had 2 rounds of pain injections.  Then at my year appointment, the doc said I could have one more round but I really need to think about another surgery to get all my rods out.  Physically, I'm ready, but mentally, I'm not about to go into the hospital again.  So instead I signed up for a 5K.  Since February, I've been doing the Couch to 5K, the best I can.  Week 2 and 3 seemed to last for about 4 weeks.  Then in March, something clicked.

My friend works for Topgolf, and I saw she had a few complimentary passes to run their first 5K, so I asked if I could have one, to which she obliged.  I paid for D's entry fee, and for a month (except that week in Tampa where we drank our asses off), we trained.

Friday the day before the race, D told me he was going to Asheville for the day because Wicked Weed was having a bottle release.  I decided to tag along.

Wicked Weed Funkatorium

While he bought beer, I drank it.

Red Angel

We got dinner and went home.

Even in Asheville, I will eat my pre-race meal of Pizza (this is from Barley's)

Did I mention I had sleep issues last year?  Well now I'm going the opposite direction and sleep about 9-10 hours a night.  So we left Asheville at 8:30 and got home around midnight.  Set the alarm.

Saturday (race) morning: We got up around 6. Well D did.  I played on my phone until 6:30.  Then I rushed to get ready.  I struggled deciding what to eat.  I stopped eating Clif Bars last year, and usually our running takes place at night, or I run on an empty stomach.  However running on an empty stomach when you get up versus when you wait 2 hours before a race is different, because you are actually awake enough to be hungry.  So I ate 1/2 a Clif Bar around 7 and 2 bottles of water.  And we were off.  Traffic was not bad (I-85 had fallen down on Thursday). We got to TG around 7:25, and checked in.  Put our stuff in the car and sat there until 7:45.

Us, in the car

Then we went to the start line, which got us there at 7:46.  I walked around the parking lot, to stretch out my back.  It was nice out...60 degrees.

I was beginning to get nervous.  The Running Director started telling people to line up.  It was now 7:57.  We listened to the National Anthem, and stood around.  We didn't hear, "Go," but it was said, because everyone started moving forward.  Crossed the timing mat (that didn't time you...what is it with Atlanta races and that?), and started.  We ran out of TG and down Ellsworth Industrial to Chattahoochee.  D used to work over here, so I was laughing when about 100 feet off Chattahoochee, they had us turn left.  There's a road there.  For 10+ years, I've never seen that road.  Anyway, it was downhill, which kind of scared me (what goes down, must come up).  I could still see D although he was almost a red dot.  But I must have been going fast.  9 minutes passed and I walked a minute.  Restarted, and most of this road was flat.  Except right around 12 minutes it started going up.  Ding!  What, 1 mile? 12:35?  This is way too fast, yes?

So we turned off that road and onto a small side road that was flat, and then onto Marietta Street.  It was gradually slanting up, but not that bad.  I no longer saw D.  I passed some people and some people passed me.  It was odd to be passing people.  Most people were walking.  I felt I was shuffling.  The incline started getting steeper.  I walked at 19 minutes to 20, and resumed running.  I passed the water station, and declined water...if I stopped I wouldn't re-start.  Plus I wasn't thirsty. Keep going, keep going.  Ding!  Mile 2, oh, I slowed down.  13:35.  But damn that still is pretty good.

Ok, by now I was tired. I was having trouble breathing and my legs hurt.  I was only Week 6 into Couch to 5K so really I just needed to run .25 more miles.  I thought of what my friend V told me earlier...run your own race. You have always run intervals before, it is allowed.  So at the steepest part of the hill, I started walking. I decided I would walk the .25 miles.  Oddly, at the top of the hill, the .25 miles was completed, and I was at 30 minutes.  I turned left on Huff and that was down hill, as was the first part of Ellsworth.  I am not a downhill runner...I don't like the feeling of not being in control, so I went as fast as I was comfortable with.  A few more people passed me. I knew I wasn't passing anyone. I was tired.  I must have been going slightly faster than I thought, because I hit 2.65 miles at 34 minutes.  I can run .5 miles in 6 minutes, right?  Let's see. Damn, the finish is uphill.  Just try.  You were aiming for 43 minutes, so you got that. Try for 40, douchebag!  43 is good enough.  Yes, this is how I was talking to myself.  I saw D around 2.85 miles.  I refused to look at my watch after that.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get 40 minutes.  Still I pushed and pushed up this stupid hill.  Got to 3 miles.
D at 3 miles. Photo from Run Social

Me at 3 miles. Photo from Run Social
Only .1 mile more, and still uphill.  The women in front of me were dancing to the finish.  If they can dance, you can run, Al.  C'mon.  Push yourself.  Finish.  I crossed and hit my Garmin.  I pushed D and the security guard out of my way, because I thought I was going to puke.  Finally I gathered myself and looked at my watch.  39:59.  I DID IT!!! (The clock time is 40:09, and with no, chip start time, that's all you'll see). But my watch is correct!!!

D finishing. Photo by Run Social

Me finishing. Photo by Run Social
My time!!!

D and I got some water.  I still didn't feel all that well, so I didn't stick around to look for G to thank her.  We got in the car and went to leave.  I must have been very far in the back of the pack, because there were 1 or 2 more runners, and it was very easy to get out of the lot without affecting them.

After, we went to QT and then to Argosy for a beer.  Then I came home and slept 3 more hours to catch up on the sleep from the night before.  

Cascade Sang Royal at Argosy