Saturday, June 18, 2011


"I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting" - Yogi Berra

OK, guys, this won't be long. I'm on my way to my cousin's 5 year old birthday party and if there's anything that I enjoy more than a dozen pre-schoolers jacked up on sugar, I just don't know what that might be! I'll tell you one thing that wasn't jacked up on anything this morning was ol' AL during his run. Let's just say 7 of my 9 miles wasn't bad at all, but then, WHAM! Good Morning!!! The hills were steeper, the temperature shot up, and the cement in my legs began to set, I mean really hard. Despite stopping twice for water, I still lost 4# along the way to the environment. Funny thing...I put my water bottle out, but after going out to get the paper before the run, I smartly said "I don't need no stinkin' water bottle". I mean, this is from a brain with over 30 years of long distance running experience! I may learn someday, but time is running out.

I made a huge decision last weekend and wound up changing shoe brands. I ran in New Balance for about 15 years straight, Then, in an effort to improve my ankle mechanics, and at the suggestion of Jeff down at the Trak Shak (DON'T go anyplace else if you're in Birmingham!) I switched to Nike Air Pegasus (Pegasi?) for the last 3 years. The pain improved some, but I was getting desperate for the magic shoe, so back to TS, and had a good long talk with Scott Strand (Birmingham legend and Olympic Marathon Trial runner). Essentially, he said take a deep breath and let's look at the Kahru Fast Ride. Now, the reason you have to take a deep breath is because they are a BRIGHT Lime Green!!! But, as I told Scott, I would wear Dorothy's shoes from the Wizard of Oz if he thought they would help. They have some technological gizmo in the sole that is designed to take some stress off the ankle transitioning through the roll and push-off cycle. After a week, I feel they may be helping (this morning's putrid finish had nothing to do with my ankles). The whole point is that if you are having any issues with your running that might be shoe related, speak to guys who know this stuff. There's a lot out there, from minimalist shoes (DON'T SAY BAREFOOT SHOES!!) to the Hoka OneOne that looks like a clown shoe rising you up with a 40mm sole. But, surprisingly, the Hoka is getting some excellent reviews from noted runners (mostly ultra guys). I'll keep you posted on how my Green Lanterns are doing.

Finally, a good friend of mine, John Gordon, will be flying to Kona, Hawaii this week to run the Kona Marathon. For the past 8 years, John has been on a quest to run a marathon in all 50 states, and this will be the cork in the bottle! Having followed John through this journey, I can tell you that though most folks pass it off as just "50 States" and what sounds like not that big a deal, this is one heck of a hard, expensive, and tiring accomplishment. With just about all of them, he travels and runs alone, and he sure doesn't boast about it - he just keeps doing them for his personal achievement. For the 49 so far, he has averaged 3:55 for each marathon. I asked him what his favorite was and the hugely surprising answer was Detroit! He loved running into Canada on the Windsor Bridge and coming back to the USA through a tunnel. The fact that he qualified for Boston with a 3:28 there didn't hurt either. Good luck John and a big congratulations.

Ok, guys gotta go. What do you get a 5 year old Princess for her birthday? I'm leaning towards a birdfeeder. Cinderella fed the birds, didn't she? Next week, I'll be in Boston. While I'm there, I'm "running" the BAA 10k with my son. That should be a whole lot of fun...not fast, just a whole lot of fun! So, either here, there, or someplace else, I'll see you on the roads - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"

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