Shelby Farms Greenline

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Today I went for an eight mile run as a part of my Tupelo 14.2 training plan, which will evolve into my 4 Bridges Half, St. Jude Half, and Walt Disney World Marathon training.  I decided to utilize one of the best assets that Memphis has to offer, the Shelby Farms Greenline.  Shelby Farms is a 4,500 acre urban park in the heart of Memphis that offers a vast variety of activities.  You can rent bikes, ride horses, observe the buffalo herd, play paintball or laser tag, play frisbee golf, hiking trails, visit the off leash dog park (a personal favorite of Beau’s due to the lack of sodomy he enters here versus Overton Bark), or participate in the litany of youth programs there.  There is also the Greenline, a 6.5 mile track that runs along an abandoned railroad track from Midtown Memphis to Shelby Farms Park.  The course does not cost the tax payers of Memphis one red cent, and is free to use for everyone.  It has been criminal how little I have used this asset over the past two years.  I ran on it often while training with my running group for my first half marathon in the summer and fall of 2011, but not much since.  That will be changing.

This is the access point at Graham St.

This is the access point at Graham St.

The Greenline also connects to several of the trails within Shelby Farms, as well as the Wolf River Pedestrian Bridge, so you can add even more miles to your route.  There are access points at Tillman Street, Highland Street, High Point Terrance, Graham Street, Waring Rd, Podesta Street, Sycamore View Road, and Farm Road.  The official Greenline course is the paved trail from Tillman Street in Midtown to Farm Road inside of Shelby Farms.  The area near Tillman Street is not the best of neighborhoods, so most people I know go no further than Highland Street when utilizing the trail.

A little art to enjoy on the trail

A little art to enjoy on the trail

I have never been on the trail when it was not extremely busy, which is a good problem to have.  I know the success of the Greenline has led to other smaller urban trails being opened around town and has helped Memphis to secure federal grants to make the city a little more Eco-friendly.  Today I encountered numerous cyclists and runners, as well has multiple walkers (I think of The Walking Dead every time I say this now), a couple of people in wheelchairs zooming down the course, several baby strollers, and one man walking and smoking a cigar.  My only word to the wise is if you are running, be very cautious of the cyclists because they are not always willing to share the trail with you.  Also, when you come to an intersection, hit the crosswalk button, please.  It produces a red light for oncoming traffic rather quickly and greatly diminishes your chances of being struck by a vehicle!

A very scenic run today!

A very scenic run today!

The future plans for the Greenline is to extend it west from the starting point at Tillman to the viaduct in Downtown Memphis.  This will be a $73,000 project and the article I saw said that the hope is to have it completed be December!  There is also the Shelby Farms Greenline Half Marathon being held on October 13, 2013.  I really want to run in it, but with the 4 Bridges Half Marathon the following week, it probably is not the wisest decision of my life, so I guess I will skip the event this year.

My 1st attempt at using Pro Compression socks

My 1st attempt at using Pro Compression socks

Today’s run was not my best, but we did have a cold front roll through today.  The expected high is only 88 today and it was only 82 when I was running this morning!  It does feel good to slowly get stretched back out for my fall race schedule and I am incorporating some new running and recovery tactics this year.  I am currently wearing a pair of compression socks for the first time in my life, so I am hoping that they are as good as everyone says that they are!  I went with a pair of Pro Compression socks today, and decided to try wearing them post run today.  Next week I will wear the same pair of socks during my run, which will be eight miles once again, so I can compare and contrast the two techniques that I know causes much debate in the running community.

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Bonehead of the Day

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OK, this is not a running related post, but I felt that I had to share this story for its sheer stupidity, so enjoy.

I work in the court system in Memphis, TN, so that means I am privy to quite a large amount of unbelievable and deplorable acts on any given day.  And often times, I end up reading an affidavit that I assume has to be fabricated due to the amount of absurdity that is conveyed on the page.  This morning, I read such an affidavit.  Obviously, I will not give the defendant’s name or even the officers involved, but I will give you enough information to enjoy the story.

A bit dated, but seemed appropriate

A bit dated, but seemed appropriate

The defendant and his co-defendant, let’s call them Bob and Lisa, went to a local grocery store to buy some smokes and put some gas in their car.  They also decided that the Coca-Cola display by the gas pump was too enticing to ignore.  So Bob and Lisa decided to grab a few of the 12 packs and throw them into their car.  The problem was that they neglected to pay for these sodas.  I guess the sign reading 4 for $12 was not straight forward enough for them to interpret.  So after a few minutes, Lisa realizes that she cannot find her cellphone.  After frantically searching the car, Bob decides to call the phone to see if they can hear the ringer.  Unknown to Bob and Lisa was the fact that Lisa had left the phone on the cashier’s counter at the store.  Bob and Lisa were also unaware that they were observed stealing the Coke products and that the police were on site, in possession of the cellphone.  So when Bob and Lisa called the phone, the police acted as if they were employees of the grocery store and convinced the pair to return to the store to retrieve the phone.  Once back at the store, officers confirmed that Bob and Lisa were in the same vehicle that was previously observed at the store.  As the couple returned to their vehicle and began to leave, officers stopped the vehicle to perform a routine traffic stop.  It was at this point that Bob decided that it was a good evening to go for a walk and got out of the car to go on his stroll.  Officers detained up and recovered the folded up $1 bill that he had discarded on the walk that contained four small pieces of a substance believed to be heroin.  The substance was tested and a positive result for heroin was confirmed.  Upon search of the vehicle, a crack pipe was found in Lisa’s purse, and three syringes were found in the glove box of the vehicle.  Officers were also able to recover the three twelve packs of Coca-Cola that were stowed away in the trunk of the vehicle.  Bob and Lisa have both been charged with Theft of Property Under $500, Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  And all because Bob and Lisa were thirsty, but felt that the price of soda was a bit too unreasonable.

I will be back to my normal posts about running and such later today or tomorrow, but I had to share this story.

Update: And as I posted this story, an inmate decided to make a run at the award.  He was in custody and decided to make a break for freedom.  He jumped the inmate wall and made his way to the back door.  There are three deputies assigned to my courtroom, but all three just watched the defendant run and as a coworker of mine tackled the guy, thwarting his plans! I am not sure want the man’s original charge was, but trying to escape a penal facility is not ideal to tack onto it.

Platinum Sombrero 5K Sponsor #29

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Yesterday, one more race sponsor was added to the Platinum Sombrero 5K! Climb On! has signed on as the twenty-ninth race sponsor!  Climb On! is a line of innovative skin care products that are very helpful for anyone running outdoors regardless of the conditions.  Climb On! will be donating an assortment of 100 product samples to be shared with race participants.  All products are made with 100% pure, food-grade ingredients, and each ingredient is chosen by its skin aiding properties.  You can like them on Facebook here.

Race Sponsor #29

Race Sponsor #29

Spartan Race Raffle Winner

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I got some exciting news today.  I have won an entry to a Spartan Race courtesy of the blog Grey Cells on the Run!  I never win these giveaways so I was blindsided to learn that I won it!  Now, I need to decide which event here in the US to run and develop my training plan.  I am very curious to see how a Spartan Race compares to a Warrior Dash event.  I guess I need to start doing burpees now!

I can't wait for this race!

I can’t wait for this race!

And since there are no Spartan Races near Memphis, this gives me an excuse to make this a quasi-destination race.

Motivation Monday Returns!

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It has been a few weeks since I was able to post a Motivation Monday entry, but it is triumphantly returning this week!

First, I want to share a little something that I stumbled upon in an online running group that I am a member of.  Someone had seen a picture of an iPhone alarm that they thought was funny and shared it with the rest of the group.  The alarm read “If Forrest Gump can run for over 3 years, you can get your ass on a 30 minute run this morning.”  I thought that was great and I should incorporate something similar into my morning alarms.  I am in the middle of training and will be until at least the middle of January, so it is very important to maintain my schedule.  And since I live in Memphis, with its heat and humidity, running in the early mornings is vital to my health and sanity.  Therefore, the following are what my four alarms tell me each morning:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

If Forrest Gump can run for 3 years, you can run 4 miles this morning.

Time to make the donuts. (Idea, not actual process stolen from an old school Dunkin Donuts commercial featuring Fred the Baker saying this every morning)

You’d be done if you got up an hour ago.

Time to make the donuts

Time to make the donuts

I will probably rotate some of these sayings throughout the year, and I will be turning off the snooze function on my alarms so I can’t rest for “10 more minutes” because those ten minutes become thirty routinely.  The various times that I wake up during the week is dependent on the distance that I am running, time I need to report to work, and so on.

My current 4 morning alarms

My current 4 morning alarms

Another motivational item that I came across is something else that I try to consider when I am wavering about getting out of bed and running my miles.  It also serves as nice reminder that we all are not Steve Prefontaine, but we are still runners.  We all get caught up in pace and so, but the most important aspect is getting out there.  On these hot June and July mornings, I need all the inspiration that I can get!

Nice way to look at it

Nice way to look at it

Now that I have said all of this, I decided to sleep in this morning instead of completing my four miles in the cooler morning air, so I will be either sweating away in the 90 degree heat this afternoon or being bored to death on the treadmill.  If you have any motivational quotes, scriptures, and mantras that you like, feel free to share it here.

Friday Roundup

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I have not posted much this week because I have been swamped at work (in fact, I’m neglecting some files right now to type this post) and Susan and I have four extra house guests with this week.  Add in the fact that I got a flat this week that required the purchase of two new tires, I have not heard back from the investigator that is handling my theft case, my mortgage company doesn’t want to update my checking account info, and my mother-in-law having to go to the hospital,  I feel like this week has lasted for about fifteen days!  But, it is Friday, and it is very close to closing time, so I’ll keep my chin up for a few more minutes.

Not the way I wanted to start the morning

Not the way I wanted to start the morning

On a positive note, I am still going strong on my Runner’s World running streak, which will hit 26 days this afternoon when I hit the treadmill at the gym.  This week is also the Boston Remembrance virtual run, so the running streak is helping with that.  I need to run 26.2 miles for the run, and I am at 18 thus far with a run today and this week’s long training run of 7 miles, so I should be good.

I am waiting for just a couple more items to be delivered in the next week or so for the Platinum Sombrero 5K, and then I can mail out race packets, so that is exciting!  I can’t wait to share the final total that will be donated to St. Jude!  I’m also working on a monster post (I hope) about the event.  Stay tuned.