Weekly (Or Two) Roundup

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There has been quite a bit going on over the past few weeks for me, so I thought that I would just add as much of it to one post as possible.

The streak is done!

The streak is done!

First, I have officially finished the Runner’s World Summer Running Streak!  It was thirty-nine consecutive days of running from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July.  In fact, I even did an extra day since I ran on the Sunday prior to Memorial Day, making my streak an even forty days.  And that is where it will end.  I enjoyed the challenge of the streak, but I feel that it has taken away a little bit from my race training, so starting today, I am back to my normal training schedule.

I am mailing out race packets for the Platinum Sombrero 5K today!  So, if you are a registered race participant, you should expect your swag next week!

My new toy

My new toy

Susan has converted me to the dark side.  I have always been a PC guy, but that ended this week.  I bit the bullet and converted to Mac on Wednesday.  My reservations never were the machine itself, but rather the cost of a Mac.  I still take issue with this, but I took the plunge anyway.  We will see how I adjust to a Mac.  Transferring data from my old laptop to my new one is terrible, and I really should invest in a external hard drive for backup purposes.  I know that new MacBooks are coming out in the next few months, but I bought now because I received some good incentives and my old laptop was on life support.  And I am certain that a new laptop will be beneficial with me going back to school.

My new desk!

My new desk!

And speaking of going back to school, Susan redecorated my office/man cave two weeks ago in advance of my return to scholarly ways.  We bought an old, refurbished table on the cheap from a local antique shop and then she went to Target to get some of the other ancillary items that you see on the desk.  This picture was taken after she completed her work and before I have added my new computer to it.  I must say, it is much nicer than the cheap desk I had before and the room looks completely different with the upgrade.  And the jar full of baseballs was a nice touch that she came up with on a whim on her way to the store.

I can't wait for this race!

I can’t wait for this race!

I announced two weeks ago that I had won a free entry to a Spartan Race, but never revealed which one I would be running in.  Well, after some debate and a little bit of maneuvering with the Spartan Race system, I finally have decided on a race.  I will be running the Spartan Race in Tampa, FL next February!  This will mean that I will be making two treks to the state of Florida to begin my 2014!  Now, I need to get to training and doing some burpees!

I have ran a few virtual races over the past month, but I am still waiting for a medal to come in.  Once it does, I will do a post about all of these at once.

The Braves have been great at home, but the caveat to this has been that they have played the fewest games at home for the majority of the season.  Well, that has changed a little bit over the past couple of weeks.  And sadly, so have the results.  The Braves going into the five game Mets series a couple week ago, had not lost a home series all season.  Now they have lost two.  They lost to the Mets in that five game series and just lost to the NL worst Marlins this week.  Everyone regresses a little bit through the year, I suppose.

19 great years in Atlanta

19 great years in Atlanta

Also, Friday night was the night that the Braves retired Chipper Jones’ number.  Chipper is my favorite player, and the last remaining connection to the great Braves teams of the 90’s.  He put up some incredible numbers, all in one uniform, and without chemical enhancements.  I will move on before I start spouting numbers and my man crush becomes even more awkward.  I was bummed that I could not go, but I did not have the money for a trip, so I had to settle for watching it on TV and living vicariously through a fellow Braves fan that was able to attend.  She did snag me the commemorative poster and program from the night, so there is that.  And I did attend his last regular season game last season.

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Stars and Stripes 5K Race Review

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July 3, 2103, was the second running of the Stars and Stripes 5K at the Liberty Bowl/Tiger Lane here in Memphis, TN.  The race was on my mother-in-law’s birthday, so I went to dinner with everyone at a new place in Midtown called Chiwawa prior to my race.  It is a Mexican influenced hot dog restaurant.  I did not order dinner, but I did try a couple bites of the chicken and shrimp tacos, as well as their guacamole.  And since I did not eat there, I will not give a full review of the place, but I will say the rest of the family were not overly impressed by their food.  Now, back to the race!

I was really happy that the temperature was at 84 when the race began and a little overcast, which is much better than the norm in early July in Memphis. 1,554 participants were registered for this event and 1,399 of them, including me, finished the race.  Since the race was at the tailgate area and football stadium for the Memphis Tigers, crowd management and parking were no issues whatsoever.  This may have been the easiest race parking that I have ever encountered in my brief running career.

Race shirt & bib

Race shirt & bib

I experienced a couple of firsts in this race.  One was this is the first time I have ever battled a train during a race.  Memphis is a town bisected by a train, and they seem to run every ten minutes, especially when you are running late.  Well, the race must not of had the pull to delay the train schedule because within five minutes of the race beginning, here came a train barreling down the tracks.  I was able to avoid the train and the wait that followed, but in my estimation, about 2/3 of the group had to wait.  I am certain that there are several upset people over the train situation, and I am certain that next year’s race will address this issue.  The other first I encountered was the traffic cops stopping race participants so traffic could pass through.  And it was not after forty minutes towards the beginning of the course.  It was rather the last half mile of the race after twenty minutes!  A Coca-Cola truck almost took out the enter lead pack of the race!  The driver had to make his delivery to Dollar General I suppose.

My time was almost exactly what it was for the Gibson 5K, so at least I am consistent.  I am not back to my pace prior to my injury, but I am making some steady improvements.  I finished in the top 50 for my age group, and finished 16th overall in the entire M-Town Series!  I can’t help but think that if I would have avoided my shoe lace and crowd management issues during Zoom Through the Zoo, I would have finished even higher!  Avoiding the train probably helped me a little bit as well.

Swag: C: All you got for this race was a shirt and a bib, but at least it was a tech shirt.  Also, the food was as American as you could get, burgers, hot dogs, and watermelon!  The water station was right past the finish line, and despite advertising for it, I did not see where the beer tents were located.

Course: B-: I liked the course a lot, but with the train and traffic mishaps, I had to drop the score.  The course was a rectangle up Southern to Cooper to Central and back to Tiger Lane, which really is a nice course.  Some hills, but nothing monstrous and plenty of space for runners of all speeds.

Overall: C+: Besides dodging trains and semi trucks, and the complete lack of goodie bags, this was a fun race, and it has great potential in the upcoming years.