Discovered: it’s exactly one mile from my apartment to the southwestern corner of Piedmont Park. I expect to become very familiar with this route over the next few weeks.
Atlanta’s Piedmont Park seems to be a miniature version of NYC’s Central Park. There are winding roads upon which one can run or bike, a lake, playgrounds, and tennis courts. There’s a dog park and a boathouse and a botanical garden. You’re never far from a drinking fountain or a bathroom.
And there’s a flat crushed gravel loop restricted to runners/walkers moving in a counter-clockwise direction. Yep, the “Active Oval” is Piedmont Park’s version of the Reservoir.
I decided to take my planned tempo run to the Oval yesterday, mostly because of its flatness. With 10K on the agenda, that would mean nearly 12 times around the roughly half-mile loop.
Looking back at my training so far this year, clearly I’ve been slacking on the tempo front. I used to try to work in both a track and a tempo session each week, but lately I’ve only been doing the track work. Primarily because that’s what my group was doing, but also because I actually enjoy track workouts while I generally despise tempo runs.
But sometimes you’ve gotta do stuff you don’t really enjoy. And even though it wasn’t exactly fun, I needed a long, grinding tempo to make me feel like I’m even a little bit prepared for this marathon next month.
Since Piedmont Park is a mini version of Central Park, I decided to do a mini version of the classic CPTC marathon pace/half marathon pace tempo, or as Megan recently called it, the 2 X 4 Mile Beast.
Meet the 2 X 5K Mini Beast.
I was pretty happy with how this went. Nice even splits! The last couple of miles were definitely hard, both on account of the faster pace and the fact that I was starting to get bored of looping the Oval. Total workout was nine miles and change, including warm up and cool down.
My new ASICS DS Trainer 17‘s felt great during the workout:
Before leaving my old job, I had to take advantage of my employee discount one last time. I almost picked up a pair of the new Brooks Ravenna 3, but given that I wasn’t totally thrilled with the mileage I got out of the previous version of the Ravenna, I decided to mix it up and go with a comparable shoe from ASICS instead.
Like the Ravenna, the DS Trainer is a light stability shoe, designed to provide a touch of support for mild over-pronators, while weighing in a bit lighter than a traditional stability shoe. (The DS Trainer is 8.8 ounces, versus 9.3 ounces for ASICS’s traditional stability shoe, the GT-2170.) Previous versions of the DS Trainer had run very narrow and had a weird puffy collar thing around the ankle; the new version released this year seems to be a touch roomier in the toe box, and the collar thing is significantly less puffy. So I decided to give them a try.
I’ve been running in them for a couple of weeks, and no complaints so far! It’s a nice soft shoe that doesn’t feel too clunky or heavy.
I’m still alternating with my Brooks PureFlows, but I think having a traditional cushioned shoe for longer runs is a good thing for me. When I had that weird foot pain a couple of weeks ago, I’d been running almost exclusively in the PureFlows and had done a 20-miler in them day the pain started. No idea whether the foot issue was in any way related to my choice of shoes, but I’m going to be a little more cautious just in case.
Recovery run on the agenda tonight. You’ll find me in Piedmont Park again, but I think I’ll be avoiding the Active Oval.