Sunday, August 31, 2008

Recycling Old Running Shoes

I love the feeling of slipping on a new pair of running shoes. Nothing beats the cushioned support and comfort on my feet. And that first run with new shoes is always terrific. What I don’t like is collecting a closet full of old running shoes. Fortunately, I’ve come across a variety of sources for recycling running shoes:

Big Peach Running Co.
This local retailer offers a 5% discount off the purchase of new running shoes when you give them your old pair. The old shoes are donated to local charities that assist the homeless.
As noted by its title, this site is dedicated to encouraging runners to contribute old shoes to recycling programs. It features information on programs in the U.S. and select countries. As an additional bonus, purchase a new pair of shoes from and the web retailer will donate 50% of the proceeds to’s Charity of the Month.

Nike offers a very cool program to donate your shoes. The material from old running shoes is grinded and manufactured into soft play surfaces for tennis courts, running tracks and playgrounds. You can donate your shoes at the NikeTown store at Phipps Plaza or by mailing them directly to Nike at this address:

Nike Recycling Center
c/o Reuse-A-Shoe
26755 SW 95th Ave.
Wilsonville, OR 97070

I found a new source for Atlanta running routes this week at The route listed below was originally posted by Kelly S. at While does provide a map, I find the map feature at Map My Run is easier to follow. You can access a map of the route at and at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Buckhead West Loop – 3 Miles (from Kelly S. at

· Park in the Cross Creek Clubhouse lot (free parking).
· From parking lot, go back to main road and turn right on Bohler.
· Turn left onto Hanover Drive before the bridge.
· Turn left at dead end.
· Turn right at next dead end onto Defoors Ferry Road.
· Go about a 1/2 mile, and turn right onto Warren Road immediately after the baseball field.
· Turn right onto Moore's Mill Road. You will cross a bridge and go up a hill.
· Turn right at the first light onto Peachtree Battle Road.
· At the top of the last hill, turn right at the stop sign onto Bohler Road. This will take you back to the Cross Creek entrance.

This loop is easily extended. You can pass Warren Road and instead turn right onto Moore's Mill later- this will tack on about an extra half mile. You can also turn left onto Bohler at the beginning (instead of right) and then go right onto Defoors Ferry - this will eliminate the Hanover leg and tack on almost 2 miles. However, this also adds a steep 3/4-mile hill at the start.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympics-Inspired Running

I love watching the Summer Olympics. Seeing the accomplishments of world-class athletes inspires me to work harder towards my own fitness goals. I’m particularly excited about this year’s games because of the success of women considered too old to compete. Romania's Constantina Tomescu-Dita, a 38-year-old mother, became the oldest Olympic marathon winner in history. While other runners bent over in exhaustion after crossing the finish line, Constantina ran victory laps in the Bird’s Nest stadium. Watching her seemingly effortless win influenced my running this week. Despite the heat of summer, I had a great energy level during my runs. Thanks Constantina for the inspiration!

This week’s route is a 2-mile loop through Emory University. Repeat the loop to increase your mileage. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Emory University – 2-mile loop
· Start at Druid Hills High School, located off of Haygood Dr. between N. Decatur and Clifton
· From the parking lot, turn right and head toward Clifton Rd
· Cross Clifton and stay straight on Asbury Cir
· Veer right and head down Fraternity Row
· At the end of Fraternity Row, turn right onto Dickey Dr
· Turn left onto Dowman Dr
· Turn left on Fishburne Dr
· Turn left on Asbury Cir
· Turn right on Pierce Dr
· Stay straight and cross Clifton
· Head down Upper Gate Dr
· Turn left on Ridgewood Dr.
· Ridgewood ends at Haygood – repeat loop or return to Druid Hills H.S.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Recovering from an Injury

As a runner, there’s nothing worse than suffering from an injury. I was recently sidelined for a week while I dealt with a bruised toe. My options were (1) become a coach potato and fight the urge to raid the fridge or (2) find an alternative activity to running. Sometimes it was hard to make the smart choice. Depending on the nature of the injury, swimming, biking or the elliptical cycle can be a good option. Since I belong to a gym with a pool, I swim to supplement my running. It’s a nice break from sweating and I like the challenge of working different muscle groups. Plus it’s a great cardiovascular workout.

What’s your alternative to running? Share your feedback by commenting at this blog.

For this week, the featured route is the 5-mile loop at Stone Mountain Park. The directions listed below are also available at the Stone Mountain Park site. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Stone Mountain Park – 5 mile loop
· Start from the main parking lot near the railroad depot
· Head west on Robert E. Lee Blvd (turn right, facing the railroad tracks)
· At the 2-mile mark, stay straight on Robert E. Lee (the 8-mile loop turns right on Stonewall Jackson Drive)
· The 5-mile loop ends at the railroad depot

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Outdoor vs. Treadmill Running

I’m strictly an outdoor runner. I love the experience of running outside and exploring neighborhoods. It’s a great way to discover communities and meet other runners. For me, running on a treadmill is a sterile, mind-numbing experience. However, other runners I know prefer the convenience and sense of safety you get with running on a treadmill. I can appreciate that – especially during the winter when the weather is miserable.

What’s your preference? Share your feedback by commenting at this blog.

This week’s featured run is a 4.5 mile route through Brookhaven. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Brookhaven – 4.5 miles

· Start at Big Peach Running Co., located at 3881 Peachtree Road NE
· Turn right on Peachtree
· Turn right on Bellaire Dr
· Turn right on Club Dr
· Turn right on Winall Down Rd
· Turn right on W. Brookhaven Dr. and follow the road around the golf course
· W. Brookhaven turns into E. Brookhaven
· Follow E.Brookhaven away from the golf course
· Turn left on Davidson Ave
· Davidson turns into Club Dr
· Turn right on Winall Down Rd
· Turn left on Vermont Rd
· Turn left on Stovall Rd
· Stovell turns into Club Dr
· From Club Dr., turn left onto Peachtree Rd
· End run at Big Peach Running Co.