Monday, December 31, 2012

Running vs. Jogging

Interesting article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer by a high school/running acquaintance of mine:

She starts out by tracing the etymology of the word "jogging," which I find really interesting given my proclivity for language.  The term started out in the 70's with the first running boom as an innocent word to describe the activity of those lunatics in painters' caps and tiny shorts legging it down the sidewalk.  As we see in the article, and in this post of mine from awhile ago, it has since evolved into a bit of an insult.

Yes, this is another post about the age old debate in the running community regarding the use of the word "jog/jogger/jogging."

The author takes issue with faster runners appropriating the word as their own and leaving angsty slowpokes to reckon with the insulting nature of the titular word.  But is this so terrible?

One of the appealing traits of running is its egalitarian nature.  Cheap and simple and capable of doing just about anywhere, running all but demands the participation of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.  This is precisely what differentiates running from every other sport in that it is the only one in which elite professionals literally compete against average Joes just weeks removed from the couch.

Imagine what other sports would be like if they shared this approach.  Professional basketball players would have to worry about ladies in tutus crowding the court.  Professional ice hockey players would share the rink with a guy still two hundred pounds from goal weight.  Even minor league baseball players would see third base being covered by some asshole tweeting from his cell phone.

Is it so terrible to take a semantic stand in order to distance yourself from the hobbyists?  To separate the two into categories of running as competitive sport and running as recreation?

In the end, I think it's less an issue of speed and more an issue of taking the sport seriously.  I doubt most runners would balk at welcoming a 5+ hour marathoner into their ranks as long as he or she is genuinely busting his or her ass in training.  But with the advent of social media, in conjunction with the rise of themed fun runs, comes the worry over the loss of running's competitive edge.  Too many people make the leap too early to the half or the full marathon and congratulate themselves for their grit in completing it instead of racing it.

So what is my personal take?  Well, let's just say I don't call myself a football player because I join the occasional game of pick up football, nor do I call myself a writer because I keep a mediocre blog that no one reads.  I wouldn't call myself a runner if I didn't sign up for the amount of races I did and push myself as hard as I could.

Your turn.  What do you think of the debate?

Friday, December 28, 2012

On the Garmin

I once read a fellow runner's blog entry in which she recapped her first marathon.  She ran a 4:08, as I recall, but claimed she could have broken 4 hours if she had been using a Garmin.  Well no, I thought, if you had run 9 minutes faster, then you would have broken 4 hours.  The Garmin had nothing to do with it.  It only served to reinforce my thoughts on running and how people tend to rely too much on the gear that goes with it.  Worse, I see too many new runners who convince themselves that buying a Garmin makes them a "real" runner.

I try to live simply, and that philosophy extends to my running.  I refuse to spend so much money on such a simple sport, and consequently own very little running gear.  I have two pairs of running shorts - one is just a pair of gym shorts.  I have a few tech shirts culled from past races.  I never get fitted for shoes or get my gait analyzed; I just buy whatever is comfortable and cheap.  I never run with heart monitors, hydration packs, headlamps, music or GPS devices.  My approach seems to be working, which my PR's on the right will show.

I have nothing against any of these things or the people that use them, mind you, but as I have stated before on my blog, these things shouldn't be thought of as the only way to become a faster runner.  Hard work in training will make you better, not a fancy watch the size of a klondike bar.

So guess what I got for Christmas this year:

Not only did I get a new Garmin Forerunner 410 (which appears to have more technology than the original Apollo space program), but I got a Nike +.

Having already set new PR's in various distances in the past two years, including a BQ, I feel like I've proven my point, and I'm kind of looking forward to using these new devices and seeing if they really will make a difference in my quest for a 2nd BQ.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas in Florida

Stevie is originally from Florida, and her entire family still lives down there, so this year we headed south and spent Christmas with the nutty people I now get to call family.

On Christmas day, the womenfolk posed outside on the front lawn:

Stevie and I posed by her mother's tree:

We made a fire when it got chilly:

And her father went in the pool with his clothes on to retrieve a fallen skewer:

Just another South Floridian Christmas.

Merry Christmas y'all!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Running in Gettysburg

Evergreen Cemetary, Gettysburg, PA
Photo by Stevie
Stevie and I went to Gettysburg this weekend.  Because my mother's side of the family comes from Gettysburg, I've been there more times than I can count.  We went partly to pay respects at my mother's grave just a few days after the 6th anniversary of her death, and partly because Stevie had never been there and we thought it would be a fun weekend away.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast that used to be my great uncle's photography studio just a block from the center of town.  In addition to my mother's grave, we toured the battlefields and the visitors' center (the 128-year-old cyclorama depicting Pickett's Charge is alone worth the $12 admission charge), sampled wine in the birthplace of Jennie Wade (the only civilian to be killed during the battle), and strolled the streets and poked around in the many Civil War themed gift shops.

Downtown Gettysburg

This morning I went on a run through part of the battlefields.  The battlefields of Gettysburg are one of my favorite places to run, given the scenic quality, the empty expanses, and the feeling of running through history, not just the history of my country, but the history of my family as well.  Running forces introspection and reflection, especially in a quiet town like Gettysburg where our nation's fate was once decided, and today's run made me think about family, both past and future:

At my mother's (and grandparents') gravesite

Atop the Pennsylvania Memorial

I think I knew Stevie was the one when I realized how much it hurt that my mother would never get to meet her.  But I'm sure that my mother, ever the history buff, would be happy I brought her out here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jingle Bell 5k

Another Saturday, another 5k.

Arranged to run the the Jingle Bell 5k weeks ago with Suze, so this morning I dragged myself out of bed and headed down to the Cooper River.  Got there super late, as usual, and managed to register and get to the starting line a minute after the start, but wasn't able to find Suze.  Because the race was so big, they offered chip timing so it didn't really matter when I started.

I was hating life already by mile 1.  I wanted nothing more than to finish, and when I finally did I realized I've gotten even slower since the last race.  I finished in a dismal 20:55, so the slowing trend continues.  Just hope this isn't how the rest of my thirties are going to be.

The post race spread was great, with all kinds of food and giveaways.  Also caught up with Suze whom I hadn't seen in awhile now.  Suze is trying to get me to sign up for the Spartan Race next September.  Another mudrun with Suze?!  Count me in!

All in all a fun race that supports the Arthritis Foundation, with plenty of people in Santa outfits and more runners sporting jingle bells than I've ever seen before.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Turkey Bowl

Every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the better part of the last decade, I've been going to the alumni Turkey Bowl football game at my old camp.  It's a day when counselors of generations past can get together for some football, followed by wings and beer afterwards at a bar down the road.  That last part might be why I look forward to this day.

2012 Turkey Bowl

Football is hardly a strength of mine, but I like the camaraderie and male bonding it allows.  I'm usually happy just to score a touchdown and make an interception here and there, and I'm always happy for the exercise.

Missing the ball

This year the camp director showed up and not only made us sign waivers, but made us wear flags and play flag football instead of tackle.  Most of the guys were not happy about this.

We still enjoyed ourselves for a few hours before daylight gave out on us and we headed to the bar.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Haddon Twp. Turkey Trot

Today was the 6th annual Haddon Twp Turkey Trot.  Normally I'm out in Medford running the Gobbler Run 5k at camp, but I decided I wanted to race against my students today instead and went for the more local race.

Unfortunately it was a bit of a debacle.  I rode my bike to the race so parking was not an issue, but Stevie drove a little later and between road closures for our town's parade and the 5k, and the massive turnout for both, she couldn't get anywhere near the place.  I had never done this race before, so I wasn't expecting such a large crowd.  Apparently the race organizers weren't either.  I got to the race at 8:35am and got in line to register, but after 10 minutes of not moving we were informed they had run out of race bibs.  I found out later they were only expecting 650 people but ended up with close to 900. Those of us in line were told we could just run without bibs, thus making this my first ever race as a fully sanctioned bandit.

The enormous crowd didn't help the bathroom situation either.  With the starting time quickly approaching, the line was too long and I decided I would just have to, shall we say, clench and bear it.  My bowels were not happy.

The race itself was nice.  It was about 40 degrees this morning with a bitter wind, and the first half mile felt like running in a wind tunnel.  The race started outside of the firehouse, passed mostly through suburban NJ residential streets, and finished right outside of the Pour House, a local bar that was one of the sponsors.

There were no water stops throughout the course, but there was a great post-race spread inside the bar complete with eggs, bacon, sausages and bagels.  One of the benefits of finishing early is that I didn't have to wait in line for the food.  Thirty minutes later, however, the line was out the door and around the corner.

I finished in 20:22, which I was disappointed with.  Conditions weren't great, but I know I can do better.  My dad also ran and finished in roughly 35 minutes, and my stepmother Debbie completed the mile walk in roughly 15 minutes.  I also saw a lot of my students, and I'm happy to say I beat all of them.

With my dad after the race.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Not much has changed from this post last year.  I still have all of the same things to be thankful for, including, as always, the health that running affords me.  Though I should note that I only went running for 25 minutes this morning, which won't quite cover the amount of calories consumed this afternoon.

Stevie, my dad, stepmother, grandmother and I all went to my stepsister's place in West Chester for Thanksgiving dinner.  Just like every year, the spread was amazing, and it was the only meal of the day.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 Philadelphia Marathon

In case you stumbled upon this blog entry from Google, I'll first admit that I didn't run the marathon this year. So if you're looking for a race report, unfortunately I can't help you.

Finish line

I can, however, tell you a little about it, as I headed in this morning to cheer on my friend Amy who was running the half.

Stevie and I headed over to the finish line near the art museum where I climbed a tree to get the above shot. The people below me were none too happy.

We then had to zigzag around the streets and barricades to make it to a spot about a half mile from the finish where we planned to run with her for a bit.  This is where we saw these wonderfully off-color posters:

Amy ended up straining her groin and had to walk most of the last four miles, but when she turned up we jumped right in with her and took some pictures:

Stevie and Amy in the final half mile of the half marathon

Amy in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Amy finished the race in 3:12:04, which she seemed upset about, but I reminded her that because it's her first half, it's automatically a PR, and now she has something to strive for next year.

After the race I gave Amy her Turkish rug
Congratulations on your first half, Amy, and I hope to join you out on the course next year.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Have you ever had Papa John's BBQ chicken pizza?  In high school and college it was probably my favorite food in the world.

Since then a loss of metabolism and a gain of nutritional sense have broadened and refined my culinary tastes, and I have consequently cut back on the papa habit.

But sometimes I still crave it.

Which brings us to tonight's creation:

Homemade pizza at its finest

Rather than ordering out and helping to stuff the pockets of a rich, crybaby pizza mogul, I decided to have a go at making my own tonight.

I made the crust myself, using half wheat flour and half white.  I used three different kinds of cheese: gouda, cheddar and mozzarella.  I caramelized the onions.  I marinated the chicken in spices and barbecue sauce before cooking.  I cooked hickory smoked bacon and diced it up.  I spread the sauce on the dough, laid down a base of cheese, then the toppings, then more cheese.  It was truly a labor of  love tonight.

I'm glad to say it lived up to the hype.

It was easily one of the best things I've ever made.

In the end, we were still eating pizza for dinner.  Mounds of cheese and dough sprinkled with bacon and a bit of protein isn't strictly the healthiest option, but making a damn fine homecooked version of an old junkfood standby was all worth it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

WHYY's Y12k: Race Report

The 4th annual WHYY Y12k was held this morning, starting at the south side of the Philadelphia Art museum and heading out and back along the Martin Luther King Drive along the Schuylkill River.  I rode my bike to PATCO, took it into the city, then rode my bike out to the art museum in time for the 9:00am start.

The race is now in its fourth year, and serves as a fundraiser for WHYY, the Philadelphia area's premiere public media organization.

Nearly 400 people started out in the race, and I started near the front.  I hit my first mile in 7:20, but as the race continued I started to loosen up and hit my stride.  By the end of the race I was hitting sub sevens, and finished with an average race pace of 7:02.  This is, incidentally, almost the exact race pace I would need to keep up in a marathon if I ever want to qualify for Boston.  But I was definitely hurting at the end from pushing myself so hard, and it's easy to see how far I have to go if I want to keep up that pace for an entire marathon.

Around the 6.5 mile mark, I passed the second woman, and she turned to me and said, "turning it on?"  "Trying to!" I gasped back.  In the final tenth of a mile, I gave it one last push in an effort to pass one last runner before the finish line.  The guy just ahead had headphones in, and I thought I could sneak up on him, but he sensed me coming, turned and smiled, and took off at a sprint as well.  He beat me across the finish line and we both high fived.

I finished in 52:22.  Because I've never run a 12k race before, I have no idea if that's a good time or not. Overall I came in 16th place and 4th in my age group.  The post race amenities were great, and I also got my picture taken with Elmo:

The best part, though, was when a fellow runner came up just as I was getting ready to leave:

Fellow runner: Excuse me, are you the guy from that documentary on YouTube?
Me: Uh, which documentary?
Fellow runner: The one about the Philly Marathon.

Turns out he was referring to this documentary, and he is attempting his own BQ next week at the marathon.

I've been recognized from this blog before, and I now I can finally say I've been recognized from YouTube.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Movie Monday XXXX

On Marathon Sunday, thousands of runners helped volunteer on Staten Island, while thousands of others headed to Central Park to run in spite of the cancellation.

Here's a Runner's World video that shows the scene yesterday in Central Park:

Friday, November 2, 2012

NYC Marathon canceled


One of my colleagues was set to run the NYC Marathon this Sunday, which sparked a long conversation in the teachers' room today that echoed the sentiments in social media and dozens of news outlets over the past few days.

I live in New Jersey, and while Hurricane Sandy leveled parts of my home state, we were not the only ones to be hit hard.  New York City also experienced loss of power, flooding, fires, and loss of life, causing many to question the decision to continue with the marathon so quickly after such a devastating event.  On the one hand, people criticized Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Road Runners for diverting needed resources and being insensitive to those suffering from Sandy's wrath.  Two diesel generators the size of tractor trailers sitting in Central Park for the marathon's use only added fuel to the fire.  On the other hand, people argued that such a large event would be a large economic boon to the city while giving it a much-needed morale boost.

I caught up with my colleague at the end of the day and wished her luck.  She admitted that she felt like a "total asshole" for going through with the marathon, but having registered and made travel and lodging arrangements months ago, and trained for months, she just couldn't bring herself to not go through with it.

Just a few hours later, though, the whole debate became moot anyway:


If I were in my colleague's shoes, I probably would have done the same, but let's face it: that's an easy stance to take when I haven't been immediately affected by the damage, nor witnessed any of it firsthand.  If I were to tour Staten Island tonight, I might change my mind.  What do you think?  Would staging the marathon, and participating in it, have been disrespectful?  Or would it have been a welcome and positive distraction after so much negativity preceding it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Post Hurricane Sandy

From's homepage.

Stevie and I made it through the hurricane just fine.  We lost power for about two hours on Monday but were otherwise unaffected.  Strong winds knocked down a few trees and power lines, but my area came out largely unscathed.  Some are still without power, but overall we are fine.

Unfortunately the same can't be said for the Jersey Shore.  Pictures have been dominating my Facebook newsfeed for days now, detailing the damage thanks mostly to flooding.  People have noted, perhaps a touch dramatically, that cartographers will have to redraw the Jersey coastline.  But there is no question that the damage is severe and recovery will be a long process.

Meanwhile, my school was closed for a total of three days, and Governor Christie has officially moved Halloween trick-or-treating to this Monday.  Though I could have gone running yesterday, I chose to sit on the couch like a beached whale and watch movies all day instead, only leaving the apartment once to go pick up pizza down the street.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

From's homepage

I've had snow days from school before, both as a student and a teacher, but never in my life have I experienced a hurricane day.  But thanks to Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast of the United States tonight, nearly every school in South Jersey is closed for today and tomorrow.

Naturally I still went running this morning.  Aside from a few large puddles, light rain and gusts of wind, it wasn't that bad.  I ran for my usual 30 minutes and got thoroughly soaked.  Now I'm safe and dry and ready to make some hurricane themed cocktails and watch Halloween movies.

If the media is to be believed, I'm about to be swept away by the floods and wind.  I'll let you know how we fare tomorrow.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

'Tis the season

When people think of fall, they tend to think of orange and red leaves, apple cider, Halloween and Thanksgiving, cooler temperatures, and all things pumpkin.  With several of the biggest U.S. cities offering their marathons in October or November, I tend to associate fall with marathons.  In the past I've spent the fall training relentlessly - not drinking, leaving parties at 10pm, and getting up early on Sundays to run 20 miles.

So one of the obvious benefits of reducing the training this fall has been actually enjoying the season.  I've been enjoying a healthy share of pumpkin beers, spending Sunday mornings reading, and going to Halloween parties.

I went to a friend's party last night, billed as the longest running Halloween party in South Jersey, and stayed until 2am.  I can't remember the last time I stayed out that late.  I dressed as Tom Cruise from "Risky Business" and inexplicably won sexiest costume against, shall we say, far worthier competition, with a ribbon and bottle of champagne as my prize.

Here's to a great season, my friends, both on the race course and off.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zombie Chase 5k

I had tried to run this race last year but there was a steady downpour all morning, so I skipped it.  But this year I managed to pull myself out of bed at 8:00 and ride over to the park a few minutes away where the race was being held.  Sponsored by the Garfield Elementary PTA, the idea of the race is that you run a traditional neighborhood 5k... while being chased by zombies!  If only it had been as thrilling as it sounds.

The gun went off at 8:30.  Two younger guys took off like rockets, and I found myself in 3rd place.  I was hoping one or both would burn out later on, but it seemed like they both knew what they were doing.  About a half mile into the race, I saw two zombies lurking behind a tree.  I guess they didn't feel like chasing me, because neither one made a move as I ran past.  All of the zombies on the course looked like middle or high school girls who only wanted to chase their friends.  All I got was a few half-hearted zombie noises from a few of them.  At the end of the race was a man in a grim reaper kind of outfit who chased runners to the finish.

I need to do one of those zombie 5k's in which runners wear football flag belts and the zombies try to take the flags.  If a runner loses both flags, he becomes a zombie as well.

At any rate, I felt pretty lousy towards the end of the race, which shows just how little I've been training this fall.  I finished in 19:53, so it's nice to see that when push comes to shove I can still knock out a sub 20 minute 5k, but I definitely don't want to continue this trend of losing speed.  My dad once mentioned the worst part of running is watching your glory days and PR's fade into the past, and I'm definitely not ready for that yet.

I never did catch up to those two guys from the start, and I finished in 3rd place overall.  The race only awarded prizes to 1st overall male and female, but I also won my age group, so I got a medal and a $25 gift certificate to the Haddonfield Running Company (redeemable with $50 purchase).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Movie Monday XXXIX

Throughout the course of this 6 minute film, we never learn the identity of the runner.  We never learn where he is running, for what cause, if any, or who his support crew is.  We do however, learn why he runs the canyon, which might be the most important thing:

"I think generally we always question ourselves, like we have to be rational about things, instead of just doing it for pure enjoyment... If I get too rational about it, it's probably pretty obvious I shouldn't be running it, but my heart's set on this run."

He therefor achieves the irrational in 6 hours and 57 minutes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Running in the fall

Don't believe what people say about New Jersey.  It's a lot nicer than you think.

I'm glad I live in a place with seasons.  It makes the running scenery a lot nicer.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Running is my religion

  1. Check.
  2. Of course I'm a runner.  Check.
  3. I go to bed every night at 10pm.  Check
  4. How about rest days?  I rest way more than I run these days.  Check.
  5. Haven't had any aches and pains in awhile.  Check.
  6. I keep a water bottle with me in class and sip from it all day.  Check.
  7. Oh please.  Cotton is not the enemy.  How, then, did people finish marathons before tech-shirts?  Forgive me father, for I have sinned.
  8. I don't agree with this either.  It is simply not necessary to get "properly fitted" and pay gobs of cash for new shoes.  Again, I have sinned.
  9. I try my best.  We'll call this a check.
  10. I don't know anyone with more medals than I do.  Humblebrag check.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

5 mile Saturday

Five miles on a perfect Saturday is followed by a trip to the roof to watch the all-day music festival being held on a closed-off street next door.

I love fall, mostly because I don't need to wear a towel after I run to absorb all the sweat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

100 days of riding my bike

As I mentioned before, I've been riding my bike to school almost every day of the school year so far.  One of my co-workers noticed and decided to make things interesting today, betting me a six pack of beer that I couldn't ride my bike for 100 days of the school year.

Obviously he doesn't know me very well.

He offered to let me retroactively count the days I've already ridden, but I felt cocky and told him I would start the count today.  We eventually settled on starting the count from Monday.

The poster is up in the teachers' room.  The count is at three.  It's like taking candy from a baby, or beer from a teacher, as the case may be.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Paul Ryan time calculator

Missed that BQ?  Missed a different time goal?  Don't want to admit to people you're slower than you are? Never fear!

Introducing the Paul Ryan Time Calculator!  Simply go to and enter your marathon time, which will then be given the boost you need!

In other news, sometimes I love the internet.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Like father like son

A few days ago I sent out an e-mail with details about the wedding to everyone in my family.   The e-mail mostly talked about the date, the venue, and other miscellaneous details, but I also mentioned that I was planning on hosting an informal "Wedding Day Dash 5k" for wedding guests on the morning of the ceremony. I concluded the e-mail by encouraging anyone to write me with questions if they had any.  My dad wrote me back with the following questions tonight:

  1. When and where can I pick up my chip for the race?
  2. Will there be long-sleeve or short-sleeve race T-shirts?
  3. Will there be a 65 and over age group?
  4. Is there a push up contest Saturday morning?
  5. And a suggestion: add a triathlon of ping pong, darts, and standing broad jump to the Saturday activities.

Dad, this excerpt from the race's website should cover all the basics:

"Online registration will open tomorrow at 8:00am EST.  Those with a qualifying time of 20:00 or better in a previous 5k may register first.  Two days later, qualifying times of 25:00 and better will be accepted.  (Note: qualifying times from the Norm Draper Qualifying 5k will not be honored).  If spaces are still available, registration will open to the general public two days later.  On your registration, please note which corral you belong in: 1 (faster than Usain Bolt), 2 (might beat the groom but might regret it too), or 3 (mangelhaft). Registration must be completed through a sketcho third party company that will charge an exorbitant "processing" fee.  Registration through and including October 31st will be $95 and will increase incrementally leading up to race day.  Online registration closes two days prior to the event.  Race packets may be picked up at the expo the day before, however there is no race day pickup.  If you are picking up a packet for a friend you must provide your license, your friend's license, your friend's birth certificate, a ticket stub from the 1996 Blockbuster Independence Day, and $500 in unmarked, nonconsecutive twenties.  Technical race T-shirts will be available in your choice of taupe or mauve, but we have already run out of every size except XS and XXXXXL.  Prizes will be awarded  in age groups, including but not limited to a year's membership in the Jelly-of-the-Month Club and Stevie's hand in marriage."

Good luck, Dad.  I'll see you on the course.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


What are some changes I've made this school year in regards to my personal health?  Thanks for asking...

  • Sleep (The American Way):  I wake up at 6am every day.  At school by 7, first class at 7:45. Therefor, if I want to get in 8 hours of sleep, 10 o'clock bedtime it is.  Getting enough sleep has become super important to me, because there were too many days last year when I felt like a zombie in class.  I'm now super strict about going to bed at 10, sometimes earlier.  If I'm working on something and it's 9:55, I'll drop everything, brush my teeth, and go to bed.
  • Cooking (Do People Still Do This?):  I've always enjoyed cooking; I've just been doing it a lot more lately, despite living on a street with every kind of restaurant known to man.  Everything from ginger-chicken-stir-fry to black bean burgers to butternut squash soup.  All this is directly related to:
  • Lunch (Pizza or Chicken Nuggets Today?):  I've only bought lunch from the school cafeteria once this year.  It's no surprise that American public schools have notoriously sketchy food.  The cafeteria at my school offers a few decent options, like made-to-order wraps, salads or milk cartons, but these, like anything, lose appeal with over-consumption.  Surprise rancid milk or soggy wraps don't help the situation either.  So I end up cooking more so that I'll have leftovers for lunch the next day.  Or I make a turkey and cheese sandwich.  I also bring my own milk in a Nalgene.
  • Biking (When Runners Get Lazy):  My bike was stolen ages ago and I finally got a "new" one. Joined my town's bike share and got myself a mountain bike for $25/year.  I now ride my bike to work almost every day.  Have you seen that movie "Premium Rush" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt?  In my head I'm speeding through crowded Manhattan streets escaping bad guys.   

Getting older is less than glamorous.  Sometimes I think I would rather stay up till 3am writing manifestos fueled by whiskey and dreams, but the other way seems a lot more sustainable.

Your turn... what changes have you made/can you make?

Friday, September 28, 2012

History repeats itself

I tried to register for the Philly Marathon a few nights ago.  I checked the website one night and was informed that there were only 200 spots left.  The next night that number had dropped to 25, so I grabbed my debit card and clicked on the registration button.  No way I wanted to be left out again like last year.

But then there were several options of the marathon to click on.  It would not let me click on the regular marathon.  It only let me click on "elite marathoner" or "charity marathoner" or a few other options, all of which required a password for further registration and none of which applied to me anyway.

The next day it was sold out.

I can't believe I won't be running the Philly Marathon for the second year in a row.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pork and sweet potato stew

While reading another runner's blog, I stumbled upon a recipe for cuban-style sweet potato and pork stew. So I decided to give it a go.

I threw the ingredients into a crock pot and let them simmer all day, which made my apartment smell ridiculously good.

The original blogger claimed it was the best thing he'd ever made in his life.  Well... my guess is that I either used the wrong kind of peppers, or the original blogger has some seriously defunct taste buds, because this was far from the best thing I've ever had.

Stevie seemed to like it, though she preferred adding sour cream to it.

Thus concludes another episode of Scott's cooking corner.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Still running

Still out pounding the pavement in four and five mile increments.  

Still living above the fire extinguisher shop. 

Still taking awkward self-portraits for the blog.

Some things never change.

Post five miler

Monday, September 24, 2012

Movie Monday XXXVIII

Depending on the time of day, or your current mood, this could either be one of the dopiest videos you've ever seen, or one of the most inspirational.

Various running clips (many taken from other videos I've posted on here) are mixed with inspirational music and inspirational film quotes.  Spoiler: there's a lot of Rocky in there.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another pushup challenge

I try really hard to be modest.  Honestly.  Because really, talent is always relative.  Unless you hold a world record in something, there is always someone, somewhere, who is better than you are.

I may have run a BQ marathon and won a few local 5k's, but on the other hand, I'm not going to compete in the Olympics any time soon.  I could be a jerk and belittle people who are slower than I am, but those Olympic athletes could do the same exact thing to me.

Stevie and I went to Ben's last night for some pizza and beers.  A friend of Ben's was there, and we somehow ended up on the topic of pushups.

Ben's friend: I can do, like, 30 pushups.
Me: That's cool.
Ben's friend: Can you do pushups?
Stevie: Scott loves pushup challenges!
Ben's friend: Let's do it!

There are plenty of things I'm bad at, mind you.  Giving pedicures.  Liking John Mayer.  Speaking Finnish. But doing pushups is not one of those things.  I am really good at pushups.

So I considered my response carefully.  "You've just entered the dragon's lair, my friend," and "You're about to enter a world of pain, son" entered my head as possibilities.  After a dramatic pause, I finally settled on...

Me: Are you sure you want to do this?

Just another Saturday night pushup contest

I'm in the middle, and Ben is in the background inexplicably doing situps.

(I won.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012 Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

Another year and another medal from the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, formerly the Philadelphia Distance Run.

Stevie and I headed over via PATCO at 7am, and we were in the starting area by 7:30.  Saw some others who were not impressed with Paul Ryan's marathon lie:

I hadn't run more than 5 miles all summer, so I wasn't expecting to PR today.  I know I said that last year, but I was pretty intent on taking it slowly and enjoying the atmosphere this year.  When I started out, though, I felt sluggish and slow, and I was worried that I was in for a long, painful race.  By mile 5, however, I found my stride, and felt ok for the rest of the race.  I ran just under an 8 minute pace and finished in 1:42:38.

Afterwards I met Stevie, my dad and Debbie, stood in a fountain with my free beer enjoying the sun and music, climbed a statue, then headed home for lunch at the Bread Board.

While I was far off of my PR, I didn't exactly push myself, and I was struck by how easy it felt.  My original goal for this fall has been to train like crazy and qualify for Boston, but since school started recently that goal has gone out the window yet again.  I would still like to run the Philly Marathon in November, however, and the ease with which I completed this race makes me wonder how little training I can get away with for it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...