Monday, January 30, 2012

One year anniversary

A year ago I cornered the market on rum-based running blogs when I created "I Thought They Said Rum."  In honor of this important internet milestone, I present to you a modest collection of this blog's greatest hits from the past year.

The very first post:
Do Life

One of the more controversial posts:

A post that yielded some of the kindest comments I've ever received, some from strangers:

And one that yielded the nastiest:

PR in the 5k:
Elizabeth Haddon 5k (includes bonus nasty comment)

PR in the half marathon:

The lone marathon of the year:

Two posts that received little attention, which I put a lot of effort into and wish they could be published in Runner's World:

The blog's stats:

The most heavily visited posts

The most common search keywords

Visitors from around the world

And some of my favorite pictures from the year:

The aftermath of Hurricane Irene

Ocean City, June 2011

New Year's Eve

Philly Naked Bike Ride 2011

Cold and windy 17 miles makes you look like this

My dad's first marathon medal, surrounded by subsequent medals

St. Patrick's Day 2011

Thanks for reading, everyone, and I hope you stick around to see what's in store for the 2nd year of "I Thought They Said Rum."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Philly Style

Went for a five mile run along the Kelly Drive in Philly today with Sam and half of Suze:

Taking pictures with an iPhone in the middle of a run

Afterwards we ran the steps of the Art Museum, Rocky Style:



Followed by a trip to Whole Foods.

All in all, a good run on a gorgeous day with two great ladies.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Night moves


Sitting on top of my car, thinking about life, after yet another night run.  Four miles tonight.  Need to start upping the mileage pretty soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Committed


Yesterday I received another e-mail from a director I've never met offering me a role in his show. The offer was based solely upon the recommendation of a girl I worked with a few years ago.  The job would have paid $600, and would have been the first paid acting gig I've ever had.

I turned it down.

Need I say it?

Ok: Boston.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Slow going...

Sometimes when I find myself on the long, tedious road of building mileage, I wonder how I ever ran a marathon in the first place.  Running nothing longer than five miles for several months will do that to you...


The road to Boston is a long one...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

At the gym

I've written before that I'm not crazy about gyms, though it should be noted that it's the price I'm not crazy about.  With a little creativity and will power, you can get just as good a workout for free, without having to waste time driving to and from the gym.

But when the gym is free, I don't mind going.  My friend Ben called me this afternoon and invited me to his gym on a guest pass.  It had just snowed this morning and I'd been spending all day stressing over getting outside for a snowy, cold five miler, so his call was perfect timing.

This particular gym has a theater in it: a small darkened room with two rows of ellipticals and treadmills and a giant screen in front.


If the movie of the day was actually something I liked (as opposed to "Anaconda"), I could have easily spent hours running in that little room while watching the movie.  Instead I did five miles on a treadmill in the regular part of the gym:


Did five miles in 40 minutes.  Like many runners, I can't stand treadmills.  I was desperate to finish the five miles, so I kept bumping up the speed until I was at a near sprint towards the end.  I hadn't eaten much all day, and I almost fainted when I finished.

Post five miles with Ben in the background

I drank water and slowly recovered enough to hit the machines, doing sets of situps, pullups, pushups, tricep dips and dumbbell curls.  All in all, it was a pretty good workout.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fish Tacos


Homemade fish tacos tonight.  Marinated baked tilapia, diced tomatoes, corn, shredded lettuce, and a sauce made from lime juice, chipotle sauce, sour cream, and tons of spices.

Easily restaurant quality, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter running

The typical New Jersey native pines for the summer sun, preferring a scorched July beach over a frigid January anyday.  Having spent a year in the Bavarian Alps and gone to college in Maine, I've come to enjoy the cold weather a bit more than the local citizenry.

But man do I hate running in it.  Here I am about to go for a morning run in 20 degree weather:

Fashion is certainly not my middle name.

Can you see how thrilled I look?

It's amazing to feel the transition, though, from feeling like death at the beginning of the run, to something resembling strength, stamina, and speed at the end.

Training in the winter is not going to be easy by a long shot, but today's run certainly gave me hope.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On the road again...


Temps in the low 30's when I set out.  Ice on the ground.  Stiffness in the body.  Snot caked on my nose and sleeves from blowing snot rockets.  Head full of Boston.  Exhaustion.  Sore lungs.  Slow pace.

4 miles done on the Cooper.

Dammit.  It's going to be a long way to Boston.

Friday, January 13, 2012

In the eyes of the beholders

Among marathonguide.com's many great features is the ability to rate just about every marathon in the world.  Thinking of running a new marathon?  Look it up on this website and see what previous participants have to say about it.  People rant and rave about every last little detail associated with a race, giving a prospective runner a decent picture of what he can expect.

Reading comments on Boston makes me want to do it all the more...








Thursday, January 12, 2012

Future Runners?

For Christmas, I sent my two nephews "future runner" T-shirts that I'd gotten at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo in November.

Me: Can you send a picture of the two in their T-shirts when you get a chance?
Kirsten: Are you going to put it on your blog?
Me: Would you expect any less?

Four pictures arrived today, and here is one of them:

My nephews Soren and Oliver

Kirsten (via e-mail): I managed to get these before Oliver sat on Soren's face... that was the end of the photo session.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Movie Monday XXVIX

It's about to get really Boston-centric in this corner of the internet.

Here's a video from Runner's World TV in which they interview Boston Marathoners and ask them their advice on how to qualify for Boston.

Listen to your body.  Do your speedwork.  Be at a running weight.  Don't be disappointed if it takes you a few times to qualify.

No problem, right?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vegetarian Korma


Stevie and I have made it a Sunday tradition to cook a full meal together, and tonight we opted for vegetarian korma.  All kinds of curry and other Indian spices mixed with tomato sauce, coconut milk, and roughly a metric ton of vegetables.

Stevie: this looks totally legit!
Me: it smells amazing in here!

Stevie was a fan, but I was disappointed that it didn't taste quite like the korma we'd had at the Indian restaurant the week before, despite how good it looked and smelled.  All told, though, it was still delicious, and leftovers are in the fridge ready for lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

On re-qualifying for Boston


Technically it all starts in Hopkinton.  Every April, thousands of runners toe the line in this tiny Massachusetts town 26.2 miles away from the marathon's namesake.

But many of us know it starts much earlier than that, much farther away.  It starts on a local high school track at five in the morning.  It starts on a jagged trail run miles from anywhere.  It starts in previous races of all lengths.  It starts with sweat and exhaustion, and it starts with determination.

Boston.

To trace it to its roots is to find that moment when the word first seeps into the mind and begins to percolate.  When doubts make way to suggestions of reality, and it begins to fulminate.  When it begins to solidify into a goal, worthy of nothing but hard work.  That is when it truly starts.

In November of 2010 that goal was met when I became a Boston Qualifier, earning it a place in the top five proudest moments of my life.  In February of 2011, the BAA changed the registration process, and in September of the same year, when registration finally rolled around, I was officially shut out of the Boston Marathon.  I was crushed.

What people commented on the most in my video about qualifying for Boston, though, was the look of sheer joy on my face as I crossed the finish line.  It soon became obvious that to wax mournful on the unfairness of life will only take me so far, and that recreating that look and emotion would be far worthier of my time.  Which brings us to...

The fire is relit.  More miles will be run, and sacrifices will again be made.  It's hard to tell precisely when or where the journey started, but I know where it will end.

My journey to Boston begins anew.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter run

Four miles through Collingswood/Haddon Township tonight.  Temperature in the upper 30's. Running in the dead of winter is never fun, but it could certainly be worse.  


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Favorite sport?

We're focusing on sports in my German II class, so today I took a poll to see what their favorite sports were.  While no one claimed running as a favorite sport, celtic axe throwing managed to make the list.

My dad will be happy to note that soccer got the most votes.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Movie Monday XXVIII

Here's an incredible video about a coach struggling with Lou Gehrig's Disease and the team that ran its heart out for him.



It's heartbreaking watching a man who used to run ten miles a day realizing his body is giving up on him.

As I've said before, one of the most frequent answers I give to the question "why do you run marathons?" is: "because someday I won't be able to."  Someday, maybe later rather than sooner, my body is going to give up on me, and I want to be sure I've pushed it to the limits while I still had the chance.

As always, run your hearts out, friends.

Giveaway results

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The winner of the Born to Run giveaway is Midassa.  Thanks for reading and commenting everyone, and good luck running in 2012!
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