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.

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