I’ll recap my last couple of days because I don’t have anything else to do. Yesterday was the Fed Challenge. All year me and a group of six other kids along with Eric would meet for an hour or two a week and talk about what we think the Fed should do. Along the way we came up with a plan for what we thought they should do and yesterday was our presentation. I woke up at 8:00 dressed in my finest attire and we were on the road by 8:30. We got there around 10 with our presentation being at 11, you always need to leave an hour for warm-up. We ran through our presentation twice and it was a little shaky both times.
We went into the room and the five of us presenting sat across the table from two very formal looking business men. Both appeared to be in their mid-upper 30’s and were slightly intimidating after they introduced themselves and their credentials. We did our presentation and it went as well as it possibly could have. 15 minutes of no stuttering. They asked 15 minutes of questions afterward which was scary but I think we handled them well. We finished by 11:45 and had until 4 until we heard the results. The next 4 hours were spent playing a board game. We found out we did not place in the top 4 out of 10 schools which was a little disappointing but at the same time some schools literally have a class dedicated to this thing so it’s no surprise. We had to kill another 2.5 hours until dinner. More board games. The dinner was pretty delicious and we arrived back on campus by 9:15. It was a really long day but overall I’m glad I did it.
Today marks our journal to regionals. The 7 men and 7 women selected hopped on the bus at 11:00 and made the trip out to central PA. It’s only 2:30 right now so we have a ton of time to kill but I’m pretty excited to run tomorrow. Do I think I’ll run fast? Not particularly, don’t get your popcorn ready or anything like that, but relative to the rest of my season I think I can run a season best (~28:30). It’s definitely sad to see my senior year cross country season end but all good things must come to an end I suppose. It’s trips like this that really bring the team together. We’ll literally be spending every hour with each other for the next 24 hours and this will be something to look back in once we’re done with it. My senior year is closing fast and it’s times like these that I’ll really miss when I graduate.
This is going to be a short update just to get something down. This week has been hectic believe it or not. Tomorrow if my Fed Challenge presentation and although I’m not nervous, it’s something that I was to be really prepared for because we’ve put so much time into it. With that said a lot of this week has been spent working on our presentation and I haven’t had as much time to blog and there haven’t been many blog worthy things happening. Once tomorrow is over I will have significantly more time and will hopefully crank out some quality posts but until then this is what I can give.
On a side note, yesterday was obviously the election. I did vote and I followed the results pretty closely but the outcome didn’t really have a huge effect on me. In all honesty I’d have been okay with either candidate winning and I don’t think either of them would drive the country into the ground or give it a miraculous recovery. What I can say is that people who are assholes about political things are extremely annoying. Facebook and Twitter were flooded with political updates and half of them were obnoxious and asshole-ish. I don’t have a problem with you being happy that Obama won but you can keep it to yourself. It’s on the same level as religion, keep it to yourself.
Today was the annual 800 time trial. Last year I ran way better than I expected so I didn’t want to count myself out for this years even though I’ve had a terrible XC season. I’ll just get right into it. The gun sounded and I went straight to the back. After 75 meters I was in last place behind Amos who was another 5-10 meters behind the next person. If this pace was slow then I was in for some serious trouble. The front went through in 29 and I was through in 31 which did not feel easy. The pace slowed dramatically after that. I stayed in last behind Amos as we hit the quarter in 65 and I felt like total balls. I figured I’d wait until 250ish to go and see if I had anything left. Amos and I were coming up on Ian and with about 250 to go I made a move past both of them. I hit 600 in 1:38 with the leaders pretty much out of sight. I passed a dying Tony in the final straight for an embarrassing 2:11 finish.
Freshman year I ran 2:07.5, sophomore year I ran 2:07.3 and about a year ago I negative split a 2:03 so you have to figure I was in close to 2:00 shape. Now I’m running 2:11 and it was not getting any faster than 2:10 today no matter what splits I ran. While this result was sub-par I realize I’m not in shape and am not worried for track season. I’ve never been one to get in shape quickly so I’m looking at it as though I took my two weeks off when I was out with bronchitis and now I’m essentially getting ready for track season which starts in a month. I might not run 16:00 the first meet like last year but for whatever reason I’m confident I’ll be able to get back to my old self and run some fast times this year.
A side note is that this time trial marks the three year anniversary of when I started my current running log. Here are the highs and lows of the past three years.
- I’ve logged 5811 miles over the past 1086 days
- The most days I ran in a row was 175, summer going into junior year
- The most days off in a row was 154 during junior winter-summer
- The most miles I ran in a day/week was 21/111
- The longest run I’ve ever been on was 18 miles
- I ran a 26:41 my sophomore year for 8k at conferences
- I ran a 30:09 my junior year for 8k at conferences, the first time I didn’t break 30
- I split a 2:25 at a meet in an 800 my freshman year
- I ran a 2:03.1 in the 800 time trial last year
- I’ve had one mile race over 5:00, my very first one freshman year, 5:02
- I ran a 15:27 5k my sophomore year which I consider my best PR to date
While some of these records will stand by the end of track (miles in a day/week and longest run) I think I can actually set a mile, 5k, and 10k PR which would be a great way to finish out my senior year. Hopefully in another year I can throw in a marathon time or something cool like that but for right now I just have to focus on what I’m doing and trying to get back into really good shape. With how exciting something as stupid as the time trial today was I’m pretty motivated to get my shit together and show people that I can still run.
I wrote a blog a while back called Epic Songs that was just a list and description of long songs that I really liked. The final song I listed was Echoes by Pink Floyd. 7 months later I still think Echoes is a really good song but if I could travel back in time I would not choose Echoes as my Pink Floyd epic.
In the past week or so I have listened to the song Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7) a bunch of times and that would without a doubt take the top spot for me. It’s 17 minutes and 32 seconds long which qualifies as epic. Almost every listen to this has taken place in the library. I don’t really know how to describe it but the reason I think it’s so good is because when it’s playing I have absolutely no urge to change the song. I can sit for the entire 17:32 and not think about changing it once.
The first couple of minutes are slow for sure, the guitar very lightly solos but it’s just enough to keep me interested. Once the drums kick (right around 4:30) the song just rocks the rest of the way in my opinion. Vocals come in at 7:30 or so and it’s hard not to sing along with the repeated “Shine on you crazy diamond”. 10 minutes in a saxophone (I think) takes over soloing which I’ve always appreciated even though I don’t really know good saxophone when I hear it. 12 minutes in it switches it up significantly with a keyboard solo. At 14:30 the guitar soloing comes back and with a little over a minute left they rock out singing one more time to finish it off.
I think what I like most is that you can ask me 5 minutes into the song or 15 minutes into the song how long it’s been on and I’ll have no idea. I also think the guitar throughout the entire thing is really incredible. A gay way to put it would pretty much be that I get lost in the song. I can’t put it on the sidebar because it’s too big but here’s the link for anyone interested. A library session seems to be the best time to listen. While I bet less than 1% of readers will actually sit and listen to the whole thing I still felt like it was worth writing about because at the moment this is my favorite song.
It’s been a while since I had a good blackout but last night was a pretty good one. Gourlay, Topita, and Dale came up to visit for the night. The drinking didn’t start unusually early, roughly 6:00 with just a few Natty Ices. Slade and I couldn’t come up with a Halloween costume so we decided to just dress up in a suit and tie just to have something. The night started normal with some card games and a few people cycling in and out but things really took off once we pulled out the beer bong. I was definitely already drunk at this point but the bong put it over the edge. I don’t know who suggested it but at some point Topita and I were just going back and forth bonging beers not letting one out do the other. Dale and Gourlay joined in as well and it was pretty much lights out after that.
I remember being in 103 with Satchel and a few others for what I thought was only 5-10 minutes but Satchel claims I was there for at least an hour. I am in no position say he’s lying. Memory starts coming back a little bit when we went to the diner. It was me, Gourlay, Topida, Dale, Vince, and Rudy. I don’t remember saying we should go or walking there really but I remember ordering and eating Eggs Benedict and let me tell you it was absolutely amazing. We had a very elementary argument about whether Dale had seen every episode of Family Guy. I was saying he probably hasn’t seen every single one but he was insisting that he had. I don’t really remember any other conversations that we had there but that’s probably because the Family Guy conversation dominated everything.
The rest of the night is a little more clear but still blurry. The main event that took place was the destruction of my door. I was pretty much locked in my own room because the door was broken. I was trying as hard as I could to unlock it but it just wasn’t happening. I had to tell Tony and Miles to kick it in and naturally the door broken doors in about 2 months. That’s terrible. I’m going to argue the balls out of paying it because it really wasn’t my fault but we’ll see how successful that goes.
Tonight is going to blow. We’re dry for regionals which in all honesty sucks and doesn’t make total sense. A lot of people are celebrating Halloween tonight and we are simply prohibited from joining in the fun. Because we’re dry I was asked to social host a women’s track party. I reluctantly agreed for the high price of a case of Natty Ice. I have never social hosted before so this will definitely be interesting. Fortunately Liz and Emlamb are also social hosting so I’ll have some people to hang out with but being sober around drunk people is never fun. We’ll see how this goes.
Today marks the first day of no-shave November. As usual I was be participating and as usual I will look like a retard from day 3 to the end. Here is me at the end of last years. It’s just ugly. I say the exact same thing every year, “Maybe this year I’ll be able to grow a more full stache/beard and it won’t look as bad as it did last year”. Well, I’m going to say the opposite this year. I know my crustache has been coming in a bit stronger but it definitely hasn’t made it’s transition to a mustache so I’m pretty much screwed. The thing that I think will be slightly different are my sideburns/neck hairs. They seem to be coming in pretty well already and after a month I could actually have something there.
A lot of people ask what’s the point of no-shave? I don’t really think there is a point. There’s no goal, nothing gets accomplished, and no one feels better about themselves at the end of it. Why would I knowingly make myself less comfortable and attractive to gain absolutely nothing? I don’t know, but for whatever reason I give a lot of people shit if they don’t do it for no particular reason.
We played a game last night called Cards Against Humanity. It’s essentially the adult version of Apples to Apples. There are hundreds of cards with things ranging from white people to two midgets shitting in the street. I don’t remember what the topic was but someone was reading the answers off and as they went through one was “Must construct additional Pylons”. It took me a split second to realize what this was, it was almost like a double-take moment. The person who put that card down said something like “I have no idea what that meant so I just put it down.”
The phrase must construct additional pylons is from Starcraft, the Protoss people told you that you needed to ‘construct additional pylons’ if you were trying to build units but were at full upkeep for the number of pylons you had. After explaining this to people Richie realize he kind of remember it too and we started talking about Starcraft. It was mostly me reminding him of things in the game but it went on for a bit. After hearing this Emlamb said something along the lines of “No wonder Sam didn’t get any girls in high school”.
This just reminded me of the different identities you take on throughout your life and also the way certain people identify you. When I was in middle school and high school I was a gamer. I played video games all the time, if I wasn’t doing school work, running, or eating, I was likely playing video games. The number of hours that Alex, Ben, and I spent on games like Diablo, SOF, etc. was sickening. Staying up until 4 every night of summer playing video games was normal while getting girls and getting wasted were pretty much at the bottom of the list. But the thing is, that’s exactly how I wanted it.
As I progressed further into high school running became more important as well as Guitar Hero. I sort of became known as the kid who ran a lot but was sort of also known for being really good at Guitar Hero (although more so for running). Girls and drinking were still pretty low on the list. This was how I liked it though. My classmates didn’t think I was very cool because I wasn’t very cool. To them I had always been known as the gamer and since running also wasn’t very cool it didn’t change their opinions very much.
Things sort of changed in college. Running was a huge part of who I was but drinking shot up on the list. Female interaction also shot up. Instead of being at my computer every weekend by myself I was drinking in the suite with the guys and girls on the team. The older people viewed me as weird, yet funny and surprisingly fast alcoholic. We were more or less on an even playing field but it was more me playing up to them than vice versa if you get what I mean. I would say almost no one was jealous of me in any way shape or form other than me being faster than some of them.
Now that I’m a senior my identity has changed once again but not because my lifestyle has changed, instead because of the people I’m surrounded by. The way the freshman guys see me now is way different than the way I was seen when I was a freshman. I still drink and run as much as I did before, I haven’t really gotten any cooler but for whatever reason the freshman seem to think I’m way cooler than I actually am. They see me as this awesome runner who can lead a team of 4 girls to a case race victory and also happens to be extremely smooth with the ladies. Not all of these are true but that’s how they have perceived me which just goes to show that perception is reality.
It’s nice to have people think you’re cool but this brings up a point; are you actually cool or are you just with people who think you’re cool? For me at the moment it appears to be the latter. However, I suppose if you can pull either one of these off (actually being cool or surrounding yourself with people who think you’re cool) you’re in good shape so long as you want to be perceived as cool.
Tomorrow is Halloween and I have absolutely no idea what I plan on being. I don’t have to dress up tomorrow which is nice but I still need to think of something for this weekend. I’m willing to spend a relatively large sum of money if a good idea presents itself but at the moment I’m really struggling. My past costumes in college have been the following: Starsky and Hutch with Tristan my freshman year, we pulled it off well but not enough people recognized it. Hedo Sam and Hedo Mark my sophomore year, this was by far the best/most successful costume of my life. Last year the suite was a group of zombies which was pretty weak to be honest but easy. I’ve discovered it’s easier to find costume combos with fewer people. Two or Three is ideal, doing eight like last year was sort of a disaster. If you have any suggestions go ahead.
I think the idea of Halloween is funny. Depending on who you Halloween means completely different things.
For anyone 13 and under Halloween is the best holiday ever. Your parents buy you some stupid costume that you think is the coolest thing ever (i.e. Spiderman, Sonic the Hedgehog, a vampire) and you get as much free candy as you possibly can which is every kids dream. There’s no reason to not love this.
It’s slightly different in high school. You want the worst costume possible that requires the least effort as a way to show you don’t give a shit. Candy is secondary but still sort of important. You generally gather in huge groups in a rich neighborhood and stand awkwardly for an hour or so. No one wants to participate but they do because they know other people will also.
It develops a little more in college. The spirit is revitalized. There is a much larger emphasis on costumes. Girls generally try to appear as slutty as possible while guys want to have a costume that attracts the attention of the slutty girls. Candy is replaced with alcohol and getting laid is the number one priority (at least for guys).
I’m not exactly sure how Halloween works as a young bachelor out of college but I’d imagine the emphasis remains on costumes and a few people throw house parties that get large attendance numbers. Candy is equally unimportant. I would guess people get slightly less drunk and there’s more of a social aspect instead of people just trying to get laid.
Once you become a parent Halloween becomes one-dimensional. If you have a toddler you go out with them for an hour or two and then settle into your home to give out candy. If your kids are old enough to go out on their own then you skip the going out for an hour or two part. There are no parties to attend, there’s simply shopping to be done and candy to be given out.
Fortunately I fall into the college category which appeals to me more than any other category, probably because I’m a college kid. With this being my last year in the college category I hope I come up with something creative.
The past number of days have been quite unusual but way better than I thought they would be. I’ll recap from Saturday night until today.
Saturday was homecoming. I drank 4 or 5 beers and then a group of ~10 of us went to bar for Wacker’s birthday around four. After some beers and him doing a shot him and I had a ‘who could finish 3 shots faster’ competition. I finished in 2 minutes and he finished in 3. I was pretty drunk and he was bombed on the way back. In all honesty I don’t really remember what happened during the night. I can’t tell if this is because I was blacked out of if it’s just slipping my mind at the moment. I know around midnight a very odd 6 person group went to the diner. I was still on the verge of blackout but my memory rejoins me around the end of the journey.
I woke up and initially had no plans of evacuating like the school was suggesting. However, when they told us that if we didn’t evacuate we would be sent to the field house I had to reconsider. I didn’t want to go home alone so I asked some people if they wanted to join. Wacker, Slade, and Rudy said they would come to my house for the storm. We made the trip and were relatively prepared for the storm. Shortly after getting to my house Satchel asked if him, Shiloh, and Rob could come to my house. I gladly accepted. We stocked up on beer and got ready for the storm.
Sunday night was weird. The power went out because some tard hit a telephone pole. We decided that drinking beers and playing monopoly by candle light was the best move. Monopoly started around 7-7:30 and ended around 12:30. Half way through the power came back on which was nice. It was a bit ridiculous and the last 2 hours or so dragged on forever but fortunately I came out with a W. Monday however was the real test. We had all day to kill time. We got food, played Stratego, and watched movies/the news about the hurricane.
Around 5 or 6 my dad called a state of emergency and had all seven of us outside filling up a wheelbarrow with dirt and moving it to one section of the house. After 30 minutes and 7 or so wheelbarrow fulls of dirt we decided to stop. JC was quite proud that we answered his call to arms. After this we started drinking. We had 8 burgers to cook for 8 people so while the cooking was taking place we played up and down the river and the pyramid game. I made a mistake cooking the burgers with no shirt on and got a pretty solid grease burn. This was simply a good time. We were heavily drinking and just having fun. JC was also hanging out with us which was hysterical.
We lost power at 9 but that did not stop the blackout train in anyway. I was pretty wasted after the games and don’t totally remember the end of the night. I opted for bed around 10:30 and Rob was quick to follow. At this point those remaining took my phone. They uploaded a picture to facebook, tweeted some questionable things, and texted me neighbor. The pinnacle of this was the final set of texts to my neighbor. We had been texting about the possibility of hanging out and it wasn’t going well. After 5 unanswered texts to her, these three were sent in rapid succession, “I’m fully torqued right.now”, “Wild card”, “On my way”.
Today was not very enjoyable. The power was out, the house was cold, and there was absolutely nothing to do. We couldn’t go back to Ursinus until 3:00 so we pretty much sat there until 2:00 and then made our way back. Ursinus has power which is nice but it’s back to work. The concept of the hurricane was funny. Throw 7 college males into one house with no power and a ton of beer and just see what happens. It was a success all around though and I had a good time.
Saturday was conferences. As stated in the previous post there were two goals. 1) Beat Mcdaniel and 2) make the regional team. I warmed up and honestly I felt terrible. My legs just felt like balls and I was getting a little worried. However, I’ve always said that you can’t tell anything from how you feel on the warm-up so I wasn’t ready to write myself off yet. We had our conferences circle where we say goodbye to the seniors and we each say something. Other people seemed to be a little more emotional than me but regardless it was a good circle.
The gun went off and I tucked in right with Wacker. I figured I would stick with him as long as comfortably possible which ended up being about a mile. He hit the mile in 5:21 and I was 5:24. Those times were a little quicker than I was hoping but at the same time I was glad to know that I could even run a 5:24 mile. I was worried because we were only a mile in and I did not feel easy at all. Wacker started opening up and I consciously let him go. The next three miles was a blur. I felt bad the whole way and slightly slowed down. However, during these three miles I kept Wacker and Felix in sight. With a mile to go I saw that I had cut down a ~15-20 second gap down to 10 on Wacker and Felix. Slowly I started reeling them in.
Felix came first. I caught him with about 800 to go and we ran together to catch Wacker who was a few seconds ahead. With about 500 to go we caught Wacker. Wacker picked it up slightly but with roughly 400 to go fell off the pace. I made the first move and started kicking as hard as I could with about 300 to go. I could tell my form was terrible and I wasn’t going as fast as I would have hoped but I thought it would be enough. In the last 100-200 I heard someone say “Felix! Use your speed!” At this moment Felix came up on me and passed me. There was no catching him. I held off Wacker and finished in a sort of surprisingly fast 28:52.
Crossing the line was nice. I felt so bad all race that I just dropped after crossing the line. Finishing an all-out effort while in shape and out of shape are two very different feelings. I wasn’t sure how everyone else did so I really had no idea if we beat Mcdaniel or not. After talking with some people everyone said it was really close. In the end we lost by 6 points, 249 to 255. Unbelievable. There were a number of places you could look at and say we could have made up points. If you had told me a year ago that I would run 28:52 on a good course at conferences and that we would lose to Mcdaniel by 6 points I would say it was completely my fault and I suppose it kind of is. This year obviously hasn’t gone the way we were hoping at all with my series of being out and Jatin leaving but there’s really no excuse for getting last. I don’t think I could have run any faster on Saturday but I probably could have done more throughout the year to keep myself healthy and prepare myself a little more. It’s all said and done now though so what can you do. I made the regional team by finishing 2nd on the team which was nice and a lot of people ran really well yesterday so I can’t be too disappointed but still, beating them would have been nice.