Reasons for liking

For those who don’t know Satchel and I were freshman year roommates and we got along great. We were good living together and one of our groups of friends was the same. We would party together and we just had a really good time for our freshman year. The past two years has been similar except we don’t live together. I’m always happy to see him and partying with 103 is fun. That said, Satchel and I are extremely different people. One example, I care about normal things (grades, physical health, not being kicked out of school) whereas he doesn’t care about normal things.

Last night him and I had a conversation that highlighted our differences. It was about sports, baseball specifically, and why Satchel’s second favorite player is Dan Uggla with guys like Trumbo and Stanton in the hunt for his third favorite player. His reasoning for loving Dan Uggla was this:

“Dan Uggla is a tank, owns the phils, jacks dingers, and starts in the all star game with a .245 avg. He doesnt give a shit about being good he just says he’s good and everyone just says okay, okay, and there are no more questions asked.” His reasoning for liking Trumbo was “He is 6’6, 250 and has 26 homers.”

I don’t know baseball well enough to logically pick a favorite player but I know running pretty well and for a while Chris Solinsky was my favorite runner (he’s injured now). My reasons for this were because Solinsky is a tough runner who puts in a ton of miles and was always willing to do the work. He felt like he belonged in big races and made it clear that he was going for the win in every race. He had a great attitude and always put himself in races even if others thought he didn’t belong.

Words like “hard work”, “care”, and “great attitude” are the opposite of what Satchel looks for in a role-model. This shouldn’t surprise anyone though because naturally we look for similar character traits in our favorite people. I consider myself a hard working straight shooter kind of like Solinsky and Satchel considers himself someone who doesn’t give a shit about anything and would try to hit a home run EVERY single time up to bat no matter what the situation was.

With all of that said, I just wonder how Satchel and I can be such good friends and get along so well even though our personal characteristics are so far apart from one another.

Lets get serious (again)

Last night was the annual Phil’s 5k. I ran the race with CK4 the whole way and we finished in 26:58 and 26:59. Last year at this race the competition was relatively weak and Paul actually won the race while I got 3rd in 16:48. It was about 90 degrees and sunny last year whereas this year was slightly better, 80-85 and shady. Anyway, last year I looked at this race as a confidence booster, I was doing 85 miles a week and managed a decent race. Here’s what I wrote one year ago. “Probably 90 degrees and pretty humid. Been running a ton so I didn’t feel fresh. Went out slow, picked people off. Had a solid kick and beat Dillon Farrell? Happy with the effort.” Last year on July 16th I also wrote this post where I decided I was going to get serious about running. I ended up doing a ton of mileage last summer and had a successful (though not great) cross country season. I also arguably ended my junior year track campaign.

Well, one year later here I am and I’m having that same type of realization (for the hundredth time), I’m going to get serious about coming back. I’ve been doing 6 mile runs pretty much everyday while eating below average, getting below average sleep, and slacking on stretching and core. Sure I get 7.5-8 hours a night most nights and do core 3-4 times a week but it’s time to turn things around. XC camp is in one month which means I have one month to get my shit together. Do I think I’ll win the XC time trial? No, probably not, I can barely run a 6 minute mile right now. But if I don’t come into camp in the best shape I can be off of 7 weeks of training or I don’t win the time trial because I half-assed summer training when I could have won then I’m going to be pissed. My back goes in waves, sometimes it feels great (like the past 3 days) and others I think I’m done for good (Sunday/Monday). If doubles of 3 and 6 will get me in better shape and make it easier on my back to do higher mileage, than that’s what I’ll do. According to the doctors core and stretching are necessary pretty much every day. Until I start running high mileage I’ll have to watch the crap I eat a little closer.

I ran 39 miles last week. I don’t have a goal necessarily for the next couple of weeks but I want to run as much as I comfortably can assuming I do everything right. If that means 45 miles and my back hurts when I go more than that then fine whatever, but if it means 60 miles then I’m going to do it. The idea of “it’s only summer training” or “I’m coming back from injury so I’m a special case” (aka I don’t have to try as hard because I ‘can’t’) is BS. If I was running 80-90 miles a week right now, I would be doing all of these things already (eating better, sleeping more). Because I’m injured I should be paying even more attention to the little things, not less attention. Since mileage is something I have less control of than last year I have to really focus on the things I do have control of. We’ll see what happens in a month.

Female Friend

Hanging out at Mark’s this weekend made me realize something. Mark’s group of friends consists of both boys and girls. The morning after at Mark’s, Timmy (a male in the group of friends) pretty much farted on Liv (a female in the group of friends) intentionally. Those two interacted like they were absolute best friends. They drove over together, pretty much seemed like brother and sister, and there was no feeling like they would ever hook-up with one another.

I have never had a female friend like that. I don’t know if I’m the weird one or Mark’s group is the weird one. I kind of think mine is slightly less common because I can think of a few other groups that mix genders. I essentially have three groups of friends. Friends from college, track friends from high school, and cool friends from high school. There are no females in these groups of friends. There’s no girl that we would call if we were coming up with plans (spare girlfriends).  We do hang out with girls though. For example, there are track girls at school that we see every day at practice, sometimes eat meals with, and hangout with on the weekends but there are no girls that are, for lack of a better term, ‘part of the group’ in any of the groups.

I don’t really know what that says about me or my groups of friends but I just thought it was an interesting observation.

Having some fun

This was the most eventful weekend of the summer for me so far. It started on Friday when Gourlay and I were eating Randazzo’s. We were trying to find something to do and eventually we decided to go to La Salle to drink. I called Wacker and asked if he wanted to join us and he accepted. The three of us were at Gourlay’s La Salle house along with his roommate drinking 40s. With nothing better to do, Alex Morris decided to join us. We drank outside and made pretty good conversation. Wacker and I were pretty drunk and craving some food. We walked ourselves to a Chinese place at about 1 in the morning for some food. We both ordered General Tsu’s chicken. 20 minutes later we received our food and were feasting. I don’t remember too much about our conversation but I specifically remember us being dead-set on getting cheese steaks immediately after we finished the Chinese. We finished the food and changed our plans, I was in no condition to eat a cheese steak after that and just wanted to get back so I could pass out. We walked back and I did exactly that.

We were up early and Gourlay and I drove back to Upper Dublin. Wacker and I planned on visiting Mark for Saturday since he’s home from Sweden now. I was home from La Salle by 9:30 and leaving for Mark’s house in Reading by 11:30. I picked up Wacker and we went to a Subway by his house then made our way to Mark’s. When we got there the first thing on our to-do list was running. We ran and it was great, it felt like I was actually back running with the team. We did 7 miles which is farther than I have gone all summer.

After that the three of us decided we would drive 25 minutes to go cliff jumping. We walked a mile to the cliff and hung there for an hour or so. There were two ledges you could jump off of, one was probably 5 feet higher but you had to jump farther out to hit the water. For my first jump I got on the high one but really didn’t think I was going to get out far enough. Fortunately I did. The highlight was when Mark did a front flip off the lower one and I decided I would try it also. My first attempt was bad. Beforehand I said something like this “What’s the worst that could happen? I land flat on my stomach, knock the wind out of myself, and sink like a rock.” That wasn’t far from the truth. I did the flip but actually overflipped so I smacked my chest and face on the water knocking the wind out of me. I barely swam my way to the ledge to grab on. My chest still hurts now. After that I tried one more time and it was as perfect as I could do it, no problems. For our final stunt the three of us did odds or even and odd man out had to jump in naked because we thought that would be hilarious. Naturally I was odd man out and had to go in naked, it was as hilarious as they imagined if not more so.

After that we got some food and went to Mark’s for the night. We split a 24 case of Coors (not Coors light) between the three of us. We sat down and finished the case in a few hours. Mark had two friends come over, a guy and a girl, to join us. The other form of alcohol we had was vodka. Wacker and I had a contest. Each of us had a shot in a red cup. First to do the shot and flip-cup the cup wins. Loser had to do a naked lap around Mark’s house. I won the first one. I then made the deal that if Wacker beat me twice in a row I would do one. He beat me once, not good. Mark joined in the last one and the loser had to do it. Naturally, once again, I lost and had to do it. I was so upset I walked the whole thing around his house.

The shots appeared to be too much for Wacker and he was vomiting in Mark’s basement shortly after. While the girl and Mark were helping him, me and Mark’s other friend were in his kitchen singing to Glory Days by Bruce. It was great. I blacked out a tiny bit at the end when we went to bed. I woke up on the floor of Mark’s living room and my neck was killing me from that. Wacker and I drove home and ate Subway at the same one we went to the day before. It was good. I was feeling really hungover and took a two hour nap the second I got home.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Singing to Bruce’s Glory Days made me realize that these are in fact my glory days. It’s weekends like this one that I will remember for a long time. I believe I’m making the best of these days.

Communicate

Two recent occurrences with the same person have inspired this post. I feel comfortable calling out Jonny on this blog for two reason. 1) He’s one of my best friends and 2) I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog.

About a week ago Jonny and I had the follow conversation via text message at 3:30 pm.

Jonny: nori?
Me: Now? I’d go later
Jonny: laters good. what time do you want to go?
Me: I dunno like 5 or 6?
Jonny: thats fine. we can go at 5 i guess.

At exactly 5:00 we had this conversation

Me: food?
Jonny: umm my parents are making food so im just gonna eat here.
Me: Fucking great

My plans for dinner were foiled and I was left on my own trying to find some food. I’m not going to go to Nori alone, all along I thought I had a partner and then Jonny pulls this shit.

Here’s the second situation. Yesterday Gourlay, Jonny, and I all committed to eating dinner at Randazzo’s around 6:30. Gourlay and I met up at his house and were trying to contact Jonny. We called and texted and this was his response “im sorry buddy. we are cheegin”. Cheegin means day drinking. Gourlay and I got Randazzo’s without Jonny.

These are bad situations. They’re not bad because Jonny changed his plans, I’m okay with that. If you don’t want to go to Nori because your parents cooked dinner that’s fine by me. If you can’t go to Randazzo’s because you have other plans, that’s okay too. The bad part of these is Jonny’s communication or lack thereof. Just tell me when you find out so I’m not sitting here waiting around for you with my thumb up my ass. Text me saying “Hey I can’t go” and no harm will be done. Not communicating though is the worst thing you could do.

 

Blow Paterno

I wasn’t going to write about this but when I saw a Letsrun thread titled “Is there any truth to the rumors that Joe Paterno, himself, actually did some of the raping?” I couldn’t resist.

So Joe Paterno and Penn State are all over the news once again. I don’t really care for this topic and haven’t followed it as closely as most but whatever. Jerry Sandusky molested kid. This is relevant because he is alive and deserves to be punished for what he did, he’s going to be in jail for the rest of his life and will have to think about how awful a person he is. Joe Paterno is dead and will remain that way for the rest of his life (to quote Gourlay, ‘I know that makes no quas’ but I thought it was funny). No justice can be done to Paterno anymore. The only thing that Paterno cared about (obviously) was football. Are they going to take away his record for most wins? No. Are they going to take away all his Penn State records or NCAA accomplishments he had on the football field as a coach? No. The only thing Paterno cared about was football and that won’t be altered in the future.

He knew more than we thought he did. This will go down as a black mark on his record and let’s just leave it at that. The whole University knew more than we thought they did. They will actually have consequences to deal with as they should. As an organization what they did was wrong. What Joe did was wrong but he’s dead. People are disgusted with him, well there’s plenty of other people to be disgusted with who are actually alive, let them have it. Yelling at Joe isn’t going to solve anything. Why even bother talking about the guy?

As an avid Sportscenter watcher, I change the channel immediately when I see that Penn State and Joe Paterno are being talked about. It’s not that I want to preserve my image of Joe Paterno as some hero, I never really cared about him and don’t view him as a hero or anything. It’s that I don’t care about the situation at all. Talking about Joe will change nothing except that people are going to hate him but that doesn’t matter because the guy freaking dead. I don’t really care about what happens to Penn State either because I don’t go there and don’t entirely care for the school other than a few good friends who attend. ***I imagine some people will say “but kids were being raped and people knew about it and didn’t do anything! If this happened at Penn State how do we know it won’t happen at your school or any other big organization!” My answer to that would be, for all I know it is happening at Ursinus and you know what, there’s nothing I can do about it. If you think every crime that others are aware of within an organization gets reported then you’re living in lala land. Every business is doing something wrong (perhaps not as bad as molesting kids) that people know about but won’t say anything. That’s just kind of how it works and one big scandal being uncovered isn’t going to stop other people from doing it. If my kid wants to go to Penn State in 30 years I have no problem with that.

To summarize. Joe and Penn State were wrong. Joe is dead. Penn State will suffer the consequences. I’d rather watch SportsCenter talk about where Dwight Howard is going to end up… And I hate watching them talk about Dwight Howard.

 

Twitter Logic

Thanks to Rob Kelley I’m an avid Twitter user. I currently follow 82 people. 34 runners or running related, 13  close friends, 33 friends, 1 NFL player, and 1 NBA player.

Initially I thought of Twitter as Facebook, if someone follows you, you naturally should follow them back. That, however, is not the case. Lately I’ve had a few people follow me and there’s no way in hell I’m going to follow them. There’s no point. I know they don’t share my sense of humor so none of their tweets will make me laugh and I do not care whatsoever about what they have to say. I’m not going to follow someone just to be nice. Because of this I have unfollowed a significant amount of people as well.

You may also notice that I no longer follow Hayley Williams or Katy Perry or Bibi Jones. I initially followed Hayley Williams because I have a crush on her. By that I mean I have no idea if I would like her as a person but I find her unusually yet extremely attractive. I initially followed Katy Perry because she has a great rack. I initially followed Bibi Jones because it was funny and she posted naked pics on a daily basis. After following these people I realized something, how attracted I am to someone has zero correlation to whether I should follow them on twitter or not. All of Hayley’s and Katy’s tweets were stupid and not worth reading. I guess for some reason I thought that once, just once, they’d post naked pictures. Now that I realize this will not happen, they are terrible people to follow on Twitter. Unfollow.

Bibi Jones is a whole different story. She posted naked pictures literally 5 times a day. Now initially this sounds great but there’s a couple problems with this. I don’t want to click on a picture while at the library or in my cubicle and go popping wood for no good reason. There is a time and place for pictures of hot, naked girls, but that time is NOT all of the time and that place is NOT everywhere which is what Bibi Jones’ twitter is.  Unfollow.

This brings me to the people I do follow. Close friends, they might tweet something relevant to me that I will want to read because it could actually affect what I’m doing OR they will post something funny. Friends, same as close friends just a lower percentage of either happening. Runners, I’m genuinely interested in updates about training or thoughts after a race. NFL player, Jerome Simpson for no real reason. NBA player, Kevin Love because Jonny loves Kevin Love.

I Love

A while back I made this post which was just a list of things that I hated. Since I’m on this upswing and trying to be as positive as possible, I’m going to make an I Love post. Now if you know me and anything about my feelings on the word love, then you will know that I do not toss it around loosely. With that being said, “I love” in this post will translate to “I thoroughly enjoy when” or “I strongly support” etc. I’m not going to write that each time though because it would be annoying so I’m using love even though I most likely don’t love over half of these things. Here goes.

  • I love Tostitos creamy spinach dip
  • I love new text messages
  • I love backhand slams in ping-pong
  • I love knowing the name of an obscure song and the band that sings it
  • I love Seinfeld
  • I love when it takes less than 45 minutes to fall asleep
  • I love honey BBQ chicken super-melts from Friendly’s.
  • I love being full-sweat after a run
  • I love Rosenberger’s Iced Tea
  • I love how drunk Natty Ice gets you
  • I love a full night of sleep
  • I love watching Americans beat east Africans in a race
  • I love swishing foul shots
  • I love perfect fore-hand frisbee throws
  • I love drunk Wawa/diner trips
  • I love ‘eat an unpeeled banana as fast as possible’ competitions
  • I love when people say my short shorts are way to short
  • I love when girls actively try to stay in shape or at least not get fat
  • I love hitting the pocket perfectly for a strike in bowling (not often for me)
  • I love fail compilation videos
  • I love the ribs at Outback Steakhouse
  • I love racing AND training
  • I love when my spine is not fractured
  • I love fukung pages that make me lol
  • I love really good live performances of songs
  • I love bonging beers
  • I love the trolls on Letsrun
  • I love the movie Cable Guy even though most hate it
  • I love the smell of my nails after I file them
  • I love watermelon Sour Patch Kids and Cookie Dough Bites
  • I love thinking about talking to girls while running at Mondauk even though it never happens
  • I love talking about old video games I used to play a lot
  • I love a very large glass of water after eating ice cream
  • I love my cats, especially Sneezy and Trooper

 

First Full Week

I completed my first full week of running (according to my log) today. A nice pain-free 6 mile run at valley green capped off a 29 mile week which was great. While I haven’t returned to normal in terms of training (meaning, I have to stop during my runs for the most part), I have finally conquered this injury (I think) and will be running normal mileage on a daily basis for hopefully the rest of my senior year. I would say the past 6 months have had slight ups followed by extreme downs and the month of June being perhaps the worst month in my last 5 years. However, this month promises to be a very good one and I’m finally excited and fully positive for once. Things are turning around for me and although it’s too far into the summer to declare this the Summer of Sam, I will declare this month and next month the Demise of Fat Sam and the Return of Normal Sam. For those wondering, I was 152 at my peak of fatness and with the help of running and mono, I have dropped down to my current weight of 143. This makes me happy.

One thing I want to note. It took me 5 or 10 minutes to write that post about handshakes and in all honesty I thought people would think I was stupid and say that the ‘cool’ handshake was a normal thing and I’m weird for not doing it. However, that post got 7 comments which is a significant amount, especially when I contributed zero of those comments. About a month ago I wrote a music post that literally took me two full hours to sit down and write. That post did manage to get 4 comments but if you compare the amount of time I put into that post versus the handshake post, the amount of feedback doesn’t line up. This just proves that I still have no idea what my readers will think is boring versus what will intrigue my readers and inspire them to comment. I expect that this post will interest a very small percentage of readers and earn 0-1 comments. Hopefully that last line will cause people to comment in spite of me which would really be playing right into my hands. Reverse psychology at it’s finest.

Handshake

I meant to write about this sooner but I kept forgetting. Here goes.

I essentially have two groups of friends. Track friends and then my other (cool) friends. If it’s been a while and I hang out with my track friends, a simple ‘hello’ and a simple ‘cya’ will be fine. When I hang out with my other (cool) friends there’s a different greeting/goodbye. The greeting/goodbye is a type of handshake that’s not a normal handshake (it’s not uncommon among younger people). Instead of going in with a straight handshake you kind of lock thumbs and then pull in towards each other and put your other arm around them and sort of bump chests. It’s hard to describe but I imagine most of you know what I’m talking about. I hate doing this, I’m not good at it and it’s never my first instinct.

On July 4th I saw a kid I haven’t seen probably since high school. I went in for a handshake and naturally he went in for this cool handshake. There’s no better way to look like a nerd than by messing up this handshake. We mix hands sort of and he bumps and arms me but I didn’t really put my arm around him or bump back. It was a complete disaster. Then, when we go to say goodbye, he goes for the same thing again and I mess it up again.

The handshake was established as the universal greeting and goodbye for all men. If you go to Germany or Mexico or Japan you shake hands. Where along the line did this change? Why did people think it was okay to switch this around? How am I supposed to know if you’re going in for a handshake or the new thing? I suck at this new handshake and worst of all it makes me look like an idiot when I mess it up.