Can’t wait to get back

All of sudden break is ending. I’ve been waiting for this for a while but now, out of nowhere, it sneaks up on me. In the past few days I’ve realized there are things I want to do before I leave and now there’s no time to do them. For started, I began reading Once A Runner last night. I got 50 pages in but then Counter Strike Source finished downloading so I played that the rest of the night. I want to finish the book as well as get good at Source before I go back to school. I need to finish the last 4 or 5 episodes of Breaking Bad and I also need to get a digital camera for my one photography class. I went the whole break doing absolutely nothing, I wasted time playing Angry Birds and watching movies that I’ve seen 30 times before when I could have been doing these tasks.

Regardless, I cannot wait to go back to school. I just want to go back and get my routine going again. Obviously it was great seeing everyone from home again but I do miss being at school and the people there. The only thing that’s going to absolutely suck is not being able to run. When I’m at home and not running, well that’s one thing because I’m alone. When I’m at school and surrounded by runners who will putting in miles and doing workouts, well that’s going to be absolute torture. I love spectating meets but I like spectating when I know that I could be out there if I felt like it. In this case, I want to be out there and I can’t. Somehow, almost 7 weeks later, my back is still injured.

I just don’t know what to do. It’s such a helpless feeling especially when I don’t really think it’s getting better. Clearly runners get injured all the time and it’s not like I’m the first, but I didn’t even get hurt running. This is such a small thing, I can run a race or go on a long run and be fine, but when I try to string together training it acts up and puts a stop on everything. I read somewhere that the thoughts of “Why me?” or “I don’t deserve this.” often occur when someones injured and I can verify this now. I don’t think I deserve to be hurt right now but sometimes that’s just how it goes. I know I’m supposed to use this to motivate me to work harder when I am healthy and it probably will, but for right now this absolutely sucks.

Happy Time Harry

While at Penn State Alex, Josh, and I watched an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. As some of you probably know I really like this show and I find it hilarious. Anyway, we watched in my opinion a top 3 episode of all time called Dumber Dolls.

The episode is focused around a new one-time character named Happy Time Harry. The idea of a toy doll that’s pretty much a 40 year old guy who hates life is just really funny to me. There are so many quotable lines from the whole episode. If you don’t think this is funny then obviously the show isn’t for you.

To the State

I’ve been at Penn State the past few days and have come back alive. I’ll recap my trip. Alex and I drove up together on Sunday night. On the way there we hit about a 30 minute stand still due to a car accident. A semi absolutely rocked a Ford Explorer and we were there before any police or ambulances. There was glass all over the road and no way around the wreck. The Explorer was completely destroyed. Anyway, eventually the whole thing was cleaned up and we could squeeze by. We arrived at around 9 and unpacked everything. There wasn’t that much going on and we had a late start so the night was a relaxed one. We pre-gamed and I was thinking that I had to get pretty blasted if I was going to be socializing. I tried but we were short on time and I was more sober than I would have liked. Alex, Stolz, and I went to a birthday party for about 20 minutes but once the girl turned 21 at midnight everyone went to the bars. Me not being 21 held the group back and we opted to head home. We ordered some food, watched some TV, and called it a night.

We woke up the next morning and fortunately, I didn’t have to go to class, unlike everyone else. While everyone that lived there was at class all day, I played Guitar Hero, watched Sportscenter, and played Angry Birds. This continued for a while until night time hit and we started drinking again. The game of choice for a bit was full cup flip cup. Alex, Stolz, and I participated a number of times. I had the same mindset, pregame hard because socializing with complete strangers will be difficult if you’re not wasted. Kurt arrived home and joined the festivities. The four of us were playing games and doing shots for a while until we headed next door where a bunch of guys were also pregaming. Despite being your typical Penn State bros, they were all really friendly and I had a really good time. We played this pirate game which I had never played before which is a keeper I think. Most people dispersed temporarily and I found myself with 5ish people that I’d never talked to before, a guy and a few girls. We got into a big argument, the girls were complaining that guys just look for hot girls with big boobs whereas girls look for more than that. Me and the guy called BS and the argument continued for a while. Eventually we got to talking about womens rights as well and naturally me and the guy were on the same side against the girls.

I had been drinking pretty hard and it was around this time that the black out train hit. Alex, Josh, Kurt, and I walked to some house and hung out there for a bit. I very vaguely remember this. Apparently I was causing trouble on the walk there shouting sluts to any girls that walked by and calling guys pussies. Fortunately nothing bad came from this because obviously I’m all talk. After we left the house Alex and I decided to get McDonald’s. I ordered a double quarter pounder with cheese and it was freaking awesome from what I remember. I very rarely eat fast food like that but I figured I’d spoil myself. We walked back to their house and I’d guess that I passed out pretty quickly.

All in all the trip was just a really good time. I wore the same clothes for the whole thing, didn’t brush my teeth once, and ate like shit the entire time. It was not a lifestyle I could keep up for more than a few days. I had a great time and saw how the big state schools party. I’m glad I go to Ursinus and I really like it there because the small school aspect has a lot of perks but I could see myself equally happy at a school like Penn State.

 

Last Hurrah

I’m heading to Penn State for the night. After two and half years I’m finally visiting Alex and those guys. I think it’s probably a good thing I haven’t been at Ursinus for 3 weeks because if I was I would be in my normal drinking habits which consist of blacking out hard, making a fool of myself, and passing out super early. Now that I haven’t done that in a while I might be able to party like normal college kid. Regardless I’m excited for tonight and it’s about time.

After this I don’t anticipate anything exciting happening for the rest of the break. This is my last hurrah before I lounge around the house for 5 days and then go back to school and have classes again. Maybe then I can get into the routine of having consistent/quality blog posts but until then shitty posts like this will have to do.

Setting In

I’m going to the Sixers home opener tonight with Paul and Gourlay. As an added bonus it’s also dollar dog night. Needless to say I’m pretty excited and see no reason why this shouldn’t be a blast. We play Detroit who is a pretty bad team so we should probably win the game to make things even better.

Amidst all of the good news, there is unfortunately some bad news. I attempted a 7 mile run today at Valley Green with Gourlay and failed miserably. A few days ago I ran with Paul and Chuck for over 7 miles and felt great. My back didn’t bother me and I thought I had made some progress. Today, I took Ibuprofen, stretched like normal, but something was wrong. After 1.5 miles my back was hurting and I was struggling. I gave it another half mile to see if it would loosen up but it didn’t at all. After 2 miles in 14:20 I had to stop while Gourlay went on to finish the run.

I walked half a mile, jogged half a mile, walked another half, and jogged another half to get back to the car. My back still hurt and I had some time to think about what my game plan was. At this point, I’m willing to essentially sacrifice my indoor season if I can salvage something of an outdoor season. I’m taking off the rest of this break, no running or biking, in an attempt to fully recover or at least to see if there’s progress. I built a huge base for cross country, I think if I could get 10-12 weeks of injury free training in, I could go into outdoor conferences in PR shape. The reality is starting to set in and it doesn’t feel good. I imagine that missing practice everyday and watching my teammates run in meets will only make me feel worse. I just want to run again.

Conundrum

As I stated in my last post, I played cards tonight. I said that if I won I would take that money and treat myself to a present, if I won $3 I would buy McDonald’s or something and if I won $50 I would buy a nice case. It’s almost 2:30 in the morning and after 4 hours of playing I cashed out with $193 for a net profit of $153. The pot was actually miscounted, it must have been. I had my stack at somewhere around $160-165 but that’s the benefit of hosting the game. You pay yourself last so if the pot is short you take the hit but if the pot is juiced up you take the extra. When I made the payouts and everyone said they were good I was simply left with what was in the pot. There was probably close to $1000 in the pot overall so someone miscounting $5 here or there isn’t that unusual but a ~ $30 profit is extremely rare as most of the time Jeff and I are throwing up an extra $10 because the pot is short.

Anyway, to the point. I made $150 profit tonight and I said I would spend it. I don’t really know what to do because I don’t really have anything I need. Maybe I’ll go out and spend $50 on something nice but I don’t even know how to spend $150 in one day if there’s nothing I need without completely wasting it. I’m up for suggestions so fire away.

Be a Winner

I had 37 blog posts in December which was a record high for any month. I thought a lot of the posts were pretty good and there weren’t very many junk posts. This however has not had the desired affect. My views for the past 30 days have been pretty bad. Overall views have dropped by about 300 and unique visitors dropped about 100. I suppose it’s the holiday season and I’m not at the forefront of most peoples mind but still, a major drop in readership after a major increase in output. I haven’t posted the past few days because my creativity is pretty low. I don’t do anything during the day and now that some people have gone back to school I don’t do as much during the night either.

I’m playing poker tonight for the first time since the Turkey Tourney. That will at least pass the time and add some excitement. Unfortunately though, when I think about it, whether I lose $50 or make $100, it doesn’t really matter. If I made $100 tonight what would that do to the rest of my break? Probably nothing. It would be as dull and boring as it has been. As I’m writing this I thought of an idea. If I make a profit tonight in any amount I’m going to buy myself a present for that amount of money tomorrow, no matter what. Maybe it’ll be a nice case of beer or a new toothbrush or a fresh pair of mesh shorts, whatever it may be, I’m spending the money. If I lose, well it happens but if you go in thinking you’re going to lose then you’ll lose almost every time. Tonight, I will be a winner.

AWOLNATION

As you could have probably inferred from the title of this post, I am very into the band AWOLNATION at the moment. They’re a little bit different but I think they’re really really good. They released their first album in March of 2011 so I’m a little bit behind but I’m trying to make up for it. Their song Sail got some decent airplay this past year but I hadn’t heard anything else besides that. I actually didn’t even really like Sail that much, it was good I thought but nothing special. Gourlay showed me the song Not Your Fault which I thought was really good. After listening to that 20 times or so I decided to look up their other songs. In the past 2 days I’ve literally only been listening their songs.

I suggest checking them out. The songs I really like are All I Need, Not Your Fault, Kill Your Heroes, Knights of Shame, and Guilty Filthy Soul but there are other that I haven’t completely gotten to listen to yet. They just have a really different sound and I think it’s really good. They kind of remind me of Foster the People with the more electronic beats/noises but they do it in their own style. Maybe it’s no coincidence that they came out around the same time and are both very good in my opinion.

New Year in Philly

Last night I decided to celebrate the new year at Lasalle with Gourlay, Paul, Pat, Mike, and Jonny. Jonny and I have a history of doing best-dressed competitions so last night me, him, and Gourlay said game on. Fortunately I had just gone to Nordstrom with my dad to buy nice clothes so I was well prepared. We got to the city at about 7 or so and the games began. The plan was to hang out with a small group until 10 then go to the Lasalle track team party for the rest of the night. We all got nice and drunk and then made our over to the track house.

Jonny was talking about going to Temple and for whatever reason at around 11:30, Gourlay, Mike, Jonny, Dan Day, and I decided it would be a good idea to go to Temple. This is where things taking a turn for the worse. First things first, we went on the bus and Mike paid his bus fare with a $10 bill. He expected to get change but that’s not how the bus worked. He talked to the driver asking if he could get change and the guy told him now. Mike said something like “So I just paid $10 to ride the bus?” and the driver just said “…Yes.” Since he overpaid by so much we negotiated with the driver for a few minutes. We said that in the holiday spirit he had to give two random people a free ride when they got on. He agreed but I’d guess he never did it. While on the bus I started talking to a few locals about the NBA. I was pretty drunk at this point but to me it seemed like things were going well. Gourlay and Jonny told me how stupid it was afterward. I guess it was a stupid especially when the one guy asked if I smoked weed. In an attempt to look cool I said yes but after that I figured I’d stop talking to him. While on the bus we didn’t even realize that the clock ticked past 12. Once we got off and checked our phones and they read 12:05. That was a bummer.

We got off at Temple and started walking around to find the party we were looking for. Dan wandered off by himself to a find a party that his high school friends were at. One gone. A pretty young black girl asked if she could borrow someones phone on the street. Mike obliged. I was standing extremely close to her waiting for her to start running off with it, if she did I was taking her down. She never did and we were on our way. The first party we went to was Jonny’s friends. We stayed for 5 minutes and then tried to leave, Jonny didn’t want to leave so he stayed and we left. Two gone. Mike, Gourlay, and I eventually found the party. I was really drunk at this party and don’t really remember it that well but cops showed up and Mike and I, both under 21, booked it up stairs. We were with a few others from the party who we had never met before on the third floor of the house while Gourlay worked his people skills with the cops. Eventually they left and everything was fine but we left the party right after that.

Eventually we met back up with Dan Day and opted to go back to Lasalle. Someone had the idea to go get chicken at like 2 in the morning. On the walk their Gourlay had his phone out reading directions. Two guys more or less charged up to him saying “Hey lemme see your phone!” Gourlay started screaming “No! No!” and ran away. Mike and I were walking right next to the guys and just hoped they didn’t kill us. We ate some chicken and somehow Dan and I got into an argument about who would win in a mile race at that very moment. We started walking to the track and some short black kid who was I’d guess around 16 started following us. He followed right behind us for probably 5-10 minutes without saying a word, he was just eating french fries he had bought from the chicken place. We entered some Lasalle courtyard where you needed an ID to enter, the kid followed right behind and came through the door.

We got to the track and while we all stopped so did the kid. Dan and I started running on the track, half to warm up and half because we were scared this kid was going to rob us. Lasalle security came and kicked us off the track. The kid who was following us started freaking out and arguing with the security guys. We kind of started talking to him, he said his name was Sean and was in the ROTC or something. He followed us again almost the entire way to Gourlay’s house. We obviously weren’t going to let the kid inside but it was going to be awkward telling him to leave. Fortunately he bumped into two other kids that he somehow knew right before we got there and he just started following them instead. At 3 in the morning we were ready to call it a night.

We woke up at around 9 and I had to make it home because I was going to the Eagles game with Ian. My contacts were killing me, I needed food, and I was extremely tired. We went to the game which was a fun time because the Eagles crushed the Redskins but unfortunately it didn’t matter at all. I’m in recovery mode at the moment. I need a full night’s sleep and night off from drinking. I have to recover so I can be prepared for the next two weeks of doing nothing.

2011 Running

It’s the end of the year and it’s time to recap my running for 2011.

  • In 2011 I ran 2964 miles. My goal was 3000 but this back injury prevented it. I only ran 69.5 miles in all of December this year as opposed to 270 last year. 2010 total was 2268 miles
  • 2964 adds up to 8.12 miles a day. Last year was 6.21 miles a day
  • I set a record for most miles in a single run, 18, and most miles in a day, 21.
  • I set a record for most miles in a week with 111.
  • I had a streak from 5/16-11/6 where I ran every single day, 175 days straight
  • I ran 1775.5 miles in that 175 day span which is 10.15 miles a day
  • In those 175 days I went on 239 runs.
  • There were 33 days where I either cross trained or didn’t run at all. Most of them were due to the back injury
  • I went on 409 runs total in 2011
  • I raced 35 times and set modest PRs of 15:27 for the 5k, 32:40 for the 10k, and 2:03.1 for the 800

Looking back at my goals for 2011, I didn’t hit the mileage goal of 3000. I hit the total runs goal of 365+. I failed the ‘don’t get hurt’ goal. I did set some PRs which was good but not enough and not by enough. I did break my streak record of 101 days with 175 days. I’d say the year was a success but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. The 15:27 was definitely good. 32:40 kinda blows but that’s okay. This years XC season didn’t live up to expectations so hopefully 2012 can be a success all around.

I might make some goals for 2012 later but I’ll wait to see how this injury shapes up. As far as I can tell I’m not set up to have a really good indoor or outdoor season so who knows what I should shoot for. Anyway, those are just the raw numbers.