Ode to Running

I enjoy running a lot. It’s something I like to do, it keeps me healthy, but perhaps most importantly, it simply guides every action in my life. I’ll explain. I’m currently off from running, the next couple of days will be completely off and then the follow week will be pretty low key. It’s times like these, when I’m off from running, that I realize how much of an impact running actually has on my life.

At every meal for the past 48 hours I’ve been in the mindset of “I can eat anything I want because I don’t have to run”. Even as I sit here writing this blog I’m munching on some Chips Ahoy cookies. I have no regard for my health in these situations because for 50 weeks during the year I’m making the conscious decision to eat healthy because of running. When I’m in season I’ll second guess whether or not I should get an extra scoop of ice cream or eat an extra cookie or buy an iced tea instead of water. This clearly compounds on top of the physical exercise that I do every day to make me one very healthy person. When I’m not running, I don’t get the exercise benefits and I also eat like shit so it’s doubly bad.

Another thing that running does is add some order to my life. I know how each day is going to be scheduled. Whether it be waking up early for a morning run or going to bed early because we have a workout the next day. It adds a sense of direction to the things I do. I went to bed at 1:30 last night, that’s one of the latest nights I’ve had all semester and I simply justified it by saying “well I don’t have to run tomorrow so it doesn’t matter.” I wasn’t doing work or anything important, I just sat and watched random youtube videos for a while and then figured I should go to bed because it was getting late. When I’m running I’m always thinking that I should get to bed as early as possible because any extra sleep I can get will help me. Also, I don’t shower unless I’m running. I shower after I run, that’s how it works. If I don’t run, there’s a good chance I won’t shower.

A final thing that I like about running is that it always gives me something to look forward to. There’s never a point during the year where life is dull or boring because I’m always in some stage of running that’s exciting. For example, the past month has all been looking forward to Regionals. Even though Regionals wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, the anticipation I had for that entire month leading up to it was worth it. Right now I’m getting ready to enter my base phase for track season. I’m really really excited because this is where I can put in the work that will pay off later. If I’m not putting in the work to have a good season, I’m at the end of the season seeing if the work is paying off. It’s a never ending cycle that always has me looking forward to something at all times.

 

The Right Way

The post-regionals celebration was actually a success. I didn’t blackout or throw up and I made it past midnight. I played my cards the right way I thought and that resulted in a good night. For starters, when I got back from the meet I was still extremely dehydrated so instead of countering that with beer, I drank water. I drank multiple bottles of water before dinner and was good to go by the time I got back from dinner. Starting later also resulted in me staying awake later. Instead of starting at the usual 3-4, I started at about 6 which is a good thing. Dave came up to visit for the first time all year and brought 4 cases of Beer:30, 2 light and 2 ice. Instead of pouncing on this free beer I casually drank and even decided to drink light instead of ice (the reason for this was that the light matched my purple gloves). At around 9-10 I hit my pinnacle of drunk. I remember everything but somethings are a little hazy. For a while we just had a bunch of people dancing in my room which was a good time.

After that disaster struck. Wacker was way to drunk for his own good and was trying to walk places. Mehmet and I forcibly placed him in the stall and demanded that he threw up. After 10-15 minutes of claiming that he was fine and could walk/wasn’t blacked out, he barfed everywhere. After this we tried to put him to bed but it was a no-go. He was being uncooperative and insisted that he was okay to go to late night lower. I knew he was okay but I also felt like I was sober enough where if he got out of hand I could take care of the situation. We went to lower and things went south quick. He had his head on the table looking like he was going to vomit so I took him outside. He said he just wanted Gatorade and I said I’ll get him some but he had to stay outside. I went inside, got the drink, came back out, and he said we needed to run because some kids called the cops on him. We sped walked away and made it safely back to Reimert without much trouble.

After this he was still refusing to go asleep but I let other people take him off my hands. It was around 12:30 or so and I figured I might go to bed because the party was dying down. Some people showed up though and I was inclined to stay awake. We hung out for a while and then Wacker had another Snafu. Some freshman who was gay and likely drunk essentially tried to get into bed with Wacker. None of us knew who he was and initially we felt bad about kicking a kid out because he wasn’t being mean or anything, but it got to the point where we pretty much had to say “just get the fuck out”. He left and we all laughed about the situation. At 2:30 or so I finally decided to call it a night. Everything was done and I was tired from the race. I took out my contacts, changed, and was ready for bed. It was a very fun time and the night was ultimately a success. I feel like that’s how weekend nights are for normal people. Getting pretty drunk but stopping and staying up late, it was a rather new experience for me but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It seems to be the ‘right’ way to party.

I’m taking off running for the next couple of days and then I’m getting right back into it. I’m very excited to start this new season with hard training. XC was a step in the right direction but it wasn’t the breakout season I was hoping for. Things didn’t go terribly but I think there’s still something missing. If things go as planned the breakout season will happen during track and I can finally say this was all completely worth it. Until then it ‘s only pretty worth it.

Post Regionals

I was going to write a pre-regionals post but decided not to. I figured setting expectations would probably just result in disappointment like regionals the past two years. Anyway, my goal before the season was make nationals. Why was this my goal? Because there’s really nothing else to shoot for. If I have the perfect race on the right day it was possible so I figured I might as well make that my goal. Otherwise I wouldn’t really have a goal.

I woke up today at 7:30 feeling pretty fresh and ready to go. I was hocking up mucus like crazy but other than that I felt fine. I was chugging water so much that I had to pee on the bus in a Gatorade bottle. I ate my normal foods but for some reason I was pissing like a race horse. Every 10 minutes I was peeing so I figured I’d slow down on the water. It was 10 o’clock and I ran at 12. We did our warmup stuff and I felt normal. I ran over to the line only to find that my piss was actually yellow. I pretty much forgot about hydrating after I said to slow down. I can tell myself to stop drinking water and I succeed but when I tell myself to stop drinking beer I end up blacked out and vomiting, what gives? Anyway, that freaked me out a bit so I chugged some water real quick and then we were on the line.

I got out relatively slow, the first mile is uphill so all the times were slow but place-wise I was a little further back than I was hoping. I hit 5:30 and 80thish place at the mile. I saw two kids from our conference ahead of me and I figured I should be running with them. I tried to move up but really couldn’t go at all. I don’t know what it was but my legs were sort of locked into the pace I was running. I figured that this was alright as long as I didn’t let the pace slip at all. I kept pushing through 3 miles and then what do you know, Jatin comes by me. I pretty much said I don’t care if I completely die in the 5th mile, I have to go with him. I stuck on his back and then moved up next to him. We were about 70th? at the 3 mile. We consistently passed people in those back woods. Right before the 4 mile Jatin made a move and put a few yards on me. I saw my #1 rank all season slipping away right in front of me.

We hit 4 miles and he had 2 seconds on me. We hit a small uphill and I surged up next to him. On the following downhill I made another little surge and put a few yards on him. We kept charging through, passing people here and there. I hit the last down hill with about 400 left and made the noob mistake of looking back. The sun was directly in my eyes so I couldn’t see where Jatin was anyway. With about 200 left I heard people cheering for me and then maybe 5 seconds later cheering for him. I also was right next to a kid I knew from high school Zach Hoagland and decided I wanted to beat him too. I passed him and started my pretty pathetic kick. We hit the turn for home and two guys passed me on their kicks, neither of which were Jatin or Zach. I was driving as hard as I could but not much was coming from it. I could see the line and just held it until I got there. Jatin came in flying about a tenth of a second behind me. The final times were 27:09 and 27:09, good for 55th and 56th overall.

This wasn’t exactly a dream come true but it wasn’t a disaster either. I said to my dad prior to the race that top 50 would be solid and top 30 would be great. It was okay. For how good I didn’t feel the result was alright. I ran 26:55 on the same course a month earlier which is frustrating but this was also a much bigger race. I beat some kids that I really wanted to beat but on the flip side, some kids beat me that I wanted to beat. It was a neutral race, but in comparison to the sub-par performances in the past 2 years at regionals, it was good.

I don’t think I can attribute the lackluster performance to my sickness, but rather the tapering. I simply don’t think my body responds as well to 50 mile weeks as opposed to 60-70 mile weeks. I just felt stronger throughout the entire season than I did today. I could tell I didn’t have the snap that I needed to really do something special. Maybe it was the sickness but either way, I felt better today than the past 2 years at regionals and I tapered off less this season. I’m not going to taper as much for indoor and if I’m happy with my performances, I’m going to stick with this new plan.

No-Shave Update #1

It’s 11 days into November and the stache is as noticeable as it’s ever been. It’s hard to see in the light but you get the point.  This semester (schoolwise) has been defined by lots of group work. I’ve met with probably 10 different people in the past week and I can only imagine what they’re thinking. It’s either “hahaha he’s doing no-shave and it’s funny” or “holy shit that’s the dirtiest crustache ever, how does this kid NOT realize that he looks like a complete fool”. No matter which way they’re acting I can assure you one thing, I have not acted differently at all. I remember last year being self-conscious about it and just thinking I looked terrible. Well I know I look terrible this year and don’t really have any shame in sporting some gross facial hair. I just wish I could grow something more presentable than this.

In other news, I’ve gotten through the heavy workload these past two weeks and now I have some breathing room. School is going well, I scheduled my classes for next semester, and I’m just a happy person right now. Regionals is tomorrow but I’ll have a separate post about that. Life is good at the moment. I should also note that I’m for some reason obsessed with the song Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall. I have no idea why but I cannot stop listening to this song. Have a nice weekend everyone.

Why…

The following is a song called Why by Yoko Ono, yes John Lennon’s Yoko Ono.

If anyone would like to explain what this is, please feel free. I consider myself decently knowledgeable when it comes to music and I think I appreciate strange music a little more than most (ex. Perfect Drug – Nine Inch Nails, At the Bottom – Brand New, Hot Air Balloon – Owl City) but this is just too much. I kind of like the drums but the guitar is so weird and the singing is just awful. I don’t see how anyone, even Yoko Ono, can see this as creative or pleasing to the ear. The worst part is that I don’t see how two people as famous and amazing as Lennon and to a lesser extent Ringo Starr (he did the drums) can see this as good. Lennon must have been completely brainwashed at this point by her and Ringo probably did as he always did and followed John’s (or Paul/George in the case of The Beatles) lead. If you don’t play it that loud it’s actually kind of funny to listen to.

 

Coming Back to Life

It’s okay everybody. I’m almost 100% recovered from my illness and I ran 7 miles today. I decided to take the workout off because my throat is still a tiny bit sore but my headache is almost completely gone and my fever is no more. I thought this would happen, that it would clear up in a day or two, but you can never be comfortable until it happens. If I feel completely normal when I wake up tomorrow and get my sleep over the next couple of days, I think I’ll be set up just fine for Regionals. Another plus is that the weather for Regionals is supposed to be phenomenal, 54 and sunny with 0 chance of rain, you literally couldn’t ask for better conditions. Sunday and Monday I was definitely a little worried and down but I’ve fully rebounded and remotivated, I’m ready to run.

In other news, I’ve had a lot of work this week which only compounded my bad feeling. I had an Anthro skit, finance test, and managerial paper due today, a presentation for tomorrow, and another paper due Friday. Fortunately I’m through the majority of it and things are looking better. After this week life will take a huge turn. A few days off from running, no practice, and easy in terms of working. I suppose I can use a break from it all, not so much physically but mentally. I’m ready to give it one (two?) last hurrah(s) and make something awesome happen. After that, it’ll be time to step back from it all and see what needs to be changed. I’ll recharge the batteries and then get going again. I’m on the upswing for sure which is a good thing. Happy Tuesday.

 

The Streak is Over

The streak is over. I was too sick to run today and was forced to take a day off from running. In all honesty I don’t care that much assuming I still run well at Regionals but if being sick for the next day or two really screws me up I’m going to lose it. Anyway, here are the stats from the streak. I’ll do another running stat thing at the end of the year but for now, here’s my longest streak.

  • From May 16th to November 6 I didn’t miss a single day of running. 175 days straight. (coincidentally I started on May 16th, Laura’s birthday, and ended on November 6th, Tom’s birthday)
  • In 175 days I ran 1775.5 miles, an average of 10.15 miles a day for 175 days.
  • Over the streak, I doubled 64 times, or a little more than once every 3 days.
  • The longest run I went on was 18 miles.
  • My highest mileage in a single week was 111 miles. The days were split up like this, 12, 15, 13, 16, 21, 17, 17. I doubled 6 days and the last day was a 17 mile long run.
  • The 21 was also the most miles I’ve ever run in a day, doubling 8 and 13.
  • I averaged 104 miles a week for 3 weeks, or 14.9 miles a day for 21 days. Over these 21 days I went on 38 runs.
  • I averaged 88.6 miles per week for 8 straight weeks, or 12.7 miles a day for 56 days.
  • I raced 8 times, 2 5k’s and 6 8ks. The XC time trial was my fastest 5k, 16:28, and Desales was my fastest 8k, 26:55 (this is short of my PR by 14 seconds but I get to run the course again for Regionals and assuming I’m healthy, I think I’ll PR)

That will likely be my longest streak for a while. I do plan on running a lot more mileage next summer but a lot can happen over 175 days. I thought those were some pretty solid numbers. I can’t really tell if it’s all paid off because I haven’t done anything spectacular yet but I’m glad that I can take something very seriously if I choose to and even if I never run that amazing, I’m still happy that I put in the work.

The bad and the worse

Two bad things have happened in the past 24 hours. The first one happened last night. We couldn’t drink last night so we had a small group hanging out in the suite while other students partied. There were 7 of us, 4 pretty weak guys and 3 girls. At some point around 10 o’clock we heard a knock on the suite. We were all in my room and Pane got up to see who it was. Pane didn’t come back to the room for a couple of minutes but we could hear him talking to someone. We looked out and it was a guy about 6’4 and very possibly 300 pounds. It was obvious that he was really drunk. Pane was talking to him and a few people got up to help out. The guy came into the room and wasn’t totally making sense. He was looking for a girl and he thought she was here but she wasn’t. We told him to go downstairs because she was there hoping he would just leave. He wasn’t really going for it. At some point another guy we didn’t know who was much more sober came in and tried to take the kid out of the suite. The kid wasn’t totally cooperating but eventually he started walking for the door with his friend helping him walk. They left my eye sight and all I heard was a loud crashing sound. Initially I thought he walked into the table and fell over. I along with everyone else ran out into the common room where he totally flipped over our pong table, water was everywhere from the pong cups, and the microwave was also turned over. We all started screaming, telling him to get the fuck out while his one friend was trying to push him out of the suite. He was standing in the doorway, said something, and walked away. His friend stayed and apologized saying that he had just met this kid tonight and that he’s an alumni.

Now, this situation was obviously not good but it could have been a lot worse. This kid was a giant, extremely drunk, and not cooperating with us at all. If he went into a drunken rage we really couldn’t have done anything. If his friend didn’t show up he may not have left and we’d have a serious problem. This was the first time at college that I’ve been legitamently scared. If he came back we were screwed so we called Safety and told them about him. I had to go get my laundry and although I knew it was unlikely that he would come back, the thought was still in the back of my head and I definitely had some extra pep to my step. That seems to be a problem with being long distance runners. We are totally defenseless, the best we can do is run away and if we’re trapped, well we’re screwed. Fortunately everything worked out (sort of) and the kid probably had a rough morning this morning.

The other bad thing, worse thing, is that I am currently sick. I have a headache, a sore throat, and what seems to be a small fever. Obviously Regionals is next week and if this sickness affects me in any way I’m going to be furious. Granted I have a week to recover, but this came at a really bad time. I don’t know exactly what to do. I’ve taken Ibuprofen, am chugging water, and will try to get a lot of sleep. It doesn’t feel that bad right now and I’d guess it will be gone within a few days but you never know.

Ink My Whole Body

This picture was taken at about 10 this morning. That’s how I woke up unfortunately. I’ll go ahead and recap my night. It started at about 7 with nothing out of the ordinary, some Trials and Natty Ice. About 3 beers in I got the idea to “funnel” every beer for the rest of the night. We’re not allowed to have beer bongs on campus so we have this funnel that’s supposed to be used for cars but we use it as a bong. Anyway, Ryder and I said last weekend we would only funnel but neither of us did it. I made a point to funnel every beer after my first 3. I was going slowly and being cautious but I hit a point about 4 funnels in where I was pretty drunk and then decided to do 2 more rapid fire funnels. This would ultimately lead to my demise. I went down to 103 and danced at the dance party for a bit and that’s the last memory I have.

Nick Pane says that Leah, him, and I went to Dureyea together. I was struggling to walk and after half an hour or so Nick led me back to my room. I don’t know the full details but somehow I took my contacts out. I got prepared for bed and then pulled a no-no by puking on our carpet. I don’t really remember doing it at all and I think I just went to bed afterward. While I was passed out my good buddy Satchel came in and just drew on me with a Sharpie for a while. Ryder, Drowzy, and Mark watched him do it and said it was funny for a little bit but he just wasn’t stopping at all.

I woke up this morning with Mark and Wacker hysterically laughing at me. I didn’t realize what I looked like. I put the carpet outside and figured I would clean it later. Then Mark and I went on a run and for whatever reason the entire town of Collegeville decided to go on a Saturday morning walk today. I got so many dirty looks but I just tried to act like nothing was wrong. I got back, showered, and still have a ton of marker on me. I was really hungover at brunch and had to take a nap. I’m now left with the process of cleaning the carpet, cleaning my sheets, and cleaning the market off my skin. I suppose this is what college is all about and I can clearly see the hilarity in all of this, I just wish it happened to someone else.