One Day Till Freedom

I’m a 14 mile long run away from freedom. I absolutely cannot wait for this weekend. I’ve had a really strong urge to just drink and have fun. There’s no classes to worry about this weekend and we’ve put in a really strong week of training so it’s about time we kick back and enjoy ourselves. It’s been a while since the last time I actually got to do this at Ursinus with the team and whatnot so I’m just really really excited. Obviously once the weekend ends school actually starts and I’ll be a full time student. I don’t think this semester will be anything too hard. In all honesty, and this probably isn’t a good thing, but at this point running is priority #1 and school is #2 so, we’ll see what happens.

As far as running goes, well it’s going as I expected, pretty awesome. We had 8 1000 meter repeats today where the first 400 was all up hill. I’m not a good hill runner but all the miles I put in this summer pretty much just propelled me up. Normally I’m a mid-front packer up the hill but today I was 3rd for the first 3 or 4 and then 1st on every other one. Jatin gave me the advice of keeping my head up more because I was looking down and I think that helped. It still hurt as bad as it normally does but apparently I was just running faster. I have nothing to attribute that to other than the miles I put in this summer. Del Val is one week from tomorrow and I have very high expectations. I think I’m at the point where maybe I won’t be winning these smaller races, but I’ll at least be in the lead pack and in contention for the win. I’ve never won a cross country race ever so if my first one came this year, that would be very cool.

Half Way Through

The past two days have been pretty long days yet were only half way through camp. Yesterday we had mile repeats at 8:30 in the morning which actually went pretty well. After that was team pictures and then another run. The rest of the day was team bonding and stuff like that. The freshman seem pretty cool, cooler than any other freshman class we’ve had. It’ll be a lot easier to judge after this weekend and the freshman dance but still, the future seems relatively bright.

Today was a morning run at 8:30 and then a couple of us went to the shoe store. I got a pair of cumulus’ for $60 courtesy of Turner and his friend. After that was the 2nd annual UCXC scavenger hunt. It was a pain in the ass. Everyone was tired and it was hard to get motivated but nonetheless, 2 hours later the team I was on won. Tonight is a down night.

I’m aware this blog has been pretty lack-luster as of lately but I haven’t had a lot of time to really sit down and type and there also hasn’t been anything worth noting outside of running. As I said before, a serious post deserves some comic relief.

Time Trial 11

This will just be a quick update on how the time trial went. We woke up at 7:45 and got to the indoor track by 8. We waited around for everyone and then warmed up. We did two miles and then all of our pre-race stuff. Guys were first then girls 10 minutes later. Bayless yelled go and then we were off.  Jatin went out crazy fast like last year and I just stayed close enough for the first 800 meters. I caught him around 1200 in or so and we ran together for a while. I was feeling pretty good but wasn’t going to really force the pace or anything until at least half way through. We hit the turn around in 8:26 which is 16:52 pace. Dante’s course record of 16:59 was in danger.

Jatin and I started to pick it up a bit and then when we hit about a mile left I gained a step on him. He ran a step or two behind me for the next 600 meters or so and then the drop was made. We hit a part of the trail that was really loud because of construction so I couldn’t hear how close he close he was. Once we got out of that area, with about 800 meters left, I could hear that he wasn’t a step behind me anymore but more like 5 or 10 steps. I didn’t really ‘kick’ it in but I picked it up a good bit. I ran up the final little hill and hit the last straight and just ran fast enough to make sure I was going to win and run a good time.

I finished in 16:28 with Jatin 7 seconds behind me. I don’t think either of us were going all out so it’s a good sign for the season. I ran almost 40 seconds faster than last year so this is definitely a good sign. The rest of the team finished up well too. We had 5 guys under 18 compared to 2 last year. Mark was 18 flat and Pane was 18:06 so two more were right there. It’s a slow course so the times don’t reflect all of our capabilities but we can compare the times across years and this year is easily the fastest year. The season is going to be awesome.

First Day of Camp

Today was the first day of camp. I moved in and everything last night but it was only me, Mark, and Wacker. Everyone was moving in and whatnot this morning and it felt nice to already be moved in. We had an early morning meeting with the whole team to do introductions and go over everything. The original 4 male freshman got knocked to 2 which was a bummer. The original 6 or 7 girl freshman got moved up to 10. Hopefully the two guys and half+ of the girls are cool. I’m not saying you have to drink to be cool but it’s just very hard to really bond with people outside of practice if they’re not going to come over and party with us.

Tomorrow is the annual time trial and I have moderate expectations. I don’t think I’m going to blow anyone away but it’ll go well enough. I’m in good enough shape to run a solid 5k to kick off the season. If I absolutely had to guess, I’d say Jatin and I tie but who knows. This is the fun part, getting to see who did their summer training and who didn’t. It’s where those who tried hard get to show that they did and those who slacked off have to stand there and see what they haven’t been doing. Obviously I’m not rooting against my teammates or anything and it’s all in good fun but if it’s a substantial drop off for some people, it could be a wake-up call. This isn’t directed towards anyone in particular because we’ve only done one 5 mile easy run together so I have no idea who’s in really good shape vs really bad shape.

Tonight is a team dinner so I have to get my good impression face on. This should be an exciting year.

The Running Log

Here’s my summer mileage over the weeks. The first week was 5/16 and the last week ends today. The red is obviously this summer and the blue is last summer just to give you an idea of how much more I’m running.

If I can figure out how to post my daily log I will but I’m having trouble getting the actual picture into this blog. As of right now I’m just taking a screen shot then pasting it into this blog but it doesn’t totally work.

 

DMV

I went to the DMV yesterday for the first time since I got my license. The DMV has a pretty terrible reputation and I wasn’t too sure what to expect. When I went the first time I was just so happy I got my license that I didn’t even notice how miserable and dreadful the place could be.

Anyway, Katie and I had to go to get our licenses renewed and our picture taken. We got there at 4:30 and walked into a room with probably 8 rows of chairs, 10 chairs a row, filled with people of all kinds. We took our numbers and sat. You pretty much have 50 people there all waiting for the same thing. The process of getting the picture taken and getting a license/visa takes about 2-4 minutes. There were only two employees working the place so it was just taking forever. By 6 o’clock Katie and I finally got called. The lady who helped me was literally a human chode. She was probably 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. She was gigantic and I can’t imagine any possible way that she could walk. The other lady who helped Katie was loud/obnoxious, and could have very very easily been taken for a transvestite. We got our new licenses and got the hell out of there. It was pretty much as miserable as I would have expected.

Here’s the problem with the DMV. You have 2 people working there. If you had 5 or 6 stations and people were constantly being called, not only would it go faster but the mental drag wouldn’t be nearly as bad. There’s no sense of progress when you have two stations. It takes forever and everyone there is ready to shoot somebody.Working there would be equally terrible. There’s no sense of progress. Because the process takes 3 minutes and people are coming in every 2 minutes you’re just doomed from the get go. It’s just a non-stop never ending terrible day.

Here’s why the DMV doesn’t have 5 or 6 people. Since the business they take care of is so important/mandatory, people can’t just leave and say whatever. They have to get it done so they’re willing to sit and wait an hour+ because if they don’t do it now, they’ll have to do it later. If the DMV wasn’t mandatory and optional instead, they would have 5 or 6 places because any functioning business needs to keep customers coming. If it was only a little bit helpful instead of absolutely necessary, people wouldn’t go and wait that long. In order to stay in business, they would have to hire more people and make the damn thing run more smooth to stay in business. Because it’s so important, they can run it like a piece of shit and get away with it.

It was a bad experience and I hope I’m not visiting there again anytime soon. It’s just filled with creeps and weirdos. Obviously there were others in my same situation but there were many who just scared me.

Summer

Summer is over. It went by really really fast. I had a dream in May or June that summer was over and I was packing for XC camp and I woke up freaking out because it went so fast. Well now that moment is actually here. Today is Friday and I’m going back tomorrow. It’s not that I’m really upset or anything to go back. I’m really excited to go back and get the school year going. It just worries me because if summer went by that fast, the school year will probably go by even faster. As if the past 2 years haven’t gone by fast enough. I’m half way to being a real person in terms of college completed but I don’t think I’m even close to that in reality.

All in all the summer was about as good as I could ask for. I had a convenient/quality job, I got to run a lot, I got to see my family/friends/girlfriend/cats frequently enough, I drank occasionally, I went on two enjoyable vacations, and I’m still alive. I would have liked to go to a Phillies game or something like that but that’s okay. I went to Philly more times than I normally do. There was just nothing to complain about. It was the most content summer I’ve ever had and I’m completely content with it being so content. If the rest of my life was as easy/relaxing/enjoyable as this summer then I could probably die happy.

Any post that get’s a little too real deserves some comedic relief.

Summer of Work

I tried to post my running logs two nights ago per request of the anonymous poster “alaska” but failed. I’ll get them up by the end of this week with the entire summer for you to see. I would have done this anyway but now that someone actually asked me and expressed interest in it, I’m definitely going to do it.

Anyway, yesterday was my last day at work. If I had to rate the job I had this summer, I’d give it a 10/10. In terms of pay, hours, and commute, it was an absolute dream job. I got paid more than I was worth, picked any hours that I wanted so I could work around my running schedule, and only had to drive .81 miles to get to work and back. It was perfect.

I’ve heard it’s more about who you know than how hard you work. Well fortunately I know my brother Tom who lives with Wagon who just happens to be a top salesman where I worked this summer. I wouldn’t have been offered the job otherwise but I like to think that I did a pretty good job while I was there. Seeing as the intern next to me was always playing solitaire I think I was a pretty good catch. I was competent, smart with computers, and didn’t mess up too often.  This teype of experience will look really good on any resume I send out in the future so I’m very thankful for that and I also made some good money as a college kid.

Thinking that there are adults right now who would kill for a job that pays $10+ per hour, I’d say I pretty much just landed in an extremely fortunate situation but I think I made the best of it as well. I”m happy to be going back to school but a summer working there is better than a lot of t hings that I could have done with this summer.

All you do is Lose

I heard this song on the radio a few days ago and due to the driver of the car, the station did not change. I can’t think of a worse song. This is absolutely terrible. Friday by Rebecca Black blows this song out of the water. This song embodies everything that I despise about the modern music industry. I’m not oblivious to the fact that good music is being produced today but the fact that music like this can not only be produced in the first place, but also become popular, makes me hate pop culture. It’s honestly embarrassing that someone could write this song and think that it was good. I don’t mind Ludacris’ part in this, I don’t like it but I don’t hate it. Everything else honestly comes off as a joke to me. The auto-tune, the horrible lyrics, the most boring and repetitive themes of I’m rich and fuck a lot of girls, nothing about this song is good. I would almost ALWAYS prefer listening to music then not listening to music but this isn’t even a question, I’d rather listen to nothing than this song. The video is also repulsive.

Without further ado

Most Frustrating

I went bowling last night and things did not go as planned. I was keeping my cool in the beginning but after the 2nd or 3rd game I started to lose my shit. That inspired this post. Here is my list of the most frustrating recreational activities.

Bowling – After last night, I’ve fully come to realize the anger and frustration that bowling can cause. When you’re just a hair off over and over again but you can’t figure it out, it’s such a helpless feeling. I just miss the pocket to the left or right over and over again which is annoying to start. After a first ball that’s just a little off, I’m generally left with a getable spare. Normally this is what I consider the best part of my game. I’ve never been a striker but spares have kind of been my thing. Last night I was really struggling. I was throwing balls in the gutter trying to get the 10 pin, I absolutely couldn’t get it. I know that the lanes have a good bit to do with it when you put spin on the ball but by the 4th game you think I would have figured it out a little bit. I averaged a 120 and was fairly consistent but it wasn’t consistently good, it was consistently mediocre. I wanted to quit by the end of the night.

Ping-Pong – This one is a no brainer. I think I would rank this as the #1 most frustrating game. I’ve played thousands of games of ping-pong in my life and have developed a pretty good knowledge of the game. When you’re bad and don’t really understand why things are happening the way they are, it’s easier to stay calm. When you know the game and why you’re missing the same shot over and over again for the same damn reason but you just can’t fix it, the game becomes more frustrating that any other. With me specifically, when my backhand slam is off, I generally overshoot it every single time. I know that I need to stay farther back on it and come over the ball more to keep it low and on the table but I fuck it up every time. This drives me insane. Even if I end up winning the game I just don’t even want to play anymore. I love ping-pong but when things are bad, they’re terrible.

Mario Kart Double Dash – This family game that’s fun for everyone has problems right off the bat. When I’m good at a game, I expect to win. Mario Kart takes that away from me. When a game is ‘fun for the whole family’ it means that no matter how good you are, you’re not going to keep winning. We played Mario Kart for many hours a day for a couple month stretch back at school. I’m not tooting my own horn here but if we time-trialed every race without items, I’d win 99% of the time. The item system makes it so that bad people can still go as fast as good people. Nothing is more frustrating that leading until 30 seconds left in the last lap when I start getting drilled by first place shells. There’s nothing you can do about it except complain and say well I should’ve won and the usual response is “well you didn’t”.

Bocci Ball – I have a short history with this game but I’ve already discovered how annoying this game can be. There’s a relatively legit playing area at Ursinus with a wooden frame and gravel and the correct dimensions etc. that we play at. I’m sure there are a few rules we don’t follow exactly but regardless, there are two huge annoyances in this game. The first one is that even if you throw the ball straight, it can hit a little bump in the ground and go shooting off to the side. Your ball can go from a perfect game winner to a laughable shot where people are left wondering if you even had your eyes open. This is uncontrollable and everyone has to deal with it so I suppose it’s relatively fair but of course, I like to think I’m the best and I just get more unlucky than everyone else. The next annoying thing is that if you throw a perfect ball and it lands right where you want it, another player can pretty easily knock your shot away. So rarely do you get the perfect shot and when you do, nothing is more annoying than having it completely erased. The game becomes personal at that point.

I’m sure I could think of more but that’s a decent list I think. Feel free to comment and add your own.