Running Wild

I feel obligated to have a running post right now and I apologize to those who don’t care. Just don’t read this if you’re not interested.

Running has reached a new level. 16 days ago I made the decision that I was going to get really good. I said I would do as much as my body could take. If I could only max out at 80 miles then so be it, but if 90 or 100 or something like that was possible then I was going to do it. I ran 87 miles last week which was a personal best. I felt good doing it and just kept going with the flow. This week was the next step.

I finished up my 18 mile long run today feeling like I should have eaten a little more beforehand and also feeling pretty dehydrated because the stupid water fountains at Valley Green didn’t work. I was okay with it though because that long run propelled me to my first ever triple digit week. I ran exactly 100 miles this week and it didn’t seem like anything special. The past 3 weeks I’ve just felt like I’m always running. The time between one run and the next is never very long and I just always feel like running is at the forefront of my priority list. I ran 12 times this week and roughly 12 and a half hours this week were spent actually running. Nothing has changed though. It’s not like you run 100 miles and then your legs become way more sore or jacked than normal. As far as my body is concerned I’ve just been running a lot and that’s it. Few people know that I ran that much and even fewer people care. It’s an internal sense of accomplishment and I’m pretty content with that.

I don’t see why I can’t do it again next week. I’m running a lot simply to make running easier. My body isn’t trashed at all after this week so hell, I might run even more. Are my goals set higher than running low 26’s this year? Absolutely. My confidence is through the roof at the moment and my goals are even higher. Will I be disappointed if I only run 26? That’s hard to say. I’ll be disappointed that my body wasn’t capable of more but I couldn’t be disappointed in the amount of effort and work I put into it. I’m at exactly 700.5 miles for the whole summer and if 900+ miles this summer only gets me a 26, I’ll be upset that it didn’t get me more but I’ll be happy knowing that that’s near the absolute best I can do.

Another little fun fact is that I’m on quite the streak right now. I ran every day for 101 days earlier this year and that record is in danger. I’ve run 77 days in a row and I don’t see anything that’s going to slow me down. I’m really itching get the season going.

Now the real question is can I do the same thing next week while also pounding 100 beers?

Lucky to be Alive

I don’t have much time for a real post so this will just be a small update. I went on the most dangerous run of my life yesterday. It was the first time I was actually scared for my life. 4 miles away from my house I realized I had to crap really badly. A mile later or so I realized the sky was looking pretty bad and it seemed like it was going to pour. Another mile later I had to give in to the poop and just do it. I ran off the side of the road and went. Feeling refreshed and worried that I would get rained on I started running home pretty fast. Lightning and thunder started coming out of nowhere. Huge bolts of lightning were coming down and the thunder was really loud. The rain didn’t start yet but I was waiting for it. I took off my head phones and put them in the plastic bag I was carrying which also contained my ipod. A mile and a half away from home the rain started coming down. At first it wasn’t terrible, the lightning scared me more, but a few minutes later it started coming down extremely hard. I was about a mile away from my house and it was the one of the worst storms I’ve seen period  let alone been caught running in. The wind was blowing the rain right in my eyes and it got to the point where I was running with both eyes closed because there was so much water in them. I had to stop and wipe them dry. Another 200 meters later I had to do the same thing. The wind was blowing so hard that when the rain hit my chest it actually hurt. It felt like a swarm of horseflies were biting me in the chest over and over again. Cars all around had their blinkers on because you couldn’t see 20 feet in front of you. The water on the side of the road was flowing like a goddamn river. I traveled a mile and half in 10:11 which is 6:45ish pace but it was easily sub 6 effort the whole way. I was just waiting to get struck by lightning or have a tree fall on me. My mom said she went out to try and look for me but it was raining so hard that she couldn’t even make it out of the neighborhood. Eventually I made it back but it was terrible. It was the most dangerous 10 minutes of any run I’ve ever been on.

After that I went to Ursinus to visit Ben. Him, Wacker, Gizzy, and Obama were already there eating burgers and steaks so I was quick to join. We played drinking games and hung out and that was about it. We were drinking sour apple Smirnoff which was actually pretty good as gay as it is. At some point we decided to go pool hopping and swim in this one pool. It was actually pretty refreshing. It wasn’t a crazy night but it was fun nonetheless. I woke up today pretty hungover and feeling bad. Wacker and I muscled out 6 miles and I actually felt pretty good. This week is another record setter in terms of running but it’s not over so I won’t speak too soon. It’s only Saturday but I don’t plan on drinking tonight. 3 more weeks until school.

Feels Like the First Time

I noticed something recently that I found kind of interesting. When you do something for the first time no matter what it is, the feeling you get is almost always more intensified than it would be if you kept doing it. Now I’m not talking about the literal feeling but rather the emotions. For example, the first time I ever drank, I felt guilty talking to my parents. It wasn’t something that I was necessarily proud of and wanted to tell them so I just felt guilty. After a few more times I started to care less and at this point I don’t really care at all. It’s just as illegal now as it was then but now it just doesn’t really matter anymore.

Here’s an opposite example. Say someone is out of shape and decided to do something about it. They go on a run which they haven’t done in years. Afterward they’re probably so proud of themselves and feel like their starting to do some good with their life. Now if they keep running, that feeling kind of goes away. What’s the big deal of going on one run when you’ve already run 5 times this week?

When your pet dies it’s a traumatic experience, but if you’re like the Stortz’s and go through cats like candy, then you’re sad after a cat passes away but you move on without too much trouble. You’re shitting your pants because you’re so nervous as you warm up for your first college race but I’m at the point where I don’t get nervous at all anymore.

I guess you know an activity or something is quality when you get a good feeling from it and you can do it repeatedly. I’m sure guys who skydive all the time still get a helluva rush from doing it each time they do it. Playing a concert and having thousands of people wanting to hear your music wouldn’t get old. Winning the Olympics would never get old. Running a huge PR is what I’ve found that never gets old. I guess that’s why I’m trying to get so good because that would just keep happening and it would never get old.

This sort of goes against what I said in my earlier post. I’m saying that you have to do things that don’t get old but in the other post I said all of my days are the exact same with work and running but life is still good. Maybe that’s the difference between life is very good and life is great. I’m content with life being just good now if it means life will be great later. I considered making Feels Like the First Time by Foreigner the song but that would just be too over the top.

Life is Good

I have a little over 3 weeks until I go back to school. I really don’t see where all of my time went. When Jeff finished college he went on a 5 week road trip all over the US. That’s something you’d always remember. This summer has been filled with virtually the same thing day in and day out. I won’t really remember any of the specific runs I went on or any specific days at work. Everything just kind of fuses into one giant summer of running and work mixed in with some nights of drinking. This doesn’t really upset me at all though. In my eyes, this has been one of the best summers of my life. I’d rather work 30 hours a week than not at all. Making money is one thing but when you’re not working you just start to feel like a waste of life. My life over the next 2 years is headed in a very defined direction. Everything has a purpose which is good because I get a sense of accomplishment when I make progress in something. I not opposed to being spontaneous though. Last night for example, Alex called and asked what I was doing. Initially I said I can’t really do anything cause I have a morning run tomorrow and I just worked out and I should get to bed early. After a minute or two of thinking I opted to drink and I’m glad I did. Alex, Ben, Jared, Mahoney, and I just hung out and got drunk and it was a great time. Life is good at the moment.

Please Help…

The song on the sidebar is from the new Incubus CD and I think it’s really good. You should definitely take a listen if you 4 minutes. Courtesy of Jeff.

I have a serious problem. I know others suffer from this problem but mine is getting worse and worse. I don’t think you would call it insomnia but it takes me absolutely forever to fall asleep. I did a 13 mile run yesterday and was relatively tired afterward. I made sure I didn’t eat anything past about 10 o’clock and at exactly 12:48 I got into bed. I was tired but not exhausted. I laid for a while thinking my normal things. I shuffled around my normal amount. I don’t have a definite way of falling asleep. I’d guess it’s split about 50/50 of whether I fall asleep on my back or on my side.

Anyway, I have two ways of measuring how tired I am. How my eyes naturally fall (i.e. if they’re just open normally then I’m not tired and if they kind of close then I’m kind of tired, the more closed the more tired). That’s a general way of telling but my more effective way is by thinking. When I can remember my train of thought perfectly I’m not tired. When it takes me 5 or 10 seconds to remember what I was just thinking about before the current topic, then I’m pretty tired, and when I can remember what I was thinking about it means I’m about 5-10 minutes away from sleep.

When I feel like a lot of time has gone by and both of my signs say “not very tired” I check the clock. Last night I checked the clock and it was 1:34. That’s 46 minutes of laying there and not feeling any more tired from when I started. What is wrong with me? Normally looking at the clock like that would make me really anxious but since it’s happening so often now I don’t even care. It’s just the most helpless feeling ever when I count down the minutes of sleep that I’m not getting.  I get in bed with 8 hours and 45 minutes until I have to wake up. What starts as a solid night of sleep becomes a bad night of sleep by normal people standards. With as much running as I’m doing I should probably be getting 9 hours a night but that just doesn’t seem possible with how things are going. I probably average 45 minutes to an hour of average wait time to fall asleep. When I sit at my computer at work I could fall asleep in 5 minutes. When I’m reading a book, I could fall sleep in 5 minutes, but when I want to sleep I just can’t do it.

If anybody has any suggestions or advice please fill me in.

Great Ending, Poor Start

I had a pretty eventful Sunday for once. Jeff and I went to Philly to visit Laura. I’ve been to the city numerous times this summer and I’m enjoying it more and more each time. We went to a rather fancy restaurant called Parc. I was pretty boring and ordered the cheeseburger with fries and grilled onions. It was absolutely delicious. The fries were  cooked and salted to perfection and the burger was cooked well and the cheese was melted and the onions were cut and tasty and it was just an absolutely awesome meal. Jeff, Laura, and I had a nice conversation and then we were off to see the movie Horrible Bosses. I’d actually heard good things about this movie so I was relatively excited to see it. It was your run of the mill good comedy. It definitely had it’s moments and I like seeing Charlie Day become a star. All in all it was extremely unrealistic but I didn’t think it would be realistic going in. There weren’t any all-star big name funny actors but with some good acting and writing and Jennifer Aniston looking extremely hot at the age of 42, it was a good movie. I’d like to go back to the city at least once before school starts, whether it be a day visit or a Phillies game or whatever.

Anyway, after I got back home me and a few others went bowling. We played four games total and I broken even through it all. I started off alright with a 130, my next game I stepped it up to a 153 but then we switched lanes and I started struggling. I was missing the pocket by a hair every time. I either needed to throw it a bit harder or a bit softer but for some reason it took forever to figure it out. My next two games were 118 and 122 but I closed the 122 with a turkey so I couldn’t be too upset. I have 41 free dollars to the bowling alley so I plan on going for a two hour session soon and breaking 200 is the goal. I’ve done it only once before (202) but I think if I get in a groove it’s possible. With XC camp coming up I need to be on top of my bowling game to impress the incoming freshman. If Amos beats me again I’ll be forced to hide my face in shame. Regardless, it was a great end to my weekend.

I started this week off on the wrong foot by going in to work 35 minutes late. Somehow I overslept while getting 10 hours of sleep. Work was average and then I ran 13 miles. From mile 3 to mile 5 it was drizzling, from mile 5 till the end it was pouring. This was a pretty refreshing change from the 90+ degree weather for a week straight. I still feel good running and with only 4 weeks left in summer, I’m ready to get in my best training yet. This week will hopefully straighten out and I think it will. I’m feel pretty optimistic about things lately.

 

Record Setting

Yesterday was a record setting day. I’ve never done so much but so little in one day. I’ll explain. I woke up at 10 in the morning and was running by 11. I ran 5 miles and then called it a run. At 12 I made some food and then plopped down on the couch. I laid there until I fell asleep which was about 2PM. I woke up at 3:30, made myself a turkey sandwich, then sat and watched some Seinfeld and Phillies. At about 7 I started getting up and doing some things. I figured I’d go run again because the sun was finally setting. I initially went with the idea of going between 8-10 but I felt so good that I went farther. After 14 miles I called it a run. I probably averaged just under 7 minute pace for the whole thing. Every mile that I timed was between 6:50-7:00.

It capped off a 19 mile day which is 4 more than I’ve ever done before. I didn’t really feel any different at the end of the run so I’m starting to think that this higher mileage is starting to pay off. Anyway, after that I got some Wawa but then continued to be really lazy. I got to bed around 12:30. I spent about two hours and 10 minutes running yesterday. I probably spent another hour or two actually on my feet doing something, and the other 10ish laying down. If I was being paid to run (aka a professional runner) I think that would pretty much be my daily routine. It sounds crazy but putting 19 miles like that wasn’t that crazy. With 8 hours of laying on the couch in between runs, it might as well have been another day. As far as I can tell, that’s a record too.

I picked this song because it appears that yes, I do have too much time on my hands. The problem is there’s just nothing to do. I play guitar for half an hour at a time but I can’t do that all day. I watched all of Oceans Eleven yesterday along with probably 3 episodes of Seinfeld and 7 innings of a Phillies game while playing probably an hour or two of guitar and then even more Bejeweled. I can’t tell if life is absolutely fantastic right now or extremely boring. I think a little bit of both. School is creeping up and although there are some negatives with that, there are also some positives. Seeing Katie once or twice a semester is a pain in the ass and obviously having classes/homework isn’t very exciting. But the pros are enticing. First and foremost we’ll see how running goes. Second, instead of having friends once or twice a week like I do here I’ll have friends all day everyday. Cross country camp is one of my favorites weeks of the year. I don’t exactly know why because it’s pretty miserable but it’s going to fun seeing everyone again and all that. I guess I can say that I’m pretty excited to go back to school.

Amy Winehouse

Celebrity Amy Winehouse was found dead in her house. Now this affects me in no way at all but it’s something to talk about and could potentially boost views so why not. Now call me crazy but with a long history of drug use, I’m willing to bet that drugs were involved in the cause of her death. For someone to write a song called “Rehab” that pretty much says “fuck rehab I’m going to keep doing drugs” and then die from drugs, well I guess she got what she wanted.

I don’t know if celebrities like her think they can do drugs and whatnot and get away with it because they’re celebrities or because they’re idiots. How many celebrities need to die from a drug overdose for the other ones to be like, “okay maybe I’ll stop doing so much coke.” Obviously people are always going to be doing drugs but when you’re as successful as Amy Winehouse was, even though she wasn’t very attractive and I personally hated some of her music, you should treat your life with a little more respect.

If I made as much money in my entire life as she made up to 27 I’d be extremely lucky and I value my life way too much to dick around with hard drugs. I’m sure she wouldn’t be where she was though without drugs so I guess it’s a little give and take. Celebrities in general always seem to ask for a normal life. I don’t think they can have that though because they’re not normal people. I’d bet that most celebrities have an extreme talent whether it be for music or acting or writing or something else. They’re not the normal nine to fivers because they’re unique. Granted I think probably everyone is unique in some way but their uniqueness is able to generate millions of dollars.

Strange Day.

Today has been a very unusual day. I woke up early yesterday to run and it was horrible. It was probably 85 to 90 degrees and I ran 4 miles at about 8:20 pace. I was pouring sweat after a mile and practically drowning by the end. It was just a disaster of a run. I did my time at work and then went to Katie’s to run. In hopes that it would cool down, we waited until 7:30 but it was a futile attempt. We ran 8 miles or so at a nice slow pace and once again, I was a swimming pool. My shoes were squishing with every step and it was just horrible.

I got home around 12:30 and got in bed around 1. I knew that today was supposed to be pretty much the hottest day of the year. The high is supposed to be near 101 or something like that. I looked predicted temperature for 7 at night to see if I could pull off a later run. It said 97. There was no avoiding the heat. I didn’t know what I was going to do but then I thought about it logically. There are 24 hours in a day, multiple hours are going to be above 95 degrees and multiple hours are going to be right around 80 degrees, when should I run? So I set my alarm for 5am, got up, muscled out a 10 mile run, but was too jacked up to go back to bed. I decided to go into work at 7:45 and it was pretty much empty besides Wagon sitting hungover in his office. I decided to give myself a short day and leave at noon. I’m drinking tonight so I feel like I absolutely have to sleep more if I even want to consider making it past 9 PM.

There’s an absolutely amazing race on this afternoon that everyone should watch. The 5k in Monaco is absolutely stacked. It might as well be the world champs final. There’s 4 Americans with the usual Kenyans and Ethiopians and almost everyone in the race is capable of winning. It’s on at 4:55 so everybody should just watch it.

Post-Phil’s

Well the race is over. Overall it was a significantly weaker year than usual. The times were slow all around and the 90 degree weather with 60% humidity definitely played a part. I figured I wouldn’t worry about time before the race even started. I didn’t really have any pre-race jitters or anything and just wanted to get running. They did a chip timing system this year so if you crossed the line 10 seconds after the gun went off, your final time was 10 seconds faster. I got out with the lead group but made the wise decision to hang back because A) I wasn’t feeling tip top and B) it was really hot. Ian caught me probably 800 meters in while Paul (Reilly) was up with the lead group. I figured if I could just run with Ian for a while I would be okay.

We hit probably 1.75 miles and that was the breaking point. In 12th and 13th place, I made a small move and the drop was made. Ian was 2 seconds back in a matter of 50 meters at the 2 mile mark and the race was over. I moved up into 8th place and saw a string of runners waiting to be picked off. I kept moving up until I was in 4th with about 500 meters left or so. A kid I passed was someone that I knew and someone I really didn’t want to lose to. Naturally he latched on to my back for the next 1200 meters. He’s pretty good and had a lot more high school success than me (he just graduated high school). I didn’t want to lose to him. I saw Paul way up in first which was pretty impressive. There were 2 kids within my reach and I had to hold off the kid behind me. With probably 100 to go the kid behind me passed me and I knew it was coming. I stuck on to him as long as I could and when we made the last turn I just went as hard as I could. Me and the one kid caught one of the kids ahead of us but the kid who latched onto me the whole time just nipped me at the line. I finished 4th in 16:48. 2nd place was 2 seconds ahead of us.

They were giving out the awards. “1st place, Paul Reilly. 2nd place, some kid. 3rd place, Sam Stortz!” I couldn’t believe it. I was sure the kid beat me. I got up, took my big award, unfortunately couldn’t accept the $50 check for 3rd place, and walked back to my seat. Chip timing saved my life. I must have started .1 after the kid and if I had to guess he beat me by .05. It’s kind of a cheap way to win but I’ll take it.

Multiple shout outs here. Obviously Paul winning was very impressive. Not only did he win but he crushed everyone by 30 seconds so good for him. Katie was 2nd overall girl. She wasn’t too confident going in for whatever reason but ran a very good time and proved she was actually good. Tom ran 17:45 or so which was faster than last year and seeing as he had a broken ankle AND it was really really hot out, that’s very good. My mom got 3rd in her age group, finished the damn race, and once again kept her streak of breaking 30 alive. Kudos mom. Ian, unfortunately, ran pretty well but didn’t reach his goal of breaking 17. He was 17:08 and was 4th in his age group. It sucks Ian but I’ve been there and done that, last year I was 17:04 and was 4th in my age group. It was another fun year and everyone had a pretty good time, success. I’m already looking forward to next year.