Strictly Runners

This will be a strictly running post. We did a hard 8 mile run in 80 degree weather yesterday, really hard core stuff, and today we had a pretty killer workout so I’m pretty pooped physically. I along with Jatin set a 1600 meter interval PR in the workout today in 4:54, it was one of the hardest repeats I’ve ever done. The workout was 1000, 800, 600, 400, 400, 600, 800, 1600. We had to run the workout inside because they’re tearing up the outdoor track so that sucked and we were constantly running around people but nonetheless it was a really good workout. All of our second ones were faster than the first ones. I’m running a fresh 5k this weekend and the goal is without a doubt PR. Sub 15:30 would be pretty sweet. I remember over winter break Ian asked me what my 5k goal was for the end of the year and Palm said 15:29. I thought that would be really good. If I can run sub 15:30 this Saturday, I think I’d be set for a near 15:15 by the end of the year which would exceed all my expectations. This has finally been a breakout year for me but I don’t think I’ve completely broken through yet, there’s still more to come.

I finished Running with the Buffaloes. All in all I thought it was a really good book. This was the first time that I can ever remember where I couldn’t wait to read it. I was on page 200 or so this morning when I woke up, I read before lunch, after lunch, and then had to go to my 1:30 class. I had about 25 pages left so instead of going back to the suite and getting ready for practice like usual I went to the library for 40 minutes to finish it. I’d never been so excited to read a book. I was literally sitting there barely able to contain myself. They had pictures at the bottom of a few pages and I would immediately cover them with my hand because I didn’t want them to give away what was going to happen next. I’m inspired at the moment. Wow, when I wrote that last sentence I initially meant to read more books but I realized it also inspired me running-wise. One thing coach Wetmore says at the end is something along the lines of  “you’d never believe the amount of guys that go from running 9:30’s in high school that go on to run 29:30 in the 10k.” Well I ran 9:40 so I think that warrants a 30 flat by the end of my college career. I have my long term goals set and breaking 30 isn’t one of them, but that’d be freakin’ awesome too.

Obviously the whole story was really cool and whatnot but the part at the end where coach Wetmore talks about what separates distance runners from other athletes was my favorite part. For those who have read this far, I assume you’d probably be interesting in this too and because I need some material, here it is.

“They’re hard. They’re hardened. Everyday there’s a callusing effect when you head out and you go when you don’t want to. You don’t see it until they’re tapered. They’re smiling, happy. These aren’t the people I know. They’re so tough, callused, and businesslike about that aspect of their life that they came back. I don’t think that’s something unique to Colorado, I think that’s something unique to distance runners. It’s hurting every day a little bit, and a little more on Saturday. In football, you might get you’re bell rung, but you go in the expectation that you might get hurt, and you hope to win and come out unscathed. As a distance runner, you know you’re going to get your bell rung. Distance runners are experts at pain, discomfort, and fear. You’re not coming away feeling good. It’s a matter of how much pain you can deal with on those days. It’s not strategy. It’s just a callusing of the mind and body to deal with discomfort. Any serious runner bounces back. That’s the nature of their game. Taking Pain.”

Most non-runners don’t understand how or why anyone would want to run 10 miles a day for an entire month, let alone an entire year. If you don’t do it you won’t get it. I hate when people ask me why I run. It’s something you can try to explain a million times, pull out all the famous motivational quotes, watch all the most inspirational races, but there’s no use. Unless you do it and experience it like we do, where you’re fully committed and it becomes as much a part of your life as breathing or eating, you won’t understand.

There’s my running post. I haven’t had one in a while so I figured I was due.

What a Day

It’s CoSA week which means we don’t have class on Wednesday. That, coupled with the fact that I have a class canceled for Friday, no tests, (just my F paper that I need to revise tonight) and some good weather makes this a wonderful week. Today was awesome. I woke up, read my book for a little bit, went to both classes where I got a 91 on a Doughty pop quiz, then hung out until 1:30 where I went to the library. The library sucked because I didn’t feel like doing work but once I got of there it was the best time of the day, Frisbee time. We had a nice group of 5 or 6 playing outside. I was in my short shorts and no shirt to get my summer tan going. We played for 45 minutes or so and it was a blast. We had a little snafu though when about 5 minutes before we were going to head inside, Brett throws me a pass that naturally curves to the one side horribly, the wind picks it up and next thing you know it’s on top of the Kaleidoscope. Game Over.

Post Frisbee was practice, it was about 75 degrees outside and fairly sunny. I made sure I was hydrated before we got on our way for an 8 mile run. Gofus and Ryder set a quick early pace, even though they weren’t going the whole 8, and we kept it up the whole time. It was a little hot but it was just a great day to be outside and I loved every second of it. We covered 8 in a bout 6:50’s or so, by the end I was drenched in sweat and had about 20 bugs glued to my chest. For some reason I’m always covered with bugs after a run when I’m sweaty and shirtless. After the run was core where we got destroyed by Turner. Regardless, it was a really good practice. I’ve just been in a good mood all day and I 95% attribute that to the weather.

I’d like to have a better post than this but I really have to make sure I finish this paper with some quality behind it. I figure anything is better than nothing and even though some people may be upset that this post wasn’t up to quality, just go outside and you’ll feel better about everything. Have a great Monday night.


It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve accomplished one of the two things that I have to do. The first one was running and the second one is blogging. Let’s get going.

For starters, the answer to that math problem is 288, not 2. It’s just math, you can try and spin it however you’d like but the answer is 288. Pretty much no one even answered the question anyway besides Mark and Brett so who even cares.

After the track meet yesterday I got started on the drinks. Mark and I had 3 Natty Ice’s a piece before going to dinner with Jatin and Wacker at around 5 or 5:30. We hung out there for a while and then decided were going to play Bocci ball and toss the ole pigskin. We were casually drinking beer while playing these games and it was a good time. After maybe an hour we headed inside to get the party started. Not too much was going on yet since it was still pretty early. Eventually we had enough people to start playing flip cup. I was doing pretty well actually which is surprising. Even pong, I wasn’t that terrible at. Amid the games of flip cup were constant arguments about the answer to the math problem. It was pointless though because it was just 4 drunk people yelling at each other with no real logic involved to prove a point.

After flip cup some sprinters came over and naturally I had to show them that I could be cool and drink a lot too. Lance, Jordan, Al, Conner, Yoko, and I were all hanging out in Yoko’s room. I don’t remember exactly why but I was telling Jordan that he had to finish his 40 because he got a late start to drinking. Then I said something about him and I chugging our drinks, well I chugged my Natty Ice, gave a shout of dominance, and before I knew it was I was in the bathroom throwing up. I puked for a quick 10 seconds or so and then got back to the party. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I never throw up from being too drunk, I just throw up from drinking too much too fast. Obviously I kept this a secret from the sprinters in order to keep my reputation in tact but still, not my coolest moment.

I sort of blacked out but not really. What happens next isn’t totally clear to me but at some point a few people, one of which was definitely Bogdan, made our way to late night lower. I remember being there and just being torn apart because I had to decide if I wanted a ham, egg, and cheese wrap or a turkey, bacon, ranch wrap. Naturally I went with the ham, egg, and cheese and it was so delicious that I went back for seconds. I don’t remember walking back, or there for that matter. I don’t really know what happened when I got back either. At some point during the night people were throwing items out of the window down onto the grass, the items included our broken pong table, a chair, a treasure chest, and a bottle of orange juice. Since Sig Pi is below us and baseball is above us, I think were the least suspicious of the three so we should be okay.

I start to really remember what was happening at about 12:30 or 1. I was hanging out in my room with Jatin and James. We weren’t really doing anything besides talking and drinking. At some point Wacker kept yelling “Shotgun! Shotgun!” so we shotgunned a beer and then Wacker had some serious problems. He pretty much just couldn’t stand and I asked if he was going to throw up. He nodded so I walked him to the bathroom where he vomited in the toilet. I asked if he wanted to go back to his room and he claimed he was fine to go back alone but after 2 steps he would just fall over so I walked him back. We bumped into Jatin and pretty much the next 30 minutes was him deciding if he should go to bed or throw up more. We opted on him going to bed and then I went back to the suite.

I remember walking around and finding a full floater so I decided to drink it. That put me back into semi-blackout mode and I sort of remember walking around with Mark’s guitar and I was just in my boxers. I don’t know why but there was definitely a reason I was just in my boxers and had not gone to bed yet. I talked to Katie before bed I remember and said some really random thing in the middle of the conversation. We were talking and out of nowhere I said something like, yeah our coach did this or like, this happened on the bus today. I don’t remember what and she was just like, what are you talking about. That’s when we decided that it was bed time.

I woke up at 10 today and didn’t have a hangover. Bogdan and I went on a 10 mile run and felt pretty good. Today is going to be a lot of paper revising. It’s due on Tuesday at 5 which is actually a lot of time. We have Wednesday off from classes so this week will be an easy one. 5k next weekend and I’m looking for a PR. Back to work.

Running with the Bears

Well today was another day filled with running. I was up at 7:45 and on the bus to our track meet by 8. We got there and it was kind of a relief not having to run anything for this second day. Today I was a spectator and I couldn’t have been happier. The meet didn’t start for an hour or so when we got there so I went on a nice 5 mile run on trails in the woods. I came back and the first event of interest was the 1500. We had a lot of guys entered in it and a lot of expectations. The first heat had Jatin, Pane, and Bogdan. Jatin didn’t get to run with anyone last week so no one was totally sure what he was capable of. It was the fast heat and the winning time was 4:03 so the competition was there to run fast. All three of them were out fast and 800 meters in they were on pace to run a good time. I was giving splits at the 400-800-1200 and then ran over to the finish. Jatin ran a really nice race and kicked it in for a 4:13.6, faster than me last week for sure. Pane ran a tad faster than last week at 4:19 and Bogdan was right on his heels at 4:20. All very good times and comparable if not faster than their indoor PR’s. The next heat had a lot more people in it, all eyes were on Mark and Wacker though. Mark went out fast, probably a little too fast, but had a sizable (4 seconds) lead with 400 to go. Wacker and Reagan were gaining on him and with 200 to go they were single file one behind the other. Wacker made his move with 100 to go and right when he came up on Mark’s shoulder, Mark kicked and it was game over. Reagan ended up passing Wacker too and they finished in 4:26, and 4:28 for both Reagan and Wacker, all good performances. The rest of the team ran well in the 1500 too but I don’t have as stellar of a race recap for them. Regardless it was a really good race all around. The 800 was the next distance event. There were two things that were worth watching. Jeremy and Imbemba. Jeremy wanted to break 2 and Imbemba, who I was interested in mostly because he’s my roommate, wanted to qualify (2:07.95). I pretty much said that Jeremy would definitely break 2 and that I was willing to bet money that he would. He wasn’t as confident as I was and he ran the race like a retard as always, but finished in 1:59.94. He ran even splits the whole way and made it interesting, Giff was his normal self and ran 1:58.2. Imbemba was in a heat with 3 or 4 other Ursinus guys. He hung in there and while Jatin stole the show in a 2:05, Brett was close behind in 2:07.1 and officially qualified for conferences, kudos all around. In between races I read Running with the Buffalo’s which is a really good book and I’m already half way through, book #2 for the semester. Anyway, I really enjoyed just being able to sit back and watch everyone for once instead of having to worry about myself. It was a great day.

Tonight is a drinking night. I didn’t have a race today so I’m primed to go. My tolerance is lacking a little bit because I’ve taken a weekend off and haven’t gone all out (blackout) in a little bit. I’m not saying I’m going to, and I’ll never forget what Laura said when she said “planning to blackout isn’t cool”, I agree with that but if it happens it happens. I just want to have fun.

Unfortunately I don’t have too much material besides that just because I was at the meet all day and only really thinking about running. I apologize for running posts in 2 of my last 3 but that’s just what’s been happening lately. Only one person answered my math problem post which is a bit disappointing, I’ll assume people just haven’t read that yet, but really, that’s something where I really want people to answer and if no one does then I feel like an idiot. Consider this a special shout-out to you Mark for being a good friend and answering the question. It’s 6th grade math people, give an answer.

Can You?

So as always I was browsing some forums and came up with an interesting thing that I thought I would share.
What’s the answer to this math problem?

I’m happy to say I got this on my first attempt.

10k Debut

Running Post
I had my debut in the 10k today. We left Ursinus at about 3:20 and I was racing at 6. We got to West Chester at 4 and it was already bad news. We just sat around for a while in the cold until Bayless told us we could come in his van where it was warm. It was probably 45 degrees and light, but constant rain. Mark was running the 5k and then Jeff and I were in the 10k. I went out and warmed up and came back to watch Mark’s 5k. It looked pretty brutal out there and a lot of people were wearing long sleeves which had me worried. After the 5k I took off all of my long sleeve stuff and marched out onto the track. It did not feel good. There were only 6 people total, 5 guys and 1 girl. I knew this one kid was really good and didn’t totally anticipate going with him but there was another guy seeded at 33:30 who I figured would be around me. The gun went off and I was out feeling pretty good. The one kid was out fast and I let him go. After about 800 meters the other guy had maybe a 5 meter gap on me. We were a little faster than I wanted to go but I figured I didn’t have a choice and I had to go with him or else this race could be a disaster. I got up with him and ran with him for about 1.5-2 miles. I passed him and he hung on the back of me until about the 5k. Ideally, I wanted to hit between 16:30-16:40 for the 5k which would put me in a good spot to run fast and maybe break 33 but the conditions were pretty shitty so I was okay with being a little bit slower than that. I hit about 16:45 at the 5k and dropped the other guy, I was on my own. I was pretty much clicking off 80’s like it was my job for the next mile. No matter how much harder I tried I would run an 80, if I thought I was slowing down I would run an 80. I couldn’t get off of 80. Eventually I slipped two 81’s in there and with two miles to go sort of picked it up. I could tell that because of all the water on the track and the cold rain that my legs were pretty frozen. Opening up my stride was a real problem just because I was so tight. With a mile to go I started to kick a little bit. My next two laps were 78’s and then on my 2nd to last lap the 1st place kid lapped me. I hung with him for a little bit but he ended up running about 31:55 or so, pretty impressive. I hit the bell and just went as fast as I could. I wasn’t closing in a 31 like my 5k, not even a 35, it was more like a 36 or 37 and a 73-74 last lap. I crossed the line and couldn’t really see straight at all. During the race my stomach bothered me from about mile 3-5 but I didn’t think too much of it. When I finished I literally almost shat myself. It hit me like a brick wall but I held it in. I went over and talked to everyone about the race. My 2nd 5k was something like 16:26 and the last mile was probably around 5:10 or so. It was a grueling 33 minutes but for my first race and the bad conditions, I was actually pretty happy with how it all went. I think with some people to run with + 60 and sunny, that time could drop significantly.

Cheat the System

Loopholes are everywhere. People are constantly trying to find short-cuts or ways to cheat the system in order to make their life easier. For me personally, I very rarely do that. I don’t know if it has to do with running because there really are no short-cuts in running if you want to get better, but cheating the system or finding easy ways out has never been my style. I cheated off of Jonny on a Latin test in 9th grade and got a 67 on it. That was one of maybe 2 or 3 times in my life that I’ve cheated on a test and it went terribly.

Anyway, now to the point of my post. I was talking to Mark and Pane today about classes for next semester and I came up with a genius idea to cheat the system. Here’s my idea. I’ve taken physics 121 and 122, and despite popular belief, if I took physics 111 I would probably get an A. Not saying that Mark won’t do well in the class, but if you had the choice of me taking it versus him taking it, it makes sense to pick me because I taken the class before. I’m taking anthropology next semester. Hypothetically, if Mark had already taken anthro or was in that field of study, it’d make sense that he’d do better in that class than I would.

How would can we use this to our benefit? I schedule an anthropology class on my schedule and Mark schedules a physics class on his schedule. We’d have to work it out so all of the times matched up but pretty much I’d go to his physics class and say Hi I’m Mark Gapinski, and he’d walk into my anthro class and say Hi I’m Sam Stortz. I would take his class for the entire year and he would take my antrho class for the entire year and when we get our grades, I now have an A in anthro and he has an A in physics. You get credit for taking two different classes but you essentially take the same class twice which makes it much easier to get an A the second time around. Ultimately it boils down to, if you can get an A in one class, you can get an A in two classes regardless of what the second class actually is.

Now there are a few things that would have to be worked out. As of right now I couldn’t take Mark’s physics class because he has the same teacher that I had and the teacher would immediately recognize that I’m not Mark. There are multiple teachers who teach each class so you’d just have to make sure that you get the right one. Another smaller problem would be communication. I’d be getting emails that Mark should get and he’d get emails that I should get. If I get an email saying the test was moved up a class early, I’d need to relay that message. One miscommunication could be disastrous.

The last and probably biggest problem would be motivation. I wouldn’t care as much if I don’t get credit on a homework because it doesn’t actually affect my grade. I could half-ass and get a B and if he works hard to get an A, well the grades are switched and I got an A by doing B work and he gets a B for doing A work. That would cause personal problems between two people.

Now there are multiple ways to get caught. The first and most likely one is that your teacher finds out your name isn’t actually what you’re claiming. If I accidentally write Sam Stortz on the top of my test, well it’s game over. Your adviser could be a problem if they’re asking a question about the class and you have no idea what they’re talking about. Essentially it would only take one slip up throughout the entire year to blow your cover completely but if you’re careful about what you’re doing, I think it’s possible. Worth the risk? Probably not, but some people would be willing to try it I bet.

Just some food for thought. I wonder how often people actually try something like this. If there’s anything wrong with this or anyone thinks of a problem, please comment and let me know.

Altered State of Mind

Something happened to me tonight that sparked a thought, how often are we in an altered state of mind and how often does this actually affect what happens in life?

There were three examples of altered states of mind that I immediately thought of when I began this post. The first and most obvious is when you’re drunk. The consequences of a blackout night are generally not severe. You wake up, hear about the dumb shit you did, get over your hangover, and life goes on. There have been a few occasions though where drunken decisions due to an altered state of mind can be costly. Example, when Justin wrestled Len last year and got some dumbass injury because of it that put him out for almost the entire cross country season. Ordinarily two people wouldn’t just wrestle for the hell of it but because of this drunken decision, Justin paid big time. Fighting isn’t the only side effect, many times people will say things that A, they don’t mean and gets them in trouble or B, they do mean but would never say out loud unless they were drunk. Example A, when John Ryder had a little freak out and attempted to kill Godoy and say to him that he should never come back to the suite ever and that he hates him and everything, well he didn’t entirely mean that and was just really drunk. The result of that freakout is going to be hilarious when Godoy comes back for another visit. Example B, I don’t have a real life example of this but a guy is much more likely to tell a girl that he likes her if he’s hammered drunk. This can result in one of three things. A relationship. A one night stand. A broken heart. Any outcome of this event is going to be huge from the guys point of view and it all happened because he was drunk.

I don’t know how to explain this next altered state of mind besides just saying that when you’re really tired, you think some really stupid things. Countless times have I been lying in my bed in between awake and asleep and have come up with some crazy thought about what I’m going to do tomorrow. The most recent example of this is when I had a little miscommunication with my coach. He pretty much called me a pussy sarcastically but I couldn’t tell it was sarcastic due to the fact that it was an email. I responded with a nasty letter and he responded back with a less nasty, but still not comical nor apologetic letter. I was a little pissed off about it because I thought he was serious but when I went to bed, that was all I could think about. When I thought about it after it happened, I never really thought that anything would happen due to this email exchange but when I was in bed I came up with the idea of going to his office, demanding an apology, telling him that he’s a bad coach, and if ever did anything like this again, I’d take it to the athletic director and have him fired or I’d transfer. When I woke up the next day I just thought to myself, “what the hell is wrong with me? Why would I ever do any of the things that I was thinking last night?” There were so many times in high school where the same thing would happen to me. I’d wake up and just think how could I have ever thought that was a good idea? Fortunately, this altered state of mind almost never affects anything because you’re never in a position to take action or speak to anyone.

This leads me to my final altered state of mind. When I wrote my F history paper, I was going to the bathroom every 10 minutes, had a pounding headache, hadn’t eaten any food all day, and had a minor fever of somewhere around 100 degrees. Normally when you’re sick, you don’t do anything but take the time to recover. You don’t preform any tasks that require thought or focus, unfortunately for me that wasn’t the case. I had to get this paper in so I attempted to write it in my altered state of mind. When I sent out the paper I thought to myself “that wasn’t that difficult, I knew my stuff, made good points, and besides it’s only a draft so it’s not that big of a deal”. After re-reading my paper and the sources that I claimed to have referenced, I’ve come to the conclusion that I was somewhat retarded that night in the library. At no point in my history textbook does it say that the French peasants began the French Revolution. It actually quite clearly states that it was in fact the middle class that began the revolution. I don’t know why I thought it was the peasants but at the time it made perfect sense. I won’t go into more detail about my paper but there are multiple examples of that throughout and I don’t blame my teacher for giving me an F, well that might have been a bit harsh but still. My altered mindset cost me something here, a grade.

There aren’t many other altered states of mind that I could think of that could have real life consequences (not including drugs). The only other example I could think of was running. After certain workouts I’m just in shut down mode where my body sort of functions and moves around but there’s no one really manning the controls.

So. So What? So Let’s Dance!

Dr. Udis said it best today, he said “Sam, not many people are as lucky as you are. They don’t get to wear braces for 12 years… and most of them don’t have to have 30 teeth pulled either”. I suppose that’s a compliment? Anyway, the final steps are being taken to perfect my teeth and as a result, remove my braces. It’s only a matter of months. One more visit and then I believe the next one after that, they will be taken off. That means I’ll have almost the entire summer to show off my straight/pearly whites. They took an x-ray today so I guess we’ll see if I grew any more teeth but my fingers are crossed. If I could avoid teeth surgery for the rest of my life, I’d be very pleased.

I was browsing around some forums in my free time today, like usual, and found some interesting things. The topic was really good dance scenes in movies. Off the top of my head nothing really stuck out, I’ve never seen Footloose but I’m pretty sure something cool happens in that. Anyway, people start saying stuff and two videos really intrigued me. They’re both a few minutes long so I get if you don’t watch all of it but either way, I sat through both of them.
Here’s the first one, (don’t watch unless you have sound on)

This one was really cool I thought. They’re both really in sync and are really amazing dancers. The jumping splits they do at the end blow my mind because I feel like that would have to hurt some part of your body. I really liked this one.

Here’s the second one, it starts off a little slow so I’d skip ahead to a minute in and watch from there.

This one freaked me out. In the beginning they’re not really doing anything special and I wondered why someone would suggest this video but then they start doing absolutely ridiculous things. I don’t see how anyone could contort their bodies in the way these women do. It’s kind of disgusting and it really reminds me of the scene from the exorcist where the girl comes crab-walking down the stairs, that always gave me nightmares. I must say though to have the leg strength not to fall over at certain parts (go to 3:00) was actually incredible.

Dancing was never something that interested me much but these two stuck out as note-worthy.

Traffic Booster

I had to make a decision today. I wrote that nail filing entry and sat there debating on if I should post it immediately or wait until later where I could have time to add the entry. I decided that I would post it and then make another entry later. If green tower defense from Warcraft III has taught me anything in life it’s that you should always take quality over quantity, that’s something I will never forget about that game, but in the world of blogging I think it’s different. People are constantly checking (that might be a little generous to me) this webpage for new material to entertain them. If I have something written down, whether its 300 words about nail filing or 1500 words about my weekend, I’m posting it. Also, if I have two posts with 500 words each or one post with 1000 words in it, the concept of reading two separate entries is more enticing and exciting than reading one long entry. People don’t want to read a novel, they want short entertainment that can provide a break from their work. By breaking this into two entries, it not only makes people think that I’m writing more, but more often, so they’ll be more inclined to check this page more often.

The national championship for college basketball is on tonight. Since my bracket, along with 90% of everyone who created one, was screwed about 2 rounds into the tourney I haven’t been as interested but I watched the final four games and have been following it close enough. Butler could make history and tie for the lowest seed to ever win at 8. I’m rooting for Butler for that reason and because I don’t want Mark to look like a genius by picking UConn to win it all. I just want an entertaining game to watch, I really couldn’t care less about who wins.

On another sports note, the Phillies are off to a blazing start. Baseball games are so diluted by the fact that there are 162 of them in a season but when the team is actually one of the best in the league it’s fun to watch games. The Sixers are also nearing the playoffs. 5 games left and my prediction might actually come true. If they play the Celtics in round 1 I think they actually have a legit shot for an upset. Boston is old and while they have experience, they’re banged up. Sixer-mania on the way.