Nashville / Total Eclipse Recap

Tom wrote a more detailed review of our trip for those interested.


Nashville

The 12 hour drive there went by fast. Our Airbnb was great and we got started by going to Broadway. Everything was going great until Tom and I got too drunk (I think I was first). It was an embarrassing / inconvenient way to start the trip (for me) and Laura ended up bailing both of us out thankfully.

I had my worst hangover in recent memory on Saturday where my body was rejecting everything. Saturday night was ‘smarter’ as we held our booze much better.

Sunday was the do-touristy-things day. We saw the Parthenon, the Farmers Market, etc. which were good, but let me say this – the Adventure Science Center was horrible. 1/10, and that’s being generous.

We spent Sunday out as well then hit the road early Monday.

A few thoughts on Nashville:

  • The live music scene is fantastic, a difference maker when compared to other major cities.
  • There’s never traffic somehow.
  • It’s too hot. I sweat basically right away when outside.
  • The Lyft drivers were all great and memorable people.

Nashville is a city that should be on your bucket list.

The Eclipse

I didn’t have a spiritual awakening, I wasn’t brought to tears, and I didn’t feel “overwhelmed”, like many described. It was a very cool experience, like nothing you’ve ever seen before, but it didn’t change my life.

A million dollar camera can make anything look cool, but the eclipse was actually cool.

Tom, Laura, and I drove to a remote area of Tennessee to view the eclipse from a set of train tracks with a few other random people.

About 30 minutes prior to totality, you could start sensing that it was getting darker, just barely, and that the colors were slowly shifting. The temperature started cooling off, and the crickets / bugs started blaring. With each passing minute, the effects were getting a bit more dramatic.

Then, in an instant, it went from weirdly light outside to dark. Not middle-of-the-night-dark, but dark. The absolute best thing visually was the moon / sun itself. It was a black hole in the sky with a bright ring around it.


All things considered, it was 100% worth the trip.

Eclipsing in Nashville

Laura, Tom and I are road tripping to Nashville tomorrow morning bright and early. We have Airbnbs booked through Monday morning and are turning the eclipse into an extended weekend vacation in the old Windy City!

“He’s going to see the eclipse?!”

We’re still deciding what exactly were going to do from Friday night – Monday morning, but it’ll work itself out. To those not in the path of totality, suck it!

But you can find out how much you’ll actually see here.

I won’t be posting until I’m back, unless I stare directly into the eclipse without glasses, in which case I’ll never post or see anything again.

My Fake Job

I’ve had dozens of conversations with strangers that inevitably lead to the “So what do you do?” question.

It usually goes something like this for me:

Some 10: So what do you do?

Me: Have you seen Office Space?

Some 10: No

Me: Well it’s basically like that.

Some 10: I said I haven’t seen it.

Me: Okay nice meeting you seeyuhlater.

Based on that, I want to think up a couple of go-to lies to tell that will drive the conversation further.

So I’m turning to my genius audience. What should I say? What should I try out next time?

T&F World Champs – Some Thoughts

Upsets Upon Upsets

I probably missed a couple as well, but upsets were the story of these games.

Personally, I think it could be because of improved doping controls.


The US Women’s Mid-Distance

I totally underestimated them and look like a fool based on these predictions.

Jenny ran a really smart race and benefited from Muir / Hassan running too hard too early.

Coburn and Frerichs just balled out basically. You have to wonder where Quigley would’ve finished. It’s hard to explain why the Africans came up so lame here.

Ajee ran to expectations. She’s only 23, she can be (already is?) a star in the sport AND she’s from Philly.


Bolt / the Men’s 100m

I wish Coleman won. The fact that Bolt took such offense to this question and completely brushed it off makes me dislike him / think he’s dirty even more. Though uncomfortable for them, it’s a logical, reasonable question, backed by data, that we should be able to openly talk about.

Him pulling up in the 4×100 was rough, as you never want to see anyone get injured. Not the fairy tale ending he was hoping for but still the best sprinter of all time.

Gatlin winning the 100m at age 35, though at a more reasonable 9.92, still just makes me shake my head.


The End of the Mo Show

That 10k was spectacular, props to him. A bit of team tactics by the Ethiopians and Edris’ kick FINALLY dethroned him in the 5k. I also thought Chelimo could’ve gotten silver had he run a smarter last 400.

Still a ridiculous 6 year stretch for Mo. I wonder if he’ll be back on the track in 2019, as I don’t see him ever being a consistent ~2:06 marathoner.


Pierre Ambroise-Bosse winning the 800m

The 800m, more than maybe any other event, is a crap shoot. Bosse has run consistently well over the years so I was happy to see him win. His interview after winning was good, this quote specifically:

“I’m not the best of the world. I just won a race at the right time, that’s all that happened.”

He said that in reference to Rudisha not being there. His awareness that he simply won the right race is refreshing.

Also, the race commentary from French is amazing (start at about 6:00).


The Officiating

More than any other global championship, these officials were too involved.

  • The entire Makwala situation was really poorly handled. Robbing him of the 400m and the race against Wayde was terrible for him AND for the fans.
  • Quigley’s DQ in the steeple was a joke in my mind.
  • Sharp’s DQ in the 800m, though overturned, was also joke.
  • Kovaks DQ in the shotput was justified.

Shutting Down

The mile didn’t go well. I got out okay, about 68, 2:17, but I could tell I was in trouble. My arms were rigging with 600 left and there was just no extra gear. 4:39.18 which Brookes almost nailed exactly with 4:39.15

About as successful as my taper.

My taper seems to consistently fail. I run a good time in the middle of training and think “once I ease off I should be totally set!“. Then my “peak” race is a dud.

Though it ended on a bad note, this training cycle was very encouraging. I PR’d in the mile and believe I was in PR shape from mile – 5k. I’m going to take the next few weeks easy then start all over again as always.

One More Time – Guess My Mile Time and Win!

You know the drill, winner gets $10 and a hand written note!


I’m racing the mile tomorrow night at West Chester Henderson and from what I hear there will be a good chunk of people between 4:20 – 4:30. My goal is sub 4:30.

This is my last race of the season and I have no reason to play it safe; no more 5 second negative splits on the last lap.

But am I still in good shape?!

I ran 4:30.9 4 weeks ago.

I ran 9:44 in the 3200 two weeks ago which was disappointing.

I’ve taken the last 2 weeks very easy.

I could run 4:20 (probably not) or 4:40, but at the very least, I’m going to give myself a chance to break 4:30 if I feel good.

Guess away and good luck!

2017 Goals Update

With about 60% of 2017 gone by, it’s time to check how I’m doing with my yearly goals.

  • PR in the mile AND 5k – 1 / 2 with a chance for the 5k.
  • Visit three major-ish US cities that I’ve never been to – Not on pace.
  • Go to a country I’ve never been to – No and no plans to…
  • Move out of my parents house – Easily!
  • Get a cat once I move out – Next year’s goal will be for him not to die.
  • Bowl a 300 (before Tom) – TBD
  • Attend a play – Still a chance
  • Write 6 hand-written letters and mail them – I’m at 2.
  • Write a 5 year letter to myself – Not sure I even want to do this.
  • Go to a dentist – On pace to make it two years straight without going
  • Formally volunteer my time at least once – I plan on doing this.
  • Invest 25% of my money
  • Don’t significantly injury myself while blacked out – So far so good!
  • Don’t get in a fist fight with anyone (considering making it the opposite) – No close calls yet.
  • Watch Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons play together live – This is a GUARANTEE
  • Watch three Sixers’ wins live.
  • Get Molly Sullivan’s number – Plenty of time left for next season.
  • Watch Tom Brady win MVP and / or the Super Bowl this year – Was there ever any doubt?
  • Watch an American win gold in a distance event at the WCs – WTF Jager. Fingers crossed for Chelimo!
  • Watch an American Record in a distance event – Ajee Wilson!
  • Write 225 blog posts (more realistic than last year) – Been slacking this year
  • Buy a new suit – Going to put this off until next year
  • Advance my career… by getting a new title Technically happened but not fully satisfied
  • Get LASIK.
  • Watch the Godfather – Like 99% this doesn’t happen.
  • Read 5 books – I’ve read one chapter of one book all year, would need a heroic effort to get this one.
  • PR in the beer mile – Going to attempt this weekend most likely
  • Run over 2000 miles – Possibly!
  • Attempt 100 beers and 100 miles in a week – Hoping to at least try.
  • Make back all the money I lost in 2016 gambling – My biggest personal problem of 2017.

My Top 10 Running Crushes

10. Emma Coburn

Most would have Emma higher on the list. She’s a natural beauty and a great runner, but not quite my type.


9. Genevieve Lacaze

Her social media is over the top and she’s not actually that good BUT she’s a babe.


8. Molly Huddle

A very girl-next-door-y look. Super sweet AND insanely fast.


7. Emily Sisson

Like Huddle, a girl-next-door-y look but younger.


6. Lisa Uhl

Doesn’t REALLY count because she doesn’t run anymore but always has a special place in my heart. A better looking Dee from Always Sunny.


5. Cory Mcgee

A true Southern Belle. This picture makes me think she should be ranked higher…


4. Tori Bowie

This may be recency bias since she just won the 100m in the World Champs today, but I’m a HUGE fan.


3. Laura Roesler

Just a total babe. Don’t know how else to say it.


2. Joanna Jóźwik

I follow her on Instagram. I don’t speak Polish but it SEEMS like her personality is as quality as her looks.

Beauty


1. Emily Infeld

Just the perfect girl. Fast, pretty, bubbly, and fun. She’s not like Jozwik in terms of true beauty, but her personality is amazing. This is the best interview Flotrack has ever done. Follow her on Instagram for her stories and you’ll see why I love her.

Fun AND Sexy

 

2017 T&F World Champs Story Lines

The 2017 Track and Field World Championships start today (day-by-day schedule here). Here are some things to look out for.

Bolt’s Final Run

Usain Bolt will presumably retire after this year. He’s undeniably the greatest sprinter of all time and has been the face of the sport for the last 10 years. He’s looking to cap off his nearly perfect career with victories in the 100m and 200m.

My Take – Bolt will win both races despite looking vulnerable and the media will be totally gaga about how amazing he is. I’m convinced Bolt has been doping for at least 9 years, but so are most of the others, so what do I care. The sport loses a great star, but maybe its for the better.


Semenya Attempts the Double

The biggest media story may well be Caster Semenya competing in both the 800m and 1500m. She’s been subject of a lot of controversy, and if she somehow pulls off this historic double, it will increase the drama & discussion behind the “transgender / intersex athletes place in athletics” conversation.

My Take – Caster Semenya should not be allowed to compete against women for all the reasons outlined in this post. I don’t think she’ll pull off the double, as rounds are tough, and she may not even win 1 gold as the 1500m is first.


Will the Mo-Show Continue?

Mo Farah looks to continue his ridiculous streak of 4 consecutive sweeps in the 5000m and 10,000m at international championships. We’ll see if anyone in the field pushes the pace against the 34 year old or if they’re content to let Mo kick to gold yet again.

My Take – I am so sick of Mo Farah, but I’m even more sick of his competitors doing the same thing over and over again. Someone, for the love of god, push the freakin’ pace. Yes, he’ll still probably win, but at least you can say you TRIED.


How Many Medalists Will Eventually Test Positive?

It’s in London, Coe’s backyard, so one of two things will happen:

  • He’ll want to catch anyone who’d dare cheat while the event is in his country.
  • He won’t want to catch anyone because it makes him look bad.

Doping is always a headline and a big name or two could potentially go down here. However, because it’s in London, Mo won’t be busted.


Which Americans Can Win Gold in Distance Events? (not a story line many care about)

Men

Jager in the Steeple is hands down our best shot. I give him 50/50 to win.
Chelimo could actually upset Mo in the 5000m. I’d love to see him run 13:00 in a front-running effort and just burn the kick out of Mo.
Centro has like a 2% chance of doing what he did in Rio.
Brazier is a total wild card in the 800 but I like Amos then Korir as favorites.
We have no chance in the 10k.

Women

All eyes on Ajee after that 1:55. With Semenya doubling, she’s got a shot!
Jenny finishing top 5 would be a great performance. No medal and definitely no gold.
Coburn in the steeple is similar to Jenny in the 1500.
The 5000 and 10000 are just too loaded. If Huddle or anyone else gets top 5, that’s a big win.

Allen Iverson Losing Ground

Allen Iverson is one of Philly’s ‘untouchables‘. He’s loved in every corner of the city.

On the court he was a superstar and off the court he was a cultural icon. The swag, the cornrows, the 6’0, and obviously the Jordan crossover. Kids growing up in the late ’90s and early ’00s wanted to be Iverson.

I loved Allen Iverson. He’s why basketball is my favorite sport. He was a flawed superstar, but he was OUR flawed superstar. In fact, we embraced him because of his flaws.


But at what point do we, the fans of Philadelphia, start to hold Allen accountable?

His no-show at Sunday’s Big 3 game in Dallas (which he’s been suspended for) is just the most recent example of poor behavior. He had no excuse, just that he’s sorry. He has a long list of worse behavior over the years.

When does he go from the greatest thing that ever happened to us and can do no wrong, to us acknowledging his greatness, but not giving him a pass for all the shitty things he does? When do his bad acts begin to overshadow his play?

Pete Rose has been all over the news this week. Once a Philly great (sorta), Pete is now hated by Philly fans (that’s another discussion).

Allen Iverson has done nothing close to what Rose has, but it does show that falls from grace happen. He’s is still clinging to his untouchable status, but I fear that may change not too far down the road.