Marathon Training Update #6

The Races

I ran a half marathon two weekends ago, and a hungover 5k on Saturday. You can click to read more.

The I Don’t Care

I haven’t been this unmotivated in a really long time. The leg injury I had is looming, and the two weeks off/half marathon destroyed my mentality. I’ve averaged probably 25-30 miles a week for three weeks, and whatever happens happens. I don’t think I’ll break 2:40, and honestly, I don’t care that much about it. I know that with good training, I could. I know that without the injury, I probably would have. I’m not saying I don’t care about running in general anymore, but I just feel like this marathon got away from me.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to run it. I’m going to do it and give 100%, whether that’s 2:39 or 2:59. I just lost it, mentally more than anything, after the time off and the half. The build up was almost perfect!

I’m not upset. If anything, I’m confident that I’ll be able to run a good marathon in the future. Training was going really well, and there’s no reason I can’t duplicate it in the spring. This is uncharacteristic of me, but I’m okay with getting Philly out of the way and moving on as quickly as possible.

Happy Halloween 2014

Friday Night

Summary of my night

Friday night was the celebration of Alex’s birthday as well as Halloween. The move was center city. I was iffy about going at first, but when you black out that hard, it doesn’t really matter where you go. I vaguely recall guiding the small group of us around insisting that I knew where I was going when I definitely did not know where I was going. I owe Rob Kelley big time for saving me and taking on the task of getting me back to Manayunk safely.

The Race

I woke up in Rob’s house at 6:30. I had a 5k race at 8:00. I ran home from Rob’s in bare feet to get ready. My pre-race meal was a pack of M & Ms. I drove Scott’s car to Fairmont Park, greeted my co-workers (it was a race for work), and got ready to run on a cold and rainy morning.

I was in the fourth row talking to a co-worker when someone blew an air horn and everyone started running. The race was on. I caught the leaders after a minute or two and the five of us were cruising. A mile in my shoe came untied. A mile and a half-in, I stopped, took my shoe off, gave it to a woman volunteer working the course, and told her I’d be back to get it. I caught back up to the two leaders and eventually pulled away for a comfortable 10+ second win. The final time was 17:28. My co-workers were quite impressed, but I haven’t heard any news of a promotion or raise yet.


Saturday consisted of a lot of day drinking and COD. The night was low-key, as a few of us headed to Old Eagle for dinner and drinks.


Sunday was the senior Halloween party for Ursinus. Since the party was taking place in Manayunk, Emlamb threw me an invite and I gladly accepted. I was picked up from my home and driven to Ursinus where Slade and I tried to get as much pre-gaming in as possible, and come up with a bad idea for costumes. We took the chicken’s way out and we were hockey players. Him and I rode the bus together and basically got hammered at Kildares. It was fun, and I’m glad I went.


Do You Know Why It’s Called Candy Corn?

Candy Corn was one of my favorite candies growing up. Yesterday, Alex said to me:

Do you know why they call it candy corn?”

I thought for a second and realized, well, no not really, but I think I kind of get it. Alex then told me to look at a picture that explained it. My response when he told me to look at the picture was:

“Is this going to be something stupid that I won’t care about?”

And then, I looked at the picture. I was amazed, baffled, speechless, etc. etc. I couldn’t believe that I had gone 23 years without realizing the genius behind candy corn.

Scroll below to see the picture, and then answer the poll honestly.










Candy Corn


[socialpoll id=”2229718″]


2014 World Series

Tonight is game seven of the World Series.

I don’t like baseball. I sucked at it as a kid, and I find it boring to watch most of the time. What I know about the MLB is only from watching ESPN.

Although I don’t like baseball, I like sports. And game seven of any championship is entertaining. I’ve kept up with the playoffs this year, watched a number of games, and it’s clear to me that the entire country, outside of San Francisco, is rooting for the Royals.

From 1997 – 2012 (16 seasons), the Royals were irrelevant. They finished above .500 one time (a mere .512 in 2002), and the team hasn’t even made the playoffs since 1985.

This is the Giants’ fourth World Series appearance since 2002, and they’ve already won two, in 2010 and 2012.

It’s human nature to root for the little guy. The Royals story is great. We’re sick of the Giants and the Cardinals. The Os or Royals consistent failure is a much better story than “Oh yeah, remember that year the Giants won, again.

The thing of it is (and I say this as an uneducated baseball fan), the Royals last World Series trip was 29 years ago, and they’ll probably go another 29 years before they make their next. This is their one chance. The Giants or Cardinals are in the World Series every other year. The Os and Royals have made the world series a combined three times since 1982, compared to the Giants and Cardinals 12.

Baseball, and sports in general, are cruel. This is one great chance to have the little guy upset the big guy.

Does anyone honestly want the Giants to win?

The Return of gourlaysgoodies

I’m back, bitches!

After a hiatus from posting, I’m happy to inform you all that Gourlay is back in the blogging world. Click here for his latest updates. Most recently, he talks about his encounter with an Asian man, and how moving to Manayunk has affected his toenails.

It’s tough to be a blogger. I would say 90% of the feedback I hear about my blog is negative. Either “Your blog has been sucking lately” or “Your posts aren’t funny” or “Why would I want to read this“. Rarely do I  hear “Hey, that was insightful” or “You know, I’m glad I spent five minutes checking your blog today“. I’ve grown to ignore most of the negative feedback, since most isn’t constructive.

Regardless of what people say, and regardless of the slump I might be in, I don’t see this blog ending any time soon. There may be occasional down-periods, but all in all, I feel I can generate enough content to keep, not only my readers, but myself interested in doing this.

I’m glad Gourlay now feels the same way. Don’t let the haters or your aunts get to you. Gourlaysgoodies is back baby!

My First Half Marathon

Yesterday, Bogdan and I raced the Oktoberfest half-marathon in Pennypack Park. I didn’t consume a single alcoholic beverage until Sunday at 11:30 AM which almost never happens. Was it worth it?

The Race

Studs on the start – rockin’ the new singlet.

Judging by prior years results, this isn’t a very competitive race. When the race started, me and a guy with a bald head and massive beard were at the front, but he made it clear early on that he was the real deal. I let him go in the first 800 meters and ran the entire race alone.

The course was beautiful and it was a perfect day for running. I wasn’t sure how the two weeks off before the race would effect me, but I trusted I was still in good shape. With only four mile markers, all of which were incredibly inaccurate, I had a tough time judging how I was doing.

I began really slowing down the last 3 miles or so, and finished in 1:17:37, (5:55 average). I’d guess the last three miles were 6:20-6:30, so I was actually on a decent pace prior to dying. The winner went 1:11:12 so it was a blowout. Bogdan rounded out the top three. We jogged a mile to a local bar for a much-deserved post-race beer.

What do I take away from this?

Studs 2I’m in good shape, but not nearly as good as I was hoping to be at this point. Sub 2:40 seemed to be a given three weeks ago and now I’m not as confident. My injury won’t be a problem moving forward, but it’s a matter of, have I lost too much time already. I don’t know.

The end result will be me running the marathon no matter what. If I run 2:3x, that’s great. If I don’t this time around, I think I can in the future.

Regardless, it was a great day for running, a great course, and I got to catch up with Bogdan who I haven’t seen in a while.

Will Sasso & Lemons

Thanks to Alex for finding this. Watch the whole thing, it gets funnier as you keep watching.



On Monday night, Trooper’s clocked stopped ticking. He lived a long and healthy live in the Stortz household, and went down peacefully.

I don’t try to pick favorites for the cats we’ve had/have, but it’s a natural thing. And when you go through 25 cats, some stick out more than others.

I had/have no emotional attachment to a cat bigger than the one I have for Trooper (Sneezy is close). I’ve long said that he was at the top in my world of cats. So hearing that we had to put him down was a total bummer.

Noops 2

I go home for lunch every day from work, and without fail, Trooper was there to meet me. I’d give him some turkey scraps or kitty treats, and he’d basically sit and eat lunch with me until I left. He did this every day for the last 18 months. I ended each lunch trip with a few kisses on his head and a “seeeeeyuhlater“.

Him dying didn’t come as a shock. He was old, and skinny, and sick, and we all knew he was just hangin’ on. He was the only to cat have spent his entire life in the Stortz house. That was the only home he’d ever known, and I think he liked it that way.

There’s not much to say really. It’s sad to see any pet go. He lived long, he ate a lot of food, and he enjoyed his time at the house on Salt Kettle. Long live the King, Mr. Noops.

He also coincidentally passed on Gourlay’s birthday. So happy birthday Gourlay.