Marathon Training Update #4

The Mileage

The last two weeks were average. I took an unplanned day off last Saturday for the Avalon trip, and was forced to take a short day yesterday due to sickness. Two weeks ago was 71 and last week was 67. I was hoping to get into the 80s last week, but I was reduced to a 7 mile run yesterday because of a head cold. I’m feeling a little better today and will train like normal.

Paul Short

I ran Paul Short this Saturday, and to be honest, I was pretty disappointed. My thought going in was if I went under 27 I wouldn’t be surprised, and if I went over 27, I wouldn’t be disappointed. I’ve done less than five miles under 5:30, but hoping to average ~5:25s.

I ran pretty even splits for a 27:45 (5:33 average). The course was a tiny bit slow due to mud, but overall not bad. I don’t think I ran like a pussy or anything, I’m just not in that great of shape for an 8k, and in reality, I shouldn’t be surprised. However, the fact that I ran basically the same time as freshman year in college Sam, is a bit frustrating. Regardless, I’m still optimistic about the marathon.

Oh, and freakin’ Jatin beat me.

10 Mile Tempo

This week will feature a 10 mile tempo where I’m going to start at 6:00 pace and hold that as long as possible. In all honesty, I expect to start dipping below 6:00 pace by the end with how I’ve been feeling on these long runs. This will be my first tempo over six miles ever, so I’m looking forward to it.

Half Marathon

I’m going to sign up for a half marathon in a few weeks to really test my fitness. I’d hope to average something like 5:40-5:45s. I’ve never raced anything longer than a 10k, so this will be a new experience.

The past two weeks weren’t spectacular, but I’m hoping the next two will be.

Until next time.

Twitter Accounts to Follow


UberFacts is an account that tweets non-stop interesting facts that are all true. I was skeptical at first, but have since looked up ~50 of the facts they’ve posted, and they all check out. This is easily the #1 follow on Twitter. I’d say they tweet close to 50 times a day, and 25 are worth reading. These tid-bits of information are not only interesting, but can make you look smart if something comes up in conversation.

With more than 70,000 tweets and over 7 million followers, this is a must-follow for everyone.


Karl WelzeinI’m not sure who Karl Welzein is, but he’s the author of the DadBoner twitter account. As someone who thinks he’s hilarious, here’s a summary of what he tweets about:

  • Fireball whisky
  • Carnal passions (sex)
  • Being patriotic by watching football, driving a Camaro, and drinking 1000 cold ones.

He doesn’t tweet very often (maybe once a week), but when he tweets, he generally goes on long rants, and they’re hilarious. His lingo, abbreviations, and don’t-give-a-fuck attitude is what makes this worth following.


HistoryInPics tweets a variety of pictures ranging from unknown people in the late 1800s, to behind-the-scene pictures of the Beatles at the height of their fame.

As far as the celebrities go, they show pictures that you haven’t seen before. The normal album covers and whatnot only take you so far. This shows you all of the ones you haven’t seen.

As for different time periods, they show you pictures that transport you back to the time they’re showing. It’s shocking to see what life was like in the early 1900s, and this account gives you a great depiction of that.


If you’re a mega-fan of the Sixers, Joel Embiid is a must follow. I haven’t seen him play, but if he’s healthy, he’s supposed to be amazing. If you haven’t heard of him, regardless of whether you’re a Sixers fan or not, he will become a house-hold name in a few years when the Sixers are atop the Eastern Conference.

While only one in 100 tweets are funny, he tweets about 10,000 times a day, so there’s plenty of funny ones out there. His highlight includes asking Rhianna out on a date and asking Lebron to play in philly. When they didn’t answer him, he blocked them because he was offended.


You don’t appreciate vacation as a kid in grade school or college. It’s more a different form of not doing anything, which is what summer is for people under 21. As a kid, I used to look towards our annual vacation for one reason – the arcade.

Now that I’m an adult, all of the things that seemed stupid before, are the things I look forward to most.

  • Time off from work
  • High quality dinners
  • Nice beer
  • Time with the family

Because we’re going down so late this year, Avalon is basically empty. Almost every store is closed, so this is a real test of enjoying the family’s company. The main thing is having a whole week off from work. It’s such a relief to wake up and have no stress in the morning. This will definitely not be the most eventful vacation, but it may end up being the most enjoyable.

Hopefully I can get my shit together and get this blog back on track too.

Man Obeys Cop – Cop Shoots Him

I’m amazed the guy is so with-it afterward. Either he’s superhuman, or the officer has a terrible shot.

From what I know, the officer was fired and arrested. So that’s good.

My Unlikely Stance

Most of the time when talking about these big societal issues/cases such as Zimmerman/Martin or the Fappening, I take stances that are a little more “bigotty” than the general public, or at least compared to my hippy-liberal friends.

Normally, I might say something like “Don’t make this a race issue, this is an officer feeling too empowered issue”. But I 100% believe that the officer would NOT have shot him if he was white, and did the same thing (go back into the car to get his license).

Obviously racial profiling exists, and I don’t think anyone denies that, but this specific video is absurd.

Following in the Footsteps

It’s occurred to me recently that, as the youngest of four children, my life had a lot of things picked out before I even realized. Where do I begin?

My Elementary Years

How would I describe my life from ages 0-13? Two words: Video games.

Why was I so into video games? One person: My brother Tom.

The early early days consisted of Golden Ax, Altered Beast, and Sonic on Sega Genesis. I don’t remember specifics so much, but those are nostalgic. That evolved into N64 and PS1 where anything Mario was awesome, and Goldeneye was #1. That again evolved into Marvel vs. Capcom on Dreamcast, and more important, into PC games like Diablo.

Maybe I wouldn’t have been a gamer if Tom wasn’t around.

My High School Years

How would I describe my life from ages 14-17? Four words: Video games, and running.

Why did I get into running? Two people: Jeff and Tom (more-so the former).

I sucked at running in middle school. I sucked at running as a freshman in high school, and as a sophomore in high school. I got decent as a junior, and good as a senior. But the only reason I stuck it out, or even started, was because Jeff and Tom were both runners, and I had to carry on the legacy (over-dramatic). I distinctly remember watching Jeff at the Trojan Track Classic his senior year, running 9:41 in the two mile, and being inspired just thinking “Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do as a senior”. As a senior, I ran 9:42. God damnit.

I wouldn’t have gotten into running without Jeff and Tom, because running is for losers and no body likes it.

My College Years

This is actually the only part where I made an independent choice. Jeff and Tom both went to Pitt. Laura went somewhere (Temple? IUP?), and I tarded out and picked a tiny liberal arts college that was 30 minutes from home, Ursinus. I’m happy I went to Ursinus.

However, what did I do all of college? I can sum that up in three words: Ran and drank. I already touched on running, so on to drinking. I drank for the first time in 9th grade because Jeff invited me to a cross country party. If Jeff wasn’t around, I would have been like Tom and never drank until college. I’m following a family history of alcoholics, and continue drinking today.

Also, where has everything from my college years been stored? None other than the very blog you are reading. And who’s idea was it to start this blog? You guessed it! Not mine.

It was in fact Tom who started his blog first, and I copied him. Another unoriginal move by me.


If you like me as a person, thank Tom, Jeff, and a history of drunk Stortz’s, because the two biggest things in my life (running and drinking), are because of them.

Laura, this post doesn’t make your impact on my life seem big, but it is.

Weekend at Pitt

This Friday, Gourlay, Paul, Destef and I took off work early and decided to head to Pittsburgh for the weekend to visit Jonny.

Friday – Back in College

sam eating banana

Friday was a typical college night. Me and Jonny’s roommate had a “Finish the 40” race, where we essentially agreed to tie at 15 minutes. Later that night, me and the same kid began having competitions that either started or ended with a shot. The highlight being a take-a-shot-and-eat-a-banana-with-the-peel-on competition. I absolutely smoked him, which was a riot, but this spelled trouble for both of us, as both of us passed out before everyone decided to go out to the bars.

Saturday – The Hangover

Pitt LogoSaturday was a top 10 hangover day. I woke up early, had a Gatorade and a bagel, but it was no use. I tried to pull the trigger but to no avail.

What made things worse was the fact that we were going to the Pitt football game to tailgate. We arrived at 11:00. I took my first sip of a 40 at 11:30, and was dry heaving between two cars by 11:31. Papa felt so bad, that in the middle of thousands of college kids having the time of their life, I was face down inside a Subaru, groveling as hard as I could.

After a 10 minute nap, I somehow rallied. After a number of drinks, we headed to the game, scalped 6 tickets for $15 each, and enjoyed an exciting game.

My hangover was gone by the middle of the afternoon and the rest of the trip was what you would expect. It was nice to see Jonny again, as I don’t get to often. I don’t think I’ll make too many more trips to Pitt, but I definitely had a good time.

Marathon Training Update #3

The Mileage

Two weeks ago was a down week. I did 53 miles which included a 5k race. I intentionally took a down week to give my back a break.

Last week was a normal week with an unplanned day off in Pittsburgh due to a debilitating hangover. I finished with 67 miles, including a 15 mile long run, and an interesting workout of 24 x 200 on the track. I averaged ~34 per 200 with ~50 seconds rest. I’d never done a workout like that before, but it’s nice to finally do something faster than 5:30 pace.

The 5k Race

I had my first real “race” since February last Sunday. Before I tell you about the race though, I must preface it with the fact that I was out drinking relatively hard and rockin’ out extremely hard at the Dr. Dog concert the night before. I was operating on six hours of sleep. Not ideal conditions.

Anyway, I knew the two new Ursinus coaches were running it, and that they were around my fitness level right now. The gun goes off, and it’s us three at the front. I lead most of the race until the one guy made a hard move 2.5 miles in, and I knew I wasn’t going with it. Now it was a battle for second. Well, plot-twist, the other coach is a girl, and she burned me up the last hill. First was 16:58, second was 17:06, and I was 17:10 (the course was ~20 seconds long).

Not a great performance, but no better or worse than I expected. Basically the three fastest miles I’ve run in the last four months was that 5k. The concert didn’t help, but it was a fun experience.

The Long Run #2

Yesterday was another great long run. I did 15 miles, and was pretty sure going in that I would feel good.

  • I did the first five in ~6:40 pace, and then started to feel good.
  • The next 10 miles were covered in 61:30, which is about 6:09 pace. That’s including a last mile of 6:45 up Ridge where I was definitely starting to feel the acid in my legs.
  • So really, those middle 9 miles were done in ~6:05s. The whole run was done in about 1:35:00.

Runs like that are good peace of mind for me to know that I’m getting in better shape, and continually progressing. The goal of sub 2:40 seems much more realistic after a run like that, as 6:00-6:10 pace felt pretty comfortable for those last 10 miles (2:40 is ~6:07s).

What’s Next

More of the same. I planned on doing a 10 mile tempo this week with the goal being 6:00 pace, but the 15 mile long run was almost that, so I may reconsider. I think I’ll be around 70 the next two weeks until Paul Short on October 4th. Not sure what to expect, but I’m pretty happy with how things are going right now.

And a final note, my back is holding up throughout all of this, so that’s good.

Buddy the Cat

I was on my way home during an easy four miler this morning when something happened. I was running on the path between Valley Green and Ridge when a four legged animal went sprinting by. Initially, I thought maybe a raccoon or a fox, but after getting a better look, I realized, it was a cat.

I stopped and walked over to where the cat had run, under a little bush. I did my typical cat call *pssst pssst* while snapping my fingers. After a few seconds, I saw a little kitty emerge from the bush. It was almost as excited to see me as it was scared. It popped out and I started petting it. It had a collar on, but no name or number to call. God damnit. This cat was lost, and missing from it’s home.

I was half a mile away from anything in either direction, and spare a few stray bikers that came along the path, I was alone. The cat was super friendly and playful, I would say no more than a year or two old, but it was scared, and in an unfamiliar land. I didn’t know his name, so naturally I just kept calling him Buddy. What should I do.

It was about 7:30 and I still had a mile and a half left on this run. The cat wasn’t going to follow me and there was no way I could carry it half a mile without taking forever and being extremely late for work. I pondered for a few minutes while slowly falling in love with this cat.

buddyIf I gave 100% to saving this guy, I could have. I could have taken the time and likely saved it’s life. But was I really going to do that? It was 7:30, and I had places to go. Even if I tried to carry this cat it probably would have freaked out and ran off again. I said my goodbyes, gave it a couple extra pets, and began my run back home, all the while thinking of this little guy who was scared to death, not knowing where his home was, and not knowing what was going to happen to him.

In a few days, I’ll probably forget all about him. Maybe he’ll find his way back home or maybe he won’t, I’ll never know. I could have done more to save him, but the world keeps spinning. I hope you find your home buddy, and if you don’t, you’ll at least be semi-immortalized by this blog post.

A Life Changing Event

Although I learned this weekend that Dr. Dog is the best band ever, their concert was NOT the most life changing event that happened to me – not by a long shot.

After two years and eight months of suffering through the absolute shit that is the Droid Revolution cell phone, I finally got a new phone. Here’s a quick run down of the pros-cons of my old phone.


  • I dropped it in the toilet while peeing and it still worked.
  • It never broke or cracked despite a number of drops.



  • The battery lasted ~5 hours, and sometimes significantly less if I was using it actively. This became troublesome when I was out drinking and would lose my group.
  • Between clicking “contacts”, getting to the right contact, clicking on that contact, clicking the call button, and connecting the call, it took roughly 2 minutes every time I wanted to make a call.
  • Text messages were similar, though slightly faster. HOWEVER, often times the phone would freak out and when I would type on the keyboard, no letters came up. There was no fix for this.
  • Browsing the internet was near useless with how long it took.
  • The only apps I could use were Groupme and Snapchat. Facebook and Twitter would take literally 5 minute to load if you clicked on the icon, and once you were in, you couldn’t do anything. By the time Shazaam loaded, the song I wanted to identify was over.
  • Even with snapchat, I couldn’t take videos or screenshots. I could also view most snaps 2-3 times before the phone realized I had viewed them (that’s kind of a pro, but shows the shittiness of the phone).
  • I frequently didn’t receive texts. I don’t deny that I’m a bad-texter-backer, but this only added to the perception.
  • The front screen would glitch so I couldn’t unlock the phone, and the only solution was to take the battery out, then put it back in.
  • Group messages were a no-go. I’d receive 10 individual texts from that person and it was a pain.
  • Any and all emojis showed up as a blank square.
  • My email addresses couldn’t sync up to my droid.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

I’m an iPhone man now.

I know the 6 is coming out shortly, but I got an iPhone 5s this weekend, and it’s changed my life. I can do everything on this phone. My life style has changed dramatically and I couldn’t be happier about it. The guy at the store tried to convince me that other phones were better, but I tried the unbeaten path, and it sucked. Everyone has an iPhone these days, and now I know why. I’m 100% on the bandwagon. I don’t doubt that there are phones out there that work and aren’t iPhones. But why bother experimenting when everything I need is right here?