Mile Trial 2: Am I Always in Sub-5 Shape?

My sophomore year in college I told Justin Garavel that I think I should be able to go to track and break 5:00 in the mile under essentially any circumstance.

Yesterday, I was at Haverford to watch a meet that Ursinus was competing in. Wacker asked me what I could run in the mile at that moment in time. My answer was 4:59. He seemed highly skeptical. I’m going to time trial a mile today to find out if I’m right or wrong.

I am in very bad shape right now. Today will be my biggest test of the sub-5 theory. I ran ~25 miles a week for a month leading up to the Alumni Mile which was on February 8th (2 weeks ago). Since that day, I’ve run three times, totaling 16.5 miles. This is the most out of shape I’ve been since I took 6 months off for my back injury. In reality, I could be in even worse shape right now because I was cross training a lot when I hurt my back. That means this could be the slowest I’ve been in 8 years. Also, I was up until 3:30 last night drinking hard, slept for 5 hours, and woke up very hungover this morning. I’m feeling better now, but still not 100%.

So have at it. In a couple of hours I’ll be driving to the Upper Dublin track, spiking up, and giving the mile my best shot. For what it’s worth, if you asked me what I would run right now, and there was money on the line, I would say 4:59. The fastest I would guess is probably 4:55. The slowest? Well, let’s not go there.

The closest guess wins $10 and a letter!

Be Careful What You Post

I don’t know why this irks me so much, but social media has not only allowed for false information to spread, but it has also encouraged people to make up false information in hopes that it does spread. I’m seeing this more and more now with all kinds of stories.

JPMORGANToday, for example, I logged onto Facebook to see a kid I know from Ursinus post a status about James Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan, responding to a hot girl who was simply looking for a rich husband. The guy’s actual status while posting the story was “hahahaha great reply by J.P Morgan CEO”. The supposed response itself was very clever and certainly worth the read, but it wasn’t from the CEO of J.P. Morgan. I was tempted to comment, but refrained.

I don’t know who comes up with these things, but this is an example of something that people want to believe. It would be so cool if the CEO actually said that, and people want to believe he did, which is why things like this take off. But the large majority of the time, it’s not true.

BlakeThe other day a friend posted an article about Blake Griffin smacking Justin Bieber in a Hollywood Starbucks because Bieber was getting out of control. While everyone would love to believe this actually happened, this one in particular screamed fake. Not surprisingly, this was proven fake. It circled around for a while before everyone else started telling their friends who posted it that it wasn’t real. Seriously? Blake Griffin smacking the Biebs?

I wrote a post a while back similar to what I’m writing now about a black guy that I went to school with posting Bill Cosby’s “I’m 83 and I’m Tired” speech and saying how CosbyBill Cosby is one of his idols. The speech, however, was actually given by Massachusetts Republican senator Robert Hall, not Bill Cosby. While I don’t think the guy who posted this is a racist by any means, I highly doubt he would have posted that if it was presented as Robert Hall, not Bill Cosby. Sure we’d love it if a guy like Cosby called out kids today for being pussies, and although it’s somewhat believable, the guy isn’t even 83 years old yet.

I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been fooled before. A few months ago when actor James Avery died (Uncle Phil) there was a fake tweet roaming around from a fake Will Smith account that showed a fake conversation between Will and NBC. The conversation showed Will asking to do a reunion episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the station Will Smithagreeing as long as Will got 300,000 retweets. I naively retweeted it and was called out minutes later. I quickly deleted the retweet in embarrassment hoping no one saw it and kicked myself for not checking into it more. Of course I wanted to believe they’d bring back the cast of Fresh Prince for a reunion episode, but when the Twitter account only has 1 tweet, it’s probably not real.

When I see these things, I don’t know what to do. Most of the time, the person posting the false story is someone I haven’t talked to in years, so it would be weird for me to comment and tell them they’re wrong. Regardless, I have this incredible urge to correct these when I see them. I think I’m going to find a 4chan picture to post on every false story that’s funny, not offensive, and gets the point across that the story is fake. If you have any suggestions, please post them.

But let this be a reminder to do some research before blindly posting a story you want to believe.

Two Necessities Of the Future

I recently wrote a post about how change (of the pocket variety) is a thing of the past. Well, I’m going to give you another glimpse into the future because in 10 years, we’re not going to be able to imagine life without what I’m about a discuss.

A search box and a keyboard. This seems simple, but every electronic device will have a keyboard and every app for that device will have a search function. I’m not talking about the keyboard you find on a phone, I’m talking a full sized QWERTY key board where each finger can perform it’s own individual typing duty. New tablets are giving us an idea of how that can work with portable devices.

Information is being stored at a ridiculous rate. Email addresses are storing emails, cell phones are storing text messages, every page on the internet is stored in cyberspace. There are Zettabytes of information stored out there. For reference, they say all human words ever spoken in the history of man could be stored on about 42 Zettabytes. As these things continue to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to “find” things.

I’ll give two real life examples that demonstrate the convenience (and inconvenience) of the search box. In my recent post about the Broad Street Run, search boxI referenced a post that Tom did about last year’s run. I knew the post existed and when I went to rnningfool.com, I quickly typed in “Broad Street” in the search box at top, and viola, I found the post I was looking for in seconds. If this search box didn’t exist I would have to guess when Tom wrote this post, look back through pages and pages of posts, and hope to find it. The search box made this process simple and convenient.

Conversely, my company uses Constant Contact to send emails to our prospects and clients. We’ve sent thousands of emails, which means thousands of different templates. Today, I was drafting an email and was told that we had sent something similar within the past year or two. Constant Contact DOES NOT have a search box to look up the keywords of an email title. Instead, I looked through 23 pages of emails that we’ve sent before giving up and starting the email from scratch. This is unacceptable. Apparently having search capabilities is at the top of Constant Contact’s priority list but until then, we’re being shafted and only contributes to us potentially switching providers.

That clearly demonstrates the need for the search box. It’s only a matter of time until everything has it, including texts within cell phones. I save me and Rob Kelley’s text message conversation because there are some gems in there but it has grown to over 2300 messages. Realistically, I’ll never be able to go back and find the joke or picture I’m hoping to find. A search box would solve all of that.

Now to the keyboard. A full-sized QWERTY keyboard is a must. A television is a good example of something with a search box, but no keyboard to back it up. On my TV at home, you can search for shows by picking out each individual letter which makes it so ineffective it’s not even worth using.

Another example are all phones. I hate using my phone for instant messaging, browsing the internet, and posting on social media. I’ll think of a genius tweet and NOT tweet it specifically because I don’t have access to a real computer/keyboard. If I go over 140 characters I have to rethink the structure of the tweet and the small keyboard limits my ability to do this. I pride myself on my typing capabilities. I’m a consistent 90-100 WPM typer. Sure, you can get “good” at typing with a small keyboard, but let’s get real, we’re comparing a single shot hand gun to a full-auto M60.

It’s only a matter of time until keyboards are standard on all electronic devices (or perhaps everyone can own a universal, personal, keyboard that will work for any device), and search boxes are available for every single program. We’re getting there, and have made great strides, but it looks like we have a long way to go until this is a practical solution for everything.

Broad Street 10 Miler 2014 – REJECTED!

For the first time, I applied to run the Broad Street 10 miler in Philly this year. For the second year now, they have used a lottery registration process instead of the normal first-come-first-serve method. Meaning, you register, and they randomly pick X number of individuals and allow them to run and reject those who were not selected.

Tom wrote a post about this last year and I’m going to echo a lot of things that he stated in that post.

First things first. This post will sound like I’m acting superior to the non-runners, and that’s because, given the circumstances, I am. 

Tom and I both registered to run this event for 2014, and both of us were rejected. My co-worker came in today and said “My girlfriend and I got into Broad Street!” to which I replied, “Oh, let me check my email… I didn’t get in…” I have a problem with this not because my co-worker is slow, but HE’S NOT A RUNNER! His idea of a week of training is three three mile runs on the treadmill at LA Fitness. He’ll probably tell you his goals are to “beat my girlfriend and hopefully not walk any of it.” If you’re going to ask me “Do you deserve to run more than he does?” I’ll answer yes 100/100 times. This race means next to nothing to him other than getting his finishing medal so he can add it to his collection of other “races”.

Tom said it well in his post. Running events like this have changed. I would argue 90% of the participants don’t care about their time, they just want to finish. Sure you may have someone who says “Yeah I’d like to run faster than last year“, but they’re really in it for the social aspect and to say that they completed a 10 mile “race”. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having these people in a race, but when they’re taking the spot of a serious runner, that’s when I have a problem with it.

Any 100 minute 10 mile runner can go to Valley Green or some other running park to run 10 miles and it would be a very similar experience to their run at Broad Street in terms of time and effort. In fact, Broad Street would probably be worse because there would be so many other 100 minute runners clogging up the roads. The large majority aren’t “pushed” to run fast by those around them.

To these people, being put in a race atmosphere doesn’t benefit them the way it would benefit a serious runner. A 10 mile run at the park and a 10 mile race down Broad Street are very similar to someone who doesn’t run seriously. They sign up simply so they have motivation not to stop 5 miles in and say “ah, I’m tired, I’m going to stop and go home. Maybe next time.” They’re not going to enjoy the race or the training, but they’ll enjoy telling their friends that they’ve done Broad Street three years in a row: How about that! Once a year I can go out for two hours and walk/jog until they tell me to stop!

That’s why it’s BS that Tom and I, as serious runners, miss the chance to actually race other people of our caliber. There are few opportunities where a conditioned athlete can truly see what they’re capable of. Broad Street is a great race for someone trying to run 55 minutes for 10 miles because there are a decent number of runners who are in that same range and it’s a fast course, but outside of this race, you’re not going to find many 10 mile races with runners that fast. Going out and trying to run a solo 55 minute run is way way different than being in a RACE with other people around you. Times will vary multiple minutes due to the race atmosphere. The real “runners” will get way more benefit from racing others and squandering that opportunity so someone who doesn’t really care if they run 90 minutes or 100 minutes can run is a load of shit.

So how do you decide who gets to run? Some will say that going by race time is discrimination and not fair, but I think that’s BS because after all, we’re talking about a race. Break it down by gender and age groups then automatically take the top 50% (?) based on projected finish/previous years results. That will ensure that the large majority of people who are taking it seriously get to run. These people would be much less happy if they didn’t get in than the slower 50%. I can say this based on Tom and I’s reaction compared to what my co-worker would have said if he didn’t get in, “Well that’s a relief, I saved $40 and don’t have to run for the next few months!”. The bottom 50% (or whatever number you choose) are up for lottery. For what it’s worth, the top 50% of males, aged 20-24, consists of anyone at about 85 minutes and below.

Another alternative to this, which was suggested by the President of my company, was to have two different races on the same day, or simply stagger the starts. It would make everything a little bit more difficult, but would greatly increase the number of people allowed to register, therefore bringing in more money, and you wouldn’t exclude people who wanted to run. This is likely the best alternative to the problem, and I agree, I don’t know why they wouldn’t do this as it wouldn’t be that difficult to do.

Regardless, I’m not running this year and I’m not happy about it.

A Valentines Day to Forget

Yesterday was Valentine’s day but I wouldn’t have known that given what I did. That’s not to say yesterday was a bad day, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I bought a Yuengling variety pack and drank beers at home for a while. Fortunately, I had company as Ben and I Skyped for a couple of hours, catching up on each other’s lives. I’d entertain the idea of going out to Colorado to visit Ben and Mark for a vacation this year. That would be quite fun, although I can’t really ski or snowboard.

Gourlay showed up and we pregamed a bit more before going out to some Ambler bars. First we met up with Alex B at KC’s Alley for a drink. Not much was going on so we opted to go down to the street to the bar formally known as Finn McCool’s (I don’t know what it’s called now). This bar had a cover band that played very odd music. I would describe them as playing only 80s songs where you would say “I know this, but can’t tell you what it’s called or who sings it”.

After a few more drinks, Alex drove us to MadMex where I bumped into Jackie who I know from Ursinus. She was with a friend (male) and the four of us decided to sit at one table. We hung out for a couple of hours before heading back to Gourlay’s for a sleepover.

This morning I made the trip to Coatesville to pick up a Guitar Hero drum-set and guitar that I found on Craigslist for $60. The trip was a success, the instruments work, and I’m hooked up. I’m definitely a little rusty, but look forward to wasting a lot of hours in the future playing.

I also made a bet with Ben last night. I haven’t played Guitar Hero guitar since May, and he insists that I’ve lost my touch more than I think. I made the bet that I could pick up the guitar, and take five tries on 30 separate songs on GH3, and 100% all of them within my first five tries. The bet is for $30 and I will likely be doing that tomorrow, much to Ben’s dismay, because I’m confident I can do it.

It’s been a while since I posted some funny gifs, so enjoy!

cheetah wtf

kid can killed

dog ball owned

dorothy butt

A Genius Idea

I went to the convenience store yesterday and at the start of my purchase, the cashier asked me if I had a “Wellness Card”. I know that my family happens to have one for this store so I said yes. He followed this question up with, “Would you like to donate to blah blah blah“. I said, “Uhh, what?” and he explained to me how this genius idea works.

When he initially said “Do you want to donate…” I thought he would follow it up with “…a dollar on top of your purchase to help the kids” but instead of donating a dollar on top of the purchase, they simply round it up to the nearest dollar. This is genius.

This makes it convenient in every way possible to donate. I’d prefer to pay $18.00 instead of $17.27 and get a shit load of change even if I wasn’t donating money to help children. Dealing with change is a hassle that nobody likes to have. How many times have people said “why don’t stores base their pricing so that when you pay, the added tax makes it a round number so it’s convenient for everyone?” I used to think that all the time. This now solves the problem of extra change.

What’s even better, is that because we have a “Wellness Card” for this store, I opted to have that automatically happen for every transaction from now on. I will never have the inconvenience of receiving change again. It was an incredible feeling when I looked up and saw my transaction ended in “.00”. When you go into a transaction expecting change, and things workout “perfectly” (ending in .00″), you leave the transaction feeling like it went better than it expected.

For stores that have a membership like Rite Aid or Sam’s Club, this should be done at all times. It’s a win-win. The customer leaves happier and money is easily donated. Sure it’s not a lot of money, but say a store does a few hundred transactions a day (well, Sam’s Club, probably not Rite Aid). The amount donated would average out to $0.50 a donation and over a period of time, that’s going to add up to way more than if you asked each person “Do you want to donate a dollar?“.

Will a few people be upset that they didn’t get two quarters? Sure, but the vast majority will be happier in my opinion.

Another sign of the future. Change is a thing of the past. The only practical use of change a parking meter, but I bet were only a few years away until there’s a better alternative for all parking meters than change (I know some are already there). Change is a thing of the past.

Not a Big Deal

Failing Documentary Photography

As my Twitter suggests, I found my camera from the photography class that I infamously failed in college for plagiarism which inspired this post of things that seemed like a huge deal at the time, but actually weren’t. The story goes my whole family went to New Zealand over spring break to visit Jeff. I stayed home but instead of documenting my stay at home, I stole my brother’s pictures and said that I went to NZ with my family. After a few days of not getting my project back when I knew everyone else had,The "best" picture from the project I opted NOT to turn in.I knew I was in trouble. I remember thinking this was a huge setback and that in reality I was a pretty good kid, how did this happen? Others had cheated so many more times in so many different ways and always got away with it, the one time I tried to cheat, I got caught. I was moderately cool-headed about the whole thing but was pretty bummed. It ended up making pretty much zero difference in the end. My GPA suffered for a semester and I had to make up a few credits, but in reality, it was probably better than going to class three more times for three hours every Thursday. Above is one picture from the project I opted NOT to turn in.

Getting Caught Drinking in 10th Grade

10th grade
10th grade Sam & Ben ready to party

It was a Friday night before a UD football game and a ton of people were heading to Stolz’s to drink. I had only drank a few times prior and was over-excited for the occasion. I made it to the game plastered, got back to Stolz’s, took another shot or two, and vomited all over his bathroom. Instead of sleeping over I insisted that I needed to go home because we had XC practice the next morning. I was too drunk to explain to my dad where Josh’s house was and my mom ended up picking me up, obviously knowing I was wasted. I was crushed, and I don’t remember it very well, but I started crying to my mom when we got home because I felt so guilty. I woke up the next morning and went to XC practice only to get owned by everyone. I spent the rest of the day on the couch feeling like a complete degenerate. When you come from a family of alcoholics, this really isn’t that big of a deal, but at the time I swore off drinking.

Not Qualifying for Conferences as a Freshman

Freshman Running
Freshman year Indoor Conference DMR

I was always “pretty good” at running. In high school I ran 9:05 in the 3k when 9:03 was States qualifying. I was 10th at Districts outdoor with 9:42 in the 2 mile when I needed 8th and 9:30. I came in freshman year ready to be good. XC and indoor were fine, but after a 16:16 outdoor 5k being sick the whole week before, I figured it was finally time to qualify for conferences (16:14) and possibly break 16 for the first time. I had one last chance and BOMBED the 5k. I ran something like 16:40 in the last meet of the season. I missed conferences by 1 second in the 800, less than a second in the 1500, and 2 seconds in the 5k. I remember warming down at West Chester by myself and sitting down for about five minutes. For two years I was “good” but never actually that good. I had been training and training but not seeing the results I liked. I legitimately considered quitting running. Obviously I didn’t, but I was being a poon that day.

Getting Perma-Banned from AOL in 3rd Grade

In 3rd grade, Kurt and I harassed this kid on AOL. Kurt said something like “Oink oink oink” and I said “I’m going to kill you” which in hindsight was a mistake. The kid, like a total poon, reported us. I didn’t think much of it at the time but when I tried to log on the next day was greeted with a message saying I couldn’t log on and needed to call some number, I freaked out and denied it until the end. We had long conversations with the people at AOL and I just kept saying “Nope, it wasn’t me”. This went on for a few days until Kurt narked and told the adults without telling me that he was going to do that. I denied until they told me “Kurt told us everything”. Oh god, 8 year old kid, life over. Here are some good examples of things to say that could get you in trouble.
rudy again

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