Thursday, May 31, 2007

iPod Friday 6

We thought we’d try something a little different this time around. Rather than directing you to a worthy music blog, it’s time to at least try our own little download of the day. Hmm… that didn’t sound so nice, but here goes.

By way of crankiness, of course… Did you ever show up for a race and they played ‘Born to Run’ right as the gun went off? Well, Bruce’s tune is a classic, but how obvious is that? And nothing screams ‘this race is organized by middle-aged white males’ as playing ‘Born to Run’. Well, we’ve run a lot of races, and we’ve heard this one played way too often. We can return to discussing appropriate running-themed songs later, but here’s an oldie we came across that might be nice to hear instead.

It’s a Motown single, Junior Walker and the All-Stars, with ‘I’m a Road Runner’. Can’t get much more direct than that!

I’m a Road Runner

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Race For The Cure!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s request to bring back The Cure in a ‘gothic 5-miler’, we now hear they’re going out on the road, you can read the article in Billboard. And it’s a ‘Download Fest’, of all things. Guess we’ll have to play ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’ near the finish line…

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Three Stupid Questions and... Some 'Responses'

1. “How long is this marathon?” (as in: ‘marathon’ could only mean ‘really, really long time’ and race organizers come up with some random long-ass distance, or worse, runners just run a lot for a few hours, because ‘it’s like so fun, dude’)

OK, race distances vary, but come on, it’s the marathon. There are several responses to this exceedingly lame ‘water cooler/local weather discussion’-type question.

“42.19 kilometers.” - True enough, but make them feel even more stupid (Americans!) for not remembering how to mentally convert kilometers to miles. If they’re still stumped, start quoting acres and hectares.

“62.2 miles” – Easy, just switch around the numerals! How the hell do they know? And if they do know the real answer, ask them why they frickin’ asked in the first place. Otherwise, it’s shock and awe.

“Until I…” – And create some creepy, fictitious, rambling story about a personal experience that has them nervously edging for the door. ‘Once I was at mile 17, and I felt a rumble around like, my spleen, and then I started to feel queasy, but instead of hurling I went into some catatonic dream where I saw you eating a hot dog and a donut and then suddenly I was like Linda Blair with green Gatorade coming out of my…’ You get the idea.

2. “What was this race for?” (as in: nobody could possibly travel on foot, or exercise for longer than five minutes without doing it for charity or fund-raising)

OK, we thank everyone who comes out and completes long walks and races for cures and social issues, you folks do admirable work raising money and awareness. But sometimes, some of us actually run not just for altruistic reasons, but because it makes us healthier, and hopefully, we feel better. Raising money for the right cause is great, it’s just not the only reason to get your butt out on the road. Question: if everybody ran, or got some exercise every day, wouldn’t we be healthier overall, and maybe develop fewer health ‘problems’ to have to walk for? Well, we’ll leave that alone, because there are many uncured diseases that walking/running can’t fix, but you get what we’re talking about. Just wondering. Anyway, back to the snarky answers:

“The Human Fund” – A nice tip of the hat to George Costanza, circa mid-90s.

“The Lohan Center for Crack Research” - Shows how current you are with entertainment news, and that you really care about those less fortunate starlets now in rehab.

“Race to Bring Back The Cure” – When was the last time you heard Robert Smith and The Cure on the radio? Why, U-2 has been around since the 80s, too, why can’t we hear more hits from the group that gave us ‘The Love Cats’, ‘Let’s Go to Bed’ and more appropriately ‘The Walk’? This gothic 5 miler raises money to resurrect this seminal new wave band back to overpriced rock stadiums and weepy reality TV. The goodie bag includes eyeliner, mascara, mousse, and a technical black t-shirt that says ‘Piss Off, Depeche Merde’.

3. “Didja finish?” (as in: ‘I am so stupid, I have to ask you that after months of training, you could possibly not want to finish, right?’. Or worse, ‘tell me you hurt yourself and couldn’t finish and then I can share in your pain while barely disguising my personal glee because we all know it’s not right to run that far’. Well, we’ve covered this one in a previous post, but it’s time for some real-world answers to this idiotic question.)

(Blank Stare) – Then slap your forehead, show a look of incomprehensible realization, turn around and run away or out of the room as fast as you can. Holy crap, I forgot to finish, thank you SO much!

“Yep, finished six hours ago. The race took me 14 and a half hours. Got home, showered, baked a cake, came to work.” - Yes, the old ‘nonchalance’ answer from you, the local bionic runner. Certain ultramarathoners could probably say this and not be lying, so keep the civilians guessing about the length of ‘this’ marathon too, and make it sound like something you do everyday, which means you always finish. And what did YOU do today?

“Finish what?” The race. “What race?” The one you were in. “I wasn’t in a race” I thought you said you were in a race. “Oh, that race” Didja finish? “What race?” continue this conversational loop until THE END OF TIME. This is called answering stupidity with blind stupidity. Hey there’s a cause, The 10K to End Stupidity! Something tells us it would take a lot longer than 10K, or a marathon… depending on how long that is.

...So the next time you get this wonderful trifecta from a co-worker or family member (and they really should know better), instead of consecutively answering ’26.2 miles, me, and yes’, enjoy yourself by giving creative answers. You ran all that way, and they didn’t, so have some fun. Lovingly, of course.

Friday, May 25, 2007

iPod Friday 5

Well, life can’t all be podcasts, so we recommend checking out JB’s blog ‘The Hits Just Keep On Comin' ’.

Sometimes we miss the old top 40 format, when you could hear Prince, followed by Bruce, followed by Heart, followed by Earth, Wind & Fire… all on a tinny AM radio in your car on a late summer night. Well, JB brings some of that back, with a radio-friendly feel. And intelligent discussion, too.
Well, ‘The Hits…’ may be a little too old school for some, but it beats listening to some of today’s ‘Hits’. Like the Doobie Brothers once said, ‘It keeps you running’.

The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Monday, May 21, 2007

Healthy Kidney 10K, Central Park, May 19th

Last Saturday’s race in Central Park turned out well despite the crowds (5413 runners funneling clockwise around the park) and the same old hills. Otherwise, it was a seasonably cool morning, perfect for a race. A record was set for the 10K course, 28:08, with several world-class runners competing and every running team in the area showing up to accrue NYRR team points. We got a nice non-cotton technical t-shirt, but this particular race is always known for offering that, a nice touch.

We only had several minor bouts of crankiness; we moved ourselves a little closer to the start to avoid the usual two dozen 12-minute milers who want to get right up front with their headphones, blocking faster runners during the first mile. As we’ve said many times before, we love you slower folks for showing up, glad you’re here, but please be smart about placing yourselves in the pack. It must not be fun getting run over, either.

Other than that (and a guy at mile 4 who decided to weave and run side-to-side across the course for no apparent reason), it was a nice day for cranky runner, finishing in the top 10%. Wanted to run under 7 minute miles, happily finished a nice amount below that, and amazingly closed in within 10 seconds away from a years-old PR. Too out of breath to ask rearguard runners ‘Who’s your Daddy?’, we celebrated at the finish line by just being glad it was all over.

Some days it just works out, doesn’t it? So we have to remember those good days, and pull up those positive vibe race files off the brain’s hard drive when there’s two miles left in a future race and running isn’t so fun all of a sudden.

Oh well, on to the next one. Spring training is in full swing, so be careful out there…

Friday, May 18, 2007

iPod Friday 4

Some folks love their inspirational podcasts, and that’s perfectly fine, but if you want some uninterrupted tunes with a beat too, head on over to 50 Pound Note. Powered by Jeb from Louisville, Kentucky, you’ll find hour-long mix sets of older alternative rock club hits, new stuff and everything else it seems. Download and run for an hour to remixes of 80’s underground hits and whatever else he’s thrown in the mixer.

Happy weekend!

£50 Note

Philly’s Broad Street Run

Well, we almost forgot to mention the annual 10-mile Broad Street Run in Philadelphia earlier this month, it’s a fun point-to-point race that’s just long enough to be very much worth the trip from north to south Philly. Fond memories of running that… and in other news, Students Run Philly Style had a fine showing, with 195 students and 50 leaders participating. Our old friend H. has done a great job getting city kids out there when sometimes the rest of us can’t even get our butts off the couch, so we congratulate her and admire her usual enthusiasm and hard work. Go H.!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hill Work SUCKS

Just thought you’d want to know.

OK, OK, why, you ask. Well, you obviously haven’t run up a hill as fast as you can, again and again and again. And five more times, like we did today on Cat Hill in Central Park, in 85-degree heat at noon, like some idiot.

It’s supposed to make you faster, and feel better in races, blah, blah, blah. We looked like an extra from the ‘Thriller’ video when it was all over.

Hey, did we mention… hill work SUCKS!


Friday, May 11, 2007

iPod Friday 3

Back to the tunes on a Friday, to a blog that has some of the most uplifting tracks you can find. Reverend Frost hails from one of our old neighborhoods (South of Hell, France), and can lay out some really heavy, um… stuff. Like Mahalia Jackson. In fact, I believe I’ve overheard Mahalia Jackson asking Jesus for help (in my head, of course) during a race or two, actually. Anyway, you can hear her and more at Spread the Good Word…

Spread the Good Word!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Vive le Président

One of our weird obsessions is French politics, what with American politics being so depressing these days, and because their system is both so similar yet so different from ours. Anyway, last Sunday was the second and final vote for president, between center-right-right Nicolas Sarkozy and left-left-center socialist candidate Ségolène Royal. Madame Royal lost, or Sarko won depending on whom you ask. As soon as the president-elect accepted, he was off to a rented yacht in the Mediterranean for a little R&R before starting the fight to increase the 35-hour workweek to 40 (good luck).

So we’re watching Le Journal, the French 8 o’clock news, and there’s media coverage of Sarko stopping the boat in Sicily… to go running! Yes, the new president of France was jonesing to ‘faire le jogging’. We’d go nuts on a boat, too, and it’s nice to see that the newly-appointed high and mighty would as well. He did have that slow, hunched-over, arms-not-high-enough look to his eurorunning style, but who cares, we’ve all been there, or will be someday. Allez, allez!

Along the Potomac

Spent the last week in D.C., thus the dearth of posts... Boy, is that town flat. Well, mostly, if you don’t run across some of the bridges, up Wisconsin Avenue or north through Georgetown. So it’s a nice break from hills if you need one, but not good if you can’t train on a hill once in a while. Plus the Mall (between the Washington Monument and Capital building) looks far, but isn’t, a round trip only takes about 15 minutes. The stoplights are incredibly long there since speeding SUVs from Virginia seem to always have the right of way. So if you ever find yourself on a run in D.C., stick to the Potomac and avoid the traffic lights.

Found ourselves running around Hains Point a lot, one of the worst sections of the Marine Corps Marathon (around miles 17-20). Making peace with it, actually; it may be flat, but there’s no shade at that point in the marathon, and it seems to go on forever. Again, worth a visit when you’re not in a race!