Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone Friday 10

With iPhone hysteria (perhaps too strong a word, but not really) coming to a head today, it’s only fitting to change the heading on this Friday’s post…

Interrupting a small run this morning, I headed down to the Apple store at 59th and 5th with a camera to check out the folks who decided to camp out for days to blow $599, plus tax, on an iPhone. I half expected to see somebody in line dressed as Darth Vader, and it was indeed the usual suspects, nerdy white boys wall-to-wall.

A hard-boiled local walking by asked me what was going on with all the news trucks, and I told him why so many people were in line. His response: “I’d rather see Paris Hilton for one second than do that’. And he wasn’t a Paris Hilton fan, he was sure to let me know.

Well, I’d love to hear what these happy campers think when AT&T (the only phone carrier for the iPhone) starts dropping their calls on Monday in NYC, which I hear is the standard coverage experience in the city. It probably won’t matter, because having a new toy will just mean another excuse for idiots to walk blindly into oncoming midtown traffic. Of course, this has little to do with running, other than the fact people are unable to do two things at the same time, like walk and use a phone, and they tune walkers and runners out alike. So this is why I stay away from midtown sidewalks when running. There, the idiots have already won.

With that, I leave you with another music blog link for tunes for your iWhatever. Head on over to Jefitoblog, if you will, where you can find long discussions about the relevancy of hits you forgot about long ago, and other crazy stuff along the way. The only issue I could possibly have with it is that I don’t have the time to read it all, that’s just me. But it does indeed poke ‘pop culture’s soft, white underbelly with a sharp-witted stick’, and that’s always a good thing.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Potpourri for a Hundred, Alex

Haven’t watched Jeopardy since the Clinton administration, so there’s probably not even a hundred dollar question anymore… anyway, today it’s just random musings…

Last Saturday’s race was not without at least one annoying fellow runner. About mile two, a fine, upstanding runner passed your pal, and that’s fine and all that, but then proceeded to position himself directly in front of Mr. S. as if Mr. S. wasn’t even there, with tons of room on either side of the course to spare. He didn’t have headphones on, so he couldn’t blame a loss of hearing or general tuning out. So, after letting him move up slightly, I managed my way past him over the next few minutes. About five minutes later, he did it again, and that was when I let out a loud-enough-for-him-to-hear ‘Jeez!’. No answer, but that was OK, because I passed him and never saw his hairy shoulders try that crap again. Perhaps Jesus heard my frustration, and gave me the strength to smoke him and a few more folks along the way. Which may explain my recent obsession with said savior and all that whitebread ‘a dream is a wish your heart makes’ crap. As Max Von Sydow said to Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist’, ‘The Power of Christ compels you!’, even in a 5-miler.

Speaking of The Great Redeemer, boy, was it a hot one The Good Lord laid on us today. I knew it was all that praise-a-thon taunting in the last post that got the temperatures up, but honestly, people. So here’s a question: does running in 91-degree weather mid-day, in direct sun and 90% humidity qualify as a ‘training run’? I did manage a 7:45 mile (over the 6-mile loop of CP) most of the time, while that charming pre-heatstroke headache arrived right at the end and all... Well, it felt like a hard training run, though no tempo intervals or hills or any of that stuff was involved. Sometimes I think extreme weather (heavy rain, nasty heat, etc.) makes me run faster so I can get the damn run over with. Anyway, tomorrow the run will definitely not be later in the day, running that late, when it’s boiling hot is moronic and just asking for it.

Since I was too busy to run in the morning, I had to hit a morning auction in mid-town, even managing a coffee stop before settling in to see ridiculous amounts of money being spent at Christie’s… Ended up at that ‘Today Show’ Dean & Deluca that gets free advertising every morning while tourists from Omaha scream and hold up homemade signs telling you how old they are today. So I’m sitting at D&D with my coffee and staring out at the NBC set, and Al Roker sort of, well, waddles by. After all that intestinal surgery to lose weight a few years back, he’s still fighting the fat. God bless him, it ain’t easy… and if you’re reading this, like me you probably don’t have his weight issues. Yeah, we probably get enough exercise for everybody else put together, but at least we can get out and do it, folks. Slow or fast, whatever, we’re pretty lucky.

Whoops, can’t get too reflective and sentimental, it’s not good for business. But you can’t ignore today’s theme, ‘A dream is a wish your heart makes’, and all that shit. Word!

Fun Link to Linda Blair’s ‘Curves’-Approved Quad Stretch

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hooray for Jesus!

Dear Mr. C.,

Thanks for holding off on the heat and humidity for a couple of days! It sure made those weekend races in the northeast U.S. of A. a lot easier on all of us. The dry weather and clear skies created such a wonderful race praise-a-thon.

So thanks for taking time off from your busy schedule, glad to know that NYC weekend weather has a slightly higher priority than all that messiness in Darfur, Gaza, and Lebanon.

Anyway, you rock, dude! And you just know you could kick Buddha’s ass in any race!

Your pal,


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Race Report: Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run

Well, another five-miler down, and another good day listed in this runner’s frayed logbook.

Today’s weather was just beautiful. Lower than normal temperatures in the 60s/70s, low humidity, clear sunshine, blues skies. Unlike last week’s 5-miler, the course went around CP counter-clockwise, with a nice finish near the northern transverse. The baggage check area was huge, which was so much better than the cramped quarters we’re used to.

So after getting as close to the starting line without being a jerk about being too far up, the horn went off, and the madness commenced. The first mile was a nice 6:15, a bit too fast a pace since a few annoying hills lurked ahead. So backing off slightly, the next few miles felt better, and there was enough energy left to attack Cat Hill. In the end, it sure felt fast, and it was indeed a challenge, but the clock at the finish told the tale: 32:12.

Dang! That sounded close to a five year-old PR, and it almost was, by two seconds. Perhaps it was a disappointment not beating that, but that wasn’t on today’s agenda, anyway. And it was 45 seconds faster than last Sunday’s 5-mile race. Smokin’ bitches again…

In the end: 95th out of 2667 finishers, 8th in my age group, which is nice since placing in my age group’s top ten rarely happens.

So kids, hold onto those dreams, they can come true, even when you just show up.

P.S. The race organizers hired a local ‘professional’ cheerleading team with pom-poms flying, to cheer everybody on, including the winners at the awards ceremony. You can imagine that they would make Richard Simmons look like Bruce Willis, and I have to say somebody somewhere has a very sly sense of humor, because it was the gayest thing you could’ve had in the race.

Friday, June 22, 2007

iPod Friday 9

Well, there's not much time to send out aural love today, so let’s just put a little tune out there to get the blood going. Since several of us have races this weekend (including Dr. McCranky), let’s listen to something that can get us in the mood.

The Chemical Brothers have a new LP out any moment, but in the meantime, here’s ‘Galvanize’ from a couple of years back. And yes, an overplayed Budweiser commercial almost ruined it, but it still rocks, and you can run to it.

The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize.

Tales From the Road, Part 1

Date: Tuesday, June 19th
Time: 12:35 PM
Location: Near the corner of 21st St and 40th Avenue, Queens, New York. Mile 7 of 12.
Direction: Heading south, directly towards the Queensboro Bridge two blocks ahead
Weather: 85 degrees, sunny, mildly humid
Running Condition: hot, getting tired, dreading the 6-minute incline up the bridge. Already regretting having gone all the way to Roosevelt Island.
iPod musical selection: Marc Almond – ‘The Desperate Hours’ (remix, 1991)

Report: Way ahead I spot a tall woman at a bus stop, waving and gesticulating. About 200 yards away I notice she’s actually waving a large white handkerchief, and yelling in my direction. She continues as I get closer, and she’s smiling now, and acting kind of insane. What is up with this crazy lady, ‘waving like she just don’t care’? Closer still, I realize she’s smiling and yelling at me only, as she starts to look like she’s flagging down an ice cream truck.

50 feet away now, and her words are becoming clearer, and I start to think about untrained pets pouncing on me, and here’s some clearly rabid lady, frothing at the mouth already, the victim of some bridge-and-tunnel bat.

Almost there, and she’s smiling away, and then the words strike without warning:

Go, Forrest, Go! Go, Forrest, Go!

Um…. ‘thanks’. I followed that up with a weak smile and an eye roll so high that it caused temporary blackout conditions.

So after being reduced to another cultural cliché, and an old one at that, I made my way to the $%&# Queensboro Bridge.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Canus Interuptus

The post-race afterglow wore off fast when we were royally pounced on today by a really annoying dog at the end of a nice, long run.

While going across the Randall’s Island footbridge to the east drive, we spotted a fine upstanding couple and their two unleashed dogs making the same journey, all walking across the bridge. Before running past, Asshole the Wonder Dog (#1) looks, waits, then completely pounces on Cranky, even grabbing the iPod headphones off, mid-tune. Dumb and Dumber, the couple, start the typical ‘bad dog, don’t do that’ crap that’s always too late. We’re OK, the dog was fortunately not in attack mode, rather, in play mode, but the damage is done. ‘Hey man, I’ll get you some headphones’ says Dumb, but no, we want to get the hell out. ‘Put your dog on a leash’ we yelled, knowing that was never going to happen anyway. Dumber is still berating Asshole T.W.D. #1 as we continue on to finish our run.

Should we have taken Dumb on his offer to buy replacement headphones? Perhaps, but the thought of walking with this crowd to the nearest Worst Buy a mile away did not sound appealing. And new headphones were needed anyway... Also, another detail is that these nice doggies were pit bulls (no other breeds are allowed north of 110th street on the east side), and spending more time with them and their clueless owners didn’t sound too appealing, either.

Don’t get us wrong! We love dogs. Really. It’s the scofflaw dog owners that should be spayed and neutered. Now that just about all leash laws in NYC have been repealed, it gets pretty dicey in the parks and pedestrian areas with canines underfoot. Not that the laws were really observed anyway, it’s just now… forget about it.

So if you learn anything from this… be careful when approaching dogs on a run. Some dogs are mean, some want to play, some don’t even notice a runner going by. Just be aware, and if you see one watching you while their owner is having an important cell phone conversation (that’s another thing about NYC, you can’t walk a dog or push a baby stroller without being on a cell phone), then that cute dog might be ready to jump as you go by. Don’t blame the dog, blame the owner. No matter, just be careful, and be aware and ready for whatever could happen. Unfortunately, it’s all up to you, because cries of ‘Bad Dog’ don’t cut it when there’s a pooch already humping your $90 Asics.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Race Report: WABC Father’s Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer 5M

It’s so typical to read about some bad behavior or bad experience on this blog. So it is amazing that for once there’s just all good news to report. Welcome to the twilight zone.

This morning was the annual Father’s Day race in Central Park, a 5-miler, and what a race it was. Nearly 5000 runners on the shorter loop, in beautiful, but warm weather.

Before heading out for the 8:30 start time, we checked out WABC/Channel 7’s coverage on the TV. They’re one of the sponsors, and they always carry the race live, which is nice since you never really see much coverage around here for much less than the marathon. Anyway, their weekend weatherman Jeff Smith was giving the weather live from the check-in near Tavern-On-The-Green, and the forecast looked good. So later on, with a half hour to get there, we jog down the east drive to baggage check, and then get suddenly snagged by some guy. After a double-take, we realize it’s the same weatherman! Before we knew it, we’re waiting to go on, live, on Channel 7, with Jeff. He needed a local ‘runner’ to help him in the post-forecast transition, and your crazy running pal gets enlisted. So we wait and wait to go on, and then we’re on, and Jeff’s interviewing us about our projected time. Previously-unknown stores of charm emerge, and we’re suddenly singing like a canary about how often we’ve run this race and about our anticipated finish time of 34 minutes. Eyes widen, because as he put it, ‘that sounds fast’, and before you know it, we’re sent on our way, after a nice ass-kissing ‘thank you to Channel 7’ from yours truly.

What a nice start, and the race hasn’t even begun yet. But…. one thought occurs: We just told the entire tri-state area that we’re going to finish this race in 34 minutes, and Jeff gave our full name, and damn, now we have to finish the goddamn race in 34 minutes! Shit! So we jog over to baggage check knowing full well that the left shin pain and the right ankle pain we’ve been feeling over the last couple of days better stay the hell away.

Now the pressure is on, and the pre-race announcements and National Anthem singing is dragging. Well, the gun goes off, and the first mile is the usual slow one, with too big a crowd, and the typical runners (with hands pushing, and outstretched arms) cutting you off. But it ends up being a 6:44 at the first mile marker, and it… just gets better. Negative splits start, and despite an increasingly warm last mile with hills and full sun, it’s just great. We ran at a ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ pace; it wasn’t an all-or-nothing effort of nausea, definitely not a hurlfest. No Heave Prefontaine performance today, thank you. We knew it was a good day when a spectator notified a young lady running alongside us that she was the 7th female.

And we finally get to the finish, and the watch says 33 flat. Shit, Part 2! Not a PR, but within a minute of that, and besides, we didn’t train or plan for a PR today anyway (comma, bitches). Later, the official chip time listed was 32:58, no complaints here. 304th out of 4993. A good day, it was a likewise good placement for Satan A. Chilles, sarcastic runner to the stars.

Well, when it falls into place, it falls into place, and we all know some days are better than others. There will definitely be bad race days and good race days ahead, but here’s a nice reminder that good days are very much possible.

P.S. In a strangely prescient move, we set the TiVo to record the live race coverage before we set out this morning. Which meant we later saw ourselves on recorded TV. Had we known about the upcoming on-air interview we would’ve spent a little more time fixing the sweaty ‘hairdon’t’, but whatcha gonna do…

Saturday, June 16, 2007

iPod Friday(ish) 8

Well, there are always lots of tunes to choose from, new, old, whatever. At the risk of becoming a running music blog, here goes with some stuff kind of inspired by recent posts and news. Really, this wasn’t that planned out, but sometimes things fall into place (just like we’re hoping tomorrow’s 5-miler experience will fall into place).

So having lived through all of the '80s, here’s a set of tunes that were, um, lived through, from the '80s.

First is a remix of an old Eurythmics tune, sort of appropriate since the rain struck without warning a few times this week.
Eurythmics - Here Comes The Rain Again (Future Of Vision Remix)

Somehow the thought of summer travel or moving seems to be in the air... Here’s a rare 12” from the B-52’s bought by CR in early ‘86.
B-52’s - Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland

Back to the flood… found this out-of-print one in the 12” crates, too, a favorite from ’87. Not sure if it’s about a relationship or if it’s about Jesus instead…
Rock & Hyde – Dirty Water (Extended)

Here’s a mashup about… shoes! Still haven’t found a scientific study on shoe longevity. Anyway, here’s Nu Shooz vs. Kelly. By A plus D.
AplusD - KellysNuShooz

Finally, this tune stayed on rotation in the brain for days after the finale of the Sopranos, and the public overreaction to the ending. It’s a TV show, people. Anyway, an A plus D mashup again, Journey meets Afrika Babaattaa…
AplusD - Don't Stop Believin' In Planet Rock

Once again, all tunes posted are road-tested and each ‘has a really good beat, and you can dance to it’. And for more fun, check out A Plus D’s fine mashups here.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Enough About You

Well, we read a lot of running blogs, and they’re pretty much diaries about training, with a little bit of life lessons and humor thrown in. Sort of like running with a friend and catching up, except it’s typed out nicely for all to see. That’s cool, but we never really set out to discuss the heartwarming personal running diary of ‘Satan’ dba Cranky Runner, we were more interested in anonymously identifying the shared difficulty of our chosen sport(s), in a snarky way. We thought: discussing, and reading about 'how what we had for lunch two days before a race affected our finish time’ couldn’t possibly appeal to anyone else. While that may still be true, we also thought (just now) it only fair that with everybody offering up more personal experiences, and real information a fiction writer couldn't make up, we’d do the same. So here goes.

First off, we will, for the moment, drop the ‘Royal We’ (ouch) before getting down to business, pun intentional.

‘Satan’ is a nickname given to me by a longtime running friend from PA. I have a habit of pushing myself on runs and races, and on one particular run she’d had enough. (We later dubbed her ‘R.B.’ for ‘Running Bitch’, so ladies, that one’s already taken.) I’ve also been called ‘The Machine’ since I’ve been known to happily run a day or two after finishing a marathon. Anyway, these are names I’m somewhat proud of, and when it came time for a blogger profile, at least one was already there. Someday I will get a t-shirt that has on it printed ‘Satan’ with running number ‘666’ and wear it in a race and see how many people dare to cheer on The Great Deceiver.

I run because I can, and let’s face it, as a sport it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to do. I am also the first person in my family to actually exercise (however, my sister does try from time to time, though she still thinks I’m from outer space), so I do not easily submit to genetic fate. Twelve years ago, not long after I started running a bit more seriously, I suffered chest pains after a run and grudgingly (I’m an American male, I don’t stop for directions, either) took myself to the doctor who soon discovered that my left lung had collapsed. Running didn’t cause it, it was genetic; but after ten days in the hospital, serious thoracic surgery and a borderline psychotic ‘get me out of here-itis' they didn’t have enough drugs for, I was ready to hit the road again.

So another ten days later I ran my next 5-miler, easy and slow I might add, and I haven’t looked back since. I now run about twelve races a year, some seriously, some not. That includes a couple of marathons a year, too; I’m always, always training for some long distance. I had a physical last week, and the doctor tells me I have ‘the heart of a runner’, so no frontin’ on the track with me.

I have two races scheduled in the next couple of weeks, two marathons (Chicago and NYC) set for the fall, along with anything else I’m crazy enough to do. I can be somewhat fast (a sub-20-minute 5K) or slow (a 6-hour 60K), but I usually place in the top tenth or fifteenth percentile even though I’m in the AARP-ready ‘masters’ division. I’m currently running about 50-60 miles a week along with gym workouts that kick my ass. So if you want to know if anybody else is as crazy as you, and you haven’t figured it out yet, the answer is yes.

And finally, this whole blog silliness started on one of the million Central Park runs last year with my fine fellow cranky runner/enabler Susie. She half-jokingly suggested after I griped about runners and threatened to start an imaginary website called ‘’ that I should go ahead and do it, and so here we are. Or here I am.

Anyway, thanks to all for reading, commenting and most of all, confirming my twisted worldview on running. Kind of like life, huh? Whoops, can’t get too sentimental or serious here, or else I’d have to mock it.

Oh well, thanks for indulging me on a little self-reflection and personal trivia. Back to our previously-scheduled program.

P.S. Oh yeah, it’s Richard. Nice to meet you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An Open Letter to The All-Seeing

Dear God/Allah/Yahweh/Whatever They’re Calling You This Millennium,

Hey, thanks for the recreation of Noah’s deluge in Central Park this afternoon! It was swell. I’d just gone out to do a little training run, the skies were blue, more tourists had just arrived from eastern Europe, and it was hotter than a junebug on summer asphalt when the skies opened up and poured sheets of tri-state water on our aging Mizunos. Gee, it was fun.

We’re sure you were chuckling when the hapless tourists hiding under trees scattered after the thunderclaps started, and when the heavy rain created rushing torrents on the downhills. Just like being cast out of heaven again! Ah, the memories. Funny enough, the iPod was still ticking away as I found myself alone on the drive, picking up the pace, even though everything, and I mean everything, was soaked.

So I thought, ‘bring it on’, and you didn’t disappoint. After twenty minutes of unbelievable external hydration, you abruptly stopped the flood three minutes before the end of my run. Nice touch! You always had good timing, Ramses’ army found that out, didn’t they?

Well, I hope that the old shoes dry out before tomorrow, DST, and that you move onto other hi-larious pranks. If you’re just practicing biblical weather as a Revelations training workout, I don’t want to know.

Your pal,


Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It…

Rather than get our running shorts in a twist about this issue, we’re going to cut to the chase and ask the question: How do you know when you need to replace your shoes?

The answer we’ve always heard is ‘a total 300 to 400 miles of running on them’. Last time we went to buy new shoes at the local running store, we mentioned this statistic to the fairly knowledgeable guy bringing them out, and we received a quick Look of Correction, or LoC (a lesser version of The Angry Runner’s Scowl of Dissaproval). ‘300’ he said, as if the Spartans would never have fought the Persians if they were stupid enough to be wearing Grid Hurricanes with 400 miles on them. We could’ve received an eyeroll, too, but we were too busy shoehorning Chinese rubber over our feet to notice.

So after a quick search for the answer at Runner’s World and Running Times, we pretty much found the same vague answer. So does anybody know of any sort of scientific evidence that would support 300 miles or 400 miles (or maybe 500 miles)? Is this just a shoe company marketing strategy to get us to buy shoes more often? After hearing Steve Jobs say once that he foresees consumers buying a new iPod ‘two or three times a year’, we wouldn’t put it past the shoe manufacturers to jump on that bandwagon, but we’d like to give the shoe guys the benefit of the doubt. Today’s heat and humidity must be mellowing us out.

We ask because we bought a pair of Mizunos in mid-May, and with the 300-mile rule, that means we’ve got two more weeks left before the damn things self-destruct, Mission Impossible-style. And it’s kind of tiring plunking down another $80 (and that’s cheap these days) for another pair so soon.

Well, if anybody knows of any evidence pro or con, leave a comment. And in a related question, if you happen to know if bike tires are also timed to self-destruct, head over to The Angry Runner and share the bad news with him, too.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Race Report: New York Mini 10K

Although a bit humid and warm for the runners, this morning the NY Mini was held in Central Park. Since we have the wrong XY chromosomal structure, we weren’t allowed to participate (it’s a women-only race), but we did get to watch and cheer on some kick-ass women. Got to see an empty CPW for a change (see above); for those of you have run the NYC Marathon, this is exactly where you meet up with your loved ones and have leg cramps and mood swings and think to yourself how the hell am I going to make it home without climbing a step.

The race starts on Central Park West, goes north a bit, cuts into the park, and then runs clockwise back down and up to finish up near Tavern On the Green. We saw the start, ran up to the 4-mile mark to watch everybody come through, and hit the finish line for another spirited bout of over-the-top without-embarrassing-our-gender cheerleading.

Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands won the race in 32:10, her third winning 10K Mini in a row, and fourth overall. We’re lucky if we can drive our car a 10K distance in Manhattan in 32:10, so that’s really moving.

But as far as we’re concerned, there are lots more winners later in the race, and we got to cheer them on as they slowly made their way, some jogging and some walking. Women-only races are great, it always seems that the less-competitive participants are a little more appreciative of spectator support than their male counterparts in other races. Maybe that’s a wrong generalization, but several women we don’t even know offered their heartfelt thanks after the race, and it makes us all feel good and extra glad to be there.

Being an encouraging spectator can be really important, even when it seems the racers don’t notice you. We saw one acquaintance at mile 4, yelled our her name, and she just looked straight ahead, not responding. That’s cool, but we ran into her again after the race, and found out she was suffering through an injury. Her race concentration and mental battle with that injury kept her from communicating, but she sure heard the encouragement. So just because someone doesn’t respond, it doesn’t mean they aren’t hearing and listening. The encouragement briefly helped her get through the pain, and we got a hug for our effort. Everybody wins.

So the next time you have a chance to just watch a race, especially a tougher one (marathon, triathlon, ultra, etc.), get yourself out there and tell those hard-working people what a great job they’re doing. Besides, who knows better than you about what they’re going through? And when the day comes when you’re out there struggling, or feeling great, or just so-so, return the love, and it’ll come right back to you.

Friday, June 8, 2007

iPod Friday 7

As you may have guessed by now, we get all into music. With hot, humid weather here and lots of fun music coming out all the time, it helps to have fresh tunes ready to go on the old iPod to keep us on track.

We thought about posting tunes by The Cure, and even by jailbird Paris Hilton now that CNN is broadcasting ridiculous reports every ten minutes. Guess there’s not much going on in the news today. Yeah, right.

Anyway, let’s just check out some road-tested mashups that we’ve run across over the last year. As something of a warning, we like our tunes to have a beat, nothing slow and lugubrious. Classical music is great to listen to while sitting in a comfy armchair with a glass of wine, but don’t ask us to listen to ‘Moonlight Sonata’ during a tempo run. If that gets you across a finish line, more power to ya, but we’ve got to have something that helps keep the pace. And if you’ve heard these already, you know what we mean.

First up is a fun little mash of the disco tune ‘Born To Be Alive’ by Patrick Hernandez (trivia: Madonna got her start touring in Europe as a backup singer for this guy) mixed with ‘Vertigo’ by ancient wave rockers U2. Created by mashmaster FuTuRo.
Born to Vertigo

Next up is a wonderful little gem from one of our favorites, Party Ben. It’s the ‘ChicFranzieBoys’, or in other words, Chic + Franz Ferdinand + The Beastie Boys. Somehow, it works, in an old school kinda way…

Masher Audiodile made this wonderful slice of craziness last year, mixing Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ with The Art of Noise. Not for playing loudly at work (f-bomb alert), unless you’re planning on quitting today.
Closer (To The Editor)

Next is not technically a mash, but it’s in the mash family, a remix of sorts of Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Rhythm Scholar. Happily, even Joan Jett chimes in at the end… Though it’s probably not too appropriate, we’d love to hear this one at a race!
Another One Bites The Dust (Rhythm Scholar Blasted Breaks Remix)

Finally, one more Party Ben opus, it’s a mash of Gnarls Barkley ‘Crazy’ with Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’. Perfectly done, it’s ‘I Feel Crazy’. Yeah!
I Feel Crazy

Hope you like these; once again, they were all road-tested by CR at various locations in Central Park, Randall’s Island, Battery Park, the Queensboro Bridge, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and wherever the hell we ended up dehydrated but happy. And if you want even more from these great mashup folks, head over to the following fine places:

Party Ben
Rhythm Scholar

Happy listening, and happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Filling Out Your Running Form

Yeah, that’s a lame title, ‘The Perfect Form’ was taken. So anyway, we’ve been meaning to discuss running form, because we see in all these races people who kick and flail and do goofy things with their arms and legs while they’re running. Shoe scuffing too, and of course, landing flat on the feet, sounding like cinderblocks being thrown off the roof.

Our favorite one was spotted again last week, a runner we affectionately call the ‘Fast Food Drive Through Jogger’. He takes one of his forearms, usually the left, and swings it way out at the elbow, making a circular motion while moving forward. It looks like he’s rolling down an imaginary car window, and one of these days we’re going to run up beside him and nasally announce ‘Welcome to Burger Dauphin, may I take your order?!’. Well, we’re not that mean, but allow us our evil thoughts. There are many more bad form types (The Modern Dancer, Limp Wristkit, The Washing Machine, et al), which we’ll save for a rainy day.

Anyway, what’s really at stake is running efficiency. The less energy spent on needless kicking, flailing and such, the more energy you have for finishing the run or race. The good news is, when it comes to running, most of us just go out and run without thinking about the process. It’s one of the things that makes running so democratic, just about anybody with the ability can do it. The bad news is that most of us don’t always have coaches, haven’t had someone watch our running form since kindergarten, or we just don’t pay attention to our form so much. Yes, getting from Point A to Point B is fine however you do it, but paying attention to how you get there might help you get to Point B a little sooner and better yet, a little happier. And perhaps… injury free?

Of course, Paula Radcliffe and her weird head roll running style could kick our ass in a race to the refrigerator, but you get the point. It never hurts to check your form.

And because Your Satanic Majesty is like, all up in dem bitches, here’s a link to a Runner’s World article that gets extra Heloise-like about running form.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mirror in the Crankroom

Sometimes we can’t lay all the blame on, well, other people. Sometimes we just have to look in the mirror to find the enemy.

So listen to your cranky uncle here. When it’s hot and nasty outside, and you’re running and running and maybe biking or snarling at or eye-rolling at ding-dong runners with bad habits we don’t even want to talk about… remember to drink your water. Drinking water and hydrating is the ‘eat your vegetables’ of road racing. Now everybody can say ‘But Mr. Satan, of course I drink my water, duh’ and he’d know your telling the truth, but what about the afterparty ?

So we get home, shower up, scream for a while when the soap hits the chafes, dry off, dress, and move on with our life. Then later that day we start to get sleepy and churlish, and we wonder why, because the run wasn’t all that long. And then six hours later we realize we haven’t gone to the bathroom ALL DAY. Why? Because like the idiot behavior we mock, we stopped drinking water a little while after we stopped running.

Yes, we’ve sinned, we forgot to keep drinking water, even after that hellish long run. So take the advice we offer up to you now and keep drinking water after your run… or at least something that comes close to water that won’t dry you out. And if you want to take a nap, it’s because you want to, not because you have to.

The English Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom

(On a completely different subject, the 19th century mirror pictured above sold for $1700 this morning at the auction house down the street. An average selling price for a revival style/copy, too bad it wasn't an actual 18th century mirror, it would've fetched about $12,000, even more if there'd been a chateau stamp on it. See, you never know what arcane trivia will float to the top at CrankyRunner HQ)