Category: Running

I’d always thought that the route I ran–when I ran–was about three miles: my average plod is about 6mph, and I ran for roughly half an hour. Also it kind of… felt three-milesish.

This morning Leonard delicioused the GMaps Pedometer, which allowed me to discover that my route was… 3.0165352158455165 miles!

At least I know that for a while, I was still in reasonable shape to run a 5k (for which half an hour is a hideous time).

The Kill Satan With Music Mix

Mix CD post. You’ve been warned. Also, this is actually version 1.1; I’m using 1.0 right now, but there are a couple of songs (Marilyn Manson and Rob D) that I need to cut out.

  1. Maroon 5 – Harder To Breathe
  2. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American
  3. Jimmy Eat World – A Praise Chorus
  4. Lunatic Calm – Leave You Far Behind
  5. Pearl Jam – Do The Evolution
  6. Foo Fighters – All My Life
  7. Rob Zombie – Dragula (Hot Rod Herman mix)
  8. Beastie Boys – Sabotage
  9. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
  10. Lo Fidelity Allstars – Battleflag
  11. Propellerheads – Spybreak

As far as I can tell, this works equally well on straight through or shuffle. The only constants are that the Maroon 5 song must be first, because it doesn’t fit anywhere else, and the Foo Fighters song must be sixth, because that’s about when I decide I should give up running forever and go home and get fat. There is no song in the world as good at making you run as “All My Life.”

If you think this is interesting, let me know; if I get a few requests I’ll post the mp3s.

Running post

You’ve been warned.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that I have a bad ankle–more specifically, chronic tendonitis, on the right. This is maddening because up until now, I’ve been able to overcome my physical defects by either waiting or just trying harder (see asthma, bad hair, being underheight, being underweight, being overweight, et al). I mean, even with myopia, I could at least squint without making the condition worse. Not so the gimp!

In an effort to prove that all of the above is untrue, I’ve actually been running more often recently, and surprised myself on Wednesday by hitting a Schrodinger Point. I always turn around after the fourth song on the Kill Satan With Music mix; since it takes longer to come back than to go out, this ensures a solid thirty-five-minute run. Normally I hit that mark before reaching an easily recognizable corner in Old Louisville, but last time I hit the corner first with an easy minute left.

That’s encouraging, and I want to see if I can repeat it, so I’m going to try again today. For the first time ever, I’ll be wearing my new ankle brace.

Oh, yeah, I should post the Kill Satan With Music mix when I get back.

Update 1930 hrs: To nobody’s surprise, I couldn’t! Repeat it. But the ankle brace did help.

I live with a GIRL

Our apartment building has a two-stage entry system: you have to buzz yourself in at the lobby, or call from the special phone there and have someone else buzz you in, and then all the individual apartment doors lock automatically as well. This is relevant because I went running, today, and forgot the key and buzzer I usually lace into my shoes.

I got back and tried to call up via the lobby phone, which redirects to my cell phone; as I’ve mentioned before, however, my phone is always (always) on silent, so Maria was unaware and couldn’t buzz me in.

I went downstairs and tried the parking garage door, which also requires buzzing but had been propped open when I left. It was closed now, though. I tried the auxiliary back gate, which frequently sticks open, but not today (you may have picked up on the fact that our apartment building is not terribly secure).

Then I noticed that, about a dozen yards away, the car-sized automatic parking garage door was still open. It was about four feet off the ground and closing rapidly.

I sprinted, dove, and rolled under the door with just inches to spare. I didn’t even trip the electric safety eye. It was that close.

I related this story to Maria. “You were rolling around on the floor of the garage?” she said. “Eeww.”

The people have wondered. Haven’t you heard them? It started as a murmur, an uneasy question that rippled and spread and grew to a titanic, subvocal collective cry.

“Where?” they asked. “Whenceforth? Whither our hero?”

Yesterday afternoon, they got their answer.

Pounding pavement like a Clydesdale, breathing like a crippled bellows, shaking an MP3-CD player that apparently meant its “40-second ESP” label as a cruel joke: could it be he? There was no graceful form, no cracked bike helmet. But yes–as he came closer, so did certainty: It had to be! Nobody else could have the temerity to wear those tights! Captain Spacedork lives!

Anyway. Yeah, I finally broke out the spandex and inaugurated my winter running season, after what must have been a month of sluglike inactivity. It showed: I stupidly forgot to warm up, so I started feeling shooting pains in the back of my right knee and had to baby that leg to Old Louisville and back. I forgot to hydrate afterwards, too, so I woke up this morning with probably the closest thing I’ll ever have to a hangover. I did manage to do my whole route without turning around early, but it took waaay too long. Maria thought I’d been kidnapped.

I’ve also gotten spoiled, and forgotten what a difference being able to listen to music makes. My standard CD player broke, so I’ve reverted to my slower MP3-CD device, which is evidently not at all suitable for jogging.

But, as I’ve said before and will say again: at least I’m running. I figure if I want to get in shape for next summer, it’s probably best if I start now.

Entry 255! I have almost a whole byte’s worth of journal!

Every time I start to get uppity about something I’m doing at school, dramatic irony thwops me on the forehead. Like, for example, the past couple of weeks have been the beginning of music rehearsals for the spring production of Chalk Circle. That means, thanks to the grand tradition of Brendan’s Roommates Letting Him Pretend He’s A Musician, I’ve been actually reading things on sheets of music and playing them on congas with a band of real musicians. This honestly gives me the shivers.

Then, just as I’m starting to believe something like “hey! this stuff can be learned,” along comes Wynton Marsalis.

I only got to watch the first third of the show (two hours), but everything I saw was… well, pretty much what you’d expect from Wynton Marsalis’s band, assuming you know who Wynton Marsalis is. I don’t even think I enjoyed it as much as some of the other people watching it up on the catwalk with me, because I honestly don’t have a developed taste for jazz. I was still in awe. The talent and skill those guys put on display was ineffable.

That said, today was the first day I ran my whole route–what I guess now is around three miles–without stopping to walk. I haven’t done that since high school, and I did both on rainy days, and there’s really no dramatic irony possible there. No matter how many people run better than me, the fact is that right now I can run as fast as I ever have in my life.

There are two reasons I usually need to go running. One, the need for exercise and endorphins and exuberance, has been with me for most of spring term. It’s a good thing, and it’s something I know enough not to indulge when I’ve only had four hours of sleep (as I did for most of this past week).

Earlier tonight I felt the other need, the bad old kind, the fall term kind. It’s not as nice and it’s not rewarding. It is, as it took me a while to realize, a form of self-punishment.

My friends are hurting right now and I don’t know how to fix them. I want to be able to fix anything, but these are human problems with unknown quantities and there’s no easy solution. I know that. But.

This weekend I won one argument: I managed to convince someone that what happened fall term, what made me need to go running, wasn’t her fault. I’m glad of that. I lost another argument: I wanted to visit someone who wouldn’t see me, not because she doesn’t want to, but because she needs time for herself. I don’t mind losing in itself, but I still wish I could talk to her.

I can’t make the cause for the second person’s time alone go away; I can’t fix what’s making the first person want to blame herself; I can’t fix people who are sick and tired, I can’t fix people with misplaced affections, I can’t do much of anything except give of my time.

One of the most important things I learned during my internship, though, is that time isn’t free. My time isn’t free. There’s only so much of it, and I’m more conscious than ever of the fact that I can’t run on four-hour nights indefinitely.

This entry isn’t a question, and it’s not a cry for help. It’s just a monologue. I know people will read this and try to think of ways to help, and that’s beautiful: I hope you know I appreciate it. But I don’t need help yet. I just need to figure out a way to proportion the time I give–to figure out how much is mine to give, and how much is already bought.

That’s one problem I will figure out, I believe. I believe.

I think that as of this week I have reached Critical Busy Mass. I’m scraping together the stuff towork at the family biz for my winter internship, to take the GRE (I’m so poor it’s free!), and of course figure out if and where I want to do the grad school thing. And that’s the long-term stuff. There’s also still the play, and the other play, and the job, and the other job, and I just remembered I have to run (literally) down to the flower shop to pick up a corsage. Yow!

I’ve pretty much had to quit running, thanks to the frigid weather (I have no cold-running gear) and the fact that what used to be my afternoon time slot is now usually filled with other stuff. I’m keeping the weight off with sheer nervous energy, I think, but I miss it. The exercise, that is, not the weight. It’s too bad Halo doesn’t burn calories.

Today: Corsage! Build set! Visit Emily R from Richmond! Hang out / eat / dance with Audrey! It’s a mad house.

In the middle of the street.

Things I Hate About Running

  • The way I look afterwards.
  • Fucking gnats.
  • My legs hurt all the time. It’s my own fault, obviously, for running five days a week. I’m building new muscle, too, which is kind of a novelty, but I think a lot of it is the fact that I’m running on concrete instead of grass. I wish there were something I could do about that. I am alone in my circle of acquaintances in that I’ve had good knees for most of my life, and I’d rather not lose them now.
  • Uphills.
  • Forgetting my towel for my shower afterwards. I’ve done it so frequently now that I finally taped a sign to the bathroom door to remind me. Running about naked is all well and good, but who wants to drip all over the linoleum?

Things I Love About Running

  • The dachshunds in somebody’s back yard at my end-of-West Lexington turnaround. They’re always very excited and concerned to see me, even though I’ve been coming by almost daily for a month.They remind me of our dachshund, Fritzi, who died a couple years ago and who had one of the most expressive faces I’ve ever seen.
  • Downhills. The dip between St. Mildreds and Fifth Street is awful on the way up, but on the way down coming back it’s like an obstacle course–a lot of head-level tree limbs and street signs to tap. Also, I’m one of a select group of people the world over who really understand how to run downhill, so I can really cut loose (the secret is to go ahead and start falling, and trust your legs to catch up).
  • Showers afterwards, which I like to start pretty hot and end icy. I feel like I’m running on auto a lot lately, so the shock of awareness that comes with the cold water is a rare and beautiful thing.
  • And speaking of cold water: running in the rain. I got to do that yesterday, and it ranks high on the list of Best Things There Is. It was hard rain, too, like of significantly higher humidity than your average pond. My clothes haven’t dried yet.

    Since yesterday I’ve been trying to quantify exactly what it is about running in the rain that’s so great, and I’ve yet to come up with anything concrete. It’s a certain I don’t know what.

    Partly it’s that you stay cool and your mouth doesn’t dry out, and partly it’s the feeling that you’re fighting something other than gravity and yourself, and partly it’s just the sense of abandon you get from realizing that it doesn’t matter how wet you are because you’re just going to get wetter. Maybe it’s the ozone. Or maybe it’s just that you get to look at the torrents of water and the mud and the clouds, and think “what kind of maniac would be out in this weather?” and then think “oh, yeah, me.”

Things I Love AND Hate About Running

  • Schrodinger Point. There’s a day, about every couple weeks or so, when I realize I’ve just jogged almost my entire route without taking a break. It’s cool because, well, it means I’m stronger and faster and in better shape than I have been in a while. It’s simultaneously totally uncool, because it means I’m going to have to run longer or faster my next time out. Thus Schrodinger Point: it exists in both states at the same time! (This isn’t technically what Schrodinger was describing, but in this case accuracy is discarded in favor of sounding cool.)

Tonight: Elvis Costello!

with all the will in the world
diving for dear life