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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ele's Race 2014

I'll cut to the chase: my Ele's Race 5K gun time was 27:45, which is a considerable improvement over last year's 31:19 (though in fairness I did run whilst suffering from a sore leg).

Still, bum leg or no bum leg, today's run beat the hell out of my very first official 5K, run almost exactly one year ago. I won't lie and say it was easy. From about the 1.5 mile mark to about the 3 mile mark, my brain (or the Blerch, as the comic strip artist--and big-time runner--"Oatmeal" refers to that evil voice inside a runner's head) kept telling my body, "Why are you putting yourself through this? You're tired?! The legs hurt! The feet hurt! It's hot out here! It's humid! STOP! WALK!" But the body ignored the brain, or maybe I should say motivation and desire ignored the quitter. I kept running, kept gutting it out, and ended up with what I'm certain will be another personal best (once the bib times are finally posted). I estimate that my time, from starting line to finish line, will be closer to 27:35. (The official times were officially posted on Monday, July 28 and I finished at 27:27. A new personal best).

Now, I'm not under any illusion that I'm a blazing fast runner, because I'm certainly not. But I am stunned by how much my old-ass body has managed to improve in just 15 months. I don't know if I've hit my ceiling yet, but I'll try to continue to improve while at the same time keeping the big picture in mind. My health and well-being has improved considerably since I took up running in April 2013--and that is what is most important.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Podcasts...and Ele's Race

"The Fox announcing crew slathered every hosanna invented on retiring Yankee Derek Jeter. It was a glob of maudlin prolixity." --Mike Pesca, on the podcast The Gist (July 18, 2014)

I found this to be one of the funniest statements I heard all week, from one of my current favorite podcasts. (By the way, I happen to like Derek Jeter and think he's a first ballot Hall of Famer). I knew Mike Pesca from his articulate and erudite sports commentary on NPR, but recently a friend of mine turned me on to his Slate podcast The Gist, and I've been enjoying it for the last few weeks. Pesca is an intellectually curious guy, and his podcast allows him to explore many topics besides sports.

My job gives me an opportunity to listen to podcasts while I'm working, and I have a few other favorites. WTF with Marc Maron is at the top of my list. You may be familiar with Maron's story: struggling stand-up kicks drugs and self-destructive behavior and finds his niche interviewing people in his garage...and now he has his own show on IFC. WTF is a great podcast, though--and the part about Maron finding his niche isn't just blowing smoke. His interviews are in-depth and, for whatever reason, his guests open up for him and reveal themselves in ways they never would in a more conventional setting.

Another podcast I dig is The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show. Jeff Rubin is a contributor to the CollegeHumor web site (which you don't have to be in college to appreciate). In his podcast, he geeks out on his favorite topics, The Simpsons, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Batman (and other comics), video games, roller coasters, water slides, and his Degrassi guilty pleasure. Having many of the same interests (even though he's probably at least ten years younger than me), I enjoy his podcast a great deal.


Tomorrow is Ele's Race, the second official 5K race of the season for me. As I mentioned in a previous post, I knocked out the Capitol Memorial 5K in 27:41, not exactly lightning fast, but a personal best for my old middle-aged ass that has only been running regularly for 15 months. I'd love to top that 27:41 and plan on doing everything I can to do so. I'll be back here tomorrow to let you know how it went. My goal is somewhere south of 27:41, but I don't want to get down on myself if that doesn't happen. I should at the very least destroy the 31:19 I recorded at last year's Ele's Race.