Archive for January, 2012

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The Soundtrack Of Your Run

January 12, 2012

This is a topic I touched on several years ago as I was trying to find some songs to run my first 5K with.  As it turns out, I enjoy music when I run.  So, it was natural for me to solicit help via the interwebs to find songs for my half-marathon playlist.  This is significant because a 5K (3.1 miles) is just wee bit shorter than a half-marathon (13.1 miles), so as you can imagine I need a few more songs to fill this one up.

Now… I know what you’re thinking:

“Dude has 6,500 songs on his friggin’ iPod… why the hell is he asking us for help?”

Well the reason I’m asking is two-fold.

1)  I get bored easily by listening to the same stuff over and over – the songs on my 5K list are great, but I hear them every day.
2)  I respect the different things everyone enjoys – from country to EDM, metal to Top 40 – so I’m always open to hear what helps other stay motivated so maybe I too can gain some of that motivation.

So I get on the ol’ social networks and ask for help.  I get some fantastic suggestions – from songs I never heard of to songs I would have never thought of.  Then I get this:

This has been a back and forth between us since November, when she completed her first 1/2 marathon in Philly, sans headphones, and raved about how amazing the city was while running through it.  I want to run w/ Black, Warrior and Worldwide Choppers blaring through my headphones.  She feels that I will be singing ‘Walk Like A Man‘ to her and our other friends as we cross the finish line together in April.

I’m not sure how I feel about this – seriously, I have no idea.  I’m like Linus and Killswitch Engage is my security blanket.  I am being told – not just by her but by MANY people – that I will not only learn to run without music, I will enjoy it as well.  I will begin to appreciate the cityscapes of where I run… the nature I will be surrounded by… the soundtrack the universe has provided us.  And oh, I will also do this because some races (Philly, for example) actually don’t allow any type of headphones/ mp3 players/ phones with music AT ALL when you’re running… so even if you want to they won’t let you.

So now I don’t know what to do.  Do I just continue to run with music, then drop it when the race comes?  Run my shorter distances with music, then really tune in to the longer runs without it?  Should I drop music altogether and start working on going alone?  Man… just as I was starting to enjoy running now THIS monkey wrench gets thrown in.

Either way, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board for ol’ Gach.  Let’s just say I hope the birds in the park sing better than some of the people at my old karaoke shows – and I hope the rest of my peeps start learning their parts to our Finish Line song!

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2012 Starts With A Hangover

January 3, 2012

Happy 2012, Kids… 🙂

So, as the title suggests, I – like many of you – started 2K12 with a Hangover.  So did 7 of my friends.  However, this hangover was pretty damn awesome because it was the 30th Annual Hangover Run – a 5K at Tamaques Park in Westfield.  And, not only did 8 of us run it, we even had 4 others come out just to support – 1 of which had a REAL hangover… 🙂

So here’s the #’s – I ran the 5K in 44:10… and came in first in my weight class – WOO HOO!

*Rimshot!* *Cymbal Crash!*

In all seriousness, it was a perfect day.  I knew it was gonna be good even before we started when I got handed #199, which is the number for only one of the greatest athletes in the world – Travis Pastrana.  Plus, I was running in shorts on New Years Day… a far cry from last year when this is what it looked like around New Years:

And of course – there’s the REAL reason we run – GOODIES.  We not only got a race sweatshirt, but also a winter hat to run in!  Now, not surprisingly, I was last out of all of my friends.  That’s OK though… that was certainly expected.  I have a long way to go!  But with that come ‘the spoils’ – like having a nice little entourage of 5 runners finish the race with me as I chugged it home.  Plus, the later you finish, the more people waiting at the end to cheer you on… it’s all part of the master plan!  🙂

Physically, I only had 1 issue – leg pain due to that damn pinched nerve in my back.  And it only hurt when I stopped to get water at the halfway mark… which told me I wasn’t about to stop the rest of the way hahaha!  As the weight disappears, the pain will become less because there will be less stress on my back – I know this to be true from the last time I dropped the weight, so I just need to fight through it until that happens.

Speaking on that topic – it’s time to step THAT game up as well.  The weight loss has been steady and consistent over the last 6 weeks, but for me to finish a half marathon in 4 months I need to get really focused on not just portion control, but clean eating as well.

This is going to require a lot of research.

So, if you’re reading this and have any resources or advice that I can use – PLEASE shoot it over.  I wanna research this week, figure out what is the best route for me to take, then start it next week.  I’ve had some amazing people help me out with this before, but I am open to hearing about anything you can think of that may help!

Lastly – before I wrap up, I want to make sure I thank the people that came out for the race.  Regardless of why you were there, it meant a lot to ME to see so many familiar faces.  So to Nancy, Brian, Martin, Laz, Mai, Hiba, Courtney, Amanda, Joe B., Dan and Jenn – THANK YOU.

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