Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pushing Through The Seasons

If you were wondering, Pushing Through The Seasons is an album by Mashlin, although I didn't listen to that on my run today since I'm out to discover some new music and Mashlin is not that. I thought it was appropriate though, since the run I was just on was just trying to push through so I could turn around, slog through a couple more miles (10? 5? a million? does it really matter at this point?) so I could get home, take a nice hot shower and be warm. Yesterday, it snowed for the first time in a while. By the time I left work at the capitol it was raining. By the time I left Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub for the Wild game, it was raining harder and freezing, which continued throughout the game and must have continued throughout the night, plus a little more snow. So when I got up this morning it was more rain than ice, and more ice than snow out there. Oh yeah, and it was still raining.

So I did an hour and a half, which was only 10 miles today. That kind of sucks. Oh yeah, and I almost fell off a highway overpass. It was the same one I complained about a while ago. When they plow the snow off the road they plow it onto the sidewalk that also crosses the bridge so there ya go. Stay classy, Edina. The two records I listened to today were "Feel the Sound" by Imperial Teen and "Walk It Off" by Tapes n' Tapes. Imperial Teen I'm not a fan of at all, at least not that album anyway. My take is that they try to sound pop- ish but miss the mark in the majority of their songs. They try to rhyme everything in their songs which gets ridiculously annoying. Its like, you know when you had to write poetry in 5th grade and were convinced poetry was making every line rhyme? Thats what Feel the Sound Sounds like FOR 40 MINUTES STRAIGHT.

Walk it Off is good music. There was a girl one of my education classes the other year who was a huge Tapes n' Tapes fan. I didn't listen to them then, but she knew what was good for her. I just downloaded all three albums from them, but this is the first one I decided to listen to, so sue me. Walk it Off is great because its like a thousand bands on one CD. First its rock, then its alternative, then its melodic, then its folk- y but it all sounds great and it mixes together really well. I'm kind of surprised these guys haven't made the mainstream yet, Walk it Off is just a masterful album.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunglasses and Nail Polish Remover

I don't know why I always smell nail polish remover when I run. I know its weird and I don't know why it happens, but its not cool. Anyways, the band of the day was One For The Team, which I had just heard that morning on Local Current and liked what I heard so I downloaded both their albums, Build it Up, and Good Boys Don't Make Noise. Together, the albums were a touch over an hour, which gave me a tad under 9 miles of running.
Since I heard them on the local current, I'm going to go ahead and venture to guess they're from the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area. I mean, the sound is familiar, which is not to say its not exciting. Its got that punk- ish personality to it, but its too soft to be actually punk. I think theres comfort in the familiarity-- like you've heard all the songs before. The first band that came to mind is Gob, if you've heard of them, even though they're nowhere near as loud as them. I liked the lyrics too, they were pretty funny in some songs and I could really relate most songs.

Brooks T7 Racer review

Its been a while since I've done a shoe review, so here's one. I've had two pairs of T7 racers, the Chrissy Wellington special edition and the regular one, and I've had them probably four months or so. I said in a previous post that I didn't have trainers until I bought some on Saturday, so I got some serious mileage on them. I tore the upper on the Chrissy Wellington pair, although I feel like that was more a factor of overuse than anything else. Oh, and I don't count mileage anymore, so if you're looking for "these shoes last X number of miles," sorry.

I'll start by saying I wasn't a huge fan of the T6 racers, in fact, I had to return them. The heel collar dug into the back of my heel and rubbed them raw after like three days, but everyone else loved them, so I figured I'd try the T7s. The first update you'll notice is the asymmetrical upper. Personally, I didn't mind it that much, although I didn't find it all that beneficial either. It didn't make my feet feel more snug or secure, but it wasn't overly annoying either. At first the toe box felt like it was bigger than the T6s, which was kind of a hindrance for the first couple runs, but then that feeling went away, so it might have just been me being weird.

Now for the thing I was really concerned about- the heel collar. Really not a problem at all. Its shaped different- its more rounded- than the T6, so that might have done it.
Heel collar heights- T6 (left) and T7 (right)
Also worth mentioning is that the shoe is cushioned exceptionally well for being as flexible as it is. It doesn't seem super mushy marshmallow like, but you don't feel the road too terribly bad either. Finally, a note on durability. They're pretty durable, and my first pair ripped a couple months after I got them, but I was wearing them almost exclusively, rotating my other pair in here and there. That pair is holding up real great after half a year of intensive wear, so I wouldn't shy away from wearing them in a marathon if I were a more efficient runner.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday afternoon music sesh

I don't know about you, but I'm not partial to long runs at all. I mean, after 40 or 45 minutes of hard running I'm mentally checked out. So what do I do? I mean, I've sort of backed myself into a corner by my own doing. I've got the Eugene Marathon in 40- something days and just bought some trainers yesterday. Up until now my runs have been sub- 40 minute tempo runs in racing flats. So bottom line for me is that every third run for me will be boring as shit, AKA 11+ miles at a decently slow pace. So I've deemed long run days new music days-- the first of which was today.

So here's my plan to cut the boredom- I'll listen to a brand new album or two every time out. I think I've got enough albums to do it, and I've got Pitchfork and The Current in case I need more stuff. Now, normally I'll listen to more straightedge rock and stuff when I'm running-- Search The City, Rise Against, Blindside-- that kind of stuff. But I mean since I'm going to be going at an "accelerated jogging" pace, I can listen to whatever I want to. Today I listened to Attack! Attack!'s self titled CD (the UK band not the American one) and Polica's CD Give you the Ghost.

I've already seen Polica twice in concert- once at the Kitty Cat and once at First Ave so there's really nothing new there, but its still a killer CD. Its their music is kind of haunting I guess and its pretty slow, but its a nice, melodic slow. They're a little known band from the Minneapolis area, so there's a plus too. Attack! Attack! is a pretty sweet band that I'd never heard of until a week ago, but I'm glad I ran across them. Their music is a lot more up tempo than Polica but its good. I mean its kind of like a "once you've heard one, you've heard them all" alternative band, but you could tell the guys were having fun making it. Its far from mediocre, so worth a listen.

It Was Good, For A While, And I Could Always Fake A Smile

That title really has no bearing on this post, but whatevs. Its a quote from a song by The Rassle called 21. I think if you go to their web site their EP is still free, or maybe not. If its not, feel free to spend the $5 or whatever and buy it. I'm getting no money for saying that, but as a general rule I only spend money on music I'll actually listen to. If its for a house party or whatever, just use spotify or groove shark or something but don't steal music. I'm not saying that because President Obama probably reads my blog on the reg being like "lets see what laws Matt incriminated himself on today" (even though he totes does) but think about it. If you're really going to listen to a song a lot, then you probably like the band, so support them. If you're only getting a song that you're going to play once in your life, why even waste the effort in getting it illegally? I mean if you get caught thats a whole 'nother barrel of wax, but, I mean whatever, do what you want, this argument is running out of steam fast.

So I guess I should get to the reason I'm actually writing. I was going to write this big long mellow dramatic post about how I'm such a loser and can't talk to girls and then drown my sorrows by eating thin mints while watching reruns of house hunters on HGTV on Saturday nights until one in the morning, but ya know, if I don't want to hear that I can't even imagine you guys, so I won't. Instead, I'm going to talk about yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

In order to get to a spot to do long runs, or even mid- distance runs, I have to run across a highway overpass. This is because our neighborhood is set into a valley and you have to go up a ridiculous hill that my car can barely get up to get out of my neighborhood the other ways. Anyways, people don't really obey traffic laws or common sense on that overpass. Its like when they laid out the plans for Edina they said "traffic laws will apply everywhere but here" and then circled the Valley View/ 169 overpass. Its ridiculous, man. You know how you're supposed to yield to pedestrians on a left turn where pedestrians have the walk sign? yeah... that went right out the window. I got plowed into by some idiot in a red Buick the other day on such an occasion. Okay, not plowed into, but I definitely got more than a love tap and some bruising. Not cool, bro. So I guess if there's a point to this story, its don't be an idiot. Just don't.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sooo... what would you say you actually do?

I won't take credit for that image, so don't sue me. Because if you do sue me, I'm pretty sure you'll come on the losing end of that one because I have no money, hopes, or dreams.

Thats my disclaimer for all of my big shot "im going to law school" friends. So I'm going to try my hand at this blogging thing again, not that I have anything more interesting to say than I did a few months ago. If anything, I have less interesting things to say. You see, age and being interesting have an inverse relationship. Nonetheless, I was inspired by the awesome writing over at The Tangential and thought "hey, maybe I can be as cool as those guys too." Actually, scratch that, I was bored and decided to start writing again. So yeah, thats that. As far as running goes, I've changed scenery I guess. Thats a fancy way of saying I'm a lowlife living at my parents house. See, I graduated college in December, which is good, and my boss for my job at school said I could work until the end of the semester. False. I get an email from HR the last day of January basically saying "our bad, but that job security you thought you had? nope. Tomorrow's your last day." Thanks for the heads up St.Thomas, I appreciate it. So I was pissed. Long story short, I've been applying to a lot of non- profits serving those with disabilities since thats what I want to do with my life. nope. again, this is me:
Refer to the above poorly written disclaimer

How are you supposed to get 1-3 years related experience if every freakin job requires 1-3 years related experience? THINK ABOUT IT. Anyways, fast forward through days of heavy drinking, hanging out too much with my parents, and no callbacks, and you get to like a week ago. I met with the Minnesota State Council on Disability, which was awesome because they're who I want to eventually end up with for a career. So I landed a kind of sort of internship with them where they said I could follow their legislative expert around and do things for them if there was ever anything to do. The next week I got in touch with Senator Geoff Michel's office and they're going to let me do stuff for the committee he chairs. I also have an interview coming up with the Running Room (which my friends affectionately call "the jogging room" but don't tell them that) which is like, I mean, I'll probably end up making minimum wage there but its all good since its stuff I'm pretty sure I'd like to do.

So there's where I am right now.

That was long. Congrats if you read this far. I've got a two hour run on the docket. Hope I don't get hit by a car again. Thats a story for another time.