Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Open letter to the folks still searching for my Netflix instant posts

First thing's first-- don't wait on another one, although you probably figured that out already.  Netflix has formed a super PAC (that isn't news) called FLIXPAC and though it was initially reported to be pro- SOPA, its actually not.

If you've been living under a rock for the last couple of months, SOPA stands for the Stop Online Privacy Act, introduced by Texas Rep. Lamar Smith designed to fight online piracy and intellectual copyright infringement. The major knock against it is that it paints with much too wide a brush if you will, and thus puts effectively the entire internet in he realm of prosecution for copyright infringement prosicution. The legislation is dead, but various attempts have been made (backed by major grants by the Motion Picture Association) to kickstart similar legislation.

Anyways, I was initially concerned, and still am, that Netflix would use FLIXPAC to funnel money (although a comparatively small amount) to the pro- SOPA (or similar) lobby so they could get away with their mediocre at best selection of movies while helping to prosecute those who look for alternatives. As I said earlier, FLIXPAC isn't pro- SOPA, so take that worth a grain of salt, but it isn't anti- SOPA either. Netflix's official statement was the goal of the super pac is 
PACs are commonplace for companies that lead a big, growing market and Netflix is no exception. Our PAC is a way for our employees to support candidates that understand our business and technology. It was not set up for the purpose of supporting SOPA or PIPA. Instead, Netflix has engaged on other issues including network neutrality, bandwidth caps, usage based billing and reforming the Video Privacy Protection Act

Second, you don't need me to review Netflix movies. Here's a list of the 50 top movies on Netflix instant 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Its like a swim meet

Are you kidding me? My first week of training and it rained an unreal amount. Like, I'm pretty sure it would have caught Noah by surprise. Thats all well and good and I'd rather run in rain-- even a lot of it-- than anything else, but come on now Edina city engineers, didn't you plan for this? So I've done most of my runs in this park thats a mile from my house that has a 2 mile loop in it. To get there I have to go up a couple pretty decent hills, so there's a little of everything. Especially in these first couple weeks of training where its just running for the sake of running, it works well.

Anyways, Thursday night it started raining, and it rained into Friday. Finally it let up enough to the point where I could go for a 10 miler, which would be 4 times around this park plus the mile there and back, if my Edina High School math is correct. So I got down there in allright shape I guess, apart from this gorge at the bottom of this hill probably a quarter mile from my house which was shin deep with water. So that was a bummer. Then I got to the park. Two bridges washed out and a quarter mile fully underwater from ankle deep to shin deep at parts. So that happened FOR FOUR EFFIN LAPS. I should have run in flats, but nope, I ran in my trainers which hold water really well, so it felt like I had cinder blocks on my feet the last couple laps.

It was the same story yesterday. And today.

But chin up kiddo, next week will be a better week, right?

Monday, May 21, 2012

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"-- Lao-tzu. "A journey of 1534.2 miles begins with 8 miles easy"-- Matt Ellenberger

And so it begins. Thats a song too. Actually its a lyric to a song. Its probably a lyric to a lot of songs, but the song I'm thinking of is called "Countdown" by Jupiter One. Its a brand new day and you shouldn't be fading away. Thats a lyric too. Anyways, we're inside 20 weeks to the Twin Cities Marathon, so yeah. 20 miles is a long time to be training, I realize that, but its a really structured program, plus I'm running less miles per week than I have in the past, so I'll put my money on it that things turn out better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The 110 mile just because off week

See, this blog isn't down and out yet, but its getting there. I start posts probably at least once a week that I never finish because I get depressed/ bored/ have better things to do/ am pretty sure that no one will care about what I'm writing anyways, so I mean the intention to write stuff is still there at least. So last week was my first week back running after Eugene, and no I didn't mean for it to be in triple digit mileage but it is what it is. I didn't need a triple digit mileage week, since I'm doing a 20 week Twin Cities plan (crafted by the man himself Luke Humphrey) aimed at hopefully getting to Boston-- but I always say that and it never happens-- starting next week. Actually, that kind of mileage is probably going to be detrimental at that stage in the game, but I'll live.

I think I've found out why I run. Not because I can, not to eat a lot, not to look good, not for a sense of accomplishment, not any of those things I said before; and certainly not for fitness. Addidas had this XC slogan a while ago-- I have the poster hanging in my room-- that goes "the farther I run, the smaller my problems become" and that's really it. I mean, I'll be frank, life sucks for me right now. Girl problems, life problems, family problems, way too many problems for a kid to handle. And I'm really good at concealing my feelings so that compounds things. So, I just keep running because maybe then I won't have to cowboy up and face anything. Related: I'm super passive aggressive. It gets worse because the Senate adjourned Sine Die (with no defined start date) on Thursday, so I have a lot of time to think about, and overthink, things. Thank God there's this girl in my office who's around my age who'll always listen and give me sound advice. If you're reading this, you're an angel. So that's good.

But I mean, I run, and then I get back and still haven't solved my problems so I go out and run some more. I know you're thinking "why don't you just man up and deal with it?" well, I've tried, and always have ended up making things worse, so I've given up. I had a 30 mile day last week, and I had a 37 mile day yesterday (well actually I started one 16 miler at 11:47 and finished up at 1:58 the next morning, so I don't know what to count that as). Why I'm not good at running yet is beyond me. At this point you're thinking "woah, this is one messed up kid" and I'd be inclined to agree with you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chapter 17: Breaking Down/ Eugene Marathon race report

OR: the train wreck that really wasn't that bad

Oregon is freaking gorgeous. I won't recap my entire vacation because that would make this post ridiculous long, but let me at least glaze over it. My dad and I flew in to Portland on Thursday morning. My dad went with me because his company had a client or something out there and if he met with them they would subsidize some of our trip, and it was an expensive one. From Portland we went to Tillamook, which was a good couple hours from Portland through state forests and a bunch of Podunk little towns. From there we went another hour or so to the little town of Barview to get a first look at the Pacific Ocean, and guess what? as promised, its still there. From there it was a long- as- hell but oh so beautiful drive to Eugene.

We stayed at this shady South Eugene hotel (I'm not naming any names, but...). We got there, checked in, and as we were driving away to get dinner at Tracktown Pizza the bank that was on the corner of our block got robbed. Or, I'm pretty sure it was robbed. There was a fire truck, an ambulance, 4 police cars, and 2 FBI style black SUVs there, so I'm only putting two and two together here. That next morning I ran the first 13 miles if the marathon course.

I also went to the Expo on Friday, which was changing it up a little bit I guess since I've never been to an expo two days before a race. It was nice though. It was a little expo both space wise and people wise, it really want that crowded. Also cool was that Meb Keflezighi was one of the speakers and, because the expo wasn't all that crowded, I was able to get a seat to hear him talk and not stand the whole time. Saturday I went to the Oregon coast and Pre's hometown of Coos Bay. I won't even begin to describe that because it was so gorgeous and it would probably take forever. I came back, got my singlet and shorts and stuff together and then had a great and filling (put air quotes around that one because it was neither) pre race dinner at Jimmy John's. On the plus side, the cute girl working there said it was a "good luck gift" and to not worry about paying for said sandwich. So if by some chance you're reading this, thanks, cute girl working at the Eugene/ Springfield Jimmy John's, I appreciate it!

So Sunday was race day, and I was up at at the crack of dawn at 5am. It wasnt really that bad since 5am pacific is 7am central so it was good. I got to Hayward Field around 6 and got to the porta potties first. The race starts a block or so from Hayward, and was actually pretty orderly. I lined up behind the 3:40 pace group since I was shooting for 3:40- 4:00, and after a butchered remix of the star spangled banner, we were off. The course went out and wound through a couple neighborhoods in which I had to be careful to avoid the rearview mirrors of VW buses parked in the street. Miles 2-ish to 7 were around a bunch of parks, which was both serene and good for my pace as I was able to move back up to the 3:40 group as the hobby joggers ran on the grass and stuff and opened up a lot of road space; I had fallen back at this one long hill around mile 2 or so. Miles 7-10 were remarkably similar to the first 2, and at mile 10 was the split off between the marathon and the half. I was worried that the pack was going to string out and I would get lost and either have to drop out or wait for someone who knew what they were doing and kill my time, but that really didnt happen

What did happen was a bummer. Around mile 16 or so, we changed from running on roads to running on bike paths. This caused everybody to bunch up again, and I accidentally lost my footing, stepped in a pothole, and took a tumble. Bummer. But back on track. Mile 16-20 were on the opposite side of the river on the bike paths on the banks of the Willamette River. It was picturesque and all, but people were really sparse and it wasn't really conducive to racing. The river portion seemed like it was never going to end, and I was joking with the 4:15 pace group (I had fallen back at this point because my knee was hurting pretty bad from the pothole) that I might as well swim across the river. It sure looked inviting. I also went of course for a mile, so that was no fun. Somebody caught up to me on a bike and let me know, but I was mad and hot at that point. I think this was at mile 18 but I'm not sure. We crossed the Willamette River at mile 21ish and then it was the same story all over again until we hit the football stadium at mile 25 and a half. I was in bad shape coming over the river so my recollection of the latter fourth of the race is fuzzy at best. I walked alot. I tried to walk the knee discomfort off, but only ended up getting stiff. For the record, don't try that.

The run into Hayward was not as cool as I expected, but thats probably because I was disappointed.  I was ready to rock, but c'est la vie, right? (how do you pronounce that?) the all you can eat pancakes after the race kind of numbed the pain.