Tag Archives: running

What Kind of Long and Painful Run Should You Put Yourself Through? (via The Loop/Golf Digest)

 

The Loop / Golf Digest — If you page back through human history, you’ll find a pretty short list of reasons that people have had to run for long distances, which are all basically some variation of “I was being chased by this thing with blood in its teeth and meat-tearing claws, and what’s with all the questions anyway, Glunk?”

This is, it is logically said, the primary reason our ancestors north on the evolutionary scale developed foot speed in the first place. But in modern times, with the whole hunter-gatherer situation pretty well replaced by a land stuffed with a surfeit of Golden Corrals and/or meat-ish clumps stacked three high and available without your removing yourself from your car, there’s really only one reason people run long distances: they are crazy fools whose brains have been replaced by oatmeal and a deep enjoyment of simply-avoided injury.

Some of us indulge this by running, because when you’re dealing with a thing that basically goes step-step-breathe 400,000 times in a row there’s not a lot of room to get all creative. But there are different kinds of races now: Mud runs, color runs, and our favorite, zombie runs. Which of these would best make your lame boring run more exciting?

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Paul Ryan’s marathon lie: Great, here’s another politician who’s apparently not Kenyan

Pictured: Congressman Ryan

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GateHouse — Let’s get this out of the way: Paul Ryan’s for-realsies marathon time — the four-hour one that an official timer clocked officially in official 1990 using an official 1990 stopwatch, which played Bell Biv DeVoe music — totally beats mine. Hell, Sarah Palin’s marathon time beats mine, and trust me, this is not information that makes it easy to get out of bed every morning.

We could spend the better part of the afternoon inventorying the politicians who have run faster marathons than me — it’s actually most o of them, with the exception of Al Gore, who I shall now take to calling “An Inconvenient Turtle.”

But that’s the point: We can do that because I remember mine. Everybody remembers their own PRs, whether they’re two hours or seven. We love them unconditionally, we spend loads of time awkwardly shoving them into conversations that go on to cover the status of our knees, the contents of our running mixes, the number of packets of nutrient-rich goo we forced ourselves to absorb, the emotional attachment we have with our shoes (the majority of which do not love us back), and if you’re really lucky, some details about bathroom breaks. Point is, PEOPLE REMEMBER. God, you could start a second Instagram with the number of shoe-pictures alone. (Note: <– OH GOD, NO ONE DO THIS.)

Which is why when Ryan told a radio host that he couldn’t remember his marathon PR — “under three, high twos, I had a two hour and 50-something” — my eyebrows immediately went up. And not just my eyebrows — which was good, as I burned most of them off in a 1996 silver-nitrate-related chem-lab mishap — but the eyebrows of my actual running friend Jamey, who has run Boston three times and has been to known to talk an awful lot about his socks. Which WICK MOISTURE! Y’all aren’t even ready for the amount of moisture they can wick.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JEV0ea86lU]

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The Mud Run: Because races are more fun when you might also contract dysentery

Pictured: Some dude tumbling backwards into a pit of what is essentially post-Count Chocula milk. (Photos by Jon Fletcher/Florida Times-Union)

GateHouse — The best part of finishing the vigorous and extremely pinheaded activity known as a Mud Run is not the getting filthy on purpose, the feeling of accomplishment or even the extremely satisfying kick of getting to run a grown-up obstacle course: It is discovering the scope and volume of material that can be stored, and subsequently removed, from the human ear.

Not everyone is going to want to read the following paragraph, such as my squeamish cousin, who has been known to experience waves of nausea at the mention of blood drives, or my even more squeamish brother, who has a fear of bodily humors of such significance that I used to literally chase him around the room with one of my son’s freshly soiled diapers: “Ewwww look Dave touch it touch it touch it,” I would taunt like an incredible jerk, while highly enjoying the squealing noises he would create as he huddled, shivering and alone, behind the papasan chair. (This has, incidentally, been Dave’s greatest concern in the health-care debate: Will injuries sustained by fainting when confronted with poop be covered?)

But here are a few things I learned in the Post-Mud Run Ear Cleanout And Block Party 2010:

  1. The human head is capable of way more storage than you might suspect.
  2. If you have, hypothetically, larger-than-average ears, one of which is tilted at an angle that’s been noticeable since your kindergarten pictures, they will serve as a direct funnel for airborne dust particles.
  3. While OK in most cases, there are instances in which the Q-Tip is a pathetically insufficient cleaning apparatus; this job in particular felt a little like what it would be like to use them to wash your boat.

Yet this is part of the gloppy aftermath of the Mud Run, which athletes, runners and people who have things wrong with them engage in, on purpose, when they feel that races are more fun when you might also contract dysentery.

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http://bit.ly/amRi0Z

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Born to run — on steroids, which makes the running substantially easier

GateHouse — If you page back through human history, you’ll find a pretty short list of reasons that people have had to run for long distances, which are all basically some variation of “I was being chased by this thing with blood in its teeth and meat-tearing claws, and what’s with all the questions anyway, Glunk?” This is, it is logically said, the primary reason our ancestors north on the evolutionary scale developed foot-speed in the first place: When you wake every morning to the very real possibility of being ground into a hairy goo by a predatory hellbeast whose name includes the word “saber-toothed,” it probably doesn’t take long before you develop a singular talent for panicked escapes. (Our creationist friends are invited to substitute “velociraptor” in previous sentence. Also in this hypothetical the human’s job is something he can do with a club, obvs.)

But in modern times, with the whole hunter-gatherer situation pretty well replaced by a land stuffed with a surfeit of Golden Corrals and/or meat-ish clumps stacked three high and available without your removing yourself from your car, there’s really only one reason people run long distances: they are crazy fools whose brains have been replaced by oatmeal and a deep enjoyment of simply avoided injury.

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If you can help it, try not to run with a fox hanging off your arm

fox-in-socks

Island Packet — If you are a regular runner in the Lowcountry, there’s a reasonably solid chance that you will, at some point, be attacked by an animal that will try to eat you, probably with its teeth, for three reasons:

  1. Because of the stretchy nature of their muscles, joggers are chewy and delicious.
  2. The economy.
  3. We have a lot — A LOT — of animals roaming around here, mostly because of the swampy, low-lying nature of our surroundings and the fact that many animals’ homes are regularly being plowed down to make way for what appears to be a sovereign commonwealth populated entirely by Outback Steakhouses.

There really aren’t many places you can go enjoy a nice, animal-free run around here, except on your treadmill in a gym that’s inside a building, but whatever. For instance, if you jog in Sea Pines, you run the risk of seeing a salivating alligator, which — and I say this as someone who’s been running around here now for years — is not something that you EVER GET USED TO. You are NEVER NOT BLOWN AWAY BY DISCOVERING THAT YOUR RUNNING PATH IS GATOR-ADJACENT. It makes you WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS FOR LIKE THREE CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES.

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Snickers Charged: Caffeine = good. Caffeine + nougat = A MIRACLE

If the package design is any indication, this Snickers is yelling at you.

Island Packet – In my spare time, I do a fair amount of running, mostly because it is the only athletic endeavor at which I have ever exhibited the remotest bit of skill, because — and novices may or may not know this — the sport of running involves putting one foot in front of the other, which is not technically a “skill” so much as it is “something most people are required to do every day anyway, unless they are a salmon, or Rush Limbaugh.”

Athletically speaking, running has a pleasingly low risk factor: There’s no chance you can dribble a basketball wackily off your ankle into resting cheerleaders, no chance for you to swing pathetically at a pitch that already has spent considerable time in the catcher’s mitt, no chance you can illustrate the innovative and surprisingly multi-faceted ways it’s possible to butterfinger a well-thrown football.

And it is for this reason that I am deeply familiar with a bizarre food-related item entitled Jelly Belly Extreme Sports Beans, which are like regular Jelly Beans, except they have the side effect of making you feel very briefly like you could throw a Volkswagen bus across a state park.

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