Archive for 2007

The Year in Running

I’ve been running since late July, 2007. I kind of started on a whim, but I embraced the sport almost immediately and now I’m hooked. I like it for the challenge of improving, the thrill of racing, and the great feeling of just looking at the sky or trees while cruising (slowly, at this point) along on an easy run.

What follows is a little history of my previous running experience and a summary of 2007. I wanted to write it down as something to look back at later, and to compare with future results. Feel free to ignore it.

I ran both cross country and track for two years in high school, sophomore and junior years. For both of these years, however, I was not very motivated. I liked racing a lot, but I wasn’t particularly fast and didn’t like running for the sake of running, or even really for the sake of getting faster at racing. So I took weekends off, even when I wasn’t supposed to, and I definitely didn’t train in the off-seasons.

Back then, I started because I had just moved to town and wanted to meet some people. So out I went. I had started running probably a month before practices started, but I was not in good shape. Now, I pay attention to and keep track of how fast I run and how hard it is every time I’m out, but I have no idea what my pace was like back then or how easy it was. I do know that I was always struggling to keep up or go the distance on “easy” runs with the team, and that I was improving constantly through the season. I think these two things together point to the fact that a) I had very little aerobic base and b) a good coach would have noticed this and made me run slower/more. Perhaps at that point in my life I would have just quit rather than work harder. Who knows. Anyways, here are the best times I ran in HS, at least as far as I remember.


  • 400: ~59
  • 800: 2:10
  • 1500: 4:44
  • 5k XC: ~21:00

By the end of the track season I was just running 800s and 4x400s on a second or third string team and my 800 times were getting faster quickly. I think I went from 2:24 to 2:10 in a month or two. The 2:10 and the 4:44 are reasonably respectable times, while the 21 minute 5k is not really impressive at all.

I quit after my second year because I had a pain in my knee that wouldn’t go away. That particular pain came back in the fall of 2006 when I started playing soccer and ultimate frisbee semi-regularly, but I got it figured out with the help of some physical therapists. The solution? Gain some flexibility and strength around the knee, especially in my hamstrings.

So here I am, eight (nine?) years since I ran in high school, and I’m giving it another shot. I’ve been taking it easy to start, and recently got a heart rate monitor and slowed down even more. I’m basically just running aerobically for now and gaining fitness. Seeing how my times at the 5k are already approaching how fast I was in high school, I’m excited to beat every one of my high school personal records. This “having endurance” thing is going to work wonders for my race times.

2007 PRs (full list of races)

  • 3k: 13:02 (6/20/07), 12:19 (7/18/07), 11:51 (8/15/07), 11:31 (11/21/07)
  • 5k: 22:53 (9/15/07), 21:13 (10/6/07)

2007 Notables

  • Longest run: 10.1 miles
  • Miles in a week: 30.2 miles
  • Miles in a month: 114.4 miles (December)
  • Miles in a year: 404.4 miles
  • Races in a year: 9

2008 Goals

  • Run a lot
  • Run the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

I definitely won’t turn this into a running blog or anything. It’ll still be a very occasional, write something when I feel like it kind of thing, but running is part of my life now, and I’ll post about it every once in a while.

Happy New Year!

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government meddling

On holiday decorations at the Federal Reserve:

  • Don’t use decorations that have an open flame.

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I wrote this in my head on the chinatown bus

Yes, I realize, I post on here very infrequently. Oh well. I think it’s just the way it’s going to be. Anyways, I rode the chinatown bus home from Philadelphia today. As we were pulling out of Philly, I drafted the following (in my head):

If this is the worst thing that happens to me today I live a good life

I am appalled that the bus driver thought it was a good idea to play that movie where Vin Diesel is a soldier-nanny.

But after suffering through the first movie the driver redeemed himself. He played Total Recall, which we all know is one of the best movies ever made. So that’s it. We got to DC right before the climax of the film, but I’ve seen it lots of times so it’s okay.

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Europe Has Neat Stories

The Free State of Bottleneck, via Strange Maps.

We may have things like this in American history, too, but I don’t know about them.

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A Sunday

I had a great day today! I didn’t end up going to Philly last night (we decided such a short trip might not be worth it) but as a result of my early-turn-in got up early this morning and went on a hike with Jenny. It was pretty neat: the Billy Goat Trail branches off of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath on the Maryland side of the Potomac river, just upriver from DC and downriver from Great Falls Park. Whew, that was a mouthful. It was fun. As you can see on the map, we wandered around a little bit.

After I got home I grabbed my bike which had flat tires and walked it down to Cleveland Park, where the gas station has an air compressor. After filling the tires I locked my bike up and got a slice of pizza from Vace. I ate my delicious piece of pepperoni then went for a four mile run through the zoo and up Rock Creek to Tilden Hill. I like this route, but that hill at the end always kills me. Ack. Finished by riding my bike back up to my place.

Finally, Stuart called me and then he came over and we got dinner at Nanny O’Brien’s in CP. We walked back to my place and rented Rocky Balboa from the Red Box. Fun stuff!

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Sean Wallace – Book Reviewer?

A while ago I signed up for LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewer program and each month I’ve been picking the books I would be willing to review if they sent them to me.

Here’s the deal: free books are good, right? LibraryThing has arranged deals with an ever-growing list of publishers that in exchange for free copies of books their community will write reviews. I suppose they probably sell it on their fancy algorithm that matches books to interested and ostensibly informed readers. I figure, hey free new books, sounds fun.

So this month I finally got chosen for one. It’s not my first choice, but if I write a review of it, even a one-liner, I’m more likely to score more free books in the future. It’s called Hedge Hunters: Hedge Fund Masters on the Rewards, the Risk, and the Reckoning, which is a mouthful, but I’m sure it’ll be at least slightly interesting. I think I got it because I have Den of Thieves in my library, which is about scandals on 1980’s wall street.

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Good old hockey game

Going to my second Caps game of the season, tonight. Am excited. Also, I have a couple of neat trips planned:

  • to Philly this weekend
  • to Amsterdam for a week in two weeks.

I’m excited about those, too. Aaron is in Amsterdam so I’ll have a tour-guide / place to crash buddy / we might go to Brussels for a night / yay.

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Today marks 150 miles run since I re-started

150 Miles in 4 months


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Postsecret, meet lolcatz.

In May, I referenced an interesting article on internet memes leading up to lolcatz.

Postsecret is a blog that posts secrets. Check it out, it’s cool.

Now, somebody combined the two: lolsecretz.

Via Wondermark, a funny internet comic.

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A story in a picture

Google Reader Trends - September 22, 2007

This suggests that I was bored at work this week. In reality, exactly the opposite was true. I was very productive this week. So what’s going on? I guess I was just much more efficient than usual.

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