Category Archives: adventures

Running with the Pack 121: Variations on Standard Races, THON 5K, and More

Stevie and I talk about different kinds of endurance events for those who may be looking for a change from just running. Examples include Zombie races, human enhancement
urbanathalons, cardiology
triathlons, tadalafil
costumed runs, naked runs, ultra races, relays, and being a pacer for someone else. We also talk about the THON 5K, shoe blindness (from my new Newtons), and a bunch of listener calls.

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Dancing Across the Planet

I swear this guy holds the key to world peace…

India is my favorite.

Posted in adventures, travel, YouTube | 3 Comments

Marathon Day + 1

It’s easy to forget that it was only recently that the sodomy laws were abolished and who opposed that decision until you see a clip like this. It’s so well stated that I’ll let it speak for itself.


It’s easy to forget that it was only recently that the sodomy laws were abolished and who opposed that decision until you see a clip like this. It’s so well stated that I’ll let it speak for itself.


A few weeks ago, cheap I was watching a TV program about food production around the world and they had a segment on spirulina.  It’s a form of bacteria (blue-green algae) that is supposed to be an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and essential fatty acids as well as possibly having health benefits related to everything from HIV to hay fever.  They are growing it as a possible low-cost food for people in developing countries because it is very energy efficient, low on the food chain, and can be grown in brackish water. On the show, they mixed spirulina powder with some kind of lime drink.  The host of the show said that it wasn’t bad.  So of course I ordered some. 

It came in the mail today.  It smells like a cross between hamster pellets and fish flakes and it’s dark green to the point of looking black.  Even when diluted with some fruit juice, it’s still really really green.  “It’s super green because of all of the nutrients,” I reasoned with myself while preparing to drink a glass or something that looked like pond scum.  And it looks exactly like pond scum because that’s what it is.

Half way through my first gulp, I thought about the movie “Soilent Green”, and the food supplement that leads to the film’s climax.  Is this stuff made for people in developing countries or made from people in developing countries?  No, it’s just pond scum and that’s gross enough.

But really, it wasn’t bad.  With the fruit juice, it tastes a bit earthy, but not fishy or hamstery.  I plan to use the rest of the powder that I ordered and try it some recipes.  Spirulina omelets perhaps?  I’m not sure yet, but if I show up to the Halloween Party with green cookies, you might want to think twice before taking one.

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It’s easy to forget that it was only recently that the sodomy laws were abolished and who opposed that decision until you see a clip like this. It’s so well stated that I’ll let it speak for itself.


A few weeks ago, cheap I was watching a TV program about food production around the world and they had a segment on spirulina.  It’s a form of bacteria (blue-green algae) that is supposed to be an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and essential fatty acids as well as possibly having health benefits related to everything from HIV to hay fever.  They are growing it as a possible low-cost food for people in developing countries because it is very energy efficient, low on the food chain, and can be grown in brackish water. On the show, they mixed spirulina powder with some kind of lime drink.  The host of the show said that it wasn’t bad.  So of course I ordered some. 

It came in the mail today.  It smells like a cross between hamster pellets and fish flakes and it’s dark green to the point of looking black.  Even when diluted with some fruit juice, it’s still really really green.  “It’s super green because of all of the nutrients,” I reasoned with myself while preparing to drink a glass or something that looked like pond scum.  And it looks exactly like pond scum because that’s what it is.

Half way through my first gulp, I thought about the movie “Soilent Green”, and the food supplement that leads to the film’s climax.  Is this stuff made for people in developing countries or made from people in developing countries?  No, it’s just pond scum and that’s gross enough.

But really, it wasn’t bad.  With the fruit juice, it tastes a bit earthy, but not fishy or hamstery.  I plan to use the rest of the powder that I ordered and try it some recipes.  Spirulina omelets perhaps?  I’m not sure yet, but if I show up to the Halloween Party with green cookies, you might want to think twice before taking one.

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I couldn’t sleep, noun so I thought I’d write about the marathon to capture some sense of the day. This is in no particular order.

I’m very happy with how I did in the run. My first goal was to finish, information pills which I did at 04:11:52 (clock time) or 04:07:30 (chip time as measured by the disposable RFID chip that was tied into my shoe). The difference between these is because it took a few minutes after starting the race to cross the starting line. Jeff and I were in line to use the port-a-johns until about 10 minutes before the start of the race. Then we moved to the start line and were able to get in with the 4:15 pace crowd (i.e. the people around us expected to take 4:15 to finish). So even after crossing the start line, we were barely moving above a walk and then had to pass a lot of other runners. Both of us jumped to the sidewalk several times to get around a wall of runners.

Speaking of the start, I got really emotional at the beginning, running through the streets of Philadelphia with 16,000 like-minded people and among a throng of well-wishers. They came out to cheer us on despite the cold temperatures and sprinkling rain. I felt the same way when I hit the 13.1 mile mark and they were cheering on the half-marathon participants and playing the Rocky theme song. Those times in particular gave me an overwhelming communal feeling, like being a small part of something big. Those crowds were at the end as well, but by mile 25-26, I was more focused pushing through to the end and seeing Andrew.

The whole day was pretty cold, but it didn’t really bother me. Andrew bought me a nice set of Undergear as an early birthday present, so I had nice socks, underwear, and a long sleeved t-shirt. I wore fleece gloves, a newish pair of running shorts, and a running jacket that I had picked up about a month ago. I also wore Sue Swain’s running shoes, which is a total tribute to my absent-mindedness. I had all of this technical gear and no shoes. Luckily, my feet are pretty small and Sue’s shoes were nearly big enough to be comfortable. But I’m not complaining. They got me through the distance and I don’t have a single blister.

In any case, the weather was in the 30’s and sprinkling on and off all day. But I had my gear that kept the wind and rain out and wicked the sweat out of the way. The jacket was nice because it had a couple of pockets where I put the gloves after mile 5 or so. After I was warmed up, I really didn’t need them. I also used the pockets to keep some of the PowerGel that they were handing out during the race if I didn’t want to eat it right away.

The race had a good number of water/gatoraid stations along the track, about every 2 miles or so. They were pretty crowded with runners darting in and out to get a mouthful of whatever they wanted. There were a lot of cups tossed to the ground (as expected), but that didn’t seem to be a hazzard. Actually, the water stations were the only times that I walked during the race. Toward the end, I would walk for a few steps as I drank Gatoraid, mostly so I wouldn’t choke on it. But as soon as it was down, I was off again. I drank at every water station to keep hydrated and had to stop once in some bushes to releave myself (as other men were doing). I felt bad for the women who had to wait in line for the occasional bank of port-a-johns, but some women were finding bushes as well. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

I have been having problems with my IT band for a few months, during the race, I wore a strap above my knee to keep the IT band in place. It worked very well and I only had a problem when I was at the water stops. Running over to the table and darting out of the way of runners who would suddenly stop or move put some torque on my knee and cause a sharp pain, but it went away in a couple of seconds.

During the run, I saw a lot of people walking or pulling off to the side of the course to stretch, several people with IT band straps that were identical to mine, a couple of people throwing up, a couple of people with bloody shirts (which can happen if a nipple or mole gets irritated by your shirt — I never had that problem), and some people who were clearly out of it. On the good side, there is a long stretch of the second half of the course where you can see the people coming the other way, so I got to see all of the top men and women running toward the finish line. I also got to see Jeff (my running partner) when I was around mile 18 and he was around 22. The highlight was really seeing Andrew after everything was done. I was happy, he was beaming. It meant a lot to me to have him there.

I’d like to do another marathon — maybe two a year. I wouldn’t do many things different, but here are a couple of ideas: 1) DON’T FORGET MY SHOES and 2) start further ahead at the starting line. That’s it really. I trained enough. I hydrated enough. I was mentally prepared. I was a good day and a good run.

Posted in adventures, health, running, travel | Tagged , | 67 Comments

Trip to Chicago: Further Away than We Started

The title says it all.  I’m only admitting that I went in the hopes that I’ll save someone else from seeing it.  I just got back and it was embarrassing just watching that film.  Let’s see: bad CG, this site anesthetist link bad fake contacts, cheesy dialog, BAD dance sequence at Mr. Fantastic’s bachelor’s party — as bad as my dad dancing at a club if he had stretchy limbs — gratuitous product placement, gratuitous scenes of the Great Wall and the London Eye.  Bad physics — apparently rivers run completely dry (upstream and downstream) when you put a big hole in them.

Even the people in the theater were bad — there was a woman with an infant sitting behind us who laughed at things that weren’t even remotely funny.  I think she was the person that the director used to screen the movie — BAD CHOICE.  She’s the kind of person who would laugh at tax forms.

Good parts:
The Torch is still a hottie
The popcorn was good

Seriously, I nearly walked out of the theater.  WHY are there so few good superhero movies?  The genre needs a Battlestar Galactica treatment so grown-up nerds like me can take normal people to them and not have to apologize. 

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The title says it all.  I’m only admitting that I went in the hopes that I’ll save someone else from seeing it.  I just got back and it was embarrassing just watching that film.  Let’s see: bad CG, anesthetist link bad fake contacts, cheesy dialog, BAD dance sequence at Mr. Fantastic’s bachelor’s party — as bad as my dad dancing at a club if he had stretchy limbs — gratuitous product placement, gratuitous scenes of the Great Wall and the London Eye.  Bad physics — apparently rivers run completely dry (upstream and downstream) when you put a big hole in them.

Even the people in the theater were bad — there was a woman with an infant sitting behind us who laughed at things that weren’t even remotely funny.  I think she was the person that the director used to screen the movie — BAD CHOICE.  She’s the kind of person who would laugh at tax forms.

Good parts:
The Torch is still a hottie
The popcorn was good

Seriously, I nearly walked out of the theater.  WHY are there so few good superhero movies?  The genre needs a Battlestar Galactica treatment so grown-up nerds like me can take normal people to them and not have to apologize. 

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Okay, stomatology I watched this a bunch of times. There’s a lot of speculation about how it’s done, weight loss but regardless of the technique, health care it’s pretty amazing.


The title says it all.  I’m only admitting that I went in the hopes that I’ll save someone else from seeing it.  I just got back and it was embarrassing just watching that film.  Let’s see: bad CG, anesthetist link bad fake contacts, cheesy dialog, BAD dance sequence at Mr. Fantastic’s bachelor’s party — as bad as my dad dancing at a club if he had stretchy limbs — gratuitous product placement, gratuitous scenes of the Great Wall and the London Eye.  Bad physics — apparently rivers run completely dry (upstream and downstream) when you put a big hole in them.

Even the people in the theater were bad — there was a woman with an infant sitting behind us who laughed at things that weren’t even remotely funny.  I think she was the person that the director used to screen the movie — BAD CHOICE.  She’s the kind of person who would laugh at tax forms.

Good parts:
The Torch is still a hottie
The popcorn was good

Seriously, I nearly walked out of the theater.  WHY are there so few good superhero movies?  The genre needs a Battlestar Galactica treatment so grown-up nerds like me can take normal people to them and not have to apologize. 

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Okay, stomatology I watched this a bunch of times. There’s a lot of speculation about how it’s done, weight loss but regardless of the technique, health care it’s pretty amazing.


On Wednesday night, resuscitator we drove to Johnstown and stayed over at my parents’ house and then drove to Pittsburgh on Thursday morning for a direct flight to Chicago. It’s now Friday morning and we’re in a Ramada in Syracuse, patient NY. The original plan had us in Chicago a day before we were going to meet up with some friends, so at 2:00, when United asked for volunteers to take a later flight (6:20), we jumped on it and agreed to be bumped in exchange for free ticket vouchers. So 4:00 rolls around and the very nice United representative tells us that they are getting a much smaller plane for the 6:20 flight and they are oversold by 25 seats — do we want to be bumped again? Well, not really since all of the other flights are full and our luggage is already in Chicago.

[I should give Kudos to the Pittsburgh International Airport. I haven’t been through there in a very long time, but it’s nicely designed, has good food options, and free WiFi.]

A bit later, the United representative tells us that she can route us through Syracuse to Chicago and we’d still get there on Thursday night. Great — so we get another set of free ticket vouchers and run to the Syracuse-bound US Airways plane. [Which, I should add, was a propeller plane from 1932 and had no air conditioning. It was like a sauna.] After a very hot 1-hour flight, we arrive in Syracuse (very sweaty) and head to the United counter to get our next boarding passes. The rather unpleasant United representative tells us that the plane for our flight to Chicago is having mechanical difficulties and we’ll have to wait until Friday morning. So we’re standing there sweaty from the flight, without luggage (no fresh clothes or toiletries), and further away from Chicago than when we started.

The upside is that they gave us hotel and meal vouchers. So we headed to the hotel for a nice quiet evening, hoping that we get to Chicago on Friday afternoon in one piece.

Posted in adventures, mischief, travel | 2 Comments