My Year of Running

At the outset of the year I’d made the conscious, though not publicly-stated, decision to run 1,000 miles in 2016. So here it is officially: I’m attempting to run 1,000 miles in 2016.

;-)

I have steadily increased my mileage over the past several years from 600-something in 2013 to 700+ in 2014 and finally topping 800 miles this past year. I’ve done this by running more often throughout the week and by stretching my average weekday run distance from about 5k to about 7k and my weekend run distance from 5 miles to 10k.

In January Mashable ran a post about Mark Zuckerberg and his commitment to promoting running with the seemingly-simple goal of running 1 mile per day this year. 366 miles – it’s a leap year, after all – seems like an achievable first step for most folks who either haven’t run ever or don’t run consistently.

I joined the Facebook group for his efforts the day I read the article.

I don’t normally listen to anything – music, podcasts, nothing – but another Facebook post sent by my brother-in-law motivated to share my year-to-date mileage today.

All of which is to say, I’ll likely be even more annoying about my running for the remainder of 2016. If you don’t like the beer blog updates or tweets, you’re sure to be annoyed by these.1

Until next time, I’ll see you out on the streets.

  1. If you want to see my previous attempt at being very descriptive about my running, you can check out this Google Doc, which I’d intended to be an actual book cataloging my first full year as a runner (mid-2010 to mid-2011). I ultimately got too busy and shelved the whole project, called “Around the Year in 365 miles”, mostly because I couldn’t remember how I’d felt during each run.

    A much better example of an interesting running diary/log is the excellent Poverty Creek Journal. I’m only halfway done with the prosaic poetry (non-rhyming and paragraph form), but it’s a fantastic artifact of a runner during a similar timeframe recounting how his runs carried him through a calendar year.

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A few Springtime beer thoughts

In no particular order …

  • If I’ve only had 3/10 of the beers on this list, how long should I give myself to finish?
  • Canned beer season doesn’t really begin, for me, until Summer, but I’m willing to make exceptions.

  • Normally I’d apply Betteridge’s Rule to the headline “Bored by IPA?” but there are other styles out there.
  • In my household Creature Comforts’ Athena is always welcome, but we like Gose’s too, especially Westbrook’s. I also dig Saisons, Creature Comforts’ Brettomatic, Wakatu Sour and anything else sour or funky (from Spring to Fall, it just seems right).

    And yes, even a hop-head like me gets tired of drinking nothing but IPAs.

  • Not all sponsored content should be made. Case in point: Guinness
  • I get it. The first dark beer I loved was also Guinness Stout, but this was in an era before craft brewing became the norm and Pete’s Wicked Ale was hard to find. If you really love dark beer (and craft beer for that matter), you’ll take the point of the second link and drink some great Bocks & Doppelbocks. I’d imagine the same sponsored content from someone like Shiner would be better, but maybe that’s damning with faint praise.

Until next time, prosit!

Laboring against Hercules

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” – Anthony Trollope

Since it’s February 1st (Rabbit rabbit) I figured I can update everyone on the progress I’m making using Day One and Everyday

I didn’t miss a single day writing in the journal and I only forgot to take a selfie 3 times during January. Given my previous performance completing either of these types of tasks in the past, this is a huge win.

My hope is that I’ll have a cool montage (in the case of Everyday) and a wealth of memories and self-knowledge (via Day One), such that each of the small steps I took each day will turn in to a marathon when I’m finished.

I also recorded my second-highest mileage total, running about 90 miles, but it wasn’t nearly daily. It’s the busy time for me at work, so I’m not too concerned about the routine as much as I am the miles, which were high & rewarding.

Maybe through all of this I find some more time to meditate – a habit where my longest streak is about 15 days – to add to my growth potential.

What it is really teaching me is how much time I actually waste that I could be using to contribute something for myself and others. A modicum of effort for a return only time can reap? Compound interest truly is an amazing thing.

Bowie

Other people are saying it better than I could today, so I’ll let them say it. I just want to post this blog as well to add my own raised hand. RIP, David Bowie.

And then there’s this, which is being attributed to the actor Simon Pegg, but was actually retweeted by someone named Simon Pegg (not the actor) on Twitter. Still a great sentiment:

I’ll add one mention of own and that’s the fact that David Bowie was an artist in every sense of the word. Music, theatre, fashion, you name it. And he just kept doing his thing regardless of popular culture, so much so that, for a time, he was “pop”.

That’s the dream, I think. Doing it well, doing it for a long time, doing it your own way.

RIP, David Bowie.

Jet Fuel

Commodity Coffee

Most of my weekday coffee comes from the office Flavia Creation® 400, so I’m not a total snob about coffee. Mostly I experience coffee as a comforting ritual and a vital part of my daily routine. I simply need the caffeine!

Since it’s the foundation for my every day, it’s good to see other folks espousing the virtues of commoditized coffee. In his article Keith Landolfi refers to it as “bad coffee” but I’m the type that thinks the only bad coffee is the kind you didn’t get to drink (caffeine withdrawal is no joke).

That isn’t too say I don’t still indulge in the snobbery of “no cream or sugar”, or only drinking the “Dark Magic” or “Black Silk” Keurig pods when I visit my In-Laws. I’m just happy that I have my morning joe, no matter how subjectively “good” it is.

The story Keith tells is as much about his personal journey as it is about coffee, but this part really stuck out to me:

Cheap coffee is one of America’s most unsung comfort foods. It’s as warming and familiar as a homemade lasagna or a 6-hour stew. It tastes of midnight diners and Tom Waits songs; ice cream and cigarettes with a dash of Swiss Miss.

This, to me, is how I think of my coffee drinking. It’s a part not just of who I am, but a part of the fabric of adulthood and Americana and life. It’s the (literal) bitter that brings the sweetness of living into starker contrast.

Okay, that was a little saccharine, but I think you know what I’m getting at.

For the record, here’s my weekend coffee snobbery:

  • Whole beans that I grind myself (preferably 100% Kona, if I can get it)
  • Brewed in my Aeropress, inverted method, with hot water from a hot water tap
  • Drunk happily in the kitchen like a Folgers Christmas ad

Until next time, enjoy your java, even if it isn’t locally sourced from Java.