"Running" Late...

(Ya see what I did there? Like, using "running" as, like, an allusion to my workouts, and, like, as part of the phrase? Didja see that? Huh? Heh heh heh.) (Yeah, I suck.)

Yeesh, I'm a little late on this post.

See, I turned 37 on Thursday, which was nice. And I had every intention of celebrating (in part) by offering a wrap-up here on Slow Mofo of what I learned in my 36th year. Insights, clever musings—you know, the kind of thoughtful writing I never, ever do on this blog.

I got all wrapped up in finishing recording on Hella Sound's second release, and never quite got around to posting my 36th Year Report (or my last 2 runs for that matter). So, without further ado, difficulty, delay, fuss or disturbance, here's said runs and said wrap-up.

Birthday Run

Down to the usual out-and-back route at Crissy Field for this 3.5 miler. I guess I'm supposed to take some of these runs more seriously and intensely, but right now I'm concentrating on just getting the miles in and building my base without injury. I'll say this much: even when not trying hard I seem to be sticking roughly around the 10min/mi mark, which I'm happy with. I don't remember a lot from this run, other than I felt really cranky during, and was glad that I'd get a nice endorphin bump afterwards. It's the running-as-drugs method, you see. ;)

"Long" Run

Sunday's "long" run, but done on Monday because Sunday was just too damn busy. I recorded guitar tracks all Sunday—the heavy, Metallica-style chunka chunka chunka riffs—until the wrist of my picking hand was numb. Monday's recording was all finishing up the last few guitar parts—solo-y melodic-type lines, but with a lot of angst and menace in them. (Have I mentioned song #2 is a metal song? That's important to note.) Anyway, my fretting fingers (left hand) were beat up when I was finished, so it was time to run. Again, down to Crissy Field for the run.

Crissy Field is really pretty amazing for a local run route. I mean, it's on the bay, there's a nice big "fire lane"-style trail, the out is a full view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the back is a view of downtown San Francisco. Pretty fantastic. (Oh, I just remembered a detail from Thursday's run: all the tourists were out with the cameras, but it was SO CLOUDY/FOGGY that the bridge was nowhere to be seen. When it's really foggy, it just vanishes. Sorta funny, if it wasn't absolutely miserable. But I digress.)

What I Learned in My 36th Year

Hello 37. That's a nice diagonal stem you have there. Welcome to the party. Can I get you a drink?

This was a helluva year. It had its pleasures and challenges. In bullet-list format:
  • Got my little business running I started it when I was 35, but it wasn't until I was 36 that I actually made real progress on Hella Sound—getting our first song up, developing good relationships, finding my voice with it, so to speak. Let me tell you: it is unbelievably gratifying to come up with an idea, make it a reality, and have people respond positively to it. It's a wee little thing now, but I hope to nurture it, grow it and build it bigger and bigger and bigger. More to come.
  • Now Exiting Newbieland As stated before, I've essentially been a running newbie for years now. In my 36th year, I finally feel like I have the secret sauce and the magic formula to exit newbieland. Basically, you must appreciate that what you're doing is stressful on the body, and you have to take things slowly. This is hard for the enthusiastic beginner, but unless you're incredibly, freakishly, impossibly resilient, it's absolutely essential. Think about surfaces, think about hills, think about speed and think about miles. All of these will take their toll. Tackle them one at a time. If you're doing hills, don't go long. If you're going long, do it slowly. If you're running on concrete, don't run that far. This, I believe, is the key to building a base healthily, which is how you advance from noob status.
  • Got mentions in major media Having Hella Sound mentioned in the New York Times was a dream come true of sorts. I pretty much flipped out and was on Cloud 9 that week. From there Kim Komando was nice enough to write about us for the USA Today. Again, flip-out worthy. We're not big or influential (yet), but this was extremely gratifying. Which is to say: woohoo!
  • Hello Bobby As mentioned before, I found out this year—after having horrific headaches for 8 months—that I had a little stowaway growing in my noggin. A tumor, to be exact—and walnut-sized, no less. Crazy, huh? A generally healthy guy doesn't walk around thinking "hey, I've got a tumor growing in my head!", so it took me a while to get used to the concept. As it turns out, it's non-cancerous, non-life-threatening, run-of-the-mill mostly-harmless kind of tumor. We named him "Bobby". The problem with Bobby is, while he's not going to kill me or spread, he has basically done a number on my pituitary gland (which is incredibly important). As a result, little things like my thyroid and human growth hormone production are all cattywampus. Jacked up. Etc etc. For the last 5-10 years, Bobby, as it turns out, has been sabotaging me from the inside, contributing to things like weight gain, recovery time after workouts, inability to gain muscle mass, and in general physiological not-so-fresh feeling. Again: crazy, huh? So, from here on out I take some meds, I get a shot every 2 weeks, and bam, I'm basically good as new. As a matter of fact, I'm better than I've been in YEARS now that Bobby's under control, which is an amazing feeling. I basically feel like I'm 25, which is incredible. Nevertheless, this definitely goes in the WTF?!? category for my 36th year.
  • Caught the race bug Thanks to some incredibly cool people on Twitter (you know who you are), I've found myself in more and more races, and am really digging it. I ran a half, two 5ks and two 10ks in my 36th year, and have no less than two halfs lined up for my 37th. Even crazier notions have since come into my head—like doing the Ragnar Relay, and venturing into the land of the Triathlon. Yes, I'm hooked.
  • Met some amazing people Look no further than the list of people I follow on Twitter to see amazing people. Granted, most of the amazing people I've met I've only met online, but a lot of these relationships have crossed over into "the real world", as people that live in their mother's basement say, and it's really fantastic. Getting more and more involved in the running community, I'm perpetually amazed with how generous, smart, cool, and fncking funny people are. People have the most amazing ideas, interests and insights. Good times.
I'm sure there's a lot more to say about my 36th year, but like I explained at the start of this post, I'm half-assing this a bit. It's hard to eloquently explain all that's happened in the last year and sum it up in a nice, neat, tidy package. So, instead, here's a picture of a horse:

3 Brilliant Remarks:

  1. Ali said...

    Great post, John. Seriously...and the horse rocks. :)

  2. Adam said...

    "when I go to the doctor, he doesn't say that I am as healthy as a horse, he says the horse is as healthy as ME!"

    Crazy about the tumor. (I haven't dug into the archives yet - but now I will) Hopefully next year will be just as exciting in a good way!

    (BTW, your facebook link is broken?)

  3. Adam,
    I am totally using that horse line.

    Also: I think Facebook was getting bulldogged this morning. Twitter officially was crunched, but I suspect Facebook was under attack, too. Haven't seen anything about it, but it was acting all cattywampus.

    Craziness abounds.