It is October, a time for drinking seasonal beers and being hearty. I am not drinking seasonal beers because I gave up drinking for the month because of an upcoming race. I gave up drinking for running; it's terrible. As you're reading this, I am likely getting drunk at a football game. Here is your Spotify Playlist.
It's more of a traditional playlist this week, even though I ran outside all week. Variety is what it's all about when you're trying to slog miles.
"Ashes In The Fall," Rage Against the Machine
OK, so we talked about the booze-free month last week and I am mostly keeping to it. I think it's absurd to expect a person not to drink at a sporting event so, yes, I am most likely half in the bag as you're reading this. It's a 1:00 pm game, you are allowed to drink in the morning for those games. It is a rule.
Anyway, as a compromise, I decided I'd drink some light beers instead of the delicious seasonal brews I love so much this time of year. Sometimes you gotta make sacrifices. Life, as they so often say, is like a Nazareth song.
"Stadiums and Shrines II" Sunset Rubdown
This week, for whatever reason, my long run was so much easier than last week's. This was my 9-mile long run week and I don't want to talk crazy, but it was almost enjoyable. I even ran some pretty big hills and felt strong throughout. I'm not 100 percent on this but it may have been because I ate breakfast.
I'm not a big breakfast guy. I'll have an egg sandwich—sausage, egg and cheese on an everything bagel—if I'm feeling frisky, or more likely hungover, but aside from that breakfast is a fucking hassle. I just woke up and the last thing I feel like doing is anything that requires me doing anything. Making coffee is enough of an ordeal, I don't need to also waste time eating the least important meal of the day. Everyone knows the most important is dinner, which is steak and red wine and prepares you for sleep and the new day.
"MakeDamnSure," Taking Back Sunday
Cereal requires having fresh milk and is boring. Eggs are a pain in the ass to make yourself. I don't have a toaster. Those delicious cinnamon buns with the icing that Pillsbury makes are delicious but require time and I am assuming not good for you to eat on the daily? So, I drink coffee for breakfast most mornings. But my past couple longer runs I got to a point running where I kind of felt like I had to throw up and couldn't and I thought Hey, maybe I need fuel? Maybe the throwing-up feeling was like a car lurching toward a gas station? I dunno. Just a theory I had, so I tested it out and made myself an omelette the morning before my run.
"Stare At Sun," Thrice
I felt like a goddamned champion out there. I was still running my usual pace, but it wasn't overly taxing like it had been feeling recently. I felt like I could have easily run a half-marathon if I found myself in the kind of situation that required me running 13.1 miles...or else. Say, I'm John McClane and Hans Gruber's other brother ostensibly wants revenge.
Augustus Gruber: Ah, Mis-ter McClane. We meet at last. You look tired, how are you feeling?
McClane: [pained expression, sucking wind hard] Grube-y, Gus. [lights cigarette] I'm feeling Grube-y.
Gruber: Ha ha ha, you Amer-i-cans with your senses of humor. Please, allow me to join.
McClane: [wincing] I'm all ears.
Gruber: Good. There is a train. Exactly four-point-one miles from the spot we are standing. it will blow up, killing everyone in a five mile radius, including Danny Glover. The explosives have been wired in such a way as to spell out "Yippee Ki Yay."
McClane: Motherfucker. [runs off]
Gruber: Indeed. [turns away from camera, saunters down street]
"Sowing Season," Brand New
I also ran four miles the day before. I have a theory about that, too—I don't know if you've noticed this yet, but I've got a lot of theories that are ultimately unprovable— and it goes like this: I ran four miles Thursday which prepared me mentally and physically for running more than twice that the following day. For some reason, I find this comforting. Like, as I'm running I can think back to just the day before and be reminded that it wasn't so bad and my legs are used to running.
"A Real Hero," College
It's not a shock to the system, like when they tell you to rest before a long run or taper before a race. I hate that feeling. I much prefer running when running is fresh in my mind and body. The longer you get away from your last run the more difficult it gets. You run four miles the day before a nine miler and when you dispatch with the familiar four mile length during your long run, you've only got five miles to go and all of a sudden nine miles doesn't seem so bad.
"Nose Over Tail," Alkaline Trio
I've been watching the MLB playoffs on TBS and I tweeted during the game a running gag about a Buddy Cop show, called Buddy Cops staring Buck Martinez and Dennis Eckersley. I mean, they are the perfect buddies for the Buddy Cop conceit. Martinez is the straight-laced square and Eckersley—Eck—has long hair, signifying his loose cannon personality. I spent a good 45 minutes of my run today thinking up script ideas for the show. They were mostly stupid, obviously, but that's part of the fun.
"Transatlantic Foe," At The Drive-In
"Anne Arbour," The Get Up Kids
I used to do the same thing when I commuted to work. I practiced out in the middle of Long Island and it was about an hour drive each way and once I got tired of sports radio or my own music library, I would just write out stand-up routines in my head. I remember I had a really great one about funerals and something to do with windshield wipers and it's just gone. I would always tell myself to remember these ideas and I would always forget. Same goes for Buddy Cops. I'm sitting here a couple hours removed and can't remember a goddamned thing about it. Can't remember much about that part of the run, though, either. Which is a tradeoff I will make every day of the week.
"No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future," Titus Andronicus
I don't even remember hearing this song. I was in some kind of zone this week, man. I may have finally achieved that thousand-yard stare for your brain that everyone seems to talk about with running. I literally have no memory of this song playing and I like this song. I consider this a huge victory for me over running.
"Only In Dreams," Weezer
This song always gets me jazzed and carries me for, like, the final two minutes of the song and maybe another minute after it ends. The building anticipation for the drums to kick back in at the end never fails to keep my feet moving and then when they finally do and everything starts playing at once, I get this bounce in my step. Every time. It's great. And it's another three minutes or so of running that you can forget about.
"Blue As Your Blood," The Walkmen
"Helena," My Chemical Romance
I ran through a local (public, natch) golf course Friday, once at the beginning and then back again at the end of the run. On my way through the first time, I ran past this friendly old black guy smoking a cigar in a golf cart. We exchanged smiles and nods and I continued on my way and ran, like, seven miles. On my way back, I passed the same guy. He hadn't moved. He recognized me from earlier and asked me how many miles I had run. I gaspingly told him eight, which I immediately regretted because it was a lie and now I had that eight mile number in my head and I hadn't even gotten there yet. He just chuckled at me as I ran off and sat comfortably in his golf cart.
"Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," Led Zeppelin
"Insistor," Tapes 'n Tapes
I don't play much golf, but it strikes me that there are much, much worse ways to spend your day than sitting around a golf course smoking cigars for a few hours. I'd do the shit out of it when I retire.
"Catamaran," Bear vs. Shark
"Everlong," Foo Fighters
I got kind of lost this week and, of course, it involved climbing up two enormous hills I hadn't planned on. I know I spent some time last week talking about the virtue of climbing those hills, but these surprise hills were fucking bullshit and not at all what I was talking about.
"Welcome Home," Coheed & Cambria
"Where We Belong," Hot Water Music
My wife—Christ I talk about her a lot, don't I? It's unavoidable, she is lunatic Runner foil to my lazy-ass Joe Everyman runner—knew where I was going and gave me directions and fucked them all up. She told me there was a "spirally thing" for the golf carts that I would go down after "running by the highway for awhile." I wound up scaling a mountain down into the golf course. I really thought I was going to wind up doing something stupid to myself; it was rainy and leaves have already started falling at an alarming rate. I thought for sure I was going to slip and just roll down the tree-and-root covered hill. My new iPhone! Noooo!
"There's No Way I Can Talk Myself Out Of This One Tonight," Texas is the Reason
"This Heart's On Fire," Wolf Parade
I was fine, but all out of sorts. Then I got lost again. I eventually made it to part of Van Cortlandt Park I was trying to get to and there was some kind of college track meet going on. I was remarkably not humiliated by the scores of young women lapping me as I plodded along my route. Blissfully unaware of my gray hairs, paunch and trail of sweat, I just kept moving. I think an earlier version of me would have been embarrassed and turned around, but I am totally in the Fuck It portion of my life.
"The Story," Brandi Carlile
"Baby You Wouldn't Last A Minute On The Creek," Chiodos
I'm not quite at the pissing-myself-and-waiting-for-the-visiting-nurse-to-clean-me-up stage of the Fuck It lifestyle—which is less about confidence and more about literally not giving a fuck about anything anymore—but I really was unphased. I have running to thank for that, I think, for two reasons. First, I was just trying to get through the damned thing. Whoever's looking, I don't care, I just gotta be done. Second, I'm less self conscious than I was before.
"Irish Car Bomb," Hot Rod Circuit
"Take The Picture Now," Mineral
This is such a great cool down song. I don't know much about getting a runner's high after a run. Mostly I'm tired and less aware of shit than I normally would be. If that's a runner's high, so be it. But I don't find it particularly addictive, like others talk about. But listening to this song as I'm just walking home, with endorphins or whatever it is flowing is...nice. It doesn't make running for nine miles worth it or anything, but it's a nice moment.