Can you tell the readers a bit about your running past, maybe something about you, the perpetrator of this blog?
At this moment, I'm using Spotify to find new music that sounds like the kind of music I currently like most, but different, slightly — bands labeling themselves with a "the" in the name.
I have a tendency to over think things, especially direct questions. And, that's why I just started this response with a seemingly off-topic and evasive statement. Essentially, I tend to keep myself to myself. But, something about February makes me feel a little less reserved, I guess.
The band playing right now is called The View. With the exception of two tracks, they're rather low-key and poppy, not at all what I was looking for. Spotify indicated that they were related to The Vaccines, which is a slightly more punkish band. I think I'll go back to The Vaccines and start the search over.
My consistent running habit began in March of 2010, because my brother said he was going to train with his wife to run a half marathon in October of that year. My brother had never been a runner. I'd been a fair-weather runner with a vulnerable right knee for a few years. Naturally, I couldn't let my brother, the non-runner, run a half marathon without me running one, too.
The Vaccines became part of my music collection after Spotify (henceforth to be called the music source) suggested that the band would delight my aural interests as much as Alex Turner's work on the Submarine soundtrack did. I don't find the two musical acts to be remarkably similar. But, it was a better recommendation than anything iTunes (henceforth not to be mentioned at all) ever listed for me.
In high school, as a senior, I joined the cross country team and promptly suffered a stress fracture, which meant that I was the guy wearing off-white carpenter jeans and a t-shirt in the team's yearbook photo while everyone else looked like an actual athlete. I wasn't fast, anyway.
I've already listened to the Alex Turner album twice today. There are just six tracks on it. So, I'm hesitant to listen to it again. But, I want to listen to something aside from The Vaccines, too. I've played their album too many times over the past couple of weeks. Funny how there's a tipping point for getting tired of a certain band's music. Oh, the dilemma. Okay, one more time for Mr. Turner while I think about who else to hear.
College required me to take a Physical Education course. So, I signed up for "Beginning Jogging". The instructor was a tennis player, which left me feeling kind of short changed. If I wanted to take a class taught by a tennis player, I'd have signed up for "Beginning Tennis"! In spite of this lost illusion (the first of many lost in college), I managed to pass the course. The grade was not based on average pace per mile.
Alex Turner's songwriting on this album is quite different from his band's usual work (see Arctic Monkeys). I won't describe the contrast for you, since we're supposed to be talking about me. But, it's really something to be heard. If you listen to Arctic Monkeys for the first time, make sure your introductory samples are from their earlier albums, especially "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not". Good stuff there.
After college, in the real world, running became a way to not get fat while avoiding the gym. (I loathe the gym) But, I lived in a very cold place then. And, I was not the hardcore runner that I am now. So, I just went to the gym and didn't run. Besides, I tried running and hurt my previously-stress-fractured hip again, which forced me to stop running.
Then, we (oh, yeah, there's been a "we" since college, folks) moved to another, slightly less cold place with few open spaces to run. And, the gym that we could afford to join was really dismal. So, I didn't do much in the way of dedicated exercise in the less-cold place. But, thankfully, the less-cold place was very conducive to walking, which was a good thing, since we didn't own a car.
Let me sum up: Run. Stop. Run. Stop. Gym. Move somewhere new. Stop. Stop. Gym. Run. Move somewhere new.
I'd never really trained until that indirect challenge from my brother came to me over the phone in 2010. And, having a schedule helped. Running in a race helped. Running different distances and noticing improvement helped. So much helped me enjoy running more in 2010. And, that's when I decided I'd spend more time running.
I didn't actually run that October 2010 half marathon with my brother. Halfway through training, I got the bright idea that I would rather run a trail marathon instead. I ran with my brother in May of 2011, though. He doesn't enjoy the activity as much as I do, not at this time, anyway.
I'm listening to Hanni El Khatib on the music source now. He's quite different from the aforementioned musicians. If you've ever wished that the Black Keys had a little more diversity to their oeuvre, you should give Hanni El Khatib a listen. He has a song called "Loved One" that's a lot of fun.
After that first marathon in 2010, I decided that my experience was worthy of internet immortality. So, I created this blog. Then, I ran some other races so that I could blog about them, too.
The National just keeps getting better, don't they?
By now, you've probably figured out that I'm not really going to disclose anything overtly personal in this post. Or, maybe I've done so unwittingly. Or, maybe I'm just posting this so that I can write about something other than shoes.
Here are some additional running-related truths about me:
- In spite of my love for music, I do not run with music.
- I do not race as often as some other runners. I have to be selective.
- I am a family man. If you're a family man or woman, you'll know how that relates directly to a passion for running.
- I'm saving my definitive opinion about barefoot running and minimalish shoes for another post.
And, if you've made it this far, you're probably bored to tears. So, I'll leave you with this marvelous advertisement for Chipotle, which features Willie Nelson's rendition of a decent Cold Play song. The ad is creative and well done, and the music really gets to me in a nice way. (Suddenly, I have a craving for a burrito)
Thank you for reading.