Turning 43

Oh yeah, I just turned 43 yesterday. My biggest achievement? I’ve run almost 2000 miles since I started running in 2016.

Sure, I’m doing much better financially and such, but shit, I ran a half-marathon in the past year. And a few 10 mile races!

Thinking along the lines of why I’m not consistent with producing content these days, I seriously think I’ve turned that “producing content” thing into “working on me.”

I’m the content, I guess?

Because at the end of the day, the money, the car, the work… that’ll all come and go, but this body is the only one I’ve got.


Since ending Skull Toaster back in October, I’ve struggled to “producing” since.

I’ve tried making and recording music, kicking around Abelton Live. I made 40+ little diddies, but then fell off.

I was doing a video series called LATER on YouTube / podcast, but eh.

I got an Apple Pen and started posting drawings, but sort of fell off with that, too.

Then I listneed to one of my fave running podcasts, The Morning Shakeout. Today’s episode was with Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, and pretty quick runner.

He mentioned a small bit about being a musician, and how he’s sort of slacked on in that world because running has taken up so much of his time and energy.

And boom, there it is. I mean, I’m only running around 20 miles a week, but a lot of time and energy revolves around that effort. Time at the gym, sleeping, some weights, stretching, re-fueling…

I don’t know – since 2001 I was always producing, putting out content. Publishing interviews, reviews, videos. With Skull Toaster I was always making videos and images and questions.

After 18 years, I don’t know, maybe I’m content with not producing something all the time.

Thinking Why I Run

Why head out the door when it’s pissing rain? Why not sleep in, or maybe cozy up in a coffee shop and watch the rain come down?

I guess because I started running back in 2016 when I didn’t have much going on. It was a low point in life, career-wise. Money wise. Running was a thing I could control. It was something I could complete, and accomplish. No hiring manager, no rejection, no automated email telling me thanks, but no thanks.

I could put in the work, then sign up for a 5K, and finish it. Maybe not fast, maybe not pretty, but I showed up just like all those runners and did it.

Now I’ve run three 10 mile races. A half marathon. Then today, in NYC, I put in 10 miles over three bridges in under two hours.

Not fast, not pretty, but I was out there when the rain was coming down sideways, and the wind was pushing my ass.

I showed up for me. I made this, I planned this, I accomplished this. That’s why I keep running, even in horrible conditions, because it’s another thing I’ve accomplished.

Because I want to run a marathon someday. I want to run in Yellowstone Park. I want to run around the Grand Canyon. I want to accomplish those things someday, and I need to do this now to get there.

Actions today lead to accomplishments in the future.

The Here and Now

Earlier this week I got a little frazzled. Some work stuff, some personal stuff, some time management stuff, the usual.

I was getting another cup of coffee downstairs, ready to bound back to my computer and tackle everything, as usual.

But I stopped. And opened up the Headspace app.

I’ve been using that app for months now, to fall asleep. I’ve done a few of the basic meditation sessions. I’ve done them enough to like, “get it.” In a very rookie sort of sense.

I get it in the sense that when I’m tense, or anxious, or worried, there is no tiger leaping at my face. There are no men in suits at the door to take me away. I’m not in trouble, or in any danger.

Meditation has taught me that feelings and emotions aren’t me. I can feel them, but they’re not who I am at the moment. In the present moment I am me, and that’s it. Nothing else.

I’m no meditation expert by any stretch, and I hate that I need to remind anyone about that, but I know a little bit more today than I did six months ago.

Running the 2019 Broad Street Run

This was my second time running the 10 mile jaunt through the heart of Philadelphia, PA. The biggest 10 mile run in the United States, me and some 40,000-ish other runners who wouldn’t let a little rain spoil the fun.

Last year this was my first major distance race, after completing a few 5Ks since I began running in 2016. I ate horribly the week leading up to the race in 2018, bonked, and had to walk a few times. I was exhasuted afterwards, had to take a nap. Took a week off from doing my beloved Skull Toaster metal trivia. It was hard.

This year? Ran the entire time, no walking. My last two miles were my fastest, and didn’t even need a nap. Hell, didn’t sleep in the next day either. Knocked off five minutes from last year’s time, too.

Not gonna lie, though. It was rainy and breezy. I was cold, and standing in the corral for 40 minutes I had to pee, too. It was shoulder to shoulder, and there was no way I could leave to use a porta potty.

So the race started, and I tossed my poncho, and stopped at a porta potty about a mile down the road.

This was also my second race without a water bottle. I’ve been carrying one with me for every race, even the 5Ks, as I’m just super scared of dehydrating or whatever. But this year I relied on the water stations, and it worked out just fine.

By mile five I was feeling good. I was comfortable. I ran a very hilly 10 miler about two months prior, but hit the wall at about the 1:15 mark, mostly because all my training was just one hour runs.

So this year I made sure to sneak in some 1:30 runs. They weren’t fast, they weren’t “half marathon pace,” or anything. But they were just runs that lasted an hour and a half.

I also did some “speed runs” using the Nike Run Club app. They have a handful of guided training runs, where you run fast for a minute and a half, then slow down for a minute, and you keep going back and forth.

At about the eight mile mark I remembered that training. I remembered that running fast didn’t kill me, and I’d get to recover eventually. The pain would end. So I picked it up a bit.

And I kept it up. I had control of my breathing, and it was… comfortable. I wasn’t out of control. I felt good. I remembered that training, that it was okay for it to not feel easy because I had just run eight miles. It’s supposed to not feel awesome, but I just needed to settle in with the hurt, with the effort, and keep it moving.

I look back, and mile eight was one my slowest. I thought about just taking it easy the rest of the way. Hey, at least I didn’t walk, right? Just be happy to finish.

But mile nine for me was 9:50 pace. Then the last mile was 9:40.

Mind you, when I’m doing my training runs, just out doing my thing, pushing a 10:00 minute mile is tough for whatever reason. It’s just… ugg.

But those Nike training runs? I was pushing 9:00 miles. 8:30 pace! Just for a minute and a half, a couple of times per work out, but it was training. And it got me to 9:50 for a mile. Then 9:40 for another mile.

A whole mile. Then another one!

So yeah… it’s not fast compared to everyone else, sure. But for me, having just started in 2016? I’ll take it. For turning 43 this month? I’ll take it.

I’m cautious. I don’t want to pull something. I don’t want to get hurt. But this race showed me things. It showed me the mental side of things, that I can dig deep, think back to my training, and finish strong. Those are words and phrases that I didn’t think I’d ever be writing or talking about back in 2016, but here we are today, in 2019, and that’s where I’m at.

And I’m excited for where I’ll be at this time next year.

Fighting Negative Self Talk

Been having so many talks about negative self with friends and pals lately.

We have no issue accepting horrible bosses and big jerks, but we issues with accepting graceful, kind people. If they exist in our lives, they can exist as bosses, and colleagues, and partners, and people in our lives.

Keep moving in the direction of the good things you want, and stop accepting jerk behaviors as truth, as gospel.