A Little Sore

Back in 2016 I ran too fast in my first 5K race, and tweaked something, which I felt for a week or so afterwards.

Sometime later, my lower back was hurting. Saw a doctor. He laid me down, raised my leg, and asked, “do you stretch?” Uhhh… so I started stretching more, and wow, my lower back felt better.

A week before the 2019 Broad Street 10 mile race I tweaked my ankle on the stair climber machine, of all things.

Each time, I took it easy, stayed mobile, stretched, got plenty of rest, and things worked out.

Earlier this week I knew I was too sore to run. Today is my third day in a row of not running, my longest time off since December.

My marathon is 25 days away. Stinks to not be ON TARGET with my training, but it’d stink more if I powered through and hurt myself even more.

Worst case? I don’t finish my marathon. But I learned so much from this training block; working with a coach, discovering new abilities, building mental toughness for long distance… none of this will be a waste.


Spoke with a good friend today about being our “authentic self” online, and sometimes fearing the vibe we give off could lead to lost work, as maybe a potential client is turned away by the way we carry ourselves.

One lofty client came up, Starbucks, of course. They’re top banana, sure. But who’s the #2 coffee company? Who’s the #8 coffee supplier on the East Coast? I bet they have a budget, right?

Meg Lewis comes to mind when thinking about this sort of thing, as she is so amazingly herself. Such an inspiration, and a reminder that playing the part is just sort of playing yourself. Be who you are, and you’ll attract your dream clients.

I Made a Video and I Hope it Helps

I’m not sure why my face is so red, but hey, this video was made and published. Heck, I even messed up the date in the clip, but perfect is the enemy of done, so this video is live.

I’ve been making videos on and off since about 2006, when I actually auditioned for a web-series video show for AOL Music (Sara Schaefer got the gig, and now she has her own Comedy Central special – she rocks!), and then started making a video show for my then music blog Buzzgrinder.

It’s funny – I keep reading and seeing so much about “building a YouTube channel,” along with other buzz phrashes like “build your brand” and such, but I don’t know, it’s weird.

From 2001-2011 I ran two pretty okay music blogs, and did Skull Toaster from 2011-2018, which had a solid niche following in the metal world. Since I stepped away from running any sort of “media thing,” I’ve been reluctant to really start anything again, I guess because I don’t want to get into that schedule, always having to publish content. Yuck, that word.

But this video I made serves a purpose I guess, and that’s to drive donations to girls’ rock camps. As of today, Metal Bandcamp Gift Club raised almost $250 (oh yeah, I guess running Metal Bandcamp Gift Club is a “media thing,” but it just feels different), so if this video helps drive $10 more to a good org, then I am super pumped about that.

Like Seth Godin has said, be helpful. Be of service. That’s where my head has been lately, with writing, video, audio, social media – how can I publish work that helps?

There Are No Shortcuts

It was a moment where my draw dropped, and I never bothered to write it down.

I was walking somewhere up 5th Ave in NYC, listening to music on my iPod (yeah, this was awhile ago). I remember hearing a lyric from the song I was listening to, and seeing inside a BestBuy, the exact same words on a sign.

It’s not like it was a Top 40 hit, and I saw a display for the same top 40 hit. No, they were completely separate. A song lyric, and some marketing message on a sign that I’ve long forgotten.

But it happened again recently. Sort of.

I was listening to a song by one of my favorite bands, Into Another, from their album ‘Seemless.’ As I was running on the treadmill at my local Planet Fitness, I glanced at a TV commercial for some bathroom product, and the word ‘Seamless’ flashed across the screen.

Okay, not quite the same word, but close.

Today I read Khe Hy’s email newsletter Rad Read, and the first story was “Be the best at the worst,” which I then read on his site. The phrase “there are no shortcuts” stuck out to me, especially in the area of running.

Then my friend Jasper published a blog post (thanks RSS newsreader!) about cleaning his keyboard and he said, “Easily the most boring part of mechanical keyboards is lubing switches. It is, unfortunately, not optional. There are no shortcuts.”

What’s it mean? I don’t know, but it’s a double dose of truth today; “there are no shortcuts.”

Dedicated Devices

My Garmin 235 has a solid, physical button for starting and stopping runs. For selecting items, there are buttons for up and down. No screen gestures, no inadvertent swipes, no random locked screens. It syncs with the Garmin app on my phone, which then syncs to my Strava account.

I wanted to take more photos on my runs. While I have an iPhone Xr with a fantastic camera, it also comes with a big screen loaded with notifications for emails, messages, calendar events, and a jillion other things. And not to mention that if I ever drop or damage this device, then my GPS, phone and everything else is damaged, too. The GoPro is rock solid, fits easily into my hands on runs (it came with me on my recent 18 mile run), and takes great footage.

Running is an absolute passion of mine now, since 2016, and I just want to track it efficiently, and document the journey. These two devices help me do that.

Team then Family

The distance, the scenery, the speed, the desert, racing in the streets… yeah, I love all that. But the people, right? All those people. A team, a family of people from literally all around the globe coming together to work on this one goal, one mission, one project.

To be beat down, exhausted, tired, sore, in pain, along with your teammates, and to get out there and keep moving. That’s what makes a video like this so inspiring to me. Running is such a solo activity, run your own race, sort of deal. But this sort of event, this format, it really gets me going.

New Perspectives

A friend of mine completed one of those Couch to 5K app programs. Hey, they work (it’s how I got started)! After two 5Ks, winter came, work got busy, and he stopped running. He’s getting back into it, though.

We ran last years Bethlehem Turkey Trot 5k (I ran it in 27:51). He got a treadmill recently. Now that the weather is getting a little bit nicer, and after hearing about my recent 18 mile long run, he’s starting to set off on his own adventures.

He’s gonna run that Turkey Trot 5K route himself. Just to do it. Run through downtown Bethlehm, just taking his time, walking if he needs, just out there doing it.

Because as we near our mid 40s, invitations to adventure don’t typically get tossed our way, so we have to make them ourselves. Sign up for a 5K (or a marathon), sure, but it’s getting out there when there’s no start time, or official finish line, that’s the true adventure.

Snack Time for the Soul

Between working at my local Starbucks and picking up groceries for dinner (and snacks), I stopped by this little park to spend some quality time with the Schuylkill River. A short walk, catching up with an old friend, the smell of spring in the air.

My day is not spent next to rivers, on the trails, or climbing big hills. I don’t run trails from sun-rise until noon. This photo was just a small portion of my day, a little snack time for the soul, if you will.

Another Lesson from 18 Miles

Had a great call with a friend earlier this week, and they asked “how do you run 18 miles?”

And like, sure, one mile at a time sounds cool, but that’s a lot of time to fill every mile.

I keep thinking of how my head would start doing math when I’d hit a certain distance.

“Okay, so I have three miles to go. Well, my fastest three miles was 25 minutes, so this should take me just…”

For me this wrecked my moral. It was always looking into the future, trying to plan, make way for the future discomfort that wasn’t even here yet.

So I had to fight to stay present. I sang a little song to myself (“use your butt, chest up”). I looked all around me for features that I may have missed. Every now and again I would pass a sign for a PLANET WALK, so I would make up little songs for the planets.

I chose to laugh, which made me smile.

This lesson has bled into my work now, too. So much of my work anxiety is looking ahead to what needs to get done while I’m working on something in the present. My mind is elsewhere, which means the present tasks takes even longer.

Stay in the moment, build my reports.

Stay in the moment, run a solid mile.

Good lesson to learn being as next month I’m going to run 26.6 miles.

18 Miles

It’s been a struggle of late to find space to run bigger mileage without having to resort to all rails-to-trails, or taking my chances on public roads with lots of cars. Finally found the Little Lehigh Park Path, a mix of gravel and pavement, mostly flat, and the best part – it’s a solid six mile loop, similar to the Queens Marathon I’ll be doing.

The ground was mush in a lot of parts, and muddy in others. Not ideal, but it worked. The nice part about this park is that there’s lot of interesting features (like this covered bridge above, or this mystical whatever thing below) to look forward to, which breaks up the monotony.

I stopped at my car twice to refill bottles, and get food which ate while on the trail. My pace was slow (11:30ish), but I know this isn’t a dress rehearsal for the marathon – it’s today’s training, which was to run 18 miles, and so today was a good day.

Pictures look a little different? Yeah, I picked up a GoPro Hero 8, and I have no idea what I’m doing with it yet. Pretty sure I could have gotten better photos with the iPhone, but I didn’t pull out my iPhone once on this run, and that’s what I wanted. I was able to carry the GoPro in my hand with ease, and it has voice commands, too, which is pretty great. I’ll be messing more with the photo settings, and hopefully video before too long!