In Favor of Short-Shorts

Now that summer is over, and it’s becoming more necessary to start wearing clothes, I thought I’d try my best to justify my summer attire, or lack thereof. Enter the split shorts. A lot of people find it strange that I would prefer to wear the shortest shorts available to runners, so allow me to explain it.
1. It’s hot outside, so why would I wear more than I need to, more clothes = more sweat, more sweat = more water to carry = slower runs…. you do the math.
2. Freedom of movement. The way that split shorts are cut allows the most freedom of movement I’ve experienced.
3. Better support. Even though longer shorts always come with a bloomer, or some similar support system, the support in split shorts in my experience, is always better. This may be because of the increased potential for a wardrobe malfunction, but regardless, it’s nice to have.
4. It makes a statement. As a runner, I think I need to embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a runner, this includes embracing the style, and the aesthetic. Track athletes, marathoners, and a handful of ultra-runners embrace the short-short, and it’s one of the ways I like to embrace the aesthetic of being a runner.
Plus, these guys seem to dig them:

Scott Jurek

Killian Jornet

Anton Krupicka

Jesse Scott
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Weeky Summary 9/18-24

Sunday 9/18
AM: 10 Miles through Allamuchy Mountain State Park with Gene,  1:53:01, 1:01 spent practicing

Monday 9/19
AM: 11.1 miles, Columbia Trail and a double summit of Schooley’s Mtn. 1:48:28, :54 spent practicing (rehearsal day)

Tuesday 9/20
1:51 spent practicing, PM 1 mile barefoot 0:9:25

Wednesday 9/21
AM: 10 miles through Allamuchy, 1:33:45, AM, 2 hours practice, PM  00:48:00

Thursday 9/22
AM: 10 miles, Allamuchy, 1:44:00, PM 1, 2 miles barefoot, 00:20:48, PM 2, Broken Shin Loop (road) 5 Miles 00:41:43, 1:32 spent practicing

Friday 9/23
4:14 miles, 00:38:06 the final 3 with Jason Robillard, done barefoot. 1:42 practicing

Total miles: 64.24, Total Time: 9:10:11, Practiced 9:48:13

Which makes for a relatively light week musically, and medium distance running week. Not bad for still adjusting into a new schedule, and finally having my ankle feel solid after 3 weeks of running with discomfort from a gnarly twist. 

Barefoot Running


Today I had the extreme pleasure of meeting, running, and attending a clinic with Jason Robillard. He’s a font of knowledge about barefoot running, an experienced ultra-runner, and all-around cool guy.

We ran an eyelash over 3 miles through the rain in bare feet, talked about running, races, and some future plans, and how we both agree, short-shorts are the way to go. He then gave a clinic at Ramsey Outdoor, which was a great information session about barefoot/minimalist running, including a q&a session, and some demonstrations. For anyone who doesn’t know Jason, his blog is fantastic, and is a great resource for anyone wanting to run barefoot, or in minimalist shoes, and if you have the chance to attend one of his clinics, you should definitely do so!

Making Life Better

There are some performers out there, who to me, just seem to make life better. Sometimes they’re runners, sometimes they’re artists, sometimes musicians, but when I stumble across someone that makes the world a better place by doing their thing so to speak, I feel like I should share it… so Here’s Theresa Andersson, a One-Woman band based out of New Orleans… she’s pretty cool, and her music is fantastic.

Oh yea, this is apparently recorded/performed in her Kitchen, in what looks like the kitchen of a typical “shotgun” house in the city…

Miles to go before I sleep

I have promises to keep; a job, full-time school as a doctoral student in music, and all of the assorted reading, listening, score study, and of course, practicing that is required to maintain that part of my life. On the polar opposite side, I have my running life, which occupies a lot of time, part of it is a giant release from the stresses of musicianship, and the simplification of everything that seems to result from hitting the trail before dawn, and running until I have to be somewhere, or on the best days, until I can’t anymore, has really put a lot of things in perspective, and helped me to evaluate things more clearly. Not to mention the overwhelming sense of good that has come out of it, having finally secured a stress reliever that feels natural, and pure, has helped me maintain my “cool” in ways I would have never imagined, there is no longer any need to sweat the small stuff, because in the grand scheme of things, it’s just not worth it.

Now it’s my goal to maintain a ~60-80 mpw average (excepting tapering) for the duration of the semester, in addition to my other life, and through the blog I’m planning on posting my mileage as well as my time spent running, AND my practice hourage (dedicated practice, excepting lessons/rehearsals/etc). This will hopefully keep me honest on both accounts, and hopefully fuel my practicing and running work ethic by having everything written down, and posted. On that note, I HAVE been keeping a running log, and have not missed a day since May 23rd (minimum 1 mile) and since that date I have logged 750.98 miles. I documented my practice time in the past, and my estimate is that I’m somewhere in the 8-9,000 hour range total, but my logging has been sporadic (mostly logging as a form of motivation, as this upcoming log will be) so this total number of hourage is at best, an educated guess. So I’ve added times to my running log, and restarted a practice log based purely on time, free, for the public to see. Now for those miles before I sleep..

Advantages

Many of my friends (okay, namely the Highlands Hashers) ask me how my running effects my “professional” life. I’ve always found this to be a difficult question, short of giving the usual stock answers: lowers stress, keeps me fit, etc etc. Now these are NOT the reasons I run, the reasons I run will likely be documented in a following post, but I can assure you that fitness/stress are not what gets me out of bed at 6am to hit the trails…. This past week however, with the start of the school year, comes the usual ring of academic-related auditions, mostly for seating/ensemble placement within the department. Anyone who races has an idea of the stress level associated with auditions, however, the engagement of the fight/flight mechanism is (in my experience) advantageous for a footrace. Unfortunately, as a clarinetist, the fight/flight mechanism is extremely disadvantageous for a performance, increased heart-rate, adrenaline, sweat, none of this bodes well for musical performance.

How has high mileage helped this? Well, as a result of my weekly mileage, and the ensuing fitness level, my resting heart rate is low, I refuse to check it, since I don’t really dig the whole numbers thing, especially regarding heart rate, VO2 max etc etc, but trust me, its low. This means that when my flight mechanism does kick in during the audition setting, the ensuing heart-rate increase begins from a much lower level, resulting in a stressed heart-rate being substantially lower than I can recall ever having in that situation! Not to mention the additional confidence from knowing what you’re really made of. Having run a self-supported ultra-marathon, hiked solo through the Whites and Mahoosucs, grown a massive beard, and lost my fair share of auditions where more than pride is on the line, I’m able to approach the audition in a much calmer fashion than I would have as recently as a year ago, nevermind 6 years ago.

The (relative) success of last weeks 2 auditions, and how I think my running has affected my energy levels throughout these has motivated me to run, and practice more. I’m now more thoroughly looking forward to upcoming races (50k’s 50 milers and a ?hundred?) recitals, and whatever else life throws my way!