Book Reviews

The 5th Season Wrap-up

Let’s get into it. On this lovely morning before a four day weekend I have finally finished The 5th Season. So with iced coffee in hand (I’m basic) and something I picked up from my guy on the corner that isn’t crack, but certainly is as addicting, I am ready to dive into this wrap-up. Looking over some of my last few blogs it’s becoming apparent that I am starting to get a little too gassed up on my literary criticism. I think that is because I got in that rare zone where what I am reading, and I guess listening too, has me hooked. There is just a feeling that some books give that make it hard to focus on anything else, and let me tell you, The 5th Season is one of those.

It is certainly better for the brand for me to trash books since it is way easier to make fun of poor writing or a corny story then to come up with an entertaining way to talk about a book that I love. But I can’t in good faith trash this book. The 5th Season is excellent. When I was recommended this I was excited and to dive into something different, though of course naturally hesitant to try a new author and series. Since the A Land Fit for Heroes series has been such a mild disappointment, I really needed something to cleanse the palate.

The 5th Season is certainly a ride, it gets progressively darker throughout the novel. Like when I first started reading it I thought that my boss had given me a YA fantasy book and I was not pleased. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with some good ol’ YA, when you are you know, 12. I mean you get this story and one of the character POV’s is this girl who has discovered she has magic powers and has to go to a school to learn how to use them. Another character is a young women who has progressed throughout the school and is assigned to work with a difficult, socially reclusive master wizard person. Sounds familiar right? Well boy are you wrong.

Sure those are the baseline things, but there are more twists throughout this then a nerds nipples in 6th grade when a barely sober substitute teacher puts on a movie and goes to sleep. The main storyline is about a woman seeking revenge against her husband. Lovely right? Well her husband murdered the shit out of their son for being a rogga, which sounds like an Australian insult, but means earth wizard. And that little girl who gets to go to wizard school? She was locked in a shed by her parents for two weeks until someone picks her up. That dude then proceeds to shatter her hand as a way of letting her know who is boss. Also one of her classmates gets diddled. Before I forget about that stubborn young woman trying to make a name for herself, she actually isn’t supposed to learn from that stubborn master earth wizard, she is supposed to fuck him so they can make a kid that the Fulcrum (which is the name of the school) can keep the baby and strap it to some machine where it lived a pseudo life as a vegetable.

Not your typical storybook stuff here.

The story never gets stale, it naturally progresses and at a certain point you just go fuck it I can’t predict this just power through. There are lots of elements of magic and the limits of this magic is kept conspicuous. The bad guys have a way of negating the magic which seems to level the playing field. If you know me you know I hate the old fashioned “My magic gets progressively stronger to conveniently solve the problem” trope that plagues good fantasy. Also known, by me, as the Goku effect. So to see that magic is not the all powerful answer to everything always makes me happy.

The book ends setting up the sequel perfectly, without that final end battle that is soooooooo epic that there can’t possibly be anything after, until of course the next book starts… Give me a book like this where the author isn’t afraid of killing people off or subverting expectations. Jemisin does a fantastic job of taking those expectations and dirtying the shit out of them, leaving us something dark and twisted, like the aforementioned 6th Graders nipples. Stay cool everybody and enjoy the 4th.

Final notes: If you read this and don’t see the obvious connector between the three characters then you are as smart as me. I was talking about this with my boss when I was about halfway through, and it dawned on me what I was missing. Really embarrassing. Also I mispronounced the shit out of a word and looked like a jackass. Go me!

If you at all care what I picked up from that guy on the corner it was a doughnut.

Last note, I love that Chance the Rapper put Acid Rap on Spotify, but the fact that it is missing Juice is criminal.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

Eye of the World Audiobook Wrap-up

As the first stop on the journey around The Wheel of Time series has come to it’s conclusion, I thought it would be worth the time to review the audiobook as a whole. As I mentioned in the beginning of this, I had zero prior experience with audiobooks. This desire to start one stemmed from me getting bored as fuck with all the other stuff I was listening too while running, as well as being convinced by Amazon’s Audible marketing campaign. That last part is kind of embarrassing to say, but whatever just being honest. The audiobook has accompanied my marathon training, and since the New York City Marathon is like 17 weeks away, I think that I am going to continue to fly through the series. 

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan is the first book in a 12 part series known as the Wheel of Time, widely considered a classic series in the fantasy genre. If you are a fan of Tolkein, epic fantasy, or high fantasy this is an excellent series. While there are some adult aspects, this is a series that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. Having originally read the series about 5 years ago, my first impression of it was the length was a little excessive, though the payoff is worth it. It is longggggg as hell and because of this, the series has a tendency to meander and get bogged down in a lot of not entertaining chapters. I actually remember getting pretty bored with it at points and not enjoying it as much as some of the other stuff I had read at that point, but after listening to the audiobook I am not sure that this was an entirely fair opinion.

I think it is important to point out that I did listen to this, and as an audiobook it was a lot more interesting. When the book kind of slowed down I was able to just zone out a little and focus on the running. It was easy to follow along with the story while running, but I also remember the general gist of the plot. I would highly recommend listening to an audiobook of some fantasy series you keep promising yourself you are going to re-read knowing full well you are never going to get around to it. Gave me an entirely different perspective of the book

The Eye of the World as a singular story at its core is your run-of-the-mill chosen one tale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want something that differs from the norm, this might not be for you. If you look at the characters, creatures and plot, the first book especially is eerily similar to LOTR. Their are Orcs, Ents, chosen one and accompanying friends from his village, an ambiguous evil power, and magic (trolocs, Ogier, Rand and friends, Balzamon and the one power). The differences are what make this a special book.

With a more modern writing style and less focus on the way the trees hit the wind, this book is fantastic. The scope of the world is enormous, it feels like every chapter we are introduced to a new element of magic, abilities and creatures. The plot itself is solid, three villagers are chosen by The Pattern  which is some weird universal power that seeks to balance out the world, to fight the dark one who seeks to finally take over the world. Rand is an absolute loser and as a main character he is annoying as shit, but his storyline is cool enough to make up for it.

The book has the inevitable ending where the good guys win, but because this thing is 12 books long, it sets the scene nicely for the next book. I can’t wait to dive into the Great Hunt. Wow this was almost like a real review. Props to me for being able to write something mature. Fuck Rand. Had to throw in something immature.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

Eye of the World Final Audiobook Update

Happy Friday everybody, I hope that the week of hell weather was a nice change of pace from the flood that was unleashed upon us last week. And since it is a happy Friday it is time for the greatest serial blog of all time. Though I was remiss in writing a mid-week blog, have no fear, I have been both reading and running, so there is going to be a lot coming in the next few weeks. But most importantly, at least in the case of this stupid thing, is that I have about 20 minutes left in the audiobook! This means expect a full audiobook recap coming up next week, and get ready for the start of the next one. Since that will only leave 300 more audiobooks over 10948021 hours, this blog series will never die!

I plan on doing a full running thing next week, as I have finally selected a marathon training plan and I think it is going to be beneficial to myself (the only person who matters of course) to kind of lay out the whole plan as well as write about where I am at. As such, I don’t want to waste space here talking about it, because I am really excited for today’s blog. Also starting a sentence with ‘as such’ and still managing to throw in a ‘because’ is such pro level blogging. It is shocking how easy I make this seem.

Why am I excited about this? Glad I asked myself. See while I think this book is a fantastic start to what I am slowly realizing is a series that I did not give nearly enough credit too my first time around, there is one particular passage in Eye of the World that fully shows the breathe of Robert Jordan’s genius. Flex on em boooooy.

Chapter 48 has the gang all together, and they settle down for the night. Ol’ peeping Tom al’Thor catches Nynaeve and Lan in their most intimate moment. To say I was eagerly anticipating this is an understatement. If you are familiar with this book, you know what I am talking about. If you are not, you are probably thinking that these two are going to fuck, and that is why I am all jazzed up. It’s 2019 I don’t need to read about sex to get off you fucking weirdo’s, I have an iphone of course! Either way, that’s not what happens here. If you are not familiar with this book, get ready for a breakdown of a scene that has no context for you. Also what the hell are you doing reading this blog. Just kidding please like it I’m broke and trying to make a million dollars.

Here it is in full, then a breakdown after. The breakdown is not going to include spoilers about the rest of the series.

The Wisdom Looked at Lan silently for a long time, then poured a cup of tea and brought it to him. When he reached out with a murmur of thanks, she did not let go right away.”I should have known you would be a king.” She said quietly. Her eyes were steady on the warder’s face, but her voice trembled slightly.

Lan looked back at her just as intently. It seemed to Rand that the Warder’s face actually softened.  “I am not a king, Nynaeve. Just a man. A man without as much to his name as even the meanest farmer’s croft.”

Nynaeve’s voice steadied. “Some women don’t ask for land, or gold. Just the man.”

 “And the man who would ask her to accept so little would not be worthy of her. You are a remarkable woman, as beautiful as the sunrise, as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”

“A Wisdom seldom weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be that I will be something other than a Wisdom.”

“Aes Sedai marry as seldom as Wisdoms. Few men can live with so much power in a wife, dimming them by her radiance whether she wishes or not.”

“Some men are strong enough. I know one such.” If there could have been any doubt, her look left none as to whom she meant.

“All I have is a sword, and a war I cannot win, but can never stop fighting.”

“I’ve told you I care nothing for that. Light, you’ve made me say more than is proper already. Will you shame me to the point of asking you?”

“I will never shame you.” The gentle tone, like a caress, sounded odd to Rand’s ears in the Warder’s voice, but it made Nynaeve’s eyes brighten. “ I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow’s black as her brideprice, you least of all.” He set the untouched cup on the ground and rose. “I must check the horses.”

Nynaeve remained there, kneeling, After he had gone.

Sleep or no, Rand closed his eyes. He did not think the Wisdom would like it if he watched her cry.

The first time I read this I was a little confused, I had picked up on Nynaeve had a little thing for Lan, but I did not expect it to come to a head like this. She found out he was a king in a previous chapter, where Rand notes that she paid particular attention to a story they were being told. Also classic woman move to do a slight favor for a guy just to have an opportunity to trap him in a serious conversation.

 Lan looked back at her just as intently. It seemed to Rand that the Warder’s face actually softened.  “I am not a king, Nynaeve. Just a man. A man without as much to his name as even the meanest farmer’s croft.”

While not necessarily true, Lan is the Lord of the Seven Towers and Lakes and such, it is not exactly like he can hire a lawyer and take the trollocs to court to get his land back. Actually I don’t know how squatter’s rights work in the border lands so I guess this may be true. Either way this is the first time that we see Lan reciprocate any real feelings towards Nynaeve directly. It is also at this point where I start to tear up as I run down Willow Avenue.

Nynaeve’s voice steadied. “Some women don’t ask for land, or gold. Just the man.”

And the tears fall down as well as my pride, cannot and do not want to imagine what anyone thought if they looked at me during the two minutes this scene plays out. Also I am narcissistic enough to know people look at me the entire length of all my runs.

“And the man who would ask her to accept so little would not be worthy of her. You are a remarkable woman, as beautiful as the sunrise, as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”

You feel the rejection coming but even so it is so eloquently put by Lan that it makes it that much harsher.

“A Wisdom seldom weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be that I will be something other than a Wisdom.”

This is where Robert Jordan does such a complete job of character development. I know this stuff gets realllllly, and I mean really, long winded as the series goes on but this line right here is the underlying motivation for Nynaeve to become an Aes Sedai. Nynaeve is clearly anti Aes Sedai, and while the desire to heal people thing is a motivator, the real motivation is for Nynaeve to become an Aes Sedai is because she feels this is the way to Lan’s heart. Perhaps she is the one who actually feels unworthy of him.

“Aes Sedai marry as seldom as Wisdoms. Few men can live with so much power in a wife, dimming them by her radiance whether she wishes or not.”

A paltry excuse offered by Lan here, he is grasping at straws because he is hesitant to say what he really feels.

“Some men are strong enough. I know one such.” If there could have been any doubt, her look left none as to whom she meant.

GOD this is too much. As annoying as Nynaeve is at times, her way off cutting through the bullshit is excellent.

“All I have is a sword, and a war I cannot win, but can never stop fighting.”

This is the line of the book right here. While Mat is my favorite character (can’t you tell) Lan is easily a close second. His lines are the most impactful of the entire series. There are a lot of throwaway lines Robert Jordan uses to help us see past the rugged exterior of Lan, such as when Loial mentions that he misses discussing books with the warder, but it is sentences like this that we see the full depth of his character. Bound by his oath, burdened with his sword, the last remaining soldier in an impossible war. Yet he will fight because he swore to it, it is his duty. While he tells the other borderlanders that he has abandoned the cause, he never will

“I’ve told you I care nothing for that. Light, you’ve made me say more than is proper already. Will you shame me to the point of asking you?”

And here it is, the most outright statement of the conversation. Nynaeve knows all this, maybe she doesn’t fully grasp the whole of the situation but definitely enough to understand what he is saying, but to her this does not matter. She is not asking him to put aside his oaths, she is willing to carry that burden with him.

“I will never shame you.” The gentle tone, like a caress, sounded odd to Rand’s ears in the Warder’s voice, but it made Nynaeve’s eyes brighten. “ I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow’s black as her brideprice, you least of all.” He set the untouched cup on the ground and rose. “I must check the horses.”

And yet he will not give into what his heart is telling him. He will not because he knows that no matter how much he loves Nynaeve, he has sworn to fight, and there is no outcome that doesn’t end in his death. He loves Nynaeve enough that he will not put her through this, he loves her so much that he will reject her so that she can have a chance at happiness. I mean this is just a real tear jerker.

Nynaeve remained there, kneeling, After he had gone.

Sleep or no, Rand closed his eyes. He did not think the Wisdom would like it if he watched her cry.

I know this is a departure from my usual jokes, but I love this passage so much that I thought it needed to be discussed. Also this blog is getting crazy long so time to end it.

Uncategorized

Snake it Till you Make It: Frank Meza Edition

This is a little bit different then my normal blogging material, but I promise it is well worth the read. Let me set the stage for you. Frank Meza is a retired doctor in Los Angeles who was a proponent of that stupid ass barefoot running craze that led to those weird web shoes. You can watch him in all his glory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKmo8scMx1I Who gives a shit about some 70-year-old doctor who’s going to die soon right? Well the fucking internet does of course. Because let me tell you about my mans Frankie Meza. Frankie boy is a world class cheater, and his specialty is cheating hippie marathons out in Cali.

Your boy Frankie is currently in some hot water for allegedly cheating at the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon, where he set the record for the fastest marathon ever run by a 70-year-old with a time of 2:53:10. To be fair I just keep reading that he set the record, I have yet to find anything official on that. And also to be fair, he didn’t allegedly cheat, he without-a-doubt cheated. The point of this blog is not to prove his guilt or innocence since he is so clearly cheating, but rather to acknowledge a master of the craft.

Frankie boy has a long history of the long con, this was not an anomaly. You may be questioning at this point, if you have not already seen the story or been on Reddit, just how Frank cheated all these marathons? Well Frank is the master at cutting the course, which involves him exiting the course at some point and entering it at another. He has only gotten better as time has gone on, like literally this grandpa’s marathon times have steadily been improving as he pulls the ol’ Benjamin Button. He has gotten craftier by learning from his mistakes turning into a practical ghost who can teleport anywhere on the course. He specialty is the LA Marathon where he has been improving on his craft since 2015. Here are just some prime examples of places he got caught cheating.

He was disqualified once, from the 2014 California International Marathon. This is where he learned the importance of consistent pacing. See Frankie boy ran his final 10k in 36 minutes, which is awesome. The problem was that this final 10k was at a minute-per-mile pace faster than the rest of the race. Not to be thwarted, he tried this again at the 2016 CIM and of course got disqualified. When he could appeal, he was just like na fuck it.  

One would think this would deter him, as people seemed to be catching on, but apparently my man also is suspect at large at the 2019 Pasadena Half Marathon and The 2018 Long Beach Marathon, where once again his paces don’t add up. The beauty of Frank is you can’t stop him, if you disqualify him he won’t bother too appeal, he will just try it again and again. His determination to continue to cheat is just incredible, he is addicted to the cheating game through and through.

At the Phoenix Marathon this year, he cheated, which was proven by a camera that was set up where he just happens to have never blessed us with his appearance. That could happen to us all, I mean there are plenty of NYRR races where I am not on it, but those are still cameras, not video. Either way he pulled the wool over all our eyes. Granted everyone investigating him said he cheated, but no action was taken. Record set!

But the LA Marathon is where his bread is buttered. His biggest stage. His one shining moment. Frankie boy knows exactly where to cut in, just look at this here picture. While the picture itself doesn’t exactly mean he cheated, I said earlier I am not here to put him on trial, he is guilty.

But see where a loser like you and me might be like “shit got caught, might as well come clean,” Frankie boy has gone the 90’s baseball player route by denying any wrongdoing. This is all part of the craft. When shown the photos, he gave a perfect response along the lines of he ran off the course to pee. This having to pee thing screwed him up the year before because he went into a hotel to pee, so this year he let it fly on the side of the road. Genius move.

Frank is someone to be admired. Not for his actual ability to run of course, he’s a first class loser who is cheating in a totally amateur capacity and disgracing what it means to be a marathon runner or runner in general. But rather for his ability as a world class grifter. For some reason I keep comparing him to the legendary Frank Reynolds, a master grifter in his own right.

Since this race, the LA Marathon loser committee has decided not to disqualify him, but rather to have someone accompany him next year. Que up the injury bug, because I guarantee Frankie boy will have it come time to shine.

Since he was not disqualified for this year’s stunning performance, Frankie must forever be known as a record breaker. Game recognize game.

Final Notes: I got a lot of this information from a site called marathoninvestigation.com. I want to say that while I admire the level of detail this guy went into to knock down a good man like Frank, you have to be an allllll time loser to spend that many hours poring over an amateur’s race data. Like this guy was literally comparing photos and analyzing pace charts looking for discrepancies. The amount of pent up anger you have to have to spend that much time taking down someone is just a classic case of someone who needs to either jerk off or get laid so badly. Game does not recognize game. He did make this blog easier to write though. Thanks!

Journey around the Wheel of Time

Eye of the World Audiobook Update 11

On this edition of Eye of the World Audiobook Update we will be discussing the magic of rain. For anyone who lives in the New York area, you may have noticed that the rain has been unrelenting. There is nothing more pleasant then running with your sneakers getting progressively more and more drenched as your toes wrinkle to fucking raisins and your nipples rubbing your shirt like two skeletons fucking. I’m talking friction folks. Throw in an ineffective rain jacket that I have to tie over my head to stay somewhat dry, causing a sauna suite effect and let me tell you this week has been great!

Wet testicles aside, It’s not alllllll bad so lets get to the good stuff. The mileage has been alright, I have fallen off the 35-40 mile range this week, unless I run a solid 10 tomorrow, which I am not, but still I’ve gotten some quality work in despite the weather. The truth is as much as I would like to blame the weather I really just didn’t have a great week running. I know that falling off 6 miles from what I would have liked to run is not that big a deal, but it feels like one. I would like to kick it up to the ever elusive 40 mile week next week in preparation for the beginnings of my 16 week marathon training plan. I think it is going to be a lot of fun posting the mileage and workouts for the week and writing about how they are going. I am going to steer away from using the Audiobook Updates as my running updates and make that a separate thing. With some reflection despite it not feeling like I am improving the numbers don’t lie, I am. Cutting 45 seconds off my 10k time, which is a distance that I don’t like racing at, is a big improvement. This shit takes time which is something I always fail to recognize.

I did get a lot of time this week to knock out a lot of the audiobook. We last left the gang having their happy go lucky reunion time, actually no we didn’t but they had this happy go lucky reunion. At this reunion, ya girl bring the pain Moraine just straight up said “My g’s we rolling to the eye of the world, can I get a ye yeeeee” The response was mixed. They decide that they are going to take the ways, and for anyone who has actually read one of these and not just liked my article on the reader thingy on Wordpress, I had actually thought they went to the ways way before this.

So they get to the ways, and you will never guess what the evil villain in there is, MORE WIND. Grey wind, black wind, doesn’t matter, Robert B. Jordan has one enemy in mind and he is going to adapt it to all situations. The highlight of this whole thing is when Egwene is giving Rand that ol’ “O who is THAT” routine and Perrin drops the bomb, “you been hoeing too, I seen you twerking on whatever his name is” and Matt hits her with the “you thing that’s impressive Rand has farmgirls milking him up and down the Queens Road.” Those are some loyal ass friends. Mat especially. Egwene was mad at the time, but you know how these things go, you ain’t attractive to someone until they see someone else finds you attractive. Also I love Loial going with the classic fat guy move when he says “I know where we are trying to go, butttttt these other places are so much closer.” Moraine tells him to go sit on a spear.

In conclusion, these terrible recaps that only make sense to someone familiar with the books is over. I heard they got some big name actress to play Moraine. I have no idea who she is, but honestly is should have been Jessica Walter. For no reason but I find her hilarious. I hope Carrot Top gets cast as Rand.

Final Notes: No events for a while so the race reviews will be put on hold. Also I bought “Lets Go Eevee” for the Nintendo Switch and what the fuckkkkkkkkk is up with that system of throwing pokeballs at wild pokemon instead of battling them? That’s like half the game. You actually get XP points for this. RIDICULOUS! I beat Brock with a god damn Eevee and have not been to a pokemon center the entire game. Back in my day you had to grind to get good enough to beat the first gym leader, and thennnnn you could coast to the Elite Four. Snowflakes ruining a classic. Stay dry everyone.

Book Reviews

The Fifth Season: The Season of Success

One line plot summary: There are wizard people who can break the earth and occasionally the earth has cataclystic seismic shifts that kill a lot of people, so we follow three of these wizard women in various levels of their lives  immediately following the latest disaster.

Not my best work in crafting the title nor the one line summary but since this is a zero accountability blog the failing is not mine. Let me tell you who is definitely not failing, the author of this masterpiece N.K. Jemisin. Hugo awards and a bunch of other awards I don’t feel like copying and pasting to pretend like I know what they are. You can go about looking at awards in a couple of ways, either you have a bunch of em and they matter or you win a bunch of bullshit awards that don’t mean anything. I hate on awards, but I’d rather have awards then not have them annnnnnny day. You look at my trophy case and it is empty, well actually it is filled but with a million participation medals from races I, you know, participated in. A wall of failing if you will. I did win the college math achievement award in high school, which sounds very immpressive, until you learn that college math in high school is the class you take senior year when you are too stupid to be allowed to take real math classes like pre-calc or AP calc. Basically the brightest of the dullest award.

Jemy dollars on the other hand has the hardware, and 101 dalmatian pages in it is obvious that she deserves them all. If you couldn’t gather what this book is about from my one sentence summary, I will attempt to break it down. So some lady wakes up and her kid is dead. This is used as the launching point of introducing us into the world, well after the introduction chapter that does the same thing. I am more of a show me and I will figure it out then give me a cryptic big chapter world, but this is just so well done that I found myself engaging with it. Normally I hate that stuff and I just try to power through to get to the story, similar to that inevitable magic explaining teacher to student chapter that appears so consistently. I would love to be educated enough to know if there are more specific terms for these kinds of tropes but I’m not so there ya go. Great introductions can go a long way, this is one of those books that does this.

I wish I had something negative to say about this because it is more on brand but I can’t. Right now the book has three storylines. The first is this lady whose kid is beat to death by her husband because the kid is a little earth wizard. The lady wants a little slice of revenge pie, also the husband swiped up the other kid so she wants her daughter back. These chapters are done in the very difficult to pull off second person. One of my all time favorite books, Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, is also in the second person. That was just a random factoid to throw in there to show how smart I am. The second story line is some kid who is just finding out she is an earth wizard and her family gives her to some guy who I assume is going to bring her to the wizard school. The third story line is a 20 year old who is already at the earth wizard school. So three different earth wizards at three different times, pretty simple. I don’t really feel like putting in character names, somehow I feel like that detracts from the summary

And yet, what could easily be a rewrite of The Earthsea Cycle series is instead a fantastically crafted universe that so far is doing a great job of balancing personal stories with big magic. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.  The only fear I have is with such high levels of magic already shown, will any major issue eventually get solved by a bigger display of magic to the point where it losses plausibility. Stay tuned.

Race Reviews

NYRR Queens 10k Race Review

Date: Saturday, June 15th 2019

Distance: 10 km

Location: Queens, NY (Flushing Park)

Time: 0:48:26

With the doldrums of the workweek beginning it’s time to recap the weekend festivities in an ode to reliving the glory days and keeping our minds firmly in the past. I am told looking backwards is the key to progress, it is also a great strategy to do while running. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

This Saturday I was one of the 11,852 participants in the Queens 10k and I would like to bless you all with my much sought after opinions on the event. After setting the bar way too high by doing my last race report (I want to call these race reports but I think ‘review’ is better SEO practice. IDK though because I didn’t pay for the better version of Wordpress) this is coming a couple of days after. I would offer apologies but I am not offering apologies. I would also like to state on the record the importance of keeping your expectations at the bare minimum required to remain somewhat not miserable, and you will always have your expectations exceeded. This is fundamental to your boss evaluating your job performance, your family asking for help at the family event, and most importantly your significant others expecations for your sexual performance. So strive to get all those people on board with this philosophy and make mediocrity great again!

The Queens 10k took place in lovely Flushing Park, where we were treated to beautiful sites of dying grass in untended fields, the cracked concrete of abandoned parking lots, some weird polluted lake that has a creepy island with a door on it, and that tennis stadium that hangs off of Citi Field like an untreated hemorrhoid. Flushing Park is to Central Park what Queens is to Manhattan, which is the sibling that is just a little sloppier and worse at everything then the golden child. Your parents may say they love all their children the same but in your heart you know the truth.

My goal for the race was to shoot for 47 minutes, and similar to my attempts at writing witty and engrossing race reviews I fell short of the mark. I would like to place all the blame on external factors in order to escape culpability so here are the things that caused me to fail in no particular order:

  1. Global warming. The earth was all hot and shit forcing me to take an extra water break a mere half mile after my first one. This had nothing to do with the fact that I was dehydrated due to poor hydration planning and eating crumb cake a mere 40 minutes before the race. Nor the fact that it actually wasn’t that hot and kind of cloudy. Nope the earth is getting hotter and it messed me up.
  2. The protests in Hong Kong. The extradition policies of the Chinese Special Administrative Region is often on my mind and to see things devolve into such chaos left me no room to calculate my times as I passed the clocks. I simply do not have the mental capacity to do basic math while running and think about why Hong Kong is independent of China. Shame Shame.
  3.  Richard K. Morgan. See my previous blogs for further clarification.

So I think that shows just why I should not be held responsible for not achieving my goals. As for the course itself, despite not being the most eye catching of courses, it is actually relatively flat and though there were some sharp turns and one bridge, it was a solid course for a 10k. There is one part where you run around that giant globe thingy around mile 5 and it blocked out the sun so perfectly. It was such a relief because before that you are in the sun for a bit so when I got too that part it kind of charged me up. That globe is cool as shit, and is also the perfect Instagram spot, as Nathalie was quick to take advantage off. The picture I have is actually of the sunny side, but whatever imagine being on the other side of the thing if you have an issue with it.

The swag bag was pretty standard, the tank is, well here’s a picture of it all so I don’t really need to explain it. The tank is pretty damn comfortable. I would be remiss if I did not mention there were no bee power waffles. Points off for that.

All in all I actually had a great time at the race, I set a PR so while I did fail progress is slow. That’s the motto of the perpetual underachiever. The course was a lot of fun and I didn’t have to take a train there because I got a ride, automatically improving the race. NYRR here is some more unsolicited advice, just give me a ride both ways and I will love the race. 20 weeks to the marathon. Stay working hard everyone. Here the obligatory picture of me. Notice that my head is not peeling like a prisoner of the Boltons.

Final Notes: Noted enemy of the blog Lebron James successfully manipulated another organization into mortgaging their future because Lebron is incapable of winning a championship on his own. How could he not win with noted superstars Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart and 3 first round picks to be named later? Coward.