I watched the movie It’s Kind Of A Funny Story tonight, which deals with mental illness and suicide, but also teen romance and anxiety. It was really a good movie, but i was sad to learn after watching that the author of the book it was based on, Ned Vizzini succumbed to suicide a couple years ago. Very tragic, but his legacy lives on.
So the last few months I’ve really gotten into Mountain Biking. Every summer for the last 3 or so summers I’ve been really wanting to get into cycling, but other priorities always kept me from buying a new bike.
This summer I finally figured a way to get new mountain bikes for my girlfriend and me. The past several weeks I’ve been having a blast exploring trails here in central Pennsylvania, where there is no shortage of places to ride.
Last weekend down at Raystown Lake was Dirt Rag Dirt Fest a mountain biking festival. Originally I planned to just go down for the day but on a whim the night before I checked and a campsite had opened up. I was so excited Friday morning to pack up for a weekend of camping and riding with some friends who would be in from out of town.
Friday afternoon I get down there, set up my tent and took my bike on the shuttle to the trailhead to get to the festival. My buddy’s parents were actually volunteering at the trailhead and they gave me a map and some directions, then off I went.
The riding was great, the singletrack was flowing and a lot of fun. Then it came to a fork in the road and I went left onto a trail called osprey rather than taking a right to a nice paved road. That ended up being a mistake because immediately I got a little too much speed, hit a bump and flew my front wheel into a second bump, flipping me up over the bike.
I hit hard but tried to stand up. I realized I had messed up my arm because I couldn’t lift it, but I tried to stay calm. My head was fuzzy, I was dizzy and my vision was messed up, so clearly I had hit my head (luckily with a helmet on). I got down on a knee and shortly after 2 guys came from behind me on the trail and asked if I was alright.
I told them what happened and they helped pull me off the trail. These guys were a huge help. They looked over my bike and said it looked OK, and they called down to one of their friends down at the festival to try to find my friend. In the meantime I called my friend’s dad who was volunteering and asked if I could get a ride to the hospital. They picked me and my bike up and got me to the Emergency Room.
At the ER they gave me a CAT scan and took some X-rays and determined my head was OK, but my shoulder was pretty much “shattered”. They gave me a piece of junk sling and some painkiller shots, then sent me on my way.
This was on a Friday, and my girlfriend came down and drove me home. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in with a specialist till Monday. This was a very difficult weekend full of horrible pain.
On Monday the specialist told me the news. It probably will never heal up fully, but they are going to try to repair my shattered bones. If that doesn’t seem like it will heal I’ll need a shoulder replacement. At least the specialist gave me a high quality sling, which does a lot better job of preventing my arm from moving.
At this point all I can do is wait for Friday when I will have surgery. Hopefully it will go well and I can start healing.
I realized the other day I hadn’t posted an update on how my first 5K went. Overall I had a great time!
My girlfriend (who had to work in the morning and was just watching) and I showed up to the starting area a little early and I picked up my race packet. It was really amazing to actually be pinning a number on myself, I felt like an actual athlete! haha! Now, I did sports when I was in school, and I’ve done martial arts off on an on since high school, but running in a race is a different kind of thing.
We first got to see the people who were running in the day’s 10K, and I think that included most of the more hardcore runners. A little while later they gathered the 5K people to start. Once the race began, I found myself following the pace of a pack of people ahead of me, and looking at my Garmin Forerunner 10 I could tell I was going a little faster than my normal pace. Eventually I let that group slowly move ahead of me and kept to my own pace. I think I had moved away from some of the slower runners, and didn’t have anybody breathing right down my neck at that point.
The race was basically through a little development and down a bike path, then you turn around and went back the way you came. The first half tended to have more downhills than uphills, which was great until we made our way back. But honestly I think it was going back and going up those hills where my training on the local hills paid off. I tried to maintain my regular pace and I think I did a pretty good job of doing so. That group that had outpaced me early on all had hit a brick wall going up the hills and I ended up passing them all. It was a cool feeling!
Near the end of the race there was one guy ahead of me and I made it my mini-goal to sprint to the finish and try to pass him. I ended up passing him with only a few seconds to go. I ended up finishing 11th with a time of 33:39. My GPS watch measured my distance at 3.6 miles and my 5k time at 29:19! I was thrilled!
CLASS PLACE PLACE FINISHER TIME ----- ----- -------- ---- 1 Bill Zimmerman, 32, State College, PA 22:40 2 Matt Smith, 49, State College, PA 22:48 3 Tom Cali, 58, State College, PA 23:36 4 1 Scott Gest, 47, State College, PA 31:04 5 2 Ethan Lucas, 20, Bellefonte, PA 31:20 6 3 Corey Hudson, 32, Altoona, PA 31:29 7 4 Chris Cregan Ellis, 32, Yonkers, NY 31:38 8 5 Nick Gildow, 35, Philipsburg, PA 32:05 9 Mikala Morrow, 19*, Lewisburg, PA 33:01 10 6 Bill Morrow, 50, Lewisburg, PA 33:02 11 7 Scott Irvin, 31, State College, PA 33:39 12 8 Kevin Connor, 25, Fairfax, VA 33:41 13 9 Larry Lucas, 53, Bellefonte, PA 34:23 14 Nelitza Sarriera, 27*, Boalsburg, PA 34:39 15 10 Tim Little, 34, Patton, PA 34:58 16 Monica Reed, 35*, State College, PA 35:04 17 1 Sarah Reif, 13*, Lewisburg, PA 35:09 18 11 Adam Reed, 36, State College, PA 35:13 19 12 Willie Melendez, 32, Boalsburg, PA 35:22 20 13 Thad Smith, 10, Spring Mills, PA 35:37 21 14 Brandon Krause, 26, State College, PA 35:56 22 15 Bryan Gormont, 27, State College, PA 35:56 23 2 Kayla Meier, 21*, State College, PA 35:57 24 16 Adam Cardell, 25, Springfield, PA 35:59 25 3 Maria Zielinski, 33*, Elysburg, PA 36:33 26 17 Rupert Johnson, 25, State College, PA 37:25 27 4 Kathleen Shupenko, 30*, Port Matilda, PA 39:11 28 18 John Hurst, 49, Spring Mills, PA 39:12 29 19 Todd Kos, 46, State College, PA 40:06 30 20 Kevin Kos, 43, St. Louis Park, MN 40:07 31 21 Arnold Gasche, 83, State College, PA 41:00 32 5 Josette Zielinski, 56*, Elysburg, PA 41:14 33 6 Hannah Kennedy, 16*, Tyrone, PA 41:37 34 22 Scott Kennedy, 41, Tyrone, PA 41:38 35 7 Alison Weinschenk, 35*, State College, PA 41:58 36 8 Maryann Fitzgerald, 40*, State College, PA 41:58 37 9 Joyce Sutton, 40*, Kennett Square, PA 42:55 38 23 Tyler Olsen, 13, State College, PA 42:59 39 24 Bryce Fisher, 12, Pine Grove Mills, PA 43:00 40 25 Zeb Crews, 12, State College, PA 43:01 41 26 Rich Olsen, 43, State College, PA 43:11 42 10 Karlee McCloskey, 20*, Bellefonte, PA 45:09 43 11 Kera Smith, 43*, Lincoln Universit, PA 48:41 44 27 Simon Smith, 8, Spring Mills, PA 50:31 45 12 Amy Lucas, 51*, Bellefonte, PA 58:32 * indicates females 6 finishers among Males (no age given) 27 finishers among Open Men/OpM 12 finishers among Open Women/OpW 33 male finishers 12 female finishers 45 total finishers
I unfortunately didn’t run much since then, but I’ve signed up for my next race and training began today! This time my girlfriend is “running” with me! I put running in quotes because I honestly think this race will turn into more of a walk. It’s the Color Run, which is coming to Penn State. There will be like a thousand people, and I’ve heard these races aren’t even timed. It’s really just about getting hit in the face with colored powder. Hey whatever, whenever pictures from these things end up on my facebook feed it looks like a lot of fun, so I knew we had to sign up!
Yesterday I was actually at the first annual Mt. Nittany Marathon. No, I didn’t run, but I volunteered at the first water station! It was actually fun.. there was a lot of prep work getting all the cups poured and ready to go. Then we waited and waited, and then around the bend came one of the lead cyclists, and then a runner. Then another. And before you know it, there were dozens of them. We had maybe 6 volunteers with water or Gatorade, and we’d call out what we were holding to let the runners decide what they wanted. There were also porta-potties at our station in case anybody needed a bathroom break. The first water station was about 3.1 miles into the race, so a lot of the runners were still grouped up together pretty much. We ended up being done within an hour of the race starting. We just had to go clean up a zillion cups and other crap like gels that people threw along the road. Overall, it was fun, and I’d do it again!
I’ve had Vibram Fivefingers or a while now, but it’s been several months since I’ve seriously worn them and ran with them for any distance. I was doing a lot of martial arts last summer and fall, and they were perfect for training outside. I’ve run more in this last month than I have my whole life, but it has been with regular running shoes.
After some researching it seemed to me like Vibrams may be a good choice for running in an obstacle course race, which has been my secondary fitness goal lately (running my first 5K being my primary). They can handle being wet, can give good traction for climbing, and I have a pair made for trails that protects against stones and other sharp stuff. So last week I wore them for a run, about 3 miles or so. This was way too long of a run considering how long I had gone without wearing them. You land differently on your feet running with this type of shoes, and it puts more stress on your calves while reducing some stress on your knees. The trade off is good in the long term, but in the short term you really put a lot of unusual strain on the calves while you build up those muscles.
So for the past 5 days or so my calves have constantly ached and I have been unable to run, and can barely walk when I wake up in the morning. Today I felt a little better and ran with some regular New Balances but my left calf started hurting bad about halfway up the first hill. I now have about 6 days until my first 5K and I’m nursing this injury and probably can’t do much else but rest the next few days.
Live and learn, right? After the 5K (which I will be wearing regular shoes for), I will try to ease into the Vibrams again. I am not signed up for any OCR’s at the moment so I don’t need to rush into them… I think a slower transition will be helpful.
My New Year’s resolution was to run in a 5k this year. I’ve never run in one. I’ve really never been a runner,but this is a goal I’ve had in the back of my mind for quite a while.
So when I go for a jog I can make it a decent distance, ate least 2 miles or so, but I have some pacing problems. Last week I tried doing the Couch-to-5k program for a few days. I found that when I stuck just to the plan I ended the run with a lot left in the tank. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I think I probably could skip ahead a few weeks into the plan.
For next week I think I will likely try to just get back to jogging the whole time and see how that gos.
I’m penciling in a 5k race in September to be shooting for. What I really want though is to train for an obstacle course race like Spartan Race. The 5k will be a good first step though…
This past week was the Penn State MacAdmin Conference over at the Penn Stater Conference Center, and I had a really good time. I would say about 10% of what I do is Mac based, but we have some heavy Mac users that could really use some improvements in their level of service, so this conference was very useful.
I have been to several conferences over at the Nittany Lion Inn, but I think this might have been my first actual conference at the Penn Stater (although I do find myself over there frequently because of a leadership training program I’m participating in this year). The food at the Penn State was really pretty good, with a lot of options. We had breakfast and lunch there all three days of the conference and I couldn’t complain about any of it. They also always have a bunch of snacks between sessions. In general, you don’t go more than about an hour between feedings lol. The only bad thing about the facilities there was poor wireless connections. I don’t think most of the crowds that hit up the Penn Stater for conferences put as much pressure on the wifi than a big tech conference, so hopefully AT&T will be a little better prepared to handle it next year.
There were many good sessions about software packaging, deployment, management systems etc. I thought the talks by Allister Banks were very interesting and entertaining. He’s got to be the most eccentric person in a room full of Mac users, which is saying something. I also liked the talk I attended from Rusty Myers about bash, and the one I took a little earlier that day about python. If only they could find some grizzled old sysadmin to talk about perl!
My workflow evolved throughout the conference. I brought in a work iPad on the first day but found myself not using it to keep notes or anything really, but rather just to check work emails. (I really hate the anxiety of knowing work emails are piling up but not being able to really knock them out, so even when I’m at an event like this I tend to try to keep up with them.) On the second and third days I brought in an old macbook from home and fired up evernote to keep notes. This was much better… I could still keep my email open (in those rare moments when I had working wifi) but I could also take notes, pull up URLs of things the speakers were talking about, and keep the conference hashtag up in Twitter.
Unlike some conferences I’ve been to where the hashtags were used by like 1 or two people, here the #psumacconf tag really brought together a big chunk of the community. It really helped me (who lives 2 minutes away from the Penn Stater) from following along with the shenanigans that took place in the after-hours with the people staying at the hotel. I did attend the after-event on Wednesday, which was at Medlar Field. They had the outfield food place opened up and had a cash bar. It was pretty fun although the wind and rain sort of pushed everyone under the concourse. Even so, it was a good place to network, and I met colleagues from across the country who came in for the conference.
The schedule for the conference was on http://sched.org which I thought worked really well, especially on day 2 when they changed up some of the events. It also seemed to tie into Eventbrite, which was how we registered e-tickets for the evening event at the baseball stadium.
Overall I gained a lot from the conference, and am looking forward to next year!
So I got a Kindle, and have been reading a heck of a lot more than I have in recent memory. Probably more than I have since middle school, when I constantly was reading some Dragonlance novel or something along those lines.
I first started out by reading The Maze Runner trilogy. It was a decent series, although the ending of the third novel (The Death Cure) certainly had a few missing pieces that just drive the reader crazy. There’s a prequel coming out that might help clear things up, or it might just make you even more annoyed by the ending of The Death Cure.
But The Maze Runner is usually mentioned in the same breath as The Hunger Games, which shares it’s dystopian future society themes. And so with all the recent buzz about it, and the movie (which came out yesterday), earlier this week I began reading this book. So far so good, although if you held up Maze Runner and Hunger Games to each other, the former focuses much more on action, puzzle solving and combat, while the latter focuses much more on romance, fashion, and descriptions of food. Not to say there isn’t a lot of crossover of some of these topics among both.
I’m hoping to finish the book today, then maybe it’ll be off to the movies tonight!
As a Penn State alumn and someone who currently lives in State College, I may have a different perspective on the events of the past few weeks than some. I personally witnessed the riots that took place after JoePa was fired. Here’s a photo I snapped of the overturned news van sitting on College Ave just across from Urban Outfitters.
There are a few things that should be cleared up though. A lot of people in the media have vilified Penn State students for their handling of this. They ask “where was the riot for the victims?” Anyone who would ask that has no idea what Joe Paterno has meant for this community for the past several decades. It’s not like the students forgot about those victims. Look at the turnout at the candle-light vigil about 2 nights later for proof of that. But this riot was about what they saw as an injustice that was being made against a man who was a fatherly figure, a man who has gone out of his way throughout his life to do the right thing in so many instances. It is why TV specials were made about him, why books were written about him, and why he was looked up to as the model of what coaches should be about.
His handling of the Sandusky situation, however, has put a cloud over all of that. I am personally holding my judgement until we know more. That is more than can be said about the media and much of the public though, who have already made their judgement that he is to blame here. While the actual crimes against children were made by Sandusky, the media coverage would go for tens of minutes before they even mention his name, instead choosing to latch onto the public face of the University, who is only indirectly involved.
The riots were directly caused by this, and the resulting firing of Joe because of the external pressure to do so. They were directed towards the media for their handling of the situation, their targeting Joe when Sandusky was the real villain, and when Joe was fired it all came to a head. I was there, snapping up photos and reporting back through social media what I saw. There were a few knuckleheads who were climbing up on light poles, breaking a few down, and tipping over that news van, but the vast majority of people were just there peacefully chanting three main themes:
1. Unwavering hatred towards Sandusky, over and over again.
2. Support of Joe Paterno, who was fired based on his proximity to these allegations.
3. Vitriol against the media, for putting their hero in that position, as they saw it, unfairly.
The series of events that occurred in 2003 will eventually come to light in great detail, and only then will we have enough understanding of what each party knew to make a rational judgement.
Regardless of the outcome of the current investigation, the damage has been done. If those kids were in fact victimized it’s a tragedy. The most rock-solid reputation in sports has been cracked, and a proud University has had its name tarnished.
So I really dropped the ball on Halloween movies last month. It’s not that I wasn’t watching them every day, my girlfriend can attest to the fact that every day when she came home from work I had some horror thing going. I just got tired of writing those writeups. But really, nothing of value was lost.
It’s been a shitty past few days though considering all the drama here at Penn State about Joe Paterno and more importantly his ex defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. JoePa announced his retirement today and honestly nobody could have expected it would come this way. Drama and scandal have not been common with the PSU coaching staff and the extent that this has gotten to is just crazy.
I’ll be at the game on Saturday, which JoePa may still be at. But I won’t be surprised if the last home game turns out to be the last JoePa game. Sad and shitty.