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FEATURES

Written features from the writers of CITIUS MAG

May 2, 2017

How Else to Break2

After this weekend, we can still aim to break two in other ways. It doesn’t just have to be two hours. We explain other Breaking2 scenarios.

May 2, 2017

On Monza: An inside look at the course picked for Breaking 2

Paul Snyder once went to the race track in Italy where Nike will host the Breaking 2 attempt to break the two-hour marathon mark.

May 1, 2017

Evaluating Nike’s Breaking2 Project vs. other high-profile, pop-cultural promises

Nike’s Sub-2 Project: Managing the Hype

Some weather-dependent day this weekend, the triumvirate of Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese will line up in Monza, Italy, to complete just shy of 18 trips around the town’s 1.5 mile long Formula One track. Nike — the sponsor of the event — is pretending to rest its hopes on one of these three men traversing 26.2 miles in a time of 1:59:59 or faster.

But sub-two or not, Nike’s already won.

The company hasn’t come out and said as much, but it is nothing more than a marketing ruse, and a highly successful one at that. Just type “nike sub 2” into Google, and marvel at the number of gushing press clippings from countless highly reputable journalistic outlets (now including Citius Mag!). Once again, Nike has done what it does best: drum up hype at low-to-no cost.

The success of the attempt is irrelevant. In all likelihood, none of the selected, impossibly gifted athletes will dip below the two hour threshold this weekend, despite every advantage bestowed upon them by Nike. Controversial energy-preserving shoes, a closed and non-record-eligible course, fluids and fuel on demand, vehicular pacers, the like. It’s not enough to make it happen. We just aren’t there yet.

It doesn’t seem likely that almost three minutes will be lopped off of an already imposing world record. But in terms of undelivered upon promises, Nike’s probable failure to deliver the world’s first marathon time beginning with a “1,” just isn’t that big of a deal. So it seems pretty silly to get all worked up over a massive multinational corporation doing what it exists to do: sell shit.

Someday, somebody somewhere will run 1:59. And the world will keep spinning until then— and after.

No harm, no foul. And compared to other recent pop-cultural misleadings, it barely registers as anything other than an ambitious plan falling shy of its endgame. Let’s take a look at some of the others, on the below “Graph of Grift!”

The Graph of Grift

Large scale corporate fraud can be extremely damaging, extremely funny, worth acknowledging, and in some instances, not even requiring recognition.

Extremely Damaging Quadrant

When a claim is huge, and the failure to deliver on it qualifies as downright fraudulent, bad things happen. Things like worsening race relations, the loss of thousands of people’s life-savings, and misdiagnosing of major illness can occur. True catastrophes. These are the things that keep investigative journalism relevant, and deserve our fullest condemnation.

Assholes scamming senior citizens by calling and pretending to be their bail-seeking, imprisoned grandchildren are an everyday example.

Extremely Funny Quadrant

When the stakes are low, the extremely wealthy are targeted, and fraud occurs, the result is a sort of cathartic humor we plebeians can revel in. A bunch of millionaire Vine stars got swindled by Ja Rule into paying thousands of dollars to eat bread sandwiches and sleep in FEMA tents? That’s pretty funny. Some Gwyneth Paltrow fans purchased a purported cold juicing device that basically just squirts out the contents of expensive bags of liquidized fruit? High comedy.

Worth Acknowledging Quadrant

Nike’s sub-two attempt and accompanying hype falls into this third camp. It’s a bold claim, and not so far outside the realm of possibility that we can fully scoff at it. So instead, we pay attention to claims like these, express our skepticism, and then get to say “I told you so” when they bomb.

(Think: Jay-Z’s dumb streaming service, TIDAL, or Neil Young’s PonoPlayer.)

Not Requiring Recognition Quadrant

This is the type of unfulfilled hype that is so blatant, the lie is inextricable from the thing itself in a very public way. You know full well where your money is going— down the tubes— and you don’t care.

When you pull off of the interstate at the behest of a billboard reading “WORLD’S LARGEST CERAMIC GOBLIN,” you are willingly entering this space.

What does it all mean?

We are deceived from the moment we’re born. (“What a beautiful baby” is the first repeated lie we hear. Most babies are strange looking and don’t become cute until a few months of out-of-the-womb development.) We can all handle some more.

When Kipchoge is this weekend’s sole finisher, and runs 2:02:48, nobody has gotten hurt. The sport that we love will continue to be an afterthought  between Olympic cycles. And Nike will still make billions of dollars a year. There are greater atrocities out there more deserving of our attention.

And if I’m wrong? Then something pretty cool has succeeded in taking place.

April 28, 2017

Lessons learned from altitude training with the Beasts

What are the benefits of training at altitude? One of our writers went to Albuquerque and trained with Danny Mackey’s Brooks Beasts for a few days.

April 26, 2017

Track & Food: the Drake & Penn Relays are best enjoyed with a side of gluttony

Penn Relays is known for many things, its phenomenal track food among them. But Drake is no slouch in the aggressive eating category either.

April 26, 2017

The lesser known Drake

Best known Drake: The Canadian recording artist. Self proclaimed world class lover. Former kid actor.

Less known Drake: The Drake Relays. A staple of American track and field contested between endless rows of Iowan corn. It’s where we watched Alan Webb run 3:51. It’s where they contested the 2013 USATF Outdoor Championships in 200 degree heat. It’s the home to the world famous Walking Taco.

Lesser Known Drake: UCLA’s Drake Stadium is tucked neatly on the north side of their Westwood campus. It holds 11,000 people and has been graced by just as many world class athletes (probably) as the more well-known Drake Stadium.

Least known drake: What bird folk call a male duck.

Though Iowa’s Drake University has taken the name “Drake” and run with it (at least in track and field), we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge another Drake, where many equally impressive performances have taken place.

How many Olympians UCLA has produced and called Drake home is a story for another article. For now let’s take a quick look at some performances from both Drakes, of which we should all be equally grateful.

 

April 26, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part V)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part V.

April 26, 2017

Generations of memories at the Penn Relays for the Byrne family

Kevin Byrne grew up listening to stories from his grandfather and father about competing at the Penn Relays. Then he made his own. Now his sister will too.

April 25, 2017

Penn Relays: Track’s Greatest Trophy

All sports have a trophy, but only some of them a truly great. Does track and field have a great trophy? You bet. The Penn Relays Wagon Wheel.

April 20, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part IV)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part four of our new weekly series.

April 18, 2017

Press release regarding Paul Snyder and the Debajo Dos world record attempt

An important announcement regarding Paul Snyder’s attempt on the 800 meter world record and the future of the Debajo Dos project.

April 16, 2017

Get to know Clarence DeMar, the most dominant American in the Boston Marathon’s history

One of the more decorated racers in Boston history, he ran 2:21 to win the Marathon in 1911, after being told by doctors his heart murmur would kill him.

April 14, 2017

A Local Elite’s Guide to the Boston Marathon Weekend

Local elite marathoner Louis Serafini shares his expert guide on what to do for running, food and entertainment in Boston during marathon weekend.

April 13, 2017

BQ or Bust? No thank you.

Not running the Boston Marathon? That’s totally fine. Don’t let an unrealized dream of qualifying prevent you from exploring other great races and memories to be made.

April 13, 2017

The silly story of the first ever Boston Marathon, as told by the journalists who watched it

We read through an 1897 newspaper article about the first ever Boston Marathon (and added our own thoughts to it) so you don’t have to.

April 12, 2017

Reader submission: I ran a beer half marathon in 1:43. Here’s how it went

13 miles & 13 beers. On a whim, a reader decided to test out his running and drinking capability by completing a beer half marathon in one hour, 43 minutes.

April 12, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part III)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part three of our new weekly series.

April 12, 2017

The Hot Boston: A look at some of the hottest Boston Marathons

There have been 11 instances in the history of the Boston Marathon where race day temps registered over 80 degrees. We examine those hot ones.

April 11, 2017

Brave, stupid or both? Running in a costume begs a few questions

Stephen Kersh examines the thought process and feelings that come with running a race while wearing a costume. Is it stupid? Is it brave?

April 9, 2017

Unfiltered thoughts: Consider the Running Skirt

I have been intrigued and enchanted by running skirts since my sophomore year running cross and track in college. I specifically remember stumbling across a neon lime green and white patterned skirt with a bright aqua blue waistband and the same blue spandex shorts underneath during the summer beforehand and snatching that ensemble up like it was going out of style (when in reality it was never in style to being with). I returned to school that year excited about my purchase and eager to wear it out and about along the banks of the Charles River, only to realize that I was alone on the island of running skirt enthusiasm. Teammates wrinkled their noses and squinched their eyebrows together. What is that? they asked, as if I’d shown up to practice with dog poop smeared across my legs. I don’t blame them for this reaction. They’d been programmed by society to look down their nose at running skirts, we’re all a product of the world around us. And I could and possibly should have stood tall and proud with my thighs be-skirted, but instead I eventually pushed that skirt to the bottom of my running drawer until I lost track of it, or gave it away. I no longer have it.

So when Nicole Bush and I planned to call each other one day while we were both running, I knew exactly what I wanted to chat with her about.

We decided to record the phone call for posterity, and so that we could later bring snippets of it to you, if it turned out that we were able to be the least bit coherent while running. She explained to me a technique she used in order to talk into the mic on her headphones while running, which basically consisted of holding the headphone wire between her teeth, and we were off. What follows is a shortened transcript of our conversation, in which we consider: is the running skirt dumb?

Jeanne: Hey Nicole we’re recording now.

Nicole: Is it a second call that comes in?

J: Yeah I had to merge them. I also really hope it works because I tried Google voice and that was great but then I couldn’t get the call out of google voice, like to download the recording or whatever.

N: Gotcha.

J: Ok I’m getting my shoes on. I’m also in a room with a parrot right now. Because I’m pet setting for a professor. The parrot’s name is Arnie.

N: That’s awesome. Much better than pet sitting a dog or a cat.

J: Yeah and there’s a tortoise too. Named Windsor. Hey Arnie, will you talk? I’ve learned that it’s really hard to get parrots to listen to you or do what you want. Alright, I’m ready to head out for a run. How far are you going today do you think?

N: Mmm. Undecided. I’ll see how I feel.

J: Yeah, same. Bye, Paul, wanna say hi to Nicole? She can hear you but you can’t hear her.

Paul: Hi Nicole. Just tell her I say hi.

N: Helloooo.

J: She says hello. And now I’m leaving.

N: Cool. Me too. I have my key on my little ratchety headband that I put on my wrist and tuck under my watch when I go running.

J: Nice. You don’t ever want to just leave it somewhere in the yard? Under a rock or something?

N: No I’ve been doing this for too long. Plus I live in an apartment, so it’d be like public space too which would be weird. I’m outside now and it’s actually a really nice day in Michigan.

J: Ok me too. Wooo! What’s the weather?

N: It’s about 40 but the sun is out which it doesn’t like to do a lot in the Winter. But also a couple of weeks ago it was 60. Are you running yet?

J: Well shoot Nicole, the wire in my mouth thing really backfired and I’m pretty sure it ended the call!

N: Did you hang up on me with your mouth?

J: Yep. Exactly. Hit some weird button or something.

N: Do you have the regular iPhone headphones.

J: Yeah the ones with the volume adjuster thing on one side.

N: Yeah, so I have the mouthpiece on the right side. Then I put the end of the wire past my lips and just kind of hold it there.

J: How do you talk while you do that? I have no idea how someone could do both!? You don’t need to open your mouth? You can talk with your mouth holding a wire?

N: No wait now. I don’t know. This doesn’t seem like it. I don’t know how I did this. Maybe I just got my friends to talk most of the time.

J: Yeah that’s the thing about calling people when you run, you need to find someone who can talk pretty much uninterrupted so you can just say like, “mm, mhm” and grunt and stuff. But anyway. Guess what I’m wearing right now Nicole.

N: Are you wearing shorts?

J: I’m not. Good guess. But I’m wearing a running skirt.

N: I didn’t see that coming.

J: I know! But you should’ve. Because I asked you pretty cryptically a few days ago, what do you think about running skirts?

N: It would’ve been great if I had been like, me too!!

J: Hah. Do you own any running skirts?

N: I got one for free once. I never wore it. I think it was like a size too big.

J: Yeah. It’s hard to roll the top.

N: I was just gonna say–I probably wouldn’t have been able to roll it. I have a shirt that looks–well, cause I have like no torso–so because of that I have a shirt that looks kind of like a tunic/skirt thing when I wear it. It was when I was at Furman and Jeff See was like you are probably the only person of your caliber who is running in a running skirt. And I was like I’m just kidding, it’s a tank top.

J: So basically it was a running dress. You started the running dress trend?

N: Yeah it went below my shorts. I could’ve belted that shit.

J: Ok. Well. Two things. I just found like the bottom half of a dollar bill on the road. Which is so weird, it was torn in half so now I have from George Washington’s chin down in my left hand.

N: Oh! Like the long way?

J: Yeah isn’t that so surprising? I’ve never seen it torn this way.

N: I’ve seen em, but they’re always like the short way.

J: I don’t know if this will even work. I’ve heard that you need like ⅔ of a dollar in order for it to count as anything.

N: No no no no. You rip it and then you just have two.

J: Ok. Well anyway. The second thing I was gonna say is that, we need to talk about this. What you just were saying about how Jeff said running skirts don’t go hand in hand with high caliber athletes.

N: Yeah! So I was thinking about it a little bit. And yeah, I understand that running skirts serve a purpose. But for me, I’m like, they’re dumb. I think they’re dumb.

J: Well wait. What is the purpose? I’m intrigued about whether there’s a purpose that’s not obviously apparent. Like I gotta tell you. I feel bouncy and buoyant. And maybe that doesn’t have anything to do with the skirt. But there’s some air getting in under the skirt part and it feels nice.

N: If it was like buns under the skirt, I wonder. I might like that but maybe not with the shorts.

J: I wonder if they make them like that. To be clear, this is probably just a tennis skirt. But Ok. Here’s the thing. Here’s the argument for running skirts. Why they’re not dumb:

I think it reminds me of what I would imagine the draw is for wearing kind of long shorts if you’re a guy. Like even if you’re still good, wearing longer shorts means: ok. I’m taking a step back and going to fully embody a runner dad and just really relax, maybe go 8:30ish pace. And that’s what it feels like, wearing a running skirt to me. Subversive.

N: Ok, so short shorts are for like, when you’re gonna go fast or hard you’re gonna fully step into the role. And then the longer inseam… is when you’re more relaxed…okay…

J: Yeah I think so, right?

N: I guess my big thing is maybe I think they’re stupid because I think it’s too feminine so it’s for like wimps who want to look nice. And that’s totally unfair. Like, I’m a feminist, why am I thinking that!

J: Oh no! Shit!

N: I know! I’m not perfect.

J: So I used to work for a company that would send me to the Disney half and 10k in Orlando, Florida. And I’d be at the expo and race registration and oh my god. There. That was the running skirt mecca. If you didn’t have a running skirt on, get the fuck out.

N: Like all ages?

J: Yeah I think so! Most of the women were a little older. But yeah you’re right, I didn’t see many girls. Or like women in their 20s wearing running skirts. But also tutus. Tons of tutus there, not just running skirts. And that’s kind of where I draw the line. I’m pro running skirt, but I don’t know about a tutu.

N: Ok. Now I’m rethinking this. I have run in a tutu.

J: Wow! For what?

N: It was for Halloween. I decided to be a ballerina. So I made one and then ran through the woods with my friends.

J: Were you the only one wearing a tutu?

N: Oh definitely, yes. Just me.

J: And maybe that’s some of the allure of the running skirt, too. Sure anyone can wear shorts, men, women, boys, girls. But it takes a certain kind of person to wear a running skirt.

N: What kind of person is that? I think there’s a demographic of people who want to be a little more covered up. And not be just in like straight up spandex short shorts.

J: True.

N: But then beyond that. Beyond that- what is the appeal? I guess you could feel really feminine while you’re running in a skirt. And I’m like no – I don’t want to.

J: Yeah that’s true. I think that’s part of it. I feel like yeah, running usually involves hocking loogies or maybe pooping in the woods. and I guess it can be hard to equate that with femininity. But it can be! And maybe that’s part of why people like them, to put together two parts of themselves that are usually seen as separate. Feminine and athletic.

N: Yeah I think for a while when my friends would put makeup on to race, I’d be like, what are you doing. I disapprove. But not that much. And now I think, you know what, people can do that and that’s cool. It’s like you get to step into a race persona.

J: Yeah! That’s the thing. It’s like the running skirt is a persona! Regardless of whether it’s for the purpose of a race–and granted I don’t see a lot of people doing that. But for an easy day, maybe it’s like–I want to be able to get into a different persona? Or embrace a different part of my persona that’s already there. I don’t know.

N: It isn’t necessarily just racing, like work out day, too. And also going out in public afterward, and you’re all gross and you can’t change, could be nice to cover up with a running skirt.

J: Yeah. I wonder if anyone has ever raced a pretty fast time in a running skirt. Definitely something I should research.

N: Except for the fact that there’s no “ran 2:50 in a running skirt” asterisk in race results.

J: True. You’re right, there’s no way we’d ever know. We’d have to get on some of that Derek Murphy internet detective shit, where he cross references pictures from the race and stuff.

N: I guess you could find finish line footage from Chicago or Boston and watch until you saw someone cross in a running skirt and see what their time was.

J: I could. Maybe I will. Would you ever consider racing in running skirt, personally?

N: I think I would consider it. I don’t know if I would actually do it. I’d have to be like either really killing it at running for a while, or just be like: uhh, this is basically my last race ever. It’s interesting though, I just keep coming back to thinking, being in a running skirt just doesn’t feel like or seem like you’re tough. And that’s so stupid.

J: Yeah. That is stupid! I don’t think it should be that way. That’s why, part of me thinks I really want to race in a running skirt. But I also wonder if it’s just that the only reason I want to race in a running skirt is to be able to say: I raced in a running skirt. Which seems backwards.

N: Yeah. Maybe if it was a running skirt that you really liked and you would wear it anyway, like if it was a cool material. And you liked that look and you would wear it running or not running. That might be the answer.

J: Yeah I’ll have to think about it.

N: What color is your running skirt?

J: It’s navy blue! and I was also just checking around for a pocket to put this half of a dollar bill in and unfortunately, I don’t think this skirt has a pocket. Which really makes me think it’s not a running skirt at all and instead is probably for tennis.
When we hung up a while later because my phone’s deformed battery was on the verge of dying, whether or not my skirt was intended for running or for tennis, I was happy to be wearing it. I’ll be the first to admit that I at times have enjoyed doing something different just for the sake of being different. But, with running skirts, it’s about bucking the trend in a larger way. It’s about defying expectations of what it means to wear a running skirt, and doing my best to free this pigeon-holed item of clothing from the category of only being meant for not quite super competitive or maybe not even serious runners. Free the Running Skirt.

April 6, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part II)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits.

April 5, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits.

April 4, 2017

The Rupp Mask: a look at running’s doofiest accessory and what it signifies

The Rupp Mask: something to mock, or a source of doubt, causing us all to call into question just how committed we are to the sport we supposedly love?

April 3, 2017

Debajo Dos: The wheels are falling off for Paul

This was a rough week of training for our own Paul Snyder, who continues his quest to break the 800 meter world record in his Debajo Dos attempt.

March 31, 2017

Someone please break the hour run American Record

The hour run American Record is the softest of records. We implore any able bodied athlete to please, please break this record.

March 27, 2017

A sad Blue Jean Mile attempt

Citius Mag issued a challenge to the first person to break four minutes for the mile in jeans. Our own Ryan Sterner took it upon himself to test it out.

March 27, 2017

Debajo Dos: Paul’s fitness is lurking

Aesop once wrote of a farmer, whose goose laid a golden egg daily. He grew rich off of his fowl’s cloacal output. But one day, his greed drove him to slaughter the golden goose, hoping to harvest all of its golden contents at once. It was empty, and the farmer extracted no more gold. This parable keeps me up at night. I am the farmer. I am the goose. And my fitness is the egg. Am I getting too greedy? Is my task too ambitious?

Monday, March 20th

It’s a wild world when six miles no longer feels like a milestone.

Tuesday, March 21st

Hopped on the treadmill to bolster my aerobic fitness metrics. A five mile tempo later (at 5:40 pace) I walked out of the gym and straight to a neighborhood pizzeria a better version of my old self.

Wednesday, March 22nd

Woke up debilitatingly fatigued. Yesterday’s marathon session really zapped me of any vigor I once possessed. Went for a jog with Jeanne in a bullheaded attempt to plow through the wall of physical degradation.

Thursday, March 23rd

With my body still failing, I opted to play it safe — something I once vowed to never do — and gave my overworked mitochondria a rest.

Friday, March 24th

Apparently rest is occasionally what the doctor ought to order. I went for a nice jog with my friend and filmmaker RJ McNichols. I was shocked RJ didn’t ask to make a documentary about my efforts, but can’t fault him for being nervous around an athlete of my caliber. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable asking me that same question. No worries, RJ, if you’re reading this, I have a 90-page script typed up and ready for production as a Lifetime original film. I of course, demand to be played by Moby. (You thought that was it for today, but you’re plum wrong. Fitness doesn’t rest, except for yesterday when it did. And I ran twice(!) today, with my second run featuring some sprints on the track.

Saturday, March 25th

A storm rolled down from the mountains as another was looming on the track… me. I did eight 200m intervals, starting around 32 seconds, and working down to 27 for the last one. Hurricane Paul took no human casualties but did burp up a little vomit at the end of this session.

Sunday, March 26th

Really threw caution to the wind by going for a long run the day after a brutal speed session, but that’s the cost of greatness. Nine miles on the day.

Fatigue was the name of the game this week, which saw me run nearly 37 miles. Two workouts? Strides? A long run? Do I have a death wish? No. I have a SUCCESS WISH. Next week should be a little lighter, as there are only about 20 days to go in my training cycle. Only god can judge me.


This is the eighth post in a series by Paul chronicling his journey to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters. Check out his previous post below:

Introducing Debajo Dos and one boy’s quest to run fast as heck 

Inside Paul’s first week of training

Paul has an acute gout flare up scare

Paul’s biggest week of mileage yet

Paul suffers from Runner’s Amnesia in New York

Paul braves the elements and Albuquerque

Paul addresses the critics and doubters of his world record attempt

Debajo Dos: One month left of work

March 27, 2017

Real talk from female track and field reporters on their experience covering the sport

Female track and field reporters share their experiences, challenges and hopes of covering the sport in a male-dominated setting.

March 26, 2017

Going long with breakout U.S. distance runner Noah Droddy

Chatting with Noah Droddy about his 61:48 mark at the NYC Half Marathon, how he’s spent his last few years and the state of American distance running.

March 24, 2017

Track needs a new gimmick: introducing the Blue Jean Mile

For far too long, track has waded around in the kiddie pool of obscurity. What if we’re already wearing the answer to bringing it to mainstream audiences?

March 23, 2017

Q&A with New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano of The Rap Year Book

As he finishes up work on his second book, Basketball (and Other Things), Shea Serrano took a few minutes to chat about his running, Olympics, San Antonio

March 22, 2017

The top 50 songs with “Running” or “Run” in the title

As part of Music Week on Citius Mag, we ranked and compiled the definitive list of the best songs with “run” or “running” in the title.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
March 21, 2017

Eminem was a big time runner: Once hammered 17 miles on a treadmill daily

Eminem used to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. Then he changed his approach on life and improved his cardio by running 17 miles a day on a treadmill.

March 21, 2017

Here’s what happened when I scored Bruce Springsteen’s first seven albums like a track meet

Bruce Springsteen is the best but what’s the best album. Using the scoring system of a track meet, Paul Snyder examines The Boss’ greatest hits and albums.

March 19, 2017

Track needs celebrity fans

Every other sport has some famous fans. We think it’s time track gets some too, so we’ve laid out a few suggested celebs we think would play the part well

March 19, 2017

Debajo Dos: One month left of work

With week seven of training in the books and less than a month to go until showtime, I’m feeling pretty snappy. The past seven days have been probably the smoothest sailing of my heroic training block and in the process of training for one world record, I may have inadvertently set another. No, I’m not talking about me brazenly running seven days consecutively, although I’ll have to check on those stats. I’m talking about a 1,600 meter time trial I completed this past Wednesday. Read on, dear sports fans.

Monday, March 13th

Huge mileage day in Albuquerque with Jeanne along the Rio Grande. Eight miles.

Tuesday, March 14th:

Ill-advised back-to-back long run day, as Jeanne and our friend who is also named Paul once again breached the eight mile threshold. Sometimes you gotta flirt with that red line, careful not to cross it.

Wednesday, March 15th

The 1,600 meter distance is rarely contested and so I can’t imagine accurate records are kept for it. But I’m fairly sure my time trial today established a new world’s best. Four minutes and 38 seconds for the ol’ four lap fiasco. I limped off the track almost certain I’d been dismembered by quartering horses, but feeling exceedingly confident in my ability to go sub-2 in about a month.

Thursday, March 16th

Listened to my body and kept things under control with a four-miler featuring zen guru Stephen Kersh. I could feel small holes and fissures developing in my overstressed bones as we wrapped things up, so I consumed some protein-rich tacos after to reconstitute anything that had been decalcified through excessive exercise this week.

Friday, March 17th

Most athletes would have taken a few days off to give themselves cortisone enemas after an effort like mine on Wednesday. But not this athlete. Four mile tempo on the treadmill averaging about 5:35 pace, then hit the track to do some short sprints. Woof.

Saturday, March 18th

Probably should have rested. But my friend Ryan was in town and so this was a hospitality jog.

Sunday, March 19th

A much slower hospitality jog of a similar distance to yesterday’s, after being over-served at the Elk’s lodge in town during a charity trivia event the night before. (Our team tied for second and the sting of that defeat will surely fuel my fire for another couple of weeks.)

I won’t be surprised if after this nearly 40 mile week, I come down with consumption, the grippe, or conjunctivitis due to my bullheaded approach to life and sport. Many detractors have cautioned me against burning the candle at both ends… well I say to those naysayers to find yourself a more creatively designed candle or some burlier wax. Let me know if anyone wants that printed on a motivational t-shirt to wear to the gym or church.


This is the seventh post in a series by Paul chronicling his journey to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters. Check out his previous post below:

Introducing Debajo Dos and one boy’s quest to run fast as heck 

Inside Paul’s first week of training

Paul has an acute gout flare up scare

Paul’s biggest week of mileage yet

Paul suffers from Runner’s Amnesia in New York

Paul braves the elements and Albuquerque

Paul addresses the critics and doubters of his world record attempt

March 18, 2017

The Oregon Trail with the Oregon Project: An adventure story

Hit the road with the Oregon Project for the adventure of a lifetime as you make your way along the Oregon Trail. Beware of dysentery.

March 18, 2017

Artin Black: WWII-era NYC’s Forgotten Running Folk Hero

Who was “Artin calisthenic marathon runner” and why did he send a partially clothed beach portrait to Fiorello H. La Guardia? Exploring little-known details of NYC running legend.

March 17, 2017

Run4AllWomen and Making Running a Political Act

January 21, at 6:21 AM, Alison Désir and her fellow Run4AllWomen runners arrived in Washington, D.C. and raised over $100,000 for Planned Parenthood.

March 17, 2017

Central Park: a surface-level skimmed history

Home to six miles of this weekend’s NYC Half Marathon course, Central Park has long stood as a proxy for the highs and lows of New York City.

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