Posts Tagged 'Running'

New Place News

Been in new apartment about a week – many cool things. 

1. Found a great running route that doesn’t cross too many busy streets, also found a huge lake/park a few blocks away with tons of running trails and no stop-lights for cars to kill me at. 

2. Apartment building has Courtyard with pool and hot tub, both of which are actually – wait for it – CLEAN!!! Overheard some neighbors talking about being actors in LA – maybe I’ll chat with them another time. Nothing better after running for an hour than a dip in the pool. Also, Courtyard has 3 entrances and circular halls – this seems ripe for one of my beloved long takes in a short film that I may have to start writing. Camera moving in and out of building, across pool, pausing here, there for some conversations. It’s a little Boogie Nights, but it’ll be a good exercise if nothing else. Party-sized cast + extensive camera movement = awesome

3. Looking for a car. Went with Tyler and Jen last week, need to go again this week. Talked to the salesmen at the used car place, and since I have good credit, I should be able to get a car without a current source of income. Looking for good gas mileage above all.

4. Am blogging for Tyler’s new podcast More Than One Lesson, which is very good and interesting (Check out my most recent blog). I may be appearing (in voice) on this show very soon.

5. Meeting some good people, including new friend Josh who also writes for the website and is the only person I know who’s actually finished David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. And as he doesn’t know anyone else who’s finished it, I feel compelled to move it up my list and begin it as soon as I finish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which shouldn’t take too long. For all her shortcomings as a writer, that damn J.K. Rowling tells compelling stories that are easy and fun to read. You could do worse. 

6. Met some AFI students over the weekend, two of whom are Production Designers. This could come in handy, especially with aforementioned possible new short film rattling around in brain. One of many.

7. Have been looking at filmmaker’s website Without a Box – awesome. You can get information about thousands (yes, thousands) of film festivals – including the major ones – for submission deadlines and costs. You can create a profile and add projects so the site can more easily point you toward those festivals that fit your film. You can create press kits with all sorts of promotional materials. Lucky for us, we have most of that stuff already, so it should be even easier.

So, all in all, things going well so far. In the midst of writing this, I was even called back for a job I applied for today. Ain’t that something!


And… We’re Back

As I write this, it will be another two days before I have the internet in my new apartment. I haven’t been keeping a regular, hand-written journal for over a month now (am eager to start back up), but wouldn’t you guess it, life hasn’t stopped.

I moved to Los Angeles, by the way. It was time. It’s a huge leap, but I felt like I had to. I wanted to. I needed to. It was time.

Los Angeles, I'm Yours...
Los Angeles, I’m Yours…

Adam has moved with me (blogs about movie premiere in KC / driving to LA to come. Amazingly, we haven’t killed each other yet). We arrived on Wednesday, moved in on Friday and have been scrambling ever since to get the apartment in shape. We made our first trip to IKEA on Sunday, and let me tell you, this store is amazing. The layout alone is worth the trip (even though ours is only about 25 minutes away – HA!). It’s high quality stuff for about what you’d pay at Target. Spent a little money, got tons of stuff (our DVD shelves are badass).

It is no small thing to get accustomed to the city this big. Its scope is overwhelming. I’ve been sleeping for 10 hours a night, just because my body isn’t used to this. It’s hot during the day, but not the stifling humidity of the Midwest. It’s cool at night, from about 6:30 or so on, you let the breeze in and it cools the whole place down.

I went running here for the first time Monday, had planned about 20-30 minutes, since it had been over a week (ick), ended up going for about an hour. Felt great. We went to a Men’s Group with my good, great friend Tyler. It’s a great group of guys, almost all of them guys who moved to LA to do something with film. It’s just a mindset, and it’s very refreshing. I’ve been watching movies like crazy, I had forgotten the unending joys of watching a terrible movie, eating pizza, and tearing the movie apart for two hours (Thanks, “Fireproof,” for sucking SOOOOO bad). Things like that bond people together, to the point that the guy who came and watched and mocked with us ended up helping us move in to our place.

Last but not least: we have a kickass local diner right across the street; a 50’s styled place, all sorts of food. This morning, Adam and I ate there. My meal: 2 large pancakes, 2 pieces of french toast, 4 pieces of regular toast, 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, and skillet fried potatoes…Cost: $6.99 It’s more food than one person can eat and I didn’t even try to finish, I just ate all I wanted and laughed and laughed. One of the best breakfasts ever. Also found a great donut shop called simply “Best Donuts.” They were. Apple Fritter and Large Twist style glazed donut, with crumbled bits on top (what were the crumbles? No idea! Delicious!) Run by a little Korean man, it’s about 10 minutes from our place, and we will be making the trip at least once a week.

First week in LA has been a success. But a week, that’s only like a vacation. We’ll see if I can actually survive for a while. That’ll be something.

Not Quite There

Last week, for the first time in months, I went running in shorts and a t-shirt. Despite the heavy wind toward the end of the run, it was fantastic. I thought, “Ah, here comes spring. Back to running in the sunshine.” ‘Twas not to last. This week’s been very cold, and even though I went for a good solid run on Monday (and am going to go again today, says I to self), I’ve not been able to put away those winter gloves just yet. And so what, it’s fine. Daylight Savings has given me an extra hour of sunlight every day, so that even if work takes longer than I wish (and it inevitably will), I can still go running. Oh, but I do long for the days of warm running. Those are undoubtedly the best. And too soon, for me, they cannot come.

Running in Place

I came to drop bombs!

I came to drop bombs!

Well, I did it. I finished. I set the goals for myself. I trained myself. I worked hard. I ran when it was cold, when I was tired, when I didn’t want to, when I did. I ran and pushed myself, and it paid off big time. Here’s how it went down. Race starts. I let a lot of people go in front of me, because I wanted to avoid having my momentum stalled up front. So, I waited a minute or two, then started (your time doesn’t start until you cross an electronic stripe that communicates to a chip they give you, so waiting doesn’t hurt your time). And I passed SO MANY PEOPLE!!! I was weaving in and out of the group. I settled in the middle for a few moments, just to feel the feeling of running in a pack like that. Seeing everyone running was just great. So, yes, passing people all over the place for the first 20 minutes or so. And I’m thinking, are you kidding me? This is awesome. 


Well. Then you settle in. And your pace slows. Or at least mine did. And let me tell you, after that first big push of mine, I passed ONE person the entire rest of the time. One. How many people passed me are untold and innumerable. It was constant. And I got worried. At times, I had to turn off  my iPod and regroup, because I felt like I was going so slow, I thought, oh no, did I train enough? Mind games… they’ll kill you. Also, I read the mile markers in the most cynical way (and to be fair, they were not clear. Had I completed mile 5? Or was this the start of mile 5? So the entire race, I thought I was going slow, with the mile markers and the getting passed. In the middle of it all, I thought, you know, maybe I should just give up. Go slow, finish the race, never look at the time, and just leave. Try again next time. Or don’t. I thought I had failed. I thought, there’s no way I’m on pace to do it in under two hours, even though all my training told me that was totally feasible. 

Then, with 2.2 miles to go, I looked at my watch. 18 minutes. Oh boy. It would take a very strong effort to do this. Less than a 9 minute mile, when I’ve been running slow. And then I thought, I’m here, I’m running, when am I going to run another half marathon? Not for a while, I know that. Am I really going to let this slip away? And I battled with myself. And I picked up my pace, and it hurt, and I was tired, and more people were passing me. 

So, I move past the mile marker for mile 26 (which is for the full marathon runners) so I knew I had 1.2 miles left. I came around a bend and thought, let’s move it, Jason. Move your ass. Except…what’s that? That’s the finish line 0.2 miles away. I had read the mile indicators as if I was a mile behind the entire race.

There is a feeling I want to talk about now. I felt it in basketball my senior year of high school. It is a feeling of awareness. Awareness that a dream or goal is about to become a reality. It is about to exist and be, and it is yours. And I will tell you, for that last 0.2 miles, I ran with more joy and heart and love than I’ve ever run with. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:51:17 which comes out to just under 8 1/2 minutes per mile. 8 1/2… fitting. I placed 218th out of over 850. As a wonderful surprise, my mom showed up to watch me finish. Hint: It’s always better to have someone there for you. 

I went to Chicago for Thanksgiving. I ran by the lake a few times, and it was amazing. I ran when I went to California last summer. I ran all through downtown Toronto in September. And when I was in London a year ago, I ran through its busy streets while its inhabitants made their way to work. And now I have completed a half marathon in my hometown of Kansas City. There is something about running in places that ties you to them, I think. It’s a chance to meet them and talk with them and experience them without any sort of plan. You’re not going somewhere, you’re just…going. You’re just running. There is nothing like it, I’m telling you.

The Big Race

This Sunday. 8am. A projected high of 49 degrees. At 8am, we’re looking at freezing temperatures. Will the sun be out? Will it dare to shine? What will my iPod be tuned to? What ratio of podcast: song and within “song” what ratio of hipster:hip-hop shall occur? Will I create a special playlist just for the run? (I’m considering it – 20 minutes music, 1 hour-long podcast (will it be Filmspotting? or my own podcast? or the ever-growing popular favorite Battleship Pretension?), 40 minutes music) 

Last week, I gave myself a bit of a test and ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes. I was tired afterwards, but I had felt that I could have gone on a bit longer, pretty easily. Compounded with the natural rush of a) am official race, and b) running with loads of other people, I have no doubt I can finish in under two hours. At exactly 2 hours, my average mile for a half marathon (13.1 miles) would be right around 9 minutes, 9 seconds.

If I can possibly get enough of a boost from those aforementioned things, plus the advent of having sips of water during the race, my “I’m a damn rockstar” time would be 1 hr 45 minutes. Is this even conceivable? 105 minutes, 13.1 miles (avg time: 8 minute mile – yeah right). Even 1 hr 50 minutes would be more awesome than awesome. I want the challenge, I need the challenge.

I played basketball all through my childhood and during high school. All sorts of teams. School teams, Dad-coached teams, AAU teams, church teams. In 5th grade, when I moved to Missouri, I arrived just late enough to impress other people in time to be asked to join a team. They were set. They were already practicing. So. My Dad coached a coed team at the local church – all but one girl quit, and we ran the table. Our 6 foot 5 center, Trevor didn’t hurt either. AND, me and my new friends formed a B-league team (we tried to be in the A-League but lost our first game 52-4) at the local arena – The Sports Center. It was an all metal building with a red roof and one basketball court, but for 5th graders in Southwest Missouri, it might as well have been Madison Square Garden. The church team went undefeated, the Sports Center Team lost every game except our last one – the game for last place. 

I’ve gotten off track. The point is, is that there were moments from 5th grade through 12th grade when an athletic moment took hold of my life. Close games. Rivalries. And there is something about the hype of a basketball homegame in the middle of January, on a Tuesday night, the student-fan section, the band section, the parents section; in a way actually entirely different from theatre, you had a stage on which to impress. A forum to display an ability that could, for even just a brief moment, inspire awe. In others and in yourself. Do you know how good it feels to hit a 3-pointer in front of 1000 people? Or how it feels to steal the ball from a player you’ve been guarding for 3 quarters and is sortof a douche? Or how it feels to run a set offense so well that the way in which your whole team passes and moves without the basketball warrants applause?  

I’ve been on teams where I scored most of the points, I’ve been on teams where I was a role player. I’ve made some big shots. I’ve missed some, too. On Sunday, though, there is only me. It doesn’t matter if there is an “i” in “team” because I AM THE TEAM. 

Is it safe to say I miss playing competitive sports? Yes it is.

Running, My Life


I’ve been running consistently to semi-consistently for about 3 and a half years. Spring break my junior year of college, I just thought one night, let’s go for a run. Now I’m addicted. I’ve gone back and forth, running outside, running on treadmills, on indoor tracks. Nothing competes with running outside. Nothing comes close. Usually, in the fall and winter people lose the nerve. Rain is a good excuse. Snow’s even better (to be fair, ice IS no good for running). Last couple days, got some new gear, and I intend to keep it going unless snow and ice take over. Here’s the checklist:






Under-Armor Gloves – Keeping the hands warm, they look slick, too. NikeFit Headband – big enough it keeps ears warm, keeps the headphones in, my head-mop looks wild, but it’s out of the eyes. Thick Black Socks – want to run happy, keep the feet happy, momma didn’t raise no fool. iPod – never leave home without it. For longer runs, my motto is – start with a podcast, end with the muzak. Strong blend of rock, rap, and jams. Cheap Watch – if it keeps time, it’ll do.






Nike Performance Mesh Shirt, Shorts – looks killer, breathes like a dream. Champion Nylon Windpants – when it rains. I prefer to wear some under-armor under them, I need to buy some.












New Balance Running Shoes – Get to know your shoes. They tell you secrets you’d been keeping from yourself.

Right now, my regimen is as follows – Approximately 10-mile run every 3 days, and I’m going to add about a mile a week until I hit 14 or 15, then level off back at maybe 8. 8 miles is a good run. Also, the day before each long run, I do a 25-30 minute 3-4 mile jog/run. Yes, I run a lot, but many people run much much more than I do, and they run much much faster than I do. The idea is to do a half-marathon. When? Where? Not quite sure. 

I could talk about running a whole lot here. It affects all. I feel better, I think more clearly, I am more creative, I feel more in touch with myself and the world around me. When I’m having a terrible day, or I am stuck on something, a solid run is positively purifying. The physical opens up the mental, it sharpens you, your goal becomes evident. Immediate. And you are simultaneously emptied out and finely tuned. There is certainly a spiritual component to it, too, a symbiosis with creation and life. Sometimes I pray while I run. It’s easier to talk to God, easier to be thankful, less cynical, more open-minded. I listen better to Him.

I may talk more about running from time to time, but this gives most of the relevant information. Anyway, I highly recommend it. Start slow and small. Run a little, walk a little, run a little more. And always, always remember to stretch.

It Has Come to This

February 2019
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