Light the Green Lantern on Fire

Not the worst superhero movie I have ever seen, but there’s something about Ryan Reynolds and his schtick that didn’t work for me. He can pull the card, and drop right into “heartfelt sincerity” but when he is going for comedy, you can predict everything he’s going to do. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, and enjoyed seeing the movie for $6 this morning, but it lacked a lot. Especially after seeing X-Men First Class and Super 8–two really fun films.

Blake Lively. Who would have thought after being on that steaming pile, Gossip Girl…but the girl has skills…if ya know what I’m saying.

It’s so nice to have a Monday off. I have worked every Monday since graduation, and sometimes it’s just nice to sleep in on a Monday. Crazy week ahead. Working Tuesday thru Thursday, Maggie comes on Friday. I’ll work the beginning of next week, the go back to Madison with her to enjoy the 4th of July and a few days. Speaking of Independence Day–are you familiar with a song by the Beach Boys called 4th of July? It was never on an album. Such a strange song of protest, or perhaps just of observation. Definitely one of my favorites of the boys–I recommend a listen.

My zits seem to be back under control. That ear job didn’t last too long. There is a little residual twinge, but I can dig around in there with a q-tip to get the water out. Just gotta stay on top of those things. I know working in a work shirt and jeans doesn’t really help the cause when you’re sweating like crazy and your skin can’t breathe, and that’s what I’m dealing with every time I go to work. I think I’m fortunate that I have had any issues on my shoulders, back or chest. There was one poor guy on our track team who always wore a t-shirt under our uniforms because his back and shoulders were so bad. I constantly felt sorry for him. I know that crap has to hurt.

On that note, I’m feeling a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

My Last Week of High School

Maybe it would seem a bigger deal if I hadn’t already sealed it almost a year ago. No big finals, nothing major planned for the week. Some family coming in on Wednesday, and our actual commencement ceremony is on Thursday. Big breath. Yeah, I feel ready. The time just flies. Maggie graduated on Friday. I was really hopeful to be there, but clearly things changed with my extra curricular activities this spring.

This week will consist of going through the motions. Did I fail to mention…? Our State Track Meet aka the AIA State Championship was this weekend? Yeah. Saturday was a huge day in the story of F*** My Zits.

Yeah. Say I’m superstitious. I just didn’t want to mention anything until the deed was done. It went well. Almost the sweetest taste in my mouth, though I’ll definitely take silver. Yep. Got second. It was an incredible race. I’m still kind of in disbelief, because everything has been such a whirlwind over the past few months. Honestly, it still feels like mid-March, not mid-May. I asked my mom if there was a pause button to just enjoy the moments a little bit longer… Her reply: Um. No. Let me know if you ever find one.

So. The track experiment? It was possibly more successful than the football experiment. My year in review. I went from spectator to true competitor. I was always playing sports with friends and just on my own at parks, on the weekends, but to be challenged like that? To push beyond a threshold to a level I didn’t realize I possessed – I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. It was win-win, and I did… I won a lot. Now I’ll get to train at altitude living in Durango. It’s 6,500 feet there. Definitely want to buy a nice mountain bike with some of my graduation funds.

My face? Well. It’s looking more and more like some zits are going to accompany on the next leg of my journey. And oh, ouch… I just bent my leg to get comfortable, only to feel pain. After the medal ceremony at the meet this weekend, a teammate came to give me a really high five. I thought it’d be funny to not jump and catch him midair – unfortunately, his knee drove right into my thigh. Deep thigh bruise. That’s what you call pure dumbassery.

The Mix

I took 2nd. If you’re curious. There was a guy who ran 1:54.08 – I ran 1:55.02. The guy that I’ve oft referred to as Awesome Dude, ran 1:58 and took 5th. Then there were a couple other guys fighting out at 1:57 a few strides behind me. Let me say that I felt like I was chasing a rabbit. It was absurd. I felt very comfortable for the first lap. We ran packed. A couple dudes went down who were lost in the middle.

As we hit the line and they rang the bell, the pace increased, and I just went with the guy in the lead. That particular guy finished 3rd. It was the guy who was just behind me who went late, and I went with him. We passed the leader and fought it out for the win. If I raced him again, I’d come in with a little different race strategy. Anyway. I won’t. I won’t get to race him again. He’s from a much larger school, so that’s that. We certainly hit it off after the race. Chatted for quite awhile. He’s actually going to run track for Arizona next year. Anyway, enough of that. What I wanted to write about today is music and zits.

My face is looking good. So. There’s you update on my zits. I really haven’t done anything out of the ordinary or differently that I have in the past. Same thing. Just hoping that something takes. I had to stop using the face wash I like because I was drying out big time with all of this sun exposure and sweating. The sunscreen I was using was apparently causing a problem, so my dermatologist suggested this Nutrogena Sheer stuff. It’s like SPF 4 billion. OK. 45.

Music. I only recently started running with music. I was always just enjoying the silence when my dad asked, “Why don’t you ever run with your iPod? I know you’re old school, but I bought you the thing hoping you would use it.” Yeah, I just don’t use it very often. I’m always listen to vinyl now with stereo headphones. So. Running mix. I need help. Suggestions. I enjoy running in the mornings to Zeppelin. That gets me goin’… I usually start with a nice little trot to “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” By the end of the song, I’m into a legit run. Then I slow it down for a little jog to “Thank You,” Then pick it back up to “Whole Lotta Love.” Anyway, the mix is good stuff, but I’m open to suggestions. ? Let’s hear it. My pops suggested “It Keeps You Runnin'” by the Doobie Brothers, as well as a few other songs about running.

If you’ll excuse me now, I am going to address a single zit up near my hairline.

V is for Victory. Or Vicksburg if You Live in Mississippi

I’m seeing V’s. When I race, I literally visualize one V after another, pointing in the direction of the race. Counter-clockwise around the track. We’re about to head out. We leave at 10:00 a.m. to get this festivities started, and the meet starts around noon. We’re not very far from UofA, so, that’s hugely beneficial for us. There are teams coming from all over the place. All over. The high desert, Yuma, Sedona, you name it, they will be there today. This meet will offer the best competition in an open format that we will see all year.

What that means. There are no divisions. No classifications of competition based on school size, etc. The best vs. the best. Right now I have the 2nd best time in the state in the 800, and the guy who has the best will be there. Awesome Dude, aka my rival, will also be there…as will several other sub-2:00 guys, so it’s gonna be an epic race. BTW, did you hear that the word colossal has replaced the trendy use of the word epic. And it fits. Better. Epic is misused, but in this case, I do think our race will be epic. People will talk about this one in the years to come. If not, I didn’t do my job.

It’s weird that after I get sick, my face always seems to clear up nicely. So. My face looks good today. And I gotta go. They just made the announcement for us to go to the bus. Yep. I’ve been hiding out in the library. Didn’t want to interrupt my film class by leaving.

The Bad With the Good

Remember how I mentioned that Saturday would be an experiment of sorts? Well, I woke up in a zitty fever, not feeling well, and decided to push through it. Caught the bus, and my coach’s first words to me: “You feelin’ OK? You stay up too late?” I didn’t…got plenty of sleep. My immune system finally gave in to the week prior, I believe. I’ve always noticed that it’s the second day after a lack of sleep that really gets to you, but what happens when you go 5 straight days without enough rest?

We got to the location, and everyone began pushing through their warm-up routine. I went to the bathroom for awhile and realized that I was not looking any better. Bear in mind, I was the chatter of the pre-race activity. My times right now are putting me in line to compete at the state meet. All things considered, I knew I’d be lucky on Saturday to finish. After noticing my zits looked particularly red due to my pale skin, I weighed my options. I could just say screw it, or I could drop out of all competition. I decided to give it a try.

I felt OK running the 4×800. Didn’t even focus on time. Just ran next to the guy in the lead. The pace felt slow, and it was. 2:11. When the open 800 rolled around, I led for the first lap, and then ran into an impasse. My mind vs. my heart. I was in the lead and the next thing I knew I was starting to feel like I had never run a day in my life. My legs weighed 400 pounds a piece and my arms just kind of quit moving and fell down to my sides.

I could feel the guy on my hip was kind of confused when I pulled over to lane 3 and just started jogging. As my teammate, who was in 3rd at the time, passed me, he literally asked if I was hurt. I just said, “Gonna throw up,” and then said, “Go win this thing!” What I said to him, apparently he found inspiring. Because he did. He won. I let the pack run by, then I made it back to lane one and yacked in the infield. It was the most embarrassing moment in my life.

I finished the race with a jog, and got a nice round of applause coming down the homestretch. I didn’t know what else to do, so I just waved at everyone. I immediately made a bee line for the restroom. Yacked again. The coach of the team who was hosting the meet took me into his office and let me like on a trainers table for the rest of the meet.

Maybe I shouldn’t have had those 3 bowls of Cocoa Pebbles when I woke up not feeling well? Feeling fine today. Practice was great. Ready for tomorrow.

FRIDAY!

We’ve got a Saturday meet this weekend. I’m excited for it. A little tune up for a big meet that is hosted at UofA next week! That one will be the first time I’ve seen awesome dude since I gave him his first career defeat. Think he’ll be gunning to remove me from the platform? Do you think I’ll be ready to offer more resistance than he can handle?

So. A little tune-up practice this evening. I ran this morning. Got my work in. I’m really excited to see how tomorrow goes. One of my friends and teammates who also runs the 800 recommended a really good night’s sleep. God knows I need it. I do. Still exhausted from last weekend a little bit. So. I’m gonna crash out really early tonight and get up as early as my body gets up. The bus leaves at 9:00, and the meet will be in full effect by 11:00. This means I’m racing in the afternoon, for the first time. All things considered, I’m used to being up for 10-12 hours before I race. This is why I’ve been running in the mornings. I’m so happy I have been. My body should say yes to whatever I demand.

EXCEPT

WHEN

I DEMAND

THESE ZITS

PISS OFF!

Oh yeah. Full effect. Like the blooms on a cactus. When they hit, they hit, and they’re unmissable.┬áSo. Tomorrow, I guess I’ll be the zitty kid who is really good at the 800m. Oh. Also. I’ll be running the 4×800 tomorrow. So, we’re gonna see how I recover from running the first event of the day, hard, and have to turn around and run the open 800, hard…and cap the day with the 4×400. At one of the meets next week, I’m running the open 400, so that’ll be interesting, too. Our relay teams are OK, and improving, and hopefully I’ll help tomorrow, but in the grand scheme, we’re not going to compete at the bigger meets. No criticism to teammates, but we’re 3 strong and then running with some youngins who are still learning, so, it’s kind of guess as to what happens from meet to meet.

Another Gun, Another Gold

Track meet last night. Another enjoyable race. Led from the get, and just put it on cruise. Not a mentionable time. It just didn’t take much to win it. I’ve been doing my time. Pushing hard in my own road work. Have been running in the morning, and then working with the sprinters a lot in the afternoon at track practice. I know people consider this a middle distance race, but the goal is to be able to pretty much run it in a top gear for two straight laps.

If you’re a fan of sports you might hear trainers, coaches and athletes talking about speed work as gears. Having that 4th, 5th and 6th gear? So, my training is basically working my body to be able to run in gears 4 and 5 for two laps, and then hit whatever is left of gear 6 to win every race. But to hit gear 6, you need to have a gear 6, so that’s why it is necessary to train with sprinters.

I miss Mags. How can I not? Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder. And I’m not trying to mislead anyone in thinking that we don’t argue or have tiffs and all that stuff – we’re two opinionated, feisty people. I still don’t know what I’m going to do for the summer. Maggie still hasn’t made a decision on school for next fall. We’d like to spend some time together this summer, but I also kind of wanted to maybe try to get over to Colorado a bit early. My parents have talked about getting me a place to live for the summer – and then I could look into some local employment.

Shit, people. Excuse me. Sorry. I’m just realizing all the decisions I need to make in the next 6 weeks. Holy crap. I’m overwhelmed. Thank God for track right now. How impressive is that? I’m thanking God and dropping the $ bomb in the same paragraph. I think that makes me a stereotypical teen. Or…a human being. Yep. Here come the zits.