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Running [Oct. 7th, 2011|06:53 pm]
Johnnyboy
  So I feel compelled to share my story with whoever happens to read this in order to avert as many injuries as possible. A little background, I absolutely love running and have been doing it at a semi-competitive to competitive level since I was in sixth grade. Ever since that time, I had never really been taught very well how to run; the focus of practice was always on distance or drills. While drills certainly helped prepare me for sprints and faster running, I clearly had some core deficiencies that were never quite handled by my previous coaches. I didn't run very much comparatively through college because I was on the rowing team, and after I graduated, running was basically the only way I could think of to remain in shape, not to mention all the other benefits running provides. Anyway, I went from running very little or not at all to running about 7.5 - 8.5 miles per day at least 5 days a week. I almost never ran inside because my running time was about the only hour I got to myself, and I wanted to make sure I was outside when doing it, no matter how the weather was. Through this period, I never got new running shoes, almost never stretched, and generally felt okay, but I certainly found a point after which it was hard to run any faster or for a longer distance.
  Then came the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge, a 3.5 mile fun run for charity through Central Park. I signed up along with most people in my group and because I'm competitive, I clearly wanted to beat everyone I possibly could (and hopefully everyone I work with). Now, 3.5 miles should have been an absolute piece of cake. I hoped to run it no slower than 6 minutes per mile (considering I was averaging about 6:50 - 7:00 / mile for longer distances), but the week before things were starting to break down. I felt a certain pain in my left leg I couldn't quite put my finger on, but I kept running, and I figured it would be fine. I was feeling okay through the race until about mile 2.5. At that point, it was almost like I felt something snap in my left leg, and I limped through the final mile of the race. I still finished (yeah!) but I was in serious pain. I couldn't walk without a severe limp, and worst of all, I was about to go on a 5-day hiking trip to Italy (maybe not worst of all, but it couldn't have been worse timing). I actually was fine hiking, thankfully, but my leg continued to deteriorate through the course of my week in Italy. I have basically been through doctors and physical therapists since the beginning of July because of it.
  Physical therapy has actually been very helpful because I feel like I'm finally learning how to run. The very first day, they put me on the treadmill to try and run, and although I was still very clearly injured, a few simple things really seem to alleviate pain and make running much faster and more sustainable. What I've learned is that no matter what speed you run, you need to try and get your cadence up to 180 beats per minute. What differentiates fast and slow is not a difference in cadence; it's a difference in stride. Cadence should remain consistent at fast and slow speeds. Running a fast pace at low cadence (~150 beats per minute) can be very dangerous and tends to cause injury. Moreover, when you run, it's imperative that you land on or near the balls of your feet. You should feel yourself bounding forward with each step, but you should always remain upright. Additionally, you should keep your arms to your side and moving parallel to your course -- arm movement should not be diagonal.
  All of this makes so much sense once it's told to you, but I had either not listened before or had not been told any of this crucial information. I'm still in physical therapy, but I hope I'll be out soon. Once I am, I'm confident I'll be faster than ever and on my way to running marathons, like I've always wanted to do.

I hope this averts some injury or that you already know all of this information. It was new to me, and if running is as important to you as it is to me, make sure you take care of yourself, because it really hurts not to run.
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Back in the game [Aug. 26th, 2010|11:19 pm]
Johnnyboy
I haven't run seriously since the summer after my freshman year, but it was very important to me in high school and was all throughout college. The day my now roommate introduced me to the beauty of Pine Park in Hanover as a running path will always stand out in my mind, but due to rowing, I never had the time. I'm now getting back into it, running at least five days a week, usually seven to seven and a half miles. I try to do more days, but I get pretty sore. What I love about running is just how unpredictable it is even if you do it regularly. I never know how I'm going to feel until I start, and I never know how I'll feel at the finish until the run is over. I can be tired, working off two hours of sleep, etc. and still feel like I'm flying, or I can be completely well rested and well-nourished but feel terribly slow. I've been having a second cup of coffee at around 4:30 to 5:00 every day, and that usually gives me the jolt I need to get through my run at a good clip. I get home around 7;30 or 8:00 from work, so I do need that extra jolt of energy, but I can't be more excited to fall in love with this sport all over again. I'm hoping to join a running club to find some like-minded runners around the city. I love running with other people, no matter how fast or slow they are, so here's to hoping that all works out.
 
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! [Nov. 26th, 2009|09:57 am]
Johnnyboy
I sure haven't posted in quite some time, but I hope I get to see everyone before we all graduate this spring. In any event, I'm back home for Thanksgiving and will be around at Christmas again if anyone wants to get together.

These past couple of years have been awesome. I love Dartmouth, and I'm terrified to leave. I'm going to be living in Manhattan next year, which scares the ever-living shit out of me, but I figure that if I always do what's comfortable, then I'm not really living at all. I think it should be pretty exciting. I hope I eventually get to go to grad school, and I'm planning on taking the GREs and other grad school exams this spring so that I hae them on my record, but I'm going to work for a little while in the city. The nice thing about New York is that it has airports with non-stop destinations all over the world. The bad part is I probably won't have a car, and I'm going to have to figure out some way to stay active there.

I've really enjoyed the chemistry major. My official classes are coming to a close at the end of this term. I'm in the third term of physical chemistry. We're studying chemical kinetics, transport processes, and a bit of statistical mechanics as a precursor to statistical thermodynamics. It has been a very, very tough major, but I really do enjoy it quite a bit. I'm also going to be doing a thesis. Since last year, I've done nanomaterials research under the prof from my general chem class. It's been pretty cool, and I'm excited to have research as a class next term so that I'm not bogged down by my other studies.

It's really sad that my college career is coming to a close. Dartmouth is such a fantastic institution, and I think I'll miss my four years in Hanover for as long as I live. I hope I can get back there as much as possible after I graduate, but for now, I'm just happy to still be there.

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I can't believe how time flies [Sep. 12th, 2008|09:36 am]
Johnnyboy
So I'm working this fall in White Plains, New York, which is about 20-40 miles from NYC. I'm living in Darien, CT, with one of my fraternity brothers who lives there. His family is very nice, and the work isn't bad. It's pretty interesting to read everything and learn all these stories. I think that's one of the most fun parts of law: telling it like a story with a conflict and trying to get resolution. Overall, I think I would like to be a lawyer, but definitely not a full-time paralegal when I graduate. I didn't give myself much of a break between the end of summer term and the beginning of work. I had a week between the two, but boy, what a glorious week it was. I got up at noon just about every day, dedicated a day to eating in the north shore or Massachusetts, and ended up seeing my family in Boston, since my bro just moved in to Boston University.

I'm up in New Hampshire today until Sunday to run a 24-hour relay race from Franconia Notch to Hampton Beach; it's called Reach the Beach. Overall, it's about 209 miles long, and I'll be running three legs at an average of 5.8 miles/leg. I'm doing this race with a bunch of fellow rowers, and this is very cool to me. Earlier this summer, I biked 100 miles with my fraternity brothers in the Prouty, which is an annual fund raiser for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire. That was rough, but an incredible experience. I'm hoping this will be in the same vein. I had forgotten, though, how cold it gets up here in September. It's like 65 degrees Fahrenheit right now, and I only brought t-shirts and shorts. Whatever. I'll be running, and when I'm not, I'll be in a car sleeping, so it's no big deal.

Overall, I think this fall will be pretty nice since I'm working, but I will be glad to get back into the game of things at Dartmouth in the winter. I'll be able to come up here pretty much whichever weekend I want, and I can go see my bro in Boston. I'll probably do that next weekend.

I'll be back in Tennessee for about a week around Thanksgiving, which is when my job ends. I hope to see some people at that time.

Hope everyone enjoys fall term! It's probably my favorite time of year.
 




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08X! [Jul. 5th, 2008|11:31 pm]
Johnnyboy
So 08X is fully on, and it's been a great time so far. Living at Sig Nu is probably not good for my work ethic, but I've done what work I have so far, although I have an essay due monday that has yet to be started. I hiked Mount Washington today with three of my friends on the Huntington Ravine Trail. I ahve to say, taht was probably the most difficult hike I've ever done, simply because there are so many rocks and so much scrambling you have to do. It was pretty cool, though. I've never been that focused before: when you know that falling is basically the equivalent of death, you concentrate so hard on staying alive and not letting your strength fail you. It was really cool. It makes you feel more alive.

Other than that, I've been running quite a bit and lifting on the off days. Yesterday I went running and then jumped in the river with my friends, which was awesome. I love the Connecticut River, especially in this kind of weather. I kind of wish it were summer in hanover all year round.

Anyway, hope all of you are well and that summer is fantastic.

Oh, and happy birthday, Nadia!

Hasta luego chicos!
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Don't cry for me, Argentina! [Jun. 6th, 2008|09:30 pm]
Johnnyboy
Well, the program has finally ended for me and I am back in Franklin, Tennessee, after almost two and a half months. I must say that it was an incredible experience and that it makes me want to travel more extensively around the world in general. I'd always wanted to go to Europe, but I must say, I'm glad that my first real trip abroad was to Latin America. It was really cool to practice Spanish with my host family and to just hang out basically 24/7. The coolest thing about it was that there were practically no rules at any time at all. We had class every day of the week, but we didn't quite pay attention or do much work in them anyway. Some classes were just god awful anyway and weren't worth the time. That said, I discovered that imitation of a professor's authentic accent can have a profound impact on your own. Indeed, I started to incorporate my pseudo-interpretation of his accent into my own to the point that I didn't realize it, which was cool.

Traveling around Argentina was really awesome. We basically arrived places with nary a plan save for a Lonely Planet with sometimes questionable advice. That said, it all worked out in the end and we always had a great time together.

I'm kind of hoping to go back for the fall term, since I'm not taking classes this fall due to Dartmouth's quarter system. Because of the same system, I'll be on campus this summer. I'm leaving Franklin a week from today, so definitely give me a call if you want to get coffee, lunch, go hiking, running, or basically anything. I'd love to see anyone I can before I head back up northeast. Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well and I hope to hear from you soon!

Hasta luego
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(no subject) [Apr. 27th, 2008|08:30 pm]
Johnnyboy
Hola from Argentina! I´ve been down here for more than a month now, and currently, I´m in the town of San Martín de los Andes. Tomorrow, we´ll be doing a two day hike, an out and back, and tonight we´re staying in a great apartment hotel that cost me something like 13 USD for the night. This has been a great vacation from the city of Buenos Aires. Don´t get me wrong, I love BA, but I am very glad to be in the Andes. I needed a vacation from all that hustle and bustle. 

I´ve never quite seen something so beautiful as this area. I flew into San Carlos de Bariloche, and the flight in was like something out of a dreamscape. We stayed last night in a hostel on the 10th floor of a building, and the morning greeted us with a sunny view of a the snow-capped peaks and the beautiful deep blue lake of Nahuel Huapi just below. Yesterday as well, we did a great day hike to this one Refugio (a mountain shelter), and then tomorrow, we´ll be doing an overnight hike in Parque Nacional Lanín, which is dedicated to this massive stratovolcano right near the border of Chile and Argentina. This is indeed quite the trip. Can´t half believe it myself. 

I have one month left in South America, or something around there. After that, I´ll be in Tennessee for about 7 days, and then it´s back up to New Hampshire for the summer term. I hope you´re all doing well, and I hope to hear from you soon!
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The end of winter [Feb. 28th, 2008|12:31 pm]
Johnnyboy
I can't believe how quickly this year has passed by me. Much better than my freshman year, I must say, although considerably more difficult.

And next term I am going to be in Argentina. I leave the US on March the 21st and arrive in Buenos Aires at 3:55 A.M. on March the 22nd. From there, I'll wait in the airport until noon, when my FSP (foreign study program) members gather at this one coffee shop near the baggage claim in EZE, which is the IATA code for the airport. It's kind of intimidating to be spending about three months in a foreign country where English isn't spoken too much, but I think I'll manage and get a lot better at the language. I'll be living with a family down there, but I haven't learned who it is yet. We also get a week in the middle of the break to travel around Argentina, and I'm 90% sure I'm going to try and see the Mendoza region, which is right around Aconcagua (a 22,000 ft behemoth Andean mountain) and the border of Chile.

I think the most intimidating thing about my FSP is that I've never been abroad, except to Canada. But going abroad was a major selling point for me when I was applying to schools, so it's something I feel pretty strongly about. I'll be back in Tennessee before I leave for about a week, if anyone wants to get together for lunch or dinner or Halo or something. 

I hope everyone's winter is turning out wonderfully and that you're all doing well!
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Quite some time since the last update [Oct. 29th, 2007|09:30 pm]
Johnnyboy
So it's been something like five months now. Summer was great: I worked at home, ran more than I ever have in my life, and generally enjoyed not having too much to do. I've been running ever since June now. I feel better than ever now that I've gotten back to school because I'm also rowing. I've never had so much athletic activity at once, but I seriously feel better than I ever have in my entire life. The doctor told me I should only run three days a week to avoid knee surgery in twenty years, but I'll take my chances for now. I run on soft ground up here in New Hampshire, and I'm probably addicted to whatever chemicals running releases.

It's finally getting cold up here, and it makes me worried that I won't be able to run in a couple of weeks. I'll just layer up and do that kind of thing.

Speaking of a couple of weeks, I can't believe that Thanksgiving is in three. How weird is that. Fall term feels like it just started. It's been one awesome term as well. I'm pledging Sigma Nu fraternity, rowing D150 crew, captaining a freshman mock trial team, and running whenever I can. It's been a great time, and I'm really excited about everything right now.

Anyway, I hope I see you all very soon when I get back to Tennessee (which is the Tuesday of Thanksgiving break).
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The end of freshman year [Jun. 5th, 2007|11:19 am]
Johnnyboy
I can't believe it, but in about 40 minutes, I will officially be done with freshman year. I have to turn in my final Spanish paper, and upon turning it in, I will no longer have work to do. It is pretty amazing, I must say. Although I'll be done today, I'm not leaving campus until tomorrow, and although I'm leaving campus tomorrow, I won't be heading home until Saturday. What happens between Wednesday and Saturday is a mystery still. I had planned on doing the Presidential Range with my friends, but they're all going home because of work/other things. So I'm really not sure what's going on tomorrow. I think I'm just going to kind of wander around New England for a little  while before heading back down south.

This term has been simply awesome. There is no better place to be than the northeast when it gets warm. It is simply gorgeous up here. Then again, it's gorgeous in Tennessee as well, but this term has been particularly awesome. My classes were great, rowing was fun, and I really just had an awesome time all in all. I'm going to miss it, and it's weird that nearly all of my Dartmouth friends are from the northeast. At least there are plenty of people from high school still in Tennessee, and it'll be great to catch up with everyone.

I hope each of you enjoyed your first years of college, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
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