Archive for the Sports Category

My 1st Kickball Game

Posted in Sports on 1 September 2009 by jason
A single

A single

On Monday, I had my first kickball game as a member of the Blue Ballas, and it was awesome. I managed to kick a single that got me on 1st and Beth Yoder-Balla on second, and I caught what was the most entertainning out of the game (I lost control of the ball 3 timed before finally catching it…it looked like I was juggling!)

That one's out of there!

That one's out of there!

It’s weird…I’m 32 years old, and this game was the first time I’ve ever played any team sport. I think I did alright for my first time, and our team won, 16-5! Our team did well, and everyone, even those of us who were a little nervous about this whole thing, gave our all! No one sucked!

Beth's crossing home plate, and I'm on my way there!

Beth's crossing home plate, and I'm on my way there!

Anyway, the game was more fun than I could imagine, and I’m looking forward to next week’s game!

Another Race…

Posted in Exercise, Food, otter, Sports on 6 August 2009 by jason

Last sunday, I ran in the Pro Footbal Hall Of Fame Enshrinement Festival 2-Mile Fun Run (say that 5 times fast!) in Stadium Park. If you’ve been following my previous races, there were no surprises this time around.

I rode my bike there early and walked down to the starting line about a half-hour before the race began. I like getting to the races early; there’s something about watching everyone physically and mentally prepare themselves for a race. At the starting line, I met up with my friend Nour, who also runs in these things.

It was funny, because I was joking with Nour that if I was in charge of the race, there would be no national anthem, no prayer, no warning. I woud come out, fire the starting pistol, and that would be it. About a minute after I said that, the pistol went off, startling everyone! After a second of confusion, the race was on!

(picture taken from

Of course, I still can’t get my MP3 Player to play my race mix (probably because my non-internet computer has an old version of Windows Media Player), so I went with The Long Blondes-Someone to Drive You Home. It’s pretty good for a racing album.

Anyway, it was not to hot, but the humidity made it hard to breathe, and most of the race is uphill. I knew that I wouldn’t beat last month’s time, but I was hoping to beat my time for this race, which I did by almost 2 minutes! I finished at 16:23.60, and I had hoped to finish in 16:30, so goal achieved!

Afterwards, I met back up with Nour, as well as the otter and her sister, who has started the race further away from the starting line. We ate the free food (which, for some reason, always includes sandwhiches with meat! Come on, people…runners are often health-nuts! Some of us don’t eat meat!) and watched the other racers finish before going home and napping.

I think, as usually, the HOF race is my last one for the year. Next year, my goal is to run in at leat one 5K race. Wish me luck!

When he stops the race and looks around…

Posted in Exercise, Music, otter, Sports on 5 July 2009 by jason

On July 4th, I ran in my second race of the year: The North Canton YMCA July 4th 2-mile! This was probably my favorite race yet!

I started out my morning by getting on my bike and riding the 3.33 miles from my apartment to the North Canton YMCA, which gave me a good warm-up workout. I got there nice and early (I didn’t have to be there until 8:10…I got there at 7:20), so I could stretch and just walk around and take in the atmosphere. If you’ve never been to a race, there’s something inspiring in seeing all these people who have trained themselves to finish these races. You often hear about how lazy Americans are, but you don’t see any of this at the races.

Anyway, I got ready around 8:00 for the race. My goal was to come in at just under 17 minutes, which would beat last month’s race time by about 10 seconds. Of course, I still can’t get my playlist to play on my new MP3 Player, so I cued up Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. The cannon fired, and I started running, weaving in and out of people who might trip me up.

As a crossed the 1-mile mark, the race worker called out “Eight minutes and thirty seconds.” Good time, but I would have to speed up in order to make my goal. So I pushed myself.

That last mile was hell…I don’t think I’ve ever felt so exhausted as I ran, and I almost stopped and walked part of it, but I was determined. I ran, getting behind someone with a good pace and using him as a gauge for how I was doing. And then, I could see the finish line.

It was an uphill climb to the finish line, but I could read that the timer said “16:30.” I knew that if I sprinted, I could make it in under 17. My goal would be accomplished. Except that, as I got a little closer, I realized that it had said “15:30!” I was a minute ahead of where I thought I would be! I pushed myself across the finish line, then began having dry heaves, my body pushed to its limit.

A ended up coming in at 15:54.21, which was over a minute and 10 seconds better than my goal time! This also means that in the last year, I’ve improved my time by over 2 1/2 minutes!

Anyway, after I finished, I jogged down the course and caught up with my friends Beth and Ilya, and cheered them along the last half-mile. Then, the 5 mile race started, and I waited down the course and cheered the otter and my friend Nour on. It was great seeing so many of my friends run (some of them much further than I did!), and as corny as it sounds, I’m proud of all of them!

Next race…The Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival 2 mile!

The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner III: This time, it’s personal!

Posted in Exercise, Music, Sports on 14 June 2009 by jason

Yesterday, I ran in the Louisville (OH) Area YMCA 2-Mile Fun Run, as I’ve done every year for the past 3 years now. Things didn’t start out so well, and there were several bad omens before the race, but I’m very happy with my performance.

The first of the bad omens was that in the morning, it was COLD. Now, it’s always cold for this race, but usually, this race is held earlier in the year. It was kind of odd that in the middle of June, the temperature would drop.

The second of the bad omens was that I had set up an awesome mixtape for the race, which looked like this:

Andrew Bird-Fake Palindromes
The Mountain Goats-Baboon
Nico-These Days
Morrissey-Something is Squeezing my Skull
Balthrop, Alabama-Red Hook Pool
The Pixies-Wave of Mutilation

Pretty good mix, right? Starts fast, gets slow so I pace myself, “Red Hook Pool” is a good song to end with, and if I was going too slowly, “Wave of Mutilation” would speed me home. The problem? For some reason, the mix was not on my MP3 Player when I got to the race. My carefully designed race mix was gone.

Still, all was not lost. Right as the race was going to begin, the temperature rose to a comfortable place. I looked through my M3’s and decided to listen to Balthrop, Alabama’s Subway Songs because “Red Hook Pool” would play at about the same time it would have on my mix.

So, the race began, and we were off running. Everything went smoothly except for the very beginning of the race, which is at a bottleneck. Everyone gets slowed down at this point, but it is frustrating that they would start everyone off on such a narrow path. Meh.

As far as my own running, I felt pretty good until the 1 mile mark, where I started to tire. I kept going, though, and ended up finishing at 17:19.05. This is about 1 minute and 30 seconds faster than my time last year! For those who don’t know anything about running, a 10 second improvement is a good thing. A minute-and-30-second improvement? Let’s just say that I’m shocked.

So, all-in-all, it turned out to be a pretty good race for me. Next up: The 4th of July race in North Canton!

My clothes are shrinking.

Posted in beer, Exercise, Karaoke, Rambling, Sports on 14 April 2009 by jason

Yesterday, I went to put on my work clothes (decent pants, button-down shirt), only to find that they no longer fit. My nights of drunken karaoke have finally caught up with me.
Cutting back on the beer…check.
Working out 3-4 days a week…check.
Preparing for a race…check.
Watching what I eat…not so much.

How I Spent My Vacation: North Carolina

Posted in Art, Comics, Education, Food, Music, otter, Sports on 17 December 2008 by jason

Well, the semester’s over, so the otter and I took a short vacation to celebrate! We went to North Carolina to visit with an old friend of the otter’s, Lesley, and Lesley’s boyfriend, Adrian. Here’s how it all went down:

At about 7AM on Saturday, the otter picked me up and we headed out towards NC, passing through West Virginia and Virginia. It was snowy throughout Ohio, WV, and Virginia, but one thing we noticed is that the snow looked cleaner in Virginia. It almost looked unreal, like those Christmas trees with the snow painted on them. Besides that, though, and besides driving through the mountains, everything pretty much looked like Canton, Ohio.

We pulled into Chapel Hill, NC at about 5PM. Again, it surprised me how much it looked like the Canton, Akron area; the trees were the same kiind of trees, and it was about 45 degrees, so I really felt like I was at home. Anyway, we met up with Lesley, Adrian, and their friend Alan (or is it Allen? It doesn’t matter; they called him Steve). We immediately, without even unpacking at the hotel, went to go see a Tarheels game at North Carolina University.

The game was cool. I’ve never been to a college basketball game before, and those North Carolina fans take that shit SERIOUSLY. North Carolina won, getting 100 points. One thing that confused the otter and me was that when the score got close to 100, the fans started shouting “Biscuits!” As it turns out, this is because when NC gets 100 points or more, the Bojangles’ restaurant, which is kind of like a cross between McDonalds and KFC, has a special on sausage biscuits and gravy. You gotta love the South.

Anyway, the next day, we met up with Lesley and Adrian at their apartment in Durham. I was excited about this because John Darnielle, the lead singer of and creative mastermind behind the Mountain Goats, lives in Durham. We hung out at the apartment, talking about music and pop culture for a while, then went to Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill is nice; it kind of reminds me of Kent, Ohio, a typical college town. We started out at the Ackland Art Museum , which was great (they had some really cool modern art on the second floor). From the museum, we went to some of the local stores, like a comic book store and CD Alley, an independent music store. It was there that I tested my hypothesis that it would be easier to find Mountain Goats stuff near Durham. My hypotheisis was correct; I picked up Ghana by the Mountain Goats and Martial Arts Weekend by the Extra Glenns (a Darnielle side-project).

After the stores, we took a tour of the UNC campus, and Adrian treated us to some awesome Italian food. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the place, but it was goog stuff. After all that, we went back to Lesley and Adrian’s apartment and watched Be Somebody…or Be Somebody’s Fool!, starring Mr. T! Here’s a clip!

The next day, after getting breakfast and the aforementioned Bojangles’ (which had GREAT Sweet Potato Pie!),Adrian gave us a tour of the Duke campus, which was beautiful but imposing. I think I would have gotten on better at UNC. After Adrian went to work, we hung out with Lesley at the apartment and watched the Youtubes. Then, we went to Twisted Noodles, a Thai restaurant, which was delicious (I had the Panang Curried Tofu…WIN!). After that, the otter, Lesley, and I had coffee at Franchesca’s Dessert Caffe (which, despite the bad reviews, had good coffee and good service). Then, we called it a night.

We met up with Lesley and Adrian one more time for breakfast before heading out again for good old O to the H I O. While it is good to be back, I definately miss the weather (which was almost 70 degrees on Monday), and I can’t wait until Lesley and Adrian visit Ohio!

Olympic Reflection

Posted in Rambling, Sports, Television on 27 August 2008 by jason

(Jayson, this will sound familiar…)

I missed most of the Olympics this time around, though I’ve never been a big fan anyway. I’ve never really liked sports, and I don’t get patriotism, so I’m nopt really the target audience. Watching Women’s fencing, I was surprised at how bland sword-fighting could be. I mean, come on! Women swinging swords at each other! That sounds great, but it’s boo-ring. I said to my friends, “This would be more interesting if it was to the death.”

That’s when I realized that ALL Olympic events would be more interesting if they were were to the death.

Think about it! No one leaves the fencing mat until someone dies! Yeah!
Or how about cycling? Everyone gets a spear or a wrench? Awesome.
Weightlifting to the death! All medals given posthumously.
Put a shark tank under the parallel bars! Landmines in the sand of the vollyball court! Archery at ten paces!

THAT, I would watch.

Mixtape: HOF II (or, Thank You Trent Reznor)

Posted in Music, Sports on 27 July 2008 by jason

As you all know by now, when I run a race, I make a mixtape specifically for the race. I try to use songs with the tempo that I will need at the moment the song is playing, so there is a science behind it. Anyway, here’s the mixtape for this years HOF race:

We Are Scientists-Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt
Pulp-Disco 2000
The Mountain Goats-No, I Can’t
Balthrop, Alabama-Another Hell to Live in
Nine Inch Nails-1,000,000
Weezer-Perfect Situation

This was a great mix! It started fast and uptempo, continues with teh upbeat “Disco 2000”, then went to the steadily driving “No, I Can’t”. It could have been a mistake to use this song because of the title (my last mix tape for a race included a tMG song that had the line “If the strain proves too much/ give up right away”) but it wasn’t. Next was Balthrop, Alabama’s “Another Hell to Live in”, which was the rythym to keep me going without overpacing myself. The last song was intended to be “1,000,000” by Nine inch Nails, but iI knew it would start too early, so I would need “Perfect Situation” as a buffer at the end.

Anyway, the great thing was that when 1,000,000 stopped, I was still a ways away from the finish, so I sped up, thinking I was doing poorly. What I didn’t realize (because I had only gotten the album The Slip earlier in the week) was that the stop is halfway through the song. It goes silent, then continues 5 seconds later. When it started back up, I realized that I was making good time, and I was energized just as I made it to the final hill. I actually crossed the finish line before “Perfect Situation” started!

This was one of the better race mixes I’ve made. I’ll see if I can top it in the next race.

Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner II: The Revenge

Posted in Exercise, otter, Sports, Toilets on 27 July 2008 by jason

This time, it’s personal.

OK, I’ll admit that I’ve fallen behind on my Haiku-a-day project. I have anexcuse…I was mentally preparing to run in the Pro Footbal Enshrinement Festival (take a breath) 2 mile race today at 8:20 AM.

All in all, I think I did pretty well. I beat my time from last year, coming in this year at 18:43:90. The otter’s sister beat me by about 20 seconds, and the otter herself beat me by about 50 seconds. That’s OK…I wasn’t racing them; I was racing me. Oh, and some guy who ended up beside me at the end. Beat him too.

There were some minor problems. I didn’t notice the bathroom situation this year, as I didn’t have to use one, but other things were odd. After we walked to the starting line, the organizeers dove a car onto the track to show off their mascot, Pigskin. The car was only going about 5 MPH, but it was still dangerous; there were 882 runners lining up, some with headphones. Oh, and because the brakes were bad, those of us without headphones (mine were still turned off) were treated to a long, consistant, whining squeal.

Also, there was no “On your marks, get set…” type of warning. We were all standing around talking, then suddenly, the airhorn went off and we were running.

Besides these problems, it was a good experience. The weather was nice, the track was clear, and the runners were courteous, for the most part.

That last hill is still a bitch, though.

Sweetest Day

Posted in Comics, Exercise, Holidays, Movies, Music, otter, Sports on 21 October 2007 by jason

Yesterday was Sweetest Day, which you probably know if you are from the Great Lakes region of the US.

The otter and I had a good time. She ran in the Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon, coming in at around 2 hours 20 minutes. She was shooting for 3 hours, so I’d say she did alright!

Afterwards, we went to Einstein’s Bagels for breakfast (Her: Bagel with Cream Cheese, coffee; me: Spinach Mushroom and Swiss omelette bagel, Pumpkin Muffin, coffee). I also stopped in a video store that is going out of business and got a cheap copy of Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop. Score!

The otter took a nap while I rushed from store to store to put together my Green Lantern halloween costume. It looks ridiculous, but I’ve got a week before I wear the final version in Kent, Ohio, next Saturday.

I got the costume together for a party thrown by the head of the company I just freelanced for. It was a nice party. I wore my GL costume, version 1; the otter wore her race number and running outfit, along with laurals on her head and a medal and said she was supposed to be “the winner”; and my friend J.A.Y.S.O.N. went as a slightly less acerbic version of himself. My brother was there, too, as a drunken samurai, and his girlfriend was some obscure anime character.

Anyway, there you go. Race, breakfast, costume party. A fun night was had by all.