★ Why I Run

The LA Rock N Roll half marathon is a little over a month away and my training is officially underway. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon just to say that I did. It’s a huge accomplishment and something most people don’t ever attempt let alone try or complete. So why am I running another event?

In the years that I started keeping fit, my routine only consisted of going to the gym to lift weights and maybe a pickup basketball game every other week as cardio. My roommate decided to run the LA marathon back in 2006 and I would run on the shorter routes with him while he trained. Back then, 3 mile runs were way too difficult for me and I even considered myself as not the running type. After my roommate completed his marathon and my cousins ran the Las Vegas Rock N Roll marathon, I figured, if these guys can do it, why can’t I? So I trained and completed my first marathon this past June. I even said that I don’t think I’d run another event because of the training and possible injury involved but here I am running next month and possibly running in Las Vegas this December.

I’ve thought about it and I choose to run these events, and run in general, because there’s a sense of accomplishment in getting ready for and completing any event. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5K, half marathon or a full marathon, just knowing that you set yourself a goal and completed it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. I also do these events because they’re fun. You try to get all your friends and family to do these events with you. You end up training with them and completing them together and you both get to enjoy your accomplishment together. I’ve been training with my friend Jill for our marathons next month (she’s running the Long Beach half) and I can definitely say through this training period, I’ve had longer conversations with her than I’ve ever had before. When I ran the San Diego marathon, my friend Nolan and I both raised money for Team In Training and literally ran the marathon together. I can honestly say that choosing to do that marathon and raising money for a good cause, is part of the reason why we hang out a lot more.

And finally, the experience of running the actual event is something that’s hard to describe. The night before the event, there’s butterflies, nervousness and anxiety. At the beginning right before the race, there’s so much adrenaline pulsing that many people end up running too fast and it screws up their pace for the rest of the event. But once you get to the final stretch and you can see the finish line, no matter how much pain you’re feeling or how tired your body feels, the roar of the crowd makes you forget all that.

That is why I run.

★ Album Re-review – Dude Ranch

Dude Ranch

Artist: blink-182

Album: Dude Ranch

Date Released: June 17, 1997

If there was one band that I can attribute to changing my musical taste from the gangster rap and hip hop of the 80’s and 90’s to the pop punk and rock of the 2000’s, it’s blink-182. I don’t know when the exact moment occurred but I finally got tired of all the bragging and “killing niggaz” and “banging your girl” lyrics that every hip hop song was all about back then (and even now). There had to be something else to listen to.

I remember downloading the video for “All The Small Things” and couldn’t help but laugh at these three guys mocking the boy band trend of the early 00’s. I know that song wasn’t on this album but watching that video opened the door for me to check the rest of their music out.

If “Enema of the State” was their breakout album, “Dude Ranch” was the one that got everyone talking. This is an album that starts fast and doesn’t let up until the last track. To some, all the songs might sound the same but that’s not what got me hooked. Once I heard the lyrics to some of these songs, I could totally relate to them and was sold. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s also listening to R&B songs and found out that the subject matter is basically the same. “Untitled” starts off, “You make me regret those times I spent with you..” But not all the songs are about heartbreak. In “Josie”, lead singer Mark Hoppus brags, “Yeah, my girlfriend takes me home when I’m too drunk to drive” and that “she brings me Mexican food from Sombrero’s just because.” In “A New Hope” he sings about his crush on Princess Leia from Star Wars.

“Dammit” without a doubt put these guys on the map. It’s arguably their most popular song and I’m pretty sure, thirteen years later, they still close out every one of their shows with it. It also has all the criteria that make it one of my all time favorite songs; it has lyrics I can relate to and it’s catchy as hell.

Stand out tracks: Josie, Apple Shampoo, Untitled, Dammit

Enjoyed best: On a long holiday weekend