Cerebruns 2020 (As “Thoughts”)

Cold and lonely run. Not quite.

THOUGHTS [#36] (1/1/2020, Weds)

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In the normally quiet and cold winter weeks, it’s nice to have a few folks who will hang in there to run together.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with image and caption: 2022’08’18’R]

(L-R: Calvin, Train Dave, Ollie, Gio) 3 men and a dog (Thoughts [#36])

 

I dunno, what are you doing?

THOUGHTS [#37] (1/8/2019, Weds)

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Two Growlers showed up to run, but that’s not to say that others didn’t respond or laid at home lumpy. Tri Bry said he was hiking. And Heather said she was going to see the Mummers. I saw Jas-Yaz at Forbidden Dr on Saturday who I thought might have come with C-Cait but it turns out they both went to see the Mummers, too. Best guess is those who didn’t reply or show stayed at home sleeping off Eve-celebration hangovers.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’18’R]

 

Uhhh, what’s your name again?

THOUGHTS [#38] (1/15/2020, Weds)

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Have you ever gotten in your head a fact that’s just completely wrong? Bryan is the Growlers regular. There was a week when we had another Brian, though, so I started referring to him as Tri-Bry, because he’s a triathlete. Mm. Wrong. He’s an Ironman athlete.

It came up because I was orienting newbie Emma to the group. Bryan and Heather go together and there was the chance he might show tonight to walk with his pops. I told Emma that Bryan’s distinction is that he’s a triathlete. And Heather insisted, “No he’s not! He’s never done a triathlon.” I could only laugh. She even said, “Bryan’s asked me, ‘Why does Calvin keep calling me Tri-Bry?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know.’”

Hey, Bry? Now you know.

And now you have to go do one so that I can keep calling you that.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’18’R]

 

We’re really going now

THOUGHTS [#39] and Run Report (1/22/2020, Weds)

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Run Report: Gio and I ran to and from my house (his Ma’s being up the street) to Jenkintown Running Company (1 mile each way) where we met Train Dave and ran 5 miles in Glenside together. After getting tired of talking politics, we started talking newsfeed stories. Green concrete anyone: “Bricks Alive! Scientists Create Living Concrete“? Deschutes Black Butte porter to wrap it up.

Thought I: Ridley Running Company opened its door in September and we started talking about the possibility of a relay connecting the 3 Original Running Company stores. It’s time to make firm plans. Look for the event in Facebook under JRC Growlers group: ORC Relay. You don’t need to have Facebook to connect. To wit: Saturday, 3/14/2020, noon-4p! JRC to Fairmount Running Company to RRC in 4 legs! Let me know of your interest and let’s do it!

Thought II: You wouldn’t find this out until you’ve run with me for a while, but being a university librarian is my 3rd career. Before that I was in non-profit admin. And before that I was an applied materials research scientist. Anyway that story about green concrete had more than just a passing interest to me. When you run, you really go places, even into the past.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’18’R]

 

The guy sure does fly

THOUGHTS [#40] (1/29/2020, Weds)

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Morgan and Thor did a great job of keeping the pace and going the distance, Morgan especially because she hadn’t run in a while and wasn’t so sure she’d complete even a mile. Great conversation will make any effort fly by and she did the whole 3.2. As far as flying, Thor sure did. And he can really pack away the mead. But he’s not much in conversation.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Images and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with images and caption: 2022’08’18’R]

 

You think this is tough?

THOUGHTS [#41]: Just a Matter of Perspective (2/5/2020, Weds)

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If you’ve done the Jenkintown Sunset 5K route, you’ll know what kinds of ups and downs you negotiate at the end.

Several challenging hills at the end.

But until you’ve done the route in reverse, you might not realize what kind of descent you traverse over the first mile. It’s also challenging, but not bad, and still only 3.1 miles.

In reverse, steady, challenging ascent at the end.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Images: MapMyRun.com. Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished images and Thoughts with editing and caption: 2022’08’19’F]

 

Do I know this route?! Not yet.

THOUGHTS [#42] (2/12/2020, Weds)

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Speaking as I was last week about the perspective of running the 5K route in reverse, this was Bryan and Heather’s first time doing it. I gave a lot of directions. It turns out that the change in the terrain isn’t as much of an issue as the route. It is tough translating the course backwards. BTW, as much as I’ve enjoyed running the Sunset 5K course these last winter months, it’s pretty novel for virtually everyone. Really? Our local 5K? Yep. Even running the race the normal way, I do a lot of yelling of directions. There are directional signs throughout the route, but you have to know where to look. And they’re even harder to find in the dark. Come race time this year, T, 6/2, 7p, a lot more people are going to know it like the backs of their hands.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’21’U]

 

Well, I think I’m good company

THOUGHTS [#43] (2/19/2020, Weds)

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Solo evenings aren’t bad. One plus is that you don’t have to expend any extra effort socializing. Other runners demand energy. As for my inner voice, I was pretty good company. And there was no one else around to dispute it.

The craziest part was how clockwork the precipitation was. Apple Weather said no rain when I started at 6:43 p.m. and 80% chance at 7:00. The experiential record aligned perfectly. Hard to argue with a forecast like that.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption and content revision: 2022’08’19’F]

 

Tell me more

THOUGHTS [#44] (2/26/2020, Weds)

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JRC Mike also works days as a music editor approving compositions for publication (off hours he’s at the store). Morgan also works days [at the Philadelphia Museum of Art] as an art collection registrar (off hours she’s at home). Calvin also works off hours promoting the late Ruby H. Wang’s artwork (on hours he’s at the university library). Get 3 people together all of whom have their hands in the management of the creative arts and they can really go places conversationally. There was hardly a moment to breathe with all the talking. By running exertion standards, clearly we weren’t working hard enough, but we did enjoy the company. So let it be resolved: club socialization is inversely proportional to running exertion. More empirical evidence is in order.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’22’M]

 

And on another note

THOUGHTS [#45] (3/4/2020, Weds)

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Streams of semi-conscious conversation and thought: 1. Boo: Jas-Yaz’s client cancelled tonight (He’s a running coach). Hooray: He can make the GGR. 2. Spartan Bryan has to leave early to make chili for a work event tomorrow. 3. Train Dave is a sucker for peer pressure: “Oh, fine, I’ll run the route back again.” 4. Cole Haan partnered with Nike once for a pair of great-looking shoes with wicked comfortable soles. 5. Tim’s feet maxed out at 13M when he was 11 years old. Calvin’s minned out at 8W, but he gets better colors. 6. We still aren’t working hard enough ‘cuz we’re talking too much. We just have to stretch the last few blocks out over the entire course. 7. Train Dave sure does train well for someone who doesn’t compete. 8. Jas-Yaz lost 9 pounds during a marathon race. That’s weighing himself with post-race food in his stomach. 9. Tim wants to get a bunch of us to break the Strava record for Serpentine Lane, Cheltenham.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’22’M]

 

Blissfully naive before COVID-19

THOUGHTS [#46] (3/11/2020, Weds)

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We devoted conversational energy during the run to COVID-19, which, as of this writing, is in Philadelphia with 1 confirmed case. We devoted conversational time back at the store to talking about running shoes with JRC Alex, Drew, and Mike. It was just a super relaxing and pleasant time between running and hanging out. Worth more than the price of admission.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’22’M]

 

The COVID-19 caution begins

THOUGHTS [#47] (3/18/2020, Weds)

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Cait: Did you know St. Joe’s is renowned for its food industry (including beverages, like wine) MBA? Cait does, she’s earning one now. Christian: The group needs more adults and teens and dogs and babies in strollers. Sure, x4! Gio: Running shorts worn backwards are as uncomfortable as you’d imagine, though pulling them up continuially makes the whole experience a little less so. Train Dave: Cross training by rock climbing can be a dangerous proposition. Dave’s left knuckles are evidence. Btw, while he was two-fisting for the purposes of the picture, he teetotals our post-run celebrations. CtCloser: Speechless.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

Images and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with images, caption, and minor textual revision: 2022’08’22’M]

 

Trying to be smart about running and staying COVID-19 free

THOUGHTS [#48] (3/25/2020, Weds)

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Every so often I have to double check to make sure nothing has changed on me, but here’s Runner’s World: “…As outlined in the directive first put in place in San Francisco, for example, most shelter-in-place mandates allow for people to go outside and engage in solo outdoor activity, such as running, walking, and hiking, as long as people practice safe social distancing (stay six feet apart), do not gather in groups, and do not go out if they are feeling sick” (How to Run Safely Amid Coronavirus Concerns, 3/23/2020).

I can’t, and won’t, force anyone to do what makes them uncomfortable in terms of running during this coronavirus pandemic, but somewhere between the extremes of total quarantine and total normalcy is something that’s still safe. If you want to go there with me, I’ll go there with you.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’22’M]

 

The -algia in nostalgia means “pain”

THOUGHTS [#49] (4/1/2020, Weds)

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Creatures of habit that we were when I joined the Growlers Group Run before it even had that name in 2011, the legacy winter route was always the 6.5-mile standard year around. Later it gave way to summer runs to, from, and around (0-2 circuits depending on the person for 3-7 miles) Alverthorpe Park that stayed open late enough during the season to accommodate us.

Over time, it seemed to pose disadvantages like seeming too distant, secluded, and poorly lit. For the last year, the route of choice has become the Jenkintown Sunset 5K course, typically in multiples of 1 or 2. It has the benefit of being near, populated, and well-lit. Its nearness also permits people to bail almost anytime and still be really close to the store.

But every so often it’s nice to do the now legacy route for old-time’s sake. The suffix of “nostalgia” is “-algia” for “pain” (prefix “nostos” for “return home”). Think “analgesic,” like aspirin, which means “pain reliever” or “without pain.” The legacy route is nostalgic, sometimes even with a little bit of actual pain.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’22’M]

 

Gaiters as facemasks

THOUGHTS [#50] (4/8/2020, Weds)

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At the Frostbite 5 Miler (2/22, S), I got a neck gaiter that works great for warming your neck or head. It turns out it’s not so bad as a facemask. Elastic. Able to be doubled or tripled over. It’s not N95, but it doesn’t need to be.

Facemasks aren’t substitutes for sheltering or social distancing, but when those 2 aren’t possible (you simply can’t stay in the shelter in perpetuity, for sanity’s sake), it’ll do. And you probably have something like it around.

Just wash it daily (or even more frequently if necessary) to disinfect it. Nuking a damp gaiter for a minute or 2 will disinfect it even further and help to dry it out.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’22’M]

 

Running while masked

THOUGHTS [#51] (4/15/2020, Weds)

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I wore a neck gaiter as a facemask in case anyone else showed up to run. That ended up being reasonable because 2 other people did. But I didn’t wear it while running because it’s really hard to run with one. I know because I wore one while running in China over Thanksgiving in 2018 when air quality was poor in the city of Wuxi (Jiangsu province). Wotta pain. It wasn’t terrible to start, but the mask quickly got saturated with condensation after which it just got hard to breathe. Social distance works when outdoors, but the usual 6’ might need to be rethought if this research is any evidence: Stay 6 Feet Apart, We’re Told. But How Far Can Air Carry Coronavirus?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’M]

 

Getting stores like JRC reopened during COVID

THOUGHTS [#52] (4/22/2020, Weds)

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Razzing on the parking-time-limit sign. 70 minutes! Because I can. No one’s around to stop me.

Here’s my idea for restarting so-called non-essential businesses like our beloved Jenkintown Running Company. (1) As already being practiced at essential businesses, require social distancing with the right to limit admission to premises. (2) Require masks. (3) Expect customers to use hand sanitizer or provided disposable gloves. (4) Require sign-in and contact information to permit tracing if it becomes necessary. This isn’t forever, but neither will COVID-19 risk be. But the long-term effect of business closures bears its own risks. There’s something on the safer end of normal operation that seems possible.

If anyone’s asking me.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with image and caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

Boston Marathon qualifier within my reach

THOUGHTS [#53] (4/29/2020, Weds)

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Last week was the final of a taper for my alternate DE Marathon on Saturday, 4/25: a double-out-and-back on the Schuylkill River Trail. A PR by 4 minutes (recorded on MapMyRun) at 3:43:33! I’ve now knocked 24 minutes off in 2 years. I’m just 8:33 from Boston qualifying. A little more weekly distance during training season. A little more conditioning. A little bit of weight training. That’s achievable!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

Keeping the store healthy, too

THOUGHTS [#54] (5/6/2020, Weds)

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This is now the 8th week of coronavirus distancing. People are getting weary. JRC is still closed. (Happily, a holler to Drew says online business has been good.) So everyone’s hanging in there. Let’s not blow this. Even with states starting to drop restrictions, there are reasonable precautions we can all take: distancing, masks, handwashing. With no substantial drop in the number of new cases, the non-GGR will do its share by running sensibly. It can be done and we will. Besides, as far as the store is concerned, worn shoes require replacing! Shop http://www.runorc.com

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

Talking about running, because it’s not COVID

THOUGHTS [#55] (5/13/2020, Weds)

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The great thing about running is that we’re always happy to talk about what we’re doing. So when we get tired of talking about the coronavirus, there’s always that to fall back on. As a running coach, Jas-Yaz is happy to talk about how he assesses the needs of new clients. Phil talks about his cross-country training relative to that of his teammates. And I’ll gladly talk about speed and distance in marathon running. Yay, because coronavirus-sheltering is important, but kind of depressing.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

Cross country (which isn’t what you think) and cross training work in my favor either way

THOUGHTS [#56]: Double-crossed (5/20/2020, Weds)

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Even if the participation can be inconsistent at times, the non-Growlers Group Runs continue to have support, just not from Jenkintown Running Company. (I’m a volunteer. They can’t fire me for running with the regulars.) Train Dave has been the most consistent, but he had to be away last week. It turns out that track work is that much more appealing when there are fewer trains in operation, so he was cross country. Chicago, actually. On the other hand, Gio was back running after an otherwise run-free, multi-week burpee streak. Cross training, as it were. Pfft, double-crossed.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

Border collies were built for running

THOUGHTS [#57] (5/27/2020, Weds)

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Ollie provided all the excitement we needed. F’rinstance, he put the growl in Growlers. Apparently, he thought another dog wasn’t socially distant enough. He also put on the sprint to close out the run. I strained my hamstring putting him through his pace. Or maybe the other way around. And then he proved his total indiscrimination of drinking bowls. Mmm, essence of Train Dave in the water. Sure, Gio, your bud is welcome anytime. Work on the socialization, though. Could you get him to use his words?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Images (unless otherwise stated) and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with images and caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

The COVID non-Growlers Group Run still has its doors open, even if the store doesn’t

THOUGHTS [#58] (6/3/2020, Weds)

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In case you didn’t know, Jenkintown Running Company is still doing business with roadside pick-up and mail ordering. There’s still no indication of when its doors will open, but the word is that planning is underway. I don’t suppose the Growlers Group Run will be going non-non- too soon, yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it does, because it will! Eventually.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

Black Lives Matter when running, too

THOUGHTS [#59] (6/17/2020, Weds)

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Thanks to Amon Gibson for joining us from Norristown parts and contributing to reflective conversation around Black Lives Matter. I know Amon from occasional runs with Elkins Park Beer Runners. He just got this piece published at RW.org: Every Time I Run, It’s a Calculated Risk. Want to make your own difference? Consider directing some of your stimulus check to Color of Change (endorsed by RUNegades and Run Happy Lehigh Valley). Or consider this monthly challenge: Someone Else’s Shoes. We can’t change the tragic past, but we can influence the brightening future.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with image and caption: 2022’08’23’T]

(L-R: Heather, Bryan, Amon, Drew, Train Dave, CtCloser) With great freedom comes great responsibility, so still sensibly distant. (Thoughts [#59])

 

Running punctuated

THOUGHTS [#60] (6/23/2020, Weds)

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Group runs are fun. So, let’s do fun together. And the great outdoors has a way of diluting pathogens even if someone has any to give. So group runs are also safe. Fun and safe. And with the store back open, even with distancing, you can try on a pair of running (or walking) shoes. So that’s productive. The benefits just keep adding up. (Is the writing too sober without exclamation points? Imply them wherever you see fit. Period:D)

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’08’23’T]

 

I’ll go there with you if you go there with me

THOUGHTS [#61] (7/1/2020, Weds)

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I was thinking about Chinese New Year and people wishing me a happy one whenever it rolls around when I asked Amon Gibson how he’d feel if I wished him Happy Juneteenth. “How sincere are you?” he asked. That worked: I’d want sincerity, too, not facetiousness. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized wishing Happy Juneteenth to a black person has considerations of its own. It’s a celebration for every American that there is no more slavery. So we’ll have accomplished something really culturally inclusive when I can wish a sincere Happy Juneteenth to anyone. Like a good group run, let’s go there together.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’02’F]

 

Doing diversity

THOUGHTS [#62] (7/15/2020, Weds)

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Thanks to Phil for taking the mantle for the GGR last week when I was away. (I was down at Ocean City MD doing early runs to stay out of the sun.) He did a philleriffic job with his sincere thoughts about diversity as we discussed the week before. Yeah we talk some serious stuff. Thanks to Amon Gibson of RUNegades in Phoenixville for contributing his own brand of diversity when he joins us. For my part, I’ve been looking around to see where Black runners are trekking so that I can join them. I have my sights on Black Men Run PHILADELPHIA. I’ll be hollering to them and back to y’all.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’02’F]

 

Getting to know about folks unlike yourself

THOUGHTS [#63]

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Sometimes plans have a way of just falling together. It helps if you involve the right people. Last week I already said I’d been thinking about joining Black Men Run Philadelphia some time. The problem is that they run right when the Growlers run on Wednesdays. Enter my cousin Amon Gibson who knows the group. So Amon says, he says, Make it a joint run. Mind officially blown. The way to get to know people unlike yourself (however you define that) is to be with people unlike yourself. Step one planned.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with image and caption: 2022’09’02’F]

(L-R: Amon Gibson, CtCloser, Train Dave) It would have made for real diversity if we had a female Native-American joining us. Know any? (Thoughts [#63])

 

Imminent joint effort

THOUGHTS [#64] (7/29/2020, Weds)

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Growlers Group Run isn’t a big affair these days, notwithstanding even COVID-19 sheltering. But the potential for tripling our turnout with BMR last week was pretty cool, especially with the anticipated participation of 2-3 members who’ve since decamped to Center City and environs. Don’t know if we can expect that same kind of turnout this week, but hope springs eternal. Stay tuned for next week’s run report. The weather looks cooperative!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’02’F]

 

Joint effort: Black Men Run

THOUGHTS [#65] (8/5/2020, Weds)

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What a great bunch of guys Black Men Run were! It was amazing to get to know them and learn some of their life and running stories. One guy works for Abington Township and another is at Cheltenham High School with JRC (Coach) Drew. 2 are teachers. One is a marathoner. All were as great runners as they were people! And just like me, they have punctuality issues. Train Dave and I and another newbie Kwasi were there by 2 minutes after the hour and we still beat the regulars by 8 minutes:D! We’ll be doing that again, perhaps more regularly at once every month or so. It’s a great change of pace to keep us from getting tired of ourselves.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

FINE PRINT
Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with image and caption: 2022’09’02’F]

(L-R behind me: Kwasi, Train Dave, Dave Sr., Andre, Kevin, Lawrence) Mugging just before taking off from Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row. (Thoughts [#65])

 

Steps toward rebuilding the Growler

THOUGHTS [#66] (8/12/2020, Weds)

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I’ve been trying to get more people to the running group. Since I run around the neighborhoods a lot, I see loads of different runners. And since JRC is the only running store in Jenkintown, most everyone seems to know it. Oddly, a lot of people don’t seem to know about the W night Growlers Group Runs. That despite the fact that there’s a sign out on the streetside advertising it whenever the store is open; which is a lot. Whatevs.

On Monday night, I saw someone who looked like a runner at Alverthorpe Park as I finished a bunch of laps with BB Betsy (both from the neighborhood and Shawmont Running Company). She was less interested in a group for herself as one for her adult son. Wouldn’t you know he’s a marathoner and friends with marathoner JRC Alex. He also knew Bob Gamberg, the store’s founder. I don’t get the impression that he ever ran with the W night group, but hopefully the connection will lead him to give us a shot (again?) and we’ll find out. And maybe GGR will grow by another participant.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe), “Negative split or positive splat”

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Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Engaging a (very) young budding runner

THOUGHTS [#67]: One Step at a Time 8/19/2020, Weds

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Moe introduced his 2 y.o. g-son to us for the first time last week. Tristan was shy, which was to be expected: He didn’t pull back when we said hi, but he didn’t speak up either. The plan was for them to walk and for Moe to do as little carrying as possible.

The report when we returned was that he did admirably. Just a little walking, then he finished strong. We 3 runners finished at the same time to say goodbye. Tristan agreed to give me a fist bump and you could hear him saying goodbye to us from the car when I called out.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

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Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Physics as applied to running

THOUGHTS [#68] (8/26/2020, Weds)

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The problem with getting conditioned is that it’s so much work. If a body that’s at rest tends to stay at rest, well, there you have it: Isaac Newton’s first law of motion at work in us runners. That does mean that a body in motion also tends to stay in motion; so once training starts, watch out! As a matter of fact, I saw the Jenkintown High School cross-country team doing its own conditioning down my street for the first time this summer. I expect to see more motion from them in ensuing weeks. The rest of the law of inertia is the addition of an external force that acts on bodies at rest or in motion. With no races on the horizon for me, that’s an external force that will have me slowing down steadily. Who would have thought high school would be so inviting?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Things that change and one that’s staying the same

THOUGHTS [#69] (9/2/2020, Weds)

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Jimmy B stopped by to start us off with a quick hello. He’s been biking. Folks from before the last 2 years will know him. I saw Gerard on Forbidden Drive on Saturday, too. Before he and Jill moved down to Fairmount neighborhood in Philly a year or so before that, we also saw them regularly for GGRs. Well, times change, and I’ve been glad for Gio and TD who have been good regulars. I have no plans to make any changes in my attendance: 9 years and counting.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

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Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

COVID update for Jenkintown Running Company

THOUGHTS [#70] (9/9/2020, Weds)

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JRC has gone to the next level of normal by removing the barriers around the store. Restaurants around PA are poised to go to 50% occupancy. COVID-19 isn’t gone, but if we behave ourselves, things can be as if it’s just a less present. Running in the great outdoors is still a part of that.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

It’s not always so hard to get to know people

THOUGHTS [#71] (9/16/2020, Weds)

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There are a lot of people groups I don’t know very well. Some I can’t easily get to know and others I can. Black Men Run happens to make it pretty easy. They run Wednesday nights just like we do and start 30 minutes later down at Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row. We ran with them at the end of August. I think it’s about time to do it again! Next week, 9/23. Holler!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Tuus culpa, your fault

THOUGHTS [#72]: It Wasn’t Me…This Time (9/23/2020, Weds)

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I’m guilty occasionally of completely confusing a fact.* It can be a humbling experience to reach the realization. But, oh, how much worse to have someone else identify it. On the other hand, when it’s someone else who’s doing the misunderstanding…

Take an observation Gio made during last week’s GGR. His keen eye observed one homeowner’s take on spotted-lantern-fly remediation. He could see that the gray duct tape girdling the tree to catch the invasive insect was pest-free. I thought the more-typical yellow tape had a chemical attractant which would explain the absence of any flies. Gio paused long enough to satisfy a different hunch: the homeowner had wrapped the tree…wait for it…with the adhesive facing the trunk. Bawhawhawhawhaw!

At least it wasn’t me this time.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

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*Thoughts #38 ¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Learning from another running club

THOUGHTS [#73] (9/30/2020, Weds)

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You need to be with other people for a little perspective on what you can do. One of the guys with Black Men Run is working on the premiere 5K and 10K in his neighborhood where he’s known as the running guy. He also works with the school to support the local Students Run Philly Style chapter. At the top of the Rocky steps in front the Art Museum, they had announcements for the various events they were supporting. At JRC GGR, we just run. We can clearly do a heck of a lot more!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

A live race during COVID-19

THOUGHTS [#74]: How Much of a Good Thing (10/7/2020, Weds)

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Adelaide came as a guest of Train Dave and she let me engage her in conversation for the duration of last week’s run. When we returned to the store, I found out she and Jas-Yaz were both planning to run a REAL Valley Forge Half Marathon on Sunday. Not virtual amid coronavirus sheltering?! I couldn’t resist. Curse the closed registration, I decided to join TD anyway to provide her with running support. (Jas-Yaz was anticipating a time of 30 minutes faster. No support for you!) Since the course, Schuylkill River Trail, is open, I didn’t have too much guilt, though I did refrain from partaking of any of the usual amenities that I hadn’t paid to enjoy.

Adelaide and friend Juliana ran brilliantly. And it turned out both are negative splitters; my kind of runners. We hung out afterward comparing run notes. Will Adelaide come back again to GGR? We’ll see. As good a thing as hanging out with any group I’ve joined is, it can be a bit much for some folks. (Juliana let me talk to her for 9 miles before she had to go radio silent to conserve energy for the finish, emphasis on the radio. She was Very gracious.) It sure would be nice to have some gal power at GGR again. (No pressure, future regulars!) You all know what’s good and how much.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Image and text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with image and caption: 2022’09’03’S]

(CW from front: CtCloser, Jas-Yaz, Train Dave, Adelaide, Pete) A GROUP (vs. a solo, duo, or trio)!

 

Politics and GGR

THOUGHTS [#75] (10/14/2020, Weds)

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When I inherited the role of GGRand poobah from the illustrious Chas (before the group even had that official name), it was already a very politically-inclined group. I have done little to counteract the conversational tendency, although I tend to be more centrist than that bleeding-heart liberal (who, fairly, isn’t here to defend himself). In the interests of non-partisanship, I will urge everyone to vote while endorsing neither candidate nor ideology. When the candidate is unequivocally elected, Then we can put up our dukes and defend individual convictions. As for any good foot race, may the results be unimpeachable.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Change is good

THOUGHTS [#76] (10/21/2020, Weds)

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The conversational theme for a change wasn’t politics but flying. Seems Pete has had to do so much for so many months on end (even during C19) that he had innumerable anecdotes about the challenges of one trip or another or another. Happily, that’s eased up enough for him to rejoin GGR after his traveling hiatus. Changing routine can be good: A wise person once said that familiarity breeds contempt. Whether retreating from running or conversational routines, whether doing so deliberately or accepting change incidentally, how about cultivating an attitude of appreciation for whatever life brings, whenever it brings it?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

What could possibly be stress-inducing these days?

THOUGHTS [#77] (10/28/2020, Weds)

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I can’t deny that I’m feeling a little beaten down emotionally. It could be the stress of passing the middle of the academic semester. Or maybe it’s 7½ months of C19 sheltering. I’m blaming election season coupled with the other 2. One can hardly deny the collective oppression of all that with the anxiety of extreme weather and anti-black racism.

I’ve taken to drinking more, meaning I’ve gone from a serving of beer or wine a few times a week to pretty much daily. Yep, I’m going deep.

Even the promise of running last W couldn’t raise my spirits (to carry the alcohol distraction just 1 step further). Until I walked through the doors of JRC and encountered Pete and Tania and had a diverting trek around Jenkintown. So maybe the oppression is just inadequate socialization. Well, AND election season. AND the academic calendar. AND C19 sheltering. And… And…

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Addressing the needs of the world

THOUGHTS [#78]: Global Stability is Our Top Concern (11/4/2020, Weds)

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Gio, Train Dave, and I were comparing notes one week on how ignorant, ineffective, and generally inane people around us can be. To wit: very. It’s obvious that we’re the only sensible people in the respective places where we work. So much so, in fact, that we’ve decided not to run together when we cross the street. If we all get creamed at the same time, the world will cease to function as we know it. We’re just talking responsible behavior, here. Buh-bye.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Based on true events. ¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Two that are smarter than I am

THOUGHTS [#79] (11/11/2020, Weds)

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Not only are running shoes amazing, but the JRC peeps are, too; for knowing about them. I just retired my first pair of Asics Glide Rides. I didn’t understand something about them that another runner noticed. They were running behind me when they observed with a tone of surprise how much I was pronating. I had looked at the soles recently because I was in the lower 300-mile range (with intent to retire around 400) and had seen nothing unusual in the wear pattern. It was even. From that point, though, I could actually feel pressure in my ankles from the medial side of my feet turning down. When I asked JRC Drew if that made sense he knew exactly what had happened.

It turns out that Glide Rides are designed to provide extra bounce for pronators. The bounciness in the inner part of the soles makes it break down sooner as a result. That means the soles wear evenly when the shoes are newer, but they give up sooner than shoes that don’t have that kind of design. If my ankles could have tolerated the change, the wear pattern would have started reflecting it. Fortunately, my ankles knew better. And so did Drew. Both are clearly smarter than I was.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Running and literature research

THOUGHTS [#80] (11/18/2020, Weds)

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Actually, me and my buddy S’port did the run last week. The left ankle has taken a lot of beating over the years and the prospect of a slip and another sprain is fearful. A simple web browser search can generate a lot of valuable information about sprains and the use of a brace to prevent reinjury.

As a university sciences librarian, I can be a little picky about what results I favor. You can get a feel for my bias by looking at this source: “Acute Ankle Sprain: An Update” (American Family Physician, 2006. Search terms: increased risk of ankle reinjury after sprain brace).

Three takeaways: The chance of reinjury is highest within 1 year. Braces can prevent reinjury. Balance board exercising definitively helps prevent reinjury. You’ll have to click in the right places to get to the article with the balance board exercises, but it might be worth it if you’d rather spend less time with at least one buddy.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Another upcoming running event

THOUGHTS [#81] (11/25/2020)

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With no races to run, one takes any organized effort that one can to stay motivated (and boy do I need motivating!). So along comes the (actual and virtual) Fraud Street Run from Four Seasons Landscaping (in NE Philly) to Hotel (in Center City) this weekend. I haven’t had any need to do any speed work so far, so I used last week’s solo run to do some interval work. Ya’know, it wasn’t half bad! Which is all good, because I got my shingles shot 2 months ago and the resultant fatigue slowed me down by a full minute/mile for 3 weeks. Regardless of my race preparedness it’s guaranteed to be a personal record because we all know that’s the logical certainty of any first-time run! And with a name like that how can you go wrong? Memorable it will be, at least 2 ways.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

More light conversation fare

THOUGHTS [#81a] (12/2/2020, Weds)

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Jas-Yaz and I lapsed into conversation about politics (GGR’s usual light fare) with a smattering of personal ideology (More substantial fare) because we tend to go in that direction. Of course one’s politics are shaped by personal ideology and we go in that latter direction because that’s the kind of thing I like. We could do well going in lighter directions. Interval work, anyone? Tempos and fartleks? How about personal hobbies? Handicrafts? Please!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Emotional quotient isn’t light conversation, either?

THOUGHTS [#82] (12/9/2020, Weds)

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As we waited inside the store for other runners last week, I received a text from a family member who hasn’t historically solicited vulnerable responses. In this case, they volunteered what they loved about each of the other 3 of us family members and invited us to do the same. I waited until after the run to send my replies which gave me some time to refine my thoughts and words, but the unexpected prompt got me and Pete talking about emotional intelligence in the workplace.

EQ over IQ reached a pointed reality for me many years ago when a brother of mine went to work for an uncle in an industry in which Brother had no experience. When he asked why Uncle wanted him, Uncle said, “You can work with people. I can teach you the business. Even if you already know the business, I can’t teach you the people.”

Pete and I found we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and our professions over the years. And we’ve learned the importance of EQ, both from ourselves and the people around us (who haven’t all done so well). Deep stuff! But better than politics.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’03’S]

 

Another solo group run

THOUGHTS [#83] (12/16/2020, Weds)

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Well, life circumstances being what they are means that some of the regulars have had to cut back participation. Me being a group of 1 got my mind to thinking about how to increase interest by other runners (of which there are many, just conducting an observational analysis of Abington and Jenkintown) in GGR. An interest survey that the store did last year said mornings are more appealing to people which got me thinking about what it would take to do a Wednesday 6:30 a.m. run to supplement the p.m. JRC Drew thought the idea was fine but said he wasn’t thinking much was going to change until the pandemic loosened up. Wow, I can really be short sighted because I wasn’t even thinking about the impact of COVID-19 on attendance. Well, my fingers are crossed for eventual growth because further shrinkage is kind of hard to imagine.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’04’U]

 

Growlers accomplishing great things outside GGR

THOUGHTS [#84] (12/23/2020, Weds)

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I received a holler from Paul Mat2zak just recently and learned a little about his historic connections to JRC (He was a student runner back in the early aughts pre-me.) He continues to achieve as a runner. And so have others who’ve trod with us, including Fast Dave (so named for a reason!) and Jas-Yaz (1 win/year for each of the last 10 years!). Other runners get so much credit for more-than persisting since high school days (Kate, Morgan!) or IN high school days (Änna!). More recently, others get credit for supporting with their presence (Gio, Train Dave, Pete, Tania, Tim). Y’all (and others I haven’t named with apologies) rock!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption: 2022’09’04’U]

 

Accommodating different paces

THOUGHTS [#85] (12/30/2020, Weds)

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Running is an activity that transcends age. Sure, it helps if people in a group run the same pace, but if the company is good, faster can certainly accommodate slower, even if the latter can’t do the same for the former. If the company ain’t so good, the twain need never meet, I suppose. PDPhil and I are from different generations and as a high school cross-country runner, he’s Much faster than I (no slouch myself, though, ahem). We enjoyed the conversation and he claimed to be happy for the leisure!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

FINE PRINT
¶Text: Calvin Wang, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-posted: Facebook JRC Growlers Group Run/GGR email list

[Original version in Facebook. Republished Thoughts with caption and minor text editing: 2022’09’04’U]