Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012, an Old Man Rant

It's time for another Presidential election.  I'll be glad when this day is over because reading over the constant negativity of Facebook posts, etc. is starting to get annoying.  It seems like 99% of people who post about the election bash the opposing candidate rather than support their own.  I've learned time and time again that if you bash someone else, it's because you don't have much faith in yourself/your candidate.  If you want me to vote for your candidate, tell me why THEY are the best choice, not why the other guy isn't.  It seems like every election, people become more partisan and it feels more like an intense college football rivalry, rather than a presidential election.

I used to be into politics but now it just burns me out.  Obama will most likely win and I'll probably have to deal with another day of whining and gloating.  But I doubt who wins the election will have much impact on my daily life.  No matter what the results actually turn out to be, I feel a few things will happen in the next four years and like life, running, etc. it's just about learning to adapt to the stress.

  • The economy will not get much better but people will continue to live way outside their means.  Bush spent way too much money, Obama spent/spends too much money and odds are, you probably do to. So rather than blame the President, take a look in the mirror.  Just like the secret to improving your running is not a couple random big workouts, but consistent mileage day-in and day-out, so is the secret  to making ends meet.  People do blow their money on random, big money purchases, but what is much more common is people bleeding away their money one day at a time on mostly useless and unneeded crap.  I think most people will be amazed if they look at their financial statements and see how much money they spend on impulse food purchases (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc)., buying things on "sale" (if you only buy it because it's on sale, then you really don't need it anyway), huge cell phone bills and other little things here and there.  Heck, just driving around town burns up a pretty penny because gas isn't cheap.

  • We will probably still be in or enter into another war, because we are America and that's what we do. Since the birth of our nation, we have been in a war 91% of the time and if my internet data is right, there has never been a President who hasn't been in war. 

  • We will become a more unhealthy nation and health insurance costs will continue to climb.  I read somewhere that this generation is the first generation that won't live as long as their parents.  And my health insurance went from no deductible, to a big deductible, to next year, a much larger deductible.  It's gotten to the point where I don't go to the doctor because I'm too busy paying for other people to do so.  We live in a society where people are constantly looking for shortcuts to health....sprinkling magic fairy dust on your food to make you feel more full, gluten-free diets (for people who don't have celiac), mail-order diets, taking "hcg" drops (which really isn's hcg) and only eating 500 calories a day.  Heck, you could replace those drops with pure bacon grease and if you only eat 500 calories a day, you'll still lost a ton of weight (a large part muscle and water).  And not to mention, you have to pay hundreds of dollars to not eat. Where's the logic there? But yeah, Wall-E could have had it right. If you are serious about your health, drink more water, eat a ton of vegetables and walk around your neighborhood
That's enough bitter old man ranting.  Maybe it sounds cranky, but sometimes people need to hear the truth.  Most people are the cause and solution to their problems in life.  There's no magic fix to anything.  Don't treat the symptoms, treat the sickness.

And since this is primarily a running blog, I need to have some running predictions until the next presidency.  Running can be a pretty unpredictable sport, but I'll take a stab at it.

  • The men's world record in the marathon will be broken at least 2-3 more times.  How fast do I think it will get down to before the next election? I will go with 2:02:15

  • Mo Farah will threaten but not break the world record in the 5k and 10k.  Maybe if he was four years younger, I could see him breaking Bekele's marks of 12:37 and 26:17 but I think he will move to the marathon in the next few years.  The 10k is slowly dying and there's too much money to be made in the marathon.  I'll go on record and say he will run 12:39 and 26:25 before moving up.

  • Mary Cain will make the next Olympic team in the 1500m, after overcoming her thyroid condition (did you see what I did there)

  • I will continue to lose more hair while Alan Webb's hair will still look exactly the same. 

Did you see what I did there?

  • Jake Krong, Connor Kamm and I will be kicked out of an Applebee's after the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials

  • Galen Rupp will break Ryan Hall's American record in the half-marathon on a course that is both USATF and Rupp certified

  • Adam Goucher will become the EliptiGO world world champion

  • The United States will become a greater world power in the distance events

  • The Flying Monkey and Boston Marathons will continue to sell-out in insane times. I have no idea how to increase your odds in the Flying Monkey lottery but if you want to greatly increase your chances at getting into Boston, don't wait until summer to start your training for your fall marathon.  Always be in training.  What you are doing now will help in a few months but it will also greatly help in another couple of years.  Don't take big breaks, increase your mileage and get out and race often.

  • I will still be complaining that I eat too much junk food and only get six hours of sleep a night. I will continue to state that I will improve upon it the following Monday.

So there you go.  I'll be sure to revisit this in four years.


  1. We're gonna take that Applebee's by storm!! :-)

    Andrea and I do the same thing every Sunday... "THIS is the week we're giving up candy!"

    Great post.

  2. Good stuff! Never been to an Applebee's but I'm excited

  3. These are good points for an old man rant. I had never made a connection between personal finance habits and training habits. Interestingly, I have long advocated your (and Dave Ramsey's) approach to finance i.e. don't buy crap you don't really want and focus on the little things every day. When I started running, I gravitated to the high volume, every run and every detail counts approach. Rather than blow off a 4 mile easy run when I feel demoralized, I try to think about how getting it done 20 extra times in a year is 80 miles and that's worthwhile. I wonder if other runners tend to do the same; maybe it is a personality type.

    Try not to fret about the overall economy. It goes up and down and no trough is ever permanent. Things will improve considerably soon and that would occur no matter who won the election. Personally, I get irritated at the hubris of pols who suggest that they can personally turn (or their opponent can sink) a giant economy.

    If you run the olympic trials marathon, splurge a little and party at Chili's. Hopefully that doesn't contradict my earlier point.

    Steve T.

  4. Dave Ramsey has some really good info, but I'm not a fan of his anti-credit card belief. All I use is credit cards, and I just link them to my bank account, so they are automatically paid off every month. Can't beat an interest free loan, with reward points/dollars.

    I agree about adding the miles. I rarely take unplanned days off and if I feel I shouldn't run, I feel it's worth it to at least try. 99% of the time, I will feel better a few minutes into the run and become more recovered. Instead of taking days off, I just slow things down.

    Chili's isn't bad. Maybe I'll splurge and order an Extra Value Meal instead of ordering off the Dollar Menu.