brew to brew 2014 – we run because we can

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Us at the start, with our free beer

I spent last Sunday running in my second Brew to Brew relay run, and this year I recruited two of my favorite people to join our team.  This also wound up being my first organized run since I turned 40.  And I have to say, for a bunch of old people, we held our own.

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Mad  man #1 who held a 8:30 pace for 4.7 miles

I’ve run a lot of races at this point in my running career, but the Brew to Brew from The Boulevard Brewing Company in downtown Kansas City out to Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas is one of my favorites.  I know I talk about what a great group runners are…but this run really does back up that statement.  This race is also a true testament that no matter what kind of runner you are, just getting out there and doing it is all that matters.

We were definitely a team of runners of many different levels, from the slow to my two ringers who crushed 8 minute miles, up hill no less.  But we all put our feet to the pavement and got each of our legs done whether it was 2.3 miles or almost 10 miles for our two female warriors who ran two legs each.  I told you we got at it.

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Mad man #2 who held a 8:30 pace for 3.2 miles, 2 of which were monster hills.

This year I ran a 4.7 mile leg which included the following:

  • 1 dead opossum

    Me after 4.7 miles
  • Briefly running along side some of the ladies run/walking all 44 miles on their own.  And trust me when I say it doesn’t take a super fit, lifelong athlete to get 44 miles done. It may have taken them 11 hours, but they finished.
  • Being passed by too many boys to remember.  But I did manage to pull off passing 7 people myself, one of which was a boy!
  • 1 really cool house that I think was completely abandoned and possibly haunted.
  • 1 cemetery
  • 1 house with some very Duck Dynasty action happening.
  • Climbing down a very steep embankment and getting in a boat to cross Stranger Creek and then climbing back up the other mud covered side.  Thanks to the water rescue unit of Leavenworth county for spending your Sunday getting us crazies to the other side.
  • A husband and good friend at my finish point.
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Our two crazy finishers. This was their second leg each.

I know running doesn’t make sense to a lot of people.  But I’ve got the bug.  And so do all those other runners that were out there Sunday.  We run because it makes us feel like we accomplish something.  It clears the lungs and the brain.  It makes us feel strong.  It makes us feel like we can do anything.  But I think most of all, we run because we can.


but first…let me take a selfie

For those of you who know me, you know social media plays a fairly substantial part in my life as I work in marketing and understand the importance it plays in my industry’s new landscape.  I am also a writer and social media and writing kind of go hand in hand.

But what you probably don’t know is that I struggle daily with what I personally think about social media and the role it plays in everyday life.

My latest struggle is with what is called the “selfie.”  As I scroll through Facebook posts and tweets and images on Instagram, I find the images I see the most of, by far, are these selfies.

  • There’s a girl from high school supposedly at a concert, but I only know this by the comment posted along with the image because the picture itself is of her and her friend’s face.
  • There’s someone I know at opening day of Royals baseball. Or at least I think so, because all I see are her and her friend’s face. She does have on a Royals hat…so I guess I’ll believe it.
  • Wait, there’s the neighbor on vacation in Mexico. I love pictures of Mexico. Oh bummer…instead its just a picture of her face at dinner, her face on the beach, her face in the hotel room.. God could there be more pictures of her face?

I don’t get it.  I don’t understand the fascination of taking picture after picture of your own likeness. And not even including enough of the surrounding landscape in the picture for us to actually verify you went anywhere other than your own living room.

Andy Warhol (one of my favorites and oddly enough a man fascinated with his own self image) once said in the future everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. I’m convinced these selfies are fulfilling this prophecy. Society has produced an era of celebrity but only a few have the talent and drive and brains to be a celebrity because of something they have done or created. So those who can’t write or draw or create have found there own form of celebrity. Showing the world pictures of their faces over and over and over again.

I can’t help but think these people lead lives that are very much about themselves and no one else. And that makes me sad.  It makes me sad they pay to go to concerts or find an afternoon to attend a baseball game or are one of the lucky few on a beach somewhere and instead of seeing the beautiful around them, all they think about is how they can get the best picture of themselves.

Forty years from now they’ll realize as they were looking into their own camera all those years, life and people were passing them by.  And all they are left with is photo album upon photo album filled with images of their face with no evidence they ever saw or experienced anything.