Running and personal checklists

I wonder how many people out there keep personal daily checklists. I’m thinking of developing one. There are quite a few things I’d like to do on a daily or weekly basis. I tend to be someone who likes seeing progress in some chartable form and this ability to chart progress definitely motivates me.

For instance, I have long wanted to be a runner. I have many times started exercise programs and incorporated running or walking into the program. Last winter, when I was working out at the gym I realized that I especially like walking or running for long distances. Once I was on the treadmill, I preferred going for 45 minutes rather than just doing 20 and being done with it. But what I really wanted was to run and walk longer distances outside. I tried a few times to run outdoors in winter and I couldn’t stand it. The cold was simply too much.

Later in the summer, I decided once again to give it a try. This time I was walking and running outside and I was enjoying it, but what really got me hooked I think was when I started using Nike+ with my iPod. To use it, you need a small chip which you put in your shoe (or put inside a little pouch that attaches to your shoelaces). The chip acts like a pedometer, transmitting a signal, presumably whenever you take a step. You have several choices for a receiver to keep track of your progress. iPod Touches and iPhones have an app built into it that you can use to track your runs. You can also buy an attachment for other iPods or you can buy a separate bracelet to track your runs.

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Up in the Air on Fresh Air

I tend to have about 60-70 podcasts on my iPod these days waiting for me to listen to them. One of the happy accidents of this is that I often hear interviews about movies after I’ve actually seen a film (instead of during the promotional run up to the film). So this morning, as I was doing my morning run, I got to hear two interviews related to the new movie Up In The Air..

The first interview is with the author of the novel on which it’s based, Walter Kirn. Recorded in 2001, Kirn talks about the genesis of the novel and what he thinks about “air world”, the setting for the book. The second interview was with the director, Jason Reitman, who also directed Juno in 2007. He talks about his own experiences with air travel, getting George Clooney to do the film and the interviews with real people who have lost their jobs which frame and punctuate the movie.

Here is one of the trailers for the film:

In Praise of Matt Pack

I finally got on facebook. So far it’s been a great tool for me to reconnect with a lot of people that I lost track of the last couple of years. It’s very easy to feel isolated out here from all the great people I met in Chicago and New York. Facebook is a little more engaging than just emails to keep in touch. Plus they just added chat!

Matt Pack - this image linked without explicit permission from whimsicalfilm.comOne of the first people I had a nice chat with was Matt Pack. He mentioned the radio program he’s working on, Fair Game with Faith Salie. So I added the show to my podcaster and loaded 20 episodes to my mp3 player this morning.

What a great show. It’s mainly an interview format in the same category as say Fresh Air, which I also love, but younger and funnier with comedy bits sprinkled in. Faith Salie is a good interviewer and the show genuinely made me laugh. The first episode I listened to featured a sort of op-ed segment by Matt Pack. It was a nice surprise since Matt only said he was writing for the show. I didn’t realize he did on air segments as well.

I ended up thinking about Matt a lot today on my drive as I listened to the show, and I felt compelled to post something about him. He is one of those rare people who always makes you feel better. I can’t think of time that I’ve seen Matt Pack and haven’t felt happier because of it. He has an infectious smile and is just a great guy to hang out with. Hell, I feel better just thinking about Matt now.

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