Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying to Come Back...Again & Some Off-Topic Fun

I went on my first run since the unfortunate events of Spartan Race. I'd gotten up to run a few other times over the past week and a half, but aborted due to either weather (Saturday), too much pain in the tailbone area (several days last week), getting home at 4am after an excellent Dream Theater concert in Atlantic City (Sunday), waking up too late (Monday), or staying up all night working on Monday night (Tuesday).

I decided that I'd run out of excuses, and so this evening I ended up running 3 miles in 28:46.

It felt like 20 miles.

It was a gorgeous evening, but in the 80s and still Sunny at 6:15ish when I hit the roads. I'm not used to running in the 80s, so I've got to either get out earlier and beat the heat, like I did last summer, or perhaps try 9 or 10 at night, when it may be a few degrees warmer than 6am, but less humid and no sun. We'll see.

At any rate, I feel like I'm starting over and I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing. After a pretty good start, the comeback had badly stalled over the last two months. And I do have a plan this time, but I have to save something for my next blog post, right?


(So, how was the concert, Brian?)

It was great, thanks for asking. For those unfamiliar with Dream Theater, who have failed to achieve the level of fame that their talent deserves, they are a progressive metal band (I don't really know what "progressive" rock means, but think Queensryche or Rush, but heavier) that I've been listening to since high school, when they released Images and Words, which features their best-known song, "Pull Me Under" (which is still not THAT well-known) and Awake, their best selling album to date, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.

However, I was unforgivably behind on their albums. It's easy to lose track of them, since they're more of a cult following-type band then a widely-known band and most of their songs are at least 10 minutes long so that they get almost zero airplay. So last week was spent working long hours and "cramming" for the concert any time I wasn't on conference calls. Except for the side of effect of this metal marathon turning our kitten evil, it was time well spent. Their last three albums, Systematic Chaos, Black Clouds and Silver Linings, and A Dramatic Turn of Events are all excellent, all with Dream Theater's distinct combination of metal and melody.

At any rate, the concert was excellent, with a good mix of old stuff and new stuff that left me feeling evil...but also uplifted at the same time. Musically, they're just amazing. Guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, keyboardist Jordan Rudess and drummer Mike Mangini on the drums (replacing long-time DT-er Mike Portnoy) are all at incredible. And they like to show off; almost every song has long instrumental bridges between verses, during which lead singer James Labrie wanders off stage to (I assume) play Angry Birds.

Their newer stuff is heavier than their earlier albums, and heavier than I what I usually listen to, but the frequency with which they change mood and speed from heavy to melodic and the vocal range of Labrie, and their often contemplative lyrics make them always interesting to listen to and also made me glad I'd done my homework and caught up before seeing them live. If you like metal or hard rock, check 'em out...these guys can make anything sound epic.

And, during their intro, they also had these cartoon versions of themselves playing on the three screens above the stage. Fun!

Ok, we'll now resume our regular running and complaining about running blog posts.


  1. You will be back up to speed in no time! Hopefully the weather can only get cooler from this point... :)

  2. Way to go on that run!!!!!! That speed WILL come back!! :)