Running to the Nerdist Podcast

Cover image via Nerdist.

(I have discovered a serious downside to posting once per week on the weekend. When I only have time to devote to one predetermined post, I can miss a lot of opportunities to talk about other things. For instance: new trailers like Jurassic World and Star Wars (“Chewie, we’re home” = chills) that are both old news now, video game anniversaries such as Guild Wars 1’s 10-year anniversary, or binge-watching new shows like season 1 of Daredevil and being totally blown away by its amazingness.

Now, just because I have a post about something else ready to go doesn’t mean I can’t write about all of these other things that are going on, too. But when you post on the weekends specifically because that’s when you have time to and instead spend the weekend traveling out of town to see friends and running races and just generally be busy, it’s hard to catch up. Add an insanely busy work week on top of it for multiple weeks in a row and you’re definitely going to fall behind. But hey, that’s okay. I’m still just getting back into the swing of this blog thing, and I’ll be more consistent as we go. I mean, it’s not like there’s not a million nerdy, media related things I can’t talk about.)

Now for the real post:

This past weekend I ran the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon. It’s the biggest half marathon in the world with roughly 40,000 people participating. It’s a pretty big deal around Indy to run the race, even when everyone and their sister is doing it. I mean, 13.1 miles is quite a feat for most people. I ran it for the first time last year and ran it again this year. My official time was one minute and 16 seconds slower than last year, but I blame two bathroom breaks and the unexpected heat that I hadn’t yet trained in. Also, my GPS watch said I was faster than last year, so there.

When I first started running using a Couch-to-5K app several years ago, I ran to music. I made a little pump-up playlist and it would get me through my run. But then I signed up for my first Mini last year and started running longer distances for longer time. Neither my playlists nor my Pandora stations were cutting it anymore. I needed something more interesting to listen to.

Around that time, my friend told me that Commander Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut I followed on Twitter who posted photos of Earth from the International Space Station, was on the Nerdist Podcast. I’d listened to Chris Hardwick’s podcast once or twice before, but I couldn’t figure out how to listen to a podcast. What do you do, just sit there staring at a wall? My friend suggested I play video games and listen, which worked out well. Then I thought, “What if I listened to podcasts while I run?


Listening to the Nerdist Podcast when I run, truly, is what makes me able to run 13.1 miles. When I listen to music when I run, it’s so easy to tune it out and get caught up in my own thoughts of “When is this going to be over” and Oh my god make it stop.” But when I listen to a podcast, I want to follow the conversation, I want to pay attention. It takes my mind off the distance and the time, and I get sucked in. It also helps when it makes me laugh, because then I know I’m really having a good time.

Sometimes, I will admit, when the podcast isn’t taking on a more upbeat tone it can make the run more difficult. Listening to Billy Crystal talk about how much he misses Robin Williams didn’t make for an easy training run. And listening to Chris and Dave Holmes talk about Indiana’s horrible, embarrassing, disgusting RFRA law and hearing that Chris turned down an opportunity to perform in Indianapolis because of it, while running the Mini in Indianapolis, was also not super great running material. But on the other hand, listening to the studio do Ohms with Jeff Bridges and Chris Hardwick’s mom cuss up a storm on the live 5th anniversary show made for amazing runs. I think I even PR-ed fastest mile and/or 5K times while listening to those shows.

Listening to the Nerdist Podcast when I run makes for a good time. I keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the land of Nerdist, and it helps me run faster and farther. For that reason, I find it hard to switch it up and listen to anything else when I run. I cleaned the crap out of my apartment while bingeing Serial earlier this year, and I enjoy both Invisibilia and the Alton Browncast. But there’s just something about Chris, Matt, and Jonah that makes for excellent running material every other day.

I have a backlog that I need to work through as I continue to run this summer in preparation for the Monumental Half Marathon, but I’m sure I’ll get through it. Those miles won’t run themselves. And thanks to Nerdist, I’ll run them well.

Me after finishing the 2015 Indianapolis Mini Marathon on May 2, 2015.

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