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Duration:02:47
Uploaded:2017-05-02
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In which John discusses how one little digit transformed his running life--and possibly turned him into That Guy. Also discussed: my newfound fondness for exercise, my preparation for a half marathon, and the ever-growing collection of cardboard boxes in the background.

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For the love of God, what, are they breeding? Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. 

So I'm currently training for a half marathon and a couple days ago, I ran twelve miles in a row without stopping. I'm not gonna lie, I'm extremely pleased with myself, but the point here is that when I am running, I only have one pace, which is the fastest I can go sustainably.

Like if I were running from a fast zombie, I could run faster than my running pace, but only for a few hundred yards and then I would stop, realize that my zombie apocalypse strategy is always to run face first into the horde of zombies so that I don't have to be, like, the last person on Earth, and I would give up. Which is not really relevant to the point here.

The point here is that my running pace used to be about ten minutes and five seconds per mile, now it's about 9:40. I guess I should define what a mile is for people who live outside the United States. So in distance terms, uh, I believe one mile is equal to 22 kilowatts. 

Eventually I am going to actually tell the story. So I was running and I wasn't feeling awesome, and somebody ran past me on the trail, and they gave me a thumbs up. And I was like, oh God, I hate strangers interacting with me, and there's something vaguely condescending about a really fit runner giving a schmo like me a thumbs up.

One of the main reasons I like running is that I'm by myself, and I don't have to interact with people. But after I got the thumbs up, a super weird thing happened, which is that I started to be able to run faster. You can actually see this happen on my running app, you can see the mile where I received the thumbs up. 

I receive a thumbs up and then something physiological happened to me that allowed me to run faster. And also just run more happily, like suddenly I started noticing the trees and thinking pfft, it's a beautiful day out here! What a planet Earth is! Earth really is, by far, the most underrated planet. 

So anyway, I was running along and after a wild post-thumbs up, I started to feel kind of tired again. And then I noticed that someone was running toward me on the trail, and I thought, do I do it? Do I dare disturb the universe? And then as they got close, mostly just to find out if it would work, I went with the thumb up, and even though I did not get thumbed back, I felt the same surge of energy and happiness. 

And I started running faster, so the next person that came by, I was like (two thumbs up) and it continued to work! Now of course, part of me, was like, "You have to stop this. This is humiliating. You can't throw out thumbs ups everywhere you go, you'll become known as the 'thumbs up guy'" But then another part of me was like, "I just ran the fastest mile of my entire life. You get a thumbs up! You get a thumbs up! Everybody gets thumbs ups!" This one landed off-screen, but it's still there!

It kept working. I have no physiological explanation for this, except that it works. It should tire me out, thumbs-ing up while I'm running, but it doesn't. It just makes me feel great! 

I absolutely floated through that run, I mean until about mile 10, then I started to feel terrible. So friends, if you see me on the trails, or you see me at a race, don't say anything. Just shoot me a thumbs up.

I absolutely guarantee you that I will return the favor. 

Okay Hank, I have to go for my last training run now. I will see you on friday.