Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Captain America Review

So the boy and I saw Captain America:  The First Avenger today.  As you can imagine it was a good father and son bonding opportunity.  We shared popcorn, discussed what we thought was cool about the movie and even went to Rick's Comic City after the movie to cap off the day (fyi, Dad's this is a great way to spend the day with your kids.  Movies and cool swag at Rick's.  I highly recommend it.  And not just because I hope to get another 5% discount on my comics.  Wink. Wink).  With a movie like Captain America, you will get any number of mixed reviews from the rotten tomato to upbeat praise of a new action hero.  As comic movies go, this is one of the best that I have seen to date.  I was somewhat skeptical of Chris Evans from his Human Torch days in Fantastic Four, but he beefed up both his physical and acting skills for the role.  The story was a good mix of the classic Cap origin with some modern twists to make the story work and keep the action moving. 

What puts this movie above other summer comic movies this year is that it is not only a comic movie but also a running movie!  True believers, I am here to testify that this is one of the best running movies that I've ever seen.  After Cap gets his amazing powers, the scientist that gave him his powers is killed.  Cap leaps into action, running down the street after the Nazi murderer.  What the sharp-eyed runner will note is that Cap is doing so....wait for it....'cause it's really!!!  Now I understand Evans may actually have worn flesh colored foot boots a la Vibrams, but the message is clear, America's favorite son supports barefoot running!

Now for the rest of the movie, we see Cap running in his trademark army regulation boots, but for a good 10 minutes we were treated to barefoot running Cap.  Even without additional barefoot running scenes, the movie is chock full of running.  When Cap isn't marching or riding his Harley, he is running and jumping full tilt into battle.  The movie trailer alone would be a great advertisement for the Warrior Dash 5K (which yours truly is signed up for in September). 

Now I don't think that the boy noticed the running as much as I did (10 year old boys tend to focus on the derring-do, the heroic stances, and the really cool gadgets), but I think that he got the message.  Listen to the trailer.  A wimpy Steve Rogers explains that once you start running, you can't stop.  Truer words, if I ever heard any.  But what I liked even more was that it was running movie about heart.  Wimpy Steve Rogers didn't become Cap overnight.  He had to train.  Train hard.  He was not the strongest, but he was smart and brave.  He had guts and a never-say-quit spirit that naturally appeals to all runners, even the non-super soldier variety.  It was reminiscent of a less cocky, less hirsute Steve Prefontaine.  Hard work and guts can win the race, kids.  And against Nazis no less!  Hoorah!

With my final words, I say this is a must-see movie for both comic lovers and runners alike.  I dare any runner out there to watch this movie and not appreciate the speed and strength of a barefoot Cap running through the streets of Brooklyn or be thrilled by a suited up Cap tearing into Nazis or even get choked up by a desperate running Steve Rogers running through modern day New York realizing all that he's lost.  If you aren't moved, you must be dead inside.  Sniff.  Truly this is movie for everyone.  Would I pay full price to see this movie?  Absolutely.  I would do it twice and then buy the blu-ray combo pack when it comes out (I don't even own a blu-ray player!).  So there you go.  Captain America:  The First Avenger, the best running superhero movie of the summer.  Excelsior!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Race Apology Recap

If you've been keeping up with my site (and God bless you, if you have, you poor dear), you've noticed a couple things.  One, that I have run 3 races in the last few weeks.  Two, I have not been posting the requisite race recaps (or any other damn thing for that matter).  Tonight, I apologize to you dear readers (this number still remains questionable.  After all if I'm the only one reading this, but reading it on different days, does that count as different reads?), and I will make it up tonight with some speed blogging recaps.  So hit your timers and let's go.

On June 25, I ran the Wilma Rudolph 10K and 5K in Clarksville.  The weather was near perfect, but we did catch some rain at the end of the 5K.  I ran the 10K pretty hard hoping to place in it despite a total (this is becoming a theme for the summer, I'm afraid) lack of proper training.  Luckily for me, I did manage a 1st place finish for my age group (with a 16th place finish overall) with a time of 44:25, 7:10/mi (which also turned out to be a PR.  Yay for me!).  The 5K was a different story.  I was fairly depleted after the 10K but still managed a 2nd place finish for my age group with a time of 21:51, 7:03/mi.  Now that all the soldiers from the 101st are starting to come back home, it looks like there is a lot more competition up there.  I'm glad they're back safe and sound, and almost as glad to have the competition to motivate me to try harder.

On July 4, I ran the I Run For the Party 10K in Nashville.  Having run a fast 10K a couple weeks before, I hoped that would translate into another fast 10K.  Plus I figured all the fast runners would run the 5K.  Shocker. I was wrong.  When given a choice, really competitive runners (at this level) usually go for the longer distance (makes us muy macho).  Duh.  That being said, I did not post a fast time (partly due to my mid-race pit stop at the porta-potty) but finished first in my age group with a time of 46:19, 7:29/mi (Don't be too impressed.  The race only gave prizes to the first 3 finishers, the first 3 Masters finishers and the first 3 Grandmaster finishers both male and female.  The Masters (my group) were all filled out with the other 40 year olds that whipped my ass to the finish line.).

Now I'm about 3 weeks out from my vacation, and I've decided to work on my beach bod instead of my running for now.  I'm glad for the gym time, because I'm just not feeling the drive to put the miles on right now.  Hopefully that will change by August, but right now I gotta get ready for the beach!

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