September 29, 2014

Monday things that are mostly not running, then yeah, running

Lost dog posters strike me as the most effectively tragic short stories. In another life I would like to be the Sherlock of lost dog cases. I think that would be the most good I could do in the world.

Bottled water is an absurd waste of resources, and not really ecologically justifiable, but I do buy it anyway sometimes, because we all have our private failures. Sparkling mineral water is specifically mine, because I'm that kind of insufferable person. Today, the cashier asked me if it was vodka. I told her no. She asked if I drank, which seemed a step too far, probably, but I told her it had been a few years. She asked why and I said apathy. That's a strange answer, she said. I agreed but said some things just happen but most things just don't.

Gap is running an ad campaign basically promoting wearing black shirts(?) and I am a little too seduced by it. I wore a black shirt and black jeans today - both from Gap - but I did not look like a model and it did not tastefully rain on me.

Getting gas today, the cashier offered to me, unprompted, that she hoped I was staying in school. I told her that I was 26 and done. She said that was good because I wouldn't want to end up like her, working at a place like this. I told her I actually liked retail, did it for a while post college, and didn't consider it a step below anything. All jobs are kinda stupid, I said. She just said she had made a lot of mistakes. She seemed pretty down about something specific and a lot of things generally but I didn't know what to say so I got my gas and left.

While running I went by a new restaurant around 7 that really isn't that new and should have been busy since it was dinner time but nobody was there. One server looked very bored and I felt bad for her and also for the owners, because I run by this place a lot and it's always desolate. A lot of money and a lot of work and it seems like it's going nowhere.

I watched the news. A lot people are being killed. Perpetually.

This is every day, basically. Not specifically. The details vary. But you look around and you see people and things which are to you set pieces and the most minor of details but are entire lives in reality, whole existences equivalent to our own. And I think about those things. A lot. Can't help but look at a line of people in a grocery store and wonder how they got here, if they're happy. It's their whole life going on right now, after all.

I realize that sounds neurotic. Hell, I realize it is neurotic. And I realize too that this all sounds negative, perhaps a bit depressing. But I don't feel negative, nor depressed. I wonder why not sometimes, if being a generally pleased, positive person is blatantly irrational. And then I wonder if irrationality necessarily conflicts with rightness, and whether those two things can be quantified to any meaningful extent, thus making the basic calculus even possible. If the nature of each is truly unknowable, then...

Which is where I'm getting back around to the two hour jog at the end of the day. It doesn't fix any of this, and I get that. But it fixes me, and I get that too. Turns down - if not off - the neurosis, puts me in the present, in myself. Just run. And it feels good. And that's it. It doesn't matter. It doesn't have to. Just step, step, step. Breathe. Sweat. Burn. Self immolate and grow back stronger.

September 28, 2014

< 2:03

Dennis Kimetto is good at running.

I will probably never run a 4:41 mile. I will certainly never run a step further at that pace. 26.2 miles of it defies comprehension.

Hence "good at running". Superlatives fail. As they must, when faced with truly elite athletic performance.

I tried to explain the speed, the distance, and the combination thereof to some non-running friends tonight. Failed, mostly. Hard to explain that pace to someone who's never run a step of it.

I can, however, tell you that Kimetto is a faster distance runner than Dungeons and Dragons rules allow for, in humans without magical aid. Ergo, he must have had his Adidas +2 Racing Flats of Speed. Which, if you're reading, Adidas, I would buy so many pairs of any shoe named that. Just so you know.

September 25, 2014

I ran in Hokas

Tonight. Cliftons. Hoka's "racing flat".

A six mile test run, one of quite a few available via the local running store.

Can't really write a review based on one run, but I can say that I really liked them, so much so that they'll very likely be my next purchase.

Light (7.9 oz). Low (4 mm drop). Soft, but not so much as to compromise stride mechanics or turnover. The whole thing was sub seven pace, and the shoe never felt in the way or lacking in response. In truth, it felt faster than the Saucony Kinvara and New Balance Fresh Foam, both of which we've test run'd recently.

The real fun though - and this is kinda the point of the soft foam/rocker combo that Hokas are known for - was found downhill. Hit 4:30 and 4:13 pace VERY BRIEFLY down some of KU's steeper offerings, and if felt pretty damn effortless. Just stay loose, keep a good cadence, and let the shoe turnover.

I did find the heel fit a little sloppy, and the laces came untied near the end. The rocker profile also made for a funny sensation while standing around and walking, like your body really wanted to roll backwards. Of course, it is a running shoe. My biggest worry would be that the soft foam, most of which isn't covered by any rubber, would wear very quickly.

So, a large pinch of salt considering the sample size, but I could see the shoe being very useful for daily plodding, tempo efforts, and races longer than 10K.

For reference: I'm currently running mostly in the Adidas Boost 2, with some shorter work in the Mizuno Wave Universe 5 and Saucony Hattori. Before my stress fractures this year, I was a much more committed minimalist; but I've learned to embrace cushion since. I did a test run in the Bondi 3 previously, and hated it. So this could perhaps be the Hoka that unites the die-hards with the holdouts.

September 23, 2014

4 x 1

I wrote rather extensively yesterday on the pleasures of the run as a tour, the bipedal equivalent of a Sunday afternoon country drive.

I do have to say, though, that I'm enjoying my recent commitment to track work. Nobody ever told me it was this fun. Perhaps because they don't think it is? Certainly possible. There's a beautiful rhythm to be had though, in cruising around a 400 meter oval, bounding along on a surface that feels made for the task... because it is.

Mile repeats today. Something about that distance and that pace that just invites a sense of flow, of speed without strain. Wanted to run all four at six minute pace, but by the fourth, I felt far too curious what a harder effort would yield. So I gave one, and found 4:54 on the watch. (This is a good how to/why concerning different paced mile reps. Assuming you don't just want to do my usual "whatever the hell" pace.)

The sun had set, the rain fell lightly, and lighting danced between clouds. A lovely night.

And I felt pretty damn good. Pretty damn perfect, really. The sort of sensation you'd like to bottle up and save for races. (It does so rarely happen that a race feels like a best possible effort.) Like there was a perfectly linear relationship between effort and pace, such that going faster was only a question of willing it. (I think El G's world record is safe though.)

Of course, the satisfaction I derive from such nights is so significant as to render races almost beside the point. Another instance, as mentioned yesterday, that I'm more concerned with chasing down certain sensations than times.

Feeling good feels good. How's that for philosophy?

On hobbyjogging, briefly

Fitness happens when we stimulate adaptations. That takes a certain amount of stress, of course. Hormesis is the ideal. The just-right porridge, if you will. Unless you're paleo. Then you're shit out of luck, I guess.

That, generally, is agreed upon. How we go about doing it, however, is more complicated.

Good thing I didn't give a shit about that today. Ran... two and half hours? Maybe? And slow. So fucking slow, you wouldn't believe it. Or maybe you would. I don't know exactly. But I got passed. And I let it happen. Just let the ship pass in the night, no salvos traded. New to me. But worthwhile.

This is what I mean when I say "hobbyjogger". Says so right up in my bio section, see? I mean that, while I do want to race well - whatever that is to mean - and get faster than whatever I am now, my primary goal in running... is to run. Kind of a lot. Sometimes fast. But mostly an hour or two of steady improvisation. If you were feeling generous you could call it a fartlek, and then laugh because the word sounds funny.

I'll wait.

Hello again. I worked 12 hours today. Nothing remarkable about that, and I'm not complaining. Overtime pays extra, so, yeah. Could be worse. I majored in English at a kinda meh public university. Could be a lot worse.

But 12 hours of work is, while "good" in a sense, not exactly what I'd call fun. Running is. Ergo, we come to the running, or the hobbyjogging, as it were. The thing that I do to refresh myself, to revive myself, to... well, you know. Not sit on my ass all day, basically. Feel alive. Feel the wind, the muscles firing, the sensations that accompany the movement, but can't wholly define it.

This is running, of course, but with no competitive aim. The goal here is not specifically to stimulate fitness adaptations, but rather stimulate the mind, the body, and whatever notion of the soul you feel comfortable with.

Put it this way: When leaving work after a long day, my coworkers will usually ask if I still have to run. I try not to respond with quite so pithy a cliche, but in sum, I basically do say that I get to. It does smell a bit of self help bullshit speak, but there it is nonetheless.

This, I consider to be my most significant running related talent. And, taking the long view, it's a good one to have. I seem to be a very high responder to the chemical cocktail that results when my feet hit the ground 180 times in a minute, while my heart beats 150.

It's an exercise in presence. The ultimate, for me. The respite from a five hour talk with my philosophy and religious studies friends about the nature and purpose of existence, or the grind of cubicle life. It turns things off and turns them on. Offers self discovery, actualization, and definition.

You push the boulder up the hill, and maybe it comes back down - maybe it always will - but damn if the view isn't something, and if the trek wasn't better.

September 21, 2014


Coffee then twelve miles then food then coffee then Murakami and a candle then driving a bit with the windows open and vague strumming of guitars about.

The sun was out.

September 20, 2014

We're not special snowflakes, which is good, because they melt really fast, but we are different, I guess

This isn't a new sentiment, but something I do try and remind myself of quite often. I think it's worth sharing.

We - as runners, and more broadly speaking, fitness dorks in general - have a tendency to look at those faster than us and think, "What I'd do to have such talent", and then to glance at those slower than us and think, "There's so much more they could - maybe even should - be doing."

"I, of course, am not talented. Not in the slightest. But I work very hard, and it is because of that work that I have such fitness as I do. I deserve this, because I've earned every second."

There is a myriad of psychological phenomena on display here, but mostly I think it's an attempt to veil hubris with modesty. In saying "I'm not any good", we're trying to diminish ourselves, to suggest a deflated sense of ego. I think what we're actually doing is the opposite, however. In suggesting that we're slow, genetically cursed, etc., we are in fact inflating our work ethic. We are imagining ourselves as the quintessentially American ideal, to whom nothing was given, and everything was earned by blood, sweat, and diligent toil.

I say "we", not because I'm talking to you specifically, but rather you generally. And of course, because I'm including myself.

The answer, of course, is to appreciate whatever measure of talent we've got, and indulge in whatever amount of training seems worthwhile. And then to grant that others have variable talent levels, and are free to train as much as they see fit. Speed is not a moral imperative, and thus we shouldn't attach too much to those who have it, those who don't, and whether anyone bothers to pursue it.

September 15, 2014

A couple pacing pics

I'm never not going to point out the awesome job they do, so:

That said, a couple pics from my pacing duties on Saturday. Matt Becker won and set a CR in 18:47 (previous was 20:20), and I was lucky enough to get a front row seat for 35 miles. (I said 40 previously... but I was really tired then, and my math was bad.)

The final few steps. Me, turning away from the finish. Matt, with eyes for nothing else. His 16-year-old daughter (His wife, other daughter, sister, and niece all were present at the finish. It was really beautiful and they were all very nice to me.) shares the finishing kick.

Here, our post-race portrait-style photo. We're both filthy and deliriously happy. He looks the ultrarunner; I look like I dressed for a 5K and threw on the volunteer shirt (wonder why?).

Doesn't get much better.

Running wisdom by way of Greek myth and a French author

“To work and create 'for nothing', to sculpture in clay, to know that one's creation has no future, to see one's work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries- this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions. Performing these two tasks simultaneously, negating on one hand and magnifying on the other, is the way open to the absurd creator. He must give the void its colors.” 

“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”

“The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” 

-Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Simply, in the fleeting dusk of a weekend very full of running, I'm inclined to wonder on the why of it all, to question the genesis and potential for meaning inherent in any of it.

I'd say more, but the quotes above answer better than I can, and additional words could only detract.

There will be more later, of course. 

UPDATE: Went running. Recovered like magic from a massive weekend, but held back to 7 miles. Felt perfect. Feel perfect. Banished, for a day, maybe, my "meaning of everything" anxieties. 

September 14, 2014

Everything hurts, and I don't care.

Won the 5K this morning, and thus a pair of Adidas shoes.

Paced my runner for the last 40 miles of his first place, course record 100 miler.

I suppose it's possible to have a better day, but I don't know how.

September 12, 2014

It's Friday, and I'm not writing much

I am not the religious sort, but this really speaks to me.

I'm not the drinking sort either (I think it's been about 4 years since I've had a drop, half by accident). So replace that with coconut milk ice cream, or mixed nuts/dried fruit and you've got me.

More here.

Also, it's going to dip below 40 tonight. Perhaps it will get a little chilly in your area as well? If so, please enjoy the finest one woman Danish black metal act you'll hear all week. Or ever. In any case, it's music to fit the weather.

September 11, 2014

Evidence that 30 second intervals and heavy weights improves distance performance

I'm desperate to read this entire study, once it's available. In the meantime, it will almost certainly be co-opted by the all intensity, all the time crowd, disregarding the fact that some interval work mixed with some endurance work is basically standard distance training fare.

Still, I've got a few thoughts, just from the abstract.

1) First of all, I love that they tested actual performance, rather than physiological measurements. Too many studies assume that an increase in VO2max is the same as an increase in performance. That simply isn't true. But 10K and 1500 meter times are real, relatable things. I know what a 42 minute 10K is, what it looks like.

2) We really need to see what the control group's training looked like. Was it all slow? What was the volume?

3) We also need to see how long the endurance runs were for the "intensity" group. The abstract implies that they were reduced, but it could also be referring to weekly volume.

4) What did the weight training consist of? It was heavy, we know that. Were plyos involved too?

5) Lydiard folks would note that the intensity group basically did an old fashioned sharpening phase. Of course the athletes ran faster, they'd argue. But without the previous base work, they wouldn't have benefited to the same degree, or perhaps, been able to handle the training.

6) To that end, it is a very short study. Peaking works. We know this already. How would the 10K times look if the intensity group had kept up their training for 6 months, however?

7) See number one again. Seriously. They nailed this aspect.

Easy doesn't

Probably a lot more to say about the psychology of the "longer is better" thing, but it's late, too late, and I'm getting up at around five to go in to work early. Well, earlier. Though the barista days are now long gone, that sort of schedule still makes sense to me. One of these days I may shake it. One day, I may be forced to. But not yet.

Anyway, I mentioned yesterday that I'm going to run a 5K this Saturday. I'd thought about jumping in anyway, but frankly, I'm a little scared to see numbers attached to my present fitness. It's irrational, and nobody but me cares... but still, that neurosis exists.

I pulled the trigger when one of the managing editors at my office asked if I was going to do the race. She suggested that maybe I might like to, if 5Ks weren't too easy for me, and that it was for a good cause (it really is).

That middle portion is what I'm talking about, and what I've talked about several times before. Recently. And not at all recently. Running nine ultra/marathons in the last three years - inevitably, people ask about the limp, and things get around - seems to give the impression of running abilities well beyond what I feel is reality. This knowledge of my having done some longer stuff actually embarasses me slightly. Not that the act itself is embarrassing. It's not. But the idea that I'm a particularly good runner... well, I'm not really comfortable with that, nor do I really agree with it. And I'm certainly not comfortable with using my slight ultra pedigree as evidence to that point.

In any case, specific to this instance: 5Ks aren't easy. Not for me. And not for anyone that gives a real effort. That is to say, racing them isn't easy. Racing anything is never easy.

And frankly, as mentioned above, racing always scares me a bit. Not the difficulty inherent to the task. That, I don't mind. It's the goddamn clock. To look at a clock, a flat stretch of concrete, and know that these things will not lie to you. They will take all your effort, and assign a cold value to it. This is where you stand. We don't care how hard to tried. This is what it's worth.

Waiting on my number.

September 10, 2014

60 seconds

I'm going to race a 5K this Saturday, the morning of my pacing duties.

To that end, I decided to indulge in a little specific work, a few days out. Not to improve fitness, so much as improve my capacity to use the fitness I've got. Semantics, maybe. But something many smart people encourage, for reasons ranging from muscle tuning to "because it works".

Either works for me.

In any case: 2 miles easy, 4 x 400 @ 80 seconds, 4 x 400 @ 70 seconds, 4 x 400 @ 65 seconds, 2 miles easy.

I hit the last 400 at 64 seconds, if I'm being specific, which conjured up the question of whether I could run under a minute when fresh.

At the moment, no. But with focused work, and a drastic reduction in my easy running, I think it'd be possible in somewhat short order. A couple months? Maybe?

Will I actually attempt this? No. My broader goals, such as they exist, are at much longer distances. Just yesterday, I wrote about how I'd attempt to train for a hypothetical 100 mile race, which is quite a bit further than 400 meters. And while that is very hypothetical, I don't see myself really getting inspired by anything shorter than 13.1 miles in the near future.

Ideally, what I'd like to see is this: I continue my several weeks long now focus of including a myriad of paces, of doing actual workouts, rather than falling back into my volume for volume's sake habits. Gradually, as those weeks become months, and months become years, I'll get progressively more fit. That is at least somewhat the goal, right? And whether it's foolish or not, I really can't believe that I've maxed out my abilities, such as they are. (Though inevitably, that point will come. I won't acknowledge it except in hindsight, of course.) Subsequently, my workout paces will organically drop, and a sub 60 second 400 will be academic.


Ideally, of course, is not reality. And the truth is that nobody I know is really satisfied with their fitness. In fact, just about all of them - across an incredibly broad swath of abilities - classify themselves as pretty slow. I certainly count myself in that group.

The pleasant side to all of this is that those same people - and myself - enjoy the training for its own sake. And so, neurosis and self effacement aside, we all blissfully indulge in the process, outcomes be damned.

Strange hobby we've got.

September 8, 2014

100 steps

Hypothetical training musings ahead, by someone who is not a scientist, a coach, or that accomplished a runner. So, get your salt ready:

I'm pacing the last 25 of a 100 this weekend, which is a rewarding experience, but brings with it the unfortunate likelihood that I'll come away from the experience wanting to attempt one of the damn things myself.

I've allowed myself to taste the idea, if only because I don't presently have the desire to make a meal of it.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from thinking on potential recipes I might employ, should a genuine craving strike.

(Food metaphor is done now, I promise.)

The thinking goes that, the longer the race, the more "slow twitch" it is. No need to run fast. The law of specificity says so.

And there's intuitive logic to that. After all, if we assume the most important training is done around and at goal pace, and goal 100 pace is fucking slow (unless you're Zach Bitter, in which case, hi Zach Bitter), then why do anything but indulge in sweet LSD?

I dunno, exactly. Certainly plenty of people (probably most), from the sharpest end of the stick to the blunt, have trained with nothing but lots of weekly volume. Specificity is respected with big weekend mileage, and the pursuit of terrain (and perhaps vertical) that mimics the goal race. That has worked quite well for many.

My thinking, however - and this is far from revolutionary - is that the demands of running 100 miles are possibly best met by including multi pace and resistance training in addition to high mileage.

I believe this might have to do with muscle fibers. For our purposes, let's say that we've got slow, intermediate, and fast twitch fibers. The utilization progression goes mostly how you would expect, as the race distance increases. The further you run, the less fast and intermediate twitch fibers are involved.

And this is true... right up to somewhere around the marathon. At that distance, glycogen depletion and muscle damage require greater recruitment from the other fiber types. And although it hasn't been studied to my knowledge, it only makes sense to assume that 100 milers increase the need for these ancillary fibers to be recruited, when compared to marathons. And so the notion that 100 milers are an entirely slow twitch event, such as it exists, I would argue, is wrong. Much more likely, I think, is the possibility that every damn fiber you can muster becomes vital.

This same concept is also the driving force behind Lydiard's top down approach to training middle distance, which has since been articulated by real runner/scientist Peter Snell.

Do note that, as Snell points out, it's possible to train all fiber types with nothing but lots of steady distance. But you have to do a lot of it, and you can't just jog. Lydiard emphasized most running be done at a "good aerobic pace", which was not slow. And so possible, I'd argue, isn't necessarily optimal in this case. Certainly not when we're discussing the vast majority of ultra/marathon runners, 100% of whom are not Peter Snell.

I know I'm not. So it follows, then, that if I were to train myself for such an endeavor, I'd strive to increase the number of fibers I could recruit, and practice getting them to fire cohesively in a running stride, across a range of paces.

Practically, this means I'd do squats, box jumps, hill sprints, hill reps, track reps, and tempos. In other words, I think I'd probably train an awful lot like I would for sub marathon races, but with a greater emphasis big back to back weekend long runs.

It is worth noting that I'm hardly inventing anything here. Though plenty do train for 100s on nothing but volume, many others do more or less what I just spelled out here. Even still, the "why?" fascinates me, as ever. Maybe not enough to ever test any of this, but we'll see.

(An aside to this: Since it's long enough to not be "fast", but short enough to avoid marathon damage, is it possible that the half marathon is best distance for the truly slow twitch athlete?)

September 6, 2014

Saturday "race"

Ten miles this morning, doing hill reps later. Planned on easy, but the levee was crowded, very crowded, and so I raced everyone. They were almost certainly unaware of this race, its distance or its terms. Which is fair enough, as they were arbitrarily decided by me, at the time. Sixty degrees, a light breeze, inviting.

September 4, 2014

First steps

Being the approach to fall, many people who would otherwise be spared the insanity are inclined towards running a race of some kind.

They tell others, and those others say that it's good that they're running. I should too, they say. I used to, you know. But, life.

They tell me, and I say that I hope they enjoy it. The training, that is. Enjoy that and the race usually goes ok. Even if it doesn't, well, that's a relatively small time investment, relative to the hours spent building up to that first 5K, or whatever the case may be.

I don't offer much in the way of advice, because although I read voraciously on the subject, I end up truly believing very little, and that which I do believe is very simple. I tell them, again, to enjoy themselves. To only push so hard as they feel. To take it easy. Cover the distance before you worry about covering it fast.

I do tell them a little about the concept of base, to drive the point home. Maybe throw out stuff about mitochondria and capillaries. Definately reference how much slower my "easy" pace is than my 5K pace.

I tell them that, if they keep it pleasant, they'll run more. If they run more, they'll run better. If they run better, then they can run even more. And so on.

But if you hate it, none of that happens.

And if you do hate it, that's ok. Running isn't a moral imperative. Nobody should feel guilty for being slow, for hating it, or for not even bothering in the first place.

September 2, 2014

Things from yesterday, today

This post is entirely random bullshit.

- The scent of arboreal necrosis has begun to fill the wooded air. As sure a sign as any that fall approaches, as does the accompanying benefits of cooler air, darker skies, and delicious breathing. (That sounds odd, I know, but the air tastes so much better in the fall. And when you spend a lot of time breathing hard outside, you notice these things). I really do adore the aesthetic of late fall. It's odd the extent to which that's true. So yes, I'm very excited to see the calendar turn.

- Stories of huge marathon PRs often speak more to the disaster of the initial effort than real fitness gains. But then, if you ran faster, do we really have any other way to decipher fitness? Even if other race times are stagnant, if your target improves, that's not nothing. Oh well. Marathons are strange that way. Fueling and muscle damage are such a large factor. I just think it's a tad odd that everyone wants to discuss marathon PRs, and not, say 5Ks.

- On that note, I feel like 5Ks are chronically disrespected. Sure, they're relatively short. Three point something something miles doesn't inspire awe the same way 26.2 does. The distance is not inherently part of the challenge. But that just means you have to run harder. Often very uncomfortably hard, at a pace you never touch in training. (If you're a lazy ass, like me.)

- Lawrence's best post-collegiate runner by a pretty wide margin is almost exclusively a road 5K guy. I wonder if he gets sick of people asking him when he's going to run a marathon? As if running 15 and change on the roads doesn't count for much.

- I'm pacing a guy for 25 at the Hawk 100, on September 13. If things go well, I expect he'll be in contention. If things go really well.... he'll be better off even than that. But I don't want to jinx things. It's exciting for me, and I'm certainly feeling fit enough to push for 25, if it comes to that. Hoping it does.

- If LSD were thought of as long steady distance, rather than slow, I think people would have a much higher opinion of the concept. Slow conjures up images of a slouched back, flailing legs, and mournful chugging. Steady implies rhythm, which requires form, posture, etc., to be mostly on point. It's strong running, rather than weak. Easy, but not holding yourself back easy. It's also the most consistent source of bliss available, I think, and probably the "workout" I'd choose if I could only ever do one thing. (Especially if I'm allowed a hilly course.)

- I went on three runs yesterday, each an hour, just to see what it would be like. Sweaty, mostly. Produced an irritating amount of laundry.

- Legs feel fine though. Fine enough to do 14 today, at the aforementioned "steady" effort, and yes, over a hilly course. Six not very steep hill sprints/strides also, for some token turnover work.

- Still have no idea what I'm going to do this fall, in terms of racing. But very much enjoying my running, which, at the moment, is my primary concern.

- People are freaking out, as every year, over abominable pumpkin flavored coffee drinks. The only thing about fall I actively detest.