Shared posts

25 Aug 19:15

Coming Attractions: Meet the Boy or Girl of Your Dreams at Thunder Road

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

"Dangerous" music. Lol

[Photo: Radio/Defunct Facebook page]

Thunder Road, the potential replacement for Radio in Union Square, could be the place where you'll "meet the boy or girl of [your] dreams" if co-owner Dan Millen gets his way, according to Wicked Local Somerville. Millen and business partner Charles Abel appeared before the licensing commission last week to seek a liquor license for the music venue they want to open. According to the Wicked Local report, the board "express[ed] interest" but continued the hearing until next month so that Millen and Abel can hold a neighborhood meeting before any final decisions are made.

Other tidbits from the hearing: Thunder Road will be a "fun" place with no "loud" or "dangerous" music. In addition to shows, there could be karaoke and contests involving air guitar and lip-synching. Also, the venue would serve hyper-local beers from Aeronaut Brewing Company and Somerville Brewing Company, both located minutes away. The next hearing will take place on September 15.
· Next stop, Thunder Road [WL]
· All coverage of Thunder Road on Eater [~EBOS~]

29 Aug 15:30

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Have Carcinogens In Them, But We Can Change That

by Claire Hannum
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

And they're GROSS, you guys. I'm not sorry.

Sorry to break it to you. Read more

28 Aug 17:35

Say It Ain’t So: The Life Of Weezer Singer Rivers Cuomo Is Being Turned Into A TV Sitcom

by Leslie Simon

Rivers Cuomo has gotta be one of the most interesting figures in rock ‘n’ roll. Not only did the Weezer frontman grow up on an ashram, but he meditates, speaks near-fluent Japanese, wears the shit out of thick-framed glasses and has consistently written some of the catchiest alt-rock songs of the past 20 years.

For all these reasons (and more!), it’s no wonder Hollywood is interested in making a TV series based on Rivers’ life—especially the time in 1995 when the singer stopped playing music in order to attend Harvard University, where he earned a B.A. in English.

According to a piece in The Hollywood Reporter, the show, titled DeTour, “would embellish [Cuomo's] journey with a fictional character and the small band of misfit friends that make it possible for him to get through his formative years.”

The series has already been given a “put-pilot order” and is being written by Psych creator Steve Franks.

No matter whether the series is a blockbuster or a turd, it sounds like pure “Raditude” to us! The only thing that could guarantee success would be the addition of Muppets.


Photos: New York Times, Glorious Noise

The post Say It Ain’t So: The Life Of Weezer Singer Rivers Cuomo Is Being Turned Into A TV Sitcom appeared first on POPHANGOVER.

28 Jul 17:00

Anatomy Of Songs Infographic Hilariously Sums Up All The Music You Love/Hate

by Leslie Simon

With all the summer festivals going on right now, it only seemed appropriate we poke fun at the music-related eliteness that seems to coincide with this particular season.

Whether you’re going to Warped Tour, Pitchfork, Bumbershoot or—gasp—Burning Man, we totally support your ticket-buying choices.

HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean we can’t necessarily mock you mercilessly for ‘em. Thanks to artist John Atkinson, we don’t have to put our thoughts into words. He does it for us… And illustrates them beautifully.

Check out the all-too-perfect anatomy of songs chart!

Photo:, Wrong Hands

The post Anatomy Of Songs Infographic Hilariously Sums Up All The Music You Love/Hate appeared first on POPHANGOVER.

28 Jul 18:51

Guy’s Ridiculous List of “Dating Deal Breakers” Goes Viral

by Georgie

Online dating can be a strange, strange world.  I know this, because last night my roommate (who is on, showed me the numerous profiles she’s matched with online.  Some guys sound like completely obnoxious pretentious twats in their profiles, while others don’t know how to wear a picture without wearing sunglasses.  My favorites are the ones with user names that are so unappealing, you don’t need to click on their profile to find out why they are single (toohot4u and boobietrap spring to mind.)  Not surprisingly, I tried to convert her to the wonderful shallow world of Tinder, because at least it’ll take you 18 text exchanges to figure out that “Doug, 28″ thinks he’s toohot4u.


A perfect case in point that sometimes less is more when it comes to revealing yourself in an online dating profile comes from this Casanova: A guy who has the longest list of “dating deal breakers” ever to be contrived.  I don’t actually disagree with absolutely all of them–in fact, a few of these would be “deal breakers” for me, but the other 99% of this is completely obnoxious and leaves me thinking, “Who the hell does this guy think he is?”


Am I being too harsh? Is he right in laying down literally every single turn-off he has before even meeting anyone?  Read his terms and then let me know…





Like, “you belittle transgender people,” and “you’re a Holocaust denier” are definitely deal breakers for the majority of the human population.  But “you consider yourself a happy person,” and “you think world peace is an actual goal of some sort….”  Yeahhhhh…. this guy is a complete asshole, and is probably more likely to die alone that I am.  And that’s saying something…


“Your response to most everything is wrapped in sarcasm.”  DAMMIT, I ALMOST HAD A CHANCE!!

The post Guy’s Ridiculous List of “Dating Deal Breakers” Goes Viral appeared first on POPHANGOVER.

07 Jul 18:00

Kickstarter of the Day: Potato Salad Kickstarter Raises Much Much More Than Expected

Amy Lynne Grzybinski

You have to be joking. Brb, going to make a jokey Kickstarter and raise more money than I would if actually trying to fund a dream :/

Kickstarter of the Day: Potato Salad Kickstarter Raises Much Much More Than Expected

Zack Danger Brown asked for just $10 on Kickstarter so he might accomplish his dream: "Basically I'm just making potato salad."

The Kickstarter has since gone viral and so far has raised more than $9,000!

Update: The Kickstarter has now raised over $40,000!

Submitted by: (via Kickstarter)

18 Jun 18:59

papermagazine: Oh. My. God. [Via Mlkshk]

by annagoldfarb


Oh. My. God. [Via Mlkshk]

17 Apr 05:54

The woman is in a room we can’t get into.

by Georgia Dunn
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

New fave comic.


12 Jun 21:00

The bell hooks Hotline: For When You'd Rather Not Give Out Your Number

by Emma Carmichael
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

Brb, texting bell hooks for HOURS

by Emma Carmichael

An anonymous angel from New York delivered a wonderful public service today: "a phone line that automatically reads quotations from bell hooks." From our savior, via email:

The idea came to me after the NYPost printed bikini photos of the woman who "spurned" Elliot Rodgers. Despite the fact that she was only 10 years old at the time they met, she was portrayed as having romantically rejected Rodgers.

The idea is to pass that off as one's own number if you're in a dicey situation, afraid to give out your personal cell phone number or outright reject somebody. The number is 669-221-6251. (We originally wanted 669/UGH-ASIF, but it was taken…)

It will automatically respond to text messages as well as calls! That way, you don't have to deal with a threatening person, *and* they get some free feminist lessons thrown in.

We are thinking of putting up a gmail account too, which would automatically respond with "Thank you for your note. However, I am away on vacation — from the patriarchy."

Give it a try, and then promptly memorize the number: 669-221-6251. [Feminist Phone Intervention, screengrab via Bitch Media]

09 Jun 15:30

The Shutter: Veggie Planet Will Close at the End of August

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

[Photo: Veggie Planet/Facebook]

Veggie Planet, a pizza-focused vegetarian and vegan restaurant that has been operating out of Club Passim in Harvard Square since 2001, will close in the end of August, reports Boston Restaurant Talk. "Since Club Passim's seating capacity was reduced in late 2011 due to fire code enforcement, and given that there is no table turnover in their concert room every night, it has become unsustainable to continue to operate Veggie Planet in this space," the restaurant writes on Facebook. "Given that we also operate Veggie Galaxy, however, we feel that our attention is better focused on Galaxy than on the time and energy it would take to transfer Veggie Planet's operations to an alternative location." The team is hopeful that a new owner will step forward to take the concept to a new, dedicated space.

Veggie Galaxy is a vegan and vegetarian diner in Central Square. Sad Facebook fans asked whether Veggie Galaxy would serve some of the Veggie Planet menu, but it will not. "In trying to be true to the concept, we won't be introducing pizza there (and no room for a pizza oven in the kitchen there either...especially since we're putting in a dedicated fryer for vegan doughnut-making!)." No word yet on the future food situation at Club Passim.
· Veggie Planet [FB]
· Veggie Planet in Cambridge's Harvard Square to close [BRT]
· All coverage of Veggie Planet on Eater [~EBOS~]

04 Jun 20:35

WATCH: This Guy Uses Snapchat to Cover Popular Songs. BE STILL MY HEART.

by Georgie

I have a great appreciation for people who use Snapchat as a tool to share their genius creativity, like those who take Art History Snapchats, or those who get really creative with drawing on pictures of dicks.  This guy is one such genius, going above and beyond the creative license that is Snapchat by covering songs and turning them into works of time-sensitive art



Such attention to detail… much time on his hands…


This is a perfect example of having too much time on your hands being a VERY GOOD THING.

The post WATCH: This Guy Uses Snapchat to Cover Popular Songs. BE STILL MY HEART. appeared first on POPHANGOVER.

03 Jun 00:02

WATCH: This Beautiful Family’s Story of Their Young Transgender Son

by Georgie
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

This video is a little cheesy, but get ready to have yerself a cry!

Ryland always knew he was a boy.  This is the story of his family realizing that this wasn’t just a “phase,” but was their son’s need to express his true self and be happy.


In otherwords, get ready to UGLY CRY.

I’m very grateful that they chose to turn off the ability to comment on this video on Youtube. Sadly, while I think most people will be driven to tears of empathy and joy over this, the Internet is a place where the assholes take every person’s journey displayed via video as a chance to RUN AMOK.
And he IS a handsome boy! This makes me so happy, you guys! :) If anyone needs me I’ll just be HUGGING PUPPIES AND DANCING IN A CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN IN MY HEART RIGHT NOW!!!



The post WATCH: This Beautiful Family’s Story of Their Young Transgender Son appeared first on POPHANGOVER.

02 Jun 23:30

Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana

by drew


Produced by the Michigan Cannabis Business Association, “Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana” is a 28-page booklet for the parent or legal guardian too high to tell their child “Weed makes my back feel better.”

21 May 00:37

(via theclearlydope:kady-xvx)

15 May 23:30

Hot Dog Hat

by drew
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

I would rock that pizza beret SO hard.


Finally, you can wear a great lunch food on your head with Hot Dog Hat, the $6.95 accessory of your dreams. If that’s not quite doing it for you, try Hamburger Hat or Pizza Hat, by the same manufacturer.

16 May 15:00

That Branch was a Further Jump Than I Thought

That Branch was a Further Jump Than I Thought

So much for going out on a limb...

Submitted by: (via scnert)

Tagged: ouch , Babies , cast , squirrel , cute
15 May 00:42

hellandheartaches: Truuuu.

by annagoldfarb
15 May 14:00

Meals on Wheels: Food Trucks Descend on Somerville Every Thursday

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Amy Lynne Grzybinski


[Photo: Taco Party Truck/Facebook]

Somerville is still woefully devoid of food trucks aside from occasional special events, but starting tonight, there will be a weekly duo of trucks parked in the loading dock area behind Brooklyn Boulders, which is located partway between Union Square and Porter Square, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Taco Party, a vegetarian taco truck, is leading the charge; owner Keith Schubert tells Eater that the goal is to create "a sort of mini food truck park (like you would find in Portland, OR or Austin, TX)." He wants to foster a "patio-like vibe where folks can come relax after work and eat some good food from some of Boston's best trucks."

Each week, Taco Party will be joined by a revolving guest truck — tonight, it's Fugu Truck. They'll start off with a basic assortment of tables and chairs, but a tent and picnic tables will appear in coming weeks. The fun will last until October.
· All coverage of food trucks on Eater [~EBOS~]

14 May 17:30

A Beekeeper's Funeral When the Mourners Included the Bees

by Jia Tolentino
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

OMG I want bees to mourn me when I die

by Jia Tolentino

Via Ken Layne, here's a snippet from a newspaper article from 1956, documenting one of a very few incidents in which honey bees attended their keeper's funeral quietly, and after the burial, flew back to their hive.

09 May 16:00

The Susan Miller Drinking Game

by Kristin Appenbrink
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

LULZ. Susan pretty much tells me that I'm going to be pregnant and that it's a good time to sign a contract every dang month.

by Kristin Appenbrink

Hallelujah! We have finally left the cesspool that was April, and Susan Miller has arrived with predictions of a May to remember. Yes, the horoscopes are a little belated (Susan, we're sending good vibes for a speedy recovery!), but the good news is all the more welcome since we had to wait for it. Now that we're on the tail end of the effects of that last eclipse (it's out the door tomorrow, May 10th), it's time to give those May forecasts a closer read with the Susan Miller Drinking Game. So pull up your forecast, break open the liquor cabinet, and let's get started. If you're still alive by the end of the first round, there's a bonus round at the end.

Take a sip:
- for every mention of a new moon or full moon
- if Susan can't tell something because she doesn't know your specific chart
- any mention of your house of earned income
- if there's a good day to sign papers or a contract
- if you should be on the lookout for health concerns (Susan, what sign are you again???)
- if Mercury is in retrograde and coming for you

Take a shot:
- if your birthday falls on a date mentioned (plus or minus five days, of course)
- if you have 15 or more important dates for love, meetings, or actions
- every time Susan says "dear [insert sign here]"
- whenever the universe hates a vacuum
- whenever Susan uses the phrases "eclipse out" or "rare aspect"

Empty your glass:
- if you felt an event the month before it happened
- if your ruling planet makes you more sensitive to something
- if you're going to be making a big life decision this month: getting married, deciding to have a baby, meeting your one true love

*** Bonus Round! ***

Take a sip:
- for every mention of the wretchedness of April 2014
- every time Susan promises you money
- if Mars being in retrograde has fouled up something
- if May is your month to travel or take a weekend away
- for every warning about the worst day of the month (May 10th)
- for every mention of the year 2026

Take a shot:
- if you are still supposed to be wary of the April 15th eclipse that never ends
- when Susan channels George R.R. Martin talking about the meeting of fire and ice
- if the full moon on May 14th is going to lock you into something

Empty your glass:
- if the best day in your forecast already happened
- if your forecast includes warnings about water damage in your vacation home

Drunk? Drunk. Have a good month, everybody.

Kristin Appenbrink is a freelance writer and ice cream obsessive. She's glad April is over.

06 May 04:47

italktosnakes: msmorstans: fucoid: Spend 7 minutes of your...

Amy Lynne Grzybinski

YES. I buy a shaving cream "for men" at CVS that costs me $1.77. I was chuckling this morning over this exact thing. So far, I haven't sprouted testicles, but I'll keep everyone posted.




Spend 7 minutes of your life watching this show on gendered marketing

This is brilliant. I specifically buy razors and shaving cream marketed to men because it’s at least 30% cheaper in the US, and yet the quality is way better. 

This video is great.

02 May 18:50

yourmotherseyes: The Vagenda Magazine asked their Twitter...


The Vagenda Magazine asked their Twitter followers to tweet them edited headlines

This is my favourite thing at the moment

25 Apr 16:40

The struggle is real

Amy Lynne Grzybinski


The struggle is real

23 Apr 18:20

Isn’t that what art is?

Isn’t that what art is?

23 Apr 14:00

OPENING ALERT: H Mart Is Officially Open in Central Square

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Amy Lynne Grzybinski


[Photo: An H Mart location/Michael Kappel, Flickr]

At 9:30 a.m. today, the long-awaited Central Square H Mart opened its doors, welcoming customers into its plentiful aisles of Asian groceries and its food court full of ramen, sushi, baked goods, and more. Founded in 1982, the beloved chain has stores across the United States; locally, there's also one in Burlington. The brand new Cambridge location is open from 7 a.m. until midnight daily, and its food court features Sapporo Sushi & Ramen (related to the Sapporo Ramen at the nearby Porter Exchange in Porter Square), Go! Go! Curry, and Paris Baguette.
· H Mart [Official Site]
· All Coverage of H Mart on Eater [~EBOS~]

16 Apr 16:00

A Curated Selection of Wonderfully Gruesome Sentences from Wikipedia

by Molly Pohlig
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

BRB reading EVERY one of these. The Katherine Knight one? o_O

by Molly Pohlig

Welcome to mid-April; or, that dark chasm of working days that stretches on with no holidays until Memorial Day. Joy! In that spirit, I've been hitting the Wikipedia hard lately, and these are the most gruesome sentences I could find. I consider it a public service to share them. I'm sorry.

Anencephaly. “The most common type of anencephaly, in which the brain is completely absent.”

(Even if you can stomach the first photo, don’t scroll down. Seriously, don’t. I screamed out loud at work. Similar precautions go for the following 25 entries.)

Belle Gunness. “Hack driver Clyde Sturgis delivered many such trunks to her from La Porte and later remarked how the heavyset woman would lift these enormous trunks ‘like boxes of marshmallows,’ tossing them onto her wide shoulders and carrying them into the house.”

(runner-up: Botfly. “Squeezing the larvae out is not recommended, as it can cause the larvae to rupture; their bodily fluids have been known to cause severe anaphylactic shock.”)

Carlos II. “The physician who practiced his autopsy stated that his body ‘did not contain a single drop of blood; his heart was the size of a peppercorn; his lungs corroded; his intestines rotten and gangrenous; he had a single testicle, black as coal, and his head was full of water.’”

Dyatlov Pass incident. “Some were found wrapped in snips of ripped clothes that seemed to have been cut from those who were already dead.” (In sum, this is possibly the best Wikipedia entry of all time, not to get all superlative or anything.)

(runner-up: Danny Lyons. “As Lizzie the Dove lay dying she was said to have told Gentle Maggie that she would ‘meet you in hell and there scratch your eyes out.’”)

Elizabeth Báthory. “Before being burned at the stake, Semtész and Jó had their fingers ripped off their hands with hot pincers, while Ficko, who was deemed less culpable, was beheaded, and his body burned.”

Flaying. “Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.”

Gangrene. “The affected part is edematous, soft, putrid, rotten and dark.”

Helios Airways Flight 522. “They intercepted the passenger jet at 11:24 and observed that the first officer was slumped motionless at the controls and the captain's seat was empty.”

Iron Maiden (torture device). “It was anthropomorphic, probably styled after primitive ‘Gothic’ representations of Mary, the mother of Jesus, with a cast likeness of her on the face.”

Jellied Eel. “The eel is a naturally gelatinous fish so the cooking process releases proteins, like collagen, into the liquid which solidify on cooling to form a jelly, though gelatin may be added in order to aid this process.”

Katherine Knight. “She then decapitated him and cooked parts of his body, serving up the meat with baked potato, pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage, yellow squash and gravy in two settings at the dinner table, along with notes beside each plate, each having the name of one of Price's children on it; she was preparing to serve his body parts to his children.”

Localized cicatricial pemphigoid. “Nikolsky's sign is present in case of pemphigus only but not in the case of pemphigoid.” (This is terrifying because none of these words mean anything to me.)

Marion Parker. “Her eyes were wired open so as to make her appear alive.”

Necrotizing fasciitis. “For reasons that are unclear, it occasionally occurs in people with an apparently normal general condition.”

Ovalteenies. “Ovalteenies are round sweets made of compressed Ovaltine.’ (Shudder.)

Purgatorio. “The souls of the envious wear penitential grey cloaks, and their eyes are sewn shut, resembling the way a falconer sews shut the eyes of a falcon in order to train it.”

Quiricus and Julietta. “Julietta was tortured, and her three-year-old son, being held by the governor of Tarsus, scratched the governor's face and was killed by being thrown down by some stairs.”

Rat king (folklore). “It consists of 32 rats.” (Imagine that on the A train.) (Sorry, I have to go have a little sick now.)

Scaphism. “The condemned was forced to ingest milk and honey to the point of developing a severe bowel movement and diarrhea, and more honey would be poured on his exposed appendages and on his genitals to attract insects.“

Teratoma. “The tissues of a teratoma, although normal in themselves, may be quite different from surrounding tissues and may be highly disparate; teratomas have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and, very rarely, more complex organs or processes such as eyes, torso, and hands, feet, or other limbs.” (Screaming.)

Unusual deaths. “Garry Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer in Toronto, fell to his death on 9 July 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass was "unbreakable," a demonstration he had done many times before.“ (Go read this page and you’ll appreciate how hard it is to pick just one sentence. Sadly, it’s been edited down lately, and I would be remiss if I didn’t send you here instead.)

Verrucous carcinoma. “This form of cancer is often seen in those who chew tobacco or use snuff orally, so much so that it is sometimes referred to as ‘Snuff dipper's cancer.’” (If you’re trying to get someone to quit tobacco, maybe show them the pictures.)

Who put Bella in the Wych Elm? “He found taffeta in her mouth, suggesting that she had died from asphyxiation.”

Xabi Alonso. “Alonso was regarded as a quiet and friendly person by his former teammates at Liverpool.” (Xabi Alonso is not gruesome, he’s an adorable Spanish footballer, but I thought you deserved a treat for making it this far.)

Yellow fever. “Bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract will cause vomit containing blood, hence the Spanish name for yellow fever, vomito negro (‘black vomit’).”

Zelus biloba. “Zelus biloba is a species of assassin bug found in Florida.” (This is terrifying because it is the only sentence. Although I’m not surprised that it’s found in Florida.)


Previously: Imaginary Miniseries I Would Enjoy More than Downton Abbey

Molly Pohlig lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing. She is currently tweeting her way through Proust, all seven volumes, at @poppycockltd.

09 Apr 13:45

Comic Sans Trying to Grow Up

by Jia Tolentino
by Jia Tolentino

Via Fast Company:

First, let's talk a bit about Comic Sans, the world's most reviled font. As it was designed by Vincent Connare for Microsoft's kid-friendly Bob operating system–an operating system it was bizarrely never used in–Comic Sans was a pudgy, slightly clumsy, but otherwise affable font. It looked like the hand lettering of a comic book. The effect was very much by design: Connare needed a font that looked more appropriate when coming out of Bob's cartoon OS assistants than Times New Roman or other overly formal fonts.

The new version is called Comic Neue, and according to Craig Rozynski, the new font's creator, it'll "make your lemonade stand look like a Fortune 500 company," which is a fairly hyperbolic description, isn't it? On the one hand the new Comic Sans is not nearly as stupid-looking as the original; on the other hand, it is not nearly as stupid-looking as the original.

10 Apr 00:44

This is what happens to the cars of morons who park in front of hydrants

by adamg
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

ahhh Boston. I love you.

04 Apr 15:55

9 Ultra-Helpful Tips for Making the Leap from Marathoner to Ultrarunner

by (Matt Frazier and Ben Benulis)
Amy Lynne Grzybinski

1. Don't. Just don't.
2. Seriously, what is wrong with you.

Note from Matt:  Last year when I chose the course for my first 100-miler, one of the criteria I looked for was “fair.” I didn’t want the easiest, flattest course around, but at the same time, it is 100 miles, so why make it tougher than it needs to be? 

Next month, Doug Hay will be running his first 100. But in choosing his race, he didn’t look for “fair.” Instead, he went with the race that most inspired him, the Massunutten Mountain Trails 100 — which happens to be one of the toughest on the East Coast. Not a coincidence.

This choice perfectly sums up Doug’s passion for ultrarunning and trails. And it’s the reason I asked him to answer a question that people ask me all the time these days: “I’ve run a marathon, but now I’d like to run an ultra. Any advice?”

Above all, the difference between marathoning and ultrarunning is the mindset, and Doug’s post will help you to understand that shift. 

Here’s Doug.


When it comes to running ultramarathons — any distance over 26.2 miles — most people don’t have a clue where to start. The distance sounds so much longer, the courses so much tougher, and the word “ultra” that much more hard core.

I know that before running my first ultra, I worried about things like:

  • If I train for an ultramarathon, will I end up rotting alone somewhere deep in the woods?
  • Will training for an ultramarathon take over my life and piss off all my family and friends?
  • How do I even begin training for such a distance?

Questions like these were filling my head with doubt, and I know these same doubts are common based on the questions I get from runners and readers.

The good news is that the leap from marathoner to ultramarathoner isn’t as big as most runners believe. With a few key distinctions and (maybe) a little extra mileage, you can be well on your way to adding “ultra” to your running accomplishment list.

9 Keys for Going from Marathoner to Ultramarathoner

1. Understand that ultramarathons aren’t just for elites and superhumans.

As Matt once told us,

If you can run a marathon, you can run an ultramarathon.

It’s true. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a superhuman to run an ultra. The truth is that most training schedules for a 50k, and even some 50-milers, look strikingly similar to a marathon training plan. The major difference: most speed is out, and some additional mileage is in.

But not so much mileage it should intimidate marathoners from going for it, or even require you to cut too far back on your social schedule.

The first step in the transition from marathoner to ultramarathoner is to know you can do it. And if you can run a marathon, trust me, you can do it.

2. Learn how to run trails.

Ultramarathons can take a variety of forms. They can be timed events, such as a 6, 12, or 24 hour looped race, or they can be any set distance over 26.2 miles. The most common distances are 50k, 50 mile, 100k, and 100 miles. Multi-day stage races are also a big part of the ultramarathon scene.

But one thing that nearly all ultras have in common is that they are run on trails. Of course you’ll find exceptions, but if you plan to train for an ultramarathon, it’s safe to assume that it will be at least partially on the dirt.

For me, spending time out on trails is one of the best parts about training for the new distance. It’s good for any runner’s training, even road runners, and it can be a lot of fun.

If you’re new to trail running, here’s where you should start:

  1. Get familiar with trail running basics.
  2. Don’t concern yourself with pace and speed, but instead focus on time spent out on each run.
  3. Run with a more experienced runner and watch how they handle the terrain.
  4. Pay attention to safety issues and always let someone know which trails you’ll be running and when you expect to return.

3. Learn how to walk.

I was about 2.5 miles in to my first 50k when we hit the first major hill. Before the runners ahead of me took more than 3 steps up the hill, they all started walking.

I couldn’t believe it. Walking? Just over two miles into a race?

I zoomed right past them and ran up the hill. Take that, slow pokes.

It didn’t take more than 10 miles to realize that walking, or hiking, during an ultramarathon is a big part of any proper pacing strategy. And my strategy was terrible.

Walking is often more efficient than running up steep inclines, so runners power hike up those hills to save energy for the rest of the race. When all those runners I passed at mile 2.5 flew past me further into the race, I know I had made a mistake.

Hills are great for building strength throughout training, but treat long runs as race practice and don’t be afraid to hike the steep inclines — you don’t want race day to be the first time your hiking muscles get a workout.

4. Stay on top of your nutrition.

Nailing down your nutrition is key for any successful ultramarathon.

Even at the 50k distance, ultras can take several hours longer than your fastest marathon, making it that much more important to keep on top of your energy intake.

Everyone’s nutritional needs are different when it comes to endurance sports, so use your long runs as trial runs every week. Here are a few rules I always follow when it comes to nutrition:

  • Consume calories every 30 to 45 minutes, starting at the very beginning of your run.
  • Mix in real foods, like dates, PB&J, boiled potatoes, or fruit.
  • Drink at least some of your calories. A NMA favorite these days is HEED sports drink.

Check out Matt’s detailed write-up of his 100 mile race for ideas and advice on what works for him.

5. Reevaluate your understanding of distance.

Distance is relative.

At least that’s what I like to say when telling myself a 25-mile training run will be no big deal.

If you’ve run a marathon, you probably remember that the long runs you thought felt long at the beginning seemed like easy runs by the end. Your understanding of distance changed with your training.

The same will happen while training for an ultramarathon.

Regular 13-20 mile weekend runs will become standard, and after a few weeks, you won’t sweat the distance like you did in the beginning.

Most ultramarathon training plans even call for at least one or two back-to-back long runs, where two 13-18+ mile runs are scheduled on consecutive days in order to replicate the feeling of running on tired and overused legs.

When looking at that weekend on your training plan, keep in mind that by the time it comes, the distance will be less intimating. You’ll have a better understanding of what that distance feels like and how to properly manage your effort throughout the run.

6. Get the right gear.

Trail running doesn’t necessarily require new gear, but running an ultramarathon, especially one on trails, might mean you need to pick up and train with a few new items:

  • Headlamp: Many ultramarathons start pre-dawn or run after sunset and require a light source to see the trail. Headlamps tend to be the preferred choice for most runners, although you’ll find many runners, including Matt, using a small handheld flashlight instead.
  • Hydration System: Aid stations at ultramarathons are often several miles apart, and when out running for multiple hours at a time, it’s important to take in water more frequently than aid stations allow. Almost all runners will carry some sort of handheld bottle or pack for water or other energy drinks and small amounts of nutrition. The size and type of pack or handheld is completely up to the runner and distance.
  • Shoes: When running a trail ultra, it’s a good idea to have a pair of trail running shoes, which have a thin rock plate to protect your foot against the terrain, and larger lugs on the bottom to provide traction in the dirt and mud.
  • Clothing: No special clothing is required for most ultramarathons, but keep in mind that you’ll be out much longer than a marathon, and weather is often less predictable in the woods or mountains. And don’t forget about spots that rub. Lube up. You’ll thank me later.

7. It’s all about pacing.

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably already figured out that pacing is an important part of ultramarathon race strategy. What you do during the first half will have a massive impact on how much pain or pleasure you feel the second half.

Think about how important it is to keep your splits under control at the beginning of a marathon. Now think about how much more important it is when you add another 6, 24, or more miles after that initial 26.2.

During your training, practice running a slower race pace. Practice keeping excitement and speed under control, and practice letting the terrain be more of a pacing guide than your GPS watch.

8. Embrace your new community.

The trail running and ultrarunning communities are one of my favorite parts about running ultramarathons. The ultramarathon race vibe often feels more like a laid back day at summer camp than a loud crowded city marathon.

Runners chat and encourage each other as they run by, aid station workers assist with much more than just handing out water, and after the race even strangers will want to listen to your battle stories and hear about the race.

Runners training for their first ultra can get involved with the community well before the race itself. Here are a few good ways to start:

  • Seek out a trail running club in your area.
  • Volunteer at an ultramarathon before your race. No experience is needed to help out.
  • Chime in on the ultrarunning section of the NMA Community Forums.

9. Learn from others.

There are so many unknowns for most first-time ultrarunners that it’s often intimidating or frustrating, but reaching out to others who have run the same or similar races can be a big help.

I’m currently training for my first 100-miler, a rugged course known as being one of the toughest on the East Coast. To say I’m nervous would be an understatement.

But just this past weekend I bumped into a friend on the trail who happened to be running with last year’s female winner of that very race. I joined them for a few miles and picked her brain about everything from pacing to running through the night. It was a huge help in calming my nerves and pumping me up for the race.

You might not know anyone else running your ultramarathon, but you can take advantage of resources around you, like ultramarathon training guides or a number of ultrarunning podcasts (including No Meat Athlete Radio episodes like this one).

If you have the will, you’re most of the way there.

Don’t let the word “ultra” or the facial expression people make when you tell them you’re planning to run 50-miles fool you: running an ultramarathon isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

Ultramarathons have given me a sense of strength to conquer the impossible unmatched by anything else I’ve experienced. Any of that pain or discomfort that once filled me with doubt has always been well worth the achievement of crossing the finish line.

Embrace the drive that’s motivating you to take on such a distance and channel it into your training, and arm yourself with the right tools, training plan, and support group to make the journey a successful one. These nine tips will get you started … it’s up to you to make the leap.

Doug Hay’s first ultramarathon was more of a sufferfest than a fun day in the woods. He’s out to make sure no one else makes the same first-time ultramarathon mistakes he did, with his new ultramarathon training system, Discover Your Ultramarathon. Also find him at Rock Creek Runner or as co-host of No Meat Athlete Radio.

03 Apr 16:00

New York City of the Day: Rats Scurry Through Food at New York Dunkin' Donuts

Amy Lynne Grzybinski


Submitted by: (via pjayone)