Weekend’s are for spontaneity.
Having the weekend all to myself, I was left with an open book of endless possibilities. I first addressed the pressing; hopping on my bike and heading up to JHU for a solid weekend ride. I hadn’t been on the bike for a week and a half; squeezing in a couple of runs throughout the week and a couple gym sessions. The group was small and broke up after about an hour in, leaving me and the team’s president for a nice 55mi tempo ride.
After the ride, it was time to “do work;” heading off to Patterson Perk / Starbucks to get a good 6 hours in on Vennd, a startup project I’m currently working on. Towards the end of the work session, as my mind began to wonder, I started thinking about my evening plans. I ended up hooking up with a bike buddy who was going to a sold out Dan Deacon show @ The Ottobar in Hampden. With no other plans, I decided to take my chances and headed out of bro-village Canton to hipster-town Hampden to get my PBR drink on.
Arriving to The Ottobar, the scene looked bleak, with many in line at the door and no tickets for sale. After talking to the door guy, I was able to squeeze in due to a plus one no show. Being the first time at the venue, the setup was small, but allowed the crowd to be very engaged with the stage.
Dan Deacon, what else to say. I had no idea who he was coming to the show, but after meeting up with some cycling dudes (6 pack, not racers), they informed me he was the quintessential music experience for the Baltimore scene, noted more of a performer than a musician. Once the show started, I was not disappointed. The crowd eagerly awaited his commands as he guided us through his set with careful instructions.
Keep in mind the venue was over capacity, but yet we still found ways to meet his demands. As he came onto the stage, we conducted a praise, with one finger pointing upwards and a knee to the ground, to a sacred Netflix queue (Seinfield to be specific); a clear sign this was going to be good. The music started, the crowd went crazy with non stop jumping, extreme swaying, and general insanity.
There were three unique moments during the show, where Deacon directed the crowd with explicit instructions:
- A giant circle in the middle of the audience w/ two people dancing their fucking pants off, and then selecting the next to do the same
- A divide through the middle of the audience w/ two people dancing and each side matching their moves, and then selecting the next to do the same
- Incorporation of a smart phone app that changed colors and used the camera flash, controlled by and matching the music
Overall, the Dan Deacon show was an impressive showing and one I’m very happy to of experienced. You know it’s a good show when you walk away drenched in sweat, some yours and likely a lot from others.
After the show, more time was spent in Hampden, hanging out with the bike kids. The fun didn’t end until 4AM. NOTE: I had apparently signed up for the 5k Tunnel Run through Bore 4 of the Fort McHenry tunnel @ 9AM on Sunday. Something agreed upon friends a couple weeks back, enticed more by the experience vice actually running.
With only a couple of hours of sleep and smelling like skunked beer and sweat. I threw on some clothes and jumped into the friend’s car at 8AM. Being my first race since high school (also 5ks), I didn’t have a reference point for expectations. After registering, taking a pre-run dump, and warming up with my friend, we made our way towards the front as people lined up for the start.
There were about a hundred (out of 900) in front of us as we entered the tunnel. We quickly maneuvered our way around runners who shouldn’t have been at the front and eventually the packs of people thinned out. My friend went off the front while I settled into my pace.
The course was an out and back, which included a decline followed by an incline rinsed and repeated via a turn around at the other side of the tunnel, making the race an uphill finish. Overall, I was satisfied with my performance, posting a 5k PR of 25:37 (~8:15min/mi). Nothing impressive, but not bad for only my 6th run over the past month, which is also when I started running again after an 11 year hiatus. I was able to put in a decent kick at the end (more than I expected), which probably means I could have ran harder.
This was all followed by a good Sunday brunch with friends at Saute, consisting of a large breakfast pizza and bottomless drinks. The weekend was productive and fun, no other way to spend it.