The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-336 – Varsity Punk Director Anthony Solorzano

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4336.mp3

Team Hoyt Boston 2016 Campaign ->

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to episode 4-336 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  I’m squeezing this one in on an off week to help out my interviewee today, Anthony Solorzano, (sounds like a character from a Quintin Tarantino film), but he’s a lifelong runner, with a passion, who is making, or has actually made a movie called Varsity Punks.  His Kickstarter campaign to put the finishing touches on this new cross country team themed movie ends on April 13th. 

I figured with a little extra midnight oil I could get this episode up in time before that kickstarter closes. 

If you want some good swag and want to help Anthony bring a running-themed feature length film to market go now and kick some cash his way. 

I’m not getting any kickbacks, I just like the idea of bringing the discussion around running as a real sport out into the open!  I try to help people when I can.  It’s karma.  So, yeah, we’re talking to Anthony today about his movie.  Go watch the trailer – it’s cool – the links are in the notes. 

If I can swing it you’ll get 3 podcasts in three weeks – plus all the good stuff I’m putting into the members section.

In the first section I’m going to talk about why sometimes your training is always hard and why it’s ok.  In the second section I wax counter-culturally about passion. 

What I’m not going to give you are any advertisements.  No Harry’s razors, no Audible and no 

Actually, while we’re on the topic, I think you should go to the post office.  The public post is one of the great enablers of civilized society.  Yeah it’s slow and everyone is grumpy but that’s why you should go down there.  Think of the great impact you and your positive attitude can have on those poor, lost souls standing in line!  If you bought your stamps online you’d be denying them your bright light.

Those confused old people using pennies to buy stamps ae the greatest generation.  They are the defenders of democracy and the western world.  You should go get to know them.

Get thee to the post office!  Go when it’s busy.  Stop along the way and bring coffee and donuts.  Strike up conversations, make friends and make someone’s day.  Life’s not just about the miserly squeezing of pennies and minutes.  Treat it like a safari, and adventure.   

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I’d like to thank Eric and Keating and Cliff and Judith for paying the dealer this week.  I asked for feedback and Eric said I’m not funny anymore.  I used to be funny. 

So I’ll tell you some jokes:  Clean jokes for your kids.  For all you teachers and coaches. 

The first one is for trail runners.  Q: How do crazy runners go through the forest? A: They take the psycho path.

No didn’t like that one?  This next one I may converted from a blonde joke…Q: Why did the Labrador retriever jog backwards? A: She wanted to gain weight!

And here’s one the 3-5 year-olds will think is hilarious… Q: Did you hear about the race between the lettuce and the tomato? A: The lettuce was a "head" but the tomato was running to "ketchup"! 

I kicked ass in the Eastern States 20 miler a couple weeks ago as my last tune up for Boston.  I came in at 5-10 seconds a mile faster than my goal pace even though it was my 2nd 20 miler inside of 7 days and I had to make a 2-minute potty stop at mile 7.  My Heart rate was a bit high and I had a little power loss at mile 16-18 but my legs were strong and I finished strong. 

All the lights are green for Boston.  We just have to get decent weather and I have to figure out how to navigate around the 14-16,000 runners between where I’m starting and my pace group.  My number is 28766 if you want to track me.

Now I’m in my taper.  That doesn’t mean I’ll stop training it just means I’ll switch to race specific training like shorter speed work, strength and stretching.  I also have to reign the diet in to see if I can cut 5-10 pounds for the race.  I was a wrestler in high school – so I know how to drop weight.

I’ve been pretty hard on myself for not being able to make this qualification time.  I could have knocked this time out without too much struggle in 2011 before I ran (heh heh) into a couple of wee health challenges.  But, I suppose, if you look at the age-graded curve with the new qualification times you could make a case that if I succeed this year it will be an age-graded PR for me by 3-5 minutes. 

I don’t know. I try not to get too wrapped around the axle on this sort of mental gymnastics.  It’s all a bit self-serving. 

Anyone who wants to say ‘hi’ on marathon weekend, that’s typically a challenge for me because I’m pretty busy and I like to lay low before the race.  I usually go into the expo on Saturday Morning to get my stuff.   My club has a hotel room at the finish if you want to stop by and have a shower or an adult beverage I’ll be there.  Fair warning though – given my starting coral I may not be rolling in until after 4:00!  It’s ironic that we are almost back to the traditional noon start we used to have for the race!

Crazy days!  Everything is going too well.  Must be a crises coming!

Getting ready to talk with Anthony this week I did some reminiscing about my stint on my prep school cross country team.  I’m fairly confident that my time on a New England Prep School team was probably different than Anthony’s time running in high school in East LA.  Who knows, maybe there are more similarities than differences?  I only ran for my last 2 years.  I joined up because the captains of the wrestling team were also the captains of the cross country team. 

We had a pretty small team.  But I made the varsity team.  I was the 5th man.  This is the slow guy that you need to fill out the team for scoring purposes.  The top 5 guys get scored in the meets.  I would finish in the middle of the pack.  I was probably running in the low 6-minute mile range.  Story of my life – steady and mediocre!

I hated the races.  Our courses were short and mostly off-road.  Some of them had obstacles like steeplechase.  Like fallen trees, steep hills – stuff like that but also a lot of athletic fields.  Most of the courses in our league were 2 miles or less – so it was pretty much an all-out anaerobic effort.  Those short races hurt like hell.

They’d line us up across some soccer field or something in separate corals by team, maybe a couple hundred feet of starting line – all spread out.  Then invariably after 100 meters or so they’d slam you into a single path trail. Everyone would have to come off the line in a dead sprint to get to the trail first and box the other guys out.  Yeah, it was like the hunger games. 

But, I loved the practices.  We’d go out as a team on these long runs all around Groton.  Out on the back roads and through the woods. It was awesome.  I learned a lot about training and running.

We used to ride to away meets in a school van.  Because our team was so small we could fit in one van.  Our coach would drive.  He was a kindly guy who was also the Trigonometry teacher.  Oddly enough he smoked a pipe.  Hey it was the 70’s.  The pipe tobacco he liked was called “Borkum Riff” and I remember that smell as he smoked his pipe in the van on the way to the meet. 

Sports were never a priority for me.  I am so glad that the prep school I went to forced you to do competitive sports.  If they hadn’t I might never have learned what little I was capable of.  It isn’t about winning, or being a champion.  It’s about learning. Learning what you’re capable of.  Learning how to be a member of a team.  Learning how to suffer for that team.

Make sure you and your kids and your community have that opportunity to learn.

On with the Show!

Section one - Running Tips

It’s supposed to hurt sometimes -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Anthony Solorzano – “Varsity Punks”

Yes! The first link below takes you to our Kickstarter campaign (which ends early April) and has the first trailer to Varsity Punks, as well as a lot of the pertinent info. I was hoping you'd be able to squeeze in Anthony shortly before the end of the Kickstarter but late April would absolutely work. 


I also included a few other links. I specifically recommend the KCET article.

What is Varsity Punks?

An independent feature film in the making! It’s a fun high school movie about belonging, portrayed with authentic teenage moments and inspiring sports drama.

Genre: Coming-Of-Age Sports Comedy
Setting: Present-day San Gabriel Valley
Estimated Running Time: 100 min.
Logline: When star quarterback, AJ Montoya, breaks his hand, his only hope is to team up with his longtime rivals – the cross country team, a group of nerds and misfits with potential for high school glory!

Production Update: (as of Nov. 2015)

We are currently in post-production. That means we are done shooting and now it’s time to put the movie together through editing, color correction, music and sound design. You can expect a completed film early in 2016.

Where Can I See It?
Some time around Spring/Summer 2016


Section two

5 myths about finding your true passion -


Friends and members, runners and cavaliers, you have giggled, guffawed and snickered your way to the end of Episode 4-336 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Now go do something useful. 

When this podcast drops I’ll be around 10 days out from Boston.  I’m still not injured or broken.  I’m a little heavy but my legs are strong.  Coach has me doing pace runs and shorter track stuff to ‘freshen the legs’.  The hay is in the barn and it’s almost time to dance with the devil. 

Did you see Neely from last week’s interview was on the cover of that famous running magazine this month?  I swear those guys follow me around just to poach my good ideas!   

A couple reminders before I let you go.  You can still support my Team Hoyt campaign for Boston.  The links are in the show notes. 

April 24th is our 25th anniversary Groton Road Race. We’ve set up the virtual race if you want join from afar – just go to – Hope to see you there.  It’s been a great privilege for me to be able to work with the race. 

I figure everyone already knows by now but I have 3 books that you can get on Amazon.  First is called “The Mid-Packer’s Lament” a collection of running stories, some of them quite funny, (Eric), “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a second collection stories, some of them quite funny and my latest “MarathonBQ” outlines the program and all the tricks and tips I used to qualify for Boston when I was a puppy – and that one is on Audible as well and isn’t funny at all. 

More jokes here…These are a little edgier…you might want to tell them to your 10 year-olds.

Q: What do you get when you run in front of a car? A: TIRED Q: Q: What do you get when you run behind a car? A: EXHAUSTED Q: What do you do when a golden retriever throws a pin at you? A: Run! She's got a hand grenade in her mouth. 

I’m looking forward to Boston and Groton.  As I get older I’m learning to enjoy these great sign-post moments in my life.  I stop the smell the roses more.  I can’t tell if that is the blunting of my own passions or the sanguinity of self-awareness.

Zen Runner did a bit a few weeks ago about bucket list items.  I was looking at the things that people came up with and wondering about my own list.  Which is another strange thing we do – compare the things we’ve accomplished or more appropriately collected with other people. 

People were listing things like run a marathon or an ultra or maybe qualify for Boston…things like that.  And it kind of struck me that while I’ve been going about my business I’ve collected a lot of souvenirs and memories.  I’ve been graced and for that I am grateful.

Run a marathon? How about more than 50? Qualify for Boston? Yup. Write a book? Uh huh 3 of em. Ultra? Sure.  Start a business, yessir.  Triathlons? Yup.  Mountain bike ultras? Done.  Be a race director? Affirmative.  Read the classics? Most of em. Stay married and raise a couple of functional adults. Present and accounted for.  See the world? A good chunk of it.

Interestingly, I never sat down and said ‘these are the things that I want to accomplish’.  This was an organic mélange of little projects that interested me at the time.  A portfolio of hobbies, passions and necessities. 

I’m not done.  Not by a long shot.  I’ve got a list of cool stuff in my back pocket that I’m going to shoehorn into this world one way or another.  Like the marquee on a B movie “The Adventure Continues (dot dot dot)”.

It’s not a contest.  There is no score on the polished granite marker that lays in the grass above your withered corpse.  Yesterday, today, tomorrow; it’s all the same.  Do what interests you.  Don’t keep score. Keep swinging away until the bat falls from your hands.

And I’ll see you out there.

Closing comments


So, yeah, the universe is in balance… – and l’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4336.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT





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