Delayed-reaction Epihany

I started this Thursday morning, finished it Friday afternoon, and am just now getting around to posting this:

Blog Post, 7/25/2014:

I don’t know if this is an epiphany or an awakening, or just a thought, but…

This whole process of running the Marine Corps Marathon…it’s become the main focus of my life right now.

Just about everything I think about is focused on training for the marathon.

Six days a week, I answer the alarm at 0430 to get up and train. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I’m at the gym. I do one of two circuit courses I have planned for the week. On Thursdays I have a fartlek run in the gym parking lot after the circuit course. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, it’s a run. Sundays after the long runs, I barely do more than eat and sleep, save the occasional blog entry.

My life has more or less revolved around the marathon. Work has kind of improved lately, and I finish my morning workouts with plenty of time to get to work in a timely manner (i.e. showing up NLT 8:30 vice 10:30). I’m not into bar-hopping, so there’s not that much of a social life. I’ve cut back on Facebook because I’m too tired at the day’s end to do that much.

My current diet is cold cereal and skim milk for breakfast, and Healthy Choice microwaveable meals twice a day, plus 20 ounce bottles of water at every opportunity. The lighter I am, the better/faster I run (or so the thinking goes).

I have donated parts of my free time to plotting more runs. I have driven around 25 miles in one night plotting run courses. I did that on a Monday, trying to map out my eight-miler for this Sunday. Two possibilities: a) run the NAS Triathlon Loop, which I carved out a four mile loop at the start/finish of the bike course, or b) the Sheetz loop, which starts with the opening half of the Willow Road-HWY 5 loop, and continues north (right) up MD-5, with lots of curves and hills that lead to the Sheetz gas station at the intersection of HWY-5 and Great Mills Road. The halfway point is a loop around the Sheetz, aided by the crosswalks at the intersection. I’m not sure if I want that many more hills, after the trail run at Patapsco.

I am more of a runner now that when I ran cross country in high school. Well, maybe not that much. I’m more worried about the fourteen minute pace and how my body feels after each run than all the running gear, the diets, and the other fascinating elements of the life of a runner. However, I am willing to learn.

Skin-so-Soft: The legend revealed:

After talking with a retired Marine LtCol, this is what I found out:

Marine recruits at the Parris Island Recruit Depot would use Skin-so-soft before PT, and other times when they would be outdoors for a while. However, in its purest form, it can clog your sweat pores and make it hard for you to sweat while you’re running. The Drill Instructors would cut the SSS with alcohol to lighten/dilute the oil so it wasn’t so thick, yet retained it’s effectiveness.

So far, I have used the pure, uncut SSS and have never been bitten each time I use it. Avon, the original purveyors, has gone so far as to create actual insect repellent versions of the original formula. However, the first time I used the deep-woods version of SSS, I did get one mosquito bite on my leg.

Today (Friday):

Today I got reacquainted with Willow-HWY5 and its wonderful slopes and valleys. My co-workers had a get together at Golden Corral this morning, so I and to break training for that. In response, I had a Shakeology for lunch, and now I’m pounding down water as I near the end of my workday.

Tomorrow it’s back to the gym. About the gym: I heard on the radio this week that more women are hitting the gym because they get…stimulation of the carnal type while doing certain exercises like yoga, spinning, or step classes. I actually did see two good-looking ladies yesterday at the gym. One of them had a skort on. Nice.

I am not quite sure about Sunday. It will come down to whether I want to work on my fourteen-minute pace or another hill challenge. We’ll see.

Saturday (post-script):

I have decide to go with the Sheetz Loop for tomorrow’s run. I have been good (not great) on my diet and I need to push myself. I just got back from driving to the store and the course was part of my drive. After the first mile plus that is Willow-HWY-5, there is a mile-long climb. There’s another mile stretch at the top of the climb that curves out. A short series of hills before the gradual drop to the Sheetz gas station. The loop around Sheetz (via the crosswalks) will be the turnaround/halfway point of the run. The run uphill starts the second half of the run. The long climb going out will be a nice steep drop coming back where I can gain some momentum for the last one point five that will be the finishing stretch (gradual climb for about a half mile, then a hill or two to end).

On a happier note, Happy Birthday to Mick Jagger!

The Stones were a better band in the 80s than people gave them credit for:

Speaking of the 80s, this is the first ever video that I saw on MTV:

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