Week 2 In Review: I’m Back!

Sheetz Loop 8 Time: 1’54″25 Distance: 8.18 mi.

Well, hello there! Remember me? It’s been awhile…

A quick recap: I’ma 45 y/o retired Marine who needed to get healthy, and was inspired by some fellow Marines to run the Marine Corps Marathon. This blog was intended to keep me honest and motivated to train for the Marathon, held every year in Arlington, VA.

A year and two weeks ago, I embarked on a six month beginner’s training program for the marathon. It consisted of runs three days a week (Wednesday/Friday/Sunday), alternating with three trips to World Gym for a half hour circuit course workout (Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday). After the Thursday gym workout, I ran a fartlek (jog for 1 min., run for 4 min.) run for 30-45 minutes.

To get used to running with a crowd of people again, I entered a few road races before the Marathon. My goal was to stay within the state of Maryland (where I live), preferably within a ninety minute drive. Because of the challenges of the races, I was always running by myself about a third of the way through the race.

Good news: I did run a complete Marine Corps Marathon!

Bad news: Things unraveled fast, starting about four hours after I got back to the hotel. I got an inbox on my Facebook page to call my uncle Robert. I called him the next day and found out my father, Benjamin Franklin Scott, was really sick. Long story short, he passed away December 17.

The week of Thanksgiving, my 2004 Kia Spectra hit a fawn while I was driving in Lexington Park, MD (current hometown). It was just one more episode of the futile and expensive task of keeping the car running. The Kia took more of my finances than i care to talk about. I now drive a 2007 Cadillac DTS, which I inherited from my late father. The Kia is now parked in my apartment complex parking lot, with a dead battery and something seriously wrong with the engine.

The aftermath of the marathon was a tough period for me, so I pretty much stopped training altogether after the Marathon. I had made some fits and starts, but my heart and head just were not into running. I did some running while on vacation in Reno in January, then some more running for week while home in April. I also managed some gym time while at home, despite the old World Gym taken over by Titan Fitness, but I had to cut some training due to a suspected inflammation (?) of plantar fascilitius in my right foot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015: I got the email from the MCM saying that I was accepted for this year’s Marathon. That weekend I took a birthday trip to Washington, DC, and spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon running the National Mall (4.54 mi. in 1’13”). There was the April trip home, then a Willow SuperSix 6 mile run, but nothing serious until this week.

Last Monday, I got up at 0430 for a 0500 run, and cranked out a five mile run from Abberly Crest Apartments to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon I put out a four mile run on opposite ends of Willow Road, the road outside my apartment complex.

Today was the first day that I actually did a distance and time check of my run, altho I didn’t check my splits. I spent the first half hour on the toilet, I didn’t stretch, and I started running fifteen minutes later than I should have (none of which I recommend), but I started out at a brisk pace and did a good job. No plantar in my right foot, no watery feeling in my left thigh, and the Skin-so-Soft and Body Glide were their usual effective selves. I got a new pedometer made by Sportline, which I bought at Wal-Mart for $15. To be honest, I’m not much on the fitbit or any of the other fitness trackers because I have almost no physical control on how I want to measure my run times or my distance, and I wasn’t about to spend $100 on something that I couldn’t use or didn’t need. For now, it’s my old cheap wristwatch for time and my new bargain-bin fitness monitor for distance and anything else I might want to keep track of.

Tomorrow, it’s recovery day, then Tuesday it’s back to World Gym. Since my weight has ballooned since the MCM, I’m going to step it up for the gym work this year. Instead of two circuits in 30 minutes, I am going for four circuits in an hour. I will do that on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with a 30 minute circuit and a 30-45 minute fartlek on Thursday.

I am way overdue for a recap of running last year’s Marathon, so here’s something I wrote about it:

Arlington–October 26, 2014

Brandon A. Scott

7:55; the cannon goes off…
…and we’re moving! About a half hour before Our corral makes it to the starting arch…
Just gonna shuffle…hey! We’re at the arch! Running!
Mile three: that downhill becomes an uphill WAAAY too quickly. Dave and Greg
Took a Number 1, they catch up to me
At the bridge at Mile 5.

Mile 7: My Number One.
What’s my pace? Not important…
Just keep running.
Steve’s long gone. Stay with Dave and Greg

Mile 12: The Blue Mile.
Slow down. Remember the fallen. Brothers who went the last mile. Brothers who gave all.
They don’t get to run anymore,
Much less laugh, cry, dream, feel, do…

You’re hurting? Think about their last moments And the price they paid. Run for them.
Mile Fifteen: The Revolt of the Thighs My thighs burn; they remind me
That this is my first marathon
“Miles to go,” Frost once said…

Mile Sixteen: this isn’t the Super Pax Run
Or the Woodrow Wilson Half
This is a longer road than you’ve ever travelled
Dave and Greg, don’t wait for me
What are the landmarks? Where are the monuments? Not worried right now, my thighs scream for relief

The search is for the next water station
Or the next orange slice vendor
I don’t remember the monuments, or the landmarks
But I remember the people

So many runners to exchange greetings and encouragement
So many strangers to cheer you on
Mile Twenty: THE BRIDGE!
I Beat the Bridge! I’m going to finish! No one’s going to pull me off the course! Going to run this mile!

On the Fourteenth Street Bridge: so many people Walking, a sea of faces struggling to just
Keep moving…not me. I want to run.
I need to run this mile.
Mile Twenty-two…Dave and Greg, they waited for me. The definition of friends in a marathon.

Doing alright…only four more miles.
Oh, look, the second wind.
Mile Twenty-Three: Downtown Arlington. Great big crowd, and a nice water mist,
Yet I’m annoyed; where’s the end already?

No more loops, just point me towards the finish!
Mile Twenty-Four: Donut Holes?
I am grateful, but is there some drinking water
To wash down the gobs of cake that have
Sucked the last of my water from my mouth?

Mile Twenty-Five: hey, remember that real fast
Downhill start when you launched from the starting arch?
Yeah…the last hill is uphill. We’re almost there.
Gonna finish together, one last finishing kick…

Mile Twenty-Six…and down (up?) the stretch we come!
Round one last corner…climb one last hill…
There’s the last chute…the finish line…everybody online… WE’RE DONE! WE MADE IT!

Afterwards. A Marine in cammies awards us our medals (No picture with him/her? Maybe next year)
We limp back to the hotel for
Epsom salt baths, and a fine Italian home-cooked dinner
That was the last good day, and the last

Weekend of the year that I had any worries.
The last true moment of fun that I would have
For the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fourteen.

Fall became winter. The running stopped.
One light went out. Ties quietly cut.
Two Thousand Fifteen is all about Damage Control
And settling the ledgers, and finishing the course.

Last Friday, I put my name in the lottery again.
I will find out on my birthday next Wednesday
If they will allow me to run again this year.
And I have not begun my training for this year.

No matter. I will go back to Arlington,
With Dave and Greg and Steve.
I will find a way to run again this year.
I will get back in the gym and back on the road.

We will have that one good weekend, that one
Great day, where we ate and drank like kings
And ran like gazelles. We will run and tell
Of the victory of the Greeks at Marathon…

…and we will LIVE.

Click to access LAN_Connections_Sp2015-for_online_use.pdf

…aaand here’s your obligatory video:

from the Stones:

Happy Mother’s Day! Call your mothers!!!

Proverbs 31:10-31.

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