Thirty years ago, I graduated Marine Corps Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego on 16 September, 1988. I served just over 22 years and was deployed to Desert Shield/Desert Storm from 16 August 1990 thru March 20, 1991; I was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to March 2006. From those two deployments, here is my one “war story:”
Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabi, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron-14 (Forward). Third night of the war. Sometime after 0100, the first of four SCUD missile alarm went off. As the alarm sounded and everyone was scrambling to get their Nuclear/Biological/Chemical protective gear and about 70 ponds of other Marine war gear (to include our M-16A2 rifles and ammunition), I remember grabbing every piece of gear that I had, getting dressed even faster than I was taught in boot camp, and getting my sacred ass into the bunker. I was the first one in the bunker by a country mile.
I was in the bunker for about thirty seconds before I wondered “Hey wait a minute, where the hell is everybody else?” fearing I had left them behind, I went back to the tent that was our living/sleeping quarters to check on everyone else. Eventually people started emerging and headed for the bunker.
Sergeant Maxey was actually impressed that I had my head and ass wired right to get my stuff and head for the bunker ahead of everybody else, and tok time to check on the rest of us. I was not the brightest Lance Corporal ever, and he was a hard man to please. So, aside from us surviving the night, that was a good thing.
//war story over
I just got done cooking my chorizo and black bean chili. I am going to let it sit for a few hours, then cook up some rice and cover it with with my chili, and that will be my carbo-loading for tomorrow. Oh, and a tub of Chobani Greek yogurt for dessert/protein loading. Tomorrow will be two English muffins with peanut butter,another tub of yogurt, and one cup of coffee. I am currently hydrating for tomorrow by drinking one twenty ounce bottle of water per hour (24 bottles in 24 hours; yup, that’s me).
Tonight, it will be a session with the Roller and some Real Time analgesic cream for my sore calf, and tomorrow some KT tape for the run. If my pain is minimal tomorrow, I could press for that 11:25 pace and maybe a PR; if not, it will be another run for survival.
I do miss having my Yuma Marine teammates here this year. I’m not going to die of loneliness, and I could be going out and about doing something (even if the weather isn’t the best ever), but man it does make a difference not having anyone here.
I keep touching my beard. It hasn’t grown out as well as the one I had three years ago, so it will be a relief to cut it after I finish tomorrow. After almost $65 worth of hair products, it was Club Pinaud Beard Oil and Ultra Sheen all along. Speaking of hair, I will attempt to get a haircut this afternoon before dinner. Maybe a little aerodynamics, or maybe I’m just tired of dealing with an afro that won’t quite grow.
Two o’clock. Less than twenty-four hours and I’ll be all done. My but time does fly.
Ran into a gentleman who is running his 31st MCM. I should be that fortunate.
I have never taken the chance to post a blog after finishing my previous three MCMs, so here is a quick recap:
2014: I was doing fine and even hanging with Dave and Greg for about the first 13 miles, then I had what I call The Revolt of the Thighs. I had kind of burned them out, so I told the guys to go on ahead without me. I met up with them just after the bridge right before hitting Rosslyn. Dave told me later that they were able to pick me out because of my fluorescent yellow tech shirt. That and the gut I was sporting that year made me so obvious.
2015: Getting photobombed by a female runner just before mounting the 14th Street Bridge. Meeting General Mumford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the bridge and getting a selfie with him. Improving my time by a half-hour from last year. That was a good day.
2016: The infamous Left Knee Run, and why I started conditioning a month before my training this year.I had been running barely them minutes when the cartilage in my left knee flared up. I was reduced to a Marine Corps Shuffle (more of a dog that a run) for seven hours, but I finished.
So…what will 2018 bring? We’ll see tomorrow…
Song of the Day:”Fire Lake”/Bob Seger. I first heard this song as a kid, as part of a commercial advertising his new album back in the 70’s. I remember the animation of the horses that graced the cover of the album. Fast forward to sometime in the 200s and the dawn of streaming digital music. Remembering the album cover and having long ago figured out who Bob Seger was, and his discography, I finally heard the song end to end when my younger (and more computer savvy) brother burned a mix CD for me for Christmas 2001 (or 2002?). The son is really about making a motorcycle run, but right now the vibe of the song fits my mood about running the MCM tomorrow.