MCM 2019/T-Minus 1: Road

I made the hour and a half trip back to Lexington Park because I wanted to try on my suit for the Marine Corps Ball next week. It fit just fine, so I took it in to get cleaned and pressed. I also picked up some last minute stuff: a change of running shorts (to better carry my phone), some peanut butter, a coupe bottles of water, and some other stuff.

After the run to the cleaners and a quick stop for donuts and coffee, I made the two-hour drive to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The highlights of the trip: buying a Marine Corps tech shirt that may be light gray enough to be seen in the dark, and attempting to bet a shot of me in front of an AV-8B fighter-bomber hanging from the ceiling. The idea was better than the execution.

The drive back to the hotel took and extra fifteen minutes because traffic was jammed up on the I-95 going east. I figured it was the pre-game tailgating traffic for the World Series Game 4 between the host Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.

In about 12 more hours, I will be on the starting line at the 44th Marine Corps Marathon, at the 5 hours 30 minutes corral, looking for the 12:30 pace guy (or at least I will ask him/her what mile pace he’s/she’s running). In about 24 hours ( just before sundown) the beard I have been sporting since march will be gone.

Not as reflective this year as I was last year. Mostly because I have tow logistical matters on my mind: trying to find a date for the Ball next week, and filling out my FFA license to pick up a .22 pistol I won at a raffle. Oh, and there’s also one last carbo-loading supper and hydrating before tomorrow.

Wake-up is at 0500, which means I get to sleep in tomorrow. Heading down to Runner’s Village just after 0600, and I plan to be on the starting corral around 0700. Start stretching about 0715~0720 until the National Anthem. Set up MapMyRun (yes, I plan on burning my smartphone just for the MCM), chug down the Nuun water just after the starting cannon (yes, the MCM begins with a cannon firing), and off I go.

Song of the Day: After almost four hours on the road today, I picked up two real good pre-run tunes. Oh, by the way: modern country music SUCKS.

Survivor/”Eye of the Tiger:” Written by guitarist/producer Frankie Sullivan and keyboardist Jim Peterik, who tells how Survivor contributed to the Rocky III soundtrack:

“I got home one day, and there’s my big old answering machine. I hit ‘Play’ and I hear, ‘Hey yo, Jim, that’s a nice answering machine you got there. Give me a call. It’s Sylvester Stallone.’ I go, ‘Yeah, right.’ I play it back again … ‘Karen, does this sound like Stallone, or is that just Sal, my roadie?’ ‘No, that’s him.’ So I call him up … He says, ‘I’ve got this new movie called Rocky III, and I don’t want to use that “Gonna Fly Now” song. It’s a good song, but I want something for the kids. Something with a pulse. Can you help me out?’ I go, ‘Uh, is the Pope Catholic?’

Led Zeppelin/”Kashmir:” This song was written by Robert Plant, inspired by a road trip through Morrocco:

“The whole inspiration came from the fact that the road went on and on and on. It was a single-track road which neatly cut through the desert. Two miles to the East and West were ridges of sandrock. It basically looked like you were driving down a channel, this dilapidated road, and there was seemingly no end to it.”

Even if you’ve never seen Rocky III, you listen to the singer, the driving rhythms, and you just get all pulped up. “Kashmir” is this ongoing slow build-up with Jimmy Page’s guitar and John Bonham working with John Paul Jones on a sledgehammer rhythm that just keeps pushing to this climax that you never reach…and almost don’t want to.


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