Category Archives: Daily training

MCM 2021 (pending): Capitol Crescent 10

Be advised: I just got back to the hotel and I am just free associating this to a tee because I am trying to get something between a snack and a sandwich…at 9:30 p.m. in Washington, DC.

About 5:00 p.m., as the UEFA Champions League Final was marching towards the 1-0 final score for Chelsea over Manchester City, I got dressed and lubed up for a 10 mile run that should have happened thirteen hours earlier. I got up at 4:00 a.m. this morning, spent 20 minutes on the throne, and then dreaded the prospect of a ten-mile ruck through the rain. I promptly went back to bed putting the run off until after The Game.

At 5:15, I set about stretching for 15 minutes. Unfortunately, after yet another trip to the can, I didn’t leave the hotel until ten of six. In theory I could have taken an Uber to the Georgetown Waterfront Park and been there in five minutes, or driven down there myself and parked. But you know…lazy.

I was let out at the parking lot and walked about a half mile to the actual entrance/start of the Capitol Crescent Trail. The area around the waterfront has been greatly improved since my last run of the Crescent about two years ago. It used to be really seedy and dirty and perpetually under construction; when I got there about sixish, I noticed some newly opened up eating and drinking establishments and other nightlife. The Georgetown waterfront had opened back up since my last trip in February.

I made my way to the trail’s unofficial start/finish line, a strip of pavement with the yellow dotted traffic stripes. One last stretch, and off I went. As I launched my run, I realized I had to tinkle; however, I was able to hold it until just before the tunnel just before the four-mile mark.

The Capitol Crescent Trail has mile markers and half mile markers just before the opposite ends of the trail. That was good, because my MapMyRun app wasn’t sounding off with my split times and mile markers.

Frome the Georgetown end of the roundup to the five mile marker, it is mostly uphill, with the uphill culminating after crossing a bridge about Mile 3 (7 mile marker). Even though I was climbing most of the way, I felt good and I believed I was going faster than my final splits were telling me. After turning around just after the five mile marker, I pushed my pace on the downhill back towards Georgetown.

The rain was there, but mostly…not. In retrospect, I should have just dealt with rains best as I could. There were no real heavy torrents, and I was soaked with mostly sweat rather than rainfall. It was kind of chilly at 55 degrees, so I opted for long sleeve tech shirts and my Brooks running tights.

Before I knew it, the ten miles had come and gone. MMR took forever loading my run time and splits, and I had to wait before I could take a couple of pictures to post to the app as well as Facebook.

Although today was the longest run of 2021, my pace was one of the slowest at 13:06. I attribute that to my weight (around 230 lbs despite running since March) and the weather. That and maybe the two meals I had before the run.

But anyway, I just wanted to post this and let y’all know…

I’m back, baby.

MCM 2020/T-Minus 59: Uh-oh

Today I just got out there and ran. No stretching or pre-eun hydration, just got out there and got in the four miles.

Thirteen minute pace. Uh-oh. Major drop off from when I started earlier this winter.

Basically I am going to attempt to run every other day from now until the (virtual) Marine Corps Marathon on October 25. Maybe one day I’ll atemto to do P90X on alternating days.

Two things I’m hoping for this Saturday: 1) Finishing the eight miles in at least 12 minute pace…or at least finishing standing up. 2) Hoping I lost at least three pounds this week.

Gonna be a long, hard two months. Oh, and I haven’t missed so much training time in four years. My MCM was seven hours that year. Ugh.

Song of the Day: The death metal kick continues…and it’s multilingual!

Alien Weaponry/”Tai Kangata:” Holy Cow! A New Zealand metal band that does all their singing in Maori hakas! From the YouTube description (f**k you Genius!)

“The title literally translates to ‘Eat People’; and refers to the ancient Māori tradition of eating the flesh of their enemies after battle in order to insult them. It is also an ancient term for a war party.

“In their epic 7-minute song, the thrash metal trio recreates the memory of the early 19th Century musket wars, where Ngapuhi (Northern) tribes, newly armed with muskets, attacked and decimated the de Jong brothers’ Te Arawa (Central North Island) ancestors, who at that time were still using traditional weaponry. The driving riff that carries the song echoes the pounding footsteps of the war party, while the chorus traces the parts of the full body moko (tattoo) traditionally worn by Māori warriors. The images are of brutal hand-to-hand combat and the taking of slaves, with flashes of white teeth reminding us of the eventual fate of those unfortunate captives.

“Some people might find it a bit grisly,” says singer and lead guitarist Lewis de Jong. “But it’s stuff that actually happened and nobody ever talks about it. We’re not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s just a part of our history.”

Ningen Isu/”Heatless Scat:”  Damn I love this song! Lyrics translated to English in the comments section.

 

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 80: Balance

Dear Tony,

So, the resistance/weightlifting portion of P90X Lean is over, and now it’s about cutting the last few pounds and toning those newly built muscles. Started that process tonight with Yoga X.

I knew I was in for a difficult evening when I stumbled a little bit on the standing hamstring stretches. I usually have good balance, but not tonight. Of course, I was doing the yoga wobbles during the advanced warrior poses and the standing balance postures (tree/royal dancer.standing let balance).

Maybe that Baby Ruth and the bag of Skinny Pop kettle corn? Nahh….

Unless I can find some way to do something about my bow legs, the crane and plough-to-shoulder postures will be challenges. But I won’t stop trying.

Schedule change: I am going to do my Sunday run on Saturday, a nice five mile stroll to NAS Patuxent River Gate One and back. Weekly weigh-in will go right after the run.Kenpo X will go in the afternoon, followed by a nice Independence Day supper of surf and turf.

And yes…I will do X Stretch on Sunday.

Engage the core…breathe.

Core Synergistics tomorrow afternoon, Tony…see you next time!

Marathon Training During COVID-19: Reset

With back-to-back DNFs on the last two Sunday runs, I decided to scale back my planned distances over the next month and start as if I had finished conditioning, instead of training for the Historic Half Marathon.

This Sunday I am going for five miles (course TBD) so I took the Shangri-La not-quite-three miles. I turned around at the corner of Willow Road and Great Mills Road, instead of going all the way up Shangri-La Drive. I guessed wrong about the actual turnaround point and came up at 2.95 miles instead of the full three.

Two things of note: 0500 and Daylight Savings Time doesn’t necessarily mean sunrise. I still need to dress for low-light/very early morning. Also, I had a nice sheen of sweat on my arms as I approached the two mile point; gonna be a very humid summer.

 

P90X, Day 80: Back and Biceps/ABX

Lessons learned on the final resistance/weights routine of the P90X lean Cycle:

  1. Learn to hit “pause” if you don’t know what to do on the lawnmower routines. I think I got some of them bass-ackwards.
  2. I didn’t hit the heavier band until the second half of the workout. Got a bunch of reps but did I get the pump or the burn?
  3. When I get down to my “fighting weight (maybe 205 lbs?) I need to hit a pull-up bar on base.
  4. GO BUY SOME WEIGHTS, DAMMIT!

Too tired, and not a good day, so no SOTD today. Yoga X tomorrow.

MCM2020: Three Days/Friday

Ranieri Run 4

Forty-eight hours ago…

Reveille at 0430. Out of bed at 0445.

0450-0540: On and off the toilet for nearly and hour.

0555: Applying my Skin-So-Soft…and then abandoning the run.

Since I really can’t afford to lose any more miles, I am running all weekend: Friday and Saturday as well as the Sunday long run.

Today was a good pace for a short run, but I have to remember to throttle that pace back for Sunday. Can’t argue with a 10:55 pace; not bad for not having run in four days.

Really not that much to say. Out of bed at 0435, dressed and stretched, Skin-So0Soft and out the door at 0455. And I ran the Three Fireplugs after I crossed the 4 mile marker.

Business as usual. Where was this on Wednesday?

Aside from running three straight days I am also working P90X about 5:00 p.m. each day. Today is Core Synergistics, tomorrow is keno X, and Sunday will be X Stretch, provided I am in good health and better spirits come Sunday afternoon.

 

Interlude:

One more week with no COVID-19 symptoms. Going for my cataracts surgery pre-screen next Thursday.

This weekend I need to EAT as well as DRINK WATER.

 

P90X, Day 75: Core Synergistics

Dear Tony,

Another Friday, another buttkicker of a Core Synergistics workout.

For the second time in three sessions, I had to bail on the bonus round because i was worn out. Can’t really blame the run that much, and I did have something to eat before the workout. Also, note to self: watch the eating and the diabetic meds before the workout, so you don’t have to pause the workout to take a No. 2

Good Lord am I tired. Looks like another early Friday night.

 

Postscript:

I am running the virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. If there is an onsite run in Arlington, Va., there will be up to 24 starting waves of 500 runners each…which may be a two-hour wait to actually start running. Not a good idea, regardless of the weather. Also, no finisher’s festival or beer garden. Probably no Runner’s Expo this year either.

Song of the Day: Fatboy Slim/”Praise You:” I loved the video directed by Spike Jonze. Flash mobbin’ before flashmobbin’ was ever a thing. I’m too tired for any more inputs, and I was fortunate to find the video.

Oh, and have you ever seen Fatboy’s original (and still used) recording/sampling set up?

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 74: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

Just got done with P90X and I’m waiting for my freshly-cooked green chicken soup to cool down so I can get something resembling dinner for the first time this week.

Last four days with P90X:

  1. Workouts starting between 4:30 to 5:30 instead of 0500 start time
  2. Eating meals has become an issue the last few days. Completely skipped breakfast on Tuesday and didn’t get anything until after Cardio X.
  3. Very little “dinner” after workouts.
  4. Sleeping like a baby though, with “bedtimes” being earlier than usual (9-9:30 p.m. vice 11-11:30 p.m.)

I really need to stress eating because that was part of the reason I DNF’ed last Sunday. So I need to set a goal of eating three full keto meals over the next two days. Scratch that: gets three full-sized meals (of any kind) over the next two days.

To recap the last two days:

Shoulders and Biceps/ABX: I treated this workout the same as Shou/Bi/Tri on Monday: pace yourself on the first set, then max it out on the second set. I got the best numbers I have ever got on this workout, and got the burning arms to match. Still kind of glad to see “The Gun Show” for the last time on the P90X Lean Cycle.

Ab Ripper X: At this point it’s about powering through it so I can finish. I still work the core and the gut as much as possible during the workout, but man…what a grind.

Yoga X: No heart rate monitor today, and no pushups for the basic warrior/advanced warrior poses (too much ‘Gun Show’ this week)…just focusing on engaging the core, breathing, and focusing on the moment. I am bowlegged enough that properly executing the crane and plough stances will be a challenge…but I’m not going to stop trying.

P90X will be a part of my “five o’clock world” through Sunday. The next three days will be runs in the morning (4 tomorrow, 5 on Saturday, and 13 on Sunday) with P90X starting no later than 5:30 p.m. Depending on how I feel on Sunday, I will push for X Stretch in the late afternoon/early evening.

Green chicken soup: chicken drumsticks, two 32oz. boxes of chicken stock, about a pound of broccoli and cauliflower, a 14 oz. can of okra, chicken seasonings, chicken flavors, salt and pepper, parsley leaves and bay leaves. Yum yum.

Se you next time, Tony!

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 72: Cardio X

Dear Tony,

(Note to readers: Do NOT try this at home)

I was all kinds of lazy today. This is supposed to be Taco Tuesday, which means tacos chorizo y huevos for breakfast, and ground beef tacos with queso tacos and Pace Picante sauce for lunch and dinner. As of this writing, at 6:20 p.m. I have not had a solid meal all day. I am living on my fourth cup of coffee, and I have eaten handfuls of rice crackers, raisins, mini-chocolates, pigs’ feet, and Kawamata olives.

Today was Cardio X, and I was able perform without crashing. My heart rates were behind the curve for the yoga sequence, but as good or better for everything else. I also measured my heart rate immediately after the core routine was finished, instead of hitting “pause” on the DVD player, and got a high of 61 bpm. My bpm for keno wasn’t bad, considering I had to go check the phone first before I measured my heart rate.

BPM Scores: yoga-58 @ 27:20/kenpo-57 @ 18:06/plyo-68 @ 10:53/core-61 @ 3:43.

Tomorrow I am going to run the Ranieri 4, so P90X will be an after-work event for the third straight day. Hopefully I will have two full meals for Shoulders and Arms/ABX.

See you next time, Tony!

Song of the Day: Donald Fagen/”New Frontier:” Taking your girlfriend for a makeout date in your folks’ nuclear fallout shelter…a kinky idea by the former lead vocalist of Steely Dan. This song doesn’t fall too far from the Steely Dan tree. From Genius

“On The Charlie Gillett Show on London’s Capital Radio in 1988, Fagen said:

You’ll hear a little blues guitar played by Larry Carlton, and it’s kind of a track reflecting the spirit of the times. The storyline is basically about a bunch of kids who have a party in a fall-out shelter while their parents are away for the weekend.”

See? Told you so…

Dear Tony/P90X Day 69-71

Dear Tony,

Saturday was Kenpo X. I couldn’t find my heart rate monitor, so I just focused on pushing myself: working the hips with the punches and kicks, engaging the core, and breathing.

Yesterday, my lack of fueling on Saturday and my too-fast start caught up with me about mile 7 on yesterday’s run. I should have done X Stretch as a punishment for my DNF…but, grocery shopping and Merseyside Derby (sans crowds and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”) and then I ate dinner at 6:30 and fell asleep two hours later.

Just got done with Chest and Back/ABX. I did most of my pushup routines on my knees but made myself work the chest. Still feeling it across there as I type this.

I am using a heavier band on some of the exercises where I can use them, but damn, I could use a set of dumbbells.

All that being said…you were right Tony: pace yourself the first half, max out the second set. That’s exactly what I did. Oh, yes…talk about muscle confusion.

Whether I get my ass out of bed at 0500 or right after work…see you next time, Tony!

PS: Yes, I have been doing Ab Ripper X. At this point, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about pushing myself through the whole damn thing right after whatever workout I just wore myself out doing. Endurance now…six pack later.

Song of the Day: Elvis vs. Junkie XL/”A Little Less Conversation:” I discovered this remix of an Elvis Presley golden oldie during a Nike soccer commercial series way back in the aughts. Loved it so much I bought the single CD. I discovered the full original version during the movie Oceans Eleven (where have ye gone, George Clooney?) I love how the two sets of guitars are dubbed in.

From Genius: “Originally featured in the Elvis movie Live a Little, Love a Little and its soundtrack album Almost In Love, “A Little Less Conversation” was a minor hit upon release, peaking at #69 at the Billboard Hot 100. Then when it was featured in the Ocean’s Eleven soundtrack in 2001, Dutch DJ Junkie XL did a much successful remix that effectively put the song in the higher echelon of Elvis hits.”

 

Marathon Training During COVID-19/Throne

iStore 4: six and a half hours later…

After being in the throne room doing a No.2 on and off for an hour, I lost the “magic hour,” that period of time when I am prepped and motivated for a scheduled run. At 0530 I put off today’s run until 11:30 a.m.

Generally, the “heat of the day” takes place around 4:00-ish. However, the late morning was quite warm for being the last day before the First Day of Summer. Not any crushing humidity, but warm enough where I was glad to suck down a couple of bottles of water prior to stretching out at 11:10.

Speaking of stretching…those P90X stretches are money, yo!

An 11:19 pace over a sloping four miles is not bad (for me), but I’m not sure how I slowed down over the last mile. Mile three starts with the Three Fireplugs and ends coming back up to Abberly Crest, but the downhill and somewhat flat downhill toward the iStore facility should have been a little faster than a 12:06 final mile. Maybe I was anticipating hearing MapMyRun call out that last mile?

 

Interlude:

Spring has become summer. My diabetes is under control, but my blood pressure monitor is giving me scary readings. temporary “plantar” issue with my foot during the first mile of the run, but it’s fine now. Still no COVID-19 symptoms since I’ve been in shelter-in-place.

Eating chili for lunch as I write this. I anticipated the chili lasting a little bit longer than two days. Pho DeeLite for dinner tonight?

Planning on switching the scenery for the Sunday run: I am going on the base to run the ten-mile loop. However, I am going to tack on the run up Cedar Point Road up to Gate Two (all of it uphill) and then run it back down to the starting point at Drill Hall…where I ran to last Sunday.

Gear check: My Copper Fit ankle socks are holding up well. They stay on my feet, and I have never had any issues with blisters or sores. My Hanes ale socks are in the neighboorhood of over thirty years old. Most of them have holes in the big toes, but I have never had any ill effects when i run in them,

My asics Gel-Contend 5 is holding up rather well, for the mileage I have put on them so far. I overprint, so most of my shoe wear is in the outer rear edge of the heels. Lots of miles coming up this summer, though.

 

P90X, Day 68: Core Synergistics

I know I ate after the run today, so maybe five hours was not enough recovery time between the run and today’s P90X session? Whatever it was, I was doggin’ it in the last twenty minutes of the workout. I barely made it through the bonus round.

Looking at the numbers on my workout sheet, they’re comparable to two weeks ago, but yes, I was running on fumes after the towel hoppers. It didn’t help that I forgot to reach under after my first push-up on the reach-high-and-unders.

Just got done chugging my recovery drink; orange is kinda not my flavor. to for the brand I purchased from GNC.

I am just killing myself, but it looks like another night of Uber Eats…IF there are Uber drivers on the road who have the UE duty.

Kenpo X in the morning…see you next time, Tony!

 

Song of the Day: Utopia/”Cry Baby:” Because I am so, SO, SO tired of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #Antifa, and the rest of the Social Justice Warrior movement. Nothin’ but lyrics.

Pink Floyd:“In the Flesh/Run Like Hell/Waiting for the Worms:” This sequence from Pink Floyd: The Wall is more about “Pink’s” descent into madness, but given the current societal atmosphere, this to me is kind of a glimpse into where I think mankind is headed. PS: In my mind, Pink here is not represented by the current POTUS. Jus’ saying.

 

Dear Tony/P90X Day 67: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

Twelve hours later…after getting up at 0430, then at 0459 pushing this ’til after work:

Today it was back to the basics for Yoga X: free the mind, engage the core, breathe.

After a week off, Yoga X was a bigger struggle for me than usual. Everything from Warrior Three through Twisting Half Moon was a challenge; i just couldn’t get enough balance to even get into a modified stance.

Plough to shoulder stance: well, I didn’t completely lose the ball on this one, but I lost some of my progress on this one. Crane was just not happening.

The big thing for me was focusing on the workout: following your instructions, clearing the mind, and focusing as much as possible on getting the moves as close to being right as possible.

As I finished off the last “ohm,” I wondered to myself, “Okay, why didn’t I just do Yoga X this morning?”

See you next time, Tony!