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Thanksgiving 2020: Run/Eat/Drink/(try to)Be Merry

Sunday:

Originally, the St. Mary’s City Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K is supposed to be my final run of the year. It is supposed to”close the circle.” However, I started my 2020 season in the parking lot of the Navy Lodge at NAS Patuxent River, and for some reason, I want it to end there.

I got up at 0530 and drove to McDonald’s for a light breakfast of Egg McMuffin and medium coffee. The accompanying hash brown and apple fritter would be saved for later, so they didn’t count as part of the breakfast.

0650. As dan broke, I made the drive to Historic St. Mary’s City, a ten minute drive from Abberly Crest Apartments, where I live. On the drive there, I reflected on the Historic Half Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon that I ran on MD-5 South and Point Lookout Road. Both races were virtual, so I ran Point lookout into and out of St Mary’s city for the Half. Breyer Road was Mile 22, and the final turnaround for the virtual MCM.

0700. The parking lot, just 20 feet away from the start/finish line. This year’s Turkey Trot was virtual, but you had to run the actual course for it to count. No problem for me. I performed one last (sic) Japanese ham sandwich stretch, and remembered 2013, the first year I ran the Turkey Trot: getting passed on the course by a young mother wearing a full coat and a full-length denim skirt as she ran with her son on the course. I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 265~275 lbs. and 18 months from being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

In 2015, I stepped on the scale in a hotel gym, fresh off running my second MCM: 205 lbs.

I weighed 222 this year. Two steps forward…

0710…and I’m off. Full sunrise to my immediate left. Beautiful morning; cool enough to need my 2018 MCM mock turtleneck, but warm enough where I could get away with a short sleeve tech shirt underneath. There were four signs along the 3.1 mile course: start/finish, the right turn onto Rosecrans Road, the mile marker going out, and the 1.6 mile turnaround.

This being the last run of the year, I decided to push the pace a little faster than I had been going the last month. I had not run since the MCM (three weeks), but still, I wanted to push myself one last time.

The original title of this blog entry was supposed to be “Sunrise/Cycle.” I wanted to run this virtual Turkey Trot just after sunrise (ehh…I was close enough), and close the circle on the year. However, as I closed on the last mile, I got to thinking: “If I really want to close the circle on the year, I should make that run from the Navy Lodge to the MAD HQ (Marine Aviation Detachment Headquarter) one last time.”

Suddenly, the final turn onto the road back to the HSMC Center. One last incline, the start/finish line in sight…done, Sir, done.

MapMyRun, silent once again, had me at 2.99 miles. Whatever. I snapped a couple of pictures next to the start/finish line (OMG, so awkward!). Off to go home and change, and shop for my Thanksgiving week menu.

Listening to 90s rock on the drive home, I reminisced about this year’s MCM stretch run. Making the final turnaround towards the Route 489 sign. Getting the last selfie at Manor Road, aka Mile 24. Taking one last picture at the bottom of South Willows Road, my personal Hospital Hill ( the Hill at Mile 11 of the Historic Half, Fredricksburg Va.) Past Green Meadow Road and the last climb past the three fireplugs.

And then it was over.

Turned the SUV onto Abberly Crest Lane and made the final turn home.

Monday:

Some asshole stole the basket from my bike while I had it locked up outside Enterprise Car Rental. He/she/it couldn’t have the bike, so they decide to inconvenience me instead. Little kids not taught to respect other people’s property…a homeless person looking for scrap metal to sell…whatever.

About an hour ago, I just got prepping some pork shoulder for a batch of tacos al pastor. Since I can’t travel for Thanksgiving, I decided tomato an epic feast week.

Tomorrow will be an epic Taco Tuesday. Breakfast will be tacos with chorizo and scrambled eggs with whatever cheese I can get ahold of. Lunch and dinner, provided everything goes well: tacos al pastor. Brutally sliced pork shoulder-I’m not much of a butcher or meat carver. Traditional Mexican spices. Achiote spied instead of actual achiote paste. Over grilled on a spit of wooden skewers with slices of pineapple, top and bottom.

Meat. Cheese, or salsa con queso. Salsa. Corn and flour tortillas.

Dammit…forgot to get an avocado. Maybe I’ll get one for dinner tomorrow. I’ll probably be having al pastor all week.

Thanksgiving breakfast: Eggs benedict, provided I can actually poach eggs without making a mess.

Dinner: Instead of deep-fried turkey and leftovers until Christmas, I will be making a Bacehlor’s crab boil. Dungeness crab legs. Jumbo shrimp. Half smoke sausages. Red potatoes and corn cobbettes. All boiled in water, crab boil spices, Old Bay seasoning, and a tall boy can of Miller Lite.

Desert: Tiramisu. I have all the ingredients except for cocoa powder. Weis Markets has some, but none at Harris Teeter or Target? Lame.

Black Friday: Al pastor con huevos, and some of the best leftovers ever (although I don’t think the seafood will keep after Thursday night).

Song of the Day:

Chris Cornell/”Patience:” Great cover of the Guns n’ Roses classic. He also covered “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Prince. “Billie Jean?” Yes, that too!

Pearl Jam/”Black:” Last song before I park at Historic St. Mary’s City.

Local H/”Bound for the Floor:” So THAT’s who did that song! Thank you, Sirius XM alternative channel Lithium!

Stone Temple Pilots/”Crackerman”

Foo Fighters/”Shame Shame:” A little ditty about a nightmare that Dave Grohl (guitarist/lead singer/former Nirvana drummer) had at fourteen years old. At least three Sirius XM channels were rocking this song on Sunday, since the Foos dropped the single this weekend.

MCM 2020: Popeye’s

Lunchtime yesterday: “Hey let’s go to Popeye’s for lunch.”

Me: “Okay.”

Four of us drive to the Popeye’s on Three Notch Road, across from Hobby Lobby, not the one in San Souci Plaza on Great Mills Road.

I am the first of four to order. Two-piece spicy dark (leg and thigh), corn on the cob, medium drink, apple pie.

Zero apple pies available. At 11:00 a.m. on a Monday (just before lunch).

Also, no corn on the cob ready. At 11:00 a.m. on a Monday (just before lunch).

Everybody else has ordered, paid for, and received their orders. Still no corn on the cob. I take Cajun rice instead.

My chicken looks like it was raised on growth hormones and tastes awful. Dirty rice may as well be dirt. No dessert to comfort my straight-up ghetto meal.

Twelve years I’ve lived here. Most of the time I get my Popeye’s at the San Souci location, and I have never had a bad meal from that location. First time in twelve years that I’ve had to throw away a Popeye’s meal.

 

4:00 yesterday: home from work.

5:00-6:00. Postpone, then ultimately blow off P90X (Cardio X).

6:15: Screw it, I’ll ride my bike to Weis Market in St. Mary’s Plaza for PT; I need to get some coffee and stuff.

6:30: Rain clouds moving in; call Uber instead.

7:00, coming out of Weis…the sun is out.

The weather: God’s favorite practical joke on Man for over two thousand years.

 

International House of Pancakes on Three Notch Road closed it’s doors today. Riding home from work, I saw a big FOR LEASE sign where the IHOP used to advertise their specials. All of the IHOP signage stripped from the building.

Didn’t stop to see if the proprietors left a sign saying “We’re closing for good tonight, thanks for your patronage all these years.”

IHOP is the third restaurant to close in my area since COVID-19 put Maryland on lockdown. One was Nick’s, which made awesome Greek gyros. The other was Captain Pat’s Seafood, which burned down a few months ago.

 

Raineri run 4 miler sucked this evening. I doubt if I made a twelve minute pace.

MCM 2020is an issue in doubt. That is all.

 

Song of the Day: Ningen Isu/”Namahage.”

I have been on a death metal kick on YouTube lately, and this sounded pretty good.

The band performs in Japanese, so forget Genius. Here’s a link to an article on the band in Japan Times.

MCM2020/Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey

We’re so sorry/Uncle Albert/

“But we haven’t done a bloody thing all day/

“Were so sorry/Uncle Albert/

“But when the kettles on the boil/we’re so easily called away”

Paul McCartney and Wings/”Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey”

Blew off the three miler to MD-5 this morning, and I just waved off Core Synergistics for P90X.

It is currently 94 degrees outside and humid. Those morning runs are gonna be a killer.

So, this is my Independence Day Weekend:

Saturday: NAS Gate 1 5 (0500) and Core Synergistics (1700)

Sunday: Kenpo X (0500) and X Stretch (1700)

Monday MD-5 3 (0500) and Yoga X (1700)

I am back teleworking on Monday, so I should be up at 0500 hitting the last week of P90X Lean.

Paul Mc Cartney and Wings:”Let ‘Em In”

Okay, no training today…but you got a couple of Songs of the Day out of it.

Gotta take ’em where you can get ’em.

MCM 2020: Sore

This is going to be a short one, because frankly, I am too tired and too sore.

Got up at 0430 for my 0500 run. Pretty sore around my neck and upper back. Stretches didn’t help that much. Pace was much slower than it has been lately: 11:46 over 3.14 miles on Shangri-La Drive and back.

Just got done with Core Synergistics on P90X, Day 61. Sore knees and sore back. Not what I want two days out from a ten-miler on Sunday. I am hoping those are muscles growing and not an oncoming injury.

Kenpo X in the morning, and then King’s Academy on Sunday. Hope i feel better by then.

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 39

Dear Tony,

I may have mentioned this to you before, but it bears repeating: Yoga X in the morning is better than Yoga X in the evening. It’s more about core and strengthening that body flow, so you’re more energized when you finish the session.

I made a little bit of progress with the crane. The plough to shoulder stance is still an issue in doubt. Between me being bowlegged, my spine, and my current core, I just can’t get into the plough stance.

The work continues.

On some of the trickier stances near the end of the balance postures (first 49 minutes), I had to remember to engage the core, especially from the shoulders to the hips. Everything from warrior three to the last vinyasa got a little easier when i remembered to do so. Same for the torso twists and deep torso twists for Yoga Belly Seven.

Still it feels so good to accomplish Yoga X to start the day, as opposed to have it waiting for you about 5…5:30…6:00…whenever I decide to push “play” on the damn thing.

In other news, I think my seven year old is starting to show its age. I turned it off for a half hour this morning. I turned it back on, and then while working, the screen would go black. I had to tap the mouse or the enter button to get the screen back.

I had troubles getting into Twitter for the last couple of days. Now I’m having problems with YouTube.

Looks like an early Thursday night.

legs and back/Ab Ripper X in the morning, then my last four miler before the virtual Historic half on Sunday.

See you next time, Tony!

“Historic Week!”

Lameness:

Got up at 0430. Spent 20 minutes “on the throne”. Steeped out at 0455 to an OMFG coldness (I thought this was May not March!). Changed into warmer gear. Another 20 minutes taking another No.2. By 0600, the “full moon” had set, and my running mojo was gone.

So, I’m postponing the Superwillow 6 until tomorrow.

The schedule for my Historic Half Homestretch:

Monday 0500: Core Synergistics, P90X

Monday 1730 (5:30 p.m.): Superwillow 6

Tuesday: Cardio X

Wednesday 0500: Chest-Shoulders-Biceps/Ab Ripper X (ABX)

Wednesday 1730: iStore 4

Thursday 0500: Yoga X

Friday 0500: Legs-Back/ABX

Friday 1730: Raineri Run 4

Saturday 0500: Kenpo X

Sunday: St. Mary’s City 13.1 (virtual Historic Half 2020 Run)

Gonna be an historic week.

Dear Tony/P90X Day 18

Dear Tony,

Today was YogaX. For starters, I actually made it to the 0500 start, for the first time this week.

Next, I am slowly but surely getting better at this, as I remember to strengthen my core (square shoulders with the hips, hold in the belly) while I work the movements. The crane and plough to shoulder stand continue to be challenges, but I can perform most of the movements, and at least try to work the core near the end of the balance postures (first 49 minutes of the workout).

Tomorrow is Legs and Back/ABX in the morning, and the first of three straight running days in the afternoon. Saturday will be Kenpo X in the morning then a four-miler in the afternoon, and then a nine mile trot on Sunday morning.

See you next time, Tony…0500 sharp!

Dear Tony: P90X Shoulders & Arms/Ab Ripper X

Dear Tony,

First off, I have got to start eating better and drinking more water the night before if I am going to be doing this six days a week.

I am going through a “keto” diet right now. I have the “quotes” because I have stripped to the basics: meat, cheese, green and white vegetables, and berries in small quantities. I drink bulletproof coffee (mixed with heavy whipping cream, a spoonful of butter, and one packet of Truvia sweetener), and water mixed with Mio energy water additive. Snack time is limited to pistachios and olives, and some meat and cheese party plates.

My problem is that I have been eating less and less as the day turns to night. I need to go back to eating those six small meals a day. I also need to drink more water. I’m amazed that I only grabbed a few sips of water during the ballistic stretching breaks.

For today’s Shoulders and Arms, I finally broke out my two exercise bands. I have a thin blue one and a heavier tan band. Once again: form first, reps later. The numbers I got on my sheet were okay, but I need to get better at getting the form down. better for me to do 10 reps right than do 25 messed up reps.

Ab Ripper X? Needs more work. Seriously, that is the most abs work I have done in over a decade.

Right now I’m eating a homemade chicken and broccoli soup that’s way more broccoli than chicken. Next time I’ll buy more than four chicken thighs for my soup. One more bowl for dinner, and then some salami and muenster cheese before bed. Hope that gets me through tomorrow’s Yoga X session.

See ya’ in the morning!

 

HH2020: Dual

So, today was my first run during my P90X “reboot.”

The early days/weeks of any exercise regimen like P90X are designed to break your body down, then build you up as the weeks pass. I finished day 3 (Shoulders &Arms/Ab Ripper X) at 0615 this morning. With the weather being much nicer in the late afternoon than in the morning, I decided to schedule the run for later in the day.

Technically, the State of Maryland is supposed to be on a shelter in place order; however, the traffic on Willow Road was a little heavier than I expected. That’s why I could barely hear my first mile split; it was eleven something eight, I guess.

So far, the P90X routines are a half-hour longer and much more intense than my circuit course routine. I take a glass of whey protein after every workout, but they’re is still some lingering soreness. Oh, and I did 15 minutes of Ab Ripper X after the shoulders and arms workout.

Long story short, I finished the run up Shangri-La Drive and back at 37:23, with an 11:54 pace. I got negative splits on the last two miles-11:53, 11:49, 11:30. I stretched out pretty good, so I had no soreness in my legs or my feet.

Today, I passed the first test. If the run times get worse or if I get too sore to run in the afternoons, I may shift the P90X schedule where I run one day and do P90X the next.

OH, and right now my Wednesday and Friday runs right now are where I do more body work (Shoulders and Arms/Legs and Back) plus the Ab Ripper X sessions right afterward.

This is gonna be fun!

Song of the Day: Kittie/”Charlotte:” From Genius:

“Charlotte” is the second track, and second single, off of Kittie’s debut album, Spit.

“The song is inspired by the 1992 book Rites of Burialwhich follows the crimes of American serial killer Robert Berdella (AKA the Kansas City Butcher) and is written by Tom Jackman and Troy Cole. Morgan Lander had read the book and found the situations described in the book as sad and disturbing.

“The single charted in the United Kingdom, peaking at #60 on the United Kingdom Singles Charts on July 22nd, 2000.

Such happy girls, them Lander sisters…

 

Dear Tony: P90X Cardio

Dear Tony,

First off, did I say I wasn’t 39 years old anymore?

Second, the first thing I learned when marching at Marine Corps boot camp: “When I say left, your left foot strikes the deck!” So I have spent the lats thirty years leading off with my left foot.

So when I got to the plyometrics part of the Cardio X workout, I did the first half of the workout starting with my left foot. I was so worn out that I didn’t realize we were supposed to change out starting leg for the second set.

Our P90X lesson for the day: pay attention to when Tony says what foot to start on! Remember, You’re doing two sets of plyometrics, and to properly work both legs (or both sides of your body) you need to lead with tour right leg for the first set, and your left leg on the second set.

I was seriously uncoordinated today. Need to remember the mantra: form and function first, reps later.

Tomorrow I am back on the road; since it looks like rain in the morning, I’ll be joining you again at 0500, Tony (and the run will be about 5:30~6:00-ish, when it cools down from that 77 degree high.