Category Archives: Weekly Training

MCM 2021: Random Observations

“you don’t say…”

Mileage tracked on MapMyRun, February through July 2021: 188 miles.

Mileage tracked on Strava, August 29 through November 7, 2021: 244 miles.

My training was wildly inconsistent this year. Too cold/snowy to run in February, so I didn’t run regularly (sic) until March. Too many missed days, a couple of DNFs. 30+ days gap between May and June, then a couple of weeks in July. July 23 was my last recorded run on MMR.

First week in August, I got a newer/bigger/better smartphone. I had no way to port over the MMR app or it’s information, so I uploaded Strava instead. Strava looks nicer and filled the need. Unfortunately, like MapMyRun, I can’t figure out how to CONSISTENTLY get the voiceovers for my mile splits.

Running was much more consistent in the August thru November period; not surprising, since I suddenly remembered I was running for the Trifecta (10K plus first ever 50K/31.1 mi. run in addition to the Marine Corps Marathon).

No cross training this year. Excuses?

“I didn’t know the gym in my apartment complex opened up back in the spring.

“I couldn’t find the perfect set of adjustable weight dumbbells for my P90X workouts.

“I found Crossfit too late (September-ish) to really get into it.

“I thought i would just relax and not worry about doing Yoga X and Stretch X in the days before the 50K.”

Yeah, okay…have fun packing up the 50K swag box and sending it back to the MCM Organization.

Still waiting for my MCM swag box, tho’…

No more briefs on long-a$$ runs. The cuffs bit into my nether regions and I got al hell of a burn/rash. And no vaseline in the house either.

I weighed 239 before my first run in September. I weighed 227 after my aborted 50K. I would have maybe lost a few more pounds had I not attempted to “fill the gas tank” for the Trifecta.

My seven year-old Kodak Pixpro FZ243 mini-camera’s screen burned out, sometime between MCM and 50K. I think I got MCM pix, but I’m not sure. Had to use my smartphone for the first time taking pics for the 50K. Because of security, I had to stop and input the code before I could pull up the camera app.

Took 23 minutes for my Uber “medieval” this morning. Thirty-something dollar ride home.

Post run comfort “brunch:” McRib combo from McDonald’s.

Little victories, y’all.

Song of the Day: “Du Hast”/Rammstein. Just because.

MCM 2020: Six-Pack

So, this weekend I wasted seventy-two hours blowing off/worrying about a project that took me four hours to finish on Monday.

Yesterday I got up at 0405, did my normal pre-long run preparations, did some P90X stretches…and then backed out of the run, with the project still on my mind. Breakfast came and went (scale? what scale?), then lunch…then a whole lot of time on YouTube. Dinner was supposed to be chicken vegetable soup; it was slices of pepperoni with Munster cheese.

10 p.m. became midnight…and then 2 a.m. became 5 a.m. Out of the rack at 0505…and on and off the throne until 0700.

Project started (finally) at 10:00, done just before 2:00. Three bowls of chicken soup with lunch; breakfast was two cups of coffee.

Four o’clock, and I started drinking 32 oz. of water with various substances in them. Some of it plain, some of it Mio, and about 8~10 oz. of recovery drink that I never got to drink on Saturday morning.

About five minutes before I was going to stretch, I got a call from my supervisor at work (duty calls, the run can wait!). Twenty to six and started the P90X stretches. At 5:55, I lubed up and went out the door.

About a mile into my ten-mile run to King’s Christian Academy and back, I realized that I forgot my chafe defender for my nether regions. I once went almost nine miles on a humid Friday morning without my Bodyglide, but it was a warm but dry afternoon, 79 degrees at step=off time. I did not want to run any distance coming back with chafing on the homestretch. So, I made a tactical decision: the run would go just six miles for safety reasons.

I made the three mile turnaround at an unmarked private road heading south on MD-5 towards Sheetz. Because of the late-day traffic, I couldn’t hear all my splits. I did hear the 12:05 split for mile 5 and I chalked that up to the uphill climb going back up.

My final time was 1:12:37 over 6.32 miles. And yes, I ran the three fireplugs back up to Abberly Crest. I was surprised that my splits had fallen to 12:04, especially when that was when i was going downhill.

So, the project is done, the run is done (thirty-seven hours  later!), and now I get P90X doubles tomorrow. Back to work on the keto diet, and another rough week on P90X.

Song of the Day: Dire Straits/”Sultans of Swing:” Good old Mark Knopfler, just strumming about playing in a rock band in N’Awlins (or it South London?). From Genius

“Sultans of Swing” by Mark Knopfler appears on the self-titled Dire Straits album – 1978. It’s a story song, told as a second person narrative about the London Jazz experience and is based on Knopfler watching a band perform in a pub in Deptford, who called themselves The Sultans of Swing.


“Mark Knopfler talked about switching from a National Steel guitar to a Fender Stratocaster to perform the song:

I thought it was dull but as soon as I bought my first Strat in 1977, the whole thing changed, though the lyrics remained the same. It just came alive as soon as I played it on that ‘61 Strat which remained my main guitar for many years and was basically the only thing I played on the first album and the new chord changes just presented themselves and fell into place.


Historic Half 2020: A Day

0430: The alarm goes off…I guess?

0451: Whoops…slept right through my five minute grace period. Nice going, now I’ll have to do my workout after work…and a twenty minute bike ride home.

0551: Am I gonna get up today or something.

0651: Okay, I guess I get no breakfast either. Out of bed, undress, straight to the shower.

0740: On the way to work.

0755: Park the car. Down the steps in the parking garage. Through the security gate. Into the office. My laptop is still in the trunk! Out of the office. Past security. Up the parking garage steps. Pop the trunk and retrieve the backpack with my laptop. Down the steps…again. Through security…again. Into the office at 0810.

0815: Breakfast of scrambled eggs, two large links of pork sausage, all covered with a ladle of salsa. Add a small Yeti cup of bulletproof coffee (whipping cream, 1 pat of butter, and 1 packet of Truvia) and I have a keto breakfast.

1315/1:15 p.m.: After running errands, returning the rental car, and a bike ride back to work, it’s a keto lunch of chili with a half-liter bottle of water. As I choke my way through the 8 oz. cup, I deduce that it is possible to have too many beans in your chili.

5:15 p.m.: A twenty minute bike ride, stretched to a half hour to retrieve my $17 Yeti cup that I left in the front console compartment of the rental car.

5:20-5:35: Start weekly laundry, rocking some YouTube as I prep my loads.

5:45: Out the door. Warm up walk before doing two 0.8 mi. intervals. The course starts with a downhill going towards Willow Rd. south, then turn onto Gren meadow Lane and follow the road all the way to the Valley recreation building, then finish with an uphill. A brief cool down walk before heading to the starting point for one last lap.

The objectives of the interval: increasing the pace on downhills, maintaining a steady pace on the flats (75% of race pace) then working the hills without stopping or killing myself.

1810/6:10 p.m: Intervals are done, thirteen hours later. Another load in the washer, the first load goes into the dryer.

1815: A little hike to the Apex Clubhouse for my circuit cycle course. No need to stretch, since I’m already “warmed up.” As I progress through my three sets, three more people enter the workout room to exercise. When the third person joins the other man and woman in the place, I decide to quickly but smartly finish the workout before the place gets too crowded.

1845: Thirteen hours later than scheduled, my workout for the day is complete. Time for the walk back to the apartment, a portion shake, and a nice keto dinner.

7:10 p.m.: I hit the blog.


Health and comfort:

I don’t have the coronavirus, but it’s getting on my nerves. It’s not the bubonic plague, the ebola virus, or the superflu/Captain Trips from Steven King’s The Stand.

Calm down people, for the love of God.

One mini-junk food spree notwithstanding, I have been much more faithful with my keto diet this week. Hope the scale agrees with me after the run on Sunday.

My “new” running shoes have made it through one short run and two laps of intervals. My feet feel fine, but I will be looking at the ASICS and Runners Warehouse sites this weekend for some clearance priced GT-1000s or gel Contend-6s.

Run-for-lunch bunch tomorrow (weather permitting) and Triple E 5 planned for Sunday. I need to work the hills. even though this is my “easy week.”

I need to buy a small nutcracker; about 10~20% of the pistachios in an 8-oz. bag are not crackable or easily opened.


Song of the Day: Sublime/”Santeria:” From Genius:

“This was written about a guy contemplating using black magic, voodoo, or “santeria” – anything he can to get back his girl.

“Instrumentally, Sublime had already released a version of this song called “Lincoln Highway Dub” on the Robbin’ The Hood album in 1994.

“Eric Wilson (bassist) told SongFacts:

Originally, I did it on a four-track on the previous album Robbin’ the Hood, and the name of it is ‘Lincoln Highway Dub.’ It’s an instrumental song on that album, and [Brad Nowell, vocals & guitar, RIP] just put words on it. I couldn’t really tell you what inspired ‘Santeria’ lyrically, but that’s how the song came about … And it went on to be one of our biggest songs.


Historic Half 2020/Health and Comfort

So, what am I getting myself into on May 17th?

“The scenic course tours colonial sites and the quaint downtown before scaling the now-famous Hospital Hill on the way to the stars-and-stripes adorned finish and the US Marines. Along the way, runners pass significant landmarks dating back to the nation’s beginnings and notable neighborhoods that were home to America’s forefathers, including Presidents George Washington and James Monroe. Great medal + Amazing crowds + Terrific weekend getaway= an instant favorite.”

Here’s the Course Map. Five miles all downhill going into downtown Fredricksburg, VA, and then a steep two mile climb back out of town (up the infamous Hospital Hill) before a short decline to the finish. So, basically I need some hill prep into my training.

An old Marine friend gave me some good advice when he saw my blog post on Facebook: paraphrasing-“Don’t get too crazy during the start because you have a serious climb near the end.” To be honesty lot of my runs have had some level of inclining as I headed towards the finish. I am tempted to take a trip out to Rockton, MD and run a lap of the Carl Henn Millennium Trail a week or two out from the Historic Half, or maybe run the Indian Head Rail Trail, with four of the last six miles going back to Indian Head being a steady but constant climb.

My current pace is about 12:15~12:30…when I know where I am going and I can clear the fog from my glasses. Hope fully I well have lost some significant weight in the next two=plus months. Which brings us to…the keto diet. Today is the first day in a while where I have stuck through the diet for at least two meals. I am also hoping that the Duke’s Shorty Sausages snacks are not necessarily deal breakers. I am making efforts to eat only what I need, and eat better. Yesterday I was too tired to make breakfast, and I basically ate junk food and snacks the rest of the day. No big steak dinner like I also usually do on Sundays.

I also need to clean out the fridge.

My new pair of shoes is not optimum; not really overpronator-oriented and I could use a size larger, or at least a wider width. Running Warehouse did not have any ASICS Gel Contend 6 (ran with a Contend 5), so I may have to go to ASICS website and hope for the best. I also saw some Brooks Ravennas on sale at RW, for about $20 more. If it means my feet will be better for it, I may have to pony up the extra $20. Not really interested in plantar fasciitis right now, I’m just under 90 days (88, to be exact) before the Historic Half.

It occurred to me today that every circuit cycle workout missed was two cycles, and I only made up a total of two workouts. So, my workout schedule for the next two weeks:

Tuesdays: Three sets, reduced weight. This is ten pounds under current weight. For example, instead of two sets of leg presses at 125 lbs., I do three sets at 115.

Thursdays: 2~3 laps intervals, then three sets reduced weight.

Saturdays: Two sets at max weight, or ten pounds over current weight. Leg presses would be two sets at 135 lbs.

Come April, I will add 10~20% on to the current weights (back to two sets), then cut them to two sets of reduced weights in May, two weeks before the run. Intervals will be at two laps for at least two more weeks, then three laps through May.

Ahhh…the best laid plans.

Song of the Day: Boomtown Rats/”Up All Night:” Before Pink Floyd: The Wall and Band Aid/Live Aid, there was Bob Geldof on lead vocals for the Rats. The video on MTV was my “formal” introduction to Mr. Geldof and Co. Oh, and I just learned that he’s singing “Oooh, za za,” not “Oooh, staying up…”

Madness/”One Step Beyond:” The song is basically an instrumental, outside of the opening speech and “One Step Beyond” being repeated at intervals.


Refresher Week #2: Keto

//Up in the morning with the rising sun/

//Gonna run all day, ’til the running’s done

This morning, I moved my 0500 run to 0645, so I could actually match that old Marine Corps running cadence. Not the fastest time ever, but still the fastest time of the week.

The runs are getting done. I moved my Tuesday afternoon run to 0500 because I was going to attend a friend’s going away party. Not only did I not stretch, but I forgot to charge my phone before I went to bed, so no tracking by MapMyRun either. I did my Thursday lunchtime trot as well as this morning’s sunrise run. The times will get better as the weather gets warmer and the weight goes down.

So, this week I started a very basic keto diet. Eggs and bacon/sausage in the morning, meat entree’ and non-starchy vegetables for lunch and dinner. Cutting back on sugars, carbohydrates, and starches as much as possible. For my morning coffee, I traded my flavored CoffeeMate creamer for heavy whipping cream, butter, and a single packet of Trivia sweetener. Bottled water with Mio water enhancers or VERY limitedLipton Citrus Green tea.

Technically I fell off the wagon by adding rice crackers to my three bowls of chili from my friend, leftover from the chili cook-off at work. I fell hard on Friday; the Indian meat and chicken dishes were so inedible that I was forced to eat a Snickers bar and wash it down with a can of Pepsi. Dinner was  spicy thigh and leg from Popeye’s (but with a side of green beans!).

All that being said, I did lose four pounds this week. My sister told me it won’t be so much about the weight, but my body is supposed to start looking and feeling better. A friend who went on a keto diet told me it was painful to him at first, but eventually he started losing the potbelly gut that he carried for so long.

We shall see.

I am in a good place with the current weights for my circuit cycle. I am sweating more and breathing a little harder after each workout, which means I am really putting in the work. Made it through three 0500 sessions, and each day with a companion or two at the Apex Clubhouse exercise facility.

I am taking Super Bowl Sunday off, though I will attempt to be conscious of what I am eating tomorrow night. Depending on how I feel, I may try to do a ceremonial run at the ofd Physical Fitness Test course on NAS Patuxebt River…or I may just run three miles somewhere just for the hell of it. However, Tuesday at 0500…I am back on the clock for the Historic Half Marathon on May 17th. That means at the gym at 0500 three days a week, running at lunch the other three days, stretching before each session, and sticking to my very basic keto diet as much as possible.

Feels so good to be back…


Refresher Week 2020: Nike

Tuesday and Wednesdays were no shows.

Thursday morning, I packed my running gear, to also include my post-run shower gear, for my bike ride to work. Just after noon, I made my way from my workspace to the Moffat Building locker room to change over into my running gear. Changed into baselayer plus tech shirt, running tights, balaclava and gloves, and running shoes. Couldn’t find my phone, so no MapMyRun today. Brisk walk from the locker room, through security, through the lower floor double doors, across the parking garage and out to the parking lot spur to start the run.

Last time I checked MapMyRun, this was a 2.65 mi. run. The spur went out to Buse Road, where I turned left onto and followed to Cedar Point Road. Turned right to take CP to Gate 2; turned right onto Cuddihy Road and followed that back to Base Road. Followed Base up to CP Road and turned around down Buse back to the parking lot spur.

It was cold out, and there was the usual heavy lunchtime traffic aboard NAS Patuxent River, but I was bundled up. I got my sweat on and my run in and I was fine.

Friday morning I got up at 0400 to prep for my first actual gym workout of 2020. Got bundled up and made the trot over to the Apex Clubhouse to work out in the fitness center. I got there in time to see one young lady leave, and then another young lady came in a minute after I started stretching out.

The weights were more or less the same weight that I ended 2019 with, before I tapered off in October. I focused more on doing the reps right and getting in the sweat as well as the muscle burn; I was not in a hurry, so no need to rush. I did two sets of the circuit cycle and accomplished my mission for the morning. Another young man joined myself and the young lady, but he went to going her on an adjoining treadmill, so I had the machines and barbells to myself. The two were still on the treadmill as I headed back out.

4:30a this morning: Cold, dark, and raining. No run today, back to bed.

2:30p this afternoon: OMG, is that the SUN??? Marine Corps running cadence plays in my head as I prep for an afternoon run. Put on my gray US Marines tech shirt over my compression shirt. Gray running shorts. Long sleeves? Tights? Gloves? For fifty degrees and sunny? Dropped my last Nuun tablet into a coffee mug of water to hydrate and hopefully loosen the bowels so I can get rid of some of this bloat.

3:25: A big blanket of haze gray where the sun used to be. The temperature dropped a bit as well, but no sense in going back for warmer gear now. Quick trip to the housing office; do I need special permission to install a flatscreen TV on my wall in my apartment? “Nope; and thank you for asking.” Coolness.

A bit after 4:00: Either I had the phone on mute or I couldn’t hear it over the Saturday afternoon traffic, but MapMyRun recorded me at 2:47 mi., going up and down north Willows Road to the MD-235 intersection and back. Although I didn’t street AGAIN ( a habit I need to break next week) I felt good. Not my greatest pace, but with some road time, a proper diet, and hopefully better weather, the times would bet better…as my weight gets better.

I am taking tomorrow off. M/W/F I am back in the gym. I bought some whey protein, but it will have to be with water since I am starting a milk-free but very basic keto diet next week. Maybe mix my protein with a cup of coffee?

Tu/Thu I will do my run-for-lunch at work, shooting for a start time of no later than 12:30 p.m. Because I will have a doctor’s appointment Tuesday morning and I will be late, I will have to either stay later at work or try and run after work. Saturday’s run time will be TBD.

Hot pizza and boneless wings for dinner, cold pizza for breakfast…cold pizza for late lunch?

Song of the Day:

The Cars: “Moving in Stereo/All Mixed Up:” I picked this live version to see if it was either Benn Orr or Rick Ocasek who sang lead vocals on this track. Yep, it’s Ben. From Genius:

“Using stereo as an allegory for putting thoughts you might not want to have into other place, and excellent audio mixing and use of the stereo effect, this song conveys the too prevalent habit of putting your problems aside rather than dealing with them.”

These two tracks ended the Cars’ 1978 debut album, although “Moving” was the only one released as a single.


MCM 2019/T-Minus 13: Homestretch

Had to go get my blood drawn (and a urinalysis!) for my doctor’s appointment on Thursday. Local mass transit to the laboratory: three buses over an hour and twenty minutes. Total procedure time. from entering to exiting the office: Five minutes.


  1. Check in at office window
  2. Present ID and lab paperwork
  3. Get blood drawn
  4. Provide urine sample (and I actually had to pee!)
  5. Leave the office.

I took an Uber home.


So this is the last full week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon. Three more trips to the Apex clubhouse fitness center for my circuit cycles. Three more runs: Shangri-La 3, HWY-5 3, Superwillow 6 (extending all the way out on Shangri-La Drive for the northern end of the run). Next week will be two short runs: Shangri-La 3 and my annual Ceremonial run of the Marine Physical Fitness Test 3-mile course on base at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. I am sorely tempted between now and next Thursday, when I am planning the Ceremonial, of staying overnight in DC and running the National Mall. We’ll see…

Last week was a good week in the gym and on the road. The eight miles on the Great Mills 8 that I ran Sunday have more hills than the opening eight of the MCM; however, I took the MCM way too fats last year and I was running on fumes before I reached the Fourteenth Street Bridge (Miles 18-20 of the MCM). The goal here is to not only finish, but to finish with something at or near the end.

Song of the Day: Daft Punk/”One More Time:” If there was ever a song that I wanted to hear in the final stretch of a run, it would be the seven minutes-plus remix of this song. Also: PARTY SONG!!! From Genius:

“Daft Punk’s single, “One More Time,” is that kind of song: a piece of superreligion with an invincible beat and a nailed-to-the-wall vocal by house singer Romanthony. It is stamina itself, an anthem to keep on dancing that’s already a huge hit in clubs and on the radio. All those knowing listeners who bought Homework and signed on for the pair’s rascally, nudge-wink grooves now have to figure out what part of “One More Time” is for them. Is there a subversive part of “One More Time?” If so, where does it begin?

“Generally about their music, which this song represents perfectly, Thomas Bengalter said

The healthy thing is that people either loved it or hated it. The worst thing is when you make art and people are not moved.


MCM 2019/T-Minus 18: Weeks

The Week Behind Us…

I had to do a Color Guard at the Blessing of the Fleet Parade in Colton’s Point, MD on Sunday, and no way was I going to march after running ten miles in the morning. So last week, I accelerated the run schedule by one day.

Two things I learned on the run attempt last Tuesday. First, my first run of the week is at least two days after a long run, so I can give my body time to recover. Second, when you run in such short notice after a long run…S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

My Thursday and Saturday runs went much better. Nothing world-beating, but no pulled muscles, strained or torn ligaments, or plantar/shin issues. I feel pretty good about myself going into the 44th Marine Corps Marathon.

The Week Ahead of Us…

So this is what we call Week Two of the taper, where the mileage and intensity of the runs and workouts is lessened to prepare for the MCM in less than three weeks time.

Where have I been? Well, with the run on Saturday instead of Sunday, I got an extra day to sleep in. Slept in Monday as well.

This morning was back at the gym at lighter weights. Apparently there are a couple of regulars joining me in the gym in the early mornings, one female and one male. Both of them younger than me. No older gentleman this morning. I guess I am not the only person using the gym this deep into the calendar.

Tomorrow, it’s Shangri-La 3 miles, then Friday it’s Ranieri 4. I am running eight miles on Sunday, just don’t know what route. Thinking about the Great Mills 8, which is the Sheetz run up HWY-5, then taking a right up HWY-234 up Great Mills Road and it’s rolling hills, then right on Shangri-La/Willow Road and the stretch home.

Outside has become cooler, especially the last few days. It has been overeats, but most of the rain has been in the dark of the night, so far. It feels like long sleeves and Brooks tights every morning from here on out. And no more sleeping in; not only does it get darker much sooner (7:00 p.m.-ish) but the traffic is heavier.

Song of the Day: The Guess Who/”No Time”

Okay, I was looking up Genius and I found an article that Apple’s next MacOS is officially killing off iTunes. Not that I’ve used it lately, or even my old iPod Shuffle, but…uh-oh.

Anyway, this song kind of sums up my life right now, pre-MCM. Running out of time to do everything.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 26: Committed

So, unless something catastrophic happens in the next 6 hours, 22 minutes…I am all in for the 44th Marine Corps Marathon 2019.

Oh, by the way, midnight tonight is when the bib transfer period ends. If a runner isn’t able to run the MCM this year, he/she can apply to transfer his bib to the next year without having to pay a penalty or re-register for next year. If I change my mind about running, I can still defer to 2020, and it won’t cost me anything as far as entry fees or registration.

I took a look at my training schedule as I was making some changes and updating my progress to date. One week out due to injury. Five Wednesdays full of no-show woe. Two long runs tagged as Did Not Finish.

I tried to do the intermediate training cycle, and I jus wasn’t up to it. The off-week cost me two Sunday long runs, and then I tried to come back too much, too fast. I ran eight miles my first week back, then tried to follow it up with sixteen. It didn’t help that there was a heat wave that Sunda. The heat wave was no better then next week, when i cut the distance to 11 miles.

I think i forgot two things about some of the courses that I picked for my long runs: 1) lots of uphills near the ned, and 2) some of those runs are tests of character as well as training. I especially forgot that with the attempted two laps of the Carl Henn Millennium Trail.

Yesterday’s National Capital 20-miler was probably just what I needed: a test of character, and finding a way to finish. I learned that if I slowed from a run to a good old Marine Corps march, I can get something of a second wind, especially if it’s lots of hills near the end like the Mt. Vernon Trail or the Millennium Trail.

No doubt about it: it’s been a rough summer. But it is what it is, and what I ‘ve done, I have. I’m in the taper period now, and I’ve got three more weeks until MCM week.

No sense worrying about what might have been…iy’s all about looking forward now.

Taper minus 3 (T-3) is going to have a change in the schedule. I am running Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday because I have to march in the Color Guard on Sunday. Also I am lightening the load on my circuit cycles.

Song of the Day: Beatles/”It’s All Too Much:” The closing song of the Beatles’ animated classic Yellow Submarine. From songwriter/guitarist George Harrison:

“It’s All Too Much was written in a childlike manner from realizations that appeared during and after some LSD experiences and which were later confirmed in meditation.”

Actually, I was thinking of something to describe running all these damn hills this year, but…I’ll take it.


MCM 2019/T-Minus 33: General

Random thoughts on a resting Monday:

2015 was my peak Marine Corps Marathon year. No overt pain, no Revolt of the Thighs at Mile 15, probably the best I’ve ever felt running 26 miles…and, midway through the crossing of the Fourteenth Street Bridge, I got a selfie with General Joseph Dunford, U.S.M.C and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The recently retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller also ran the MCM, but I never saw him.

But anyway, i really want to recapture that marathon. Running strong through 26 miles, not worried about pace but still running… no cramps, strains, sore cartilage, or plantar issues. Not really pain-free running because there’s really no such pain at 49 years old, but I want to run and not overly suffer. I don’t want to have to power walk any of the course.

Nevertheless, my goal remains the same: to finish.

My “strategy”: Run with the 12:30 pacer for the first eight miles, covering the significant hill at the first bridge, then one last incline/decline around Mile 8. If I’m feeling good after Mile 8, then I will steadily break away from the pack with a pace I think I can maintain over the last 18 miles. If my thighs and calves are still in good shape around Mile 16 and 17, there’s a good chance. For what? For not hitting the wall like I did last year.

I want to finish strong, but the goal is still to finish.

Also, I need to brush up on Marine Generals…because you never know.

Personally I want to get a post race picture and/or get photobombed by one of Fox News Channel’s female anchors, but one can only dream…

Sooo…after running 16 miles in three days, it’s one last 20 miler for the year. Sometime between tonight and tomorrow night I will register for the National Capitol 20 miler in Potomac, MD this Sunday. Two more 0445 runs at Superwillow 6 and Park Hall 6, alternating with the circuit cycles on Tu/Thu/Sat, with intervals on Thursday morning. The trick here, is getting out of bed at 0415 to get the PT in.

Last week’s training break helped me focus about my actual goal for this year’s MCM, and I really didn’t show any after effects from completely skipping the circuit cycles this week ( as well as the Thursday intervals).

Oh, and I got the new knee sleeve. so I’ll have matching sleeves for the Sunday run…wherever that may be.

Tonight is supposed to kick off Customer Appreciation Week, with a pre-game meet and eat at the Apex Clubhouse. I say supposed because i haven’t seen much signage around the apartment complex, and I only saw it mentioned on a sign at the main office, talking about the adjusted hours for this week. The party usually ends just after the kick-off of Monday Night Football. I will probably scarf some extra munchies so i can watch the Chicago Bears attempt to score one or more offensive touchdowns against the Washington Redskins. Then again, it may be an early night if the game goes south.

Song of the day: Foster the People/”Pumped Up Kicks:” Take it away, Genius:

Robert, the subject of the song, dreams of violence towards his classmates and peers. The song details his plans and ambitions for a school shooting, diving deep into the causes of his emotions.

During a 2011 Rolling Stone interview, Foster said:

I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid.

Although this song is peppy and upbeat, Foster uses this to mask the true meaning of the song, and makes for a beautiful yet haunting composition, a tension which he referenced in the same interview:

It’s a ‘fuck you’ song to the hipsters in a way – but it’s a song the hipsters are going to want to dance to.

Despite many believing that this song condones and encourages violence, Foster said otherwise in a 2011 USA Today interview:

The song is not about condoning violence at all. It’s the complete opposite. The song is an amazing platform to have a conversation with your kids about something that shouldn’t be ignored, to talk about it in a loving way.

Yeah, talk to your kids about gun violence while dancing to this peppy tune. Ohhhkay.