Tag Archives: course

45th Marine Corps Marathon, Patuxent River MD

//oh, snap…my password still works? Time to get my blog on…

So today, six days past the original date, I ran the 45th Marine Corps Marathon, virtually here in the Patuxent River area of St. Mary’s County, MD.

The Course:

  1. Start/finish line was the entrance to Abberly Crest Apartments. 2.
  2. Started to run north up Willows Road to Great Mills Road to Gate 2 of NAS Patuxent River. 3.
  3. At the gate, took a left up Three Notch Road/MD-235 to Chancellor’s Run Road.
  4. Left onto Chancellor’s Run all the way downhill to Great Mills Road/MD-5.
  5. Took a right and an uphill MD-5 to the parking lot connecting Little Flower School and Holy Face Church.
  6. Ran around the parking lot and back down MD-5, then turned left and back up Great Mills to Chancellor’s Run, running up and down that back to Three Notch Road.
  7. Three Notch Road to Gate 2, to Great Mills, then south down Willow Road, past Abberly Crest.
  8. The above was the opening 18 miles.
  9. Willow Road all the way to MD-5 north, taking a left and following MD-5/Point Lookout Road all the way to Berne Way, the last turnaround point.
  10. At Berne Way, turned right around on Point Lookout Rd/MD-5 all the way back to Willow Road south.
  11. One last uphill on Willow Road, all the way back to Abberly Crest.
  12. 26.22 on the dot.

MCM Day abort:

0330-0400: Reveille/breakfast/get dressed

0345: Realize that I forgot to charge my cell phone from the night before. Not a good thing, since my MapMyRun app is on my phone.

0400-0445: STRETCH

0445-0455: Pack my FlipBelt with spare bottle of water, mixed with pickle juice and Mix Water energy additive.

0450: Step out into the pouring rain. Dammit, rain for the second straight year.

0500: Step off

0505-ish: Realize that I don’t have my neck gaiter. In this world of COVID-19. you can’t enter a public facility of any kind without a make or face covering. Since I had three gas stations along my route with very public toilets, this was kind of a big deal. Looking back, however, I wasn’t willing to put up with the rain, so I trudged back to the apartment to get the neck gaiter.

Back in the apartment, warm and dry, I realized that I dropped my driver’s license and my ATM card outside, whilst putting my cellphone way for the run. Back outside in the rain to recover my cards.

The rain started pouring much harder; I had not seriously done any running in the rain this year, so I decided to hold off until noon, when the weather was supposedly better.

Honestly? Out of laziness and stupidity, and allowing for the loophole that I had until November 10 to run the MCM and submit my score, I put off the run until Saturday.

“Game called due to rain.” Good Lord.

T plus 6

Two changes to last week’s pre-run routine:

  1. Substituted on of my tubs of Chobani yogurt (black cherry flavor) for a toasted English muffin with peanut butter. Maybe a little too filling, because I had something of a bubble gut the first four miles.
  2. Stretched for only thirty minutes instead of forty-five.

At 0509 EST, I stepped off. There was the blue full moon out in the pre-dawn darkness, but it was a fairly cloudy night. It was there, but kind of…not there.

I had cut down on my pre-race day water consumption, but man…was my bladder active. I had to stop at the Wawa’s gas station about a half-mile from Chancellor’s Run. I was going to stop at the Sheetz gas station at the Great Mills/MD-5 intersection, until I saw about seven police cars and the parking lot taped off.

The stretch of Chancellor’s Run/Great Mills/Little Face took a lot more out of me than I anticipated. I started getting my annual Revolt of the Thighs during the up and down return leg up Chancellor’s Run. At Mile 16 on Valley Road, I had to power walk while I took my second GU energy pod of 2020, and a four ounce chug from my water bottle.

I don’t think the pickle juice helped that much.

From Valley Road back to Abberly Crest, I power walked until I could find enough of a second wind to do a Marine Corps shuffle. That’s when you chop or shorten your stride when you run; Marines running in formation would do that (on command) when the platoon leader wanted to slow the platoon down.

Green Meadow Lane, the back entrance to Abberly Crest, was where I started a lot of my runs. I was like “Okay, this is the same run I’ve done so many times. Just go out to Berne Way, and then back here and I’m done.”

Uphill to Raineri Run, then Willow Road downhill to MD-5 South. MD-5 uphill then it flattens out, with some inclines and declines to Berne Way.

When I finished my climb/power walk up MD-5, I took one last water/GU break at mile 20, on Manor Way. The run down/up Point Lookout Road/MD-5 felt like running in a tunnel (where’s the turnaround point?), but I was able to run to Berne Way and turn around.

At Manor Way on the final return leg, I snapped my last traditional selfie (taken at 8/16/24 mi. points) and got one last second wind. My hamstrings made some noise, but I was still able to shuffle uphill on Willows Road, past the Bay Montessori School, one more uphill and downhill towards, Green Meadow Lane.

At Green Meadow Lane, I ran through the “arch” formed by the street sign and the STOP sign, then one last uphill past the three fireplugs and toward the Abberly Crest sign.

I pulled my smartphone out of my FlipBely, and pulled up MapMyRun.

PAUSED, then FINISHed the run.

26.22 miles in 6:19:24. Virtual Marine Corps Marathon for 2020: DONE.

Semper Fi Challenge (Historic Half and MCM in the same year): DONE.

Aftermath

One last post-run selfie for the year. Saved my run to MapMyRun to record to the MCM website later on. Way to sore and tired to do a post-run cool down walk, so I walked back home.

Epsom salt bath. One last step on the scales: 222 lbs. Warmdown dress of long-sleeve tee, running tights, and compression socks.

Posted the run time and my MapMyRun app screen to the MCM website. Decorated my Finisher’s Certificate.

Done. All done.

Lessons Learned:

About a month after finishing the Historic Half (also virtual), I had back to back fails on running 10, then 13 miles on the course at NAS Patuxent River. Overtraining, maybe? This year was the first time I had started my training in February.

I had cataracts surgery on each eye, three weeks apart. The day after the post=op consult on each eye (about eight days), I should have been back on the road. I had some complications with my left eye, which were remedied with switching my eyedrops prescription. Still took WAAAY too much time off (about three weeks).

After failing to graduate P90X Lean, I never picked it back up. I should have, because even with running in the morning and P90X after work, I was still reaping the benefits. I was running an average of 11:15~11:30 right after the Half; I never saw above 12~12:30 after I restarted in late August.

I scrapped the keto diet and got addicted to Doordash.

All that being said, UCAN hydrate was a revelation. After adding a packet to a 16-0z. bottle of water and chugging it before the run, I can go at least 16 miles before I have to run. That’s a good then when you’re running a long training run or a virtual half-or-full marathon sans benefit of water or fuel stations.

Either I need a new cell phone or some quality time with MapMyRun’s customer service. I didn’t hear my split times in the last three weeks of running…to include today.

High marks also for the Chafe Paint anti-chaffing cream made by Kanberra. No chaffing over 26 miles, and no sore spots in the nether regions.

Final thoughts:

Ah, the loneliness of the long-distance runner.

No water stations or food/fuel stations.

No cheering crowds.

No howitzer to start the race. No running under a red and gold finish arch to end it.

Just me, God, Patuxent River, and my smartphone with my MapMyRun app.

Then again, there was that first marathoner, though.

Remember Phillipedes!

One last entry tomorrow, with a Song of the Day…I swear!!!

MCM 2020: Eastbound and Down

Sooo…about twelve hours ago, I stepped off into the darkness. And man was it dark, with none of the early false dawns that I saw a few short months ago. Didn’t see the first hints of sunlight until Shangri-La Drive of my run.

Long story short, the run was Superwillow 6. Starting from the back entrance of my apartment complex at Green Meadow Lane. Run down to the MD-5 crossroad, then uphill back through Green Meadow and past the Three Fireplugs uphill back up Willow Road north. Run all the way through Shangri-La Drive up to the stoplight, then all the way back down Willow south to Green Meadow Lane.

I was shooting for a twelve-minute pace, given the way-too-long layoff. However, the rust I have been gathering manifested itself on the northern half of my run. I ended up with 14 and 15 minute splits for miles 4 and 5, finishing with a thirteen minute pace.

Wednesday will be sixty days until the Marine Corps Marathon. I am running it virtually this year, here in the Lexington park, MD area, on a self-designed course that will be much more difficult than the annual run through the District of Columbia. the actual run date is October 25, but virtual runners have until November 10, 2020 to submit their final run times.

I am waaay behind on my training mileage, and I was just a lazy bastard all last week. So now I must attempt to implement an aggressive running schedule which has me running every other day until the vMCM. Long runs will alternate between Saturdays and Sundays. One week: Su/Tu/Thu/Sat (long run day), then Mo/We/Fr and the long run on Sundays.

Second, I have to get back to P90X. I have put off butting a dumbbell set for over a month and now it has put me behind schedule.This week will be a rest/refresh course, running the more cardio routines every other day (Mo/We/Fr/Su) and starting P90X Lean next Monday.

Lastly, I have to set run times and stick to them. This week, I am back at the office, so my goal is to be on the road or hitting “play” on the DVD player for P90X no later than 5:00 p.m. (or at least no later than 45 minutes after I get home).

“Miles to go before I sleep…”: Robert Frost

Song of the Day:

Jerry Reed/”Eastbound and Down:

“East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’/
We gonna do what they say can’t be done/
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there/
I’m east bound, just watch ol’ Bandit run

In other words, my running life for the next two months…

MCM2020/Day 96: Orange

It is twenty minutes to seven on a warm evening somewhere in southern Maryland. I am enjoying a dinner of cold cuts, olives and pickles as I type this.

Tested negative for COVID-19, FTW!

Right eye cataracts surgery went smooth as glass this morning.  The only pain I really felt was when the nice nurse stuck a needle in my had for the intravenous drip. What I saw during the surgery would be great CGI/laser images for a Pink Floyd show, but it was painless.

As I type this, and not necessarily in need of reading glasses (yet), I have no swollen right eye from the surgery, nor am I suffering headaches of any magnitude.

My diabetes is mostly under control, except for today. I will fix that with my second dose of medicine.

Alive and healthy…once again, For The Win!

 

The bad news is that my marathon training schedule has been put into arrears. I just spent twenty minutes on my work laptop rearranging my schedule.

Starting tomorrow, I will alternate runs (of gradually increasing distance) with some of the more cardiovascular workouts from P90X. Not in any particular order: Cardio X, Core Synergistics, Kenpo X, Yoga X, and X Stretch.

I also made a strategic decision regarding resuming P90X. I will be resuming P90X in August, after my last eye surgery. I will be repeating P90X Lean instead of going to P90X Classic.

First reason: I FAILED TO GRADUATE.

Second reason: I need to get back on the losing weight program. My purpose is to build a stronger, leaner, more durable core and strengthen my legs for what may be an aggressive program.

I also want to get under 205 lbs.

Third reason: I need stronger muscles and ligaments, but not necessarily bigger ones. I’m not traveling to neither Ocean City, MD nor Arlington this year to display My Personal Gun Show, and I may be still struggling to much with my longer runs.

Looking back at my Marine Corps Marathon schedule since May (right after the Historic Half Marathon), I am seeing far too many missed workout days. I color code my workouts like this:

Green/done!   Gold/P90x and a run done, same day! Blue: Shortened/aborted run. Orange: F’n lazy a$$ no-show (did not do)

Not really wanting to count, but I bet I have more orange than green on the board…or maybe 52% to 48% green and blue (combined) over orange.

However, the calendar still reads July. I am still motivated to complete the virtual  Marine Marathon on October 25.

Quick aside: The MCM Organization officially cancelled the on-station MCM Weekend in the DC Triangle this year. No Runner’s Expo National Harbor, MD), no special events in the DC/VA area, no running events in the Nation’s Capitol, no Beating the Fourteenth Street Bridge or the party in Crystal City, Va. No uphill finish at the Arlington Cemetery or post-run photo by the Marine Corps’ Iwo Jima Memorial.

Okay sadness over. the thing is, I have mapped out a course that threatens to be much tougher than the traditional MCM course. Uphill/down hill, then downhill/uphill on Three Notch Road/MD-235, then downhill/uphill on Chancellor’s Run towards Great Mill Road, MD-5 south uphill/downhill towards Holy Face Church/Little Flower School. And then all the way back in reverse.

That’s the opening 18 miles.

The final four mile out and back is running all the way south down Willow Road towards MD-5 North and then out to whatever MapMyRun declares to be Mile 22. The finishing 2.2 is one last climb up the hill of Willow Road going back to Abberly Crest, with a last triumphant run past the Three Fireplugs and the finish (Mile 26 and change, for the official MCM record).

Objectives:

  1. Getting out of bed at 0430 for a 0500 workout
  2. Getting the workout started no later than 45 minutes after getting home from work
  3. Slowly but surely getting back on the road
  4. Finishing the runs, especially the Sunday (and occasional Saturday) long runs…pace be damned
  5. Working the hills…as many as possible, and looking for survival and consistency
  6. P90X: Hit play. Engage the core. Breathe.Work the hips.
  7. X Stretch every Sunday afternoon/evening. Before bed of you have to.
  8. FINISH. EVERYTHING.

 

The fun starts Wednesday morning.

 

Songs of the Day:

Bob Dylan/”Jokerman:” I have always loved how the images from the video (ancient and modern art, popular culture images/scenes) hep tell the story that Bob is trying to tell…even if he admits that he may have overthought this song and the rest of the album (Infidels). From Genius:

“ ‘Jokerman’ is the first track from Dylan’s 1983 album Infidels. This album is often seen as Dylan’s return to secular music after a conversion to Christianity and three gospel records.

However, “Jokerman” is still laden with religious imagery and biblical references. Like Christ, the Jokerman has messianic aspirations, but unlike a legitimate godly figure who will die for others, the Jokerman ultimately is unaccountable even to himself

Dylan: “That’s a song that got away from me. Lots of songs on that album [Infidels] got away from me. They just did.”

ST: “You mean in the writing?”

Dylan: “Yeah. They hung around too long. They were better before they were tampered with. Of course, it was me tampering with them. [Laughs] Yeah. That could have been a good song. It could’ve been.” If the YouTube comments section means anything, Bob Dylan’s fans would respectfully disagree.

Bruce Springsteen/”Atlantic City:” I think this song is just Bruce on acoustic guitar and some dude (maybe Little Steven?) on mandolin. It works…and my God is it so hauntingly beautiful.

” ‘Atlantic City’is perhaps one of Springsteen’s most dour songs. It depicts a young couple’s romantic escape to the New Jersey seaside resort of Atlantic City, where the man in the relationship intends to take a job in organized crime upon arriving in the city.

“The song wrestles with the inevitability of death and the hope of rebirth in various ways, especially in life and in the actual city of Atlantic City, which was going through an attempted mob takeover while the state government was trying to implement casino gambling within the city.

” ‘Atlantic City’ started as a demo recorded in early 1981 at Springsteen’s home studio at Colts Neck, NJ called “Fistfull of Dollars” (for the Clint Eastwood movie). He changed the title and the chorus to “Atlantic City” later that year, and on January 3. 1982, recorded 4 takes, along with other “Nebraska” demos that later made up the album of the same name. Take 2 was the one chosen for the album, released in fall 1982.”

 

MCM 2020: Reset/Refresh

Great Mills 8

0400 reveille as usual. No breakfast, because the last tub of Chobani yogurt in the fridge was three days past its sell-by date, and I did not want to look at mold or get food poisoning this morning.

Dressed and lubed by 0430. Stretched at 0440-0450. Out the door at 0455.

It was cooler than I expected this morning, after running in the humidity all week. As I started the eight mile trek around Great Mills, I noticed the first-quarter moon was out. A good sign.

The goal today was a good, solid eight miles. Not so much worried about the pace, so much as I wanted to feel like zi could go a little further than eight miles. There were a lot of inclines and declines in the eight miles, so no use pressing for negative splits.

I actually felt good over the first four miles, as I rounded the turn from MD-5 onto Great Mills Road. While the splits may not have been with me, I did feel good about the run. I was even able to shrug off not having my Under Armour fluorescent white running ball cap, which I didn’t notice that I had forgotten until just after the first mile marker.

The ball cap serves two purposes: 1) to protect the top of my head from mosquitos, and 2) to help block out the sun with the bill of the cap. The route had some woodlands, but the mosquitos were not quite the problem as they were aboard NAS Patuxent River the last two Sunday. However, as I headed down (up?) Great Mills Road, I realized I was running in the direction of the rising sun…and with no visor to at least partially block it, I could barely see where I was going.

The blinding sun aside, the made the there miles go Great Mills Road with no problem, as I made the final turn onto north Willos Road. There was even a convenient Port-A-John, across the street from Lancaster Park. The stop was a relief, although that may have impacted my last mile split. I just barely made eight miles as I passed the road crossing into Abberly Crest Apartments, topping out at 8.04 mi. as I ended the run.

I finished with no real negative splits, but an acceptable 11:28 pace. Not bad.

 

P90X and Other Stuff

My strategy of performing P90X after the end of the workday went belly up, as I finished late and tired on Wednesday and Thursday. I was already a week late on finishing P90X Lean, but having screwed up the schedule I had to throw in the towel on this cycle.

To be frank, I really have no excuse as to why I didn’t finish. This was the last low stress portion of the cycle, with routines like Yoga X, Cardio X and Core Synergistics, and Cardio X on call for this last week. I was just too bummed out from sitting on telecoms all day to execute anything at midweek. So, not only am I STILL NOT a P90X graduate, but I paid for it on the scale this week with two pounds added onto last week’s total. Looking back, I really could have used the Kenpo X and Cardio X on tap for the Wednesday and Friday runs.

So while the runs are slowly getting back to normal, I am going to take a week off and start P90X Classic next week…maybe.

 

Good news is that I am still healthy and COVID-19 free, although I am still a bit heavier than I’d like to be.

The bad news? As part of my prep for my cataracts eye laser surgery next Monday, I have to have a COVID-19 test this Wednesday. If I don’t hear anything by Sunday night, I am cleared for the surgery next Monday morning. If I get the call, it won’t be just the eye surgery that gets put on hold.

I believe that COVID-19 test has somewhat upset my equilibrium this week. That and the added logistics of my transportation to and from the eye surgery. It can’t be just an Uber driver who drops me off an picks me up; someone has to stay with my at the hospital then monitor me as I come home from the surgery. So, there’s that as well.

It is now almost 8:30 on Sunday night, and I am now just eating my second full meal of the day. Yeah, I’ve got a few things on my mind.

 

Song of the Day: I’m sorry…I have none, and I know it’s been a while since I last posted. YouTube isn’t cooperating tonight.

 

 

MCM 2020: Nitro?

Okay maybe it wasn’t that fast…

Okay, dinner last night was a Whopper meal with a 24 oz. Coke, onion rings, and chicken fries. Dinner came about ten-plus hours after breakfast (7:30 Saturday morning to 5-5:30 Saturday night). Not much else to eat but junk food after that until bedtime, about 10-15 p.m.

Reveille went at 0400. I Chobani yogurt plus about a bottle and a half of water. Since I was driving out to the base, I did my Saunders cycle on Kenpo X as soon as I got dressed (about 0420).

I made it onto the base at 0452. At 0454, I realized I forgot about my bottle of Ucan Hydrate. Running without it was not an option, so I burned fifteen minutes going back home to go get it. One more set of stretching and I was off at 0525.

I was worried about the threat of rain this morning, so I wrapped my smartphone in Saran Wrap for the run. It would be dry, but MapMyRun’s voice box would be muffled. I had no idea what my splits were until I finally got rid of the Saran Wrap just after mile 8…when the sun came out.

Did I go out too fast? 10:57 is one of the fastest opening miles I have ever done, so that may have been it. What I should have done is aim for an 11:30 first mile and work my way down from there, or at least aim to maintain that pace.

Looking back at the elevation of my run, from Mile 8 onward is a slow but steady upward climb. I  know the 10 mile loop starts to climb before the runway near Test Pilots School, but I didn’t know it was a gradual uphill all the way back to my starting point at Drill Hall Gym. Mile 8 thru Mile 11 would have been about three miles of climbing.

Would. Have. been.

I started losing momentum around mile 7, and then mile 8 I knew if I could just make the climb the course would plateau out and I could build up momentum for the run up Cedar Point Road. Unfortunately, a clear voice at mile 9 announced a thirteen something split. By then I was just running through mud, or so I felt.

As I passed the Marine Aviation Detachment HQ, I felt there was no way that I was going to do anything worthwhile, trying to go up Cedar Point Road’s mile-plus long climb from the entrance road to the Drill Hall to Gate Two and back. Not happening…not today anyway.

Just past the NAWCAD Building, I slowed to a power walk. I gave no thought to a Marine Corps shuffle and trying to find a second wind. Hiked back to the Drill Hall parking lot, and as soon as MMR called out “ten miles,” I crossed the “finish line.”

So, today’s life lessons:

  1. Proper nutrition as well as proper hydration the day before a long run. Keto or no keto, there was no excuse for me to go ten hours between breakfast and a late lunch.dinner, then nothing to eat between 6:30 last night and 0400 this morning.
  2. Aim for a twelve minute pace to start on the long runs, then work to gradually get faster. The Pax River ten-mile loop can be flat in places, but it does climb near the end. Also, start at a pace you can handle.

 

Postscript: Bad eating habits. Did not Finish, Still lost three pounds.

 

Song of the Day:

Foo Fighters/”My Hero:”  

“(Lead singer/guitarist Dave) Grohl has claimed he didn’t have any rockstar rolemodels growing up. This song is a tribute to those he did look up to: the everyday people.
The sentiment on this track is simple. You don’t have to be rich, or famous or successful to do something good or heroic.

“As with many Foo Fighters songs, fans have tried to appropriate the lyrics to Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, but Dave insists that they refer only to the average man on the street. Whatever the case may be, “My Hero” was still a top 10 rock smash.”

George Harrison/”Got My Mind Set on You:” From Genius:

” ‘Got My Mind Set on You’ was originally sung by James Ray in 1962.

“In 1987, George Harrison covered the song for his album Cloud Nine and his version topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary chart. It also peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.”

Eddy Grant/”Electric Avenue:” From Genius

“Guyanese-British singer Eddy Grant’s seminal response to the 1981 Brixton riot; riots that were themselves a response to the high level of unemployment among the Caribbean immigrant population of Britain at that time.

“Throughout the song, Grant goes against the demonized account of rioters popular in the British media, instead painting a picture of poor, jobless “warriors”, struggling to even feed their family.”

 

MCM’20: Welcome Back

Last Tuesday night I was in the warm-up phase of Chest-Shoulders-Triceps/Ab Ripper X. Just as I started running in place, my left glutei kind of gave out. I didn’t pull or tear any muscles or ligaments, but the pain was enough of a concern that I stopped the video and called off the workout. At that point, I was feeling sore in other places, to include both my shins. I had also postponed the workout from Monday and I was dreading the make-up schedule for that week. At that point I just flat-out took the week off.

So…I just got done with X Stretch, having run eight miles earlier this morning. Now, X Stretch is considered optional (“Rest or X Stretch,” safety the schedule). However Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, made a good statement at the start of the video: X Stretch is important because without stretching a person can plateau in his/her performance, get hurt, and/or get frustrated and quit. I think that kind of happened to me last week. I didn’t compensate for the added two-a-days, and it finally caught up to me Tuesday evening.

I had thought about doing Yoga X on Friday morning and then X Stretch on Saturday morning, but I never followed through. So, it was X Stretch twelve hours after today’s run.

 

Drill Hall 8:

It was not a full sunrise as I stepped out the door at 0455 this morning, but there was enough light out. No more moonlight runs until fall, I guess.

I didn’t really set a goal this morning, other than finishing the eight miles at a reasonable time and pace. Considering that I hadn’t run since Monday evening, an 11:25 pace wasn’t too bad. No idea how I lost 23 seconds from the mile 3 to mile 4 splits, especially since it was the bottom of the slope and a fairly straightforward turnaround point. When MapMyRun sounded the four mile mark, I kept going towards the entrance to the Drill Hall (NAS Patuxent River gymnasium facility) and turned around there. The second half of the run was mostly a climb from the middle of mile four through mile seven, yet I kept the pace under twelve minutes. I finished the 8.25 miles in 1:34.12 at an 11:25 pace.

 

Interlude:

I have not made an entry in my orange logbook since April 19. With MapMyRun keeping track of my runs, and the P90X Worksheets, I haven’t really had to make any entries, or even bother to make it up. Oh, well.

The Slice House makes the largest pizza in the St. Mary’s County area. The 18″ diameter pizza was dinner last night, lunch today, and will be dinner tonight. Just heat the oven to 350 degrees and stick the slices in for five minutes.

That being said, I need to go back on the keto diet. I only gained two pounds in the last two weeks, but I want to be closer to 200 for the Marine Corps Marathon.

I bit of the sneezes and sniffles, but no COVID-19 symptoms since the shelter in place back in late March. Hope the X Stretch helps me with  recovery though.

The runs are getting longer, which means more recovery time on Sundays. I still need to think about fitting X Stretch into my Sunday routine somehow.

 

X Stretch:

Dear Tony,

You made a good point at the intro to the X Stretch workout: without stretching, your performance plateaus, you get injured, then you get frustrated and then quit. I wasn’t going to completely quit, but I did have to shut down P90X and running for the week.

If nothing else, I think I’ll get a better night’s sleep out of it tonight. But I will make the effort to work in X Stretch on Sundays from now on…provided i don’t die from the longer runs on Sundays.

Back in the saddle, Tony…see you tomorrow morning!

 

Song of the Day: Daft Punk/”One More Time:” It has been this song and Avicii’s “Levels” most of the week. 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.

I always thought that there were two people singing, but it was always Romanthony alternating with himself on the chorus.

Around the World:

“The track is a perfect example of Daft Punk’s sound at it’s most accessible: a post-disco boogie bassline, a minimalist sprinkling of synthetic keyboard melody and a single, naggingly insistent hook. While the vocal performs that role on “Around the World,” elsewhere the same effect is achieved using a wide variety of sounds.

“The music video is meant to be a visual representation of the whole song, with groups of characters representing each instrument.”

MCM2020: Headwind

Zion 6

The sun was out at 0500ish as I started my run, so it looks like I may not need the day-glo running tech shirts that much this summer. No more moonlight runs, though. I can probably retire the running tights as well, with the temperatures in the low 70s as we roll into June.

June already. Time does fly.

I was running not two minutes when I got hit by a headwind. It wasn’t that bad, and it was nice to have breeze this morning, but it was something I was gonna have to work through.

I couldn’t hear my split times, but I was feeling pretty good this morning. No obvious pain anywhere. The twinge in my left kneecap that may have suggested that I’m working P90X too much? Gone by the first quarter-mile. Speaking of P90X, I used at least one particular stretch for each part of my body from the head down: neck/head, arms, chest, hamstrings, quads, back, groin, ankles. I was done in ten minutes and out the door.

Still could use that chocolate milk, though.

The only minor problem was when I made the turnaround at Zion United Methodist Church. I made the second telephone pole after the church, then turned around, but I didn’t hear MapMyRun sound the three-mile mark until a few yards after I turned around. I did hit mile six (and the end of the run) just as I finished the uphill back to Abberly Crest.

Negative splits going out, and negative splits going back. 10:44 pace.

My training for Marine Corps Marathon 2020 is off to a good start.

Also, just short of 15 miles over 4 days. And down two pounds despite breaking my keto the last two days with Pepsi and junk food.

Still mentally negotiating over whether to do Stretch today or not…

Song of the Day: Kenny Loggins/”Danger Zone:” This is more about me binge-watching DCS videos on YouTube that running inspiration, to be honest. And, I guess there’s that Top Gun sequel coming out this summer as well…maybe we’ll get to stream it at home, if the theaters are still closed?

Marine Corps Marathon 2020: The First Steps

0500, Shangri-La Short

The alarm went off at 0430. What I should have done was got up, got dressed, put on my Skin-So-Soft, did some P90X stretches, then headed out the door at 0455 for my 0500 run.

What I did do was stay in bed until 0450, took my damn sweet time getting dressed, blew off stretching, and headed out the door at 0500 for a 0505 run.

Shangri-La was short and sweet. I hadn’t run in a week, so I was not surprised to hear MapMyRun sound off with a 12:40 pace as I crossed the first mile, across the street from the Lexington Park Baptist Church. Since it was basically an out and back run, the second full mile was 11:40. Mostly a downward slope going back to Abberly Crest Apartments.

Not the prettiest or the fastest 2.46 miles ever. However, the journey of a thousand miles starts by taking a few steps. I took about two miles towards that Marine Corps Marathon in October…wherever it may be. Arlington, VA or Lexington Park, MD? Actual or virtual? We shall see.

1200, Yoga X

Dear Tony,

I thought I was doing Core Synergistics today. However, the actual schedule said Yoga X. I discovered this when I broke out the binder at 1130. I had briefly considered switching the Yoga X and Core routines, but then I decided that the workouts were scheduled that way for a reason. For example, Yoga X is scheduled for Monday and Saturday, while Core is scheduled for Tuesday and Friday. At 1145 I decided to go with Yoga X.

While it is a good idea to wear somewhat loose clothing for yoga, I think the big red t-shirt for Yoga X was a bit too big. It makes a better pajama top than an actual workout tee.

Today’s life lessons:

  1. I think I am actually getting closer to doing the plough stance. I can’t stand with my bow-legged legs fully in the air, so it may take a while longer to the do the full moves. I do think I can move my legs around my head.
  2. During the “warrior pose” movements (first 49 minutes of the workout), I actually performed pushups going into downward dog for each of the warrior movements…for the first time ever. Progress is GOOD!
  3. I learned on the royal dance move that I may not need to grab and hold my rear leg, as long as I can hold the back leg n the air.

So I did Yoga X at noon, as opposed to getting up at 0500 or doing it at 1700. Lunch was okay and then I slept for the rest of the afternoon…

Core Synergistics tomorrow at 0500 (Sleep-In Week is OVER!)…see you next time Tony!

Song of the Day…I got nothing folks, sorry.

Virtual Historic Half 2020/St. Mary’s City 13.1

Up at 0400. Ate one tub of yogurt, Chobani Greek Berry Blend. A few gulps of water. Put on the Chafe Paint and the Skin So Soft and got dressed.

0435: Put in the Kenpo X DVD from my P90X set and performed the Saunders cycle stretch, adding a couple of stretches of my own. One 16 0z. bottle of water with a packet of UCan Hydrate. Pack up my FlipBelt with a spare 8-oz water and a Gu.

0456: Out the door, headed for Green meadow Lane, the back street leading into Abberly Crest Apartments. 0500: From MapMyRun: “Begin workout.”

No two hour drive on a Friday or Saturday. No Hilton, or any other hotel. No Runner’s Expo. No checking out the town.

No crowds. No music over the loudspeakers or bands of any kind. No water stations, Port-a-Johns, water stations, or food stops. No aid stations either.

God. Me. Nature, a.k.a the flora and fauna of St. Mary’s County, MD. My MapMyRun app calling out the miles and the splits.

Today, I’ll take it.

 

At the mile marker past the Bay Montessori School, I heard the first split: 11:10. So much for negative splits, I would be lucky to finish with an 11:30 pace.

I never noticed this before, but going down MD-5 into St Mary’s City is mostly a downward slope. I was at 11:01 at 4 miles and a blazing 10:07 as i crossed the second bridge into St. Mary’s City proper.

As I crossed into the parking lot for Historic St. Mary’s City I didn’t hit the six mile mark until a few yards after the HSMC sign. What I was running at that point was the opening/closing quarter- mile of the St. Mary’s Thanksgiving 5K (the race that inspired me to run this route). At the edge of the quarter-mile, I did an extra few yards to make sure I would not finish short of the 13.1 miles. I also took the back exit out rather than just run the same way I entered HSMC.

Mile 9 going out of St. Mary’s City was going to be my first of a few uphills going back home, and the end of my sub-11;30 splits. It was here where I first enforced a basic lesson from P90X: Engage the core; BREATHE.

I didn’t; keep my 11:30 pace, but I did make a better effort to maintain the pace rather than just slow down on the climb.

Before I knew it I was at Mile 11, just outside the Nacht T Farm. Maybe I had a PR, maybe not, but I was feeling good this morning. I made the final downhill from MD-5 and turned onto the uphill going back up Willow Road…my personal Hospital Hill.

Mile 12. Almost done. I started playing Marine Corps running cadences in my head for the first half, and then I focused back on finishing the run, and making sure I had enough of the 0.1 after the 13 miles were done.

On the last downhill towards Green Meadow Lane, I heard MMR announce the magic words: “Total Distance: Thirteen Miles.” I crossed the “finish gate,” which is actually the Green meadow lane street sign next to a STOP sign, and checked MMR: 13.1 on the dot. All done. Normally I run the Three Fireplugs all the way back up to the Abberly Crest main entrance, but I had done what needed to be done.

Virtual Historic half Marathon 2020: Done, Sir, done!

 

Liner notes:

My hamstrings were screaming after i got done running. I took a half-mile cool down lap, got back home, weighed in (down three pounds!) and chugged down some chocolate milk. My legs feel better already!

With no water or food stations available, I mixed a bottle of water with UCan Hydrate. I carried a spare bottle of water, mixed with Mio water enhancer and some pickle juice, and a packet of Gu. I never touched either of them.

Eight weeks of P90X and a fairly-disciplined “keto” diet. I forgot my weight in March, but I’m running an 11;24 pace now. Oh, and 27 miles in four days since last Monday.

The Copper Fit sport sox worked out well today. No slippage, no blisters.

Pho Dee-Lite: Friday night carbo-load spot. Mos’ def.

 

Song(s) of the Day:

Re-Flex/”The Politics of Dancing:”I always liked the underworld revolution vibe from this video in the 80s. All Genius has is lyrics.

Faith No More/”Jizzlobber:” I discovered this album on a deployment to the South Pacific in 1994. C’mon Genius!

Faith No More/”We Care A Lot:”

“We Care a Lot” is a song by Faith No More. There are three versions of the song (including a Mike Patton era ‘Live’ version), all of which have been officially released over three different albums. The original was recorded for and released on the band’s first studio album We Care a Lot. A re-recorded version, with new lyrics was included on the Introduce Yourself album.

“The lyrics of this song are a sarcastic parody of “the popstar posing that accompanied those [Live Aid style] charitable events” and mentions a range of things about which the band sarcastically claims ‘we care a lot’, such as the LAPD, the “food that Live Aid bought”, the Garbage Pail Kids and even The Transformers. The original version, released in 1985, mentions Madonna and Mr. T. This was altered for social relevance in the 1987 re-release. When asked about the song’s meaning, Chuck Mosley replied:

Well, ah Roddy wrote all the things that he cared about and I just wrote the part that says, “it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it” ‘cause I figured that’s just the feeling I got. That’s the only thing I submitted. That, and the newer lyrics in the updated version.

Marathon Training During COVID-19: Monday Dual

P90X, Week 6/Day 36

Dear Tony,

Another session of Core Synergistics was put in the books at 0610 this morning. I’m slowly but surely getting better at the routines, if you can discern the chicken scratchings on my P90X worksheets.

Speaking of those…time to print up some more!

I am seriously performing more reps and doing them better (engage the core! BREATHE!), and making it all the way through the timed routines, even if I’m losing count or trying to catch up to count them.

I need to ditch the bands on the Squat X-press; I’m not sure I’m getting the full range of motion. Same for the bend and reach. Maybe time to spring for some dumbbells, since stores are starting to ship stuff again.

But, yeah…things are getting better. Starting another week of work before the Virtual Half next Sunday.

See you next time, Tony…0500 for sure (Cardio X)!

 

Interlude, two hours before the run

So after my second attempt, I finally got a decent reading on my at-home heart rate monitor.

Confirmed my appointment with my endocrinologist on May 27. Going to do it via video. Still have to make a trip to get my bloodwork on the Friday before.

The only “binging” I am doing is binge-PT…mostly when I have two-a-days when I have P90X in the morning and runs in the late afternoon. I also have two-a-days when I miss a P90X workout and I make it up the next day.

Not really binge-watching anything. The network news show and networks are all useless; it’s all about laying blame and not finding solutions. I’m not into endless replays of old MLB/NFL/whatever. Not really into “The Last Dance,” because I know how it ends: Jerry Krause running Phil Jackson out of town after he served as head coach for the six Bulls titles. I love Colin Cowherd and Jim Rome; I like most of ESPN’s sports talk shows (sorry, Get Up!)…but sorry: no live sports, no me gusta.

I haven’t even gotten around to attempting to load my Game_run SD file for my Atari Flashback 9.

But I’ve got an 11:30 mile pace over the last month…so I’ve got that going for me!

 

Superwillow 6

A day and a half late…and the fastest pace of the year.

Now, the run to St. Mary’s City and back will be more than double the length and have a few more elevation changes, and the last 1.5 of Sunday’s run will be much more difficult.

Trying to maintain today’s pace over 26 miles? Yeah, good luck with that.

That being said, I really can’t argue with knocking out an 11:05 pace today. Late afternoon, two meals and half a protein bar in my system (and not that much water), and I still run like I’ve been shot out of a cannon. Not to mention the pauses at the southern and northern intersections of the run, with six o’clock traffic about. Oh, and I hit a headwind on both halves of the run.

Oh, and top of that, technically I missed two of my three runs last week, after cranking out 21 miles in seven days the week prior.

Eventually I will have to shift to running exclusively in the morning, if/when the summer weather gets much warmer. But right now, I am not showing any ill effects of switching from a gym workout to P90X. In fact, I have done more work with P90X in the last six weeks than I have from February through the end of March.

Also, considering that I have run far, far away from my “keto” diet in the last two weeks (and gained three pounds in that time) I am surprised that I am in such good running form. I did finally get to use my Shirt subscription to order some groceries today, so I will be back to my keto diet for this week.

 

Song of the Day: “Yakety Sax” by “Spider” Rich and Boots Randolph. Take it away, Wiki.

Good night, Benny Hill…wherever you are.