Tag Archives: diet

MCM 2019: Ash Wednesday + 3

Today was my longest session at the gym (aka The Valley) in six months, courtesy of my laziness on As Wednesday.

I woke to the 0430 alarm and it was cold as hell outside. Where was this early spring that Puxnhatawney Phil spoke of over a month ago? No idea. Anyway, I got dressed and meandered about 20 steps past the stairway outside my apartment before saying “Screw this, I’ll come home and work out.” So, I had my breakfast and coffee and got a ride in to work. I even got home early because my friend had to leave for the Ash Wednesday service at his church. Having got home about 20 after 4, i resolved to head to the gym at 5:30 for my circuit course workout. I left about five to six, and when i got to The Valley it was, for such a small gym, kind of packed. When I saw “packed” I meant that there was one older gentleman on of the ellipticals and two other people using machines that I use for my circuit course. I was not in the mood for waiting or trying to work in with others, so it was back to the apartment to see how I would make up the workout.

Thursday morning I made up the circuit course, and Friday I did the elliptical. This morning, I did a circuit course and then hit the elliptical to properly complete my workout week.

Since it was Saturday morning, I had no rush to answer the 0430 alarm, I decided that since NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports One had English Premier League and German Bundesliga games on (respectively) I decided to have some Eurpoean club soccer with my workout. I was watching Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg on FS1; Bayern scored to make it 3-0 as I was finishing my workout and leaving the gym.

I share the workout facilities with other tenants who pay rent just as I do, so yes, I have to share the gym. I do have problems when other tenants let their kids on the ellipticals, spinners (think Peloton), and workout machines without proper supervision…especially when grown-ups are patiently waiting to get their workouts in. Watching TV in the gym is a privilege and not necessarily a right, I get it. That doesn’t justify kids (or non-tech-savvy adults) messing with the remote controls other than changing the channel. I could also do without playing hide-and-seek with the remotes before I start my session.

I’m sure there are rules on gym etiquette posted in each of the three workout facilities at Abberly Crest. There are also signs on the property about picking up after your pets, but then you see spoiled grass where said pets are allowed to relieve themselves, so…there’s that.

Update on March Sadness: My beloved Bradley Braves lost their season finale at Loyola of Chicago last Saturday night. I watched that game on tv as a precursor to Los Angeles vs. Chicago on MLS Opening Night. The Braves were summarily blown out by the host Ramblers to end the first half down by nineteen points, and they never recovered. However, I didn’t;t check the final Missouri Valley Conference standings until this morning, when I found out results had broken their way for them to finish fifth in the conference standings. Last night they beat Missouri State to get a semifinal round matchup…with Loyola of Chicago.

Go, Braves, go…that is all.

In regards to Ash Wednesday:

My blood glucose readings have sucked lately, and I don’t want to go back on insulin (or any more medications) unless I really have to. Even though I am nowhere near Catholic, I have decided to make some sacrifices for Lent.

Until after Easter, I have barred myself from meals and Starbucks from the on-site cafe’ where I work. I plan to substitute my $4 coffees and $8 lunches with SoBe water (or whatever bottled water I can purchase or bring to work).

I don’t plan on sacrificing my conditioning; in fact, starting Monday I am increasing all of my weights on the circuit course routines and upping my elliptical time to 47 minutes-45 minute workouts plus 2 minutes cool down. Thirty-six days until I run my first road race of the season, Hospice of St. Mary’s 5K. That being said, I would love it if the weather got more sunny and less rainy between now and then.

On Lent: The day of Lent, I posed the question on the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K page about “What are you runners giving up for Lent?” with the thought that runners in the pre-season (like me) or others in their running/training cycle have been thinking of ‘sacrificing’ for the next 40 days. On Thursday night, I was duly informed by my notifications that the admins had pulled my post. So, sometime today or tomorrow I need ro review the site’s policies and try to find out why my post had been pulled before picking a fight with the admins. I had been already asked to stop posting YouTube music videos and my blog on their site; now it’s time to politely ask the question,”Okay, who is really being the asshole here?”

MCM Rush Registration in ten days.

Song of the Day: Songs from EA Sports FIFA Game Soundtracks have been in my YouTube rotation the last few days. A few gems: Peter, Bjorn and John: Young Folks. Doves: Black and White Town, and one of my favorites EVER, BLK JKS: Lakeside.

To be honest I can’t fully explain how or why I like these songs or what they would have to do with soccer. In my opinion, these songs and others were selected by the FIFA game producers…

  1. By personal preference, soccer notwithstanding
  2. To help, in some way, promote smaller bands at alternate/independent recording labels,
  3. As pregame/postgame enjoyment, “stadium music” for the FIFA players
  4. Or just for the sheer heck of it.

Speaking of #4…I don’t pick up my phone in the daylight either.


Arctic Blast 2019: Seasoning

The so-called “arctic blast” never really showed up, although it was the usual cold and windy Pax River January day today.

Apparently there is this “football tournament on” this evening, but as my Bears were eliminated from the competition two weeks ago, I’m not really interested. Today I spent time preparing for tomorrow’s breakfast of shakshuka, which is a North African dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and spices. Shakshuka is supposedly best cooked in a cast iron skillet; however, mine has been gently oxidizing in my lower cupboard for about eighteen months and it needed some love.

So today, rather than football, I seasoned my cast iron skillet.

After shopping for my ingredients for tomorrow’s shakshuka, I  put everything away except for my Brillo pads which I would need to clean my skillet. First I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Next I put a bath towel in the sink, so as not to scratch it while cleaning the skillet. I needed four Brillo pads to get rid of as much of the rust and dirt that covered the “gently used” skillet. I say gently used because I think I cooked one meal with it, washed it, then put it away. After seeing it turn a dark hunter’s orange, I put off using it for a while. I had heard of “seasoning’ cast iron skillets, but only gained confidence after watching a video from Martha Stewart.

After washing out the rust and completely drying it. I applied two coats of Crisco shortening all over the skillet: inside the pan and out on the bottom, plus the handles. Basically I covered every square inch of the pan with Crisco…twice. I put the skillet bottoms up on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and put it in the oven to bake for two hours. I set it to back about 3:05, and it finished at 5:05. Martha said to take the pan out of the oven when it has cooled off, so I took a nap…and took it out of the oven at ten ’til nine.

My cast-iron skillet looks and feels a lot better than when I last put it away so long ago. Phase one of the shakshuka project is complete. Only thing is I couldn’t find any good French bread, so i will have to settle for good old Wax-Mart Texas Toast.

Thank you, Martha.

Song of the Day: I’ve been on a Beatles kick on YouTube for the last couple of days, but that’s kind of a cliche’. I know I’ve done SOTDs for Cream, so I reach into my CD collection and pull out…drum roll, please…

The GoGos! Everybody’s favorite 80s all-girl band! “Our Lips are Sealed” would be everybody’s go-to choice, but “Get Up and Go” and “Head Over Heels” showed they could really rock. “Turn to You” was a cute video…which YouTube does not have, not even on the GoGos official channel. Why?

Tomorrow: SHAKSHUKA!!! Shakshukashakshuka

Thank God and WordPress for hyperlinks.

MCM 2018: Outbrief

It is 0905 on Sunday morning as I write this.  I ran and finished the 43rd Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday, and I am slept in this Sunday. I don’t see much running on the schedule except to prepare for the St Mary’s Turkey Trot on November 17th.

So, with no more long distance running on the schedule, this is a good time to reflect on what I learned in this, my fourth full year of running since 2014. Last year, 2017, I didn’t run the marathon and therefore, didn’t train for anything, so last year doesn’t count.

  1. I don’t know the official/proper name for the yoga stretch known as the Japanese ham sandwich, but it was a great help to my pre- and post run stretching routine. Stretched out my back  the backs of my legs.
  2. In the aftermath of my groin injury, I added a groin stretch as well.
  3. Check the elevation changes before you run! If there are more elevation changes early, don’t work that part of the run so hard; you might not have anything left for the rest of the run.
  4. Need more bananas for pre-and post run nutrition. Also, more sodium. My legs kind of gave out on me at the MCM, and I took a lot longer to heal than I should have this year. Most of that was because I barely ate/drank anything of subsistence after the marathon, and thus my legs were still sore until Tuesday afternoon.
  5. Chocolate mile for the post-run routine! I don’t know the nutritious benefits, and maybe it’s just comfort food, but damn I loved gulping down some of the brown stuff!
  6. Epsom salt bath: good. Whirlpool: better…IF you can get one (Hilton Garden Inns, y’all).
  7. I am an overpronator with heavy emphasis on my right side. Based on the analysis, I purchased Brooks Ravenna 9s at the MCM Health and Fitness Expo this year. They will sit in reserve until next August.
  8. Head-up/eyes up on the uphills, work the limbs and stride on the downhills.
  9. Take time to re-start your smartphone for the MapMyRun app to reduce the possibility of the GPS cutting out during your run.
  10. Between adjusting your smartphone, the wrist holster, and starting/stopping the app, subtract about a minute from your final run time (or just check your wristwatch).

So what does the future hold? Probably some light exercise during the holidays, then maybe re-starting conditioning in February (but no later than March 1). I am going to start the Intermediate Six Month marathon training plan in April, with the intent of running a couple of half-marathons or maybe one full marathon before the MCM next year. Circuit course will be light to moderate weights (two cycles) in March and April, four cycles of moderate to progressively heavier weights May through August, maintenance in September and tapering off a month before the MCM in October.

Song of the Day: “Strange Brew”/Cream. Courtesy of MTVs’ Closet Classics video mini-block, this was my introduction to the supergroup of Eric Clapton on guitars, bassist Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker pounding the skins. Eric Clapton made his name with the Yardbirds, but I need to find out how the rhythm section (Meesrs. Baker and Bruce) got their reputation so that Cream could be known as a “supergroup.”

MCM 2018/T-minus 7:Shutdown

Yesterday, I applied some Icy Hot to my affected right thigh, and managed to get some of it..where I wasn’t supposed to put it. Sadly it seems the Icy Hot only affected…THAT area (OWWW). My right thigh didn’t get any better, so I made the decision yesterday to shut down the rest of my marathon training until next Thursday. This gives me seven calendar days off to heal.

Next Thursday I plan to break in my new shoes, which I am going shopping for this afternoon. Looking at a minimum 5 to 6 mile run to “properly” break them in. Only decision is where and when. I am probably not going to get a new roommate between now and Monday, when I need to lock in my reservation at the hotel where I am staying.

Tomorrow is when I will finalize all my travel/hotel plans for MCM Weekend, including rental car. Not gonna be a cheap weekend as it stands right now.

On the brighter side of things, I plan to let my “inner chef” out next weekend. I’d like to make a weekend’s supply of my chorizo chili recipe backed up with rice. I’d also like to try this shredded beef taco recipe, including the corn tortilla shells, that I saw on YouTube. If I can’t run well, at least I will be able to eat well.

The bad part about shutting down a week before the marathon is that I’m losing at lot of the momentum I had coming into the last week. Also, no guarantee that I’m not going to be fully healed on Thursday, let alone the MCM next Sunday. The good part: guilt-free sleeping in for the rest of the time until MCM Sunday.

Song of the Day: “The Fall”/Gary Numan. He has been one of the defining figures of the nNew Wave movement in popular music, but I have always known him for “Down in the Park (SOTD #2)” and Cars (SOTD from long ago, but not today). I just discovered this song today, a good liver performance. I also recommend any live versions of “DitP.”


MCM 2018/T-minus 36:Pace

Maybe not so much brie, pepperoni, and Club cracker mini-sandwiches before bed will help prevent me from having to take a dump five minutes before I have to start my runs.

Other than that, another good day of running is in the books. Got up at 0430 to run the HWY-5/iStorage 4 miler this morning. Summer has officially gone and has taken the early morning sunrises with her, but he has also taken the humidity as well. Oh, and I really do miss the full moon when I run (dark as heck out there).

I forgot to charge my cell phone  before going to bed, so my phone was dead. No MapMyRun this morning, so it was just going to be the trusty stopwatch today. Final time after 4 miles: 43;11 for a 10:47 pace. Not bad for a course with a fair amount of inclines/declines for 4 miles.

I am just about ready for the 10-miler on Sunday, just have to draw it up on MMR. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought enough Gu and Nuun tabs for the next two weeks’ worth of running. I also need to start watching the wear and tear on my shoe treads; my shoes will be about three month’s old on MCM day. Not sure if two weeks before the marathon and in the downside of training is a good time to buy and break in new running shoes.

I am going to try going on a diet over the last two weeks of September, I need to cut a little weight.

Song of the Day: 97.7 The Rocket was in high gear this morning, playing “Paranoid”/Black Sabbath just before I started stretching and “Fat Bottomed Girls”/Queen just before I hit the road. Can’t believe Ozzy Osbourne is still touring after all these years.

MCM 2018: T minus 99/Deluge

On my Friday morning short timed run, I pulled a muscle in my left thigh. Put some Icy hot on it and used a therapy roller on it Friday and Saturday, but it did;t really heal like zi thought it would.

Today I went to Naval Air Station Patuxent River to run a course I call the NAVAIR/NAWCAD Half. I call it that because the last three mile loop (of the thirteen miles, hence,”Half”) runs in front of the NAVAIR headquarters and NAWCAD buildings on base. Anyway, I got on base about ten minutes until five in the morning. I stretched out, turned on my MapMyRun app on my smartphone, reset my handheld timer/pedometer…then ran about q quarter of a mile before my still-sore right thigh began singing in pain. No way was I gonna do that for thirteen miles, so I hobbled back to the car and called it a day.

First bummer: after skipping a bunch of workouts in the last two weeks of June, I set a goal of completing every gym workout (Tue/Thur/Sat) and every training run (short runs on Wed/Fri and the long run on Sunday morning) for the month of July. If I accomplished my goal, I would take a mini-vacation to Washington, DC and run the National Mall for my training run (5~6 mi.). Depending on how I feel and how much money I really have (planning on going home for my thirty-year high school reunion in August), I may go anyway.

Second bummer: My MapMy Run app. I downloaded it to get a more accurate milage on when and where i was running. In the ten days and five training runs I have done, I have only successfully synced two runs. The first run was a Friday afternoon three-miler, but for some reason the app said I ran NINETEEN MILES. The time was also about ten minutes less that what i actually ran. The second run (Sheetz run, 8 miles0 was damn near perfect, with the app calling out my mileage every mile, plotting/mapping my course, and successfully sync it to my profile after the run was over. I ran on Wednesday and Friday this week, plus tried mapping out my NAVAIR/NAWCAD run so I could set out my water points (three 4oz. bottle of water mixed with Mio sports additive) every four miles, MapMyRun has not synced any one of those runs, to also include mapping out a short drive up and down Willows Road, the street outside the apartment complex where I live.

Third bummer: I have put myself medically down until at least Friday this week, when I will take a run to see if I have healed enough to run. That means my off day on Monday will be extended to the two gym workouts on Tue./Thu and my Wednesday short untimed run. I especially don’t like missing the gym time because I need that to keep building the muscles/ligaments/cartilage in my legs so I don’t spend the Marine Corps Marathon doing the “Marine Corps shuffle,” which means barely moving above a jog for twenty-six miles.

My progress up to this point was good. I have been running at an 11:30~12:30 mile pace this month, and my legs were feeling alright after all my runs. I had no indications of any cartilage damage in either of my kneecaps, especially my left knee that hobbled me for the 2016 MCM. I am hoping I can rest and heal up quickly so can get my momentum back.

For this last full week of July (22-28 July) I propose to keep lunch and dinner to on 3 oz. Dole fruit cup, a healthy Choice Steamer meal, and one Chobani Black Cherry yogurt. Swapping my lunch and dinner sodas for water or iced tea. If I can’t exercise, maybe I can shake up my diet and lose a pound or two that way; my weight has plateaued around 205 lbs. this month.

While MapMyRun the smartphone app has become useless, MapMyRun the website on my iMac has shown some value. I have been able to plot my usual running routes on the computer and get a better idea of how long my runs actually are. For example, after plotting my five-mile course from Abberly Crest (my apartment house) to the NAS Gate 1 and back, I found out i was running at 5.3 miles instead of an exact five. Maybe cut out running all the way to the gate guard shack and just run to the corner outside the gate?

Lastly, as you can see, i am back to doing this again. With 99 days to go until the MCM, I decided to start this up one more time to write/vent/cheer about how my train is going. My intent is to do one post every day until the MCM (or at least up until the Thursday morning I leave for Roslyn, VA, where I am staying for the MCM).

Enough for now, see y’all tomorrow.

One Week: Day Six

I spent most of the day doing the audit for Patuxent River Detachment 1305, Marine Corps League (I am Adjutant Paymaster, the dude who handles the paperwork, the books and the money), so I got done about 3 p.m. I got a late lunch at Olive Garden. I wanted to do a pasta carb-load, but I got the appetizer sampler instead: cheese-stuffed mushrooms, fried calamari, and toasted meat ravioli. Not a whole lot of pasta, but enough to make me want to take a nap, which I did after heading to the NAS Commissary to get water and supplies for tomorrow’s run.

Napped from 5 to 7. Mistake because I realized i hadn’t done my Cycle II workout for the day. I was also dangerously inside that 12 hour window where I’m not supposed to work out before I run. I made a command decision to do a short workout at one of my apartment complex’s workout sites. I tried to take it easy on the legs, since I had to run 12 miles in about nine hours’ time.

I mapped out where to put my little 8 oz. bottles of Mio water. I learned this last year while getting my fuel/water game down. Every four miles I drink an 8 0z bottle of water, which has two “squeezes” of Mio Fit (w/the B vitamins). I’m also supposed to take a shot of Gu with the water, so I may need to head down to Dick’s Sporting Goods tonight. Meanwhile I have my two water bottles at the 4 and 8 mile points, which are just about across the street from each other.

I’m pretty excited about the course, which is a six-mile loop from the Abberly Crest back driveway to St. Mary’s City, to the Visitor’s Center entrance sign and back. It’s got a few good hills, but nothing too steep.

It’s been an okay week. I made all of my runs and gym workouts, but I really screwed up with all the soda from the potluck. Oh, well, we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

First quarter moon out tonight. I hope it’s clear tomorrow morning when I start the run.

We’ll talk more later…


One Week: Day Four

Good news first: first fartlek of the year is in the books…YAAY!

A fartlek, for me is pace training. I picked it up from my six-month marathon training program when I was training for my first marathon in 2014. Basically, it’s a five minute warm-up jog, followed by four minutes of running at 70% of your normal running  speed, then a minute jog. After 30-45 minutes of this, it’s a five minute cool-down. I did the half hour fartlek today.

I also started planning for my long runs for the rest of this month and my half-and-full marathon schedule for later into the summer. My goal is to run a half marathon and a full marathon in August, September and October. October is when I want to run the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half before I taper for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Finding half and fulls is going to be more of a challenge than I thought; I normally like to keep the travel within Maryland. My plans usually involve driving up to the event on Saturday afternoon, running on Sunday, then driving back on Monday morning. Unfortunately there’s some slim pickings this year for long distance races in Maryland, so I might have to branch out to Virginia or DC. Bit of a matter of logistics and money for me.

Bad news: I broke my diet. It was a previously planned event, though: our workplace hosted a potluck. Yours truly bought four bottles of soda (SACRILEGE!!!) and two more liters of sweet and unsweet iced tea, plus two packages of King’s Hawaiian hamburger buns. I also brought a hotplate and a skillet to toast the buns for the pulled pork that one of my supervisors brought for the lunch.

Sooo…it was pulled pork, and Popeye’s Chicken…and four different kinds of salad…and Fillipino dishes of pancit and lumpia…and a gorgeous white cake from Wlildewoode bakery that I was just not gonna pass up.

I spent the afternoon drinking as much water as I could (including one last 8 oz. in a 12 oz. cup of coffee).

Oh, by the way: I took home a plate from the potluck…to include one last piece of that cake.

Last bit of bad news: WordPress is charging $99/year for me to upgrade my current blog package, to include the privilege of posting videos. I will have to think about this and see where I can squeeze it into my budget. I kind of miss posting videos of songs that I like; it gives the blog a little bit more of my personality.

Dinner calls (gotta get that ‘protein!’). More tomorrow.

Potbelly/Hooptie/Judas Priest

I got home at 10:00 p.m. last night and finished off the rib meat from Sunday with some helpings of deviled egg potato salad. Bad move for getting up at 0430 for a five mile run at 0500.

Too bloated, too sore, whatever…by the time I was halfway to the corner of Shangri-La and Great Mills Road, I was already set on chucking the planned run to NAS Pax River Gate 1 and back (5 miles, by my odometer) and just going on a short Willow to Shangri-La loop.

Once again…never run on an overfilled stomach.

Now my next three short runs over the next two weeks will be six milers. They will either be Willow Road Super Sixers (combining both Willow Road Loops) or the NAS 10K courses (Beach House or Buse/Tate/Shaw Out and Back). Driving back home in a foggy car after 0600 doesn’t sound so hot, so I may end up doing Super Sixers for the next three runs.

Speaking of the car…sometime in the last three days, something hit my windshield. When I got in my car to go to lunch, I peered at the right side of my windshield and saw a six-inch crack.

Last straw: broken. After the New year, I’m shopping for a new car.

Frankly the car is falling apart as I speak. The A/C is intermittent, so is the turn signal lever, the latch in the driver’s side door is broken, the fuel light is burnt out, and I think I’m either out of radiator fluid or the radiator is busted because my car is running hot as hell (pinging the H in the car temp gauge).

Video time!

Heard this on the radio last night:

Hey, why not? Judas Priest at the hump day!

My favorite Priest song…

Week 9 Review: Have a Cigar!

Completed a nine mile run…and apparently the WRONG one, after looking at my schedule. I was supposed to do the NAS Pax River Triathlon course (first 4.5 miles of the bike course), but did an extended Buse/Tate/Shaw route instead. However, I did get a nice view of the base fishing pier at the 4.5 mile turnaround point. Oh well.

Near the seven mile point, I felt a twinge in the arch of my foot. I was planning to buy some new shoes anyway, but for me that signaled that this was the last run I would be doing in this pair of shoes. I’m going to put some topical analgesic on it later and hope for the best in the meantime. I also think I need some thicker lubricant for my nether regions; the chafing was not as bad as it was last week, but it’s still there. Medicated Gold Bond, perhaps? 

Just got off the scales…two more pounds. Yay.

The running is coming along; I’m finishing every run, and now I’m focusing on maintaining a steady pace that can carry me through the Marathon. Probably this month is a good time to start trying to set a pace that will get me through the bridge at the Marine Corps Marathon. Long story short: you have to be able to make it to the 20 mile mark in a set time, so you have a shot a completing the MCM in five hours. If you don’t make it to the 20 mile in time, they have to pull you off the course.

Sooo…work was okay, school was s split down the middle (passed ART 1030 but screwed up PBL 115), and the Poker Run was a wash, so we had to reschedule it for the fall. But Team yankee qualified for the knockout round in the World Cup…’MERICA!!!

I am going to Joe’s Crab Shack for one last meal before diving into the training diet for the month of July. After today, I need to seriously cut down on a lot of junk. I also need to (finally) work some core/abs work into my circuit courses. I’m losing weight but I still look like I’m pregnant (especially when I do incline bicep curls…GUUHH!!!

Heard this one from the Dark Side of the Moon as I was driving away from the running course…

Whoops! The wasn’t from DSoTM…but here’s another one from that album (Wish You Were Here)…