Tag Archives: Family

MCM 2019: Exodus

As I sit here blogging on a second straight UNSCHEDULED day off (such a lazy bastard), a few notes on my week back home in Peoria, IL:

I took last week off to go home to Peoria to help my sister move from our home of 31 years to an apartment a half mile down the street. I didn’t take the week off from my marathon training, rather I finally upped the road mileage this week. However, I was home for my sister, so helping her out came first.

I flew home last Monday night and after sleeping in, got to work late Tuesday morning. I set up a good schedule: Sleep until 0900 or so, get dressed in work attire, work at the house and move stuff until she had to go to work at 2:00 PM, then get a light, late lunch and either run or go to Landmark health and Fitness around 4:00-ish. Everything actually got done.

The move was bittersweet, but necessary. It was home ever since I came home from Christmas leave in 1988. Lots of good Christmases and summers at home over all that time. There is a little room in the house where my mother passed away nearly three years ago; I refer to it to this day as “my mother’s last way station before she went to heaven.” I just realized I forgot to tape a couple pictures of my late father and mother in that room before I left.

I did get to take a small cupful of my parents’ ashes and spread them around the three homes in Peoria. Early Sunday morning, I got up to the house one last time. I took a spoonful and a half from each of my parents’ urns, put them in a small glass, then mixed them together.  The first sprinkle went out in the front yard. I wanted to sit in the front porch swing one last time, but the weather that morning wasn’t pleasant and the seats were wet.

I then drove to the south end of Peoria and spread their ashes in the yards of the two places where we lived during my childhood; 309 South Charlton and 309 South Webster. Actually I spread ashes in the vacant lot where 309 Webster once stood. Having said my final goodbye to my parents and my Peoria homes, I went back to my sister’s apartment to pack for the flight home.

Most of my runs were up and down North Sterling Avenue, and of my running was done in the afternoons since the weather was unseasonably cool. Not much sunshine that week, but the rain was pretty much kept at bay. On Tuesday, I went north towards War Memorial Drive running a most flat route up to the Glen Hollow Shopping Center before turning home. On Thursday, I took Sterling south towards Farmington Road and turning around at Laura Bradley Park. The big difference on this route was the downhill starting at the intersection of Sterling and West Nebraska Avenue, it’s about a quarter mile decline going down, and a good quarter mile climb on the return. I think the climb back dropped my run pace for the day.

Although the weather was just right for running, there was the issue of traffic. My runs were around the afternoon drive time, which meant I had to keep and eye and an ear for traffic. This was a big thing on the Sterling south run, where I had to make a trick crossing at the corner of Sterling and Farmington Road, where there are no real crosswalks and traffic coming from both directions.

Saturday afternoon was my longest run of the year so far. I took the Sterling south towards Farmington Road, taking Farmington and a brief climb towards West Main Street towards Bradley University. I noticed a sizable crowd at the Bradley Convention Center, and mistook it for the graduation ceremonies (it was their annual Mother’s Day celebration). I took Main Street to a rolling University Street. When I reached Forest Hill, I took it straight to my sister’s apartment.

My running paces this week dropped from 11:31 on Tuesday to 11:43 on Thursday, then 12:02 on Saturday. I could point to my running later in the day and with some food in my stomach, or my choice of pacing myself. That being said, it was the second week of May and at least the weather was good, so it’s not worth sweating over the pace right now.

UEFA Champions League: I didn’t get to see Liverpool’s stunning comeback over Barcelona on Tuesday. I did get to see the second half of Tottenham rallying to beat Ajax, watching the game at Round 1 Amusement Center instead of making the Uber trip to Buffalo Wild Wings.

I am so done with Peoria’s CityLink mass transit system. After my Friday workout, I made the twenty minute walk home from Landmark to my sister’s new apartment. I didn’t see a bus until I was at the last light before home.

The one sad part about my moving experience: my photos from my deployment to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm were confirmed lost for all time. L looked in every chest of drawers, closet and even the storage tubs in the garage.

From the layover in Charlotte, NC on, the trip home sucked. I chipped a sizable hole in one of my molars while chewing a piece of gum. My flight back to Baltimore was delayed by an hour and a half, meaning I didn’t land until 9:30. When I got on the ground, it took a half hour for them to unload our luggage. I guess I caught the local Uber at Baltimore Washington International Airport at a surge because my two hour ride home cost me [REDACTED]. Finally it was raining when I finally made it back home to Lexington Park, MD.

Health Issues: Rash on neck from one of my older tech shirts, which is now too small for me to wear comfortably (chaffed too much on the Tuesday run). Heat rashes on both my arms. Chipped molar. Big toenails growing weirdly. But my beard is coming in nicely, though. But my beard is coming in nicely though.

Going home last week was a good thing for me. I got to spend time with my sister and help her move into her new place, while closing down the old home one last time. I guess the big thing was putting an important part of my past behind me.

Sorry, no SOTD tonight, either.

Post script: Atari VCS updates. NO SD CARD SLOT and delayed until end of 2019. Ruh-roh.


MCM 2018/T-minus 72: Reunion

Light circuit course cancelled for the second straight week.

Spent the last half-hour plotting the run course for tomorrow. I plotted two of them, and the one I am taking will be the route that goes by my high school alma mater, Richwoods Community High School of Peoria, IL. In honor of my 30-year high school reunion (happening tonight) I will run by the building and take an honorary 4 mile mark Mio water drink. I will be lucky to carry my 20 oz. bottle of Mio water and my smartphone, which will be running the MapMyRun app, so no in-run photos of the old alma mater will be taken.

I have a couple of 4-milers this week, I wonder if I can find my old high school cross country team’s routes on line?

My runs were good this week, but I only did one circuit course; will my leg muscles and knee cartilage hold up as I venture into the long-run portion of my training schedule? Now I get to see if my one-month conditioning schedule (March) will hold up against my weight training no-shows. We shall see.

I need to set the alarm for tomorrow morning so I can do all my pre-run stuff.

Song of the Day: Went to look for Billboard’s Top 10 for the week I graduated high school. Yipes. Okay, out oh the BBTop10, the No. 1 song was George Michael’s “One More Try.” Let’s just say his solo career got much better from that point on…

Of the other nine songs, only “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz would be the only thing that would go on any of my personal mixtapes/mix CDs/playlists. JHJ’s song made it to No.2…and then we never heard from them again.

Of the BBTop100, “Tall Cool One” by Robert Plant, which he shamelessly rips off parts from one of his Led Zeppelin songs, is pretty much the best of a mediocre lot.

High School Reunion officially kicks off in 43 minutes…see y’all tomorrow.

MCM 2018/T-minus 73: Home

Everything went smooth today.

5-miler at 11:07 pace? Check.

Got picked up by Uber driver and made the airport on time? Check.

Mostly uneventful flight home? BWI to Atlanta was good. Atlanta to Peoria was a half hour late and had minimal air conditioning for the flight.

Portillo’s for dinner? Check.

Logged into WordPress so I can do my blog? Check.

Song of the Day: “Blue Monday.” One song by New Order, three covers:

First cover by 90s nu-metal band Orgy. Added guitar crunch and goth synthesizer. Guitar riffs before the chorus are awesome.

Second cover by Bythroniaid Male Voice Choir. This version was commissioned for the Festival No. 6 Music Festival in Portmeirion, UK. Male voices backed by piano and full orchestra. Go YouTube it.

Third version by Orkestra Obsolete, commissioned by BBC Arts. Musicians using instruments from the 1930s and 1940s. Again, go YouTube it.

MCM 2018/T-minus 75:Flight

So it looks like I am going home to Peoria, IL this weekend for my 30-year class reunion. Booked the flight this afternoon, and now all I need is a ride to and from Baltimore BWI Airport this Friday and next. Maybe if I have enough money left I can afford a hotel room for my Mount Vernon Trail run in two weeks? We’ll see.

The run this morning wasn’t too bad considering I finished working out around 8:00 p.m., went to bed around 11:30 p.m. and went running at 5:00 a.m. I was pretty sore before I started the run, but I worked my way through it. No pedometer/stopwatch this morning though.

I am not sure if I will be able to work out over the next two days. Thursday I have to move as much junk out of my hotel room as possible (leaving Friday morning), either find my driver’s license or spend a few hours at the DMV getting a new one, send my sister some money, get my diabetic testing kit which I left at work today, MAYBE squeeze in two set heavy workout followed by a 45-min. fartlek, arrange a ride to/from BWI with an Uber driver…

Allegedly I’m on vacation, starting tomorrow. Okay…

The Friday run MIGHT happen, if I decide to get up early enough and finish quick enough, preferably with enough time to cool off, shower, and get dressed. Gym workouts next week are an issue in doubt, unless I can find a gym close enough that does day passes. We shall see…

But I am going home, though…so that’s good.

Song of the day: “Sail”/AWOLNation: I bet I picked this song already, I lost track after last Sunday. This was another pleasant surprise on a Sunday night trip back from Arby’s. Tell the truth, I can’t really describe how I come to like some of these songs. There is a common something about a song like this…

“Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You”/Bee Gees: Yes THOSE Bee Gees. Barry, Robin, Maurice, plus two other dudes whose names I don’t know and I’m too lazy too look up at 10:00 p.m. Also, MELLOTRON. When I was a lot younger, I mocked the Bee Gees after the disco thing went away. I bought the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack album a few years ago, and damn if it’s not a good album. And the bee gees are a lot better than the dreck that passes for pop music these days.

Also…MELLOTRON. YouTube it.


MCM 2018/T-minus 88: #TBT

Random notes on this circuit/fartlek Thursday:

I think the rain is saving itself for the night time hours here in southern Maryland. It’s gone back to being hot and muggy during the day.

No fartlek this week; thirty-minute session on the elliptical was on the schedule today.

This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the movie theater release of “Animal House” and the thirty-four year anniversary of the release of “Revenge of the Nerds.” Given today’s social justice warrior/politically correct culture on today’s college campuses, good luck trying to re-boot either of these movies today. However, if you got a really good writer and director team (where have you gone, John Landis and Mel Brooks?) you could set up a major slapstick movie pitting the slobs of Delta Tau Chi (Animal House) and the nerds of Lambda Lambda Lambda (ROTN) versus the PCSJW students and faculty of (insert fictional college here).

Kind of pre-packing for my Saturday trip to DC. Already have my running gear picked out: my newly embroidered MCM shirt with the Marine Corps emblem on the left breast and the Marine Corps League emblem on the right. Also wearing a pair of bright red and gold-trimmed running shorts I purchased many years ago. Still waiting for my compression copper socks to get out of the dryer, though.

I’m running Friday and Sunday, weather be damned.

On the schedule for tomorrow: semi-annual visit to my financial planner, haircut and beard trim at Sport Cuts (so long, alleged afro that I have been trying to grow since April), make travel plans for August (high school reunion/visit sister and brother) and October (Marine Corps Marathon).

I can’t post videos anymore, but I can list “Song(s) of the Day.”

8/2/18 SOTD: “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights or the Isley Brothers; “Photograph” by Def Leppard; “Wasting” by The Soft Moon.

Thirty more years, Mr. Limbaugh!!!

Mother’s Day on the National Mall

Today I completed Week 2 of my six month Marine Corps Marathon training with a run down the National Mall.

I warmed up with a casual stroll down 17th Street Northwest to the C&O Station in the Mall. Started at C&O on Constitution to the Lincoln Memorial. Looped in front of the Memorial and ran down Independence Ave all the way to the front loop in front of the U.S. Capitol. From the Capital I went to the intersection of 4th and Constitution and took Constitution all the way to 15th St Northwest. Ended the run there and cooled down with a nice stroll back to the hotel.

My initial plan today was to see if I could find a less expensive brunch than the one the Doubletree (my hotel for the weekend) was offereing; however, after a forty minute roundtrip hike in downtown DC, with a side order of five-plus mile run down the Mall, I decided to stick with the hotel’s offering’s for the day.

That and today being Mother’s Day in DC meant no inexpensive brunches were ever going to happen.

Aside from calling Mom today, I have some more work to do this weekend.

Training week 3 statrts tomorrow with Circuit Course Two at LA Fitness.

Happy Mother’s Day! Call your mother and tell her you love her!

Proverbs 31:15-31.