Tag Archives: health

MCM 2020: 20/20

…aaand, just like that, I’m back.

0445 this morning. Just got off the toilet and getting ready to put on some Skin So Soft when I heard the thunder and lightning…and the accompanying heavy-ass rain. I checked the day’s weather forecast on my smartphone: expected to rain until after 6:00 p.m. tonight. Okay, no later than six, and then on the road, rain or shine.

0830: Breakfast is done, and so is the rain. Shooting for an 11:30 a.m. step-off.

1030: The sun comes out like gangbusters. My 11: 30 run time is confirmed.

11:35: Step off for thee miles of Shangri-La Drive.

Just past the two mile point, which I never heard because MapMyRun was silent…like my muted smartphone. A little sprinkle/drizzle, but nothing really heavy.

12:12: 3.18 in the books. Some watering in the eyes, but not a real showstopper. The pace wasn’t sexy, but I believe it will get better with more miles on the road and some more P90X Lean.

Long story short: I’m about 70 days out from the Marine Corps Marathon, and I haven’t done any PT in over two weeks. Mostly dealing with recovering from cataract surgery in each eye, and not wanting to upset my newly repaired eyes any more than necessary. Now I know I can go at least three miles running without any major problems with my eyes.

Also, that 20/20 vision, tho! Bit I still have to wear reading glasses.

So, it’s running every other day and P90X on alternating days until October 25, the day I run the virtual Marine Corps Marathon. If worse comes to worse, the last day that the MCM Organization will take virtual marathon results is November 10, but I don’t want to string it out that long.

Lastly, I need to get back on the keto diet horse. Way, way, waaay too much Doordash these last two weeks.

Song of the Day:

Gary Go:”Wonderful:” I thought of this song the other week, just thought I needed something to inspire me to get back on the road. Genius stole this from Wikipedia:

“Wonderful” is a song by British singer Gary Go, released on 16 February 2009 as the first and debut single from his debut album Gary Go. It reached #25 on the UK singles chart and was a Top 40 on the Hot AC chart in the US. The song was selected as Pop Song Of The Year by iTunes US in their Rewind recap of 2009 releases. A version of the song became the title song for the German film Men in the City (German: ‘Männerherzen’) for which a new music video was filmed on a Berlin rooftop including scenes from the film. It is also used in the trailer for the Disneynature film Oceans, in the TVI Portuguese novella Mar de Paixão, at the conclusion of an American Idol episode, and in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 during the interval, in a mini movie involving clips from the shorts that were broadcast before every song from the contest. “Wonderful” was also used in Sky Sports’ closing montage of the 2011–12 Premier League season.”

Orbital Culture: “The Shadowing:” This death metal song caught me by surprise when I heard to on Sirius XM this past week. Genius has nothing but lyrics.

The Damned: “Nasty:”First heard this song on the British punk sitcom The Young Ones waaay back in the 80s. Not sure about the thought process how I remembered this song, but I was looking for a death metal cover of the sone. I found this instead. Lyrics.

 

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/T-Minus 100: Awaiting

Two years ago, I revived this blog by tracking my training for the Marine Corps Marathon from one hundred days out all the way through race day.

A lot has changed in those two years…hell, a lot has changed since I started training for the Historic Half back in February.

Today marks sixty days since I finished the Historic Half Marathon run for the 2020 Semper Fi Double (Historic Half plus MCM in the same calendar year). The last sixty days have not been kind.

Two DNFs while trying to run double-digit runs.

Failing to graduate P90X Lean.

All but scrapping the keto diet.

Plateauing in my struggle to lose weight/

But wait, there’s more…

In preparation for my cataracts surgery next Monday, I had to get tested for COVID-19 yesterday. As soon as the doctor got done swabbing by nostrils, she told me to come immediately and forthwith, putting me in isolation until I was cleared for surgery (or until I got news that I tested positive).

Lockdown means staying in the house until I get word, one way or the other. Outdoor PT wasn’t mentioned so I assumed it meant no running. So, right now, I am pretty much on a training time-out, at least until next Wednesday morning.

I was supposed to start P90X Classic next week, but with surgery on Monday and not knowing WTF on Tuesday, I’m pretty much on standby for that as well.

Oh, and I STILL haven’t ordered my new dumbbells from Amazon, either.

So, all I am doing is putting everything on hold until at least Tuesday night. Right now I am just watching the cell phone waiting for THAT CALL. If I don’t hear anything by 4:00 tomorrow, I start calling around to see what’s going on.

But at least I have a Song of the Day:

Violent Femmes/”Blister in the Sun:”This song was unplugged before MTV Unplugged was cool.

Genius:

“The lyrics are about heroin abuse and getting rejected by girls. You know, a normal teenage frustration tune from Violent Femmes.

“In 2007, Ritchie filed a lawsuit against Gano for band earnings and ownership rights stemming from Gano’s approval for their song “Blister in the Sun” to be used in a Wendy’s commercial. Once again, the band broke up.”

Ritchie: bassist Brian Ritchie. Gano: vocalist/guitarist Gordon Gano. And Victor DeLorenzo is the drummer, for completion’s sake.

“I Can Change:” Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut… FTW!!!) and covered by the Femmes for the excellent movie soundtrack.

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.

 

 

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 85: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

A day and a half late, but Yoga X is in the books.

By the time I got to the ohms that traditionally end the workout, I was asking myself, “Why didn’t I get up and do this yesterday or this morning? I’m sweating as usual, and I feel great after every Yoga X period.”

I shouldn’t be afraid of the hour and a half it takes to work P90X. I may never get the crane or the plough stances right, and I will always struggle with everything from Warrior Three onwards on the advanced warrior poses. Ditto with tree/royal dancer/standing leg. So? It’s about adjusting my body to make the effort, not trying to catch up with the Joneses (AKA the other people demonstrating the workout with Tony).

Gonna be a lot of sweating the rest of this week. Run tomorrow morning, and Core Synergistics after work. Thursday is Kenpo X and X Stretch. Friday is another run in the morning and Cardio X in the afternoon. Yoga X again on Saturday.

Day 90 will be Sunday, with an eight mile run in the morning (Great Mills 8) and ending with X Stretch late Sunday afternoon.

See you next time, Tony!

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 83: Last Double

Dear Tony,

If not for one muscle twinge, I would have graduated P90X Lean today. That week off kind of cost me.

Not that much to elaborate on on this last day of the Independence Day weekend, but I do have a few notes:

Today’s Kenpo X was fascinating, in terms of my heart rate. My heart rate got progressively higher as I progressed through the routines, taking a big drop off after the vertical punches (why?)

BPMs: 52 @ 38:11/56 @ 28:15/62 @ 21:11/76 # 14:53/53 @ 4:38.

Just finished X Stretch. Seriously considering X Stretch as a part of my pre-race routine when I do my Virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. I feel pretty good next year.

So…tomorrow morning will be my make-up three mile run from Friday (MD-5 3) and I will perform Yoga X as soon as I get off work tomorrow (back home teleworking this week).

Off to cook dinner: bacon-wrapped corn on the cob and pan-fried ribeye. See you next time, Tony!

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 80: Balance

Dear Tony,

So, the resistance/weightlifting portion of P90X Lean is over, and now it’s about cutting the last few pounds and toning those newly built muscles. Started that process tonight with Yoga X.

I knew I was in for a difficult evening when I stumbled a little bit on the standing hamstring stretches. I usually have good balance, but not tonight. Of course, I was doing the yoga wobbles during the advanced warrior poses and the standing balance postures (tree/royal dancer.standing let balance).

Maybe that Baby Ruth and the bag of Skinny Pop kettle corn? Nahh….

Unless I can find some way to do something about my bow legs, the crane and plough-to-shoulder postures will be challenges. But I won’t stop trying.

Schedule change: I am going to do my Sunday run on Saturday, a nice five mile stroll to NAS Patuxent River Gate One and back. Weekly weigh-in will go right after the run.Kenpo X will go in the afternoon, followed by a nice Independence Day supper of surf and turf.

And yes…I will do X Stretch on Sunday.

Engage the core…breathe.

Core Synergistics tomorrow afternoon, Tony…see you next time!

MCM2020: Overtrain

I have been up since just before 0400. Reveille, yogurt, dressed, stretched, out the door at 0445, headed towards NAS Patuxent River. 0500 on the road.

For the second consecutive Sunday I lost my mojo around mile 9. I had an epiphany about that time: overtraining.

I usually don’t start serious running until late April/early May. I ran a half marathon for timesaver six weeks ago, the earliest I have ever run that long. In late March I was forced to swap my half hour circuit cause routine at the gym for a P90X course that runs an hour per session.

I thought the good times that I was getting on my short runs would translate into good long runs, like my virtual half-marathon back in mid-May. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case lately. My last three runs have seen me peter out around the eight mile mark.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for my running schedule. I was hoping to get to twenty-miles next month, but now I need to pull back on the mileage and start over from damn near scratch.

X Stretch got cancelled for tonight, just not in the mood after today’s second straight DNF.  I probably should be try to squeeze in the X Stretch anyway…nah.

Not sure if it has been the keto diet, or my diabetes meds, or just not that hungry after a long Sunday run. My last meal was about 9:00 last night. I got up and ate a single tub of yogurt at 0400. I didn’t eat “brunch” until just after 3:00. My first run with the $10 pancake I purchased from the base PX didn’t go so well; batter was less thicker than I expected. Maybe I should have gone back to iHOP and burned another $16 for brunch? I wonder if Cracker Barrel is back open as well?

In other news, I go back to my office space starting tomorrow, alternating between teleworking and working last the office every other week. It will be nice to see other people on a regular basis again.

Coffee at 5;30 on a Sunday evening…mmmm.

Song of the Day:

Johnny Cash/”When the Man Comes Around:” Good Lord I hope the man gets here soon. Nuff said.

Genius: 

‘The opening track – and the title track – to Johnny Cash’s 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around. This has been used many times on different TV shows and films including the opening and closing credits of the 2004 Dawn of the Deadremake, and the closing credits of the 2017 Wolverine film Logan.

‘This is also one of only three songs that Johnny Cash wrote himself on the album.”

 

MCM2020: Three Days/Friday

Ranieri Run 4

Forty-eight hours ago…

Reveille at 0430. Out of bed at 0445.

0450-0540: On and off the toilet for nearly and hour.

0555: Applying my Skin-So-Soft…and then abandoning the run.

Since I really can’t afford to lose any more miles, I am running all weekend: Friday and Saturday as well as the Sunday long run.

Today was a good pace for a short run, but I have to remember to throttle that pace back for Sunday. Can’t argue with a 10:55 pace; not bad for not having run in four days.

Really not that much to say. Out of bed at 0435, dressed and stretched, Skin-So0Soft and out the door at 0455. And I ran the Three Fireplugs after I crossed the 4 mile marker.

Business as usual. Where was this on Wednesday?

Aside from running three straight days I am also working P90X about 5:00 p.m. each day. Today is Core Synergistics, tomorrow is keno X, and Sunday will be X Stretch, provided I am in good health and better spirits come Sunday afternoon.

 

Interlude:

One more week with no COVID-19 symptoms. Going for my cataracts surgery pre-screen next Thursday.

This weekend I need to EAT as well as DRINK WATER.

 

P90X, Day 75: Core Synergistics

Dear Tony,

Another Friday, another buttkicker of a Core Synergistics workout.

For the second time in three sessions, I had to bail on the bonus round because i was worn out. Can’t really blame the run that much, and I did have something to eat before the workout. Also, note to self: watch the eating and the diabetic meds before the workout, so you don’t have to pause the workout to take a No. 2

Good Lord am I tired. Looks like another early Friday night.

 

Postscript:

I am running the virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. If there is an onsite run in Arlington, Va., there will be up to 24 starting waves of 500 runners each…which may be a two-hour wait to actually start running. Not a good idea, regardless of the weather. Also, no finisher’s festival or beer garden. Probably no Runner’s Expo this year either.

Song of the Day: Fatboy Slim/”Praise You:” I loved the video directed by Spike Jonze. Flash mobbin’ before flashmobbin’ was ever a thing. I’m too tired for any more inputs, and I was fortunate to find the video.

Oh, and have you ever seen Fatboy’s original (and still used) recording/sampling set up?

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 74: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

Just got done with P90X and I’m waiting for my freshly-cooked green chicken soup to cool down so I can get something resembling dinner for the first time this week.

Last four days with P90X:

  1. Workouts starting between 4:30 to 5:30 instead of 0500 start time
  2. Eating meals has become an issue the last few days. Completely skipped breakfast on Tuesday and didn’t get anything until after Cardio X.
  3. Very little “dinner” after workouts.
  4. Sleeping like a baby though, with “bedtimes” being earlier than usual (9-9:30 p.m. vice 11-11:30 p.m.)

I really need to stress eating because that was part of the reason I DNF’ed last Sunday. So I need to set a goal of eating three full keto meals over the next two days. Scratch that: gets three full-sized meals (of any kind) over the next two days.

To recap the last two days:

Shoulders and Biceps/ABX: I treated this workout the same as Shou/Bi/Tri on Monday: pace yourself on the first set, then max it out on the second set. I got the best numbers I have ever got on this workout, and got the burning arms to match. Still kind of glad to see “The Gun Show” for the last time on the P90X Lean Cycle.

Ab Ripper X: At this point it’s about powering through it so I can finish. I still work the core and the gut as much as possible during the workout, but man…what a grind.

Yoga X: No heart rate monitor today, and no pushups for the basic warrior/advanced warrior poses (too much ‘Gun Show’ this week)…just focusing on engaging the core, breathing, and focusing on the moment. I am bowlegged enough that properly executing the crane and plough stances will be a challenge…but I’m not going to stop trying.

P90X will be a part of my “five o’clock world” through Sunday. The next three days will be runs in the morning (4 tomorrow, 5 on Saturday, and 13 on Sunday) with P90X starting no later than 5:30 p.m. Depending on how I feel on Sunday, I will push for X Stretch in the late afternoon/early evening.

Green chicken soup: chicken drumsticks, two 32oz. boxes of chicken stock, about a pound of broccoli and cauliflower, a 14 oz. can of okra, chicken seasonings, chicken flavors, salt and pepper, parsley leaves and bay leaves. Yum yum.

Se you next time, Tony!