Tag Archives: Month in Review

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.”

 

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.

Marine Corps Birthday 2019: Dry

November 10, 1775: The fledgling United States Congress authorizes two battalions of Marines to serve aboard the fighting vessels of the nascent Continental fleet, serving as board parties, coastal raiders, and other combat duties in support of the fleet. Captain Samuel Nichols, recruiting officer and recognized as the first Commandant of the Marine Corps, set up shop in Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern to recruit the first of those whom would be called United States Marines.

Two hundred and forty-four years after the Marine Corps was literally born in a bar…I celebrate with a single glass of lager.

Marine Corps Ball, MGM Grand National Harbor

2 November 2019

Patuxent River Detachment 1305, Marine Corps League (of which I am a proud member) and the Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, co-hosted this year’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in National Harbor, MD. The MGM Grand was a short drive from the Gaylord National Resort, where I attended the Runner’s Expo for the Marine Corps Marathon only a week ago.

My boss at ASI, at my asking, helped sponsor the Ball with a donation of $1,000 for the Ball Fund. To show gratitude, the Ball organizers awarded my boss four tickets to the Ball. He took two for himself and his wife, and donated the last two to me.

I received the tickets in August. It was the first week in October when i remembered I had them, and a friend half-jokingly asked me “Who’s your date for the ball?”

What date?

So, along with my tapering for the Marathon and finding lodging for the MCM Weekend, I had a new logistical wrinkle for the next month: finding a date.

Now, I don’t have much of a social life, and southern Maryland is somewhat close-held as far as the dating scene, so I had something of a hill to climb. Younger Marines had gone on YouTube over the years, practically begging famous actresses to attend their local Marine Corps Ball with them. I wasn’t;t going that route, so I had to make my search discreetly..and without embarrassing myself on social media.

After quietly advertising my desire for a date to the Ball around my apartment complex, I got a call on Thursday night from a young lady named Anne Marie, who was an accountant for one of the detailing services for my apartment complex. She heard through one of the tenants that i was looking for a date for the ball Saturday night (November 2, almost a week after the MCM) and she offered to accompany me. A Half an hour on the smartphone, and i had a date!

The only notable excitement I had on Saturday was that she had to drive from Baltimore, and she called to say that she would change at my place before we took off from my place. Great, now I had to clean up the apartment and get dressed before she got here. Somehow, I managed to get the place looking presentable and get dressed (less my sport coat, which I would put on at the MGM Grand).

Another piece of nervousness: Anne Marie checked the MGM Grand website for events, and saw another unit’s ball being held there on November 7th. Did I get the dates messed up? After about five nervous minutes, I confirmed that yes, this was another unit’s ball (they were Headquarters Battalion out of Marine Corps base Quantico, VA) and that the MCL-MAD ball was that Saturday night.

Anne Marie and I did make it to the MGM Grand in a timely manner, and managed to find our way from the parking garage, to the casino elevators and a little bit of a walk through the casino, all the way to the MGM Grand Ballroom. Marines in dress blues, Marine Corps insignia all over the place…yep, we’re here.

Anne Marie was a wonderful date. She was my compliment in every way; she carried conversations with my friends while I stayed in the back ground. She didn’t get any alcoholic beverages, so she didn’t get drunk and showing out and making  a scene. The again, neither did I.

I wore a golden suit to the Ball this year, my MCL friends wore tuxedos with small medals, or the MCL Uniform of red and gold jacket with red trousers. Note to self: a tuxedo with cummerbund for 2020. Make it so!

Fast forward to the highlight of the evening: WE. WENT. DANCING. Yes, there is the camaraderie and Spirit de Corps when celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday with brother and sister Marines, but it always kind of rang hollow when I would watch fellow Marines take the dance floor with their wives and girlfriends. Not for me, and not this year. Anne Marie and I cut the rug, with tunes played by an actual house band (no DJ with an iPod and his laptop stereo system). I do remember the white female singer doing an excellent rendition of a soul classic, but I have forgotten the song she did so well.

About 10:30, Anne Marie and I took our leave, and I drove her home. I was really glad to have her as my date for the Ball that night.

Because I had to drive her home so she could get to her car and drive back to Baltimore (to go to work the next day? long story), neither of us even got so much as a glass of champagne for a birthday toast. Oh well.

Marine Corps Birthday Celebration, Brudergarten Beer Garden

10 November 2019, Leonardtown, MD

My Marine Corps birthday tradition: the annual MCL Detachment celebration, accompanied by several good beers; a brisk walk back to the nearby hotel for the night, then up bright and early to march in the MCL Color Guard for the Leonardtown Veterans’ Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony.

The plan for Sunday afternoon was a drive to the Empire Inn Hotel and Suites, where I would check in and watch the 2019 Major League Soccer Cup Final. After the game ended (5:30 p.m.-ish), I would stroll down to the Brudergarten and join my Marine brothers and sisters for the festivities: beer, Reading of General John A. LeJeune’s Birthday Message, the Birthday Message from the current Commandant, General David H. Berger, more beer, the Cutting of the Birthday Cake, and more beer until the party ended about 10-ish.

I got to the Empire Inn about 2:45 p.m., with plenty of time to check in and get comfortable for the game. I pulled on the door to open it…and it was locked! I saw a sign that said USE OTHER DOOR and I assumed it meant the back door. I went in the back…also locked. I went back to the front door and took a good look inside…the Empire Inn and Suites had breathed its last, having closed months ago.

No hotel room for the night meant that my alcohol consumption would be very limited; there was a Maryland State Troopers Barracks only a mile or so up the road, and they were an active and visible presence in St. Mary’s County. So, it was back home for another twenty minute drive. I got back and watched the game from the apartment clubhouse and made the drive back to Leonardtown and the Bru.

The Bru was packed. I’ll say this: the Marines could hold a birthday celebration in a library and we would pack the place, as long as somebody brought along a keg of beer and a few hundred re solo cups. I got a delicious lager from the Bru’s menu of craft beers, and the night went as planned. I even saw a few MCM mock turtlenecks from various past years, so I got a few pictures with them.

At 9:00, with my one celebratory beer and two pieces of chocolate birthday cake, I made the drive home, fortunate to avoid law enforcement on the trip home.

The morning would bring the Veterans’ Day parade. The one noteworthy item from this event: the parade organizers were concerned that the Color Guard would march too fast and get too far ahead of the parade. Keep in mind, this is three men in their late forties plus with one former marine in his thirties with not-so-great knees.

WE”RE going to fast? C’mon, man…

And so, two hundred forty four years after Captain Samuel Nichols enlisted the first United States Marines in a drinking hall…I got ONE beer.

MCM 2019/Thirty Days and Six Years Later

What I didn’t mention in my last post about the Thanksgiving Prediction/5K, or what I lovingly call “the Turkey Trot:”

The 2013 edition was the first race of any kind I had entered since i retired from the Marine Corps in 2010. It had been about a month after I agreed to enter the 2014 with my Yuma Marien friends Dave Lauck, Steve Scwezc, and Greg Meins. It was about eighteen months after I had been diagnosed with type two diabetes.

The most memorable moment from that first Turkey Trot was probably somewhere during the second mile of the run, about a half-mile after the 1.5 mile turnaround point.  I had been passed by a young mother wearing a denim jacket, turtleneck sweater, and a full-length denim skirt.

On the day of the run, I think I weighed about 260~270 lbs. and had completely blown off a three-week plan to train for the Turkey Trot.

Wow, was I so grossly out of shape.

Six months later, in May of 2014, I found a training regimen, drew up a training plan and started this here blog.

As of this writing, I have six total marathons in the books: five Marine Corps Marathons and one trail marathon that I survived back in 2016. I ran a 15K, three Woodrow Wilson Half Marathons, two Riley’s Rumble Half Marathons, a Capital 20 miler. and annual runs of the St. Mary’s Hospice 5K, Leatherneck 5K, and Thanksgiving Prediction 5K.

For the record, the 15K, the Riley’s Rumbles and the Capital 20 did not award medals for completing the races. However, I DID gain valuable experiences from this runs, and they were building blocks toward the Marine Corps Marathons that I would run later in the year.

Two weeks after this year/s MCM, I got back in the saddle for the Turkey Trot. The first two runs were done in the 0500 darkness and mid-November cold. Nothing fancy, just jaunts out to Shangri-La and back. The Saturday run was postponed to Sunday morning because of the 20 mph winds that were kicking up that weekend. On Sunday afternoon, a week ago today, I said “hell with it,” and got out and ran. yes there was wind on the run out, but it was much less on the trip back home.

In other words, I slept in for nothing.

On Tuesday evening, forty minutes after my bike ride home from work, I made another run to the end of Shangri-La drive. My updated MapMyRun worked better than the Sunday run, which cut off a huge chunk of the run distance for some reason. The weather was much better, but I had some soreness cropping up in both my legs. My left knee acted up on the outward split, then my whole right leg was feeling it on the return leg.

Thursday afternoon, I decided to run on base at lunch. Because I was not able to map out a course on MMR, I did the run totally off the cuff. From the Moffatt building parking garage, I went up to Cedar Point Road, ran it up to Gate 2, and then turned onto Cuddihy Road. I followed Cuddihy back up Base Road, then back down Buse to the parking garage. I managed an acceptable 2.57 miles.

Note to self: remember to pack a bottle of soap and a towel if you plan on running on base.

My paces were not exactly flank speed for someone working towards an 11:00 pace (averaged about a 12:35 for the six runs), but it was never about a PR. Maybe I could have pushed for getting close on my prediction, but I forgot to enter my predicted finish when I filled out the form. As of this afternoon, I don’t even know what my finish time was.

At this point, does it really matter?

At this year’s Marine Corps Birthday Celebration (more on that tomorrow), I talked to a friend, Laura Braunbeck, about taking the Semper Fi Challenge for 2020. This event combines running the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in May, along with the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

Sunday night, she talked me in to it.

Monday night, I signed up for it.

I discovered that my MCM Runner’s Club membership was not active even though I had completed the requisite five MCMs. After further research, I found I would not get my membership invite until February. I have printed up my Semper Fi challenge receipt, so hopefully I can get the MCM 2020 fee waived (and my debit card refunded!).

However, yes I am running the Historic Half in May, which means accelerating my training schedule to start back on the road in February. Much to plan for this winter.

I will probably be running at lunch a couple of days a week through December and January, weather permitting. Just gotta remember to bring the shower gear.

For now, though, I will enjoy sleeping through the 0430 alarm clock instead of answering it and prepping for the 0500 runs.

Songs of the Day (WARNING: No guarantee they will have anything to do with running!!!)

Sorry, I can’t find my headphones and my lunch is getting cold. SOTD will return tomorrow, FA’ SHO’!!!

 

MCM 2019/T-Minus 26: Committed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

KFC: Overdue Month/Week In Review

Random thoughts from May and the week prior to this one (Capital Crescent):

First week in May, I was at home helping my sister move. Slept in until 0930, breakfast/brunch, then cleaning up and moving from 1030-1330 (1:30 PM). Late lunch, then run or go to the gym about 3:30-5:30 (including travel time). Six days, six workouts.

I got home from leave and I took too long getting out of “sleep-in mode.” The late flight home Sunday was marred by a chipped tooth, an extended layover, and the most expensive ride home in the history of Uber. But that was just Sunday; Monday I may have taken an alibi for that day, but I really have np excuse for the rest of the week.

Another “excuse” was transitioning into the Intermediate Training Plan for the Marine Corps Marathon. The significant changes: the full body exercise plan and exercises laid out in the plan, trading fartlek runs for interval runs, and running back to back Saturdays and Sundays. So far I have been swing-and-a-miss on the exercises, actually doing intervals the last two weeks, and have balked on the back-to-backs, swapping an exercise day for the shorter of the run days.

This Tuesday calls for a three-miler then immediately going in to the full body workout. We shall see what happens.

Maybe.

Although it is too early to be sweating the pace, this morning I may have been out of shape from the extended week-oof I took after I came back from Peoria. I have to come back strong this week…no more “off days” unless it’s because of an actual injury or medical problem.

The MapMyRun’s GPS got scrambled while running through the Dellacaria Tunnel, while I ran the Capital Crescent last week. I’m not sure if it’s because of my run pace or the GPS tracking, but MMR calls out the mile markers about a 200~400 feet before I actually pass the actual mile markers on the road. Other than the GPS scramble that confused the turnaround part of my Crescent run, MMR has worked fine. It has been tracking the elevations of everywhere I run and is posting my pace and splits.

 

Liverpool vs. Spurs redux:

New rule, FIFA: if the player is not kicking the ball to make a legitimate pass (the receiver must be within range) or a shot on goal, it is NOT NECESSARILY a penalty if it strikes a defender’s hand while said defender is in the 18-yard penalty box.

Nevertheless, Liverpool did survive Tottenham’s second half offensive surge. Allisson Becker  made some great saves, and Oekilie earned the goal that clinched the UEFA Champions League title for the Reds.

I would have preferred Ajax in the final, but it’s hard to deny a team that channeled Harry Houdini on its way to Madrid…

I think the souvenir DC United shirt that I bought at the DCU-San Jose game last Saturday was a size too small. It has only gotten smaller since I pulled it from the dryer this evening. Then again it was on the clearance racks, so it’s a matter of getting what you pay  for.

 

Next three long runs:  Zion 6, St. Mary’s City “half marathon,” meaning a 13.1 run, and Capital Crescent 14. There’s an actual half-marathon in those last two weeks, if I can find a race and travel funds…I also need to plan for a marathon the weekend of 21-22 September.

Song of the Day: This stuff is over a quarter century (TWENTY. FIVE. YEARS!!!) old. OMG…

From the MTV Party to Go compilation CD: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince/“BOOM! Shake the Room!”Will Smith and his Fresh Princess Jada Pinkett Smith are happily married and their weird-ass offspring have grown up and flown from their Bel Air (I’m just guessing at this point) nest. I may be lying or not really knowing WTF is up with Will Smith right now, but I bet he could still cut a hip-hop record that would be better than 90% of the popular music scene today (and better than 100% of all the current hip-hop scene).

K7/”Come Baby Come:” The 90s produced a lot of great dance hits; sadly most of them were one-hit wonders. This is a pretty good jam, but I have no real info on this group. My cataract-infested eyes, even with 2>00 strength readers, can’t even read the liner notes on the CD jacket. Sorry.

Onyx/”Slam” and “Judgement Night:” I am picking the nu-metal/hip-hop version of “Slam” over the MTV-exclusive remix, because it goes better with their collaboration with Biohazard on their title track from the movie soundtrack. Be ye forewarned: “Judgenent Night” is one of the few songs that is Not Safe for Work. Still a damn good jam.

Oh, and Judgement Night is yet another movie I have not seen end-to-end. And I bought the OST CD and I only like three songs from the whole album.

MCM April-May 2019

I spent a wonderful Sunday morning with Apple’s MacKeeper tech support, trying to fix a problem with my six y/o iMac’s increasing slowness and sudden crashed on the Safari internet browser. What should have been a half-hour (at most) service call turned into a two-hour sales call from Kromtech, attempting to sell me three to five years for a glorified tech support service costing me about $1000 upfront.

I paid $1300 for my iMac six years ago. For what Kromtech wanted to charge me, I could have spent an extra $200 or so and just purchased a new iMac/Macbook/Mac tower and been done with it. Anyway, after two hours I just cut the conversation, since the tech guy/salesman wouldn’t take NO for an answer and just disconnect himself.

The above is just one of the reasons I’ve been ‘radio silent” for the past month. I have been in the marathon training grind, with a brief pause the Saturday before Easter and two unscheduled days off due to prepping for potluck at work (lame excuse).

I have spent about $150 on a work potluck and a going away party. The work party: $100 worth of salad, dressing and meats and cheeses for a charcuterie board. The going away: three sodas, two iced teas, a 24 pack of bottled water, and ice for two coolers. The majority of all of that is in my fridge or freshly thrown away this morning.

Which brings me to my weight and blood glucose, both of them way above normal. Two days after Easter, and the end of my “lenten” fast, I stepped on the scale and read 221 lbs. Either I was real fat to begin with or I didn’t “sacrifice” enough for Lent. I will need to adjust for between meal sweets and soft drinks when I get back from helping my sister move in to her new home this week.

I do plan on running and making the trips to the weight room while I am home. My sister’s new home is a stone’s throw from the old one, so my running trails will be virtually the same, give or take a few hundred yards/meters. And my MapMyRun app is updated on my new phone so I can start timing my runs again. There’s also good old Landmark health and Fitness Club, where I can take a short stroll and get my circuit course on.

I have been in something of a rut lately, and sometimes I have to workout after work instead of answering the 0430 reiville , but I have been training. I still need to make a decision on scheduling my training since I am already into May and I’m about six months out from the Marine Corps Marathon.

Speaking of which…I need to arrange a room sometime soon.

Okay, not quite an in-depth “story so far” after my month long absence, but I’m still here. My iMac was acting up again this morning, and YouTube has been a little biz-natch lately, so no Song of the Day today. When I get back, I need to take the iMac up to the closest Apple store I can find and get it “optimized”/overhauled/tuned-up/whatever.

See y’all in a week or so!

A Beautiful Day…

Marathon training means never having to say “It’s such a beautiful day; I should be outside more!”

The 7.2 miler is done. Did the Pax River Beach House 10K (6.2 miles) plus an extra mile loop to make up for a too-short run last week, as well as paying of for missing the training run last Thursday. With that, Week Five and Month One of Zero to Marine Corps Marathon is in the books.

My first full month of training hasn’t been perfect; I’m not stretching as much as I should, my right knee is still a little tender near the start of my runs. I’m getting used to training six days a week again, alternating between running/fartleks and the gym. During my last few years in the Marine Corps, I would pull twice a day PT sessions, six days a week. Unfortunately, I stopped doing that nearly four years ago, and I’ve been paying the price. Now that I am back to a regular exercise routine I need to do two things: a much better diet and more stretching. I also need to start chugging some of that Shakeology that I have siting in my pantry shelf; I am just a lethargic lump after my workouts, and coffee with breakfast just isn’t cutting it.

I don’t know if it’s too early for this, but my training routine could use a shakeup. When I sketched out my schedule for June, I’m basically running the same routes every week (the Willow Road Routes). This is mostly dictated by time and location; it is directly outside my house and finishing them gives me enough time to recover and get ready for work. When I announced to my Marine Corps league brothers that I was running the Marine Corps Marathon, one of them suggested joining the Pax River Crossfit group to aid me in my training (specifically the weight-loss/belly trimming department). Lastly, there’s the matter of running some road races before the MCM so I can get used to running with a multitude of people again. I think that could make a huge psychological difference. My one planned race is a 5K, but my schedule requires a 5-miler that day. Hmmm…

Also, I need to hook up with an Avon lady for some Skin-So-Soft. The Repel brand insect lotion i am using is effective, but I don’t like the odor and I keep hearing bad things about using so much DEET (the insect repellent ingredient) on my body three days a week.

As for “Forty-Eight to Joe’s”…right now it’s a washout. Between my dashed vacay plans, the stress from my job, working the Blue Crabs, and just not having enough “pep” after the training took a toll on getting stuff done. I really wanted to go to Joe’s Crab Shack to watch Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals (GO. BLACK. HHAAAWWKS!!!), but it’s a there hour drive round trip, with the return drive coming at maybe 10:30 at night.

That being said, today is a beautiful day. I am hoping that June will be a little drier, especially in the early mornings. The sunlight/false dawn is a little better than running in the darkness; however, I could do without running during the rain. Oh, that reminds me…

Two more things I really could use are 1) contact lenses, because I’m tired of having to adjust/clean off my glasses while I am running, and 2) new running shoes. I have consulted with friends at work and on Facebook and I have been recommended styles from Brooks and New Balance. Decisions, decisions.

One month down, five to go (it’s June already? really?)…hoping to get fitter, stronger, and faster next month.

Did I say it was a beautiful day?

(PS: I always post lyrics videos because, hey, who knows what the singers are really singing? And isn’t it nice to learn something once in a while?)

(PPS: No idea why my first couple of video hyperlinks put up videos while my other just linked to YouTube for the video.)