Tag Archives: pain

Kickoff 2019: Ale House

Free-form association before I succumb to beer-induced sleep for a 0400 wakeup call:

I just got home from the Pax River Ale House. I went there to watch the Chicago bears host the Green Bay Packers in the Opening Game of the 2019 National Football League season.

The dinner was outstanding: Berlin Platter with pork ribeye, one link of German sausage, a smokehouse slice of candied bacon, and sides of mashed potatoes with gravy and sauerkraut. All of it I washed down with a delicious Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest lager.

The game was a lot of good defense by both teams, one scoring drive led by Packers QB Aaron (Discount Doublecheck!) Rogers, and the Bears new place kicker making a field goal.

The bad? The Ale House has plenty of widescreen TVs, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sports bar; it’s more like a very good bar and grill, to be honest. The barmaid who served me struggled to find the Bears-Packers game. Also, the Ale House isn’t such a destination for Thursday football, unless it’s either the Washington Redskins or the Baltimore Ravens, so the place was sparsely populated.

Worst of all was the music. This was the satellite radio setlist I heard during the game: Rupert Jones/”Escape/The Pina Colada Song”. Styx/”Come Sail Away.” Wham!/”Careless Whispers.” Supertramp/”Take a Look at My Girlfriend.” And no, none of the staff were allowed to change the station, so it was NFL Football accompanied by 70s light rock.

To top it off, the Ale House closes at 10:00 on Thursday nights, NFL or not. This meant I settled my tab and headed for home just after the second half kickoff. Green Bay 7, Chicago 3. I thought about heading up the street to Buffalo Wild Wings, but I had a beer and a half in me, and the law enforcement presence is substantial, so I decided to call it a night.

This morning’s 0445 workout went well. After taking off the last two days to take care of back spasms, I took it easy on the three interval laps, and sweated through a full circuit cycle workout. Before i took off for work this morning, I put an Icy Hot patch on my back, and rubbed some Icy hot lotion around my right knee. Not going to push it too far for tomorrow’s run (Superwillow 6, HWY-5 to the end of Shangri-La) and I’m hoping for a good 20 miles with as few medical problems as possible.

It’s also calling for rain sometime tomorrow.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 54: Rest

It’s Labor Day today, and I am taking a day off from work as well as from training.

My feet were very sore after yesterday’s run; it was more than a few hours (nightfall, I think) before I could walk normally without having shoes on. I got an epsom salt bath that healed up my sore legs. Still, I think I am going to run with the Copper Fit knee sleeves on the Sunday long runs.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that my longer runs will be more difficult than the Marine Corps Marathon itself. The Little Flower course had way more ups and downs over the back half of the run. If I decide to run the Carl Henn Millennium Trail within the next two weeks, that’s 10.5 miles of rolling hills throughout the course, and I usually like doing two laps. 4.5 of the last six miles of the Indian head Rail Trail going back to Indian head is a gradual uphill slope that almost never seems to end.

I am contemplating doing either a half marathon, a full marathon, or both the last two weeks of September. My options (my God! the choices!)

  1. National Capital 20 miler: The words “first-time trail race!”, “flat, straight, and fast!”, and “open to only 300 participants” are scaring me. Race is Sept. 29, but I want to do it, I have to sign up this week…like ASAP.
  2. Charm City 20 miler: Sept. 22. Hard packed dirt surface. Course map shows plenty of bathroom stops. Tempting. Also limited spaces (350 runners) and additional $10 fee if you need to take a bus to the start line.
  3. C&O Canal Tow Path Marathon: Sept. 29/ Four laps of a section of the C&O Towpath. Might have to think about this one.

There are other options, but I have to look at them and make my choices this week.

Health: Right shoulder is kind of tweaked; not that serious, but sometimes it hurts when I extend it. Calamine spray has helped with the rash on my left arm. My knees have recovered from yesterday’s run, but I’m running with the sleeves on the long runs from here on out. My mysterious right thigh muscles hans’t given me any problems lately, and the same with my knee muscles. No feet problems either.

Last week was a good week for running, but Sunday’s course was just too tough to pull my strategy. This week, it’s Superwillow 6 (HWY-5 to Shangri-La extended) and Park Hall 6 before the Pax River 20 on Sunday. Abberly Crest through Gate 1 to the Drill Hall roadway = four miles. Ten mile loop around Pax River, through Cedar Point Road up to Gate 2; Cedar Point Road from Drill Hall roadway will be all uphill and upward slope. Just before Gate 2, take Cuddihy Road all the way to the stoplight at Cuddihy and Buse Road, then take a left. The 25 MPH sign will mark Mile 16, then out Gate 1 and the road back home. Need to check those last four miles on MapMyRun, though, there’s an extra road or turn somewhere before heading back down Willow Road to the end.

Song of the Day: Tangerine Dream/”Betrayal”. When director William Friedkin made the movie Sorcerer, he built the film around the soundtrack by the keyboard instrumentalist group Tangerine Dream. The scene before the end (see near the end of the video) is how I usually feel after 18+ mile runs.

Elton John/”I’m Still Standing:” Because radio station 97.7 the Bay held “Rocket Man Weekend” in honor of Elton John. Also the first video he made specifically for MTV…or maybe more like the first EJ video I saw on MTV. From video director Russel Mulcahy:

“Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ was super, super, super gay. There was no holding back. We shot in Nice, in the south of France. My costume designer was in charge of body-painting all the boys. We had leather boys, and mimes, and kissing clowns. Bruno Tonioli, who’s a judge of Dancing with the Stars, was one of our dancers. I think he played one of the traffic policemen dressed in leg warmers and a leotard.”

MCM 2019: Nope.

ASICS’ letters translated in Latin means “a sound mind in a sound body.” I had a sound mind when I woke up at 0400 this morning to go run. A sound body? Everything except my right knee.

The soreness in my right knee started around Friday morning. I was able to run it off then, but it wouldn’t go away. I got up this morning in good spirits, getting my tub of yogurt for breakfast, getting dressed, prepped and stretched. Unfortunately, the “feel good” went away just as I started to run. My right knee wasn’t moving right when I ran, and it wasn’t working itself out. I got about 130 yards before I decided to call the run off.

Funny thing: I was looking for my long-lost roll of KT tape that I purchased at a MCM Runner’s Expo last year. Ten minutes after I got back home, I took a peek at the floor between my dresser and a smaller drawer…oh, THERE it is. I had thought about putting some on my kneecap and taking another shot, but I was already done for the day.

Even if I had gone, I was not as ready for the post race. I didn’t have any epsom salt for my post-run bath, nor did I have any chocolate milk for the nutrition cool down (although some of my whey protein would have sufficed).

Week In Review/Week Ahead:

In retrospect, this week may have been where my bike riding has caught up with me and taken its toll. I believe I am pedaling heavy with my right leg, since I also have a sore right thigh muscle to boot. I have to start making some decisions to balance bike riding four to five day a week versus running three days a week.

Right now, I should have some ice on my sore right knee, if not already wearing a brace. I’m walking with a bit of a limp right now, so I need to address that ASAP. For now, I am going to take off until Thursday (cycle day) so I can rest and treat my right leg.

I hope I can heal quickly; I was doing pretty good with my pace this week, especially considering I ran tow mostly downhill courses.

Life hacks from St. Mary’s Beerfest 2019:

Saturday was the first time I had gone to any drinking festival in the eleven years that I have lived in southern Maryland. The Beerfest, hosted by Historic St. Mary’s City, is a gathering of local (St. Mary’s and Calvert counties) and regional (DC/Maryland/Virginia) microbreweries, with some local eateries. The $25 entry fee came with a free 16-oz. souvenir glass and four free drink tickets. You could sample any of the pilsners, lagers, or ales on tap for one ticket, or get a full glass four four. After your initial run of tickets were spent, you could purchase more for a dollar apiece.

Stuff I learned yesterday:

  1. Dress for warm weather. Blue jeans in 80-plus degree weather are considered “overdressing.” A set of running shorts (and one of my tech shirts) would have been fine.
  2. Make sure you hand over the ticket amount you want to purchase. I wanted only a ticket’s worth of Ruddy Duck’s hard lemonade; the vendor took all three of the tickets and gave me a full glass. I did manage to finish it all, with a side of foot-long hotdog, but that proved to be the end of my day’s drinking.
  3. Uber is a good idea. When my Uber driver dropped me off at the Beerfest entry point, there were a half dozen St. Mary’s County Sherrif’s vehicles parked in the immediate area. “nuff said.

Song of the Day:

From two complications and a soundtrack:

Asia/”Heat of the Moment: And now you find yourself in ’82 /The disco hotspots hold no charm for you/ You can’t concern yourself with bigger things /You catch the pearl and ride the dragons wings. No idea what that last means, 37 years later…

Cameo/”Word Up:’ KORN actually covered this song; no idea why. And did this band actually have TEN other members (Ray Parker, Jr. among them) at one time? Sorry, no lyrics on hand on YouTube, and I’m too lazy to look them up right now.

Fatboy Slim/”Gangsta Trippin’:” Because somewhere I had already chosen Len/”Steal My Sunshine.” “What would you’ll do when the What would you’ll do when the What would you’ll do when the Fatboy’s trippin’ ?” I guess I’ll just dance?



MCM 2018 Postscript

I went through my blog archive on WordPress and found a draft that I never actually wrote anything on, so here we go again.

I re-started this blog on July, 22, 2018. That was the day I found out that I had a pulled groin muscle that inhibited my right leg from running. I took a week off, bought a new pair of shoes, and got back on the road that Friday. The next Sunday, I ran the National Mall in Washington DC.

Since then, my right leg has been acting up again, about a week before the Marine Corps Marathon. Perhaps a week or two off and it will be better…I hope. MapMy Run has gotten a lot better at mapping my runs, although the GPS does drop out now and again on the longer ones. I didn’t use MMR for the last three weeks because I took forever to transfer the data from my old broken phone to my new one.

I didn’t train every day that I was scheduled, nor did I post a blog entry like I was supposed to..but I DID finish the job, made it to Arlington/Rosslyn, VA and finished the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon.

Vengeance sworn, vengeance served. Mission accomplished.

See you in 2019.

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 8: Single

…as in “single digit days before the Marine Corps Marathon.”

First, the bad news. I just finished up my Friday run, and my right thigh is flaring up again. Never mind the hole on the toe of my shoe, I think it’s time for a new pair of shoes. Hopefully I can find some Aspics GT-10006s at Runner’s Warehouse and get them here before the Tuesday run. Not up for 26.2 miles with a sore calf.

Speaking of today’s run, this was the first time in a long while that I started my run in the middle of the morning. This being an off day from work, and being within the first month of autumn, it turned out to be a good time to run. There was traffic on my path from Abberly Crest to Shangri-La Rd. and back, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I think I wasted the last of my bottle of Skin-So-Soft because the mosquito population is probably dead or gone by now.

Yesterday I didn’t get home until 6:00 p.m. and didn’t hit the gym until 7:15, so I decided to postpone my last fartlek until tomorrow morning’s workout. It was due to laziness and not fatigue that I didn’t post a blog yesterday.

The good news is that I was able to hook up with the admin staff of the MCM and get my bib number. They couldn’t resend the official bib email, but the kind lady (Mary) said that I could print the email and present it with a photo ID so I could pick up my actual bib and swag bag at the Runner’s Expo.

So, I am still without roommates for MCM weekend as of this writing, and now I need to arrange for shoes, a rental car, and extra money this weekend. So busy, busy. Let me start with some lunch first before I do anything else.

Song of the Day: “Take Five”/The Dave Brubeck Quartet. This song was the bumper music for the weekend “movie matinees” on WGN-TV Chicago, way back in the day (the 70s to be exact). I don’t remember how I actually discovered the song’s actual title. Nice 5/4 time with all the band members (bass, drums, piano, and alto sax) chipping in.

“Tonight Tonight”/Smashing Pumpkins. This album also had “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “1979” released as singles. One of these days I need to play this entire double album CD and find out what I actually paid for when I purchased “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.”





MCM 2018/T-Minus 11: Tardy

At home 5:00 p.m. Dressed for the gym at 5:15. At the gym at…6:30.

No, really? Do tell.

I don’t think I’ll really be excited for the Marine Corps Marathon until I am actually at the starting corral on the morning of the run. It won’t hit me about what I’ve done until I’m on my approach to Ye Olde Fourteenth Street Bridge.

Until then, it’s one last full week of workouts, and one last “long” run. After the Sunday six miler, it’s light gym work Monday and Wednesday, then three milers on Tuesday and Thursday, then off the Friday and Saturday before MCM.

Just put some Icy Hot on my right thigh. Hope that gets better, I don’t need any kind of knocks before MCM.

A few things to do before the big day…roommates, get my bib number sent to my new email…

Oh, and I may have to just run with the shoes I’ve got now. The Aspics website didn’t have the shoes in my size, and no time to break in any new shoes.

Less than two weeks. Joy.

Song of the Day: “Kashmir”/Led Zeppelin. And “When the Levee Breaks” while we’re at it. Everybody knows Kashmir-duh!-but I first discovered “Levee” as a sample to the Beastie Boys’ “Rhymin’ and Stealin’.” Didn’t find out the real song until 1997, in a barracks with roommate David Winters in Iwakuni, Japan.

Currently listening to “Sheep” by Pink Floyd as I wrap up this blog…

MCM 2018/T-minus-12: Trouble?

I think I overdid the runs on Friday and Sunday because I have a sore right thigh. Might need some Icy-Hot and a probable no-show for the circuit tomorrow.

I finally advertised my need for three roommates on MCM weekend; let’s see how long it takes me to get booted of the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K Page (probably on two strikes for posting too many videos and my blog). Staying off Facebook for the next 18 hours.

Got my smartphone activated and transferred my apps and contacts. Didn’t transfer all my old voicemails or my old pictures from my phone. The games continue.

…and I need to contact the MCM organizers about getting my bib sent to a different email address; the one I used-my old work email-is long gone.

Might need to “borrow against myself” for MCM Weekend…

Man I need to trim my beard.

Lastly, I need to think about a shopping list for cooking on MCM weekend. I would like to make my chorizo chili with a side of white rice. I also saw an awesome way to cook tacos, using beef filet and actual corn tortillas made with actual corn.

In fourteen more days, I’m going to have to confront life again. The less said the better.

Song of the Day: “Trouble”/Lindsey Buckingham. The Fleetwood Mac guitarist gets me so well today. I saw a recent picture of him after he politely told his Mac mates that he wasn’t going to join them on their latest tour. He looked so ready for his “golden years.”

“Golden Years”/David Bowie. Speaking of…


MCM 2018/T-minus13:Cocoa

Standard Sunday run procedure, with a few exceptions:

  1. No MapMyRun this morning because I still haven’t transferred all my stuff onto my new cellphone.
  2. Only a bowl of Chobani black cherry because I got up at 0400 needing to take a No.2.

A lot cooler than normal this morning. Note to self: need to get fluorescent long sleeve tech shirts for autumn/inclement weather running. Also, very dark and quiet. The usual crickets and other forests stuff were dead silent as I made my way down South Willows Road this morning.

Only problem I had with the run this morning is a sore quad or other muscle in my upper right leg. Probably nothing that some Icy-Hot and a day off can fix. Other than that, the pain was manageable as I rolled down South Willows Rd. to HWY-5 South, towards the Sheetz gas station and up and down the rolling Great Mills Road for about three miles. When I saw the sign for the Mr. Tire at the corner of Shangri-La and Great Mills Rd., I knew I was almost home.

Started in the dark (0500-ish) and finished in the dark (0630-ish). Another day, another 11:25 pace. Good times.

So much to do this Sunday, so I will finish my hot chocolate and close the blog for today.

Song of the Day: “Immigrant Song”/Led Zeppelin.

//opening yell

“On we sweep with/Our threshing oar/Our only goal is/The western shore!”

Nuff said.

MCM 2018/T-minus 24:Skin

I used to post this blog on the Marine Corps Marathon, along with YouTube videos for my  Songs of the Day. About two weeks ago, one of the moderators for the Facebook page asked me to stop posting the videos; too much work for the moderators, and the songs weren’t really “marathon related.” On Sunday, I posted a selfie with a caption saying something snarky about my blog. On Monday I got another request from another moderator, asking me to stop posting my blog on their page, because you’re not supposed to self promote.

In other words, I went from having no complaints in three months to being an obnoxious asshole the last week of September. I see the moderators’ point, and it’s their page to run, not mine. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t a little bummed out, as well as a little pissed at them for being so petty and me for not reading/understanding their rules. being put off as I was, I worked out yesterday morning but didn’t post anything last night.

I only had one beer at the Marine Corps league meeting on Tuesday night, and I didn’t get to bed until after midnight. I woke up at 0430 to go run, but didn’t get out of bed until 0440. At 0445, I decided to go back to sleep and run later in the day. I ended up getting out of bed at 0730, bummed out and tired for most of the day.

I went running just after 5:30 p.m. (or 1730 to be consistent with military time). I wanted to run the NAS Gate 1 five-miler today. The last time I ran this, I adjusted the course to turn around at the intersection leading into Gate 1 instead of running to the Gate 1 guardshack (downhill) and back out the Gate 1 road towards home (upward). I also finished by going up the hill leading to the Abberly Crest main road, then going down the hill to my usual south Willows Road starting point and back up the hill to finish.

The weather was fine, and my pace was okay, until I tripped over a thin metal ring and fell just outside of the intersection to Gate 1. I scraped both knees pretty bad, but no damage to my ligaments, cartilage, or anything like that. I ran back home with no major pain and without any more incidents.

I finished just over an hour, running a twelve minute pace. I had no stopwatch today, and I haven’t gone over MapMyRun yet (finished at 1830, and it’s almost 220 as I type this). I’m not in any real pain; the most I got was some stinging when I applied iodine over my skinned knees). However, I had to make a run to Rite Aid to get some actual bandages that would fit on and stick to my kneecaps. My two bandaged knees will be a reminder to pat attention to the road when I run. here’s hoping I don’t get swollen and infected knees later this week.

Other random things I’m bummed/cranky/pissed about:

  1. Kavanaugh. This whole thing is bullshit. It’s not about whether he sexually assaulted/raped a teenage girl over thirty years ago, or whether he lied about it, or even if he’s fit as a judge or a citizen to sit on the Supreme Court. It’s all about Row v. Wade, Planned Parenthood, and the right to kill your unborn child because it’s too inconvenient because the babaymommy and baby daddy couldn’t agree to using a condom when they had sex.
  2. Cubs season over before Columbus Day. The Chicago Cubs had a 4~5 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers going into the Labor day weekend. Since then they dropped four of the last six regular season games to the Brewers, each of the Cubs’ starting pitchers laid an egg during the month of September, and the Cubs’ bats became ice-cold in the last week of the regular season. Last three games against St Louis (won), Milwaukee (lost the division in the playoff), and Colorado (lost the Wild card Game to end the season): 31 innings, four runs, twelve hits.
  3. When I started following the Cubs at the tender age of 11 years old, I never thought i would see the day when they would win four straight playoff berths, three straight division titles (up your, Brewers). and a World Series. 95-69? I’d take it any year, but knowing what might have been had the Cubs not gone south in September…yeah, no.


Songs of the Day: The Rolling Stones. “It’s Only Rock and Roll” was playing just I was stepping out the door to go run and eventually skin both my knees. Their promotional video from the 70s, with Mick, Keith and Co. dressed in US Navy sailor’s whites (complete with Petty Officer crows and not-so-regulation necklaces), was classic.

“Undercover of the Night” and “She Was Hot” were the lead singles off their 80s album “Undercover.” People like to say that Tattoo You, the album prior to Undercover, was the last great Stones album…I beg to differ.