Tag Archives: rants

MCM 2020: Popeye’s

Lunchtime yesterday: “Hey let’s go to Popeye’s for lunch.”

Me: “Okay.”

Four of us drive to the Popeye’s on Three Notch Road, across from Hobby Lobby, not the one in San Souci Plaza on Great Mills Road.

I am the first of four to order. Two-piece spicy dark (leg and thigh), corn on the cob, medium drink, apple pie.

Zero apple pies available. At 11:00 a.m. on a Monday (just before lunch).

Also, no corn on the cob ready. At 11:00 a.m. on a Monday (just before lunch).

Everybody else has ordered, paid for, and received their orders. Still no corn on the cob. I take Cajun rice instead.

My chicken looks like it was raised on growth hormones and tastes awful. Dirty rice may as well be dirt. No dessert to comfort my straight-up ghetto meal.

Twelve years I’ve lived here. Most of the time I get my Popeye’s at the San Souci location, and I have never had a bad meal from that location. First time in twelve years that I’ve had to throw away a Popeye’s meal.


4:00 yesterday: home from work.

5:00-6:00. Postpone, then ultimately blow off P90X (Cardio X).

6:15: Screw it, I’ll ride my bike to Weis Market in St. Mary’s Plaza for PT; I need to get some coffee and stuff.

6:30: Rain clouds moving in; call Uber instead.

7:00, coming out of Weis…the sun is out.

The weather: God’s favorite practical joke on Man for over two thousand years.


International House of Pancakes on Three Notch Road closed it’s doors today. Riding home from work, I saw a big FOR LEASE sign where the IHOP used to advertise their specials. All of the IHOP signage stripped from the building.

Didn’t stop to see if the proprietors left a sign saying “We’re closing for good tonight, thanks for your patronage all these years.”

IHOP is the third restaurant to close in my area since COVID-19 put Maryland on lockdown. One was Nick’s, which made awesome Greek gyros. The other was Captain Pat’s Seafood, which burned down a few months ago.


Raineri run 4 miler sucked this evening. I doubt if I made a twelve minute pace.

MCM 2020is an issue in doubt. That is all.


Song of the Day: Ningen Isu/”Namahage.”

I have been on a death metal kick on YouTube lately, and this sounded pretty good.

The band performs in Japanese, so forget Genius. Here’s a link to an article on the band in Japan Times.


Marathon Training During COVID-19/Throne

iStore 4: six and a half hours later…

After being in the throne room doing a No.2 on and off for an hour, I lost the “magic hour,” that period of time when I am prepped and motivated for a scheduled run. At 0530 I put off today’s run until 11:30 a.m.

Generally, the “heat of the day” takes place around 4:00-ish. However, the late morning was quite warm for being the last day before the First Day of Summer. Not any crushing humidity, but warm enough where I was glad to suck down a couple of bottles of water prior to stretching out at 11:10.

Speaking of stretching…those P90X stretches are money, yo!

An 11:19 pace over a sloping four miles is not bad (for me), but I’m not sure how I slowed down over the last mile. Mile three starts with the Three Fireplugs and ends coming back up to Abberly Crest, but the downhill and somewhat flat downhill toward the iStore facility should have been a little faster than a 12:06 final mile. Maybe I was anticipating hearing MapMyRun call out that last mile?



Spring has become summer. My diabetes is under control, but my blood pressure monitor is giving me scary readings. temporary “plantar” issue with my foot during the first mile of the run, but it’s fine now. Still no COVID-19 symptoms since I’ve been in shelter-in-place.

Eating chili for lunch as I write this. I anticipated the chili lasting a little bit longer than two days. Pho DeeLite for dinner tonight?

Planning on switching the scenery for the Sunday run: I am going on the base to run the ten-mile loop. However, I am going to tack on the run up Cedar Point Road up to Gate Two (all of it uphill) and then run it back down to the starting point at Drill Hall…where I ran to last Sunday.

Gear check: My Copper Fit ankle socks are holding up well. They stay on my feet, and I have never had any issues with blisters or sores. My Hanes ale socks are in the neighboorhood of over thirty years old. Most of them have holes in the big toes, but I have never had any ill effects when i run in them,

My asics Gel-Contend 5 is holding up rather well, for the mileage I have put on them so far. I overprint, so most of my shoe wear is in the outer rear edge of the heels. Lots of miles coming up this summer, though.


P90X, Day 68: Core Synergistics

I know I ate after the run today, so maybe five hours was not enough recovery time between the run and today’s P90X session? Whatever it was, I was doggin’ it in the last twenty minutes of the workout. I barely made it through the bonus round.

Looking at the numbers on my workout sheet, they’re comparable to two weeks ago, but yes, I was running on fumes after the towel hoppers. It didn’t help that I forgot to reach under after my first push-up on the reach-high-and-unders.

Just got done chugging my recovery drink; orange is kinda not my flavor. to for the brand I purchased from GNC.

I am just killing myself, but it looks like another night of Uber Eats…IF there are Uber drivers on the road who have the UE duty.

Kenpo X in the morning…see you next time, Tony!


Song of the Day: Utopia/”Cry Baby:” Because I am so, SO, SO tired of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #Antifa, and the rest of the Social Justice Warrior movement. Nothin’ but lyrics.

Pink Floyd:“In the Flesh/Run Like Hell/Waiting for the Worms:” This sequence from Pink Floyd: The Wall is more about “Pink’s” descent into madness, but given the current societal atmosphere, this to me is kind of a glimpse into where I think mankind is headed. PS: In my mind, Pink here is not represented by the current POTUS. Jus’ saying.


Lifestyle 2020: Mexican Eggs and SD Cards

Arepas con Huevos:

So, the recipe I used for this Mexican egg-filled cornmeal sandwich called for frying the arepa dough in a skillet with oil until golden brown, and then, “When the arepas are cool enough to handle, slice into the side of the arepa with a thin sharp knife in the same way you would split open an English muffin. Hollow out a space in the arepa without slicing all the way through.”

“Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper lightly if desired. Pour the egg into the hollowed out arepa. Seal the opening with some of the reserved dough.”

The first time I tried making arepas, the fried dough was either too thin or fried too long to make the cut in the roll. Anyway that whole thing where you’re supposed to put an egg inside the roll? Didn’t happen, and it was a waste of two eggs and half my batter the first time through. I couldn’t make a hole big enough to fill the egg without having it poured eevryhwre but inside the roll.

So, I got the bright idea to try preparing the dough for the egg before frying it. After making the batter, I took on rolled up ball of dough and tried to flatten it out inside a small paper bowl. The egg, sat inside the well I made in the dough, so I put some salt and pepper on the egg and a few pieces of fried chorizo. I then made another ball of dough and made a “cover” for the dough and the egg. I covered the arepa just barely, but some of the egg started to drip out. having made my cornmeal “sandwich,” I put the arepa con hue in the oil-filled skillet. I did the same thing with a second egg and dough.

The verdict? I didn’t cook them long enough, and when I bit into each one I got a mouthful of very runny and uncooked egg…that is, the egg that didn’t pose out of the arepa and onto my lap. Two attempts at arepas con huevos…two wasted eggs and cornmeal batter.

Helluva breakfast, Brownie!

Since I had torpedoed the keto diet for the day with two-day old sushi, I decided to take the remaining arepa batter and make at least one more attempt. Without the use of a bowl, I fashioned the dough into a crude bowl and laid in my egg with seasoning and chorizo. Unfortunately, I made hash out of putting on the cover. On top of that, I had made the indentation too deep for the gg, and the batter thinned out at the bottom. The egg was already leaking out. I barely managed to put the arepa together and put it in the skillet.

I decided to leave the leaky mess of an arepa con huevo in the fryer for a few minutes until both sides were well past golden brown…with a hint of black. After letting the “sandwich” cool, I prepared a single cup of coffee.

Technically, the egg did cook more thoroughly this time. However, because I used so much dough the “sandwich” was more bread than filling. The makeshift arepa con huevo tasted alright and made an okay dinner/late afternoon breakfast. However, it was not the  “breakfast comfort food” I was hoping for. Not sure I’ll be doing this again anytime soon.


Atari Flashback 9 w/Firmware and Games Mod

When I performed this on my birthday night two months ago, I gave up in frustration when I could not figure out how to rename all the files on the Game library on the 16GB SD card to eliminate the spaces.

On Memorial Day morning, just after breakfast, I spent an hour watching the video that I have hyperlinked. Once again, I ran into the showstopper of fixing the names on the SD card.

Tonight, I decided to make another stab at fixing the file naming. I found a second video that fully explained how to use the Advanced Renamer to fix all the files. I used the AR on the both my SD cards that I loaded the GAME_mod on, and managed to finally fix all the files.

Almost there…

So, about twenty minutes ago, I loaded the SD card into the slot in my Flashback 9. Fired it up, and when the title screen came up, the SD card entry in the options area was greyed out. I realized that I the FB didn’t do the firmware update.

When I pulled out the SD card and loaded it back on my Asus laptop, I realized that the firmware update wasn’t there. I did have the update on the original SD card, however. So I went to load the SD card and booted up the Flashback 9 one more time.

“Do you want to upgrade the firmware?” Why yes.

Went straight to the title screen, No SD card highlighted.

One more time.

Yes, I want to upgrade the firmware.

This time, I got the circle indicating the firmware upgrade was in progress. The computer program jargon filled the screen…

…and then it went black.

The Flashback title screen never came back on. Oh, there was power to the console, but no title screen, no “circle of life/death/whatever.”

Bye-bye, Flashback 9. Bye-bye, $50 impulse buy just before Christmas.

So, I cleaned up the SD card on my laptop one more time. Took apart the Flashback ( and put the box/controllers/power supply back in the box.

Back to Amazon to buy a Flashback 9 Gold. I bought two replacement Atari 2600 joysticks on Amazon two nights ago, so I’m going to figure this one out…one way or another.


Song of the Day: Blancemange/”Living on the Ceiling:” Yet another classically underrated one hit wonder from the Golden Age of MTV. I loved the use of Indian instruments and the belly-dancing vibe I got from this song. Genius got nothing but lyrics.

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.

Lifestyle 2020: Dark Saturday

So…Saturday afternoon I took my rental car back to Enterprise. If I bicycle down to Enterprise (usually a 10 minute ride from work), I chain the bicycle to a fence that separates the Enterprise lot from the  sportsmen’s store next door, I have been doing this for over six months and have never had a problem…until this particular day.

Checked the car back in to Enterprise, and I went to get my bike for the ride back home, hopefully with a stop at the local Donut Connection on the way.

My bike was there…less the front tire.

See, I always chain the bike at the back tire to attempt to discourage thieves. Unfortunately, someone in need of a front tire, or just being an asshole, made off with my front tire.

I got an Uber down to Mike’s Bikes to get an entirely new tire/wheel/tube/et cetera. Because my bike is special (i.e. over twenty years old), Mike the owner has to order a new wheel and get the tune and stuff that will actually fit it. Estimated time to fix: a week. A week without my bike, and now I have to bum rides to and from work this week.

Because somebody wanted to be an asshole. Oh, well…the rain falls upon the just and unjust alike.


Just under a month ago, I finally broke down and bought an Atari Flashback 9. A month before that, I purchased an LCD monitor with the intent of using it as an at-home monitor for my work laptop, if I have to work from home.

On Friday, I purchased an HDMI cable, with the intent of hooking up the Flashback to one of the flatscreen TVs in the Apex Clubhouse at Abberly Crest Apartments (where I live) to see if it would work , so I could play some games.

Saturday night, I got the great idea to hook up my Flashback to the monitor, since the monitor was HDMI compatible. The whole set-up process took mere minutes. The monitor turned on, the Flashback 9 powered up.


Ummm…not quite.

The Flashback worked fine, until I got to the part where I pushed the FIRE button on the joystick to start the game. I hit the Fire button, and the screen turned black, then the instruction screen appeared, instead of the game I wanted to play (Yars’ Revenger, by the way). I switched both joysticks, plugged in one instead of two, right controller port then left.

Push the fire button, screen goes black, back to instructions screen,

The inexpensive Onn brand LCD from Wal-Mart worked. The Atari Flashback joysticks worked.

The Flashback console…did NOT work.

Only $50 bucks down the drain, but just more frustration that I did not need.

Assholes and things that don’t work. Yay, me.

So…how was your Saturday?


Next week is getting back in shape for the Semper Fi Challenge, running the Historic Half Marathon on May 17, then running the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Running the Half means my training will be accelerated by a month, which means conditioning starting next week, then back on the road starting February 4. Conditioning will mean three days a week of an hour in the gym, and three days a week on the elliptical. At least the first month back on the road, I plan to run at lunchtime instead of running early in the morning.

This week is my quasi-bacchanal, which means one last week of junk food, sodas and big-ass mela before I go on a very basic keto diet. My goal is to be in much better physical shape for this year’s runs. Before last year’s Marathon, I was 220 lbs. That’s not happening this year.

More to follow…

Song of the Day:

Steve Miller Band/”Fly Like an Eagle” and Amon Amarth (feat. Sabaton)/”Twilight of the Thunder God.” I’m too frustrated with things to bother with Genius for lyric descriptions and stuff right now. The only reason I picked these songs was to taunt fellow Marines about their teams losing  their NFL Wild Card games this weekend.

“Eagle:” Seattle 17, (at) Philadelphia 9. Because Seahawks and Eagles. Fellow Marines are fans of both teams.

“Thunder:” Minnesota 26, (at) New Orleans 20, overtime. Two Marine friends who are VERY vocal Saints fans.



MCM 2019/T-minus 28: Traffic

About 20 minutes out from Arlington, VA I ran into congested traffic on the _695. Turns out that weekend construction work had turned the already heavy two-lane highway into a one-lane highway. Then the four-lane 1-295 going into DC was also a heavy mess. AS a result, I ended up spenign an hour more in the car than I had originally planned. I made it in time to Pacers Running to pick up my packet for the National Capital 20-miler tomorrow, but I was late getting lunch.

I made it to the hotel about 3;15 p.m. About 4:20 I drove out to Carderock Park to check out where the runners would be forming up the run.

I tried to type “CARDEROCK RECREATION AREA_ into my rental car’s dashboard GPS, but all I got was CARDEROCK PARK.” To-may-to, to-mah-to. Whatever. On the road.

Aside from the constant worry of hitting one of Virginia’s toll roads, with only my debit card to pay for anything, I hot another road-work snag on the I-395. Yay, more road time. To make matters worse, I missed the run going into Carderock (the GPS’ fault for giving me faulty instructions), and ended up about two miles from where I should have been. I turned off my car’s GPS, activated Google Mpas on my smartphone, and I made it to the Carderock Recreation Area.

I confirmed the parking lots where we would be allowed to park, as well as the Picnic Pavilion, where runners would check in or get last-minute packet pickups. I took a look around to see if I could find the Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath, on which we would be running tomorrow.  I walked over to the tunnel I had driven through to get to the park, and saw a path leading upside the tunnel. I assumed it would cross to the other side, but instead it led to a trail of hard-packed broken gravel.

Well, hello, C&O Towpath!

I tok a quick walk up the path to see if i cold find any landmarks or mile markers to identify the course. I couldn’t find any, and I was becoming sharply aware of my need to get dinner and hydrate for tomorrow. Looking at the forest and the small lake of standing water next to the trail, I made a note to remember to apply my Skin-So-Soft (GI-approved best insect repellent ever) for tomorrow and made my way down the hillside and back to the car.

More car time, more than I wanted. HILTON GARDEN INN didn’t lead me back to the one in Arlington, by the courthouse, but to the one in Tyson’s Corner. Back to the smartphone GPS, another congested two-lane highway, and one last half-hour trip back to the hotel. It was 4:20-ish when I left the hotel, and I drove back just after 6:00…after almost an hour and a half in the car that I didn’t want or need, hungry as hell, riding on low blood sugar, and NO i had not been hydrating since 12:30, when I left Lexington Park.

So, tomorrow I will sleep in a little bit, with reveille going at 0500 instead of 0345~0400. I will try to get on the road by 0530 so I can get to Carderock by 0600. I want to get at least 15~20 minutes to stretch before the run tomorrow.

Five miles incline leading to the finish.

Must finish in five hours.


Song of the Day: Steve Miller Band/”Heart Like a Wheel:”

I don’t trust Genius right now, and I can’t think of any other song that describes the time I wasted behind the wheel of the car today. But I can say it’s been damn near a few decades since i first heard/saw this song on MTV. I have no idea if it charted, but all I remember was “good song” and “good video.”

Steve Miller really worked it on the six-stringer on this one.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 89: Lamentations

Week In Review:

So I am just about recovered from this weekend, which was running for three straight days. I did that to make up missing the Wednesday morning run, and because I needed the mileage.

When I set out Friday morning to do the first of three runs (the four miler to make up for missing Wednesday), I had not been that pumped up to run in a while. The only thing that went wrong was my smartphone not being charged so I could use my MapMyRun app. I started the run like I was shot out of a cannon, and that’s exactly how I finished.

The Saturday run was a little slower, but I still managed a strong finish. I actually followed the strategy  that I set out for the St Mary’s City run, and I got negative splits infall but two of the mile markers (both of them the start of hills).

Changes to the routine this week:

  1. Adding weights to my circuit cycle workouts, and riding those weights through September.
  2. Thursday afternoon intervals, here at Abberly Crest. I mapped out an 800 meter course around the Abberly Crest property parking lots. I can also run the 1600-meter/mile intervals either twice around the 800 meter course or do the mile out to the Lexington Park Baptist Church and back.

This week, it’s Triple E to the (HWY-5) north and Hilton Ridge to the south for 5 miles each, then the Southeast Loop 10 miler on Sunday.

Lifestyle 2019: Minor Lamentations

What’s to save?

I remember saving all my emptied 20-oz. water bottles, my empty laundry detergent containers, and damn near every other plastic thing that I could save, then when I had full bags, I would lug them down to the recycling bin at my apartment house. If I had a lot, I would drive on base to the recycling bins across from the Exchange.

Last Friday I went to the recycling bins at Abberly Crest…and they were gone. I asked the ladies at the apartment office and they told me the management had taken away the recycling bins for good. The residents would not stop putting full bags of plastic in the bins, instead of opening the bags and dumping their plastic, and Abberly Crest got tired of paying $500 for every full bag of plastic in the bins.

So now, because people can’t follow simple instructions (lust like they don’t follow the rules about picking up after their pets), I have to wait until I can rent a car to take my recycling on base, or down to the recycling station four miles south on Three Notch Road.


For years, I have saved my pocket change and put the money into coin wrappers. I am now on my second coin-collecting bank, which filters the coins into different rolls for each coin. Every summer, when I had an emergency, or every Christmas, when I gathered up my gift-buying money, I would take my wrapped coins to the Navy Federal Credit Union and use their coin-collecting machine to cash them in. I wouldn’t actually get cash, but the amount would go into my checking or savings account, and I had extra spending cash for the holidays.

A couple of years ago, NFCU took out the coin machines, citing they were too expensive to maintain. I still save up coins, but the only places that actually take coins charge you eleven cents on the dollar to cash them, and you either get an in-store certificate to be used on the spot, or a gift card. I don’t know of any other bank that has a coin machine, nd I would probably have to open up an account to use it.

So…what’s to save?

Song of the Day: Cancelled for tonight because the internet has been acting funny all day at work and at home and I’m tired of it.

MCM 2019/T-99: Pax

And so, the countdown begins…

Got up at 0500 to run a five miler from Abberly Crest to NAS Patuxent River Gate 1 and back. Actually it’s five and a quarter. Corner to corner its 4.75, so somewhere along the stretch of road to Gate 1 is the actual 2.5 mile/halfway point. Never mind; it was humid out but I got in an 11:32 pace and was feeling good most of the way.

This week was not that great; I got in my two circuit cycle courses, but I had to do them in the afternoon because I slept in. I also took off the Wednesday morning run because of a slight twinge in my left ankle. Technically, I’m listening to my body…really, I’m getting kind of lazy.

Sooo…I am back to doing this blog every day from now through the Marine Corps Marathon. Aside from the normal MCM prep and training updates, I will toss in a nugget or two about my personal life.

Today’s nugget: I’m in Facebook jail for this weekend, or at least until sometime Saturday afternoon. Long story short, I posted a post about politics and race that got shared by two other people. The “friends” of one of the sharers (for lack of a better term) posted their responses on my thread.

Arguing on Facebook never produces winners or loser; it only becomes a matter of who can make somebody lose their temper. I made somebody lose their temper, and then I got way out of hand, to include visiting the thread of one of the “sharers.” I stopped posting just before midnight last night, but the ugliness continued on my thread up until about 1000 this morning, when FB officially shut me down.

Also, I’m back on the insulin, so I am going to attempt a very basic veto diet for the time being. I am also going to try REALLY REALLY HARD to get rid of the sweets and other junk food as well.

Song of the Day: U2/”Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me:” Rest in peace, Heath Ledger…

MCM 2019: The Schedule

I have gotten so used to sleeping late that I did a lot of it this week, ignoring the 0430 alarm and sleeping in until 0600~0630. Aside from general laziness, today I had to visit the dentist to get a crown for the tooth that chipped while eating a piece of candy at the Charlotte, NC airport. Right now, I am recovering from the Novocain wearing off from my extended dental surgery (I also had to get a filling for the tooth right behind the chipped one) and whilst being vertical in the dental chair, my sinuses decided to drain. On top of my mouth being sore, now I have something of a cold. I also did not eat until 1230 this afternoon, courtesy of my 0800 dental appointment.

In short…not feeling too hot right now.

To take my mind off my general lousy feeling, I decided to confront the Intermediate Training Plan that I have been planning for this year’s marathon. A few changes I made from the prescribed plan, taking into account my current age and health:

1) NO I am not doing back to back short and long runs on Saturdays and Sundays. I switched the Saturday short runs with the Friday rest days.

2) I will ATTEMPT the prescribed strength sessions at least twice a week, maybe on the Saturday rest day.

3) NO I will not do strength sessions immediately after a run on a regular basis. I WILL ATTEMPT them at least twice on the schedule.

Basic weekly schedule:

Tuesday: Short run

Wednesday: Intervals. Looks like I will be doing these at NAS Patuxent River.

Thursday: Strength sessions or back to the circuit cycle if the sessions are too much to bear.

Friday: Short run, race pace.

Saturday: Planning to rest the day before the long run, but I may sneak in a strength session or circuit course.

Sunday: Long run. Easy for the first third, then increasing pace over the last two thirds.

Monday: Recovery

So, instead of alternating between the gym and the road six days a week, I’ll be running on the road and the track on consecutive days, followed by strength/circuit, then short run/rest (or not)/long run through the weekend.

This is a significant change from what I have been doing the last five years. I think that has been the “mental block” for me not getting back into the groove this week. Memorial Day officially marks 23 weeks (or exactly 5 months, or about 150 days) before this year’s Marine Corps Marathon, and I have not really been sure how I want to approach this year.

So, with the schedule adjusted to what I honestly believe I can do, and keystroked to a document in Microsoft Excel, I can start thinking about my immediate future.

I am going to write the rest of this week off, then attempt a sample schedule of the training plan next week. To wit:

Monday: Shangri La 3 mi.

Tuesday: Track check-out at Pax River Drill Hall. Pax River has two tracks, but neither of them are the standard 400-meter ovals. One is an asymmetrical loop that is a mile after two laps, and the other is a round, but not oval track. Will try to do two 800-meter runs or two 1600-meter runs, depending on the advertised distance (and how I feel that day).

Wednesday: At least one set of the strength sessions listed in the intermediate training plan.

Thursday: HWY-5 3-mi., at race pace (11-12 minute mile).

Friday: Rest day. If I’m feeling frisky, maybe a circuit course, or a set of the strength session, or maybe some elliptical or stationary bike. We’ll see.

Saturday: Zion 6-mi. I ran this course as a “check-out” run for my new pair of running shoes, purchased a mere week before the MCM last year.

Sunday: Recovery/evaluate/adjust the training plan.

Can’t wait to see what happens…

Lifestyle update: The Atari VCS builders made significant hardware changes to the original desing. The BIG one for me was when they removed the SD-card slot.

BAD. MOVE. The other two Atari 2600 emulators have SD cards and firmware that will let you download a special ROM loaded with over a thousand Atari 2600 games. Right now, the current Atari VCS is planning 100 classic Atari 2600 games. Unless the makes have something up their sleeves, this thing may be dead to me, and DOA for the people who actually funded the InDeGoGo effort.

Song of the Day: Okay, instead of ducking this, I’m going to list what I am currently listening to on YouTube.

Side note: YouTube has been getting somewhat greedy lately. I guess if you want YT working right with no interruptions to service (i.e. the “spin cycle” that I have been seeing lately while playing a string of videos), so I’m just going to list artists and title. No more hyperlinks, sorry.

BTW: these may be repeats:

Avicii feat. Gotye/Kimbra/”Levels That I Used to Know:” Mashup of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” and Avicii’s “Levels.” Several versions of this mashup, but this is the best because it features the complete vocals (G and K) from the song.

AWOLNATION/”Sail:” Check out Nanalew’s video of this excellent song.

Hozier/”Take Me to Church” and Chris Isaak/”Wicked Game:” Two very sexy songs. Love the piano and cellos on “Curch” and the guitar work on “Game.”

Gerald McCann/”Cry Little Sister” and Thomas Newman/”To The Shock of Miss Louise”. Two very different songs from the original soundtrack to the 80s hit The Lost Boys. “Cry” was all “vamps just wanna have sex,” and the children’s choir (“Thou shalt not fall/thou shalt no fear) was a beautiful touch. The extended version of “Miss Louise” is a grand circus organ instrumental; it was just background noise in the movie, but it’s a hell of an addition to the OST.

Faith No More/”Stripsearch:” “Eye…to eye…ohh,hoooo…” This is one of the more “laid back” tunes from the band. I remember being on the USS Belleau Wood in the summer of 1994, and their album Angel Dust got some serious play in our work center.


Rolling Stones/”It’s All Over Now”

REM/”Losing My Religion”

Beck vs. Avenged Sevenfold/”The Loser and the Harlot:” Mashup featuring music from “Loser” with vocals (including the opening howl) by Avenged Sevenfold.

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!