Tag Archives: run

MCM 2018/T-minus 38: Recap

Sunday, after I posted my blog, I rented a car, purchased a ticket to the DC United vs. New York Red Bulls soccer match, and drove an hour and twenty minutes to the outskirts of DC to Audi Arena for the match. The entire affair was a spur of the moment thing; I did get my rental car, game ticket, and post-match hotel. However, on-the-fly planning can get somewhat tricky when parking in the vicinity of Audi Arena. The place was half full so I was able to find a parking spot reasonably close for the match…for $40. Sunday night I watched my Chicago Fire beat San Jose 4-0, closing out a good soccer Sunday (not great, as DC United and Red Bulls tied a 3).

Monday morning I had to drive back home from DC, so I had to run in the afternoon after work. I got in my three miles (HWY-5 South), but got utterly lazy after the run, too lazy to post on the blog. I did schedule my remaining runs for the rest of the training cycle though. This Sunday is an 11 miler to my old workplace, the SAIC building in California, MD.

Tuesday I completely blew of my Return to the Gym for my four cycles of the circuit course. I don’t know if I am getting really lazy or scared of going to the gym, but it’s now a week and a half since my last trip to the gym. When I got up to run this morning, I felt a twinge around my right kneecap. That was a quick reminder that if I get too far delinquent with these workouts, I could suffer come MCM day.

I did get up to run this morning, running the Glen Mary Farm 4 in about 44 minutes. MapMyRun was a little slow with counting off the mile markers, and it had me running 3.89 miles instead of the measured 4. Hmmm…

My last five Sunday runs before the MCM are 10-13-10-8-6 miles. No half-marathons this year because I’m saving up for MCM weekend, especially the hotel room. My schedule:

10: SAIC run (actually closer to 11)

13: St. Mary’s City Plus (actually 12 but looking to add an extra mile)

10: Southern Loop 10

8: Sheetz or Great Mills Road Run (flip a coin)

6: Superwillow 6

Song of the Day: The Extended Play Album edition

Last night while listening to the radio, I was duly informed by the disc jockey that September 18 was kind of a big deal in rock history…

“Baby I Love Your Way”/Peter Frampton, released as a single 18 September 1975.

“More Than a Feeling”/Boston, released as a single 18 September 1976

“Purple Haze”/Jimi Hendrix, who passed away 18 September 1970.

A few minutes after learning of those facts, The Rocket (WMDM, 97.7) played tow awesome songs back-to-back:

“Lunatic Fringe”/Red Rider. How Madonna’s “Crazy for You” got lumped together with this song on the Vision Quest soundtrack is beyond me. Not an iPod listener when I work out or run, but this song would be part of the playlist.

“Immigrant Song”/Led Zeppelin. I’ve gone this long without a Zeppelin song on the SOTD? I think I selected “When the Levee Breaks” one day…not sure. On we sweep with/A threshing oar!/Our only goal will be the western shore!” ‘Nuff said.

“Crazy on You”/Heart. Because the Ozzy song the DJ promised was “Mama I’m Coming Home.” Yeah…no.


MCM 2018/T-minus 63:Peoria


My last post before my extended hiatus was the evening of my 30-year high school reunion. I had a few good laughs, made up with a classmate for pointless political fighting on Facebook, took more bad pictures than good (damn smartphone) and had four bottles of Miller Lite. This was Saturday night, August 19.

I sounded reveille at 0400 on Sunday the 20th. I decided the night before that my 10 miler would be a run by my alma mater, Richwoods Community High School of Peoria, IL (GO KNIGHTS). Despite the four beers, I felt okay to run.

When I mapped out the run on MapMyRun the night before, I had the phrase (Glen Avenue on my mind. It was on the course somewhere (or was it Gale Avenue?), but I had mistaken it for my first left turn. Looking for Glen (Gale?) Avenue, I backed up on my first left turn, pausing to wave hello at the Peoria policeman inside his speed trap cruiser. I was on the correct road (Forrest Hill Ave.), but kept going until I hit Glen Avenue, which turned out to be Nebraska Avenue. That mistake cost me an extra mile for my Sunday run and probably added a few seconds to my overall pace.

Nebraska Avenue turned onto the main stretch of University Street. The last half mile from Glen Avenue (a-HA!) to Richwoods had a pair on good inclines and declines, with the last one leading up to Northmoor Road and RHS itself.

After running onto the campus and a quick “pass and review” of the ol’ alma mater, I crossed back towards the back half of Northmoor Rd., which was torn up due to construction but still crossable. North moor turned onto Allen Rd., which then took a right turn and a steep incline up War Memorial Drive. After making the turnaround at the Huck’s gas station, I headed down War Memorial. Just before my last scheduled water point, I checked my MapMyRun to see where I was at. The app said I had done 8.75 miles to that point, confirming that I was in for some bonus mileage today.

War Memorial was one more series of decline to incline before heading back on to Sterling Avenue and back home. MMR had me doing 11.17 miles in 2.24, at a 12.54 pace. Not that great of a pace, but still enough to make the 14 minute “Beat the Bridge” pace.

For some inexplicable technical reason, MMR stopped tracking my run around the same time that I made my distance/time check. Maybe I accidentally ended the workout? I’m not sure what happened that day, but the app DID properly track my four milers on Wednesday and Friday.


Landmark Recreation Center is a combination fitness center (aka “gym”)/bowling alley/movie theater/entertainment complex that has been operating since i was in grade school. It’s also a convenient quarter mile from my home in Peoria. I opted to go there for my circuit course and fartlek workouts on Tuesday and Thursday.

On Tuesday afternoon, I went to Landmark’s gym, purchased an $8 day pass, and headed to the workout area. The first area is in the infield of the three-lane indoor track, with a group of Nautilus workout machines flanked by two sets of treadmills and elliptical machines. It took me five minutes to determine that the Nautilus area had all of the machines I needed to execute my circuit course.

At one of the doorways of the first workout area, I found another area with free weights, dumbbells, and machines that used weight plates. In an effort to change up my routine, I decided that the free weights area would be where I would do my Thursday “heavy” circuit, then do my fartlek on the indoor track.

I got through both the regular and heavy workouts with no issues on Tuesday and Thursday. The gym was populated on both days, but not to the point where I had to “share the gym” with lots of people during my workouts. The indoor track was convenient and had no other running traffic in the single running lane, and the two walking lanes had few users.

After both workouts, I treated myself to a delicious and inexpensive strawberry flavored protein shake.

Landmark Recreation center may not be as flashy as Gold’s Gym or World Gym, and I’ve never been to the Peoria Riverplex (another fitness/entertainment complex down by the Illinois River downtown), but I got everything I needed within reasonable distance and expense.


On my Wednesday and Friday runs, I didn’t get the chance to map them on MMR due to limited internet access, so I took my smartphone with the MMR app. My plan was to listen for the one and two mile verbiage cues to mark my turnaround points. Not only did the plan work, but MMR actually mapped out my runs like it was designed to. PROGRESS.

The full moon was out all week, but I never saw it. It was overcast on Wednesday morning; Friday morning I found myself in a thunderstorm, although the downpour was not as heavy as the thunder and lightning suggested. The lightning on Friday morning was a concern; Sterling Avenue was lined with plenty of lampposts, and I was concerned (somewhat) with being that one-in 10,000 to be killed by a lightning strike. I did survive the Friday thunderstorm run, vowing NEVER to do that again, but my quest for a post run chocolate milk was cancelled when the downpour intensified.

The Wednesday run was short stroll north on Sterling Avenue, then a turn onto the rolling hills of War memorial Drive and back. The Friday run went south on Sterling, going downhill to Farmington Road until I heard the “two mile warning” on my phone, and then the climb back up Sterling towards home. Got good sub 12 minute paces both days.


My trusted chromo-pedo unit has gone blank; I discovered it late Saturday night as I prepare for the Sunday run. It probably just needs a new battery, provided I can find a jeweler’s screwdriver to open the rusted screw on the battery lid.

MapMyRun batted 2 for 4 this week. No idea what’s happening with the GPS tracking on these longer runs.

I am never doing online check cashing ever again. Better to pay another bank to cash it than wait two business days for the rest of your money.

My apartment has not had proper air conditioning this month. I wasted a day of personal Time Off for the maintenance man to tell me there was an external electrical problem with the outside a/c connecting to my inside a/c…and they need that fixed so they can find the leak in my internal a/c.


“Sister Golden Hair”/America: “I’ve been one poor correspondent/And I’m too, too hard to find/But that doesn’t mean/You ain’t been on my mind.” I want that on my tombstone when I die.

“Be True to Your School”/Beach Boys: Because HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!!!

“Nobody’s Fool”/Cinderella: Because artists for today have names that start with ABC. Cinderella was the first band that came to mind, and I’m not up for research right now. Still a damn good song.

“Lightning Strikes”/Aerosmith: Theme song for Friday, even though actual lightning and gang violence (the theme of this song) are two different things.

I have to go workout in under ten hours…

MCM 2018/T-minus 92: Return

It wasn’t the four minute mile.

It wasn’t a PR pace.

It wasn’t an Olympic gold medal or World Championship performance.

But it was three miles without any pain in my groin or the muscle that connected it to my inner right thigh.

I got up at 0430 this morning (almost twelve hours ago, shows you how lazy I am). Knowing I was under no pressure or stress, I promptly went back to sleep until just after five. I got dressed, put on my new running kicks, applied Skin-So-Soft  (no Body Glide today). Did my warm-up stretch to include the all important Japanese Ham Sandwich, and the just as important and newly added groin stretch and ankle rotations. After downing a 16 oz. glass of Nuun Energy water, I headed outside to the starting point, the main entrance to Abberly Crest Apartments.

It took me about three seconds and six strides to know that everything was alright. I left my pedometer/stopwatch and my smartphone with the MapMyRun app at home today. The only thing important today was a run free from pain from my groin and my thighs…oh, and my left knee while we’re at it.

The run was uneventful, except for when a passerby shouted “Let me have some of your energy, man! I worked all day yesterday and I’m tired!” I was so into the running I had forgotten about the presence of other people, and I was somewhat startled that he had spoken to me. No big deal. I was at the last turnaround going back up the hill to the Abberly Crest entrance, and it was just a matter of counting the three fire hydrants that marked the end of the run.

I pretty much took the week off from running and the circuit training; with the exception of one application of Icy Hot, I didn’t do any medical treatment or any kind of stretching out. I just went about my business and let the sore muscles heal. Sometimes doing nothing is the best medicine.

So, it’s back to work. I’m off tomorrow, but i will resume the circuit training schedule with lighter weights all three days. The Wed/Fri runs will be untimed runs as I get back into the running flow and then I’ll go back to full speed for the Sunday run at the National Mall.

My running schedule for August presents some challenges. The Sunday after next will be a sixteen mile run. I am planning to go home to visit family and my high-school reunion on the weekend of August 16th  (ten miler that week), and the next weekend after that will be a 20 mile run. I have to start working some logistics for next month.


Icy Hot and Instant Noodles

Tuesday morning I banged my knee on something; two gym sessions and a hill run later, my knee is staring to act up on me. Nothing major or swollen, but going up and down a flight of stairs got real challenging about 1700 or so. I wen to CVS to get some Icy Hot sleeves for my knees. I’m riding on Icy Hot’s reputation on this one. I had a serious crimp in my back one time, and 10 minutes after applying an Icy Hot patch to my back the pain was gone.

I’ve also got to run in less than six hours, so I am going to attempt a carbo load with one cup of Maruchan Instant Noodles (shrimp flavor) and one cup Velveeta instant Shells and Cheese. Here’s hoping I don’t have to have a major bowel movement in the morning so I can get my run over with by 0600, not 0800. I have tomorrow off, but I have things to do.

Tomorrow’s run is Willow Road-Shangri-La 3. I need to get some course maps from the NAS Pax River gym so I can pick a good five miler for Sunday.

Memorial Day Weekend for me? Marine Corps League stuff, try to register for one more class at Southern Illinois University, MCM, friend’s wedding on Saturday, pay bills…and maybe a lonely toast on Monday to all the fallen heroes of America.