Tag Archives: running gear

45th Marine Corps Marathon, Patuxent River MD

//oh, snap…my password still works? Time to get my blog on…

So today, six days past the original date, I ran the 45th Marine Corps Marathon, virtually here in the Patuxent River area of St. Mary’s County, MD.

The Course:

  1. Start/finish line was the entrance to Abberly Crest Apartments. 2.
  2. Started to run north up Willows Road to Great Mills Road to Gate 2 of NAS Patuxent River. 3.
  3. At the gate, took a left up Three Notch Road/MD-235 to Chancellor’s Run Road.
  4. Left onto Chancellor’s Run all the way downhill to Great Mills Road/MD-5.
  5. Took a right and an uphill MD-5 to the parking lot connecting Little Flower School and Holy Face Church.
  6. Ran around the parking lot and back down MD-5, then turned left and back up Great Mills to Chancellor’s Run, running up and down that back to Three Notch Road.
  7. Three Notch Road to Gate 2, to Great Mills, then south down Willow Road, past Abberly Crest.
  8. The above was the opening 18 miles.
  9. Willow Road all the way to MD-5 north, taking a left and following MD-5/Point Lookout Road all the way to Berne Way, the last turnaround point.
  10. At Berne Way, turned right around on Point Lookout Rd/MD-5 all the way back to Willow Road south.
  11. One last uphill on Willow Road, all the way back to Abberly Crest.
  12. 26.22 on the dot.

MCM Day abort:

0330-0400: Reveille/breakfast/get dressed

0345: Realize that I forgot to charge my cell phone from the night before. Not a good thing, since my MapMyRun app is on my phone.

0400-0445: STRETCH

0445-0455: Pack my FlipBelt with spare bottle of water, mixed with pickle juice and Mix Water energy additive.

0450: Step out into the pouring rain. Dammit, rain for the second straight year.

0500: Step off

0505-ish: Realize that I don’t have my neck gaiter. In this world of COVID-19. you can’t enter a public facility of any kind without a make or face covering. Since I had three gas stations along my route with very public toilets, this was kind of a big deal. Looking back, however, I wasn’t willing to put up with the rain, so I trudged back to the apartment to get the neck gaiter.

Back in the apartment, warm and dry, I realized that I dropped my driver’s license and my ATM card outside, whilst putting my cellphone way for the run. Back outside in the rain to recover my cards.

The rain started pouring much harder; I had not seriously done any running in the rain this year, so I decided to hold off until noon, when the weather was supposedly better.

Honestly? Out of laziness and stupidity, and allowing for the loophole that I had until November 10 to run the MCM and submit my score, I put off the run until Saturday.

“Game called due to rain.” Good Lord.

T plus 6

Two changes to last week’s pre-run routine:

  1. Substituted on of my tubs of Chobani yogurt (black cherry flavor) for a toasted English muffin with peanut butter. Maybe a little too filling, because I had something of a bubble gut the first four miles.
  2. Stretched for only thirty minutes instead of forty-five.

At 0509 EST, I stepped off. There was the blue full moon out in the pre-dawn darkness, but it was a fairly cloudy night. It was there, but kind of…not there.

I had cut down on my pre-race day water consumption, but man…was my bladder active. I had to stop at the Wawa’s gas station about a half-mile from Chancellor’s Run. I was going to stop at the Sheetz gas station at the Great Mills/MD-5 intersection, until I saw about seven police cars and the parking lot taped off.

The stretch of Chancellor’s Run/Great Mills/Little Face took a lot more out of me than I anticipated. I started getting my annual Revolt of the Thighs during the up and down return leg up Chancellor’s Run. At Mile 16 on Valley Road, I had to power walk while I took my second GU energy pod of 2020, and a four ounce chug from my water bottle.

I don’t think the pickle juice helped that much.

From Valley Road back to Abberly Crest, I power walked until I could find enough of a second wind to do a Marine Corps shuffle. That’s when you chop or shorten your stride when you run; Marines running in formation would do that (on command) when the platoon leader wanted to slow the platoon down.

Green Meadow Lane, the back entrance to Abberly Crest, was where I started a lot of my runs. I was like “Okay, this is the same run I’ve done so many times. Just go out to Berne Way, and then back here and I’m done.”

Uphill to Raineri Run, then Willow Road downhill to MD-5 South. MD-5 uphill then it flattens out, with some inclines and declines to Berne Way.

When I finished my climb/power walk up MD-5, I took one last water/GU break at mile 20, on Manor Way. The run down/up Point Lookout Road/MD-5 felt like running in a tunnel (where’s the turnaround point?), but I was able to run to Berne Way and turn around.

At Manor Way on the final return leg, I snapped my last traditional selfie (taken at 8/16/24 mi. points) and got one last second wind. My hamstrings made some noise, but I was still able to shuffle uphill on Willows Road, past the Bay Montessori School, one more uphill and downhill towards, Green Meadow Lane.

At Green Meadow Lane, I ran through the “arch” formed by the street sign and the STOP sign, then one last uphill past the three fireplugs and toward the Abberly Crest sign.

I pulled my smartphone out of my FlipBely, and pulled up MapMyRun.

PAUSED, then FINISHed the run.

26.22 miles in 6:19:24. Virtual Marine Corps Marathon for 2020: DONE.

Semper Fi Challenge (Historic Half and MCM in the same year): DONE.

Aftermath

One last post-run selfie for the year. Saved my run to MapMyRun to record to the MCM website later on. Way to sore and tired to do a post-run cool down walk, so I walked back home.

Epsom salt bath. One last step on the scales: 222 lbs. Warmdown dress of long-sleeve tee, running tights, and compression socks.

Posted the run time and my MapMyRun app screen to the MCM website. Decorated my Finisher’s Certificate.

Done. All done.

Lessons Learned:

About a month after finishing the Historic Half (also virtual), I had back to back fails on running 10, then 13 miles on the course at NAS Patuxent River. Overtraining, maybe? This year was the first time I had started my training in February.

I had cataracts surgery on each eye, three weeks apart. The day after the post=op consult on each eye (about eight days), I should have been back on the road. I had some complications with my left eye, which were remedied with switching my eyedrops prescription. Still took WAAAY too much time off (about three weeks).

After failing to graduate P90X Lean, I never picked it back up. I should have, because even with running in the morning and P90X after work, I was still reaping the benefits. I was running an average of 11:15~11:30 right after the Half; I never saw above 12~12:30 after I restarted in late August.

I scrapped the keto diet and got addicted to Doordash.

All that being said, UCAN hydrate was a revelation. After adding a packet to a 16-0z. bottle of water and chugging it before the run, I can go at least 16 miles before I have to run. That’s a good then when you’re running a long training run or a virtual half-or-full marathon sans benefit of water or fuel stations.

Either I need a new cell phone or some quality time with MapMyRun’s customer service. I didn’t hear my split times in the last three weeks of running…to include today.

High marks also for the Chafe Paint anti-chaffing cream made by Kanberra. No chaffing over 26 miles, and no sore spots in the nether regions.

Final thoughts:

Ah, the loneliness of the long-distance runner.

No water stations or food/fuel stations.

No cheering crowds.

No howitzer to start the race. No running under a red and gold finish arch to end it.

Just me, God, Patuxent River, and my smartphone with my MapMyRun app.

Then again, there was that first marathoner, though.

Remember Phillipedes!

One last entry tomorrow, with a Song of the Day…I swear!!!

Historic Half 2020: Gear Interlude

I am not a paid spokesperson for anybody; I just don’t have the likes or reads on this here blog.

The winter weather in southern Maryland has been generously not-so-cold enough where I can actually run, at least in the afternoons (shooting for mainly lunch). Training for the Historic Half Marathon in May means  accelerated training starting in February.

Headgear: I have a balaclava for when the weather is cold and windy enough to wear it. Where was it this morning? On less chilly days, I break out the old hi-visibility white Brooks tech ball cap, and ear muffs if needed.

Shirts: Either a hi-yellow Athletic Wear base wear shirt or a white tech shirt over a long sleeve thermal shirt. If it’s less-than-cool outside, just a plain short sleeve T-shirt to AW compression shirt…preferably one of the few left that can fit me.

Tights: Either of the two pair of Brooks running tights, or the Athletic Wear black running tights. The two Brooks tights are medium but well broken in, so they fit me well. The AW tights are in large and are a little bit more comfortable.

I may need a refresh on my long and ankle length running socks; most of them have at least one hole around the big toe region. I could buy more expensive socks, but when I’ve only had one blister in six years of running, why fix what ain’t broken?

My FlipBelt has a nice key holder, but I haven’t gotten around to remembering how to properly insert my smartphone without either dropping it or having a failure with the MapMyRun app.

My Brooks Ravenns are looking their age. If I run in them too long, I risk injury. I will probably head to Runner’s Wearhouse and buy an inexpensive but effective pair of adidas running shoes about a month before the Historic Half.

I am not using any pre-run or in run supplements at this time; no Nuun tablets, no Tailwind, not even a 12~16 oz. water with a splash of Mio water enhancer in it. I’m still feeling okay, but I wonder if it would help with the weight?

 

Historic Half 2020: Punitive

New rule for 2020: I miss a run day for any preventable reason, I make up the run on Monday, sleep and distance of the run be damned.

I missed six Wednesday runs from July through September last year, which may help explain why I was not at my running weight and/or my poor performance at the Marine Corps Marathon last year. So, from now on, if I miss any run and I have no real excuse for it, I make it up on Monday.

On Friday, I could have done a better recon of the area at lunch, or I could have just started my run at my usual site on base and made that turn. Either way, I tried to run on Monday and I screwed up because of poor run routing.

So, I made it up this afternoon. Nothing fancy, just the usual Willow Road to Shangri-La and back. I was tempted to go the full three miles, but I decided to save it for the rest of the week.

I ran at an 11:48 clip, my best pace of the year by 3 seconds. I ran 2.79 miles; adding the 0.28 from my Friday abort puts me at 3.07, so I’m good.

I thought a lot about the base run, and I thought up a couple of new routes. I will only be able to test one of them this week (I’m off Friday, unless I really like riding in to work just to run). We’ll see what happens.

Winter Gear:

With my accelerated run schedule, I am finally making good use of the commemorative MCM mock turtlenecks that are issued to runners every year at the Runner’s Expo. I prefer the thicker mock turtlenecks because I only have to wear a compression shirt or a regular tee-shirt underneath to keep arm. With the thinner tech shirt that we were issued last year, I have to wear a base layer or long-sleeve tech shirt underneath.

I spent $200 in  Brooks running tights at the Runner’s Expo in 2018. I think I spent about $60 in tights between Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods in fall/winter 2019.

My preferred non-Brooks tights are from Athletic Wear from Wal-Mart. I wear a size large in those tights, while the Brooks are a snug-fitting but okay fitting medium. AW’s tights are loose around my crotch/groin area, and the cuffs hit me right at the ankle, so they look and feel good. I had to “retire’ two sets of  medium tights to house duty because they neither fit me or looked good.

For my run today, I wore a long-sleeve tech shirt from the 2016 Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half-Marathon. The 2014 WWB Half was were I got a PR (personal record/best time) for half. The first race I attended was well organized, but then they went downhill from there. I miss that race.

It wasn’t an issue today, but i wore my ball cap instead of my ear-covering ski-cap. I bought two pairs of ear muffs this winter and I lost both pair. $22 down the drain.

I don’t think my current running shoes (Brooks Ravennas) are gonna make it to May 17, the date of the Historic Half Marathon.

Song of the Day

Beatsie Boys/”Fight for Your Right:” This song just popped into my head for no reason at all after the run today. Fourth single from their debut album, Licensed to Ill. The Beasties started their life as a punk band, founded by a female named Katie Shellenbach. Katie was cut when Rick Rubin signed the band to Def Jam Records. Slayer Guitarist Kerry King played the guitar solo on the track.  Also sprach Genius:

  • The song was written as a satirical, sarcastic jab at “party anthems”. The group indulged in this image with their tongues firmly in their cheeks, but to their disappointment, the joke was lost on the masses. “Fight for Your Right” became a frat house battle cry and the Beastie Boys became synonymous with the lifestyle they were parodying…

“Rhymin’ an’ Stealin’:” My first ever favorite Beatsie Boys song. I heard the drum samples from Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” and I was hooked. Arrr, matey, they be Jewish pyrates from Brookyn!