Tag Archives: sports

Historic Half 2020: Great Mills 8

Stepping out of the apartment, on my way for an emergency purchase of replacement running shoes, I looked up and saw the full moon.

That’s when I knew everything was going to be all right, when I went for my 8-mile run this morning.

I went to bed late because I was late getting my dinner. I decided to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken and found myself going through drive-thru…with three other cars in front of me.

Dinner started at 10:00 p.m. and I went to bed at 11:30, setting the alarm so I could get up and move the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.

0430 came, and I didn’t hesitate to get out of bed. “When the full moon is callin’,” I said to myself, “Mister Scott don’t say no.” The thermometer read 31 degrees, so I bundled up: bright yellow base layer over white long-sleeved tech shirt. Thermal long-johns underneath my Brooks running tights. Cap and gloves. Stretched at 0440. Downed a bottle of water, mixed with a packet of UCan Hydrate, which I picked up at last year’s Runner’s Expo.

0505. Activated my MapMyRun app on my smartphone, and I took off under the bright, pale moonlight.

It was pretty cold but I bundled up well. I took off at a good pace; at the Bay Montessori School, the MMR app told me I was at an 11:45 pace. As I made the first big climb up MD-5 West, I felt something brewing in my bowels. I was tempted to make a stop at the Sheetz gas station to make a quick No. 2, but as I hit the next big hill going up Great Mills Road, I managed to work my way through “the urge” and my bowels settled down.

I bought a pair of ASICS Gel Contend 5s at Dick’s Sporting Goods last night. My old Brooks Ravennas had been worn down; I was okay on Friday, but I didn’t want to risk any injury running in worn down shoes. Two potential problems: Contend 5s are not made for overpronators, and while a size 12 fit me snugly, a size 13 would probably have been better. Still for $42, it was a matter of taking good over great.

During the course of the run, the Contend 5s held up pretty well, but there was that small nagging in my right foot…plantar much, maybe?

The rolling hills of Great Mills Road came and went. My pace hovered around 12:30, but I knew it was because of all the inclines and declines. I really haven’t studied the actual elevation of the Historic Half, but with my weekend of busting my keto diet added in, I felt I needed to start working some hills. After the last short climb just before the Burger King, Great Mills flattened out. At the familiar corner of Great Mills Road and Shangri-La Drive/Willows Road, I made the turn right on Willows and picked up the pace for the home stretch.

I finished the run around 0645. After I got home, I got on the scale…up three pounds. My mini-vacation also meant I wen really hard off the keto diet.

Normally, I usually put breakfast on about a half hour after a run. After my weigh-in, I put on my cool-down sweats and laid down for a bit. I finished the run at 0645. At 0945 I said “To hell with cooking, I’m getting McDonald’s.” Maybe it was the impact of losing that hour of sleep? Maybe I ran harder than I thought? A little bit more fatigue than usual? Whatever it was, I wasn’t even up for making a pot of coffee, let along my usual Sunday pancakes and sausage.

My runs have been at a 12:15~12:30 clip, which will do since I need to start running more hills. I made up for all my missed circuit cycles with some extra sets/lesser weights. Yesterday, frosh off a two hour drive back from DC, I did two sets, but with added weights. I am back in my workout routine, but I need to do better on the keto diet if I really want to see better results. I get really bad when i do something where I have to skip lunch and end up munching on a Snickers bar…which leads to soda and more junk food.

Song of the Day: Iron Maiden/”Run to the Hills:” my hometown Bradley Braves (Bradley University, Peoria, IL) won the 30th annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and are going to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the second straight year.

We’re coming for you, Gonzaga!

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.

GAME ON!

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 4:Logistics, T-Minus 3: Ceremonial

T-Minus 3: Ceremonial

Working backwards from right now, 5:01 p.m. EST

Just got done with a very late lunch from District taco, a short walk outside my hotel in Arlington, VA. Three delicious spicy shrimp tacos and a small bag of chips with guacamole. All for sixteen bucks.

After what I spent on the hotel and rental car-and oh, by the way, your debit card is on-hold until you check out Monday morning-I’m on cash for Marine Corps Marathon weekend. Which means cooking up a great big Dutch oven full of my classic Chili Cubano. I call it that because the meats resemble those found in a traditional pressed Cuban sandwich: pulled pork, ham, and in variant, spicy pork chorizo sausage. I’m using Johnsonville chorizo; it’s pretty good, but it’s not a traditional Mexican brand chorizo.

But I’m eating it and you’re not. Hahaha!

Anyway, I’m planning on fixing my dinner-cum-carbo loading for the weekend about 7:00, an hour before the last Major League Soccer conference semifinals.

Today, about 2:45 p.m. EST:

I was somewhere on I-395 south, heading into the Arlington/Rosslyn area, when I saw the standards for the runner’s corrals. There are where the runners will be grouped by their expected finishing time.

I saw the standards, and then it hit me: I am driving down the road where the 44th Marine Corps Marathon will be starting. This is it. This is why I spent so much money yesterday. This is the payoff for all the midwinter conditioning…answering the 4;30 a.m alarms (and sometimes earlier)…the early mornings at the Apex Clubhouse gym…and all the running of damn near every hill that the State of maryland could offer, from the Capital Crescent to the Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath.

This is why I’m here…to finish. For the FIFTH time.

I saw a Facebook post by a guy who had a picture of all the MCM patches from forty-one consecutive runs. May I live that long.

Wal-Mart Parking Lot, 1:15 p.m.

…aaand I’m on the road to Arlington, VA, leaving Wal-Mart only fifteen minutes later than I planned, but I’ll just get to the hotel just in time for 3:00 check-in.

I had to hit Wal-Mart for a bottle of Fairlife chocolate milk. It cost me about $3 at Wal-Mart and would cost me a lot more in VA. I also bought some cheap throw-away sweats for Sunday. I am expecting it to be cold and rainy, so bought a zippered hoodie and a pair of sweat bottoms with side pockets, both in large. Mediums would have been tight, but maybe I would have been warmer. I expect to be drenched in sweat and much warmer when I finish the Marathon on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of sweats, I plan on breaking an old habit and actually using the clear plastic security bag that is packed with my runner’s bib, this year’s mock hoodie and accompanying patch, and other swag from the packet pick up. I plan on better recovering from the run this year, so I will pack my old olive bra green Marine sweats and a pair of compression socks. As soon as I finish, I plan on donning those sweats and socks. Maybe I can find a vendor selling chocolate milk to go with the post-race bananas handed out by Marines.

So what did I forget to pack this year? Just my epsom salt and dishwashing liquid for the post race cool-down bath. The Target had both; didn’t mind the expense, but I wish there was a smaller size bag or carton available for the epsom salt. I also forgot my rechargeable batteries; I had to borrow the set I was saving for my small camera that I use to take my in-race selfies (race start, Mile 8, Mile 16, just before 14th St. Bridge, Mile 24, finish). One more trip to Target.

Marine Aviation Detachment headquarters, 8:35 a.m.

The Ceremonial, the very last run of the training cycle. Arrived at the MAD at 0750. Five minute warning at 0755. Morning colors sounded at 0800. I took off my ball cap, put it over my heart, and faced in the direction of the flag to render honors. Made a few other drivers stop and pause…LIKE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO WHEN COLORS SOUNDS on a military installation.

At the very last second, I decided to ditch MapMyRun and just go and run. Today was not about pace or negative splits; it was about taking the first step in regaining that Marine Corps connection. I remember the morning that I decided to run my semi-annual Physical Fitness Test on the same day I was due for pistol qualification. My arms weren’t that sore from the pull-ups, but I didn’t feel them until I had to fire those last five rounds on the twenty-five yard line slow fire.

Yes…that kind of Marine Corps connection.

I remember the last half-mile, going back to MAD HQ; I realized that this was the last of all the training I was doing for this year’s MCM. All the early mornings (and late afternoons), all the humidity and cold, and every hill that I climbed this year…it was almost over.

That last half mile, and then the final turn for home, I just took off. Ran fast enough to reach the official sign outside of MAD HQ…and then I got in the car and took off.

I was so focused on getting home to go pee that I completely forgot to get a selfie next to the MAD HQ sign. Instead of taking a few moments to be…y’know…in the moment, I skipped out to go take a potty break. Yipes.

Post script: Just Crack an Egg is a very quick (total 2 minutes prep/1 minute cook time) and very good source of pre-run protein. No water of any kind because I didn’t want to take a No. 2 this morning. Had to take a No. 1 though.

T- Minus 4: Logistics

Just after midnight, Apex Clubhouse

Just got done watching Seattle beat Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinal. Good game by Seattle, and going to their third conference final in four years. Sad way to go for RSL goalkeeper Nick Raimundo, who won the penalty-shootout for RSL just ten short years ago.

Toronto knocked off NYCFC, converting a last minute penalty kick after drawing the most obvious foul ever in the NY penalty area. Single-game elimination, that’s how it goes, y’all.

I will let the official MLS website break down the matches right here, but for the record, Seattle and Toronto are advancing to the Conference Finals with the same head coaches and core players that got both teams to the MLC Cup Finals in 2016 and 2017.

3:40 p.m. yesterday

Getting ready for the bus so I can pick up the rental car and so some quick shopping. I got a hotel room (at the last minute, NOT recommended) so I have transportation and a hotel room within VERY comfortable walking distance…just a block from the MCM Finisher’s festival, although there is a couple of flights of steps/stairs to navigate.

In reality, I was prepared to do without the hotel room, if there were none available. Plan B would have been:

  1. Stay in Lexington Park for the weekend
  2. Uber to The MCM Runner’s Expo and back. Packet pick-up, shopping at the Expo, lunch in downtown National Harbor, then Uber back home.
  3. Sunday morning: Uber to the MCM Parking Lot (or closest point thereabouts), arriving no later than 6:30 a.m. Check in, run the MCM, chill out at the Finisher’s Festival, then either attempt to get a hotel room or Uber back home.

Plan B would have been much MUCH cheaper (how much? I’m pleading the Fifth).

But it would not have been the same experience.

Song of the Day: Robert Plant/”Big Log”

This is how I feel, near the end of a journey I started way back in February~March. Not exactly from Robert Plant, but from a Genius contributor:

“Truckers in the US comply with driving legislation by filling a log book recording miles and hours drove,
“A Big Log is slang for a long journey, hence lots of time and miles recorded.
“To me, as an ex-trucker, this song is about the call of the road, the next city and the next stop.
“It’s the thoughts that go on in the background of your mind as you punch out the miles on automatic.”

 

MCM 2019/T-Minus 6: Brooks

Random stuff , six days out from the 44th Marine Corps Marathon:

I put up some pretty good paces on the last week of my taper period, guesstimating an 11;30-ish pace. My strategy for the MCM is to basically stay with the 12 to 12:30 pack until I clear the last upward slope at Mile 8, then take off from there…if I have enough gas in the tank at that point. I am trying to prevent the burnout that I had last year, as well as have enough to see me to the Fourteenth Street Bridge just after Mile 17.

When I cross the bridge, I will probably do like I did at the National Capital 20-Miler: if I feel really worn out, just slow to a march, then march then I can pick up a “second wind” and start running again. After the bridge comes the crossing into downtown Rosslyn ( Miles 22 through 24), which will be the biggest celebration of the race. The crowds there are AWESOME, and they provide enough of an emotional boost to get the runners through the last four miles.

This week will be two short runs: the last Shangri-La run tomorrow morning (last turnaround at Flower of the Forest) and the Ceremonial (Marine PFT Course at NAS Patuxent River). The goal is to get in two more warm-up runs without sustaining any sort of nagging to sever injury that may impact me on Sunday.

I have started rounding up the gear I will need for Sunday, to include my running outfit. Whatever tech shirt I choose will be immediately retired after the race, hung up in my closet with this year’s MCM medal draped on the clothes hanger it will share.

What I would LOVE to see at the Brooks Runners’ Expo this year ( but I will probably overspend and buy a bunch of junk anyways):

A Dayglo-colored (neon yellow or hunter orange) mock turtleneck, similar in design and fabric to the mock turtleneck given to MCM runners with the MCM Bib “Swag Bag.”

Runner’s/performance shorts similar to the runner’s tights that I purchased last year; I like the tights because they don’t ride up my crothc so much when I run.

New pair of shoes for next year.

A couple of compression shirts, like the ones made by Athletic Wear that I purchased from a Wal-Mart in Rockford, IL so long ago.

I may have to take samples of the stuff I am looking for, so one of the sales reps from Brooks can better help me waste about $300 at the Expo next Friday.

Bears v. Saints

I’m going to guesstimate that I blew $75 on Uber roundtrip and food and beverage at Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday…all to sit through Saints 36, Bears 25.

My beloved bears are 3-3, and yet their 2019 season is doomed. Let me count the ways:

  1. The offensive line can’t block to save their lives
  2. Because of 1, the bears don’t have a running game.
  3. Neither Mitchell Trubisky, nor his backup Chase McDaniel, have any mobility/agility, no accuracy, no arm strength, no deep ball ability, no field vision
  4. The defensive line are pushovers
  5. Khalil Mack, the Bears’ star linebacker, can be double-teamed into oblivion
  6. Because of 4 and 5, the bears don’t have a pass runs
  7. Because of 6, the Bears’ secondary can be burned deep, or cut to shreds at medium range, or get beat when the opposing offense needs to move the chains

I braved the rain yesterday to see all of this in action. Yipes.

Song of the Day: Tim Curry/”Paradise Garage:” (WARNING: Possible repeat choice here!)

Tim Curry is the best rock star that never was. “Paradise,” was one of two songs, along with “I Do the Rock,” that were played as “rock videos” before the theater played The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is the longer album version from the same-titled album.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 32: Apex

The workout facility at the Apex Clubhouse at Abberly Crest is not a full-sized, full fledged gym, like the World Gym that I once had a membership for. However, it has all the machines and dumbbells I require for my circuit cycle workout, so it fills the need. If I wanted to use the ellipticals, I would take the longer walk to the “Valley” facility, however.

Abberly Crest’s facilities do get used by the other tenants, though. I arrived for my workout just after 0500. Just as I started my chest press, two young women came in to use the treadmills. After finishing my second set of lat pulldowns, another young man entered the gym and started working the leg press machine. As I finished up my second set of leg curls an older gentleman, who is an infrequent patron of the “gym” came in and hit the chest press machine.

Five people in an apartment complex “gym” at 0500…in September.

Welladay, I guess physical fitness is still a thing.

Bears/Redskins: I expected CUSTOMER Appreciation Week kicking off with the annual pre Monday Night Football party. After seeing no one at the Apex Clubhouse at 1830 (6:30 p.m.) I went to the main office and read the sign as EMPLOYEE Appreciation Week. Selective dyslexia? Cataracts? Limited attention span and failure of deductive reasoning?

Oh well. There being no party and the accompanying spread of pizza, chicken wings, and beer, I had to rely on Uber Eats for dinner. I missed the first half of the bears vs. Redskins game, and wasted a rare opportunity to see Mitchell Trubisky in his potential TRUE form.

Quick aside: Go check out SI.com’s Monday Morning Quarterback article on all the young quarterbacks who stepped up their games this week. Long story short: Mitch Trubisky is a few miles behind the power curve on all of the signal callers mentioned in the article: he had 0 TDs, 2 INTs, and a sub-70 QB rating after two games, going into FedEx Field last night.

I got to the Apex and switched on the game just in time to see Trubs’ stat line: 20-23 with 230 yards and 3 TDs in the first half…nice! Has Mitch finally turned a corner?

I watched the third quarter and the answer was…not quite. Bears’ third quarter possessions: missed FG, Trubs throws an interception in the end zone, and punt. I figured that the Bears had put on their collective cruise control; Trubisky would finish with only 40 more passing yards, the bears would score only one more FG, and the redskins made two long drives. The Bears’ vaunted defense only came out to deny Washington the two=point conversions after their TDs.

It was 28-9 Chicago in the dying seconds of the third quarter, and I decided that I had seen all I needed to see. If the bears really were going to blow a 25 point halftime lead, I was not going to spend a midnight bedtime just to sit through it.

I give Trubs, bears coach Matt Nagy, and GM Ryan Pace-the dude who drafted Trubs with so many other better QBs available-two more NFL seasons before they all become permanently unemployed in the NFL.

More football than marathon training? Okay…

I guess tonight is the hight I attempt to sign up for the National capital 20-miler…that is, if they haven’t run out of the limited 300 spots by now.

I’m thinking this week and next week will be the last two weeks of the current workload on the circuit cycle.

Question of the Day on the MCM and 10K Page: How many of you are P90x grads? Do you still use it, and has it helped your marathon training? (Asking for a friend who bought the p90X CDs over 10 years ago and now they’re collecting dust…)

And tomorrow’s six miler will be: Superwillow 6, HWY-5 to Shangri-La (extended)

Song of the Day: Pixies/”Where is My Mind?” From Genius:

“Black Francis says that “Where Is My Mind?” was written during the time he was attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and was inspired by the experience of having a small fish chase him while he was snorkeling in the Caribbean.

That came from me snorkelling in the Caribbean and having this very small fish trying to chase me. I don’t know why – I don’t know too much about fish behaviour.

— Frank Black in SELECT, October 1997

The Genius entry also has a video explaining more about the song and how it became the exit music (closing credits) theme for the movie Fight Club.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 33: General

Random thoughts on a resting Monday:

2015 was my peak Marine Corps Marathon year. No overt pain, no Revolt of the Thighs at Mile 15, probably the best I’ve ever felt running 26 miles…and, midway through the crossing of the Fourteenth Street Bridge, I got a selfie with General Joseph Dunford, U.S.M.C and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The recently retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller also ran the MCM, but I never saw him.

But anyway, i really want to recapture that marathon. Running strong through 26 miles, not worried about pace but still running… no cramps, strains, sore cartilage, or plantar issues. Not really pain-free running because there’s really no such pain at 49 years old, but I want to run and not overly suffer. I don’t want to have to power walk any of the course.

Nevertheless, my goal remains the same: to finish.

My “strategy”: Run with the 12:30 pacer for the first eight miles, covering the significant hill at the first bridge, then one last incline/decline around Mile 8. If I’m feeling good after Mile 8, then I will steadily break away from the pack with a pace I think I can maintain over the last 18 miles. If my thighs and calves are still in good shape around Mile 16 and 17, there’s a good chance. For what? For not hitting the wall like I did last year.

I want to finish strong, but the goal is still to finish.

Also, I need to brush up on Marine Generals…because you never know.

Personally I want to get a post race picture and/or get photobombed by one of Fox News Channel’s female anchors, but one can only dream…

Sooo…after running 16 miles in three days, it’s one last 20 miler for the year. Sometime between tonight and tomorrow night I will register for the National Capitol 20 miler in Potomac, MD this Sunday. Two more 0445 runs at Superwillow 6 and Park Hall 6, alternating with the circuit cycles on Tu/Thu/Sat, with intervals on Thursday morning. The trick here, is getting out of bed at 0415 to get the PT in.

Last week’s training break helped me focus about my actual goal for this year’s MCM, and I really didn’t show any after effects from completely skipping the circuit cycles this week ( as well as the Thursday intervals).

Oh, and I got the new knee sleeve. so I’ll have matching sleeves for the Sunday run…wherever that may be.

Tonight is supposed to kick off Customer Appreciation Week, with a pre-game meet and eat at the Apex Clubhouse. I say supposed because i haven’t seen much signage around the apartment complex, and I only saw it mentioned on a sign at the main office, talking about the adjusted hours for this week. The party usually ends just after the kick-off of Monday Night Football. I will probably scarf some extra munchies so i can watch the Chicago Bears attempt to score one or more offensive touchdowns against the Washington Redskins. Then again, it may be an early night if the game goes south.

Song of the day: Foster the People/”Pumped Up Kicks:” Take it away, Genius:

Robert, the subject of the song, dreams of violence towards his classmates and peers. The song details his plans and ambitions for a school shooting, diving deep into the causes of his emotions.

During a 2011 Rolling Stone interview, Foster said:

I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid.

Although this song is peppy and upbeat, Foster uses this to mask the true meaning of the song, and makes for a beautiful yet haunting composition, a tension which he referenced in the same interview:

It’s a ‘fuck you’ song to the hipsters in a way – but it’s a song the hipsters are going to want to dance to.

Despite many believing that this song condones and encourages violence, Foster said otherwise in a 2011 USA Today interview:

The song is not about condoning violence at all. It’s the complete opposite. The song is an amazing platform to have a conversation with your kids about something that shouldn’t be ignored, to talk about it in a loving way.

Yeah, talk to your kids about gun violence while dancing to this peppy tune. Ohhhkay.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 56: Fuel

My circuit cycle workout was done about 40 minutes later than usual, but it got done. Got up with the 0430 alarm, and my five minute nap went 22 minutes. Workout, blood glucose reading, breakfast, dishes, Saturday morning nap. Now I’m blogging while getting my mid-morning snack of banana and Belvita (second) breakfast “biscuits” with Mio water. Betting my hydration and potassium intake for tomorrow’s run.

What’s on the agenda for today? A trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods, some recycling, some grocery shopping, and prep for tomorrow morning. I am going to see if Dick’s has some decent performance running shorts I can pick up; I need to replace about three to four pair of my running shorts. I also want to get maybe one or two compression shirts like my fifteen year old Athletic Works shirts that I bought from Wal-Mart a long time ago.

I know college football really starts this weekend, but I really don’t have a dog in the fight, because the state of Illinois is just as irrelevant in college football as it is in college basketball. There’s soccer on TV, thanks to Fox Sports 1 (German Bundesliga) and NBC Sports (English Premier League), but nothing on the schedule says MUST WATCH ME!!!

Song of the Day: Beastie Boys/”Sabotage:”

Okay, Genius doesn’t support any other forms of music than hip-hop and now the site’s on the fritz. Anyway, the Beasties were a punk trio before they dropped “License to Ill” back in 1985 (OMFG I am so old) with MCA on bass, King AdRock on guitar, Mike D on drums. “Sabotage” was off their Ill Communication album, which was one of the best musical science experiments of all time, and it was a nod of their collective heads to their punk roots. Aside from the video paying a tribute to 70s cop shows, the song has a great driving rhythm that still makes you want to pit-mosh a quarter century later. Did they ever really stop being a punk band? Nope, and this song proves it’s a good thing.

MCM 2019/T-Minus 68: Snooze

Halfway through “power-walking” and attempting to run the last six miles of the Mount Vernon Trail, I decided to cut back on the training this week.

First, my overall strategy for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon: take it”easy” on the opening third of the race and slowly build up speed over the last 18 miles. I worked way too hard on the rolling hills of the opening eight miles, and I hit the wall around mile 16~17. There have been days when it works out, and days where it has not. My current pace is just under 12 minutes, which is more than enough to Beat the Bridge, but I feel like I’m holding back.

The last week building up to Mount Vernon wasn’t bad. The weather was good, I ran at a comfortable but hard-working pace, and I had no issues with my legs. Even after overdoing it to get back on track yesterday, I was feeling alright. The full moon was out, I had no undue pain in any of my limbs (no plantar, knee, or thigh/groin muscle issues), I was working up a good sweat. The weather was just right and life was good.

I remember seeing the sign that said “Mount Vernon 8.0 miles,” remembering that first attempt here in 2015. I started two hours late, courtesy of my ignoring the DC transit system, and I was caught in the middle of some nasty humidity. I was thinking that I was finally going to do it right this time.

…and then the tank ran dry around Mile 7.

So, this week, instead of doing 20 miles, I am going to do the Southeast Loop 10, getting back to the Willow Road/HWY-5/Great Mills grind. The short runs will be the Shangri-La 3 mile and the iStore 4.

Also, I’m going to be sleeping in this week; from Tuesday through Friday, I will do my workouts after work. If the weather changes like it has done today (great big thundercloud moved in just as I got home from work), I may have to either say screw it and run or just take a powder that day.

Song of the Day: From the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment, the entrance themes for Gangrel/the Brood, D-Generation X, and the New Age Outlaws. Okay, none of these songs have anything to do with running, but I can’t believe it’s been twenty-one years since I seriously watched professional wrestling, particularly the WWF/WWE and its “Attitude Era.” It was a pretty unique time and place for professional wrestling, and I haven’t seen anything like it since. Maybe the Bullet Club?

MCM 2019: Evening PT, Sports, Etc.

Evening

My last post was titled, “Afternoon PT” because I actually did my training sessions at 6:30p.m.-ish. Now the sun was still out when I finished at quarter after seven or so, but technically it could have been considered the evening.

And, yes, it was around 6:30 last evening when I ran my three-miler for the day. Two significant changes: first change was to the course, because I wanted to actually run three miles, not just slightly less. To do this, I extended the northern turnaround point to running the corners of the Shangri-La/Great Mills Road intersection, and the southern turnaround (to the finish) at just past the end of the grove of trees across from my apartment complex property.

Second change was to my running tempo. Rather than wait to the middle third to ‘turn on the gas,” I got off to a good start and concentrated on staying there. I went out at a good clip and managed to step it up as I ran. As I headed down Willow Road back to Abberly Crest for the last mile-plus, I was feeling good about how fast (sic) I was running. I did get my thee miles (3.05) and ended with a 10:57 pace. My splits: 11:27/10:52/10:34. Nice.

My lower right thigh is a little sore, so I am taking my scheduled day off, and hoping it heals enough for tomorrow’s six miler. Instead of the Zion 6 (Abberly Crest to Zion methodist Church and back), I am running the Superwillow 6 Reverse. The “Superwillow” has been my traditional merging of the HWY-5 loop (Green Meadow Lane entrance to Highway 5/Willow RD. intersection and back) and the Willow Rd to Shangri-La loops. This time, I am running out to Shangri-La, extending the run past the intersection through Shangri-La Drive, then returning all the way south through Willow Road to the HWY-5 intersection and coming straight back to the main Abberly Crest road. I had initially considered running past the HWY-5 up to Old Hermanville Road, but the second half of the run (Green Meadow Lane to HWY-5 and back) had enough rolling hills, and the course was a little too much over 6 miles.

Today’s “PT” is going to consist of a lunchtime bike ride to Popeye’s Chicken and back. I was going to try out the full-body routines offered on my Intermediate Course workouts (see “Strength Sessions”), but…naaah.

 

NBA/NHL Champs

The King is dead! Long live the King!

The Toronto Raptors earned their first NBA Finals title in their twenty-three year existence, beating Golden State 110-106 on Thursday night. Three of their four wins over the two-time defending champions were on the Warriors’ home floor. My takes:

  1. So much for Kevin Durant/Kyrie Irving/Zion Williamson joining forces on the New York Knicks. Durant’s Achilles tendon tear may throw a wrench into his plans to skip town after this year. Who is Kyrie planning to “buddy up” with now? Will Zion still go to the draft next week, with New Orleans holding the Number One Pick?
  2. Will Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri and one year free agent cum NBA Finals MVP (second award) stay in Toronto and build the next NBA dynasty, or will they go their separate ways and allegedly greener pastures?
  3. In regards to my beloved but estranged Chicago Bulls, this all means nothing. the Bulls are drafting 7th next week…for the third straight year. The latest draft boards all say Zion, Ja Morant, Zion’s teammate at Duke…and then a whole lot of projects and definite maybes, none with any chance at an NBA career past their rookie contracts.
  4. Free agency for the Bulls? Don’t make me laugh. Incompetent ownership and management? A high tax city in a high-tax state, whose governor and state legislature just voted for the biggest tax increase in the history of the State of Illinois? Twenty feet of snow and below freezing winters? A roster full of nobodies to build around coached by a retread/lifelong assistant coach? Nope.
  5. The NBA needs to seriously consider shortening the NBA regular season. Way too many injuries and fatigue impacting this year’s NBA Finals.

As for the newly crowned Saint Louis Blues, amazing that they started calendar year 2019 as the worst team in the NHL before calling up their stud goalie from the minor leagues. Only the National Hockey League goes out of its way to make being the regular season’s best team be so irrelevant.

Go. Black. Hawks. That is all.

 

Running, Pt 2

Sitting on my computer nook desk is a thirty-one (I guess?) year old set of gray running shorts with MARINES in bold gray and red trim running down both sides. The bottom crotch area is a mass of holes, such a mess that would not be fit to be posted on Facebook.

The head says,”Throw them away.” The head says, “Naaah, hold on to them!”

One of these days, I’m going to put them in the wash and they’re going to disintegrate.

 

How to Fix the Elite Soccer Clubs:

ESPN FC have spent the last month talking about how to fix CF Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayerische Munchen, etc. after substandard domestic league and UEFA Champions league campaigns.

This is what I think their pundits should be saying:

  1. A Man with a Plan: Whomever will be the manager at should get three full seasons to Real/Man U/Bayern come next August, he needs to have an actual modern strategy and style of play than can score the most goals necessary and give up the fewest goals possible. It has to be effective, efficient, and pleasing to the eye (from the stands as well as the HD-TVs).
  2. Shaking Up the Rosters: A million Euros spent wisely is better than a billion Euros spent poorly. Find players that will best fit the manager’s plan, don’t just break the bank for the Hottest Player In Europe. Also, if your club is pouring a few million Euros into their player academy, maybe you should consider promoting them to the main roster.
  3. Long Term: Whomever is the current manager should get three full years to implement his system/style before looking for any major trophies. Teams will get hot and cold streaks, players will get worn out and/or injured, and players will need to step up. Football happens. Trophies are never won overnight.

 

Song of the Day:

I was going to write this blog entry last night, but fatigue and dinner set in. Rammstein is my SOTD focus, with “Sonne,” “Stripped,” and “Feuer Frei” on the playlist. “Sonne’s” lyrics, translated, are about boxing; this song was, according to legend, created as an “entrance theme” for a Russian boxer. “Stripped” is a cover of the original Depeche Mode song; singer Till Lindemann had to cut part of the chorus lyrics because he had trouble singing “let me see you stripped down to the bone.” Urban legend? Band myth? Not sure.

Feuer frei loosely translated means “fire away!” If you know anything about this band, you don’t need me to explain any more than that. Oh, and the band actually appeared in the Vin Diesel action classic XXX (Triple X).

Late add, thanks to 97.7 the Bay: B-52s/”Love Shack.”

 

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.