Tag Archives: workout

MCM 2020: Eastbound and Down

Sooo…about twelve hours ago, I stepped off into the darkness. And man was it dark, with none of the early false dawns that I saw a few short months ago. Didn’t see the first hints of sunlight until Shangri-La Drive of my run.

Long story short, the run was Superwillow 6. Starting from the back entrance of my apartment complex at Green Meadow Lane. Run down to the MD-5 crossroad, then uphill back through Green Meadow and past the Three Fireplugs uphill back up Willow Road north. Run all the way through Shangri-La Drive up to the stoplight, then all the way back down Willow south to Green Meadow Lane.

I was shooting for a twelve-minute pace, given the way-too-long layoff. However, the rust I have been gathering manifested itself on the northern half of my run. I ended up with 14 and 15 minute splits for miles 4 and 5, finishing with a thirteen minute pace.

Wednesday will be sixty days until the Marine Corps Marathon. I am running it virtually this year, here in the Lexington park, MD area, on a self-designed course that will be much more difficult than the annual run through the District of Columbia. the actual run date is October 25, but virtual runners have until November 10, 2020 to submit their final run times.

I am waaay behind on my training mileage, and I was just a lazy bastard all last week. So now I must attempt to implement an aggressive running schedule which has me running every other day until the vMCM. Long runs will alternate between Saturdays and Sundays. One week: Su/Tu/Thu/Sat (long run day), then Mo/We/Fr and the long run on Sundays.

Second, I have to get back to P90X. I have put off butting a dumbbell set for over a month and now it has put me behind schedule.This week will be a rest/refresh course, running the more cardio routines every other day (Mo/We/Fr/Su) and starting P90X Lean next Monday.

Lastly, I have to set run times and stick to them. This week, I am back at the office, so my goal is to be on the road or hitting “play” on the DVD player for P90X no later than 5:00 p.m. (or at least no later than 45 minutes after I get home).

“Miles to go before I sleep…”: Robert Frost

Song of the Day:

Jerry Reed/”Eastbound and Down:

“East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’/
We gonna do what they say can’t be done/
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there/
I’m east bound, just watch ol’ Bandit run

In other words, my running life for the next two months…

MCM2020/Day 96: Orange

It is twenty minutes to seven on a warm evening somewhere in southern Maryland. I am enjoying a dinner of cold cuts, olives and pickles as I type this.

Tested negative for COVID-19, FTW!

Right eye cataracts surgery went smooth as glass this morning.  The only pain I really felt was when the nice nurse stuck a needle in my had for the intravenous drip. What I saw during the surgery would be great CGI/laser images for a Pink Floyd show, but it was painless.

As I type this, and not necessarily in need of reading glasses (yet), I have no swollen right eye from the surgery, nor am I suffering headaches of any magnitude.

My diabetes is mostly under control, except for today. I will fix that with my second dose of medicine.

Alive and healthy…once again, For The Win!

 

The bad news is that my marathon training schedule has been put into arrears. I just spent twenty minutes on my work laptop rearranging my schedule.

Starting tomorrow, I will alternate runs (of gradually increasing distance) with some of the more cardiovascular workouts from P90X. Not in any particular order: Cardio X, Core Synergistics, Kenpo X, Yoga X, and X Stretch.

I also made a strategic decision regarding resuming P90X. I will be resuming P90X in August, after my last eye surgery. I will be repeating P90X Lean instead of going to P90X Classic.

First reason: I FAILED TO GRADUATE.

Second reason: I need to get back on the losing weight program. My purpose is to build a stronger, leaner, more durable core and strengthen my legs for what may be an aggressive program.

I also want to get under 205 lbs.

Third reason: I need stronger muscles and ligaments, but not necessarily bigger ones. I’m not traveling to neither Ocean City, MD nor Arlington this year to display My Personal Gun Show, and I may be still struggling to much with my longer runs.

Looking back at my Marine Corps Marathon schedule since May (right after the Historic Half Marathon), I am seeing far too many missed workout days. I color code my workouts like this:

Green/done!   Gold/P90x and a run done, same day! Blue: Shortened/aborted run. Orange: F’n lazy a$$ no-show (did not do)

Not really wanting to count, but I bet I have more orange than green on the board…or maybe 52% to 48% green and blue (combined) over orange.

However, the calendar still reads July. I am still motivated to complete the virtual  Marine Marathon on October 25.

Quick aside: The MCM Organization officially cancelled the on-station MCM Weekend in the DC Triangle this year. No Runner’s Expo National Harbor, MD), no special events in the DC/VA area, no running events in the Nation’s Capitol, no Beating the Fourteenth Street Bridge or the party in Crystal City, Va. No uphill finish at the Arlington Cemetery or post-run photo by the Marine Corps’ Iwo Jima Memorial.

Okay sadness over. the thing is, I have mapped out a course that threatens to be much tougher than the traditional MCM course. Uphill/down hill, then downhill/uphill on Three Notch Road/MD-235, then downhill/uphill on Chancellor’s Run towards Great Mill Road, MD-5 south uphill/downhill towards Holy Face Church/Little Flower School. And then all the way back in reverse.

That’s the opening 18 miles.

The final four mile out and back is running all the way south down Willow Road towards MD-5 North and then out to whatever MapMyRun declares to be Mile 22. The finishing 2.2 is one last climb up the hill of Willow Road going back to Abberly Crest, with a last triumphant run past the Three Fireplugs and the finish (Mile 26 and change, for the official MCM record).

Objectives:

  1. Getting out of bed at 0430 for a 0500 workout
  2. Getting the workout started no later than 45 minutes after getting home from work
  3. Slowly but surely getting back on the road
  4. Finishing the runs, especially the Sunday (and occasional Saturday) long runs…pace be damned
  5. Working the hills…as many as possible, and looking for survival and consistency
  6. P90X: Hit play. Engage the core. Breathe.Work the hips.
  7. X Stretch every Sunday afternoon/evening. Before bed of you have to.
  8. FINISH. EVERYTHING.

 

The fun starts Wednesday morning.

 

Songs of the Day:

Bob Dylan/”Jokerman:” I have always loved how the images from the video (ancient and modern art, popular culture images/scenes) hep tell the story that Bob is trying to tell…even if he admits that he may have overthought this song and the rest of the album (Infidels). From Genius:

“ ‘Jokerman’ is the first track from Dylan’s 1983 album Infidels. This album is often seen as Dylan’s return to secular music after a conversion to Christianity and three gospel records.

However, “Jokerman” is still laden with religious imagery and biblical references. Like Christ, the Jokerman has messianic aspirations, but unlike a legitimate godly figure who will die for others, the Jokerman ultimately is unaccountable even to himself

Dylan: “That’s a song that got away from me. Lots of songs on that album [Infidels] got away from me. They just did.”

ST: “You mean in the writing?”

Dylan: “Yeah. They hung around too long. They were better before they were tampered with. Of course, it was me tampering with them. [Laughs] Yeah. That could have been a good song. It could’ve been.” If the YouTube comments section means anything, Bob Dylan’s fans would respectfully disagree.

Bruce Springsteen/”Atlantic City:” I think this song is just Bruce on acoustic guitar and some dude (maybe Little Steven?) on mandolin. It works…and my God is it so hauntingly beautiful.

” ‘Atlantic City’is perhaps one of Springsteen’s most dour songs. It depicts a young couple’s romantic escape to the New Jersey seaside resort of Atlantic City, where the man in the relationship intends to take a job in organized crime upon arriving in the city.

“The song wrestles with the inevitability of death and the hope of rebirth in various ways, especially in life and in the actual city of Atlantic City, which was going through an attempted mob takeover while the state government was trying to implement casino gambling within the city.

” ‘Atlantic City’ started as a demo recorded in early 1981 at Springsteen’s home studio at Colts Neck, NJ called “Fistfull of Dollars” (for the Clint Eastwood movie). He changed the title and the chorus to “Atlantic City” later that year, and on January 3. 1982, recorded 4 takes, along with other “Nebraska” demos that later made up the album of the same name. Take 2 was the one chosen for the album, released in fall 1982.”

 

MCM 2020: Reset/Refresh

Great Mills 8

0400 reveille as usual. No breakfast, because the last tub of Chobani yogurt in the fridge was three days past its sell-by date, and I did not want to look at mold or get food poisoning this morning.

Dressed and lubed by 0430. Stretched at 0440-0450. Out the door at 0455.

It was cooler than I expected this morning, after running in the humidity all week. As I started the eight mile trek around Great Mills, I noticed the first-quarter moon was out. A good sign.

The goal today was a good, solid eight miles. Not so much worried about the pace, so much as I wanted to feel like zi could go a little further than eight miles. There were a lot of inclines and declines in the eight miles, so no use pressing for negative splits.

I actually felt good over the first four miles, as I rounded the turn from MD-5 onto Great Mills Road. While the splits may not have been with me, I did feel good about the run. I was even able to shrug off not having my Under Armour fluorescent white running ball cap, which I didn’t notice that I had forgotten until just after the first mile marker.

The ball cap serves two purposes: 1) to protect the top of my head from mosquitos, and 2) to help block out the sun with the bill of the cap. The route had some woodlands, but the mosquitos were not quite the problem as they were aboard NAS Patuxent River the last two Sunday. However, as I headed down (up?) Great Mills Road, I realized I was running in the direction of the rising sun…and with no visor to at least partially block it, I could barely see where I was going.

The blinding sun aside, the made the there miles go Great Mills Road with no problem, as I made the final turn onto north Willos Road. There was even a convenient Port-A-John, across the street from Lancaster Park. The stop was a relief, although that may have impacted my last mile split. I just barely made eight miles as I passed the road crossing into Abberly Crest Apartments, topping out at 8.04 mi. as I ended the run.

I finished with no real negative splits, but an acceptable 11:28 pace. Not bad.

 

P90X and Other Stuff

My strategy of performing P90X after the end of the workday went belly up, as I finished late and tired on Wednesday and Thursday. I was already a week late on finishing P90X Lean, but having screwed up the schedule I had to throw in the towel on this cycle.

To be frank, I really have no excuse as to why I didn’t finish. This was the last low stress portion of the cycle, with routines like Yoga X, Cardio X and Core Synergistics, and Cardio X on call for this last week. I was just too bummed out from sitting on telecoms all day to execute anything at midweek. So, not only am I STILL NOT a P90X graduate, but I paid for it on the scale this week with two pounds added onto last week’s total. Looking back, I really could have used the Kenpo X and Cardio X on tap for the Wednesday and Friday runs.

So while the runs are slowly getting back to normal, I am going to take a week off and start P90X Classic next week…maybe.

 

Good news is that I am still healthy and COVID-19 free, although I am still a bit heavier than I’d like to be.

The bad news? As part of my prep for my cataracts eye laser surgery next Monday, I have to have a COVID-19 test this Wednesday. If I don’t hear anything by Sunday night, I am cleared for the surgery next Monday morning. If I get the call, it won’t be just the eye surgery that gets put on hold.

I believe that COVID-19 test has somewhat upset my equilibrium this week. That and the added logistics of my transportation to and from the eye surgery. It can’t be just an Uber driver who drops me off an picks me up; someone has to stay with my at the hospital then monitor me as I come home from the surgery. So, there’s that as well.

It is now almost 8:30 on Sunday night, and I am now just eating my second full meal of the day. Yeah, I’ve got a few things on my mind.

 

Song of the Day: I’m sorry…I have none, and I know it’s been a while since I last posted. YouTube isn’t cooperating tonight.

 

 

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 85: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

A day and a half late, but Yoga X is in the books.

By the time I got to the ohms that traditionally end the workout, I was asking myself, “Why didn’t I get up and do this yesterday or this morning? I’m sweating as usual, and I feel great after every Yoga X period.”

I shouldn’t be afraid of the hour and a half it takes to work P90X. I may never get the crane or the plough stances right, and I will always struggle with everything from Warrior Three onwards on the advanced warrior poses. Ditto with tree/royal dancer/standing leg. So? It’s about adjusting my body to make the effort, not trying to catch up with the Joneses (AKA the other people demonstrating the workout with Tony).

Gonna be a lot of sweating the rest of this week. Run tomorrow morning, and Core Synergistics after work. Thursday is Kenpo X and X Stretch. Friday is another run in the morning and Cardio X in the afternoon. Yoga X again on Saturday.

Day 90 will be Sunday, with an eight mile run in the morning (Great Mills 8) and ending with X Stretch late Sunday afternoon.

See you next time, Tony!

MCM 2020: Independence Day

No fireworks, no picnic…just a double PT session for the holiday.

NAS Pax River 5

Not even gonna look at the mile splits. Bigger issue is that I was getting tired just after the four mile mark. I want to sat that it was the humidity, just after 0500 this morning. My arms were slick with sweat on the way back from the gate.

The summer humidity is nothing to take lightly. If I have to breathe harder, that means I’m working harder on the runs than I should, Also burning and sweating  lot more water. My Ucan hydrate packs worked well, but that was in the spring. How long will they last through a summer where the sun burns and the air is like soup?

So…unless absolutely necessary/very last resort: no afternoon or early evening runs. Aside from the heavier traffic, now that Maryland is slowly reopening, but good luck trying to grind out a four-miler at ninety-something degrees and eighty0five percent humidity.

 

P90X, Day 82: Core Synergistics:

Dear Tony,

I’m not going to advocate eating homemade Taco Bell (square corn shell) tacos with 12-oz. of pepsi before any P90X workout. However, I had a full meal about an hour before I popped in the Core Synergistics CD and today I felt great.

With a meal in my belly and feeling good for five o’clock on a hilly afternoon, I set  a goal to meet or exceed my rep numbers in each exercise. I did just that. Even the bonus stage wasn’t the struggle that it usually is, although I need to learn how to keep count during the halfback routine.

I also put on my heart rate monitor to check my pulse. It was at 80 beats per minute after the first water break, then dropped to 73 after the second. After I finished up my table top leg raises, my bpm dropped to 60. Hmmm…

Okay, it’s Kenpo X in the morning, and X Stretch tomorrow afternoon. See you next time, Tony!

 

Song of the Day: Rick Derringer/”Real American:” The hell with Genius today, it’s Independence Day!

MCM2020/Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey

We’re so sorry/Uncle Albert/

“But we haven’t done a bloody thing all day/

“Were so sorry/Uncle Albert/

“But when the kettles on the boil/we’re so easily called away”

Paul McCartney and Wings/”Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey”

Blew off the three miler to MD-5 this morning, and I just waved off Core Synergistics for P90X.

It is currently 94 degrees outside and humid. Those morning runs are gonna be a killer.

So, this is my Independence Day Weekend:

Saturday: NAS Gate 1 5 (0500) and Core Synergistics (1700)

Sunday: Kenpo X (0500) and X Stretch (1700)

Monday MD-5 3 (0500) and Yoga X (1700)

I am back teleworking on Monday, so I should be up at 0500 hitting the last week of P90X Lean.

Paul Mc Cartney and Wings:”Let ‘Em In”

Okay, no training today…but you got a couple of Songs of the Day out of it.

Gotta take ’em where you can get ’em.

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 80: Balance

Dear Tony,

So, the resistance/weightlifting portion of P90X Lean is over, and now it’s about cutting the last few pounds and toning those newly built muscles. Started that process tonight with Yoga X.

I knew I was in for a difficult evening when I stumbled a little bit on the standing hamstring stretches. I usually have good balance, but not tonight. Of course, I was doing the yoga wobbles during the advanced warrior poses and the standing balance postures (tree/royal dancer.standing let balance).

Maybe that Baby Ruth and the bag of Skinny Pop kettle corn? Nahh….

Unless I can find some way to do something about my bow legs, the crane and plough-to-shoulder postures will be challenges. But I won’t stop trying.

Schedule change: I am going to do my Sunday run on Saturday, a nice five mile stroll to NAS Patuxent River Gate One and back. Weekly weigh-in will go right after the run.Kenpo X will go in the afternoon, followed by a nice Independence Day supper of surf and turf.

And yes…I will do X Stretch on Sunday.

Engage the core…breathe.

Core Synergistics tomorrow afternoon, Tony…see you next time!

Marathon Training During COVID-19: Reset

With back-to-back DNFs on the last two Sunday runs, I decided to scale back my planned distances over the next month and start as if I had finished conditioning, instead of training for the Historic Half Marathon.

This Sunday I am going for five miles (course TBD) so I took the Shangri-La not-quite-three miles. I turned around at the corner of Willow Road and Great Mills Road, instead of going all the way up Shangri-La Drive. I guessed wrong about the actual turnaround point and came up at 2.95 miles instead of the full three.

Two things of note: 0500 and Daylight Savings Time doesn’t necessarily mean sunrise. I still need to dress for low-light/very early morning. Also, I had a nice sheen of sweat on my arms as I approached the two mile point; gonna be a very humid summer.

 

P90X, Day 80: Back and Biceps/ABX

Lessons learned on the final resistance/weights routine of the P90X lean Cycle:

  1. Learn to hit “pause” if you don’t know what to do on the lawnmower routines. I think I got some of them bass-ackwards.
  2. I didn’t hit the heavier band until the second half of the workout. Got a bunch of reps but did I get the pump or the burn?
  3. When I get down to my “fighting weight (maybe 205 lbs?) I need to hit a pull-up bar on base.
  4. GO BUY SOME WEIGHTS, DAMMIT!

Too tired, and not a good day, so no SOTD today. Yoga X tomorrow.

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 79: Bringing It to the End

Dear Tony,

Wassup? Yeah, I know, it’s been awhile. Not been writing you but I have been working out.

I am back at the office this week. 0500 workouts mean less time for breakfast because now I have to actually shower and get dressed for work…like I used to do back in March.

So, it’s back to late afternoon workouts until the end of this P90X Lean cycle. My goal is to try and work out no later than 30~45 minutes after I get home from work. Not bad today, not so good yesterday.

Saturday I did do my Kenpo X workout. I believe I brought it more than I ever have for keno because my beats-per-minute numbers looked higher than I have ever had them. Probably because I was breathing more and engaging the core (driving the hips with a square upper torso) more than I ever had.

BPMs: 69 @ 38:11/75 @ 28:16/61 @ 21:10/76 @ 14:51/72 @ 4:30.

I was kind of “blah” after my second Sunday Did Not Finish, so I chose to “rest” instead of “X Stretch.” The DNF must have had some kind of mental effect on my because I didn’t eat “brunch” until about three in the afternoon. Or maybe the “keto” diet impact is helloing my body that I don’t need to eat that badly…like that Panda character in Kung Fu Panda, who busts his ass sparring with the Sifu, and then Sifu offers Panda a meat bun, and then Panda says, “No thanks, Sifu…I’m good.”

Still should have done X Stretch as some kind of “gentle” penance.

Yesterday I ground through Chest-Shoulders-Triceps/ABX. I upped the bands to a thicker band when I could, and tried to focus on the last three reps wherever I could. This is the last week actively working the muscles (Back and Biceps/ABX tomorrow), so just focused on getting the work in and doing the routines as close to “right/correct” as possible/ Goal was to work the body part with what I had and get the most out of it as possible.

In other words, my fifty year old ass was on his knees doing the pushup routines. Including the one-armed pushups. I am not the second coming of Jack Palance.

I am at “grin and bear it” mode on Ab Ripper X; just get the routines in as best as I can, close my eyes and breathe through each exercise. Some of the numbers are actually a little better.

Just got done with Cardio X as I do laundry and await my ‘first” dinner. Today I didn’t get a meal until 1100, then at a Snickers and chugged down a 24-oz. Mossy Oak tumbler full of Mio-infused water about a half-hour before the workout. I still got my workout and my sweat on, although the numbers might not show it compared to recent cardio X turns.

Today BPM: Yoga, 59 @ 27:20/Kenpo, 66 @ 18:05/Plyo: 69 @ 10:53/Core 54 @ 3:30.

So, that was my last four days since I last wrote you, Tony. Tomorrow morning is a nice, short run, and then tomorrow after work, it’s “the last gun show” with back and Bis/ABX.

See you next time, Tony!

Song of the Day: Today’s YouTube craze: medieval-styled covers of popular classic rock!

Gorgeous Kohlk/”Sail (original by AWOLNation)”

Modern Music of the Dark Ages/”I’m Blue (original by Eiffel 65)”

Samus Mordicus/”Paint it Black (original by the Rolling Stones)”

Graywyck/”Paranoid (original by Black Sabbath)”

MCM2020: Three Days/Friday

Ranieri Run 4

Forty-eight hours ago…

Reveille at 0430. Out of bed at 0445.

0450-0540: On and off the toilet for nearly and hour.

0555: Applying my Skin-So-Soft…and then abandoning the run.

Since I really can’t afford to lose any more miles, I am running all weekend: Friday and Saturday as well as the Sunday long run.

Today was a good pace for a short run, but I have to remember to throttle that pace back for Sunday. Can’t argue with a 10:55 pace; not bad for not having run in four days.

Really not that much to say. Out of bed at 0435, dressed and stretched, Skin-So0Soft and out the door at 0455. And I ran the Three Fireplugs after I crossed the 4 mile marker.

Business as usual. Where was this on Wednesday?

Aside from running three straight days I am also working P90X about 5:00 p.m. each day. Today is Core Synergistics, tomorrow is keno X, and Sunday will be X Stretch, provided I am in good health and better spirits come Sunday afternoon.

 

Interlude:

One more week with no COVID-19 symptoms. Going for my cataracts surgery pre-screen next Thursday.

This weekend I need to EAT as well as DRINK WATER.

 

P90X, Day 75: Core Synergistics

Dear Tony,

Another Friday, another buttkicker of a Core Synergistics workout.

For the second time in three sessions, I had to bail on the bonus round because i was worn out. Can’t really blame the run that much, and I did have something to eat before the workout. Also, note to self: watch the eating and the diabetic meds before the workout, so you don’t have to pause the workout to take a No. 2

Good Lord am I tired. Looks like another early Friday night.

 

Postscript:

I am running the virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. If there is an onsite run in Arlington, Va., there will be up to 24 starting waves of 500 runners each…which may be a two-hour wait to actually start running. Not a good idea, regardless of the weather. Also, no finisher’s festival or beer garden. Probably no Runner’s Expo this year either.

Song of the Day: Fatboy Slim/”Praise You:” I loved the video directed by Spike Jonze. Flash mobbin’ before flashmobbin’ was ever a thing. I’m too tired for any more inputs, and I was fortunate to find the video.

Oh, and have you ever seen Fatboy’s original (and still used) recording/sampling set up?