Monday, November 24, 2014

17-23 Nov

17 NOV -- 1:05:38 -- 9.06 miles -- 368 elevation gain
18 NOV -- 1:05:52 -- 9.01 miles -- 329 elevation gain
19 NOV -- off -- rest
20 NOV -- off -- 100 push ups -- 150 dips -- 200 crunches -- 100 air squats
21 NOV -- off
22 NOV -- 7:22:35 -- 50.77 miles -- 3667 elevation gain (JFK 50 Mile)
23 NOV -- off -- rest

TOTAL -- 9:34:05 -- 68.84 miles -- 3364 elevation gain

Great week!  I spent so much time with Little Man and Kari during the week as I rested for JFK.  I did two decent road runs on Monday and Tuesday to stay active, but otherwise sat around with my family.

The race went well - blessed with great weather again, great temperatures, great friends, and great competition.  The course is boring, as we all know, and again I managed to find myself alone amongst the field of 1500+ starters over the last 20 miles of the race.  I've now finished the race 3 times and have yet to meet the race director.  Or even see the race director.  Thus, it doesn't deserve it's own recount this year.  My blog, my rules.  But, on the positive side, our Marine Corps team finished first in the military team division - we finished 1 of 1 team, which is still winning.  We victoriously hoisted the trophy over Geiger Hall this morning.

Next week I plan to rest my legs as much as possible.  I need to get back into the gym to find my pectorals again...

Monday, November 17, 2014

10-16 Nov

10 NOV -- off -- rest
11 NOV -- 16:55 -- 2.00 miles -- 0 elevation gain (treadmill in my basement)
12 NOV -- off
13 NOV -- off
14 NOV -- off
15 NOV -- 57:54 -- 7.80 miles -- 310 elevation gain
16 NOV -- off -- 125 push ups -- 250 crunches -- 250 dips (in my living room)

TOTAL -- 1:14:49 -- 9.80 miles -- 310 elevation gain

This was a big week, but not for running.  Little Man was born on 11 Nov, Veteran's Day!  Both he and my wife are happy and healthy, and I couldn't be any luckier!

Announcement: Little Man Has Arrived

Quiet, everyone!  I have an announcement to make!

Elijah Benson Cillo was born Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, at 1:34 in the afternoon.  He was not so little at 22 inches long and 9 pounds & 15 ounces.  He's the man and he is legit.  Everyone, meet Elijah, practicing early Karate techniques in his signature war gloves:

My brother said he looks like he's about to put a whoopin' on the kid who stole his passy at the nursery.  I mean, look at those flaring nostrils!

I feel like I grew up overnight when Elijah was born.  My photographer and I have been spending every second with him since Tuesday - particularly all of the seconds between 3:00am and 4:00am - and it has been a blast!  Coffee flows frequently at all hours.  I'm off work this week so I intend to get some final preparation miles in for JFK on Saturday.  And, of course, I'll be spending every second I can with my newly expanded family until the Marine Corps again requires my presence among the eager and determined souls within Quantico and the surrounding warlands!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

03-09 Nov

03 NOV -- 1:00:03 -- 7.08 miles -- 426 elevation gain
               -- upper body weightlifting
04 NOV -- 29:33 -- 3.94 miles -- 814 elevation gain (hill sprints)
               -- stationary bike 11 miles
05 NOV -- 41:26 -- 4.73 miles -- 759 elevation gain
06 NOV -- 1:20:20 -- 9.33 miles -- 745 elevation gain
               -- upper body weightlifting
07 NOV -- 29:00 -- 2.41 miles -- 8 elevation gain (track workout, combat soccer)
08 NOV -- 4:00:55 -- 29.35 miles -- 1750 elevation gain (Rosaryville 50k, 4th overall)
09 NOV -- off -- rest

TOTAL -- 8:01:17 -- 56.84 miles -- 4502 elevation gain

Fun week!  The combination of weightlifting, hills, sprints, combat soccer, biking, and racing a 50k made this week really great.  I'm not sore and I feel awesome!  Two weeks of training remain until the JFK 50 Mile race.

The Rosaryville 50k couldn't have gone any better.   The weather was perfect - mid-40's at the start, mid-50's at the finish, clear skies.  The trails were in great shape with only a few small dodge-able puddles from Thursday's rain.  The chow afterwards was really good (beans, rice, salsa, and tortilla chips).  Rob joined me again for this race and also ran well (5:05).  I ran a few miles with the female winner (4:20), my buddy James I met at the PB&J 50k a few weeks ago (4:10, 6th overall), and most of the last loop with Karsten (3:58) until he smoked me in the final two miles.  I finished in 4 hours flat, good for 4th overall and the coveted First Military Finisher: 

Sorry, I have only this single picture I took with my phone to send to my photographer.  LittleManCillo is still in the womb so Kar didn't participate in the 0500 wake up and subsequent 75 mile drive to the race.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Recount #13: The People's Marathon

Sunday, October 26, 2014.  The People's (Double) Marathon.

Knowing that Rosaryville 50k and JFK 50 Mile are on my race calendar in the next few weeks, I decided to run a double marathon this day to get extra flat ground training.  And, I needed a self haze-fest after my abysmal performance at Grindstone.

I drove up to Crystal City on Saturday night and found a free parking spot for the night.  I looked for one close to a grocery store to take advantage of the bathroom.  I have a picture of base camp, aka my car, but apparently hackers have the ability to frame me for armed robbery using my license plate number.

I arrived at 2300 and got to sleep in the ole wagon around 1130.  My trusted weather app wasn't so trusty - it was calling for temps in the upper 40's, but I woke up sweating multiple times.  I finally took off my hoodie and climbed out of my sleeping bag and got comfortable - by then, my watch said 0030.
My alarm went off at 0240 and I was wide awake with excitement.  Something about roaming the streets of Alexandria and DC alone in the middle of the night really peaked my interest.  I hopped out of my Scion Lunch Box, gathered my pack and chow, and waited for my watch to hit 0300.  At exactly 0300 I started towards the Mount Vernon Trail.  The streets were super quiet - only a single ambulance was out and about, closing down a section of the road in Crystal City for the race.  After a short jog through the city I found an entrance to the bike trail.  I took the trail about 7 miles south through Alexandria, turned around, ran north all the way to the end in DC, then back to my car.  Since Kari is 9 months pregnant I always have my phone with me.  I took a few pictures along the way:

City skyline en route to Alexandria, about 3 miles in

 Empty streets of Alexandria, normally flooded with tourists, college students, locals, and hungry shoppers looking for a good restaurant, about 6 miles in
A really creepy tunnel just south of Alexandria, which could easily be a really cool tunnel at a different time of day, about mile 6.5
 Some more city lights, around mile 14
The Washington Monument across the river, mile 16-ish
Coming through the tunnel into Crystal City, mile 25 around 0620, I sent this picture to Kari to let her know I made it through the night without being shanked or mugged of my Gu Gels and baby wipes
I made it back to my car around at 0631 for a marathon split of 3:31:44.  I gave myself about 25 minutes to clean up, rehydrate, get into dry clothes, and prepare for the MCM.  I locked up the Lunchbox and started heading towards the Penalgon parking lot with my hand bottle to meet up with Brandon.  I was tasked with being his pacer for the day, aiming for a 3:30-3:45 finish time.
I arrived before Brandon's train, so I headed towards the porta-jons.  I was disappointed when I found a line about 75 people in length.

I held it.  Other didn't.  Some people were heading towards the bushes.  Guys and gals alike.  In the friggin Pentagon parking lot.  No respect...
Brandon finally arrived and he headed towards the start line.  He had to check a bag so we knew there would be lines aplenty.  We were walking at a good clip, along with 13,000 other people, until we stopped abruptly in the middle of the road.  There was a mass of thousands of people in front of us in a line for something.  Initially, we thought it was for porta-jons, but we didn't see any.  We soon realized the lines were formed in front of 20 metal detectors.  Wow.  I mean, it makes sense after what happened in Boston last year, but it's very sad that runners have to pass through metal detectors at the People's Marathon.  Since this is neither a political blog, homeland security forum, nor a place to bitch and complain about things other than ultrarunning, I'll continue with the story.

Brandon took his drop bag to one of the 46 UPS trucks lined up behind the Penalgon while I secured a spot in the line for a porta-jon.  We did our business and finally started our 1-mile walk to the starting line.  During that time Cpl Carpenter and friends started jumping out of helicopters and whatnot.

Brandon and I also took some quick pictures once we got to the start line.
 Brandon, establishing comms with his family
All business on the left, lost in the sauce on the right
When the howitzer went off we were still walking.  It didn't matter.  Once we stopped walking and got in a formal line, we still waited for another 8 minutes.

Waiting for the line to move, the race had started about 3 minutes prior to this photo

We finally started moving, the start line in sight!

9 minutes after the official start, we made it to the timing mat

Brandon and I ran together until the halfway point.  We chatted with each other, looked around, and tried not to trip on other people's sneakers.

We took turns leading and would once in awhile lose each other in the crowd.  Ultimately, that's how I lost him around mile 13.  I was leading and thought he was following in my tracks, but I turned around at an aid station and he was gone.  I waited for a minute or two but he never showed up.  I wasn't sure whether he was way behind or snuck by and was way ahead, so I just kept running with the crowd.  Later, in a fit of semi-rage, he referred to me as his "Half Marathon Pacer."
It started heating up around 1000 so, naturally, I had to preserve my nipples and took my shirts off.  I was still wearing a cut off and a long sleeve.  I took a selfie around mile 18 to send via cell phone data to my Commander back at the home front operations center:

Chesties flowing in the wind, crowd finally thinned out a bit

Brandon's wife, Lynne, snapped this picture of me running through Crystal City.  Unfortunately, I didn't see her or their two boys yelling at the runners.

After a few more miles through Crystal City and around the Penalgon I finished at the Iwo Jima Memorial in 3:46:39.

At the end of the day I completed 52.64 miles in a combined timed of 7:18:23.  I hope to sustain that type of pace during the JFK 50 Mile race in a few weeks.

The Marine Corps Marathon is about so much more than the race itself.  Without getting emotional, political, or defensive, I will end this race report with the following picture to leave a lasting impression on your mind and remind you of all the sacrifices made by your servicemen and servicewomen on a daily basis.  After all, a picture speaks a thousand words. 

(Yep, that's Miley)

End of recount...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

20 Oct-02 Nov

20 OCT -- off -- upper body weightlifting
21 OCT -- 52:57 -- 6.21 miles -- 405 elevation gain
22 OCT -- off (celebrated Kari's birthday with her)
23 OCT -- 46:27 -- 6.48 miles -- 274 elevation gain (my four year wedding anniversary)
24 OCT -- 23:35 -- 2.19 miles -- 194 elevation gain
              -- 110 pull ups -- 220 push ups -- 330 body squats
              -- 46:58 -- 6.67 miles -- 323 elevation gain
25 OCT -- off -- rest
26 OCT -- 7:18:23 -- 52.64 miles -- 2571 elevation gain (double Marine Corps Marathon)

TOTAL -- 10:08:20 -- 74.19 miles -- 3767 elevation gain

Good weather all week.  Celebrated Kari's birthday and our 4th anniversary this week.  Also did a double marathon on Sunday - did my own marathon @ 0300 (3:31:44) then ran the Marine Corps Marathon @ 0755 (3:46:39).  It was fun and exciting, and also my first marathon since Dec 2012.  I ran the first half with my friend Brandon (from PB&J 50k race recount) and did the second half solo.  I'll post a short race recount soon (mostly pictures).

27 OCT -- off -- rest
28 OCT -- off -- upper body weightlifting -- stationary bike 3 miles
29 OCT -- off -- stationary bike 7 miles
30 OCT -- off -- upper body weightlifting -- stationary bike 10 miles
31 OCT -- 45:05 -- 5.83 miles -- 332 elevation gain
01 NOV -- 1:16:15 -- 10.15 miles -- 602 elevation gain
02 NOV -- off

TOTAL -- 2:01:20 -- 15.98 miles -- 934 elevation gain

Rest week.  Didn't do much.  Hips still a bit sore from 50 miles on roads the previous weekend.  Did a lot of weightlifting and biking though, which allowed me to continue eating cookies and brownies at will.  Next Saturday is the Rosaryville Veteran's Day 50k, and also my wife's due date, so it'll be interesting to see how the logistics pan out. 

Other news -- my friend Tristin has recovered from his run-in with an automobile a few weeks back, he did 3.5 miles yesterday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Photographer's Special Day

Today is my photographer's birthday.  Number 28.  When I opened the box at the end of my driveway after work today it was stuffed with a newspaper, two magazines, two bills, and a birthday card from Gary K. to Kari.  I tossed the newspaper, magazines, and bills into the trash and asked Kari to open her card.  She found this:

I would expect nothing less from Dr. K...