12 PAX fought off the Monday morning blues to run 5 miles at whatever recovery pace meant for them. Bratwurst extended his “show up early” streak for a second week and we were off to the Providence County Club.
This is the route:
Others on Strava will have a few more thick lines as they were circling back to get me.
When I was #notarunner and showed up at running workout and saw the fast guys there, it was a little intimidating, but someone was always kind enough to stay back and encourage me. Now that I am a runner, no more sympathy for PJ. Bratwurst pronounced that fact when he looked right at me and declared that he did not need to provide short cuts for any of the PAX who were in attendance this morning. This was right before he took off and quickly accelerated to his 6 minute pace with the rest of the fast guys.
Running up Ardrey Kell, using ninja like moves to avoid the trees along the way and seeing red blinky lights far in the distance, it was time to cut thru the shopping center between Ardrey Kell and Tom Short. The fast guys were found. They were shocked to see me. It made them run faster.
As we made a left into the fancy neighborhood, Bratwurst barked out a command. Something about going straight, no turns. But when your legs are already tired and you don’t want to go any further, in your delirium, you think he said “we are all going to walk from here.”
As their pace quickened and their blinky lights disappeared around blind corners, there I was. One headlight.
Each time I thought I was alone and ready to give up, I was able to see, in the distance, a blinky light or a pair of headlights coming to find me. So I kept moving my legs and eventually made it back to base.
Often I think I am alone. Whether it is in my circumstance, my situation or in my struggles. But when I have the faith to go around those blind corners and just keep moving forward, looking ahead, for the people that God has placed in my life to help and encourage me, I can finish the race.
Maybe they know that to encourage me in this season of my journey, instead of running beside me, they have to run ahead of me to teach me that I will never improve or grow without something to run towards.
Appreciate Wingman taking the lead on the broga and One-Niner taking us out.
Thank you for another great Monday morning.
5 PAX dripped in on a Hurricane Michael morning. Some had ideas of driving over to the parking deck across the street. YHC had something different in mind. After a sue proof disclaimer, we were off.
Mosey over to the area where they used to cook bacon in the morning.
There was no smell of pork in the air, but instead there was:
LSS x 15, 5 merkins OYO, SSH x 15, IW x 15 and 5 diamond merkins OYO.
Mosey to the front of Target to the covered area with all the pillars. Line up at the last pillar. Lunge walk to each pillar and perform the called merkin. Wide arm merkin, crucible merkin, diamond merkin and regular merkin.
On the way back, lunge walk and plank. Regular plank, right arm high, left arm high then seeing a little less rain, mosey to the seating area next to Flying Biscuit.
Grab a chair. Use the chair for dips, shoulder press and curls. 15 X each exercise in cadence count then triple lindy.
Mosey to the parking lot in front of The Joint.
Using the ends of 3 parking medians, it was time for the PJ beast. 6 reps, 6 sets of the called exercise at each parking median. At the last parking median you had to do 12 to make it work. Hand slap squats, diamond merkins and burpees.
Mosey to the seating area next to Starbucks. Grab a chair. Use the chair for dips, shoulder press and curls. 15X each in cadence count.
Return to the parking lot for 4 corners of escalator abs. Flutter and LBC. 10, 15, 20, 25 X.
Mosey across the street to the parking deck at Brown Bag. Start at the bottom (covered area), run up the stairs, and back to the bottom going around the deck. No Uncle Rico sighting. At each opening (to the stairs, on top of the stairs, the out ramp and the in ramp) perform 10X of the called exercise. Merkins, LBCs and toe-tap crunch.
Mosey back across the street to the fountains. Grab a chair. Use the chair for dips, shoulder press and curls. 10X each.
Mosey to the wall in front of Firebirds. Split leg squats. 10X on each leg in cadence count.
Back to launch where the rain started coming down a little harder.
When I woke up this morning my intention was to exclusively use the covered area of the parking deck as it was coming down in buckets. The name of the back blast would have been Uncle Rico’s Rescue.
But when I arrived, the rain had subsided and Mary Kay was waiting patiently in his car. While we were chatting waiting on others to join us, he mentioned that he had never posted in the rain. At that point, my plans changed. Come hell or high water, we were all getting wet.
As Happy Meal and Billy Goat appeared, I guessed that they had never posted in the rain before so I believed it was my responsibility, my duty, to provide them with the experience of laying down on the wet pavement (perhaps a puddle). For Heartbreaker, the vet, it figured it was just another day in the rain.
A funny story or two about posting in the rain.
I had planned my FNG post for the Matrix on a Monday. But it rained. I did not show. The next day it was not raining. I posted at Bagpipe. Thanks to the rain, I am an SOB.
A few months later, I happened to mention to Hops that I did not post and took a detour to the Y because it started to rain on my way to the AO. Hops, being the spiritual guy that he is, would certainly understand. I was wrong. Instead he shamed me. It was the last time I showed up at the Y. The last time I avoided posting due to the weather. It was one of those defining moments of my F3 journey. Today, I got to Q in the rain. Thanks Hops.
Disclaimer: The exceptions are ice, lightning and when the city of Charlotte declares a curfew because of the snow. Can’t get the Nantans mad at me.
I think we set an unofficial record for shortest announcements and take out.
It is an honor to lead the men of F3. Thank you for allowing me to do that this morning.
On the eve of YHC’s half century mark, 14 PAX joined the old dog and maybe learned some new tricks. After a thorough disclaimer that would make Mermaid proud, we were off in the direction of the parking lot close to Lockness for:
SSHx 15, 5 merkins OYO, IW x 15, 5 diamond merkins OYO, LSS x 15, 5 merkins OYO, 15 LBCs
Mosey around Lockness and meet up in the parking lot on opposite side. Split into 2 groups, one for each side of the fitness trail. On one side: inclide merkins, regular merkins and pull ups. 10 reps and 3 sets each station. On the other side: dips, supine pull ups and regular pull ups. 10 reps and 3 sets each station. When done meet in the parking lot for mary and then groups flapjack and meet back up in the parking lot.
Run back towards Lockness, make a right and stop at the benches for step ups. 20 each leg. Run to first small wall for 20 reps of butt-sit squats. Run to the next small wall for a few sets of split leg squats in cadence.
Run back toward the fitness trail and pick up a lifting rock and carry it to the parking lot. Sets of arm curls, should press, tricep extensions and finish with the triple lindy.
Bring the rock back to the pile and mosey to the Wells Fargo parking lot for stretching and back to launch.
I am not sure if it was my age or the fear of Loogie tackling me that threw off my Q game this morning. But fortunately, I had Mic Check to remind me of this fact. I was forgetting to cue the beginning of the exercise. Mic Check wasn’t sure when to start. At one time, neither did I.
For me, my F3 story has been driven by that question: When should I start? I was first introduced to F3 in the Spring of 2013 via a twitter invite to post in Chapel Hill, NC. I lived in that area at the time. I thought it was some scam. It wasn’t time to start. Fast forward to December of 2014, I am living in Charlotte, just aimlessly wandering through life, going to the Y and a buddy (who is not in F3) said “why don’t you start doing this thing called F3” I said no. It wasn’t time to start. Then in April of 2015, a different friend said “why don’t you start doing this thing called F3” I said no again. But a day or so latter, I realized, it was time to start. So one Tuesday morning in April, I showed up to the very parking lot where I started this morning. Not knowing anyone. Hearing all these strange things and a very loud bald guy (Market Timer) barking out commands. It was time to start. As I struggled in the back, there was Loogie. Talking to me, encouraging me, making sure I would finish what I came that morning to start.
Since that day, my F3 journey continued with that same question:
When should I start attending a 3rd F?
When should I start my first Q?
When should I start offering to Q instead of waiting to be asked?
When should I start a new AO or become a Site Q?
When should I start getting to know the other guys on a deeper level?
When should I start searching and rescuing guys in need?
When should I start offering to pray during the COT instead of shying away?
When should I start challenging other guys to grow?
When should I start running?
When, when, when….
How about now.
8 PAX showed up at the fountains of Blakeney on a Monday morning for a planned trip thru the fancy neighborhood. It was a typical Monday morning, Bunker parked in his spot, Bratwurst was pulling up at 5:15 and Cobbler was trying to figure out where he could do his thing on this route.
With no disclaimer but a few headlamps we were off.
This was the route we took this morning according to my fancy watch:
A new PR for Cobbler this morning. He made it thru a running workout without having a stop or detour. Congrats!
One of the reasons I love running with Bunker is he is so funny. Before the launch he lamented how his legs felt tired due to his marathon training and running 16 miles yesterday so he would “run slow.” Then once we entered the fancy neighborhood he told the other fast PAX he would yell directions ahead to them as he would be behind since he would “run slow.” At one point, I was trying to keep up with him at a sub 8:30 pace and after he left me behind, he easily caught up to the other fast guys.
Two things I could not figure out this morning: (1) where did Tuck go and why did he not want to stretch with us? and (2) does Polly not like us or was he looking to get extra miles by parking his truck about a block or so from the rest of us?
Thank you Johnny Utah for taking us out.
As always, a fun start to Monday.
7 PAX flowed into Blakeney Shopping Center for the latest edition of #F3Blakovery. A mandatory curfew kept a few of the regulars from leaving their county of residence but YHC was ready to run. So without a disclaimer or shirts, we were off to run the Flat Branch Route.
This is the route I ran:
It was an interesting post hurricane morning. (1) Bratwurst, Bunker and our Union County peeps were stuck running on their own or fartsacking; (2) what are the odds of both Cobbler and YHC posting a running workout (or any workout) and not having an emergency poop; (3) there were only 2 of us who kept our shirt on while running; (4) we had 2 site FNGs; (5) the fast guys ran 1 route (Tool Bag and Happy Meal), the recovery runners ran another (One-Niner and Cobbler), the faster guys (Fraiser and Gumbo) ran their own and YHC was somewhere in-between. (6) we all agreed that female runner smell better than we do and they sometimes are offended and ignore guys running in the early morning without shirts.
Thank you One-Niner for taking us out.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: monitor Slack channel for how you can help with the hurricane clean up effort.
If it isn’t washed away, F3 Dads camping event, October 19-21 at Cane Creek, Waxhaw, NC. HC on the F3dads slack channel. Stay 1 or 2 nights.
24 PAX enjoyed the freedom of posting on this 9.11 morning.
We have the freedom to choose when and where to go.
We have the freedom to assemble and run around Ballantyne Corporate Park.
We have many freedoms that I take for granted every day because sometimes I forget what someone did to insure that freedom. This is one of those days I must remember so I don’t forget.
So for this backblast, instead of recounting the COP, THE THANG and MOLESKIN, I will take Q privilege to focus on the discussion that happened after-at Timekeeper.
Two men who have had a direct impact on my F3 journey-Alf and Frehleys Comet- were gracious enough to share their 9.11 experience.
Each had a different perspective. One from an office outside of the Pentagon the other from an office inside New York City. But it was clear that both were deeply impacted by those events and sharing their story provided me insight that I did not have before-to help me remember, so I don’t forget.
The lesson Alf taught me this morning is there is a big difference between radicals and religion. That sometimes evil people (radicals) use religion to manipulate people to carry out their own evil agenda. That we should pause before we lump a people group into the same category as a radical when all they want to do is practice their religion.
I can say I was guilty of this. As a guy who grew up across the river in NJ, when the Towers fell and our country was under attack, I was angry. And to some degree I still am. Back then, I wanted retribution. But now looking back, I am glad cooler heads prevailed.
Frehleys was working in New York City and was at work when the planes crashed and the Towers came down. Not knowing what was going on, no way to contact anyone, he and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate. He could see the smoke and smell the wreckage of the Twin Towers. It was an eerie feeling to walk thru the streets of NYC with only the noise of the sirens in the backdrop. The sea of people around him were calm, whispering, collectively working their way to the Ferry system-the only way off the island. He finally made it to the other side (NJ) and back home-safely with his family.
A powerful picture of the human resolve and unity under the pressure of extreme circumstances.
We are 17 years past that frightful day.
It was good to remember, so I never forget.
As far as the workout is concerned, we ran, did merkins, some squats and even Burpees.
But like many other days I have sweated in the gloom-it is hard to remember what we did a few hours later.
What I heard from Alf and Frehleys afterwards, I won’t forget.
7 PAX showed up in the parking lot of Elevation Church-Blakeney on Wednesday morning, yet only 6 stayed to focus on their flexibility at F3 Pokey. A disclaimer was finally provided and we were ready to go with our dynamic stretching to warm up:
Walking Butt kicks
Knee Ups with twist
Stretching emphasis on IT band, calf and hamstrings all poses held for a PR (Pokey Record) 1:15.
The pre-ruck option is going strong at Pokey. Those of you who enjoy rucking may want to join One-Niner and Bounty Hunter in their trek around Blakeney. It was so tough this morning that Bounty Hunter had to leave before the regular workout.
Rock Thrill made his first appearance at Pokey and joined me on the pre-walk option. I think RT now has Pokey fever and will be back.
The crew this morning was very chatty, must have been the full moon.
Thank you Haggis for taking us out.
With Bunker out, Bratwurst on time, and a route that goes thru another residential neighborhood, a record number of 18 PAX showed up to run at #Blakovery.
THE THANG: This is the route we ran:
Then we stretched.
MOLESKIN: Today was a rough morning for me. I was at least a minute slower than normal and I never really knocked off the Monday morning rust.
This time it had less to do with a gastrointestinal issue and more to do with the dozen or so Birthday Cake Oreo cookies I polished off on the 5 hour trip back from the beach the day before.
I guess Kid Rock is right, it is all about diet.
The rest of the crew seemed to have no Monday morning blues as they probably covered closer to 7 miles circling back to get me.
Shout out to JRR Tolkien for taking the #hopechallenge and forcing me outside of my comfort zone by providing a fancy watch. This was not the first time he has challenged me. The last time was when he dragged me around on my first 6 mile run when I thought I could only do 3 or 4.
So grateful to have F3 Brothers who constantly challenge me.
12 PAX chose to avoid the fartsack, witness Bartwurst arrive early and wonder about the status of Paper Jam at the most recent edition of Blakovery.
With a stern command and no disclaimer, we were off to run the Reverse Flat Branch Route.
Just do this in reverse:
Today I officially became a runner. How did this happen you may ask? A runner is born when that person is about 20 minutes into a run and gastrointestinal pain usually associated with too many tacos hits him hard. However, instead of checking to see if the Bi-Lo was open, he continues the run with optimism (sometimes called delusion) that he can make it to the woods, his house or back to Blakeney. He ventures into a neighborhood and finds himself in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere in SOB Land is defined as the middle of a neighborhood with only houses in sight. It is at that point he knows he is not making it more than 5 feet. He is clearly in a dilemma. What does he do? He takes the only option presented to him. A sewer grate next to the curb in a dark section of the street. He hopes no one drives or walks by since he is wearing a bright yellow shirt and long white socks. The movement is faster than a Frasier PR and he is back on track, stopping at McDonalds to make sure all is well and showing up in time for the last 90 seconds of stretching.
Thanks Fleetwood for leading the stretching and taking us out.
Never a dull moment at Blakovery.
8 PAX launched from the fountains at Blakeney Shopping Center while another joined us about half way thru. All started their Monday off with a dose of #Blakovery.
THE THANG: Flat Branch Route. See it here:
Stretching by Paper Jam followed.
After a weekend of keeping up with Paper Clip at F3 Dads camp, eating a box of Smores Pop Tarts (yes they are that good) and a bunch of other crap, I knew that Monday was going to be rough. It was miserable. But I made it.
Three predictions made Sunday night all came true. We would run 5 miles. I would be there early. Bratwurst would be late. This time he had to find us.
Tomorrow the hills of Swift and Fast Twitch beckon the runners.
See you on Tuesday.