A Black And Blue Weekend Stroll

Well with two weeks to go, I decided I might benefit from one more weekend stroll in the two to three-hour range. Took it on Friday morning. As the previous weekend, took this stroll to 3:05.

Wish I could tell you I felt as good about this one as previous efforts. Unfortunately not the case. The good news is what needed to get done was accomplished. But through it all, was never able to establish a good rhythm. Legs, hamstrings, quads and low back never really relaxed as much as needed to be out that long. Form and mechanics got very sloppy in latter stages. Right ankle decided it was not interested in cooperating during one of my final turnarounds. Dealing with some bruises, a swollen upper lip, road rash and a black eye after this mishap. Haven’t lived as a distance/endurance athlete until you’ve earned some road rash. Right? A driver from CR&R (Waste management company.) saw me fall, stopped to help me up and make sure I was okay. Stayed with it another 45 minutes or so after trying to see if there was any possibility of getting into a rhythm. But it was not to be. Decided I would be better served by saving additional energy and effort over and above 3 hours for January, 10.

You have no idea how much I wish I could say today was all good. But if I did not share the good and the bad, I would be less than truthful, huh? We have all had difficult days no matter what we were trying to accomplish. Sometimes it just ain’t easy. Or, as I have said many times, accomplishing the difficult IS DIFFICULT!! But don’t think I’m any different from anyone else in wanting the best from myself each and every day. And while the day may not have gone as well as I would have liked, I can tell you this…I did the best I could!!

How was the remainder of the weekend spent? Tapering, of course. Friday highlights were a combination of eating, resting and waiting for washing machine repair man. (So glad the washing machine repair was a simple one. Don’t need anything to agitate me right now. Sorry. Couldn’t resist putting a spin on this.) Other than eating and stretching, followed Dr. Marrs recommendation, giving myself a Saturday/Sunday off the legs. Not easy for one who loves to go outside and play in the traffic at whatever pace his legs will allow. He and Kim gave it their best shot at making it easier for me by joining Cheryl and me for Saturday morning breakfast and lending a hand with moving a piano and other large pieces of furniture into the house. We are so thankful to have them in our lives. Not only do they monitor/take care of many of my physical needs, they are great friends always willing to extend a helping hand.

As for today, it was back outside for just under an hour. Took a few minutes to get all the parts moving but was pleased overall. Post-workout message and adjustment that followed was time well spent. Another reminder regular treatment is not just a luxury if my body is to function at its best. It is a lifestyle necessity.

Not sure why I struggled so much over the weekend. But unless anyone has a better idea, will continue weight, core/balance work, back down on time spent on the legs but keep them moving, spend as much time as needed with Dr. Marrs, Nicole and staff for adjustment and message. We’ve already decided extra work would be a good thing this week.

With less than two weeks until race day, it may be the best thing I can do is give myself the gifts of eating good food, rest, healing and an excursion to Thursday’s Rose Parade. We’ll have third row seats near the start of the parade. Cheryl’s sister, Jennise, and the Marrs will be there too. That’s got fun written all over it!! HERE’S TO TAPER MODE!! I’m just sayin’. Yeah baby!!


Three weeks To Go!!

Some portions of this will be old news for some as I sent a training update to my race day support team and a few others after completing my training exercise Saturday (December, 19) afternoon.

A training update and a litte more…

Had the privilege of spending the day with Dr. Marrs and staff at Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness promoting Gary’s Project. What an honor it is to promote doing the best you can/being the best you can be in whatever manner you can do it…walk, run or crawl. What an honor to spend the day meeting new people and making new friends in such a positive, caring atmosphere. We’re still meeting at Gibbel Park on Wednesday mornings at 6:30 a.m. Doesn’t cost a thing to join us other than your time and whatever effort your body will allow you to give whatever you health or level of fitness. So if you’ve been thinking about coming to join us, COME ON AND DO IT!! You’ll meet some great people. And who knows. You might even get a little healthier in the process. It’s NEVER too late to become a healthier you!! You just have to start by taking the first steps.

As for the upcoming Citrus Heritage half-marathon, with three weeks to go until race day, I shortened up the weekend “long” stroll a bit this morning…3:05. But there is a kicker to include…entire stroll was completed in the Ramona Bowl and surrounding neighborhoods. For those who live in or around Hemet, you know the bowl is built into the side of a hill. So there is not much of anything “flat” around. And what little flat there is comes in short segments. Again pleased to report things went well.No major problems, falls or other bobbles. Feeling like I could have continued on.

Want to extend a big thank you to Riverside Road Runners for sharing a photo for the completion bling on Facebook with the tag, “Gary Oakley…This one is for you!!” Thanks for your support of what this athlete is doing. Would do and will continue to do what I do with or without the bling. But your interest only fuels the fire and motivation.

For Dr. Weatherwax, Warren and anyone else who is interested…The turnaround/recovery from last weekend’s long workout took longer than I expected. Left hamstring and upper back were tighter and more restricted than I expected through mid-week. May well have been the result of lots of activity that included extended periods of sitting over the last couple of weeks. As we know, sitting is not my friend. Shortened duration of workouts for remainder of the week. Made a conscious effort to, as you both would tell me, to “honor” what my body is telling me. Built in an additional rest day and made certain Dr. Marrs and staff had all the time they needed for adjustment and message. The extra rest day was Friday. That is if you consider going out and doing several hours of yard work a rest day!! The good news is I was feeling better by the time I went out this morning. But can honestly say the body feedback from last week’s workouts and living life were major contributing factors in the decision to back down a bit on this morning’s workout.

Not sure what the plan will be for next weekend. I’m open to suggestions. But my inclination is to keep moving but begin backing down a bit as this time next week will leave us just two weeks out. Will be sure to get a stroll or two on the legs. But will also mix it up a bit with a bike ride or two, some time in the water; joggers’ belt or swim along with strength/balance work in the gym. It’s also time to rest and eat lots of good food. And, of course be sure Dr. Marrs and staff can get their hands on me. Anyone have any other thoughts? I’d love to hear from you. Even taking time to say, “Hello” is a good training motivator and inspiration.

To sum it all up, three weeks out, I’m feeling good about my preparation. Could I benefit if I had another week or two to train? Who knows. I do know whatever happens on the course three weeks from today will not be for lack of effort, preparation or support. I am happy, content and totally at peace and looking forward to the challenge when it comes to that. So unless anyone has other thoughts, I’ll keep the body moving forward, get mentally prepared for what’s ahead and focus on finishing what we started smiling all along the way. I’m just sayin. Yeah baby!!

Training And Race Day Updates

I’ve had an opportunity to update a few people in the last few days via Facebook, text message, email or casual conversation.  For those of you with whom I’ve not had a chance to share by any means mentioned above or if you just can’t hear what’s happening enough, this post is definitely for you.


Had planned to make yesterday’s training stroll a “short” one…in the 2-3 hour range.  Well, so much for a short stroll.  Crossed the 4+ hour threshold, (4:03 for those requesting specifics.) on the legs for the first time since 2012.  Was preparing for the NYC Marathon back then.  As with last weekend’s effort I was very pleased.  Held everything together very well for the first 3+ hours.  The last 15-20 minutes were a challenge as my body and mechanics got “sloppy”.  As much as I would have liked to have stayed with it a few minutes longer, I made the decision to be thankful/for celebrate what had been accomplished and extend time on the legs another day.


A little more than 24 hours since this training exercise, the news is all good.  Was a bit tight in the low back and the legs were tired until late yesterday.  Cheryl and I still managed to work in a late afternoon lunch at Polly’s.  Love their Saturday chicken with wild rice soup-of-the-day.  So 4+ hours resulted in nothing unexpected or unusual.  If anything it led to an even louder post-workout cry of, “What’s for lunch?” on my part.


Even though the plan was to give the body a break and work toward 4 hours next weekend, I’m glad yesterday worked out as it did.  This will allow me to duplicate this act at least, “One more time.” as the Gong Show’s Chuck Barris would have said, should I choose between now and race day.  Yes, I probably will.  And yes.  I LOVED the Gong Show.  I wanted to be Chuck Barris’ replacement when he retired.  I would have been, “Oh!!  Oh!! So good!!”  So much for TMI!!


As for race day, the Riverside Road Runners have graciously agreed to an early start for me and my support team.  Course officials and volunteers will be at the race venue as early as 5 a. m. preparing for the day.  My crew and I can start as early as event staff begin their day.  Haven’t made the final decision about a start time.  But the consensus from the supporting cast seems to be 5:30.  That’s what I’m leaning toward.  That will give event workers time to shake off the early morning cobwebs and down a cup of coffee or two as the complete last-minute preparations.


That’s all I know for now.  Race day is less than four weeks away.  Wow!!  Any comments, thoughts, suggestions are welcome as preparation enters its final stages.  Thanks to all of you who stop by for a read for your continued interest.  You keep me motivated, inspired and accountable as you share this journey with me to its completion.  Can’t ask for more than that.  You’re the BEST!!  I’m just sayin’.  Yeah baby!!



What Can I Say…It’s Been A While

After  being out of commission with computer challenges/repairs, taking a surprise, unexpected trip to Maui and having painters turn our house into a construction zone, for several days, I can get back at those of you who follow my scribblings.  I know.  It’s been a while.  For those who were following previous postings, hope you are still interested/curious enough to come back.

It is now less than 5 weeks until the Citrus Heritage half-marathon.  I am pleased to report training is going well.  Have completed two long “strolls” in preparation for the big day January, 10.  For me, a stroll means moving smart not hard.  The goals are to stay upright, stay strong, keep body mechanics in tact as long as possible…Don’t allow the right side of the body to become so overworked and fatigued that I don’t pick up the foot, drag the leg, “scrape” the right big toe.  It’s what I call getting sloppy.  The only way to minimize the possibility of this occurring over the 4+ hours I will need to complete the race, is to prepare employing an LSD pace…(L)ong (S)low (D)istance.  LSD means work smart. Start slowly.  Don’t force the pace, especially in the early stages of the race.  Let the race come to me and pick it up in the latter stages if the body says okay.  That’s the best way to keep it all together over 13.1 miles.

With LSD clearly in mind over the last two weekends, the two longest training exercises to date were completed; 2 hours 45 minutes November, 30.  Three hours 33 minutes December, 6.  Yesterday’s 2:33 effort was at Hemet’s Ramona Bowl.  The significance of this venue is it’s built into a hill.  So ain’t nothin’ flat about it or the neighborhood around it.  The workout was intended to incorporate several training objectives at the same time…Spend an extended period of time on my feet, challenge balance on what, for me, is difficult terrain, build strength and log in some much-needed miles.

Post-training effort you can call me very pleased all things considered.  Yes, I’m sore.  Left hamstring and low back are letting me know I did something yesterday.  Does that mean I’m complaining?  No way!!  Why would I?  Me, you, anybody should expect to feel something after being on you feet for that long!!  What needed to be accomplished was done.  Think I could have done a short workout today.  But chose to stretch and rest instead.  Will be back at it on Monday.  Likely on the bike or in the gym.  Need to change-up the routine/continue building strength.  A visit with Dr. Marrs and staff for message and adjustment is also on the schedule.  That will help A LOT!!

Okay.  So you want to know if training continued while in Maui.  The answer is yes.  And we had a great time while touring, relaxing and attending the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament.  There are ways to keep training even while having fun. Try a 90 minute barefoot stroll on the beach to build strength, challenge your balance, maintain your conditioning, for example.  Or take a hike near a once volcanic crater.  Working out/training is so much fun in paradise!!  Can we do this one AGAIN, please?

Must tell you about an amazing lady Cheryl and I met in Maui.  Her name is Linda.  She works for Diamond Resorts International.  When introduced to her, she asked me if I had C P.  When I answered with an affirmative “Yeah baby”, she told me about her young son, Dylan, who also has C P.  We share similar histories.  He currently receives services from Shriners’ Hospital.  I am an alum of Shriners and their services.  Linda shared stories with me about how Dylan has learned to live his life.  Simply put, when you fall down, you get back up.  You have taught him well, Linda.  You are leaving no stone unturned to make sure Dylan has opportunity of living life to the fullest.  Sounds like the two heroes who had the most profound influence on my life…Mamma Esther and Pa’pa Spud.  Unfortunately Cheryl and I did not have an opportunity to meet Dylan before returning home.  But we have made a promise to stay in touch.  (And we are.)  Hopefully we will meet him one day.  In the meantime, the stories Linda shared about her amazing young man will only fuel my fire and remind me how important it is for me (All of us.) to be the best I/we can be each and every day.  Ah, the passion and exuberance of youth.!!     Thank you, Linda, for coming into our lives.  Thank you for sharing Dylan.  Maybe I will one day have the honor of doing a race with him, if he’s interested.  Thank you for sharing the pictures you showed to Cheryl and me.  I now think of him EVERY day!!  Dylan and Linda…The Citrus Heritage Half-Marathon…THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!!  And Dylan…When I grow up, I want to be just like YOU!!  I’m just sayin’.  Yeah baby!!