Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

Day: March 11, 2019

Hate and Love Relationships

1 mile fun run version – I’ve not posted much because I’ve been training for a half marathon that I ran Saturday. It was an enjoyable accomplishment that I intended to complete with my daughter. Now if you want read the (half) marathon version, grab a cold beverage and a comfy chair.

Half-marathon version

Hey, remember me? I’m the guy that has only posted a few times this year. A Kotter you say? Well, that is an acceptable moniker. But you see, I’ve been training (“What kind of training, son? No, not Army training Sergeant Hulka…) marathon training…actually to be more precise half-marathon training. Since the beginning of December, I’ve been on a mission to get in running shape.  As many of you know from your time in the gloom, finding semi-descent weather to run outside is challenging of late, especially with our weather pattern resembles the Pacific-Northwest more than the Carolinas. I only resorted to a treadmill maybe five times. So how does this goal become the carrot on a string at the end of the stick? A simple request from my daughter: “Hey Dad, I want to run a half-marathon, will you run it with me?” How could I say no to that?

All of us with 2.0’s can probably empathize and as my 16 year old is maturing, I realize these opportunities are less than they used to be. But Leslie’s request was her own challenge to summit. Some of you are familiar from COT’s that four concussions in soccer have ended her time on the playing field. She didn’t have aspirations to play beyond high school, but it was her passion and anytime something that you enjoy and excel are removed from your control, it is a loss that must be faced. How a person deals with it could go a number of ways. The same can be said for some of us and the challenges we face in the Three F’s. For some, a particular exercise might be dreaded, and I’m not talking Burpees, everyone hates those – except Slaw for some God-forsaken reason. But I’m sure you’re thinking of something else that if called, you begrudgingly begin to do though you can’t wait until it’s over. For me it was running. I’ve shared this in the Tuna 200 Backblast but the challenge continues. Moving one foot in front of the other, as rapidly as you can sounds simple until that trip extends beyond a particular distance. I trained a bit for the T200 and enjoyed the experience more than I did the running. Last Fall I upped the ante a bit with more mileage on the Bourbon Chase, but I hurt my calf preparing so once again, the camaraderie was better than the running. In both those experiences, I had not really committed to diligently executing a plan, one that would push me further than I had before, so this half marathon idea from Leslie was probably the slap in the head I needed to really push me from my own comfort zone.

I’ll cut to the details to tell you that over the past 3+ months, I logged over 250 miles, hitting more than 75% of the scheduled runs. More important to tell you than the step by step process is the advice I learned along the way, mostly from the running PAX was both direct and indirect. Watching and observing different styles and the efforts whether on a short mosey at a bootcamp, running AO, or relay. I appreciated much faster guys dropping back to run at my pace – those were the runs that always went by the fastest. If you allow me to share a few of the things I picked up along the way, both good and bad.

  • First and foremost – run when you don’t want to. Whoopee shared this and it was true, more so for the mental toughness needed. I appreciated this after mile 10 when I was tired and trying to press on. Nothing more than a dreaded 5k left. I’d done it before – this was why.
  • Don’t skip your long runs (a consensus from a lot of guys) – the mid-week or the weekend mileage that you need your legs to adjust to the distance. They don’t have to be fast, actually slower than your “race pace” works (a tempo run).
  • What is your goal? “Finish” Stroganoff told me. The better training runs were the ones that had a purpose, short, medium, or long. I struggled most when I wasn’t focused and picking a route along the way just to get distance. But knowing where the finish line was, kept me driving.
  • It’s okay to have a bad run – Sargento – think of your handicap in golf. You may be +/- your handicap but some days, even the pros have a crappy round due to mental or external factors.
  • Train on hills and use them to help you – who else other than Gastone offered this? But it’s true, I’d let me legs go on the downside and shorten my stride on the climbs – this was observed from watching numerous guys like Defib and Boudin.
  • “I think I should’ve stretched” – Unfortunately this came from Freight after his leg locked on him attempting the glory leg at the Bourbon Chase; I was mindful before each run to get my legs stretched.
  • What to eat? This was a mixed bag and unlike Quiche, peanut M&M’s and Diet Coke were not going to work for me. I was unable to convince my M a pink taco had magic protein/carbs, so I had to Google search for other ideas. Everyone’s palate and diet are different and the key is to do what suits you best. But don’t “bonk” (that’s not sexual). Make sure to eat carbs before your longer runs.

March 9th, was race day in downtown Charlotte for the BB&T Corporate Cup; the culmination of miles and dedication. My daughter and I drove to Charlotte at 6:30 am and she decided to eat a banana, remembering that I said they were a good pre-race food (maybe not 60 minutes before though). We were both a bit nervous about what was to begin. Arriving at the starting line, we negotiated to a spot just ahead of the 2:15 pace. Our training schedules were vastly different, she ran after school, me before or after work. So we had not run together and that was a mistake on my part. I wrongly assumed an athletic 16 year would out-run me and she would for short distances. So we trotted off and then a half mile into this big race we had put great time and effort Leslie said she wasn’t feeling well. We stepped to the sidewalk to let her catch her breath. Her face was flushed and she looked a bit scared. I switched from runner to Dad – “are you okay?” Reluctantly, she said ‘let’s go,’ and we started again only to quickly say she really needed to go to the bathroom. Luckily around the corner of West Blvd and Tryon there was a Bo-jangles. Leslie entered to earn a road win while I paused my watch and watched the runners and even some walkers go by. Leslie emerged from the restroom worse than before. “Are you up for this?” I questioned as we began to shuffle our feet. “My head’s killing me!” she replied. “We don’t have to do this if you’re not up for it,” I replied. “I don’t want you to be mad at me if I quit,” she responded. I can’t be mad at her for something she can’t help. I’m not the one that’s suffered an daily headache ranging from mild to migraine the past seven months, the result of another ball crashing into her fragile skull.  I admired her for training but there was a limit to what she could physically handle. As much as she wants and as much as I’ve prayed for her healing, Leslie has not recovered. A nervous stomach made it worse attempting to eat too soon before the run. I called my M that fortunately was nearby and explained the situation. I did my best to reassure Leslie I admired her attempt  but this was not her day. A bit dejected and upset at the situation, Leslie veered toward the car and I took the flag running with a higher purpose than I had originally planned.

With a parade full of runners ahead, my pace quickened. I felt like Sargento inserting myself into the lead-off leg of novices at the Bourbon Chase. As much as I wanted to yell “you just got Quiched!” passing by the 2:45 pace group, I realized this was a ‘me vs. me’ event. This particular group of people had too much cellulite jiggling in yoga pants, I noticed. The challenge was to push toward the 2 hour pace group and much better views ahead (if you didn’t get it – the skinny chicks in yoga pants…). Much different than my solitary training runs, migrating through a multitude of people was a boost of adrenaline. This was a bit unexpected. Racking up kills reminded me of our F3 brother Apache and his famous “Pow, Pow, Pow!” rattling my brain. I was on a PR pace at the halfway point (8:15) and feeling really good. A playlist of hair metal hits pulsed among erratic thoughts ranging a multitude of subjects but mostly pushing ahead for Leslie that was texting me encouragement. I was inspired as I attacked two hills I had intended to walk but confidently climbed. My dad dropped by at mile 9 to cheer me own. My M and 2.0’s greeted me at 11.5 and Leslie hopped back in the race. She said she felt better but I knew different. We turned up Morehead St, with steady inclines of nearly 100 feet in two different sections, connected only by a brief flat to catch your breath. “How much longer?” my daughter asked. “A little more than a mile,” I huffed. “I’m walking – you go on – meet you there.” And I was back on my own for the finale.

This was the toughest stretch. Unchartered territory as the final training run had only covered 12 miles, stringing together legs 3, 4, & 5 of the CSAUP two weeks ago. My legs were tired. I felt the blisters growing on my feet and toes. I grabbed a handful of encouragement from all the places I could think: F3 Brothers. ‘DFQ’ gets echoed in the gloom quite often and that was firmly on my mind. The relays where it’s the runner’s duty to carry the baton from one man to the next, I imagined that final stretch to make the handoff. Key advice from Pizza Man and Tool Time stuck with me as well. We’ve all felt those moments, the last few reps of a circuit or heading toward the AO just as the bell tolls – just trying to get to the end: that was my last hurdle. Now down the hill, the finish line was in site, my stride gained speed and I crossed the line – officially at 2:01:55 but unofficially at 1:57:26 (if I remove the Bo-Jangles excursion). Leslie crossed a few minutes after. They handed her a medal and she nearly put it down. “You earned that medal!” I confirmed for her. If she hadn’t put the challenge out there, I doubtfully would have ever done it. There will be other races and hopefully I will be there or chasing her at the finish.


I mentioned in the beginning, running was not my favorite cardio activity. But this process to push myself into new territory, something clicked along the way. I came to appreciate the mental and physical challenge. Those moments when pace and stride were in harmony and I could decompress a day’s worth of ideas, thoughts, and prayers in my head – those were amazing runs. To feel the miles and hours of training synch into the culmination during the race is prideful with my only regret that Leslie was unable to partner alongside.

I trained mostly alone but it couldn’t have been done without some of the advice received from more experienced runners than I’ll ever become, some has been mentioned. I’ve admired guys like Defib, Quiche, Sargento, and Boudin guys that make this task seem effortless. There were many others that pushed me before and during this. Blart over a year ago at the Coconut Horse let me pace off his long strides “…if you hadn’t noticed, I don’t talk much during while running…” he said at one point, but I didn’t need conversation – just a presence – thanks Blart. Dr. Seuss kept me company for my first 10k last summer in Belmont, running a personal best time couldn’t have been achieved without a good partner that made me look ahead and enjoy the trip. A Pub run with just Monk and myself where the time flew by on a steamy summer morning. Meeting Stroganoff at Ocean Isle Beach for a 5 mile tour of the island last Easter – Wolfpack and Rush were topics. As much as Tool Time scares the hell out of me, he makes me better – I appreciate you brother. Roscoe let me hang with him for a mile on our beach trip last year but if I hadn’t attempted to chase him (and Re-Run) I would have been on the couch. Whoopee and Gastone offered lots of advice and encouragement. There are more but you’re probably tired of reading this diatribe, if you haven’t already clicked it off. But I’d be remiss not to mention my stone – Madoff slowed down to run with me on numerous occasions with great conversation and companionship. He offered plenty of encouragement along the way. So after this accomplishment, I’ve progressed into that relationship that I sometimes hate, but I love what running has done for me. See you in the gloom – soon.

Hollywood Rock Pushers

Good crowd at Hollywood, a few faces haven’t seen in a while.  Glad it’s dark.

Warmup: 15 SSH, 20 burpees.  Pledge

Mosey.  Stop at short wall in front of library.  50 Jumps, 50 dips, 50 derkins.  Rinse repeat, 40, 30, all the way to 10.  Mosey to the pit for 11’s.  Hip Slappers and diamond merkins.  Get some core work in.  60 second plank with feet on wall, 25 American hammers.  45 second plank, 25 big boys, 30 second plank, 25 baby flutter crunches, 15 second plank, 25 LBC

Mosey back to start.

Word for the day is from Titus 3:1-2 “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. ”

Announcements: convergence March 30, 2nd F on Fridays at 5 at Station in Belmont. Mug Shot coffee shop has moved in as well.  It is a good time, come join

Prayer requests: Pax running P200 in a couple of weeks.  Also, Mt Hollywood is committed to praying for different Pax each week.  Not for any reason other than we believe on lifting our brothers to God.  This week we pray for Clavin, Dfib, Hunkajunk, Boudin, Diva, Edison, Floppy Disk and Gumby


Always on an honor


3rd F Event

Friday Evening, April 12th, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at New Covenant Church located at 631 Efird St. Gastonia NC 28054 we will have a 3rd F event. This is at the corner of 3rd Street and Hudson Boulevard. The speaker will be our own “Tool Time” Scott Johnson. He will speaking about his Peru Mission Trip among other things. Please make plans to attend. It should be interesting to hear what happens when F3 guys run a mission trip. Thanks to Hushpuppy for getting permission to use his church. Please help spread the word!

Tesla’s torture chamber

So about last fall YHC got the famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) Rev Flo Rida to come over and guest Q at the Yank one day last fall. It was requested he bring the plates for the dreaded hair burners which are truly the greatest atrocity visited on a pax for a F# workout. Since it had been awhile Tesla decided was time to poke that bear again and bring out the heavy armor to make it happen all over again. So, Friday morning at Atilla YHC gathered up the implements of destruction and brought them to Belmont whereupon he told the guys at Happy Hour what fate awaited then the next morning.

Up at 5 am and off to belmont YHC placed the plates from 45 lbs to 20 lbs up on Hill Street behind the Field of Dreams and waited for crowd to gather in the gloom and fog of early March. Went like this from there on:

COP on the pad:

1 minute rolls here:





Mountain Climbers

Mosey up to the torture chamber, Pockets wisely left to run.

Hairburner set 1

Count off by 3s (we had an even 9)

1s – 1st push (about 50 yards)

2s – Stay behind and do called exercise

3s – Other end , called exercise there as well.

1st round @ 5 pushes per pax

1s -SSH

2s -Jump squats

2nd round

1s – Mountain climbers

2s – Big boy situps.

Break for a recovery run around the field of Dreams and a 10 count. Resume torture.

3rd Round

Same 1, 2, 3.

1s – merkins

2s – IWs

4th Round

1s – lunges

2s – LBCs

Break for another recovery run. By now Orangeman had taken the Lord’s name in vain, Termite had dropped a few well placed expletives, and Virus and Anchorman looked like Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon running each other off the pavement racing to the end lines.

Recovery run was followed by a short trip to the Corner of Knowledge for some work on the benches.

Rinse and repeat 10X, 15X, 20X

Dips, Step ups, Dirkins.

10 count then mosey back to the insanity where it was promised the beatings would cease when morale improved.

Round 5 –

1s do CCDDs

2s – Back to SSH

Did 6 rounds per pax and decided we needed a little time for the best way to end an F3 workout on a miserably wet, cold and muddy Field of Dreams – Bear Crawl Slalom! Nobody was happy. But everybody worked and got it done all the way to the end. 3 times per pax it seemed.



NMM: Hairburners always bring out the beast! HIPPA needs to incorporate these into PainLab. We may see that at the Convergance at Folsom? Could be! Will see this act back in town in the spring for sure. Too good to pass up! Always good to test the metal for sure! Head down, butt up, pushing the rock. Humility, it’s a good thing!

Great work on a nasty day by all pax.  Honor and pleasure to lead.



One more lap around the parking lot

Warm up with side straddle hops 20 ic

Don Qs x10

5 burpees 

Run to lower parking lot with 5 burpees at every light pole.

Partner up for a bear chase.   Partner one runs the parameter of parking lot, while partner two bear crawls.   When one catches two they switch.   

Go to shed

10 burpees 

20 monkey humpers

30 merkins

40 flutter kicks

50 Mountian climbers

40 step ups

30 side straddle hops

20 dips

10 American hammers 

Once finished volt suggests we should run another lap around the parking lot.  So we did!  

Triple nickel ..with hip slappers and jump squats    Then back to the flag.  

Block work back at the flag

20 overhead press and 20 curls.   Cont down to one.   

Bring sally up squats for 3:45 duration. 

Finished up with 22 blockies for the vets.   

It’s All Uphill from here……

Another Schiele slumber party, parking limited.

Gather, circle, no fng’s, watered disclaimer, first exercise is Side Straddle Hop, starting position move, in cadence, EXERCISE…..

SSH-20 ic

Merkins-10 ic

LBC’s-20 ic

Squats-20 ic

12 PAX total, Painlab (7) will venture into eager hands of VooDoo, balance (5) with me.

Up sidewalk past Grier, yhc heaving at the light, glad it was red for a moment.  Moseyed across over to FPC parking lot at steps leading to the PAD.  Love the easy route guys, back to the basics.

11’s – Merkins on the bottom, Squats up top.  Stroganoff and Moses held true to correct counting form, balance of Pax followed me which may have been a mistake.  Thinking it is better to start at first exercise and work your way down, I did the opposite.  Which, like George Costanza I have found I would be much better to do anything in life ‘opposite’ of the way I figured was correct.  Other than some traffic confusion on the stairs we finished this event with only 58 1/2 minutes to go.  Whew, dang……hope my weinke is strong enough to cover the morning.

Mosey to bottom of ‘hill’ leading to the Pad.

Dora 1, 2, 3’s

Leg Raises – 100,  LBC’s – 200,  Flutter Kicks, 300

Partner 1 exercise, Partner 2 halfway up the ‘hill’

Sherwood – 

Turns out this was Stroganoff’s inaugural visit since his graduation in 1979.  Same partners, Partner 1 will hold his ‘Al Gore’ position, partner 2 in the parking lot, up the ‘hill’ and 5 Burpees up top.  Real burpees mind you, not the standing crunch that ‘mums’ around the world are celebrating as a record feat.

Stroganoff ready to go again, hold tight sir.  Next round let’s change up.

Round 2 – Partner 1 plank, partner 2 up hill and 4 real burpees

Round 3 – Partner 1 hold feet at 6″ (not on the damn curb mind you), partner 2 up hill and I forget how many burpees.

Back to the Sherwood track

Same partners, partner one AMRAP Monkey Humpers while partner 2 ‘sprints’ to next corner, partner 2 MH’s while partner 1 sprints to catch up.

Round 2 – LBC flutter

Round 3 – Sigh…..let’s continue round 3 back at the church.  I understand the notion and through some readings that Stroganoff has led me to I try to formulate my understanding’s of other’s thoughts based on how they process and feel.  All said and done however I did my best (at least I thought) to avoid this nice lady on the track who ultimately expressed to us of how terrified she was of us.  I think what get’s me the most was I was not even wearing my ‘blue’ leg bloomers!  Try that on for scary….For what it’s worth, I’m sorry she felt that way about us and for any grief and discomfort I caused the guys in tarrying through the public properties trying to get our work on.  What is weird is that I’m not sure what lesson I have learned  but do feel like I’ve grown some from it.  Whatever, finished round 3 at the church, AMRAP merkins.

There was just enough time to do some bear crawls.  Much to the chagrin of Stroganoff, JJ, Heyzus, Moses, and Linus (wait that was everybody, why are we doing this then?) we BC’ed about 50-75 feet and finished with 10 merkins.  To some sympathetic relief, we shortened the distance the 2nd round for crab walk and then did not do 10 dips at the end?

Speaking of no dips, I forgot the pledge in the beginning.  Luckily I stood front and center at the COT staring right at the flag, good reminder.  Let’s knock out a pledge.

Summary:  Uphill to FPC, Steps at The Pad, Hill at The Pad, Hill drive at Sherwood, Hill back up FPC and well it was sort of ‘down’ hill from there.

8:00, time……


Community Foundation Run – April 13, should have 4 track commanders, 2 hard commits, 90% on 3rd, Pizza Man working on 4th, April 13

Belmont Classic 5K – Coming in May (28?), sign ups now, should be another SFN event with two chairs, Hunka will be directing traffic

Convergence – Folsom, March 30 will be at 0700, Epic Painlab will be there

May 5 – Mt. Mitchell event with Mr. Gastone

Every Friday night – Tiger has 2nd F at The Station in Belmont, 5:00 pm

Allen Tate, start hosting a men’s Bible study at his house, 2nd Thursday of month (check that), 7:30 pm

Concerns and prayer out

Honored to lead…..Aye, Linus


6 PAX traveled as Nomads this past Saturday to check in on some Metro AO’s. Chosen this month was the Muthaship of this this thing we call F3. AG is where it all started at. There are actually 3 workouts held in close proximity to one another. The Worm starts at 6, AG at 7 and Mustang at 7. Having gotten smoked at Mustang before YHC chose to checkout AG this go around. In total we split the group 3 went to Mustang and 3 went to AG.  Mustang is known to cover some ground and really put down a beat down. They often cover 4-5 miles in a workout and still manage to smoke some non running muscles. AG seemed like they didn’t run as much. To our surprise this week at AG we covered 4.5 miles and still got in some exercises. There was a lot of hills involved! Cougar was our Q and despite a lot of complaints about the distance we were covering he led us on a tour anyway. The Mustang crew was led by Agony, who just completed the Black Mtn marathon, covered 3.5 on the trails around the campus. Needless to say with all the rain we’ve been getting they were nasty. One PAX stated Sunday he felt this one in his shoulders. All in all it was a good trip. Keep an eye out for next months trip and join us on the road as we visit other regions and meet new PAX and old friends made.

Pain Lab pummel…

So it was my first pain lab Q and I wanted to reminisce about all the fun times that I have had there so I took my least favorite things and combined them all for some Saturday morning fun. Here’s how it went…

Linus with the warmup…


Burpees/mountain climbers

Overhead press/curls

Least favorite Ab exercise (your choice)

”The little green band” – Rhomboid Rows


Kettlebell swings

Forearm Rope (crowd pleasers)


We did the first round and then went to the parking lot for some bear crawls and Mike Tyson’s for 10 parking spaces increasing each line to 10.  Then we lunge walked and did squats each line.  Round 2 of the circuit (super fun) then back to the parking spaces for lunge walks and squats again.  On the way back we did crab walk between spaces and Clavin called for crab thrusters so we did them increasing fashion.   We started round three of the circuit but ran out of time.  Great work men.  I appreciate the opportunity to lead.


Linus took us out


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