Sunday, July 20, 2008

More PT and My Sister's Wedding

This weekend I switched my training from avoiding the heat 90+ heat to running and riding in the worst of it. The reason gos back to my sister's wedding in 1982. She got married on a Saturday in October near Boston. I had a drill weekend with the reserve tank unit I was in: 6th Battalion, 68th Armor, Reading PA. I got Satuday off, but I had to be at the firing range at Fort Indiantown Gap PA at 0700 on Sunday. I left my sister's wedding at 9pm, so I had to drive all night to get to the range. I made it a half-hour early, changed into my uniform, and went to the firing line. That Sunday we were firing the 45-caliber pistol and the M3 "Grease Gun" submachine gun, the personal weapons of armor crewmen. The M3 was a piece of cake. but the 45 is a moving range with weapons that were more than 40 years old with loose parts.

I just barely qualified marksman. The previous year I had fired expert. The company commander said, "Don't worry Sergeant Gussman. You drove all night. We know you can shoot." I said, "Sir. If I ever have to use that pistol, my tank will be out of commission and I will probably be a lot more tired than today. This is how I shoot."

So yesterday, I rode 55 miles between 0830 and 1230, then I ate lunch with my kids, did some chores, then ran 2 1/2 miles at 230pm. I ran on a track out in the sun when the air temp was 95. My time on the fast two miles was 15:51. At my age I need 19:30 to pass the PT test and 14:42 to max the run. I can do the 14:42 at 70 degrees, so I wanted to see what I could do under rotten conditions.

Today I was just going to watch my teammates race on a new course in New Holland PA. I watched the 50+ race and cheered for my teammates. But the course was so cool I drove home, changed, and came back to race with the 20 and 30 year olds (the Cat 3/4 race for those who know bike racing). I lasted just ten of the 27 laps. It was 95 degrees at 1 pm when the race started. After I dropped out, I took my son home and rode a dozen cool down miles then went to the gym. On Friday morning I did 56 push ups and 66 sit ups in two minutes each, what I need to max the PT test. Today, I took ten seconds too long on the sit ups and only did 35 push ups.

Next time I take the PT Test, I will, of course, try to be fully rested. I would love to max the test. But on my own, I am going to keep trying to see how fast and far I can go when I am tired and the weather is worst.

I am assuming next year the weather won't be perfect.

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In the fall of 1977, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division got a new Command Sergeant's Major.  Donald C. Cubbison, veteran of the Vietna...