Running Logbook

2018-07-01 - Kensington Ramble

~11.3 mi @ ~15.0 min/mi string lies S-shaped on the street -- and several steps later, a sad snake, squashed. New cut-through to Blueford Road leads past front-yard happy putti sculptures and a classic car hood ornament. Sultry fog lingers low over Ken-Gar meadow, where a depleted "Nuclear Warhead" firework shell remains. Big deer stare, then flee.
"My heart is heavy!" says Gayatri, and shares memories of a friend who passed away last evening. Legs likewise feel leaden after long runs in yesterday's heat. Barry soars up the hills as we meander to connect the Matthew Henson and Rock Creek trails.

"Knock, knock!" No answer from a tap on Mike & Adeline's door. Yesterday they accepted fist-bump salutes as they led training groups near the Mormon Temple; today they're likely running crazy mountains!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-22

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2018-06-30 - Rabbit Run with Amy and Barry

~21.7 mi @ ~13.8 min/mi

"16 rabbits!" Does Amy pull them out of her hat? Today for 2.5 miles she's Coney Conjuror, Bunny Whisperer, Hare Raiser, as the creatures materialize at a rate of more than 6 cottontails/mile. We meet and take the Bethesda Trolley Trail north past Georgetown Prep, swing by Dr Fonda's home (did someone knock on the door and then run away? who would do such a thing?), and return via Strathmore Arts.

"Thin Ice!" warns the sign on a pond behind an apartment complex. On the way to Amy's 'hood a Great Blue Heron poses by a puddle. A front-yard waterfall ripple-roils past an owl statue. Two big deer munch a garden salad.

"No, I'm trying a new product called 'FAIL'!" says Barry, explaining why he doesn't need a SUCCEED! electrolyte capsule in spite of today's heat and humidity. We meet near the Mormon Temple and do a couple of loops around it, varying our route to explore neighborhood streets. Sweet peach tea from the Old Town Market in Kensington helps lower core temp at mile 18. Dehydration weight loss is only ~2 lbs, thanks to 2 bottles of Gatorade, 6 Succeed e-caps, and a couple of pints of water.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-20

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2018-06-27 - Flamingos

~6.3 mi @ ~13.1 min/mi

"My other computer is your computer!" says a cyber bumper sticker. Dawn Patrol conversation free-associates into rap music about steatopygia. A fluffy red fox with white-tipped tail sits in the middle of the road and watches us approach before sauntering away. A few blocks later another big fox scampers into a hedge. Rabbits are even more prolific; today's bunny count = 6.

"There might be sensors in that mansion's yard!" K2 and K-Rex decide against trespassing to connect dead-end streets; instead, we take Waverly Way back to civilization. Lawn flamingos guard caladiums. At the Four Seasons garden center we're tempted by ripe tomatoes growing on the vine, but signs warn of video monitoring.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-18

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2018-06-25 - Flower Gardens

~7.5 mi @ ~12.8 min/mi

"Boxwoods, roses, hydrangeas, and hostas!" K2 and K-Rex note and compare front yard landscaping with an eye toward leveling-up their own demesnes, as Dawn Patrol surveys the gardens of McLean. Pastel sunrise tints puddles left behind by weekend showers. Cut-throughs between dead-end streets aren't too muddy, but an attempt to find a new Northeast Passage between Harvey and Marion is stymied by hedges.

"The vertigo is not TOO bad!" Roadkill reports on Saturday's run, and dehydration as a likely trigger for subsequent head-spinning BPPV. Body count in the 'hood = 1 turtle, 2 deer, and 5 rabbits.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-17

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2018-06-24 - Keys Locked in Car

~6.6 mi @ ~15.0 min/mi

"My keys!" Roadkill slams the car door and instantly realizes that his key ring is locked inside. Oops! He and Barry look at each other with a wild surmise: we can run 3 miles back to Roadkill's home and get the extra set of keys there!

First, though, trot down the steep hill to Ken-Gar Park, meet Gayatri, and enlist her in the scheme. She's game! The rest of today's humid-warm ramble is mere execution.

"My eyes!" Gayatri got up early, chopping onions and hot peppers in preparation for cooking. In spite of multiple hand-washings, when she inadvertently touches her face some super-spicy oil remnants get into her eyes. Thankfully tears soon wash them clean. We divert for photos at the Kensington Volunteer Fire Station where a 9/11 monument made from a twisted-scorched World Trade Center beam stands. Beautiful flowers line neighborhood sidewalks.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-14

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2018-06-23 - Lake Needwood with Slow-Twitch and K2

~29.1 mi @ ~14.8 min/mi

Lake Needwood with Kerry and Stephanie"Future self-driving cars will refuse to take you out on a date with somebody who's no good for you!" — "They'll weigh you, then drive you to the gym instead of the pizza shop if you diet isn't working!" — "They'll check your serotonin and dopamine levels to keep you from going someplace that might make you feel depressed!" Slow-Twitch and K2 speculate about high-nanny-tech in years to come that will make decisions "for your own good". Kinda like one's parents, eh? This morning we amble along Rock Creek Trail, circumnavigate Lake Needwood, then return. Intermittent drizzle keeps us cool.

"You were not in my nightmare last night. It involved shoelaces made of spicy Asian noodles. They were tough to tie!" says Slow-Twitch. Trail talk includes discussion of dogs, donkeys, and other uninhibited creatures. A detour to McDonalds for iced coffee tempts two of us into eating salty-greasy "hash browns" that sit heavy in the tummy, in one case on top of last night's shrimp tacos. Suboptimal meal before a long run?

"My pony's birth-name was Windsor, but we called him Chocolate Chip because of his coloration!" K2 tells of her long-lived little horse who pulled a carriage during her wedding ceremony. Sweet! Dew-drops decorate big spiderwebs that hang above the path. We eat yummy pancakes made by DD/Gray.

"15:03 minutes/mile? Let's pull that down!" Slow-Twitch accepts the challenge and sprints a block to get her average pace sub-15, including group pauses for photos, foot treatment, and portjohn inspections. She finishes with 20+ miles; K2 is happy with ~13.5. Rabbit count = 6, deer count = 5. Afterwards, Roadkill washes down a third of a pizza (thank you, Barry!) with an entire quart of chocolate milk.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-12

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2018-06-22 - Purple Rain

~7.4 mi @ ~12.2 min/mi

"Tupac, En Vogue, and TLC!" — "U2 and Prince!" — "Dire Straits and Phil Collins!" K-Rex, K2, and Roadkill reminisce respectively about their first album purchases. Purple rain falls warm as Dawn Patrol trots to the W&OD Trail, then rambles west. A fitness group does sit-ups in the parking lot of American Legion Post 130. Brick sidewalks are slippery. K2 picks up a lost Florida driver's license to return to its owner. Rabbit Count = 1, a speedy bunny that K-Rex spies just before it dives into the bushes.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-10

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2018-06-20 - Two Stars

~5.3 mi @ ~14.4 min/mi

"Four cute bunnies, four friendly dogs, and a two-star general at Starbucks!" K-Rex reviews the sights during this morning's Dawn Patrol. Political election-season signs sprout like mushrooms from lawns, more effective when positive-supporting not negative-attacking, K2 suggests. We divert to explore Hornet Lane: "If only it intersected Wasp Street!" Conversation includes commentary on home economics, schedule challenges, and sympathy for those who are overworked and underappreciated. To avoid spreading germs today's high-fives and fist-bumps are air-gapped.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-08

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2018-06-18 - Langley Chipmunk

~5.0 mi @ ~13.0 min/mi

"Rat or chipmunk? Better call it a chipmunk — wouldn't want to hurt property values!" Dawn Patrol rambles with a midcourse pause for iced coffee at Starbucks. Eagle-eyed K2 spies a fox and two rabbits near McLean Central Park. She reports on recent family journeys — all went well, modulo pickpockets!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-06

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2018-06-17 - Act Like Children

~3.2 mi @ ~10.2 min/mi

"And we can still act like children!" As we sprint and laugh together Win Persina and Ken Mason compare our joyful situation with prior generations' middle-aged and older archetypal lives: if lucky, sedentary and filled with the busy-ness of working and drinking and smoking and being boring grown-ups. More fun to dash along a path through the woods with friends and chatter like birds, about birds! And yes, a "dash" for one of the group is mere conversational warm-up pace for Win & Ken — and that's ok too. Private trail talk includes age-graded performance standards, gender differences, ways to make competitions fair for all, and where to put extra grease to deter chafing.

"The longer the distance, the nicer the people!" we concur. Ken recounts what his friend Angela said when, at last year's C&O Canal 100, he was pacing her and a big blister on her foot broke at mile ~80. It was precisely the same as what Dr Stephanie said in similar circumstances during her first ultramarathon (cf 2012-11-17 - Stone Mill 75k). We're all so happy being kids together — especially on the run!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-07-05

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