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Running Logbook

2017-12-23 - Festivus Friends

~12.7 mi @ ~14.8 min/mi

"Don't quote me!" says Barry, and allows that statement to be quoted. Festivus dawns cloudy and damp. We meet at Candy Cane City and ramble along Rock Creek, taking a detour through Woodend Sanctuary, the Audubon Society's lovely land.

"This is a naturist center, isn't it? Or was that a typo?" Butterflies painted on a bus offer a photo op. Four big deer cross the path back to the trail and eye us warily. We climb up from the valley, meander through neighborhoods, and take a new trail back to Rock Creek.

"Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now." Rebecca joins us and quotes Samuel Beckett on aging. Then it's back to airing grievances. "My main grievance is that you've got far too many grievances!"

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-18

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2017-12-22 - National Institutes of Healthy Sprinting

~4.4 mi @ ~9.3 min/mi

"Would you rather qualify for Boston or be an Ironman?" A rabbit sprints across the Bethesda Trolley Trail in front of Caitlin, caught in headlamp beam. Omen, or portent? The Dawn Patrol Duo dashes around the NIH campus today, dodging sleepy pedestrians doing a zombie march into the Metro station.

"It doesn't get easier - you just get faster!" Yes, and downhill helps, as does reaching major road crossings just as the light turns green. Cait's quick warning precludes a runner-cyclist collision in the gloom. Mile splits by GPS descend: 10.3 + 9.6 + 9.2 + 8.6 and a final fraction at 7.8 min/mi pace. Yow!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-16

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2017-12-20 - Wishing Bowl

~5.5 mi @ ~10.5 min/mi

"WISHING BOWL" says the black container that Cait spies on the ground beside Rock Creek Trail near Garrett Park Road. Darkness pools around us as we pause to point headlamps down. "PLACE A STONE TO LET GO OF A PROBLEM" is printed at one end, and "TAKE A STONE TO MAKE A WISH" at the other. An overflowing box o' rocks suggests that problems cascade in and wishes trickle out. Hmmmmm!

"I must learn to breathe quietly, like you!" The Dawn Patrol Duo tries an exploratory tempo run, pushing splits of 10.6 + 10.4 + 11.2 + 11.5 + 9.7 and a final half-mile pace of 8.2 min/mi. We discover a new cut-through on Kenilworth Ave, and Caitlin glimpses a fox and a rabbit. It's a beautiful morning.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-15

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2017-12-18 - Silver Creek Sprint

~4.3 mi @ ~10.7 min/mi

"Tempo run ... is faster than ... 'conversational' pace ... only can talk ... in short phrases ...". The breathless Dawn Patrol duo blitzes Caitlin's neighborhood, starting off with a shortcut through Cedar Lane Unitarian Church parking lots. Suburban home windows feature wreaths and the occasional menorah.

"We were meant to be here!" Reconnoitering the grounds of the brand-new super-spiffy Silver Creek Middle School, we find an unlocked back gate - yay! Cut through a senior-residence complex, and then via Kensington Parkway to the classic 1891 B&O train station designed by architect Ephraim Francis Baldwin. On the other side of the tracks, sprint to Cait's home via KenGar. Her final final exam of the semester is today - time to hit the books!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-12

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2017-12-17 - CJSVT with Gayatri

~5.9 miles @ ~16.9 min/mi

"Caves full of bats!" Gayatri tells of visiting caverns in Jamaica with her husband, and of recently rewatching the 1973 James Bond movie Live and Let Die that had scenes filmed there. In contrast to the Caribbean climate, here temperatures linger below freezing despite Sunday morning sunbeams. Before the run a totem pole in by the playground of Cabin John Regional Park calls for a selfie.

We trek upstream, stepping carefully over icy patches, rocks, and roots. After a detour along the wrong side of the creek we discover the current route of the blue-blazed Cabin John Stream Valley Trail and take it to the northern terminus, first visited more than a decade ago (see 2005-10-30 - Cabin John Trail (North)). Pause for photos, amble south, explore the Gooseneck Trail, meander past ballfields, and return to the start. Trail talk turns to food: dal and pizza and pastries!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-11

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2017-12-16 - Rock Creek with Cait and Rebecca

~12.4 miles @ ~12.0 min/mi

"Nice beard!" A costumed Santa on Brookville Rd trades compliments with me. Caitlin and Rebecca arrive at Candy Cane City almost simultaneously. Late morning icy patches linger on Rock Creek Trail, so we trot along Beach Drive, miles 3-9 of the trackfile. Gusty winds send leaves skittering across the road. We discuss college dorm diseases, bad Christmas movies, Disneyworld, marathon plans, and Boston area universities. Leftover bean burrito with green chile sauce = suboptimal pre-run snack.

"Air Five!" says Cait at run's end, and we salute-without-touching to avoid spreading germs. At National Park Seminary an antique statue is bedecked in holiday garb.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-09

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2017-12-13 - Dynamic Dawn Duo

~5.8 mi @ ~11.5 min/mi

"Aerial Yoga!" Kerry explains a new form of an ancient discipline. The Dawn Patrol braves temps in the low 20's and intermittent northwest gusts in the ~30 mi/hr zone, making for single-digit wind chills. A waning Moon rises near Mars and Jupiter. Xmas displays are scarce in the 'hood, or perhaps mostly turned off at this hour? Golden bulbs glow among white lights on front yard bushes. A rustle in the leaves suggests a deer making a hasty retreat. We pass by the Stations of the Cross at St Luke's.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-08

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2017-12-11 - Kensington Lightshow Ramble

~4.9 miles @ ~10.7 min/mi

"They're supposed to be falling snowflakes!" A front-yard projector generates white blobs that drift down the façade of a house in Cait's neighborhood. The Dawn Patrol picks a route to maximize Xmas decoration viewing-and-critiquing opportunities. A wooden-frame cone covered with strings of red-and-green bulbs looks ok from a distance but fails upon closer inspection. "Dripping-icicle-effect" white lights dangle weirdly from an overhead wire.

Other arrangements work better. Laser dots slowly coalesce and regroup. An inflated Santa cradles a happy dachshund in his arms. A giant glowing Bible stands open to Luke, Chapter 2. Best of all, in Gerard Manley Hopkins' words, "... morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs...". We sprint to finish together as the sun rises.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-07

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2017-12-10 - MCRRC Jingle Bell Jog 8k with Gayatri

~4.9 mi @ ~11.5 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MCRRC_Jingle_Bell_Jog_by_D-Reichmann_z_2017-12-10b.jpg"That's not Santa — he's too thin!" A race-volunteer-Mom reports that her kids see through my disguise. Oops!

Results from the chilly MCRRC Jingle Bell Jog 8k with Gayatri show us coming in together at 56:31 — Gayatri 7th of 12 in her cohort and me 7th of 8 in mine. We wear "seasonal colors" and trot faster than Gayatri expects. And in spite of slippery-icy patches, nobody falls down!

(photos by Dan Reichmann)


(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-05

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2017-12-09 - VHTRC Magnus Gluteus Maximus

~10.6 mi @ ~19 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Magnus_Gluteus_Maximus_z_2017-12-09.jpgThe VHTRC's Magnus Gluteus Maximus fun run on the Bull Run Trail, in the snow with Barry Smith & ("Fast") Mary Bowman & Sirisha Golla & other trail friends, is a quiet delight, a recovery ramble over the hills and through the woods.
One week ago Sirisha and I did the Devil Dog Race in Prince William Forest Park. We both finished 100 km there, though Iris had hoped to go for 100 miles. Here, in a free ("Fat Ass") event, there are no goals, no prizes, nothing but the pure joy of leaves and rocks and roots and streams and valleys and conversation with friends. It's All Good!http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Magnus_Gluteus_Maximus_Sirisha_z_2017-12-09a.jpg

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-01-03

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