Running Logbook

2019-11-16 - Richmond Marathon 25k DNF

~17.5 mi @ ~15.3 min/mi Richmond Marathon tells Pokey that his left knee is not ready to run — maybe not for quite a while. Jay Bird offers local lodging and drop-off service for the race. Thank You, Sir!
Square Peg and Danger Man accompany Pokey for the first 9 miles, with frequent pauses to take pictures of murals in the Richmond Arts District. Pokey's knee problems increase, so he sends comrades on ahead and walks to the finish area, a bit past mile 16 of the course. street drains feature lovely art. Pokey limps about the end zone, cheers runners and captures photos of his friends when they arrive. It's a lovely day, windy and brisk!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-12-25

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2019-11-09 - Stone Mill 50M 24k DNF

~15 mi @ ~15.7 min/mi

Dan Greb photo of Stephanie and Mark before the startFun start: Slow Twitch and Pokey set off at 0602, a couple of minutes after everyone else. Conversation is wonderful, as always, between trail friends who haven't seen each other for much too long. After a few miles Pokey sends ST on ahead as he settles into a comfortable trot.

Rough day: At mile 10 the old left knee starts to twinge, and speed-hiking along doesn't make it any better. Next-to-last at the mile 15 aid station, Pokey decides to drop and walk back to the start, half a dozen miles on the road. But within a few steps the knee suddenly "pops" and declares the situation serious. Kind volunteer Dan DiFonzo provides a ride to the finish line. Time for a week of aggressive resting before the Richmond Marathon on the 16th!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-12-15

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2019-11-08 - Pitbull and Pit Bull

~2.9 mi @ ~17.2 min/mi

"Pit bulls are so misunderstood!" suggests Pitbull.

"And there are a lot of misunderstood things that I don't need to bring into my home!" replies Plato. Is that unfair? "I go back-and-forth about fairness," he confesses. Intriguing philosophy!

Dawn Patrol dashes across the highway to Starbucks, where a GPS glitch adds 0.8 imaginary miles. We share career advice, reminisce about past runs, compare coffees, and concur on the need to take care of each other.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-12-05

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2019-11-07 - Within the System, For the System, With the System

~4.7 mi @ ~14.3 min/mi

McLean crimson sunrise"Work within the System, for the System, and with the System — not against the System!" Square Peg counsels the path of progress and peace, though with a footnote: "But if the System is unjust, move up to work within the larger System!"

"And if they go low", Pokey concurs, "we have to try to go high — even if it's scary and slow and hard. Because it's right." Dawn Patrol takes a mindful tour of McLean, pausing to praise a chiaroscuro sunrise.

"You are a Maker. Help me be one, please!" We resolve to let go of self-criticism, even if only a little, and to get a few more things done, even if they're imperfect. Crimson clouds embrace the glorious world. We're thankful, happy to be here and do what we can to help.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-11-29

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2019-11-04 - Cold Hands Hot Coffee

~3.7 mi @ ~13.7 min/mi

"And that's the physical chemistry behind your hand warmers!" the lecture concludes. On a chill morn Peg lends Pokey her gloves. Plato runs with hands in pockets, where outer-shell electrons find lower energy levels as iron atoms disrupt oxygen molecules. An amber sunrise reminds Dawn Patrol to give thanks for Standard Time on the way to Starbucks, where we welcome warm coffee.

"So what comes next? Quantum blockchains are so last month!" Pokey speculates that whatever it is will involve new levels of abstraction, not just playing the same old games bigger and faster. Meta, anyone?

(trackfile - cf Do Meta (1999-05-08), Higher Level Language (2007-08-17), One Transcend Suffices (2009-10-14), More Meta (2019-08-31), ...) - ^z - 2019-11-27

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2019-11-03 - Potomac Heritage 50k DNF

~20 mi @ ~17 min/mi"Oh! Deer!" Square Peg spies a big buck picking his way through the brush of a downtown DC pocket park. We're ~3 miles into the Potomac Heritage 50k and Pokey diverts for the photo op. Dipak waits patiently. Today's a recovery run for some, a training trek for others, and a wonderful chance to be with friends for all. The stag staggers away after posing for a pic.
"Intermittent intermittent fasting!" recommends Dipak, rather than consistent intermittent fasting which he figures his body might get accustomed to. We pass Brian Kolb, hiking along with a massive kettlebell in his backpack, and chat with Paul Crickard and Smitty (Francesco Smith), both of whom are out enjoying the day. At mile 10 Peg punches out, so she can fulfill prior promises."It's an ancient boiler, used to power stonecutting machinery at a quarry here more than a century ago!" Pokey explains his theory about a metal mystery cylinder near the Potomac River bank. (Dear friend Mary Ewell posed for a photo here during the 2007-12-02 - PHT plus C-and-O Loop.) We arrive at the Chain Bridge aid station too late to continue upstream, and head back for a 20 mile DNF. Pokey bobs for apples, for the first time in his life, and succeeds — yay!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-11-24

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2019-11-01 - Like a Child at the Grown-Up Table

~5.9 mi @ ~13.9 min/mi

"I felt like a child at the grown-ups' table!" says Plato, of a meeting last week with some stratospheric-senior officers.

"Au contraire," Drs Peg & Pokey reply, "remember, you actually know something, and sharing your insight with them is a huge gift! Don't assume they're too stupid to appreciate that!" Dawn Patrol dodges puddles and fallen branches from last night's storms, pausing to pick up flotsam and set blown-over trash cans upright again.

"Those who are wisest say the least!" comments Pokey, and then continues a nonstop monologue, with asides on physicist Richard Feynman at Oak Ridge during WWII, letting-go of goals, the importance of yellow supergiant star Canopus for spacecraft navigation, and how mispronouncing words is the mark of a well-read person. In the men's locker room afterwards he introduces colleague-ultrarunner Jack to Plato, and shares a photo of Jack K from the Laverdo ultramarathon captioned, "An ultrarunning stud and some guy named Anton."

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-11-16

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2019-10-30 - Dragon Fire

~4.8 mi @ ~12.7 min/mi

"Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, / And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'" Plato rolls down a sock and shows Pokey the scabs on his ankle, where during his first marathon he had tucked away $2 in case of need. Ouch! Dawn Patrol rambles in the gloom through Pimmit Hills where an inflated Halloween dragon breathes faux fire.

"Don't let me slack off! Keep pushing!" We dash up hills; GPS glitches inside Starbucks add a fake 0.3 miles to the trackfile. A polite car stops and beeps to signal us to cross the road.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-11-13

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2019-10-28 - Competitive Eaters

~3.7 mi @ ~14.8 min/mi

"Reversal of Fortune!" - a euphemism to describe what happens when a speed eater can't keep the goods down. Headlamp glow leads Dawn Patrol to Starbucks for the now-traditional cold-weather caffeine infusion. New codenames are discussed, along with machine learning technology readiness. Plato considers his next marathon; Peg correctly predicts Pokey's response. Perhaps it's time for something completely different? Orion rides high in the southern sky. We ponder what we might not notice, recalling the parable in David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water":

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?"

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-11-07

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2019-10-27 - Keep on Swimming

~15 mi @ ~14.5 min/mi

"The Three Inseparables!" Athos, Porthos and Aramis - aka Square Peg, The Professor, and Pokey - enjoy a soggy jog with 30,000 friends. The 2019 Marine Corps Marathon is a recovery run after recent illness, overtraining, undertraining, and carousing. We carpool, take the Metro from East Falls Church into town, and during heavy rain find the nicest Starbucks in Rosslyn.

"Dr Z!" shouts somebody in the crowd as we cross the starting line. Pokey picks up a red mini-towel and wrings it out many times along the way. We meet Scottish level 10 Marathon Maniac Carolyn at mile 3, get a quick hug from Sean Hotchkiss at mile 9, and chat with Bill who is doing his 22nd MCM. Comrade Griz (aka Danger Man) waves at us as he runs the 50k and finishes it in 7 hours. Hanes Point is ankle-deep flooded. The sun comes out and we declare victory at mile 15, having done 3x more distance than planned. Thank you, amigos!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2019-11-06

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