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Running Logbook

2016-08-05 - McLean-to-Sterling WOD Adventure Run

~20.2 miles @ ~14.5 min/mi

"Of course, we have to take it to extremes!" Is Dr K talking about people in general, the nation, our company, or some subset thereof? She can't mean the Dawn Patrol itself! What's extreme about taking off on a quiet workday morning just to run 20+ miles?

The eastern sky glows lavender to match Kerry's singlet, cloud bands like an overcompressed digital image. As we cross the Beltway a rising sun glints gold on a mirrorshade Tysons office building. We debate whether dressage is edgier than steeplechase, then turn to musings on "Simplicity" in the organizational context. Kristin suggests key themes: consistency, stability, shared vision. Acronym-overload and business jargon-du-jour risk losing one's audience. Good communications needs to maximize signal-to-noise ratio by not overloading the receiver.

A big deer prances across the path ahead. At Vienna we pause to refill bottles at a water fountain, then pose for photos in front of the huge train mural. A crowd fills the CrossFit gym, apparently preparing to pump iron. Cyclist commuters, uniformly polite, swoop past. Cloud cover keeps summer temperatures down, though humidity is high.

Then comes Reston, terra nova for Drs K&K. I recall kind Kate's gift of cheese curls and Dr Pepper here many years ago (cf. 2009-10-10 - Andiamo 2009). Kerry cautions against opening a flask of champagne during a foxhunt. At Sunset Hills a lovely lily pond demands a stop to admire. Could they be lotus blossoms? The Flower Sermon comes to mind: {}

Charming downtown Herndon features a multi-level water fountain where we again refill. A young, newly-adopted rescue greyhound out for a walk gets bonus love and petting overload. A biker wearing a bright green helmet greets me: it's Steve, decades-ago office comrade on his way to Leesburg. Kerry and Kristin share small-world stories of similar surprise encounters.

Approaching Sterling we text Kerry's husband Clay, who has kindly volunteered to give us a ride back to work. At the parking lot by Pacific Blvd I send him our GPS coordinates. We continue onward to tag the W&OD Trail milepost 25, then hook back. Perfect timing: Clay arrives just as we do. The return drive to the office feels ridiculously long. Thanks be to best friends for a wonderful run today!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-28

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2016-08-03 - Peaceful Dawn

~4.0 miles @ ~11.9 min/mi

"Nothing Special!" A dawn run around Dr Kerry's extended 'hood is uneventful, an opportunity for quiet conversation and peaceful musings about work, life, and progress. Mansions under construction inch toward completion ... road and pipeline workers emerge from trucks and gather tools ... two Pokémon eggs hatch ... plans for the future slowly mature, and perhaps evolve.

We reverse a route oft taken and enjoy climbs that become descents. Kristin, chained to her desk all day finishing a priority deliverable, texts to share sunrise beauty with us. Reply: "TY! HILL!!".

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-26

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2016-08-01 - Mindful McLean Morning

~5.6 miles @ ~14.3 min/mi

"Here, take this knee strap, now!" Dr K1 offers her velcro band to Dr K2, whose left ITB (or something nervous near it) starts to twinge seriously at mile 3. Good teamwork! We walk a bit, jog some test intervals, pause at Starbucks for iced coffee, pose for Pokémon pics, and ease back into sustained running during the final mile. Fingers crossed that nothing is majorly damaged!

In the gloom Kristin's bunny-eyes pick up the single rabbit-of-the-dawn. Humidity is high and nobody feels decisive about a route, so after a lap around the high school track we ramble eastward, happy just to be out and about. Kerry reports on weekend home improvement work. We concur on its biggest benefit: practice in handling spousal stress with grace!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-24

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2016-07-31 - MCRRC Rileys Rumble Half Marathon Race

~13.1 miles @ ~9.6 min/mi

"... and I'm carrying an extra 30 pounds!" Jordan Creed glances down at her bib, pinned over a six-month-pregnant tummy, and smiles. We're at mile 3 of Riley's Rumble and the pace feels brisk, given hills & heat & humidity. Jordan explains she's taking the 8k option instead of the half-marathon. At the 2016-05-15 - MCRRC Run Aware 5k XC, where she took a tumble on a rocky/rooty slope but thankfully no harm, we met on her way to trouncing my time. Runners around us concur that a racing stroller should be #1 on her baby shower wish list!

Today is full of fortuitous friendly encounters. Gary Knipling, with Cathy Roberts and Dave Yeakel, fist-bump and chat with Michele Rodriguez McLeod and me before the start. Eric London tells of overcoming recent stressful situations with ultra-grace and patience, then cruises ahead. Barry Smith and I ride to/from the event with Mary Bowman, who turns out to be a fellow member of Pokemon Go "Team Mystic". Adeline Ntam and Mike Edwards serve with enthusiasm at the main Aid Station, and Don Libes & Co. offer life-saving ice at the mile 8.4 turnaround. Gayatri Datta and Ken Swab race, as do a flock of other comrades. Tom Young provides bawdy banter opportunities as he and his buddy Emmanuel Teitelbaum pull me along.

Despite challenging weather and an always-daunting course, it's a happy day. Preliminary official results put me 197th of 415 finishers, 145th of 248 males, 6th of 16 in the age-sex group, with a time of about 2:08 at ~9:45 min/mi pace. Whee!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-22

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2016-07-30 - Four Mile Run Run

~5.0 miles @ ~9.3 min/mi

"Ha, another Pokémon!" I tell Amber as we sprint along Four Mile Run Trail. She pushes us to a faster pace than I would have thought possible, with a first mile of ~8:30 but then decelerating ~20 sec/mi/mi as a relative humidity of 85% and temps in the low 80s melt us.

"Go, DC RoadRunners!" a passing jogger cheers at the sight of my singlet. We turn back early so Amber can fix her kids' breakfast on time and I can fetch home the CSA veggie box and scones from the farmers' market. It's a hot tempo run on a hot morning — thank you, Dr A!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-20

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2016-07-29 - Epic Run

~4.2 miles @ ~12.4 min/mi

"Not an Epic Run for us!" observes Kerry, as we finish a loop around the Pimmit Hills neighborhood, shortened in order to get everybody back in time for early morning meetings. No sooner said than Kristin spies a front-yard rabbit, then another and another. That's three more than Kerry and her daughter saw on Coney Island just a few days ago!

Storms drift away from the area leaving behind puddles, soggy paths, and 90%+ relative humidity. K&K talk shop about stressful, "challenging" issues — great opportunities for practice in diplomacy, mindfulness, and giving good feedback!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-20

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2016-07-27 - Buck, Rabbit, Chipmunk

~7.1 miles @ ~13.9 min/mi

"Six male deer just up the street!" warns the lady walking her dog. Stags crowd a front yard near the corner of Churchill and Dead Run, lift heads heavy with antlers to stare at Kristin and me, then flee. We're on a soggy-humid summer loop exploring connections between neighborhoods. From the median of VA-123 the sunrise looks like an impressionist painting with feathery-cloud brushstrokes. A road worker holds up a stop sign to a car that wants to blast through a one-lane construction zone and asks rhetorically, "Whatcha doing, playing Chicken?" Kristin tells of seeing an über-cool hoverboard rider with shades and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. We greet a friendly woman with blue-streaked hair, and tally 1 rabbit plus 1 chipmunk.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-18

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2016-07-25 - Tysons Loop

~6.5 miles @ ~13.1 min/mi

"And with 3 seconds to go she was fouled during a 3 point shot, and then made all 3 free throws to tie the game!" Kerry tells of her daughter's cool performance under pressure in yesterday's basketball tourney. (Alas, the other side came back with a buzzer-beater to win.) Tomorrow Daughter flies off to the opposite end of the Earth for volunteer work. Kristin and I admire how cool Mom is under pressure.

We loop through Tyson's Corner on a hyper-humid and already-warm day, fantasies of frigid winter running running through our heads. Kristin's sniffles and sore throat are beginning to fade but still significant. On the way back, near Marshall High School, somebody says, "Let's skip the track workout today!" Drs K&K laugh.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-16

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2016-07-24 - Rosaryville 50k-ish Trail Race

~28 miles @ ~16.3 min/mi

"... and it's just so humbling!" As we approach the end of today's hot-and-humid Rosaryville 50k ultra-friend Stephanie and I are discussing ultrarunning, and why ultrarunners tend to be such profoundly NICE people — in general friendly, optimistic, trustworthy, caring, helpful, kind, welcoming, etc. Dr Fonda postulates that part of it is the humility that the sport develops (or demands?), even among the fastest of the elite: the realization that to succeed at such a challenge depends on so many huge factors outside oneself. There's no room for arrogance at the finish line!

Awesome and ultra-modest John Hord provides a great example of that, one week after succeeding at the Vermont 100 miler. Stephanie and I run the first half of today's race with him, then wait to applaud his final mile. After sprinting up the hill and across the line, John sits down and lets us cool him with ice, as he curses the fool (himself!) who made him race in this crazy summer weather. We laugh, hug, fist-bump, and pose for photos.

"Call me Ice-Z!" I tell dear Adeline Ntam before the event. The strategy of eating massive amounts of ice at every aid station works well, as it did last week at the 2016-07-16 - Catoctin 50k Trail Run. Stephanie and I trek together at a good pace, walking most of the last few miles to keep a twingy knee happy. Other runners trip and fall, but this time we're fortunate enough not to. A lady walking along tells me that her glasses got broken in a tumble and she can't see the roots any more. "That's ok," I tell her, "my double-vision makes roots enough for us both!"

Race Director Ron Bowman and all the volunteers do a wonderful job, and even the mountain bikers along the trails are polite and cautious as they pass. My GPS glitches and misses ~10 minutes of the final lap, and the course is likely short by a few miles, but who cares? It's a beautiful day for a run in the woods. Dr Fonda and I finish together in about 7:37.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-14

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2016-07-22 - Dead Run Ford

~12.4 miles @ ~14.6 min/mi

"I appreciate you!" Kerry's daughter texts the words every mom wants to hear. She's serving as a summer nanny and now realizes how much unrecognized work her mother did over the years. Kristin and I applaud and then demand, "Save that message!"

Early on a humid summer morning we ramble across McLean. Rabbit count = 7, plus 2 speedy chipmunks. The woods of Langley Forks Park are muddy, but nobody trips on roots or falls into Dead Run at the water crossing. New mansions are springing up; we admire their architecture. In a front yard bright-hued ceramic pots slant akimbo in deliberate sculptural-artistic design.

During the return trip Kerry and I play rock-paper-scissors to decide who buys the other's iced coffee. She wins the honor of paying. We're tardy getting back for Kristin's morning meeting. "Just say, 'We ran late!'".

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-08-12

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