Running Logbook

2018-10-28 - Marine Corps Marathon Plus

12.6 mi @ ~13.7 min/mi

26.2 mi @ ~14.5 min/mi "We're all running longer than we slept last night!" says a fellow traveler during mile 2 of the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon. Some rested more than others: for bonus-bragging-mileage Roadkill rose at 0300 and did a quiet solo 12+ miles from his home to the event, setting out at 0415. He takes a few wrong turns but doesn't get too lost along the way. Lovely statues along 16th Street NW in DC glow in spotlight beams. Songs by Peter Gabriel ("In Your Eyes") and Sophie Hawkins ("As I Lay Me Down") and Cat Stevens ("Peace Train") play on his mental Walkman. The flag above the White House is at half-staff.

Drs K-Rex and K2 encounter long delays for the shuttle bus to get them to the race. While Roadkill awaits, who should appear but buddies Santa Steve and Joyful Joyce?!
Dawn Patrol is reunited at the security checkpoint and crosses the starting line ~25 minutes after the MCM howitzer announces the race's beginning. No worries! We dash along briskly, trying to hold back but registering a 9:55 mile #3 and finishing the first 10 miles in ~2 hours. Too fast, as usual! Extended walk breaks begin and we take turns trying to persuade one another to go on ahead. But since "Leave No One Behind!" is Rule #1, that's not a happening thing.

Barry Smith passes us at mile ~12. The "Blue Mile" commemorates military fallen in their country's defense. After mile ~15 crowds begin to thin. The right ITB develops "issues" for all three of us! Knees also begin to ache, and headaches come and go.

And it's All Good!, it really is all good. We make the cutoffs with 20+ minutes to spare. The weather is great. Roadkill's beard gets countless shout-outs. Spectators give us pretzels, Twizzlers, and orange slices.

To warn runners behind us we signal walk breaks by raising hands. Roadkill sings bits of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", and a fragment of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" ("I throw my hands up in the air sometimes / Saying Ayo! Gotta let go!'"). Costumed superheroes Mr and Mrs Incredible give runners high-fives and fist-bumps. Nearing the finish line we pause for photos.
With so much to be grateful for we thank each other and smile every mile. Polite, helpful Marines are ubiquitous. Leaves are turning orange and yellow and brown; clouds are dramatic. At mile ~22 we get the great news that Dr Stephanie has just finished the Javalena Jundred 100 miler.

The Dawn Patrol has run more than 2000 miles together, and the past few years have been the happiest of our careers. Such great good in this world!

(trackfile & trackfile) - ^z - 2018-11-18

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2018-10-22 - Hilly Hike

~3.8 mi @ ~25 min/mi

Atop Mount Wantastiquet with Dr Mary, awesome views of the Connecticut River and surrounding mountains make it clear that we must come back and run/hike much farther here. So beautiful!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-11-17

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2018-10-21 - Recovery Ramble

~2.1 mi @ ~14.0 min/mi

After a post-ultra (2018-10-20 - Ghost Train Trail Race 100k) nap it's time to stretch the old legs and join dear Dr Mary in a tiny trek around her hilly 'hood. Run-walk intervals feel good. We pause to admire front-yard Halloween decorations and lovely scenery.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-11-12

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2018-10-20 - Ghost Train Trail Race 100k

~62 mi @ ~18 min/mi

Thank you, Dr Mary!


Adventure? "I'm in!" What else could a dear friend say? In Mary's case, "Yes, and I'll crew for you!" How could anyone turn down such an awesome gift?
Dr Mary Ewell on Wantastiquet Mountain NH overlooking Brattleboro VT

Roadkill's latest ultramarathon begins with a text-chat:

            "What do you want for your birthday, Mary?"
            "For you to come visit me again!"

And with that begins a search for trail runs, marathons, ultras, or other "cover for action" to motivate a journey to New Hampshire. The Vermont 100 adventure of July was so much fun together, even with a DNF (Did Not Finish) at mile 30. "Fail. Fail again. Fail better."? — sounds like a plan!

Yes, and Mary crewed for Roadkill there too!

The Ghost Train Trail Race on 20-21 October 2018 is within an hour's drive of Andy & Mary's new home in New Hampshire. It's an out-and-back along a rail-trail, inexpensive, and all entry fees go toward the noble cause of trail conservation. The event's spirit is ultra-low-key. Officially, one cannot DNF ("Did Not Finish") — since the Race Director says that whenever you decide to stop, that's your event distance! What's not to like?

"Repulse Monkey, Return to Mountain" — a Taiji pose at mile 15 — photo by Mary.
Repulse Monkey Return to Mountain - photo
Darryl Hamel - pacer and juggler Snag, as there always is: the Ghost Train ultra is full, and Roadkill joins the Waitlist with ~150 people ahead of him. Odds seem ultra-long against getting in. Hmmmmm ... maybe next year?

Surprise: a week before the event a message — "Congratulations - you have been selected ..." — arrives from the race organizers! Apparently the Waitlist was populated by ghosts?

Scramble: Coordinate with Mary, who instantly volunteers to crew and support, pick up and drop off, host and drive. Confirm with DW/Paulette and the office that nothing fatal will happen during a brief absence. Check train and airline schedules. Make reservations. Pack suitcase full of running gear.

Spirit: As soon as we arrive at the starting line, Mary and Roadkill know that the Ghost Train will be fun. Take Darryl Hamel's outfit ... please!.
The Ghost Train course passes by a big rock. Two kids sit on top of it, blowing a wooden train-whistle. Congenitally hyperoptimistic-hypomanic Roadkill begins to sing, with thanks to Yusuf Islam aka "Cat Stevens":

            Now I've been happy lately
            Thinking about the good things to come
            And I believe it could be
            Something good has begun

            Oh, I've been smiling lately
            Dreaming about the world as one
            And I believe it could be
            Someday it's going to come

            'Cause out on the edge of darkness
            There rides a Peace Train
            Oh, Peace Train take this country
            Come take me home again ...
Roadkill aka Mark Zimmermann - photo by, and so many other wonderful Ghost Train memories!
  * "Orange is transformative!" and "Orange you glad you came?"
  * Joke:
      Son says, "Dad, are we pyromaniacs?"
      Dad replies, "Yes, we are, Son!"
  * New friends Tiffany Fischer and Astrid Hoyt and so many more ...
  * Oreos and Cheetos
  * Sharing naughty jokes in the woods
  * Ghosts marking the course turns
  * Pumpkins carved in diverse patterns, with scented candles
  * Big yellow "K "at the 100 kilometer turn around marker
  * Runner, 7 weeks pregnant, names her baby "Blueberry" for its size!

Roadkill suggests to the RD that next year's Ghost Train theme song should be the classic Beastie Boys piece, slightly modified to read "No Sleep till Brookline!"

Split Data

location miles clock time elapsed time avg pace split pace
Tevya (0)09:01am 00:00:00--:----:--
Milford (1)7.510:45am 01:45:3714:0414:04
Tevya (1)1512:44pm 03:44:2514:5715:50
Milford (2)22.52:49pm 05:49:4015:3216:42
Tevya (2)304:56pm 07:56:4915:5316:57
Milford (3)37.57:05pm 10:05:3416:0817:10
Tevya (3)459:24pm 12:24:5816:3318:35
Milford (4)52.511:43pm 14:43:3516:4918:28
Tevya (4)602:15am 17:15:1917:1520:13
Tevya (end)62+3:05am 18:0417:2924:30


Thank you, Dr Mary!

(trackfile + trackfile) - ^z - 2018-11-07

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2018-10-15 - Bulletproof

~4.5 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"They offer you Kevlar blankets at the finish line ... wait, I mean mylar blankets - the Detroit Marathon isn't that tough!" Dawn Patrol treads cautiously in the rain, careful not to slip-trip given major race plans in weeks to come. Three Drowned Rats pause at Starbucks, where a GPS-indoors-glitch awards them a bonus half-mile. K-Rex tells of winning her daughter's help to tote and stack cords of wood over the weekend via the comment: "Exercise will make you healthier!" K2 reports on surviving a scary equestrian near-collision after a big jump over oxers yesterday.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-11-03

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2018-10-13 - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail with K2

~19.7 mi @ ~16.3 min/mi

"Like Fight Club without the hitting!" - "Welcome to the Dark Side!" - "I'm in!" - "We get lost, and we find stuff!" - "Leave no one behind!" - "If you say 'Run', we'll run with you!" K2 and Roadkill brainstorm new mottoes for Dawn Patrol as we circle Clopper Lake. A big whitetail dear dances away through the brush, and suddenly ultra-comrade Anton Struntz materializes! Small world: the last time we saw each other was at the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon when he recited the St Crispin's Day speech from Henry V (see 2015-10-25 - Marine Corps Marathon).

"What do you want to do when you grow up?" Trail talk ranges widely today, existential-philosophical to pizza. (Is there a difference?) Beastie Boys' "No Sleep till Brooklyn" plays in Roadkill's mental jukebox; K2 suggests countering it with CCR's "Run through the Jungle". A long freight train rumbles across the high Seneca Aqueduct and we pause for photos beneath it, and at a dramatic outcropping above the stream. Bright new graffiti decorates the underside of MD-355.

"Oxer - it's a type of horse jump with two rails!", K2 explains, and answers naive questions about equestrianism. We arrive back at Sterman Elementary school DFL or nearly so, having added some bonus mileage within Seneca Creek State Park. A Roadkill dizzy spell is quickly cured by a K2 gift of Strawberry-Kiwi gel. Only one fall along the way - it's all good!

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

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2018-10-12 - Energy Efficient

~5.6 mi @ ~14.7 min/mi

"Worst flight of my life!" says K2 of her wild ride home last night through thunderstorms, as remnants of Hurricane Michael collided with a powerful cold front. Glad she made it back safely! Dawn Patrol zig-zags around puddles and fallen branches on a shivery-brisk trek. Orion stands high in the clear southern sky. Three pairs of shiny eyes peer at us from the underbrush near Dead Run - a raccoon family reunion?!

"It's ... ah ... energy-efficient?" K-Rex strives to find a politely-positive description for nouveau-prison architecture that features slit windows and a sawtooth roof line. Gusty winds have blown down a basketball backboard. Halloween ghosts dangle from trees. A giant spider climbs a cargo-net web to invade the upper story of a home.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-10-31

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2018-10-08 - Your Mum

~5.0 miles @ ~15.5 min/mi

"Mom, you ran a long race - you can have my leftovers!" K-Rex recalls her young daughter's kindness after yesterday's Army 10 Miler; the little girl also whispers to her big brother, "Say, 'congratulations'!". So sweet! A pair of rabbits watches Dawn Patrol pass on the way to iced coffee at Starbucks.

"You don't want to know how much those big chrysanthemums cost!" K2 warns as we tour Four Seasons flower market. ("Your Mum!" Roadkill jokes, and explains yesterday's trail humor.) Deep purple pepper plants and diverse gourds look lovely. A relaxed Halloween skeleton peeks over his sunglasses and waves as we pass by.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-10-29

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2018-10-07 - Your Mother

~15.6 mi @ ~14.3 min/mi

"Your Mother!", new punchline to a series of ultrarunning jokes too naughty to repeat here, involving chafing and traveling vast distances. Likewise "Hideous!", a term of judgment re hairstyle. (Don't ask!)

In contrast, far happier characterization of a dear friend's lovely appearance: "Radiant!" Slow-Twitch and J-Bird meet Gayatri and Roadkill for a humid ramble along Rock Creek, walking the hills, exchanging recipes, analyzing politics, sharing plans. In KenGar eponymous Ken greets us, then rematerializes 4 miles later with Rebecca. In between, iced coffee from Java Nation fuels an inspection tour of Kensington homes and carved-stump statuary. A skeletal-hungry Halloween horse reminds us of food.

"We've all got issues." - "No, I don't!" - "Hmmm, maybe THAT is your issue?" Psychoanalysis goes meta and then meta-meta. We exaggerate how much we irritate one another ("You put my utensils away while I was still eating!" - "We need to exit in 3 miles and you're still driving in the wrong lane!" - "You turned the light off while I was in the room!") and vow to help our fellow-travelers work on self-awareness and patience. Feminine charms of Slow-Twitch sit high atop her shoulders today; they turn out to be tasty tangerines, stored in pack pouches. J-Bird massages knots in chiseled calf muscles.

"I ran my best 5k in 1936!" Or did he say "19:36"? Either interpretation is incredible. We share thankfulness for friends, families, fun together, and mutual aid in the quest for enlightenment. ("Your Mother needs more of that!")

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-10-28

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2018-10-06 - PBnJ 25k with Amy

~15.4 mi @ ~20.4 min/mi

Prince William Forest Park this way sleepy z"Hyponatremia!" Kase Guevara Orgeron tells of a scary experience at the Boston Marathon some years ago. Tassie and Roadkill are doing one lap of the VHTRC PB&J 50k course in Prince William Forest Park on a humid-warm day. We compare notes re swollen fingers, debate the pronunciation of "Reynaud's Syndrome", analyze electrolyte drinks and capsules, and concur that although everybody is different some common principles commonly apply. Kase and Roadkill ran together almost five years ago (see 2013-11-16 - MCRRC Stone Mill 50 Mile Race) — maybe we will again at an ultra next month?

"The square root of 365 is about 19.1", Will Rohrs declares. We discuss statistical fluctuations and the Birthday Paradox, define "technical trail" (one where you can't eye the lovely scenery as often as the ground in front of your feet), compare injuries, and philosophize about the nature of mind, dementia, and what it means to be human. Will met Roadkill at an ultramarathon ~13.5 years ago (see HAT Run 2005). Small world!
"Look at that toadstool!" Fungi proliferate in the woods, including one scarlet heart-shaped 'shroom. Leaf mold in the air and blister issues slow our pace. We play the "Don't say 'Sorry', say 'Thank You'!" game, and finish cheerfully in time for afternoon pizza with ultra-comrades J-Bird and Slow-Twitch — a happy ending for Tassie's first long trail run!Prince William Forest

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-10-26

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