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Running Logbook

2018-02-16 - Collusion, Conspiracy, Combination, Comingling

~8.9 mi @ ~13.8 min/mi

"Rock wins!" In the battle to see who buys iced coffee, Kerry's kung fu triumphs. It's now the Year of the Dog, so Dawn Patrol must bow (wow!) and obey the orders of any born under that sign. Warm drizzle washes salty sweat from forehead into eyes. Cait discusses scary snakes and less-worrisome lizards, ferrets, etc. as we meander around McLean. We share phobic confessions. "Good morning!" fails to rouse zombie-like students shambling toward school. Judging by their attire it's Wear Wacky Shorts Friday.

"Collusion vs consipracy?" and "Combining vs comingling?" We debate nuance and implication of certain words, and concur that a car with headlights off is contributory negligence to our jaywalking. Soggy low-cut socks sag into Hoka sandal-shoes resulting in ankle scrape and toe rub. Experimental result noted - don't try that again for a while!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-16

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2018-02-14 - Unself

~6.0 mi @ ~12.8 min/mi

"Less ego!" Dr Kristin suggests a remedy for excessive angst, bureaucratic strife, and countless other challenges. Dawn Patrol meanders through Pimmit Hills, glancing east at intervals to admire the sunrise that begins like a faint will-o-the-wisp and brightens into a tangerine conflagration on the horizon. A friendly Jennifer introduces herself as we wait for the crosswalk light to change. She's out for a few miles, her first run of 2018. Happy Valentine's Day, Ma'am!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-14

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2018-02-12 - Magical World

~6.66 mi @ ~13.9 min/mi

"Maybe a list of what I didn't eat would be shorter?" Weekend diet of Five Guys peanuts & french fries, Papa Johns pizza & cheesy bread, plus Sheetz "Box of Deep Fried Love" couldn't possibly be correlated with Evil Scale's readout this morning of 70kg = 11 stone, could it? Dawn Patrol orbits McLean, building a mostly-convex trackfile map for comrade Sean to draw upon. We dither at Starbucks but eventually opt for iced coffee rather than hot. Gusty north winds and light sprinkles portend a cold front's passage. Temperatures fall into the lower 40s.

"It's a magical world, Hobbes ol' buddy ... let's go exploring!" Kristin cites the final Calvin & Hobbes comic strip as we meander through Langley Forest, laughing at glassy fishbowl houses and under-construction mansions. Kerry's quads are talking to her about Saturday's icy Maryland Heights adventure. School bus flashers twinkle. Shadows of power lines look like chains across the road, and almost cause a stumble at one point - oops!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-13

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2018-02-11 - Neighborhood Nothingness

~10.8 mi @ ~13.5 min/mi & ~5.5 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

"I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing." Barry quotes Pita Taufatofua, Tongan olympian, as we run up the hills of the 'hood. With temps in the 60's we consider taking off shirts and applying coconut oil, but refrain to avoid distressing the neighbors who might glimpse glistening godlike bodies. The route combines adventure (discovering a new cut-through behind an elementary school) and GPS track file artistry. Rain stops. Fog hangs low over Sligo Creek.

"Oh, poo!" (or something similar) says Barry when at 1:15pm Ken texts to say he has arrived and is awaiting us. Somebody gave somebody the wrong time, by a whole hour! No worries, all's well among friends — we meet Ken and get Barry home in time for his planned visit to a friend in need. Ken proceeds westward, on new-to-him paths past nursing facilities & retirement homes. We sprint away to avoid capture, lest we're mistaken for escapees.

"Instagram is where all the cool kids are going — it's the new Geocities and MySpace!" At Saint John the Evangelist cemetery Ken makes his very first Instagram post, near a memorial to Daniel Carroll, US Founding Father and signer of the Constitution. Deep history!

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

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2018-02-10 - Dawn Patrol on Maryland Heights with Brie and Jennifer

~5.3 mi @ ~28.5 min/mi

Maryland Heights - Brie, Jennifer, Kerry, and Molly"I'm totally kinky!" Brie comments, as she untangles the hose from her hydration backpack. Jennifer leads up the super-steep Stone Fort Trail on the northwestern side of Maryland Heights. Kerry and Molly trek behind.
"Let's take the Hard Way!" Jen suggests. That turns out to be wise: sheets of ice on the shady side of the ridge cause first one bruising fall, then another. The path would be far more dangerous if we were going downward.Maryland Heights - Brie Jennifer Kerry and Molly
Maryland Heights - Kerry and MollyFast runners pass us, then turn back. We sit and slide, crunch across leaves, clamber over fallen trees, and cling to bramble bushes.
"The ice machine ran overtime!" The top of the hill is covered with uniformly-shaped finger-length cylinders of ice. We pause at the crest for photos, then descend on the safer sunny south side.Maryland Heights - Brie, Jennifer, Kerry, Molly
Maryland Heights overlook - Kerry and zThe Overlook Cliff Trail rewards us with awesome views of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. Jennifer and Brie explore a side trail, then catch up and proceed onward. On the trip down raindrops begin to fall. We spy Merle approaching along the C&O Canal towpath and wave. Adventure run completed!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-10

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2018-02-09 - Fishbowls

~4.4 mi @ ~12.0 min/mi

"Fishbowl families!" Dr Kristin describes folks who leave window shades up and lights on in early morning. The Dawn Patrol treads quietly as a gray moon fades and a rosy sunrise blossoms. Temps in the mid-20s make for a brisk pace. Eight pairs of beetle-green eyes glitter in headlamp glow as a herd of deer nibble grass on the McLean High School soccer field; crunchy noises suggest at least one more is feeding on the other side of the hedge. #blessed

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-09

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2018-02-05 - All About Balance

~2.5 mi @ ~19.9 min/mi

"It's all about balance!" Kristin says, as the Dawn Patrol skates across an icy sidewalk and clings to the fence nearby. Overnight rain freezes into a clear glaze, reminiscent of scary winter races. (cf. 2016-12-17 - Devil Dog 100 Miler DNF & Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon 2007) Kerry reports spinning tires as she tries to drive up a tiny hill in her 'hood. We tread cautiously, running on grass beside paths, holding on to wooden bridge railings, stepping gingerly over slick stripes painted on the road. After a mile of death-dodging near misses we concur: Starbucks isn't worth it this morning! A near-last-quarter moon shines on our return trip. Nobody falls. Balance!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-07

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2018-02-04 - Slippery Speedwork Sunday Graffiti

~7.9 mi @ ~11.5 min/mi

Not for Nothing graffiti selfie"Stay upright!" advises the elderly cyclist on Sligo Creek Trail. Snow flurries sting eyes, then turn into sleety pellets that knock on noggin. Paths and sidewalks become slippery-slick until precipitation changes to chilly drizzle. "Ring of Fire" (Social Distortion's version) repeats on the mental MP0 player.
"Speedwork Sunday!" At the local track roll up sleeves, unzip jacket, and sprint four laps with recovery walks between (1:54 + 1:52 + 1:55 + 1:50). Too slow - more intervals needed, Dr Zed!Ashes graffiti
graffitiTrot to the local library, pick up two hardbacks from the hold lockers, and add more gravity to prior ~15 pound overweight encumbrance. Pause on the way home to photograph bright graffiti art on the backside of Jack's Roofing by the train tracks. "Not 4 Nothing!"

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-06

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2018-02-03 - MD-WV-VA Trifecta

~22.0 miles @ ~22.6 min/mi

Dipak and Sirisha and z - photo by Merle"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service is joy." Dr Dipak quotes Rabindranath Tagore as he and Sirisha trek along the Appalachian Trail. The day begins with temps in the teens. Merle drives to Weverton and sets off along the C&O Canal towpath toward Harpers Ferry. After a brisk hike up the cliffs we follow him. Icicles cling to shaded rocks. Puddles are slippery skating rinks.

"No goals!" says Sirisha wisely, about her upcoming ultra-tough ultramarathons. Today's hillwork will pay dividends in months ahead. We climb steep Maryland Heights, diverting to a scenic overlook. Jennifer's friend Brie greets us, wearing a Yeti scarf and running with super-fast Kurt on his way to doing five repeats. We tour cannon emplacements, then trot down and cross the river into Harpers Ferry.

"Up this way!" Brie reappears and directs us to the AT's route through West Virginia. Past Jefferson Rock, over the Shenandoah River into Virginia, and up Loudoun Heights. Deja vu, remembering Dr Stephanie's Run of Legend (2017-03-04 - Loudoun Heights and Maryland Heights with Stephanie). No luck finding the path that led down the other side of the mountain during a race here 7+ years ago (2010-10-23 - Quad State Quad Buster).

"My front was too cold and my back was too hot!" We meet a lady wearing her jacket backwards on both Maryland Heights and Loudoun heights. Sirisha tells of wearing her hydration vest similarly. At the overlook somebody is having a Bad Hair Day.

bad hair day on Maryland Heights
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Weverton_Cliffs_Maryland_Heights_Loudoun_Heights_map_2018-02-03.jpg"So let's walk-run to Weverton!" Merle appears at mile 18 and provides an instant aid station when we decide to continue on foot rather than accept his kind offer of a lift. Locks with lovers' names decorate the pedestrian bridge over the Potomac. Sirisha and I admire Dipak's bright green jacket, after he fishes for compliments. At our starting point we fist-bump and declare victory. We've finished what Brie calls the "Trif*ckta" — yay!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-03-04

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2018-02-02 - Catching Crabs

~4.3 mi @ ~10.0 min/mi

"Erin caught a crab. It broke her nose and knocked her unconscious!" Cait explains more rowing language as we sprint down the long hill at mile 3. "Catching a crab" refers to getting an oar caught in the water, sometimes with dire results. In this case it happened to a comrade in the boat during a race - and no, they did not go on to win. And yes, sometimes an entire crew catches crabs! Temps fall from the mid-30s to below freezing as a squall line brings eye-watering gusty northwest winds.

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

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