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Running Logbook

2017-04-24 - Baby Whisperer

~6.1 miles @ ~13.3 min/mi

"They call her the Baby Whisperer!" The new job of a Dawn Patrol daughter is taking care of twin 3-month-olds. So far all's well, if rather intense! Light drizzle on a cool morning bedews beautiful tulips and azaleas in Pimmit Hills. Jinx the cat continues to earn the name, as further problems require yet another vet visit. Cait reports on yesterday's GW Parkway Classic 10 miler, which turned out great. Kristin recommends cross-training by stacking cords of wood for the fireplace; Kerry did heavy gardening over the weekend. A damp rabbit scampers across the road in front of us.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-23

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2017-04-23 - RCT Wordplay with Stephanie

~10.3 miles @ ~14.6 min/mi

"It's not the end of the world until it's the end of the world!" Dr Stephanie leads a run northward, with digressions to snag iced coffee and to explore a twisty maze of hitherto unknown natural-surface trails in Rock Creek Regional Park. We encounter a mysterious woodsman who directs us in precisely the wrong direction, discover a secret community garden, loop, branch, backtrack, and eventually find our way to terra cognita.

"Just playing anagrams!" we explain to a passing dog-walker, as we stand on various letters of the words "DANGER - INTERSECTION AHEAD" painted on the path. Big books are analyzed and critiqued: The Sympathizer meets The Master and Margarita versus The Girl on the Train, along with less-literary self-improvement tomes that are still worth skimming. Fast ultrarunner Enrique Rubio greets us as he pauses on a cycling expedition. Lovely flowers provide springtime selfie opportunities.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-21

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2017-04-22 - Zoo Ramble with Gayatri

~19.8 miles @ ~13.4 min/mi

"Ghora dekhle khora!" Gayatri teaches me a Bengali proverb. It rhymes and loosely means, "See a horse, and suddenly you can't walk!" For us today, though, it's "See a loo, and suddenly you need to ...!" We're running down Rock Creek to the National Zoo early on a hyper-humid Saturday morning. At ~0535 I set off to the rendezvous point; when we meet at ~0600 Gayatri discovers that she accidentally has her husband Atin's wallet. Oops! After a quick drive back to quietly drop it off, we're ready to start.

"We'll spread a rumor that you're creating gigantic apes!" At the Zoo we explore a side road, apparently toward a restricted area, and are sternly told to turn back. A staffer says that there's a genetics lab hidden in the woods there. Conspiracy, anyone?

"Naach na jaane aangan tehra!" Gayatri quotes a Hindi saying, "Can't dance, says the floor is tilted" - akin to "A poor workman blames the tools." Outbound at Peirce Mill we chat with John and his ultramarathon comrade, David Fink. A colleague from the office running upstream says, "Hi, Mark!" As we return we meet Barry. Small world!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-19

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2017-04-22 - Candy Cane Rendezvous

~2.2 miles @ ~12.5 min/mi

"Good morning, Gayatri!" — "Good morning, Mark!" At 6am we arrive at the Candy Cane City playground on Rock Creek simultaneously, driving and on foot respectively. But suddenly Gayatri discovers that her husband Atin's wallet is somehow in the car with her. Oops! After a quick trip back to drop it off at her home, we're ready to start running ...

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-19

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2017-04-21 - Jinx Returns

~7.0 miles @ ~13.7 min/mi

"She's got a cone around her neck, her tail is half-shaved, and she's just happy to be home!" Jinx, a family cat, is back after several weeks at an undisclosed location. The Dawn Patrol sympathizes. Low clouds tickle the tops of Tysons Corner office buildings; heavy traffic makes for long pauses at crosswalks. Kristin, Kerry, and Cait catch up on news and share ideas for better communication. Sometimes polishing a message to perfection isn't as valuable as a faster good-enough response.

"Take everybody out shopping together!" - "Assign someone to bake goodies for the next meeting!" - "Teach them to pull their hair back into a Power Bun!" We brainstorm how to help some senior manager-colleagues escape their usual comfort zones. Hmmmmm ... that last suggestion might not work for the follicly-challenged!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-17

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2017-04-19 - Wet Wandering

~7.3 miles @ ~13.3 min/mi

"Projectile vomiting!" - "Diaper overflow!" - "Three-month-old twins!" - "In the car!" - "At the store!" The Dawn Patrol is full strength this morning, and conversation turns to topics not unrelated to things that happen during ultramarathons, as well as to parents of young kids. Big raindrops fall, pause, then start again as we meander through Langley. Cait and Kerry are back from long road trips to visit family; Kristin updates them on local news. We reverse our usual route and take the Heather Brook - Mackall cut-through in a new direction. Birds chirp and tulips glow. Dogwood and cherry blossom trees drop petals to blanket the sidewalks.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-15

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2017-04-17 - Happy Birds

~7.2 miles @ ~12.1 min/mi

"Don't say that out loud!" Today's trail talk addresses how to listen better to somebody who needs validation and affirmation, not conversation or communication. Big raindrops fall, pause, then start again. Kristin sets a fast pace as we re-explore the under-construction zone between Hwy 123 and the Beltway, then loop east through McLean. From in front of Starbucks we send a GPS push-pin, "Free iced coffee if your name is Kerry!", but get no response from Dr K who has been away on travel for the past week.

"Hear the Happy Birds!" My boss Joe from 15 years ago drives past and waves. Clouds part for sunbeams to cast long shadows in front of us. What a lovely way to start the week!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-13

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2017-04-15 - Zoo Run

~18.4 miles @ ~12.9 min/mi

"Bhattacharyya!" Gayatri patiently pronounces, spells, and describes the name of her Father. "It's actually a formal title," she explains. We're running down Rock Creek to the National Zoo and back. Four deer cross the road and pause to eye us, well-camouflaged against the brown leaf-covered hillside. A family sets up for a picnic-party in the meadow near Peirce Mill. Construction barriers force slight detours where Beach Drive is being rebuilt.

"But he thought things through!" Gayatri compliments a past US President not usually praised for his intellectual depth. We pause for selfies at the Jusserand Memorial and enjoy quiet conversation on a cool morning together.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-11

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2017-04-14 - Noughts and Crosses

~7.1 miles @ ~11.5 min/mi

"Like a giant tic-tac-toe board! See, there's an X, the first move!" Kristin points to pink contrails that crisscross the sky as the sun prepares to rise and a gibbous moon sinks in the west. Today's Dawn Patrol is only two strong, one of us puny with a head cold and poison ivy. The other pulls him along at a brisk pace. The fountain on the W&OD Trail at Route 7 leaks a puddle across the path; the Hot Yoga Studio appears to be closed for Good Friday.

"Which way now? Usually we go left here." - "Uh, you do know that whenever I hear the word 'Usually', I have to pick the opposite!" So then, obviously, we head the other way. A fire engine and an ambulance, lights flashing, pull into the Safeway gas station as we sprint past on the final stretch. Rabbit Count = 1, big but scruffy.

"This is so nice - thank you!"

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-08

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2017-04-12 - Short Long Run

~7.5 miles @ ~12.8 min/mi

"I'm still sick." - "I don't feel so good either." - "Let's only do a few miles." - "OK!" ... and an hour later, as the Dawn Patrol is still trotting along, we all laugh about how the definition of "a few" has evolved. Kristin leads us east toward a papaya-orange sunrise. Cait shares photos of her mother's cookie artistry. Tulips and phlox and spiraea and redbuds blossom in profusion.

"Slam dunk!" A basketball hoop hangs far below regulation height by the road. We visit the Eagle House, the Lavender Cottage, and meander back through quiet neighborhoods. Trail talk includes career advice and sets a record for usage of the F-bomb!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-05-06

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