"CHILL" reads a bent street sign, appropriately, on Churchill Road: temps are in the upper 30's, and as the sun rises a few raindrops begin to fall. Kerry and I enjoy iced coffee at a McLean Starbucks. Last night she and her daughter celebrated a Langley High School basketball victory with ice cream — mint chocolate chip!
A rabbit dashes away as we begin our run; a fox races down the lane as we finish. Sorrel Street dead-ends in a gravel driveway with no obvious cut-through. A motion-sensor light turns on as we retreat. Dawn is quiet, peaceful.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-19
"Shards of broken glass! And snakes!" The Dawn Patrol reviews some of its members' phobias. "And worst of all: snakes in a serpentarium, breaking out through the glass!" We random-walk around an apartment complex, seeking a hole in the fence without success. Cute dogs cavort on the other side, yearning to be petted. Maybe another day!
"Are those zombies?" Kids stand like statues on the corner awaiting a school bus. Near Jupiter a last-quarter moon peeks between clouds. Kristin and Caitlin discuss default assumptions and their sometimes-humorous consequences. We cut through Tysons Pimmit Park as the sun rises. "Such a wonderful morning — thank you for running with me!".
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-17
"Take that hill!" Barry's green Marine Corps Marathon shirt brings a martial spirit to a meanering run through the Woodside neighborhood. "Race you to the top!" He drops to the street and does ten push-ups. Oorah!
Earlier, at 6am Gayatri by chance has on an identical MCM shirt as we set out from Candy Cane City, dodging potholes and puddles along Beach Drive by headlamp's glow. In Rock Creek Park three police cars blast past, sirens screaming, crimson-and-blue lights strobing. Sunrise brings out squirrels; a chipmunk scurries across the street in front of us. Two iridescent-green-headed male mallards and a dun female paddle in a tiny trail-side pond. Gayatri tells of a film she saw recently from Maharashtra, the Indian state of which Mumbai is the capital. Last night's spicy Sichuan carry-out from Joe's Noodles fuels her run.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-15
|"STARSAILOR" says the concrete bench where we pause for a symbolic selfie halfway through this morning's trek. Amy asks for 6-8 miles, but when we're almost home and the GPS reads "10.9" there's nothing to do but laugh and add a few more blocks to go past 11. En route we laugh and talk and dance around puddles on a lovely-brisk morning. (The journey to/from Chez ^z adds ~7 miles.)|
"When apart we're still together, and when together it's ok for us to be apart!" We muse about love and the magic of how some people just "click". Sunlight glitters on dewdrops and makes a bush look like it's still covered with Christmas lights. A squirrel with a stub of a tail dashes across a yard. "Socrates was wrong about some things!" we agree, even though it took us both years to figure that out. We knock on Dr Stephanie's door and faux-hide in the bushes before wishing her Good Morning.
"Soften ... Forgive ... Make Space ... Nurture ..." — words to remember when trying to connect, with others and with self. It's not easy to wake up. Good friends can help!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-12
"That white dog can jump!" says Dr Mary, as we watch a puppy leaping twice her height toward a stick held overhead.
"Yuki is her name — it means 'snow' in Japanese," says the owner of the little furry ball of energy. It's Cute Canine Day at Great Falls National Park. We hike the Old Carriage Road, the Ridge Trail, and other pathways, where we meet a puggle (pug + beagle cross), a pair of nearly-identical big black Labrador brothers, a beautiful miniature Siberian husky, and countless others.
Trail talk between physicists includes disciplines that we wish we understood better, starting with thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. And advice: "Read Feynman's 1965 Nobel Prize lecture!" It discusses important phenomena that can be computed via methods that seem to be completely different. Maybe that's a clue that something in Nature is Really Important?
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-14
"I was running in the buff," Barry says. (He's referring to a "Buff" brand tubular scarf.)
"You should talk to Kate — she's a streaker!" (Her series of every-day runs is over 400 again.)
Temps hang a couple of degrees above freezing on a gray afternoon. Rain pauses, then resumes. Puddles dot the pavement. We meet at Candy Cane City and trot along Rock Creek into DC. Barry reports on last weekend's Dopey Challenge that he ran in DisneyWorld: vultures circling over the wastewater treatment plant, race photographers hunkered down in tents to shield themselves from the cold, and fancy-restaurant dinners enjoyed while wearing technical-fiber running shirts since he didn't pack anything else this trip!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-09
"You need a man's pedicure — with a grindstone or a belt sander, in a machine shop!" Dr Kristin prescribes treatment for my calloused left big toe, troublesome for the past few weeks. Caitlin and I compare notes on memorable tchochkes, including cuddly bunnies on a coffee cup and friendly iguana statuettes in a St Croix souvenir shop. A McLean neighborhood saves money by not salting roads or sidewalks, as we discover when we hit icy-slick patches and must cautiously retrace our steps. Kristin leads us at a brisk pace for the first few miles. We meander in fruitless search for pedestrian cut-throughs in another gated community.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-07
"It's called a Mind Jar!" Kristin explains how to make a glitter-and-water mental-calming-awareness metaphor artifact that her kids love. As the sparkles settle down, so do the thoughts and emotions. Temps are in in the mid-teens as we loop through Pimmit Hills, enjoying frosty fellowship and time-to-just-be prior to a busy day. We tread cautiously on icy patches to avoid falling.
"Horses are awesome, and Unicorns are just like horses with a deadly weapon!" Kerry wears a Christmas gift, a unicorn-themed cap with rainbow-striped rim. We discuss upcoming long run possibilities to reconnoiter. Kristin tells of her young puppy's initial snow experience ("This stuff is fun, and edible!"). Trail talk includes slightly-risque Magic Growing Sponge toys, family news, and the importance of staying open to change. All good!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-05
"The problem with wearing a tube scarf over the face is that it pushes moustache hairs into the mouth!" But at 19°F and running into the wind, maybe it's worth it? Today only Rebecca braves the elements for a test of new ^z trail shoes found in the RnJ half-price room during yesterday's snowstorm.
"Total Cash Cows!" R2 explains the economics behind marathons and associated multi-day events held in resort destinations during off-season. We wish our buddies well who are running at Disneyworld this morning. A New Year aspiration, "Talk 2 minutes max", is semi-honored thanks to Rebecca's polite questions during my occasional pauses to breathe.
Icicles decorate the beard when we finish, as temps have climbed to a toasty 22°F. Feet feel great, and nobody falls on the snowy Rock Creek Trail — yay!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-03
"John Malkovich often seems so — swarmy!" We analyze meta-movies and some of the actors involved. After comms confusion and successful re-sync the Dawn Partrol starts late and finishes early, to get back in time for Friday morning meetings. North winds gust and puddles freeze with temps in the upper 20's. The glowing mound in a Pimmit Hills front yard is an inflated holiday-decoration polar bear with cubs riding on her back. Kerry kindly shares handwarmers; Kristin discusses her children's recent dinner table conversation, which involves underwear.
"That is beginning to sound not totally impossible!" is a comment re the Disney Dopey Challenge currently underway in Florida. It's four days of running in a row, building 5k → 10k → half-marathon → marathon. Drs K&K are starting to slide down the slippery slope to marathon mania ...
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-02-01