"And it just keeps getting better!" Kerry and I pause to admire the glorious dawn. Rich indigo clouds frame flamingo-pink gaps. Then the phone chirps. It's Amber, sharing even more awesome photos of sunrise over the Potomac. "Kerry says 'Wow!'" I text back.
Then sudden and total disorientation, as subtly curving Ridge Road utterly confuses my sense of direction. I react in disbelief when Kerry points out the walkway into the woods, opposite to where it "should" be. Conversation meanders from puissance (high jump competition for horses) through category theory (duality and isomorphism) to social justice, corporate architecture, and how tragic it is when people become chronically bitter and negative. "If only a gentle nudge could help them return to balance!"
We give thanks for sharing a planet with Shakespeare and J. S. Bach. At St Luke's School we walk the Stations of the Cross pathway. Finishing, I'm tempted to add mileage but Kerry wisely counsels, "Save some for tomorrow!" Thank you, Dr K!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-29
"... a long list of the names of her pets, with 'DECEASED' after each one!" Kerry describes how her daughter is filling out forms to adopt a new dog. We concur that perhaps some editing, or at least contextual background, could be helpful in the application process.
Frost whitens the grass. We loop through the Evans Farm community (verdict: great architectural variety, but too few weather vanes) and then attack Pimmit Hills. Beth reports on Friday evening's 5k race in Crystal City. Kristin's new shoes and velcro band haven't yet cured a twingy knee. Contrails radiate from the rising sun.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-28
"Let's run into the sunrise!" Kristin suggests, as the Dawn Patrol trots along Leesburg Pike toward a thin crescent moon low above the coral-peach horizon. So we abandon prior plans and continue eastward. And it just keeps getting better! We catch up on news (Kerry is back from visiting friends) and share the peaceful morning. In a back yard on Haycock Rd a black-and-white dog stands on hind legs and leaps to play with a dangling toy. Kids awaiting the school bus step aside for us to pass. A woman emerging from her apartment catches us laughing and smiles. "You're all having too much fun!" she says.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-26
"Superman wears Gary Knipling pajamas!" That's just one of the comments and stories shared online in an outpouring of love from fans of Gary, local ultrarunner who suffered a major stroke a few days ago and who is already home, recovering speedily. Gary's boundless enthusiasm and legendary kindness echo and help all of us be better. Thank you, Gary Knipling!
Today's temps are in the 40s, and north winds gusting 30+ mi/hr have blown most of the cherry blossoms off the trees in Wheaton Regional Park. A huge goose hunkers down, then waddles away to avoid being photographed. Pace-pushing (and luck at major road crossings) produces splits of 8:19 + 8:56 + 8:50 for the final miles. An attempt to stop the GPS at 9.99 slightly misses the mark.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-24
|"Was that Meb Keflezighi?" I ask Dr Amber as we run across the 14th St Bridge into DC. Heading the opposite way are three fast runners, one of whom looks rather like the elite American Olympian, in town for tomorrow's Cherry Blossom 10 mile race. When we see the trio again a few miles later, cooldown-stretching at Graveley Point, Amber urges me to work up my courage and ask. They deny it, but I cling to the fantasy. "Maybe he's traveling incognito!"|
Raindrops wet our faces when we set out, zig along Four Mile Run, then zag to join the Mount Vernon Trail. We pause mid-course for selfies under the dome of the Jefferson Memorial (Tom photo-bombs us). Amber goes slower than her usual pace, for which I thank her every mile. Tulips blossom at National Airport, so bright an alizarin-crimson that they look artificial. Post-trek the Alexandria farmers' market provides yoghurt, scones, and cookies.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-23
"They can be the 'Dawn Patrol Irregulars'!" I suggest, alluding to junior affiliates of Sherlock Holmes, as Kristin and I ramble the roads of Southridge and encounter multiple other folks out on pre-sunrise spring jogs. Warm and humid weather is a gentle introduction to sultry summer conditions soon to come. We admire giant sunroom windows ("... and the neighbors must get quite a view too!"). Blossoms cascade down from the trees and speckle the streets.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-22
"Good luck finding something safe to quote from this morning's conversation!" Dr Beth says. We're in the final quarter-mile of a trek rich in "frank and open" dialogue, to use a term from diplomacy-speak.
"Hmmmmm ... maybe I'll quote that statement!" replies Mr Meta. Frost decorates windshields of parked cars. A scrawny rabbit scampers away as we prepare to set out, eastern sky beginning to glow orange. Ice cubes are strewn across the sidewalk as a food service truck cleans out yesterday's bins in preparation for a fresh start.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-20
"Thank you!" I tell Kristin as we ramble in the rain. "For a morning when I seriously thought about calling in sick, this is the best day ever!" Yesterday's dizziness (BPPV) is mostly gone, and as the sun rises we discover a new playground cut-through ("Tysons Pimmit Park"), find a quarter on the pavement, slip but don't fall down on muddy sidewalks, climb a few steep hills, and manage to achieve soggy double-digit mileage while staying mostly within the Pimmit Hills neighborhood and not repeating too many streets. Kitschy lawn art and dozens of wind chimes decorate a yard near the corner of Cherri Drive and Leonard Road. It's trash day and we chase a garbage truck for a few blocks. "What will we do if we catch it?"
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-18
"Please Do Not Climb Trees!" say roadside signs in the cherry-blossom-rich Kenwood area of Bethesda. Sam, Jerry, and Barry have varying degrees of knee or hip injury at the moment, so relatively-healthy Gayatri, Rebecca, Ken, and I escort them in various combinations to walk/run a mile down the Capital Crescent Trail, then meander under branches heavy with pink flowers. Cars cruise slowly, pausing for photographs. Meticulously trimmed lawns lead the eye to modest mansions with stone facades. One house features a sculpture that Gayatri identifies as a dhoti-clad Gandhi.
Back in downtown Bethesda we pick up Dr Kerry at 9am (her daughter is taking school exams nearby). Further hillwork accompanied by sakura viewing ensues. According to Wikipedia, there are more than a thousand cherry blossom trees in Kenwood. Kids selling lemonade for $2+ per cup have not yet set up for business, however, when we leave the neighborhood and continue down the CCT, then return. Kerry, Rebecca, and I do a final trot eastward to add more distance and reach Rebecca's 18+ goal. (The GPS inadvertently pauses and misses 2+ miles.)
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-16
"Rabbit crossing!" Kristin spies the Easter bunny-in-training ahead of us on a dark street. A few miles later, "Deer crossing!" for a small herd of big does making their way across Dead Run to visit the local garden buffet. The morning is warm and humid. We divert past Kerry's place to check for March Madness party detritus. (None seen, thank goodness!) Today's top-trending NY Times article "13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married" lists "5 love languages", of which I can only name a subset (canonical answers: affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch — cf. Nano Languages). Car headlights flash as drivers emerge from their houses and remote-unlock. Fingers crossed that the Dawn Patrol make it into the Marine Corps Marathon this year — yesterday we all entered the lottery!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-04-16