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Running Logbook

2015-03-05 - Blizzard Run

~9.7 miles @ ~12.6 min/mi

Clementine Courier: neither snow nor sleet nor (lack of) sanity can stop him. Today's mission, during the latest snowstorm, is to drop off citrus fruit for DS Robin — who scores major mojo points himself by being outside shoveling the sidewalk when I arrive at mile 4. Outbound discover a Little Free Library in front of a house near the corner of Hayden Dr and Gardiner Av. During the return trip divert to deliver the last two mini-oranges to comrades Barry Smith and Amy Couch.

Lessons learned:

  • there can be an amazing depth of liquid water concealed under the ice;
  • footprints of predecessors in the woods don't always indicate the true trail;
  • try not to drop a glove in a puddle when texting or taking photos;
  • goggles or glasses might be helpful if running into the wind when snow is falling hard.

(Trackfile) - ^z - 2015-03-26

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2015-03-04 - Grizzly Statue

~7 miles @ ~12 min/mi

"A giant bear!" Kristin and I peer by flashlight gleam at the front yard statue near the corner of Pimmit and Frieden. It says "WELCOME" on the sign but reminds me of Shardik, the terrifying archetypal title character of the Richard Adams novel. We trot mindfully through intermittent light drizzle, stepping onto the snowy shoulders of neighborhood streets to avoid traffic, warning each other when icy patches intrude on sidewalks.Temperatures are in the upper 30s. Kristin spies a cat peeking in through a front window. "It is what it is!"is the mantra of the day. We admire a melting snowman. "What's the algorithmic equivalent of gears?" I wonder, after Dr K tells of her son's latest bedtime question. Trackfile

^z - 2015-03-24

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2015-03-01 - Snowy Shuffle

~10 miles @ ~11.5 min/mi

Maracas rattle in syncopation with the crunch of feet on snow — or, in this case, it's beard icicles that brush the beat against the front of a frozen windbreaker. Late morning Sunday snow showers turn to sleet. A rambling trek around slippery neighborhood streets adds a detour to tag the 1792 northernmost DC Boundary Stone plus a pause for photos at the sign for "Mile 0.0" of the future Capital Crescent Trail extension. Trackfile tells the tale.

^z - 2015-03-22

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2015-02-28 - Ridge Road Ramble

~7 miles @ ~10.7 min/mi

"They were called Indian Shutters!" Kerry tells me. We're observing the new hyper-insulated windows in various houses being remodeled on Benjamin St, as we ramble 'round the 'hood late on an icy Saturday morning. I recollect old single-pane casement windows on which ice formed — on the inside — during cold spells. Kerry recalls a 19th Century New England home with interior slide-into-place shutters, supposedly for protection against flying arrows. (The Internet says that's a myth, but then so is everything on the Internet.)

We run the Ridge Rd loop, spy the narrow connector path into the woods, walk icy patches, point out mailboxes decorated to look like sharks and pandas, and end up going rather faster than planned for the first few miles. (My left quad aches afterwards.) Kerry scores bonus points when we meet her neighbor Jenna. Another local resident witnessed me trekking in last Saturday's blizzard, Kerry says. Runkeeper records route.

^z - 2015-03-20

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2015-02-27 - Southridge Stroll

~7 miles @ ~13 min/mi

"Now is the perfect time," Kristin says, as we glide through the twilight separating night from day. Kerry and I quietly agree. Today is the funeral of a local high school student who died suddenly, unexpectedly. We share in the sadness. We're exploring a new area, the Southridge neighborhood of McLean. After temperatures in the teens this morning's 31°F feels almost warm. We unzip jackets, take off gloves and caps. Summer seems unimaginable.

Birds greet us, school buses rattle by, and angular architecture provokes commentary. On Opalocka Dr a brilliant blue bungalow clashes with a garish green one a few houses down. A cat sits on an outside window sill, eying us, then turning back to peek into the home. I pause to rescue a not-too-shabby ice-scraper abandoned on Westmoreland St, and Kristin almost falls down laughing. "I knew you would pick that up!"

(Trackfile) - ^z - 2015-03-18

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2015-02-25 - Little Free Library of Pimmit Hills

~7.7 miles @ ~12.5 min/mi

"Community Library" says the sign on the big mailbox-like container by Pimmit Dr. My flashlight reveals several dozen books available for loan behind the glass front. Kerry, Kristin, and I are on a 19°F ramble along neighborhood streets, dodging cars and icy patches, enjoying one another's company, and admiring blue-and-pink clouds as the sun rises. Eyebrows turn white with frost.

When K&K accuse me of leading I deny it: "I'm just following you from in front!" We explore side streets and map out a fractal route. One of us with an all-day meeting ahead comments that it's ok if s/he arrives a bit late: "I'm just setting appropriate expectations for my presence!" Conversation includes the issue of whether a potential employer is out-of-line in asking an applicant to provide social media account names and passwords. It's a New Age for personal privacy. Runkeeper records route.

^z - 2015-03-16

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2015-02-23 - Pimmit Hills Ice

~6.4 miles @ ~13 min/mi

"We are doing 6 minute mile pace so far ... stopped to pick up $100 bills on road" says my outrageously untrue text message to Kerry, whose family duties preempt her from joining Kristin and me for today's dawn patrol through Pimmit Hills. Birds chirp as the sky brightens. To escape ice we mainly run down the middle of neighborhood streets, stepping aside for early commuters. Trail Talk themes include politeness, mirroring, social civility, appreciation, and how to handle the many frustrations of life somewhat more skillfully. We practice our listening and feedback skills, with a big spoonful of self-referential humor. Thanks be to the world for its wonders!

Runkeeper records route.

^z - 2015-03-14

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2015-02-21 - Hard Core Foolishness

~3.6 miles @ ~11.1 min/mi

"Hard core!" the fellow in his front yard says as I jog past. "No, just foolish!" I reply. It's a late morning blizzard blitz around McLean neighborhood streets and bikepaths after a few Saturday hours at the office. Snow falls fast, the temperature is in the upper teens, and it feels like I'm running on a beach. Sensible comrade Kerry declines my invitation and stays snug in her PJs, but kindly offers to let me into her home to recover when I'm done. But fortunately I head directly back to my town, making it just in time as roads turn to ice and cars slip-slide on hills and curves. Runkeeper records route.

^z - 2015-03-12

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2015-02-15 - Kerry Sunday Neighborhood Ramble

~5.8 miles @ ~10.9 min/mi

By mid-afternoon it's a balmy 15°F and north winds have slowed to intermittent gusts of only ~25 mi/hr, so Kerry and I venture out. Sidewalks are icy but her neighborhood streets are 95% clear. We tread cautiously on the other 5% and concur that it will be too risky to run in the dark tomorrow morning. Conversation covers 3D printers, music schools, cognitive fallacies, new home construction, and the wisdom of not clinging to plans for the far future. Maybe I won't hope to buy that island after all!

Runkeeper records route.

^z - 2015-03-10

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2015-02-11 - Benjamin Architecture

~9.2 miles @ ~13 min/mi

I liked it better in the dark!" Kristin comments about an oddly-textured white mansion near the end of our Benjamin St tour. The sun is rising earlier every day, and architecture that for the past few months was mercifully clothed in gloom is now over-exposed. We divert at James F. Cooper middle school to run a lap around the dirt track. "Check that one off the list!"

A bank thermometer reads 26. Birds chirp and sunbeams glint blindingly off a distant window. Orange-and-white ribbons are newly nailed to trees along Kerry's forest path, signifying nothing to us. Conversation is quiet and thoughtful, ending with thanks and a salute: "Namaste!" Runkeeper records route.

^z - 2015-03-06

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