Running Logbook

2018-05-09 - Spiders and Stick Shifts

~4.8 mi @ ~13.3 min/mi

"Cobwebs! Did ...?" asks K2.

"Yep - me too!" replies K-Rex, as the Dawn Patrol clears a pathway beneath the trees of McLean Central Park. Blood-orange sunrise ripens in the east; iced coffee from Starbucks counters a humid morning. We commiserate over the challenge of finding a stick-shift car to rent nowadays.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-23

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2018-05-05 - Kensington Ramble

~11 miles @ ~15.9 min/mi

Kensington Childrens Library wood carving owl"I'll try a 100 miler, but you have to run it with me!" Last week's C&O Canal 100 by Dr Stephanie inspires others to ponder the distance. "Or maybe first do a 100k? Hmmmm, have you run your age in miles yet?" Gayatri and Barry smile at babies in prams, hug friends whom we meet, and admire cute dogs. Emaad and Rebecca dash ahead.

"OK to touch?" Somebody's back itches, but before scratching a friend it's always good to confirm permission. Experiments with a stick find it insufficient. An explosion of flowers line Rock Creek Trail today, perhaps provoking allergic reactions. Late-season cherry blossoms blanket the ground.

"And I was at least 5 minutes ahead of the cutoffs!" Barry reports on the Big Sur marathon last Sunday. At the base of the Mormon Temple Hill a large faux rock is padlocked to the ground. The Temple itself is closed for construction. A direct route leads back to KenGar, past the Noyes Childrens Library owl carving and kitschy antique store window cat-and-vase displays.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-21

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2018-05-02 - Scotts Run Run

~5.6 mi @ ~13.4 min/mi

"... He submits to pain, because it is inevitable, to bereavement, because it is irreparable, and to death, because it is his destiny ...", as Cardinal Newman says in "The Idea of a University". K2 leads the Dawn Patrol duo quietly through Scotts Run Nature Preserve, down the Woodland Trail, across stepping-stones on the River Trail to the Potomac. Sunlight glitters; blue flowers bloom; a waterfall splashes; an ancient stone chimney abides. Two big deer pause on the pathway, then step aside. It's a meditative morning, as we cherish friends and family.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-18

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2018-04-25 - Sophia's Cafe

~3.9 mi @ ~12.0 min/mi

"Probably a dead end - but there might be a cut-through!" On a drizzly-warm morning K-Rex explores Corporate Ridge, a street leading into an McLean office complex just inside the Capital Beltway. Fences block access to the apartments/condos nearby, alas, and muddy paths between parking garages lead nowhere. So go back, past Sophia's Café to the main road. Birds chirp loudly, as if in a tropical rainforest.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-16

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2018-04-23 - Text Messages Chirp

~6.5 mi @ ~11.2 min/mi

"Pick up your pace!" Joe, a Dear Boss of 15 years ago, rolls down the car window as he drives by and shouts words of encouragement to Dawn Patrol. We climb a hill and admire an eastern sky, glistening pinks above clouds, somber blues below. At McLean High School the gate to the track is closed. Feet lead through quiet neighborhoods, past tulips, cherry trees, hyacinths. Text messages bring news of traffic and family: Mom has fallen and broken a hip. In the condo complex a sign warns, "Speed Limit 9 1/2". K-Rex spies a red fox.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-15

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2018-04-22 - Pushing Hands

~4.0 mi @ ~11.2 min/mi

"Happy Earth Day! May I make a video?" Two men practicing Taiji pushing-hands in Sligo Creek Park kindly give permission. It's a 20 second detour during a run with a Mission: turn in a library book that's due tomorrow! En route, compliment an elderly lady on the street-side book-exchange in front of her home. "Not mine," she demurs. "My daughter likes to freecycle!" After turning in the book enjoy lunch with daughter Robin on her way to a DC meeting, then walk home rather than await a bus. Spy a striking "Purpleleaf Sand Cherry" in bloom on the way. What a lovely day!

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-12

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2018-04-21 - Rock Creek Cave and Chickens

~10.2 mi @ ~13.6 min/mi

"June 26th - which happens to be ...", Dr Fonda tells of an ultrarunner friend who light-heartedly inserts his birthday into conversation, to help others remember it. In downtown Garrett Park we investigate a nature trail, then ramble upstream along Rock Creek. Cyclists pile their bikes in a mound at a rest stop. In a back yard fluffy white Silkies scratch the soil, along with other exotic chicken breeds.

Mindful trail talk includes The Fifth Discipline (by Peter Senge: systems thinking, mental modeling, team learning, shared vision, and personal mastery), another five dimensions of Awesomeness (aka "BadAssery"), and insights from The Talented Mr Ripley.
Back yard chickens by Rock Creek Trail near Dewey Park
Stephanie at mini-cavernWe smile together at how great it feels when the Universe "lobs you some easy ones" for a change, and recount recent joys, frustrations, accomplishments, aspirations. This world is an awesome happy place, especially when one finds kind friends who care for and help one another! ("June 26th - hmmmm, maybe somebody should jot that down somehow.")

"Where does that lead?" Near Veirs Mill Road a side path beckons. From it, Stephanie spies a narrow cave opening high on a steep hillside above the stream. With only a few muddy stumble-slip-slides, up we go. "It's a magical world ... let's go exploring!"

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-11

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2018-04-21 - Capital for a Day 5k Race

~3.1 mi @ ~8.1 min/mi

"Your race is about to start!" says Tom Young, pointing to a dozen tiny people getting ready for their kids-on-the-run dash. If only! Today's MCRRC "Capital for a Day" 5k is a good challenge, with gentle hills and perfect weather. Exchange fist-bumps with fast graybeard Wayne Breslyn and Race Director Keith Evans, line up, and go!

"Where did he come from?" A 10-year-old blasts past in the home stretch. Compared to previous times on this course (2011 = 22:19 and 2012 = 22:33) the effects of 5 years and 15 lbs show clearly: official result is 24:49, good for 2nd place among 7 in the 65-69 year male group, 75th of 171 men, 93rd of 298 overall. Rough GPS splits: 7.7 + 7.8 + 8.6 with 8.0 min/mi for the final fraction.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-05-09

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2018-04-16 - Fortunate Flood

~5.9 mi @ ~12.0 min/mi

"You've got a pen and paper? You can write the Dawn Patrol log report during the run!" K-Rex is amused to hear that somebody forgot to empty his pockets and carries, in addition to note-taking materials, wallet and reading glasses. Fog glows in headlamp lights. K2 finds the way to a narrow pedestrian cut-through between neighborhoods where Melrose Drive has a 100-foot gap. Puddles decorate the pathway after overnight thunderstorms.

"This morning's forecast was for heavy rain and strong winds. We're lucky!" Then at mile 5 the deluge hits. Pause to put on windbreakers — then shiver and seek shelter from the storm. We are so fortunate indeed!

(trackfile, Mantra - So Fortunate (2018-04-25), ...) - ^z - 2018-05-07

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2018-04-15 - Cherry Blossom Shadow

~4.6 mi @ ~14.6 min/mi

"It just is!" Rebecca remembers an argument between a runner and an Aid Station volunteer over how far the finish line is from that point. "It just is whatever it is!" With Caitlin and Gayatri we enjoy a Sunday morning meander through the quiet streets of Kenwood, a Chevy Chase neighborhood. Cherry blossoms float down like pink and white snowflakes and drift across the streets. A stream is strewn so thickly with flowers that in places the water becomes a pastel pathway. We seek the corner of Sunset and Shadow but fail to find it.

(trackfile; cf 2016-10-22 - Patapsco 50k with Stephanie, ...) - ^z - 2018-05-06

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