"Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy!"
Cait and Kristin compare notes on supervillains, respectively from the new Lego Batman movie and the PBS WordGirl series. Dawn Patrol's route today meanders past the Eagle Mansion and the Lavender Cabin — both of which sound like good names for an evil malefactor's lair!
We advise Cait on her family's upcoming Disneyworld Half Marathon ("Have fun!" and "Don't fall down!") and share stories from the past weekend. Kristin reports on the hazards of letting a South Park toy with speech synthesis capability fall into the hands of young children. Danger!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-24
"Your little nincompoop is dancing down the aisle ahead!" says Kristin's son about his sister, yesterday in the grocery store. Better, perhaps, than what he used to call her: "My baby bother!" Dr K and I meander through Tysons Corner enjoying the rosy sunrise. A noisy flock of crows takes wing and circles above us.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-23
"This is Not Good!" Dr Kerry says, when the GPS voice announces our pace. Today is her Birthday Eve Spontaneous Marathon, aka the George Washington Birthday Marathon, and we're going ~2 min/mi faster than planned. But no matter! Kerry slices more than 50 minutes off her prior PB for the distance, and we finish with big smiles. Not bad for a race that she only started to think about two days ago!
"417 — and the Comrades 3 times!" says Pauline from England, when we ask how many marathons she has run. Ultra-veterans Caroline Williams and Phil Hesser greet us before the start, as do buddies Ken and Jennifer. Temperatures today reach near-record highs, in the 70+ zone, and we give thanks for brisk winds whenever the course turns toward them. Electrolyte capsules, energy gels, and quarts of Gatorade all help, though our fingers swell and my right hamstring threatens to cramp.
"I've seen you here almost every year for over a decade, and never stopped to shake your hand!" I apologize to Derek, whose boom-box and applause annually encourage runners when they pass him at miles 9, 16, and 23. Kerry pushes us along, allowing only limited walk breaks as we climb hills. During the last lap I stoop to pick up a spork in the road, mainly so I can say "spork in the road". Climbing the big hill at mile 25 we meet Chris, who wears a Hulkmania shirt that he rips apart as he crosses the finish line.
Kerry and I accept this year's uber-garish medals, pose for photos, and enjoy traditional GWBM chili. My experiments turn out well, especially taping the feet to deter blisters — though I need a refresher lesson from Stephanie on how to apply Leukotape most effectively. Dr K and I get home early and happy. A great day, great volunteers, and a great race!
(Splits, according to my watch and the mile markers: 11.7 + 10.3 + 11.6 + 10.7 + 11.6 + 11.6 + 10.3 + 12.0 + 11.2 + 11.2 + 10.4 + 11.9 + 11.3 + 11.3 + 11.7 + 13.4 + 12.0 + 11.5 + 12.5 + 12.8 + 12.8 + 12.3 + 13.3 + 12.4 + 12.3 + 13.3 + the final fraction in 2.2 minutes)
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-22
"You think you're stubborn? I'm really stubborn!"
Lost in the woods near the Occoquan, Dr Fonda and I compete for bushwhacking honors as we stagger down and up hillsides and clamber over fallen trees. We're enjoying "Death by Do Loop" (DxDL), an informal Saturday morning trek sponsored by the DC Capital Striders. On the orange (or maybe it was blue?) trail we miss a turn and follow yellow horseshoe blazes that lead to an abandoned rusty hulk of a car. Selfie Time!
Then press onward, backtrack, check the map, turn around, and eventually find the way back to Fountainhead where we began. For past disorienting adventures in the same area see 2008-08-23 - Lost in the Woods and 2009-03-31 - Lost in the Woods Again. Is this the Bermuda Triangle of Bull Run?
|Quatro and his friend Carol lead us on a tour of the white-blazed trail. A kind soul in the DCCS has brought scrumptious chocolate-coated peanut-butter delicacies to share, and Q is carrying one. "Pretty Please?", I ask, as we part ways to head back to the start. Quatro lobs a high-arcing PB-Choco-Bomb and Stephanie catches it. Touchdown!|
Today's trail talk is quiet and thoughtful. We give thanks for dear friends, good health, tender relationships ... muse on how to be loving-helpful-kind while letting others grow strong and independent ... and wonder how to recognize and honor one's own self without being selfish. So hard, sometimes.
Discussing ASMR — a tingling-relaxing-euphoric-thrilling sensation triggered sometimes by acts of service and certain sounds — we wonder: could some people create moments of pure joy for others and yet never realize it? Could it be happening everywhere, unnoticed? What a lovely thought!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-20
"You're one 'Sorry!' in the hole now, Maureen!" Caitlin's mom is visiting, and apologizes twice before she learns the Second Rule of Dawn Patrol: you only get to say "Sorry!" once per mile. She already knows the First Rule: leave no one behind, ever!
By flashlight and headlamp Kristin leads the way along the path by Dead Run to the north end of Pine Hill Rd, where we take Kerry's Cut-Through #7 in reverse. Maureen laughs off the sub-freezing temperatures; she's from Buffalo NY. We trek along Benjamin St, admiring mansion architecture and wondering what the response would be if we knocked on a door and said "Trick or Treat!" at 6am?
When Cait's shoe comes off we suggest duct tape, which she used inside another pair before a fancy-dress dance over the weekend. An electric sunrise just keeps getting more beautiful. At Kerry's home we share coffee and memories.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-19
"Fox!" Cait spots the creature hunkered down in the brush by Dead Run, eyes glowing orange in our headlamps. Half a block later it's Kristin's turn: "Rabbit!" The big bunny dashes across a front lawn. Hope it survives!
The Dawn Patrol strides over sticks and twigs blown down by recent high winds. Broken trees almost block the path in a couple of location; bands of yellow "CAUTION" tape stretch across the asphalt. We ramble into Langley and text-message a GPS push-pin waypoint to Dr Kerry when we pass in front of her home. "You should have come in for coffee!" she replies.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-18
"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then!" And wish I could have remembered that Zen lyric sooner this morning. Northwest breezes are 20+ mi/hr, with chilly gusts reaching 40+ mph. Kerry and Kristin have to duck under a broken cedar tree trunk that stretches over the sidewalk. The 1967 song "Windy" comes to mind — and raises the question of how many neurons are devoted to storing sunshine-pop lyrics like that? And how long should it take to recall that Bob Seeger was the artist who wrote "Against the Wind"?
"Let's run to a different Starbucks today!" Kristin nominates one we've never visited, in Tysons Corner next to a Harris-Teeter on Park Run Drive. But when the Dawn Patrol gets there nobody is behind the counter, although the doors are wide open! Another erstwhile coffee customer suggests being baristas for each other. But we decide against it, and after a couple of minutes give up and hit the road again.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-17
"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" — "Pennies from Heaven" — "Who'll Stop the Rain?" — "Purple Rain" — "Macarthur Park" ("Someone left the cake out ...") — "Red Rain" — Rebecca and Barry free-associate a medley of precipitation-themed songs as we ramble along Rock Creek through intermittent light drizzle. We review recent movies, compare notes on donut shops, run a few hills, and reminisce about races. On a side trail near Ft Detrick's Forest Glen Annex speculation includes what superpowers one might acquire by drinking from the contaminated streams there, or perhaps just taking a dip as Achilles did in the River Styx. Who knows?
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-16
"Good morning, Oreo!" At sunrise, as the full moon sets, Dr Stephanie starts running. Within a few blocks, there's Rebecca walking her lovely-friendly dog Oreo. Pause for puppy petting! After a digression through Garrett Park and Kensington we join Caitlin at mile ~5 and return to the flatter Rock Creek Trail.
"It's just another theoretical astrophysicist!" Gerry waves at us from across the street. Soon thereafter, "Make way — elite runners coming through!" Anny and Michele and Jeff zoom past. We run three times up the Mormon Temple Hill, meeting Gayatri and other friends solo and in training groups.
Mindful sharing and trail talk topics include advice making new friends, studying graph theory, managing unreasonable first-date expectations, running downhill during ultramarathon training, heart-attack hazards of deep-décolleté at a dinner with elderly gentlemen present, temptations found at Duck Donuts in Rockville, and the challenge of listening to the spaces between notes of a fast Haydn flute trio. Om-ward ho!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-14
"Pretend to be happy — I'll fix it!" Mindful Mom Magic works wonders, apparently even via the medium of text-message. This morning temps in the lower 20's lead Dawn Patrol feet toward a Starbucks on Route 7, where hot coffee maintains momentum. An electric persimmon sunrise distracts Kristin, who almost trips on a sidewalk crack as we run through Tysons Corner. Kerry throws out an arm to help her recover. We warn each other away from icy puddles.
"Your daughter locked my son in the dog's cage!" Note choice of personal pronouns. Conversation also gets serious, talking about a lovely final resting place for one's ashes. "I'd just like to be the bench there!" — a beautiful thought.
(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-13