Maintenance week – October 9 to October 15

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I was pretty happy this week, got some fairly decent running in.  I ran three times, a 5 miler on Wednesday, a 2.5ish miler (plus some body strength workouts) with Jess and Mini at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday morning, and a 9.25 miler on Sunday.  All of them felt great, even the 9 mile run.  The only downside is that after my run on Sunday, I had this pain on the arch of my foot.  I was afraid that it was a stress fracture.  I could not put weight on it for a while after I got back home.  But the pain went away through the day.  It’s back now, though, but not as bad as before.  I might give it a couple days rest and see what happens.  I got new shoes, and I’m hoping it’s a problem with the shoes and not anything more!

 

The Wednesday morning run was memorable, mainly because I couldn’t sleep the night before and thus went for a run at 4:30am.  The Lincoln Memorial was completely empty then, except for one or two other early runners.  It’s a bit eerie, but the sights are cool to see.

 

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The Saturday morning run was fun as always.  I like to be able to carve out that time for us to go exercise together.  The three of us drove to the Mall, went for a run/walk + strength body exercises.  Mini loves being outside, especially on Saturday mornings.  Group selfie in front of the WWII memorial, south side of the reflecting pool.

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Altogether, three runs, 16.91, but I feel back into it.  Hope my foot is alright and I’m not derailed again!

 

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TWIR

 

This was one of those weeks that didn’t seem too busy or eventful on the surface, but when you stop to think about what you did, it actually was a pretty busy week.  Monday was Columbus Day, and though neither myself nor Jess had the day off, Mini’s day care was closed.  So I worked from home that day, and actually was able to get a lot done.  Mini was chill for most of the day and then she went down for about a 2 hour nap during some prime working time for me.  That morning, before starting work I took her to the Air and Space Museum.  Here’s a picture of her loving it:

 

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Tuesday and Wednesday went by with busy work schedules for both of us, culminating in a very important work meeting for me on Thursday.  When the jam-packed work week ended, we headed into a busier-than-expected weekend.  On Friday, we relaxed, and I watched Clemson get upset by Syracuse.  This ended a bad week of sports for me that started the Saturday before with Michigan getting upset at home by Michigan State, then the US Men’s National Soccer Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, then the Nats losing on Thursday night, and Clemson on Friday night.

 

On Saturday, Jess joined Mini and me for our Saturday am exercise.  We went down to the Lincoln and after our exercise, we went to Eastern Market for brunch/lunch.  We got some Filipino noodles, crepes, and pancakes.  What else could you ask for!?

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Then we went down to the Mall.  We took Mini on her first merry-go-round, and I think she liked it.

 

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Then we wanted to try and check out the Sackler Gallery reopening.  But we didn’t realize that the reopening was actually for later that evening, so we went home to watch the end of the Michigan game.

 

On Sunday, I got up early for two reasons:  (1) to try and get tickets to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and (2) to go for a longish run.  I was able to accomplish task #1, which is actually a tall order.  Tickets are so hard to get, and by the time you log in at 6:30am, the tickets are gone by 6:32am.  For the run, I was intending to do 7 miles, but I was feeling good and turned it into 9.25. Got this cool picture at City Center, which always seems to theme their decorations based on the season.  Fall is here.

 

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After I got home, I showered up and then we headed to the opening festival for the Sackler Gallery (it was a two day event).  The festival was a celebration of Asian culture, with food, music and arts and crafts.  We took Mini there and then afterwards went to the NMAAH.  We had been there once before with some friends, but we did not get to see all of it.  This time, Jess and I spent some time on the top floor of the museum, viewing the pop culture section.  I want to go back and spend a couple of hours on each floor.  I also have this new goal, to take Mini to every Smithsonian before she is 1, and then every year that we live in DC, to try and take her to as many as possible over the course of a year.

 

Here is a stunning picture that Jess took from the Contemplation Room at the NMAAH.

 

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After the museum, we headed home, got a nice brief visit from some friends, and then called it a night.  I was so tired, we put Mini down at 7:30 and I followed shortly after.

 

Another great week in the books.

 

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Maintenance week – October 2 to October 8

WEEK SUMMARY

 

Now that I’m not training for any race in particular, I want to try and run five to six miles five to six times a week.  I ran a few times this week, twice in DC and once in Reston.  The DC runs were in the morning.  They included a picturesque run on Thursday where I could see the Harvest Moon just over the Lincoln Memorial.  It was an incredible morning.  When you turned towards the Washington Monument, you could see the sunrise, when you turned towards the Lincoln, you could see the full moon.  The pictures don’t do it justice.

 

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Saturday morning was with my traditional run with Mini.  We went to the Lincoln, where I read her the Gettysburg Address, and then we went to the MLK, where I read her the quotes at the memorial.

 

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For the week, I ran for 16.54 miles.

 

TWIR

 

The early part of the week was pretty uneventful.  Tiring, from work, life, etc., but good.  Jess’s family was in town for the weekend and we had a great time.  On Saturday, we took Mini to the zoo and she saw her first panda.  That was a fun experience.  She really liked just looking around and, of course, being the center of attention.  It was nice to connect with family and for Mini to see her aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma.

 

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Maintenance week – September 25 to October 1

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I’ve been feeling off this week.  It took me a lot longer to recover from the Clarendon Day double last week, and as a result, I was limited in my running this week.  Not just my running, but working out in general.  I attribute this to a hectic September, with dwindling sleep.

 

I did run once, though, the Boo! Run For Life 10K on Sunday morning.  I tried to run before that on Saturday, but couldn’t do it.  My legs were just not feeling it, and so instead, I walked with Mini to the MLK memorial and read the quotes to here there, and afterwards, I went to the base of the Lincoln with her and fed her bottle to her while looking out at the monument.  Hey, not a bad consolation prize.

 

So, one run, 6.24 miles.

 

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I’m going to postpone my Rehoboth Marathon race.  For the second year in a row.  There just isn’t enough time or energy to hit the long training runs, and given it’s so short and I feel off, I’m going to listen to my body and rest.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t try for the half, though, but we’ll see.

 

TWIR

 

As mentioned numerous times, this was the end to an eventful September.  Starting day care, career shift, illnesses dominated the early part of September.  No worries though, because there plenty of wonderful memories from this month too, so I am not complaining.  And things are going well for me and my family, and I am thankful for every day that we have.

 

This week was eventful because I was rear ended.  Nothing major at all, just big bump and dent in my bumper, but it was an apt send off of the month!

 

This week in the life of Mini:  she’s having full on conversations in her baby babble nowadays.  And also, she’s learning a lot about her surroundings and making connections.  Two examples:  when I come home from work, she hears the keys jingle and hears my voice, and turns her head from way across the room to laugh and wiggle around her arms and legs in excitement.  Honestly, no matter what ever happens in my day, nothing beats that feeling as a father.  Another example, she’s learned how to recognize her bed, her crib, her “dock-a-tot.”  When she sees these places, she’s learned that there’s a non-zero chance of us putting her down and thus not holding her any more, and she cries before we even start the process of putting her down.  She’s becoming incredibly smart.

 

On Sunday, we ran the Boo! Run For Life 10K to benefit research on renal cell carcinoma.  It was a very touching race to run with Mini in honor of my mom.

 

Other than that, I enjoyed watching Clemson beat V. Tech. on Saturday.  We may see a Bama vs. Clemson III coming up this year!

 

 

Race Report – Boo! Run For Life 10K

Finish time:  58:08

Placing:  135 out of 310

80 out of 127 (male)

21 out of 35 (male division 30-34)

 

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As soon as I found out about this race, I knew I was going to run it.  It is a 10K that raises money for the Dean R. On’Neill Renal Cell Cancer Research Fund.  My mom’s kidney cancer diagnosis wasn’t the origin of my running life, but it accelerated it, and so of course I was going to participate.  I ran it with Mini for an experience I will not forget, running with my daughter to honor my mom.  Though I have not been running very much lately, due to an eventful September, I did enjoy this run a lot.  It was a beautiful and crisp fall morning by the Potomac with Jess and Mini.

 

PRE-RACE

 

I’ve been pretty tired this week.  Lack of sleep.  Got rear ended on Thursday.  General life, work, etc.  Overall, nothing to complain about, but it’s been a tiring week for sure.  So, there wasn’t really any plan for this one except to run with Mini.  I was up late on Saturday watching the Clemson-Virginia Tech game

 

It was a fairly early start, 8am, but anyone with kids knows that leaving the house takes a lot longer than you’d think.  Since I was running with the stroller, that meant a 6am wake up with the plan to get there at around 7:20 to pick up my shirt.  The race was at West Potomac Park, and we got there right around 7:45 in time to get my bib and stretch out a little.  It wasn’t a terribly large crowd, but it was a decent turn out for a good cause.  Jess, Mini and I waited for the start.  I chatted briefly with a few people, one woman who had also just done the Clarendon Run and another person who came in from Rockville.

 

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Miles 1-3

 

10:14 min/mile; 9:20; 8:59

 

I decided to start off slowly.  In actuality, I have been feeling pretty out of running shape.  As mentioned, September was a low mileage month, and I had actually tried to run the day before this race at the same location, but I had to abandon the run because my legs weren’t working.  I think it is a combination of the all the events, the lack of sleep, the lack of running, and some worn out shoes.  So here, I decided to just take it easy.  Also, since I had the stroller, I wanted to start in the back and not try and weave through with it.

 

The course is basically an out and back, starting near the Lincoln and down to Hains Point and back.  It’s a beautiful run, and I do a portion of it a lot.  On a cool fall morning there’s not much better than running with the Potomac on one side and the monuments on the other.

 

Miles 4-6

8:50; 9:13; 9:20

For the next three miles, I thought I’d pick it up a bit.  As I hit the turn around, I ran by a few other people with strollers and we exchanged some looks of solidarity and words of encouragement.  At around mile 4.5 or so, I started chatting up a runner who also has a six month old at home.  I had to stop a few times because Mini’s blanket was starting to fall off.  Also, she was giving me that classic 4.5 mile look of “you better hurry up and finish the race, or there will be hell to pay.”

 

Miles 6-6.2

[2:16]

Jess was waiting for us at mile 6 and she ran the last bit with us before hopping out.  As I ran across, someone told me that I was the first stroller to finish.  Not sure if that was true or not, but I’ll assume that it was.

 

POST-RACE

 

Jess and I took some pictures with Mini at the finish line.  Then we dressed her up in this really cute octopus costume we bought for her.  I was initially thinking of running with her dressed in it, but that was going to be too cumbersome with the stroller.  So we changed her into it and took some pictures.

 

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Afterwards, Jess treated us to a nice brunch at this biscuit place called Mason and Dixie.  It was really good–the first “southern” biscuit and gravy + fried chicken place in DC that I’ve enjoyed.  Jess and I have this standing tradition to sometimes eat fried chicken and daal with Oberon beer while watching college football in the falls–we might have to get  the chicken from this place the next time we do.

 

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Mini with the thumbs up.

 

 

September 2017 – Stats

This was a very, very busy and eventful month, and so it has been the lowest mileage of the year.  Summary:

 

Miles 33.34 miles
Total time 5 hr, 12 min, 56 sec
Average pace per mile 9 min, 23 sec per mile
Number or runs 7 runs
Average distance per run 4.76 miles per run
Average temperature, per run 69.57 deg F
Average temperature, time spent in temperature 69.72 deg F
Coldest temperature 57 deg F
Warmest temperature 75 deg F
Total elevation 474 ft
Average elevation per run 67.71 ft per run
Longest run 7.18 miles
Shortest run 3.12 miles

Old School Race Report – Marine Corps Marathon 2015

I don’t really have a race report here because it predated my blog.  Just a screen shot of the course from the 2015 MCM marathon and the splits from that day.  I’ll try to summarize in a few sentences what I remember.

 

Miles 1-4

10:26 min/mile; 11:56; 11:19; 10:46

 

Miles 5-8

 

10:54; 10:33; 11:04; 10:45

 

Miles 9-12

 

9:59; 9:46; 10:07; 9:55

 

Miles 13-16

 

10:32; 10:27; 9:45; 9:59

 

Miles 17-20

 

10:37; 11:21; 10:20; 10:57

 

Miles 21-24

 

11:04; 12:48; 11:59; 12:59

 

Miles 25-26.2

13:18; 12:42; [12:00]

 

Race memories

 

This part is going to be a stream of conciousness, things that I remember, but not really when or where in the same organized way as the others.  I ran this race after having a mild stress fracture which sidelined me for seven weeks immediately prior.  I still maintain that running this race was a terrible, egotistical decision.  I’m lucky that I did not get hurt.

 

PRE-RACE

I metro-ed (to which stop, I don’t remember) and walked to the start line.  There was a power outage that caused a very massive back up.  Instead of passing through regular security, Marine volunteers had to hand wand everyone through, which took forever.  Missed the national anthem, air show and parachuting guy.

 

RACE

 

My memory comes in fits and starts.  I remember running nice and easy through Rock Creek Park and feeling pretty good.  I picked it up right around mile 9 and carried it until about mile 18.  I was foolishly optimistic that I’d be ok carrying that pace.  When I hit mile 16, I remember thinking and kind of yelling out loud, “10 more to go.”

 

At mile 18, I knew I was hitting the wall.  I stopped running for the first time right on the bridge.  The rest of the race would be this start/stop mess of a run.  My boss, who is in the marine reserves, was at the race that day working with the VIPs and he was planning to meeting me at the finish to give me my medal.  I texted him at mile 22 or so, telling him when I thought I’d finish.  He wrote me back telling me to pick it up or that I’d be fired!  Sadly, I ended up not seeing him at the finish line.  I crossed during a 30 second window where he wasn’t there.

 

At mile 23, I remember someone handing out donuts to us.  At mile 24, my hamstring felt like it was going to give way.  I turned to the person next to me as mile 25 finished and said to her, “let’s finish up strong.”

 

After I crossed the finish, I walked around Iwo Jima to find Jess and our cousin who also ran (and finished way before me).  We walked back to their place and I cramped up really badly.  It was the first time I’ve experienced not being able to lift my leg off the ground–my muscles were just done.  I had to crawl my way to the shower at his place.

 

We went and got some Bonchon wings, and then Jess and I drove back to our place.  Her family was in town visiting, so we spent time with them afterwards.  I was gimpy the whole time, but still proud to have finished marathon number 2.

Race Report – Clarendon Day Double (5K and 10K)

5K

Finish time:  24:38

Placing:  291 out of 1129

206 out of 492 (male)

83 out of 186 (male division)

 

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10K

Finish time:  57:42

Placing:  340 out of 772

217 out of 354 (male)

90 out of 136 (male division)

 

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Double

Finish time:  1:22:20

Placing:  135 out of 262

102 out of 153 (male)

44 out of 64 (male division)

 

I am tired.  I ran this double coming off a week with very little sleep and minimal training.  Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it, even though about half way through the 10K, I was pretty sure I wasn’t even going to finish.

 

This was mainly a product of poor planning, dehydration and exhaustion.  I didn’t really look at the race logistics, I just figured that it was close enough to home that I’d be able to figure it out the morning of.  Which was mostly true, except that I did not realize the finish line was about a mile downhill from the start line.  Which means, if you’re doing the double, that after you finish the 5K, you have to walk up the hill in approximately 30-40 minutes to get back to the start line for the 10K.  And when I finished the 10K, I had to walk back up that hill because that’s where I parked my car, near the start line.

 

Also, it was a lot warmer than I thought it would be.  Not really warmer, but sunnier without much shade.  As we ran down Jefferson Davis Highway (and as I type that out, I realize how weird it is that we have a highway that is still named after Jefferson Davis), the sun was relentless.  I didn’t bring a hat or sunglasses.  Thankfully, I brought a water bottle.

 

But it was a good race.  A fast course with a downhill that you don’t have to make up at the end.  I’ll do it again next year, this time with a lot more sleep and a bit more planning.  I originally signed up planning to run with Mini–it is stroller friendly.  I am very glad that I didn’t do that just because it was a tough race for me.  Then again, maybe I would have taken it easier with her, or maybe I would have just gone home after the 5K.

 

PRE-RACE

 

As I mentioned, up until the morning of, I was thinking about skipping the race and sleeping through it.  Mini has been going through some sleep regression, and that’s ok but it has kept us up a little last week.  I didn’t help matters on Friday and Saturday because I stayed up late on both nights–socializing on Friday and watching football on Saturday.  So when I went to bed on Saturday night, I was beat, and that 6am wake up wasn’t very fun.

 

But it’s all good.  There are worse things in the world than having to get up at 6am to run a race for fun.  I left at around 7, got to Arlington by 7:20 and went for the packet pickup.  Lined up at around 7:45 and waited for the 8am start.

 

5K Race

8:13 min/mile; 7:33; 8:00; [0:57]

The race starts at the top of a Wilson Blvd. and you run all the way down it to Jefferson Davis Highway.  This makes for a fast run.  Next year, I’m going to rest up enough because, though it is a net downhill, I’d like to see how fast I can do it when adequately prepared.  I thought about holding back on this race and saving some energy for the 10K, but I decided that, what the hell, let me just try and go a little fast and see how it ends up.  I think I paid the price for that on the 10K, but I got a decent time for this race.

 

Finish time 24 min, 38 sec.

 

In between

 

At the end of the 5K, I actually had told myself that I wouldn’t run the 10K, and honestly, if the start and finish were at the same spot, I would’ve just gone home.  But that walk up to the start line cooled me down.  Like I mentioned, you have to walk back up Wilson Blvd for about a mile to get back to the start line to run the 10K.  On the walk back, I chatted with a guy who was doing the double as well.  He was also training for the Marine Corps Marathon in a few weeks.  I’ve made it my goal to try and talk to someone for some time in every race I participate in.  It’s the reason I pay the money–to run but to also get the shared experience to run with others.  I didn’t catch his name, but we mainly talked about different races and racing strategies.  He clued me in to the Reston 10 miler which happens in the Spring.  I’ll put it on my radar for 2018.

 

10K Race

I got back to the start line just in time to line up and go again.  There wasn’t much down time in between.  Which was kind of nice because I didn’t want to wait around.

 

Miles 1-3:

8:05 min/mile; 7:38; 8:10

 

Basically, the 10K route is an extension of the 5K.  You take Wilson Blvd to Jefferson Davis and go out and back a little further, til about mile 4.  So the first few miles of this part were the same as before.

 

I started off fast, like before, due to the downhill.  I felt alright, but knew that I was running on fumes.

 

Miles 4-6

9:27; 11:21; 10:30

 

Right around mile 3, things started getting tough.  Very tough.  Before this race, I never thought that I’d have to stop and walk during a 10K.  I figured that regardless of how tired I was, it was just six miles, and I’d be able to get through it, even at a slow pace because it’s not a terribly long distance.  When I started walking at mile 3.5, I wasn’t sure that I’d even finish.  The sun was just incredibly crushing once you got to the bottom of Wilson, and but for a few overpass structures that we ran under, there was absolutely no cover from it.  I knew that the sun was dehydrating me and also amplifying my exhaustion from the lack of sleep I had.  I should have worn a hat because dousing myself with water was not working.  Part of me was trying to push through without stopping, but then the smarter part of my brain went off and told myself that I wasn’t doing this to prove anything to anyone, and that if I kept pushing, I’d end up in a terrible situation.  The last thing we needed was another medical incident this month.

 

So I stopped, and walked.  I think I walked most of the way from miles 3.5 to 4.5, and started a slow trot from there.  I picked it up a little at mile 5 and told myself that I should just try to finish in under an hour.

 

Mile 6-6.2

[2:37]

 

I felt alright for this segment–no sprint to the end, just an easy trot to finish.

 

POST-RACE

 

I collected my second medal (you get two medals when you do the double) and a few snacks + water, and sat down to cool off.  I was still overheated and overtired.  And I wasn’t looking forward to walking back uphill to my car.  I looked for metro options, and then thought about Ubering, but I decided to just walk back.  I was ok to walk and I didn’t have to be anywhere too soon, other than going home to see Mini and enjoy the wonderful brunch that Jess made for me.  It took me about 25 minutes to get to my car.  Next year, though, I’m either going to metro or park near the finish line.

The funny thing about this course is that I stopped to walk for a good mile and I still finished the 10K with a pace under 9:30.  That’s not an indication of my athletic prowess, but rather that this race is super fast.  Next year, I’d like to see how it goes with some planning.

 

I went home and gave Mini my medal.  She enjoyed playing with it, and then when I took it away from her, she cried as if I took away her most prized possession, even though she learned of its very existence only minutes before.

 

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