Marathon Training – week 7 (of 18) – Race #5

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I finally feel like I’m in the swing of things.  I had some good runs this week.  I ran four times for a total of 35.57 miles, which included back-to-back-to-back runs of distances 6 miles (in the 91 degree weather), 10 miles and 15 miles.  The 15 miler was tough to finish, and I think it was the cumulative effect of the two prior runs.  But it’s good training, to run on tired legs.  I also ran a four miler in the gym on Tuesday night.  The six miler and 15 miler were on the mall, and the 10 miler was on the Capital Crescent trail with a run buddy of mine.  Looking forward to this week, maybe I’ll take Mini on a small run.

 

TWIR

 

I mostly worked from home this week, which was nice.  On Tuesday, we went to a local park where they had a neighborhood event–some live music, some food, and Mini’s first bouncey house experience.  On Wednesday, we had a friend over, and I tried my hand at cooking some Indian food–daal tadka and matar paneer.  I’d say that they came out ok, just ok, but I think I’ll get better the more I try.  It was a nice evening though, we had some dinner and all of us went for a swim upstairs on the roof.  On Thursday, we took Mini to see a South Indian dance performance at the Kennedy Center.  It’s definitely something I’d like to get her involved with when she’s older.  On Friday, we had a double date night with some other friends, went to Baked Joint for pizza.  Saturday was fairly relaxing.  I ran my ten in the morning, came back and took Mini to the pool so that Jess could chill for a bit, and then the three of us went to the Renwick Gallery to checkout the Burning Man exhibit.  Oh, and we’ve been binge watching Friends.  It’s interesting to see how that show has simultaneously aged and has remained timeless in it’s comedy.  Some of the jokes seem so childish in today’s context, and some just work and seem to be funnier.  I think I have a new found appreciation for it, even with all the past and modern criticisms that sometimes accompany it.

 

Sunday was another fun day.  I did 15 miles early in the morning, and then when I got back, Jess and I got ready for some dear friends to come over for breakfast.  They were in town visiting, and it was really nice to hang out.  Always great to see old and good friends.  We relaxed for a bit after that (I took a long nap when Mini did), and in the evening, we went to Shake Shack for a burger and then took Mini to the Portrait Gallery since it was raining outside.  It was kind of a weird day in DC–everyone was a bit on edge due to the tiki torch white nationalists who were planning to rally outside of the White House.  But the rally was a big dud for them, and the counter protestors outnumbered them easily by all accounts.  Which is why I love this city and living in this area of the country.

 

Today, Jess mentioned to me that Mini basically thinks that she’s an adult.  And it’s kind of true.  She’s acting so grown up these days (I fully recognize how silly that sounds, too, to say about a 16 month old).  But man, she’s able to communicate clearly, though not talking yet, we know exactly what she wants most of the time.  Her signs of “more” and “I want to brush my teeth” are adorable, as are the times when she grabs my flip flops and tries to put them on my feet. There are so many memories to try to remember from these times.  I’m soaking it all in, even the temper tantrums that are funnier than I try to let on.  I really love that I can make her laugh in different ways–by reading funny sounds to her at bed time, to playing “where’s Mini” and “where’s dada” with her, to standing on my head, to playing hide and seek.  This upcoming week is Jess’s last of her summer “break.”  And by summer “break” I mean that she’s done an unbelievable job taking care of Mini while I’ve been working.  It hasn’t been much of a break for her, which is why I am trying to plan a getaway for her and all of us this weekend.

 

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Marathon Training – week 6 (of 18) – Race #5

WEEK SUMMARY

 

It was a good training week.  14 miles on Tuesday, and then I ran twice more.   Total weekly mileage was 26.2 miles, coincidentally the marathon distance.  The mileage will tick up in the upcoming weeks, but I feel like I have a decent base moving into the 12 week mark.

 

The 14 miler was a good one.  Basically I ran to the US Capitol Building to the Lincoln back and forth twice, and to and from my condo, which was almost exactly 14 miles.  It’s a great training run because it’s relatively flat, but you get some hills periodically heading up Capitol Hill.  I also ran a 7 miler in Henrietta, NY when Jess and I were visiting family.

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This was a fun week.  I got to spend a lot of quality time with Mini and Jess during the week day.  On Wednesday morning before work, we went to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to check out the lotus flowers which were in full bloom.  We’ve been living in this area for almost 9 years, and we never have done that.  It’s so cool, rivals the Cherry Blossoms.

 

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Then we took her to the Wharf to enjoy the splash park.

 

On Thursday night, we drove up to Rochester for a long weekend to visit family.  We had to leave during rush hour because I was working, so we didn’t get in until late, but Mini was a trooper.  One fun memory is of her having a laughing fit with Jess in the car before she fell asleep.  Jess and I were listening to this book called “Origin Story” during the car ride–really interesting stuff.

 

On Friday, we took Mini to the Children’s Museum in Rochester.  We really enjoyed that, including an area of the museum where they basically have a mini grocery story for kids to play in.  Mini absolutely loved it–it was so adorable to watch her.

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We all spent the weekend with family and had a nice, relaxing time.  Another highlight was taking Mini to a children’s amusement park, where she rode her first amusement rides.  We were worried at first that she wouldn’t like it, but turns out she’s a natural!

 

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Mini is becoming incredibly interactive these days.  She loves to dance, to point, to say “Bamba” (her favorite snack), and to pull on my pant legs when she wants me to pick her up.  One of my favorite things that she does is when I’m working from home, she comes to the room I’m in and presses her little face up against the glass in the door.  Or, if she manages to get in the room, she comes in, and rolls over on the ground on her back so that I can tickle her like a puppy.

 

I read an article the other day–someone interviewed a bunch of 90 year old men and women and asked them what their best moments of joy and regrets were.  A lot of them responded that their most joyous times in their lives are the times that I am in right now.  A young family, a busy career, a healthy social life.  While I’m in this phase, it can sometimes feel so go-go-go like, and there’s a temptation to want a break or want a phase to pass or want a crazy time to end.  But I have to remind myself, first and foremost, nothing in life is a given, including life itself.  So enjoy the moment.  Even if it’s stressful and you’re stressed out or tired, enjoy the moment.  Or at the very least, live in it.  There’s a quote from the show The Office that has stuck with me.  It’s an Andy Bernard musing.  He basically says, when he started his job, he was talking about how his times in college were the “good old days.”  But then when he left his job, he started talking about how his times at work were the “good old days.”  He says something to the effect of “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ole days before you’ve actually left them.”  I try to remember that as much as I can.

 

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July 2018 – Stats

The summer heat is here.  I ran at least five or six runs in weather with the heat index in the upper 90s, including two humid AF runs in Key West.  I have always found, though, that there’s something oddly rewarding about running in this heat, in a very sadistic sort of way.  Still gotta be really careful though, dehydration ain’t a joke!

 

Miles 96.27 miles
Total time 15 hr, 52 min, 58 sec
Average pace per mile 9 min 53 sec
Number or runs 16 runs
Average distance per run 6.01 miles
Average temperature, per run 78.37 deg F
Average temperature, time spent in temperature 76.64 deg F
Coldest temperature 72 deg F
Warmest temperature 91 deg F
Total elevation 3496 ft
Average elevation per run 218.5 ft
Longest run 14 miles
Shortest run 3 miles

 

 

Marathon training – week 5 (of 18) – Race #5

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I felt pretty good about this week, even though the mileage was low, I was able to do some really tough runs in some significant heat.  I ran four times this week for 18.41 miles, three of them were in heat over 85 degrees and ~200 ft elevation climbs.  I have wondered if it’s better to run longer in cooler weather (e.g., a treadmill during summer months) or shorter in hot weather.  I guess the only answer is probably to run longer in hot weather.

 

On Saturday, I went for a nice long run with Mini, which culminated with us at the Lincoln Memorial.  I had taken her there many times when she was a baby, but this is the first time I’ve been there with her since she started walking.  She was walking all over the place, looking at Lincoln’s statue, exploring the columns, etc.  One great memory was when I was reading the engraved Gettysburg Address to her while holding her.  She kept looking at me and smiling, and when I finished, she started clapping a lot.

 

TWIR

 

Pretty standard week leading up to the weekend.  On Tuesday, I had a business dinner out, on Wednesday we went to a friends house to have some fresh Alaskan caribou.  On Thursday, Jess and I got a pizza from the local bakery, and on Friday we checked out some tunes in a local park on Mass Ave.  Mini has pretty much been walking everywhere we go. On Saturday, we went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and Jess had her first experience where she turned away from Mini for a second and she was gone.  Not for long, Jess found her within like 5 seconds, but it was still funny to think that she can now dart off like that.  On Saturday night, we had dinner with some friends, and then on Sunday we had brunch with other friends from out of town. A bit of a rest in the afternoon before meeting up to hang out for a bit in City Center with our friends and their kid.

 

Mini is really starting to communicate with us well. Not many words yet, but often it’s clear to understand what she wants. Some of my favorites include how she’s learned a new sign for “Bamba” (which is her favorite snack).  She’s basically repurposed her sign for “more” and turned it into her sign for “bamba.” When she wakes up from a nap, she points to the door and says “mama.”  She picks up a shoe horn and brings it over to Jess or me and puts it under our foot.  Every time I wear sun glasses and I take them off my eyes and put them on my head, she shakes her head and pats her head.  I think she might think that the sunglasses are actually my eyes.  Also, when I’m wearing a hat, she wants to take it off and put it on her head, and then back on my head.  And she lovers her duck cartoons on TV.  She’s learned that the remote control is the mechanism by which that shoe comes on, and so she always points to it and bounces up and down and claps to get it to show up.  Her personality really is starting to emerge, and she is just a wonderful child.

 

Some pictures from the week:

 

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Marathon training – week 4 (of 18)

WEEK SUMMARY

I picked up the running this week.  Four runs for 26.97 miles.  I ran them in four consecutive days, the longest being on the last day, 11.25 miles (13 was planned), up Mass Ave on a route that I’ve learned to be incredibly hilly.  It starts from our condo and goes northwest up Mass Ave pretty much past the DC-Maryland border, and then back. The total elevation gain is around 1000 feet.  My GPS recorded a 1200 elevation gain during the SF Marathon last year.  So by the end of 11, I was pretty beat.  The good news was, the DC heat broke and the temperature was pretty moderate, about 73 degrees.  On Saturday, I did a six mile run around the monuments with a new running buddy I made.

 

TWIR

This was a memorable week.  A big career event that has been exciting.  I’m looking forward to the new challenges and growth opportunities.

 

This weekend was unexpectedly fun.  It was supposed to rain all weekend, so I figured we’d probably just stay in for most/all of it.  Mini was teething really badly on Friday night, and she woke up probably four or five times.  I felt so bad for her.  All we could really do is comfort her and help her push through (no pun intended).  The good news is that by mid day Saturday, she was feeling much better.  On Saturday morning, I went for an early AM run, and then Jess, Mini and I went to the Portrait Gallery so that Mini could run around in the large atrium that they have there.  We threw the rain cover on the stroller and walked over there.  Got shake shack for lunch and had a great way to spend the afternoon.  Mini is walking incredibly fast these days, moving her right arm vigorously as she cruises around.  She’s also pointing a lot, which is a sign that she’ll probably be talking very soon!  She also has a few favorites, namely her “five little duck” songs that I play on TV for her.

 

On Sunday, I went for my long run while Jess took Mini to baby yoga.  It sounded fun and I want to join next week!  When we all reconvened, we had some friends drop by during the afternoon, and we hung out at our place for a bit before taking Mini to a splash park down at the Wharf in DC.  Mini absolutely loved splashing around–watching her that happy was a memory that Jess and I will remember for the rest of our lives.

 

It’s amazing how quickly things change. You hear it all the time:  “treasure these moments because they fly by.”  And when you’re in the thick of it, it doesn’t really feel that way–but then when you look at pictures from a year ago, or even a few months ago, you see all this change, and you realize that the moments and phases of life are so fleeting.  You can try to capture it, but at the very least, you should savor it, and pay attention.  We were hanging out with a friend who has a three year old, and just seeing how quickly she’s growing up, I’m looking even more to just living in the moment, being present, and building as many memories as I can.

 

Some pictures:

 

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Marathon training – weeks 2 & 3 (of 18)

Note:  I’m pretty behind on these weekly summaries.  So I’m trying to catch up.

 

WEEK SUMMARIES

 

I was on vacation for a part of these two weeks, so the mileage fluctuated.  For the first week, I ran four times for a total of 17.55 miles.  For the second week, I took most of it off, ran three times for a total of 14.25 miles.  I have the benefit of hindsight, though, writing this post a few weeks later, and I can tell you that the mileage is back up.  Plus, vacation is for fun!

Most of these runs were in some pretty serious heat, including a 4 mile run I did on Sunday while pushing Mini in the 90 degree heat of Key West, Florida.

 

Key West wasn’t a bad place to take a run, though:

 

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This was a vacation/holiday packed few weeks.  The fourth of July was on Wednesday, and then on Saturday we left for a short vacation to Key West for about four days.  For the 4th, we went to a friend’s house to attend a local parade, and then headed up to the pool, which was super crowded.  Our trip to Key West was nice and relaxing.  We didn’t do a whole lot, but just getting away and getting some unstructured time at the beach and elsewhere made it nice getaway.

 

Flying with Mini was a bit tougher than it has been in the past, mostly because she’s curious and wants to explore everything.  All things considered though, she’s such an easy baby to travel with.

 

I’ve realized that no one is really going to read this blog, and I’m good with it.  I was talking to my dad the other day, and he said that at the end of every week, I should write down Mini’s activities so that when she’s older, she can read about them.  This blog is kind of an attempt to do that, using running as a way to catalog and organize these experiences.

 

So, anyway, Key West.  One of my best memories of the trip was when we took a boat ride to go dolphin watching/snorkeling.  Jess jumped in first, and I held Mini close to the edge of the boat so she could see her mom:

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Then Jess came up and I took my turn in the water.  I swam around a bit, unintentionally drank a bunch of ocean water through my snorkel, and then called it quits to climb back up to the boat.  Mini was looking over the edge at me, and as I was climbing the ladder, she made the “I love you” motion to me that we taught her (where she takes her thumb and pushes it to her chest).  Man, that’s a memory I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

 

Other highlights of Key West.  Strolling the boardwalk with Mini as a musician was playing some tunes.  Dinner and drinks with everyone. The Truman White House.  Watching the World Cup Semi Final in Miami International Airport.

 

Some pictures:

 

 

 

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Marathon training – week 1 (of 18) – Race #5

Last year, I had signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon Lottery, and I got in.  But I didn’t really train for it, and I deferred it to 2018.  I’ve already run this race, so it doesn’t add to my 51 marathon goal, but I figure, what the hell, I’m already in and don’t have a fall marathon lined up, so I’ll just do this one.

 

I’m giving myself a full 18 weeks to get ready for this, using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 marathon training plan.  I still have a goal to run two marathons this year–this one, and maybe try one in December.  Also, as a distant goal which may or may not happen, the Air Force Marathon is in mid-September in Dayton Ohio, which coincides right with a 20 mile run in my training plan, so maybe, just maybe, I might run that one as a training run for the Marine Corps Marathon.

 

WEEK SUMMARY

Week 1 was hot as hell.  I ran four times for 24.54 miles.  On Thursday, I ran in the hottest weather that I have this year–86 degree, but with the heat index it was into the upper 90s.  It was a short run, three miles, but I took it super easy.  The long-ish run this weekend was brutal.  I started at 6:30am, and it was already really humid.  But that’s DC running for you!

 

But I was happy with week 1, felt like I’m off to a good start.

 

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Mini said her first word this week!  Well, she’s said words like “dada,” “mama” and “ok” before, but those seemed to be more coincidental than anything else.  This week, she opened up a book, found a picture of a duck and said “duck.”  It was just so call to see.  And I also wonder how she learned that!

 

The week was pretty standard.  On Friday, Jess and I took Mini for her last day at her daycare.  Then we went for a day date–burgers and a movie.  We saw Ocean’s 8, pretty good movie.

 

I finished a book called The Radical King on Saturday, actually while I was running.  I listened to the last chapter while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which I wrote about here.

 

On Saturday evening, we took Mini to this really cool indoor playground in Rockville, and then stopped for Chinese food for dinner.

 

 

 

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