Maintenance week – August 7 to August 13

WEEK SUMMARY

I had a lot of free time this week and so I was able to go on a few runs at my own pace. One of those runs was in Salt Lake City, as Jess and I are out West this week visiting some of the National Parks before the craziness of September and our new chapter starts. Overall, it was a pretty good run week, I did a longish 12 miler which felt great for the first 8 or so. Then a couple of slower runs with Mini in the stroller, capped off with an 8 miler in Salt Lake City.

So overall, 30.08 miles over four runs.

My plan for the next couple of weeks is to just run for fun without any expectations or judgment. I'll decide on a training regimen for the Rehoboth Marathon after that.

TWIR

Well, this past week was great. Jess and I know that September onwards is going to be pretty hectic. Mini will have just started daycare, Jess back to school, me with an exciting career move. 2017: the year of transition. So with that in mind, we decided to head out West and take Mini to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. It's something that has been more of an interest of mine recently to try and see them all.

So I ended the week in Salt Lake City. Headed up to the parks after that, with an update on it next week. Salt Lake City is pretty cool, a small town (smaller than I expected) but beautiful landscape. I ran about 8 miles, up a small hill and over to the University of Utah to see the football stadium there. Michigan played here two years ago and lost in Harbaugh's debut game, and Michigan has lost three straight to them I believe.

We drove over to Jackson, WY the next day where we are staying before going to the parks.

Mini has been such a great traveler, so we aren't too worried about the flying. She's become so much more aware and interactive. She laughs, a lot, especially when I kiss her cheek (I think my beard tickles her) and she's been really active in grabbing and using her hands, to grab her feet, pacifier, toys, and occasionally my hair. She's looking more like a big girl now, less like a new born. And her noises, the adorable "coos" she makes when we talk, there isn't much better in life than that.

Update on the National Parks next week, for now, some pictures.

Salt Lake City:


Jackson, WY:

Maintenance week – July 31 to Aug. 6

WEEK SUMMARY & TWIR

I am actually a week behind on posting this, so I'm going to have to lean on my memory for how this week went down. In terms of running, it was a low week getting back into it: I ran once for four miles. It was actually a pretty fun run. I met up with a run group at Dupont Circle on Saturday morning and ran 4 miles with a few people. I'd certainly like to get involved in more group runs.

In terms of overall life events, it was kind of a crazy week. Made a big career decision but also witnessed some layoffs at work that were tough to see happen. I hope I don't have to see that happen to any organization I'm with for a long time.

I have also realized that when I don't catalog my life at least on a weekly basis, the time seems to pass much more quickly. Especially when it comes to remembering day to day milestones and interactions with Mini. It's not that I forget, but instead things blend together, and in that blending, time sort of fuses and accelerates faster than I'd like. My advice to any new parent out there: find a way to catalog your life, whether it be through a hobby like running, or through some other lens which you can periodically come back to.

Anyway, from what I remember of this week was understanding the transitions coming up. 2017 has been an exciting year so far!

(Non) Maintenance week – July 24 to July 30

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I decided to take a week off from running after the San Francisco Marathon.  So not much to report.  I did sign up for two more races.  The first is called the BaltiMORON-athon, which takes place during the Baltimore Running Festival (which has 5k, 10k, half and full marathon events).  The reason for the name is because the registration includes a double race, the 5k and the half marathon.  I have a friend who did it last year and enjoyed both runs.  The race is on October 21st.

 

The second race is the Rehoboth Marathon, which is on December 2.  I missed this last year because I got a kidney stone, but I am planning to go for this one.  With the week off, I have just enough time to do an 18 week training plan.

 

I told myself that after SF, I’m not going to do any more marathons for a while.  Obviously that did not last very long.  What I do need to do, though, is to edit down my life, and make sure that if I am training for this next marathon that I am also making sure I have enough time at home with Jess and Mini.

 

TWIR

 

Jess, Mini and I went to Rochester this weekend to visit Jess’s family.  It was Mini’s second trip in two weeks.  She’s been a trooper, such an easy traveler.  Our trip back to Rochester was a lot of fun, celebrated my SIL’s birthday and spent a lot of family time together.  Mini was being her usual social self, interacting and smiling at everyone she met.  Some pictures:

 

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Maintenance week – April 24 to April 30

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I didn’t run a whole lot this week, twice for around 9 miles total.  The first run was an early morning run on the mall.  It’s always nice to get out there at sunrise.  The second run, also on the Mall, was a lot of fun.  Jess and I got up at around 5am on Saturday and took Mini down to the Lincoln Memorial.  Jess walked with her while I did a few laps around the reflecting pool, and then I met up with both of them at the MLK memorial.  We walked through through the FDR memorial and Jess and I posed a picture with Mini in front of the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Afterwards, we headed back to the Lincoln where Jess ran two miles with me and we did a series of pushups and body squats.  It was a great workout, and Jess’s first since having Mini.  I was very proud of her, and it was a nice way to spend some family time.

 

Here are a few pictures from both runs:

 

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So, two runs for nine miles.  Overall not a high mileage week, but a good one for sure.  Next week I start the 12/55 marathon training for the SF race.

 

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TWIR (This Week In Running):

 

It was just another great week, spending time with Jess and Mini.  Family time is so great.  Cheesy as hell, but even the most mundane things are really fun because the three of us are together.

 

It was a pretty uneventful week for the most part.  We grilled up on the roof of our building a few times for dinner.  We bought a new TV–the old one was almost ten years old (the first purchase I made after starting my first job after law school).  Saturday was probably the most eventful day.  It felt like we had four or five days wrapped into one.  We all got up early and headed to the Mall, and I went for a run.  Then I went for a walk with Jess and Mini before the three of us went on a second run/exercise.  We then headed to Eastern Market for bagels.  Came home, and spent like 3 hours trying to figure out how to install the new TV.  Cleaned our place, then went on another walk to help Jess get some new running shoes (and some Shake Shack milkshakes on the way back).

 

It was really hot that day too, 90 degrees, and there was a big Climate Change protest going on in DC.  Side note:  a huge pet peeve of mine is when climate activists were talking about the hot day as emphasizing the point made my the climate change march.  Those who know me know that I am strongly on the side of climate science.  But saying that a record breaking hot day is evidence of climate change is just as dumb as when the deniers mock global warming conventions that get canceled because of snow.  Weather != climate.  It’s important, especially in these times, to argue facts and to really understand what’s going on in a debate, especially when we have leaders arguing alternate facts.  Rant over.

 

Sunday was pretty chill.  Slept in, because Mini is awesome and let us do that.  Odds and ends, hung out with a friend, took Mini on a walk.

Maintenance week – April 17 to April 23

WEEK SUMMARY

 

Even though this week was fairly uneventful, it seems like it was a lot longer than typical.  Perhaps because it was the first full five day work week after coming back (last week was short due to Easter).  Maybe it was because I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday, or maybe it’s because during the week, I got minimal sleep.

 

The run plan this week was the same as last week, continue to the unofficial pretraining before SF.  Though I got some good runs in this week, my lack of sleep really hindered my progress.  I’m not one to make excuses or to pat myself on the back too much, but I will say that I am recognizing the limitations of training for a marathon with a new born at home.  I will still be able to do it, but more than anything else, I will be most proud to just complete the marathon training this spring and summer while adjusting to life as a new parent.

 

I went on three runs this week.  Well, technically four (the third one was split into two runs).  The first run was on Wednesday morning.  My plan was to go to a November Project workout at the Lincoln Memorial at 5:25am.  However, I got a little delayed waking up, and I would have been about 10 minutes late, so I decided to go down to the Lincoln anyway but to just do my own workout.  It was a good day actually.  A bit cloudy and drizzling, but there were tons of people out on the Reflecting Pool early that morning.  There was the regular November Project crowd, but there were also drills being performed by the Army, Navy and Air Force.  I don’t know what kind of event it was, but it was a lot of people, seemingly new recruits, from each of those branches.  Maybe they were engaging in some sort of joint physical training or competition?  Anyway, I snapped a few photos:

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The plan then was to run again on Friday.  I actually got up at around 6am to head out.  But I “got up” because I was already awake from a few hours ago.  Mini has been going through a growth spurt, and though she’s been the most chill baby in the world even during this phase, understandably there are going to be times when she’s fussy.  So this week, from Tuesday to Thursday night, Jess and I didn’t get very much sleep at all, but she gave us a generous gift on Saturday letting us sleep until 10:30am!

 

So on Friday, when I awoke, I decided to just go to work instead of going for a run.  My thought was that I’d go into work early and come back home early so that I could enjoy the evening with family and also squeeze in a run.  The first part came through, the second part did not.  When I got home on Friday, I tried to go for a run, but I decided against it as soon as I left the door, mainly because I wanted to spend some time with Mini.  So I turned around after like 0.05 miles.

 

So I picked up the task of running for Saturday.  Only on Saturday it was about 55 degrees and raining.  It wasn’t that big of a deal though, and I decided to head out.  I had also wanted to check out the March for Science events on the Mall.  I was expecting a few hundred people to be there marching down Pennsylvania.  Man, was I wrong.  There were several thousand people.  The area near the monument, around 15th and Constitution was absolutely packed, and the crowds went really far.  I bailed on the plans for a longer run and just observed.  So basically, I ran to the march, walked around and marched for a bit and then ran home after the march started to dissipate.  It was a really cool event though, tons of nerdy signs everywhere.  My kind of people:

 

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A funny moment I witnessed during the march was when someone tried to hit a beach ball that was bouncing around the crowd, they reached up for it and fell as they tried to hit it.  They were fine, not hurt, but talk about a stereotype coming true.

 

On Sunday, I ran a 10 miler called the GW Parkway Classic.  At first I was a little skeptical, but the race was really cool.  Basically, it’s an end to end run from George Washington’s Estate at Mt. Vernon to Old Town Alexandria.  You run on the GW Parkway along the Potomac.  I really enjoyed the race, and the rain held off.  I’ll certainly be running it again next year.

 

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All that to say, this week I ran three times 18.06 miles.

 

 

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TWIR (This Week In Running):

 

As is obvious from the description above, this week was action filled.  And also, it was surprisingly low key.  It actually was the perfect blend of a week.  Busy week with work, plenty of time with my family, friends and personal activities.  On Tuesday, Jess and I celebrated my birthday with a couple of friends..  Ordered in some Chinese food, and Jess got some cake slices from the bakery across the street.  It was a lot of fun, relaxed celebration without any big expectations.  Wednesday through Friday kind of zipped by.  Jess and I did not get very much sleep these three days.  Mini is going through her first “mental leap,” one of ten that she will experience in her first 18 months or so.  It’s really amazing, actually, to watch her go through it.  Her awareness and alertness has changed dramatically, and she’s starting to be more responsive to her environment and to people around her.  It’s such an incredible experience–observing all these changes that she’s going through over the course of weeks, and sometimes days.

 

I try my best to savor every single minute I have.  I understand why people say that “it goes by fast.”  I used to not really understand that–how can a week or a month go by faster just because you have a kid.  I think what people really mean to say is that the changes your baby will experience happen so exponentially, that in a matter of weeks, she is dramatically different.  That makes the time seem to fly by.  If I stop and think about the last five weeks, a lot has happened, and five weeks certainly feels like five weeks.  But when I look at Mini and see how she’s growing into a healthy and happy baby, it feels like it was just one second ago that I was holding her for the first time.  So, I try and slow down the world around me and stop to really embrace every day that Jess and I are with her, to do something to put brakes on life that’s moving at lightning speed.

 

On Friday, Jess, Mini and I went out for pizza with friends.  Saturday was a relaxed day.  Mini let us sleep until 10:30, which was unbelievable.  We lazed around home that morning, and I went for a run to check out the March for Science on the National Mall.  What a site it was.  I was expecting a few hundred people, and instead, I saw several thousand.  For all the uncertainty and anxiety that our political system is in, it was incredibly hopeful to see so many people gathering on the Mall, nerdy posters in hand, to demonstrate the strength and necessity of science in our society.  It’s something that exceeded my expectations.  As sour as things can seem sometimes, I have a lot of hope for the world that Mini is going to grow up in.  Saturday evening was rainy and after a quick trip out, we spent it inside curled up to another movie.

 

On Sunday, I ran the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler.  I wrote about it above briefly and will do a race recap soon.  It was a great race, one that I’ll certainly be adding to my yearly rotation.  In the afternoon, we grilled burgers on our roof and enjoyed the brisk but beautiful spring weather.  Life is really good.

Maintenance week – April 10 to April 16

WEEK SUMMARY

 

So let’s get at it, this week was a pretty good one.  I’m starting to ramp up my training to get ready to start the Higdon 12/55 training plan for the SF Marathon.  That training plan does not start up for a couple more weeks, but I want to increase the runs between now and then so I can handle it.

 

I went on three runs this week.  Jess’s mom was in town this week to help us with the baby, and so I was able to do the first run after work one day and the second one on Saturday morning.  The Thursday run and the Saturday run both felt great.  Both were approximately a 10k in distance, and I felt strong through them after the requisite warm up.

 

Today, I was scheduled to run 13 miles.  I didn’t really check weather here when I woke up this morning, and after spending some time with Asha, I decided to try and get a good long run while she was sleeping and with Jess watching her.  I remembered thinking before I went out there that I was a bit disappointed that I was going to be running in what I assumed was such nice weather.  Weird, I know, but sometimes when it’s perfect running weather, I kind of feel like it’s cheating, like you haven’t really earned it, but that’s kind of dumb.

 

So I headed out with a plan to run to the National Cathedral due to it being Easter Sunday.  I realized quickly that it was pretty f’ing hot out there.  My planned 13 mile run turned into a slow plodding 4ish mile affair, with a million stops on Massachusetts Ave anytime I found any shade along the way.  Overall, the temperature was about 90 degrees, and I had gone running right at noon when the sun was just crushing.  Guess I need to adjust back to the warm weather.

 

I did make it to the National Cathedral, though, and snapped a few pictures (below).  I was pretty beat when I got there, so I thought that I’d uber back, only to realize that the Easter surge would put me out $25.  So I decided that I’d try and run back, given how most of the path back home was downhill.  I probably went about a mile and a half before deciding, screw it, I’m too exhausted to make it.  By then, the uber surge had calmed down, but I was faced with a choice of picking the $4 pool or the $15 individual (and direct) trip.  Guess which one I picked?

 

The funny part of the uber pool ride back home, when the driver picked me up, there was this dude sitting in the back from what I assumed was the first pick up of the pool.  So the driver picks me up, and picks up two more people.  The guy in the back had to slide over and sit next to me, and I felt terrible about being so sweaty.  The funny story is that guy was actually picked up as part of an original uber pool before my ride.  So basically, this guy gets picked up, three others get picked up after that, all three get dropped off, three more people get picked up, and finally he gets dropped off.  He was nice about it, but he must have been pretty pissed.

 

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Saw an Easter Bunny:

 

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And here’s a picture of my not too happy face:

 

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If I ever qualify for Boston, I’ll look back at this run as one of those necessary but terrible running experiences.

 

Got a few other good ones too:

 

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So overall, 17.09 miles over three runs (the third one being split into two separate sessions):

 

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TWIR (This Week In Running):

 

Another great week spent with the best baby on the face of the planet. It’s amazing how quickly Asha is growing up.  I had this very distinct moment on Wednesday this week, when I got back from work and saw her, she just looked bigger.  She’s growing and learning at an incredible rate–I only now am beginning to understand why people say that it all happens so fast.

 

I often think about the things I want to write about her.  Part of me wants to memorialize that all here, but part of me wants to keep that private between me and her, the small and continuous conversations that we’ll have over the months and years.  I feel like I have not written much about her first four weeks here, at least not as much as I am certainly thinking about.  Part of that is because of the time crunch, to find a block of time to sit and write.  But part of that also is because I want to maintain her privacy and allow her to define her experiences in her own way, and as trite as this blog that no one will ever read is, I want to be sure that so many our private family experiences stay that way.  So, I’ll post pictures here, but won’t go overboard.  I will continue to write about her and our experience moving through the different stages.  But if Asha ever reads this–know that from the day I met you, I cannot even close my eyes without thinking about you.  The best analogy I came up with is that every thing I do, even if it’s completely unrelated or indirect to parenthood, is done with her in mind.  It’s almost as if life has defined for me my most important relationship and has put all my waking (and limited sleeping) moments in my life in orbit around that.  And it’s just great.

 

In other new, I was back at work this week, and Jess’s mom came to help us out while we hit that transition.  We were thankful to have that help for us three.  Monday and Tuesday were spent getting back into the swing of things on the job.  In between, life continued on as usual.  On Saturday, we all went for a nice walk down to the mall (wher we saw Tax Day protests) and later, Jess and I went to a going away party for some good friends.

 

 

Maintenance week – April 3 to April 9

WEEK SUMMARY

 

 

I ran twice this week, but I feel like I am able to now get back into somewhat of a regular exercise schedule, at least as regular as Mini will allow.  She’s starting to adjust to life in this world, and she’s been such a sweet and loving baby, Jess and I are so lucky to have her.  On Thursday, I went on a six mile run during my lunch break (I was working from home).  The weather outside was pretty terrible.  It was 59 degrees, but raining like crazy.  At some point, there were small pellets of hail.  It was one of those runs that you go on where you really feel like you’ve earned it.  It was kind of cool, though, to run by the sparse tourists who were walking on the Mall, just to show some badassery.

 

So, this week, I ran twice for 9.32 miles.  Next week, I’m planning on starting some pre-training for the SF marathon.

 

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TWIR (This Week In Running)

 

This was my last week of paternity leave.  My parents were here until Tuesday, and I actually worked quite a bit from home on Wednesday through Friday.  So the back half of the week wasn’t exactly leave.  But it was nice to be at home with Mini during these first few weeks.  I know that career demands puts pressure on people, especially fathers, to abbreviate their leave as much as possible.  Even though I have an onslaught of work ahead of me to catch up on as I get back to work tomorrow, I’m so glad that I took the time to be at home and bond with my daughter.  I think it’s the most important thing to do, to be as present as possible.  I’m happy to have been able to do that early on after her birth, and I am optimistic that I will continue to keep this as my most important life priority.

 

It is so wonderful being a parent.  I’m only three weeks into it, but Jess and I are enjoying every single minute with her.  I recently got some priceless advice from a former (elderly) colleague.  He said to me:  “Enjoy every moment, even the crying times.  The time flies by and there is no instant replay.”  So even in our most tired times, I try to pause and take a mental snapshot of the moment, and to savor each and every second.  I am truly blessed.