Maintenance week – November 27 to December 3

WEEK SUMMARY

After I looked at my numbers for November, I decided to assess what year-end goals were in reach.  1000 miles is not in the cards this year, and that’s ok.  I’m at right around 650 miles right now, and if I push a bit, I can maybe get to 750 by the end of the year.  That’s pretty much a 10K every other day.  Let’s see how it goes.

 

So I went for my first run of December on Saturday morning.  It was right around a 10K, the usual spot in DC.  It was a cold morning, around 35 degrees, so I didn’t bring Mini along this time.  But I did get some spectacular sunrise photos.

 

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And I capped this all off by seeing Marine One on my drive back home

 

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So, one run this week, 6.36 miles.

 

I am planning to run a half marathon, though, next Sunday.

 

TWIR

 

This last week kind of went by in a blur.  The three of us were sick for a little bit with a cold, and so we were fighting that off after the Thanksgiving break.  On Friday, I went back to the gym, which was nice after a two week hiatus.  Otherwise, I don’t really remember too much from the weekday, other than the usual life blur.

 

The weekend was very nice.  On Friday night, Jess and I took Mini to Baked Joint for pizza + jazz.  Mini seems to love hearing the music.  It’s a fun family tradition for us.  After putting Mini to bed, we rewatched “Get Out” which certainly held up to the incredible impression we had when we saw it in theaters.  On Saturday, I rose early and did my 10K.  Jess had some things planned in the afternoon, so Mini and I went to the portrait gallery.  We saw a few exhibits, most notably was the exhibits on “Famous Americans” where various character actors were staged next to their portraits to tell their story.  We stayed to listen to the guy who played Bobby Kennedy.  He did a great job, so I did feel bad when Mini looked at him and screamed in a terrified way as he started talking about his assassination (pure coincidence–I think?).  It was the first time, I’ve had to cart away a screaming baby from a public performance.  What a year of firsts!

 

We hung out in the courtyard for a bit afterwards, and this is a goal of mine to do more in 2018.

 

That evening, we headed to a friend’s place to watch Clemson clinched their third straight college football playoff berth with their domination over Miami.  It’s unbelievable.  Still hard to believe that they have had a run like this.  I truly am going to look back at these years as the best of times!

 

On Sunday, our brother-in-law was randomly in town, and so we met up with him and other family to attend a German Christmas market in DuPont circle.  It was actually a big disappointment, I thought, but we enjoyed the company we had.

 

So, the weekend was pretty action packed.  I’m flying to Charleston on Friday for an appointment with my mom.  Fingers crossed for continued good news!

 

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(Non)Maintenance week – November 20 to November 26

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I took this week off from running, so zero miles.  I wonder how many zero miles weeks I’ve had this year.  Actually, I’m going to go check that right now.  Be right back…

 

…and I’m back.  This was the fifth week in 2017 where I did not go for at least one run.  I guess that’s not too bad.

 

So, zero miles on zero runs.  Instead, I did the opposite and I binged on Thanksgiving food.  Which is completely fine and acceptable by me!

 

TWIR

 

This week was Mini’s first Thanksgiving.  Boy, do we have a lot to be thankful for.  Happy lives, our health and the love of our family and friends.  We have so many more reasons to look out at the world and smile than we do to be upset.

 

We had a fantastic several days.  The three of us drove to SC on Tuesday, Mini’s first extended road trip.  We stopped half way, in Smithfield, NC, and completed the rest of the drive.  It wasn’t too bad either, Mini handled the drive just fine.

 

We spent the next several days hanging out with my parents and family.  It was a great visit.  My parents went all out, of course, on preparing some delicious meals for us, and we enjoyed them getting to spend time with Mini.  And of course, they loaded her up with many toys!  There’s something really fun about celebrating some of our kid’s “firsts” with her grandparents.  Some pictures:

 

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We spent Saturday watching college football (Michigan lost to Ohio State, again…but Clemson won, and is back to number 1, so it’s all good).    Unfortunately, though, I caught a cold, so I was out of commission on Sunday and may be out of it for a few more days.

 

But like I said, lots to be thankful for these days.

Maintenance week – November 13 to November 19

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran twice this week, not very much, but as is par for the course these days, time is a very limited commodity.  Both runs were great, though.  For the first one, I got up at 5am and did a five mile run from our condo to the Lincoln and back.  I watched the sunrise, which never, ever gets old.  It’s starting to get colder nowadays, so those morning runs are a little tougher.  This time it was 43 degrees.

 

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The second run was a bit quicker, a three mile run on Sunday before getting breakfast with Jess and our friend who was visiting for the weekend.  It was very windy, probably the windiest run I’ve ever done.  Especially on the Potomac on the way to the Lincoln.  The fall colors, even for a color blind person, were spectacular.

 

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So this week, it was two runs for 8.7 miles.  Not a big mileage week at all, but it just felt nice to get out there.

 

TWIR

 

I finished reading (listening to) this great book on Thursday.  It’s called “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It is pretty reads like it sounds, a densely packed primer on the key concepts of the universe (or is it the multiverse?).  But it was presented in a very readable way.  Most of the book was interesting from a purely scientific standpoint, but in the last chapter, Tyson describes his view of the “cosmic perspective” and how it can inform our own human perspective, and it is profound.  I’m going to write about it more, but the fundamental takeaway for me is that Tyson’s “cosmic perspective” allows for a science based spirituality–one that is rooted in a quest for the answer “why” but that tries to answer that question with indisputable facts of science.  It’s something I want to think and write more about.

 

Cosmic readings aside, this week was great.  Still haven’t been getting much sleep, but it’s not all bad.  Mini wakes up usually 2-3 times over the night, but also sleeps for several hour stretches at a time.  The hardest part is going from a deep REM sleep to being jolted up immediately.  I imagine that’s basically parenthood in a nutshell.  Thank you, again, mom and dad, for I did not know until now what this crazy journey is like!

 

Over the weekend, we had a friend come visit.  We had a fantastic time–Mini enjoyed her company, and generally it was a great mix of relaxing, hanging out, and exploring.  On Saturday, we went to the newly reopened Sackler Museum, and we went through two exhibits.  One on ancient cats of Egypt and one on the depictions of Buddha.  Mini loved both of them, especially the Buddha exhibit.  We got some ramen that night and hung out at home in the evening.  Sunday was a prefect combination of running, breakfast out, mochi-purchasing at Whole Foods, and binge watching on Netflix.

 

Now, it’s a short week, Thanksgiving is upon us!  Pictures from the week:

 

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Maintenance week – November 6 to November 12

WEEK SUMMARY

 

This post is a little late, so I’ll try to remember what in fact I did last week.

 

I’ve been battling a nagging cold for about a week and a half, so that’s stopped me from getting out there.  I did run once this week.  It was for the DC Half & Half Marathon.  You run 6.55 miles, eat a half smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl, and run another 6.55 miles (though I ended up doing only 10 and going home afterwards).  The race was on Saturday, and I was on the fence doing it since I had been sick.  I decided on Thursday to sign up, thinking I’d be better by Saturday.  I was, but not by much, but I felt well enough to run it.  The only downside (or upside depending on how you look at it) was that the weather was a balmy 28 degrees with a windchill of 17.  Perfect.

 

I ran it with my friend Robs.  We did this same race two years ago, and I missed out last year.  It’s sort of becoming an annual tradition for us.

 

Cold weather aside, it was a beautiful morning for a run.  At the very least, it was an opportunity to soak in the fall colors before all the leaves fall off.  Here are some pictures:

 

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So, this week:  One run.  Ten miles.  One marvelous half smoke.

 

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TWIR

 

I don’t really remember too much of the week.  Most of it was a blur of work and family time.  On Monday and Tuesday, we had family in town for a brief visit.  On Tuesday (or was it Wednesday?) we celebrated a friend’s birthday on Capitol Hill.  Friday was actually a nice surprise.  I found out on Thursday afternoon that Friday was a work holiday for Veteran’s Day.  Nothing like the random surprise day off!  I took Mini on a daddy-daughter day to the National Museum of African American History and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  We had a great day, even though it was a really cold walk to get to these spots.  Also, at some point during the day, I spilled half a bottle of milk all over myself.  But that’s what makes the good times great.  That evening, the three of us got pizza.

 

Saturday morning was the Half and Half run, and after that, Jess and I stayed in because it was freezing outside.  On Sunday, we got out a little, took Mini to an event in DC called Crafty Bastards.  We bought a couple of things for Mini’s room.  It was a cool event, at Nats Park this year.

 

Some pictures from the museums:

 

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Maintenance week – October 30 to November 5

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran three times this last week.  Two 10k distances and a two mile run.  I felt pretty good during them.  The first 10k run was during a lunch break.  The second one was on “fall back” Sunday.  I figured that I’d use the extra hour to get that run in, and I did the 6.2 miles in right around one hour.  So it’s basically like free miles!

 

My goal is to kind of continue on this pace for a little while.  Maybe I’ll do three 10ks this upcoming week, increasing it to 4 and then 5.  I want to just maintain for a little bit before jumping into another marathon training regiment.

 

Of course, some pictures:

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So, three runs for 14.4 miles.

 

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TWIR

 

I already don’t really remember much from this week.  It’s amazing how fast your memory goes.  Or maybe it’s just my memory.  Let’s see, Tuesday was Halloween, but we didn’t really take Mini out since she goes to bed at 7pm anyway.  Jess and I stayed up and watched a few episodes of The Twilight Zone to get in the Halloween spirit.

 

I don’t really remember much of Wednesday and Thursday.  On Friday, I had a super long commute home and was exhausted from the week by the time I made it back.  Oh yeah, now I remember.  Mini was teething pretty badly on Wednesday night and Thursday night and neither Jess nor myself got much sleep.  So on Friday, we both crashed early.  Saturday was a day spent at home, aside from my morning run with Mini.  It was really nice, just having time for the three of us.  Mini is in the phase now where she’s making a lot of noises and where she is preferring certain toys over others.  Sometimes, when you give her something new that she’s never seen before and you take it away from her shortly after, she cries as if it’s her most prized possession.  She’s also like this with my glasses.  God help you if you give her my glasses and then try to take them away–there’s hell to pay.

 

Saturday night was really rainy, so we ordered in a pizza.  The rain continued to Sunday morning, and I went on a drizzly run as the clocks fell back for daylight savings.  On Sunday, we had a pretty good outing.  Brunch at Baked Joint, and then Jess and I went down to check out the Wharf area.  It had just opened a few weeks ago and it’s a pretty cool spot.  Definitely a place to go to when the weather is nice.

 

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Maintenance week – October 23 to October 29

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran twice this week.  Both were early morning runs at about a 10K distance.  The first run was on Wednesday and second was on Saturday.  They felt good.  I had been resting b/c of some pain in my right foot, but that seems to have resolved itself.  I was at an orthopedic doctor last week as well for an unrelated issue and had him take a look at my foot to see if there was any possibility of a stress fracture, which he said was highly unlikely.

 

So I’m planning to try and get back in some decent running shape over the course of November, and then pick up a plan to resume training for my next marathon starting some time in December.  I’d also like to work in a regime of cross training these next few weeks.

 

So, two runs for 12.3 miles

 

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TWIR

 

There’s so much to be grateful for in this life.  I feel that more every day.  It really feels good to pause from time to time and think about that.

 

This week was just another affirmation of that.  Monday and Tuesday started off with us getting back to schedule after our Diwali trip back home.  Mini didn’t get to sleep until about 1am on Monday morning, so we let her sleep in, and I flexed my work schedule and took her into day care that morning.

 

On Wednesday morning, I was up early–around 4:45 am, and went for my first of two runs for the week.  There’s something special about this time in our lives.  Where Mini is this small and while we’re caught up in the flurry of taking care of her, that we can enjoy living so close to the National Mall.  And that I can have pretty much the entire reflecting pool and Lincoln Memorial to myself several times a week with such ease.  Some pictures:

 

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On Friday, Jess and I went to Wiseguys to grab some pizza and came back home and attempted to watch Season 2 of Stranger Things.  But we fell asleep about 10 minutes into the first episode.

 

Saturday was a fun day.  I woke up early, 5am, with the plan to take Mini on a nice sunrise run through DC.  I had just read this article in The Atlantic Magazine that inspired me.  It is about the “X” Moonshot Lab run by Alphabet (Google’s parent company).  The whole article is about the culture of X and the recipe it employees to identify and dedicate resources to inventive and innovative ideas with commercial scale.  At one point in the article, they talk about this concept of “Monkey First.”  It comes from a thought experiment:  if you had to get a monkey to stand on a pedestal and recite Shakespeare, how would you do it?  How would you show investors that you’ve made progress when they came to check-in?  Most people would design the pedestal.  It’s low hanging fruit and it’s easier to show some sort of progress to your investors rather than explaining to them how hard the task is.  But X’s approach is the opposite.  Their view is that you start with training the monkey first (hence their #MonkeyFirst hashtag).  The reasoning is that you start with the hardest idea first to get a sense of the challenge and to ultimately determine the right questions to ask.

 

Anyway, this seems like a tangent, but it triggered a thought process in my mind.  To try and start off some days “monkey first.”  Get up early, go on a long run or a kick ass workout, or doing something mentally creative and taxing.  See what kind of impact it has on the rest of your day.

 

So, Mini and I left at 6 to go on our Monkey First run.  We went to the Netherlands Carillon (near the Iwo Jima memorial) and did a run along the Potomac and back to the Lincoln.  We stopped at various points along the way, and when we got to the Lincoln, I took her to the top of the steps and we sat there for a while, just watching the morning unfold.

 

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After this run, we met up with some friends and went to a neighborhood pumpkin/Halloween event.  It was a lot of fun, a family event that I would ordinarily just blow past in my pre-child life.  But now, I couldn’t imagine a more prefect event on which to spend my time.
Sunday was a relaxing/catch-up kind of day.  We spent the morning cleaning up our place, made some calls and had dinner with family in the evening.

 

Yes, life is very good, and there is so much to be thankful for.

(Non)Maintenance week – October 16 to October 22

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I didn’t run at all this week.  Partly because my foot seemed to still hurt after that 7 mile run and I wanted to let it heel.  Partly too, just to catch up on some rest.

 

So, zero miles on zero runs.

 

TWIR

 

This week was Diwali, and we all traveled back to South Carolina to spend it with my family.  This was Mini’s first Diwali, and we were excited to be able to take her home for it.  It’s always good to see my family interact with Mini, one of the moments in life that I am lucky to have.

 

We spent Thursday evening in Columbia and then went to Myrtle Beach on Friday to visit my brother.  We came back to DC on Sunday night.  We actually had a pretty horrendous travel experience.  I booked a 7pm flight, but it was delayed until 10:30pm because, guess what, American Airlines brought a pilot to the plane who didn’t know how to fly it.  I’ve had so many bad experiences with American, it’s hard to count.  I keep going back because air travel is such a damn commodity, the experience is terrible so you just pay the lowest you can to get from point A to point B with the least amount of stress.

 

Anyway, that was the week.  It was a really good one, though.  Really glad and thankful to have spent it with family.  Pictures:

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