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.

 

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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 18 to September 24

WEEK SUMMARY

 

This was the first week in a while where I got multiple runs in.  September has shaken out to be a hectic month, and it will probably be my lowest monthly mileage for 2017.  I ran four times, including a double 5k/10k race on Sunday.

 

On Wednesday, I did a 7 mile run early in the morning.  Mini has been going through somewhat of a sleep regression this week, and we were awoken at around 4:45am.  Once we got her back to sleep, I figured that I’d go for a run since I was up anyway.  Instead of driving to the Mall as I usually do early in the morning, I ran down there and did a 7 mile loop that went around the Capitol, down to the Jefferson, then to FDR, Lincoln and passing the White House on the way home.  Man, just typing that out made me realize that I’m really going to miss running around these monuments so easily when/if we ever have to move.  Here is a picture from the FDR memorial, pretty creepy in the morning:

 

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And other of sunrise, which never, ever gets old:

 

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On Saturday, I took Mini for an early morning run so that Jess could sleep in a little.  We both haven’t been getting much sleep at all this week.  I think I’ve averaged like four hours a night, with some frequent wake ups throughout the night.  It’s all good, not complaining at all, but just to say that Jess needed the extra hours.  Our plan was to drive down to the Lincoln and park there, but the memorial bridge was closed, so we ended up on like a 30 minute detour to make it to the Mall.  We ended up doing four miles.  Parked near the Washington Monument and ran to the Lincoln and came back.  When we got to the Lincoln, I parked my stroller at the bottom and walked Mini up to the top so that she could see Abe’s statute and also see the words of the Gettysburg Address and the Inauguration speeches engraved on the walls inside.  Afterwards, we left to grab some bagels to bring home.

 

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Sunday was the day of the Clarendon double.  I was in almost half a mind to skip it.  Like I mentioned, I hadn’t slept well at all during the week, and I was up late on Friday and Saturday too (for fun, social obligations and to watch the end of the Penn State-Iowa football game [a classic]).  But I couldn’t let go of the idea of paying for another race that I didn’t run, I figured that I’d just get up and do it.  More about it in my race summary, but the 5k went well, the 10k not so much, but I got it done.

So, overall this week it was four runs for 20.6 miles.

 

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I still am not sure about the Rehoboth Marathon.  I would really like to do it.  This was supposed to be week 2 of training.  I might try a 10 week plan and see how I’m feeling half way through.

 

TWIR

 

This was a big week for Mini’s development.  It feels like she really grew and changed a lot.  On Thursday, she started to babble for the first time–she’s moved beyond making noises and looks like she’s actively trying to say words.  At the risk of sounding dramatic, it really is one of the greatest things to experience.  The cliche is true–raising a baby just gets better and better.  She’s making “ba-ba-ba” noises, and looks like she really is trying to talk to us in her language.

 

She’s also sitting up very well, and when she does, she looks less like an infant and more like a little girl.  She’s also starting to learn about situational awareness.  For example, she knows when Jess or myself walk in a room and knows when we are about to leave her side (and reacts accordingly).  One of the best moments was on Sunday, when Jess left to grab groceries, Mini was missing her and was staring at the door waiting for her to come back.  When she heard the door open, her body language changed and she smiled a big smile as Jess walked through the door.  It was such a great sight to see.   And she’s starting to reach for things more now and to differentiate between her favorite objects more.  Case and point, when I give her my glasses (a favorite of hers) and then I take it away, she’s inconsolable and reaches to my face to grab them.  She’s also really liking bubbles, when we blow them on her.

 

If it isn’t already apparent, our lives are revolving around our obsession with her.  I was thankful to get a lot of time with her this weekend.  There were some days this week that I wasn’t able to spend time with her because of getting home from work past her bedtime.

 

I keep saying it, life is good.

 

Maintenance week – September 11 to September 16

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran twice this week, for a total of just over 8 miles.  As described below, this has been yet another crazy week in what has turned out to be a very eventful September.  The first run was a 4 mile and change run in Reston.  I felt great for the first 3 miles and then I ran out of steam at mile 4.  I don’t know if it was the strong sun or if it was the fact that I’m probably glycogen depleted, but I just had to stop, stand in the shade and call an Uber to end my run.

 

The other 4 miler was on Saturday morning, down on the National Mall.  That one felt a lot better.

 

This was supposed to be the first week of a 12 week training plan for the Rehoboth Marathon.  But I’m going to just scratch this week off and do 11, and see what happens.

 

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So, two runs for 8.2 miles.

 

I did snap this beauty though:

 

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TWIR

 

This week started off pretty normal.   But then, on Tuesday, Jess was suddenly admitted to the ER with acute appendicitis.  It came out of nowhere, the second half of a food poisoning + appendicitis one-two punch in consecutive weeks.  She had surgery on Tuesday night and has recovered well.  I am just so thankful we found it early and that it was not something more serious.

 

Jess rested for most of the week, but on the weekend we were able to socialize a bit.  Saw some family nearby and went out briefly to celebrate a friends birthday.  And Mini has been doing great, but she’s going through some sleep regression right now.  So I’m kind of a zombie these days.

 

Needless to say, I have been pretty exhausted the last few weeks.  I’m hoping that this week can be a page turner from that, where we can get back into a somewhat normal routine (as normal as can be with a six month old).

 

I did sign up for the Clarendon Double (a 5k race followed by a 10k race).  The race is on Sunday.  I think I can do both of them with Mini in the stroller, which will be great because it is always fun to run with her.

Maintenance week – September 4 to September 10

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran one time this week, today actually, a 4.6 mile run.  I spent a majority of this week recovering from severe food poisoning.  Fortunately Mini didn’t get it.  I was out of commission all day on Monday (fortunately it was Labor Day so off from work), and I felt off pretty much until Thursday.

 

This morning, I took Mini out for a 6am run on the Mall.  Today was the Nations Triathlon, and as I was running across the Memorial Bridge, I was able to get a view of swimmers going through the Potomac.

 

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Also, I my route looked like the state outline of South Carolina:

 

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So, just one run this week, 4.55 miles.

 

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Next week, I start the 12 week training plan for the Rehoboth Marathon in December.

 

TWIR

 

I’ll start with the biggest news of the week.  I started this little blog and running adventure after my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  I wanted to turn that very negative event into something positive.  This week, we got great news that my mom is in NED status, meaning that there is “no evidence of disease!”  That does not mean that the fight is over, that’s sure, but it is a huge moment to celebrate.  After the 2016 that she had, all the set backs and tough news, I am just incredibly thankful that we are here.  I’m mindful that we are lucky, that many people are not so fortunate, and I thank God’s grace every day.  Not just for this, but that my life is so blessed right now.

 

With that news in mind, anything else seems like “no big deal.”  But we down for the count this week with food poisoning.  Thank god that Mini did not get it, but it was quite the challenge taking care of her and also trying to recover.  Fortunately we had a good friend come over on help us out, which was immensely helpful.  Food poisoning is no joke.

 

Otherwise, it was a pretty normal week.  Life, work, etc. all going well.  Mini is more and more responsive to us these days.  It’s almost like she’s just so eager to talk to us, just doesn’t have the ability to do so yet.  But man, when I get home from work, and she sees me and smiles and giggles, that’s just perfect.  We took her to jazz night on Friday at the local pizza place, storytime on Saturday, watched some football afterwards, and now just chillin’ today.

 

 

 

 

 

(Non) Maintenance week – August 28 to September 3

WEEK SUMMARY

 

This one will be short because I took a week off from running.  And exercising in general.  My body was telling me to just rest, and that’s what I did.  Plus, this week brought a new work schedule and also a mild cold, so it’s all good.

 

So, zero runs for zero miles.

 

TWIR

 

This week was busy with a change in my work routine.  I’m really enjoying it so far.  Just taking some time now to get into a new flow with work and life.  Otherwise, Mini is continuing to show some major leaps this week.  She’s a lot more physically active, including rolling over a lot for toys that she wants, and she also now is starting to understand “distance” (in terms when we put her down and walk away, she cries a lot when we walk far away).  As sad as it is to see her cry, it’s a pretty cool feeling to know that someone in the world wants/needs you so much.  She’ll cry when I put her down and then just stop immediately when I pick her up.  I know there are all sorts of parenting philosophies around this, but man, I love that and I’ll miss it a lot when she grows out of it.

 

This week was the start of college football.  Always such a good time of the year, as summer moves to fall, the weather cools and brings a September electricity to the air.  I’ll admit, this year I have not been following football developments in the offseason.  In general, I feel pretty mellow about it all.  I’m super excited to watch Michigan and Clemson (hopefully) dominate this year, but maybe it’s because Mini has softened me a little bit, I’m not nearly as emotional about it as I have been in years past.  That being said, when I watched the Michigan game this weekend (they routed Florida), Mini was sleeping on my stomach during most of it, and it was hard as hell not to cheer or clap loudly as I usually do.  The one time I did, she looked at me like I was a crazy person.

 

 

Maintenance week – August 14 to August 20

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I was on vacation this week and ran just one time.  But it was a beautiful 7.05 mile run in Jackson, WY.  Jess, Mini and I were out there visiting the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  I ran from the National Elk Refuge just north of Jackson Town Square to the boundary of The Grand Teton National Park and back, which made for a nice 7 mile route.

 

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It was an absolutely beautiful run.  I had a decent pace too, considering that I was running at around 6,000 ft elevation.  I was feeling that difference compared to the 400 ft elevation that DC sits at.

 

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Jess, Mini and I spent the majority of this week exploring Jackson, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  I have to say this, without hyperbole, that the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone were both some of the most beautiful places, if not THE most beautiful places, I have ever been.  Brace yourself, lot of pictures here.

 

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Jackson was a cool little town, a perfect launching spot for exploring the parks.

 

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Grand Tetons

For the Tetons, the beauty of the mountains against a variety of backdrops, that was unmatchable.  We went with Mini on a hike that overlooked Jenny Lake, and the stunning contrast between the lake and the water was breathtaking.  The hike wasn’t too long, about 3 miles, but it was a pretty decent haul, considering we were carrying Mini and our backpack with us.  I have many pictures from that hike, here are just a few:

 

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Before we got started on that hike, though, we went to Mormon Row, which is technically not in the National Park, but it offers a stunning view.  Basically, it’s a complex of homesteads that offer a beautiful picture with the Tetons in the background.  Again, we took a million pictures, but some of my favorites:

 

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We came back to the Tetons on the tail end of our visit, and went on another hike, this time a 3.2 out and back hike to Taggart Lake.  It was quite a different hike than the Jenny Lake one we did.  For the Jenny Lake hike, there were staggering views of the Tetons the whole way.  On the Taggart Lake hike, there were some decent views of the mountains, but the real reward came at the very end where the hike leads to the lake with a gorgeous scene.

 

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Yellowstone:

 

Yellowstone National Park was stunning, albeit in a different way than the Tetons.  While the Tetons were majestic in terms of how the mountains contrasted across the landscape, Yellowstone was stunning in the spectrum of topography.  You had areas like the Lamar Valley, which was almost like a flat savannah where we saw bison and antelope roaming around.  Then you’d traverse some mountains on the way to Mammoth Hot Springs, were there were a bunch of limestone geothermal features.  Then as you head south, there’s the Tower-Roosevelt Plateau and the Blacktail Plateau.  If you go southwest from there, you pass through the geyser basins, with thermal geysers that look like they are from an alien planet, and if you go southeast, you pass by the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone before going around the incredibly picturesque Yellowstone Lake.

 

We went through it and saw almost all of the spots in a day.  It was an incredibly long day, we left our lodge in Jackson at around 6am and didn’t return until around 10pm that night.  Mini was such a trooper.  On the trip, I made a promise to her that since she’s been so good about doing stuff that we want to do, I promise to her that when she’s older, we’ll be good about doing things that she wants to.  I do hope to come back here, though, when she’s older, and I’d like to camp in the park and spend more time in each of the areas that we explored.

 

Some pictures:

 

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