Maintenance week – November 27 to December 3


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




So, one run this week, 6.36 miles.


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




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!



(Non)Maintenance week – November 20 to November 26



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!




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



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.




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.




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.




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:





Maintenance week – November 6 to November 12



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:







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






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:





Maintenance week – October 30 to November 5



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:





So, three runs for 14.4 miles.






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.





Maintenance week – October 9 to October 15



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.




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.



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







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:




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!?




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





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.





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.





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.


Maintenance week – October 2 to October 8



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.





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.




For the week, I ran for 16.54 miles.




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.