Maintenance week – June 4 to June 10

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I am back!! Not really!! But I actually ran a little bit!!

 

I ran twice for a total of 7.27 miles.  Killed it.  Nah, but seriously, sometimes running is going to ebb and flow, and it just feels good to shake off the dust and get back out there.

 

Both runs were pretty uneventful.  One was a four mile run during a lunch break, the other was a few laps around the Capitol with Mini before heading off to Cape May, NJ later that day for a wedding.

 

TWIR

 

First off, Mini is totally a toddler now.  Whenever I look back on this blog for it’s real, unstated, hidden purpose (to catalog Mini growing up through the lens of running), Jess and I will clearly be able to say that May 29th (our anniversary) was the last day Mini felt like a baby and the first day that she felt like a toddler.  Part of it was due to the fact that she took her first steps on May 29th.  But it’s not just that, it’s that she’s already 16 months old, almost 17 months, and so when she started walking, she’s also starting to interact with us a whole lot.  The moment I truly realized she was a little girl and not a little baby was on June 2nd, when we were at Myrtle Beach with family.  There were a box of crackers, and Mini picked up the box, opened the top, reached inside, grabbed the internal tin foil bag, opened it up, and took out a cracker.  That might sound like a mundane task to describe, but it was absolutely incredible to me.  She’s growing up.  She’s learning, testing things out, communicating her likes, dislikes, playing games, playing tricks, throwing tantrums.  It’s all becoming real at an accelerated pace, and it’s so exciting.  I thought I wanted to stop time before.  Now, when she laughs and giggles with me, I really wish that I could extend those moments forever.

 

In non-Mini news, it was an eventful week in DC.  The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup!  It is the first time in 26 years that a professional sports team in Washington DC has won a championship.  The city was absolutely amped up for it.  On the night of the decisive Game 5, I told Jess that there was just this feeling of inevitability in the air.  She got a little mad at me for thinking I was jinxing it, but it truly felt that way.  That regardless if the team won or lost that night, the entire DC region believed that it was the night that a championship was going to come home.  You could feel it in the air.  I am not a big hockey fan, and not really a huge professional sports fan either, but I do strongly believe in the power of sports to transcend life and be a metaphor for it.  The feeling of destiny and inevitability was something that I’ve never experienced before.  Which is especially meaningful, I think, because I have now experienced professional sports championships in each of the four major men’s sports and a resident of the respective metropolitan area.  Pistons 2004 NBA Championship; Steelers 2006 Super Bowl; Phillies 2008 World Series; Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup (an odd comment, as I write that out, I realize that the NBA is the only one of the four that does not have a “name” for their championship game/series).  It’s kind of cool to have that as a life story, that four of the major metro areas I’ve lived in have won a professional sports championship.

 

Game 5 was an away game, at Las Vegas, but it seems like the entire DC metro area converged outside of Capital One Arena to watch the game on the public displays outside.  Jess and I watched for a bit at Baked Joint, over pizza and dessert, which was really cool.  We went home during the second period, and the great thing was you could literally hear the tens of thousands of people cheering just blocks away with each Caps goal.  With four minutes left in the game, and Caps up 1, and with Jess and Mini fast asleep, I left our condo to head down to Chinatown to watch the celebration.  I’m glad I went down there, hearing the celebration was definitely an experience to remember.  And who knows how long we’ll be in downtown DC?  I’m glad to have experienced it.

 

Other than that, on Sunday, Jess and I went down to Cape May, NJ to attend a dear friend’s wedding.  It was a nice ceremony and Mini got to get all dressed up.

 

Pictures of all of this, below:

 

 

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It’s been a while – Maintenance weeks for the rest of May 2018

Wow.  May was a very low mileage month.  I just checked, and May 2018 had the least amount of miles since December 2016.

 

I was sick for most of the month.  It started off with a weird issue with my tongue, where I pretty much lost all taste in my mouth for a week.  Then I got hit with a big sinus cold and the persistent allergies that caused it.  After that, I lost my voice for a good two weeks, and then developed this lingering cough.  Then, I lost my voice again, and redeveloped the tongue/taste issue.  I finally went to the doctor who said I had some weird strep infection.  Jess looked it up and thinks that I had Scarlet Fever, which sounds like something from The Oregon Trail.  Regardless, I have been on a penicillin course, and that’s pretty much taken care of all of my issues.  Thank you very much Alexander Fleming!!

 

So how do I recap the running?  I’m not going to try.  Instead, I’m going to try and recall a summary of what’s happened in my life, for posterity’s sake.

 

Let’s see.  Jess and I celebrated Mother’s Day, and then her birthday, and then our anniversary.  Mini started walking!!!  She took her first steps on our anniversary, on the rooftop of our apartment as we were eating a take out sushi dinner to celebrate.  She stood up, took two steps towards a chair, and then sat down.  The next day, she took a few more steps on her own.

 

Then, on May 31st, we flew down to South Carolina to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday!  We went for five days and had a great time.  My parents loved seeing Mini in action, walking, talking, grabbing items, and all the things she would eat and explore.  She started walking even more while were there.  She really grew up in the week between May 29th and June 4th.  She doesn’t seem like a baby at all any more, for the first time she seems like a toddler.

 

There are these new tricks she plays with us.  With me, she plays this game where she takes food and pretends that she’s going to eat it but then puts it in her ear and waits for me to say something.  And then she starts laughing.  With Jess, she plays “where’s Mini” all the time.  And she’s dancing all the time to that “Radha” song we play for her.

 

I’ll come back to this post and put some pictures up. When we were in South Carolina, we went to Myrtle Beach for a couple of days, and Mini enjoyed it.  It was a very nice time that we spent with family.

 

On the running front, I’m going to get back into it now.

 

 

Maintenance week(s) – April 30 to May 6 & May 7 to May 13

I’ve been a bit behind these last two weeks.  Life has just been a little busy, so I haven’t found the time to recap the progress over the last two weeks.

 

WEEK(S) SUMMARY

I didn’t run very much these last two weeks.  It just seemed like I had a lot going on.  For the first week, I ran twice, for a total of 8.13 miles.  For the second week, I ran once, but it was a nice run for 10.52 miles.  I had been ready to get right back into it, when BAM! I got sidelined pretty badly with another sinus cold.  It took me out of commission for the last 4 days, and I’m still battling it.  The allergies this year have been terrible.

 

So, my goal now is to just heal and recover from this cold.

 

TWIR x 2

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Let’s see what I remember.

This is going to be the lightning round edition, so here we go:

So, two weeks ago, I met up with some old friends and coworkers.  Later that Friday, I went to a talk at the Warner Theater, and then that weekend, my brother in law was in town for a nice visit.  Then that Sunday, we went up to Bethesda to visit some friends and see their new house.  I then developed this weird taste bud inflammation in my mouth, which lead to me completely losing my taste for the last week or so.  It’s been an interesting experience, a kind of experience of not knowing what you have until it’s gone.  Now that I can’t taste anything, I certainly realize that I took it for granted.  And when it comes back (hopefully soon), I’ll remember that!  You get lessons on life perspective at the most random moments sometimes.

 

The rest of the last week was spent with the usual work and family routine, and with a healthy amount of gym time.  I came down with the aforementioned sinus cold on Thursday, and have been down for the count ever since.

 

Mini has been growing a lot over the last two weeks.  She’s incredibly curious and interactive now.  She grabs her walker at a moments notice and she’s off to the races, exploring every nook and cranny of our condo.  She’s ready to take her first steps at any moment.  Her sleep schedule is amazingly consistent.  She goes down at 7pm like clockwork, which is just great for us.  She’s also an adventurous eater–she doesn’t hesitate to try any new foods we put in front of her, and she’s also not afraid to tell us when she doesn’t want something.

 

Maintenance week – April 23 to April 29

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ended the month of April with a low mileage week.  I ran twice, once indoors on the treadmill, and once around the US Capitol Building.  I’ve actually come to (somewhat) enjoy running on the “dreadmill.”  I have a few games that I play to keep it interesting:

Game 1:  Start at 6.0 mph and 0% incline.  I run at that speed for a minute or two.  Then, I increase the speed by 0.2 mph every minute on the minute.  Also, I increase the incline by 0.5% every minute on the half minute marks.  So basically, I am changing the speed or incline every 30 minutes.  For the incline, I get to a 4.0% incline, and I start going back down from there in 0.5% increments.  For the speed, I go until 8.0, stay there for a minute, and then go back down in 0.2 increments.  This drains you out because it’s basically like you’re running faster the higher you climb a hill.  But it’s fun to try and keep up with.

 

Game 2:  I bring the incline to 2.0%, speed to 6.0 mph.  I stay at 6.0 for a minute or two, and then I increase the speed by 0.1 mph every 15 seconds.  I keep the incline at 2.0%.  I go up to 7.0 mph and then back down to 6.0 mph.

 

Game 3:  I start off at 0% and 6.0 mph.  I keep the incline steady and increase by 0.1 mph up to 6.5, and then raise the incline by 0.5% every 30 seconds, staying at 6.5.  When I’m at 6.5 mph and 4.0%, I stay there for a minute, and then bring the incline back down to 0%.  I work down to 6.0 mph by 0.2 every 30 seconds, and then work back up to 8.0 by 0.2 every 30 seconds.

 

By the time you do these, several miles pass by, and you can power through the rest.  Plus, it’s a great way to play with the elevation in ways that you can’t on the road.

 

Anyway, so I ran a total of 9.31 miles this week, over two runs.

 

TWIR

 

I’m writing this summary so late that I have to really remember what happened over the week.

 

The work week was pretty standard, nothing out of the ordinary.  Saturday was action packed.  We attended a first year birthday party with some good friends, then Jess and I had a day of urban exploration in Adams Morgan.  We went to a playground nearby, and then ate BBQ at The Federalist Pig.  We intended to go to the zoo, but it seemed way too crowded, so we skipped that.  It was a great day to be outside though.  On Sunday, we took Mini to the Wegman’s Wonderplace at the Smithsonian.  I gotta say, the place was so hyped up, but it was pretty disappointing.  I mean, if you’re already in the museum and you stumble upon it, I guess it’s alright, but it’s been billed to us (word of mouth) to be this great place to take kids.  I disagree.  Maybe when Mini is older she’d like it more, but it just seemed kind of boring.

 

Mini is really on the move these days.  Her latest fascinations are the refrigerator, the dish washer, any door or mirror, the baby stroller, and basically any other object she can find.  She’s really moving like a pro with her walker too, she turns and manuevers it so well.  She’s about ready to walk at any moment.  She also has learned a bunch of new “signs” to communicate with us.  She can wave “hi” and “bye bye”; blow kisses; point to her mama; shake her head “no” whenever we ask any question at all.  And she has her own language of communication, including this word “hi da” or “eye ga”.  Not sure what it means, but she gets pretty excited when we say it to her.

 

 

Maintenance week – April 16 to April 22

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I did a lot of strength training, HIIT work, and mixed in some running this week.  I ran three times, once on the treadmill at the gym, once with Mini on the National Mall, and the GW Parkway Classic Ten Miler.  The runs felt great, and it also felt like the spring weather is finally here to stay.

 

It was nice to take Mini for her first run with me in a while.  I fed her on a bench at the Reflecting Pool, which is a moment that will be etched in my memory.

 

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TWIR

 

This was my birthday week.  On Wednesday, Jess, Mini and I celebrated in a low-key manner, just like I prefer, with a cheesecake, some dinner, and a nice walk around the city.  Folks at my work also took me out to lunch, which was very nice.  Before and after those days were fairly uneventful.

 

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We had some family in town on Friday and Saturday, so we spent the day touring DC.  As we were out, I decided that in the next few years, I’m going to make it a goal not only to visit every museum in DC, but to do so often, and to try and learn as much as I can from them.  I think we do a good job of taking advantage of all the city has to offer, and I’d like to make sure that I get even more out of them when/if we decide to move.

 

On Sunday, I ran the ten miler, Jess and Mini ran the 5K, and we celebrated with a nice brunch out.

Maintenance week – April 9 to April 15

WEEK SUMMARY

 

This was pretty much a week off from running, and a week to recover and heal from being sick a week ago.  I did run one time, a very difficult 3.3 miles on Friday when the weather jumped up to near 90 degrees.  I knew the weather was “spring like” but I actually didn’t realize how hot it had gotten.

 

TWIR

 

This was a bit of a relaxed week for us.  Our regular routine of work and life took over, but nothing too crazy or out of the ordinary.  On Friday, we had our jazz + pizza night.  On Saturday, we enjoyed the beautiful weather, first going on a picnic down to the National Mall.

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And then taking Mini to the Air and Space Museum where they had this really cool exhibit.  It was a replication of the bedroom scene from 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  I’ve always been a very big Stanley Kubrick fan, and I don’t really know why.  I have this theory about art.  It’s not a particularly novel theory, but one that resonates with me.  Art is a way to embed a meaning, message, commentary, etc. about life and our existence in ways that transcends logical, deliberate thought.  So when an artist embeds a concept into a piece of work, and when you see it, and that larger commentary is something that resonates with you, the artistic work will speak to you.  And you may not even know why, it’s something unspoken or deeper than your conscious mind that is attracted to the underlying message.  That’s how I feel about all of Kubrick’s movies.  I’m not even sure if I know the fundamental message behind each of them, but they all speak to me in a way that I can’t put my finger on.  2001:  A Space Odyssey was always like this for me, much like The ShiningFull Metal Jacket, and Dr. Strangelove.

 

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After the museum, we went to the a garden near the Hirshhorn museum, and then headed home.  Funny enough, we walked back home just as the March for Science had started.  I went to this last year, but wasn’t planning to this year, so it was kind of cool to see it happen.  Except that we were exhausted and needed to get home.  We watched for a bit and made are way through the crowds to head back.

 

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When we were walking back, Mini fell asleep.  And she’s such a city baby.  We walked through Chinatown, near the Capitol One Arena, and there was a really loud band playing with drums banging.  Mini was literally right next to the drums and the dude was wailing away on them, and she didn’t wake up at all.  It was just hilarious.

 

Sunday was a rainy day, so we stayed in for most of it.  Had some friends over, got some barbecue in the afternoon, and just chilled at home afterwards.

 

Mini is becoming more communicative these days, and it’s so incredible to watch.  It’s such a mind blowing experience to see her understand what we’re saying and to communicate back to us.  The other day, she started pointing out the “little fish” in a book that we read to her.  It was an amazing moment, and those moments just continue!

 

 

 

 

Marathon training – week 9 (of 12) – Race #5 – Stopped Training

WEEK SUMMARY

I decided to stop training for the Big Sur Marathon.  I’m not going to run this race.  For every marathon I’ve trained for, it was a bit of a struggle to get the miles in at times, but I always found a way back on the wagon.  For this training cycle, too many things were going on for me to be able to put in the necessary miles.  I’m three weeks out, and have yet to go on a run longer than 14 miles.  I know from the Baltimore Marathon that this isn’t a good idea.

 

The real last straw was this week, when I became sick from a sinus cold.  I woke up on Wednesday feeling like I got hit by a bus, and I was out of commission for the next three days.  Ordinarily, you can recover from that and continue training, but when the training was already bare bones, it was time to throw in the towel.

 

It’s ok though, I’m proud of myself for having the discipline to know when I’m not ready.  Now, I need to map out my plan for the ones I’m actually going to run this year….

 

As far as running, I went for one run:  the cherry blossom ten miler.  It was a really nice run, and I actually PRed it, so I guess all is not lost.

 

TWIR

 

This week was very busy, lot of fun though.  On Monday night, Michigan played for the Men’s Basketball National Championship.  They got thumped by Villanova, but still, the fact that they got all the way to the final game was an incredible feat to be proud of.  The game actually started off well for Michigan, they had an early lead, but then things turned against them and didn’t turn back.  It’s all good though, I’ll remember 2018 as having a very enjoyable March because of that incredible run!

 

As mentioned, on Wednesday I got sick–felt like I was hit by a bus.  It turned out to be (I think) a sinus cold, but man, I was out of it on Wednesday and for a good bit on Thursday.  On Thursday evening, I rallied, and we met up with some friends for pizza night.

 

On Friday, Jess and I started this documentary on Netflix called “Wild Wild Country”–a fascinating documentary about this religious cult from India that came to Oregon in the 1980s.  The story was told in a very gripping way.  On Saturday, we had family in town.  We spent the morning at breakfast, and then went to a STEM festival at the Convention Center.  Then, that afternoon, I went to the Kennedy Center to attend a performance of “Between the World and Me” based on the book by Ta-Nehisi Coats.  It was a very powerful performance that left me with a lot to think about.  Then, my friend hurried me to the building museum where I picked up my packet for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

 

Sunday was a busy and fun day.  I ran the 10 miler in the morning, walked back home, hung out and rested a bit, and then went back to the Tidal Basin with family to get some blossom pictures.  I can say with confidence:  in 2018, the Purohit family certainly enjoyed the blossoms to their fullest.

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We came back in the afternoon, got some pizza, and hung out until the evening.

 

After a long winter, spring is finally here.