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.

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(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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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.

 

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.

 

TWIR

 

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 25 to October 1

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I’ve been feeling off this week.  It took me a lot longer to recover from the Clarendon Day double last week, and as a result, I was limited in my running this week.  Not just my running, but working out in general.  I attribute this to a hectic September, with dwindling sleep.

 

I did run once, though, the Boo! Run For Life 10K on Sunday morning.  I tried to run before that on Saturday, but couldn’t do it.  My legs were just not feeling it, and so instead, I walked with Mini to the MLK memorial and read the quotes to here there, and afterwards, I went to the base of the Lincoln with her and fed her bottle to her while looking out at the monument.  Hey, not a bad consolation prize.

 

So, one run, 6.24 miles.

 

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I’m going to postpone my Rehoboth Marathon race.  For the second year in a row.  There just isn’t enough time or energy to hit the long training runs, and given it’s so short and I feel off, I’m going to listen to my body and rest.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t try for the half, though, but we’ll see.

 

TWIR

 

As mentioned numerous times, this was the end to an eventful September.  Starting day care, career shift, illnesses dominated the early part of September.  No worries though, because there plenty of wonderful memories from this month too, so I am not complaining.  And things are going well for me and my family, and I am thankful for every day that we have.

 

This week was eventful because I was rear ended.  Nothing major at all, just big bump and dent in my bumper, but it was an apt send off of the month!

 

This week in the life of Mini:  she’s having full on conversations in her baby babble nowadays.  And also, she’s learning a lot about her surroundings and making connections.  Two examples:  when I come home from work, she hears the keys jingle and hears my voice, and turns her head from way across the room to laugh and wiggle around her arms and legs in excitement.  Honestly, no matter what ever happens in my day, nothing beats that feeling as a father.  Another example, she’s learned how to recognize her bed, her crib, her “dock-a-tot.”  When she sees these places, she’s learned that there’s a non-zero chance of us putting her down and thus not holding her any more, and she cries before we even start the process of putting her down.  She’s becoming incredibly smart.

 

On Sunday, we ran the Boo! Run For Life 10K to benefit research on renal cell carcinoma.  It was a very touching race to run with Mini in honor of my mom.

 

Other than that, I enjoyed watching Clemson beat V. Tech. on Saturday.  We may see a Bama vs. Clemson III coming up this year!

 

 

Race Report – Boo! Run For Life 10K

Finish time:  58:08

Placing:  135 out of 310

80 out of 127 (male)

21 out of 35 (male division 30-34)

 

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As soon as I found out about this race, I knew I was going to run it.  It is a 10K that raises money for the Dean R. On’Neill Renal Cell Cancer Research Fund.  My mom’s kidney cancer diagnosis wasn’t the origin of my running life, but it accelerated it, and so of course I was going to participate.  I ran it with Mini for an experience I will not forget, running with my daughter to honor my mom.  Though I have not been running very much lately, due to an eventful September, I did enjoy this run a lot.  It was a beautiful and crisp fall morning by the Potomac with Jess and Mini.

 

PRE-RACE

 

I’ve been pretty tired this week.  Lack of sleep.  Got rear ended on Thursday.  General life, work, etc.  Overall, nothing to complain about, but it’s been a tiring week for sure.  So, there wasn’t really any plan for this one except to run with Mini.  I was up late on Saturday watching the Clemson-Virginia Tech game

 

It was a fairly early start, 8am, but anyone with kids knows that leaving the house takes a lot longer than you’d think.  Since I was running with the stroller, that meant a 6am wake up with the plan to get there at around 7:20 to pick up my shirt.  The race was at West Potomac Park, and we got there right around 7:45 in time to get my bib and stretch out a little.  It wasn’t a terribly large crowd, but it was a decent turn out for a good cause.  Jess, Mini and I waited for the start.  I chatted briefly with a few people, one woman who had also just done the Clarendon Run and another person who came in from Rockville.

 

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Miles 1-3

 

10:14 min/mile; 9:20; 8:59

 

I decided to start off slowly.  In actuality, I have been feeling pretty out of running shape.  As mentioned, September was a low mileage month, and I had actually tried to run the day before this race at the same location, but I had to abandon the run because my legs weren’t working.  I think it is a combination of the all the events, the lack of sleep, the lack of running, and some worn out shoes.  So here, I decided to just take it easy.  Also, since I had the stroller, I wanted to start in the back and not try and weave through with it.

 

The course is basically an out and back, starting near the Lincoln and down to Hains Point and back.  It’s a beautiful run, and I do a portion of it a lot.  On a cool fall morning there’s not much better than running with the Potomac on one side and the monuments on the other.

 

Miles 4-6

8:50; 9:13; 9:20

For the next three miles, I thought I’d pick it up a bit.  As I hit the turn around, I ran by a few other people with strollers and we exchanged some looks of solidarity and words of encouragement.  At around mile 4.5 or so, I started chatting up a runner who also has a six month old at home.  I had to stop a few times because Mini’s blanket was starting to fall off.  Also, she was giving me that classic 4.5 mile look of “you better hurry up and finish the race, or there will be hell to pay.”

 

Miles 6-6.2

[2:16]

Jess was waiting for us at mile 6 and she ran the last bit with us before hopping out.  As I ran across, someone told me that I was the first stroller to finish.  Not sure if that was true or not, but I’ll assume that it was.

 

POST-RACE

 

Jess and I took some pictures with Mini at the finish line.  Then we dressed her up in this really cute octopus costume we bought for her.  I was initially thinking of running with her dressed in it, but that was going to be too cumbersome with the stroller.  So we changed her into it and took some pictures.

 

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Afterwards, Jess treated us to a nice brunch at this biscuit place called Mason and Dixie.  It was really good–the first “southern” biscuit and gravy + fried chicken place in DC that I’ve enjoyed.  Jess and I have this standing tradition to sometimes eat fried chicken and daal with Oberon beer while watching college football in the falls–we might have to get  the chicken from this place the next time we do.

 

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Mini with the thumbs up.

 

 

September 2017 – Stats

This was a very, very busy and eventful month, and so it has been the lowest mileage of the year.  Summary:

 

Miles 33.34 miles
Total time 5 hr, 12 min, 56 sec
Average pace per mile 9 min, 23 sec per mile
Number or runs 7 runs
Average distance per run 4.76 miles per run
Average temperature, per run 69.57 deg F
Average temperature, time spent in temperature 69.72 deg F
Coldest temperature 57 deg F
Warmest temperature 75 deg F
Total elevation 474 ft
Average elevation per run 67.71 ft per run
Longest run 7.18 miles
Shortest run 3.12 miles