26 March, 2017

Signs on a run

Category: DC,Exercise,Parks,Running — Moose @ 8:42 pm

Interesting sights on today’s run included a few clusters of cherry trees that were in full bloom, a flock of wild turkeys, and some new signage on the trail. The cherry blossoms were notable because most of our cherry blossoms were destroyed after some freak up-and-down temperature variations last month started them blooming too early, then froze them out. So seeing isolated clusters of “late bloomers” was kind of fun. The turkeys were just amazing. They were across the road from me in Anacostia park, just wandering along. Spotted them on the way out, but they were gone by the time I turned around and got back. Right after them I saw some new signage on the trail, this time memorializing the Bonus Army at one of the way stations on the trail (a compass rose with a round bench and a bike rack). I’d seen new way finding signs on the trail for a while, but this was the longest run I’ve done this year, so the first time I’ve been that far on the trail. Now I can’t wait to build up and see what other signs they may have put up further down the trail.

26 July, 2015

Progress and changes

Category: Biking,Body,DC,Exercise,Parks,Running — Moose @ 2:48 pm

Been mostly following my training plan for the marathon this fall, but I suspect I’m going to need to change some of the weekday workouts. I’m supposed to be doing around 8 miles on Wednesdays and Fridays, and I think it’s just a touch too much most weekday mornings. So I think I’m going to pop them down to 6 miles, with an option to do more if I feel I have the time for it.

One of the things I enjoy about the plan is that it mixes in cycling two days a week, and occasionally substitutes a long bike ride for a long run. Today was the first of those. Most of my bike riding during the week has been at Hains Point these past couple months (i.e., flat, flat, flat), but this morning’s plan called for 50 miles, and Hains Point, while nice, is not where you want to go 50 miles (picture endless loops of either 3.2 miles with less traffic, or 5.5ish but with a lot of traffic as the day gets later). So I headed out on the Custis trail to the Washington & Old Dominion trail, which is pretty much the complete opposite of flat. I think my quads and glutes are going to be paying for that choice tomorrow. On the upside, it was a lovely day, and a nice ride to Herndon and back.

I wish my long runs had been going as well, though. I seem to have a 10 mile problem – up to 10 miles are fine, but over that has had a block of some sort. I can’t figure out if it’s nutrition, heat acclimation, hydration, or what. It’s not been helped by my new acid reflux, which doesn’t seem to like bubbles (which are found in my favorite non-caloried sports drink tabs) or too much in the way of sweet calories (found in pretty much every other portable nutrition product). Trying to dial in the balance has been a chore. I’ll get there (I’d better!), but it’s a tad obnoxious.

7 April, 2010


Biked up for errands this morning (dentist, picking up glasses, etc.), and there was a serious amount of stupid on the trail in Rock Creek. No helmet, helmet on but unbuckled (doesn’t do much good if it flies off your head when you fly off the bike…), people running on the left side of the trail, etc. Most annoying. Kinda makes you want to get “Trail Rules” signs like they have on other trails in the area.

Why is it that you say “I’m a triathlete” and suddenly you become all intimidating to some people?

I really, really wanted aero bars on my single speed bike this morning while down around East Potomac Park. File under “you know you’re a triathlete if…” you want aero bars on all your bikes. The instinct to get down on the bars while on a straight, flat stretch was pretty strong. Good sign that training on the tri bike is going well. Or at least has become second nature.

No A/C yet in the building, so while I wait for the cable guy to come by and slap a cablecard into the new TiVo it’s kinda warm. We’ll have it in two weeks once they transition the system over from heat, and I’m semi-okay with this because the new general manager here at the cult co-op is having his guys come by and do a comprehensive sweep and check of all the convectors in each individual unit to ensure they’re working, clean, lubed, etc. First time it’s been described that way (past just the usual “we’re changing the filters”), so I’m okay with delaying to ensure all the equipment is working at peak efficiency, or at least at a better clip than the norm. Having vacuumed off my own units, I have seen how nasty they can get, so I can only imagine what some of them look like. It’s nice to have a proactive manager for once; he’s been big on getting in to do preventative maintenance, which is much appreciated here.

Had plans with a friend to do some gaming, but he got called in to do more on a research project he’s leading at school, so no go there. A nap sounds like a good alternative. With the lack of A/C and temps in the 90s the past few days sleep has been elusive. Lots of tossing and turning and odd dreams, including some disturbingly vivid erotic ones. Waking up at 2 am with an almost painfully raging hard-on from one of those is not conducive to a lot of rest.

I’ve been indulging a crush, which has been fun. I feel like I can begin dating again, that I’m ready for that, with the result that I’ve been keeping my eyes open and my flirt meter at “medium high”. But I also feel like I’m looking more with an eye to finding something more than just casual. As always, nothing is set in stone, but we’ll see where the path leads.

5 August, 2009

Notes from the Run, 8/5/09

Category: DC,Parks,Running — Moose @ 8:29 am

Not a lot of wildlife out this morning.

Very grateful for the trash cans on Hains Point, so I can toss my empty gel packs immediately.

Had a cut on the side of my lip for about a week, couldn’t figure out what caused it. Wrong place for shaving, not a cold sore, just a little cut. It became evident this morning – sliced the side on an energy gel last week. Grrr.

Ran the entire distance this time. No shortcuts, no walking breaks, all run (6.48 miles). Felt good.

Forgot that the beepy-thingey cuts off after an hour. Was on the waterfront and wondering why it had gotten so quiet – beepy thingey had done its thing and shut down. Do think it’s a good aid, though, for keeping the legs moving at the same rhythm.

13 April, 2009

A Most Beautiful Sight

Category: Annoyances,DC,Parks,Running — Moose @ 11:00 pm

When I went running this evening, I saw the most beautiful sight. I ran between the buildings across fourth street from my place in the light rain, came out onto the waterside park, looked across the Washington Channel, and saw a plethora of green all along the edge of Hains Point. And you know what all that green means?

No more frakkin’ cherry blossoms this year.

There are still some small number of hold outs, but it’s the ephemeral nature of these evil pollen-spitting spawn of satan beautiful flowers that makes them so annoying valuable. And thankfully they’re now gone for the season.

31 March, 2009

Cherries in the Morning

Category: Biking,Body,Club,DC,Exercise,Habits,Parks,Tourists,Triathlon — Moose @ 7:04 am

Sunrise through the cherry blossoms this morning on my first weekday morning ride of the year. Absolutely gorgeous.

Also pretty darned cold. My little balcony thingey says 46, though the official temperature at the airport across the river says 38. Either way, chilly when you’re cycling. I’m glad I changed my mind at the last minute and put on the fleece tights. As I sit here in the apartment my arms and toes are still a little chilled, but the shower will solve that. This was supposed to be the coldest morning this week, so I’m hopeful it won’t be this bad again this season.

Not my fastest ride ever, but the point was just to get out there and do it, not necessarily to be a speed demon on the roads. Didn’t see anyone else from the club out there (and it’s hard to miss me, between the club jersey, wind vest and arm warmers – I look like superman in the club’s blue with all the red and white on it), but that should pick up as it warms up. I thought I’d see one or two of our die hards, but perhaps they’re avoiding the Point until the blossoms are done and the tourists are gone (and yes, there were tourists out, even at that hour, catching pictures of the sun just hitting the blossoms as it came over the Washington Channel).

I’ve been cutting back on my caffeine intake again, with a goal of eliminating it from my diet during the week. I’m tired of being dependent on it to get going in the mornings, and would prefer to be able to use it more strategically and not as a “must have” drug. So far so good, though yesterday was dragging. All part of getting back to training and getting my body back into shape. I wrote off yesterday for exercise, but I want to get back to the schedule I was on last spring before the injury – MWF Run in the morning, swim in the evening (with Wed as the weekly long run), TuThSa bike, Su completely off. That worked well as I recall, and kept me on track with a single weekend day to be a complete bum (and one night to be able to go out without worrying about the next morning’s workout). I’m still on the fence about the Columbia triathlon (Olympic distance) in May, but if I can stick to that I think I can do it, even if I’ll be slow on the run.

1 July, 2008


Category: Annoyances,Body,DC,Health,Mood,Parks,Sleep — Moose @ 10:03 pm

For some reason I’ve just been exhausted this week. Enough so that I finally broke down and made an appointment to go talk to my doctor in two weeks about the occasional sleep aid. I’d really like to make it through one entire night without waking up 2-3 times over the course of the night. And be able to go to sleep sooner than a half hour after I turn out the lights. Damned overactive brain.

Was sore enough that I took today off from biking. The fact that Hains Point is closed for the celebration of the Fourth on Friday helped with that, too (they stage the fireworks and other necessities down at the point for the week before the holiday). So grabbed a little extra sleep this morning, but not enough to stave off all the yawns at work. Ibuprofen was also consumed. Who’d have thought golf was so vigorous, but that’s what I get for using muscles that I don’t normally touch in tri training.

I’m trying to find a new dermatologist as well. The first one I went to was a jerk, and his partner is okay, but always feels too rushed to really do anything with me. There’s a spot on my face I want looked at, given the family cancer history, and I know it’ll be months before I get in, even if I go to my current guy, but I’d really prefer someone who doesn’t feel nearly so rushed when trying to get through the appointment.

3 February, 2008

Quiet Sunday

Category: BC,Club,Games,Geek,Parks,Pro Sports,Shopping,Stuff — Moose @ 9:55 pm

We should have this “Superbowl” thing more often. I just went to the grocery store and it was dead. I mean, a dozen people in the entire store including all of the employees. Dead. And, on the way there, I literally so no one on the streets, no cars, no nothing, until I got to the grocery store parking lot. Wild.

The day started early with a volunteer stint down at Hains Point with the tri club. They were running a 5k and 10k, so I helped hand out numbers and what not. Then BC and I met a friend in Dupont at the farmers’ market for shopping and lunch.

Since I don’t do the football thing, and BC was headed out to a superbowl party, I instead did a little needed shopping, picking up moisturizer & hand lotion at the mall. Also picked up a couple balls of yarn to knit samplers with (lighter than dark brown, thank heavens) since they were having a sale at the local place. Then I picked up The Orange Box for the Xbox so I could play Portal. Let me just say, GLaDOS is one twisted computer. Love her. Didn’t take long to finish the game, but that was quite fun. No health, no weaponry, just getting from here to there. And, of course, cake.

Quiet rest of the night planned with some volunteer work, and then perhaps some more gaming of some sort.

8 October, 2007

Obsessing Over the Small Stuff

Category: DC,Family,Food,Friends,Games,Geek,Habits,Mandarin,Parks,Sleep,Tourists — Moose @ 2:22 am

I had been thinking about gaming systems, but if my obsession behavior the past two days is any indication of how it would be if I got one, I really, really should not. I picked up the new Zelda game for the DS, and it’s been absolutely fantastic. Some of the elements are a bit slow, but for the vast majority of the game I think they nailed it for my gaming likes. So much so that I’ve been up far, far too late the past two nights playing the game. Only had to revert to guides twice, which is a good sign for me.

Big thanks to the folks who came out on Friday, I had a marvelous time, and it was good to see people. That was precisely the b’day celebration I needed – low key and fun chatting and watching folks chat.

My eldest niece and her mother popped up today to play tourist, so we wandered through the Mall and a few museums. She absolutely loved the Metro. It’s a shame Air & Space is still so disorganized and doesn’t have more hands-on stuff for kids – that’s what she stopped at whenever we were in an exhibit, the ‘I can play with this’ things. She also spent most of the day talking about going to City Lights, my now former favorite Chinese restaurant in town.

The service was, in a word, atrocious tonight. They were busy, that much was readily apparent, but that’s no excuse. No one came by to check on drinks. My niece managed to down her water and her soda fairly early, and even after I specifically asked a server to get her a refill of her soda (even handing him the glass), it never came back. Then I couldn’t manage to flag anyone down because they were all flying by so quickly. The one guy I did finally catch was one of their busboys whose English was somewhat lacking, and unfortunately my Spanish is non-existent, but we did manage to get soda refills, at least, for the niece and her mother. To say I’m miffed would be an understatement – this is a place where the more established wait staff calls me by name, in Chinese, when I come in, so it’s not like I’ve never been there before. Hell, I was lying in bed for about 1/2 an hour just now and all I could do was dredge up much-unused vocabulary for expressing in Mandarin exactly how annoyed I was at the whole thing (and it’s amazing what ancient vocabulary can be dredged up in the service of strong emotions). As it was I did get one of the management staff before we left and let them know that this was the most dismal service I’d ever received there.

Otherwise it’s been a lovely weekend. I’m going to get my newest toy hooked up to the bike tomorrow and head out on a ride with a friend after his bike (re)fitting. Haven’t played with it yet, so this is the inaugural run. Should be interesting to see the data once I’m done.

11 August, 2007

Two New Things

Category: Body,DC,Exhibition,Parks,Running — Moose @ 1:37 pm

On my run this morning (in near-perfect weather – 70s and low humidity), I did two new things. First, I ran all the way to Roosevelt Island and went over onto the island itself. Second, I took my shirt off for the second half of the run.

On the first, I’ve been past Roosevelt Island more times than I can count, but had never gone over to the island to see the statue of ole Teddy. So while I was running north on the Mount Vernon Trail the island was about at my time turn-around, so across the footbridge I went and up to see the memorial grove. It was a nice setting, I enjoyed the brief bit of it I saw (I didn’t stop running). It’s a shame it’s not more accessible – it looked to be a good spot to visit.

On the second, let me start by saying that I NEVER take off my shirt when I run. And I do mean never. I’ve never been particular fond of the bit of belly fat that I carry, and combined with my pasty-white doesn’t-really-tan skin, I’ve not been in a big rush to take off my shirt. I’ve wanted to in the past, but never had. Every time I’d think about it the usual little excuses (“want to lose X lbs,” “not tan enough,” “too much fat showing,” etc.) would pop up in my head. This morning was no different, those same excuses popped up, but I finally told them all to go fuck off and pulled the shirt up and off and tucked it into my water belt.

Then of course all I could think about was how, if I did get any sun, I was going to have a tan line from my heart rate monitor strap.

Was perfectly fine, a bit cooler than normal, and nothing felt like it was going to fall out of place or that I was going to die of embarassment or the like. . The only thing that struck me as different was that scratching an itch on my stomach felt so much more obvious without a shirt in the way. And that there were more itches because of the breeze and lack of shirt.

So, a hurdle overcome. Not sure that I’ll do that much more running that way, and I still do want to lose more belly fat before I’m 100% comfortable with it, but that was a good first step.