This may surprise you, but running in the cold sucks. At least for now the sun is up when we go out in the morning, but it’s not really helping. According to www.weather.com (which John is convinced I rely on too much), it was 31 degrees out when I left the house and 27 degrees when I came back. Isn’t that backwards? How does it get colder in half an hour when the sun is up and there’s no wind? Doesn’t it usually get warmer as the day progresses? So maybe John’s right and weather.com is lying to me. Either way, I need to buy actual cold-weather running clothes. Running when temperatures are below freezing takes almost all the willpower I have, and maybe having cool new weather-appropriate clothes will make it easier to get out of bed.
Last night John and I went to see Chad and Jeremy perform at the Barns at Wolf Trap. Two things: if you ever listen to oldies, you know who they are. Their biggest hits (and almost only hits) were “A Summer Song” and “Yesterday’s Gone”. They played “Yesterday’s Gone” pretty early in the concert and ended with “A Summer Song”. And I recognized a song in the encore (I hadn’t realized it was one of theirs), but naturally I can’t even hear how it goes in my head anymore, so I can’t tell you what it was. The second thing is about the Barns. That is such a cool venue. This was only the second time John and I have been there. The first was for an improv comedy show. It really is two barns joined together. The box office and the bar are in one barn, and they’re connected by a couple of hallways to the barn that houses the stage. The walls are exposed wood, really big planks, and it has high ceilings. We were sitting just under the balcony overhang last night, maybe 50-60 feet from the stage. It’s an intimate setting, and the sound is really good.
Before the show started, when everyone was finding their seats, they were playing oldies over the sound system, and you could hear random people (myself included) singing along. That was kind of cool.
So the concert started, and Chad and Jeremy came out on stage. They talked about their career and played songs mostly in order. They were quietly funny and quite self-deprecating. They had some minor difficulties (took several tries to start some songs, had some problems keeping a string on Jeremy’s guitar in tune), but they handled everything with humor. It was fun. Pleasant might be an accurate word to describe the evening. Mellow works, too. Their “political” songs were iffy, at best. They played two or three of those, and the lyrics were pretty bad. That part reminded John of why This is Spinal Tap is so funny. The patter in between the songs and some of the career history reminded him of why A Mighty Wind is so funny.
I mentioned the people singing along before the concert for a reason. At a normal rock concert, people scream and shout and sing at the top of their lungs. This was obviously not that kind of concert. People did sing along (at least to the two songs everyone knew), but they did it quietly, almost as if they were singing to themselves. It was very low-key and kind of funny.
And yes, we were the youngest people there by at least 20 years.
You may have found it odd that we had to pack up and go to West Virginia last night. It’s not exactly what we usually do on a Saturday night. Our friend Joe turns 40 in January, and his wife wanted to surprise him with a party. What better way to surprise him than to invite all of his friends and family to West Virginia two months before his birthday? It was at a bar, we had a band – everyone had a really good time. John and I took a more scenic route home this morning (it was a gorgeous day today), and we’re about to sack out on the couch and snack while watching TV. Before heading to Wolf Trap. Busy weekend. Also? Wegman’s is awesome. (That’s where this afternoon’s snacks came from.)
I realized late last night that I left out the actual results of the 5K we ran yesterday, in case anyone was interested. My official race time was 29:48, which works out to a 9:36 pace. That seems unreal to me, since when I run on my own, I usually run a 10-10:30 minute mile, and that stretches to 12:30 when I take the dogs. In my first 5K, I finished in 29:22 or something like that. My last 5K was 31:42 (ish). I’m not all that consistent yet. I plan to actually train for the Herndon Turkey Trot on the 22nd, so hopefully I’ll still finish in under 30 minutes. John finished this one in 24:16 (a 7:49 pace!). I think he’s trying to break 24 minutes. I don’t really have a goal time. I just like how I feel when I’m done. 🙂
This morning was the annual (I guess, but we’ve never done it before) Purcellville Turkey Trot. John and I registered a few weeks ago to run the 5K, but neither of us really prepared for it. And then last night I checked the weather and saw the 50% chance of rain all morning. So we decided to make the decision when we got up, based on whether or not it was raining then. We both knew that putting off making the decision about whether to go until morning made it a lot less likely that we would actually get out of bed. But 7:00 rolled around, the alarm went off, it wasn’t raining, and John (very unenthusiastically) said we really should go. We paid to register, so we should go (and get our t-shirts. I know that’s Dad’s big motivation!). My argument was that the money was going to a good cause (Loudoun Valley Community Center, I think) whether we ran or not. But he was right, so we got up and got going. It took us about 25 minutes or so to get there. It was a little chilly (mid to upper 50s), but we found a great parking spot in the (really cute) historic section of Purcellville, right across the street from the registration table. Picked up our goodie bags, pinned our numbers to our shirts, and then stood in line for the bathroom. Girls take forever! Except me. 🙂 We were almost the last people to join the crowd at the starting line, and then John helped me get a little more towards the middle (because I’m really paranoid about being the last person in a race. I didn’t want to start out at the very back.).
Anyway, the race started and I lost sight of John immediately (as usual). I was trying to figure out which random people in the pack I would end up staying near the whole time. There’s always someone I’m trying to catch and someone I’m trying to stay ahead of. Today there was a short woman in a white shirt and a brown hat who was usually just ahead of me. I passed her a couple of times, but never for very long. There was also a woman wearing today’s race shirt (the shirts for this race are really nice – soft, long-sleeve, and nice autumn gold color) and long grey pants, tall, who stayed pretty much even with me the whole race. We leap-frogged some, but neither of us could break away. Finally, there was this girl in a light blue shirt who drove me crazy. She was running just ahead of me, but then she’d stop to walk. I’d pass her, and then a while later, she’d pass me, running again. But she never got very far ahead of me, so what kind of pace was she running? Fast enough to catch up and pass me after walking for a while, but not so fast that she never got more than 15-20 feet ahead of me – that’s a really weird, uneven pace. And no, I wasn’t speeding up when she was ahead of me. So that was driving me a little crazy ’cause she just didn’t fit.
The second mile was HARD. It was all along this long, straight, hilly road. There may have only been two or three hills, but they were big ones. You couldn’t see the next one until you had climbed the first, so you couldn’t tell how many more times you’d be running uphill. And no one likes to run uphill. The third mile was mostly on the W&OD Trail, and that was gorgeous. It was lined with trees, so the trail was lightly covered in leaves, and the sun had come out. Very pleasant, even though the third mile is when I’m struggling and just trying to keep my feet moving. I had planned to try to sprint to the finish, but I couldn’t see the clock and the line until I was almost on top of them, so I didn’t end up doing that. I finished strong, though. And I felt great when it was over. We grabbed some water, walked around a little, and headed back home. John wanted to stop at Melodee Music to see if they had a bridge for his guitar, but they weren’t open yet, so we had breakfast at the Georgetown Cafe in Leesburg.
The Georgetown Cafe is on King Street, just south of Market. I’ve seen it a bunch of times, but have never gone in. They had a sign in the window advertising chocolate chip pancakes, so we decided to go in (and then neither of us ordered chocolate chip pancakes). Anyway, the waiter/host/etc (manager?) was Gary (I think), and was really nice. A little goofy, but nice, and we’ll definitely be coming back. I can see us becoming regulars (sort of – we don’t do breakfast out all that often). He says he gets a lot of runners on weekends after races.
To wrap up this very long post, we had a yummy breakfast, went to Melodee where John did not find a bridge for his guitar, went to Potomac River Running to buy new shoes for me, and then came home. We’re going to West Virginia in less than two hours, so I’m going to take care of a couple of things (like showering and packing).
I made promises to myself yesterday about this blog, and then, because I’m an idiot, nearly broke the first one on the first day. The second day. Whatever. So here are those promises.
1. Post something every day. Don’t let this fall into disuse like every other journal/diary I’ve ever tried to keep.
2. Don’t obsess over what I write. I’m writing what’s in my head, no matter how that may make me look to whoever might read it. Look at the title of the blog. This is not earth-shattering news.
Hmm. So maybe I only have two promises for now. I’m sure I’ll come up with more.
So I finally got around to starting a blog. It’s going to take me a while to figure out how this works, and even longer to make the page look the way I want it to. (Mostly because I don’t know how I want it to look yet.) I’ll be trying to emulate blogs I like to read, but I think I’ll be on training wheels for quite some time. That doesn’t even make sense. Welcome to my blog. 🙂