American Odyssey Relay, 2012
April 28th, 2012
We did the American Odyssey Relay this weekend, our second year in a row as part of Team Wharf (Matt’s 3rd year doing it overall). It was another crazy adventure this time around, consisting of 200 miles from Gettysburg back to DC, with 12 runners, 3 legs each, on very little sleep, with loads of trail mix and gatorade mixed in. Matt put in a total of 17.2 miles at a 8:54 pace and I put in a total of 14.4 miles at a 9:31 pace — our time-keeping was far more diligent this year than in the past. The grand total for our team was 27 hours and 29 minutes of continuous running, at an average pace of 8:19 – wooooohooooooooo! And to top it off, we were awarded the prize for best van decorations, thanks to Gaby, and we each got to take home a commemorative beer glass. GO TEAM WHARF.
Team Wharf – the car decorations before departing
lobster and other maritime themed decorations
the starting line
annnnnd we’re off! Bao is already in front of the girl with the hot shorts
rolling through the countryside
crossing the tracks
put some dirt on the car
competitors car decorations 1
competitors car decorations 2
this is the definition of the middle of nowhere
Matt takes off on his first leg of the race, sometime late-afternoon on Friday
Matt coming in on his first leg, at a Walmart parking lot
signage at one of the transitions
Lindsay coming in strong on her first leg!
waiting for some water for my hot cocoa at one of the transitions. time: approximately 2am
waiting in line for some pancake breakfast, after van #2 finished up all our night legs. time: approximately 4am
analyzing my final leg, 4 easy miles. start time: 9:53am
things keeping Matt going for the last leg – Bengay + Beef Jerky
cake, rain, running, etc
April 23rd, 2012
Val’s delicious carrot cake!
Hello, Monday (said in the tone of ‘Hello, Newman‘). We had a great weekend, but how did the week start again already, and so quickly?? On Saturday, we spent time with the fam — having lunch in the neighborhood, checking out things to be salvaged at Community Forklift, celebrating birthdays eating carrot cake, resting up early for the GW Parkway 10 miler on Sunday morning… It started out as a nice, sunny weekend, but ended in a wet sloppy, mess which carried into today. We spent a few hours outside in the rain yesterday, following the race, at a beer tasting festival (and food truck roundup) down at the Wharf. Never underestimate the willingness of people to stand around in a cold, wet downpour when there is good beer and food involved…
As far as the race report goes, we all had a great run! I think this is my 7th (!!!) year doing the GW Parkway, though I’d have to look through my t-shirts to verify that. It was mostly misting the entire time, which actually makes for decent running weather, so luckily we didn’t get too drenched. Val, Susan, Lauren and I all crossed the finish line around 1 hour and 44 minutes. Boo YAH!
I’m the excited looking one.
September 12th, 2011
Saturday morning started earlier than usual this past weekend! Me, Matt, Jill, and Dad drove out to Kent Island to participate in the Run 4 Shelter 10K Race. Jill went and outdid us all by running the half-marathon. I, however, was glad to stick with the 6.2 miles. It was a beautiful race along the paved trails by the bay, partially wooded and shady, and it was almost nearly flat. Makes the miles go by much easier and faster. I’m happy to report that Dad finished his first race of this distance ever with a second place finish in his age group — please note the medal he earned!!
Afterwards, we sat outside on some picnic tables and ate some well-deserved crab cake sandwiches at the Stevensville Crab Shack. Yum!
May 1st, 2011
This weekend we ran the American Odyssey Relay Run, which involved 12 teammates, 2 rented mini-vans, about 27 hours, and a 200 mile relay run from Gettysburg, PA to The Wharf in DC. An adventure it was!!! You certainly learn a lot about yourself by cramming into a smelly van with people you’ve just met, trying to navigate the back-roads of PA, MD, DC, and WV, running on trails you’ve never been on, sustaining on mostly Clif Bars and Gatorade, and all this on about 2 hours of total sleep.
We left early Friday morning from SW DC, and made it within 2 miles of the start in Gettysburg when Matt was pulled over by the po-lice doing 79 in a 65. Ouch We were waiting for them to write paperwork when suddenly the cop ran up, threw all our documents back in the car window, saying “It’s your lucky day. We gotta go.” Score!!! Thank goodness for whoever was robbing the nearby 7-11 (or whatever the call may have been), but that sure started us off feeling lucky. So we finally made it to the start line, no speeding tickets in hand, and met our 6 other running teammates. We had just enough time to decorate our van windows with paint markers, spelling out The Wharf (team name) and some other clever running sayings. Go team spirit. At 10:30am, our first runner left the start line with our slap-bracelet baton, beginning the first of 36 legs to the finish.
From there, we did what you do at the the start of every good race: look up directions to the nearest diner. Perkins it was! Since the other van comprised the first 6 legs of the race, we had about 4 hours until we were on. I somehow passed on the bacon lovers breakfasts and had some chicken noodle soup and an english muffin to fuel me up. Nice, delicious start to the race.
After breakfast, we went to race transition 3, which happened to be a fireworks mega store parking lot, to cheer for our team. All the transitions were going fairly smoothly so far, and it was a beautiful, cool morning. We then drove from leg to leg of the race enjoying the scenery of rural PA and our not-yet-smelly van.
Around 2:00pm Friday, I ran my first leg of the race- Leg 8, rated Hard, 4.9 miles. From the course handbook: “This is a beautiful run on a rugged dirt road through Michaux State Forest. Trail shoes are strongly suggested. It’s almost all uphill and then all downhill. No flat terrain to speak of. Virtually everyone will get to this leg during daylight hours. However, if you do get here after dark, the van must accompany you and should stay approximately 50-100 yards behind you to help illuminate the way. This leg is named after our running partner, Gary Faigen. I have no idea why.” …It was a BEAUTIFUL run. It was different than most legs, in that the vans didn’t follow the runner, so I only saw one other runner (I was passed, or “roadkilled” as we called it) in the 50 minutes that it took me to complete. What a nice chance to clear my head, enjoy the nature of the woods, and occasionally talk to myself. I was feeling good. Matt always ran directly after me, so it was great to toss him the slap-bracelet and then cool down before hopping in the van to meet him at the end of his leg.
So this process repeated itself, all 6 of our runners finished their legs, then we had some “off” time while the other van ran their 6 legs. This off time consisted of eating some bad cafeteria food and then “sleeping” on the gym floor of Boonsboro High School. We took over for our second shift around 1:30am. Pitch black night. Battlefields and corn fields of Antietam. THIS WAS CREEPY, but exhilarating. Can you think of any other way to run by monuments of Civil War heros in the middle of the night, wearing a construction vest with blinking lights and a headlamp, and not get arrested by park police? I don’t think so. It was definitely a rush. My mantra during this run was “Just keeping swimming, just keep swimming…” (thank you, Finding Nemo), while praying that no one jumped out of the bushes to steal me, and all the while trying not to hear the banjos from Deliverance.
Following the night legs of the race, we were all extremely sore and convinced we would never be able to make our third round in the morning. But, we re-fueled once again at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV with some pancake and bagels breakfasts prepared for us, for $6, by the local Boy-Scout troop. This was a very crucial part of the whole ordeal, in terms of team morale. Coffee works wonders. Feeling slightly refreshed, we drove an hour from there to Poolesville, MD, where we would take over the final 6 legs of the race. We all slept, in the van, for about 2 hours as the sun came up. If you haven’t yet pictured 6 adults trying to sleep comfortably in a mini-van, please don’t, it wasn’t pretty nor comfortable.
At 9am-ish, I ran my last leg, leg 32, rated Medium, 4.8 miles from Sycamore Landing to Riley’s Lock along the C&O canal. Finally! we were making our way towards DC. This run, for me, was a bit of a magical experience. Once again, I was mostly alone, only passing one other runner in our race (YAY! one roadkill for me!) and several other people from a walking group that were headed the other direction on their way to Harper’s Ferry. Passing people on a trail in the woods is quite pleasant, lots of “hi’s” and “hello’s” and “glad you’re running and I’m walking’s”… I can’t think of too many places where people just hi to be polite anymore. And I’m not sure if it was delirium and lack of sleep, the relief of nearly being done, or just the peace of an early morning run through the woods, before the heat of the day, along a familiar stretch of woods, with the sun reflecting off the water on my right, but boy, it was an amazing run. Maybe it was all those things, but it sure felt great to be alone with my thoughts once again, not afraid of the boogymen, and feeling the finish line getting closer. As I got to the end to cross the bridge where the transition was, I heard one of the course volunteers tell me “Almost there, Twizzlers up ahead!” Music to my ears. I passed the slap-bracelet off to Matt and I was done!! Only 4 more legs for the rest of our teammates until we were DONE DONE.
Around 2:30pm Saturday, our last runner brought it home for the team. All 12 of us ran in (sprinted, rather) for the last .1 miles until we ended at The Wharf at 7th and Maine, SE. There were smoked sausages, sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, and beers awaiting us, and victory tasted great!!
Though I’m still sore a day later, I’d definitely say I would do it again. It was a crazy day+ of straight driving and running, little sleep and weird food, cheering for people you don’t know, headlamps, battlefields, random pit stops at Wal-Mart, high schools, churches, fields and rivers, Sparklers and 80s music on Sirius radio, lots of port-o-potties, and did I mention… 200 MILES!!!
Surely makes you appreciate your own bed and a hot shower… When do we sign up for next year??
Team wharf, ready to roll.
“It’s your lucky day”
Quite dark outside.
ummm, Official timekeeping on the iPad.
Matt finishing up his last leg of the race!
Beautiful place to run, yes?
April 11th, 2011
This past weekend we had a lovely time with visitors from Delaware. Mom and Dad S. came down to celebrate a birthday, toast to Matt’s award from school, and watch us
race run the GW Parkway 10 miler. On Friday night, we stayed up until midnight awaiting the news of the impending government shutdown… The “crisis was averted” (delayed anyway), as they say, so that meant our 10-miler race was on, the city would stay open, and more importantly, people would continue to receive paychecks. woohoo for peeps getting paid! On Saturday morning, we grabbed some deli subs to go from our favorite neighborhood Italian hotspot, A. Litteri’s and then went over to the National Arboretum to wander around the gardens and check out the Ikebana exhibit.
this way or that
one of the many beautiful Ikebana displays
(I promise I did not pick this blossom, I found it on the ground…)
Messing with the photographer in action, always a good time.
wind in the willows
…and Val played hopscotch on the pavers at the old Capitol columns
After that, the guys went their own way to do guys things, while the ladies went and shopped!! We first attempted to go to the garden store in Capital Hill, but that was a big fail because there really wasn’t much of a store, just some cool things scattered around outside and then a tiny little inside area. So the next best destination was Hill’s Kitchen. I picked up a cookie cutter in the shape of DC (awesome) and a gift for an upcoming friends wedding.
That evening, we enjoyed a delicious birthday dinner for mom at Founding Farmers, and, even though our table was facing the counter where all the desserts are plated, we managed to pass on those and come home to enjoy Val’s homemade carrot cake. NOM NOM! Good pre-race fodder, right? Hey, carbs are carbs.
On Sunday morning, Matt, Val, and I were off to run a point-to-point 10 miles, starting at Mt. Vernon, winding along the GW Parkway, and ending in Alexandria. My awesome coworker and race-buddy Susan met us out there, too. Ty was tasked with making us breakfast upon our return, but in the end he came out to cheer for us instead. Thanks for getting out of bed so early on a Sunday, Ty!!
Huddled up under our foil blankets before the start of the race!! It was COLD out there at 7am. (Alternate caption: me working on my babooshka look.)
In the end, it was a great race!! This was my third year running it with Susan, and 5th year overall, so it’s become a bit of a spring tradition to look forward to. Val really pushed us to sprint in the end 1/2 mile, so she has definitely locked herself in for next years race as the motivator.
Hope you all had just as wonderful a weekend!
Giggle Juice and High Heels
October 28th, 2009
Last night was the infamous High Heel Drag Race, an annual costumed event held on 17th St. in Dupont Circle on the Tuesday before Halloween. There were plenty of lovely drag queens out last night, despite the heavy rain, and, since all of the action occurred just steps from our house, we had some friends over beforehand to enjoy some Giggle Juice (pictured above) and pizza. We didn’t get to snap too many pictures of the ladies from a few rows of people deep, where we had to poke our heads in and among the umbrellas, (or kneel on the ground to see through the crowds if your name is Andrea), so you’ll just have to check out the Flickr Pool for some funnies!
2 bottles dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, chilled
5 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
2 cups white grape juice, chilled
6 limes, thinly sliced crosswise
Make ice block: Fill medium metal bowl with water and freeze overnight.
Make punch: In large punch bowl, stir together wine, soda, and grape juice. Add lime slices. Just before serving, remove ice block from freezer and defrost just long enough to be slipped out of bowl, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to punch bowl and serve immediately.