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Kingstowne Striders
INTERVALS
E-Newsletter

Letting Freedom Ring From Our Running Shoes

A Note from our President: Summer is here, and so is the heat and humidity!  Choosing what to wear this time of year is trivial: shorts, top, shoes, socks.  No fussing with layers and vests and gloves and caps.  If you can maintain your training through the summer, you will reap the benefits when Fall brings cooler weather.  In the meantime, take care of yourself, watch your pace, and hydrate well.  Tip: If you finish a hot run at your house, turn on your garden hose and run cool water over your legs for 15 minutes or so.  It will feel great, bring your core temperature down, and help your legs recover.
 
A new feature of the newsletter will be a profile of a new member.  Please welcome Kayla to the Striders.
 
Hope to see you at a run soon!
~Dave
Click here to renew or sign up for a membership.  Just a reminder your dues cover RRCA insurance and provides other awesome benefits as a member of the club. 

Diary of a Quarantined Runner  
abridged version*

Envisioned as a distraction to the zaniness that enveloped the entire world seemingly overnight in mid-March, the 40 Day Streak to Restore Sanity (STRS) was later extended to an 80-day event.  Even by that time, it was apparent that sanity (if we ever really had any) would not be restored anytime soon.  Nevertheless, I persevered and completed all 80 days of the streak; gratefully taking the next day off.  But the STRS never would have even started if not for another streak that began exactly 1,946 days before it did…
 
The STRS began with a rather uninspiring 1.23-mile jaunt around the interior confines of my company’s 10,000 square foot office space.  It was a chilly day for late March and just not a good one to be outside…
 
Day 7 of the STRS was an unsanctioned "Distance Run" from Panera Bread with two fellow Striders (Rachel & Christina).  "Distance" referred to how far apart we stayed; not how far we ran.  Rachel suggested that we finish with a small loop in the parking lot to make it measure out to a 5k. I did not know it at the time, but it would be more than 2 months before I ran with another person again....
 
The STRS almost ended for me on Day 15; I had forgotten all about it until 10:49 pm.  A brisk walk of exactly 1.00 miles saved the day....
 
Saturday afternoon hikes became a favorite part of the STRS.  I went off the beaten path in Kingstowne Park and discovered this secluded place....
 
A fellow Strider posted about a Stay at Home race where participants choose their own distance, chart their own course, and then submit their time to a website. After signing up and handpicking a 5k course that had a net elevation loss of over 200 feet, I set my sights on setting an EPIC PR....
 
April 25 was day 34 of the STRS and the Stay at Home 5k beckoned.  The course was basically a plunge down the steep hills from the Beacon Hill area to the Belleview Shopping Center, with some flat stretches thrown in to make the distance official.  Maybe it was a lack of serious training, or an onset of common sense that reminded me that I could not just run pell-mell down a steep slope like I did as a child, but I missed that PR by just over a minute and a half. Inexplicably, in designing this course, I forgot all about including a beer garden at the finish line. Unforgiveable....
 
Whether it was a matter of having limited free time, dealing with weather issues, or just plain laziness, 9 days of the STRS had runs that were from exactly 1 mile to 1.05 miles…
 
I was wanting to push the reset button on 2020 well before May 1 (the 4oth day of the STRS and its originally scheduled end date) and go back to January 1 for a “Do-Over.”  Maybe the revised version would have at least one decent snowstorm, and one less virus…
 
Day 36 of the STRS was an otherwise unremarkable 1.21-mile walk done for no other reason than to check that days’ box…
 
The biggest benefit of the STRS was that whether walking or running, it kept me moving every day.  I had invested a lot of time in gaining the conditioning necessary to run several miles at a time and it would be a shame to regress…
 
One of the Striders told me that there is quicksand in some areas of Kingstowne Park; quicksand is a lifelong phobia of mine.  I hiked in that park twice as part of the STRS:  Day 13 and Day 70….
 
I don’t think that quicksand cares whether you are barefoot or not.  {I wonder if snowshoes would work in quicksand?} …
 
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, the barriers blocking the entrances to the parking lots at all county parks disappeared.  That inspired me to park at South Run Rec Center and hike 4.16 miles around Lake Mercer on Day 62 of the STRS.  With the hiking boots forgotten at home, I wore an inadequate pair of shoes and ended up with yet another case of plantar fasciitis.  I have become quite adept at treating that condition by rolling out my feet with a tennis ball.  The STRS was not impacted….
 
I witnessed something special happen in my neighborhood during the STRS. A little girl of maybe five got a new bicycle with training wheels and didn’t seem to have any idea of the purpose of such a toy.  The first night she sat on it motionless while her mother pushed her up and down the sidewalk.  The next night, that little girl was zipping around all by herself; the look of pure joy all over her face made my day…
 
Talk about steep slopes.  Day 64 of the STRS was Memorial Day and I met up with a small group of friends in Harpers Ferry for lunch and a hike.  The parking lots were barricaded and much of the trails were closed off due to the pandemic, but we did come across some turtles basking on a log.  Most noteworthy was the walk back to the car where the elevation gain was almost 400 feet in less than one mile…
 
Once hooked into something like the STRS, it becomes just another part of life; somedays come with more motivation than others.  At my lowest point, what kept me going was that it appeared that Bob Havey and I were the only two remaining participants.  I just couldn’t let our most senior member put the rest of us to shame…
 
By Day 17 of the STRS, masks were becoming ever more prevalent everywhere I went.  In an effort to find out whether masks were comfortable to wear while exercising (turns out they are not), I figured I would wear one while taking a walk.  I also wanted to show some love to my favorite annual 5k, and my favorite running club…
 
Day 69 of the STRS and the Striders were finally able to meet as a group again.  Having been a member of the Striders since 2018, I had missed my friends, and I was tired of running alone…
 
Days 69 and 70 of the STRS were back to back runs with the Kingstowne Striders.  Saturday at Edison High School and Sunday at the Belleview Shopping Center (still no beer garden in sight)…
 
I closed out Day 80 of the STRS by aiming to cover a distance of 2.08 miles to match what I had averaged over the previous 79 days.  I challenged myself to start walking with no set course in mind other than to mentally compute the remaining distance on the fly and adjust the route as necessary.  The goal was to finish back at my starting point having travelled exactly 2.08 miles.  I was off by about 30 feet and had to finish that far apart from my starting point.  Close enough…
 
I lost 5 pounds over 80 days while completing the Streak to Restore Sanity.
I gained a wonderful group of new friends by becoming a runner.


*read the full version of Vince's story on the KS website here.

 Written by Vincent Hughes, fellow strider

Have a great story to share?  email: president@kingstownestriders.org or secretary@kingstownestriders.org

New Member Spotlight  -  Meet Kayla
About Kayla: ...I just recently moved to the area from Northern Indiana (Valparaiso to be exact). My sister is beginning her podiatry residency here and I needed a change of scenery, so here I am! About 5 years ago, I started taking a healthy lifestyle more seriously and started running with my coworkers during our lunch hour. And then I started running some 5/10k races and kind of fell in love. Upon moving here, I needed something for a little motivation to get back into running after a short hiatus and wanted to find a place to meet some new people, so I started looking at running groups and found Kingstowne Striders. I am excited to be a part of this community!
 
Favorite Race experience: I would have to say one of my favorites is the City to Surf 14k I ran last August in Sydney, Australia. It was the largest race I had ever participated in (~80,000 people participated) and the furthest I had ever run for a race distance. It starts in downtown Sydney and the route leads you to finish at Bondi Beach.

It was an interesting way to view the city and luckily "Heartbreak Hill" wasn't all that heartbreaking! Ha. It was a beautiful place to run and was a whole lot of fun! 

Favorite Race Medal:  My favorite would have to be the medal from my second Bourbon Chase. That year's theme was The 80's. It was unique and colorful and represented an accomplishment of the fastest Bourbon Chase finish for our company.

Unaccomplished Race Goals: Train for and complete a half-marathon.
 

Written by Kayla Breitenbach, fellow strider

New member and want to introduce yourself?  email: president@kingstownestriders.org or secretary@kingstownestriders.org

Returning to Normalcy - slooowly
Group runs are in back in full swing but keep in mind social distance is a must.  Wear masks at your own comfort while running.  Remember to stay up to date with CDC guidelines posted here.  Facebook run invites have resumed so be sure to check our page and respond.  Stay healthy and getting moving my running friends!
Kingstown Striders Website
https://www.facebook.com/groups/KTownStriders/
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President · Kingstowne Striders · 6007 Woodlake Lane · Alexandria, VA 22315 · USA

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