The blog about what we experience in our everyday runs

Friday, December 30, 2011

He's Just Not That Into You

81 Days --

In the little game called mating there are usually tell tale signs of attraction. Often us men have difficulty in reading, interpreting and understanding the cues our female counterparts emit.

This unfortunate ability is either a lack of evolutionary prowess on the part of us males or a lack clear emotional communication from the female's.

I would prefer to argue the latter of the two, but the distinction is not the genesis of this post.

Rather than play Dr. Phil and diagnose the signs of relationship trouble, there is at least one clear marker that things are probably not on solid footing.

Here's a note to both sexes: If your partner turns away from a kiss, then proceeds to lean back from a kiss on the second attempt, it's safe to say that he's just not that into you.

Now granted, as the few former women in my life can attest, I am not the king of perfect relationships. In fact I have very little room to criticize or point out flaws in other people's romantic lives--at least they have something that resembles a romantic life.

But the couple near L'Enfant plaza last night should take note: When he backs away from your goodbye kiss, it's probably the last goodbye. Somehow the last kiss is never as magical as that first one.

Nevertheless, if that couple's intention was to save the PDA from happening in front of me, I appreciate that and wish that more would do the same. If not, then better luck the next time I see you with your new man and maybe you will earn a spot in Sights in My Nikes for the polar opposite of this post. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Doublewide Power Scooter

88 Days --

The treacherous DC streets are well documented. From the tourists and their cameras to the Segway brigades and the NAKID kickballs flying on the Mall, people put their lives in danger when heading out.

Adding to this fabulous list of sidewalk perils is a new breed of danger -- old people in their motor scooters.

Typically confined to grocery store aisles and Bingo halls, these power scooters give our old folks a spark they haven't felt since prom night.

While I have been nearly run over multiple times at the local grocer, never once had I seen a two-seater, shared power scooter bookin it through the aisles.

And yet when I thought I had seen it all, yesterday in Columbus Circle near Union Station a elderly couple sat atop their double wide power scooter--powering through the huddle mass of pedestrians as they maneuvered down the ramp to cross the street.

Since the image really tells the story there's not much left to write, except for the sight truly did bring a chuckle. Here's to old people and their "I don't give a damn, I'm old philosophy." Hopefully when I reach that age, I too will share in that philosophy while I take in the Sights in My Nikes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keeping pace with the Gazellewoman

91 Days — 

The gazelleman is a rare breed. Often spotted at marathons, Ironman races and Whole Foods, these creatures only run while others rest.

When one sees a gazelleman in the wild, it's an incredible sight — the seamless gliding through the air and the perfect form — that invokes feelings of envy and awe.

Of course, a fair warning to any human runners: when waiting with one of these rare creatures at a stop light or when the gush of wind suddenly makes you think you can keep pace, just remember that after a block you will be so toast that the cheetah chasing the gazelle will go for you instead.

And yes, this is from personal experience (well except for the cheetah part — that would be strange in DC). Stopping tonight at a light, a gorgeous gazellewoman (even more rare) glided up to the corner. As she stood there waiting for traffic to pass, she almost hopped in front of a truck, nearly becoming a permanent hood ornament. To prevent the loss of such majestic grace, I yelled 'Watch out,' to which the gazellewoman paid a second of attention to me.

It was in that hot second that I felt I too could channel my inner gazelle and keep up or pass this creature. Sadly, after keeping up for a block, I was burned at the next light as the gazellewoman took off with her brown big curl hair and Santa hat blowing in the breeze — leaving me to truck it up the Hill.

While I don't usually admit defeat, it's not often a mere human runner can interact so closely with a gazellewoman.

For tomorrow's run, it's back to the normal pace that allows me to take in the Sights in My Nikes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

HUD's Alien Docking Station

93 Days —

Chalk this one up to UFO/Government conspiracy theories.

We are told that Rosyln (not the one in Virginia) is just a military testing facility. We laugh at claims of UFO spottings (probably because all the 'witnesses' need a new dental plan and always see the mysterious object while in their bass boat with a beer — or two — in hand).

But in the world of supernatural encounters, there exist legitimate theories — the ancient civilizations had help from above to build their elaborate and precise structures; the random crop circles that a farmer in his John Deere could not produce; and the White House zapping in Independence Day.

Let's add one more to the plausible list: The Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters near L'Enfant Plaza and it's 'space port.'

Aside from the curvature and layout of the building, the space port saucers in the courtyard do not resemble any humanoid creation. These white saucers must serve no other purpose than as a docking station or some sort of signal to the aliens.

Some might claim that the saucers are rejects from Epcot — doubtful because it lacks mouse shape; could be a shield from the rain — nope it's got a giant hole in the middle; protection from the wind? — only if you are as skinny as the pole; artistic beauty? — yeah if you live on Mars; alien docking station — absolutely.

Since I am not in a bass boat, my teeth are in general working order and I am lacking a cold beer, I can definitely state I am not the authority on UFO's. So UFO theories aside, the architectural design does resemble that of The Jetsons. It's unfortunate that human society has not advanced to the caliber of the Jetsons era, as that must have been what the 1970 architects expected when designing these courtyard saucers.

Nevertheless, while I (and those saucers) wait for aliens to touch down or for George Jetson style transportation I'll keep running and taking in the outta this world Sights in My Nikes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When it comes to trees, size matters

96 Days — 

In a show of muscle the 2011 Congressional Christmas Tree dominates the Mall, creating quite a presence over the Executive Branch's attempt.

While the White House Christmas Tree boasts a large tree with 52 surrounding mini trees, there is just a lack of magnitude when it comes to the White House's attempt.

(For those unaware, apparently the original tree was struck by lightning, thus the current one is plan B).

Congress's tree, a tall, slender and well-light spire very nicely adorns the end of the Mall and the West Front of the Capitol Building. It truly is a beautiful sight.

Of course, this is not to say the White House Christmas trees are not worth the visit — they very much are. But as we all know, when it comes to Christmas trees, size does matter.

Jokes aside, I am not one to blog or write about politics. The point here is the spirit of the holiday season. Running through this city after dark is truly a beautiful site — the lights, decorations, wreaths and traditional houses so wonderfully decorated.

The sights are a nice change from the normal and it reminds us of the true meaning of the season — spending time with loved ones.

While our trees on Christmas morning will not compare to the size of the Capitol's, it's the celebration of the holiday that truly means the most. So as I continue to run through DC, I'll keep taking in the lights and Sights in My Nikes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Couch wanted? Forget Ikea, try the street

99 Days — 

In need of a couch? Well take a stroll through DC's neighborhood streets and the selection rivals that of Ikea.

I sense that these street couches magically appear in relatively large cities or those very fashion forward ones that have taken up floor pillows in lieu of couches.

These street couches serve many purposes, to which the purpose is often in the eye of the beholder:

1. The 'Moneymaker'
We all know that cash can be tight and well when you've got a bed, a chair and a paycheck not coming for two weeks, throwing the couch on the street/craigslist can bring in some cold hard cash. Let's face it, those friends can start crashing on the floor.

2. The 'Where did those stains come from?'
Every couch has one — or 10 — and if the couch is goin' to the curb it's bound to have some fabric blemishes. It happens to the best of couches: "That random spot that magically appeared after your friend crashed on the couch a few times;" or "The not sure what was for dinner but now it's the couch stain;" or everyone's favorite, "When this couch was handed down to me, they said the spots were a 70's fabric trend."

3. The 'I can't drag this on the Metro'
The Metro provides an essential service for us DCers. Groceries, bikes, strollers, babies and the 'not sure what's in the corner of the train' are all daily sights on the colorful lines. But let's face it folks, Metro doesn't need additional seating on the trains. So lugging a couch on Orange line to transfer at Metro Center to the Red line just isn't gonna cut it.

4. The 'I won't give a dollar to a homeless man, so I gave a couch instead'
For those of you who are a little hesitate to give a buck or two to a homeless guy, the couch is the obvious next logical option. Instead of a buck, a beat up couch serves so many more purposes — for starters it's certainly a lot softer than the park bench.

5. The 'It's bulk trash day'
This would be the most logical and sensible reason to put a couch on the curb, but the other four made for good prose.

No matter the reason, keep putting those couches out there, because at the very least it gives me something to think about as I run around our city and write about the Sights in My Nikes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

General Tso's Squirrel...say what?

101 Days — 

When it comes to tourists, D.C.'s got 'em.

Natives of every city can easily spot tourists — the cameras, the fanny packs, sensible shoes and the 'I Heart [insert city name here]' shirts.

As I have run through the D.C. streets, I have noticed some variations that are completely unique to the District.

First, our tourists love the Segways. They love traveling in Segway packs. They love taking pictures of everything, including their Segways. And on the tourist scale, the Segway ones think they are the coolest. (They may have overlooked the deadly factor. Just ask the Segway inventer. But that's beside the point.) 

Second, and to the inspiration of this post, tourists, especially the Asians, are fascinated with D.C. squirrels. They are so fascinated with the furry creatures, that they crowd around them on the Mall, are entirely amused when such a creature climbs on a bench and I think I have even heard a few making squirrel noises.

I can only imagine the dialogue when one of these tourists shows the photos of his vacation to his friends: — "oh there's the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and Nutsy the squirrel. In fact here are 500 pictures of Nutsy and we even tried to bring Nutsy home but customs denied the request."

There were so many people taking pictures of just squirrels on the Mall it's as if a squirrel's natural habitat is the District.

Besides the humor there is in watching a grown man, surrounded by his dorky kids, bend over to get the perfect angle of a squirrel eating lunch, this could be an entirely untapped and profitable industry. We've all heard of the agro-tourism business (thank you Schrute Farms), the eco-tourism business, whale watching and dolphin watching.

But I don't think anyone has ever heard of "Squirrel Watching." If today is any measure of interest in this untapped field, then I think I know my next career move.

Watch out D.C., "Find your Nuts Tourism" may be the next Sight in your Nikes.

Friday, December 9, 2011


102 Days —

If Allstate is looking for a Mayhem stand-in, I'm their man.

While I lack the pink weights and headband, I filled the   the blindspot or the teenage texter (I won't go as far as to say the hot runner) mayhem role quite well last night.

Unlike the popular commercials, these wrecks didn't fully matriculate. Nevertheless, let's recap the evening's near-misses:

1. Whilst booking it through a Senate parking lot, a tourist got confused, stopped, then, when presented with the option of plowing into a parked car or merging into a moving car, chose to merge into a moving car (Perhaps DC can enact a 'No Picture Taking While Driving Ban'). This moving car--a 100% American bred Ford Truck--didn't take to that thought too kindly, revved up that V8 and nearly rammed into the poor tourist attempting to merge.

After the first near-miss, Mayhem hopped off the tourist's blindspot and hitched a ride on the front of a cab.

2. Attempting to parallel park when a cab is coming up in the rear-view mirror proves more challenging and dangerous than it may look. Again, another near miss, as the parallel parker halted its reverse as the cabby laid on its horn--and the accelerator.

Like Allstate's Mayhem, I jumped off the near wrecks, untouched myself and just kept running to see the destruction that comes next.

Word to the drivers of DC; apparently I bring some Mayhem with me. So driver's beware as I take in the Sights in my Nikes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kangaroos in trees; Australian for Christmas

103 Days — 

We all know the saying, 'Foster's, Australian for Beer.' Well time to add a new 'Australian for [insert your favorite thing].'

I am by no means, nor have I ever claimed to be a biologist. But I can safely assert that Kangaroos are not native to the greater Washington, D.C. area, nor do they belong in trees.

Alas, in the land where States and numbers meet this is indeed true.

Trucking along tonight, sans music, I come across an outdoor evergreen tree with Christmas bows and very large cutout kangaroo ornaments. No joke, Kangaroos are literally hanging off this tree.

Certainly, ornament design makes Christmas trees stand out and unique. My parents, harking back to their Florida days, still have a fish tree and a regular tree; the Obamas put up 51 trees outside the White House; and well I guess we  know how the Aussies celebrate the holidays. Surprised PETA hasn't said anything...

So tonight, I'll tip back my post-run Foster's and say "Here's to my good mates down under for introducing a non-native species to the District and for giving me some good Sights in my Nikes."

Monday, December 5, 2011

The starting blocks

104 Days —

There's a feeling runners experience that doesn't quite fit into words. That feeling usually hits somewhere in the run; that moment of pure bliss, where the legs, the heart, the body, the mind and the music all coalesce into this remarkable high. There's nothing quite like it — those of us runners, we understand, in fact we crave it. Non-runners, just trust us, it happens. 

It's during those runs that other stuff happens too. Often, it's quite funny, remarkable or just plain cool. 

Again, for non-runners, just trust that it happens and for those Gazelle-Human hybrids who are too cool to wear Nike's, again, trust me, it happens but you just run too fast to see it. 

To me, running is not about the destination, but about the journey (If the destination really mattered, then I might as well not leave the house, since I start and stop in the same place). If you're anything remotely close to being like me, then you understand that it's what we experience along the route that makes runs great. Every run is different with each one bringing new challenges, experiences and occasionally awakening a few unknown muscles. 

This blog is not about my marathon training routine. This blog is not about how many miles I completed, my times, what I ate and how I stretched. There's too much of that out there and besides, it's no fun to read about the Gazelle-Human hybrid types anyway. 

This blog is going to be filled with real experiences, real sights, real laughs and real stories all about the runs I take in Washington, D.C. 

A few things to note:
1. I've attempted a blog before — it failed miserably. 
2. I've thought about blogging before and the idea never left the incessant thought bubble that is my brain
3. I'm training for my first marathon on March 17, 2012 in Washington D.C. (Rock n' Roll Marathon). Each post will have a countdown of the number of training days left. 

Sometimes I'll blog more than once a day, sometimes I'll blog every other day and sometimes I won't do it for a week. But since I've seen and experienced some pretty cool, and at times quite funny events, I think it will be fun to finally have a place to combine two of my passions: running and writing. 

Please feel free to comment, suggest new neighborhoods in the Washington DC area that I can explore and who knows maybe you will be a post of Sights in My Nikes.