Showing posts from April, 2016

Loudoun Half & 8K Race

Two years ago I participated in the inaugural Loudon Half & 8K.  It is a race put on by a local running store in conjunction with an area running club.  Its proceeds benefit local high school running programs.  Plus, it's at a time of year when the cherry blossoms are still out, making for a really scenic run. At the time, I had had varying levels of success dating back to my first half marathon in 2007.  I had never broken the two-hour barrier and so I set a conservative goal (based on my training at the time) to simply break two hours.  I smashed that pretty handily at 1:48:12. Fast forward to this year and I had not run another race of that distance since 2014, let alone any run at all of that distance.  With my daughter being born in January and the fact that I was still recovering from a knee injury, my training was inconsistent, but put it nicely.  I wasn't sure what I'd be able to realistically run the race.  I told my wife that my goal was 1:42, but that was

Week One in the Books

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting being the primary caregiver for my daughter.  I had some fear that it would be more than I could handle, but that turned out to be unfounded. Things went exceedingly well.  Being the data-collector that I am, I created a log of my daughter's activities (e.g., when she napped, when she ate, how much she ate, etc.) on the first day, and by the second day, I was able to easily predict when it was time to go down for a nap before she was overly tired.  I was able to predict how much milk to defrost before she got so hungry that she threw a fit.  In short, I could not have imagined it going better. It's a bit ironic, actually - when my wife is around, I don't have carte blanche to feed my daughter.  I always have to be cognizant of where my wife is and if she's not immediately available, I have to hold off my daughter until my wife is available to feed.  When my wife's at work, I don't have that restriction and it makes

Parental Leave

I'm pretty spoiled by my job at a Federal consulting firm.  It's really easy to take for granted the lenient policies they have in almost all aspects of employee benefits.  As an example, I have to remind my team (and myself) that you don't actually "request" time off - you simply let your supervisor know that you are taking it.  It's not a request because it can't be denied. So it's no surprise that the Parental Leave policy here is pretty great as well.  Well, it's mostly great.  I had to do some finagling to actually work it since I'm a dad.  It's funny - the policy was clearly made in such a way as to not discriminate against men, but also in such a way as to ensure that men do not get to be the primary beneficiaries of the policy. Basically, the policy allows 16 weeks for moms after giving birth.  By default, dad's get two weeks.  The 16 weeks are split into two-eight week blocks.  The first is only usable by mothers that have