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2004-07-17 - Rock Creek and Capital Crescent Mini-loop

15+ miles @ ~13 min/mi

From home past Mermaid Fountain to Rock Creek Trail, south into DC to Park Police Hqs., west via Military Road to Friendship Heights (Mazza Gallerie) and on Western + River Road back to the Capital Crescent Trail and the usual 5 miles home from there (generally reversing the route I last ran in August 2003 --- see LoopCourse)... 8:45am-11:57am, already too warm and humid to be comfortable for much of the jog. I'm exhausted during the final measured miles on the CCT and average ~12:15 for that leg. I walk almost 50% of the last half hour.

Worst
All the drinking fountains in Rock Creek Park are turned off (there are "lead concerns" in the City of Lawyers) --- and there isn't even water or a functional soda machine at the Park Nature Center! A security guard suggests that I might get some water at the horse stables, or from one of the restroom washbasins. I should have taken her advice.
Best
Two nice ladies are setting up a yard sale in front of their tiny house on Military Road. One sees me going by and says "I've got some running clothes!" So I stop and browse, then ask tentatively if there's a garden hose that I could get a drink from since by this time (~9 miles) I'm getting dehydrated. One woman offers me bottled water, which I decline as "too fancy", so she kindly refills my container from the tap inside her house.
Suboptimal Behaviors
I trip over a curb in front of the Nature Center and collapse to the sidewalk like a house of cards --- but fortunately only scrape a hand and bruise my elbow (and ego). Half an hour later I find a convenience store, venture inside, stand in line for five minutes, and buy a 20 oz. Mountain Dew (an orange juice was my goal, but I can't quite afford one). I chug the Dew --- and the result is a less-than-comfortable gut for the next several miles.
Observations
An American Goldfinch, male in brilliant yellow summer "breeding plumage" --- and on a related theme, an empty condom wrapper on a dirt-and-gravel hiker/horse trail, dropped by somebody apparently in a hurry. I pick it up to carry to a trash can and notice that it's labeled "Large" --- which in the prophylactic business doubtless translates into "extra small", eh?! (Oops! --- earlier I promised to avoid this topic. Sorry about that ... )