2005-11-05 - CCT Zigzag

8 miles @ ~11:15 min/mi

Amazingly five of us manage to rendezvous at the Capital Crescent Trail in downtown Bethesda at 8am Saturday morning (though I arrive with only 30 seconds to spare). Coach Evan & his friend Mike blast southwards with Comrades Carl & Ken & me in warm pursuit. I'm on the lookout for money on the ground — last week Ken snagged a $20 bill here — but all we spy on the shoulder of the path is a discarded brassiere, which engenders some mildly risqué speculation as to how it got there.

After a blitz mile in 10:00 Carl sprints ahead to join the speedsters while Ken & I turn back; we're now at the 4.5 mile point just short of River Road. Ken hasn't seen much of the northern end of the CCT so we trek that way at a more comfortable ~11:30 pace, talking and enjoying the scenery and dodging cyclists. I demand walk breaks at every half-mile post, a strategy that works well today. When we reach the 0.5 mile marker we're assaulted by paint fumes from an adjacent auto body shop. We reverse course again and return to the start.

The upper-back regions of my arms begin to feel irritated and raw, even though there's nothing for them to chafe against since I'm wearing a no-sleeve singlet. I've felt this before (e.g., in the middle miles of the MarineCorpsMarathon2004) and can only speculate that it's related to sweat and hyper-sensitive skin. During our last mile a lovely lady with mathematically golden hip-to-waist ratio runs past. I feel rejuvinated enough to pursue and chat with her briefly, thereby achieving a final 10:45 split. After we cool down Ken takes me a couple of blocks west to the Louisiana Express where he introduces me to beignets: New Orleans hot-fried-dough pastries covered with powdered sugar. I bring a bag of them home, eat some more, and then take an hour-long nap to atone for getting up at 4:30am to do the family laundry.

(correlates: 2007-09-17 - Artemesia Dusk, Buss and Ride, 2007-09-01 - Half Marathon Practice, ...)