2006-03-11 - Lockout

~6 miles @ ~14:00 min/mi + ~10 miles @ ~14:30 min/mi

At 6am Ms. C-C and I rendezvous at the MD Route 28 intersection with the Greenway Trail [1]. We observe Venus brilliant-cut in the dawn sky and debate the likely temperature and appropriate number of layers to wear. Then eastward we go, flushing a family of deer eating breakfast at the tree farm. We trot upstream along Seneca Creek, past archaic Black Rock Mill to Germantown Road (MD 118) and back. At scenic spots we pause to photograph one another. We shamelessly walk the hills and finish strong, apparently recovered from last weekend's trail marathon together. Caren sprints over and down the final ridge ahead of me. As she unlocks her automobile I discover to my chagrin that I've carried the ignition key to my car rather than the key to the doors. Deja vu – I last did this to myself on an 11 Nov 2004 run.

I phone AAA and they call for a locksmith to come break into my vehicle. C-C is concerned about my plight and lends me her spiffy Marine Corps Marathon jacket; she has to leave soon on family business. An elderly fellow Texan named Steve pulls his pickup truck into the parking area and chats with me about the drought on his ranch, Middle East politics, etc. He's crusing along the country roads enjoying the morning but took a wrong turn; no problem! Next the Auto Club man arrives and opens my car. He's a Marine, driving a tow truck in between tours in Iraq, and feels embarrassed that it takes him a few minutes instead of the five seconds he initially estimated.

Then it's nap time: I sprawl across the back seat, take off shoes, prop up feet, and rest tired eyes for much of an hour. Shortly after 9am Ruth appears and we set off in the direction that C-C and I went but go a bit farther, to Riffle Ford Road. It's much warmer now, in the 60's and rising, so I suffer. I take two S! electrolyte capsules but run out of Gatorade during the return trip; Ruth gives me some of a British sports drink that she's carrying. We stop to take pictures on the way.

Ruth feels strong and pulls me along during miles 3-5 and again for much of the way back. Being in front is, however, hazardous today: I stumble during the first mile and scrape my left hand and right shin; when Ruth takes the lead she trips twice but rolls properly and fortunately suffers minimal damage. Hidden flocks of birds make loud clacking-calling noises as we pass. Ruth spies a brown frog on the path outbound and we see it again, or its twin, during our return. A yellow-brown snake slithers out of Ruth's way, startling her and vice versa.