2007-07-14 - Wheaton Meltdown

~9 miles @ ~13 min/mi

Like a string of oases in the desert, the public park water fountains of Kensington, Wheaton, and Silver Spring decorate today's too-hot run and make it, just barely, survivable. I start out feeling strong and telling myself that mid-day heat and humidity will add a little challenge to the journey. After half an hour, though, when I've sipped from the Rock Creek Trail fountain on Old Springhouse Rd. and still feel weak, my expectations start to slip. The dry, broken old tap by the tennis court in Kensington Cabin Park further saps my spirits. After cautiously crossing the railroad tracks I find a new fountain, thank goodness, in the little park on St. Paul St. south of Plyers Mill. But there's no water source to be seen at Kensington Heights Park where I turn to follow University Blvd. eastwards.

A chorus of "Dee, Dee, Dee, Dehydration!" starts to run through my fevered brain, to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" when I pass the Giant grocery store and other shops of downtown Wheaton. I'm walking almost as much as running now, trying to stay in what patches of shade to be found along the sidewalk. Then hooray! — the drinking fountain at Wheaton Forest Park is working today. It lets me refill my now-empty bottle, wash down a 4x sodium energy gel, and wet my head, to the amusement of picnickers enjoying a summer barbecue nearby. Once I turn onto Sligo Creek Trail I begin to recover and can jog a bit more. At Sligo Dennis Avenue Park the rec center water flows smoothly, as do my final 2+ miles home.