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2007-11-08 - Anacostia Tributary Orbit

10+ miles @ ~10.5 min/mi

I've been here before — cf. AnacostiaTributaries (28 Jan 2003), SlowRunSummaries (13 Feb 2004), ThisSpaceNotForRent (18 Dec 2004), TheAvenue (22 Apr 2006), DeathlyCold (18 May 2006), SharperImage (8 Dec 2006) — but it's always delightful to revisit a friend. Instead of Superman's telephone booth today I enter a portajohn as mild-mannered bureaucrat ^z and emerge as Half Beast, bedecked in shorts and technical shirt plus cheap cotton gloves. A water fountain in the Biomolecular Sciences Building fills my bottles. While fielding a phone call from Merle I walk the path by Parking Lot #11 toward Paint Branch Trail. Shortly after 2pm I pass PBT milepost 1.5 and click my stopwatch for the unofficial start. It's cool and cloudy, perfect weather for a jaunty journey, and at a 10.7 min/mi pace I skirt Lake Artemesia and arrive at the triple-point junction of Paint Branch, Indian Creek, and Northeast Branch Trails.

The trek down Northeast Branch Trail is similarly smooth. I throttle back, field a phone call from Paulette, and average 11.0 min/mi on the 2.5 measured miles to the next triple-point trail nexus where Northeast Branch, Northwest Branch, and the Anacostia River Trails converge. Then I start feeling frisky and accelerate upstream on the Northwest Branch Trail. Near the West Hyattsville Metro Station I spy a pair of pink striped panties (size 9, rather too small for me) beside the path. I hang them from the next bridge railing and trot onward. My average pace on NWB when I reach milepost 4.0 is a brisk 10.0 min/mi — whee! — and after climbing University Blvd back to the UM campus I weave among strolling students and sprint downhill to my starting point for a personal loop record of just under 1h55m. Whew!