2010-02-20 - Voortrekker Footpits

19+ miles @ ~14 min/mi

At 0632 when I set off from the front steps the sun hasn't risen but my fluorescent lime-green shirt is bright enough that I feel safe without a flashlight. Melted snow has refrozen on the roads in occasional icy patches, but thanks to screw shoes I manage not to fall traversing them. The Capital Crescent Trail begins dauntingly, with a wall of plowed-aside snow blocking the entrance. I clamber over it and find a packed-down groove about hip width, pockmarked with deep sunken footprints from my predecessors. It's slow going, and the high trestle over Rock Creek is rather slippery. From Jones Mill Rd to Connecticut Av, however, the path has been cleared and I can run at a decent pace. Then, in the wealthy Chevy Chase neighborhood with "Save the Trail" signage, it's back to ice and snow. (rant: Apparently they want to keep the Purple Line away but can't be bothered to clean their back yard CCT segments.)

In downtown Bethesda at about 0730 the parking lot is busy as groups of runners gather. Sara Crum, Rebecca Rosenberg, Barry Smith, and Gayatri Datta spy me and shout. Soon Ken Swab arrives, and swears that CM Manlandro is coming "in a few minutes". Gayatri and I are getting cold, however, so we set out via Leland St instead of waiting. Less than a mile later Sara, Rebecca, and Barry catch up. At Beach Dr with still no sign of Ken and CM we turn northward to visit restrooms and add some mileage so Sara can achieve her goal of 16 today. I leave voicemails on both Ken's and CM's phones—a Droid and an iPhone respectively, which neither happens to be carrying at the moment, I later learn. The Candy Cane City clubhouse is unlocked but busy, so we continue to Meadowbrook Stables and powder our noses there.

Then it's downstream on Beach Dr (meeting Ken & CM en route back) to the end of the no-cars zone at Broad Branch Rd. Gayatri's GPS says almost 8 miles and we turn back. On the return trip when the others stop at the Military Road latrines Gayatri and I walk and jog onward. Gayatri tells me about her father's life and career in India. The others catch up and we proceed to Meadowbrook Stables again, from which I head for home, 2+ miles via the residential road on the north side of East-West Hwy. I foolishly keep up with two young ladies climbing the steep hill, then take Grubb Rd and Lyttonsville/Brookville/Linden etc. to arrive about 11am.

^z - 2010-02-23