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2010-12-19 - Rock Creek Park Loop

~11 miles @ ~12 min/mi

Cara Marie Manlandro wants to run early, continuing her comeback training from summer illness, so at 0630 I set off from the front steps and trot by dawn's early light the 3 miles to the DC line. On Brookville Rd police car lights are dazzling near the Walter Reed Annex gate, where a tow truck is recovering a car that has spun out on the ice and smashed into the protective fence. I wave at the officer as I jog past. The Capital Crescent Trail is icy but I manage not to slip. At the used-car lot I wet a toe accidentally in an unseen salt-melted puddle. A trio of other early runners follow me from Meadowbrook Stables past Candy Cane City and down Beach Dr to the Maryland border. I walk about and await CM, GPS paused at 3.02 miles. A squirrel digs for buried nuts.

CM arrives a couple of minutes later and after a brief debate about whether to wear an extra layer or not (she chooses "not") we proceed on Beach Dr into DC. After ~4 miles at near 10 min/mi pace we're at the corner of Broad Branch Rd. Instead of retracing our path I propose a loop: we turn right and take Ridge Rd up the steep icy hill up to the equitation ring. There's so much melted and refrozen ice here that we can only run brief stretches for the next few miles. At the Rock Creek Nature Center I lead CM in a wrong turn and we do a loop around the parking lot. We return to her car via the bikepath along Oregon and, after crossing Wise Rd, the Western Ridge Trail. I recount how I introduced Christina Caravoulias to this trail (cf. OperationAcclimation) in May 2007.

(see [1] for trackfile map and other data for the Rock Creek loop route) - ^z - 2010-12-25