|Cara Marie Manlandro stretches her tight calf muscle on the curb at Gallatin St waiting for the light to change so we can cross North Capitol. She's leaning in typical runner pose, hands on the light post, back to the street, derrière sticking out as traffic blasts by inches away.|
"Maybe you should move to the other side of the pole?" I suggest. "It wouldn't make a good obituary headline to get hit by a car in the, uh, ...". Then the light changes and we continue on.
Today's run begins at dawn as a local rabbit watches us from the middle of the street in front of my home. CM is wearing a bright pink technical shirt. The chill breeze scares me at first, but after a mile I have to take off the windbreaker, and half a mile later remove my cap. Then as the sun rises CM gives me her gloves and headband to tote.
In Takoma Park I insist on diverting half a block to visit DC boundary stone Northeast #2 on Maple Av (see  for photo and coordinates). CM has sharper eyes than mine and keeps us on course as we scan for Metropolitan Branch Trail signs, which are scarce and hard to spot. At Ft Totten she runs ahead as I step off the road and inadvertently into a puddle. We admire the Catholic University law school building where words like "Justice", "Wisdom", "Peace", and "Liberty" decorate the façade.
At mile 8 I note that we might be able to pull our average pace down to a nice round number if we start to kick. CM goes into "intense" mode, and neither of us is very conversational at 8:53 and 8:50 for the last two miles. The irregular wooden stairs down to L Street are tricky but neither of us falls.
By CM's GPS we make the 10.00 mile mark in 1:39:59 with just 1 second to spare. My GPS is a bit more generous today. As we await a train in Union Station CM reads off our splits and I text-message them to her for the record: 10:18 + 10:26 + 10:00 + 9:58 + 9:55 + 10:54 + 10:20 + 10:20 + 8:53 + 8:50. After the Metro ride to Forest Glen we jog the 0.8 mles back home. The temperature has dropped a couple of degrees, from mid- to lower-40's, and the wind is brisk. At home I weigh myself and am down 3 lbs. Alas, I have gained more than that during recent weeks, and need to work them off to get back into the mid-140s.