2012-08-11 - Rock Creek

~13.3 miles @ ~12.5 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Rock_Creek_Park_Barry_Gayatri.jpgMy right hamstring is achy after last night's two-miler at the 2012-08-10 - Going Green Track Meet. This morning I take a walk break within a few hundred yards of starting from the front steps at 6:10am. A tiny rabbit stands in the street peering at me before it dashes away. At 6:29am, approaching Meadowbrook Stables, I spy Gayatri Datta coming toward me. We run together back to the Candy Cane City parking lot as Barry Smith arrives in his car. The lot is almost full already with Team in Training triathletes doing transition practice and preparing for cycling and running. Barry and Gayatri jog a few miles with me down Beach Drive and back. The Park Police close the gates to automobile traffic at 7am as we run past.
At 7:30am we're back at Candy Cane. Megan O'Rourke, Sara Crum, Alyssa Smith, and Ken Swab are now here, and then Rebecca Rosenberg arrives followed by Saira and Emaad Burki. Sara and Gayatri go to visit restrooms at the stables; I follow to add another wrinkle to the GPS trackfile and fill my water bottles. Eventually, belatedly, we're all gathered together. Led by Rebecca we form a circle to introduce ourselves. I suggest telling what tree we would be if we could be one — I yearn to be a dwarf juniper — but Rebecca just asks for name, favorite ice cream flavor, and how far each person plans to run today.

We proceed down Beach Drive into DC again, but at Wise Road I turn back solo since I need to get home by 9am and have just passed my 9 mile mark. But I run briskly and there's time enough for me to take the long way back, up Rock Creek Trail to near the Beltway, then climbing Ireland Drive to the National Park Seminary. A contemplative statue, "Joan of Arc at Domremy", catches my eye and I stop to photograph it.

I notice a strange white foam on my legs during the final miles. Is it a chemical exudation from the new Fuel Belt I'm wearing for the first time today? Leftover detergent in my shorts? Something my body is producing? Rather a mystery, without an obvious answer.

The Garmin GPS is running the entire time, so the average pace for today includes a couple of 5-10 minute breaks. Mile splits are 10:21 + 10:40 + 15:57 + 11:36 + 12:40 + 11:35 + 15:25 + 16:35 + 11:28 + 10:35 + 11:19 + 11:03 + 12:44 and a final 0.4 mile sprint at 10:47 min/mi to get the overall average down a bit. | http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Joan_of_Arc_NPS_statue.jpg |

^z - 2012-08-26