2012-09-30 - Northwest Branch-Northeast Branch-Paint Branch-UM Loop

~10.7 miles @ ~9.7 min/mi

Throw away the shorts! Trash the socks! After a fraction of a mile it's clear: this has to be the last excursion with ancient thrift-store-purchased "Moving Comfort" running shorts. The lining sags and rides up, leaving unmentionable body parts sporadically at, ah, loose ends. Likewise it's past time to abandon low-cut Thorlos anklet socks that keep slipping down into shoes, defying best efforts to adjust. Into the garbage they shall go, as soon as I get home!

Nonetheless, in spite of wardrobe malfunctions, a new Personal Best: today's solo circuit on Anacostia Tributary trails beats prior PB by a few minutes. Daughter Gray has got ~50 pounds of books to return to the University of Maryland library, Son Robin has got to get to the Metro for a meet-up stat discussion downtown, and I've got the itch to run a classic College Park-Hyattsville loop on this pleasant low-humidity ~70°F afternoon. The song "Titanium" comes up on BPM just as I park near the UM track. The chorus cycles in my head. But after a mile, when I pass an ice cream truck, intermittently "Titanium" gets replaced by "Old McDonald Has a Farm".

Sweet Sunday-afternoon backyard-barbecue smells tickle the nose. Cyclists out in force on the path greet runners. Fueled by bites of a Snickers candy bar every ~20 minutes, pace is slightly over-optimistic for the first half. Then, deceleration as walk breaks come every ~5 minutes. One water bottle isn't enough to ward off dehydration. One S! e-cap suffices. Segments of the trail are under construction, with asphalt torn asunder, packed earth awaiting new pavement. Sun plays peek-a-boo with clouds that portend rain tonight.

Garmin GPS estimates splits: 9:28 + 9:22 + 9:31 + 9:04 + 9:53 + 9:19 + 10:00 + 10:24 + 9:49 + 9:58 + a final .75 mi climb across campus back to the car at 9:37 min/mi pace in front of student-witness eyes. Runkeeper iPhone app concurs. The Nike Plus sensor on the shoe that Merle gave me isn't calibrated for my stride yet and overestimates the distance by ~10%.

(prior excursions on the same loop:include 2004-11-11 - Lockout, 2006-01-09 - College Park Loop, 2006-05-18 - Evening Anacostia Loop, 2006-12-08 - Anacostia Tributary Orbit, 2007-11-08 - Anacostia Tributary Orbit, 2009-06-14 - UM Loop, 2011-06-14 - College Park Loop, 2011-08-23 - NWBT-NEBT-PBT Loop, ...) - ^z - 2012-10-13