|Mating is risky business, especially for deer: a dead stag lies by Sligo Creek Trail, hit by a car on University Blvd, presumably when he crossed the road looking for love. I pause to photograph his magnificent antlers. Today's trek is along the same course (but in the reverse direction) that Cara Marie Manlandro and I took during a spring 2011 journey together. Today the deer gate (parallel bars on the ground) at Brookside Gardens isn't as scary as it was then. Two mini-bags of Sports Beans and a pair of Succeed! e-caps are my only fuel along the way.|
The baseball field at Wheaton Regional Park is occupied with players, tempting for another photo op, but I've already paused for too long. At Brookside Gardens I refill water bottles and meet a trio of ladies waiting outside the men's restroom; one of them has a young autistic son inside. I volunteer to check, confirm no others are there, and tell them "Go on in!"
Along Randolph Rd signs argue in Spanish against the same-sex marriage referendum which narrowly passed in the election last week. Two young women smile as they hold hands and walk along Rock Creek Trail. We wish each other "Good morning!" During the last half dozen miles I start feeling tired, and when I finish find that my weight is down 4 lbs, close to 140. Likely need more water, more sugar, maybe more electrolytes would have helped.
The Garmin GPS has gotten sick and refuses to download a trackfile, so the iPhone app Runkeeper track file must suffice for map data. From the Garmin (vs. Runkeeper) display aggregate data are 2:40:33 (2:40:35) time en route for 16.13 (16:20) miles, an average pace of 9:57 (9:55); individual mile splits look like 10:00 + 8:56 + 10:58 (pausing to photograph the poor buck) + 10:41 + 9:21 + 11:23 (pausing to refill water bottles) + 9:00 + 9:38 + 9:59 + 9:13 + 10:58 (another water stop) + 9:43 + 9:36 + 9:21 + 9:44 + 10:58 (getting tired and climbing up from Rock Creek valley) + final 0.13 mile sprint to home at 8:51 pace.
(cf. 2004-05-16 - Rock Creek and Sligo Loop, 2004-12-04 - Sligo - Glenmont - Rock Creek Orbit, 2006-05-07 - Up Rock, Down Sligo, 2006-09-02 - Ernesto Mist, 2011-04-23 - Oh Deer Gate , ...) - ^z - 2012-12-05