"Wow, I wish I had the female version of that body!" Mary confesses to me, shortly after we witness a strikingly-developed shirtless young Hercules jogging through Rock Creek Park. "He's probably a juicer," I reply with marginally-repressed envy. A couple of hours later it's my turn, when a svelte lady runner approaches us on the Valley Trail. "Gee, I wish I had the male version of that body!" I admit to Mary — who agrees that she likewise wouldn't mind looking so fit. We're on a Sunday morning trek to get a drink at the National Zoo (1 July 2007), a baker's dozen miles including the return journey. Notes on that, and other pedestrian excursions during the last dozen days, follow.
(^z on a rock near Difficult Run's confluence with the Potomac River, at the beginning of the Fairfax Cross County Trail — photo by Mary Ewell)
On 10 June Mary Ewell ran in Rock Creek Park with Ken Swab and me, so today we return the favor in her neighborhood. We start at historic Colvin Run Mill, just off Route 7 (near 38.970°N 77.294°W) and tootle downstream along the Fairfax Cross County Trail CCT Overview map which here follows Difficult Run. The weather is surprisingly cool and pleasant this near-midsummer morning, and with minor hesitations Mary navigates to the Potomac River, where we inspect the rocks of Great Falls and take photos of one another. On the trip back we divert onto the Ridge Trail and the Old Carriage Road in Great Falls Park, where Karen of the VHTRC greets us. She remembers Mary and me from Bull Run Run 2007. Several riders on sleek horses also pass by.
|W&OD GPS Waypoints|
Mary sets a good pace past an equitation arena as we descend to Beach Drive. Near Peirce Mill we admire the aforementioned Adonis of impressive upper-body musculature. Approaching the Zoo a trio of fast MCRRC ultrarunners pass us. We catch up at the water stop and chat, learn names: they're Caroline, Tom, and Jerry, doing a long point-to-point. I take photos with my cellphone, and then follow Mary back north. Near the Jusserand Memorial we find the Valley Trail starting marker and proceed over some steep hills back to the boundary parking lot. I catch my breath and then jog the final 3 miles home, RCT + CCT + local roads.
That same afternoon Christina Caravoulias calls. She craves a short but fast session, as part of her own summer acclimation program, so we agree on Wheaton Regional Park at 4pm. Chris leads me from the Nature Center parking area to the Brookside Botanical Gardens where she knows the 0.8 mile orbit well (it's part of her "Run for Roses" certified race course). Christina leads me around three circuits, alternating direction for variety. We dodge strolling pedestrians, photographers, and a wedding party. "Congratulations!" Christina tells the bride as she lifts her skirts to cross the pathway from a photo session on the greensward. Our splits are 9:32 + 9:08 + 8:53, a nice acceleration. My new shoes — an obsolete fluorescent-green Brooks Cascadia size-13 pair, found at a $20 ultra-deep discount in the RnJ half-price room — pass their first test. At home I cook a buffalo-burger birthday dinner for the twins and enjoy jalapeño poppers and onion rings with them.
(cf. RacyJetsam (4 Feb 2007), AggressiveResting (17 Mar 2007), NotSoDifficultRun (10 Apr 2007), TheyBullRunRun (6 May 2007), TrailImprovement (21 May 2007), OperationAcclimation (3 Jun 2007), BabesInTheWoods (18 Jun 2007), ...)
(correlates: TiffinWallah, 2008-07-20 - Sweet and Sweaty Seneca Sixteen Sunday, MatherGorge, ...)