2010-08-14 - Night Run - Karen's Loop

~21 miles @ ~13.9 min/mi

Near the National Zoo a scruffy-looking possum startles us as it scampers across the trail in front of us. I lend Karen Taber one of my flashlights when hers goes dark. At midnight two medium-large deer dart by. It's a Saturday night training run. Karen and I first meet at the 2009-01-25 - Eagle Run and more recently chat at some VHTRC training events. Karen arrives at my home at sundown and drives us to the Ray's Meadow Park on Rock Creek Trail near East-West Hwy. At 9:07pm we set out. Almost immediately an impolite cyclist cruising without lights almost hits Karen. Whoops! We proceed downstream, tiptoeing across muddy patches from flooding earlier this week.

At the Thompson Boat Center I refill my hydration backpack from the garden hose. It's 11:30pm and a crowd of people—mostly young, mostly drinking—fills the boardwalk where boats take people out on the Potomac River. Proceeding up the Capital Crescent Trail we chat about family and running, work and studies. At Fletchers Boathouse construction/destruction is underway: the latrine is gone but there's a long line of portajohns. My right knee feels weak and twinges; Karen's feet are troubled by running so far on the asphalt pavement. For variety we follow the gravel C&O Canal Towpath for a mile, then scramble up the hillside to rejoin the CCT at the Arizona Av Trestle.

At 1am in downtown Bethesda three young men are ambling along the path toward River Rd. Our pace slows in the later miles as we take increasingly long walk breaks. My tummy troubles me somewhat; I take a Succeed! e-cap every hour, eat a Snickers bar, and suck on hard candies. Before setting out I had a slice of peach pie with whipped cream on top of some ramen and salty tea/lemonade plus coffee. Karen does well nibbling on Clif Bars.

At 0145 we take a slight short-cut in the final half mile, on the CCT Georgetown Branch trail after the Rock Creek Trestle, where we climb over a broken-down fence and cross an apartment parking lot to save our tired feet a fraction of a mile. A bit before 2am we're back at Karen's truck. My shorts are soaked with sweat; she's dry. That Sunday afternoon I visit Mary Ewell and walk a few miles with her along the W&OD Trail before picking up BBQ for the family.

^z - 2010-08-31