A chipmunk scampers away from the front door as I step out to start a Saturday morning jog. Eight miles later, curbside on Missouri Avenue just west of North Capitol, there's a flash of sky blue surrounded by brown as half a dozen wee birds fly up at my approach. They perch in a scrubby tree just over the sidewalk. Amidst a flock of sparrows: a feral parakeet! An hour later I'm heading home, and a big deer bounds across the Western Ridge Trail and crunches through the brush below. Observations from other recent ^z rambles follow ...

2007-07-21 - Eastern Urban Circuit

~16 miles (~13 min/mi)

After a week of too much heat, a cool front pulls the Saturday morning temperature and humidity down: it's ramblin' time! I interpret the chipmunk sighting in my front yard as a good omen, and so it seems to be. A rising sun dazzles my eyes as I walk and jog east on Forest Glen and then southeast along Sligo Creek to cross East-West Hwy. I leave the trail there to follow the sidewalks along Riggs Rd, Missouri Ave with its urban budgie, and Military Rd into Washington DC to Rock Creek Park. I slip-scramble downslope to join Beach Drive and refill my bottles at the Park Police Hqs fountain. Then it's the steep trek up the horse trail to Ft DeRussy, the Western Ridge Trail north past deer to Maryland, and home.

2007-07-22 - CCT Out and Back

~6 miles (~10.7 min/mi)

Dina and Ken are running on the Capital Crescent Trail, and it's cool enough for me to try half a dozen miles with them. They go faster than I usually do; splits by my watch are 10:29 + 10:32 + 10:28 out to Dalecarlia and 10:44 + 11:21 + 10:32 back to Bethesda. K&D do two more while I go to the grocery store.

Sunday evening Christina is starting her preparation for the Annapolis 10 Miler with a couple of hours of trekking, and I join her. The Sligo Dennis Avenue Park is overloaded with a loud Jamaican party so we leave our cars in the small lot just north of Forest Glen Rd and proceed south, jogging some but mostly walking and talking. The weather is still nice and dog-walkers are out in great numbers. One hour out we reach the little Sligo Creek North community park near New Hampshire Ave, where we drink and turn back. The return journey is ~15 minutes slower, for an overall pace of perhaps 17 min/mi over 7+ miles. My fluorescent green trail shoes are half a size too big and cause a little bruising of my ankles.

2007-07-25 - Downtown Silver Spring

~5 miles (~12 min/mi)

"I wonder where that bike path goes?" asks my fevered brain, desperately seeking an excuse to change plans. I'm about 1.5 miles from home, following Dale Dr to the old Blair HS track for some much-needed speedwork. But this Wednesday summer evening it's warm enough for me to feel exhausted after the first few minutes of jogging. Laps of interval training are not appealing, and with nightfall coming in an hour I don't have time to do many.

So I divert onto the trail with fantasies of discovering a new route to the Silver Spring Metro. Alas, the bikeway goes exactly one block before ending at an intersection of residential streets. I follow Alton Pkwy since it seems to be heading in the most reasonable direction, and after half a mile and one more single-block no-cars path it deposits me on Spring St near the familiar glassy frustum of the Maryland National Parks and Planning Commission. Spring takes me toward the setting sun, past the post office and over the train tracks. I'm hoping to find signs pointing to the Capital Crescent Trail, but no joy.

After 16th St south East-West Hwy leads me within a few feet of the 1792-era northernmost DC Boundary Stone (cf. ). I walk around it but then must tread cautiously along the narrow shoulder of the road, dodging traffic until the sidewalk reappears. As I plod toward Grubb Rd. my cellphone beeps to inform me of an earthquake off the coast of India. Hope nobody was hurt! The last mile homeward zips by (relatively speaking) without walk breaks in a little over 11 minutes.

(cf. TheyBullRunRun (6 May 2007), TrailImprovement (21 May 2007), OperationAcclimation (3 Jun 2007), BabesInTheWoods (18 Jun 2007), AwesomeAdonis (3 Jul 2007), SummerShambles (17 Jul 2007), ...)

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2007-07-28

(correlates: TurfProtection, ClosedWindowRisks, LessonsOfTheMarathon, ...)