2004-03-10 - Rock Creek Trail, NIH, Georgetown Branch

Wonderful run --- if they all felt this great I'd never fret before a marathon again! --- 11+ miles in 123 minutes with no walk breaks, strong legs, cool weather, and "The First Cut Is the Deepest" playing on the mental 8-track tape loop. The afternoon is crisp and breezy. I jog from home into Walter Reed Annex (taking an extra circuit around the mermaid fountain to salute the pulchritude of the sculpture) and through the woods to Rock Creek Trail, then proceed to Cedar Lane, which I take past Stone Ridge School and the National Institutes of Health to Old Georgetown Road. Southward thence, following Arlington Blvd. to Bethesda Ave. to the water fountain near milepost 3.5 of the Capital Crescent Trail. Quick drink, and it's homeward bound via the usual Georgetown Branch route.

Mea culpa: my qi is disturbed twice by uncharitable thoughts. First, at Beach Drive & Cedar Lane, a mini-truckie-thing swerves around a car stopped for the red light, passes it on the right (!) and almost hits me as it runs straight through the signal. Forgive me, Lyman --- I shook my finger at the driver, a young lady intent on her speeding. (If anybody needs a witness concerning other incidents involving a vehicle with Maryland license plate 1A2730 please ask, and I'll be happy to testify as to what I observed.) Later, along the Georgetown Branch I feel sorrow at the ancient trees which have been chain-sawed to death. Pieces of their trunks lie fresh-hewn next to the trail; they appear to have been felled to improve the southern exposure for some swanky back yard lawns. I momentarily fantasize that the Inner Purple Line trolley is built and toots its whistle at all hours of the day and night, the way the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O does near my home. But no, I shouldn't wish that upon a wealthy neighborhood, should I? (^_^)

Coming back to my senses: what a superb trek! My measured mile times are 10:37 (Rock Creek 3-4) early in the jaunt and then near the end 10:10 + 9:29 (!) + 10:55 (Georgetown Branch 3.5-0.5), including pauses to cross some major roads. I carry no food, phone, money, water, ID, or GPS. Maybe it's the feeling of freedom (or foolishness) that makes the jaunt so much fun ...

(correlates: Winter Wardrobe, MustLoveDogs, NamingNames, ...)