2004-03-14 - Rock Creek Park, Capital Crescent

~23.5 miles @ ~11.7 min/mi

~23.5 comfortable miles this morning, with a little help from my friends ... commencing at the end of my driveway, ~3 miles to the edge of DC via neighborhood streets, the Georgetown Branch, and Rock Creek Trail ... then another ~9 miles along Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park to reach Thompson's Boat Center on the Potomac near the Kennedy Center ... a jog west along the Georgetown waterfront, and then back home ~10 miles along the Capital Crescent Trail. The GPS "odometer" claims 22.5 miles, but my splits during measured miles between painted markers ("P-P") and official mileposts suggests that the GPS figure is, as usual ~4% low.

The encouragement of compatriots makes the day go nicely: Comrade Evan jogs north from the river, meets me at the National Zoo, and keeps me going at a brisk pace for miles ~9-14 ... Comrade Ken proceeds south from Bethesda and accompanies me for miles ~18-20 ... and a fortuitous encounter with MCRRC's Craig Roodenburg at mile ~22 gives another welcome boost to the home stretch. Thanks, dudes!

Avian sights along the way include a sprinkle of ducks paddling about on Rock Creek, a cluster of geese foraging on a government-owned lawn near the CCT's mile 6.5, and several pairs of scarlet cardinals flitting back and forth across the path in front of me. There are also uncounted baby-carriages, inline-skaters, cyclists, and occasional pods of Galloway-method trainees walking and running together. (Near Virginia Avenue on a grassy hillside a boy and girl in sweatclothes practice prone-supine mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on one another, possibly with humorous as well as amorous intent; they jump to their feet and wish Evan and me "Good morning!" before jogging off after their colleagues.)

My average pace for the ~4.5 hour journey is ~11:40 minutes/mile, with a least-squares-fit deceleration of ~3 seconds/mile/mile. Weather is near-perfect, cool and partly cloudy, and except for the lack of functional water fountains in Rock Creek Park all is splendid. I eat two Clif Bars along the way and feel good at the end. (Now, will I get into the HAT Run, or is it sold out?)

(correlates: 2005-11-03 - PBT at Night, GoodReadingForTheLittleFolk, AcronymOverload, ...)