2008-07-16 - Parks Half Marathon Preview

13+ miles @ ~12.2 min/mi

Ambling before sunrise down Veirs Mill Rd, Cara Marie Manlandro and I startle a bunny rabbit. Three miles later it's our turn to be startled, this time by a huge stag bearing a magnificent rack of antlers on his brow and standing menacingly a few feet off Rock Creek Trail. Perhaps he's protecting the doe that stands behind him? Today CM and I are following the Parks Half Marathon course, a point-to-point route from Rockville to Bethesda. It's CM's longest run by ~30%. Just before 5am we meet at the Rockville Metro, both of us having made wrong turns on the way to the parking lot. We enjoy unseasonably cool and dry weather for a Washington-area summer. Fortunately the impromptu aid stations I've concealed behind trees at miles 5.5 and 9.9 turn out not to be needed. Robins feed on the ground near us as we trek along. At one point a bright goldfinch zips by. Our pace is consistent, between 11.5 and 13 minutes/mile including ample walk breaks. CM's calf muscles begin to tighten after a while, but Succeed! electrolyte capsules at miles 7 and 9 apparently cure them. For a weekday morning we see a goodly number of cyclists and joggers. After 2 hours and 40 minutes we touch an arbitrary stop sign near the corner of Bethesda & Woodmont Avenues which we anoint as our finish line. A few blocks later we're on the Metro back to our starting point, and soon thereafter at our respective homes.

(correlates: High Voltage Fiberoptic Cable, 2008-09-18 - Anacostia Evening Loop, 2004-08-04 - Eight Eight-Eighties, ...)