2009-02-01 - Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park

9+ miles @ ~11.5 min/mi

Back at her car after today's run, Mary Ewell accidentally calls me "Babe!"—and then laughs at herself. She explains that some years ago she started a trend in the work group she was in, which spread until everybody was calling everybody "Babe". I confess to planting some similar catch-phrase memes around the office, like "No worries!" and "Ciao!". We chuckle together, then head over to the Silver Spring Food Coop to buy our families some groceries.

Hours earlier this morning Caren Jew and I meet at Candy Cane City to chat and catch up on news; Ken Swab and Mary arrive soon thereafter. Nick of the delightful British accent, whom I lent my Superman cap to a fortnight ago at the 2009-01-17 - Super Starr, arrives to run with a fast-paced group. He poses for my cellphone camera with his Rock & Roll Marathon Series medal around his neck. I admire his Boston Athletic Association windbreaker and, under duress, he admits to have run the Boston Marathon three times. I express envy.

It's shortly after 8am when Caren & Ken & Mary & I commence our trek down Beach Drive. The road surface is ice-free but the bikepaths are slippery-dangerous with melted and refrozen surfaces. We share ibuprofen ("Vitamin I"); I had 2 before heading out, and Mary takes a few now to help keep her hip inflammation and other twinges under control. She drops one tablet on the road and picks it up with an, "It's clean!" As we trot along Mary tells us of her upcoming wedding plans and various subsets of us reminisce and gossip and trade anecdotes.

At Broad Branch Rd, 4.5+ miles downstream, Ken and Caren decide to go onward and add some miles while Mary and I turn back. We accelerate slightly during the return trip but also add in some walk breaks on the hills. After Military Rd we see the Valley Trail sign for the branch up the hill to the east. Mary & I both deliberately run a few steps along it so we can honestly if misleadingly tease Ken & Caren: "We sped up after we left you and ran on the Valley Trail for part of the way back!"

^z - 2009-02-15