2011-06-12 - Metropolitan Branch Meet-Up

~11.5 miles @ ~11.2 min/mi

"'Sup, Pop-Pop?" says the kid urinating on a wall outside the Silver Spring Metro station at 6:15am. A tiny rabbit hops across Second Av at Spring St; a large bird with a patch of red behind black-and-white speckles flutters away. It's a warm and humid Sunday morning, temperature in the 70s, dew point in the upper 60s. Pure coincidence: exactly one year ago Cara Marie Manlandro and I ran the Metropolitan Branch Trail from Silver Spring to Union Station (cf. 2010-06-12 - Metropolitan Branch Trail). Today's start is at home, so that adds a couple of miles. MBT signs along the northern part of the route are still too infrequent, but I manage to stay on course along 3rd St NW and then Gallatin St. Near Fort Totten on Bates Rd NE there's a nice lavender plastic water bottle on the street, unfortunately empty.

Comrade Clair lives near the R St intersection with the MBT, so we make plans via Internet and synchronize timing via cellphone as I pass through Takoma Park. An hour later near Rhode Island Avenue I leave her a voicemail, and she texts back three letters: "Omw". I'm mystified until the translation dawns on me: "On my way". At the next corner I look west on R St and there's Clair, cruising down the road with her six-month-old baby Sophie in her running stroller. We trot together along the trail and Clair lets me practice pram-pushing. Sophie rewards me with a smile between sucking on her thumbs.

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/GPS_track_lap_errors.jpgWe run down to M St and turn around there. On the way to her home Clair points out the stairs leading to a track at McKinley Technology High School. I meet her friendly husband Michael and friendly dog Quiggly, fill my new-found violet bottle with water, and on my way back to the MBT divert to do a test lap. In spite of scary No Trespassing signs the stadium is open and the infield is occupied by soccer players. The track is marvelous, rubbery-cushioned — a fast 1:41 lap ensues. The trackfile map shows some lack of georectification. The Metro train home is air-conditioned frigid.

(see GPS trackfile, ...) - ^z - 2011-06-24