2014-04-06 - Big Loop with Amy, Courtney, and Stephanie

~23 miles @ ~15 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Veirs_Mill_McDonalds_Amy_z_Stephanie_Courtney.jpg"I smell carbs!"

It's a fun trek around the extended 'hood with Amy Couch & Courtney Jenkins, both preparing for the Gettysburg Marathon at the end of April, and Stephanie Fonda, like me tapering for Bull Run and other upcoming ultras.
Weather is near-perfect, just slightly crisp. I lend Dr Fonda my gloves at the start, and then attempt to guilt-trip her by complaining of cold hands. Amy shows us her tattoos. Courtney tells training anecdotes. We discuss Game of Thrones.

The gang stops today at three McDonalds, one of which gives me free coffee. Do I look that scary? But it turns out that there's a promotion underway to compete with Taco Bell for breakfast traffic. As usual, "free" tastes great!
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Courtney_Amy_Stephanie_House_of_M.jpgOn Randolph Rd we pause to pose in front of a house with "M" designs on the shutters, and to show off the drinks we're carrying. Conversation turns to straw curls and French braids.
Farther down Randolph Rd there's a mini-shrine, perhaps an impromptu memorial to victims of a traffic accident?http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Randolph_Rd_memorial.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Geese_in_Wheaton.jpgApproaching Wheaton Regional Park geese attack, or at least attempt to. Stephanie admits to throwing up once the previous day — 'flu? food poisoning?
An unopened bottle of Ouzo lies just outside the NIH fence near mile 15.

Courtney and I send Stephanie and Amy ahead for the final five miles, to spare them my interminable lectures on the history of the DC Boundary Stones, the Georgetown Branch railroad, the Columbia Country Club, etc. Subtract 1 mile at start (for the jog from my home to Amy's) from the trackfiles to get their distance. The Garmin GPS estimates a mile less than the iPhone's Runkeeper, perhaps due in part to mega-glitches at the Wisconsin Av tunnel. We did not run mile 19 in 6:26, alas!

^z - 2014-05-18