"Wow, I wish I had the female version of that body!" Mary confesses to me, shortly after we witness a strikingly-developed shirtless young Hercules jogging through Rock Creek Park. "He's probably a juicer," I reply with marginally-repressed envy. A couple of hours later it's my turn, when a svelte lady runner approaches us on the Valley Trail. "Gee, I wish I had the male version of that body!" I admit to Mary — who agrees that she likewise wouldn't mind looking so fit. We're on a Sunday morning trek to get a drink at the National Zoo (1 July 2007), a baker's dozen miles including the return journey. Notes on that, and other pedestrian excursions during the last dozen days, follow.

(^z on a rock near Difficult Run's confluence with the Potomac River, at the beginning of the Fairfax Cross County Trail — photo by Mary Ewell)

2007-06-23 - Difficult Run Stream Valley Trail

~9 miles @ ~14 min/mi

On 10 June Mary Ewell ran in Rock Creek Park with Ken Swab and me, so today we return the favor in her neighborhood. We start at historic Colvin Run Mill, just off Route 7 (near 38.970°N 77.294°W) and tootle downstream along the Fairfax Cross County Trail CCT Overview map which here follows Difficult Run. The weather is surprisingly cool and pleasant this near-midsummer morning, and with minor hesitations Mary navigates to the Potomac River, where we inspect the rocks of Great Falls and take photos of one another. On the trip back we divert onto the Ridge Trail and the Old Carriage Road in Great Falls Park, where Karen of the VHTRC greets us. She remembers Mary and me from Bull Run Run 2007. Several riders on sleek horses also pass by.

2007-06-26 - Hot Time on the Railroad

12+ miles @ ~13 min/mi

As on my birthday in 2005, this morning I'm at the MINI Cooper dealership in Sterling VA for Paulette's car to be serviced. the Washington & Old Dominion rail-trail is adjacent, and I've got my GPS with me. Sounds like a chance to collect a few more W&OD milepost coordinates! (cf. September2005JogLog, 30 Sep 2005) At 7:30am it's already warm and humid. Mary Ewell jogs eastward from near her home in Ashburn while I head west from milepost 24, swatting black stinging flies that settle on me to feed. We meet and proceed to mile 30, admire the big stone quarry, then turn back. This sweat-fest eventually has to help us get used to the heat!

W&OD GPS Waypoints
mile latitude longitude

2007-06-27 - Sunset Trackwork

~1+ mile

At 6:15pm light rain begins to fall on the way to Montgomery College, lowering the temperature slightly and raising the humidity. I've never been to an MCRRC track workout, so Christina suggests the experiment. We arrive early to avoid some of the crowds. After a few 200m half-laps at ~1 minute each Chris challenges me to do a 400m at speed, and I manage a 1:38, puffing like a steam engine at a far faster time than I expected to accomplish. We do more 200's together, increasing the pace slightly, and then cool down with a walk around campus. Then I meet son Robin, who is finishing late work in his etching class, and give him a ride home.

2007-07-01 - Zoological and Botanical Gardens

~3 + ~13 + ~3 + ~2.4 miles @ ~14 min/mi

I trot from my home to the DC-MD line, where Mary Ewell and I plan a medium-long loop this lovely Sunday morning: south on the Western Ridge Trail; add a mile or so to the National Zoo where there's a good water fountain; then back via the Valley Trail. Mary is delayed so I walk about trying to get a cellphone signal and observing poison ivy in the underbrush. The weather is unseasonably cool, and hikers are out in force. We walk the first hill, trot down, then canter comfortably to the Park Nature Center where we lose the trail but soon find it again.

Mary sets a good pace past an equitation arena as we descend to Beach Drive. Near Peirce Mill we admire the aforementioned Adonis of impressive upper-body musculature. Approaching the Zoo a trio of fast MCRRC ultrarunners pass us. We catch up at the water stop and chat, learn names: they're Caroline, Tom, and Jerry, doing a long point-to-point. I take photos with my cellphone, and then follow Mary back north. Near the Jusserand Memorial we find the Valley Trail starting marker and proceed over some steep hills back to the boundary parking lot. I catch my breath and then jog the final 3 miles home, RCT + CCT + local roads.

That same afternoon Christina Caravoulias calls. She craves a short but fast session, as part of her own summer acclimation program, so we agree on Wheaton Regional Park at 4pm. Chris leads me from the Nature Center parking area to the Brookside Botanical Gardens where she knows the 0.8 mile orbit well (it's part of her "Run for Roses" certified race course). Christina leads me around three circuits, alternating direction for variety. We dodge strolling pedestrians, photographers, and a wedding party. "Congratulations!" Christina tells the bride as she lifts her skirts to cross the pathway from a photo session on the greensward. Our splits are 9:32 + 9:08 + 8:53, a nice acceleration. My new shoes — an obsolete fluorescent-green Brooks Cascadia size-13 pair, found at a $20 ultra-deep discount in the RnJ half-price room — pass their first test. At home I cook a buffalo-burger birthday dinner for the twins and enjoy jalapeño poppers and onion rings with them.

(cf. RacyJetsam (4 Feb 2007), AggressiveResting (17 Mar 2007), NotSoDifficultRun (10 Apr 2007), TheyBullRunRun (6 May 2007), TrailImprovement (21 May 2007), OperationAcclimation (3 Jun 2007), BabesInTheWoods (18 Jun 2007), ...)

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2007-07-03

(correlates: TiffinWallah, 2008-07-20 - Sweet and Sweaty Seneca Sixteen Sunday, MatherGorge, ...)