Thursday, April 23, 2009


And this week has been a good one for running.

I've taken the liberty of running in Washington, DC lately, in large part because I really like being around the Memorials and other historical stuff, and because there are so many other runners and bike riders down there all trying to be healthy as well.

Tuesday I parked on Hains Point and ran a route up to the Jefferson Memorial and around the Tidal Basin to the Washington Monument. From there, I went up 15th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and turned to run past the White House, a place I've always enjoyed. But somehow it just seems to be more sinister and less Presidential now. Damned shame. I ran back down 17th Street to the World War Two Memorial, then went west along the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial before turning south and running back down the Potomac River to Hains Point again, detourling slightly to run through the FDR Memorial. This was about a five mile run and I did it in 51 minutes, which was not exactly a speed run, but hey--vehicle traffic and pedestrians tend to interfere.

I laid off running on Wednesday but just went back out again today. From the same parking space on Hains Point, I ran up the Potomac River to the Lincoln Memorial, then across Memorial Bridge towards Arlington National Cemetery. On the west bank of the river, I ran north along the bike path past Theodore Roosevelt Island and up to Key Bridge, where I crossed back into the Georgetown section of Washington DC. Ducking down through Francis Scott Key Park, I got onto the C&O Canal towpath and ran it down to Rock Creek Parkway, dodging one set of mules pulling a canal full of tourists along the way. I then ran back down the parkway past the Watergate and the Kennedy Center and finally past the Lincoln Memorial again. I followed the Potomac back to Hains Point and my ride. This was roughly a seven mile run and it took me an hour and twenty minutes. (I lost some time trying--and failing--to find a working drinking fountain or someplace willing to part with a cup of water.) The weather was great today--a nice sunny 65 degrees or so, but with one hell of a wind coming off the river. It was in my face on the outbound run and I had to work against it, but coming back, it was a nice tailwind that both cooled me and gave me an appreciated push when I was tiring.

I'm feeling good now, and I think that I probably burned off enough calories this week to justify grabbing a burger and fries at Five Guys in Winchester, VA when I go in tomorrow to get my running foot re-soled. I seem to have worn through the rubberized tread again and it has to be replaced.

But the best part? I got to run around, through and past all these places and things that people come from all over the word to see, and it was all free!


  1. Have I told you lately that you're awesome?

  2. You are seriously motivating me...

  3. Nice job on the run. I guess next you will be doing an Army Marathon before you know it.
    I can't believe you could not find anyone who could spare a cup of water. What's happened to kindness these days!
    Well, I hope you enjoy that burger and fries after all that. It sounds like it is well deserved.

  4. I have done my share of running in Washington (and, for that matter, everywhere I travel for business or pleasure). The best time is in Washington is either (A) 5:00 - 6:30 AM, before the morning traffic starts to get real bad; or (B) after 4:30 PM in the afternoon/evening. This ideal is not always practicable, so I run whenever I can get it into my schedule.

    If I arrive in the morning or early afternoon, I usually take a run immediately after arriving and settling into my hotel room. This allows me to scout out the area around the hotel (e.g., shops, Metro station, tourist attractions, et cetera), and it is a good release of the tensions and stiffness from the car or train ride.

    The year I was traveling on business for Uncle Sam, I would take my run upon returning from the contractor's plant. Then I would take a good hot shower, grab dinner, and then spend the evening studying for the Bar Exam. During that period there were several Washington gigs.

    The only time I ever had anything resembling a bad running experience was during cherry blossom time, when the pollen from the blossoms did a number on my eyes, nose and lungs. The route was familiar [Through Georgetown, across the Jimmy Carter Bridge, south along the path with an excursus to the memorial on Theodore Roosevelt Island, through Arlington National Cemetery, back across the Potomac past the Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, Mall, around the Capitol, back up Pennsylvania Avenue to Georgetown, and up Wisconsin Avenue to the Georgetown Inn.]. But by the time I got back, I was coughing and sneezing worse than normal for the season.

    Fortunately, I had picked up some barley juice earlier that day during my lunch hour [Central Liquor Store, around the block from Ford's Theatre], so I took the liberty of administering that remedy. In a sense, it was a waste of an expensive single malt, but it did the trick. [I picked up another bottle during my lunch hour the next day, so that I could have an unopened bottle to bring home with me.].

    My run up to the zoo and back the next day wasn't quite as debilitating. And that Friday morning, it was raining hard so I did my workout in the hotel fitness room before we (me and my team captain) went out to the contractor's offices. It had not been an amicable, or even cordial, interaction with the contractor. My team captain, and the contractor's people, were all anxious to wrap up the governmental incursion into the contractor's offices, so, when I told my team captain that we needed to go feed the parking meter, he said that both of us would go, but instead of putting another quarter into the meter, we would put the key into the ignition and drive homeward. We thus finished early, and left Washington early to beat the traffic home.

    [The aftermath is a story for another day.]

  5. Anonymous10:54 AM

    I got addicted to the burgers at Five Guys while I was working in DC. Everytime they saw me coming down the street someone would stick their head out the door and yell at me, "come over here fat boy, I got a french fry for ya". Obviously I'm not a runner.

  6. Thanks for the motivation, I've been a little slack lately, I prefer trails and the snow took so damn long to go away this year, I thought I'd be stuck like a hamster on the tread-mill for ever, too boring : )

  7. I usually slack off over the winter due to the snow , ice and cold. BUT , I spurged and got a treadmill back in early January and have been putting some good wear and tear on it.

    I have been outside a few times when its over 50 but until today....we hasvn't had too many of them.

    I gotta watch the road running as too much gives me heel pain. I do a lot of my outside running at my local HS with the cushioned track. I dont like going in circles but it beats running in pain. :)

    I started running 31 years ago when going in the military and just never quit.

    I can get my resting pulse into the mid to low 50's and if I lay down for a while..the upper 40's.

    I did this 2 years ago when going in for outpatient shoulder surgery and set their heart rate monitor off twice. The finally asked me what was going on and reset it to 45. I couldn't manage to get that low :( :)

  8. Great Job I hate running

  9. Hey, weren't we supposed to go running this weekend? I even brought my running clothes, but they never got used!