Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another goal met--a hundred miles run in our nation's capitol city.

I want to die.

OK, maybe not really, but I sure feel like it right now.

I just finished another run in Washington, DC. 7.5 miles. It was too hot and too humid today, and I ran too long. But I had a goal of running more than 100 miles in Washington DC and this run put me over the top.

Don’t ask me why I set such a stupid, pointless goal. I don’t know. I just do stuff like that.

And no, this hundred miles does not count the other miles run in West Virginia and Maryland. I’m up in the triple-digits with my runs in those places, too. Maybe someday I’ll be able to say that I’ve run more than a hundred miles in each of the 50 states.

Oh hell no. That’s over 5000 miles. Just shoot me now.

Anyway, my runs in our nation’s capitol city have taken me over the 14th Street Bridge nine times. I’ve circled Hains Point three times. I’ve run to the White House once, and the Capitol twice. I’ve circled the Washington Monument countless times and have become a virtual fixture around the Lincoln Memorial. I’ve run across Memorial Bridge a dozen times, and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge four times. I’ve also crossed Key Bridge three times, each time running the length of Georgetown, either along the C&O Canal or up on M street. I’ve been to the Iwo Jima Memorial once, run the Pentagon’s parking lots once, and run to the visitor center at Arlington National Cemetery at least four times. Yeah, I know that these last three are technically in Virginia. I just don’t feel like quibbling that point since the runs originated and concluded back in the District.

Oh, and I also ran in Anacostia one day. Bonus points to me for not getting mugged or getting involved in any scandal having something to do with Marion Barry. I’ve run on the National Mall half a dozen times, including two full-length runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Reflecting Pool and back.

I’ve also run Embassy Row in Northwest, and the campus of George Washington University, where I collided with a small tourist who wasn’t paying attention.

I’ve had some fun while boosting my fitness, and I’ve covered 102.5 miles in DC or on National Park Service land immediately adjoining it since beginning to run here in mid-April.

Today’s run was one of the toughest ones though. Like I said—it was too hot and humid to push as hard as I did, but I was so close to the hundred-mile mark that I just decided to go for it. And I didn’t want any punk run—I wanted a good one. So I started out on Hains Point and crossed the 14th Street Bridge to head north along the George Washington Parkway bike path. I ran up to the ramp to Arlington and took Key Bridge across to Georgetown. I was actually carrying a water bottle on this run because I tend to dehydrate quickly and when I do, my leg loses mass and then the running foot starts to give me problems. It only takes a little bit of shrinkage to cause big problems with it so I made it a point to drink as much as I could and refilled the bottle at every opportunity.

I also had some new music on my MP3 player, and that’s always a big help; when I tire, I just stop looking down the road and instead just concentrate on putting my feet (foot?) down in time with the music. I have some eclectic musical tastes and usually run to a mixture of older rock, blues and country, with a few TV and movie themes tossed in for fun. Sometimes these tunes give me that last bit of motivation that I need when I’m tiring, like today after I’d climbed up the ramp to Arlington. I was wearing out, but Eye of the Tiger from that Rocky movie came on, and it was enough to push me over the Potomac across Key Bridge. Then it was sing along with the Beatles as I ran down Georgetown’s M Street, loudly singing along with “You Never Give me Your Money”. Hey—I got a few smiles from a few pretty ladies, so it’s all good. Then I ran down Wisconsin Avenue, past that particular little shop that I know Nicki likes, and onto to C&O Canal Towpath, now joining Meatloaf in a rousing rendition of “Hot Patootie”. Then it was the long run back along the river, which was made a bit easier by Hoyt Axton’s “Della and the Dealer”—always a fun song. Finally I made it back to the Lincoln Memorial, just a mile from the run’s end-point. And I was spent.

The sun had been baking me, the humidity had been sapping me, and I’d just not been running hard enough these past few weeks. I knew by then that I’d already passed the hundred-mile point and that I could have called any number of people that I knew in the area and gotten a ride back to my car. But that would be quitting, and I don’t quit. I’m Boer stock, not French, and I subscribe to the motto: “Never give up, never surrender.”
OK, I totally ripped that off from some otherwise-forgettable movie with Tim Allen in it, but I still like it. So I ignored my body’s protestations and finished the run in time with the Blues Brothers’ “Sweet Home Chicago.” And I finished strong, with 7.5 miles run in an hour, 27 minutes.

Of course now the music’s off, the adrenaline’s gone, and I’m just tired.

But it’s a good kind of tired. The kind that comes with accomplishment.

And in other good news--the new extended-wear tread on my running foot seems to be holding up quite well indeed. I've got about 25 miles on the foot since it was re-soled and it's hardly showing wear at all. The old tread would have been seriously eroded already by now.

This one may last me more than the 80 miles or so that the old ones did and if so, it'll seriously cut down on those way-too-frequent repair shop visits.


  1. Many congrats on achieving your goal!! Yeah, sometimes we challenge ourselves by setting barely reasonable goals.. But, if you hadn't, you wouldn't have done it!!! :):):)

  2. Nice job. That's a great average pace especially on such a hot day. I don't know how you runners run out in the hot sun on the tarmac. I prefer being on any trail with a canopy tree cover or in the woods on days like this.

    But, I bet the pretty ladies and all the audiences downtown help keep you going though when you want to quit. No one wants to give up in front of a crowd no matter how tired they might feel.

    "Never give up, Never surrender"...I can't hear that phrase without immediately thinking of "Galaxy Quest" .
    And it was NOT forgettable. It was Brilliant! You need to rent it again and open your mind Man! :-)

  3. Have I mentioned I'm proud of you? I'm going to make you a playlist of cool Jim Steinman songs I know you'll like running to but may not have.

  4. Awesome man. Good job.

    I was visiting DC last week and ran the National Mall. I started from 23rd & M, to the Lincoln Memorial, down the length of the Mall to the Capitol and back. A good run but yeah hot and humid.

  5. WOW!!!! 100 miles?!? That is just awesome! If I could reach thru cyberspace and give you a big pat on the back, I would. :) Definitely a huge accomplishment. Or so I think! :)

  6. wow had I know you were going to do that I would have asked you to fing some teabags at the whitehouse on your way past.


  7. Smitty6:45 PM

    OFS!!! Doing all that running is something. Hand salute! If you don't mind my asking, could you give my a sitrep on your service. Not prying...just interested. If not...N/P! As I stated over in the Alaskan handgun issue, I'm a Marine Vietnam vet and anything concerning military is very important to me! my e-mail is:
    Thanks and you have one hell of a gorgeous dog!


  8. I am about to break the 200 mile mark for the year with my annual goal of 400+ miles completed in Nov or Dec.

    The heat and humidity are catching up to me with additional birthdays under my belt so I dont do the high noon in the blazing sun runs too much anymore.

    I might even start carrying some water ?? :)

    I can get my resting pulse rate down to the upper 40's if I lay still for a while. It freaks out the lab techs when I donate blood :)