Knowing that the trails were going to be stupid sloppy and wanting to get some time in with Pinup Ginger we arranged a meeting spot half way between her house and mine. Ten minutes before my alarm was set to go off I got a text message that said, “My son was up twice with accidents in the night. I’ve gotten no sleep and I’m exhaaaaaaasted.” Poor thing. I was not about to drag a tired mama out on a run she would be miserable on. However, I had been dreaming all night about running along the river so I was going no matter what the GD pollen count was.
As I drove towards Old Town I realized that I forgot my watch. I wear it religiously as it keeps me honest about the calories I earn. I didn’t even consider turning around and getting it. The pollen has been awful and I wasn’t even sure how the run today was going to go. All I knew is that I needed this run, badly.
I wanted to get at least 6, if not 8 miles in today so I parked in front of M.E. Swings. That way I would have incentive to run both directions, down towards Jones Point (my favorite spot in all of the DMV) and back to coffee and Rise Bakery gluten free baked goods. I set Strava to record and started off.
As my feet started to move my brain began to be like Pooh.
I thought about all of the school work I had yet to do. I thought about everything that I need to get done before my internship. I thought about how I probably shouldn’t be running and hoped that I wasn’t going to give myself hives. I thought about one more thing and then with that thought my brain went quiet. I like it when that happens. It’s rare, but it’s so peaceful.
As I headed towards Jones Point the river was bulging out of its banks with the rain and the high tide. The trail was awash with debris, natural and man made, from the river. I like Old Town early in the morning, the only other people I encountered were other runners. We waved at each other as we passed. As I hit Jones point there is always this wave of quiet that washes over me. I don’t know why that spot, tucked almost right under the Woodrow Wilson bridge carrying 8 lanes of traffic is always so spiritually peaceful. I stopped, took a couple of photos and headed back towards food!
I had completely forgot that on Saturday mornings Old Town does their farmers market. The flowers drew me in. There was no way any produce was going to survive a 3 mile run back to the car, but I stopped and smelled the peonies. Glorious! So many flowers have had the smell bred out of them for looks. Maybe that’s why I like them so much. They are flamingos in a flock of pigeons.
The last mile or so more people were on the streets. It wasn’t me and my fellow runners any more. As I reached M.E. Swings I smiled because I knew that there was going to be gluten free deliciousness in my future. I stopped Strava and didn’t give it another thought after I saw my mile count as all I was focused on was coffee (and food). One blueberry muffin and a latte later I opened it up just to see how I did. I wasn’t running for any other reason than to run. I saw not one but two sub 8 minute miles. Wha??? How is that possible? Even stopping to take pictures and enjoy my time on Jones point I still averaged a 9 something mile. Huh. Must be the shoes I think they have rocket boosters.
Oh, PS, I did learn a very valuable lesson today, do not look down at herringbone brick work when you run, it makes you nauseous.