Running Washington DC

I love to run on vacation.  I know it sounds strange, it's vacation after all.  When I go for a run, it's like I know where everything is.  I've scoped out all of the scenery before anyone else has had breakfast.  This vacation was no different.  Before I even left Minneapolis, I'd already found the bike and running trail closest to the hotel (and it is super close) and as a bonus, all of the Capital Bike Share stations.  (I think the bike share deserves it's own post because it was a blast too.)

I was feeling a little down on Wednesday as I left town since I didn't get up early for my scheduled long run, but I made some packing changes, added some clothes and some nutrition as well as a bottle I could carry, and thought I'd give a long run a try on Thursday morning, then see how running went the rest of the vacation.  Things that worked well for me on this running vacation were my attitude of 'take lots of pictures and don't really think about pace' and my sight seeing desires.  The hand held water bottle worked much better than I could've imagined and I was glad I'd had it for both of my longer runs. 

Thursday - 12.25 miles.  This was my second favorite run of the trip.  My attitude was fairly healthy: run at least a mile, then keep running some, it's okay to walk some, and take lots of pictures.  I woke up at the crack of dawn, eastern time, and it was already hotter than fire.  I only got lost once, when it turned out I needed to cross a channel but instead wound up on some path that just ended all of a sudden.  I didn't quite have a turn around point picked out other than "mile 6 or so".  I got past mile 6, and was almost to the top of some monster hill, so obviously I had to go all the way to the top before turning around.  I knew it would be worth it since I love running down big hills.  Miles 7 and 8 were pure joy.  Obviously.  On the way back, it became relevant I'd found that path to nowhere because I was needing a place to crawl in the bushes and it was perfectly appointed.  The bushes stop didn't help quite as much as I thought, so I was pretty slow the last couple of miles.  I took lots of pictures along the Potomac, and some of the planes taking off from Regan.  That photo is taken from the bike path; yes it's that close to the runway.  There wasn't a lot of sunshine on this run, which seems like a blessing but I'd kept hoping for something to burn off the humidity, so there was a downside as well.

Friday - 4 miles in the HEAT I was too tired to get up early and run on Friday morning, so I ran around 1pm.  It was roughly 90* and 85% humidity.  The run felt hot and slow.  Looking at the splits, I was actually moving fairly fast but everything hurt.  I can't imagine where in this course I hit a 5:16/mile pace, that's probably why it hurt. This was my least favorite run of the trip. I didn't take pictures.  I'm glad it's over.

Saturday - 8.5 Miles with the best sights ever.  Saturday was my favorite run.  Based on sight seeing and other runs, the Lincoln Memorial was the only really big thing I hadn't seen yet, so I planned to run up the Potomac and cross at the bridge there, run down the district side, and then cross back to the hotel.  I met some runners who were training for various east coast marathons and ran with them a couple miles before crossing over to Lincoln.  My goals for this run were similar to the 12-miler: run at least a mile together and take lots of pictures.  No one cares about pace on this run.  I had an absolute blast.  It was the right amount of running and picture taking and super fun to see Lincoln, the Reflection Pool and the Tidal Basin, as well as seeing Jefferson and Washington again and a couple of gorgeous views from the bridges over the Potomac.

Sunday - 4 miles, much better than the other day.  Mercifully, the conference started a bit later on Sunday, so I could sneak in a short run even after sunrise.  I did the 4-mile route again and it was a much better trip doing it at 75* than at 90*, and better for photography as well.

Monday - 1.4 miles of FAST.  This is the most surprising run of the trip.  Easily.  This was seriously an "it's the last day of vacation, just get in a mile" kind of run.  We were staying with this family, and the neighborhood was quite hilly.  The last .4 miles were mostly down hill. As should be apparent from the pace information.  Just wow.

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