One of the hardest things to do in D.C. I've found, is to get a parking space in West Potomac Park on a Saturday. Well, I did that this past weekend and, along with the parking space, I found a new favorite running route.
Not that I like running, of course, but I found a course to run that makes the self-inflicted torture a bit more enjoyable. And yes, for those of you wondering, there will always be a "Declaration of Hatred" of running in each of these little updates. It's not as if I can actually like running, even if I like what it is doing to my body.
I didn't run at all last week because of a nasty little biological invader in my body which sapped all of my energy and then gave me alternating fever and chills for the better part of three days. By the time Saturday morning rolled around I was finally feeling mostly human again and decided to banish the toxic guests from my body with some good old fashion exercise.
Well, anyway, back to the run. I started off in West Potomac Park on Ohio Drive, SW, (always thought this was called something like "West Potomac Drive" or something like that, but I guess not) heading down the Potomac toward the 14th Street Bridge. I went over the little bridge at the end and ran past the George Mason Memorial and then a quick glimpse of one of my favorites, the Jefferson, before making a right onto the 14th Street Bridge.
I thought this part of the run would be pretty hard: all long and straight with cars and trucks whizzing past, but it wasn't so bad. Unlike a spring or summer Saturday, there were only a couple of other people on the bridge and I was able to keep a pretty good pace.
After exiting the bridge I kept going, my legs a bit dead now, and went up and over the Boundary Channel Bridge and past the Navy-Marine Memorial, not to be confused with the Marine Corps War Memorial, in Lady Bird Johnson Park. As you can see from the view in the picture, which isn't mine, it's easy to understand why this little jaunte has become my favorite running course in and around the District.
Well, it was just about here, maybe a little further on, where the legs ran out of gas and I had to stop running for a bit. Although I stopped running, I never stopped moving and kept up a brisk pace while walking. From here until I reached the Memorial Bridge, was a bit of stop and go. Perhaps it was because the trail on the Virginia side is just ever so slightly uphill or, more likely, it's because I still haven't figured out how and what I need to eat to keep the fires in the furnace burning brightly as I run. I'm still working on this and any suggestions on running and nutrition will be greatly welcome.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, heading for home. Two of my goals for this run on Saturday were to run all the way across both the 14th Street and Memorial bridges. I'm happy to say I accomplished this. I even managed to keep a pretty good pace and not look like a fat, pathetic out-of-shape old guy while I was running across the Memorial Bridge. At least I devoutly hope so.
I finally finished up my run next to the Lincoln Memorial and near one of my most favoritest signs in the whole wide District of Columbia:
Actually, I finished running for the day on Saturday right at the end of that crosswalk and walked the rest of the way back to my car. After crossing Independence Avenue I thought about running a bit more of the way, but decided not to. Overall, out of the whole 3.1 mile distance, I figure I ran about 2.3 of the miles (I measured using the ruler tool on Google Earth). Not bad, but I hope to start stringing some of my fits and spurts together soon into some longer stretches.
I liked the length of this route and the fact that it's pretty flat, but not totally flat (hey, to me those little uphill sections are huge) and the views are definitely something that'll keep you entertained as you go into oxygen debt. I think I'll be doing this run again very soon.