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Part of the Rock Creek Parkway Trail alongside the Potomac is shut down for construction.  It’s nothing that will de-rail a workout, but I found it a little disappointing to not be right next to the river.  And then to have to wait for 2 lights… man, I’m spoiled.

Additionally, if you want to bike (or run) across the Woodrow Wilson bridge, as of this past Saturday, you can.

The weather looks pretty good this week – so if you’re in the Nation’s Capital, definitely take some time to enjoy it.

~ Happy Monday Trails ~


Walking up to the start before the race

Walking up to the start before the race

Ahh…. Race for the Cure 5k.  A time of celebration, hope, and lots and lots of pink.  This year marked the first ever Global race.  Now what that entirely means, I’m not sure; I’m gathering that the fundraising is going world-wide.  The day kicked off honoring survivors.  And the pre-race charge included notable speakers including Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, as well as Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine from Serbia.  In total, $2.8M was raised for the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Overall, I found the race to be pretty good.  The weather wasn’t the swampy mist it was last year.  The water stops were well-manned and the post-race bash was full of music, water, food, and give aways (always fun for a race).  However, I do have a couple of critiques for the race organizers:

  • First, how can your race course online not have any mile markers or designations of water stops?  I know we’re talking about a 5k, but I like to know my course and give myself checkpoints.
  • Next, I know this race is now Global, but we’re still in the US.  Why were there not mile markers?  On top of that, the kilometer markers were so difficult to find.  Among members on my whole team, we determined that they did all exist on the course, but no one saw more than 2.
  • And finally, the race was supposed to start at 8am.  Getting to the speakers took too long and runners didn’t start crossing that start line until around 8:25.  25 minutes late.  And that’d be right around the time some people would have been finishing the race if they weren’t so late. 

I’ve always found Race for the Cure to be an interesting a frustrating race.  The first mile is normally congested with too many runners.  (I will define the term runners loosely because even when starting in the front of the pack, there are still plenty of walkers and 13.5 minute a mile joggers that clog up the course.)  However, this year I started near the front of the race and found that the congestion and walkers were pretty easy to navigate.  Definitely not ideal racing conditions but it was not anything too un-navigable.

Even while the seasoned runner may feel annoyed or hindered in achieving a good time in this race, the key to not getting too frustrated is to acknowledge it for what it is.  Race for the Cure is an awesome phenomenon.  I’d venture to say that for most participants this is their only race the whole year.  On top of that, I speculate that there are a lot of first-time 5k-ers.  Kudos to the Susan G. Komen foundation to their success orchestrating an event that means so much to so many people that finds itself overwhelmed with enthusiasm from non-everyday runners.

I hope to post a few more pictures later this evening.

Happy Trails everyone.  The weather in DC is great!

~ Jessica ~

Well, we’re feeling the touches of heat and humidity in the Nation’s Capital swamp.  Hailing from Memphis, the city of 90/90/90 summers – 90% of the summer it’s 90 degree weather with 90% humidity – I wouldn’t think that this weather would bother me so much.  However, moving North has ruined some of my Southern Sensibility and days of air conditioned office-sitting haven’t helped either.

My run home, while scenic, was a little lethargic.  I’m taking it as a wake-up call to remain hydrated and dress appropriately.  Seriously, another couple glasses of water before I headed out the door and a technical tee would have done wonders for how I felt.

My choices for gear:  Under Armour’s cotton-y feeling performance fabric.  I prefer how it feels to the more heavily polyesterized shirts.

As for water:  I like these small plastic sport-mouth bottles.  It’s small enough for me to carry comfortably in my hand and is enough water for a 45-60 minute run.  I have a few left from the last time I bought a package.  Next stop, would be to try to find something more reusable.

Tomorrow is a morning run… hopefully, I’ll find that to be more bearable.

~ Happy Trails ~


Rolling Thunder by the LOCWell, after my tour of the Library of Congress, I decided to run to Rosslyn.  (Have I told you how much I love this city?)  I found the run particularly interesting – and not just because of the influx of bikers in town.  On this run, the memorials were not functioning as aesthetically pleasing tributes to different times in America.  On this run, I witnessed the personal ties that linked people to the memorials.

The WW II Memorial was decorated with flowers between each of its pillars – in honor of more than 400,000 who gave their life and the 16 million who served in the armed forces during World War II.  The visual reminder of why we get a day off from work really changes the focus of the 3-day weekend.  Thanks to all those men and women who have kept the U.S. safe.


Rolling Thunder at the WWII Memorial

Rolling Thunder at the WWII Memorial

Well, I’m guessing you were all taking bets on when that was going to happen.  Unfortunately, it was a little sooner than I had hoped.  And while I admit that I’ve fallen off, I am getting back to it.  The real question for me is to identify why it happened…

Now I hope to stay on the wagon

Rosslyn Skyline As I promised in an earlier post, here’s the story about the run that almost cost me some cash…

In order to get pictures like this and the others in my posts, I run with my camera.  Sometimes I run with a small backpack and other times I carry the camera in a plastic grocery bag.

While checking out the Pacers Running Festival, I went with the plastic bag method.  After capturing some photos of the runners, I proceeded on my own run.  About 10 minutes in, my ipod hates me ran out of battery.  So I took off my ipod armband and placed it with my ipod in my grocery sack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Some of the post-run bash (really what everyone was doing while waiting for the half marathon to end) and some of the race.

Check it out here

Pacers Half Marathon  



Pacers Half Marathon

I checked out the Pacers Running Festival this morning.  I was pretty psyched to leave the house this morning since when I turned on the news, the weather was described as “Perfect.”  (They were not lying.)  I caught some finishers of the Mom & Me Challenge running in.  A nice touch since the race fell on Mother’s Day and moms were given flowers.

I was particularly curious to see how the half marathon was going.  I previously flirted with the idea of signing up, but I’m taking a conservative approach to my training since I’m still managing running injuries and decided that 13.1 was too far too soon.

More about the Pacers Running Festival

Random Q – Do you pronounce it like “Root” or as R-oww-t?

Here’s the gist of what I ran on Thursday.

A couple of things to note: 

1.  When crossing the Memorial Bridge and continuing on your run to the mall rather than Rockcreek Parkway, you want to be on the South (airport) side.

2.  Running along the mall is particularly glorious in the mornings.  The mall isn’t clogged with tourists and there’s not that much traffic to cross over.  It’s definitely something to check out.


Smithsonian Castle

So why do I claim that this new route brings success?  Well, from my running this past week, it appears that all of those mornings where my running buddies have been pushing me to run faster have started to pay off.  In this 6 mile + run, I found myself pushing the pace and feeling strong throughout the run.

It’s exciting to feel progress from the effort I’ve placed on training.  This is particularly fulfilling since physical fitness tends to suffer from the characteristics of diminishing marginal returns (I mentioned earlier that I’m an economist…).

The principle that I’m referring to here is that when you first start training, you might run a 10 minute mile.  Then in a few weeks you find yourself comfortable running a 9 minute mile.  Maybe a month more of consistent training you reach 8:30.  A couple months more of hard work and you’re able to do easy runs at 8:25.  You see it’s getting even harder to drop down that time.  So initially you found great rewards to your training (cutting down 1 minute per mile) but now you find your training yields lesser results (maybe cutting off 10 seconds per mile).

So the good news?  It is possible to still make progress.  It’s working for me.  Train hard and train smart, and you’ll find it too.

~ Happy Trails ~


Washington Monument

Washington Monument

Yesterday morning, I went for a run across the Memorial Bridge and to the Washington Monument and the White House (see the basic route here).  We had some great summertime weather that’s quickly changed to something more spring-like:  60s and showers.

My morning was a combination run/commute to work.  The plethora of running/biking trails and office showers and gyms in the DC area (including VA) makes a double-tasking commute like this possible.  As an economist, I find transportation costs  (in economic terms, measured as what I could do in the time it takes me to drive somewhere or take the metro to my destination) inefficient, so I was pretty ecstatic when I discovered how easy it was for me to run or bike to (and from) the office.

If you’re so lucky to be able to combine a workout/commute, you should definitely try it.  It’s energizing totally awesome to run through DC and see the sites all while on your way to work.  How lucky we are to be surrounded by these attractions that people travel hundreds of miles to see!  Even when my morning run is less monumental (haha… pun.), I still appreciate experiencing the world and nature before sitting down to a desk for the next several hours.  Try it.  You’ll love it.

The White House

The White House

Just a note:  I’m going to start publishing excerpts of the routes that I’m running to give ideas on different routes to try.  If you have questions about running in different parts of town or the idiosyncrasies of how to connect different trails together, just leave me a comment on any post.

~ Happy Trails ~