Sunny Summer Days

Although I still love fall the most, there’s a lot to love about summer: getting out of work early on Fridays, sitting outside at restaurants and being outside, especially anywhere near the water.

Saturdays are supposed to be my “long” run days, which at this point is only about five miles. To change up the scenery a little bit, Joe and I decided to head to Great Falls (the Maryland side of course) to get our running in. We headed over on the GW Parkway and I realized Joe had never been to Theodore Roosevelt Island so we had to make a quick pitstop. I hadn’t been in years but I remember coming with my mom sometimes. We’d walk around and stop to watch the college rowing teams if they were out practicing.

The island seemed bigger than I remember and they have some nice trails, especially the “boardwalk” that goes through the marshy area. We did a loop around the island, which was about 2.5 miles. It was a gorgeous morning for the walk and sometimes it was easy to forget you were still close to the city (although the planes heading to Reagan right overhead really didn’t let you forget for too long). A little of what we saw:

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Teddy

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Gotta admire how he felt about nature.

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Joe on the “boardwalk”

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Hard to believe we’re right across the river from the city

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Georgetown waterfront from the island.

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You can’t really see but there were a bunch of paddleboarders and kayakers out there.

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I wanted to steal this kayak. I really would like one some day.

After our detour, we headed over to Great Falls where we had to wait in a line to get into the park. I guess everyone had the same idea we had. We decided to run north on the trail since there are fewer people that way. Although I like to run earlier in the day, it didn’t feel too hot outside for almost noon. I was kind of excited to run someplace different for a change.

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Donkeys! Also, look how blue that sky is. No filter!

My excitement started to die down pretty quickly. See that view above? That’s pretty much all we saw the whole time. It was monotonous. Instead of feeling like a nice change of scenery, it really kind of felt like being on an outdoor treadmill. This part of the trail doesn’t have too many nice views. Just a lot of trees and the canal. We ran three miles up and turned around. Joe started to pull ahead at one point and I started to get grumpy. I was grumpy that he left me behind and grumpy that I still had a few more miles to go on this trail. I was trying to go at least five miles but kind of wanted to do more. By that point though, I just wanted to get off the trail. I kept looking for this house we had passed on our way out and I swear I never saw it running back. Joe finally stopped a little after four miles. I kept going and picked it up on the last mile just so I could get it over with. Since I had been aiming to run longer, my early miles were all pretty consistent but my last two miles were faster. I did get to five miles (in 47:57) and figured that was enough. I had walked 2.5 miles at Theodore Roosevelt Island and still had to walk a mile back to the car so I would have a total of 8.5 miles on my feet for the day. Good enough for me.

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Although I felt grumpy running back, it was still nice seeing this view at the end.

In an attempt to do some triathlon training, Joe was going to ride his bike home so I dropped him off and drove back to our apartment. I have to admit that I really loved the ride home on the GW Parkway: windows open, music blasting and beautiful views of the city on the way back in.

Not long after I got home, Joe texted me to say that he had gone the wrong way (he swears I told him the wrong way but I have no recollection of giving him directions) and he was out in Poolesville!!!. He had run out of water and I didn’t want him passing out trying to get home so I had to go out River Road to go pick him out. I saw a few mansions along the way that I would like for my birthday.

I was STARVING when we got home around 5 because I still hadn’t had a real meal all day. Mini burgers for delivery for the win.

While we ate we watched The Spirit of the Marathon on Netflix. The sequel to this documentary just came out but I had never seen the first one. The documentary follows six people as they prepare for the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Warning: it will definitely make you want to sign up for a marathon. And I may have shed a few tears. Sports-related movies always get me.

To wipe out some of the damage from the burgers, Joe and I went for a short run this morning (just over two miles) to the Lincoln Memorial and then walked home. Three straight days of running means I’m ready for a rest day tomorrow!

Later we’re off to celebrate Father’s Day with my parents. Happy Father’s Day to my dad who has supported me in everything I’ve ever done and who I’ve looked up to for a long time. There are few people I like spending time with more than my dad. Love ya Dad!

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