Monday, May 19, 2008

Running in Washington DC

We got back from DC yesterday. Quite a trip, packed into an insufficient amount of days.

We decided to drive there; that was a mistake. I hate airplanes; the waiting, the cancellations, lost bags, rude airline employees. I figured that all the driving to the airport, waiting, flying, more waiting etc would take almost as long as driving. Well, let me tell you, driving took a long time.

Washington DC is a much cooler place than I had expected. It felt like an old European capital. There is a bus and metro system. The downtown is very walkable. No highways pierce the old downtown. There are statues and monuments everywhere. Somehow I had expected a more spread out, sterile city.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast a few miles from downtown. That was definitely a good idea, although we almost got kicked out. We were out running on our first morning when the girl's cell phone rang. It was our host, who told us kids were not allowed at her establishment. Apparently, someone had complained about us. We didn't know what to do; she said she would have to think about whether we had to move to another room or maybe get out of the house completely. It turned out we were okay, but we had to promise to keep the Lorax completely quiet.

But, yes, we were out running. The first morning, we ran towards the big park in DC, Rock Creek Park. We didn't quite find our way down to a paved path that followed the river in the bottom of the gorge. We saw the path from several bridges but couldn't get down to it. We ended up running on 16th street, pretty far into downtown Washington. Lots of cool sights and neighborhoods.

Then we went to the big convention center. We had wanted to get some learning in but, with the Lorax, it was hard to attend lectures. I was on a jeopardy team competing against other states. We lost in the first round to California so my official business in Washington DC lasted less than 15 minutes.
We went to the White House

The Lorax grabbed some food at the Mall

Self-timed picture of us on the Mall

The next day we drove a little bit to find that fabled running trail we had seen from so many bridges. It runs along the Rock Creek, which eventually empties into the Potomac. It goes from something that resembles wilderness to the US capital. Pretty cool.

The Lorax won't remember any of this, of course.

This bathroom line felt slower than before a race.

Seeing all the monuments, it was hard not to see the irony. The FDR monument, especially, was full of quotes about freedom and tolerance. All those quotes seemed to come from a time before 9/11.

We ran for 3.5 hours that day, the last of which I ran fast. My legs were dead after that, while the Girl got up the next morning at 7 to run two hours before our Odyssey home.

The Lorax was a good baby on this trip.

We stayed in South Bend, Indiana, on the way back. Ran along the river on a nice trail there and through the Notre Dame campus. They had graduation weekend; it was fun to see all the festivities.

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