Pending the snowhurricane that was forecasted to smack the northeast, I was planning a short trip to see some friends in NYC on Saturday night/Sunday. That being said, I was intent on getting my long run out of the way on Saturday morning before (if?) I left town. So, on Saturday morning I met a small group of GRCers at the Chevy Chase Store. We paraded down Western and down Massachusetts until we hit 35 mins. The pack then turned and retraced its steps, but I ducked down a trail in the middle of Embassy Row that dumped me into Rock Creek. My spirits were immediately lifted when I my feet struck soft brown trail. There were a number of fallen trees blocking the path, but I was fine with this. I can’t recall when I’ve been so happy to run on natural terrain. The 45 degree air played second fiddle to a warm sun as I thought about spring. Eventually the trail ended and I jumped on Beach Drive. My pace picked up as I bounded down closed Beach alongside other runners. I decided to head up Military and take that back to Friendship Heights. My legs felt achy – the type of achy my legs feel at 1:50 into a long run, except for the fact I was only 1:15 into a long run. I tried to relax and focus on my form, but I never felt very comfortable. I decided to call it a day after 1:45. This was essentially a microcosm of my week - feeling achy and “lazy” (stopping before I intended to).
That afternoon I found myself bombing my way towards New York City. As I crested the Verrazano Bridge, Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind came on the radio. It was an appropriate (albeit cliché) soundtrack to the film that played in my mind; “Red Fox’s Trip to NYC”. After some late night revelry that included whiskey, beer, whiskey, large brown rats, subways that are inferior to the Metro, traipsing down Times Square and whiskey, I awoke and met our friend William Askey on the southwest corner of Central Park. Billy guided me around the rolling 6 mile loop and we passed hundreds of runners getting their early morning fix. Soon an Irishman, whom Billy knew, and his Kiwi Coach came bounding alongside us. We dropped down to 6:15 pace and followed them for a few miles. I was informed that the New Zealander was none other than Athens Olympian John Henwood. Henwood boasts times of 27:45 (NZ National Record?) and 2:15 and spent the first half of the last decade racing the best and the brightest here in Washington DC. One never knows who you’ll see in the Park. 10 for the day. 85 for the week.