My daughter (the same one who suggested that I run the Richmond Half-Marathon with her, which later got revised to the Full Marathon) invited me to come up to Northern Virginia where she lives with her husband, and run around the monuments on the Washington Mall with her as a final run-of-significance before next Saturday’s races. Since I like spending time with my children, I leapt at the opportunity.
Broader context issue #1: I have learned from others who have done marathons before that during the last two weeks one should taper down one’s mileage. No more long runs of more than 20 miles before the race. Maybe one of 10-12 miles a week before. So this sounded like it would fit perfectly with both of our training regimens in the lead up to our races in Richmond next week.
Broader context issue #2: I am still recovering from my strained popliteus muscle, which got my attention about eleven days ago. Part of my recovery included no running for a week, which I did, and then starting back slowly, which I have done. So I went to Northern Virginia yesterday uncertain how far I should or could run, or what the back of my knee might feel like in the process.
So after a breakfast of apple pie (see previous post), we headed out into an absolutely gorgeous late autumn day. Bright blue skies, crisp 40s temperature after a hard freeze the night before, and enough color in the trees to still be breathtaking. We drove to Arlington and found parking near the National Cemetery. And then we were off.
We had the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Both of us took cameras. My daughter chose a route that took us by many of the major monuments – we posed, we took selfies, we monkeyed for the camera, and laughed, and we ran.
What follows is our itinerary, recorded as it happened.
We started on the Arlington side of the Potomac, running by the National Cemetery.
And around the Iwo Jima Memorial.
And onto the Mt. Vernon Trail
And across the I 395 bridge
Around and in the Jefferson Memorial
Around the Tidal Basin to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial
Up Constitution Avenue and back on the Mall
Around the Capitol
By the Supreme Court
Past the Library of Congress
To the U.S. Grant equestrian statue
Back down the Mall to the Washington Monument
Around the Lincoln Memorial and across the Arlington Memorial Bridge
And retracing our steps past the Cemetery
And back to the car.
My daughter had assured me that it was a 10 or 12 mile run, but that we could hop on the metro at any time if we needed to. Well we ran and ran without incident or problem and finished appropriately tired but chuffed to have such a fun run. Later this evening when retraced our route, I discovered that we didn’t run 10 miles or 12 miles, we ran 13.7 miles. I guess my recovery is going ok. And I guess my daughter is ready for her half marathon (13.1 miles). And I guess that I’m feeling a whole lot better about my ordeal coming up in six days.
I had a great time. Sometimes is good just to have fun.
Note to self: Take your camera with you on the marathon.