Sunday, July 18, 2010

L11 Day 10 - Monumental

To start this day's jog, I drove all the way to just north of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, to a park called Gravelly Point Park which is along the Mount Vernon Trail.  I got there right at six, and the entrance had a sawhorse across it, but the exit was not blocked, so in I went.  At this point, you're only a few football fields away from the planes, but it was early enough that there weren't any landing.  (They were taking off to the south.)

I had read online that there were facilities, so I ... um ... came prepared to use them.  Horrifically, there were only about five extremely used porta-potties.  Yours truly did not touch anything except the door! I managed to escape without barfing, so I decided to think things were off to a good start.

I jogged a couple of miles, under a slew of bridges, past the Navy and Marine Memorial, to the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  This bridge symbolizes the North and South reuniting after the Civil War; and it points directly to the Lincoln Memorial.

I would go right around the Lincoln Memorial, right past the World War II Memorial, touch the shadow of the Washington Monument, and go around the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial.

But first, I've got to tell you about this weird creepy feeling that I got.  I was running through trees on the south side of the Lincoln Memorial.  In the heavy shade, I see these oddly dressed people standing stone still.  I knew what it was, but it still gave me all-over goosebumps.  It's the Korean War Memorial.  The picture below does no justice to the angle, light, and feeling I felt.  I'll have to go with a camera someday.

I have to advise people over four foot tall to not attempt to jog right around the edge of the tidal basin.  Turns out those Cherry tree branches are pretty low.  Also the sidewalks are very slanted, and water occasionally covers most of the concrete.  After going around the south side of the Jefferson Memorial, it was time to merge onto the 14th Street Bridge.  (It's the left-most one in the picture.)

After the bridge, you're right back on the Mount Vernon Trail about a mile north of Gravelly Point.  Even in the last mile I didn't pick up the pace.  I knew I was going super slow, but I also knew I was going to go all the way without stopping.  In this muggy weather (75°; 85% humidity) that is victory enough.

Because I believed this park had real facilities, I brought a change of clothes.  Needless to say, there's zero chance of me even looking in the direction of those porta-potties.  I probably shouldn't say a whole lot about how I managed to dry off and change, but I will volunteer that the passenger seat of my Audi goes way, way back.

In all, I did six miles without a walk break and without getting lost!  My average heart rate was only 142, so I was nice and comfy the whole time.  (Except for the buckets of sweat dripping off me.)  Here is the standard set of jogging documentation:

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting route.. I really wish I was close enough to jog in those areas.. I have lots of rural/farm setting here. While it is nice, it does easily get monotonous at times.

    Keep up the good work, hopefully that heartrate will continue to decline. You are making great progress.