WEATHER: Not as humid as it could be. Which is pretty damn fine for August.
MILES: 15 or 16 or something like that.
MILES THIS WEEK: 15 or 16 or something like that.
WHERE TO: Up 5th Street a good long while to Piney Branch and then down the Sligo Creek Trail for a while. Then back.
TODAY’S RUNNING SONG: Same as my last entry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdrFBwwWJ44
Oh my goodness, team. Oh my sweet heavenly Goddamn goodness.
We’re back. I’m back. Hello. How are you? I am fine thank you. You have filled out nicely, I see.
Today I did my longest run in maybe…man. I don’t know. A year and a half? My God, the hiatus was brutal.
A variety of things have happened since my last entry. And while roughly 40 percent of my readership consists of the people who raised me and who probably think they hear enough about the personal details of my life as it is, I’m just going to run down the stuff that’s happened since then:
- I won a marathon. What??!!?!? I know. It still doesn’t make sense to me. (Wait. Yes it does. As in: Fewer than 30 women finished, so….)
- I had surgery. My constant heel pain is GONE, thanks to a very nice doctor cutting me open and sanding down a bump of bone that had turned nearly necrotic (which is to say: grayish-black, from his description) ([dry heave]).
- I discovered that my pain tolerance is not what I thought it was.
- …and that Vicodin is nowhere near as fun as anyone says it is.
- I stopped running for a while.
- …and mayyyybe put on a pound or 10.
- I moved to a new neighborhood.
- I considered getting a new tattoo nearly every weekend but have still, after two years, failed to actually do so.
- I changed jobs twice.
- I got these jeans that make my legs look bonkers.
- I discovered the joys of the Sligo Creek Trail.
So really it’s all been pretty good. And now I share some of my newfound wisdom with you. I present you a new Running Log feature:
PLACES TO RUN IN D.C., REVIEWED
In this installment: The Sligo Creek Trail — 10.6 miles of paved, curvy creekside trail that stretches from Wheaton to Takoma.
- Nature-riffic. Pretty trees, soothing gurgling water, and as an added bonus, part of the parkway is shut down to cars on the weekends. As God intended for all roads.
- Fewer scary giant herons blocking your way than on, say, the C&O towpath. And thus we get to experience nature and simultaneously pee ourselves a little less.
- The occasional interrupting intersection. Ordinarily I’d put this under “negatives,” but interruptions mean rests, which is acceptable as all hell when, say, you’re scarred and out of shape and maybe a little over your fighting weight and also you just need the occasional break, dammit STOP JUDGING ME.
- Well-trafficked. Makes the whole thing feel safer and a little less serial-killer-riffic than, say, the remoter trails of Rock Creek Park or the farther reaches of the C&O Towpath (which is not to rag on the towpath) (seriously, All Hail The Towpath).
- Seriously. Very well-trafficked. So if you’re a sweaty monster like some women I know, you get to be publicly disgusting.
ME: [squeezes roughly 16 oz. of sweat from ponytail, pulls Gu from sports bra, suckles it down]
RESPECTABLE POWER-WALKING CITIZEN: Gross.
ME: [manic] There are dozens of us! DOZENS. [dry heave]
- It’s in Maryland. “Man. I really need to go to Wheaton today,” said no DC resident ever. Really, if you live in most parts of DC, you’ve got to go a few miles to even get to this trail. Not a casual morning run destination.
- No water fountains. Er, very few. Same goes for bathrooms. In this respect, it’s a trail for experienced city runners, by which I mean people who have developed the eagle-eye for a well-camouflaged water source/place to pee. Not even a 7 Eleven in sight, should you get desperate. You have been warned.
- Maybe a little too well-trafficked? The flip side of not-serial-killer-riffic is crowdedness. Given the lack of bathrooms, first of all, good luck on relieving yourself in the bushes without some scandalized suburbanite seeing you and tsk-tsking you into oblivion. Second of all, this means full families of bikers. Which ordinarily wouldn’t be a big deal, but seriously, most of them inexplicably weave from one side of the trail to the other for their entire bike rides.
- Seriously, the bikers are suspiciously bad at staying on one side of the trail. I can’t stress this enough. It was just creepily pervasive. Adults, teenagers, children of all ages and bike-riding levels. I can’t even explain this one. The only thing I can think of:
MOM: <sucks down 8th mimosa of the morning> Well, I think I’m ready to get on a bike and go weave in and out of pedestrians’ way on the Sligo Creek Trail.
DAD: <12th mimosa> I don’t know. Are the kids ready?
JUNIOR: <burp> <throws Bloody Mary garnishes across the table>
MOM: Sure seem like it. Pack some waters, will you?
MOM: Honey, you and I both know that trail has inexplicably few water fountains, considering that it was literally built for physical activity, which naturally dehydrates people, particularly in our swampy climate, for which some urban planner should feel very, very ashamed.
<pauses, then whispers, dramatically> Very. Ashamed.
DAD: Why don’t we just do another trail for once?
MOM: Because I like my trails like I like my men: gorgeous and free of any public amenities.
DAD: That makes no sense, honey.
MOM: Shut up and get your fine ass into the garage and get out our laughably impractical oversized tandem bike.
[Phenomenon repeats itself in precisely 1 kajillion more households.]
Overall grade: B. If you have the nimbleness to leap-and-roll away when tipsy post-brunch bikers barrel by, it’s pretty great.
And also, dear readers, I cannot stress this enough. It is so. good. to. be. back.