I started out running south down 15th street from the hotel towards the National Mall. As I approached the White House there were police and guards everywhere closing off the streets - even the pedestrian sidewalks. There was a motorcycle police escort blaring their blues and sirens and exiting the side entrance. Right behind the police were two black suburbans. The first one, the windows were all rolled up and completely blacked out. The second one, all the windows were rolled down and about seven Secret Service guys were hanging out every window in the their full suits, dark sunglasses and ear pieces. This is a picture of the first suburban as I caught up to them again on Jefferson Ave. My camera wasn't quick enough to catch the second SS suburban which looked pretty cool with all these guys hanging out the windows and casing the neighborhood. But, I found out later that night that it was Condoleezza Rice in that first suburban. Kinda cool! (My husband says that usually she wouldn't get that kind of motorcade. He figures the Prez or the VP was in there - COOL!)
This is the park just north of the National Mall. I took it around down to the Lincoln Memorial. Funny thing, on Sunday when I hit this park there was some kind of dog fair/convention going on. There were dogs EVERYWHERE and dog vendors set up all over the place. It was so cute to watch all these dogs and owners mingling and frolicking.
Then I headed over the Potomac River towards Arlington National Cemetery. I'm not sure if you can tell, but at this time it started to get very overcast and a bit colder. The breeze was blowing pretty readily off of the Potomac. So, not only was I fighting the wind, but now the temperature dropped several degrees too. I was getting COLD!
The world's most disgusting porta-potties I've EVER been near. Seriously - you could smell these babies from a 100 yards away. And according to the friendly "last serviced" (yeah - right) sign, they hadn't been serviced (and by serviced the must only mean dumped) in three days. Nice. But, when ya gotta go....ya gotta go. At about mile 6 all the pre-fueling and watering hit my bladder and I was about to BURST. So, I just held my nose and hoovered the best I could. Do you KNOW how hard it is to hoover when your quads are already burning from running???? My legs were shaking. I know...TMI.
A really great thing on the trail is that you cross over several brooks and streams near the river. They have built these quaint little wooden bridges across. It was so serene to see all the colors of the leaves starting to change, to hear the soothing babbling of the nearby brook and to hear the dull thud as your feet hit the wooden planks.
Here are some pictures of the shops, pubs, cobble-stone streets and condos near Old Town Alexandria.
Funny thing...while I was walking around I figured I had better fuel back up for the 10ish mile run back. I had two packets of goo in my fuel belt, but as I was walking around I passed, not one, not two - but THREE ice cream stores. It was a sign. I rationalized to myself that ice cream is in fact a form of goo - all the sugars will give me the carbs I need, plus ice cream has protein that will sustain my energy later.
So, here I am enjoying a combo scoop of pumpkin ice cream (the seasonal special) and blackberry cheesecake. She gave me a HUGE amount of ice cream for $4.50!! But don't worry - I only ate about a quarter (OK - maybe a third...) of it. I didn't want to run on a full stomach.
Ahhh - I'm taking a break, just basking in my ice cream. Guess I gotta get up now and head back. 10 miles back....
Alexandria is a very picturesque city. Even as you get into town from the trail there is artwork and monuments like above to welcome you into the city.
I guess that's why I found this so humorous. About a mile outside of town on this beautiful trail is a Kaiser plant sitting right on the water. Now the plant is a monstrosity of rusted metal and filth, but Kaiser has tried to make it "pretty" by placing the muraled wall in front of the plant with a note of "thanks" to the community.
Today I LOVE: The thrill of what seemed like a daunting run - accomplished!