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I’ve only really mentioned this I think once, and in a podcast episode. I was actually a walk-on Cross Country and Track & Field athlete in college. Well, technically I was going to walk-on for Track as well, but I decided after the first two weeks or so of college that I should hang up my spikes and retire between the demand of classes and a lingering injury from high school that made breathing after about two and a half miles of a race like a sharp knife stab to my ribs. That was also the last time I ran a distance of 5k outdoors, or probably ever for that matter as I detest running on treadmills.
I did run a little this spring after COVID-19 hit, gyms closed down, and my waist started to feel like that “freshman 15” I never actually gained in college was finally starting to hit. However, I was not doing anything close to 3.1 miles, and it most definitely was not a pace akin to a “race.” So I went into this with low expectations and the expectation my high school self (two time MVP in varsity cross country mind you, because why shouldn’t I make a lame brag about that) would laugh so hard I would cause him to suffer an asthma attack. Turns out, I actually surprised myself with managing to punch in fairly consistent mile paces along with a not completely awful (but by no means good) finish time.
Naturally being in D.C. I of course did the snobbish race route of running the National Mall. I parked at the very edge of it on 3rd Street NW just across from the Capitol Reflecting Pool. I can’t remember for sure if I shared one of the many photos we have of Taylor at the reflecting pool, but if not you might recognize her regardless at the bottom left of the embed below (I need some filler here, okay):
From there I ran to the Lincoln Memorial (though not up the steps, both for time and social distancing as it was a popular time of day to visit) and turned around until I hit 3.1 miles before walking the rest of the way back to my car. My husband runs the length of the mall most days in addition to running to it and back, but as I said I stopped running ages ago I took the lazy route. Besides, I am quite frankly tired of walking those streets with Taylor so I burned some dead dinosaurs and made use of the car I had to buy for work at the start of the new year and has now mostly sat idle since COVID hit and I started working remotely. It made the scenery for the run far superior and I have no shame about it.
It felt great running the mall and pushing myself a bit again instead of just doing basic cardio for health reasons. I would like to say maybe this will be a turning point to me getting back out there and running more. However, the honest answer is I may a few times a month drive down and run the mall in entirety back to my car. Frankly, that would be a great improvement. I am not sure my knees could handle including the pavement running it would take to get there and back instead of driving down, however. I never loved prolonged pavement running even when I was a teenager.
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- Starting the photos out of order, the Nebraska column at the WWII Memorial
- Here’s the start of my “race” just across 3rd Street NW from the Capitol Reflecting Pool at the “start” of the National Mall.
- Nice rays of sun shining through the clouds as you look out from the foot of the Washington Monument toward the Lincoln Memorial.
- And the view looking the opposite direction toward my starting point
- The White House (as if you didn’t all know that without my saying so)
- There was a couple doing an engagement photo shoot at the edge of the reflecting pool below the Lincoln Memorial, so I figured they would enjoy being featured on Corn Nation of course. Congrats to whoever you are!
- Looking back at the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. To maximize my finish time I decided it was best to avoid running them as part of my race (and to maximize distancing from others).
- An American Airlines 737-800 on final approach into Ronald Reagan National just behind and above the Lincoln Memorial
- Washington DC’s (the city, not the national government) WWI Memorial
- A Coast Guard helicopter flies over the Potomac River near the Tidal Basin
- Another shot of the Washington Monument
- The Jefferson Memorial across the reflecting pool covered in scaffolding as it undergoes major renovations.
- A bit beyond where I officially “finished” my race catching some more sun rays filtering in through the clouds.
- And a final parting shot of the US Capitol before I head for home
- Rotated map view of my run
- For not training at all for this, I was both happy with my splits and surprised at how consistent they were