What does it say about your weekend when it begins with 12 miles? And is followed up with lots of free ice cream and plenty of good company?
I’d say it was an active, sweet weekend, with multiple accomplishments thrown in the mix.
It began Saturday morning, as it will through the rest of summer and into fall, with an alarm before 6:30 AM and a warmup run to the Fleet Feet. Rather than waking up earlier to catch a bus to the store, I have been running the 1.5 miles over to Adams Morgan, ensuring that I already am a sweaty mess before we even begin our extended mileage.
On the morning’s docket: 9 miles, beginning at the store, down to the Washington Monument then up and around the Capitol before heading back. Up hill. The unfortunate downside of starting at Fleet Feet is its northern, elevated location, meaning that any run down south to the National Mall necessitates an inclined run back to the top. Even more, any run above the store also includes hill running as the elevation continues to increase as you climb north.
Regardless of the elevation, I felt fantastic during Saturday’s SLR. Overall, I averaged an 8:33 min/mi pace, which felt comfortable and sustainable throughout the 9-mile course. Although there was looming humidity, it was mild compared to the intense heat that hovered during the previous week’s run. With the lack of a dominating sun I also felt more comfortably hydrated and less fatigued by the time we reached the finish. Even at the halfway point, which came after running up the hill on the side of the Capitol, I felt strong and ready for the downhill that anticipated the group on the other side.
Despite the advice not to set a time goal for one’s first marathon, I have an idea of a time that I would like to run for Marine Corps: four hours. To complete this, I would need to average a 9:10 min/mi pace. Considering that my solo runs average sub-8 min/mi, and my long runs continue to average below 9 min/mi, I am optimistic that my goal is attainable.
Still feeling great after returning to the store and downing one of my first freeze pops in years, I ran back to my apartment, thus stopping my Garmin only when I reached 12 miles. A dozen miles all before 9 AM and before many had even woken up to consume their first cup of coffee (or if you are one of my friends, three hours before he actually wakes from slumber). In total, I finished the week with just over 25 miles on my sneakers.
So what’s the proper reward for running one mile short of a half marathon? Ice cream, of course. Even better, free ice cream!
Friends and I ventured out to Union Market in Northeast for the D.C. Scoop Fest. Falling on the same weekend as National Ice Cream Day, the festival brought together various ice cream vendors from across the DMV area to tout their flavors and compete for the People’s Choice Award.
- Bourbon Banana Caramel [Ice Cream Jubilee]
- Iced Thai [Ice Cream Jubilee]
- Gin and Tonic Sorbet [Ice Cream Jubilee]
- Toasted Coconut [Gifford’s]
- Coffee Kahlua [Amore}
- Nutella [Amore]
- Vegan Strawberry and Banana [Lulu’s]
- Pistachio [Nice]
The pistachio from Nice Ice Cream, a Clarendon, VA shop that makes all of their products with liquid nitrogen, was my flavor. It was both nutty and sweet, as you could see the specks of the ground nuts in the scoop. The flavor was spot on, and others agreed because it won the people’s vote for best scoop of the day.
Unfortunately, I devoured all my samples without taking any pictures. But perhaps even more disappointing, there were no sprinkles seen at the festival, so I feel compelled to include this photo demonstrating my love of sprinkles.
So miles and ice cream dominated my weekend, but there were other bright spots, including a much-needed yoga session, a less than needed shopping splurge, and the sight of something simple to remind you that beauty can be found everywhere.