morning run

I started my three day weekend off today with the most amazing morning run I’ve had in a long time.  Sometimes there’s nothing quite like waking up early, throwing on some layers, and hitting a great trail for a long, sweaty run–it’s so satisfying to feel your whole body rise to the challenge of a tough workout.  I love feeling my heart ramp up at the beginning of the run, slightly unsettled by my brains’ ambitious plan, but slowly calming down as my muscles warm up and my blood starts flowing.  It’s kind of amazing when you stop and think about everything that has to come together in the human body in order for it finish a quick 6 mile run: lungs, heart, brain, muscles, joints, sweat glands, plus every little thing in between.

I picked one of my very favorite trails to run this morning, the Mount Vernon trail that stretches right along the Potomac.  It’s completely flat and outrageously scenic, two things that help a run feel significantly shorter than it is.  I don’t usually have my phone with me, but I did for some reason this morning, so I stopped frequently to capture a few of the sights I was seeing.

Pretty monument–and you can see the Jefferson Memorial on the very right side of the photo, the big round dome thing.  You can also make out the 50+ tour buses waiting in front of the monument–the bane of all DC drivers.  That one other tall spire in the background is actually the Old Post Office Building, the second highest point in DC.


Another monument picture–isn’t the sky beautiful?!

Here’s the Arlington Memorial Bridge, if you drove over it towards the left side of the picture, you’d be in the middle of Arlington Cemetery (still haven’t been there!).  The white squarish building to the right of the end of the bridge is Mr. Lincoln, and the whitish blob right behind the bridge is the Kennedy Center.  Right to the left of the Kennedy Center you can just barely see the National Cathedral (haven’t been there, either!), which is close to where I live.  You can’t see it in the picture, but on my run I could actually see the spires that had broken during the earthquake.

More bridge!  Think of how amazing this would be at night with Lincoln and the monument all lit up.

Another thing I love about this bridge is that it seriously has the BEST statues at each end.  On the Lincoln side is War and Peace, I think, and they’re these stunning golden gods with staggering war horses next to them.

Hey there, Mr. President!!  I’ve always loved the Lincoln Memorial because if you look at the back of a penny really, really close, you can see a teensy little Lincoln etched into the copper (brass?  What is a penny made out of??).  Think of all the billions and billions of places those little Lincolns have been!!

This is at Gravelly Point, one of the best places in the entire city.  (It’s technically in Virginia, but literally a 40 second swim away from the Jefferson Memorial.)  It’s no more than 30 feet away from the runway at the Reagan National Airport, and it’s the coolest feeling to be chugging along the path and have a huge airplane come in for a landing right over your head.  The plane is so loud it consumes you for a few seconds, and you feel the engines in the ground under your feet and smell the gas right as it passes you.  The whole 5 second experience is intoxicating.  (When it’s warmer, I want to go to the park and lay on my back in the grass and just watch the planes land, one after the other.)  I swear the people in the plane could probably see the color of my eyes from the comfort of their seats.

It’s really easy to imagine how, on 9/11, no one thought anything was unusual about the plane that eventually hit the Pentagon, because the planes fly so close to it as is.  They come in so low over both the bridges, and then suddenly swoop down into Reagan at the very last second.  The Pentagon is catty-corner to the airport; I bet people just thought it was a little off course or something before realizing what was about to happen.  Sad and scary.

I stalked the plane to its gate–and was close enough to see the people getting off the plane!!  Watch your backs, tourists! Heehee.

One last one–and I obviously didn’t see this on my run even though I would have LOVED to–just because it’s the most amazing picture I’ve see all week.  If this doesn’t make you smile in the slightest, there is no hope for you.

I know my Hoos got crushed by Virginia Tech a few weeks ago, but this little guy is all set to go for our upcoming bowl game.  Wah-hoo-wah, baby!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!  I’m off to check out a cool Degas exhibit and hopefully buy all my Christmas presents in one marathon trip.


One Response

  1. Wow, Jen! I’d run everyday if that was the view. That’s incredible – thanks for expanding my horizons – albeit vicariously through your blog and photos.

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