On the morning of the Fourth, I ran a 5K race in Potomac, Maryland with Jeanne. I run a race every Fourth of July.
In 2001, I ran a 5-miler in Fredericksburg in under 40 minutes which pleased me, so I didn't run another 5-miler until last year because I was afraid I'd "ruin" my 40 minute benchmark in the next one (I didn't). In 2002, I ran a 6K in Baltimore in over 30 minutes which displeased me, so I had to wait a whole year to run it again so I could get this oddball distance under 30 minutes (I did). Who says runners are obsessed with numbers?
In 2004, I ran a 25:51 at the Cure Autism Now 5K in Potomac. I ran it again the next year in order to break 25 minutes on the somewhat hilly course but guess what? I ran exactly 25:00 so that didn't count. Last year I had a good day and passed over the finish line at just over 23 minutes. This year I ran the Potomac race again in a relaxed manner, having met my goals there, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
However, I have been dealing with a tendinitis issue in my left leg since April. It limited me to running just 50.5 miles in May. Since I'm getting ready for Chicago in October, I bumped that up to 100 miles in June but it caused my leg to get worse again. (Pain is not merely weakness leaving the body.).
July 1st I did an LSD of 15 miles at a 9:20 pace and although the leg felt alright during the run, it felt like fire afterwards. I tried to run the next day but quit after a block. I legged out 2 1/4 miles the following day leading the weekly running group at work and then did the relaxed July Fourth 5K.
Coming back from the race, I decided how best to enjoy the rest of the holiday. Rather than jostle with the masses on the Mall to view the fireworks, I figured out how to watch the Falls Church fireworks from a really good, really close-up spot.
The second tallest structure in Falls Church is the six-level parking garage at West Falls Church Metro which overlooks the town's high school playing fields. (You can see the town's tallest structure from there, the enormously tall back-stop costing hundreds of thousands of dollars behind home plate on the baseball field which prevents foul balls from sailing onto cars speeding by on Interstate-66 one hundred feet away.) The city launches its fireworks every year at 9:30 pm from the football field, one hundred yards away from the parking structure.
My idea was to park my pickup truck atop the parking garage in a spot overlooking the football field and watch the show from a front-row seat in my car. At noon I parked in the last remaining space along the wall nearest the field. Other folks evidently had the same idea. I ran home from there, an even mile, in 7:55. My leg hurt.
In the evening a friend dropped by and we walked to the parking structure where we clambered onto the bed of my pickup. We sat and watched the thirty-minute pyrotechnic display as it literally unfolded right before our eyes. It was spectacular! (My pickup. Hey, how do you like my cool 26.2 oval magnet below the rear window?)
The only downside was that after the fireworks it took an hour to get my truck out of the packed parking garage so I could drive my friend to her car. The next day, of course, was a work day.
I also called and left a message for my oldest child, a 21-Y.O. who lives in Arlington with his Mother. I asked him to call me to say whether he'd like to go with me when British soccer superstar David Beckham and his team play against the DC United at RFK.
I regret that my estranged son never returned my call. He was victimized as a boy by a form of child abuse known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), which is the deliberate destruction of the other parent's bond with a child by the parent with primary physical custody and his or her coterie of hired gunslinger "professionals."