A few Saturdays ago I ran with H at Bluemont on the W&OD Trail, a mostly-flat 40-mile slash of a blacktop bike trail across Northern Virginia that runs from the Potomac at National Airport to out past Leesburg. This paved-over rail bed runs right past my backyard at milepost 7 near the bicycle bridge over Leesburg Pike, Bluemont is at milepost 3.5 near the trail's juncture with the hilly Custis Trail.
We got underway at the parking lot by the tennis courts on the south side of Wilson Boulevard and headed westbound for two miles. There are two hills going that way, the short but sharp rise at the Brandymore Castle rock outcrop about a mile out and then the longer climb up from where the trail parallels the Four Mile Run creekbed to the trail's continuation west of the East Falls Church Metro Station.
The height above the station achieved, it was time to turn around at the midway point of our four mile run and head back. Going downhill is always welcome on the second half of a run, as I had sold H on the flatness of the trail when we had set up the weekend run and she had no doubt been thinking that I was less than truthful.
After the run we retired to a coffee shop in Arlington for half an hour. That part of the morning was kind of boring actually, as it annoys me to have to pay for parking on a Saturday and the shop was filled with so many people doing absolutely nothing except staring intently at open laptops or studying the tiny screens of I-Phones being cradled lovingly in their palms.