Eight on the eighth. The Olympics started on 080808, so Non-Runner Nancy cooked up the virtual race of 8 miles on 8/8. Except anytime over the weekend would do. Like all virtual races, the rules are flexible. If you cheat, you're just cheating yourself. The point is participation.
I got up early and headed out to the W&OD Trail, a paved-over 40 miles former railroad bed that runs right behind my house. I was going to go sans shirt (it's August in DC, after all) but, unbelievably, it was cool out. So I slipped on my shirt and off I set. Four uneventful miles down the trail, at 33:32 I turned around. But my stomach was rumbling.
I started reviewing the possibilities. Walk 4 miles home. Take Metro back to near my house (didn't bring money or a farecard). Go into the EFC Metro stop when I passed it and beg them to let me use their WC (fat chance). Call someone to come get me (didn't bring my cell, just a Cliffshot, which I was not interested in at the moment). Hitchhike home (someone would pick up a sweat-soaked runner to sit in their car alright). Cry.
There was another possibility. I would pass by the Ranger Comfort Station in half a mile at Bluemont Park, which has running water. But would it be open before 8 a.m.? The Ranger vehicle was out front. That was a good sign. There were tennis players on the public courts. And there was an Army squad in the pavilion, taking their annual physical standards. Success. The heavily-padlocked bathroom door was unlocked.
Some people like to know where water fountains are on their customary routes. Since I always carry a half-liter bottle of water, I don't care about that. I like to know where the pit stops are.
I stopped my watch for my "rest." I had my Cliffshot. I have never consumed one before and it was awful. But then, so are GUs, which I normally eat. I'm leery of Cliffshots though, because they are rice-based. But it settled pretty well.
I watched a soldier do his push-up review. The Sgt. got down on all fours right in front of him and spoke quietly to him as he performed. Sweet nothings, I'm sure. He did 57. The first 40 push-ups were great, the last 17 were, well, not so great. The soldier was happy afterwards though, because 57 got him a score of 90.
Break time over, I clicked on my watch again and set off, feeling much better. I finished the eight miles back at my house at 1:08:18, not counting my ten minute "rest' stop.
What do you think? Am I cheating by reporting 1:08:18? If you're a purist, mark me down for a 1:18:18. I don't care. It was a nice run. Thanks to Nancy for setting it up.