Views on the Run

Lincoln Memorial 2It’s a beautiful day in our nation’s capital. With eleven days remaining until Christmas and two until Hanukkah, lights and decorations abound throughout the city. I spent a good chunk of my morning running outside, taking in the holiday spirit.

Today marks my longest run since the JFK 50 Mile Run three weeks ago, at 9.4 miles. The first part of my run was more a means of transportation than anything else, as I had planned to meet some women from a virtual running group to which I belong for a virtual Festivus 5K run. A lot of virtual, I know, but in this foreign service lifestyle, many things happen virtually: visits with family, job interviews, and even running. The running group includes people posted all over the world. We share our stories and photos and encourage each other from afar. I had never actually met anyone in the group, until today.

One of the group members had arranged for us to participate virtually in the Festivus 5K run, meaning that we can register for the race and run the 5K wherever we are. The actual race, held this morning in Salem, Massachusetts, benefits those affected by autism, and, being a loyal fan of Seinfeld, which introduced the world to the hilarious fictional holiday of Festivus in a 1997 episode, I thought, why not?

I volunteered to organize a route for anyone in the Washington, D.C. area participating in the virtual race who wanted to run it as a group. We ended up being a small group of three, and had a nice time as we ran our Festivus 5K on the National Mall this morning.

Waking up to a sunny sky inspired me to get a few more miles in, so I ran the 6.3 miles from our apartment to the National Mall to meet my running partners, and then we ran the 5K together. I’d brought my camera along to take our “official” race photo, and took a few more photos of the pretty views I encountered along the way.

I began on the Custis Trail and ran east, toward Washington, D.C. About three miles in, I jumped on the Mount Vernon Trail, one of my favorites, which offers peaceful running on Sunday mornings with stunning views, like this one:

Memorials

View of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Memorial Bridge, take from the Mount Vernon Trail in Arlington.

The sun began peeking through the clouds as I started to cross the Memorial Bridge. I stopped and turned around for a view of the Arlington House (the Robert E. Lee Memorial) on the top of the hill at Arlington Cemetery.

Memorial Bridge

The west end of the Memorial Bridge, in my opinion, the most beautiful bridge in the D.C. area.

Once across the bridge, I caught a large flock of geese searching for food on the back side of the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

Then I turned around and snapped a couple of photos of the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

Virginia

The buildings in Rosslyn, one of Arlington’s largest business districts, are some of the tallest in all of the D.C. area.

Memorial Bridge

The sun reflects off the Memorial Bridge.

The bronze Arts of War, Valor, and Sacrifice statues like this one mark the entrances to the Memorial Bridge and the Rock Creek Parkway. They were a gift to the United States from Italy.

Statues

Rock Creek

The statues flank the entrance to the Rock Creek Parkway.

I ran around the Lincoln Memorial to make my way up the National Mall to meet my running partners.

Lincoln Memorial 2

It was still early, so there weren’t many tourists out yet.

Washington Monument

The beautiful Mall on a quiet morning.

Washington Monument

Only a few visitors were lined up this early in the morning to go to the top of the Washington Monument.

I eventually made my way to the Smithsonian Castle, where I met my two running partners. We ran our 5K along the Mall, with a short detour to the National Christmas Tree to take a photo.

Festivus 5K

In the middle of our virtual-but-actual Festivus 5K.

Indeed, it was a beautiful day for a run, my 18th day in a row of running and part of a holiday running streak in which I am participating, also virtually, with the running group. The streak involves running every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day in an attempt to stay fit, ward off holiday weight gain, and rationalize those extra cookies.

Thank you for reading, and happy Festivus!

2 thoughts on “Views on the Run

  1. You are a light in my life! I think of you sometimes when I get tired on a walk. I loved the pictures this time, new reminders of the stately beauty around the nation’s capital. A few years ago we went to a Peace Corps rally and flag walk from Arlington across the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln. Though I have admired the bronze statues, I didn’t know their story. Thanks for writing.

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    • Thank you for such kind words, Bruce! I didn’t know the story of the statues, either, until I stopped to look at them during my run. I’m telling you, I am seeing this city with new eyes now! I lived here for years and didn’t really look at everything around me. I am having great time getting reacquainted with my “hometown”! 🙂

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