Yesterday was my second 20-miler (of three planned ones for this training cycle) and it was a great run. Not super fast (my long runs are always at an easy pace), and it hurt as much as you’d expect for 3 hours of running. But it was such an enjoyable morning! The weather in DC cut us a break this weekend: it was warm and brilliantly sunny but with a lovely cool breeze rather than the still, stifling, sticky humidity we’ve endured for weeks. I’d had a good feeling about this run all week. I was psyched up for it rather than dreading the hours on my feet, and I held on to that positivity throughout the run.
My planned route was to head south through DC, across the 14th Street Bridge, and then down the Mount Vernon Trail in Alexandria, VA, to the Jones Point Lighthouse, and then back.
About 2.5 miles in, I crossed the National Mall and thankfully looked up, because THIS was the sky over the Capitol (you can see the dome way off in the distance).
I continued on across the bridge, and headed south on the MVT. At one point, the asphalt trail turns to boardwalk as you cross through some wetland areas.
Right at 11 miles, I reached the historic Jones Point Lighthouse. It operated from 1855-1926, and is the last river lighthouse still standing in the Chesapeake Bay area.
There’s a little park around the lighthouse, and I noticed these bear prints cast on the sidewalk. “Lumber like a bear” definitely seemed apt during the last few miles of this run!
After a quick pitstop to refill my hydration pack (it was cooler than it has been lately, but still in the 80s!) I headed back north on the trail. This was the view from the bridge over Four Mile Run, which splits off from the Potomac near the airport. I love DC (obviously!) but Virginia has its moments.
On my way back across the 14th Street Bridge, I crossed paths with another woman running and heard her say, “Go Maniac!” as she went by! I don’t often wear my Marathon Maniacs hat on training runs, but I’m glad I did on this run because that moment of encouragement gave me such a boost through my last two miles! Maybe I need to wear it on long runs more often…
I just so happened, completely by accident of course, to hit 20 miles a block away from Starbucks. So it seemed only natural to grab a nice big frappuccino to enjoy on my cool-down walk back home! It was frosty and delicious and the perfect way to cap off such a great summer run.