Spring in Washington DC is magical. Cherry blossoms, magnolias, and rows of tulips sit at attention among beautifully manicured lawns. I spent a fabulous weekend there for Easter with family and friends (visited the must see Newseum and spent my injured early mornings hours engrossed in The Help by Kathryn Stockett-a great read). And although I was unable to run this time, I have fond memories of the trek we made last year to run the National Marathon. A few days before the race I ventured out from my hotel room alone in the early am to try and find a few miles to get the blood moving. We were staying at the Westin Grand on M street and the hotel provided a running map card sponsored by Runners World (some Westin locations actually provide a running concierge who takes you on the run! -see RunWESTIN for locations).
I stayed true to the map as it took me down M street to the waterfront near Georgetown and found myself on the path along the Potomac river. I stayed on the path past the Kennedy Center until I could see the Smithsonian mall ahead. Surprisingly, I was almost alone as I began my loop around the mall. It was almost spiritual being among these great monuments with only a few people in shouting distance. I have been there so many times with thousands of other tourists.
It was the perfect pre-marathon moment and one that stays with me. I re-ran a shorter version of the route the next day and had a great marathon a few days later, but that was the run I remember most. (@5 miles round trip)