About 20 minutes out from Arlington, VA I ran into congested traffic on the _695. Turns out that weekend construction work had turned the already heavy two-lane highway into a one-lane highway. Then the four-lane 1-295 going into DC was also a heavy mess. AS a result, I ended up spenign an hour more in the car than I had originally planned. I made it in time to Pacers Running to pick up my packet for the National Capital 20-miler tomorrow, but I was late getting lunch.
I made it to the hotel about 3;15 p.m. About 4:20 I drove out to Carderock Park to check out where the runners would be forming up the run.
I tried to type “CARDEROCK RECREATION AREA_ into my rental car’s dashboard GPS, but all I got was CARDEROCK PARK.” To-may-to, to-mah-to. Whatever. On the road.
Aside from the constant worry of hitting one of Virginia’s toll roads, with only my debit card to pay for anything, I hot another road-work snag on the I-395. Yay, more road time. To make matters worse, I missed the run going into Carderock (the GPS’ fault for giving me faulty instructions), and ended up about two miles from where I should have been. I turned off my car’s GPS, activated Google Mpas on my smartphone, and I made it to the Carderock Recreation Area.
I confirmed the parking lots where we would be allowed to park, as well as the Picnic Pavilion, where runners would check in or get last-minute packet pickups. I took a look around to see if I could find the Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath, on which we would be running tomorrow. I walked over to the tunnel I had driven through to get to the park, and saw a path leading upside the tunnel. I assumed it would cross to the other side, but instead it led to a trail of hard-packed broken gravel.
Well, hello, C&O Towpath!
I tok a quick walk up the path to see if i cold find any landmarks or mile markers to identify the course. I couldn’t find any, and I was becoming sharply aware of my need to get dinner and hydrate for tomorrow. Looking at the forest and the small lake of standing water next to the trail, I made a note to remember to apply my Skin-So-Soft (GI-approved best insect repellent ever) for tomorrow and made my way down the hillside and back to the car.
More car time, more than I wanted. HILTON GARDEN INN didn’t lead me back to the one in Arlington, by the courthouse, but to the one in Tyson’s Corner. Back to the smartphone GPS, another congested two-lane highway, and one last half-hour trip back to the hotel. It was 4:20-ish when I left the hotel, and I drove back just after 6:00…after almost an hour and a half in the car that I didn’t want or need, hungry as hell, riding on low blood sugar, and NO i had not been hydrating since 12:30, when I left Lexington Park.
So, tomorrow I will sleep in a little bit, with reveille going at 0500 instead of 0345~0400. I will try to get on the road by 0530 so I can get to Carderock by 0600. I want to get at least 15~20 minutes to stretch before the run tomorrow.
Five miles incline leading to the finish.
Must finish in five hours.
Song of the Day: Steve Miller Band/”Heart Like a Wheel:”
I don’t trust Genius right now, and I can’t think of any other song that describes the time I wasted behind the wheel of the car today. But I can say it’s been damn near a few decades since i first heard/saw this song on MTV. I have no idea if it charted, but all I remember was “good song” and “good video.”
Steve Miller really worked it on the six-stringer on this one.