Monday, July 12, 2010

The Weekend Report: Alexandria, Georgetown, and a Leesburg Field Trip

On Friday night I went to dinner with LLC’s parents in Alexandria. It’s been a while since I’ve ventured that far out, and the 40 minute metro ride reminded me why. But dinner was nice, and Alexandria is just so freaking cute! We went to Blibo Baggins for dinner, which LLC and I agreed could have (should have?) been much more kitschy. It was actually a very nice restaurant and bar/wine bar. (Shrimp and scallops in lemon butter sauce over gnocchi. Yum!) 

Then I tried to meet up with friends in Dupont then Georgetown. Fail on both attempts. I ended up just giving up and walking home in the rain (I sound so pathetic, but it really wasn’t that bad).

Saturday was gloriously rainy! But there is nothing more taunting than bending and stretching and working in 105 degrees Bikram while watching it POUR on the other side of the windows! (DC weather is mocking me, but as long as it stays in the double digits I’m not complaining.)

Dinner at Bangkok Joe’s was maybe the best Thai food I’ve had in DC (bold statement, I know. I’ve tried Thaitanic, Sala Thai, and The Regent) – I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced and good it was. 

Then I joined many a popped collar and plaid madras shorts-clad Georgetown-ite and hung out at Tony and Joe’s on the Waterfront. We watched overdressed girls go from yaught to yaught and frat-tastic boys try to impress aforementioned girls. Ah Georgetown…

And then, the highlight (or low-light) of my weekend – Fieldtrip to Leesburg!

At early o’clock on Sunday, I headed out the Leesburg, VA for a long run with my teammates. In my family we think nothing of driving 30 minutes to an hour for a run – good trails are just worth it. But as a non-driving city resident, Loudoun County is almost incomprehensibly far.

Out on Saturday I told my friends I had to call it a night around 11 because I was getting up early to go to Leesburg. From their reactions you would think I had said I was going to Namibia in the morning. Wait, Leesberg? Why???

But it was so nice - green fields studded with hay bales, farms, cows, sunshine…just gorgeous! The run, on the other hand, was a little less than nice. We started at about 7:45 and ran on a wide dirt road. By mile 4 the group split, Amy and I opting to run a slower pace. There were 8-mile, 12-mile, and 16-mile options. Eight didn’t seem quite long enough to justify an hour drive, so I decided to get super-ambitious and go for the 12.

But oh man Leesburg is hilly. Not too steep, just constantly rolling. (And let’s not forget that my longest run to date is 8 miles…)

So anywho, it was gorgeous out, Amy and I were chatting, and all things were good (I wish I had pictures, but alas, no camera in my hand). Until we started to wonder if we missed a turn…then about 9 miles in to the run, the road just ended. At a gate. There was only one option: turn around and try to find the turn we missed.

By that point I was tired. Conversation stopped and we just focused on getting through. One foot after another…but through to where? We knew how to get back, but running all the way back the way we came would have been 18 miles. So we trudged along, knowing that even once we finished running we would have to walk the rest of the way back (of course I can only speak for myself, but that knowledge was severely upsetting/depressing to me at that moment). (This may be Run o'Death: Revisited)

Luckily I had written our hosts’ phone number and address on my hand (people laughed, but I know about getting lost on runs!). We made it back to the first water stop, which was 4 miles from our starting point.

Amy: I’m sorry, I just have to walk. You can keep going.

Me: Oh thank God! There is no need for me to keep going!

A few moments passed as we walked…

Me: So not to be a whiny whiny-pants, but I’m really tired and this really sucks. Do you want to hitch-hike back? Or call and have someone pick us up?

I feel like such a failure - to need to be picked up on a run. But 12.7 very hilly miles! (Amy had a Garmin.) I’m just not in shape for that right now!

We waved down a truck (looking pathetic and desperate) and asked to borrow their phone. They looked confused, and then asked, Do you need a ride somewhere? YES! Thank you thank you thank you!

So we made it back, jumped in the pool, and enjoyed breakfast overlooking a very green Virginia farm. My crankiness disappeared in relation to my muffin consumption, and I can now look back on it as a lovely run in the countryside. (Ah the beauty of hindsight…it’s what keeps us running.)

Anywho, this is officially the longest blog post ever. I will just say that the World Cup Final was not an amazing game to watch, but I’m sad it’s over. And Sunday night I gained new appreciation for The Satanic Verses thanks to book club, so more on that later.

Hope you had a good weekend too!