Mike and I ran outside last Saturday for the first time since the marathon (I actually ran one time before – on Thanksgiving on a treadmill for 5 miles). It felt so great! It’s amazing how running really can make you feel so happy. I guess it was also the fact that we made it so much fun!
We ran up to Capitol Hill and stopped for some photos by the Capitol Christmas Tree! We stopped our watches but didn’t worry about time or distance. We were shooting for about 4 miles, give or take. The tree was beautiful, decorated with ornaments made by schoolchildren around the country.
Mike suggested running by Union Station to check out the decorations. Union Station always puts 3 gigantic wreaths on the front of the building. They were pretty but always more spectacular lit up at nighttime. We then ran through Capitol Hill neighborhoods (a new and scenic running route!), by Lincoln Park and to Eastern Market. I LOVE Eastern Market and wish I took photos. It has such a great community feel with local vendors selling everything from Christmas trees to homemade jewelry to fresh vegetables to unique artwork and photography. We stopped running and walked around a bit, even spotting Marion Barry! We got pretty cold not running so we started off again.
We ran down 8th St, SE, “Barracks Row,” and checked out some of the new restaurants. This 3-block strip in Capitol Hill has at least 20 restaurants. We then ran back to the Navy Yard, through the Yards Park, across the bridge to Nationals Ballpark and ended at Starbucks.
We each had a latte (gingerbread for me and peppermint mocha for Mike) and free chocolate chip banana bread samples (love free samples!). Mike is drinking lattes now so we thought it’d be fun to test one from a different place every weekend. This weekend was Starbucks. A pretty solid latte. We walked around Canal Park, in our neighborhood, checked out the Christmas trees for sale and enjoyed our lattes. Such a perfect morning!!
It was really fun to just go out and run. Not have a defined route. Not have a pacer set on our watches. Not worry if we felt any muscle weirdness because we were running 5 miles, not 15 miles. There are pros to having a defined route – I did like going out and running and not having to think about where to go. But running, without a route, made me much more aware of my surroundings and really enjoy the moment. It felt sort of freeing! It was great not listening to music (even though I usually love zoning out with my music) and chatting the whole time with Mike. Next weekend (if the weather cooperates!), we’ll run to the White House Christmas tree – and we’ll see where else!