I haven’t written much in a while because I haven’t run much in a while. After my last post about spilt milk, my running was going great but everything felt really crazy. The crazy still feels crazy but I’m finally getting used to our temporary living situation. Living in my mom’s house is a little strange without her and I miss her so much. Fortunately, she’s only a phone call away – in South Dakota!
She and her husband are enjoying some incredible sites like Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands and Crazy Horse. They even sent a video yesterday of bear cubs playing.
We’ve been staying here (in Carmichael, California) since the start of June when we closed escrow on our old house and our new house pretty much simultaneously. We’re having some work done on the new house (new kitchen and master bathroom!!) and we’re waiting it out here instead of living through the mess. At first, we were all one awkward family living together in my parents’ house – until they left for their 6-week RV trip. So now I’m trying to settle into our new routine of summer camp, swim club and being without my husband most of the time (because he has a 100+ mile commute). It’s all good but strange and like most things, it’s taking some time to adjust.
Just when I thought I was going to get used to this routine, I got sick.
Last week, we went to Alexandria, Virginia for our annual Strauss family reunion. For the past several years, my husband’s parents and siblings and their families have all converged on Alexandria for a few days of time together. It’s always really fun and I always come away exhausted but filled with love for my family-in-law.
This year’s trip started out rocky because my love was sick on the way out there. The traveling is always pretty tough because little kids just don’t handle travel very well. Having a sick Daddy too makes the experience nearly unbearable – or at least it did for us on this trip.
Things were going great. I got in 2 beautiful runs, too. I ran 6 miles on Friday evening along the beautiful Mt. Vernon trail (from near the Woodrow Wilson bridge toward Mt Vernon). The trail begins in Alexandria/Mt. Vernon at George Washington’s incredible Potomac-front estate and makes it way through numerous parks and landmarks along the Potomac and into Washington, DC. Friday morning, I ran another 12 miles on that trail – going from a similar location (at Belle Haven Park) toward DC. Earlier in the week, it had been extremely hot and humid but by the end of the week, the heat died down and we even got some rain. It rained on my Saturday morning run but I didn’t mind because it was beautiful. Here are some shots of that run:
This is looking from Belle Haven Park in Alexandria north toward DC, the Woodrow Wilson bridge. Across the river is a brand new town called, “National Harbor, Maryland.”
Now north of the bridge, this is the first marker for the waterfront walking path in downtown Alexandria.
This is a wider pic of the same column, showing the bridge in the background. This was about 1.5 miles into my run.
Some ducks in an inlet of the Potomac.
This is Prince Street. I love seeing this street every time we go to Alexandria. It is “original” to the time of the colonial settlers. This street is not paved…it’s all real/loose cobblestones.
The homes on Prince Street have real gas lamps!
And the architectural details, like the shutters, are all original or in period style. I think it’s simply beautiful.
Way over there in the middle of the photo is the US Capitol!
And this is a man named Alton Booth. I came across him as I was on the northbound portion of my run. I asked him if he knew where was the next bridge to cross over into DC. He said he wasn’t a local and we ended up running together (I never did find a bridge to cross into DC!). Alton and I ran about 4 miles together, chatting about our lives, families and politics. He’s a former US Army soldier who was in DC on business and brought his family along. They live in Fayetteville, NC now. Since I normally run alone, it was really nice to run along with him and chat. Alton, wherever you are…thanks for the great conversation and the company on my run!
And here I am, back where I started, at Belle Haven park. After 12 miles in the rain, I felt like a million bucks!
Later that evening, a few of my really good friends came over for dinner – and joined our family circle for the evening. I was in heaven until…my throat started to feel a little sore.
The next day we had to fly home and I felt miserable. I took off the entire week from running. Now it’s Sunday again and I have a 17-mile run on my training plan. It’s going to be 100 degrees in a few minutes but I really want to hit the road today. So my sister and I are going to meet and run 3 miles. Wish me luck – I’ve got a half marathon in 2 weeks and my BIG RACE in 6!