It’s a Sunday afternoon. I just returned to the Tech house after eating lunch and seeing a movie in Georgetown. It was hotter than I thought outside and I kick my boots off as fast as I can. I plop down on my bed and happily absorb the dark, air-conditioned room. It’s 4:50 pm, 75 degrees outside. I know I should go for a run, especially after that Ben and Jerry’s stop Melanie and I made on our way out of Georgetown. We resisted a Georgetown cupcake but somehow couldn’t resist the ice cream.
I struggle trying to decide whether I should enjoy this beautiful day or enjoy my fluffy bed and air-conditioner. “I’ll take a quick nap then go work out at the gym tonight” I tell myself, knowing very well that that plan always leads to failure. It’s 5:10 now. I groan and hop out of bed before I can change my mind. I’m going to enjoy this day because it might be one of the last warm days I see for awhile.
I get outside, turn on Pandora, tighten my shoes, then I’m off. It really is beautiful outside and I’m glad I didn’t stay in bed. I make my way over to the National Mall, running right up to the Capitol. I start breathing harder as I try to maintain a steady speed up the hill- they call it Capitol Hill for a reason. I know from past runs that when I make it to the top, I have a nice jog downhill to the rest of the mall. Downhill is my favorite, even though I’m always slightly paranoid that my knees are going to shoot out in opposite directions.
I’m on the mall now, doing everything I can to avoid running into something. I run left around the old woman, right around the crouching photographer, on the grass around the dog on the leash. There are SO MANY people on the mall today. I guess everyone else decided not to waste this beautiful day too. I jog in place at 12th street as I wait for a sign to cross. The cars and taxis buzz by as frantically as the tourist groups circle the monuments. When I get the sign to cross, I sprint across the street, trying to make up for lost time and trying not to catch a whiff from the nearby food truck. The smell of the gyros and kabobs always seems to distract me from my run.
I get past the over-crowded Washington monument area and make my way to the Lincoln memorial, always my favorite part of the run. There are two long pathways that run parallel to and on both sides of the reflecting pool. They are each lined with trees, park benches and light posts that combine to make one of my favorite spots in DC. My feet move faster, my breathing lighter, my eyes brighter as I make my way to the Lincoln memorial along my favorite path. The memorial also marks halfway for my run, since it is the end of the mall. I make my way through the bikes, strollers, and cameras that crowd Mr. Lincoln to the other side of the reflecting pool. I am heading back toward the Capitol, the crowning Statue of Freedom a tiny spot in the sky.
Although I am sweaty and tired at this point, I am still soaking in the beauty of this day. The leaves are starting to turn, the air is cool and fresh, and the sun is starting to shine its setting rays on the various white monuments. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world.
Right as I am finishing up my run and really getting in rhythm with Ellie Goulding’s song Lights, I see a guy in front of me sporting a Texas Tech sweatshirt. As I pass him, I say “go tech” with a guns up and he cheers, both of us still celebrating the win against #5 West Virginia yesterday. Although it was extremely hard to watch everyone rush the field while being so far away, I can’t help but smile as my feet continue to beat against the cobblestone while crushing the orange and yellow leaves of Fall.