Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Break DC '11!

Ada and I went back to visit my parents and brothers in DC last weekend. The day I arrived my mom said to me, "Think of this as your vacation." I promptly changed into a bikini, slammed three shots of tequila, and ate six crispy cremes.

Not really.

First, I went for a run. My first one outdoors. It's warm enough to do that in DC right now. It is in Minneapolis too, but not at 6 am: the time that our family schedule permits a run. Running outside, in the breeze, on the concrete kicked my butt. But it was also glorious: the sun was out, the daffodils were in bloom, and the puddles were few.

Granny and Ada and I also took a walk together, went to the zoo, and hung out at their house.

I love DC. I love staying a few blocks from a huge national park. Ada loved being near a playground with swings
... until she realized that said park also had wood chips.


We chose this weekend to visit because my little bro, Pete, was running his second half marathon.

He rocked it. He rocked it really, really hard.

He picked me up at 5:30 at my parents and we headed down RFK in the dark. (Why must so much running take place in the early morning?) I stayed with him (mostly wide-eyed, taking in the thousands of runners out that morning) until he joined the herd and then waited at the start line to try to catch him passing. I could not.

Once the race had started, I figured I had enough time to ride the Metro to the mid-way point (actually about mile 7.5 out of the 13.1 miles he was running) to cheer him on there and still make it back to watch him cross the finish line. I knew exactly where I was going, I already had a ticket, and I was lucky enough to catch each train. I was walking toward the intersection, thinking about how I could stand there for about 20 minutes before I had to turn around to make it back to the finish, when lo and behold! there was my brother in his red, white, and blue American Cancer Society race shirt.

"Go! Pete! Go!" I shouted, still a good 20 feet from the intersection. He was sailing. "Run! Pete! Pete! Run!" I'm going to miss him! "Peter!" Finally he turned and pumped his fist once, twice before he was out of sight again.

I turned around and headed back to the Metro once again catching all the trains. I made it to the finish line to catch those finishing at under 1 hour and 35 minutes. I was watching these early finishers roll in, when I caught sight of, once again, a blurry red, white and blue figure, head shorn, racing sunglasses glinting in the light. Is he really already finishing?

"Pete!" I screamed. "You're almost there!" Those around me turned at my piercing shrieks. Pete did not. He sprinted across the finish.

1 hour, 36 minutes, 29 seconds. He shaved 11 minutes off of his last time and averaged 7:25 minute miles. (He also raised over 2 grand for cancer research.)

Way to go, little bro, way to go!

My lesson: when trying to get from RFK to Columbia Heights as fast as possible. Try running. It might be faster than the Metro.

With Granny still on Ada duty, I was able to get out for a cup of coffee with one of my oldest, dearest friends (whose baby kindly slept through our entire visit) without having to entertain Ada at the same time. It was luxurious. On my last day in DC, I made it out to the park for one more run. Three miles up and back to the horse stables, where the equine beasts were standing in the sun and a few of the younger ones were nipping each other's knees (didn't know horses do that kind of thing). A lovely visit overall, and almost long enough to do all the things (writing and fabric shopping and sewing and knitting and reading) that I'd love to have time to do at home, almost long enough to start to take granny for granted. I'll have to save that for the next one.