Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Below is a post from our guest blogger and fellow running team member Morgan Jones. Morgan ran with us this past weekend and we hope she decides to again!

I have lived in D.C. for almost eight years. Four years was spent in college, while the other time has been spent in the "working world." During that almost eight years, I've seen a lot of changes in the District. The exit of one presidential administration and the ushering in of another; the demise of Adams Morgan (aka AdMo) and the rise of U Street, H Street, Eighth Street, and lest we forget Gallery Place/China Town (though few Chinese restaurants remain).

There are, however, some mainstays that do not seem to shift with the different administrations, ever changing restaurant/bar scene, or annual summer influx of interns that descend on the District. These reliable testaments to my beloved city can be found in such places as the Tenley Town Guapo's, a bustling Eastern Market on a Saturday morning, and the Capital Crescent Trail.

In the spring of 2006, Beth and I decided to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. I was a junior in college at the time and saw this as a reasonable endeavor. Little did I know that training for the marathon would hold more memories than the actual race, I would find a life-long friend along the trail, and years later I would return to our favorite training path with that same friend and fall into the same running rhythm without skipping a beat.

The Capital Crescent Trail is a trail that was built upon the abandoned railbed of the 11-mile Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad. The trail stretches from Silver Spring Md., to Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and follows the Potomac River once you hit D.C. It's nestled amongst trees and offers a refuge from the constant bustling of the city.

Each week Beth and I charted different training courses, but more often that not we found ourselves on the Capital Crescent Trail, sometimes starting in Bethesda, sometimes starting south and working our way north. It became familiar and then it simply became a ritual - we fell into a rhythm running up and down that trail.

During the months of training, Beth and I got to know more about one another. We relied on each other for those early morning phone calls, and our mutual encouragement spurred us and challenged us to do better, run faster, and ultimately finish.

Beth and I ran and completed the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 29, 2006. To this day, it remains one of my proudest accomplishments. We continued to run together in college and when we were roommates after school, but we rarely found ourselves on the Capital Crescent Trail.

When I signed up for the Cherry Blossom Race as part of "team Beave" I was excited to meet new running friends and hit the trail with one of my favorite running buddies. Last weekend we found ourselves on familiar territory, the Capital Crescent Trail. It was a brisk morning, but the sun was out - a beautiful day for a run.

What I know now that I didn't know in 2006 is that the actual race is just one small portion of why I love to run. For me, it's about hitting the pavement with one of my best friends, laughing at ourselves as we dance to our favorite songs while simultaneously running, and finding solace on a quiet morning on the Capital Crescent Trail in this beautiful city that I'm fortunate to call my home.

Whether you run by yourself or with a friend, long distances or short, familiar paths or new ones, chart your own course and remember what brings you back to the trail each week.

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