I think I've found my new favorite weekday lunch run. While it's far from perfect is still farr better then the usual tourist trap trot down the Mall and back. The slightly extended jaunt down the Mt V trail from the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the 14th St. Bridge is nice and even somewhat secluded but it still just doesn't quite provide that feeling of getting away that you really look for in a mid-day get the heck outta dodge sort of run.
Let my shift gears here for a quick bit. A couple of weeks ago I finally broke down and bought up a couple of pairs of the Montrail Highlander's off Steep and Cheap just hoping they'd fit alright. I have a hard time just buying one of something on these sites since no matter what they still charge $10 s&h hence the 2 pair. At $30 per plus the $10 shipping I figured it was a reasonable gamble to go for. They came in this week and I spent a few hours wearing a pair around and getting them worn in and all and finally broke them out for my run today with the intention of finally checking out the Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial over on the Patomac.
With all the rain it was a bit wet but aside from large puddles ontop of some pretty hard packed dirt the trails weren't too bad. I did the Swamp trail loop which includes a nice long boardwalk section through the swampy area and a bunch of little (unofficial) little off shoots to the shore along the Patomac. The trail offered a couple of rooty sections to test out the shoes though mostly was just a very tame dirt trail.
What makes this my new favorite run though was the complete isolation I had while on the island. I know the complete lack of people on the trails was pretty much due to the crappy weather and anticipated mud. But unlike a run down the Mall, I felt isolated from the cars and the rush of the city, even feeling distanced from the Roosevelt Bridge running directly over part of the island, shut out by the trees and greenery of the swamp. Plus I'm sure the real tourist terrors, the throngs of middle and high school kids on field trips don't tend to make it out to this particular memorial.
It'd be a stretch for me to work this one in on a regular basis since my route today logged around 8 and half miles and we'll just call it an extended lunch hour... But, for the benefits of being able to actually get away from it all on a lunch run, I think I'll be working these in when ever I can.
The shoes by the way worked out great. A little rub on the outter pinky toe but great support and comfort. Gamble = Paid Off.