Saturday, February 2, 2013

My running renaissance in DC

Me with one of my old running partners, 2 days before the 2009 inauguration
This is a bit overdue after the inauguration. I had moved to DC only a few months prior to the 2008 election and Obama's 2009 inauguration. I was there at the National Mall, all excited about the promise of hope and change in the future. I was also in the early stages of training for my first marathon.  I couldn't help but reflect on the difference four years had made. Back then, I was excited about finishing my first marathon, and doing a few races around DC. I had no idea where I was going: in my history program, my running, my life, and my way around DC.
Four years later, DC is my home, and the National Mall is my running playground. Some of my routes have been the same since 2009, when all the magic began. Others are new and/or improved. I have places to run in Maryland, the District, and Virginia: each with unique and varied paths. I've also found a series of races to embrace and call my own too, that I can return to year after year with excitement. And, since DC is so rich in running, I can try new ones annually as well.
I remember running around the National Mall in 2008 and felt like a tourist. The city was still so new to me, and I felt more like a visitor than a resident. Would the monuments appear ever just a regular buildings? Or would I always stop and marvel along the way? Perhaps it's a little of both. I see the Capitol every day on my walk to the metro, and hit all of the monuments during my runs. I do not stand transfixed anymore, but quickly take it all in as I go by. I'm still not completely perfect with direction, but I do know my way so much better than I did four years ago.
And DC opened her running arms to me. I was fortunate in my second year to become a part of the Pacers Ambassadors program in conjunction with the Pacers Running Stores. Not only did they provide me with a little gear and the opportunity to volunteer at local races, they also connected me with a group of dedicated local runners who I had never met.  
I found out the other day in a survey that this blog has been nominated for "Best Local Running Blog" in DC! So, if you've lived or visited in DC and done some running here, fill out the survey (which asks about favorite running spots, races, etc) and on questions #13, vote for the medievalist!
Running in DC gave this medievalist a renaissance. This blog is part of that too. It's allowed me to dialogue about races, training, but it's also connected me to a very vast and talented community of runners and readers. I wouldn't have paired running and writing together initially, but the two ended up going hand in hand, or hand and foot, as it were.

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