Thursday, March 14, 2013

Running with cheetahs

Okay so I wasn't actually running WITH cheetahs. Just near them. Earlier this week I went to one of my favorite places in the world, Washington DC, to attend the National League of Cities annual conference. It's a time for communities across the country to get together and discuss what we're doing as well as to meet with our congressional delegations. For me it's also a time to get away from Michigan for a few days and run with cheetahs.

The conference is held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in the Woodley Park neighborhood. It's near the National Zoo and the National Cathedral. And it's HILLY. The hills vary in degree, but there are some that are extremely steep. Even worse, however, are the long, slowly climbing hills throughout the neighborhood.

The hotel is a mere half a mile from the National Zoo, and as a giant animal lover I love running up the hill to run through the zoo early in the morning when nobody else is there. There aren't a lot of animals out and about, but it's quiet and peaceful. I do some of my best thinking when I run there. The only animals who are always out are the cheetahs. I run right by the cheetah exhibit and generally wake them up.

My cheetah friends at the National Zoo
Running into the zoo is fun because it's down hill, but the run out is always a challenge. It made me realize how much work I have to do before the Pittsburgh Marathon in a few months. My hill training thus far has been woefully inadequate. To make up for it I found myself climbing escalators when leaving the Metro station. That probably counts right?

Only about six weeks until the Pittsburgh race. I'm going to need to chase more than a few cheetahs in the next few weeks.


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