The Mount Vernon Trail is this 18 mile paved trail going around DC and Virginia that connects George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. It’s also intersected with other local trails and routes. I primarily run the Mount Vernon Trail between Alexandria and Rosslyn. Here is a map of the trail if you’re interested in checking it out.
Normally I will run this trail after work (when I worked in DC) or on the weekends. It’s hard to figure out when to go because if you run too early or too late, well I’m not keen on being on the trail when there aren’t many people around. But when there ARE a ton of people around, the trail is crazy! I forgot how fast the bicyclists are on the trail! My parent’s neighbor got hit from behind and broke multiple bones on a run when he was hit by a biker who just plowed into him. And there are a ton of runners and walkers out there so it’s not like they shouldn’t be aware of other people! It pisses me off. Made me long for the seemingly safer south Florida alligator trails!
This trail was our Plan B, so we ended up running around noon. It was hot but nothing crazy. But the heat made a difference when I was dealing with hills I wasn’t used to dealing with. Of course my Virginia friend didn’t even notice any “hills” out there because I think she runs up the side of mountains on a daily basis. But, to me, these were hills. It reminded me of what the first half of the Marine Corps Marathon will be like. I definitely need to find some way to run inclines down here or else I’ll be toast! Everyone always says to me “You don’t have any hills you can use down there??” No folks, I live by the beach, like half the people in Florida do. It’s a real disadvantage for races most anywhere else. The only thing we Floridians have going for us is if there is a heat wave during a northern winter race or in any humid Florida race while everyone else is dying around us.
But I digress… the Mount Vernon Trail was great, as always, and it’s a great alternative when you don’t want the stop and go of running in the city proper.