Thursday, April 28, 2011

A New Race, Soccer and DC

I've done it! I've finally signed up for my next race. It's in one month which gives me plenty of time to train for a competitive finish time. I bet I could run one within the next two weeks, but I would probably clock a personally disappointing finish time (over two hours) so it's best to take the extra two weeks and 'git er dun the right way. It's the Alexandria Running Festival (yea... I'm pretty sure I can think of about five other titles that are more creative than 'running... festival...') which involves a 5K, a half marathon and a relay half marathon; I'm only doing the half.

Tonight was my first 7v7 outdoor co-ed soccer game down on the National Mall. There are so many athletes out on those fields after 5:30pm. The mall was teeming with frisbee, soccer and softball leagues in their bright colored jerseys all the way from Pennsylvania Avenue to Rock Creek Parkway. It was great to see so many people being so active! We played just next to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial - see it here! - and in front of the lazy Potomac River where a sleepy, orange sun was dropping into bed. I kept my comments to myself at our laughable playing fields considering the grass was almost as tall as the ball and being as I've just come off playing on gorgeous rooftop turf fields in Miami. I mean, it's all about being out there, playing the game, rallying with friends. (But seriously, I hope the lawn mowers are scheduling some maintenance before next Wednesday!) My mom drove up after work to watch me play. The other team didn't have enough players so they forfeit, we got a Win, and we scrimmaged for a solid hour in the ... marsh. It was great; I met my new teammates and am excited for next week. My car arrives next Tuesday, just in time to get my cleats. I played in indoor shoes tonight and I think I spent more time on my rear end than charging towards the goal.

Tried to get Barack to come out but his cell went straight to VM

On a side note: I love this city. Late for the game and departing from Farragut North metro station, I jogged past The White House, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, in front of the Jefferson Memorial, through (oops, sorry!) the Korean War Veterans Memorial and behind a barrage of DC tour buses to get to the field. When I ran through a tornado of cherry blossoms descending on my path next to the Reflecting Pool, I didn't run around them this time. They looked like a giant pillow fight for yards down the dirt path. But instead of feathers flying through the air, it was white and purple cherry flower petals and the situation of them blowing hard against my body in the wind actually made me giggle like a little kid. My family used to have picnics on the National Mall all the time when I was younger. I would feed the swans and chase the pigeons with my brothers. (Which I think actually trained me to hunt pigeons on the street, even as an adult. If I see one standing there as I walk by, I can't resist the urge to make him fly away.) My mom still loves to visit the museums several times a year and I hope to get down to National Geographic's exhibit at the Museum of National Art this weekend. This city is powerful, historical and smart. I have so many memories here. I could never call any other place my home.

My friend Sebastian captures the essence of DC

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