Jogging in Arlington
Head down to the Potomac River waterfront and enjoy the Mount Vernon Trail.
The Mount Vernon Trail runs along the south and west bank of the Potomac from Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon, a distance of some 18 miles. The trail is paved and almost perfectly flat for its entire length. In Old Town Alexandria the trail is at its worst as it runs along the water in places, but cuts around the back side of warehouses and along the city streets in others. The confusing stretch only lasts about a half mile, however, and once you leave town the trail becomes an excellent bike and running route. To the south of Old Town you'll pass under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Jones Point Lighthouse. To the north you will run past some Egyptian-looking artifacts then the city power plant before entering Arlington.
There are also many other running trails in the DC/Northern Virgina area:
Hains Point is one of the most popular running locations I have found, even though it is a relatively uninspiring, flat, maybe 4.5 mile loop surrounded on all sides by water. I did this run once in December 2008 and the winds blowing across the open Potomac were fierce and cold. On most weekends this place is packed with runners, cyclists, and rollerbladers.
C&O Canal Towpath is a 185 mile long trail that follows the Potomac River from Georgetown through much of Maryland. The trail is on the original towpath, so it is a pretty wide, flat, dirt, trail.
The National Mall is where I log most of my running miles. It is about 2 miles end to end, and it connects to some of the trails along the river, including the Hains Point Loop and the route to the C&O Canal.
Roosevelt Island has about four or five miles of trails, mostly dirt, that circle the island. While it may not be the best place for your entire run, it makes a nice scenic detour off the Custis Trail.
The Martha Custis Trail parallels Interstate 66 and runs about four miles from the W&OD trail to the Potomac River. The trial is paved along the Potomac, and I assume for the rest of its length.
Sweatin' to the oldies
Midnight is sure enough an odd time to want to sweat to the oldies. 99 times on 100, I wouldn't be caught dead in a place like this. I don't care if Goodyear calls and asks me to join their fleet! (Think about it, I'd get to see the ball game free.) I was only there as the rest of the lot posed on the machines. If you look carefully, you'll see the hotel security guard pass right by us. He must have had a story to tell his colleagues and family when his shift ended. For those who are serious about trimming down, your room card lets you in here, apparently, any time.
Equipment: There are stair climbers and all sorts of tread mills. I say, who needs it? But it takes all sorts to make the world go 'round.
Come on in, the water's fine
If you are a guest at Sheraton National hotel, your room card gains you access to the pool on the top (16th) floor. It's heated so you can enjoy it 365 days of the year. Warning/Danger: No diving in or running around the pool. It's right shallow and you're liable to crack your coconut. Kathy, Chris, Matt, and I used this as a vantage point from which to photograph the Arlington and Washington skyline.
Equipment: If you're actually there to swim, I would bring a bathing suit and perhaps some goggles.
Swimming and views
There is a heated indoor swimming pool on 16th floor of Sheraton National hotel. It stays open 24 hours all year round for hotel guests. Doors are open with electronic room key. The pool is small but the views over large windows to the Pentagon, Washington DC and Crystal City are spectaculars.
Equipment: Swimwear must be used while using the pool. "Cut offs" and T-shirts are not allowed as substitutions for swimwear. Street shoes are not permitted in the pool area. Use deck shoes or waterpool footwear.
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Fitness club and fun
There is large fitness club or rather very well equipped gym on 16th floor of Sheraton National hotel. It stays open 24 hours for hotel guests.
When we arrived at night from our VT-meeting with Kristi in the middle of night we surely needed some excersize after all those delicious tapas we had eaten in Jaleo restaurant. We took our sport drinks with us and... look at Chris and Kathy on the picture. They both have to love it, riding a bicycle I mean.
Equipment: We didn't need any equipemt except glasses (surely for our sport drinks :-).
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