I had hoped to run six miles on Sligo Creek Trail today, and to write here about how invigorating it was to run in the cold.
I’m happy to report that I did, at least, run. None of the other plans worked out quite so well.
According to the National Weather Service, whose Web site has been a regular haunt of mine since it’s been so frigid here, said it got to 37 degrees in Silver Spring today.
My response: Say WHAT?
I offer this hard evidence that it was not anywhere near 37 degrees: at 11 a.m., when I blew my nose on my glove, it froze in the air, leaving me with a horrible littlesnotsickle on my finger. This was about the point at which I first thought about cutting the run short.
Then, there was the matter of the orange fence between Wheaton Regional Park and Sligo Creek Trail, my intended destination. I’ve run parts of Sligo Creek Trail before, but I’d never started from Wheaton Regional Park. I tried to pick up the trail from the park this time, but instead, ended up running around the park again and again, thwarted by a fence marking some sort of trail construction. Rather than a simple out-and-back run, I ended up on a weird hill loop through a bunch of botanical gardens.
The good news: The park is really cool! The rolling hills and placid (OK, icy) ponds in the botanical gardens were pretty enough to run by three or four times. And the playground made me want to quit the whole running thing and just zoom down one of the biggest, baddest slides I’ve ever seen. It also provided some spectacular people-watching, from the guy on a unicycle on my way in to the family of little girls in pink coats playing tag through the gardens.
I’ll definitely be back to Sligo Creek Trail for a long run when the weather’s warmer. If Wheaton Regional Park doesn’t provide enough entertainment, the trail apparently winds through a total of nine parks in Montgomery County.