The weekend started off with a Friday evening swim at the outdoor pool, which is one of my favorite summer activities. I just love being able to swim outdoors, especially in the evening when it’s quieter. Regrettably, there’s only a handful of weeks left before the pool closes till next June.
The next morning we got up early and joined the Pacers running group for the 7AM Saturday Long Run. This week it would be a big circle around the Washington Mall. Which reminded me that I probably should explain what the Mall is to those not in the area. The ‘Mall’ is the massive National Park area within DC that contains all of the monuments such as Lincoln, Washington Monument, the Vietnam Wall, and others. It stretches a couple miles in length, and is where many of the major rally’s are that you see on TV – as well as other big events like Inaugurations.
As usual, I started off just a couple hundred yards from the end of the runways at National Airport, and then headed off into the district.
A few miles later when I got to Lincoln there was a military running group gathered out front. I’d end up seeing them a number of times over the course of my morning and I zigzagged my way down the Mall.
After leaving Lincoln behind I swung past the Vietnam Memorial and then down to the White House. This time of the morning it’s amongst the quietest times you’ll see it:
From there I headed back to the Mall via the Monument, where I once again met up with the solders running and ‘singing’ (technically called a cadence).
I was fairly impressed by the speed of the group. I was going in the low-7’s pace-wise, and over the length of the mall I didn’t put a huge dent in them, I’d guess they were in the mid to upper 8’s – fairly amazing considering the size and diverse makeup up the group. I did note that while the folks closer to the front were belting out the cadence, the folks closer to the back were mostly holding on for dear life.
After hitting up the Capitol building, I retraced my steps back to the start, albeit with a minor detour through the FDR monument and the new MLK monument which opens Monday (though, the big celebration is next weekend).
The last 15 minutes or so of the run the pace was kicked up a bit in the 6:40’s. Overall I was fairly happy with an average pace for the first 10 miles of 7:26, before the last couple miles at sub-7. Nice to see a warm-weather long run back in semi-normal paces.
Later on that afternoon we decided to go back out and check out Arlington National Cemetery. While I’ve been there a number of times, the Girl actually hadn’t been before. We walked around for about three hours, both to the more popular areas, but also to some much quieter areas without tourists around. Those are my favorite parts of Arlington National Cemetery – just being out there in the quiet with nobody else around.
Here’s a few pics I snapped:
After our trip to Arlington, we headed on back to cook up dinner. We decided to mix it up a bit and cook a fully Italian dinner from scratch – based in part on recipes from The Silver Spoon. This is a massive cookbook that’s well over 1,000 pages long and is (according to the cover) considered the ‘Bible of Italian cooking’, and is also the most popular Italian cookbook. I assume this is probably akin to something like the Joy of Cooking. Though slim on pictures, it’s full on awesome recipes.
For tonight’s dinner I’d be making fresh raviolis stuffed with baby bella’s, oyster mushrooms and locally sourced ricotta cheese. The book didn’t exactly have this ravioli, but it had a tortellini with the same stuffing – so I just used the tortellini stuffing recipe with the ravioli ‘shell’.
The Girl would be making some cannoli’s with a lemon cream filling. And we’d also put together our favorite fresh mozzarella using some mozzarella & heirloom tomatoes.
Here’s a pictorial of the evenings food:
Oh, and as a wedding gift we got a ravioli maker for the KitchenAid – which is pretty sweet. I was blown away by how fast I can pump out ravioli’s with this thing. I’m going to have a giant ravioli fest some day and make a ton of them and freeze them. It’s just as easy to make 50 ravioli as it is to make 500.
And here’s some of the fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella:
And finally, the finished ravioli creation – with a quick sage butter sauce:
Oh – and The Girl’s creation – her cannoli’s, can be seen in full illustrated detail over at her place.
Finally, we bring ourselves to Sunday and a bit of a bike ride (there was also Dim Sum in the morning, but no pics from that!). We headed out early evening from the house and then south along the Potomac River. Eventually we turned into Fort Hunt Park, which interestingly I’d never been in before (despite running and riding past it countless times on the Mt. Vernon Trail). This has a sweet one-way looped road that’s about 1.25 miles long, and is separated for cars and bikes. In other words, the perfect place to do endless intervals.
Not a bad way to end the weekend, riding off into the sunset. Hope everyone had a great weekend, and hope you all have a great week ahead. Thanks for reading!