He got dropped off at the Georgetown Pike/495 exit and I picked him up and we drove downtown to run. I took him on a running monuments tour. We started at the Lincoln Memorial and ran along the reflecting pool, checked out the WW2 memorial, then turned left and headed down and around the White house. We finished that loop back at the Washington Monument and then continued on down the mall. We checked out the pit where they're building the African American history museum, ran the mall passing the American history museum, Natural history museum, etc. Then we did a big loop around the Capital building.
Dmitry is a citizen now and wanted a photo in front of his new capital but they have it all blocked off building the stands for the inauguration so we ran around back by the visitors center and got this one. Not as nice as the front but it'll have to do.
Next we ran passed all the Art Museums, the Castle, turned left passed the Holocaust museum and ran through the MLK memorial over to the Jefferson Memorial and then back to where we started. 7 miles total.
After that we drove to Gaithersburg and had dinner. We had a good time talking about how old we are and how we both felt 24 until we were 35 and then all the sudden the wheels started coming off. He's been trying to make a comeback to race Masters (40+) but with 2 kids now (his wife gave birth in their house on the living room floor with the paramedics last week.....) he just can't seem to get it going again. He ran a good mile in 4:18 recently and then followed it up with a lousy 17:30 5k. He can't know what to expect out of his body one day to the next and wakes up aching all the time.
We've both talked about how we wasted our athletic talents from 30-35 but at least I raced bicycles...he was super lazy. Now we're wishing for those years back.
His and Lyuda's coach, Sergei Nikolaivich Katashov just had a new baby. Sergei had married one of his athletes when I was there the first time and they had a son. Sveta is 40 now so they weren't expecting a second 12 years after their first. Dmitry's mother has really bad heart disease and refuses to go to the doctors so she gets tired and dizzy easy. He's really worried about her. His sister and his nephew Pavlik are doing great. Our friend Vladimir Golias, who ran in the Olympics in 88 and 92 and was living with us in Kansas City went to visit Penza and got caught with some problem with his paperwork and is stuck there. His wife, who now lives in Oregon is trying to get his status worked out. She got a work visa but Vladimir never updated his status from being on a student visa over to his wifes work visa or something like that. They have a newborn so he's missing out on that.
Next we reminisced about our time, 12-15yrs ago when we were running machines. We talked about wishing we could do it all again. Spend 8months of our lives chasing a dream. We remembered how we really had no stress, no responsibilities, how we'd even forget what day it was, etc. We marveled at how much a trip like that now, living at a health spa for months in the mountains with all the massages and food and all would cost. All sorts of funny memories were pulled from our memories. Like me stealing a horse and riding through town and into the fountain. How Dmitry tied the bed sheets together and snuck out of the dorms to go buy beer. Me escaping from the Russian hospital. Good times!!
We talked about going back to some of those places again but then our conversation drifted to kids, wives, hoped for trips to Moab mountain biking, the Grand Canyon running, etc... and we both realized those times will probably never be repeated. Only new and different ones created.
It sure was nice to see him again. He's here again tonight and then heads home. He's coming back in a few weeks and will stay the weekend. He's really excited to go to the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space museum out by the airport so we planned that for the Saturday he's here. I'm excited to show him some of my running spots along the Potomac and a bit more of the city. It all makes me remember a time when everybody I loved lived within a few miles of me. I miss having Tom, Dmitry, and everyone nearby.