This past weekend, the weather was gorgeous. It was in the mid-80s with clear sunshine and no humidity. I can't begin to tell you how much I'm cherishing these last days of warmth before the coming colder months (which I dread every year).
On Saturday, I ran a short 4 miles around my condo neighborhood. My knees need a break from long runs (either that or I need new shoes). Then, I headed to Potomac Mills for some window shopping with my parents. I like to go out there because I love walking the expansive outlet mall and going to lunch. I don't really buy much. I just like to look at the shops (and people watch).
On Sunday, the weather was, once again, outstanding and rather warm (mid-80s again). My mom had an impromptu idea to go apple picking out toward West Virginia. I love going out into the country, westward into the mountains, where bright red barns sharply contrast with the densest and greenest greens, where streams cut through the valleys and cows and other livestock indulge freely on the verdant pastures. It's truly beautiful country. Virginia is gorgeous the further away from DC you go, and I often forget to appreciate its beauty when I'm stuck in traffic on 95 or 66 or just about anywhere in NOVA. I forget about the southern charm and the small villages that seem to have been left behind by the passage of time, where one can often find an old 1950s relic, chrome fins and all, parked outside a service station and where shops and American flags line Main Street.
We went to a small orchard called Crooked Farm Orchard in Purceville. I've been to larger orchards/vineyards, as there are many in the area, although this one was just fine. The Golden Delicious apples we picked are sweet and crunchy. I even climbed up into a tree to reach a few good ones up near the tops! Let me tell you how much I've neglected my arms lately. Focusing so much on running for the past summer and lately has really affected my upper body strength. I'm not happy about it! I really need to get back into weight training more often (read: at all!)
I took 2 days off from running because of my stupid knees. But this morning I actually got up and went to the gym before work and ran 5 miles at a good, consistent pace. Of course I was running very late (for work) and didn't do strength. I didn't realize that I was a half hour behind schedule! I guess I lingered in the locker room to long getting showered and changed.
Well, lunchtime is over and it's back to work!