I was supposed to race a 5K last Friday evening with Epod and MJ. The Crystal Run 5K Friday series, where they host 5 consecutive races on 5 consecutive Fridays.
Unfortunately, the traffic gods (none of which are benevolent) saw fit to keep me from the event. Even though I left work at 4pm, I was stuck on the highways and streets for 2.5 hours, unable to get to Arlington for the race.
Listening to This American Life podcasts calmed me down enough (mostly) and helped me not yell (too much) at the other drivers. But after crawling along at a snail’s pace for miles and miles, I realized I wouldn’t make the race and called Epod to break the news.
Still, I had to run.
When I got home, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and headed out on a run. I wanted to do something different, run somewhere new. In a city where I feel I have seen nearly every inch of running terrain, this can prove difficult sometimes.
So I headed down to Rock Creek but veered off the beaten path and into the woods. I ran along the dirt path, behind Oak Hill Cemetery, up hills I had never been on and jumping over ground I had never seen. I ran up to Wisconsin Avenue and then down Reservoir Road, skipping along new streets and sidewalks.
It was exactly what I needed.
I also decided to take a new photo app for a spin: Pro HDR.
Camera+ — my replacement camera app — has a really good HDR filter. But I wanted to see the difference using an app designed exclusively to capture high-dynamic photos.
The app works by taking one shot in low light and one in high light and then merging the two images together. This requires the photographer to be absolutely still for a few seconds, a difficult prospect for runography since I’m usually moving when I take photos.
This requirement, though, was a blessing in disguise since it forced me to look for good shots. It took away the spontaneity of shooting from the hip and made me really keep an eye out for attractive scenes. Throughout my run, I was wholly conscious of everything I looked at, which made me enjoy the run actively rather than passively.
The results were surprisingly outstanding. The photos were vivid and full of light.
After taking the shots, I processed them through Camera+ anyway, but only to take advantage of the app’s new Clarity feature, which renders HDR shots even more dramatically.
I ran a little more than 4 miles on Friday, with a lot of stops to take some shots. And while I still wish I had raced Crystal City, I at least remembered the benefits of stopping once in a while to take it all in.