Sunday, February 26, 2012

Over the River And Through the Woods

Remember that time I said, "If you don't like the weather in Portland, wait 10 minutes?"

That couldn't have been more true on my long run.

I woke up to rain outside my window and thought to myself, "Oh joy!" But I got dressed anyway. For a pre-run breakfast, I made myself some oatmeal with almond butter, dried cranberries, a few almonds, and cinnamon, and had a glass of water on the side. Mmmm. I got through part of my warmup routine, but not the whole thing. (I didn't leave myself enough time.)

I met up with my friend Jeff and ran about 1.5 mi to meet up with our friend Peter. (Yes, believe it or not, I run with people sometimes.) It was raining and 39ºF when we left, and because we were planning on running through the Southwest Hills, I commented that because of the altitude change, it might be snowing up in the Hills. Jeff told me that it probably wasn't going to be that cold. Now because a 7 degree temperature difference in one city seems very unlikely, I left it alone.

We met Peter down at the Esplanade (along the water on the East Side), and Peter guided us along (he knew the route). We ran along the waterfront, across the river, and through Downtown before trekking up into the Hills. We got about a mile up Terwilliger Blvd., and what did we meet? SNOW. I couldn't resist saying some variation of "I told you so," and the response I got was, "It's not cold. It's just...snowy." (Since when is 32ºF warm? Or am I the only one north of SF who thinks that 32 is cold?)

A little while later, we escaped the snow and found SUN! (In case you couldn't tell from my other posts, the sun in Portland in the winter is a hot commodity -- pun intended.) We proceeded through the River View Cemetery, which is perched on a hill and, as the name suggests, offers a view of the Willamette River and the East Side. (Why do the dead people need a stunning view? I presume that they already have a better view than any of us have on Earth. At least, assuming that there is a Heaven and these people made it there.)

Once we left the cemetery, we crossed the Sellwood Bridge (Woo for running across a new bridge in Portland!), and ran along the Springwater Corridor for the last few miles of our run.

The path is lined by trees on one side and the river on the other. While this seems very peaceful, it also feels like being in the woods in the Middle of Nowhere. Eventually, we escaped and made it back to the Esplanade. I left them to head to the MAX, because I had a bunch of homework waiting for me at home, and after 16 miles of freezing (practically), mass transit sounded great (and it was). I did some lunges as a cooldown stretch while I waited, and consumed some of the water I brought with me on the run.

Once I got home, I got started on breakfast. Eggs and cheese (though I had them with polenta instead of on a sandwich), coffee (with some warmed chocolate almond milk -- in case anyone's wondering, it's a bomb combo), and a banana. (Three of five things off of the Friday Five -- not bad!)

Now it took my Garmin the entire run from my place to the Esplanade to locate the satellites, so I can't provide any stats on that. But as far as the rest of the run:

Distance: 14.78 mi
Time: 2:06
Pace: 8:31/mi

Faster than my last run of a comparable distance! And that route was flatter too. Improvement? I'd like to think so. I think running with people who run at my speed or a bit faster helped too. My knee only acted up a few times too.

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