Saturday’s Destination Run

Last Saturday morning I woke with great anticipation; our Saturday’s long run was planned out-of-town and was a trail run.  One of the ladies in our group had offered to host a run on her side of the river, in Vancouver, and to feed us afterward!  (I love running and then eating!)

When I went to meet one of my gal friends to carpool to our destination – I had seen the moon rising in the sky the night before, and saw it on its way to rest that morning:

The full Moon about to sink into the fog…

My carpool buddy soon retrieved me and we headed up North.  After a few minutes chatting, more people arriving, we ended up with a very large group of runners – I think there were ten of us!  We all decided to put our shoes on, and head out into the dense, damp fog.

We were treated with a trail run that headed through the WSU-Vancouver campus and nearby neighborhoods.  The cool chill in the air kept us cooler on the steep hills and shrouded the fields and forests in a grey mist.

Early morning fields.
At the crest, heading down.
So much color, all around!
Passing over a small stream.
Trails through unexplored, foggy meadows.
There were little (bouncy) bridges everywhere!
River crossing.

By this point, I had no idea where we were, and was grateful to be following the leader.  🙂

A break!

The clouds finally began to lift on our way back up the hill, and the sunshine was beautifully blinding.

It was such a pleasure to run somewhere I had never run before and simply take in all the beauty. It was a difficult run (much more so than I originally thought – must remember not to compare training runs to St George), and extremely rewarding to end up back at a warm, dry house, and eat a delicious breakfast!

What has been your favorite ‘out of town’ run? 

Do you frequently seek out new trails to spice up your training?

Wishing you all a Happy Long Run weekend!

~Alaina

Longest Run in 2013 & Bridge Moved!

Last Saturday, with a few girlfriends, I tackled 9.5 miles in below freezing temperatures.  The run was on a momentous day – the Sellwood Bridge in Portland was being moved to make way for construction of a new bridge.  We started our run at the park near the base of the bridge to get a glimpse of the beginning of the momentous move.

Ominous foggy morning...
Foggy morning…

We took a peek at the beginning of our run to check progress (very minimal at 8am – we don’t think they had started moving yet), and we were off!  I was a little nervous about doing this run; I have not run more than 8.5 miles in over three years, so in my mind, this was going to be a pretty serious physical challenge. Deciding to brave cold, and numb toes, I wore my Vibram Komodosport LS (now KMD Sport LS) because my experience with them on long runs has been fantastic.  I have felt no knee pain the entire time I have been wearing them, and the only discomfort has been the cold on my feet (which I found through experimentation, I experience the same numbness with a regular shoe if it is very cold out, as well).  My toes were only numb for the first mile this week!  The body sure does know how to adapt.

Along our route on Saturday, we saw some pretty spectacular nature scenes:

Frozen spider web!
Frozen spider web!
Beautiful parks...
Beautiful iced parks…

We entered into some farm country along the last leg of our path before turn around; we saw horses, heard some crows, and to our right we were blessed with a lot of foliage to gaze into (the left was a somewhat busy road).

IMG_0921
Out on the newly paved path to the 4.75mile mark!

At our turn around, we took a little carbohydrate in gel form.  We each had a different variety: Clif Shot, Gu, and Honey Stinger, which we followed with a sip of water and headed back.  The first half of the run felt like quite some distance, probably due to the frequent mild uphills on the “out” portion of our jaunt, which, incidentally made the return “back” much more speedy.

Once we returned to the park, site of the start of our run, and viewing area for the Sellwood Bridge move, the fog had cleared a bit, and there was quite a gathering of folks to watch the momentous move.  We figured they may have moved the bridge 6-12 inches since we left (it was hard to tell a difference at that point).  In the end it was a success!  (You can read about it here or here).

Watching and waiting to see the bridge move.
Watching and waiting to see the bridge move.
A beautiful, crisp morning!
A beautiful, crisp morning!

Post-run, I felt great, and hungry!  We went to The Hazel Room on Hawthorne for brunch.  Great atmosphere, good coffee, fantastic food.  Sunshine was pouring in the window of this little tea-house and it was the perfect place to celebrate a successful 9.5 mile run!

Delicious breakfast of chilli, fried egg, and cornbread at
Delicious breakfast of chilli, fried egg, and cornbread.  Yum!

I am unfortunately missing the long run today with my friends as I am out-of-town on vacation, and coincidentally, came down with a cold as soon as I arrived in (lately not so sunny) California. Sleep, rest, and recuperation are on the menu for me here, but I plan to jump back in the shoes and hit the pavement next weekend.

To the Saturday’s Run group, I hope you all have a great run!  See you next weekend!

with Joy in running,
Alaina