Wintery Days on the Run

Out on the waterfront with my friends for our weekly run, I could not help but admire the stillness of the river.  Each bridge, the treeline on the water, and clouds reflected on the surface of the water a secret world hidden inside its flows.  The cool temperature and shapes of the high, light clouds reminded me that winter would soon be upon the city.

The Holiday Steam Engine

We caught a few sprinkles of rain, and beyond that the morning was perfect.  I got home in time to bake a cake for an evening celebration of Thanksgiving with friends.  I am so grateful for these wonderful people in my life.

Happy running, and wishing you all a happy holiday season!

Countdown to St. George; the Last Run of Summer

Love this view – River sunrise

Last Saturday, I finished the longest training run I need to complete before running the St. George marathon. The run was 20 miles.  I completed this run solo, due to scheduling conflicts with my running buddy friends.  I was nervous, running late (as I had a cousin’s baby shower to get to at 1pm, and I knew I would be running for about 4 hours…), and when I got less than half a mile down the road, I remembered that I had a raw spot on the back of my left heel from a poor fitting pair of flats the previous day.  I was pretty sure that was a bad start, and did not bode well for the next 19.5 miles.  Fortunately, my favorite local coffeehouse had a first-aid kit with the perfect little round band-aids.  I was saved!

I finished the run in three hours, 40 minutes (and some-odd seconds).  With an overall pace of about 11 min/mile, I am now confident I can run the St George Marathon two weeks from today.

This morning, I was fortunate to be able to run with three friends, and the mileage was much less (only 12… I can’t believe I am saying only!).  The weather report was full of warnings: possible thunderstorms, hail, excessive amounts of rain, but when I woke this morning the skies were cloudy yet non-threatening.  

Fountain at sunrise.

The water on the river was notably calm and smooth.  I could not stop admiring it’s remarkable mirror-like quality.

Looking back toward the city from the Sellwood Bridge.
The Steele Bridge.
The City.
The Hawthorne Bridge – watching the storm roll slowly over the city.

I was lucky this morning; 20 minutes post-run, the sky darkened and the hills blurred seconds before hail began pelting my windowsill.  I narrowly avoided the storm, and will be forever grateful that I have not yet experienced hail while running.  With the change of seasons, and the reliably unpredictable weather in Portland, I’m sure I will be initiated to hail sooner than later.  🙂

Wishing you all glorious and joyful running!
~Alaina