Long Run

Niko and I took a little walk around Normandale today after eggs (me) and pancakes (him) at the New Deal Café. As we walked I thought about the long run I had planned for later in the day. The idea of doing 10+ miles on this same .68-mile course wasn't really exciting me. So when it came time to get out and shuffle 'em, late in the afternoon with the sun peeking in and out front behind the clouds and temps in the mid-40s, I headed in a different direction. I went down Glisan, a boulevard that to the west of my neighborhood (toward downtown) is crowded with Providence Hospital's sprawl of buildings and the traffic that goes with that, then becomes increasingly gritty as it heads out into the far east side, Portland's annexed wastelands, where the streets have names but often not sidewalks and sometimes not even pavement. That's where I headed: past 82nd Avenue, the city's prostitution hotspot, past Interstate 205 and just on and on until I hit Glendoveer Golf Course around 140th Avenue. It was 4.13 miles of sidewalks, stoplights, stupid drivers, dive bars, Vietnamese pool halls, strip joints and, I shit you not, in the middle of all this crap, a Ferrari/Maserati dealership. Glendoveer: There's a two-mile soft path around the golf course, through some trees, with a few ups and downs—very nice. I picked up the pace a bit really only because it was so nice to be on dirt and away from Glisan’s four lanes of noise and its red lights. One loop led to another, then it was time to head home. The wind that was in my face on the way out was now at my back and I felt faster. Plus, it kept happening that with a surge of a block or two I could make the green lights at the major intersections. So even though I intended to do this long run at a 9 minutes/mile pace, I ended up around 8:30. For the last four miles, right around 8. But it felt good, a good 12.3-miler. (You'd have to be some kind of weirdo to say you enjoyed running four miles down Glisan in east Portland, but it was an interesting change for me. The Glendoveer loop is certainly cool, but probably not cool enough to fire up the car and drive to; I hate driving to runs. I think with the Achilles holding up well, I'm ready to get back to running my old haunts again—the hills at Tabor and the loop at Laurelhurst.)

The plan from here forward on the run: Add a couple of miles to the long run every other week, to the 18-20 range, do a couple at that distance, add in the shorter interval stuff that comes with the plan, and that's it. It's not complicated. I don't need to get better at the run. I just need to get back into shape. (Remember, the key to an improved run at CDA will be getting off the bike in condition to make a good effort.)

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