Sunday I had a 10 mile run planned – my longest since October! My running for the month of February has been horrible and if I even plan to get back into ultra shape (let alone marathon shape) then I need to get things moving. February was full of Twin Peaks and cold rainy days that severely hampered my mileage. Although we had well more than the average number of sunny days here in February it seemed every day I had a run scheduled it was cold and/or cold AND rainy!
Other than a couple recent 9 milers, my last double digit run "longish" run was in October.
Christina had a soccer game near PGE Park in Portland and suggested I go along and run downtown. At first thought I said "no – I don't want to run 10 miles on concrete!". Then I had a thought, looked at a map, and realized Forest Park was not far from where she'd be playing 2 games of soccer. I looked over the map and saw that I could run to Washington Park, past the Rose Garden & Japanese Garden then take a trail that cut up to Wildwood around the 1.75 mile marker. It was going to be a tough run – about 1.75 miles of sidewalk and the beginning and end of the run and a hefty climb up to Pittock Mansion than I would have to do twice since my run took my up and over this high point to the other side and back.
I started off (with Toblerone) around noon under mid 50s and partly sunny skies. I was glad I had a long sleeve though as the temp can really dip in parts of the 99% shaded Forest Park. Immediately I started climbing. It was no picnic getting up to Washington Park from PGE Park. This was a seriously steep climb and I certainly had to walk sections. My right ankle bothered me a bit here but the slight pain went away and never came back during my run. I really look forward to the day where I don't have to walk 90% of all the difficult hills! The climbing was relentless up to the Rose Garden and level for about .1 miles to the Japanese Garden before climbing up a paved road and hitting the singletrack that cut up to Wildwood – still climbing!
It wasn't until about mile 2.5 that the climbing stopped as I crossed a paved road in the Hoyt Arboretum. I then got to enjoy a descent of about .5 miles before climbing another mile up to Pittock Mansion. I was looking forward to 3.5 miles of downhill in the last 4 miles of this run! I flew down the other side of the Pittock hill and crossed just past the 5 mile marker on Wildwood before turning around in 1:05. Can I run at least a 1:05 on the way back? I thought I might crash and burn on the second half since I was pushing my distance over the past 4-5 months, haven't been doing a lot of trail running, and certainly haven't done this kind of climbing.
To my surprise, the 1 mile climb back up to Pittock didn't take forever and I was soon sailing down the other side. 1:05 was definitely reasonable at this point. I think Tobey was enjoying cruising on the downhills since I held her back on the uphill sections
By the time I hit the Japanese Garden and was off the trail, my time was looking good. I flew down the concrete sidewalks on my way back to the soccer fields. I was pushing hard for a negative split.
Time on my watch after 10 miles? 2:03:30. First half of my run was 1:05 and the second half was 58:30. Nice! Negative splits by over 1 minute per mile and I still felt pretty good. I debated running around the track to add mileage but decided 10 was good for the day. Christina had about 30 minutes left in her second game so Tobey and I planted ourselves on the field, hydrated and relaxed.
Needless to say I was VERY happy with my run on Sunday. You have good days and bad ones and Sunday was definitely a good one. The strange thing is that at about 8PM last night I felt this shooting pain in my right angle and suddenly it hurt to even walk on it! Oh oh. I iced it and kept off it the rest of the night. Today I can walk on it but still feel that it's not 100%. Did I hurt it while running and not feel the effects until 6 hours later??
Time will tell. I need to take the next couple days off and make sure I don't really injure myself. Until I run again, I can savor my time on the trail Sunday and one of my better runs in a long time..
Happy Running & Dirty Feet,