My Rip Van Winkle Run

The view from the top of Mt. Tabor, looking down Hawthorne Street

Week 12 of marathon training is done! It turns out that there are more weeks until the Portland Marathon than there were in my training program (which I got from this book: The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer) so this past week was a freebie. I decided to spend it repeating the previous week’s training. I missed a long run early in the program so this seemed like a good week to catch up.

So I ran on Mount Tabor on Tuesday afternoon. This was a really nice run — Mount Tabor has trails that criss-cross the whole mountain. I just picked one at random once I got to the top and ran on down. I then weaved my way through the neighborhoods at the base of Tabor on my way back to the car. The Mt. Tabor neighborhoods are some of the prettiest in Portland so I always have fun running through them and looking at the architecture, landscaping and decorations.

Thursday was just a normal run through the Montavilla neighborhood — very pleasant but not too exciting.

Things got exciting (and a little wonky) at the end of the week. This weeks’ long run was supposed to be 10 miles — the same as last week. Counting the half-marathon this would be my third time running 10 miles so I was looking forward to it and not at all nervous. I needed to eat a snack before the long run so I had a small bowl of cereal. This was a horrible idea. The combination of the dairy and the heat made my stomach hurt really badly. I could run about 1/10th of a mile before it would cramp up again and I would have to slow to walk.

I made it about 3.5 miles out before I gave up. The only problem was this was an out-and-back course along Marine Drive, the long two lane road that follows the Columbia River on the north edge of Portland. My only choice was to walk back. So, I spent about an hour plodding along in the heat, cursing my poor snack choice. My only consolation was that this was good experimentation before the marathon. It’s important to get an idea now of what works and what doesn’t. As I keep hearing, nothing new on marathon day.

So, I resolved to do the run the next morning  and drove back home. I arrived around 7:00 or so. I had some dinner and thought about turning on a movie. What I actually did was fall asleep on the couch. I slept for 11 hours. I couldn’t believe it when  I was woken up by the morning sun-light in my window! But, feeling good (as one should after 11 hours of sleep) I immediately headed out the door for another try at the run. This time I went to the Springwater Corridor at 103rd and Powell and did a very enjoyable 10 miles through backyard farms and alongside Johnson Creek. My running week was definitely redeemed. I was very encouraged to see how comfortable a 10-miler felt after the 7 miles the day before. I think this whole training thing might actually be working!

Family is in town visiting next week so it will be a little harder than usual schedule-wise but I”m going to try to get all 4 runs in and definitely the long run. On the docket are two 4-mile runs, a 6-miler and the weekly long run, 11 miles.

11 weeks to the race!

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