10.0 miles/1:33:22/9:20 average pace
Easy run in Forest Park. It was really mushy. The dirt trail is covered in a layer of leaves which have since turned to mush. Squishy squishy!
5.0 miles/45:40/9:08 average pace
Short easy run on the Beaverton Greenway Trail (aka Fanno Creek Trail I think). I drove out to Beaverton to go to Target so I took advantage of the chance to run on a different trail. Very scenic and lots of people out enjoying the sunshine.
20.0 miles/2:52:46/8:38 average pace
Marine Drive Trail along the Columbia River
This was exactly the 20 miler I wanted to have. I felt great, my legs felt strong, my spirit was up, and the pace felt easy. Yay!!
We made a point to get going early in the morning. Lately I've been sleeping in and taking my sweet time getting ready, but I know I need to sort of practice the early morning start for the race. So while I wasn't about to get up at 4:30 or whatever (projected wake time for CIM - we have to catch the shuttle bus at like 5:00) I did set my alarm for 7:00. :) We were out the door by about 7:45. This is very early for me!
It was going to be a clear day but it was cold and there was a very thick layer of fog hanging in the air when we started. Like, 20 feet visibility, visible water molecules, San Francisco fog. It was about 42 degrees so I started off in a long sleeve shirt over my normal running outfit. The first few miles were really easy and I was glad my legs didn't hurt. We were running right near the airport but you couldn't see a thing. This was really weird because the planes were SO loud, and like RIGHT above us, but they were invisible. I ate my first Gu at mile 5- Chocolate Mint, my favorite!
Oh ya, side note: I had finally received my new shoes the previous afternoon and decided to just wear them on the 20. I know that's kind of a risk since they were not broken in at all, but my old shoes were shot and I decided to go for it. Luckily they were very comfortable and really helped me finish the run pain-free.
First 5 miles were at an average 8:50 pace.
We took a little side trip on a trail that lead by the airport and through a shopping center that wasn't open yet. Luckily a Starbucks was open so we stopped there to refill our water bottles in the sink and use the restroom. Hey, when there's no public park you do what you gotta do. We made our way back to the trail and continued East along the Columbia. We had to take another little detour on a side road because the Marine Drive Trail doesn't actually connect, but that was only about a half mile or so. Finally we were on the trail again and still heading East. Second Gu at mile 10- Vanilla Bean.
Second 5 miles were 8:44 average.
I hadn't been on this stretch of trail so it was fun to see a new area. There were some big cranes along the river and we saw a hawk right above us in a tree. We weren't talking much, just kind of zoned out and running. I usually get some kind of musical refrain stuck in my head that I repeat over and over... like last week it was "I've been working on the railroad" (after seeing some people working on the railroad tracks) and this time I was alternating between "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" (It isn't) and "Lothar, of the hill people" from that Saturday Night Live skit with Mike Meyers. PLEASE somebody tell me you remember that. It's very random and from the 80's. Zach made some comment about Lothar in the morning and it just stuck with me all day. Awesome.
We turned around just before we hit 12 miles (since we'd added on the Airport/Shopping Center side trip) and headed back. I immediately noticed a big headwind so our first turn-around mile was slower. We detoured back through the side connector road and stopped another (different) Starbucks to again fill our bottles. Finally with about 5 miles to go we were back on Marine Drive heading West - the home stretch. I ate my last gu at mile 15: Chocolate Outrage.
The fog had cleared up by this point and it was absolutely gorgeous. We had an awesome view of Mt. Hood- you can see it in the last picture below.
Third 5 mile section was done at an 8:43 average pace.
On the last stretch we were pushing a little bit harder and still not talking much. I still felt great! I remember on our last 20 miler I was giving myself little pep talks and playing mental games just to keep going. This time I was just running along no problem. Zach was picking up the pace and I was staying with him, although he did finally drop me on that last quarter mile. And that's saying something because my pace for that last mile was 7:35! I think his was 7:20 or so. Damn.
Final 5 miles were at an average pace of 8:29.
I'm so pleased with this run, and I am SO ready for the taper. I'm going to rest, recover, relax. I'm going to ice, I'm going to stretch, and I guess I might even run just a little. I'd like to think I've finally learned the big lesson of the taper: less is more. I want to arrive at the starting line feeling fresh and happy and full of energy. The work is done. YAY.
total miles for the week: 50 :)