Sunday, August 13, 2006

Back to the trails

I usually only get to run on trails during the weekend. My weekday runs take place in the morning and I just don't have time to get out to the trails and back in time for work. Last weekend's runs consisted of shorter neighborhood runs so this weekend was my first time back to the trials since the 50k.

Yesterday, Sharon and I headed out to Germantown Road to run the last section of Wildwood. This summer I've been slowly whittling away at running all of the various sections of this 30 mile trail. This would be one more piece of the puzzle. Our intent was to run from Germantown Road to the end of Wildwood at Newberry Road. The roundtrip would make it an 11 mile run. We got to the trailhead at 7 am and were surprisingly the first ones there. It was fun running on uncharted (to us) territory. The trail meandered through deciduous and evergreen forests and crossed a few creeks that were barely running. Our pace while running was strong and we ran most of the hills too. But we took our time at the turnaround and stopped a few times on the way back, so our overall pace seemed slow to me, considering that it was a very runnable trail.

On the way home, instead of hitting our usual Starbucks, we stopped at the Bakery Bar. We split a cheddar-scallion-bacon scone and a slice of rhubarb coffee cake. Yum! It was our first visit to this particular cafe and we'll definitely be back.

The boys had plans for Saturday and I was expecting to spend the afternoon on my own. But I arrived home to find that the plans had been cancelled. Marc wanted to go to the gorge for a run and asked us to come along with him. So almost immediately we headed out to the gorge. Marc was going to run up to Angel's Rest and the little guy and I would follow along hiking and meet him on his way down. This is a short, but steep trail. I was a little tired from my run, but the hiking felt like a good stretch on my legs. We probably had only hiked about 1-1/2 miles before we met Marc running back down. He stopped with us and we hiked back for a little while. But the hiking soon turned into running and we all ran the rest of the way back to the car. Previously, I've only hiked this trail, but I can see it as a good one for hill training and good practice for running down on rocky trail.

This morning we all slept in until 9 am. (!!) I can't remember the last time that happened. My right Achilles tendon has been a little sore this past week. So considering that and the late start, I decided to go out on a short run around the neighborhood. My goal was to make it as much of a trail run as I could by incorporating local greenspaces and parks into my run. Near my house is a neighborhood with a mile long, tree-lined boulevard separated by a wide, shady, grassy median strip. I often choose to run on the street so my Garmin won't lose signal. But this time I ran down the middle on the grass.


I'm also fortunate to live within a mile of an urban wildlife habitat, which is the only naturally occurring pond (or lake) remaining in the inner-city Portland area. About a mile of trail runs around this canyon area. I've walked and hiked through here many times, but surprisingly, I've never included it in a run until today. It was fun making a game of including as much trail as possible in my urban run.

Next weekend I plan to bump up the mileage with a long run (20+) on Saturday and a medium (8-10), recovery run on Sunday, both on trails.

12 comments:

matt said...

sounds like you had a fantastic weekend, sarah. i hope your heel continues to improve and that you have a great 20+ miler next weekend. are you going to take it easy this week? my knee is getting better...i plan on running the Bulldog 50K, but want to be cautious if i am not 100% by raceday.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

mmm, sounds nice!

Ryan said...

Off and running whenever and wherever you can...what a perfect weekend!!

Sarah Elaine said...

You chased a run with a hike? Good on ya!

Sounds like a fabulous weekend overall.

Take care of that Achilles!

Jack said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend of running and hiking. Have fun with your 20+ miler next weekend!

Ginger Breadman said...

I love reading the descriptions of where you run. It seems like you have an adventure every time you head out the door.

Donald said...

Sounds like a great weekend. I'm losing my weekday trail time also, as the mornings grow darker. Bummer.

turnip said...

Gosh, so jealous! Unfortunately I don't live near alot of trails and can only get there on the weekends too. But a GORGE! Awesome! Hopefully I will eventually move to more geologically interesting areas in the future. Nonentheless, sounds like a great time. Thanks for your advice and encouragement on my blog. I will be sticking with the marathon this time to see how it goes...

robtherunner said...

My in-laws live pretty close to the Germantown Road section of Wildwood. I think the last time i figured it out it was about 5 miles from their house to the trail. Maybe we can get together for a run in September out on a section of Wildwood. I should be up the second week of September for my sister-in-laws baby shower. Maybe Olga can join us as well and show us her new skip-hop style of running.

olga said...

Yeah, I am in:)
I like last section of WW, it's secluded and almost free of hikers (not to say anything of hikers, or runners, I just like to be alone on trails). And it has fair amount of hills, but they are relatively short.
Angeles rest is another fav! I am so jealous, I'd love to go those places...but can't right now. Well, at least I get to make a crazy climb with Rob to see the sunrise over Rainier and blast last 12 miles downhill!
Good for you to find how to include trail near by into the run! You can try and do tempo loops?

backofpack said...

Sarah, what a wonderful way to spend your weekend. Have fun with Rob and Olga!

Kim said...

That was a wonderful weekend. I think alot of us are in the same boat about trails, many times they are not that convenient to get to, so we run roads.When I do get to the trails, alot of times it seems like a treat.