Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Road to Boston (week 4 of 16)

I am sitting here at my computer watching little Dylan eat my oatmeal as part of his third breakfast.  I have a nicely brewed cup of freshly ground coffee in front of me, I have just showered away the sweat and salt of a very satisfying 20 mile run, and Gavin is waiting for me to finish writing so he can play chess against the computer.

Sometimes, life is good.

But this week is really going to test my resolve.  I am on business trips for the next three weeks running, and week number one sees me up in Oregon in the Pacific Northwest.  I will be on the campus of Oregon State University, so there are probably some good running routes around there.  Except that they are having huge problems with flooding and pouring rain, so much so that the university shut down yesterday (Friday), and many of the roads are closed.

But I still have the carrot of Boston and Jantastic to chase.  So I'm determined to get my runs in, even if I have to do Clea-style "go round and round this loop until I get dizzy" runs.

Because the dreadmill is truly an option of last resort.

DateSaturday January 21st
Planam - 20 miles
Outcome5am, windy.  55F at the start, dropping to 42F by the end.  Another 20 mile hillfest - Stratford, Scenic, backwards Jefferson (uphill against the wind) and some meandering around the Hyde Park neighborhood.  My legs felt a little tight this morning - not surprising, I am probably a little dehydrated since my parents (visiting from the UK) have been force-feeding me tea all week (I forgot just how much tea British folks drink).  But very pleased that we accelerated after the monster hills, and ran a nice negative split.  Run competed in 2:54:23 (8:43 average).

DateSunday January 22nd
Planam - 7 miles easy
Outcome5:30am, 55F.  Recovery run after yesterday's 20.  Uneventful 7 miles in 59:31 (8:30 pace).  Make sure to update my Marathon Talk Jantastic submissions, then off to the airport to rainy Oregon

  DateMonday January 23rd
Planam - Nothing
Outcome6am, 31F and freezing fog.  Exploratory run on the campus of Oregon State University.  Found plenty of paths and parks to crisscross the university, even though I couldn't see much through the fog.  An enjoyable 4 miles in 32:41 (8:10 pace).  It's run to run on a university campus when it's so quiet and nobody else is about.  On the other hand, I discovered I'd packed running shoes, 5 pairs of running socks, 5 pairs of running shorts and only 1 shirt.  Whoops!!!

DateTuesday January 24th
Planam - 6 miles
Outcome6am, 39F and driving rain.  A soggy, slippery run through the OSU campus this morning, but very refreshing.  Did 5 miles in 39:31 (7:54 pace).  Good thing too, since the cooked breakfasts at the hotel are no doubt fattening me up!!!

DateWednesday January 25th
Planam - 6 miles
Outcome6am, 52F.  What, no rain today?  After yesterday's all-day downpour and warnings of mass floodings, woke up this morning to find it mild and dry.  Even stranger is that apparently Austin is being bombarded with Noah-style rain.  Did 5 miles through the OSU campus in 40:20 (8:04 average).  The highlight was taking a sharp right turn while running through a dark park, skidding on some unseen mud and sliding several yards on my hip.  Ouch - glad nobody was around to see that.

DateThursday January 26th
Planam - 6 miles
Outcome6am, 42F.  No rain this morning.  Ran another 5 miles through the OSU campus in 39:03 (7:48 average), then loaded up on a huge hotel breakfast that included toast, Western omelet, waffles, a danish and a cookie.  Do you see why I've run every morning that I've been here?

DateFriday January 27th
Outcome6am, 25F and frosty, icy underfoot.  Cranked out another 5 miles around OSU - I've now run every day I've been here.  Cold one this morning - finished with my arms and hands like frozen chicken, and it took a good while of standing under a piping hot shower to defrost them.  Still, managed 5 miles in 38:21 (7:40 average).  Will be sorry to say goodbye to this fun route when I fly home tomorrow.  Maybe I'll sneak in another sly run before I leave for the airport.

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