Monday, September 29, 2014

Long Runs with Friends

Well friends, it's that time of year again that I am running very long runs.  I have one month less than a week until the Portland Marathon (Edit: I started writing this a month ago, apparently).

Despite the fact that I ran it last year, I'm still nervous about it.

The marathon should not be trifled with.

That's supposed to be my serious face.

Last year I ran a lot with Ann Marie; however, she has been working on a different project this year.

Luckily, Christy will be running Portland next week too--she has done half Ironmans, but this is her first full marathon! Since we live so close to each other, we planned a lot of our Saturday runs together.

For our first long run, I plotted out a 10 miler in our neighbourhood that I thought avoided the hills.

From that day forward Christy was in charge of the routes.

The next weekend we had 13 miles and decided to run 6.5 out and back, but then tacked on another half mile at the midway point so we could do a cool down at the end.  In my mind this meant a half mile walk to the car. I did not realize until actually writing this, that it worked out to a ONE MILE walk to the car.  Have I mentioned I can't do math while running?  I have never been so happy to see my car.

One of my favourite things about running in the summer is the abundance of wild blackberry bushes.

I spent most of our runs looking off into the bushes for those beauties.

So completely worth the 5 to 10 minutes we spent eating.

One day, we were just starting our run and having one of our 'long run conversations' (the kind you don't share with others) when we bumped into Bruk.  You know how it's awkward when you're talking about someone and really don't expect to see them?

He was just finishing up his (presumably) 100 mile ride for the day.

One weekend there was a food festival in the park we ran through.

It was challenging.

On my cutback week I was staying at Erika's in Michigan for Megan's wedding, where we were joined by Adrian (hooray for blog friends and fun reunions!)

Erika and I went out for an 8 miler on a beautiful, tree-lined dirt road.  The magic of running conversation flowed and helped us forget that it was incredibly humid.  At mile 6 all I could think about was getting water. I begged for blackberries but they were nowhere to be found.  Instead, we found some blueberries(?) growing on the side of the road.

They were tart and were mostly pit.

We then spotted some bright red berries.  I thought they might be huckleberries, and gingerly tried one.

Not a huckleberry.  

In just a few days I'll be tackling the Portland Marathon again, this time relying on my wits grit to get me through.  See you all on the flip side!!

Tell me something that makes you scared but you try it anyway!



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