Saturday July 2nd I wanted to tackle my longest run to date. Adam was off on a Mt. Hood climb so I had the majority of the day to work with. I planned out a long loop from my house over the Sellwood Bridge, along the Waterfront, up Thurman hill to Forest Park's Leif Erickson drive, down Ridge trail to the St. John's Bridge, along Willamette back to the Waterfront and home.
I had wanted to get going early but when my alarm went of at 5:30 I was too tired to get out of bed. I slept for another 2 hours, and didn't start running until 8 a.m. I was carrying a liter of water, a liter of gatorade, veggie sushi rolls, 2 packs of margarita shot blocks, and a couple of gu's. I was hoping these supplies would get me through the full distance. The first 10 miles of the route was in full sunshine and I was lamenting that I had failed to think of wearing sunscreen. I was pretty warm and sweaty during this stretch. It was a relief to arrive at the entrance to Forest Park - it was much cooler as it was almost completely shaded.
I had worn my Crocs for this run as the majority of it would be on roads. However the stretch up Leif was all gravel - and super painful in the Crocs. At times it was as though I was running on glass. I could feel every little rock. There were times when I hit a big piece of gravel so hard that I just swore out load. Painful stuff! Thankfully I finally hit Ridge Trail and it was a relief to be on a softer surface. A quick trip down Ridge brought me to the St. John's Bridge. I was starting to run low on fluids at this point so I was starting to think of a resupply. Just after crossing the bridge I spotted a Safeway and ducked in for a bathroom break and a liter of Gatorade and water. I reloaded my hydration bladders and set out along Willamette.
This was the unfamiliar part of the route to me. I had never run in this area before but wanted to check it out since my office was moving over to this area. I ran right by University of Portland and my new office location. The stretch along Willamette is quite pretty - you get to look out over the city from a distance. The best way to get from Willamette back to the waterfront was a mystery to me. I took a right turn on a nice sidewalk down Greeley thinking that was the best option. It was great for about a mile until the sidewalk disappeared. I found myself running in the bike lane for a mile and a half until the sidewalk suddenly reappeared on the other side of the road. A bunch of strange crossing of Interstate finally brought me to the sidewalk down to the Esplanade.
It was very warm at this point with no shade in sight. The last 6 miles were mentally tough, my body was ready to be done. I had to play lots of tricks with myself to keep me going. I was happy to make it home with 35 miles under my belt. Total running time - 5:38:34.