I had every intention of running 20 miles this weekend, after last weekend’s almost 19, but as is the case in life, circumstances change and adjustments are made.
My oldest son came home from school for the weekend. He’s been “away at college” since January 4th. That’s 7 weeks. He has come home three times. As luck would have it he always chooses to come home on weekends that his brother is at his father’s – which translates to my “kid-free” weekend. However, he never stays with his father, he prefers to stay at my house, so it can throw a wrench in my weekend if I let it. I’ve been making a concerted effort not to let it. He is, after all, 19 years old. He does not need to be babysat, coddled, cooked for, etc. Even though he may think otherwise.
He doesn’t have classes on Fridays so he actually came in on Thursday night, catching a ride from a friend coming home from Klamath Falls. That was pretty sweet for him since it gave him an extra day to connect with friends, sleep in his bed, in his room (he sleeps on a futon, in the living room at the apartment he shares with two friends in Eugene), and eat my food. It also gave him some concentrated time with his brother.
I had an appointment on Friday evening after work and had decided I would spend the night up at Blue Eye’s house after I went home, checked on my dog, packed a bag, etc. I told my oldest I was coming home from my appointment and then “going back out for a while.” I chose not to tell him I’d be spending the night in Washington since I didn’t want him to all of a sudden decide it was a good night to throw a party at my house.
Blue Eyes told me he would be getting up at 5:30 a.m., to go to work at which time I figured I would head home. I would get home before 7 and still manage to get out and run my 20 before noon. As luck would have it, however, one of my Haulin’ Sass teammates (and one of my favorite running buddies) was planning to run 16 and was in the market for company. Even more fortunate — she wanted to run early and from her neighborhood in NE Portland – had I been coming from my house in suburbia it would have been at least a 35 minute drive to meet her – from Blue Eye’s home in Washington it was a quick 20 minute drive and it was “on the way home.” So perfect.
We met at 6:15 at Jim & Patty’s Coffee Shop and headed out. Of all my Haulin’ Sass teammates Maureen and I run about the same pace so it’s incredibly easy to run with her. It really is one of my favorite things. I am not really familiar with NE Portland so it was wonderful to run with her – she was a wealth of information and running really is the very best way to tour an area – we ran by the house she and her husband just purchased, through a couple of cute and quirky neighborhoods, by a golf course, a number of parks and into North Portland. It was fun and it felt great. I didn’t seem to struggle. That was huge since I felt like I really struggled last weekend. In fact, even though I was ready to be done as we approached mile 15, I felt great at run’s end. There is nothing better than that. In comparison, while I felt great and happy with the accomplishment last weekend I was sore and stiff and had wanted to quit 5 miles before we actually did! And the day after the almost-19 miles I was even more sore.
After the 16 not only did I not feel stiff and sore, or exhausted I felt as if I could have run Sunday morning. Of course, I didn’t. But I could have!
I’m running the 30k next Saturday and it’s supposed to be sunny and dry – I am hopeful that my experience next Saturday will resemble this 16 mile run. We shall certainly see!!
One of the parks we ran by and walked through was Peninsula Park. It’s one of the oldest parks in the city, having been completed in 1913. Portland is the home of one of the most spectacular rose gardens in the country. Maureen, with all her knowledge, told me Peninsula Park was the first public rose garden in the city – I had no idea there was another rose garden before the gigantic one in Washington Park – but I’m thrilled with this new knowledge and can’t wait til the roses bloom so I can go back to the park and enjoy the beauty of it (I so love Portland!). The following pictures were taken by Maureen in Peninsula Park.
This is me, happy to be at the almost half way point of the run!
The fountain in the middle of the rose garden.
Maureen’s artistic shot of the rose thorns.
Me and Maureen – I love this picture.
After the run we went into Jim & Patty’s Coffee Shop and enjoyed our lovely reward for having run 16 miles (I often wonder if this is the reason I run . . . .) I had the very best cup of hot chocolate I’ve ever had and the most amazing piece of chocolate zucchini cake. . . I mean BREAD, zucchini BREAD!!! It was gluten free and vegan which, in my experience, doesn’t always spell amazing but this time it did!
Maureen took this awesome picture – doesn’t it look great!
I enjoyed it –
Maureen had been talking about her reward cup of coffee from early in our run – you can tell she enjoyed it!
Maureen is probably the most talented cell phone picture taker that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I love the reward pictures! Here is her reward and her Garmin. We ran the 16 miles at an average pace of 11:29 – and it felt fairly effortless. I love runs like that.
We parted before 11 and I ran into the running expo going on down the street from Jim & Patty’s – amazingly I didn’t buy anything or sign up for any races – I exercised complete control. I went home to find my oldest still sleeping after 12. I enjoyed my favorite shower . . . the one after a weekend run that doesn’t have a time restriction, and when I was dressed the oldest stumbled into my room and suggested we have lunch together.
It’s actually become a habit when he comes home. I take him to lunch, just me and him and we catch up. This time we went to Pizzicato because he was craving pizza. We had a nice visit and he shared some thoughts about changing his major, the job he’s getting ready to start and how he’s getting used to living away from home.
When we got back to my house he asked me to drop him at his father’s so he could get his visit in and then I came back and took a 20 minute power nap before Blue Eye’s showed up. Blue Eyes and I spent some time talking (well, I mostly talked and he listened since I talk ALL THE TIME and he’s rather quiet) and then we went out for Mexican food. We had planned to go to the movies but knew, since it was Saturday, and we wanted to go to Cinetopia, we’d likely have to go to the late showing. We swung by Cinetopia around 7:30 to purchase tickets for the 10:20 show and we got the last two tickets for the movie we wanted to see. Cinetopia has 14 theaters and every one of them, save the one showing the newest scary movie, was sold out. Crazy!
We got back to the theater at 9:30 and got into the theater at 9:45. I know I’ve said it before but there is nothing like Cinetopia. If there is one in your town and you haven’t yet gone to it, you really should. Make a point to go to a show in the 21+ theaters and just revel in the ultimate movie viewing experience. Here is a picture I took (for Facebook check-in purposes, of course) before the movie started. This is one of the Movie Parlor theaters and it only seats 18 people (most of them seat more, but unless it’s an all ages theater, it’s not that much more). We were sitting in the top row, on a love-seat sized couch with fluffy pillows and the leather ottoman in front of us – where our beer is sitting.
We saw Side Effects. Originally I had no desire to see this movie, the previews looked lame. But I read a review on WordPress and decided to give it a try. Not a huge Jude Law fan, but he did a good job, and everyone else is pretty solid as well – it was a surprisingly good movie. If you like thrillers I would even go so far as to recommend it.
All in all my weekend was pretty wonderful – I am excited to run next Saturday and see how I feel after – I hope you all had wonderful weekends as well and of course I wish you a great week!