I love the shape of this run. And it’s a bold one to get in during the week. I was thinking today, “this is where it gets real” when I passed the zoo and started down the freeway ramp on Rte. 26 to where the Marquam trail splits uphill toward Council Crest. It’s exactly halfway and at that point, you’re down in a valley so either direction would be a climb home. You’re committed. Always a good feeling on a run. Best to push through and close the loop.
The Wildwood trail down through the Veterans Memorial into the zoo parking lot is so buff and soft – the ground is slightly wet and covered with spruce needles, the surface is almost tacky underfoot – wide and smooth. So nice.
I saw one other runner on the climb to the first road crossing from 26. The trail is very muddy and there are railroad tie steps that ascend the road. She stopped and let me pass – she was going the same direction so I assume she came from Wildwood too. It was colder and in the clouds at Council Crest – the trail was very slick and I had to step delicately to avoid slipping on the descent. It might be time to switch to trail running shoes for the rest of the winter. Definitely another 4mm drop shoe – I love the ride and weight.
I’ve been cold weather running in a thin synthetic long sleeve zip t and the OR centrifuge jacket. The fitted balaclava traps warmth around my ears and I’ve been flipping the bill up on my running cap to hold the hood in place and keep field of vision wide open. If it’s raining I just flip the bill down like a little awning. If it’s really cold (last week) I can zip all the way up to my nose. I’m finding it to be a excellent cold weather setup.
On a long run I try to have as few “gates” as possible. I try to hold the entire run in my mind as a singular map. I think oftentimes people break big tasks down into smaller tasks to make it easier – I think this makes it more difficult, it’s disruptive to the complete effort. I prefer the opposite. I visualize the entire route in my mind before I step out the door. At a certain point, if the run is going well, I’ll lower the level of focus (the mental vise) and just have fun. I could have gone for another 8 today… but I had a meeting.
There is nothing like flying down a mountain trail on foot, sailing over rocks and roots, feet barely touching the ground to continue forward propulsion. My legs were covered in mud when I got back to the office.