Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The future is now

I’ve seen the future. No, I’m not clairvoyant; I’m just spending a few days in Redmond Washington. Temperatures are in the low 50’s. Yes … a spot in the continental US with morning temperatures in the low 50’s. This is what fall will feel like for the rest of us. (of course, fall in central Arizona doesn’t start until mid-October, but that’s a completely different issue)

It’s been a couple of months since I made my way to Redmond and my daily easy run mileage has increased dramatically since I was here last. Longer runs require new courses, so I got a chance to see a few areas of town formally unreachable from the hotel.

This morning, I followed the pathway along the 520 freeway north (ish) towards down-town Redmond until it ended at the intersection with Lake Sammamish Pkwy. Crossing the parkway, I found another trail running along the Sammamish creek (which we would call a river in Arizona). This is an idyllic trail running along the side of the creek with morning birds chirping and unseen animals (probably not coyotes) rustling in the bushes. And as is usually the case with these public works projects … there was absolutely no one on the trail. Doesn’t anyone get up in the morning in this town? I followed the path south until it ended in a large park and ran around the park a bit until my Garmin indicated I had completed the first 4 miles and turned around to head back.

The most remarkable thing about the run up to this point, other than the mongo hill I had to run down along 520, was the fact that I was dry … completely dry. I’d just completed 4 miles at a 9:00/mi pace and I was DRY. Nary a drop of perspiration graced my brow. I must have died and gone to runner’s heaven. Again … where is everyone? With weather like this I’d expect the entire running community in Seattle would be out on the trails. Perhaps I’d missed the NO RUNNERS allowed signs :)

The first mile of the return was pretty much the same as the run out. However, once I crossed Lake Sammamish Pkwy and started heading up the hill, the fun really kick into high gear. I’d missed the light at the intersection; however, just before the light turned red, a bicyclist brushed by me without comment and scooted across the road under the yellow and headed up the hill and out of sight. Why he felt it necessary to give me the brush back, I don’t know .. no sorry, no excuse me … no nothing, he just kept peddling

After the light changed to green, I took off up the hill and begin the 1.3 mile climb. The first 200 yards is very steep, probably well in excess of 15% (it looked straight up after 100 yards) but then settles down to a nice 5-10% grade for most of the climb. When I turned the corner after the initial nightmare climb, I notice Mr Brushback only 100 yards in front of me peddling in his granny gear (no disrespect intended to grandmothers). I was gaining on the SOB. It only took a few hundred yards before I caught up to his bicycle. A quick look down at my Garmin indicated I was trotting up the hill somewhere around 8:45/mi pace at this point.

I exchanged pleasantries with the axxhole as I surged by him, leaving the impression that this hill was no problem at all and wished him a good day. I was feeling pretty smug after catching the bicycle on the hill until another rider blew by me. Oh well … guess I not all that tough after all.

I eventually got to the top of the hill and increased the pace a little more on the rolling hills heading back to the hotel and finished the last mile in 8:24. I did start sweating on the climb and my shirt was a tad damp after 8 miles, but I certainly felt like I could turn around and do it again. I don't think I'd have thought this in Phoenix.

We’ll see if I can actually do it again tomorrow morning. My hamstrings took a beating on the climb out and are a bit stiff this afternoon. Everything else seems to fully functional. I’d send some of this weather to everyone if I could, but in the meantime we just need to focus what it will be like when everyday is like this

Keep running

Training for the week

Mon – Rest / Travel day
Tue – 8.1 miles, easy, 9:05/mi pace

6 comments:

Ann Ewbank said...

sounds like a nice run. And while you're up there, tell Bill Gates that our xbox 360 died after only 7 months and we never even unplugged it. bah!

Dusty said...

sounds like a great run! Good job on passing the bike!! HAHA!!

Have a great trip and enjoy the weather!!

Runner Chic said...

Phil,

Any runner would die to have weather like that!! You are one lucky guy! It was still 100 degrees at 6pm last night so I had to head to the Y for my track workout. Yuke! You know how I feel about the track and my love of T'mills are not much better.

Take in the all the weather you can!!

I promise a blog by the end of the day today :-).

Robin

Mike said...

I'm a bit jealous too, hope you enjoy your trip out there. I love passing those puffing cyclists too, especially during that last half mile up the road in Sabino Canyon (if we can ever see it again with the rain).

angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, a trail next to a creek?! that is AWESOME!!!

Shane (mississip) said...

Wow! Cool run! Gotta enjoy trail running!