I headed out yesterday afternoon for a moderately long run (10-12 miles) with 10 minutes of total uphill time. The kiddos had a scheduled playdate next door and the weather was beautiful... about 72 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The past few weeks, it has been cold and a little overcast so I forgot how much difference a few degrees can make on my overall performance.
I opted to do my run on the river trail. It is quite hilly... in fact, there are 3 significant hills. One of which rises 180 ft in just 4 tenths of a mile. It is a doozy! Sometimes I think I can walk it faster than I can run it. At the 3.5 mile mark, I stopped at the park to drink a little water. I'd forgotten that the fountains have been turned off so I had to cup my hands in the restroom sink. Along the way, I stopped twice more to drink directly from the river. I know it is a very healthy river ... nonetheless, I picked up a rock and investigated the little inverts that clung to its surface. Dragonfly nymphs. Stonefly larvae. Planaria. Lots of critters proclaiming a healthy ecosystem. :)
When I popped back up onto the road, the Garmin read 7.5 miles. My heart really wanted to continue to at least 10 as prescribed but my head prevailed and I opted to head home. My mouth was so dry. I knew I really needed to rehydrate. In the end, I covered 8.3 miles with about 11 minutes of total uphill time. My average pace was 10 minutes per mile.
As a I walked around the block to cool down, I stopped to chat with a neighbor who was doing yardwork. The other day she borrowed Pfitz "Advanced Marathoning" and a few running magazines. I asked her if she had had time to read anything. She said yes and had even picked up a few more from the library. She has decided she would like to run a marathon and is strongly considering Chicago '08. She plans to begin training in November. I am excited for her. I hope that we'll be able to run together sometime. It will all depend on childcare, though. Her kiddos are in junior high (in fact, her oldest is our babysitter) and her schedule is therefore more flexible.
I'd love to run Chicago. We shared briefly how fun it would be to go together - as a girl's weekend getaway. She has a couple of friends that plan to meet her there (one to run, one to cheer). I told her of my Portland running buddy and that she may also be interested (How about it, Kong?). We'll see. It will depend on how things go at CIM in December... at Eugene in May.
I want to qualify to run Boston. However, I have come to accept that I must be patient. All good things come to those who wait (and train and train and train). :)