Friday, May 24, 2013

The Running News

Closing the Box

On April 1, celebrating the anniversary of my second running "box" -- an approximate rectangle here on the East Side in which I was trying to run down every street, lane, and alley -- I ventured that I think I'll be able to polish this sucker off in May.  I was right!  Last Saturday, I ran east -- which is up, on this map -- and ran a weird series of loops and twists to take care of a handful of remaining streets.  And then I was finished.

Voila!  And if you are wondering about that area in the northeast (upper left) of the map, it's a locked cemetery.  I am a completist, sure, but not to the extent that I want to get busted for serially breaking into the preserves of the departed.

Although I do not want to start a third box, I do expect to have a little anxiety around figuring out where to run for a while.  Deciding on Sunday's route was no problem, however.  I sat in the coffeeshop watching from the 8.5 mile point as a half-marathon went by.  After most of the parade had passed, I went home, changed into my gear, and jumped onto the course, passing the slow and the exhausted by the score.  It was childish, but it gave me a splendid closed route through the city and made me feel like Superman.  Lots of spectators yelled that I was doing great.  I didn't take any of the water or sports drinks offered by volunteers, though, because I wasn't a registered runner and so it would have been unethical.  After a couple miles of this hijink, everybody else turned left and I turned right, and it became more of a conventional run.

So far this year I'm at around a 860-mile pace, which would make it the Best Year Ever but fall considerably short of my 960-mile goal.  But, the summer and fall months that are the best for running are still ahead of me.

The Avatar Heads East

About the time I split off from the half-marathon last Sunday, my Avatar entered the town of The Dalles, Oregon. He left Portland for the second time about a month ago, and since then has run eastward through the gorge of the Columbia River, cutting through the Cascade mountains.  He's back in Oregon for a stretch after starting out in Washington.  He'll soon cross over again, though, and start moving a bit north of east en route to the waypoint of Moscow, Idaho.

It's not surprising that the running Avatar shares many of the quirks of his flesh-and-blood twin and has taken to counting counties.  He now has 16, 13 in Oregon and 3 in Washington.


MDIC said...

Good lord. This is a lot of running. I always run the same exact route. Maybe I should try mixing it up a little and checking out new sites. I just love running along Willamette Blvd and pretending I'm in some sort of beach town as I spy on all the houses that look like they belong in salt air.

Michael5000 said...

At first, I didn't really enjoy running. But after 25 years or so, I kind of got into it, and now it's something I really kind of do for the joy of it. Well, and for the audiobook listening time. That helps me rack up miles.

Jenners said...

Oh Lord … that is something else cutting into the half marathon like that.

And did I tell you that my husband and I are taking up running? Right now our "longest" run is 2.5 miles. It takes some getting used to but we've progressed steadily and found it quite rewarding.