Tuesday, August 02, 2005

View From The West Bank

West/Lowry 5.8mi

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My long run for the week was supposed to be five miles, but I laid out a route that turned out to be 5.8 miles and I thought that I would be able to handle it. I wanted to run along the west bank of the river, and with the bridge still closed at Sligh, this was the shortest possible route.
I ran about a 10:00 pace for the first mile and then started to bring the pace down a little.
The west bank route provided a nice change of scenery. Heading north from Hillsborough Ave., the river road runs right along the water allowing access and views for everyone, while the houses still have a river view from across the street. It would have been nice if the city planners had the foresight to lay out all of the streets this way.
I thread my way through these winding streets under the cover of oaks, keeping the river in sight if I can. I run through the construction zone at the Sligh bridge and head north into Lowry Park. This part of the route is familiar to me, and now I have some reference points for my distance from home. I’m feeling pretty strong at about four miles in and I say hello to Andrew who happens to be walking out of his shop as I pass by.
At 4.5 miles I can sense that this was the terminus of my last long run. It’s not that I hit a wall, but there was definitely an obstacle there, more of a curb perhaps. This is an encouraging feeling though, when I realize that the long run is having its desired effect – pushing my level of endurance a little farther each week. I struggle through the next half mile and then the weight suddenly lifts. I feel like I could sprint the last 8/10ths of a mile home. I know better than this though, and I relax and make it to the house at 67 minutes for an 11:30 pace. My finish heart rate is 160 and after about eight minutes of walking, my legs don’t even feel tight.


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