There are a few race-free weekends coming up, and last weekend was one of them as well. We used it to get out of town - we drove from Reno up to Vancouver, WA (where my parents live) to go to a birthday party in Portland and leave the kids for a week with Grandma and Grandpa.
Of course, this was the first week of the training schedule I had drawn up for the Tahoe Marathon, and I had a 16 mile run on the books for Sunday. Pretty sure that I wasn't going to be up for it after the birthday party Saturday night, I got it done on Saturday morning.
From my parents house just north of old downtown Vancouver, I headed west on 4th Plain. This took me on a bridge over a railroad yard, through a little industrial area, and eventually paralleled the Columbia River. At about the 8 mile mark, I turned around and headed back.
I had left pretty early - about 4:45. Just light enough to see at that point. Here's the sun eventually coming out, peeking it's way over the shoulder of Mt. St. Helens.
Most of the run was on the wide shoulder of the road, but after Vancouver lake Park there is a bike path to run on for awhile. This ends near Frenchman's Bar, another park area, so it was back onto the road after that. Mercifully, traffic was still almost nonexistent, because there was no shoulder here. The vegetation had grown right to the edge of the road, creating kind of a tunnel effect in places. Ran past a couple of houseboat parking areas, then turned around.
I made a little detour into Frenchman's Bar - my parents had said the water had been so high down there that it was covering some of the playground equipment. It wasn't near that high now, but it was definitely above average...
As I made my way back to the bike path and road, I spotted these - obviously remnants of a birthday party. They were in weird splash of color in the dull morning that was starting to perk up at that point.
The run back in had a bit more traffic - big double loader trucks, primarily. When I was on the road, I ran against traffic, and they were pretty conscientious about giving me a little room. Did a couple fartleks up the last hill and was happy to be done.
Fun to get a training run in somewhere than the normal Reno routes.