I had to make a trip down to Portland yesterday, so I prepared myself for a run around Back Cove. When I say prepared myself, in this case it is not a bad thing, because running Back Cove is one of those legacy runs that I have been doing for years and years. This time of year it is more about figuring out what to wear, which direction to run and how many laps I can squeeze in, in the time I have available.
Okay what to wear. The forecast called for a “gentle breeze” at 10-15 mph out of the SW, with temps in the mid 40s. Not terrible weather, I have run around Back Cove in much, much worse, but still not shorts and t-shirt weather either. Once I got down there and felt what the real conditions were, I opted for running pants, t-shirt, long sleeve tech shirt and gloves, to go with a ball cap. I was quite comfortable in them.
Between the construction in the area and having to stop at Hannafords for a pit stop before the run I lost almost 30 minutes and knew after I finished running that I would have to drive all the way around Back Cove to get back on 295 then back to Trader Joe’s, because due to the road construction the the short way back blocked off.
Which meant that my plan for two laps around the Cove were changed for me to only one, with the time I had and no stopping at Fleet Feet – (probably a good thing too – no new shoes to come home with).
I decided on doing the regular clockwise direction and started out comfortably. Nothing overly fast. At about the mile mark I was feeling pretty decent, the wind was at my back, so I decide to pick up the pace to a comfortably hard effort (usually my half marathon pace) and kept that up until I got to the bridge.
When I turned the corner, I had to batten down the hat and lean forward just a bit to maintain any kind of pace. That nice tailwind or sidewind had turned into the headwind. I always forget that it is longer from the bridge to the park than you think and it would have been smahter to have run in the opposite direction today. Oh well, suck it up buttercup. 🙂
There were a few sections of the “trail” that were pretty squishy and it really brought out the con part of running in the Beacons. The first slime area I hit at my faster pace just about ended up on America’s Funniest Home Videos and while I did not end up sitting on my arse in the mud, it was a close call. After that when I got to the slime, I slowed down a bit.
The lack of traction on slime is something I had read about the Beacons, but had not experienced it – needless to say it is a real concern. On the dry dirt, tar, even wet tar they performed GREAT, on light mud/slime they suck. I probably lost a bit of time just slowing down/speeding back up, but at least I stayed upright.
Actually, this turned into one of my better Back Cove runs in a while and I broke a lot of my personal segment records for my current Strava account (I have cancelled Strava twice and then reluctantly came back to keep tabs on friends there). Which really surprised me, because I didn’t feel that I was working all that hard until I got to the bridge.
My best time that I can remember for the full 3.6 loop is a sub 27:00, so running a 28:31 without hammering things, at this time of year, is very encouraging, on a pretty windy day in Portland.
A good run and yes, I got back to where I was supposed to be on time – barely.