Still, I did my best to work in the required training runs around my other stuff. The weekend I traveled to Bend, after hiking both Friday and Saturday, Sunday was dedicated to a weekly long run.
|The mighty Deschutes.with Mt. Bachelor in the background|
Lucky for me, Bend is an outdoor enthusiasts playground. Trails abound throughout town, reaching out into the surrounding plains and foothills. And I'd heard the trail that followed the Deschutes River was the most scenic of them all. A perfect place to get my run in!
|Yellow vegetation lined the river|
The Deschutes River winds through the town of Bend. Numerous parks and trails line it's banks. Some areas are very developed, while others are wild and unimproved.
Because hot temps were predicted for Sunday, I started my run as soon as it was light. Parking at Riverbend Park, I did a warm-up loop to the north, passing by the Les Schwab Amphitheater and Old Mill District. The morning chill felt good, and I kept my long sleeve shirt on for most of the first two miles.
|Nice wide path|
Stopping back at my car for a water break, I ditched the long sleeves, and grabbed my point and shoot camera. Time to explore the trail south of Riverbend Park.
|A rougher portion of the river|
Oh was I in for a treat! The river bank, lit up by the early morning light, was stunning. Large yellow-fringed bushes (I have no idea the name) lined the river. The combination of the yellow vegetation and blue water made for some gorgeous photo ops. At one point, I even glimpsed a tiny Mt. Bachelor wayyy off in the distance.
|Admiring views from the bridge|
As I ran south, the trail became narrower, rocky and much more rugged. The river's placid current was replaced by fast-moving water. The developed parks and adjacent homes disappeared. I felt like I was back in wilderness.
|A bit of fall color|
After a couple of miles, my trail crossed the Deschutes on a high pedestrian bridge, and I headed back on the opposite side. The closer I traveled towards the park, the more people I began to see on the trail. There were walkers, runners, dogs, kids, all enjoying a beautiful September morning. People who live in Bend are so lucky to have this amazing trail network along such a lovely river.
|Heading back towards town|
I made a couple of loops around the river, trying to get in the required 16 miles. However, two prior days of hiking were taking their toll. My body fatigued fast, and my pace became turtle-slow. After 11 miles, the heat and my growling stomach persuaded me to finish (that and a breakfast burrito was calling my name).
|Tall, rocky cliffs|
About a mile from my car, I stopped to capture a final photo of the lovely, wild scenery. A lady walking by generously offered to take my picture. This is what I look like after running 11 miles on a hot morning. (Yep, you can tell I need that breakfast burrito!)
|A nice lady took my picture|
Back at my car, I noticed this sticker on the SUV parked next to me. Some runners post "13.1" or "26.2" stickers on their cars (indicating they've run a half or full marathon). But this sticker made me laugh - especially since I'd just finished a run.
|This car sticker made me laugh|
You're probably wondering when I'm running the Portland Marathon. Well, I already ran it about a week and a half ago, on October 5th. I'm working on a recap, and in my next post I'll tell you all the gory details. :)