Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Running Along the Deschutes

Along with hiking and traveling to visit family, this summer I've also been busy preparing for the Portland Marathon.  They say the hard part about running a marathon isn't the race itself, but the enormous amount of training required.  So true!  What seemed like a good idea when I first signed up last fall, morphed into a huge obligation, taking precious time away from hiking and photography activities.

Well-signed trails

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.

Morning reflections

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.  :)


  1. Looks like it was a fun (long) run. I love that area, but runs and long walks are a thing of the past for me... unless they improve on their surgery techniques.
    Great post, Linda!

  2. I love the views of the river. A few years ago I would have put a I don't run sticker on my car too, but now I run sometimes. I do enjoy walking in the forest more than running though.

  3. Love the pretty river scenery. Gorgeous area for your run.. I would have the 0.0 too, my feet are too bad for running. But, I do hike and walk.. Enjoy your day!

  4. As always Linda you have superb photos. I am looking forward to the the results of the marathon.

  5. Thoroughly captivating, Linda!

  6. Well, the 0.0 describes how much I run too. BUT I do hike, although not over some of the rough terrain you do. I love your photos as they remind me of my more active younger days. :)

  7. What a beautiful place to train for a marathon.

  8. That is really a lovely spot for a hike, run or a walk. Especially along the river. Must be very relaxing.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  9. Linda, I can't remember you telling us that you were training for a marathon. I used to run and compete but stopped entering races about 10 years ago. I started injuring myself trying to beat other old ladies. Now I do run/walks on the trails to jar my bones and get my heart rate up. I like your photos of the river trails in Bend.

  10. Hahaha! That is a funny sticker. Something that belongs on my car :) But I do hike, and I do bike, so I feel better!

    I SOOO admire your dedication to this. And you certainly had beautiful scenery on this run.

  11. You amaze me with your hiking and now running a marathon. Wow and Congrats.
    This area is quite lovely, I enjoyed all the views very much. I can relate to that last bumper sticker!

  12. That is some beautiful scenery.

    You look pretty good for just doing 11 miles.

  13. I love going long in new places. I saw the path running along the river through town and wished we had time to properly explore Bend too. I'm anxiously awaiting your Portland recap. :)

  14. What a lovely training run. Congratulations on your marathon - I could train for a lifetime and wouldn't be able to do that.

  15. All your gorgeous central Oregon photos are making me miss it even more! I bet the aspens are amazing right now:)
    Blessings, Aimee

  16. Good luck on the marathon- I've never done one- only a couple of halfs

  17. Love the yellow splashes along the river. Looks like a nice bouncy surface for running.

  18. Oh I wish I had your energy for all of that. What a beautiful area too. And even after all that running you still look great.

  19. What a great place to train for your marathon, and also combine seeing the beauty. That sticker is pretty funny!

  20. I used to love trail running, and mountain biking. Maybe this spring I'll get back into it again. My favorite trails are in your state: McKenzie River, and the complex of trails that run from Mt. Bachelor to Bend. I've spent many happy hours exploring there on my Giant.


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