Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

25k benchmark run on Sunday

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 22, 2009

Wow, I had such a great run this past Sunday morning. I needed to complete my 25k (15.5 mile) benchmark run, but I just happened to be at my parent’s farm for a weekend family reunion. Naturally I played hard all day Saturday, stayed up way too late, ate tons of greasy food and drank lots of beer – so I was very apprehensive about getting up the next morning to go for a long run. Strangely enough, I woke up early and felt great. In fact, I couldn’t recall feeling so excited about a long run.

My parents live on acreage near the coastal hills town of Grand Ronde (yes, the town with the casino). I spent my entire childhood roaming the hills and valleys of this area, including the casino’s namesake – Spirit Mountain. There aren’t a lot of options for running around Grand Ronde, so I decided to just walk out of the house and start running up into the hills. The logging roads go on for miles, so I just figured that I would run about 8 miles out and then turn back toward my parent’s house.

After a nice slow warmup run on Grand Ronde Road (which is actually surfaced with gravel now due to a widening and repaving project), I turned onto Agency Creek Road which is part of the Grand Ronde Indian Tribal Reservation. As a kid, I spent a lot of time playing around in this wilderness area – but it had been many years since I’d been up in the timber land. The road follows along side Agency Creek for many miles – making for a wonderfully scenic run. The canyon also provides some shelter from the sun, so it was a good choice on that hot day. 

I stopped every so often for a swig of Gatorade from the bottle on my hydration belt and to take in the scenery. The sound of the river gurgling and the birds chirping really made me appreciate the natural setting. I eventually hit the 8 mile mark and turned back toward home. My legs were feeling great at the half way point and the next couple of miles were slightly downhill.

At Mile 12 I turned back onto Grand Ronde Road and also left the cover of the trees. The sun was really baking me on the open stretches and I was beginning to feel that familiar aching in my legs. By mile 14 I was hurting a bit, but with only a couple of miles left I was already thinking of a cold drink back at the house. I cruised into my parent’s driveway and walked slowly up their long steep driveway. After a brief rest and refueling, I spent some well deserved (and very relaxing) time in the hammock chair underneath the old oak tree. Life is good…

Cheers.

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