Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hello Portland Hello Heat!

Well we finally made it to Portland, Oregon...our new home...and....it.....is......AWESOME! Talk about a runner's paradise. We arrived a couple of days after some record temperature highs reaching over 100 degrees apparently. I could tell it was uncharacteristic because we had to go to like three stores before we could find one that didn't sell out of fans! The trails are almost like running on pavement too because they are so dried out. I'm not complaining though, in fact, I feel so grateful to be able to access the Wildwood Trail just a few minutes outside of my door. 5000 acres of trails butted right up against the city gives us the best of both worlds. I can't get over how excited I am about this amenity!

My final days in Ithaca were really nice, but emotional at times as I said goodbye to my family and friends. We had a little gathering down at Buttermilk Falls on Wednesday evening and were able to have one last mingling session before my planned ultra long training run on Thursday.

I planned to leave Ithaca by logging a 40-mile run on the Finger Lakes Trail. Ian Golden, Mark Thompson, Jeff Juran, and myself started in the dark at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday and even though they only joined me for the first seven miles their company and the act of waking up early to send me off was greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!

This was also a test run to see if my leg could hold out for an extended period of time and to see if the strengthening and stretching exercises have been working effectively. I made it to about the 20-mile mark where I would stop and have a bite to eat and chat with local ultra runner and friend Nancy Kleinrock. Nancy was in the middle of a 70-mile bike and a nice big hug from her sent me back heading towards Ithaca with some good energy. When I hit the 35 mile mark I was greeted by Mark T. who returned from a short shift at work to take me home the last five miles. Moments later Eric Sambolec joined in and it was so great to say some final goodbyes in this way! Thank you guys both so much!

I was able to get a solid 82 miles in this past week (which was made easier by half of those miles coming from one run!) and I feel strong. Coincidentally a friend and training partner Michael Wunsch just happened to be here in Portland for a convention so we were able to hit up the Wildwood Trail this morning. Thanks for all the good hill training over the last couple years Michael!

I'm so excited to emerge on this scene out here and to meet others that share the same passion and to explore this beautiful part of the world.

Thank you everyone from Ithaca and I'm going to miss you guys...Keep in touch!

Happy Trails!!!



3 comments:

AnthonyP said...

Glad to hear you made it out to Portland...and that the blog made the trip as well !

Keep in touch.

Ultra Chris said...

Sounds like you have found a new heaven, Yassine. Sorry I missed you before you left. Enjoy life out there and keep the updates coming and I hope that you can make it back here for some runs in the future!

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