The Long Road

This weekend I drove over the mountains to Eugene, where equally large amounts of running and beering were promised by Emily. I’ve been in Oregon almost three months and hadn’t made the trip to her turf yet, even though it’s an easy (and crazy beautiful) 2.5 hour drive and she’s been to Bend like 5 times. Oops, bad friend alert.

Anyway, I’ve also been feeling a lot better running-wise, so the time finally felt right to go capitalize on exploring the Eug trails on foot.

(And capitalizing on plenty of liquid carbs in preparation, obviously.)

Mckenzie River Trail

totally stolen from sweatonceaday

I asked for “longish” and “unpaved” and “not up a fucking mountain, you ultra billy goat”, which was a perfect recipe for the Mckenzie River Trail, an hour or so out of town. Also ideal because it gave time for my IPAmigraine to wear off by the time we finally got to the trailhead.

“My watch is almost dead, are you running with yours?”

“I didn’t even bring one.” – the moment I officially relinquished my title of Type A Run Data Diva

We took off at a speed I’m glad I don’t know, and by the first pee break Emily’s watch had indeed, already died. I mean truthfully a year ago this would’ve sent me retreating straight back to the car, waving a little white flag from my middle finger, cursing at technology and vowing to run it the next day. I was a real data whore back in those days, huh? Why didn’t anyone tell me to lighten up a bit?!

Already too trail drunk on the views and extra oxygen (there’s really only a 2,000 ft difference from Bend, but it felt like a million,) I said I just wanted to run until I was tired and then run back. Who gives a fuck over the numbers! The extra oxygen would make up for any fitness downfalls. Right? Totally logical.

Mckenzie River Trail run

a Fern Gully OUaL collage for your mantle or to use as a “it’s still disgusting winter where I am, you dirty Oregon skank” dartboard cover

The base of the MRT is pretty easy terrain, with enough rocks and roots you could definitely wipe out if you didn’t try not to, but not technical enough to take a ton of extra energy. I didn’t even wear trail shoes – just my regular ol’ Launches. It was plush ground and constantly changing views, and only one or two hills that were steep or long enough for me to curse out loud over. There were shockingly few times I caught myself thinking “Is it time to turn around yet?” and after an hour or so we finally did. It was just such a nice day, we weren’t in a hurry to get back to town, and Emily doesn’t make me try to talk while we run. Plus we got to stop a few times to take pics and pet an extraordinarily fluffy dog, which increases my enjoyment of any activity at least three-fold.

Based on a triangulation of spacial reasoning, Emily’s familiarity with the trail, and what time we thought it was when we left, we figured it’d been 13ish miles. I’m just not even going to spaz out over the lack of accuracy, and wrote “12-14” with a big stupid smiley face next to it in my log. It was the all-around best-feeling run I’ve had in absolutely forever, and that’s really all that matters.

And maybe finding out what kind of dog it was we saw.

And how to make my butt un-sore.

Sarah OUaL

In case you’re wondering, yes, I do run in that jacket all the time. It has literally appeared in 100% of my posts so far in 2015. (shhh I know there have only been two…) It’s the Oiselle Flyer Jacket and the saddest part about it is that I lived in SoCal for so long where it went totally unappreciated.


2 thoughts on “The Long Road

  1. well hello stranger! Glad to hear things are going well in Oregon!

    Trail running is so different than the roads – even me as a type A must-know-how-far-I-ran gal will go garmin free on the trails. It’s freeing!



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