Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you had a great one. I just got back from Maine, and while I miss both lobsters and my friend Lindsay, I’m really happy to be back. There’s a lot on the horizon for September, and I’m anxious to get this month started.
Unlike everyone else in the world, I am NOT anxious for boots, sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes. I would be very happy to wear sundresses and Jack Rogers all year round…but alas, I live in New York, where that is not really an option.
I AM excited, however, for fall running and for the humidity to drop.
I was hoping that’d be the case in Maine, but it was still humid as hell.
Also gorgeous as hell.
Although I truly love my West Side Highway path to death and still think it’s gorgeous, I get bored and sometimes need to take a new lover. WSH, please forgive me.
The staff at the Portland Regency Hotel, where we stayed, was incredibly helpful with everything else, so I asked them if they had a running map and THEY DID! They gave me a map that showed the Eastern Prom(enade) and Back Cove. I’m generally fairly map-illiterate, but it looked pretty easy: run down to the water, run to the end of the path and look for the next path. Even I could do that. I folded up the map, stuck it in my skirt and set off.
See? Super easy. So easy even a blond who missed the day in school we learned how to read maps can do it. I knew the Eastern Prom part was about 2-2.5 miles and the Back Cove part 3.75ish, so my rough plan was to run to the Back Cove and either do two loops and walk back from there; or do one, add another mile or so and then turn around. Although the cove was gorgeous, I knew the second I got there I would not run two loops. I’m not one to really thrive on repetition in running – out and back routes bore me to death, and running the same out-and-back is a sometimes-cause of waning motivation.
Jess had assigned me 10 miles on the hilliest course I could find with the last 3 miles at marathon goal pace. Well, this course wasn’t super-hilly, but for a waterfront course, it did have a surprising amount of small hills. My mom was waiting for me back in the hotel room, so I wasn’t down for driving to run.
About halfway around the cove, I found myself comparing it to my NYC paths. I hadn’t yet seen a water fountain, and I hadn’t seen bathrooms. I also hadn’t seen many people out and the path was packed gravel, not the asphalt I’m used to running on. It was slightly softer, but not that much more difficult to run on, just different. It should be noted that about two seconds after I thought I hadn’t seen any water fountains, I found one and then saw several more. It was really humid, and I was going through the water in my Camelbak handheld pretty quickly.
I’ve been running more with music lately, so I popped in one earbud and took a Gu (Lemon sublime – not so sublime) around mile 6 and rocked out the next 4 miles. 1.5 more at the 9:45ish pace I’d been keeping, and the last 3 around marathon goal pace (9:02, 8:58, 8:49.)
The last 3 miles were a great confidence booster for a stepback week run, and I went back to the hotel happy and sweaty and ready to eat lobster.
More Maine adventures to come!
What’s the best place you’ve ever run on vacation? Are you also slightly map illiterate like me? What’s a confidence-boosting run for you?