"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Friday, February 25, 2011

Favorite Pittsburgh Runs #2

Standard - this used to be the Beechwood loop until I realized that less than half of it was on Beechwood Boulevard.
Beechwood was the foundation upon which most of my eastern-centric running was based. This basic route evolved from my winter long runs in 2007, when snow or frozen ground made running on trails unwise. I tweaked it a bit. It used to start at the oval, wrap through Schenley, and looping down forbes to Morewood then Fifth/Penn all the way to Braddock and back on forbes before starting Beechwood. In retrospect, that was a lame loop- there was no need for all of that distance on Fifth.
Beechwood's appeal is that for most of its length, two bike lanes give you an off-sidewalk option. Miles two, three and four are pretty long uphills, so much that even when starting in the middle, Alex complained nonstop about having to climb. Mile four is a delightful downhill.
When Beechwood meets Browns Hill Road, the bike lanes dry up and you have to find a good opportunity to cross the street. The traffic rarely moves fast, but drivers are impatient here.
Crossing the Greenfield Bridge shortly before the sixth mile mark is usually ridiculously windy, but offers a nice view to the west down the parkway.
After that, you climb Greenfield Road to Schenley Park, up past the oval and tennis courts and down against lightly-trafficked one-way, winding road. After heading east on Panther Hollow Road and taking a left at the Bartlett Playground, you follow the Race for the Cure course at about its 1.75 mile mark. After a climb around Serpentine Drive, you head down through the gentle curves of the the Bob O'Connor golf course, and back up to Forbes and
Northumberland. When you hit Shady, it's a long downhill that you won't have to climb again. You can really enjoy it. Perhaps my favorite part, despite running through parks and all kinds of dramatic hills, is the short downhill on Emerson, close to the end of the run.

1 comment:

  1. Is it pathetic I live in Pittsburgh and have done NONE of these runs?