"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

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Favorite Pittsburgh Runs #5

Center Ave- Alex introduced me to this gem in 2008, the morning after the Run for Roch, as if I hadn't run enough hills the day before.
We ran from his house in Highland Park, through the zoo and across the Highland Park Bridge to Aspinwall, with a quick left onto Center. Then the fun began.
Center Avenue is amazingly steep, and is the first of the Dirty Dozen hills that Pittsburgh bikers tackle each Thanksgiving weekend. After s slight respite on some flat (or at least, less steep ground), your turn onto Guyasuta -- not as steep, but still challenging. Getting to the top gives me the best lug turnover, and the downhill on Pasadena is scenic and easy on the legs. With the extended Squaw Run Park trail serving as an unpaved sidewalk, the stretch along Fox Chapel Road is much safer now. The only truly unpleasant part is passing the Waterworks, because drivers generally aren't on the lookout for runners on the shoulder.
I eventually added enough to cobble it into a 15-mile long run, with a warmup hill on Mossfield. I did it the day after Martha's Run.
In 2009, I sadly did not join in the Christmas day fun because I ate before Alex was scheduled to go, but I still waited halfway up the hill for him, with some Gatorade. His approach up Center is documented in the above photo.

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