The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

the marathon

After an exhausting return trip--12.5 hours door to door, all with cranky and restless little ones--we are just back from Portland, where I ran the Portland Marathon on Sunday. It's my third, and I managed to beat the time goal that I thought I wouldn't even come near. Although the Portland marathon isn't the immense event that the New York marathon is--or even the Los Angeles marathon--it's a very nice event. I don't love the course--there's a long, pointless out-and-back along a desolate stretch of industrial docklands, and PDX's equivalent of "Heartbreak Hill" is the ramp leading up to the St. John's Bridge, with no real reward afterwards--but I do love Portland and was pleased that the hardest miles--22, 23, 24--were mostly downhill. I needed that. And hey--at least it wasn't the Chicago Marathon, which took place the same day. Their temps: in the eighties with humidity. Portland: about 60, cloudy, even a little sprinkle. Nice.

All in all it was a productive trip. I found a copy of the Northwestern/Newberry edition of MOBY-DICK at Powell's Books' Hawthorne store, and the Sun and Moon Press edition of Zola's BELLY OF PARIS--a book about the Les Halles marketplace that is quite rare in English, but that is being reissued in a new translation by Oxford at the end of this year, I'm assuming because of the new vogue for farmers markets, celebrity chefs, and so on. I also finally got to have a workout at the great Multnomah Athletic Club, where my father has maintained a membership for decades. (I went to college in Portland, but never entered the MAC Club.) The boys saw their grandparents, too.


  • At 2:34 PM, Anonymous anna said…

    oh, the MAC. I'm kidding, I have no idea what it is.


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