Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tour De Peoria 18

I once again topped my longest run ever... by going 18 today!  I didn't sleep well last night, up at 2:00am.  By 3:30am, I was frustrated with tossing in bed.  So I grabbed the laptop and started messing around with a long run route on  By 5am, I was laced up and parked in front of my gym, Landmark Health Club.

I love the early morning just as the dawn breaks.  Streets are so quiet and peaceful.  I had my iPhone along with GPS, so I took some odd streets down neighborhoods I'd never seen before.  The good part is exploring new areas of your city.  The bad part is they almost always have hills...

I took my sweet time this morning, and snapped lots of pictures to give you a Tour de Peoria in just 18 miles... Settle in and enjoy the tour!

Shortly after mile 1, I passed by the Bradley Braves soccer field, formerly the home of Peoria's minor league baseball team.

I entered the park and passed by Peoria's Corn Stock Theatre, an outdoor venue... 
Now showing FOOTLOOSE!

Running through Bradley Park, I got many views like this on the windy roads through the wilderness.  At the bottom of this hill, I came face to face with three baby raccoons!!  We all stopped dead in our tracks.  Where babies are, the momma is nearby too... and raccoons are NOT nice animals.  I stopped and waited... They stared me down and eventually crossed over the road and up the hill into the woods. Whew!

 Continuing on, I got to cross over cool bridges like this...

And climb neat steps like these...

And see scenic views like this...

And climb a really big HILL to get to the upper portion of the park...

Where I said "Good Morning" to Christopher Columbus...

Traffic and roads through universities are always busy and difficult.  So today I ran through the Bradley University campus... first time I received an "inside view" of the campus.  

Next I enjoyed a couple miles through the Historic Districts of Peoria, specifically down Moss Ave, where I dreamed of living in the big beautiful 1800's Victorian houses like the Pettengill-Morron House...

Next I took the turn downtown via Main Street, where it's pretty much all bars and banks. Even at 6am on a Sunday, there were some partiers lingering on the sidewalks.  We both kinda looked at each other thinking the same thing... "You're Nuts!"

And since I was doing a picture tour of Peoria for you, I just HAD to climb up the Bob Michels Bridge to snap some pictures of our beautiful riverfront...

It was nearly 7:00am, so I stopped by the Riverplex Rec Center, where the Sole Sisters were meeting for a morning run.  I thought maybe I'd grab a couple miles with them.   But they were slow to get going, and after waiting 10 minutes, I could feel my legs stiffening up...

So I flipped on the ipod (yes, I went 10 miles without music!) and headed down the riverfront trail solo...

A little over 11 miles in, I turned away from the river and headed past the Sonnemaker runner statue... up the really, really big hill into Glen Oak Park.  My run has been pretty hilly already, and I finally had to stop and walk up half that hill.

After winding through Glen Oak Park, I passed the Peoria Zoo & Luthy Botanical Gardens.

I took a brief venture into the Historic Springdale Cemetary, which was neat running through streets lined with flags for the holiday...

And then I passed by a Peoria landmark... Emo's!  Too bad they weren't open at 8am or I would have stopped for an ice cream cone!

By now, I'm at about 15 miles.  
My legs and feet are starting to hurt.  
The sun is getting warm.  
And my mind is thinking, "Whose bright idea was it to run a marathon?"

Finally the turn home on Forrest Hill... back to the gym.  I felt every incline along the final stretch, but I was so deliriously happy to be near the end!

18.20 miles
3 hours, 19 minutes 
Average Pace of 10:58 (which isn't too bad considering the hills and all the photography stops!)

HOT, but HAPPY to be done!!


  1. WAY TO GO!!!!! Amazing job. Good job taking your time -- long runs are all about being on your feet. Love the photo tour, too!

  2. Looks like a great early morning run! I love Peoria's riverfront. Are there places to run near Stoney Creek Inn that you know of? Thanks!

  3. So damn impressed with you this morning! Congrats on your mileage PR...your pictures make me want to hop on a plane and come run with you next week...

  4. Looks absolutely beautiful...I could run through an area like that all the time and never be bored. Thanks for sharing a piece of your world. Congrats on the run.

  5. Nice work Jess! So great you got up early and had the streets to yourself. My favorite time to run, too. Peoria is beautiful & it's really good you got those hills in. It switches up your muscles and gives them a break to have varied terrain.

  6. That's awesome! Great job! ~Elizabeth

  7. Great long run!!! Love all your photos along the way!

  8. Wow! There's a lot to see and do in Peoria... I had no idea :P I love that last pic :) Way to go on your longest run to date!

  9. Nice job! Thank you for the tour of Peoria. I've only been there a couple of times, but enjoyed it every time. It's quite scenic.

  10. Way to rock your long run!!! Thanks for the tour...some beautiful scenic pic!!

  11. Way to go on that 18 miles. 18 miles is tough and by yourself, that for me would be even tougher. love all the picture's. You have so much to see there. In my little town not a lot of pictures to take like that. Just a lot of corn and bean fields. When the corn is tall it does come in handy though. You rocked those miles today. Have a great holiday weekend.

  12. Awesome job on your long run! Sweet pictures, too... you live in a nice area of the country.

  13. Loved this post. Made me rethink how I want to do some of my longer runs. They are for me and I should enjoy them. I think I will bring my camera next time!

  14. Hey Jess--you won my giveaway! Send me an email with your shipping info so I can send it off to the lovely people at BumbleBar. Congrats!

  15. I'm so impressed. I wish I could run that far.

  16. You are awesome!! Great job! Love all the pics, especially teh last one of you. :)

  17. What a beautiful run!! Great job lady!!! You will LOVE the marathon!!! :)

  18. Great run! And way to go on the long run. What a great tour through pictures!

  19. Woohoo!!! Congrats on a great run!

  20. Wow, great run! Maybe I'd be more inspired if I had scenery like that when I run.


I appreciate your feedback and comments!