Seattle, WA – January 17, 2017

Ever since Maggie had to stop running with me (or me with her, I should say), my motivation to run early in the morning has declined. She used to get up early and drag me out of the bed and it always seemed to me that if I must get up, get dressed and take her for a walk, we might as well run. After all, getting out is 90% of the work, right? Lately, I’ve been trying to run over the lunch break 1-2x week instead.

When work schedule allows, my running buddy Kathy and I run around Queen Anne. This time, I had my Garmin with me to record the run. This route is not very long, about 6 miles, but it has quite a vertical component to it. After a brief, flat part by the lake, we take stairs up to the top of the Queen Anne hill. Rocky’s got nothing on us. Each time I feel like I conquered Machu Picchu. From there, we go around the whole hill, enjoy great views going by Kerry Park and then come down and back to South Lake Union via Mercer.

Seattle, WA – January 16, 2017

It’s been a while since I took sunrise pictures while running around Green Lake. I must say that the GL sunrise pictures I took over the years, are probably some of the most spectacular pictures I’ve ever taken. During the winter months, I mostly run in the pitch darkness since days are rather short. Slowly but surely though, the Sun is coming out earlier and earlier. This picture was taken at the very end of my run, probably close to 7 am.
I am still getting used to running by myself. Maggie is having more and more trouble walking, so running is out of question for her. For a while we used to run around the neighborhood during our walk before my GL run, but even that is not possible any more.
She loves coming to lake though, so whenever I have time, I drive with her down to the lake, and then back up. She is fine to walk by the lake for a while, but her hind legs are way too weak for climb up to Phinney Ridge.

Salt Lake City, UT – November 26, 2016

It’s been quite some time since I run in Salt Lake City. We were here over Thanksgiving visiting friends so I used this opportunity to run.
During the last ice age, Lake Bonneville (a pluvial lake), was covering large part of what is today Utah. The Great Salt Lake is all that is left today. Bonneville Shoreline Trail is running along the Wasatch Mountain range along the edge of the ancient lake. While I did run along this trail before, it was further South, so this qualifies as new running route. Snow fell couple of days before and the morning temperatures were in the low 20s. Naturally, this did not stop me. I got my Garmin GPS and went running.
From my hotel, I went straight up to the trail, then turned left, heading North. I followed the trail few miles, then came back more-less the same way. Snow was covering part of the trail and it was quite slippery at few places. I timed this run perfectly, so I was able to capture spectacular views of the Salt Lake valley and the lake in the sunrise colors.

West Seattle, WA – August 18, 2016

This was the first time I run in West Seattle. The most obvious place to run there is by the Ocean, so that is what I did. It was quite a warm and sunny day, so this was not an easy run. A light breeze from the water was making it a bit better, but still, it was way too hot.
This was pretty straight forward, albeit slow, 6.1 mile run along the water’s edge and back. I did stop few times to take pictures of the Ocean.

Arlington, MA July 29, 2016

I stayed at Homewood Suites in Arlington, MA. This was a short trip, so I only had time for one morning run. As usual, I did my research online, night before, eat a light dinner, set my phone alarm for 6:30 and went to bed early.
Alewife Greenway Bike Path runs just behind the hotel. I went straight to the bike path (it does not smell like herring) and went North. It was early morning, but the temperature was already over 75F and very humid. Bike path goes by St Paul Cemetery and continues along Alewife Brook Parkway. After crossing Mystic Valley Parkway, bike path turns left, continues as Mystic River Path and goes (appropriately) along the Mystic River. I went over the River Street Bridge, continued West on the Mystic River Path, then along the East side of the Lower Mystic Lake. At the top of the lake, just below the Upper Mystic Lake, there is a small park area and a very nice beach. At this point I was running out of time, so I had to turn back. I figured, I was about 3.5 miles from the hotel. I went back the same way to the River Street Bridge, and from there continued South on the River Street, to Massachusetts Avenue which brought me back to my hotel. All in all, the run was about 7.1 miles according to my phone and I’ve completed it in 1h 8min.

Belgrade, Serbia – May 25, 2016

Final stop in my 2016 Europe trip was Belgrade, Serbia. I went running few times, but recorded on my GPS only one of those. This was a slow 6 mile run, but it was quite scenic. I tried to take the shortest way to the river Danube, turned to the right there to the end of the boardwalk, and then looped back. From there, I followed the boardwalk around the old Kalemegdan fortress and then back up to the city center. From there, I made a long loop around the Parliament House and then back to my aunt’s place where I was staying.

Zurich, Switzerland – May 20 and 22, 2016

I stayed in Zurich for 3 days and managed to go out for a run twice. Both times, I went South from my hotel (which was near the city center and train station) towards the Zurich lake. Once at the lake, I went along the East side (on the 20th) or the West side (on the 22nd). In both cases, I came back to the hotel more-less the same way. Nice thing about these routes was that they are all flat, there is no up/down hill which was nice. Surface was mixture of pavement and gravel (more pavement than gravel).

My first run was 5.2 miles and I run just under 9 minute mile. The second one was 6.4 miles at about 8:30 minute mile. This is much slower than I used to run, but considering that I’ve been struggling with the hamstring injury for quite some time, it was not that bad. Both days weather was relatively cool, in the 50’s, with moderate to heavy rain on the 22nd. No wonder I was faster for that one, it is much easier to run when you are nice and cool.

This was not the first time I was running in Zurich, but it was the first time I had my GPS with me to record it.

Tromsø, Norway – May 18, 2016

It took 3 flights and almost 24 hours to get from Seattle to Tromsø. I arrived there just in time for the Norwegian day parade in the afternoon of the 17th. Despite the time difference and the lack of darkness (midnight sun!) I did manage to get good night sleep, so next morning, I got up at 6 and went for a run.

Weather was great for running, mid 30’s and cloudy with some snowflakes in the air. My friend (and host) Tor went with me and I got a grand tour of the Tromsø early in the morning. Tromsø is located above the Arctic Circle (69.6492° N, 18.9553° E) on an island which is shielded from the Atlantic by a thin strip of land. We run 6 ½ miles in just over an hour and covered the southern third of the island. This was not a fast run, but I felt great afterwards. What a way to get to know Tromsø.

London, Ontario – July 12, 2015

I was in London for a virology meeting. This was the first time I was in Ontario; so naturally, I wanted to use this opportunity to run there. Before arriving, I used Google maps to plan my run and found a trail that goes by the river (Thames River of course).
From my hotel (Hilton on King St.), I run West to the Ivey Park and then over the King St. bridge. From there I found my way to Terry Fox Parkway and run along the river for few miles, then went back exactly the same way. During my stay there, I went running twice, approximately 7 miles each time. My speed was not great though, I barely averaged ~ 9-minute mile. I had my camera with me and I took few pictures of the trail and the river. Turns out that this Thames River is quite different than the one in England.

Santa Clara, California– July 01, 2015

No matter how hard I tried to find a nice place to run here, I was unable to. There were no trails near by the hotel I stayed in as far as I can tell. I did not want to drive somewhere to run, so I did my run here on the streets, something I avoid doing as much as possible.
Still, it was an OK run, 4.9 miles at the average pace of 8:30 minutes per mile. Not very far, not very fast, but still a decent run none the less.

Santa Clara, California. 4.9 miles, 8:30 minutes per mile
Santa Clara, California. 4.9 miles, 8:30 minutes per mile

St. Louis, MO – June 01, 2015

I was in St. Louis for the conference, so naturally, I used this opportunity to run at a new place. St. Louis is on Mississippi so I wanted to run along the river (I stayed at a hotel right by the Gateway Arch). I did online research before coming here, and found that there is a Riverfront trail that starts near my hotel and goes quite a ways North.
First day, I went to the Gateway Arch park, thinking I can get to the trail from there, but that did not work and I had to go back and around the park. When I was looking at the map, it seemed possible, but I just could not find the way through. I run back, went by the hotel, under I-44 towards the river, and got on the Riverfront trail by Ashley St. Once I was on the trail, I was running by the river few miles, then came back the same way. This run was about 7-8 miles.
For my next run, I went around downtown first, then down to the Riverfront Trail and then along the river to the Merchants Bridge. I made a U turn there and the followed the Trail back to my hotel. Total distance was 9 miles and the average pace 8.34 minute/mile.

Seattle, WA – April 28, 2015

We had another good run around the Green Lake. This time of the year, when we go out at our regular time (6-7), we are there just in time to watch the sun come out. At times, the colors of the sunrise are just breathtaking. This time, we stopped by the dock so that Maggie can look at the ducks. As always, she was on the leash, so no duck chasing, but it seemed to me that she enjoys, pointing.

Long Beach, WA – April 15, 2015

This year, Maggie and I went to the Long Beach for her birthday. I really like it here, although I am a bit nervous about the whole tsunami thing… Still, this is one of my favorite places to go running and I try to do that any chance I get.
We stayed at the Adrift hotel this time and went running on the beach few times. This year, we had to share the beach with millions of jellyfish that got blown to shore by the wind. Those are called purple sailors (sometimes by-the-wind-sailors). We tried to avoid stepping on them as much as possible, but both of us had to scrub well after the run, to wash out the smell (running shoes and paws). The weather was great, we had some rain, some sun, rainbow, clouds….
I took a lot of photographs, so I will just let them speak for themselves…

Seattle, WA – March 06, 2015

As Maggie is getting older, most days we either walk through the neighborhood, or go for a short run on the ridge. She really likes to go to the lake though, so every now and then, when we go out, she just pulls towards the lake which I take as a sign that she feels good and is OK to go for a longer run. Those are the good days. At this time of the year, we often have very pretty sunrises, so I usually take my camera with me as well.

Kilauea Volcano, HI – December 04, 2014

This time, during my visit to Waikoloa, I was not able to run. The second day of my stay there, while walking barefoot, I hit a lava rock with my foot, quite hard, and broke two bones in one of my toes.
Running was out of question, but luckily I was still able to snorkel and swim. Week earlier, I booked a guided tour to see the flowing lava and was supposed to go few days after the lava rock incident. Since this was probably once in a lifetime opportunity, I decided to go, broken bones be damned. I mean, how often does one get to see the molten innards of our planet?
The morning of the hike (6 am), I managed to stuff my swollen foot into the boot, and drive to the other side of the island. Our guides led us through a very thick jungle, tracking through the knee-deep mud at times, and finally we arrived at the recently cooled lava field. The surface was not that hot, but you could feel the heat coming from even the smallest cracks. Finally, we arrived to the opening in a lava tube were we could see a flowing river of lava, just few feet from us. The heat and the gasses were quite intense. I quickly learned to hold my breath while standing next to it, but the sight was spectacular.
Trip back was the same distance, but it seemed much longer. I was getting very tired and my foot was quite painful. We made it back to our truck around 8 pm, I got a venti coffee at Starbucks and drove back to Waikoloa. I was back at my hotel around 11 pm, tired, in pain but with a bunch of great photographs and an incredible experience.
If you are ever visiting Big Island, you have to try this tour (Ahiu tours)! There is nothing else like it. Do realize though, this is not a casual walk in the park. Be ready to get muddy and to come back very tired.

Paris, France – August 30, 2014

I went running in Paris several times before, but have never recorded it. This time, I had my GPS unit with me and I was ready. I stayed with my family, just outside the city limits, near the river Seine.

I went along the railroad track towards the Seine and crossed the river at the Pont d’Asnières. Once on the other side, I went west towards the Bois de Boulogne. Instead of going all the way to the Boulogne forest, I crossed a short bridge to Île de la Grande Jatte, a small island on the river Seine. It was quite interesting place to run, nice quiet neighborhoods and great views of the river in the early morning. I went all the way around the island, then back to Pont de Courbevoie which took me to the north side of the river. From there, I run straight back to Cliché and back along the railroad track to my starting point.

That was a nice 6.3 mile run, but rather slow (it took me almost an hour). I had my camera with me which was great as I was treated to an incredible sunrise.

Toulouse, France – August 29, 2014

I was in Toulouse visiting a friend. This was my first time in this city, so naturally, a great opportunity to run in a new place. Since I stayed very near the Garonne river, I just run straight to the river and then along the path (river walk?) that is on top of the levee, heading in SE direction. I went along the river to the Pont Neuf (New Bridge) where I crossed to the other side. As a side note, “new” bridge was built in the 16th Century.
After crossing the bridge, I tried to just get back to the river walk (assuming that it would be same as it was on the other side). Somehow I must have missed a turn or two, so I ended up going back and forth through small streets trying to maintain the sense of direction and then got completely lost at the Hospital La Grave campus (what a name for a hospital!) (see the trail below). Eventually I found my way back to the river walk which took me to A620 Bridge and back to my starting point.
The total length of this run was 4.9 miles at leisurely 7mph.

Toulouse Run, August 29, 2014, 4.9 miles
Toulouse Run, August 29, 2014, 4.9 miles

Belgrade, Serbia – August 16, 2014

This was not the first time I run while visiting Belgrade, but it was the first time I recorded it with my GPS. While there are many parks in Belgrade, it was actually quite challenging to find a good running route near the city center. Running very early in the morning does help though, as the streets are mostly empty of traffic, the air is much cleaner and that is generally the coldest time of the day. The street names in Belgrade have changed over the last 30 years (since I lived there), so I might get some of them wrong as I try to describe the route as best as I can.
On the 16th, I went down Queen Maria St. which continues as George Washington St. and then becomes Tsar Dushan St leading to the Belgrade zoo. When I got to the zoo, I turned right onto Tadeusz Kościuszko St. which goes under the railroad track and ends on the bank of the Danube River. At the river, I turned left and run for a about quarter mile, then took another left at the Tower of Nebojsha and took the zig-zag (and a very steep) path up to the Kalemegdan Fortress. From the Fortress, I took Knez Mihailo St. turned left at Despot Stephan Blvd and got back to George Washington St. All this ended up being only 5.2 miles at roughly 8:30 minute mile pace.
On the 18th, I run straight up to Tashmaidan Park to a running track (a very short one though). I went around and around the track, the St. Mark’s Church and then around the other areas of the park. I exited the park near the main post office, went down Takovska St., turned left at the Botanical Garden and ended up near the Vanizelisova St. This run was about 4.9 miles

Running blog and random thoughts