Tag Archives: USA

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.

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.

Fort Collins, CO – June 22, 26 2014

I was at Fort Collins, CO for a virology meeting. Once again, I’ve used Google Earth to plan my runs in advance so I was prepared. I arrived to Fort Collins in the evening and went for my first run next morning.
I stayed at Hilton, near the Colorado State University and from there it is a short distance to the Spring Creek Trail. Once on the trail, I went west, by Rolland Moore Park and then all the way to Spring Canyon Community Park. I went around that park and then back pretty much the same way. I have to say that the second part of this run felt like it would never end. My legs were heavy and I was out of breath. By the time I got back to my hotel, I felt like I run a marathon. The total distance for this run was only 8.2 miles, but Fort Collins is at almost 5000 ft and I arrived less than 24 hours prior to this. My average speed was 8:42 minutes per mile which is pretty bad, but considering the thin air and lack of 02, it is probably OK.
Not giving myself any time to recover, I went running next day as well. This time, it was a slow short run on the Mason Trail which runs parallel to the S College Ave. The run was only 3.6 miles, probably at about the same pace.
After taking a day to recover, I went running around the CSU campus. Most of the run was on the track which was kind of interesting. Total for this one was 5.5 miles.
You can see the Google Earth images of my runs below.

Seattle, WA – February 02, 26 2014

As Maggie is getting older, we are not running as often or as far as we used to do. This year, she is turning 10 in April! I’ve decided to take it easy on her so we do not go to the lake as often as we did. She still seems to like it, and seems to be doing well with the occasional 4 mile run. Some days, Maggie and I only go walking/running for a mile or two run around the neighborhood, then we go back home and I go around the Green Lake by myself. I hate to do this, but I am afraid to push her too hard.
As you have probably figured by now, Seattle has very beautiful sunrises. Sometimes however, they are just breathtaking and seem out of this world. That was the case on February 26, 2014. Maggie and I got to the lake and got treated to almost incredible color display. See for yourself…

Seattle, WA – September 20, 2013

As the days are getting shorter, it is getting darker and darker during our runs. Still, from time to time, depending on the weather, Maggie and I get our morning dose of spectacular display of natural beauty.
When we started this run, it was dark and the Moon was setting. As we were going around the lake, it was slowly getting lighter and the sky was turning red. By the time we were on our way back home (around quarter to 7), we had bright red clouds on the horizon.

Seattle, WA – August 26, 2013

It seems that no matter how many times we run at Green Lake, each time it looks different and each time it is absolutely amazing. The exception to this might be total early morning darkness during the winter months, but during the spring/summer/fall the scenery is amazing.
Maggie and I went for our regular 4 mile run on August 26 and were treated to really special sunrise. I had my camera with me, so I was able to record this spectacular sunrise.

Seattle, WA – August 22, 2013

In August, the sunrise is perfectly timed so that Maggie and I get the most incredible display of colors when we run. No wonder I have so many entries here from August.
While I love running, it can be hard sometimes to get motivated to get out of the bed and go. I know that almost always, once I start, it will be an enjoyable experience, but still, on some days, it takes a lot of mental power to achieve a transition from under-the-blanket-with-your-eyes-closed to running-on-a-pavement state. Anything I can use to help that is welcome. When I first open my eyes and peek through the window, it if seems like we will have another one of those sunrise light shows, I just grab my camera and go out as fast as I can.
Total distance for this run is about 4 miles as usual. Most of the time, I run 7:30 to 8:30 minute per mile.

State College, PA – July 22, 2013

I traveled to State College for a virology meeting. As usual, I used the opportunity to go for few runs in a new place. Before coming here, I researched running options and found out that there is a dirt trail going from my hotel, Sleep Inn. According to online maps and Google Earth, Bellefonte Central Rail Trail seemed like a great place to run.
On my first morning there, I got ready and took off looking for the trail. It was very close to the hotel, but it was surprisingly hard to find. After zig-zagging for few minutes (see GPS track below), I found the trail and went all the way to the end and back. Bellefonte Central Rail Trail was a very nice surprise. It was very nice, quiet and a pleasure to run on. I am glad I had my camera with me. From Sleep Inn, the trail goes by Arboretum, under the I-99, past the golf course and then slowly starts narrowing until it ends at Montauk Circle. The run was so great that I kept pushing harder and harder and ended up achieving new personal record – 9 miles at 7.25 miles per minute pace. I was quite tired after that, but it was worth it.
Foolishly, I went running next day as well (should have rested). This time, I went running through the PSU campus. It was OK run, but I barely managed 4 miles at 8.5 mm.

Seattle, WA – April 6, 2013

Days are getting longer, fast and now the sun is completely up by the time we get to the lake. Most of my runs here from April to September are with the sun up, high in the sky.
Today, Maggie and I went running with Oliver in a bob stroller. He really liked zooming around the Green Lake early in the morning at the breathtaking 7 miles per hour.