Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Autumn Gold

My husband noted last night that there are lots of photos of food on my blog and not very many running photos. So check out this trailer for Autumn Gold a film about Masters track and field athletes.

And now for the food!

Saumon Saisi
crispy skin salmon with choucroute,
smoked bacon and celeriac mustard remoulade

This meal was enjoyed at Auberge de Pommier, part of the Peter Oliver restaurant empire.  It stands as an oasis in the near no-man’s-land of lunch dining, York Mills and Yonge.  Ãs for the photo, I am someone who blinks a lot, it can be hard to get a photo of me with my eyes open.  I’m dining with a friend, who I consider something of a mentor in that she has been coaching me and shedding some light on how to shine in the job application, interview process.  I am very grateful to her for her interest and enthusiasm in helping me and others learn how to best navigate the workplace.

Incidentally, she has been running for more years than I have and plays tennis regularly.   I asked our waiter to take our photo and it turns out that he has done some running and triathlons and that our paths crossed at some point, and he remembered me.

I had a good run this morning with a few 200 meter pick-ups.  I’m finally back on Toronto time.  I woke at 5:30 a.m.  A bit later than my normal time to rise.

Farewell September.  Welcome autumn gold (and red)

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Frankfurt fall colours

My husband and I had our double espressos just before 9 p.m. and I went to bed just after 10 p.m. which is on average the time I usually go to bed. I was looking forward to waking at normal Toronto time. I woke at 3 a.m. and lay awake for 45 minutes and have been up ever since. I’ve done have the prep for dinner tonight, anticipating low post-work energy levels and will do my daily post early in case I crash, shortly after dinner.

While on my run yesterday, I realized that fall officially began while we were in Frankfurt. The weather seemed very similar to ours as did the flowers in the market, pictured here.

Watch your step, chestnuts & cobblestones in Frankfurt

A word of advice to runners, is to remember that the falling objects in the autumn make it a hazardous time for twisted ankles. So tread carefully!

p.s.  And don’t forget to eat your vegies!

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Caffeine intervention required

Again, awake at 3:30 a .m.   We will have to head to Starbuck’s this evening for a doppio espresso after dinner so I can stay up until 9:30 p.m.  Surprisingly, I’m not feeling tired at work, which is good given that I am only 2 1/2 weeks into the job.

My lower back is feeling a lot better.  I did a light run on the treadmill at the YMCA, some stretching and then a bit more running, followed by a whirlpool bath.  Leaving the Y, I almost felt 100% but then all the sitting at work and it is a bit tight again.  Allow me to stress that this falls into the category of an under use injury and highlights the crippling effect of inactivity.  Although in hindsight, I have been neglecting stretching and am forgetting that I am not immune from the stiffness that comes with aging.

As we descend back to workaday reality and struggle to get our dinner on the table, memories of some remarkable meals we enjoyed are savoured.  In Munich, we dined at Käfer-Schänke an elegant eatery which seems to be part of a Munich catering-dining empire, the Oliver & Bonancini of Munich.  It was the most glamourous evening of our stay as we dined with a couple of friends, one of whom attended Michigan State on a track scholarship.  Spirits were high and I ended my dinner with the following dessert  CREAM BRÛLÉE / Tahiti Vanille / süßes Muskat-Kürbiskompott / / Tahiti vanilla / sweet nutmeg pumpkin compote //  Tonkabohneneis / Grué de cacao / / Tonka bean / Grue de cacao

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Tired, very tired . . .

Which is what happens when you wake up at 3:30 a.m. It is 7:50 p.m. and I will be heading to bed very soon. I left the house at 5:50 a.m. for my run and the lake looked like this.

I did not run along the lake because of the darkness. I did a tempo run and it felt great to run fast however I experienced some back pain for the rest of the day. I think all the sitting in the plane yesterday (about 9 hours for an indirect flight) contributed to this. A few minutes ago I had to ask my husband to put my socks on for me.

A birthday card arrived in the mail for my husband.  A picture of two turtles wearing party hats, one says to the other, “Happy Birthday, 150 is the new 100!”  We had a good laugh about that although laughing hurts my back. Actually, it is more in the hip area, the sacroiliac joint is locked up.  This is a something that is aggravated by inactivity.  I used to get a lot of pain when we used to drive out to Saskatchewan and Edmonton to a family cottage.

Amazing Adina, apartment hotel

Here we are on our last night in Frankfurt at the amazing Adina apartment hotel which was about half the price of our tiny Munich room and four times as big. It was #2 on the Trip Adviser list for Frankfurt. We’ve had good luck with Trip Adviser.  I finally read the manual for my camera to find out how to set it on auto-timer.

I’ll probably be getting up early tomorrow. I hope to make a more significant post then.



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Happily home!

Nine whirlwind days in Germany and whoosh, we are safely home. Short trips make the world seem like a very small place. Just yesterday, running along the Main river and today, well, no time for a run as we had a 10 a.m. flight to catch.

View from Karstadt department store cafeteria

We spent our last day browsing the city and attended an English mass at St. Leonard’s church.

Department store lunch

Given our long day of travel and the 6 hour time difference. I think I will call it a day for the blog.


p.s. In past blogs I was incorrectly referring to a 7 hour time difference. Apologies for the inaccuracy.

Farmer's market florals

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Guess who I ran into yesterday?

The day started with a run along the Main river.  Rivers are a bonus for runners because it is easy to get keep your bearings.  With many sights to see, it is hard to feel motivated to do longer runs especially since my husband is no longer able to run as far as he used to.

Courtesy of Blackberry, brother and sister in Frankfurt

Venice Biennale, here we come!

Then we headed off to the heart of the Frankfurt tourist district.  While enjoying a basic but excellent German lunch we got a text message from one of my brothers saying that he and a 4 workmates had a longer than expected stopover in Frankfurt and were enroute to the centre of town from the airport.  With 3 Blackberries in play, emails, text messages and a couple of trolley rides we zeroed in on the group at perhaps the most touristic spot in town.

The group was exhausted, having traveled from Whitehorse and spending several hours at the airport haggling over a missed connection to Venice.  My brother the architect is the fearless leader of  his band of hardy employees, headed to the Venice Architecture Biennale.  In spite of 24 hours with no sleep they plotted their course over the next few hours of unplanned for time in Germany.  We left them as they considered their options and headed to Goethehaus.

Goethehaus was brought to life by an excellent audio tour which was made easy to navigate with state-0f-the-art hand held visual prompter.  After this we headed to the nearest coffee house to recharge and wondered aloud about what time “The Marriage of Figaro” started as we contemplated doing some shopping for a stylish shirt for my husband to wear to the opera.  The time 6 :00 p.m.  The afternoon had passed quickly and we decided that since the Opera house was close by we check to see what time the show started.

We began to worry as we saw crowds of well dressed patrons entering the place.  At this point I realized that I had lost the printout of our on-line ticket order.  We dashed into the opera house and found out the opera was due to start in 30 minutes.  After discussion with various staff we were able to have our tickets printed and with our hotel 5 minutes away decided to jog to our hotel to change.  Needing more time to change than my husband I sprinted ahead and by the time he arrived, was half-changed.  We made it to our seats with 9 minutes to spare.

Post-opera meal at Chicago Meat Packers Restaurant

Having missed dinner, we snacked at the intermission on open-faced sandwiches.  The opera was delightful but long, although the finale was grand.  We decided to eat at a restaurant we had noticed close to our hotel and were shocked to find ourselves in front of a photo of a CP rail car at the Chicago Meat Packers Restaurant.  Where am I?  Did we flash back to our holiday a couple of years back in the windy city!

All’s well that ends well and we strolled happily back to our hotel.  What a day!

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To Oktoberfest and back

Circuit training in Olympic park

Back in Frankfurt, after a couple of days in Munich.  Munich during Octoberfest is extremely expensive.  We stayed out by the Olympic Park at a Four Points Sheraton which is like a giant Village-by-the-Grange. The plus side was the we were right in the Olympic park and the running was superb.  Although, lack of familiarity with pit stops seems to be having an impact on how far from home base I want to run. My longest run so far has been 30 minutes.

I did run to the Olympic stadium and did a stair workout and yesterday did push-ups.  I am up to 4 full-body push-ups with 21 knee push-ups.

Stairs in Olympic stadium

Later in the day I made it to the official Oktoberfest site which was like a giant amusement park with large beer halls. Very strange, especially for someone who has lived in Toronto for more than half her life and never gone to the EX. I am not fond of wandering in crowded areas.

Team Bavaria

In the beer hall I spot a group of young men around the same age as my son, dressed team-style in Bavarian gear. I try to imagine my part-German son in this costume.

I used to be vegan (long story)

Beer and Pretzel

Apple Strudel

I missed lunch due to getting lost many times.  The spoke like, city-plan turns any small wrong turn into a much larger trajectory of going in the wrong direction. So, I partake of the traditional sauerkraut, sausage, apple strudel and giant pretzel all of which are quite tasty.

The afternoon ended with a long nap. I can count on one hand the times I have had a drink before 5 p.m. One of those times was with Ed Whitlock, two days before one of his record setting marathons. Ed loves a good bottle of wine. There’s a story for another day.

Ein prosit!

Pretzel sales

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If it’s Tuesday it must be . . .

I missed my first post in 30 days!  That was yesterday.  Here are my excuses; Husband’s 60th birthday;  Frankfurt in the morning, then Cologne in the afternoon.  I ran about 20 minutes in the morning, yesterday and today, to and from the train station in order to confirm details of my train trips.  Today, p.m. I am in Munich.

Cologne Cathedral, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Breakfast in Frankfurt

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Gute Nacht!

The past two days run together as one very long day.   Starting with the long run and then post-long run meal a famous California veal sandwich.

Then onto blogging in the departure lounge and arrival in Frankfurt at noon.

The flight was uneventful and the early hours of the weeks seem to have paid off because it is 11 p.m. here and it feels like 11 p.m. We lunched on cheeses, bread and fruit from a vendor at an Alsatian fair in the market near our hotel.

Time for bed . . . Gute Nacht!

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What happens when you leave the camera behind

Dear friends,

I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to post tonight.  Thanks to the wonder of no-bag-to-check I made it to the boarding area for my flight in record time.  No line-up at the flight counter, just straight to security.  So here I am, in a plum spot by an electrical outlet blogging.  I hear there will be parties happening at our house while we are away.  Our son has been returning on the weekends, and while he has flown the coup, we have as a roommate one of his inner circle.

I left my camera behind this morning, thinking to myself, that I’d come upon the usual sights, and leave the photography for another day.  Who knew, that while running through Mt. Pleasant cemetery we would see a deer!  YES, a young buck with antlers about 10-12 inches long.  As it turns out this was not a one-in-a-lifetime moment as research revealed that there have been regular deer sightings in the Don Valley and the Moore park ravine.  A cyclist took this PHOTO of what looks like the very same deer we saw.  Amazing!

After completing our loop through the cemetery, we approached a group of 12-15 very fit looking young women.  After passing by, someone called my name, and the leader of this impressive group was Nicole Stevenson, one of Canada’s top marathon runners.  Again, a great photo opportunity missed.

As one run company slogan says, “the more ground you cover, the more you see”.  I’ll be thinking twice about leaving the camera behind on my next long run.

From the airport!