Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


Leave a comment

Rave Run – Beach running in Manzanita, Oregon

Running on the edge

Manzanita, Oregon, two hours from Portland and a three-night stay with three morning runs. Manzanita, Manzanita, let me count the ways I love beach running. I am a daily runner so any place that has great running makes for a great start to my day as a tourist. We stayed at the the wonderful Inn at Manzanita  just a block from the beach. Two years ago we spent eight days in Tofino, British Columbia on Cox Bay which I thought quite heavenly with its cozy and quiet 3/4 mile beach. The beach at Manzanita is billed variously as being as little as four miles but up to eight miles long.

The north end of Manzanita Beach

South end of Manzanita beach, nearly 6 miles later

My experience was that it is close to six miles long. I guess it depends on the time and tide. By Tofino standards it is a very quiet beach, even on the morning of Independence Day. My goal was to run to the farthest point of the beach but I fell short by about 200 meters. I got a bit spooked (I hope my mom is not reading this) by being the only person on the beach for the final mile or so. Over the prior two miles, I saw three people. I ran a beautiful, dreamy 9 miles which helped me get to 40 miles for the week. Fantastic!  This beach gets a perfect 10 out of 10. The only not-so-perfect thing about the run was to be without my husband’s company. He now limits himself to three miles, three times a week due to his torn meniscus. It makes me sad to enjoy such a beautiful run without him but as he says, “You have to run for the two two of us now.”

Turnaround point of three miler with my husband
Advertisements


Leave a comment

Running up those hills, Seattle

Cal Anderson Park fountain

The week leading up to our getaway was busy with work deadlines, a visitor and preparations for some painting at our home. Thankfully, our son and our roommate Alain took care of moving the furniture from our guest room and bedroom in our absence. We’ve been away for just over a week and spent three days visiting with my husband’s 96 year old dad. His dad is under the watchful eye of his son the rehab med doctor and continues with a weight lifting routine of many decades.

From Edmonton we took the 100 minute flight to Seattle and stayed at the Sorrento Hotel where we were the lucky recipients of a fabulous room upgrade. At check-in, we were offered the chance to upgrade to a suite for a small increase, which we agreed to this but checked to make sure that our room had a bathtub. We’ve discovered in our travels that increasingly, hotels that have undergone renovations oftentimes have only spa-style showers.  And, indeed when we found that our suite only had a shower so we asked for another room. This error was corrected in grand style as we were given a room that was three times the size of the tub-less suite.

We are sorry to have inconvenienced you. Please accept our apologies.

The concierge told my husband that this corner suite was once occupied by Francis Ford Coppola. He also said that it was used as  a  set for “Sleepless in Seattle” to mimic a Manhattan apartment. Thus enjoying great hotel coffee with our laptops perched atop a large round, wood table, set in a very large bay window area, with a tiny bit of waterfront peeking through tall buildings has become a memorable urban holiday moment. The suite included a large bedroom, a large wooden bar, an office area and a living room area. The open style lobby-bar area was extremely inviting but we never did check it out, due to the excessive comfort of our room. The only down-side to this luxury was the worry that our tipping was not as generous as that of Coppola.

Volunteer Park, Seattle

When I asked about running routes at the front desk, the young man who checked us in admitted that the running in downtown Seattle is not great. My vision of a scenic waterfront running path did not materialize. He pointed us towards Volunteer Park as preferable to the waterfront. I’ve heard that the Seattle marathon is hilly, but the reality of hills only sunk in on our first short run of four miles. Not great for my husband’s knees but it did lead me to finally use the googlemaps pedometer elevation function for the first time ever.

Volunteer Park is home to the Asian Art Museum. It is not a large park with a running circumference of about one mile but it is lush and has well-maintained washrooms. The residential areas surrounding the park are very well treed, with beautiful gardens and colourfully staid facades that matched the Seattle of my imaginings. The hills in some of these residential areas seem frankly, improbable. In doing some research on Galer Street, which seemed one of the steepest hills I’d run, I found it listed on a blog which offered advice on training for hiking in Nepal I ran up this hill after exiting Washington Park, home to Seattle’s Japanese garden.

Run for the treats

Three of my Seattle runs ended at Sugar Bakery and Cafe just around the corner from the hotel. And the treats were sweet and a cut above the usual including; salted caramel croissants and blackberry oat scones and supremely moist carrot, walnut muffins. I ended one run in the fitness center to maintain the momentum of my weight training regime. My husband joined me for his workout and took two photos of my routine, one dignified and the other not so dignified and possibly hilarious.

Curls for biceps

In control

Showing the strain

Apart from the hills, a highlight of our Seattle story was very much about our stay at the Sorrento. The crowning moment of the energetic and superb service at this hotel came as I ran up to the main door at the end of one run and wondered what the doorman was doing as he quickly ducked behind a curtain by the lobby door. He emerged with bottled water which he handed off to a grateful me.

One item for the to-do list: Write a positive TripAdvisor review of the Sorrento Hotel.