Tag Archives: Walking

My Very First Trail “Run”

 

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About two years ago I decided that I wanted to start running. I was in my mid thirties and office work was keeping me more sedentary than I would have liked. I hated going to the gym, and was not a particularly athletic person, but I did love being outside, so running seemed like a potentially good fit.

My first two years of trying to learn to run were pretty rough. I generally walked most of time and making it a full mile seemed way harder than it should have been. Progress was slow at best and over and over again I gave up, only to try again a few weeks or a few months later. But, this past winter something changed. I started to make it a full mile without stopping and once I hit that mark, my times started improving. I went from being proud of a 13 minute mile to doing 11 minute miles, and then just a few months ago I ran two miles at a 9 1/2 minute pace. Things were looking up!

 

I then decided to sign up for a 5K. My goal was to run the whole route without walking or stopping and to do it at a 13 minute a mile pace. The route ended up being supper hilly and HARD. But, I completed the 5K at a 12 minute a mile pace without needing to stop! I was unbelievably proud of this small accomplishment.

 

Which brings me to today. My partner and I have decided that we want to start trail running and with my new ability to make it further than a block, I finally felt ready to give it a try. So here is my first attempt at trail running! We made it about 6 miles through Forest Park in Portland, OR. Much of the route was in great shape, but parts were supper muddy and slick. We ran and walked and stopped to smell the flowers. It was really more of a meander with some running involved. There was a light, but lovely Northwest rain falling the whole time and we ended our run wet, muddy, and very happy! I was totally exhausted in the end, but I think I may have finally found a way to exercise that I love!

 

 

 

A Walk to North Portland: Poetry, Spring Flowers, and Empty Streets

I always find it interesting how many people will drive long distances to go hiking, but many of those same people won’t walk long distances in their own cities. For me, most of inner Portland can be accessed on foot, and I think that a two, three, four, or even eight mile walk across the city is a wonderful way to spend the day. Of course I love being out in wild natural areas too, but if one never walks from place to place in the urban expanses in which they live, they may never truly know the place they call home.

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As I walked across town on this beautiful late winter day, I was particularly struck by how empty the sidewalks were. There were plenty of cars zooming down the roads, but relatively few people out and about on foot. It’s one of the strange things about walking in a city where so many people drive. I can be out in broad daylight in one of the most idyllic neighborhoods, with gorgeous old houses, and towering trees, and not see another person for blocks at a time. I often wonder where everyone is. How could I be the only one person in this spot at this time when there were millions of people living across the city? Where was everyone? Sometimes I will walk at rush hour and watch as people in cars inch their way down the road, angry and frustrated, while I am the only person walking on the empty, but beautiful and perfectly functional sidewalk. I wonder where they are going that driving seems like such a good option? If they are on a city street instead of the freeway, it can’t be too far. I wonder how many of those people just don’t know that walking is an option and one that would make their lives so much less painful.

 

Along my walk, I came across so many curious and beautiful things; friendly neighborhood cats, six poetry stations, colorful murals, endless yard signs, and beautifully landscaped gardens with abundant and fragrant, early spring flowers. I wandered around without any set route and discovered streets and places I had never been before. The whole walk was about four miles and took me a little over an hour. A perfect way to spend the afternoon, with lots of time to think, reflect, and wonder about the world around me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Camino de Santiago: Estrella to Los Arcos to Logrono

The Camino de Santiago

 

Bee Hive
Decorative Gate
Wine Fountain!
Outside of Estrella
Sheep
Between Estrella and Los Arcos
Villamayor de Monjardin
Near Villamayor de Monjardin
Butterflies
Near Villamayor de Monjardin
Beatles
Wasp
Near Los Arcos
Alberge in Los Arcos
Los Arcos
A Long Walk
Logrono
Logrono

The Camino de Santiago: Personal Reflections

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I am 4k from Santiago, relishing my last evening on The Camino and thinking about all of the amazing lessons I have learned in the past 2 weeks, so I thought I would share. I will still post LOTS of photos once I get home as well as a post on more practical tips/thoughts on The Camino if you are thinking of walking it yourself (which you should!), but for right now I am more focused on the esoteric of it all. The past 2 weeks have been more amazing and more difficult than I could have ever imagined. While I intended to walk the entire Camino, due to unforeseen (but good) circumstances at home I had to cut my trip short, but regardless I feel like I have accomplished one of my life’s goals and did something amazing. I walked approximately 275k, which for those of you in the Pacific NW that would be like walking from Portland to Bend or Portland to Seattle. It was much harder in someways and much easier in others than I ever though it would be and most certainly one of the highlights of my life.

I came here to do something difficult and learn about myself and I feel quite certain I did both. The following are a few of the things (in no particular order) that I learned or gained a deeper understanding of while here. They are perhaps a bit cliche, but are truly the things that were the most meaningful to me and what I hope to keep with me when I return to my “normal” life at home.

Enjoy~

Lessons from The Camino:

Judging others and ourselves is the root of most unhappiness

I don’t like too much choice-simplicity makes me more happy than complexity

I don’t like excessive heat-unless doing nothing is involved 🙂

I love walking

I am happiest when I am working to make the world a better place by building something, not tearing something down

Wherever you go there you are (I think this is my mantra)

Even profound experiences don’t change us quickly, change comes slowly and is often unexpected

I love my body

Being ourselves leaves us open and vulnerable, but it’s the only way we can ever experience life authentically

I want to love someone who loves me back. I want to be with someone who is as excited about me as I am about them and is as invested in my happiness and dreams as I am in theirs. I will no longer accept less.

A smile can get you a very long way

Everything in life is a reflection of yourself

How we imagine something will be is rarely how it is

Don’t take to heart people who tell you that your experience is invalid or less than theirs just because you do it differently

The belief that you are right is more dangerous than whatever it is you may believe

It is never about the destination, always the journey, but sometimes having a destination helps you get going in the first place

I am attracted to and value kindness above most else

Unsolicited advice is rarely well received

Flexibility (the mental/emotional kind) makes for more enjoyable travels

I love this world and all the people in it, even when at times I feel like I don’t