Greetings from Vancouver — Washington, not Canada; just outside of Portland. This is my home-away-from-home-away-from-home and I’m excited to spend the next 9 days with family.

I was awaken this morning by Chip, the baby of the family who everyone spoils.

Shortly thereafter, my Uncle Rich and I headed out to Lacamas Lake for a run – he for 4 miles, me for 12. Its a popular area for runners, walkers, and lots of dogs. It’s 95% trail and marked every half mile.

Though the temperature was a few degrees warmer than I am used to for an early morning run, the trail is mostly shaded so it was still cool.

Actually, it was pretty ideal running conditions, with the exception of being a little “dewey” – I guess its the “lake effect.”

My legs were very tired so I just kept things simple. Not being very familiar with the trail, I just took my time taking in the scenery and stopping for photos.

It wasn’t as flat as I thought it was. There were tiny rolling hills, which kept things interesting. I cruised along until I got to the end of the trail and realized it was only 3.5 miles out. I thought it would have been about 7. I tried to run past the end of the trail and only got as far as this place, another .25 mile:

The shoulder on the road ended, so I turned around and headed back. It was about this time that the iPod on my iPhone started going bezerk. It would either stop on its own, or start “Voice Control.” I don’t even know how to work the Voice Control feature, so I have no idea how this all started happening. I couldn’t get it to stop. I even powered it off and on, but still no luck. It was driving me crazy so I turned it off and tried to run without music. That lasted all of about 2 miles – maybe. I couldn’t take the sound of my breathing and stomping so I sucked it up and put the music back on and dealt with the constant adjustments.

By the time I got back to the start of the trail I had only run 7.5 miles. I thought about running all the way home, but my legs were really tired. I’ve been having some pain in my left leg, and while it only hurt during the first few miles, my foot also bothered me a little so I dumped that idea. I hated having to repeat. While my iPod was going nuts, I could deal with it. Instead, what almost made it me quit was the chafing on my lower back at my waistline. It hurt so bad that if I wasn’t in the middle of the trail, I might have. But I had to get back to the start of the trail so I trudged on and eventually, managed to finish all 12 miles.

While this run wasn’t one of my favorites, I must say, runners in Washington made it exceptionally pleasant, despite the challenges. They were really, really friendly. In California we usually get a nod if we make eye contact all. Here, they not only make eye contact and nod, but they also wave AND say “hello” or “good morning.” And not just 1 or 2 people – EVERYONE!

Later in the day, after a post-run nap, we headed out to watch my cousin Riley’s ballgame. He’s on the Columbia Little League All-Star game. It was pretty hot out there, but we had a nice set-up:

The Columbia team won, 11-1 in 4 innings. They normally play 6 innings, but one of the kids hit a grand slam, putting the mercy rule into effect. Riley went 2-3 with a run and a stolen base.

The rest of the trip plans to be pretty much more of the same. Lots of baseball, probably some hiking, and exploring more running paths — including the course for the Portland Marathon!

3 Responses to Home-Away-From-Home…

  1. Pingback: Hurts So Good | The Tao of Me

  2. RoadBunner says:

    What a pretty place to run!

    I rarely get acknowledged (or do any acknowledging) when out for a run in CA (I think this harps back to my early runner days in NYC). However, when I go home to Hawaii and run EVERYONE says good morning and I will often say it first. Strange how that works.

  3. Jess says:

    Have a great time on your vacation! Looks like a great start so far – even if your run included a few hiccups along the way ;-) And PS. I have to know – how on earth do you carry your phone when you run?? I was wondering how some runners who blog post pics of their running route – and where you stow your camera/phone?? HA, random question, I know.

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