The rainiest run commute

One of the rainiest runs I have had since this one was a few weeks ago.

I was running home, and not looking forward to it since it was my first run since the Seattle Half Marathon.

It was dark.

When I left my office building a little after 5, the rain had subsided. Phew. Maybe I’d get away with a dry run.

Nope.

It started raining within 5 minutes and down pouring for a majority of my 5 miles home.

But, unlike other run commutes home, this time I had a friend.

I had noticed that when I left my building, another runner (with a backpack), ran past me. I figured he would peel off eventually and not continue in the same direction as I was going.

That wasn’t the case.

I’ve been running home since July, granted not every single day, and have never seen this man running before. If he was running home, surely I would have run into him before!

At stoplights I would catch up to him, and we kept doing the awkward leap-frog thing. A few times he crossed the street but continued to go north with me. I wanted to make a “Nice weather we’re having, huh!” comment at him whenever we got close enough to each other but he didn’t look like much of a talker.

When I’d see him accidentally jump in a hidden puddle, I would avoid it just to find myself in another puddle. My feet and shoes were soaked. A few times I felt like I couldn’t see because I had so much water in my eyes. But, I was happy to know I was in good company.

About a mile-and-a-half from my apartment, my co-commuter peeled off and headed west into the rainy darkness.

I was relieved to finally be alone.

That last mile felt so long though. I could really feel the rain now that I wasn’t preoccupied with keeping tabs on my fellow runner.

This was my rainiest run commute to date.

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Continuing the run commute

Just a check in to keep me honest on run commuting home.

It’s still happening, folks!

I’m getting my runs in after work.

I’m not getting stressed out waiting for the bus.

I’m enjoying Seattle fall weather.

And, so far, I haven’t had a single run in the rain. (Knock on wood).

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As the colder and wetter weather comes into full force, I will do my best to continue to run one to three times a week home from work.

The hardest part will probably be packing my running outfit the morning of.

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But, if wardrobe dilemmas are the hardest part, I think fall/winter run commuting will be just great!

All we wanted was ice cream cake

When someone wants an ice cream cake for his birthday, you get him an ice cream cake.

Unless the ice cream cake shop decides to close — for good.

I was on a mission two Sundays ago to buy an ice cream cake for Bryce’s continued birthday celebration with my family.

When Marissa and I drove into the Baskin Robbins parking lot — a pretty full parking lot — I was shocked to see the “Store Closing” banners.

“Oh no! They are closing??” I said.

I know, I know … no one really cares about ice cream these days. It’s all about the froyo or gourmet-type ice cream like Molly Moon’s. But, Baskin Robbins? Not so much.

But, this Baskin Robbins on Sand Point Way near University Village was one of those “iconic” places. I had my first sugar cone there as a child and cut the roof of my mouth trying to eat it. (After that I only ordered ice cream in a cup, and still do!) We’d frequent the place with my parents after our sports games.

Plus, my mom would always buy ice cream cakes here for my brother’s birthday. (Is liking ice cream cakes just a guy thing?)

When Marissa and I walked into the shop, the standing freezers were empty. Today was in fact the store’s very last day of business. There were no more ice cream cakes. They were selling scoops of ice cream as a BOGO (buy one, get one free) deal.

“Well, you want to get ice cream?” Marissa asked me.

“Sure …” I replied knowing that a scoop of ice cream would make me feel momentarily better. But, it didn’t change the fact that I needed an ice cream cake.

My last scoop was a coconut ice cream in a wafer cone. (They were all out of my favorite, mint chocolate chip). Yes, I decided to go crazy buy having it in a cone!

We ended up not getting an ice cream cake that afternoon. We were on a time crunch so we didn’t have the time to drive across town to another Baskin Robbins. A quick trip to QFC turned up short. (Yes, they sell ice cream cakes, but for $20 they did not seem worth it. Trust me).

The second best thing I could do was buy a regular cake. We ate it with ice cream.

R.I.P Baskin Robbins at Five Corners. A huge towering condo better not be going up in your place.

Good-bye, summer

Good-bye, summer

Fall officially begins tomorrow, Sept. 23.

I feel like I blinked and summer was gone.

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Yes, I did complain about the obnoxiously hot series of 90-degree days Seattle received. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t miss the warmth of the sun and getting my adequate helping of Vitamin D. (I guess I will have to dig out my vitamin supplements).

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I also feel like “I didn’t do anything” this summer since I didn’t go on any big vacations.

But, scrolling through my photos, I realize that I had an excellent summer.

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Bryce and I got out on a lot of good day hikes. However, we didn’t make it out on a single back packing trip. Maybe he can convince me to go on a fall back packing excursion. Maybe.

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I spent some quality time with Taylor (Swift).

I experienced the Women’s World Cup Final between U.S. and Japan.

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The summer months brought several of my good friends back home. That made me very happy.

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This summer, unlike last summer and other summers of the past, I didn’t have to stick to a strict running regimen and overall life schedule since I wasn’t training for a fall marathon. (Is it just me, or is it really unappealing to train for a marathon during the summer?)

Instead, I ran on my own terms. I started run commuting a bit — and plan to continue to do so even through the fall/rainy season.

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Good-bye, Seattle summer.

I don’t care what anyone else says. You really are the best of all the summers.

Running on top of the world — on a Thursday summer night

I didn’t want to run. But, I needed to run.

My cousin and I had devoured ample servings of Korean tofu soup for dinner and had (Molly Moon’s) ice cream for dessert. (We did order kids’ scoops if that accounts for anything … probably not). So, I was feeling the need to run it all off.

I first had to wait for my stomach to settle. Then I needed to wait for the high temps to subside. Around 9:20 p.m. I took off out the door and headed to the only nearby area I feel safe running at during “night-time” — the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park. There are always couples walking their dogs or other runners doing loops around the paved path of the park. Often times there are just people reflecting on benches or being more active and playing pickle ball.

All of these folks were out tonight.

The beginning of my run was painful. I somehow managed to make my bruised toe(nail) worse by squishing it in a pair of uncomfortable work flats at the beginning of the week. It’s oozing blood off and on now. (Getting my sock and shoe on that left foot was a struggle, too!)

I felt my gait being weird since I was compensating for the painful-big-toe-situation. Each step I took felt heavy. I really felt like turning around and hobbling back home.

But, about six minutes into the run, the pain became tolerable. Or, I just didn’t notice it anymore.

Instead, I was noticing the beautiful sweeps of pinks in the sky to my right. Each block I passed, I would get a glimpse of brighter pinks beyond the silhouette of the Olympic Mountains.

When I arrived at the park, the sky was even more pink. I couldn’t look away. I usually hate running in circles but in addition to the pink skies, I had a view of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle, as well as a shadow of Mt. Rainier.

It wasn’t until my second lap around the park that I noticed something else.

The moon.

Apparently yesterday was a full moon but it looked pretty darn full tonight. It was so bright and yellow as it hung just above the Cascades from my vantage point.

Walkers stopped to take photos with their phones of the moon.

I ran by and couldn’t look away. I didn’t know what I wanted to look at more — the pink sunset to the west or the moon on the east?

Both were mesmerizing.

Then I knew why I really needed to run tonight.

To enjoy a perfect summer night.

Back to Running Basics: Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Dash

When I woke up Sunday morning to a downpour, I thought to myself that my friends would never want to run with me again. (Or, run at all for that matter!) I was trying to convince these two friends, who were not runners, that running could be fun.

We would do a little 5K, no big deal.

We registered for the jogging/walking wave that didn’t even come with a timing chip. Time wasn’t important. I told them from the beginning that I would stay with them.

We stuck together. We were a soppy mess but we stayed together. Although they may not have been certain, I knew that they were not going to not finish. I was highly certain that I could get them to run the entire thing. And, they did!

Through a little complaining, and a few stints of side cramps and overall “pain,” they did it. We were all soaked to the bone by the end. But, the St. Patrick’s Day Dash was a success, I’d say. It was nice to be a part of the big running community and not feel the pressure of having to beat a specific time, or to push myself to my limits. I was there to get my friends to the finish on their very first 5K.

They may tell you that they are not runners, but photo evidence says otherwise. If you’re able to run with a big smile in the pouring rain, you’re a real runner.

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St. Patrick’s Day Dash 5K

That’s the basics to running. Going out there, having fun and doing things you never knew you could do.

I’ve convinced one of the two friends — they are twins, btw — to do another 5K. I’m super excited about that. We finished their first 5K in about 36 minutes. I know both of them can break 30 minutes with some more time and training.

But, my goal isn’t to transform all of my friends into runners. (Though, it is nice that a good 85 percent of my friends are!)

Introducing new people to running is a good reminder to me of where I started. I was once that high school freshman who didn’t understand running. And, I cringe as I type this now, but I also did not like running at the beginning. But, I did high school cross-country because it was also social time with my friends.

That’s how running and I became friends. (Because of my friends).

And, I can’t see myself ever falling out of touch with my friends.

Beautiful day / Beautiful run

When the sun was shining brightly outside our office windows, I knew I would be having a good run when work was done.

I wore a long-sleeve on this Thursday run but quickly became warm.

It didn’t matter though. As I trotted at my leisurely pace, I ran toward one of the best parks in Seattle to get a great view of downtown from — Jefferson Park (conveniently located near my work).

I passed a mother pushing her baby in a stroller while her toddler walked close by. As soon as I passed them, I hear the light but heavy foot steps of a small child. It was the boy I just ran by. He was frantically sprinting with all his might. I slowed down so he could catch me. We ran side by side for a few paces while he grinned from ear to ear.

“You’re a really fast runner!” I said to him.

He continued to sprint and smile.

“You should probably go back to your mom though,” I said while still running and pointing back in the direction of mom and the stroller.

His mother started calling his name since now we were at what I would consider to be an “unsafe” amount of distance a small child should be from his or her parent. The boy zipped around and started running back toward his mom.

I was having a great run.

Once I reached the park, I was now running with a big ‘ol grin on my face.

On my return to my work building, a second child also started running after me. What is it with children who want to out-sprint me? It was cute. I again slowed down for this second child to catch me.

It was a beautiful sunny day and a beautiful sunny run.