Trains, Bridges, and Bicycles, Oh My!

This morning as I headed out for my morning run (one whole hour later than I usually step outside), I felt good.  My legs certainly needed some shaking out, the sun was bright in the sky, temperature low at about 50 degrees, and I just had that positive feeling in my bones that makes you feel light and joyous.

Everything was perfect.  Until I got to the tracks, and there was a train.  And the train was not moving. I have had a few encounters with this train in the last few months, and one would assume that I remember it will be there right around seven o’clock every morning!  But I have yet to remember this mildly important fact, and frequently find myself on an adventure to “get around” the train and down to the waterfront.  Today, I decided I would go over the Broadway Bridge Ramp at Lovejoy, and back down onto Broadway for a little variety.  The lights were not in my favor, so I ended up crossing the bridge.

And apparently, I was on the wrong side, as herds of bikes passed me… I was going upstream.  Possibly an annoyance for the many people on wheels pedaling their way to work, but I was overjoyed – I had the best view:

I ended my run back in the neighborhood – cutting it short at 4 miles instead of 5 (tiny pangs of guilt for not doing my planned number of miles, and truthfully –  overall, I’m happy I got outside!).  I walked the last couple blocks to my favorite coffee shop.

This morning was so gorgeous; I feel like it has been weeks since I was able to capture a few great photos, and today… I feel like I got my Mojo back.  🙂

How do you deal with road blocks? Do you wait for them to clear, or stride out on a new path?

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s potentially adventurous route brings another batch of beauty to behold.

with joy,
~Alaina

Sunday’s Run: Cloudy with a Quartet of Birds – So Very Portland.

Sunday I went out for an early evening run.  The day had been bright, and I was seeing a soft, warm glow of the beginnings of sunset when I decided I needed to pull my shoes on and head outside.  It was cooler than I had expected, and I was happy I bundled up, heading to the waterfront to visit the well-known bridge loop.

The sky was putting on quite a show, varying in light puffs of cloud to the dark menacing threat of storms.  I had a ball capturing the many different beautiful faces of Portland clouds with my iPhone (which thankfully, did not shut down this time!).

Those birds! So funny…

The run felt great – to get out and be able to photograph the little things that catch my eye make each experience of lacing up and getting going two hundred times more exciting.  The world we live in is so beautiful, and I cannot stop admiring her.

I am looking forward to the long run with Saturday’s Run group of gals.  Secretly, I am hoping it will be foggy … That would make for a gorgeous photo story!

What is the weather like where you are?  Do you have to wear special gear to get out in the snow?
I’ve heard something about putting screws in the soles of your shoes for ice and snow… Does that work?

Happy running everyone!
~Alaina

Cold Days: Fingers Become Icicles and the Appearance of the Little Circle of Doom

The last couple weeks have been cold.
I mean Cold!

I have recently acquired my first OMNI-HEAT Down-jacket from Columbia Sportswear, and I am loving every second of wearing this blanket from heaven.
I can not believe it took me so many years to get one of these jackets.  It is a total game-changer!  See it here!

I have also learned the effects of the cold on my regular habit of picture-taking on my run… three-quarters of a mile in, one picture snapped, then – the screen goes black and the little circle of doom spirals, sputters, and disappears as my phone shuts itself off. 

Does anyone have a solution for this iPhone “it’s too cold out to function” shut-down prevention?  How do folks in Alaska and North Dakota use cell phones or smart phones if they just shut off when it is cold?

Needless to say, I haven’t been getting many scenic captures in the past few weeks.  Fortunately, the weather has warmed a little, my life is calming, I’m feeling the breathing room, and I’ll be able to get out and share the view very soon.

Here are a few pictures from a run when the temperature hit the teens; the sun was setting and I was able to get in a few pictures in the first 8 minutes of my run before the spiral appeared in blackness and my phone took a nap:

I plan to find a solution so I can continue my favorite pastime of iPhoneography while running, and until then, you may find more words here than images.  I welcome any thoughts or advice you can offer!

I hope everyone is staying warm, and having fun tackling the elements, whatever they may be where you run!

with joy,
~Alaina

A Post Long Overdue… The Hood River Run!

A couple of months ago, a weekend vacation was planned for some birthday celebrating among good friends.  While on this vacation, a Saturday happened to pass.  The day of the long run.  Here is my (unforgivably belated) story of the long run exploration of Hood River countryside:

On a weekend excursion, some running buddies and I took to stomping some new trails out in Hood River.  Usually, our group leader plans an out and back route, but this particular Saturday we decided to play it by ear and see which road caught our eye and called our feet.  Our tentative plan was 8-10 miles…  I was hoping for closer to eight, since I had missed the long run the previous weekend, but with no definitive plan, we were at the mercy of Hood River’s roads, our feet, and the willingness of legs to keep moving.

The landscape was breathtaking.  The weather was Perfect.  We could not have picked a better time to get out for a run.

Starting in a neighborhood with lovely old homes and local wineries...
Starting in a neighborhood with lovely old homes and local wineries…
Up the hill we went toward the mountain!
We trucked up the hill toward the mountain!
We were treated to some spectacular views.
We were treated to some spectacular views.
Found our way into the countryside...
Found our way into the countryside…
Passed some lovely rusted roofs and craggy trees...
Passed some lovely rusted roofs and craggy, old trees…
Glimpsed a view of yet another snow-covered peak! (Mt Hood)
Glimpsed the tippy-top of yet another snow-covered peak! (Mt Hood)
Passed an orchard, waiting on Spring's arrival.
Passed an orchard, waiting on Spring’s arrival.
Saw that we had, in fact, left Hood River when a traffic sign indicated we were about to enter.
Saw that we had, in fact, gone some distance when a traffic sign indicated we were about to (re)enter Hood River.
Cute House!
Cute House!

And shortly after becoming only slightly lost trying to cross ravine, followed by a steep downhill, and a set of very long stairs, we were back at our starting point – and ready for brunch!

My friends will tell you that I do take in the atmosphere on our long runs; or rather that I become extremely goofy and the affect of endorphins on my system is like a kaleidoscope filter that makes even the most unappealing mud puddle a fantastically brilliant mirror of the gloriously colorful world around me.  I am a snap-happy photographer on each and every run, with the most beautiful model ever; the landscape.  I hope you enjoy the pictures; I take great pleasure in my on-the-go iPhoneography.  🙂

Do you find yourself marveling at the glory of the world after each run?
What is your “running filter” ?

With joy in Running (and taking photos!),
~Alaina