Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Running in Places

At some point during each run this past week, I've had to stop and pinch myself to make sure I'm really running along the Pacific Ocean; that the colorful tangle and variety of flowers are real; that those are seals and pelicans I'm seeing in and on the gray and foaming water.  The only rule I have is that some portion of the morning run must be along the beach.  Otherwise I take whatever turn looks interesting - skinny stairways, thin alleys, wet sea rocks.

This is not a revelation to runners: running is a great way to explore a new place.  I'm finding this out all over again on my trip to La Jolla.  Each morning I get up before the traffic and the crowds on the sidewalk and hoof it all over town - down sand-covered stairs that lead to the water and back up through the quiet streets - admiring waves and sand; flowers and trees; homes and shops.  What is drudgery at home (the daily workout) becomes something to anticipate in the mornings.  The air is cool and smells of salt and seaweed and blossoms.

Running is active meditation.  I think about everything and nothing at all.  Problems get probed and solved.  Ideas bloom or get rejected. The day gets fleshed out and breakfast becomes the most tempting and earned meal of the day.

Despite the exotic surroundings, I will be glad to get back home.  The press of people and traffic and the constant noise of a populous place are wearing.  I'm looking forward to quiet and space.  But still, running here has been a joy.  I've got four more days of it here in Southern California.  Tomorrow I'm planning on heading in a different direction, to an area called Windansea and then maybe into the Bird Rock neighborhood.  I can't wait to see what's there.





8 comments:

  1. Wonderful photographs. That locale looks pretty appealing to me as I look out at the snow falling. Hope you're having a good trip.

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  2. These photos are gorgeous! This is making me dream of warm places. Running (and walking) are so amazing for the mind!!!

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  3. Might even persuade me to take up running, doing it in such surroundings!!! However, console myself I'm now too old to start! Loved the photographs, the sun looks wonderful - when looking out at our grey, grey skies (coupled with frost, but so far, thank goodness, no snow. Enjoy your trip: hope all is going well on all fronts. Time has gone quickly!

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  5. Wonderful photos. Gives you a sense of calmness. Thanks for sharing a great post.

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  6. Hi Annie!
    Love this post..very motivating for me! Although I'm in Hawaii, I live at the 2000 foot level, below Kilauea Iki, and the volcanic activity, the lava flowing into the ocean has brought with it a thick cloud of vog that looms over my home continuously. Unfortunately the gasses from this vog really seem to affect me, I get tired, have difficulty breathing and various other uncomfortable symptoms. Today the tradewinds came back, which brought some relief, so I find myself re-energized at 12 midnight (LOL!). This post was very comforting, wish I could be running with you along the shore...miss living at sea level! Have an awesome last few days there! Thank you so much for my birthday wishes and for always being an encouragement! Aloha, Connie

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  7. It looks like you have a fabulous route. Gorgeous photos!

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  8. what a pretty place to run through. i envy anyone who gets up early to exercise, whether it's outside or inside, i just can't bring myself to do it. i greatly dislike running, but the runners i do know do say it is sedative like. you get into a zone and you clear your mind. neat how moving one's body can clear your head :)

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