Category Archives: seattle

WoLP #30-32: everywhere but here

So, the summer schedule continues in high gear, and I feel as though I’ve been everywhere but here–not complaining, it’s been a most lovely summer, but I do miss my Lincoln Park.

This past weekend they had runs and events that either started or finished in the park, leading me to wonder if last year’s genius idea of spray painting arrows and such on trees would be repeated this year. I’m so so so happy to report: as far as I can see after one walk through, it has not.

In fact, a run along the waterfront was bolstered with lots of arrows and encouraging words in CHALK on the asphalt–well done! That’ll wash off easily, no harm, and lots of enthusiasm shared.

A few new permanent signs in the park include arrows and the universal swim-unit giving info on how to get to the Colman pool, easy path, harder path. I had mixed feelings about them cuz I sorta like the pool’s uneasy access, but hey, people do get lost looking for it now and then.

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It was a lovely walk through the park, we are so lucky to live near such a beautiful place–the madrones, the huge maples and towering pines and cedars, gorgeous sunsets and salt scented air.

52 Weeks of Lincoln Park is a year long romance with the Gem of West Seattle. PS, I think I have the weeks off and we’re actually at week 32 or 33 but hey, what’s a week or two amongst good friends. Enjoy!

52 WoLP #23: what we talk about when we talk about sharing the Park

A couple of things while walking through Lincoln Park this week, and they both have to do with sharing. West Seattle has more people in it than ever before, and that means Lincoln Park does too. By a mile.

We share the park with each other, which sometimes requires grace and skill, and we share the park with creatures, which always requires TLC and respect.

The first story involves a sea otter–did you know we have them? They’re interesting creatures: live in the water, hang out on the shore rocks sometimes, and make their homes on terra firma, in the bushes or under structures, etc. The one I saw this week, and who is making regular appearances down at the water’s edge, was finishing up dinner and just chillin on the beach. At the same time, a large group of elementary age kids was rambunctiously making its way up the walkway.

The kids and teachers stopped to watch the otter, along with the rest of us. Then a couple of the girls edged closer and closer until finally they chased the otter back into the water. I mentioned to one of the adults that that was actually illegal, it’s against the law to harass marine mammals on shore, and she shrugged as if the kids were making the rules now.

I don’t want to get all in the teacher’s biz, but wasn’t that, oh I don’t know, a LEARNING OPPORTUNITY? . Yeah, I think it was. The kids need to learn we share the park. We share nature. We don’t own it.

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The next opportunity came just yesterday when I was walking down the center trail to the shore at sunset–a little dusky, a beautiful evening. I hear voices behind me, yelling back and forth, approaching quickly. Before I have a chance to turn and look, three cyclists come racing by at full speed, downhill, about two inches of margin between them and me. Then another. And another, and yes, several more. I finally stop and look behind me and there are even more barreling down the trail. I ask how many more, and someone says, a lot! I’d say there were about 30 twenty-somethings in all.

So I step back onto the trail and let them know I’m going to keep walking and they need to slow down for pedestrians, which they immediately do and I give them full credit for that. They’re just having fun, and I understand the allure of that trail, I’m a bike rider and live for the downhill. But at one point I was nearly nailed against a tree by a guy who didn’t know the trail tightens up at one turn and then another.

Again, they need to balance their fun with the rights of others on the trail to feel and be safe, not to mention the creatures that cross the trail all the time. I never thought I’d say this to bike people, but that gang needs to share the road better.

So, the park is busy. We all love it. So, in the immortal words of Sgt. Esterhaus, hey, let’s be careful out there.

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52 WoLP is a year long dear diary to my favorite park in Seattle. Enjoy!

52WoLP #17: the first ever Celebrate LP & our keep-you-guessing weather

Well, last saturday at this time, the overnight temps were in the upper 30s and the day never cracked 50. Chilly winds, grey skies, threatening clouds all conspired to reduce the crowds to only the toughest souls at our first ever Celebrate Lincoln Park.

Enjoy!

52WoLP is a year long exploration of and fascination with all things Lincoln Park, West Seattle.

This saturday, a mere 7 days later, windows and doors will be propped open, temps will be 25 degrees or more higher, and we’ll all be out in droves.

But the show went on, and it was pretty cool.  We even had Park Rangers there in full regalia and I sort of felt like we were at a campground at some National Park, I loved it!

The Alliance for Lincoln Park Nature, ALPN, was there with nature and bird walks, art-in-the park table for water color sketching and writing.  We had a lot of fun with both the sketching and the writing–fast writing exercises on various park-related prompts, and there’s just nothing like sketching to see where you are.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Here are a coupla pics:

52 WoLP #16: Saturday in The Park (can you dig it?*)

This Saturday, in the Park, 10:30 – 2:30: first ever Celebrate Lincoln Park event! Here’s what you do: come to the park, at the entrance there will be an enticing menu of activities for everyone, kids to big kids and the biggest kids of all–adults.

click here for the deets.

It’ll be a low tide and the Aquarium will have a couple naturalists on hand to explore the tide flats; we’ll have resident experts leading walks through the park exploring the flora and fauna (that’s trees, flowers and birds to the rest of us:-); we’ll have sketching and writing in nature sessions, and down in the driftwood, sculpture making, and more. Go here for more, but be sure to get your beautiful nature-self to the park this Saturday!

*Saturday in the park (can you dig it?) by the Pleistocene era rock band Chicago.

52 Weeks of Lincoln Park is a year long exploration of the beautiful gem of West Seattle, it’s history, nature, essence and presence.

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52WoLP #14: I Just Wanna Celebrate!

Celebrate Lincoln Park is a combo of two free events being offered by Fauntleroy Community Association. Here are the deets:

  • April 23, Tues., 6:30-8:30 at the Hall at Fauntleroy: speakers (such as the fabulous Trileigh Tucker) tables, fascinating people sharing fascinating information (full disclosure, I will be part of the crew at the ALPN table)–and who else? Seal Sitters, Whale Trail, Puget Sound Partnership, Seattle Parks, and more. Come get some history, some future, some ongoing thangs.
  • April 27, right smack in the park itself, all kinds of things going on! First, there will be a low tide and naturalists available and also, therefore, a zillion happy kids running around. ALPN, Alliance for Lincoln Park Nature, will be offering Art in the Park with three sessions of writing and sketching and having some fun ;-). I’ve heard a rumor that the guy who makes those beautiful balancing driftwood sculptures will be down at the shore making beautiful balancing driftwood sculptures.(full disclosure: I love what Sky Darwin does.) There will be nature walks, nature talks, nature all around. Don’t miss this.
  • All activities will start at the south of the park, much more information will be available at the Celebration on April 23, plus I’ll be keeping the faith here, check back as we get closer.

    Mark the dates! April 23 & 27–see you there!

    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park is a year long project chronicling and loving the seasons of LP in beautiful West Seattle.

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    52WoLP #11: the secret lives of Lincoln Park (Happy 1st Day of Spring)

    There’s the beach trail and the bluff trail; the playgrounds, old fashion zip line, wading pool and picnic shelters; the ball fields and, of course, the Colman pool. These are the places we all know and use and appreciate. There are other places, a little bit secret, not so much for us humans, although we definitely benefit from them.

    I was looking at a parks dept map of Lincoln Park the other day and was sort of impressed by the forest areas. Forest. Take a look at the list:

    Lincoln Park Forests: particularly H, B, G and J

    Lincoln Park Forests: notice particularly H, B, G and J

    This is cool, because those areas are part of what makes LP the most excellent park it is. HBG and J are beautiful and sort of urban-wild. There are nicely tended trails through and around them, and at this time of year, those forested areas are extremely active…and their inhabitants particularly vulnerable. Why? Nesting. Lots and lots of nesting going on, nest building and baby making by the ones who sing beautiful songs, flit in and out of trees and bushes and make us feel a little bit more alive and in touch with nature. Here are a few of those creatures, maybe you’ve seen one or two?

    And this is just a little tiny smidge of the secret lives happening in LP right now and through Spring/ Summer. So, keep an eye out, take it easy in areas H, B, G and J–we’re just visiting where they live. And many of them live pretty close to the ground, so if you are a dog walker, best to stay on paths, keep your dog on a leash and enjoy the beautiful music of the forests.

    **H/t to Trileigh for her bird notes and help
    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park, a year long project: #11

    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park: Discovery Park

    Hey wait a minute. This is supposed to be about LP, how come we’re talking about DP? Good question, read on….

    Discovery Park is the biggest park in Seattle, and has its share of interesting history.  Originally an army base, Fort Lawton, it was given to the city of Seattle as surplus land in 1970.  Seems the ball was immediately in play and many forces, including national ones stepped forward with plans for utilizing those vast acres of sweeping views and winding trails.  In 1974, a focused group of citizens came together as Friends of Discovery Park to protect and preserve the wild natural beauty of the park–and it seems they were (are) fierce.  No push-overs these, and that’s where it gets interesting.  Their mission statement made me sit up and take notice:

    In years to come there will be almost irresistible pressures to carve out areas of the Park for structures or activities, because it would provide “an ideal site at no cost.”  There must be a deep commitment to the belief that there is no more valuable use of this site than as an open space.

    To me, that statement is revolutionary.  To proclaim that open space is worth fighting for, that there will always be someone thinking about ways to monetize, utilize and rationalize something that is uniquely and stunningly beautiful as it is, especially in an urban setting…well, take a bow, Friends of DP.  You deserve a round of applause.

    Every city has its great parks, and those parks go through good times and bad.  Central Park in NYC was on its last legs in the 70s when a group of civic leaders, Central Park Conservancy, was founded to reverse the decline. Last night at the Fauntleroy Community Association, a group that grew out of the Go Ape fiasco of last summer, presented its ideas, concerns and its mission to protect and preserve the West Seattle gem that is Lincoln Park introduced itself.  You can read about last night’s meeting here in WSB--the response has been very very positive and while it’s early days yet (we don’t have a website etc), we have a vision and plenty of passion.  It’s going to be a good year!

    (week #6)

    52 weeks of Lincoln Park: the art of nature

    Week #4 finds us careening towards February, which means Valentine’s day which means love. Denise Dahn, another West Seattle artist and Lover of Lincoln Park, sent me a couple of photos of a few of her favorite things in Lincoln Park: The Dancing Otter and The Cedar & Doug entwined trees.

    The otter is down along the water, north of the pool, and Cedar & Doug can be found on the trail that heads east from the fence trail, between the main Colman Pool trail down, and the Beach Trail a little further South. Well, might’s well just take all the trails, you’ll love it.

    Cedar & Doug have grown together and are completely entwined at this point, roots, trunk and all.  They make a stunningly beautiful couple.

    I added of my faves, too–what Denise calls the Pock Marked tree ( a tree which has become a virtual cafeteria for flickers and woodpeckers, and they are so systematic, it’s awesome) and finally, a semi permanent text based outdoor installation of found objects 😉
    If you have any faves, let me know or share them here. Coming up soon: the birds of spring.

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    Runnus Interuptus

    running yogini

    Last summer we did a very ambitious overhaul of our garage and living spaces…re-org and clean out, renovation and remodel.  It was hugely successful and we so enjoy the many fruits of our many labors.  But….

    The old bod took a beating in the process.  We had an improbable time-frame to deal with, and big big plans…I was so exhausted physically that running took a back seat.  Everything did, actually, at least for a while.

    It took a long time to recover from that and some things–a weird ping in my shoulder, that little curve in my back never came back like it was–were just not right thereafter.

    Recently I’ve had the insight to return to yoga…I used to be hard core about yoga until running slowly took precedence, finally beating it out entirely as my preferred activity.  Mistake, that.  I was so stiff after that summer project–and it just never seemed to get much better.

    Running and yoga sometimes don’t work  so well together.  Sometimes those muscles you’re stretching like so much warm taffy actually work better when they’re a little less flexible, or little more taut. But I felt like the magic of yoga was likely going to be the only thing to get me back in my body, so I began practicing daily. It felt so good, it hurt like hell.  At the same time I’ve cut down my runs to about 25 minutes–good little runs, some hills, interesting paths–but not too strenuous.

    When I get back, I do 25 to 50 minutes of yoga to follow on the run.  It’s working–that’s the big news.  I’m actually starting to feel right in my body again, and am going to continue this approach for a month.  I don’t run every day, usually every other day, but I do do yoga everyday.

    It’s good.  Sometimes the same old routine just doesn’t cut it, and you need to reboot, as it were.  I’ll be back to my old running routine by Spring, I think,  but in the meantime, yoga is working its magic.

    Responsibility to a greater good

    Responsibility to a greater whole.

    This is a really wonderful, heartfelt post about sharing and taking an active part in one’s community.  Particularly thought provoking is the recollection of “required community time” in high school, the feeling that it was akin to a prison sentence…and then how it came to impact the rest of her life.  Worth reading.

    PS, the book Blessed Unrest is a highly recommended read, especially right now.  Thanks Larisa!

    8 Reasons Why These Local Boys Do Good

    Mike and Jason of Urban Build Inc.

    We are in the final phase of a garage conversion which has gone unbelievably well and quick.  The biggest chore in fact was clearing out, recycling, using, giving away 10 years of stuff from the garage so it could transition to its new self.

    We sort of had the insulation and demo lined up and were looking for drywallers when I had a moment of clarity.  It went like this:  couple months back we had a repair which required a full day of my presence at home.  I arranged it, canceling meetings and such, basically a day of work lost but it had to be done.  So here I am, waiting…waiting.  Finally the guy calls and says he’s coming from North Seattle, is stuck in non-moving traffic on 5 and won’t make it that day.  The whole day?  Yeah, whole day.  Too late to pick the shambles of my schedule up and too late to find a new company to work with.

    So when I started to get bids for the drywall on this project, I recalled that and revised my craigslist search to <drywall west seattle>.  I found a few names, one with a website I could refer to  , Urban Build Inc–local guys, they live near Alki, so I gave them a call.  They came by that afternoon…and after talking with them, I decided to ask how they would do the whole job, not just the drywall.  Cut to the chase, their bid was fair, clear and made sense, so we gave it a shot.

    Here is a list of the many reasons I’ll use Mike and Jason of Urban Build again:

    1. Fast: Since they were local, they could drop by to view the site on their way home from the project they were working on and give me a bid by the end of the day. Immediate turn-around.
    2. Conscientious:  avoid unnecessary waste, mess, or toxins.
    3. Experience: Their professionalism took me by surprise–I don’t know, sometimes I have low expectations of craigslist.  These guys take enormous pride in what they do and how they interact with the client.
    4. Communication: clear, easy, consistent. Super-value add: they listen.
    5. Can-do: There was virtually nothing I suggested that they said couldn’t be done. That sounds weird but we’ve worked with a few guys who were all “oh no, you can’t do that. you’ll have to tear the house down to do that.” Really. Mike and Jason might add some ideas or explain how we might do it differently but “no” just isn’t part of their vocabulary.
    6. Magic: They said what they were going to do and then, magically, they just did it.  In my experience, this is unusual.
    7. Work ethic: Did I mention pride of work and ownership?  Again, less common all the time, and the job they did was gorgeous.
    8. Design sense: they’ve seen a lot and have good taste–good ideas and suggestions.  For Mike and Jason, it’s the art and mechanics of the job, not just the muscle and know-how.
    These guys are keepers and they are right here on The Rock.  They work all over, of course, eastside, north and south, but my preference is to keep things local when I can–especially with the price of gas and traffic issues we’re having just now.   If you need a contractor who can do it all, elec to drywall and plumbing, give these guys a shout.  
    Also, just so’s you know I’m not overly partial, here are some rave reviews from West Seattle Blog and Yelp.

    construction in process Urban Build


    Running past 50: 3 great points

    I received a comment the other day (from Reva) on a Running past 50 post I wrote a while back, and really appreciated it so thought I’d share it with you all:

    I am a 57 year old female and have been running, on the treadmill for about 9 months. The last time I ran seriously was in high school, many moons ago. I began running because of health related issues: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, over-weight not wanting to be medicated the rest of my life. Plus I wanted to live to dance at my grandson’s weddings.
    I run on the average of 2-3 miles at least 5 days a week, and guess what? I am beginning to find myself addicted to running. One of my solstice goals this year is to run a half marathon. I’m on the verge of believing I can do it. Recently I have begun running on the treadmill barefoot and found my endurance improve and I do not need to hold onto the sides of the treadmill, not once. Within the next few weeks I will be taking a step outdoors and try trail running with my son. (I am blessed to have 40 acres behind my property that is wild) I am looking forward to more adventure, and better scenery than stored boxes in the garage.
    I have also found that doing a little yoga, sun salutations, help in the ache department. One thing I have noticed since I started running is my hips do not hurt half as much, in fact I have stopped taking the ibuprofen. Part of the running barefoot is to see if I can eliminate the pain by ibuprofen on the balls of my feet instead of the heels. It’s working. I’m glad to hear others in my age category are learning to enjoy the movement of our bodies in the form of running. Thanks for a great blog.
    You go, girl!  I thought of you yesterday during my run and your goal of a half-M actually inspired a little spurt of energy in me, thanks!  I tend to think of Jan/Feb as the “slack tide” time of year–that in-between period, not the bluster and blow of Autumn, not the urgent push of Spring, just a
    quiet time; drawing some energy from Reva’s goal was a good thing.
    There were three things about this comment that I found of real interest:
    1. Take back your power: sometimes this notion gets a little overblown and we think it needs to mean something huge.  Not so.  In this case, the 57 yo woman looked at the trends in her life–high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a little more weight than she wanted–and she decided to make some changes.  That’s it right there: take an inventory and adjust as needed.  That’s how you take your power back, and it’s enlivening, and it’s difficult, and it’s one of the few things worth doing on a continual basis.  Whether it’s running, or acting on that impulse to dance or learn to cook or take up photography, or even just change how you get to work, really, these things light up your brain.
    2. Start small and build from there: seems to me the best way to guarantee you won’t go as far as you can is to go too fast too soon. You’ll likely hurt yourself, set the bar too high and disappoint yourself, judge yourself too harshly…the list goes on.  A better path would be one where you set out to explore, just investigate what this running is all about.  Keep it short and simple, be aware, enjoy yourself and let your body do the rest. After all, this is a new thing for the old bod to adjust to–give it time, and it will not disappoint.
    3. Partner with your body: Reva has done several things of real interest in her exploration of running.  She’s kicked off her shoes and run barefoot!  She’s incorporating yoga, she’s moving from the treadmill to trails (huge difference!), she’s paying close attention to how her body responds.  Personally, I’d love to know how she came to the barefoot idea as I worked with that this summer and have found significant benefits to running barefoot, as well as letting my tennis shoes break down and the muscles in my feet build up.  But the point is: work with your body.  Those articles in Runner’s World mag, everything they tell you at the local running store, the stuff you find in blogs and whatever—all good and well, but bottom line, experiment and investigate with your own body–you’ll know soon enough what works, what doesn’t, what’s worth short-term discomfort for long-term gain, etc.
    This past year marks my second year of running consistently outside; I didn’t realize that until I read my journal summary of 2008–when I quit the gym treadmill for streets, parks, trails, sidewalks. This past year also marks some significant changes in how I run and think about running:
    • it’s now an embedded part of my life.  Some days I resist it, most days it’s a high point of the day.
    • I believe as the title of the book suggests that we really are Born to Run.
    • Hills are where it’s at.  That surprises and pleases me since I live in a very hilly part of town, and I previously shunned them for an easier flat run.
    • Since hills are where it’s at, I also tend to take walk breaks–very short, but still…I used to judge myself about that, but now I just enjoy the hills and take a breather as needed.
    • I run a little slower, but I run a lot longer.  My body seems to like this a lot.

    I’ve received a number of comments from women who are taking up running later in life and want to say: Thanks!  I love hearing about your adventures, tips and tricks.  Happy New Year and see you out on the trails!

    Happy New Year!

    On the run: Chi Running?

    Just as I’d made a new year’s res to do a 10K this year, along comes the idea to do a half-marathon Feb ’10. My friend Di (fam’s looking good, Di!) ups the ante on that idea and suggests one in Big Sur, CA this coming Nov. I protest, I dig in…and yet, somehow, I sort of agree.

    My biggest concerns, other than somehow the pressure of training might make me fall head first OUT of love with running…were my heels and feet. I take such tender loving care of my heels and feet, as they hurt after long runs and require lots and lots of stretching and sometimes icing.

    I thought: what on earth would they do after 13.1 miles?

    At about the same time I’m mulling this thought over, I get my new book, Chi Running which I think is about the spiritual path of running but is instead about a new approach to the form of running based on T’ai Chi.

    I’ve been reading it and here’s what I think initially: the promise is music to my ears (run injury-free!) and the book indulges in some pretty serious hard selling, all told. And I’ve now tried it two days in a row. I know I’m just learning, early days, novice and all but I can’t exactly say it’s a lot easier. It requires pretty different muscles and I can’t seem to get comfortable, though today was more comfy than yesterday.

    On the other hand….my feet don’t hurt. No, they really don’t. In fact, they don’t feel like they’ve been running. Course, I’m not running full out, because I’m not comfortable running yet, and for some reason, though I don’t feel as tired, my legs feel not as strong as they were. And that tells me I’m either using different muscles or I’m doing it wrong or I’m in worse shape after the holidays than I thought.

    But last week I ran 6 miles the old way and felt pretty strong. Today I just ran 5 miles and didn’t feel very strong…and I was running the new way.

    Some observations: I’m probably not relaxed cuz I’m paying too close attention to what I’m doing; swinging my arms as suggested helps my forward motion but is more swing than I’m used to; focusing on the back kick is waaaay more than I’m used and requires something I don’t yet have nor know about. I’ve imagined myself standing on one foot while making dinner, holding my other foot up behind me to build the muscles it takes to get that high back kick.

    But the lack of pain in my feet definitely has my attention, so I’ll keep at it.

    More will be revealed.

    Running after 50: Distance

    I just read Haruki Murakami’s excellent little treatise on distance running called, What I write about when I write about running (title borrowed respectfully and with permission from Raymond Carver‘s estate). So here’s a disclaimer about distance: I am not talking about distance the same way Murakami is. Not by many, many miles.

    When I first started to run (sort of) on the treadmill in the gym, I recall the day I managed to eek out a mile in 12 minutes. That was a huge day for me since it meant I was mostly running with only a couple of fast walk breaks. So you now have a context for what I’m talking about when I’m talking about distance.

    This isn't at all what I looked like on a treadmill

    This isn't at all what I looked like on the treadmill.

    That was about three years ago. About 2 years ago I started running outside–meaning, the ground is not mechanically moving beneath me and I actually have to propel my body forward on stationary ground. Whole new ballgame.

    I started slow, a quarter mile, a half mile, with liberal walking before an after. By Spring of this year (2008) I had worked my way up to 2-2.5 miles, running continuously, with hills. This was again a major achievement and I was feeling pretty good about it. I’d learned a lot along the way, and made the decision to quit the gym and focus on running outdoors. I was clearly accustomed to the non-moving natural ground.

    Sometime in June, I –with great trepidation–thought: maybe I can do a 5k. This thought was immediately followed by: What’s a 5K? When I found out it was 3.1 miles, I shied away. But the thought was there…and then the Fred Hutchinson 5 and 10K races were there, and I thought: what the hell. If it gets bad, you can always walk. So I signed up.

    I practiced a 3 mile course a couple times a week for two weeks before so I figured I was ready for the 5K. I really wasn’t, but it all worked out anyway. What happens in a race, I learned, is that you get swept up by those around you, you find someone you pace with, and before you know it, you’re running a lot faster than you’ve trained, and you run out of gas somewhere in the middle. I still did okay–for me–with a 10.5 min pace. Slow by most anyone else’s standards, but better than I expected for myself (I wasn’t even sure I could finish it–it’s not the flattest course in the world).

    After that race, I found my body was more or less thinking we would be running 5ks from now on, and swiftly too (for me). This goes to Murakami’s idea that you have to raise the body’s expectation of itself–you push it and back off, push and back off.

    Since June, I’ve run two more 5Ks and earned some money for good organizations. One thing I found after the last one: I wasn’t happy just running anymore. In other words, running was now about racing, and I couldn’t relax and enjoy my beach and park runs like I used to. I was pushing and pushing, finding new routes, etc. I almost couldn’t hear my music anymore. What’s up with that?

    So, I went back to some old routes and found I relaxed back into a better state while running and was happy again. One day, on a whim, I decided to run a slightly different route (half new, half old) which I mapped out beforehand on MapMyRun. When I actually got to the starting spot I’d picked out, there was no street sign. Thinking I’d missed it, I started where I thought it should be.

    4.1 miles later, I realized I’d increased my distance…by a mile. I also realized I felt great–especially after the 3rd mile. A week later, I did the same route and found the same thing: after th 3rd mile I felt terrific–and ran even a wee bit further. Yesterday I ran it again and went 4.8 miles–nearly 5 miles. Nearly an increase of 2 miles in 2 weeks.

    I’ve got a distance plan in place now, using Murakami’s idea: I go 4+ day 1, 3+ day 2, 2+ day 3, rest day 4 and by day 5 I’m itching to run–my old bod is so ready to go the new distance, it’s amazing.

    So far so good–I’d like to do a 10k next summer, but I also have a deep respect for taking it a little bit at a time. After all, it’s taken me over 3 years to get here.

    About those Seattle Summer 5 and 10K runs, and such: The City of Seattle responds…

    A while ago I wrote about running the Fred Hutch Shore run and noted, with dismay, the dozens and dozens of boxes of Talking Rain bottles of water that awaited the parched runners after crossing the finish line–I was grateful for the water, not so grateful to discover that there was no recycling for the hundreds of plastic bottles.

    Each of those bottles would go straight into a nearby landfill.

    So, I wrote the City of Seattle and asked about this situation. I received a response finally and first, first I want to give Chuck Clark, Direct of Seattle Public Utilities a big shout out: Thanks for writing back with some information. I really appreciated you taking the time and giving me some good info. I’ll attach the letter below.

    I’ve highlighted one key statement below, but to cut to the chase, here you go:

    Unfortunately, the event organizers failed to request recycling bins or assistance from SPU.  SPU was never aware of this event because we never received a call from Shore Run event coordinators.

    Okay.  So, here’s what I’m thinking: Fred Hutch run has to get a permit to close streets, right? In the same step, doesn’t it seem like there should be a related process where the recycling needs get processed…whoa! all at the same time!

    It would look like this: You get the permits to close streets and set up the course, and in the same process, maybe on the same forms, you submit recycling needs. The city–this great recycling City of Seattle–could even require it! Imagine!

    It could happen right on the web, in fact.  Here’s where the process for scheduling an event begins, with forms right on the web.  And I’m betting there isn’t even a place that textually suggests the organizers contact SPU, not to mention request recycling help.

    So maybe that could happen. I’d like to see it happen. I’ve got another race coming up next month–my hope will be that there is not only water, but recycling well represented. Until then, thanks Mr. Clark, for responding and hopefully we can someday hook up the two parts of the city gov to work together: permits and recycling. I’m sure it’s much more complicated than I imagine, but then what good is imagination if it doesn’t sometimes create a better world?