Tag Archives: destination run

Running in Newfoundland

13 Jul

About a month ago, my husband and I spent a wonderful week in Newfoundland. He had to be there for some business meetings, so we figured we would turn it into a vacation, neither one of us having ever been to Newfoundland before. In fact, it’s the only Canadian province I hadn’t traveled to so was happy to check that last one off my list.

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I flew directly from Vancouver to the complete opposite side of the country and we started our week in Newfoundland on the west coast of the province, spending a few days in Gros Morne National Park – an amazingly beautiful park, that I am glad we took the time to see it.

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We stayed in a small, picturesque village called Rocky Harbour and I got my first run in there. The weather was beautiful and I headed down the main road along the water, past a little harbour.

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I think I got to see the whole village waking up that morning and I loved it. By the time I got to the end of the road, I could see the entire village and mountains of Gros Morne National Park behind me.

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Later that day, we hiked Western Brook Pond and took in some more beautiful views….

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Over the course of the next few days in Newfoundland, we gradually made our way across the province until we reached St. John’s. I had a  few running routes planned for that area and was excited to tackle them. I started right away with a trip to Signal Hill for a hike/run to take in the beauty of the harbour and the ICEBERGS!

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We lucked out with the timing of our trip as it was iceberg season in Newfoundland and apparently a great year for them. The photos do not do these icebergs justice – they were incredible to see!

Starting the trail at Signal Hill involved walking down hundreds of stairs and then trekking across a rocky path. I started out slow walking most of the way, stopping to snap some photos and gradually building up to a slow jog when I wasn’t going down stairs.

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And that gradual jog turned out to be my biggest mistake…because I managed to lose my balance and take quite a tumble onto that rocky surface seen above!

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I ended up with bloody and bruised hands, knees, hips, legs and shoulder. Not my finest moment but I picked myself up and managed to smile for a photo to stave off too much embarrassment! Ouch!

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I limped back to the car (had to climb back up those 100 stairs again!) and cleaned myself up with some water and a dirty golf towel (all I had in the car!) I should learn to travel with a mini first aid kit because I had to clean out the local pharmacy of all their band aids to last me for the rest of our trip.

Needless to say, I wasn’t able to get any more runs in during my trip, but wasn’t totally incapacitated. I was able to get out and enjoy the great city of St. John’s….the sights, the views and even the food!

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I’ll be back, St. John’s, and next time I’ll get in all those runs I had planned!

M.

 

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Running in Canada

3 May

Last summer I did a lot of traveling in Canada and took the opportunity to run in as many different Canadian communities as I could. I love running when I travel (hence the origins of this blog), and I hope to keep it up again this summer as I have a few more trips planned.

Last summer I didn’t have a chance to post a blog about every Canadian province and city/town I ran in, so I wanted to include a bit of a wrap up here:

Province: Quebec   –     Community: Sherbrooke

I was in Sherbrooke, Quebec in August 2013 visiting my husband who had been there for 3 weeks for the 2013 Canada Summer Games. I was training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon at the time and had a long run scheduled for when I was in Sherbrooke, so I set out early one morning to tackle the paths in Parc Jacques Cartier.

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It was a beautiful August morning and not really knowing where I was going in Sherbrooke, I thought it was easiest to stick to the Parc and the pathways in it.

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The scenery in the Parc was beautiful. I had to do a couple loops of the paths to get in the mileage but since it was around a gorgeous lake, I did not mind.

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Province: British Columbia      –     Community: Whistler

After my short stay in Sherbrooke, my husband and I headed west to British Columbia. We had never been to Whistler so headed there are a few days and needless to say, loved it.

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There are so many trail in Whistler that there was no shortage of places to run. I headed out on the trails as my husband set out on a mountain bike.

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Before long, I was in the woods and greeted by gorgeous lakes and mountains – certainly not what I am used to see living in Eastern Canada.

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I loved running in Whistler. I was lucky enough to have a perfect day and hope to get back there one day,

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Province: British Columbia       –      Community: Vancouver

From Whistler, we headed to Vancouver for a few more days and I certainly did not want to miss my opportunity to run in that great city. I knew I wanted my first run there to be around Stanley Park and as we were staying right downtown this was not going to be a problem.

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I started near the Olympic Cauldron and headed for the one and only Stanley Park.

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I had been to Stanley Park a few times but never on the run. I would love to live in Vancouver for the simple fact that they can run outside year round without as much hassle as we have in Ottawa.

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The path was as crowded with runners, cyclists, walkers and tourists as you would expect for a mid-August day but that didn’t take away from any of my enjoyment of the run.

I ended my run at English Bay and loved that there was a beach so close to the downtown. IMG_1815

I had a few other runs in Vancouver throughout various parts of the city but didn’t have a camera with me to document it. I think Vancouver and Whistler are certainly a runner or any outdoor enthusiasts’ dream.

Province: Prince Edward Island        –     Community: Lakeside

I also ran in Prince Edward Island this summer and blogged about it here. I’ve mentioned it on the blog before but this is probably one of my favorite places in Canada, Lakeside Beach, a place that I have run since I was a child and somewhere I hope to continue to run (or walk) until I am in my old age…..I never tire of this place….

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So that recaps my cross Canada running adventures last summer. Stay tuned for this summer as I venture both east (to Newfoundland) and west (back to Vancouver).

I think it’s time I make a new running goal. I don’t have a time frame for this but I would like to make it my goal to run in every Canadian province – if I can make that a race in every province, even better. So, if you know of any awesome races in Canadian cities or can share any of your favorite running routes, please let me know so that I can reach this goal!

M.

Running in Milan, Italy

30 Mar

While I was in Italy in September 2013, my business trip continued on from Venice and Trento to Milan for my last stop for two days. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get a run in while I was there so I work up early before my meetings and headed out.

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My hotel was located directly across from the Giardini Pubblici (Public Gardens) and it seems like a prime location to start my run. The silver gates at the entrance guided me into a park that featured gravel covered paths, trees, statues and fountains.

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I wasn’t alone in the park this time of morning. There were a few other runners and walkers around so I didn’t feel as out of place running as I sometimes do when I am in a foreign city.

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It was a beautiful park right in the middle of the city and I managed one loop of it before moving on to exploring other parts of the city on the run.

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I ran through several city streets before I reached my next destination, a larger park called Parco Sempione.

Before reaching the park, I could see Castello di Milano in the distance and knew I was close.

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I entered through the red brick fortress and was pleased to see the soft gravel pathways, the beautiful trees and the park areas ahead of me – looked like a wonderful place to run.

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It was at that moment that my camera died and I could not get any more photos of the lovely run I had through Milan! I ran through the rest of Parco Sempione and through a few other streets of Milan before heading back to my hotel.

I didn’t take my run to any of the other major tourist sites like the Duomo or Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele but did visit them later in the day (unfortunately without a working camera).

After a fantastic year of running in different cities around the world – Paris, Vienna, Prague, Kazan (Russia), Venice, Trento (Italy)  – I can safely say I accomplished one of my 2013 Running Goals – destination runs!

Hope to have many more in the future!

M

 

Running in Trento, Italy

21 Mar

Following my lovely trip to Venice, Italy last September I headed north to Trento, Italy where I spent a few days for work.

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As was the case in Venice, the weather was lovely and I was in the middle of my half-marathon training so heading out for a run was a must. In fact, I was scheduled to run one of the longest runs of my training cycle while I was there so was happy when I had an entire afternoon off from work related meetings and functions.

All dressed up for a work reception!

All dressed up for a work reception!

Trento is located on the Adige River and surrounded by mountains.

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And when I say mountains, just a bit further north were the Dolomites mountains – a spectacular site that I’m glad I had the chance to see. Those were impressive mountains to say the least.

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During my long run on that day, I didn’t get up to the Dolomites but I certainly got to experience some of the beauty that is this region (Trentino) and this city (Trento).

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I ran through the old town Trento for a bit to start my run, but it was much too crowded for any serious running so I headed out to the bike path along the Adige River. It was perfect.

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The only down side was that the portion of the path that I was most comfortable running on (before it turned into a dirt shoulder on the side of the road) was only about 4km in length. That meant I had to do a few out and back loops to get my distance in, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

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I was back to this same region for the month of December for the 2013 World University Winter Games and of course made sure to get another run in.

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My colleagues and I at the Winter University Games Opening Ceremonies

I haven’t been to Italy when the weather has been bad and this past December was no different. It was 10c when I went for this run and I think it was around -30c back home in Ottawa that day in December! I got a little extra enjoyment out of that run because of it!

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Hoping weather like that comes to Ottawa sometime soon – I’m ready for some decent outdoor spring running!

M.

Running in Venice, Italy

16 Mar

A few months back while training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon, I was fortunate enough to take my running to various cities across Canada and around the world while traveling for business and pleasure.

Unfortunately, I was too busy at that time to post about those runs so thought I would take the time to recap some of them now.

One of my favorite runs was in Venice, Italy. I stayed there for a couple days and got two wonderful runs in.

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Before I left Canada, I did my usual pre-trip research on where to run in the city I was headed to, and overwhelmingly I found that people said running in Venice was tough, too tough.

I thought I would challenge that and so I planned my runs with a few things in mind:

1) Get up as early as possible before the crowds start:

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I was in Venice at the end of September; the weather was hot and sunny and the crowds during the day were plentiful. There would have been no way I could have run if I did it after 8am, so I was up early and beat the crowds.

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2) Get to know the general route beforehand:

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I didn’t want to run with a map, nor did I want to completely get lost and waste my entire morning trying to find my way back to my hotel so the day before I walked around the area until I got the lay of the land…the main streets, canals and landmarks.

I didn’t plan my runs in detail so was able to explore as I ran, but still had enough of a good sense of direction to get me back to my hotel in time for breakfast.

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3) Follow other runners:

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I did this during certain parts of both runs and it was great. The runners I followed appeared to know where they were going and the best routes to take.

There was an added challenge in following them – trying not to stay too close that I looked like I was following them, but also trying to keep up with them through the tiny alleys of Venice!

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Even though I beat the crowds, running in Venice was certainly a challenge. The number of stairs I climbed was incredible. I’m not used to running stairs so it was a good workout for me. I made myself use the stairs and not any of the ramps.

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Although I can’t recap the exact route I took because it involved a million small roads and alleyways, I ran by many of the sites of Venice:

The Grand Canal
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Piazza San Marco
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Rialto Bridge
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Running in Venice was a fantastic running experience.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat…but for now I can only reminisce…

M.

Running in Prince Edward Island

16 Sep

My parents have a cottage in Prince Edward Island that they drive to and from Montreal every summer. My Dad is from PEI originally and as kids we would spend our entire summers there.

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As we got older, and now, have our own lives, careers and families, I haven’t been able to get down there as much.

Up until mid-August, I hadn’t made it to PEI at all this year, nor had I had it in my plans to go. That is until my mom phoned me on my first morning of vacation to let me know that my Dad had a detached retina and had to get back to Montreal as soon as possible.

Since my mom doesn’t drive much, I immediately booked a flight to PEI for later that day, packed up my bags and headed to PEI for what would be my shortest trip on the Island on record!

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My adorable parents

I spent a total of 12 hours there (with about 6-7 of them spent sleeping) before driving my parents 14 hours straight back to Montreal. But in that short time, I did manage one AMAZING run on the beach that I spend most of my childhood summer’s on….Lakeside Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

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I woke up early to a bright, sunny day. Temperature was perfect – not too hot, not too cold. I had thrown some running clothes in my bag at the last second before I left my house in Ottawa, and I was so happy I made that decision!

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The beach is probably under 500m from my parent’s cottage, so I was running on sand in no time.

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Not many people were on the beach at this time, which made it nice for running. Those that were there gave the typical friendly wave or hello and carried on with their morning.

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I couldn’t believe I was actually there and enjoying such a wonderful, calm serene morning on the beach. Less than 24 hours before I was in Ottawa with no plans to even leave the house that day!

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I didn’t run for very long as I knew I had a long day ahead of me, but I managed just enough time to fall in love with running on Lakeside beach all over again and develop a longing to go back and do it every day!

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M.

Running in Vienna – Danube River

2 Sep

Back in July, I traveled to Vienna, Austria after almost a month in Russia for work. I managed to squeeze in some runs in the beautiful city of Vienna while I was there. The first run was in Prater, an amazing park within the city – read about it here. The second run was along the Danube River, see my recap of that run below…

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It was on my second morning in Vienna that I decided to be a little bit more adventurous and seek out one of my favorite places to run in any new city – along the water!

I knew the Danube River was fairly close to my hotel and I knew the general direction it was in, so I headed out first thing in the morning to try my luck at finding it.

As I jostled between pedestrians walking to work and cyclists on the move, I found a comfortable spot along a bike path that seemed to be the right direction.

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Winding down a few streets towards the water, I stumbled upon an impressive building – it looked to me like a castle, but then I remembered I was in Vienna and every building looked equally as impressive.

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I snapped the shot above while waiting for the traffic light to change and was then on my way with the water in sight.

I climbed a few stairs and took in the beauty of the water on a hot, sunny day – I had reached the Danube!

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…without getting lost!

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I was lucky there was a wide path along the River, so proceeded to run along it for a bit.

Docked along the river were many small cruise ships, presumably traveling along the Danube River through the many countries it winds through.

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At a certain point, I knew I had to find my way back to my hotel, so hopped on a bike path nearby in the hopes that I could find my way back to my hotel from there.

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Not overly familiar with Vienna, its streets or neighborhoods, I was confident that I could find a landmark I would recognize or the street name of my hotel without too much trouble. My sense of direction is pretty sharp but as I winded my way back towards where I thought my hotel was, it was the first time on my run that I started to doubt myself.

Confident enough that I was headed in the right direction, I pushed on without looking back and to my delight, I soon saw the big Wiener Riesenrad (giant ferris wheel) in the distance – knowing my hotel was only a few hundred meters from there.

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A sprint for the final stretch, and I made it back to my hotel after the most adventurous run I’ve had in a new city in a while.

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Stay tuned for recaps of some of the many Canadian cities I have visited and run in the past month while on vacation – Lakeside, PEI, Sherbrooke, QC, Whistler, BC, and Vancouver, BC!

M.