Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 3: Finally Relaxing

As I write this the rain is pelting the roof of the sun room. It is coming down in wind-driven sheets. I looked at the radar a little while ago and the line-up of systems coming our way is impressive.

I awoke at 4:00 AM this morning to a room so dark I could not see my hand. We were having quite a storm, high winds and driving rains, and all this noise, coupled with the darkness, was a little freaky. For a while there I thought I'd gone blind and had to go in search of light to reassure myself (there have been a fair number of night-light jokes at my expense around here today).

Slept in until 10:00, a rare feat for me, and went out for a run. The skies had cleared and it was turning out to be a very sunny and pleasant day, albeit a windy one. The surf was up and there were a great many surfers out. The surf schools were out as well and I could see what they do as I ran past (the "this is how the surf works" talk, how do you get up on the board, etc..).

My run went really well. This was the first time I wore my Nike Frees on the beach and, as usual, they felt wonderful. I am finding that my legs and knees feel better after I have worn them than with my other shoes. I just ran, stopping every once in a while to look at something. Managed to get out and on to Frank Island and to see the other side for a bit before heading up the beach. Looked down at my watch at one point and saw that I was running an 8:20. This was not effortless but the pace was a lot easier than it has been lately. Finished off rather refreshed, took my shoes off, and waded out into the surf for an impromptu ice bath, a nice finisher. A quick shower and an inhaled brunch (pancakes) http://connect.garmin.com/activity/12639497

As I was running this morning I was thinking about where I was this time last year. I could barely run up this beach having beaten myself up (or was it down) so badly during the course of the summer. Quite a difference this year. I am still tired and have a rather challenging rest of the month ahead in preparation for the Portland Marathon but I am so much stronger this year and relatively uninjured.  This trip I am simply going to take my runs as they come and not try to push to go long. Tomorrow, I'll run a little longer on the beach I think. There are some other places to go to run but many of the trails have boardwalks on them which are very slippery. The thought of taking a spill and falling some distance is not appealing. We'll see what happens. Looks like we'll have sun on Monday and Tuesday and then back to rain. Might go for a longer run then. But my body is certainly craving rest at this point.

If anything it became sunnier and warmer  as the morning went on and we decided to take advantage of this break in the weather to go out and hike on Sunset Point from the Cox Bay side (can't get there from Chesterman's very easily I gather). Even more surfers at the beach here and the break was much stronger and more challenging. Lots of long boards out.

Getting up to Sunset Point was a pretty easy scramble up some rooted trails and a boardwalk followed by some more soft and rooted trails and then some steep-ish climbing to the end. My legs were not so happy with me at this point, nor were they so willing to jump from rock to rock. Massage time.

Pretty spectacular views of the surf and the surrounding area. R and I struck up a conversation with a couple from Ucluelet who had a six month old puppy named Stella. She was a hoot and, as quick as lightning, had untied my shoes. The guy is a waiter at Black Rock Resort down in Ucluelet.

We must have hung out there for about an hour. Watched a surfer get a little too much out of his safety zone as he tried to surf the big break just underneath us only to wipe out and get carried towards the rocks. He was not happy and we could hear him swearing as he tried to avoid the rocks. He made it, to everyone's relief. The best part, besides the view and Stella, was the bride and groom who had just gotten hitched clambering over the rocks to have their wedding pictures taken. I can't imagine trying to do that in a wedding dress with a train but she did. Hope the pictures came out.

We started on our way down as the wind was coming up and it was clear that a change in the weather was rolling in.

Back to the B&B for a snack and some reading. I picked up Nike Wagner's The Wagners: The Dramas of a Musical Dynasty and am enjoying it so far although I will admit that I don't know enough about the controversies surrounding these operas to make a whole lot of sense of Wagner's analysis. Not yet at any rate.

Dinner at Sobo tonight but not before a little adventure (this time it did not involve me). R discovered that he had lost his cell phone on the hike and so he and D went back out to Sunset Point to see if they could find it.  M and I went to Sobo and got a table. The baked Brie with pear confit was a great start to a tasty meal. We got the last table and then it was reservation only. And we waited. Believe it or not, they found it. Amazing. And just before it started pouring down rain. I had a wonderful chicken pizza and some tomato-corn bisque. M had a salmon filet with risotto. Also wonderful. Desert? A piece of blueberry white-peach pie. It was so light and tasty. We left at 8:00 after being there for about 2 hours and they were telling people to come back at 9. This meal exhausted me.

Tomorrow just might be an inside work day with a little bit of a run. I am hoping that it is stormy as I would love to run in the rain and wind, especially if it is "warm". We'll see.

Pictures from the day.

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