Running the highway at both ends

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A Workout at Both Ends of an Old Highway
by Olivia Rossi
Your Personal Trainer 

Our sons grew up on the same street, at opposite ends–same latitude–one in Oregon, one in New Jersey. Highway 30, from Portland to Port Republic. Port Republic is across the bay from Atlantic City.

Highway 30 begins in Astoria, Oregon, and ends in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a distance of 3073 miles. I suppose if you are from the east coast, you might consider that it starts in Atlantic City and ends in Astoria! Our sons met in college and have been friends since. So have our families.

On our vacation this summer, we all got together in New Jersey, right after the concert I told you about last month. We stayed in Port Republic on the Jersey shore, took boat rides through the waterways, watched fireflies by night, lunched on crab cakes at a weathered dockside restaurant, and ate steamer clams in the steamy afternoon air of a screened-in porch. The Atlantic coast has a different feel than the Pacific coast.

Our first morning there, I was up at first light to go for a run. Dawn arrives as early in New Jersey as it does in Oregon. I crept out silently so as not to wake anyone. I looked at my watch. It read 6:30.

It was totally quiet out. There was a mist on the water where two swans were gliding, leaving behind them a silent, trailing wake. There’s a little beach in the local park. As I ran along the sand, I saw a sign–Port Republic Genesis Triathlon. It was starting at 8:00 that morning. Good thing. I would be done by then!

I went out for an hour run and, when I returned to the house, only one person was up having coffee. It turned out that it was still 6:30. I had read my watch wrong and gone out at 5:30, not 6:30! That was probably a good thing considering the humidity and the heat that was already rising.

The next morning, I got up at 5:30, this time on purpose. It was going to be even hotter and more humid than the day before. This time, I race walked instead of running. Why? It’s my other sport. Different muscles, different recovery, variety.

Later that morning, we drove along a designated stretch of beach in Atlantic City. We were in a jeep. On the drive back, I spotted a familiar sign, in reverse–Route 30W. I knew that if we kept going, we would get to Portland. I’ve run and race walked along stretches of Route 30 in Portland. It was fun being at the “other end” of the street, facing west.

One of the things on my “bucket list” is to someday drive Route 30 from here to there and do some runs and walks along the way. That’s what’s so great about keeping fit. It lets you be free to do the things you like. As that old saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” All you need is a good pair of shoes (maybe a bicycle) and you are free to roam wherever you want. Enjoy your summer, wherever you are!

Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ASCM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM