Monday, July 30, 2012

Athletic Supporters

This is your weekend wrap up post.
The short version - " need some sugar?"  And then the next day... "woo hoo! Good Job! Woo Hoo! Good Job!"

Yep, some weekends your an athlete, some weekends your an athletic supporter : )
We volunteered at Brazens Bad Bass 13.1/10k/5k on Saturday, and spectated at San Fran 26.2/13.1 on Sunday.

Saturday was actually a lot of fun, and very interesting to see how everything stays so organized and what goes on in those early morning hours before a race. We were setting up/working/and breaking down the first aid station on the course at mile 1.5. Each of the 4 station needed slightly different supplies, and we each had a binder w/a list of what and how much of each thing to off load from the uhaul into a pile, then load into the back of another truck that drove it out to the course, then unload it again and get everything set up according to the instructions in the binder.  You needed to know who was coming through and in what order because they would need slightly different things.  For instance, the 13.1ers mostly only took water if anything since its really early at 1.5 miles to really need much fuel, whereas the 5kers turned around at that point, so some tended to hang out longer and drink/eat more.  10kers going out didnt' take much, but coming back they were wiped and drank tons.
We were also at a point in the course where some distances turned, and some went straight, and then those who turned would be doing a loop and come back and need to make another having the signs set up correctly and knowing the course and who to send in what direction was important ( I did not want that job!) Everything went smoothly, and we were done by 11:30, had new shirts and free race entries, so it was totally worth it.
Thank You to our kid sitter who was willing to get up early so we could be to Lake Chabot by 5:45 a.m.

Everything is off the Uhaul, waiting to be loaded into the rangers truck.

Sam, Jasmin, (pair of race directors) their 2 kids, and  a few others got into the theme of the race and broke out the plaid.  I've heard if you wear undies, it's a skirt, if you don't, it's a kilt....I didn't ask if he was wearing a skirt or a kilt.

I didn't get a "in the process of setting up" picture, but we have it all on site and set up.  Once runners started coming through we were all handing out drinks, but I looked down and realized someone better start filling up cups quick, so that was my new job.  I had a hard time keeping up with the Gatorade, but we never "ran out".

Aid Station #1 Binder...these guys are super organized!!

After our last runners came through, we cleaned up, broke it down, and left it all there for someone to pick up while we walked back to the start/finish area.

I love my Bad Bass shirt!!
Brian took these of our station in action, this was the first group to come through, 13.1ers.

Sunday we were not running SFM, but had a few friends who were.  We had people in each of the halves and the full, so we were at a spot that all 3 events passed and nearly went cross eyed trying to look for everyone! Here's a few we were able to spot and give a shout to -
So this is the super speedy Micaela H. She's behind the sandals guy, blue shirt, glasses, ponytail flying. She finished the 2cd half in 1:38, took 3rd in her AG!!

These two love birds, Allen and Diane, did the first half marathon.  We were watching for them, but did not see them go by.  We did hear Diane's name announced as they finished, and eventually Brian spotted them as he was heading to a potty.

Here we have Pat C who was running the full marathon.  I should mention it was cold and misting and everyone was pretty wet who had traveled over the fogged in GG Bridge and continued running in the mist.

This one is a little tricky to see, but we have Dawn and Gordon H, Micaela's mom and dad, who were also running the second half.  They are both in long sleeved blue shirts, just right of center of the pic.  He's tall and dark hair, she's just in front of him, shorter blond hair.  This was Gordon's first half marathon and they both put up great times!

That's Em getting a high five.  I do not know that man, but I love him!

A few more shots of Pat C.

Now we've moved across town and here's Pat again, mile 24/25 ish.  Her son is in black next to her, she's still looking solid!

We also saw Endorphin Dude, Tony!! Always a treat to see him at any race, he brings so much energy and joy wherever he goes.  He was also at Brazen's Bad Bass on Saturday and spent some time at our aid station heckling the runners who passed by, trying to convince them they must eat gummy bears and M&Ms or they would not make it to the finish. On Sunday he looked a little less joyful, but managed a smile when we started yelling at him.  i did not get a picture, this one is from his site.

Also someone we saw but did not get a picture of, gasp....Dean Karnazes! He ran right past us and I had a giddy moment of "Brian, that's Dean...look!! He's right there, that's him, Woo Hoo...I just saw Dean".  Can't help it. I'm sure my Woo Hoo is what got him across the finish.

I think that technically makes me Dean K's athletic supporter.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

 I have horse crazy kids.
Having horses to them is such a luxury, something only "other people" get to do. Stories of my childhood are just that to them, stories. The concept that they are just one generation away from farm living, country loving, pig,goat, horses owning, oats and hay smell loving, rodeo loving genetics is beyond their scope of comprehension.
But I know better, and the origin of their love of horses is no mystery to me, it's in their blood.
Me, Taffy, and my favorite bonnet.
Getting pulled behind the horse on an inner tube, and riding w/my sis in the field.

At home w/my sis and Sweetheart and Taffy..I'm the nudist.

These are  me(orange coat), my sis, and dad at home. The top right sums up the majority of my childhood, my sis and I would ride for hours out in the woods, day after day.

The top is my sis when we where in our towns parade, bottom are me and my dad...I could ride before I could walk.

More at home.  Not a bad way to grow up, huh? On a side note, I recently found out this 6 acre property I grew up on is for sale for 50k. Kills me to not be able to snatch it up.

 Last Friday, the kids had the "best day ever!!" Our friend, Randy, takes care of a horse out at one of the ranches on Castle Rock Rd in Walnut Creek.  The concept of stables like this was foreign to me as a kid.  We had home. They were just always there, you could look out the window and there they were. The idea of being a city person and owning a horse and 'renting' a space away from home to keep it in, and then going to 'visit' it....never heard of such a thing.  Now older and maybe a bit less country, I understand that is the way the majority of people own a horse.  
Most of the local ranches are in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, who's terrain tends to look straight out of any old western movie, and is covered in trails any horse would love.
The ranch Randi's horse is at was really neat to see.  Each horse has his own grassy area and shelter and tack area.  Her horse is Finney, a 20 something yr old retired race horse (his race number is tattooed inside his lip).  He's a big boy, Randi is my height - 5ft 9, and Finney is a smidge taller than her at his shoulders.  Finney's owner comes out 5 times a week to take care of him and either ride him or "turn him out" - run him in circles in the round arena. Randi goes out one day a week to feed him, turn him out, and wash him down.
She was very kind to let us accompany her out to the ranch to meet Finney and his buddies and have some time with the horses.
As you can see, there was a fair bit of outfit planning earlier in the day.

We had a 10lb bag of carrots that I divided up among the kids, and Randi had 2 ten lb bags...needless to say all the horses had a special treat or two or three.

That's Finney w/the eye cover on.

That's Bruce w/the kids, he has worked at the ranch many years, knows all the horses by name and who was related to who. They met a horse he helped birth, and then went over and met that horses dad.  He taught the kids how to tell different breeds by the shape of the head, rump, and where the tail starts. They saw quarter horses, Appaloosas, Arabians, a mustang, and others I can't remember.

Check out that pile of ....manure.

This stunningly handsome horse is called "Dude", as in blonde surfer dude. He's a Kiger Mustang, and his coloring was all natural and amazing!

I could not get over how amazing this arena was!!

Randi w/Finney, it was time to take him and turn him out.

She let the kids come out to the center of the arena w/her. She knows Finney so well, she knew just what he was going to do. She said he'll dig for a minute, walk a lap or two, decide he doesn't want to run and then he'll roll.  Then he'll get up and canter a few laps and be done....and that is exactly what he did.

Then it was bath time.  There are two stalls, like a car wash, where you can wash your horse.

Then, an owner asked if the kids wanted to ride her horse.  You have to understand CA to know what a big treat it is to be able to ride a horse w/o a helmet.  For kids, it just does not happen, too much risk of injury, and then lawsuits.  So the kids had never been able to just get on a horse, take the reins, and ride.  The owner has young grand kids who ride this horse often, so she was very relaxed. She had carrots in her pocket, and knew the horse would follow her, so she let them have the reins and started walking.

Seriously, I have never seen him this happy! He had a grin like that the whole time, over cloud nine happy, happier than Disneyland happy!

We ended the day with super happy kids who had the best day of the entire summer.  This day will be what they remember about the whole summer, no doubt about it.  They now have dreams of volunteering at the ranches when they are teenagers.....and I have dreams of taking them out to the ranch to shovel poo the next time they misbehave....although they would probably not consider that a punishment!