Friday, August 31, 2012

Dirt, Dirt, Dirt

Day 3 of having all 3 kids in school = day 3 of running!!!

This is why I love the trails, I got to my turn around point this morning and just stopped to take it in, its so peaceful and calm and quiet, such a gift to be able to get out and enjoy this-

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Here's a few pictures from today's run-




Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy Mother Runners

Today was The Beast and my first run together w/o any kids!
It was such a great morning of just running and talking and enjoying this new found jogger stroller free freedom!

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I may or may not have had a bit of Brazen shirt envy....that's a pretty great shirt!

These roses smelled so good!
Two days in a row or running.....hasn't happened in so so long and it hurts so good!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of School!!!


 I have so many pictures from today, I will post a few here and the rest on our photo site here.

The kids were up before me and dressed already, and bouncing off the walls.
They were more than ready for school to start back up!
 A few highlights of the above picture - Sophie was finally able to get the glittery light up shoes she has wanted for the past two years, Myles shopped and picked out his entire outfit, including the light up shoes, and Emma also hand picked her outfit and LOVES her bambi shirt and new shoes.
Thank you, Grandma Nana and Grandpa Larry for making all that "First Day of School Outfit Loving" possible!





 Myles and his teacher.  He did super good and seemed more than ready to do this Kindergarten thing.


 These are of picking him up after school, he seemed very tired! He had fun, loves his teacher, and said he loves school!



 

 I did NOT need the boo hoo breakfast....I had other plans!!  Brian worked from home today so he could see Myles go to school, so I sent him on his way home while I made my way home via DIRT!  A hair under 5 miles, and a hair over 1100 ft of climbing trails.  The perfect first morning alone!










Deer
 
This is normally stone rock, but today it was about 3 inches of white powder full of animal tracks. Hard to climb, but entertaining!

 
 Above pic is from the top of the hill I climbed, looking down the backside to where home is.
 Maybe Turkey Vulture tracks?? They were about the size of my hand, it was a big bird!


 Dropping down into civilization.


 Knew I'd probably see one of these, it's a Gopher snake, but you can see why at first glance they always make me think "rattler!"


 If you are wondering, I did indeed make it home safe and sound, and very, very happy!
 The girls were thrilled after school, they love their teachers, and classmates, and were super excited.









 We wrapped up the perfect first day of school at Guanatos with some ice-cream!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Zoom! Running Events' Castle Rock Trail Run

Update - I had no intentions of being a photog for this run, but once I started taking pictures of the lead runners, runners behind them were smiling and waving for the camera and I felt guilty not taking their picture, so I just kept on taking them. In the end, it worked out well as there were no on course photographers, which makes my low quality, bad shots seem like keepers.  You can see photos (including Ryan's trail rash) here.
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 Coastal Trail Run's has a new endeavour, their "flatter, faster runs", known as Zoom! Running Events.
Originally, the course for their Castle Rock 13.1 was indeed "flatter and faster", but with the City of Walnut Creek not being 'runner friendly', thanks to the mess that was the WC Half Marathon, the city would not grant permission to use Shell Ridge for any part of the course.  What to do? Re-route up Mt. Diablo just a few days before the race.  During pre-race instructions, Wendell instructed the runners to "pretend it's flat"..... for 2740 ft of climbing.    This was not a concern for Brian, but for those who are new to the trail and wanting an event to 'get their feet wet', it would prove a challenging day indeed!  Steep, technical, no aid station the last 7 miles, and finishing w/5 miles of down hill. Brian was excited! The course re-route meant he'd be running by China Wall, Macedo Ranch, and Rock City, 3 places on the Mt that we love, but have never experienced as part of an official run.

 The kids and I had about 5 minutes before the start to run up the trail to the rock I wanted to be on top of for picture taking.
 These are not in order, but this is after all distances passed us outbound.  We headed out to where B was going to leave his sweatshirt on a table and picked it up for him.
 Then we walked back toward the start, Myles had breakfast in a cave, and I kept taking pictures of the inbound runners.



 Ok, totally out of order, but this is walking from the parking area to the start. It was a perfect morning for a run, beautiful blue skies, low temps, smell of horses in the air....

 Wendell on the left giving last minute course instructions before the 10k's and 13.1ers head out.

 We made it to my rock in time, here they come! Brian and our friend Ryan are in the back starting up the first hill.
 They are in grey and black just right of the runner in red.
 Now they are in grey and black in front of the runner in yellow.
 There they go!

 Up and away, wont see them again for a few hours.
 This was walking out to retrieve B's shirt. This is the same course for Brazen's Diablo Challenge 5k course, but all creeks are dry this time of year.
 We took pictures of every runner and the kids got a few high-fives.
 Lots of happy runners....and lots of "how much further?" questions, and "how many more hills?"

 This dude totally shredded the 5k! He was in second place when he passed us outbound, and in first by a substantial lead inbound. We talked a bit, he's 11 and runs cross country at school. His mom was running the 13.1, so its in he genes. I don't think he even broke a sweat.
 This guy, Peter, won the 13.1....he started 10 minutes late.  I had seen him come through after all the 5k's had started, and well after the 13.1ers started.  I dont' know his story, or if he's a well known local guy or what, but the dude passed every single 13.1er and won. 
 Peter proves you should never judge a dude by his shorts. When he ran passed us at the back of the back of the pack, sporting super short, silky shorts that looked more like boxers than running shorts, I actually giggled.  Who would have thought he was a total hard core runner?? (I didn't see his Dipsea shirt, that would have tipped me off)
 Ryan came through in 2:10, 11th overall, sporting some dirt along his left side from a face plant. He had a nice trail rash on his arm, and a nasty looking large  raspberry/rash/scrape under his shirt about where his arm is in this pic.  He was also our speaker later in the day at meeting and happy his face came through unscathed or it would have been pretty embarrassing to get up in front of 100+ people and speak for 30 minutes with trail rash face!

 And here comes Brian with Emma!

 He finished strong in 2:37, super speedy for this tough of a course!

 Originally he was posted as 4th in his AG, which is always a bitter pill to swallow, so close to getting a medal.
 Unlike most Coastal Trail Run events, Zoom! did indeed give everyone a nice medal!
Super proud of Brian! It was a tough course, and he put up a great time!

As for Zoom!, I think if they stick to 'as advertised' courses, they will have a following.  My gut says they are aiming at the same group of runners as Brazen, (keeping distances at 13.1 and under, and elevation under 3000 ft.) and we know who wins in that scenario...Brazen will always be the best!  But, with the amount of trail runners in the bay area, and the amount of trails, there is definitely room for Zoom!.  I saw a ton of Brazen shirts at this event, and I suppose on the weekends Brazen does not have an event, Zoom!'s courses are comparable in distance and elevation, and would fill  a need.

Some of B's thoughts - there were only 2 aid stations. They were bare bones, manned by one person at each, and while they had the usual stuff, there were no potatoes, which he's come to expect at Coastals events, and missed. (this was only 13.1, and not really a potato distance, so that's not a legit complaint in my book). Shirts and medals were ok, sized well, nothing to legitimately complain about, that said..not Brazen quality. There was one table of post food stuff, not much there, and non of the soup that you'll find at the end of a normal Coastal run.  Again, with "easier" distances and elevation, wouldn't be the same need for food afterwards, but it's always nice to have.

Overall thoughts- always nice to have a new race company, or brother company (??) available for a run when you want to run! Wendell said he got a call from his brother who wanted to get into putting on races, and that is where the Zoom! events sprang from.  Things were organized, even had a packet pickup the day before at Sports Basement, decent shirts and medals....no real complaints about anything. We would for sure run with Zoom! again if the timing and course was appealing. Price wise they are right in there with everyone else, so that wouldn't really be a deciding factor.

Best wishes, Zoom! May you have many years of races ahead of you!