Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh My Goodness

"It's a great day to be alive!" - Travis Tritt

  (For those new to RunningAhead's maps, make sure you use the drop down in the upper right of map to switch it to Satelitte. You can also zoom in super close to see the trail. Also, if you move your arrow over the elevation map, it'll give you exact elevation in feet, and follows along on the map, so you can see where the hill is on the map.)
Heading up on Shell Loop Trail

Looking down into the valley I usually run out of, and would run back out of 5 miles later.

Trying to show you that the trail just drops off right there. It was really steep coming up.
My legs took a breather at the top.

I love, love, love this section of trail. I could look down on the right and see where I'd eventually be, but this grass covered amazing trail would first drop me down to the left into a valley, then back out of it.

Loved spotting this! Some smart runner has a stash of electrolytes waiting for him in a tree!

This ones out of order, but it was toward the end of the run, running back out Stage.

Heading down Little Yosemite, you can just make out the tops of Castle Rock's rocks.

I was glad at the top of Yosemite that I knew where the trail was. There was the marker...but you had to look around to find the trail head a few hundred feet away.

Briones to Diablo trail...just a beautiful, rolling trail through the hills.

My shadow says "Hi".

I had some fun getting the cows riled up.

I mean, really?? It's almost too much beauty.

This cow is not French. He's definitely never used a bidet. I offered him some water to help out his back bumper situation, but he declined.

I've had all day to find words to put down in this post. I'm still in such awe of it that no matter what I say, it can't possibly explain how good the run was. How great if felt. How beautiful it was. How exhausting the intial climb was, but how invigorated I felt at the top.  How every time I looked up from the trail all I could manage to say was "oh my goodness!" 

I found myself very misty, very grateful, thankful, joyful (insert any upbeat word you can think of) that I get to live here....that I get to run these trails and pretend they are mine because I never see anyone else out here. That my kids get to see this.  That I have this outlet and am able to have "mommy time", "me time", "alone time"...whatever you would like to call it, out here. For me, this is exactly the alone time I need, in the form I need it. It leaves my legs tired, but my mind wide awake. I truely felt so alive today, so recharged, so happy.

I'm sure I looked like a crazy happy, smiling, cow chasing, singing lady out there today, and I'm 100% ok with that! Not only was the scenery just amazing, I was watching it go by while singing to some greats - Alabama's "I'm in a hurry", John Micheal Montgomery's 'Sold' -Grundy County Auction, Tim Mcgraw's "My Best Friend", and lots more, but man did I belt out Travis Tritt's "It's a Great Day to be Alive".   How could I not?

"And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neigborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?"

Woo Hoo!!!!!

He's running again!! I am so so happy for him! And me!  We did a 2 mile test run on Sunday afternoon. He kept it to a 10:30 pace, partly because I had given Emma strict  instructions to make him go slow and no sprinting to "test things out". No pain. He was not sore or tight after. Monday he did 3.3 in the city, again....no pain. He said he did it at a 9:30 pace.Today he rode his bike to BART for the first time in.....maybe 2 months??? Had a great ride in, no problem.  Going to BART, it's mostly downhill, but coming home he has a significant hill to climb, so we'll see how the calf takes it. He's taking today off from running, since he will get in 2 bike rides.  I'm so happy for him!!

In other news, I had one of those epic, amazing, breathtaking runs this morning. 6 miles, 1400 feet of elevation gain, and enough postcard perfect views I was saying "oh my goodness!" every 100 ft.  Hope to get pictures up tonight.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


 Friday was Twins day at the kids school. This is the one day a year the girls don't mind matching. They look so much alike they don't really need to dress alike to look like twins, but I didn't tell them that. Myles had made plans to match a friend in his class, but I have no idea who.

I told Emma at one point that this hair was very "80's teenager" and, hearing only the word "teenager"...she wants this style everyday.

We are a walking Brazen Racing billboard on nearly a daily basis.

He was studying the ground and all the glitter decorations laying there.
It's been 4 weeks of no running for Brian. He's done 2 bike rides of around 5 miles in that time.  We are taking him out for a 2-3 mile run this afternoon to test out the calf. I can already tell it's going to be a fight to make him start slowly. He said he'd keep his first week to 20 miles and I nearly spit my water out across the room. I was thinking  5 - 10 miles the first week. Maybe three 3 milers the first week, tops. Right?? I would be happiest with a one miler, then a 2, then a 3 if there's no pain.  If he starts slow and has no pain, he should be able to rebuild to a solid base in 4 weeks. BUT...if he starts back fast, he could end up out for another 8 weeks.  Patients, my dear. Patients.

It's interesting to me that with just one of us running for the past 2 months, I feel so selfish on the  weekends trying to get runs/workouts in. At the same time, not being able to hike as a family, or enjoy our family runs has been the pits.  Makes me really appreciate that we both enjoy running, racing, and hiking. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sliding Through the Miles

Yesterday's run with the Beast was a battle to stay upright! We had minimal rain on Wednesday, and we both thought the trails wouldn't be too muddy. Wrong. We headed to Shell Ridge and managed to slide through 5 miles. We explored some trails that were new to both of us, as well as some oldies but goodies. At times it felt like  I spent more time with my butt up in the air and all fours on the ground than I did running, but we had fun!  We had to re-route a few times as the cows had demolished the trail we had mapped out, and some of the single track would have been an accident waiting to happen had we attempted to run it. The nice thing about Shell Ridge is as long as you know where you are in relationship to the ridge (which you can always see), you can re-route as needed and not get lost. Here's a few pictures for ya-
I loved these ferns! They were beautiful.

The Beast finding traction in the grass...where we spent most of our time trying to run.

There was a pond down the hill on the left, we were determined to fall to the right if we fell.

I think the cows have a blast thrashing the trails this time of year. I had a bit of fun with the Beast here, she was tiptoeing around the cows as I've noticed she often does when we encounter cows on the trail.... Knowing that she my have a hidden bovine fear, I came running up behind her hooting and hollaring and waving my arms which got the cows to jumping around.  Good times!

Despite sliding around more than running, as you can see from my blotchy neck, we both got a good workout in!

I kindly reminded her not to go straight but to turn right. I'm such a great running partner. : ) This is a good idea of what the non slippery muddy trail was like...it may not be slippery, but it was in ankle breaking condition, really rutted.
Hoping things dry out a bit next week so we can get a little further on the trail. Its such slow going when it's like this. We did 5.14 miles in just under an hour, with 954 feet of elevation. 

I'm taking today off from running due to a cold. I could run, but I would be huffing and puffing since I can't breathe, and I hate runs like that. Makes me feel so out of shape to be breathing like I'm dying even though I know I am sick and that's what is causing it. So....did a workout this morning, will do another tonight.

I know lots of you are running this weekend, or supporting your runners. Have a blast out there!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tails (and teeth) From the Trail

So, I had a 20 minute window to scrape together some sort of a run today. A small window between volunteering in Sophie and then Myles class.  Not much time.  The biggest bang for your buck, I decided, was to go straight up. I wasn't gonna get much distance today, so may as well make what I can get as painful as possible!

So I headed into Lime Ridge, up the longest, steepest hill. This set me up to come back down on that fun single track I've been mentioning. The same one I saw this guy on last week -
 So, I get up the hill and I'm running a section of fire road over to the cut down. I see a guy standing on a hill across a ravine from where I was. I'm keeping my eye on the guy, and then he suddenly starts taking my picture. For a long time. He must have taken 20 pictures. He had a big camera, so I figured he just enjoys nature and was getting some shots of a runner out on the trail. So of course I push my pace a little to make it look good, make sure I'm sucking in, practicing good form.  In no time I've made my way over to the guy and I smile and say, "hey". He says, "did you know he was behind you?"  I stop, am puzzled, and say "Huh?" 
He says, "the coyote behind you, he was running down the trail following you."
I had no idea. I did not have my music going, but I was breathing hard from climbing the hill and that is all I heard, my breathing.  I had even been looking for coyotes since I had seen one last week on the trail I was planning on heading down.
I said, "nope, didn't even know he was there." The guy said he'd seen 3 so far this morning.
Slightly embarrassed, I headed down my fun loopy trail realizing the guy was so excited about taking my picture....because he thought he was going to get some great footage of a runner getting eaten by a coyote.
I did not think to ask him to email me his shots, but I'm pretty sure they look something like this-

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tasting the Trail

Looks like she made a color puddle when she fell.

She had a bloody knee and elbow, but finished strong.

That's Emma.

This was the first 4 mile part of the run.

Nothing better than running on a green carpet of grass, so soft and spongy. My legs love it.

They were ready to go!

On the top of the hill before we headed down.
Well, these are in random order, but you can still get a good idea of what todays run was like! We all headed out on the trail. Sophie and Brian on bikes, Myles in the jogger, me pushing him, and Emma running with me. We did a 4 mile loop, and then Brian and Myles explored a bit while I took the girls up a big hill so they could experience running down this super fun single track I recently came across on one of my runs. It is super loopy, steep in spots, banked...just a hoot to run down.  But, if you are timid at all, you will taste the trail. You have to go all out, or stay home...there's no timidly slowly running down this thing. You'll slide, or tip over on the banked part. There are a lot of parts shaped like a V where you go from running down to running uphill with not much notice, and if you don't get one foot far out in front of you, you'll face plant into the hill in front of you.  Sophie says it tastes like dirt. : )

Friday, January 18, 2013

Have a Great Weekend!

Spend some time with your sweetie!
Or....make some new friends : )

Eat healthy.
Find a spot for some quiet alone time.
 Happy 3 day weekend, everybody!