Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Video of Brazen's Rocky Ridge

Here's a video of coverage/summary of the race.
See if you can find us, Emma and I are in there, and Myles is hard to miss. He finished at the same time as the half marathon winner, a great tactic for getting into pictures/videos!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Brazen Racing's Rocky Ridge, 2013

So many pictures!! I'll keep it as short as possible -
Another great Brazen Racing race.  As always, everything was smooth and above average - shirts, medals, food, packet pick up, easy parking and shuttles for those who had to park off site, great music, great course, great volunteers, great vendors, good atmosphere pre and post race.  Pre-race there was a hot beverage buffet with coffee, hot cocoa, tea, and hot apple cider..with everything you could possible want - cream, sugar, and marshmallows.  Races started on time, no lines or having to wait for anything.

Emma and I started first, then 15 minutes later Myles and Sophie started, with Brian checking in w/Myles at different points in his race.  Brian had been sick with Strep all week and was not registered to run, and could not have run the whole thing w/Myles if he had wanted to.  He was super worn out by noon, it was a lot of activity for a guy who had been home and down all week.

Emma and I had a good run.  Not great, or stellar, just good.  We just ran, worked on getting up the hills, down the other side, and to the finish.  We pushed and pulled each other and kept each other pushing....but man o man, that is one big hill.  We were both wiped at the top, but we just kept going.

Sophie had a good 5k, not her fastest, but she said it was "ok".  She's pretty much with the same group of runners now at most of the Brazen 5k's, a group about her speed that she knows well enough to chat w/as she's running, so she did a bit of that and got herself up the hill and to the finish.

Myles...Myles and Brian don't jive well when it comes to certain things.  Running is one of them. He tends to melt down with Brian when things start to get hard, and getting up that hill is hard. He was already in tears at the bottom of the hill before he started up it.  So he and Brian had a difficult time, but he finished and was glad to get back to the food and treats.  I think from now on I will be on Myles duty, we skip, hop, dance, sing, twirl,and on occasion actually run when we do 5ks together and he knows when I say "there's no crying in trail running" that I mean it. (He didnt' see my DNF at Diablo 50k last year, sshhh)
Here's what all the above looked like in real life -

 This picture made me laugh so hard! Those are the Ultra Gam Gaiter Gals...I'm not sure if Brian is looking at the gaiters or the gaiter gal's booties : ) Busted, dude.
 Sophie finishing.

 Myles finishing along side the 13.1 winner.

 Me finishing, I like to whistle while I finish. Or make fishy faces. Not sure which I'm doing.
 Emma's finish.
 Above is Emma and me about to make a right turn and start up the climb.
 Sophie is one happy runner.
 Look past the ladies to the drama going on on the hill back there, that's Myles in red shorts and Brian trying to get him moving.

 Well...I'm sure there's some life lessons in there somewhere...maybe like "as long as you are making forward progress it's ok to cry, just don't stop" or  something.
This is actually from the 13.1 course which had it's own "running of the bulls" except these are mamma's and babies, and those are the lead runners/eventual winner scaring them off the course.  Mixed feeling on this, I know there was money on the line, and it's the championship race of the half series and extra money on the line, and like I've said over and over on the blog, you can't be a trail runner around here and have a fear of cows.  You have to hold your ground, nicely and in a respectful way, maybe sing to them and tell them they are pretty as you pass so they stay calm. They are just everywhere.  That said, it is baby season, there are mammas and babies everywhere right now. You've got to respect that we are in their house, charging through it.  I get it's a race and all and the 2 lead dudes are super close together in this shot and probably neither wanted to slow down for anything, but as cool as these pictures look, it made me cringe a bit to see these mammas running w/their babies to get out of the way.  I also know this section seemed like it had a lot of rollers, and they most likely came flying up over the top of a hill and saw the cows and rather than stopping to debate the right/ethical thing to do, they are probably deep in the zone and just thinking "keep moving, don't slow down", so I do get it.

I'll leave you with the view of the second aid station. This is after the huge climb when we have reached the top of the ridge.  The views are amazing looking down both sides. (not the top elevation wise, we would climb a little more, but we reached the back of the ridge, along the top of it).

I'll do a second post with my own pictures in the next few days. Overall, as always, it was a great time. This was year 5 for our family at Rocky Ridge....maybe time to attempt the legendary 13.1 next year???

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Day the Boxes Started Arriving

Once upon a time, the delivery man started dropping off boxes. As if our house was a magnet, he couldn't stay away and kept coming back. 
In a land sort of far away, a Grandpa and Grandma had gotten a hold of someone's Amazon Wish Lists. 
Here's a peak of some of the joy that has been filling our house this week.

 Brian got a Garmin Fenix w/the performance package!!!!  What?? So exciting!!!
  Emma's new bedding is fuzzy!! Even the curtains are fuzzy!

 Sophie's awesome make up kit!

  He's already having to remind his sisters who's gift this is...and it doesn't even have the batteries in it yet!

 This was a huge gift for me! And Brian I guess, but mostly for me : )  While it wasn't a big deal, we've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for the past few years. I still made it look pretty and it didn't bug me too much...but I had a bed on my wish list because, well, it'd be real nice to have a bed!!
 Well, now we have a beautiful canopy bed!!
 It's hard to tell, but she's laying in/on a huge new bean bag chair, playing on her Kindle.
 These are such cool boots!! Emma is a huge Roxy fan, loves their clothing, purses, surf boards, and motorcycle boots!

It really seems insufficient to say Thank You, Grandma and Grandpa, but we do all say a huge Thank You! 
 We hope these pictures show you a small fraction of the joy we've felt this week!!

I Didn't Mean to Say That Out Loud

Did I post that we were all after PR's at Rocky Ridge? Of course I meant PR's for that course, not lifetime Pr's.

Either way, lets just pretend I was joking : ) I didn't mean to actually say that out loud...or curse under my breath when I saw my finish time.

3 out of the 4 of us who ran had fun (Myles is the odd ball) . 1 out of 4 placed first in her division. 0 out of 4 PR'd.

I know Brazen always says that Rocky Ridge is their hardest course, and I'm starting to believe it's sort of like childbirth.  You just forget the pain, and do it again...and find yourself thinking "Man, I don't remember this being this hard!"

I mistakenly had the Garmin on auto pause.....yeah. So climbing that huge hill, most the way up it was paused...which threw the rest of the race off, so I just did the best I could, made sure I was always uncomfortable and pushing.  I for sure made a huge mistake running that 1:05 10k two days ago.  I could definitely feel it in my legs, total rookie mistake and I should have known not to do that 2 days out from  a race that I wanted to improve my time on.  Aside from being slower this year, it was a great run! Emma and I stuck together for the majority of it, we didn't plan that, but we were moving about the same speed.  I loved being out there with her, and while I will admit there were a few times I thought about pushing the pace, I would then quickly have the thought that it wasn't worth leaving her to run alone and be 20 seconds ahead of her.

The last 2 miles involves a lot of steep downhill, which I love. I knew in the last mile she was fine, so I went ahead and let loose and finished 2 minutes ahead of her.

It was a beautiful clear day, blue skies, not too hot and I got to run 5 tough miles with my daughter.
That's a great day!

I'll post pictures tonight or tomorrow (you guys know it always ends up being tomorrow, but one day I may surprise you!).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rocky Ridge Time!!

I'm so excited to be running Rocky Ridge this year!! It's been two years since I did the 10k there and I'm pretty sure I can pr tomorrow. We are all going after pr's tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. Emma and I are 10king, Sophie and Myles are 5king. Brian is barely among the living, recovering from Strep throat. He's had a really rough week and is not running tomorrow, although he is going to try to keep up with Myles on the 5k course, or at least catch him as he comes out of the woods and get him up  and back down the big hill.

5k elevation profile

10k elevation profile

It's been an exciting week in our house, I'll post more on that later : )

Thursday, October 24, 2013


This morning I was looking at some stats on my Strava site, a site I keep track of runs on in addition to the Garmin site.  I noticed that since I started using Strava after Garmin, it had my fastest 10k at 1:26...which is not my fastest at all, but was the fastest one I had uploaded to Strava.
Once I saw that, I knew the goal for today's run - Nail a fast 10k time, upload it, and have a more accurate "fastest" time, and possible with that would come a fastest 5k time, too.

So I did. I've talked about pace here on the blog a bit recently, so you all know that 13's are the norm for what/where I run.  It's coming down, but 13's.

Today's run was intentionally flatter because I really wanted to see if I pushed, what I could do.  Well, I averaged 10:39's!!  That is huge for me. Huge.  Granted, I had to push really hard, harder than I should have to to get into 10's....but I did it.  Total time was 1:05, and included my fastest 5k - 31 minutes, and fastest 10k.  When I say fastest, I mean fastest since recording everything on the Garmin, not pr's.....just pr's since getting the garmin and having an online record of it all.

Needless to say I was pretty stoked!  I could not wait to get home and upload and blow that 1:26 10k out of the water with a new 1:05.  That's when the "Arg" happened.  While I know it saved it all because it showed me the summary after it saved it, and it still has the records for 5k and 10k in the "records" part of the watch.....the run itself was gone.  I went to upload and it said I had no new activities.....nothing was there to upload  : (   : (   : (

After throwing a fit and then calming down and reminding myself I ran for years w/o the validation of posting my runs on a site to analyze and that I know I had a fast run and worked hard for it, I went to work online to figure it out.   It seems to be a common glitch of the Garmin 10 to erase/delete/discard runs.  It will seem they are saved until you try to upload and then it says there's no new activities.  Doing a factory reset seems to be the way to go, but is not a guaranteed fix.
It's what I'm going to start off trying though...after I take another look at my new records from today and say goodbye to them!

On the bright side, even if it starts consistantly deleting runs, at least while I'm running I can see how far I've gone and what pace I'm at, and at the end of the run I can see what my average pace was and time/distance when the summary screen comes up.  That's more info than I had before I had a Garmin!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday's Stellar Run

I'm running out of adjectives to describe how great runs have felt lately, but stellar works, so that's what you got today!

So Sunday evening was my summit run w/Emma. Monday morning was a workout, then out the door for a run. I was a little worried my legs were going to feel tired, but they just felt solid.  Climbing especially felt really good, which I would normally never say. I'm no NTL on the climbs, but for sure I'm getting faster.  Also noteworthy during this run is how solid I felt after climbing, making the transition back to wasn't the normal "I just climbed 1000 ft and my legs are tired, ugh, gotta make them run now" was more like "heck, I just powered up that hill, woo hoo, lets run!"...and even some "well I'd normally hike up this hill but lets see if I can run it today" thrown in just for fun : ) Here's what it looked like in map/elevation/pictures-

It took me 1:26 overall, with the first 1.5 miles taking me 17 minutes, and averaging 13 minute miles overall, which tells you I was moving at a good clip after that first 1.5 miles in order to get that average back down. 13's with this terrain is good for me right now...but there were miles in the 9's and 10's, too. That's progress for sure!
 "Woo Hoo, I'm climbing a hill and I'm happy!"
" Woo Hoo, this nail polish makes me so happy, it looks so pretty out here in the that horse poop smells so good!"
 "I'm gonna crush this hill, power, power, get it, get it" -(what I say in my head when I'm working hard)
 I see a coyote. Do you see it in the top picture?  It's there.
 Looks almost like a pig, but its' a coyote.
 Yay!  I love reaching this fence, it means it's about a mile of rolling downhill.
 I haven't taken a picture of China Wall in a while, so thought I'd get one.
 Woo Hoo!  That felt pretty great! I love running. I love horse poop. I love sun!!

Sometimes you just have one of those runs!