Monday, November 11, 2013

Feathers and Eagle Eyes

First, you may notice the new Strava widget on the left of the blog.  I debated about doing this for a while, not sure if I really wanted people to see exactly where/what I'm running.  I'm pretty sure I dont' have any stockers, but if I do, they should know that I never run the same place twice, never the same route or trails on the same days or times.  You'll have a hard time finding me.  So there it is. Any runs I upload you'll be able to see them there, click on them to see the distance/speed/terrain (make sure to switch the map to satellite for the best view), and there's an elevation profile map so you can see the hills. As for speed, well, you all know I'm a slow runner, but you'll be able to see the pace graph that shows the pace as the run was unfolding.....meaning you can see the spikes of slowness on the hills and the dead stops for things like cattle gates, pictures, and potty breaks.

I had some great runs last week!!  Things are feeling really good.  I really love having a way to track my pace. I know I'm going to sound like a total old lady here - but these Garmin/GPS devices are such a treat to have!  It's really nice to be able to see my times improving.  I'm still slow, but definitely moving in the right direction.

Since I have been paying more attention to my actual running, I will admit that my picture taking has been cut way back.   Gasp.  I still am able to enjoy my surroundings and take things in, but slowing down to take a picture when I'm trying to keep my pace down...not gonna happen.  There may have even been a run last week when I forgot my camera completely. Another gasp.

This pic is from Thursdays run. Seriously, how could this not make you stop in your tracks and take a picture of it?? So pretty.
That said, if I know I've mapped out a hilly run that is more about getting hills under my legs and less about watching my pace, I will still take pictures.  That was the case for my run on Thursday. I knew it was going to be a slower run because I had planned for a hilly run. I parked on Northgate Rd (One of two roads that go up onto Mt Diablo) at the bottom of Burma  Hill. I had run all of these trails before, but not strung together in the order I ran them that day.  I really enjoyed this run! It's hilly, but went by fast!

Here's a few pictures for you-

This picture is important and made me happy - there's water!! I dont' know where it came from since we've had zero rain, but there is water and it had been dry before.

Quail. I kid you not, I swear these are the most clumsy fliers there are.  They are so loud when they fly they sound like little helicopters. And, they really seem to prefer not to fly if it can be helped. If you stop running and give them a second, they are much happier to shuffle off into the bushes than if you keep running and they have to fly to make way.
 Below, can you spot anything that stands out as being foreign, not part of nature, doesnt' look right?? I did. I wasnt' sure what it was, but after zooming in I knew what it was.  This is looking towards Northgate Rd from about half way up Dusty.

 I am quite a ways away from the car at this point, climbing up Dusty.  This is where the Eagle Eyes part of this posts title comes in.  In the above picture, and below picture, I'm standing in the same place.  The bottom picture is just way zoomed in, and the top picture is not. A little below center of the picture is my car.  Now look back up at the above picture and see if you can try to find it : )

 Eventually I did make it up and over Dusty and made a right turn to head towards Castle Rock and down Little Yosemite trail, which heads down that valley of trees that you see.
 I'm almost done in this picture. Literally, I was almost back to the car, but also I was really tired! It really was a fun, beautiful, challenging run.  I was rewarded near the end with a beautiful feather to add to my collection.  There are rules for this collection- only feathers from runs, not hikes, and only from my mountain.

That's your view of last weeks runs.  The kids are home today, so we are heading up the Mt to Rock City to do some exploring. I'm off to pack a picnic lunch.  Happy Monday, people!

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