Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Relays

This weekend Patty and I ran the Christmas Relays at Lake Merced in San Francisco. Our running club put together 9 teams, each of 4 runners. Each runner completed one lap of the lake, about 4.5 miles.

On my team one runner couldn't run because of a knee problem, so Ken stepped up to run two legs, each at a spectacular pace (sub 6 min/mile). My leg of the race went well and I held roughly my previous 5K pace for the 50% longer distance. Of course, that meant I was passed by a lot of people as the position Ken had put us in was totally out of my league. At one point I was running down a hill at just under 7 min/mile and people were flying by me on both sides like I wasn't moving at all.

The course itself was tougher than I thought when I drove around it. There's a hill at the start which you run too hard because it's the start, then a lot of downhill with a lot of people moving faster than you. Here you fly, too fast. By the third mile it's a slow uphill and the reality of how fast you ran the first two miles and how far it is still to go sets in. The final push to the finish also had a untimely hill. On top of that, the whole time you know there's a guy standing at the finish waiting for you. That keeps it moving along. I finished my leg in about 39 mins. Our team was the second LMJS team to finish.

Anyway, a fun time was had by all. After the race Patty, Patrick and I ran around the lake again to keep our miles up. It was a little rough as Patty and I were thinking 12 min/mile and Patrick was thinking 10 min/mile. Oh well, the legs were already trashed from the race, so what did it matter.

Monday, December 3, 2007


We were recently on a roadtrip to the American Southwest and managed to get in a few runs. Here's the first one. Patty returning down Echo Canyon in Death Valley National Park.

We camped there for two nights in perfect camping weather. This run took us a couple of miles up a canyon along a jeep road. It was pretty hard going on the way up as it was uphill and the footing was very loose rocks. On the way down those same rocks were like pillows for our feet to crunch down on.

From Death Valley we headed into Arizona where the temperatures were not as nice. Flagstaff was in single digits and windy when we got up so we decided to pass on our planned run in Buffalo Park. We Northern Californian dwellers are not built for those conditions (or at least lack the right apparel!)

A couple of days later, now in Moab, UT we woke up and, because Kelly was still asleep and we were in a dark motel room, we checked the iPhone to see what the weather was like outside. "28 degrees." Not bad. A run looked on. "And a chance of snow." Hmmm. We checked the radar image and a big green and yellow blob hovered over Moab. Double hmmm. I got up and looked out the window. White. Snow. Everywhere.

When Kelly woke up she was pretty excited. She'd never seen snow actually falling before.

We spent the first part of the morning hanging out in a coffee shop and then playing in snow at the local park. While there I noticed how many people were out running! There was even a couple doing intervals across the park's snowy grass. If they could run, so could I. We went back to the hotel and got changed and then took turns in putting down a 3 mile run.

While I won't go so far as to say it was really all that nice running into the snow, it was refreshing and something different. Plus, with almost 3000 miles of driving in a week, it got my legs moving.