Monday, March 21, 2011

Diablo Trails Challenge

So running has definitely become a family affair.  This past weekend we participated in the Diablo Trails Challenge.  Since the girls would be running we did the 5K, and it was such a great time.  This great time included muddy trails,  several creek crossings, and a wonderful BBQ.

Courtesey Brazen Racing
The run was organized by our favorite trail running company Brazen Racing for the Save Mt. Diablo group. There was a race for everyone: a 50K, half-marathon, 10K and 5K. This is a first rate company.  Besides the traditional shirts, everyone gets medals. In fact, everyone who comes in 1st to 3rd gets a medal.  The aid stations are fully stocked and the volunteers are so friendly.  There is so much attention to detail down to the care and concern of the runner, I have no problem having the entire family run with them.

Located in the Castle Rock Regional Park and Mt. Diablo State Park, the race was fun.  This was definitely not a day to get your PR.  In fact we got over an 1.5 inches of rain on Saturday.  Emma, our eight year old, and I placed ourselves at the starting line.  Beth and our daughter Sophie, our six year old, were in the middle of the pack.  The strategy would be that I would run ahead and if the creeks were too deep, I would ferry the girls across.  No need.  They plowed through.  The trail was extremely muddy, but you knew this going in. 

We had several friends running this race, with one being his first race ever. He bested my time by 3 minutes.  My ego slightly hurt, I was so happy that he had a great time.  In fact he came in third in his age group.  He will be running another race in Tilden Park in April with another company, I am just glad he started out with the best.

I did good, especially with the conditions, at 31 minutes.  Emma was 10 minutes behind me followed by Beth and Sophie 10 minutes after her.
Brazen typically has the finish area well stocked with recovery food.  This race included a BBQ also provided by Save Mt. Diablo. Soaking wet and cold, we had lunch and headed home for a warm bath and a cup of coffee.  I love that we can do this as a family!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Airobics: Aerobics on Trampoline

So last week we tried something different.  Mind you, I have never been a fan of the ttrampoline.  However, I have learned to try things that I never thought I would enjoy and found this was an awesome experience.

We went to Sky High.  There are a few of these locations on the West Coast and are set up with trampolines for the kids, a foam pit, trampoline dodge ball, and an  even larger trampoline area to jump around. 

Sky High has Airobics classes throughout the week and on Saturday's.  The class combines traditional aerobics with trampoline.  By adding the trampoline to the mix, you forget that you are exercising.  It was a great workout.

I never thought that at 42 I would have so much fun.  From a running standpoint, I couldn't help think about endurance running and training your quick twitch muscles.  Also, I really do not have much balance, so I can see how this workout could help in that manor. 

What stood out to me was that everyone in the class was at different fitness levels.  However, everyone was having tremendous fun.  There was a girl in the class that had to have been about eight years old; but was keeping up (more like showing up) the adults.

Most of all, I did it with my wife and children.  It was a family affair.  The kids were off in the kids area and also jumping into a foam pit. 

We definitely will be adding it to our list of things to do as a family.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bicycle Review: Cannondale Quick 3

As I mentioned in previous posts, I ride my bike to work and bike.  Concord and Walnut Creek are wonderful for bike lanes and trails which makes commuting by bike extremely easy and pretty safe.  For the last three years, I have been riding on a Schwinn Trailways Hybrid that my parents got me as a gift.  It has been a great bike, putting 41 miles a week on it.  That said, the bike really wasn't built to put on that many miles every week.

So when we moved a bit further from work, and my commute increased to 65 miles week, it took about two weeks before the bike broke beyond repairing. The seat post had broken two years ago (I jerryrigged it to work) and the aluminum wheel completely torqued to the point that the spokes pulled out, so I could justify getting a new bike. 

After narrowing down the selection to 3 bikes, I settled on the Cannondale Quick 3.  This is a beautiful hybrid.  It is 27 speed with carbon forks.  It is geared like a mountain bike but rides like a road bike.  After riding what I have been riding for so long, I was amazed how light this bike was.   The seat took a bit getting used to (the Schwinn had a nice wide seat, which was nice when I was heavier).

I love how rapid I can change gears.  I climb up hills like they are not they.  This is great because I now have 580 feet of elevation gain up Ygnacio Valley Road hill.  I scream down the trails now. I have always wanted a Cannondale.  I love this bike!!!
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