Saturday, May 27, 2017

Running for (in) the Jersey

I am sure we have all had the issue of things like vacation or business trips interrupting your routine.  Well last week I spent 5 days in beautiful New Jersey.  Yes you got me right, they don't call New Jersey the Garden State for nothing.

Well facing a 3 hour time difference and excellent food, I still made sure I got out for a couple of runs.  I was staying in Hamilton,

NJ which has the beautiful Veteran's Park.  There were a few beautiful dirt trails and a few asphalt trails.  However, it was enough to motivate me to get up at what would have been 3:00 AM (PDT) the left coast time, however I did it.  

Now food wise, I didn't do so well.  You can only get the best cannoli and Italian food in the country in New Jersey; however, I was still able to keep my routine.

Well today I will be running my first race of the year.  This will be just a fun 5K; however, this will be the first run the family has done together in a couple of years so I am realy exited.  I will post shortly about that.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Moving towards a routine

The end of Indian Creek Ravine at Shell Ridge
Well, I've cracked a couple of nuts over the last couple of weeks.  

First, I have been working on a routine.  Routine is priority number one.  For the last couple of years I was focused on a specific mile or time frame.  This would mean that I had to run a specific amount of miles per week and they had to be over 4 miles to be beneficial.  However, this was self defeating and not fun since I was not ready for that kind of run in my current condition. 

And really I have a truly boring running trail near me.  While the Iron horse trail does and has served a purpose, it is easily beat by my workday runs on the Embarcadero when I was in San Francisco or the trails nearby.

Well a few months ago I was talking to a workmate who mentioned a trail that was about a 10 to 12 minute drive from work.  Being familiar with the area, I knew I could drive about another 3 minutes for another less "big hill" at the beginning of the run that would serve as a way to get my running legs back.

My goal was to find a something relatively short (hear I go again), like a 2.5 to 3 mile loop.  I wanted also a nice long stretch of downhill single track that I can work on pace while also a nice but not too steep up hill to work my climbing skills back in.  I also wanted a way to cut the run short without too much backtrack.

Well I found it in Shell Ridge.  This was my wife and her friend's old stomping grounds the last running go-around.  I really needed something with a lot of variation, not the flat droning of the old Iron Horse cement trail.

I even ran into a rattlesnake the first day!

The Rattlesnake the first time out. I ended up jumping over it!
Now the key, like I said is a routine.  So I have found time to run three days a week at Shell Ridge with one day of bicycling thrown in to break up the running.  Also,  I make sure I get out.  One day I realized I would need to keep my run short.  So instead of making up an excuses of why not to run, I went ahead, drove to the staging area and ran 1.5.   That is actually really huge for me.   In the past I would have chalked up a shorter run like that as a waste.  However, I am having a much better time running and don't mind as long as it gets me out of the office.

So here's to moving back into a routine.  My biggest challenge will be next week when I am in New Jersey for work.  A 3 hour time difference means that I will need to get up early to get a run in.  However, even if it is short, at least I maintain my routine.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Getting back into it

Start, stop, repeat.

So have you ever caught yourself in your own version of the movie Groundhog Day?  What I am specifically talking about is getting the motivation to get going, get moving.  You know you need to find ways to de-stress.  You know you enjoyed trail running and it greatly helped.  You loved cycling until it became your primary mode of transportation to and from work.  You even loved writing this blog as a way to get your words on paper.   All of this helped de-stress.

But what happens when life just gets in the way.  You are back working at a company you enjoy, but this time you, in the words of Lin Manual Miranda, "Not going to blow this shot!"  Yours schedule and priorities shift.  When you are working to get the help your son needs in school because of his own anxieties and ADHD, you shift focus.

Well, here I go again, trying to revive this blog, trying to get back and enjoy running and cycling.

I am back to basics, just like I was 10 years ago.  Of course this means I am 10 years older and two years from 50.  I always wanted to do a 50 miler when I am 50; however, there is absolutely no way in my current physical condition. But there is enough time to at least get back to doing 50K's by that time and who knows if I can even achieve that scary elusive but seductive 50 miler.

So my current and humble goals are as follows:

  • Run the Bear Creek Trail 5K in 35 minutes.  This is in August
  • Run the Walnut Festival 5K in 29 minutes.  This is in late September
  • Run a 10K in October like the Rocky Ridge or Lagoon Valley
  • Surf City Half Marathon February 4th, 2018
And I do have one week of running down.  I have found a nice 2.8 mile trail loop to run.  It has a little bit of elevation and will be nice to run laps later as I get back my endurance.  Anyway, that catches me up.  Now off to the trails.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Snow on Mount Diablo

Included you will find the most recent pictures of snow on Mount Diablo.  Keep in mind, this is March in California, so to have snow around the 2,500 foot level of the mount is pretty awesome.

I was trying my panorama feature on my phone, so that is why there are so many panorama pictures. My daughter is in photography class so she joined me on the short hike.

We went out between a couple of thunderheads and it was a brisk 39 degrees with the wind blowing. We are only a few hundred feet above sea level so really unheard of this time of year.

submit to reddit