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.
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