Thursday, December 19, 2013

Comrades Marathon - June 2014

Without a doubt, 2014 will be big year for me, in terms of running.  My running plans include Way Too Cool 50k, Los Angeles MarathonAmerican River 50 Mile, and my first Miwok 100k.  I'm excited about those races and I'll be working hard to ensure that I earn my third qualification for the Western States 100, by running Miwok in less than 16 hours.

But WOW, I am just floored by the fact that I just registered for the 89th running of the Comrades Marathon, to be held on June 1, 2014!  With roughly 20,000 runners, Comrades, a ~56 mile (~90k) road race that is run between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, is the largest and oldest ultramarathon in the world.

An quick bit of Comrades history: At the end of World War I, Vic Clapham, a soldier who served in East Africa approached the League of Comrades of the Great War (an organization created to give aid to war-torn families), and proposed the race.  The idea was pushed aside by the League, thinking the distance was too extreme, but Clapham persevered, and in 1921, the first Comrades Marathon was run.  Since then, the race has been run every year, with the exception of a four year span during World War II.  Each year, the race alternates the direction in which the course is run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, being referred to as an "up year" or a "down year".  2014 will be a down year.

As was the case in 1921, Comrades enforces a strict 12-hour cutoff.  The sound of a rooster's crow and the firing of a gun will signify the start of the race at 5:30 AM at the city hall in Pietermaritzburg.  At 5:30 PM, the firing of a gun at the finish line, 56 miles away, on the field of the Kingsmead Cricket Stadium in Durban will signify the finish.  Runners who are unable to cross the finish line within the 12 hour time period will not be recognized (not even as having started the race) and will not be allowed to cross the finish line.

The Comrades Marathon is a major event for the people of South Africa and is rich with history, tradition, and culture.  The race is nationally televised (on nearly every channel, from what I've heard).  Crowds of spectators are drawn to the course from the various cities, towns, and villages along the race route.

I am grateful and extremely excited that I have the opportunity to experience this race and South Africa.  My hotel is booked, I've inquired into the available dates of an African safari, flight plans are in place.  I am ready.  Whenever I go out for a run during the first half of this year, the Comrades finish line will be on my mind.

I've decided to register myself as a charity runner.  Many of the people of South Africa live in poverty and many of its wildlife and natural places are critically threatened.  The US Dollar is strong in Africa and a little money can go a long way, so  I chose to raise money for South Africa's Wildlands Conservation Trust, an organization that strives to support the sustainable development of local communities and the ecosystems they live in.  My goal is to raise $500.

If you're interested in helping me achieve this goal, please give a small donation via my Comrades Charity page.  Major credit cards are accepted and a donation as small as $1 would be greatly appreciated!  Donation amounts are listed in South African Rand (ZAR).  10 ZAR (or R 10), is a little less than $1 USD.  "ZAR 50" is about $4.80.
Make a donation here (if you like):

In the meantime, I should go for a run.

Oh... ps: if anyone was following my training/progress towards CIM, my marathon didn't quite go as planned.  I was on pace for my goal time of 3:39-3:45, but became nauseous, starting around mile 18-19 and my pace suffered.  I managed to enjoy the COLD day and finished in 4:03.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Western States 100 Lottery, CIM...

The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run lottery and CIM are a little over 2 weeks away (December 7th and 8th, respectively)!  The odds of being selected to run Western States are surely not in my favor, but I have a chance and that's exciting.  I can't imagine what will be going through my head during the CIM if I am picked... well, okay maybe it will be something like this:

"Why am a standing outside in the dark at 5am on a cold December morning?  I'm freezing."

"Oh YAY!  Pre-race speeches and songs, I'm pumped!  Let's do this!"

"Here we go, settle into pace, settle into pace, don't go too fast, ignore the adrenaline."

"Wow, can't believe it's already been 8 miles, only 18 more to go!"

"OH LOOK!  Family and friends!  look happy, look happy... HI GUYS!!!  SEE YA!!!"

"Ugh, everything hurts, I'd be totally OK if this run was over right now."

"Focus, focus, this isn't THAT bad, make it hurt, this is what a PR feels like.  8 more miles, 8:20's"

"8:10's 3.5 miles to go.  Feed off the crowd, smile, make eye contact, BE HAPPY"

"BAM!  3:3x!!"

"Yikes, in seven months, I need to do this four times... in one day."

I'm happy to report that in spite of a recent calf injury, which did prevent me from running for ~8-9 days (during what should have been the highest mileage week of my California International Marathon (CIM) training), I am back on track with my training and am feeling confident and healthy enough to maintain my current marathon goal time of 3:39!  I think my recent workouts have shown that it's still in reach for me.

Sunday - 23.5 miles.  Paced my friend, Helen, to her first 100 mile finish at Rio Del Lago 100!  This was essentially my first run back from my calf strain (I also ran an easy 3.5 miles a couple of days earlier to test it out).

I jumped right back into my scheduled training after pacing at RDL:
Thursday - 10 mile run w/ 8 x 800m and 400m recovery.

Saturday - 10 mile run at GMP.

Sunday - 21 mile run w/ "fast" finish (last 4 miles @ ~7:40/mile)

Monday - 5 miles w/ Lucy

Tuesday - 8 miles w/ Lucy

Wednesday - 5 miles w/ Lucy

Thursday - 4.25 miles w/ 6 x hill @ ~7:00 min/mile

Saturday - 20.75 miles w/ last 4.5 @ GMP.  Last long run!  CIM is in 15 days!

Weekly Totals: 65 miles in the last 7 days

Friday, November 8, 2013

Race, race, race, speed work, ouch.

I haven't updated in a while, but many a thing has happened.  I've averaged a hair over 52 miles per week, listened to 6 or 7 audiobooks, have enjoyed what, for me, were three great race performances! (, and sustained a mild injury)
  1. 09/28: Run for Courage - 10k - A new 10k PR for me!  I was aiming to average 6:59 minute miles and my official time was 43:29, 7:00 min/mile.  Success!
  2. 10/06: Urban Cow Half Marathon - I was hoping for my first sub-1:40 half marathon at this race and based on my recent 10k performance, I figured I had a good shot at it.  If one wants to run a 1 hr 59 min 59 sec half marathon, the pace to run is 7:37 per mile.  Since officially measured half marathon courses are purposely measured a bit long, to ensure the actual distance is covered by runners, my plan was to run each mile in the low 7:30 range.

    I lined up in the vicinity of the 1:40 pace group leader, enjoyed the surprise of listening to my friend Paul sing the National Anthem, waited for the gun, and got to it.

    Mile 1 - 7:33 
    Mile 2 - 7:21 
    Mile 3 - 7:30

    I was paying close attention to my effort level and pace and quickly realized that the pace group leader had started out too fast for my style.  Mile 2 was ~10s-15s too fast and 1/4 way through the third mile, we were on pace for a 7:10 split.  7:10's are what you run if you're gunning for 1:33, not 1:39:59.  Knowing that my best race efforts have been those with conservative starts and negative splits, I forced myself to back off the pace and let the 1:40 pace group run away from me.  This took a lot of patience and confidence in my plan and ability.  I wondered if I was letting them run away for good, but did my best to remain confident and quelled such thoughts.  Falling back from the pack, I focused on getting back to my plan and bringing my average mile splits back to the low 7:30 range I had planned.

    Mile 4 - 7:35 
    Mile 5 - 7:42
    Mile 6 - 7:36 
    Mile 7 - 7:28 
    Mile 8 - 7:24

    Miles 8 and 9 of the race run atop a levee, along the Sacramento River.  The span on the levee afforded me an unobstructed view of the course in front of me.  Some distance ahead, I saw the 1:40 pace group sign bobbing around.  I was feeling tired, but confident.  There were no signs that I was fading or that I would not be able to maintain my current pace.  Over a span of 2-3 miles, I reeled the 1:40 group in.

    Mile 9 - 7:31
    Mile 10 - 7:33
    Mile 11 - 7:36

    I caught up to the 1:40 group in mile 10 or so.  I chatted with the pace leader for a while and settled into his pace, which at this point meant I was able to back off a bit and slow down.  We came off the levee and back into the streets around Land Park.  I thanked the pacer, said some goodbyes and put my foot back on the gas.  I knew that in less than 20 minutes, my discomfort would subside and be replaced by feelings of joy, pride, and accomplishment.  I knew I would get my sub 1:40.

     Having run the Urban Cow Half a few times in the past, I was quite familiar with the last couple miles of the course.  I ran down the winding streets, through Land Park, passing old growth oak trees,  large green, grassy fields, hitting the tangents as well as I could.  I was passing tens of runners.  I pushed myself uncomfortably hard, not 100%, but at an honestly hard effort that I felt I could maintain to the finish.  Before long I was on the home stretch.  I charged to the finish line, accepted my cowbell medal, enjoyed my accomplishment, and got on to mingling with my fellow runners.

    Mile 12 - 7:27
    Mile 13 - 7:11
    Mile 14 - (0.30 mi.) 7:19 min/mile

    Super happy. :)

    Garmin time: 13.25 miles, 1:39:23, 7:27 min/mile
    Official result: 1:39:19
  3. 10/26: That Dam(n) Half Marathon - Running through the trails of Cool and Auburn, this half is quite a change of pace from the Urban Cow.  My goal was to match the effort I put forth at Urban Cow.  On this course, with ~2,000 ft. of elevation gain (including a climb known locally as knickerbocker, which gains ~1k ft in 2 miles), I figured that would result in a 2 hour finish.

    My plan of attack was simple: recklessly charge the downhills and struggle as consistently as possible on the uphills.

    With an extremely fast downhill start, followed by an extremely slow uphill section, the course is setup perfectly for a half marathon suffer-fest.

    Mile 1 - 7:56 
    Mile 2 - 7:10 
    Mile 3 - 7:15 
    Mile 4 - 6:53 
    Mile 5 - 14:08  
    Mile 6 - 11:50 

    Sparing you all the rest of the splits and details, for the second half of the race, I settled into 8-9 minute miles with a 7:36 mile 13 and cruised in for a 1:57:39 finish.  Good for 15th overall and 4th in my 10 year age group.  Based on finishing times of some of my friends at last years race, I had some serious doubts about whether or not I would manage a sub-2hr race and was really happy with my 1:57!

Tuesday - Feeling good about my recent racing, I decided to incorporate some speed work into my scheduled 10 mile run.  10.13 miles w/ 8 x 800m, 400m recovery.  I was tired and my calves were sore from Sunday's race.  I ran the 800's at a ~7:30 min/mile pace.  I shouldn't have added the speed work, I should have rested, but I didn't.

By Thursday, I realized I had pulled/strained my left calf and was unable to run.  I missed ~8 days of CIM training, including a 10 mile goal marathon pace (GMP) run and a 20 mile long run.  I'm bummed to have missed these key workouts, 5-6 weeks out from my goal marathon!

Thursday - I got out and tested my calf for the first time in over a week.  5k run with Lucy at ~9:30/mile.  The calf felt good.  I'm glad I made the smart decision to rest up and let it heal, rather than force myself through workouts with an injury.  I'm hoping to be able to salvage my training for CIM, which is one month away!

Some pics:

Urban Cow
*I do not own rights to this photo

That Dam(n) Half... had a blast!

Happy Halloween y'all.

One of my favorite stretches of the Pioneer Express Trail.
Lucy, throwing one back at the horse trough near Avery's Pond.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More books please.

Monday - Sunday's run left me feeling a little achy, so I contemplated skipping today's run.  However, I was feeling pretty fresh after work and went out for a 3 mile run with Lucy.  Felt great after.

Tuesday - Went out for a 7 mile run with Lucy and wound up running ~8.5 miles.  I maintained a comfortable pace and the run felt fairly easy.  I finished up listening to The Dead, by James Joyce and started listening to The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.

Wednesday - 6.25 mile run.  I only had 3 miles on my training schedule, but I've been enjoying listening to books and I was thinking about the looming time change, which will leave me to run in the dark after work, for a few months.  I decided to head out to run on my favorite local (easily reachable from my doorstep) trail, which is always at its best during a good sunset.  Additionally, I thought to myself "it's tarantula season, maybe I'll get lucky".  I was not disappointed on either front (sunset or tarantula)!  I wound up with a photograph that is currently being matted and framed in a ~20" x 30" frame and I got to pet and hold, not one, but TWO tarantulas!  Note: don't hold tarantulas, they're very fragile and can be easily harmed, they'd probably appreciate it if you just leave them the hell alone.  I just couldn't resist!  Oh, and I knocked out a couple more chapters of The Hunger Games.

Thursday -  Hit up a local middle school for 5 x 800 m repeats with 400 m recovery jogs + a little warm-up and cool-down.  6.63 miles total.  I ran the 800's in 3:16-3:30 (avg ~6:45 min/mile pace maybe).

Friday - Rest day.

Saturday -  Ran 9 miles with 7 miles at my GMP (goal marathon pace - 8:30 min/mile).  The workout felt tough, particularly the last couple of GMP miles.

Sunday -  10.5 miles.

Weekly Totals: 43.74 miles; +2,717 ft.

Beautiful sunset!

Beautiful creature!

 He (I'm confident it was a male, at age ~7, they go out exploring for a partner during fall evenings) was very gentle and timid, hiding under my hand instead of walking across it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The NFL is back; unexpected company!

Monday - Drove up HWY 395 on the way back from Southern Cal.  I saw countless places where I wanted to run and explore, but I did not.  I simply drove, until I got to Lone Pine, where I ate and went to the bathroom; then again until South Lake Tahoe, where I ate and went to the bathroom again.

Tuesday - Speed work on the levee!  2 mile warm-up; 6 sets of (60 sec/90 sec/30 sec intervals, with 30 second recovery jogs); eight ~100 meter sprints, with 100 meter recovery jogs; cool-down run.  ~7.5 miles total.  FUN

Wednesday - 4.3 mile run with Lucy.

Thursday - 1 mile warm-up; 6 x ~300 meter hill repeats; 1 mile cool-down.  4.5 miles total

Friday - Sunsplash day at work!  BOO FREAKING YAH!  Free, unlimited, all-you-can-slide waterslide day from ~4 pm to 8 pm.  AKA ~50 x 400 meter waterslide repeats

Saturday - 7 mile run on a 100 degree day, hot!

Sunday -  I parked at the Willow Creek SRA lot for a solo 14 mile run.  I decided to pack light, since I was beating the forecast 102 degree heat, carrying only one gel and no water (I knew I would encounter fountains at the ~3rd and ~8th mile of my run).  About 100 yards into my run, I saw my brother-in-law, Rob, running towards me.  He was finishing up his long run.  I turned around and ran with him for a couple of miles until we got to his car and then continued around Lake Natoma.  When I arrived at Negro Bar, a little more than halfway through my run, I gulped down some water, ate my gel, looked up and saw my friend Crystal, who was 13 miles into her 20 mile run.  Crystal and I chatted and ran together for 6-7 miles and then enjoyed a dip in the chilly waters of Lake Natoma.  Sure was a nice surprise to bump into some friends to help pass the time during my run, I barely had time to listen to The Dead by James Joyce!  14.5 miles

* oh yeah, some water and maybe a few calories would've come in handy from mile ~11 on...

I got home, cleaned up, re-fueled, and headed over to a friends house to enjoy the San Francisco 49ers game!

Weekly Totals: 37.7 miles; +1,798 ft.

I didn't really tear it up with the camera this week, but I feel obligated.  Here's a really green smoothie: chocolate almond milk, orange juice, Chocolate Vega Performance Protein, spirulina, ginger, cayenne pepper, tumeric.  I drank 3 pints of it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Let the CIM training begin!

     I'm focusing on running my least slow marathon EVER at the 2013 California International Marathon (CIM).  In order to make that happen, I'm kicking off a 15 week training plan, based heavily on Hal Higdon's "Advanced II" plan (I'm starting on the 4th week).

      I don't feel like I've ever really "nailed" a marathon and I'm hoping to do so this year.  Historically, when I've trained specifically for a marathon race, for some reason or another, I've under-performed on race day.  My 3 fastest marathon times have come during marathons that I was running as training runs for longer races.  For example, my current marathon best is at the 2013 LA Marathon, a race I ran the week after a 60 mile week, 7 days after having run the Way Too Cool 50k.

     So, here it is... key workouts will be speed/hill workouts on Tues/Thurs, goal marathon pace (GMP) runs on the weekends, and of course the staple of any good marathon training plan, the long run.

Monday - 3 M run w/ Lucy

Tuesday - 6.3 M run w/ 4 mile tempo.  I felt really good on this run.  I ran on a local trail/fire road, 700+ ft of elevation gain and kept my tempo miles in the low 8 min/mile and high 7 min/mile range.

Wednesday - 3 M run w/ Lucy

Thursday - 5.3 M run w/ 4 x ~300m hill repeats on a~7% grade.  Averaged ~6:50 min/mile pace on the hill repeats

Friday - Rest day, drove to Southern Cal to spend the weekend with family.

Saturday - 6.6 miles at GMP, w/ Lucy.  I ran this a hair too fast, aiming for 8:30 min/miles and averaged 8:15 (slowest was 8:26).  The Temecular/Wildomar area was experiencing east coast style humidity.  Temps were in the 90's and it was muggy!

Sunday - 13.1 mile run.  I felt great during the first 5 miles and then the heat caught up with me, resulting in a fairly uncomfortable trudge during the latter half of the run.  :)  Happy birthday, Mom!

Lucy, keeping comfy on the road trip.

She loves the added room that the double cab has to offer.

Happy 70th birthday, Mom and Dad!

Tired after running, swimming, and playing with Mia all day.

Heading home.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tamalpa Headlands 50k (no 50k for me)!

Monday - 1.5 mile warm-up and flag football at lunch.  We LOST by a point, 32-31... booted out of the semi's

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - Played a few hours worth of sand volleyball after work, always fun.

Thursday - I decided that the odds of me having an enjoyable experience during the majority of the Tamalpa Headlands 50k, were low.  I decided to withdraw from the race.  Regardless, camping!

Friday - Drove out to the Olema Ranch Campground, near Pt. Reyes and met up with a fairly large pile of Folsom Trail Runners.  Let the good times roll.

Saturday - Woke up at 6 AM, stirred up a little breakfast and drove my pals to the race start.  We saw the runners head out of the starting area, then cheered them on at the .75 mile mark, and headed over to Muir Beach Overlook for a wee bit of sightseeing before going to the Cardiac aid station (mile 19.5 and ~27), where we would volunteer for the majority of the race.

Shortly before the lead runners arrived, I decided to take a little trip up to the Mt. Tamalpais summit.  During my little run, I felt strong and started regretting my decision to skip out on the 50k.  I wondered if the reason I had been feeling a little on the weak side during my recent longer runs, was that they were typically above 9k ft. elevation.  However, in retrospect, my training wasn't where it typically is for a 50k and the Tamalpa course is no joke.  I think I've left myself in much better shape to run a strong CIM in December, which is a goal I set for myself this year.

I had a great time camping and hangout out with my FTR people this weekend!

Sunday - Did some sightseeing/driving around Pt. Reyes.  Saw some tule elk, ran a mile to scout out a beach.

Weekly Totals: 6.6 miles; +1,031 ft.





Bar trip!
Tule Elk!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Still feeling under-trained, more Ralston Peak.

Monday -  Had another flag football game during "lunch" (technically speaking, I had lunch after the flag football game).  Ran a ~1.5 mile warm-up.

Tuesday - Took Lucy for a brisk (16 min/mile) 4 mile walk.

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - rest day

Friday - Another speedy 4 mile walk with Lucy

Saturday - Easy 3.75 mile run w/ Lucy.  Then drove to San Jose for a super fun birthday party.  Am I really still thinking about running this 50k next weekend?

Sunday -  Ever since I discovered (last week) what a nice trail Ralston Peak has, I've been wanting to go back.  I decided I'd investigate my 50k fitness (or lack thereof) by hitting the summit again.  Lucy and I arrived at the trail head one hour after leaving the house.  I was a little concerned about whether or not we'd get to the top before any thunderstorms came in, since they were forecast, I saw lightening in the Sierra on the previous evening, and clouds were beginning to form overhead.  Lucy and I made the summit in about an hour and 10 minutes, and made it back down in about a half hour, making for a ~2:16 up and back trip (I spent a half hour or so chatting with some nice folks on the summit).  It was another gorgeous day on the trails!  Just a few minutes after we left the summit, I started to hear rumbling thunder, literally just as we reached the car, it started to rain.

On my way home, I pulled off at the Fresh Pond exit and chatted with a bunch of friends who had run (or were still running) the Run on the Sly race.  Great job to everyone who raced, it was a hot and fairly humid day!

Lucy did not forget about her favorite spot, located about 2 miles out on the Ralston Peak trail.

Lucy is a master of the Talus.

I've only been up here twice, but I'd venture to say that it is always awesome on the summit.
Lucy, getting ready to dirty up her new truck.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Feeling under-trained! Ralston Peak = yes

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - I had a flag football game at work, where I made the best catch of my life.  Deep pass, one-handed leaping grab, in coverage, spin move to get away from a would be tackler, 45 yards, touchdown.  Crowd (of 3) went wild.  Ran a 2 mile warm-up before the game.

After work, I met up with my trail running group for a solid hill repeat session.  1.5 mile warm-up;  alternated running 30 seconds and 60 seconds, hard uphill, then easy back down, for 30 minutes; 1.5 mile cool-down.  Ended up with 5.6 miles and ~1,200 ft. of climbing.
Some FTRs, post-exertion

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - Another flag football game at lunch, another 2 mile warm-up before it, no spectacular catch this time... back to reality.

Hit the Levee near Brown's Ravine for an interval workout.  Lucy came along and worked out harder than I did.  ~1.3 mile warm-up; 6 x 0.5 mile intervals at a hard effort (turned out to be 6:40-7:10 min/mile pace); 1.5 mile cool-down.  Lucy went crazy in the lake after the workout.  7.11 miles, +243 ft. of gain.

Friday - Rest day.  Feeling pretty sore from the two flag football + speed work days this week, topped off with a mild cold.  I've got a 50k race with +7,500 ft. of climbing in ~2 weeks.  Feeling like I need a long run in the morning.

Saturday -  I planned to get up at 6 am, run out for 2 hours, and then run back.  I got out the door at 7:30 am and got on with it.  I wasn't feeling great, due to the cold and the muscle soreness and I planned to take things extra slow and just tough it out until I began to feel super.  I climbed the hills up into the trail follows the El Dorado County line, towards Brown's Ravine.  After I reached the Brown's Ravine trail, about 5.4 miles into my run, I stopped to drink some water and thought to myself "I don't feel like running out for another hour", so I decided to turn around, run home and relax the rest of the day instead.  During the run back, I decided I'd drop from the Tamalpa Headlands 50k.  9.8 miles +940 ft.

Later that day...
Drove up to Cameron Air Park, a small community located adjacent to the Cameron Park Airport, where people are able to drive their airplanes out of the airport and into their driveways and/or garages (hangers).  Cool.
Honey, have you seen the keys to the airplane?

Sunday - I was feeling better and spontaneous, so my Dad, Lucy, and I decided to drive up HWY 50 towards Echo Summit and climb Ralston Peak.  Neither of us have been up there and we've talked about doing it for a couple of years now.  Beautiful hike/summit that is very accessible.  The trail head is ~100 ft. from HWY 50 and the summit is only another 3.5-4 miles away (depending on if you take a short cut trail towards the top).  We had a really nice day on the trails and enjoyed the stunning views.  Lucy was an excellent trail dog!  She was off-leash ~95% of the time and on the few occasions that we encountered other hikers, she stayed close when I called her.

I think this is our favorite thing.

I keep Lucy leashed up on the cliff areas.

Left to right: Pyramid Peak, Mt. Agassiz, Mt. Price, Lake Aloha, Jack's Peak, Dick's Peak, Mt. Tallac, Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Tahoe, Echo Lakes, + a bunch of other peaks/lakes.

Little swamp thing after getting a drink.

Weekly Totals: 34.1 miles; +5,432 ft

Monday, August 5, 2013

Freel Peak, Job's Sister, Job's Peak

07/29/2013 - 08/02/2013
No running... I need to get back on track with my weekly base mileage. :o

Broke in my new truck a bit by heading out on the US Forest Service Road  (FR) 051 to Armstrong Pass, so I could go tromping around on 3 of Tahoe's highest summits (including the two highest); Freel Peak - 10,881 ft., Job's Sister - 10,823 ft., and Job's Peak - 10,633 ft.  I picked up the trail from the Willow Creek bridge and headed up towards the Tahoe Rim Trail and eventually, Freel Peak.  This was my 4th summit of Freel Peak and thanks, in part, to a good night's sleep, it was my fastest.  5 miles, ~2,500 ft. in 1:30.  I enjoyed the views from the summit for a moment and spent a little time with a photogenic chipmunk, before heading over to the Job's Sister summit.

Background: Lake Tahoe
Foreground: chipmunk
Background: Job's Peak in the upper left
Foreground: chipmunk

This guy was really wanting some trail mix, but got nothing from me. :(

The latest summit board.  There used to be a much cooler, engraved piece of wood, but it's gone now.
Panorama from the Freel Peak summit.  Job's Sister and Job's Peak are on the right.
After a few minutes, I parted ways with my chipmunk friend and headed over to Job's Sister.  The trail between the summit is ~1.1 miles and drops ~500 ft, traverses the Freel Saddle, and then climbs ~500 ft. to Job's Sister.  I made the trip in ~19 minutes.

Freel Peak on the left and Star Lake, far below on the right.  From the ~10,800 ft. Job's Sister summit.
This was the second time I'd stood upon the Job's Sister summit and I was excited to head over to Job's Peak.  The trail between Job's Sister and Job's covers ~1.6 miles and drops about 1,000 ft. before climbing 700 ft. to the Job's summit.  I briefly chatted with a couple of other guys who were heading there too and we all descended the southeastern facing slope of Job's Sister.  It was steep, sandy, and I knew it was going to be tough coming back up, but no need to worry about that now.  I charged down the 35-40 degree sandy slope and thought about how a snowboard or skis would have come in handy.

Heading down the back side of Job's Sister.  Pictured are a couple of guys from Carson City who I met.  We all had a nice chat on the Job's Peak summit.  One guy had a fried who finished Western States this year
Job's Peak.  Closing the gap on my 3rd 10,600+ ft. peak of the day.
Before long, I was standing on the top of Job's Peak.  A big stick marked the summit and as is true with Freel and Job's Sister, the views were fantastic.
Looking back at Job's Sister and Freel Peak from the Job's Peak summit.  I would climb back to the Job's Sister summit through the trees/rocks, just to the right of the large, bare, sandy slope.

Job's Sister, Freel Peak, Lake Tahoe, and California to the left, Nevada to the right.

Panorama from the Job's Summit.

Summit marker on Job's Peak.

The ridge, heading back towards Job's Sister (not pictured, to the right).
 I spent 20-30 minutes on the Job's Peak Summit, chatting with the guys from Carson City and eating some Vega gels and a Lara Bar.  It had taken me ~2:30 to get there and I was hoping to make it back in less than 2 hours, but that climb back up to Job's Sister had other ideas for me.

The bump in the upper left center is close to the Job's Sister summit.  ~1,000 ft. of vert. in less than 1/2 mile stand in the way.  No trail, straight up.

Typical scene during my return ascent of Job's Sister.
I traversed Job's Saddle back towards "The Sister" and when the time came, I started to climb.  It was a tougher ascent than I thought it would be.  For maybe 1/5 of the climb, I crawled on "all fours" in order to help distribute my body weight and prevent from sliding back with each step.  When I could, I used fallen trees, tree branches, or boulders to climb or help to pull myself up with.  1/2 mile, 1,000 ft. of climbing, I think it took me close to 40 minutes, but eventually (as I knew would be the case), I found myself back on the Job's Sister summit, where I took a deep breath and ran off to visit Freel Peak again.  Atop Freel for the 2nd time of the day, I met a guy in his late 60's or early 70's named Galen, from Lodi.  He had hiked directly up the southern slope of Freel from the Willow Creek trail-head (a route that I could have taken down if I wanted to shortcut my trip by 2-3 miles).  We chatted about all the different peaks we had climbed and/or wanted to climb, pointing them out on the horizon.

My hydration pack's bladder has been a little leaky as of late.  I went to take a pull of water from it and found that it was empty.  Lucky for me, I only had 5 miles left and it was mostly downhill.  I was feeling pretty tired from the return climbs to Job's Sister and to Freel, so I just kind of stuck myself on auto-pilot.  I focused on the trail in front of me and maintained an easy jog, all the way back to my truck, where I was stoked to pop open my cooler bag, chug a protein shake, eat some food bars, and hit the road.

15.3 miles, 4:59:06, +5,300 ft.

Here's the awesome little elevation chart from my awesome little adventure:

GPS Data:

Oh yeah, while I was out gallivanting in the mountains, so was Lucy!  She stayed with Amit and DD of "Amit and DD's Friendly Home Away From Home".  Lucy had a fantastic time with them.  They are definitely who you want your dog to stay with, if you're in Tahoe and want your pooch to have an even better time than you! :)  They gave us updates a few times a day, in the form of awesome pictures and videos!  Lucy was off-leash, out of a kennel, jumping fences, panting, plugging her face in the water, fetching things, running, hiking, bike riding (yes... she rode a bike), you know... just doing all of her favorite things, ALL WEEKEND LONG!  Thanks again Amit and DD!