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!