Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zooming around Quarry Lakes

So last weekend I had a stubbed toe causing me to do a short distance. This weekend's race was the pretty much flat Zoom Quarry Lakes Half Marathon, and my toe would not be a problem. And then at some point on Wednesday, I tweaked my lower back.

Before I started on my path to covering lots of miles with my legs, I used to be plagued with mostly minor back issues. The last couple of years, however, I have had very few problems, so this one caught me a bit by surprise. It's not serious, but I worried that the pounding of a Half, especially one that was about 30% on pavement, would not be kind. So I changed to the 5K. Mrs Notthat chose to move from the Half to the 10K, in part out of pity and also in part out of her having her own creaky issues.

Once again, we had excellent weather for the day.

Mr. Coastal: "How many of you picked Harvard over New Mexico?"
All distances started out at the same time.

I quickly bolted to my accustomed place at the back of the pack. (Note how low the water is in the lakes - all this nice weather is really taking a toll on our water reserves. Hopefully we will start getting some significant storms moving through. Mostly during the middle of the week though.)

About 1.5 miles into the race, the course splits, with the 10K and Half runners heading out to Niles Canyon and the 5K runners heading towards the finish.

We've done a number of races out here, but really liked that Zoom managed to work in some different trails for us to use. Above we are on the very familiar Alameda Creek Trail. The Half runners would head out on this as usual, but return on the paved trail on the other side of the creek (I didn't even know there was a trail over there).

We spent a short amount of time on that trail before hitting this aid station, which was followed by making a beeline for the finish line.

A lot of that return was on this trail that I had never been on before.

I don't do many 5K races, and am always surprised by how quickly they are done, even when you are as slow as me.

For me, an excellent 5K time is anything under 30 minutes, and I thought I surprisingly had a chance at this race, but I missed by less than a minute. Still, all things considered, this was a great result.

In fact, it was great enough that I finished third in my age group. Even better, for only the second time ever, I actually beat someone in my age group to get this!

With my medals happily clanging together, I headed back out on the course a bit to catch Mrs Notthat coming in.

And, earlier than I had expected, there she was.

Her hip was bugging her, and she was happy she did downgraded to the 10K. Still, she was moving awfully fast.

And naturally, she one-upped me and got second in her age group. (It ended up that there were only two in her age group, but I'm too much of a gentleman to bring that up.) This was, though, her official PR at the 10K distance. (There is some debate about whether the Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf should count as a 10K since it's billed as a 6 mile race, which is nearly long enough.)

The Coastal family going out for a stroll through the park.
The race was a lot of fun and very well executed. The course was a lot more scenic and fun than most flat courses.

And it looks like our next race is going to be the Zoom Point Pinole Half Marathon (or 10K - we have time issues that may force us to do the shorter distance, but who can resist a shirt with a dog standing on a bench?).

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.


Beth said...

Looks like a great course. Congrats on earning additional bling, and love the hats!

chris mcpeake said...

looks like a lot of fun. congrats