Sunday, March 6, 2016

Progress is sweet!

Two weeks, two more races, and a bit of progress to report on.

We followed up the Brazen Bay Breeze race with the Inside Trail Lake Chabot race. This race has become our unofficial anniversary race since it often falls within a day or two of our anniversary.

Back in 2014, Mrs Notthat and I ran the 30K, then added on a bonus 1K to get to 31K - one K for each year of wedded bliss.

In 2015, I was a bit injured, so Mrs Notthat ran the 30K on her own while I did the 5K, but we both added 2K to get the total up to 32K (for one of us - I ended up with 4.3 miles, so I'm taking that as a good sign for our 43rd anniversary).

This year, we both ran the 5K. Since adding 28K to get us up to 33K was not going to happen, we opted to add 0.2 miles to get up to 3.3 miles.

The throngs of race fans were impressive!
Due to weather-related trail issues, the 5K runners ended up having the west shore of Lake Chabot to themselves. There had been rain earlier, but the weather was great for the race, and the 5K course was almost entirely on pavement.

Mrs Notthat decided to try to push it a bit in this race while I chose to aggressively hike it. The course has a few mild hills, which was a nice change and forced me to test my achilles a bit.

Mrs Notthat storming back to the finish line.
The Arch of Trees.
"Which way do I go?"
I was pretty happy with my result - a bit slower than at Bay Breeze, but the hills could be blamed for that.

Once I finally finished, Mrs Notthat and I headed out to get the final 0.2 miles to bring us to 3.3 miles for our 33rd anniversary.

"Told you I'd win!"
When we finished the bonus distance, we found out that Mrs Notthat had won her age group! And a bowl a fruit!

I was happy that I came out of this 5K with no pain issues, and was starting to gain some confidence in my recovery. So I decided to hike the 10K distance at the following weekend's race, the new Brazen Victory.

The Victory race was at the Richmond Marina, with the course mostly following the bay shore. The day was perfect and the views were exceptional.

The trails were all paved for the 10K.

Looking across at the majestic Saratoga skyline. Or maybe Los Gatos.
"Which way do I go?" (This "kid" is running his first ultra at Way Too Cool as I type this. WOW!)

Mrs Notthat and Ekim (not his real name) are enjoying the shopping a bit too much.
Once the race was done (Mrs Notthat ran the 5K) we were all invited to shop at the Mountain Hardware employee store, which was in the building next to the finish line. There is nothing like hundreds of sweaty runners all hanging out in a nice store. Trying on clothes. (I doubt we'll ever be invited back.)

This race was the second half of a double series - do both races and get a bonus medal to "anchor" them to each other.
This 10K was the longest distance I'd tried to cover in about two months, and it went really well. There was absolutely no pain.

The next day I was really brave and ran a flat two miles. The last time I had tried this, about a month ago, it really hurt. This time there was no pain - which was hugely exciting! There was a serious conditioning issue though since after those two miles I was pretty much done.

But the important thing was that there was no pain. (There were also no hills, but those will get added in slowly.)

My plan is to slowly start building up the fitness and mixing in some mild hills.

Some flowers at the top of a mild hill.
I'm planning on a hilly 10K next weekend (Brazen Badger Cove), but I'm not going to try to win; just slowly running bits of it will be a big enough deal.

The wins will come later.

That's it - move along…

PS: Pictures from the ITR Lake Chabot race.

PPS: Pictures from the Brazen Victory race.

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