Last weekend we headed down to Northern California to do Tough Mudder. Six months ago when we signed up for this it sounded like a great idea. As the event day got closer and closer the Tough Mudder guys kept sending email updates about how hard-core this event is. To be honest I was starting to dread it. My overall fitness is ok (I ran the Bellingham half-marathon a couple of weeks ago) but I hadn’t been doing my pushups and was pretty sure climbing over a 12′ wall sounded impossible.
Getting to the event via AlexAir was perfect. Rather than flying into Sacremento which is over 3 hours drive away we flew into Calaveras County airport which was less than an hour from the site. Calaveras (KCPU) is a classic wonderful small airport with friendly FBO with a loaner-truck, nice gas prices, a great runway and all.
We lucked out and event day weather was great. Not too cold, not too hot. We started a bit after noon, shouted our Tough Mudder pledge and started on the course. In the end it wasn’t so bad- going up and down the mountain twice at altitude was exhausting, but the obstacles weren’t as bad as I feared. There tended to be foot holds, the wall wasn’t straight up, an the bus you had to climb over had a net.
Tough Mudder isn’t officially timed. It is more about teamwork and it was sweet to have a great team. Overall a really fun event.
posted in Exercise, Outdoors |
Kat and I ran the 2009 Bay to Breakers 12k race today in San Francisco. We have been getting into running lately and are training for the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon at the end of June. It’s mostly an excuse to get in shape, but its working and to my shock I’ve really been starting to enjoy running.
In any case, we signed up for Bay to Breakers since its a good warm-up for the 13.1 mile half-marathon (at about 7.5miles) and a trip to San Francisco is always fun. We also managed to head up to Napa for the Joseph Phelps party, do some extra tasting at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and attend a Pahlmeyer event at the new “Press Club” tasting room in San Francisco.
The race itself was fun- lots of people wore all kinds of zany costumes (or nothing at all which was frankly just less interesting). The race was hard, since I’m really poor at pacing myself, but it the challenge was fun and I enjoyed pushing myself. The city had unusually hot weather which was pretty tough for the run, but in the end I finished in 1:16:30 (unofficial of course), which felt like a pretty good time for me.
Overall the event felt really well organized, although I wish they had safety pins at the start for my race number. But transportation back downtown was really easy and they had tons of water bottles easily accesible at the finish. The only thing I would have improved would have been more bathrooms at the start- the lines for the few they had were unreasonably long.
posted in Exercise |
Kat and I joined a crowd of 15,000 people to do the annual St. Patricks Day dash yesterday (Sunday). We have recently been getting into running as part of our plan to get into shape and our big goal is the Seattle Rock and Roll half-marathon at the end of June. Since we had never done a “race” before, we wanted to do a smaller one to get a feel for what its like being in a huge crowd of people before the bigger race.
The weather was miserable. It was 33 degrees and snowing which was the worst possible for the combination of cold + wet. Any colder and it wouldn’t have been wet- just snow. Any warmer and it would have been, uh, warmer (and just as wet). We were jumping up and down trying to stay warm before the start and while getting going helped warm up some, my hands were still pretty cold and we were in no mood to hang out after.
The Seattle PI (soon to be online only) has some good pictures to get a feel for what it was like. And here is the grainy photo of us from my iPhone-
Alex and Kat freezing in the snow before the St Pattys Dash
Overall the race bit was not bad. I was actually pretty happy that the 3.75 miles felt pretty easy for me, even with the slight uphill most of the first half. The crowd was pretty annoying. We were in the second wave where they still timed you, and followed some advice to start a bit back to avoid the main crush. I didn’t mind the folks running at just about any speed, but the many folks who were walking (even after just a mile or so) felt like they were much more in the way. There were also a bunch of people pushing strollers which were supposed to be strictly against the rules in the section we were in. I’m all for people working out that way, but in a race with 15,000 people it gets in the way of other people- get a baby sitter!
The other super annoying thing is that despite the timing chip that I believe can record start & finish times, they only posted the time from the starting horn which is pretty meaningless so the timing chip thing was a waste of time. I don’t especially care about the time in comparison to other people, but I’d like to have known what it was just for my own training goals.
I think we might be doing the San Francisco Bay to Breakers to try out a bit longer race in May. They seem to have a few more organized “waves” of people with different paces so maybe that will work out better.
posted in Exercise |