Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ready to Suffer ...

I would run from sun-up to sun-down if I could.

There are too many smiles in this pic (courtesy of Brazen Racing). I did a pair of Thanksgiving runs hosted by Brazen, a 10K in Point Pinole (above) and a 5K at Quarry Lakes in Fremont. While not among the most spectacular locales in the Bay Area, they still provide a "I-can't-believe-we-live-here" moment.

As a Bay Area transplant, part of the draw of trail running for me is experiencing the natural beauty of the region. (It'd be paradise if the beaches were warmer!) Point Pinole, above, is however almost entirely invasive eucalyptus, giving a weird feeling as if you'd run through a worm-hole and transported to the opposite side of the planet. Imagine if the place was coastal cypress and redwood.

Quarry Lakes below has potential. When the young conifers mature, this place will be quite lovely. Quarry Lakes is also host to Brazen's Western Pacific Marathon (full marathon option available) in May. I think I just might. I don't know if any other flat trail marathon exists so close to home.

Anyhow, I placed 9th in my age division for the Quarry Lakes 5K. I hadn't run for "speed" since junior high school. It felt good to let loose a bit and run over threshold outside of intervals on the gym treadmill. In the future, maybe when the timing and course are right (and I'm injury-free), I'll try more speed work and fast 5Ks. For now, my main goals are 1) a series of hilly trail half-marathons and 2) the full marathon in May.

I've been gushing lately about Brazen Racing's events. They are run so well while still maintaining an indie-like vibe. The events I've attended have had a distinctly East Bay flavor; laid-back with a welcome diverse group of runners; ethnic, age, fitness levels, etc. By all the past race shirts you see at the events, it's clear they have a large, dedicated following.