Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Family Affair

How I spent my Labor Day weekend......the best way ever: with my family and friends. With a little creative scheduling at work, Pat, the girls and I were able to take off for Morro Bay last Thursday evening at 7pm. We've really come to enjoy driving at night, especially around a holiday weekend. The girls sleep and Pat and I are able to talk and get caught up on things going on in our lives.

After arriving at my parents house about 12:30am, I was up at 7am heading out for an easy run on the beach with my dog. I've been doing a few miles a couple days a week trying to do a careful build up to the Montana de Oro 12KM trail race on Sunday. It was relaxing and beautiful running through the fog, a nice change from the hotter temperatures at home.

Pat, Ken, Vicki, my mom

Our friends Vicki, Ken and their 3 year old son Jacob drove down with their camper and were staying at Pismo Beach. We were all able to spend time at a park near my folks' house and Caitlyn was able to spend a lot of time on her bicycle.

Snack time

The highlight of the trip was Sunday morning. Pat and I were up early for the 20 minute drive to the start line of our first trail race together. My folks would head over a little later after the girls were up. Pacific Coast Trail Runs puts on a beautiful race through the Montana de Oro State Park with options of 8k, 12k, 25k, and 50k. Last March I did the 25k and it was incredibly tough. The first 7.5 mi loop wasn't bad but the second 8.5 mile loop really destroyed my quads. The first loop goes to the top of Valencia Peak and the second loop goes over Hazard Peak. Since I'm still dealing with an injury and Pat is just getting into running, we settled on the 12k with 1670 ft of climbing. Sarah and Wendell put on really nice races with good support.

Walking up to the start we ran into Nevada City local legend mountain biker Jason Moeschler. He said he hadn't gotten in much riding this weekend and felt guilty so he decided to sign up for the 8k race. He doesn't run much but when he does, he's just as successful as he is on the mountain bike. Turns out he won the 8K. Full results here.

Promptly at 8:30, Wendell sent us off. The first couple miles are a great, flat warm up on the Bluff Trail which offers stunning views of the ocean. Due to the fog, I chose not to take my camera which I regretted a bit but my dad was able to get a couple shots of us finishing. Soon enough we started climbing and it became apparent that Pat was stronger then me. I offered him the choice of going ahead but he wanted to run and finish together. I appreciated that. And it wasn't like he was having to wait long for me but it's still frustrating to be so out of shape.

Before we knew it, we were standing on Valencia Peak with a beautiful view of.........fog. Oh well. Last year was hot and clear. After reaching the top, it's literally all downhill to the finish and I was revived. I knew what to expect so I was able to let loose a bit and put a gap on Pat. But as we emerged out of the hills close to the finish he was right behind me and we were able to finish strong and together. We finished in 1:31:13 which is 3 minutes slower than I did the loop last year. Lots of snack food and wonderful hot soup awaited all the finishers. It was very special having my parents and kids there to see us finish. Nothing like family support when you're a runner.

Coming into the finish

That night Vicki and Ken brought their portable fire pit and we set it up in my parents driveway. Set the chairs up around the fire and got out the makings for s'mores. I must say it's the first time I've "camped" around a campfire in a driveway but it was a lot of fun and entertaining for people walking by. At one point we heard the sirens of a fire engine and joked that it would be funny if it were coming to our house. As the sirens got closer we started looking at each other like 'uh oh'. Fortunately for us, the firefighters weren't coming to inspect our 'cooking fire'. Unfortunately, they were going to a medical aid across the street.

Cooking s'mores around the fire

We spent most of Monday relaxing and getting in another bike ride and visit to the park with the girls. I was able to get up early and enjoy another very easy run on the beach. I was a bit sore but not too bad. We hit some pretty bad traffic heading east on Hwy 46 so we backtracked and went north on 101 which was a breeze. Overall the trip took longer but that was to be expected on the last day of the holiday weekend.

Next adventure is the Cascade Shores triathlon. I can't wait.


Anonymous said...

I love your story and love all the pictures too. We sure are one lucky family. We know how to have fun too. Looking forward to you coming back to MB for my birthday.!!! Love you all, Mom

Vic said...

That was a fantastic trip - it made it worth the energy it took to wrangle the near-3 year old to spend it with our great friends! Jake loved hanging with the girls (although he remained shy at the thought of a group bath, which I will be happy to remind him of as he gets older). The smores were so tasty around the driveway fire. Love you guys and can't wait till our next get-together!

Robert Fuller said...

Your family sure knows how to have fun.