Fleet Feet Holiday Classic

With Robert consistently running for the last year or two, this felt like a great day to take the whole family out for a run. The event is free, donations for a good cause, and it is overall just a fun day. Damon brought his bike and rode around midtown, while Tripp, D, and I joined Robert in running a 5k.

In the cold before the race, I got to do a quick interview with a local radio station. The next day, I had an e-mail from a peer who heard my voice on the TV and turned around and took video, and another high school friend commented on it. My “I survived the TP crisis of 2020” Ugly Christmas Jumper was on full display, while I talked about bringing the family out for the run.

The lowlight of the day was coming back to our truck being keyed by an unhappy parking-neighbor. The highlight was enjoying a quick run out of Sutters Landing park, seeing a few TBF friends, and overall just having a fun holiday morning with the fam. 8:30s isn’t a great run pace, but I did get have a good time, and a 26:23 finish.

Neville’s Conquest 10k

Given 2020, and the death of run events, a few companies started hosting virtual runs. One in particular has Harry Potter themed runs, and some amazing finisher medals, so I signed up for one for Tripp and I to do.

Tripp had never done a 10k before, so this was his first chance to try some distance running. He definitely didn’t start out at a 5k pace, which is great because I didn’t want him to gas out early. However, one thing all runners have to go through is learning how to fuel and run, and learning to push yourself during the ups and downs of each run. Being ten, and having done nothing longer than a 5k, that was a bit tougher than expected.

Gu, shot blocks, all the “gross” stuff we take for granted, Tripp was finally introduced to, and it did help us complete the whole 10k. We ran most, walked about five times, and finished. Our time wasn’t great, but for someone of his age, just finishing the run is a great accomplishment. So bibs and medals were definitely earned, and we have another set ready to go as soon as we’re ready.

Finish time: 1:14:27
Pace: 11:50
Total distance: 6.29mi

Rubicon Reservoir – Overnight backpacking with the family

Five of us headed out to Loon Lake to take our first backpacking trip as an entire family (well, most of the family). Two new frame packs for the younger boys, one borrowed one for Jade, and D and my gear, and we headed out to Rubicon Reservoir.

Our original reservation was for a trip from Emerald Bay west into the Desolation Wilderness, but weather restrictions advised that only very advanced hikers take the trip, so I found a new destination to Rubicon. Our first stop at the parking lot was met with tons of Jeepers ready to take the Rubicon Trail, north of the lakes, but our path followed the south side of Loon Lake, Spider Lake, Buck Island, and Rockbound Lake, 9.5 miles to our reserved camping spot. For three members of our family, this was their first overnight hike. Damon was not excited, Jade was cautiously optimistic, Tripp was ecstatic, and D had been hoping to traverse the PCT or TRT for years. For me, I was looking forward to doing a great family-bonding item.

As would be expected with a whole family, there were tribulations across the 4+ hours of hiking. From the backpack tipping over our smallest member, to a plethora of bugs at the final resting spot, and disappointment in eating just “snacks” for two days, the overall experience was one that wasn’t too great “in the moment,” but as a parent of five kids, I know often that looking back at experiences like these have more fondness than the feelings “in the moment,” so I was hopeful that it would create lasting memories for the kids.

Tripp learned some important items during this hike, hopefully that will last. The first is, you may not know when you’re out of energy, but some food and some calories can reinvigorate you to keep going. Jade learned to persevere in a way different than the other trials she’s been through. Damon, while maybe the least enthusiastic about the hike overall, did come out with a desire to do it again, though maybe in a smaller chunk.

The views were pretty marvelous at times, and the areas we got to were peaceful, for the most part. It was quite interesting, seeing and hearing the Jeeps across the lake, navigating very technical four-wheel courses. But for us, it was lakes, trees, rocks, and trails. Stream crossings, small waterfalls, rock hopping, and tent setup were the key moments of the days. Four hours isn’t a super long time to hike, but for those that don’t do it regularly, especially with a heavy pack on your back, it can be quite the difficult adventure.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! But having done it once as a family, I’m not sure I can convince anyone else to go do it again. Hopefully we will, though.

Shamrock’n Half 2019

A PW, a slow race, plenty of social time, and the time I deserved!

In the year prior to this half, I ran a total of less than 10 miles. That includes the two 5k races I did ahead of this half, including one the day before. So could I expect a good result? Definitely not. But perhaps, given that, finishing is its own success? If so, I’ve definitely lowered my expectations.

My splits for this race highlight a moderately slow start, and continued and consistent slowdown through the course of the race. I walked once at mile three, then by mile nine, was doing walking, then jogging, then walking, then jogging through to the end. I did meet up with a fellow slow runner at that point, and we spent most of the last hour chatting about racing, friends, etc. Just a nice “get to know you” and “encourage you along” chat to reach the finish line.

With absolutely no training, it’s about the best I can expect, so in a way, I’m happy I went forward and completed the run, but there’s nothing about this that says “I kickstarted back into running,” nor did it lead to a refresh of being a runner. It was just a nice day for a longer run, and a good excuse to get some miles in that I haven’t done in several years.

Shamrock’n 5k 2019

Tripp wins this one by a hair!

Unlike the CIM run, this time it was just Tripp and I heading out, so we chose to run together through the whole race. So when I was lagging, I got pulled by him, and when he needed some encouragement, I was able to push him along.

I’m no longer a consistent runner, so having someone to run a small race with is great, and signing up for this 5k with Tripp gave me motivation to register for the half marathon too (he’s too young to sign up for the half), even if I hadn’t planned to train for a run.

Now, getting a nine year old ready for a large scale race with an early start time? Let’s remember to bring warmer clothes next time, and a warm drink! Our final of a 26:15 was about a half a minute faster than our CIM run, so I’d definitely count this as a win for family time, and I’m pretty sure it’s a PR for an official race time for Tripp.

CIM MaraFUNrun 2018

Deterding’s principal is an avid runner. Tripp’s teacher definitely encourages the kids to get out and run. So ahead of CIM, a group of students all decided to do the 5k fun run, and I decided to join them. Tripp did great, and stayed a corner or two ahead of me the entire run. That’s what happens when he runs regularly and I don’t. For me, it was no PR, with a 26:34, but it was a FUN run anyway, right?