Monday, January 25, 2010

Running networking

This is typical of Silicon Valley... Saturday morning, you put your (Brooks) shoes on, go for a run, meet someone new, talk for several hours about running, life, work, kids, etc. "What's your name? - Brent. - Nice to meet you, I'm Jean." And here we are, Sunday evening, writing a short post to find out that Brent is a key executive at PayPal and was previously with eBay where he led the acquisition of PayPal a few years ago. Simply.

This Saturday, Agn├Ęs and Alex left early for the airport. The scoop: Alex has been selected in this year's Congressional Page program and will spend almost 5 months on Capitol Hill. His first experience there, and he just turned 16... How cool is that to start the program the week of the President's address to the whole Congress for the State of the Union? 60 kids for the whole country, a 200-year old program, a school dedicated to the group, 4.5 months with our representatives, what a unique experience it is going to be for Alex and his "page-mates", all that right after our trip to Ethiopia (yet another of Alex's projects...)!

Anyway, this Saturday I was up for a solo run up to Black Mountain, hoping to see some snow up there. It snowed on the hills of the East Bay two days ago and not just on Mount Hamilton. Even Mission Peak was snow capped and such views always thrilled me and make me wish we could go to ski every weekend.

I left home at 8:05, just in time to attend the Stevens Creek Striders weekly meeting at the lower parking lot of Stevens Creek Park. A dozen members welcomed 3 guests, one of whom admitted that he has lived in the reservoir area for a while without knowing the existence of our club. Brent is new to ultra running, but not ultra endurance, having completed several ironman events at the elite level. He ran 20 marathons (just like me!) and is going to run his first ultra with PCTR in two weeks. The Woodside 50K, the same day as Jed Smith 50K.

He had biked but never ran to the top of Black Mountain and was up for a 3:15 run so we left the rest of the group in the climb to the dam and got on Montebello Road, chatting all the way.

The weather alternated between cloudy, rainy, sunny and drizzly. But overall not cold enough for snow. To my disappointment, Black Mountain was still black this Saturday morning.

We came down to the reservoir following the flooding Stevens Creek Canyon and get our feet wet when crossing the creek actually. A good training in preparation of Way Too Cool, which we both got in by the way.

Brent did tell me he was working for PayPal but didn't say at which position. He did share that he was just back from being expatriate in Ireland and Luxembourg but not that he was then the General Manager and VP Europe of PayPal. As for being new to ultra, we ran 27 miles today, so he is definitely ready for his first 50K! You can expect to see him placing quickly! Brent, good luck in two weeks, and I hope you decide to join the Striders and also our RhoQuick ultra running team actually (please contact me to discuss)!

We did split at Mount Eden Road, close to Brent's house, and I ran back along the reservoir on the REI trail (officially closed because of several mud slides). Here is a picture of the reservoir showing that we need much more water this winter (the level is pretty low if you compare to the overflow wall on the right).

I stopped by the Park Rangers station to check for any train maintenance opportunity, then stopped by the office of the Audubon Society at McClellan Ranch (hoping to meet Debi Jamison, Steve Patt's wife, who volunteers there and left a note on my July post on the Blackberry Farm grand opening). Half a mile farther, I took two pictures of the e-waste drop-off event going on at Monta Vista High School (great sustainable and green initiative!).

Nice social and casual ultra marathon, some good training for the beginning of the season after the 18 miles of the week (much better than the past two weeks), followed by 7 miles this Sunday. It feels good to get back on the trails, getting excited again with all the upcoming races we have planned with the team for 2010!


Scott Dunlap said...

Wow! The creeks were alive this weekend. Pretty amazing.

Anonymous said...

Cela me fait toujours plaisir d'avoir des nouvelles!

Tobias Gimmel, Brugg said...

Dear Jean
Thank you for commenting my new blog. It feels great being able to run again, after 3 years of training slowly, eyeing each step of progression (would my back hold the pressure?), switching between different sports (which makes it hard, though, to concentrate on just running again ...) - well, let's give it a try in Morocco this April.
Looks as if you could need a bit of our snow, 9000 km far away. I ran a nice 25 km yesterday, part of it in deep white poder (I imagined it was sand in the desert), and it looks as if we are getting more of it. Let me know if I should send you a FedEx-parcel with some of it.
Hope you and your family are fine; have a good week and stay tuned in your Brooks -
cheers, Tobias