Sunday, August 10, 2014

Local running ramblings and rumbling

No, regarding the ramblings in the title of this post, I didn't go "abo" (as in Aboriginals) this week... And if you are intrigued by the expression, you'll have to get a copy of the August 2014 issue of UltraRunning Magazine and check on page 74. An interesting tip from Dean Karnazes, which I need to try one of these days.

No, by ramblings, I mean a few random running and training-related topics for this week, following my great run at Skyline 50K last Sunday. And some ire against a serious issue regarding our local park management.

Thanks to Vespa and no cramping at Skyline, I was back to training on Monday and Tuesday, keeping regaining some of the speed I lost back in February with my tibialis issue, followed by all the hilly miles of the Spring races. Quite a great season so far, I already passed the 500-point threshold in the PAUSATF MUT Grand Prix, the highest score I ever got despite winning my age group the past 7 years. It certainly helps getting the youngest of your age group! ;-) But the season is not over, I (and we...) need to keep working...

I took Wednesday off to focus on a work project but ran 11.5 miles at Alviso on Thursday and 15 kilometers on Friday. With all my travels in June and July, it had been 3 months since I ran at Alviso, it felt great to see my fellow visiting pelicans again! After all these flat miles, I ran to the top of Black Mountain on Saturday, twice actually as I also ran the Bella Vista loop, going 900 feet down Black Mountain on the other side. A solid 28-mile hilly run at 8:24 min/mile. I even met Agnès at the top of the mountain who was hiking with my nephew Cosme and our friends Caro and Hervé, the three of them visiting from France (photo credits: Hervé).

On the way down to Cupertino, I enjoyed running the Waterwheel loop and stopping by the small creek to get a fresh shower. A much welcomed stop as it was quite hot this Saturday and a large group of cyclists camping at the Black Mountain campground had drained all the water up there, I couldn't even fill my bottle. More about Waterwheel in a few paragraphs.
This Sunday, I went to the Cupertino High School track for some tempo run. I used to do up to 16 miles at 6 min/miles these past years but, not having done track workouts since January, I did lose quite of this speed (mind some of my fellow runners, I have hard time running a long series of 1:30 laps right now, I'm slower...). The longest I had done was 68 laps in 2012 and 60 laps the week before Skyline. This time I went farther, albeit not faster, for 70 laps in lane 2 so slightly more than 17.5 miles at 6:45 min/mile average. Quite a good tempo work out, getting in the right direction, it feels good to be back to the track discipline.

Overall, a good 86-mile training week right after and not counting the 31 miles of Skyline, no time to rest much with the next 50K in 2 weeks (Tamalpa Headlands) and more races in September, October and November.

And now on for the rumbling... I was just informed by a friend on Facebook of a project that the Board of Directors of our Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD), the organism managing several of our local parks, is negotiating with the Ridge winery a swap of land to allow them to extend their vineyards on quite a few acres of the Montebello Open Space Preserve. I did find more about this project in a meeting notice from 2012 so it seems we are late to the discussion. Although it sounds like a 1:1 swap from acreage standpoint, and that public access to Waterwheel Creek Trail will not be affected except seasonally during the harvesting for instance, I fear about the fragile creek which is already endangered by the drought. I look forward to hear more about that from the Board and will let you know if we need more support to fight against this project. One thing is for sure is that I strongly disagree with this statement of the project: "The properties proposed for exchange have been appraised and are of equal value; therefore no funds
will change hands between the parties." Knowing that Ridge Vineyards are owned by the large Japanese pharmaceutical firm Otsuka Holdings Co., and that the land they have en eye on will be transformed into vineyards as opposed to the acres they have today which have no agricultural potential, I find these statement quite offensive for the tax payers that we are... The least they could admit is that this swap will create a lot of wealth and share some of it so we can use the money toward more land preservation! And here is my frustration and disapproval...
Enough negative thoughts for tonight, hope to learn more in the next few days about this, and let's run happy in the meantime. Have a great week!

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