Friday, April 7, 2017

Bird conference in Palo Alto. And a quarterly checkpoint.

So much going on in our lives, bot for Agnès and I, at work and outside, I'm again falling behind my weekly posting pace. A quick one before a big running day tomorrow, to report on a couple of 50K training runs through Mountain View's Shoreline Park and Palo Alto's Baylands. And, a first, a checkpoint after a quarter.
Last Saturday, I ran again from home to Bixbee Bridge Park in Palo Alto. Not Big Sur's Bixby Bridge on highway 1, but a much less touristic local destination as you barely notice that you go over a bridge on the Baylands levee. Yet, quite an amazing area, so close (25K! ;-) to home, with great views of the South of the Bay, a few ponds and the hills on both sides of the Bay. And, a couple of times a year, quite a phenomenon with thousands of birds stopping by for what seems like a Spring conference similar to the one we, IBM, have in Vegas for instance. Thousands of participants and a lot of noise, sounds familiar?!

So, Steve P, sorry if I triggered some excitement, not a real conference, and way too many birds of the same family to be of much interest to such an expert of bird watching as you. But, even after 18 years in the Bay Area, I still marvel at the pelicans who spend a few weeks with us on their migration South or North (these iPhone pictures don't do justice to them, they are the big white spot in the middle).
While we have yet another storm this first weekend of April in the Bay, last weekend was quite sunny and warm, for some initial heat training this season as my salty short attest...
By the way, on the way, I run the entire Stevens Creek Trail, starting in Sunnyvale, through Mountain View, Shoreline, and it's great to see the Stevens Creek healthily flowing this year, what a winter we had finally!
That was my 3rd of this run in 3 weeks, 3:47:30, 3:48:50 and, this time, 3:40:22, which is purposely slow compared to my 3:19:59 at Jed Smith early February, but March was both a recovery month as well as building up for tomorrow's 100K Road Nationals.

Which leads me to the quarterly checkpoint. Although I didn't race in March, I already ran 3 ultra races this quarter, but 11 ultra runs overall including the training runs. For those enduring or coping with my posts regularly (thanks! ;-), or at least my yearly reviews (e.g. 2016), they will remember that, for the past 6 years, I aimed and managed to average 100 km a week. But, in January, I pledged not to get caught into this pressure in 2017 as I thought it might have become too high for my age. Well, so long for a resolution, I'm at 135 km/week by the end of the first quarter, that gives me some room to ease up before the big races of May (Miwok, Quicksilver and Ohlone). At least I didn't experience any injury in these first 3 months for a change but, to be honest, I haven't done as much hill training or even speed work on the track, so it was a lot of easier/slower miles. Feeling ready for tomorrow's game, we'll see if I can maintain a 7:20 min/mile pace all the way. More on Sunday, then, happy running to all this weekend!

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