Sunday, June 27, 2010

Western States 2010: a very fast snow year

For those who don't have time to go through the report or prefer pictures to English prose, you can visit my Picasa photo album. Beware, though, there are 385 pix covering the 4-day weekend. With some comments. Enjoy!

You saw it on my two previous posts (Sunday and Friday), we had an official snow year in 2010. Usually it means slower times because of the added difficulty. However, this year, first the snow was not that bad in quantity. Second, it was actually very good quality, soft like it was fresh Spring snow. But, more importantly, the new section we used instead of running the ridge between Escarpment and Duncan Canyon, through Lyon Ridge and Red Star, was so much easier: from the very runnable down hill to French Meadows, to the flat section along the lake before the uphill through the devastated Duncan Canyon. With that, the start was incredibly fast and the from runners did beat all the aid stations expected times. Of course, being in the back, I missed the action but was told that it was amazing to see this pack of elite runners flying in, and actually flying through the stations in the quest for a new course record and for figuring out who was the best among them. Through the afternoon the reports from my crew was that it was going to end between a sprint between my two best bets, the "unknown" Killian Jornet, from Spain, and Tony Krupicka. As you figured out if you followed the webcast, Geoff Roes actually closed on them after the river to win the coveted cougar and setting a new course record. Geoff was named ultrarunner of the year in 2009 for a reason: he won the 6 100-milers he entered in and set course records most of the time (if not all the time). Bingo, same at Western Sates among such a competitive field! And Geoff continues the tradition of the North American winners at States, a tradition I thought Killian had a shot to break.
Getting the top 10 automatic entrant privilege was so challenging this year that I want to salute Andy Jones-Wilkins for having done it again despite this amazing competition. Right after the top 10 occurred the classic and friendly yet fierce competition among the local North California runners: Erik Skaden had sworn that he would not let Rob Evans pass him and, indeed, finished in 11th, against 12th for Rob, with a 31' gap. Rob did an amazing race, passed me in the hill up to Robinson Flat and confessed to have experienced only two downs during the day. He gain 40 positions in the overall ranking throughout the day! Karl Hoagland and Mark Lantz both made the top 20, finishing under 19 hours.

The women race was no less impressive with the top 5 in the same hour, finishing from midnight to 1 AM. Canadian Tracy Garneau took the pole position. Caren Spore repeated her top-5 finish like last year after a great come back. She passed me at Last Chance. Fueled by Vespa, she looked really determined and in great shape before the canyons.

Anyway, apart from the snow at the start and the freezing creeks we had to run though, it was a perfect day for great performances and many took advantage of it. Although I was really not into competing for a high rank spot in such a competitive field, my goal was to improve my 2007 time (20:24) and hopefully break 20 hours. With the fast start, I passed through Duncan Canyon much ahead of my previous runs. Later, Pierre-Yves told my I was actually on the initial leader schedule from past years, but it was not taking into account the much faster section along French Meadows. Duncan Canyon is manned by my Quicksilver running club and I got great and personal care from my teammate Pierre-Yves who will pace me through the night. Feeling that I started a bit fast although I had many people ahead of me (43 according to the webcast), I slowed down and walked all the uphill to Robinson Flat, getting passed by quite a few runners. I did not change shoes as I had planned to because there was actually another mile of snow after the station (and uphill to make it more interesting!). At Robinson Flat I had two volunteers helping out and staying with me the whole time while I was picking food and drinks. Despite this great care and attention, I ended up with the Raspberry GU2O which I cannot bear in my water bottle so I didn't drink any water for the next 5 miles in the very exposed section down to Miller's Defeat. Caren Spore caught up with me at Miller's Defeat but it's only at Last Chance which she will passed me as I stopped there for a while to recharge before the canyons and to take advantage of the special care of my other clubmates manning this station, the Stevens Creek Striders. Just before getting to Last Chance, I passed Chikara Omine who was in bad shape and that really affected my mental. I told him to stop at the aid station for a while and that we "ressuscited" more than one runners at Last Chance (what an ironic name). I was really happy to see him at Michigan Bluff where I stayed for 15 minutes, and even happier to see him as a finisher in the results, under 20 hours! Not a great time for such an elite runner but what a way to tough it out through the night (in the picture below, with his pacer Jason Reed at Rocky Chucky).
I didn't want to repeat last year's mistake where I faded in the El Dorado canyon and had to wait for 20' at Michigan Bluff to work on my fluids and weight, then through all the night. Unlike last year when I ran a large part of the switchbacks, I walked all the way to Devil Thumb. While easing off the pace, I kept thinking of the saying "the race really starts at Foresthill" (mile 62, km 100), but it was actually more tireness which was imposing my slowing down. I cruised down El Dorado, trading places with some other runners, and walked all the way to Michigan Bluff (only 2.8 miles but it takes for ever when you walk in a race). At this point, I was completely out of energy. I felt so depleted that, for 10 seconds, I did think of quitting/dropping at this point, how comfortable that would have been, but how much I would have regretted it later since I was still moving. Once I reset my sub-20-hour goal to sub 24 hours (silver buckle), I felt less pressure and shame of walking all the uphills.
My time into Michigan Bluff was not too far off my previous runs and I stayed in the station less than last year, so I was comfortable for a sub-24hr pace. I walked much of the trail up to the top of Volcano Canyon but was able to run the down hills and part of the uphill to Bath Road and Foresthill Road. My pacers Max and Pierre-Yves ran the last half-mile before the Foresthill aid station where I met my crew for the second time, as well as many known faces at this popular place. After the emotional boost going through the encouraging crowd, I had great couple of miles going down to Dardanelles, before experiencing another low leading to quite some walking and slow miles. The aid stations provided great support in this section which I covered in 3hr32', trading places with some runners, oscillating between the 66th and 61st position (quite a few runners passing me calling me by my name or mentioning my blog, comments which were very encouraging as I was experiencing my own downs).
After this nice run with my son, I changed pacer at Rucky Chucky, Pierre-Yves covering the "night shift." You can actually see Pierre-Yves in the recently-released DVD "100 miles to 40" which stars the Western States experience of Michelle in 2009, paced by Pierre-Yves. With this experience and other local runs, Pierre-Yves has been a great guide through the night, knowing all the various mileages between the aid stations, all the turns and canyons and depicting me what I could not see while focusing on the single track trail. This year, the current of the North Fork of the American River was so strong that we crossed by boat which was a first to me. The crossing was so well organized that there was no wait and we barely made it without getting our feet wet which saved another change of shoes.
We walked all the way up to Green Gate, in the dark before the full moon rise. I tried to recharge batteries at Green Gate by my legs were soared and I had a few slow miles in the next 5 miles to the Auburn Lake Trail (ALT) aid station, losing yet other positions, down to 66th again. Weight was still right on target and we kept going after drinking a cup of Coke and soup and eating some fresh fruits. Realizing that we "just" had 15 miles left, I had a physical and mental boost for the next 4 miles to Brown's Bar and passed quite a few runners. Pierre-Yves was super excited by the famous colorful and noisy fiesta going on there, and even got a beer, but I must admit I was eager to keep going.

I was able to maintain a reasonable pace in the next 2.7-mile section to Highway 49 Crossing which is the last medical checkpoint and 6.7 miles before the finish. We passed another runner before No Hands Bridge, then one on the way up to Robbie Point, despite an amazing push again in the last hill (that's become a specialty of mine, showing that I still have physical energy at the end, if I was not listening so much to the weakest part of my mental...).

Pierre-Yves was getting really excited with this strong finish and, with his encouragements, I kept pushing to pass 4 or 5 other runners in the last mile to cross the line in 52th overall, 16th in the M40-49 category (yikes, if doesn't help to age, but some do it better than others... ;-).
Overall, I used "Digging deep" as the title of my 2009 WS race report and I had to dig even deeper this year. I tend to do better in the heat but was not so acclimated this year. It wasn't super hot either which benefited others. I did ok in the snow and, despite making sure not to be caught in the upfront competition, started fast on this new course. Between the thinner and dry air and the dust, I felt short of breath for the major part of the run after Duncan Canyon but was able to keep the asthma under control with a slower pace. For what it is worth, the thing which I am the most proud of is to have kept my weight under control, right on target at +/- half a pound through the 9 medical checks! With all the fluid and food intake and quite a few pouches of Vespa thanks to Peter being on the course (Duncan Canyon, Dusty Corner, Foresthill) plus my drop bags, I don't really explain my lack of form and energy. It was great conditions to perform well and set quite a few records: 426 starters (with the limit set by the National Forest authority, it's going to become even tougher to make it though the lottery next year...), 326 finishers, 123 of us getting a silver buckle! Of course, I'm disappointed with the ones who didn't finish such as teammate Adam Blum (Michigan Bluff) or Bill Dodson who, at 75, was going for the oldest finisher record but was pulled out at ALT at 7:20 for missing the cut-off time of 7 AM.

I have another busy week at work starting tomorrow, so not much time to rest but I wanted to post this timely report. See also more than 350 pictures in my Picasa WS2010 photo album, thanks in particular to the coverage of my crew (Agnès, Alex, Greg). And see you again on this legendary course, either as a runner, pacer, spectator or volunteer (or any combination of the above...)!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Western States 2010: H - 12 news

This has been an interesting couple of days up here in Squaw Valley and Tahoe City: overcast, chilly temperatures, and even rain, quite an unusual setting at least for me for the end of June in Northern California. With that, who is still going to believe in global warming and that we have to act so urgently to protect our Blue Planet...

Just a short post to give you some news before tomorrow's race. Actually, I need to get prepared so I mostly invite you to look at my Picasa photo album which covers a few pre-race events:
  1. The Flag Raising
  2. The runner check-in on Friday morning
  3. The race briefing (pre-run meeting) of Friday afternoon

Flag Raising

Not quite at Emigrant Pass because of the snow up there. Yes, there is quite some snow and the organizers have declared the run as a Snow Year, although it's nothing compared to 1995 or 1998 from what a few veterans were saying. For instance, in 1998, the top of the Watson Monument was 6 feet under snow while there is barely 2 feet at the bottom of the monument this year. But enough snow for us to switch to the snow year route, going down to French Meadows before Lyon Ridge. I don't know the route but it is said as being much faster and, with the amazingly competitive field toeing up the start line this year, it's likely that Scott Jurek's course record will fall, and maybe the 15-hour mark too.
Anyway, it was great to get back in the Western States Endurance Run mood, spirit and history with this official ceremony whose main goal is to pay tribute to the ones close to the race who left us during the year. Starfire, a horse who spent his 25-year life on the trail and has been the first non-human to get the Friend of the Trail award for all his work carrying equipment for trail maintenance. Among others we also remembered Dan Moores, the founder of the Auburn Running Company, who died the day before the run last year. In my 2009 race report, I told you how much Dan helped me digging deeper and it is certain that he will be with all of us again this year, on a trail he loved so much.
I'd like to take the opportunity to dedicate my race again to Tom Kaisersatt who is battling cancer with the same energy he put into running marathons and ultras for many years and inspiring hundreds of runners in the Bay Area to run a marathon or more. Tom will be at Last Chance again this year, preparing grilled cheese sandwiches! I can't wait to get through Last Chance, the station managed by my fellow Striders, and get the thrill which has allowed me to make it through Devil Thumb twice already.

Runner Check-in

I was the first in line around 7:45 this morning after driving up from Tahoe City. It is so great to see so many known faces both on the volunteers and runners side. Around 8:30, I saw Killian Jornet coming back from a run on the course and I asked Simon, his Salomon teammate, to introduce me.

While we were chatting and I was letting Kilian I put my bets on him, the check-in opened and Simon and I caught-up with the line which was actually not too bad and going through really smoothly though the various steps (waiver, picking great goodies, leaving emergency contacts and finishing up with the medical check.

Pre-run Meeting

With the meeting of the canceled 2008 run, that was my 4th meeting and I must say the most unusual setting. The past three years, everybody was competing for the shade but, today, the whole Olympic Plaza was filled. It seemed like we were three times as many as usual!
The protocol of the meeting was not changed and a nice way to pay tribute to our spouses, our crew members, the more than 1,500 volunteers, all the ones who gave hundreds of hours to maintain the trail. At the head of this huge human adventure, on behalf of the Board of Trustees led by Tim Twietmeyer, Greg Soderlund has been directing the race for the past 10 years, after taking over Norm Klein. To commemorate this occasion, Tim gave Greg his first silver 1,000-mile Race Director belt buckle!
The meeting ended up with the presentation by (Tropical) John Medinger of the amazing top runners who cam this year. Overall we, the lucky ones making it to the start line tomorrow, come from 20 foreign countries and 40 US States (plus Texas! ;-).

Tomorrow should be an amazing race to watch online in case you were not able to join the Big Dance live, this weekend. It is really hard to make a prognosis. I really believe Killian can hammer this course if only he stay with some experience runners up front. My second favorite is Tony Krupicka. But, overall, there are more than 10 runners who can go for a win this year. Many stars who have never lost, who have set numerous course records. In particular, it should be amazing to see the elite runners arrive at Rucky Chucky to jump on the boat since we are taking the boat to cross the river this year. You can follow the race on the Western States Endurance Run webcast. After wearing the bib 99 in 2007, 44 and 45 in 2008 and 2009, I will be #46 this year.

With that, again, see my Picasa photo album to get more of the pre-race ambiance! And, to all, happy dreams before our early start tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Western States training: alea jacta est!

The die has been cast, training is over for the Big Dance of next week! So long for the heat training, barely sweat this year despite a few runs with three black layers of long sleeves on, more than what I use for my winter runs... And no training at all in the snow, which we should have several miles of in the first 20 miles according to the latest news posted on the Western States website in the June 11 update:

Lots of talk about the snow:

Over the last month we've been asked numerous times about the possibility of course changes due to the late snow melt in the Sierras. We have a plan "B" if snow conditions dictate a route change. This decision will be made on Sunday, Jun 20th, after a report from the aid station captains whose aid stations are most impeded by snow drifts. If the Lyon Ridge and Red Star aid stations are accessible, we'll use the standard course published in the WS program and Participant Guide.
If either of these aid station locations is inaccessible, the course will be changed as follows:
After exiting Granite Chief Wilderness Area, the normal route descends a gravel road and T's into Road 96 at approximately mile nine. Rather than turning right and following Road 96 to Lyon Ridge for 1.5 miles, the snow course will turn LEFT onto Road 96 and descend on this road to French Meadows. This is a dirt and gravel road that descends gradually for ten miles before becoming pavement when reaching the French Meadows camp area.
On reaching the camp area, the snow route will turn off the pavement and join the Poppy Trail, following the north shore of French Meadows, and then climbing northwest behind the dam tender's house and rejoining the standard course at the Duncan Canyon aid station.
The mileage is identical on both courses. Rather than having aid stations at Lyon Ridge (mile 10.5) and Red Star Ridge (mile 16), there will be aid stations at Talbot Creek (~ mile 13) and French Meadows (~mile 19).
There will be no other changes to the course and no changes to crew access. Duncan Canyon will remain the only crew accessible aid station before Robinson Flat.
A course decision will be posted on the WS website on Sunday evening, June 20th. The plan "B" course map can be found here.

Oh well, I feel already so lucky to have the opportunity to toe the start line for the 3rd time, I will be happy with any conditions we get. I usually do better in the heat, so I'm mentally prepared. If it's cool, then it will be easier for everybody and that's great too. As far as the snow, this will provide a good excuse for starting slower, although I've heard that it is really taxing and tiring to run in the snow, if not dangerous for the ankles. But better having a snow year than wildfires as in 2008!

After my 57-mile day "to" the beach two weeks ago, I ran 97 miles the following week for some decent mileage. Then, last weekend, I did a 3-peat tour of Rancho, starting twice with the hilly PG&E and once via Rogue (the Rancho San Antonio insiders will understand). At last the thermometer reached 88F and my two layers made up for a few more degrees to make me feel like in some familiar canyons. I covered the 28 miles and 5,000 feet of vertical in 4 hours and 55 minutes, some good time on my feet. The day before, I had done a reasonable fast round trip to the top of Black Mountain from my house in 3:09 (23 miles and 3,300 vertical feet).
I did my last run with two colleagues from IBM at Rancho this past Friday.
Completely missing the heat training again with temperatures in the low 70s, but it was an opportunity to get Max back on the trail for the 9.3-mile loop before he paces me from Foresthill down to the river next Saturday.

Alea jacta est for the training, I now need to work on the drop bags and the luggage for our trip to Tahoe. It's actually not completely over. I'm doing a carbless diet for a few days to renew the carbs in my blood/muscles (the Nordic or dissociated diet) and still some core and strength training. And Pierre-Yves and I should join other Striders on Tuesday night for a short run to test our lights and pacing strategy.

With this year's training, I'm ready to say "Veni, Vedi" as we prepare to get up to Squaw Valley in the middle of the week, but not "Veci" yet. No pressure, let's wait for next Sunday and see...

National Running Day: make it two days!

June 2nd, 2010 was the official National Running Day this year. It was also the day Alex had his Congressional Page program departure ceremony in DC, so this is where I celebrated this special occasion to run. On the famous Washington National Mall, with temperatures above 80F at 7:30 in the morning... At least a bit of heat training, at last...
I didn't see that many runners unfortunately despite the occasion, and I don't think the national day was such a hit overall. Besides, while the prospect of running on the Mall again was exciting, having to stop at every intersection makes you lose quite some momentum. Not to mention the opportunities to stop to take pictures of the monument for this tour of the Capital. Quite a few shots from these two days actually, follow my picture "tour" on Picasa!
Apart from running and visiting the city again, it was actually quite an experience to see Alex so at ease in this most official environment and being able to visit non public areas of the Library of Congress, the Congress itself and the Senate, both above and under ground!

Anyway, back to the title, I doubled the celebration by organizing a run at the IBM site I'm attached to on North First Street in San Jose. I created a flier to advertize the run set for June 8th and contacted the local event coordination team so Bev could post the date and location in the weekly newsletter. Out of about 450 employees, 7 responded to the call and registered. Not many, but an opportunity to make new connections and spread the word about the benefits of running. Unfortunately, a last minute all-hands meeting for one of the divisions prevented 4 to join us, and another one bailed out, so we were left with my colleague and running buddy, Michael, and another participant, Wendy. Michael and I were happy to make her discover the nearby Alviso Marina County Park at the bottom of the Bay, an amazing park and wildlife refuge for birds. We ran 5 miles for this inaugural Company run.

Hope the National Running Day will be more popular, more... National, next year to see many more new faces on the roads and trails to experience the joy of running! In the meantime, all, Run Happy out there! :-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Skyline to the Sea: a day to the beach

Yes, you have read it right, there is no typo in the title. Whereas many people must have spent a day "at" the beach this Saturday with this magnificent weather, I did spend a day on the trails going "to" the beach. I was looking for a long run, a point to point run to make sure I was not tempted to cut it short by repeatedly passing by the car or the house and though the Ocean would be a great destination if I could get a ride back. On Friday, Max told me about a birthday party one of his friends was having at the beach in Santa Cruz and that they were planning on driving back around 7 PM which was perfect timing.

In terms of itinerary it meant that I had to run up to Saratoga Gap (12 miles), follow the entire Skyline to the Sea trail through Waterman Gap, Big Basin and to Waddell Beach (Rancho Del Oro visitor center) for a total of 36-38 miles, then hop on the scenic Highway 1 or Cabrillo Highway, South to Santa Cruz for another 20 miles. 58-60 miles, that was surely going to be a long run in a self-support setting. And, as you can see on this map highlighted in red, definitely not the most direct route, but this is what ultra is about sometimes...
I left the house around 9 AM after a longer-than-usual 8-hour sleep. The sun was already very bright but the temperature still quite nice, in the 70s. The five flat miles to Saratoga were easy and I forced myself to keep my pace around 8 min/mile knowing what was ahead. Sean saw me on De Anza and honked; he was probably driving to DACA. After going through the wealthy village, it was time to go up for the major climb of the day, 7 miles up to Saratoga Gap on Highway 9. This is surely not the best part of the run, all asphalt and more importantly winding road quite busy with bikes, motorcycles and cars. Among the three, the bikes are actually the most dangerous because you don't hear them coming and I almost hit one biker who was cutting a turn and yelled at me after being scared himself. On the bright side, I got to pass and be passed by several bikers from Team in Training who were on a 100-mile training run to prepare for upcoming ultra man races. One of them, Jeff, had a leg prosthesis and we chatted for a few hundreds yards then wishing each of us good luck for the rest of this long day. Jeff is preparing for the Sonoma Ironman whose 112 miles bike ride will not be as strenuous as the 10,000 feet of climb of this training ride.
Team in Training had set a nice aid station at the top of the hill but I didn't feel like begging for food at this point. Among the 10 or so bikers who were taking advantage of the station was Christina Brownson, an ultra runner from our Stevens Creek Striders Club. After saying hello and good luck, I crossed Skyline to get on the Skyline to the Sea trail which I will run in its entirety today (here is a panorama from Sempervirens Point).
Our Club has a special connection with this trail as we have a yearly event called the Clambake run which consists in running from Saratoga Gap down to Waddel Beach and have lunch, including a clam chowder, at the beach before driving back. It is usually held around mid August, please check the website if you are interested in joining the fun (and leveraging the aid stations along the way). Speaking of aid stations, I didn't have any today. I knew I could find water at Waterman Gap, then the Big Basin State Park Headquarters, then I believed the end of the trail at Wadell Beach. I did not carry any other feed than 4 GU gels, counting on finding Coke, banana and chips at the Headquarters. The stop at Waterman Gap after 18 miles or so was much appreciated to refill my three bottles.
I was having a blast running on such a perfect trail and in the shade of the trees. I saw a handful of hikers before the Headquarters and no runner at all. It was really a solo run... I stopped once at a creek before the Headquarters to cool my head and legs down with the wonderfully fresh water. So nice water that I wanted to drink it but know that it isn't safe in the area (I always experienced Giardia...). I stopped for about 30' at the Headquarters to do some shopping (no luck for the banana), get more water and a few pictures.
I was on my way out when someone called me by my name. It was national ultra legend Mark Williams from our Striders Club. He was with his two daughters who keep him so busy that he doesn't run much anymore. I'm saying "national legend" not because Mark is mostly known as the first to have completed the grueling Barkley Marathons 100-mile, something which seemed like impossible for years. But the race is so confidential (limited to less than 50 participants), that it isn't much known outside the country. Abroad, Mark has completed 6 Spartathlons which is also an amazing fate, not to mention 6 Western States of course and even more Ironman events!
I was still feeling really good and ran all the uphill to leave Big Basin before flying down the 3-mile canyon to Berry Creek Falls. I saw more hikers in this section and it was definitely worth the hike because the falls are real;y gorgeous this days, with a powerful stream thanks to all the water we got this winter and spring for the El Nino year.
From there I started suffering from the heat and stopped at every stream crossing to cool-down and splash myself, but running most of the miles down (or up in some sections...) to Waddell Beach. The views of the beach from 2 mile away were stunning and, as one of the hiker was pointing out, so unusual as there is is fog here most of the time.
Did a long stop at the Rancho Del Oro visitor center (trail head) to refill my bottles. I also asked the volunteer the distance to Santa Cruz and, between her and a visitor, got something vague between 25 and 35 miles (including 9 miles to Davenport). It was almost 3 PM when I hit Highway 1 and I started wondering if I'd make it before 7 PM in Santa Cruz especially if it was indeed 35 miles, knowing that I had slown considerably, having ran on very little fuel since the start (1 small pouch of chips, 1 Coke, 2 gels and 1 bottle of GU2O for almost 40 miles).
Although Highway 1 is along the Ocean, it is never flat as it keeps oscillating between sea level and 200ft-high cliffs. But the views are wonderful and the road large enough to feel safe despite the heavy traffic. I was able to still run all the flat and downhill sections of this rolling profile but had to walk some sections of the long uphills, not because of the grade but the physical and mental fatigue. It took me almost 2 hours to cover the 9 miles to Davenport where I stopped at the little drugstore next to the bus stop. When I mentions to the cashier that I had run almost 50 miles he was not surprised and thought I was coming from San Francisco, so that must be not so unique to run along Highway 1 finally. I got another bag of chips and Coke and called Agnès and Max to tell them I might be running late in Santa Cruz (it was already 5 PM). The good news though is that there were only 11 miles to Santa Cruz, making it 20 from Waddell Beach, not 25 or 35 miles fortunately. Agnès told me that Max had changed his plans anyway and will drive back later and that she was keen on picking me up, with my Mom, Alex and Greg, that she did not mind the round trip since the weather was so good on the coast (phew!). We agreed to meet at Natural Bridges State Beach, shortening the run by 2-3 miles according to her map.
The final 9-mile stretch felt even longer as I was walking more and it took me almost another 2 hours. I reached the beach by 7 PM, happy to conclude this 57-mile run after 10 hours and 6 minutes on my feet since leaving the house. Not all this time running, but a good training for the Big Dance ahead and the long day of June 26. And, since I'm writing this post on June 6, hopefully not as long and painful as the D Day of 6/6/1944... We did not stay for too long at the beach, just enough for me to get my legs in the cold water for a sort of ice bath (brr...).
More pictures of this long and solo run on my Picasa photo album. Enjoy the day "to" the beach!