Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Global Running Day @ IBM SVL: 300 miles in the bank!

Oh, no, I didn't run 300 miles today, just 5% of that, but the point was to get as many colleagues to run, or walk, and log as many miles as a group. Since it was a first for our site, there was no previous reference or benchmark and I'd say: mission accomplished!

The first Wednesday of June has traditionally been National Running Day in many countries. I'm not sure who had the initiative, or if it was even connected to the infamous Global Warming threat, I don't recall the event being global, that is worldwide, the previous years.

I few years ago, I had organized a National Running Day event at North San Jose, the IBM location I was the Senior Site Executive of, on North First Street. This location being vacated last November, I moved to a site further South on Bailey Avenue, so deep in the countryside that we have our own park and farm, or ranch, including a private 2.1-mile trail loop!
We have more than 1,600 people working at the site and reporting to quite a few distinct divisions or groups so it's really challenging to gather everybody around a single theme or activity. Given this context, it was great to get 107 participants accepting to log their run or walk at lunch time for a total of... 300 miles!

I was hoping we would log more than 100 miles as a group, and dreaming of breaking 200 miles maybe, now the bar is set at 300 miles for our next event, wow! Which many asked to occur more frequently than this yearly milestone. We'll certainly try quarterly at least, aiming at monthly eventually.

The weather was perfect, not as hot as yesterday thanks to a nice breeze and a thin layer of clouds. I even heard on NPR tonight that some rain was expected on Sonoma Valley and Silicon Valley tomorrow, very unusual for California in June. It should be light rain showers anyway, but fresh water is always welcome!

Participants appreciated getting refreshments, fruits and granola bar to recharge after the effort, thank you Sandy for setting it up!

I spent more time chatting with participants, answering questions, making new connections, than running but I still managed to run a few loops for a total of 14 mile. Here is the pretty cool flyover (click on the link or the image below to watch the 1-minute video). By the way, it includes an episode when I stopped to chat with colleagues and forgot to restart/resume my Garmin watch, translating in a straight line across the longer loop; oops, rookie mistake! At least you see that we are really in the middle of nowhere, albeit still in San Jose.

I pledged/reported our 300 miles on the Global Running Day website tonight, and the overall number of participants is now at 1,247,761 from 186 countries!

Special thanks to the IBM managers who supported this event, and all the colleagues who joined the fun of this healthy activity on a very special day! Hope you, readers, had your own Running Day celebration with some miles on the treadmill or, better, outdoor (you can let us know in the comments).

Run Happy all as we say at Brooks!

PS: sorry, no group picture, our hundred participants popped up randomly over a period of 3 hours around lunch time.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Back to Stevens Creek: another 100-mile work week...

I used to do more of these 100-mile weeks 10 years ago, so I'm happy when I can squeeze one in as it's not getting any easier. Still not much elevation (about 5,500 feet of elevation this week), running in the Alps in 5 weeks is going to be brutal. Just a moderately hilly 50K this Saturday with one climb to Black Mountain from the back side (Canyon and Bella Vista Trails). And an opportunity to run again along the Stevens Creek and its refreshing and healthy flow this year.

I also enjoyed stopping by the weekly Club meeting of the Stevens Creek Striders on my way up to Black Mountain. That was the first running club I joined in the Bay Area back in 2003 and it was great to see new faces and old friends alike, looks like the club is in great hands and healthy! (While I remained a member of the Striders for more than 10 years, I transferred to the Quicksilver Running Club of San Jose in 2008 when it put a serious racing team up under Adam Blum's leadership and sponsorship.)
For those who ran in our group this Saturday morning, you should be able to access them in Google Photos (I was only carrying my iPhone 6, which is still not the best camera for me).
In the upper left corner on this collage is Hugo de Groot, who is directing this year's edition of the Striders' trail races on Saturday September 23, with 3 options: a 50K (see my 3-peat in reports from 2011, 2012 and 2013), 30K and half marathon. More details on UltraSignup's page, a great event on our local trails, go for it!

Here is for another 50K training run, this time without GI issues and making it all the way down Montebello Road, phew!
And, courtesy of Striders Michael Dhuey who let me know about this new startup,, here is the corresponding flyover, pretty cool summary of a 4-hour 50K in 1 minute! (click on the arrow to start the video)

With that, please mark you calendar and don't forget, it's National and Global Running Day this Wednesday, no excuse not to log a few miles, ok? I'm organizing a group activity at my IBM site, check this website to pledge and log your own miles: , we are still pretty far from the 1,000,000-mile goal as of this Sunday!