Monday, April 14, 2008

John Muir Marathon Recap

Now that I'm recovered from last weekend's marathon I want to share some photos from the race.

The race starts on the beach, just a few feet from the Pacific Ocean.

Turning around, this is the view from the start line, over the beach, and up into the mountains where we would run the rest of the race.

We ran a few hundred feet on a side street to get to the trails, and the rest of the race was off-road. We started on the famous Dipsea Trail and ran through Golden Gate Park, the John Muir Woods, and Mount Tamalpais Park.

The sun was HOT and the trails were STEEP!

Within ten minutes this was the view from the trail back to the beach where we started.

Once we got into the woods it was much cooler and offered nice shade. Running through the redwoods, across streams, and by waterfalls was an amazing experience.

I've run a lot of interesting marathons, but this is the first marathon I've done that included a LADDER on the course!

Coming down the last few miles of trails I stumbled upon this heart-warming sign.

The hills and heat were tough on me, but it was a great experience. Here's one of my favorite shots from the day which is a nice panoramic shot o the trail on the side of the mountains overlooking the ocean. You can see the trail on my left and right cutting across the ridge. Click the thumbnail below for a larger, interactive version in a new window.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

One TOUGH Marathon

Today's race was QUITE challenging. I'm not sure if it was all the elevation change, the tricky footing, or the 86F heat, but I had a tough time with today's marathon in the John Muir Woods of northern California. I finished, but it wasn't pretty. It took a little over 5 hours and my feet are tender and my skin is burned like a lobster. On a positive note, my legs aren't tired at ALL. In fact, it feels like I didn't run at all. Then again, considering how much I walked today maybe that's more true than I wish. :-(

Anyway, I'm beat and I'm going to bed. I'll post more photos later, but for now I'll leave you with this beautiful pano shot I captured around mile 14. Click the small image below for an interactive version with amazing zoom capabilities. Enjoy!

[Opens in new window.]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Marathon, Another State

I have to go to California this week for work, and I'm managing to squeeze in another marathon in another new state. This time it's California and Cindy was gracious enough to let me leave town a bit early so I could tack on this race at the beginning of my work trip.

I flew out to San Francisco this afternoon, met a co-worker (who I had never met before) from our Tokyo office, and we drove together over to Stinson Beach. The road over the mountains was crazy-curvy and reminded me a lot of the road to Hana in Maui. Here's a quick roadside pano I shot on the drive out. Isn't it beautiful here?

(Click for larger version!)

Anyway, we arrived safely and even caught a bit of the beautiful sunset out over the Pacific Ocean. I had a small dinner and when I went to unpack I discovered a wonderful letter from Andrew and beautiful pictures from Katie. Thank you guys for being so thoughtful!

The marathon starts at 9am tomorrow, elevation change is several thousand feet of rugged trails, and the temps are supposed to be in the mid 80s. Should be interesting! If I survive I'll post some pix after the race.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Has Sprung....For One Day

The weather over the weekend was in the high 60s, and yesterday was just lovely in Wheaton. It's a good thing I captured evidence of it because today it's cold and rainy. It rained several inches today and we're expecting snow by Saturday. Spring was fun while it lasted, and here's proof!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Name Game

I took Katie on a little date this afternoon for hot chocolate (with whipped cream, of course) and a treat. While we were out we decided to walk around downtown Wheaton and take some pictures. We made up a little game where Katie had to find the letters of the names of everybody in our family. She did an excellent job finding all the letters and here are the results. Click any one for a full-size rendition.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Katie Needs a Little Sister

No, this is not a funny way to make a pregnancy announcement. It's also not an April Fool's joke. It's just a simple observation based on the following photo of Josh after Katie played "dress up" with him. She really needs a little sister, or at least some more play time with some of her little girl friends.

Poor Joshua!