Thursday, December 30, 2010

Playin' in the Snow

Chris, Mark, and I decided to venture up to Pine Mountain today.  Those who follow the news know that we have had a lot (A LOT!) of rain here in Coastal California over the past couple of weeks.  (No major issues at our house except for an invasion of ants, they surely just looking for some dry turf to set up camp -- sorry kids.)   Between storms, snow has been visible on Pine Mountain on and off for the past few days.  A little over an hour's drive away, Pine Mountain is the long ridge behind the Coyote Two Moon (Ojai) Ridge and rises to over 7000 feet, so while the C2M Ridge was only slightly dusted, Pine Mountain received a few inches of the beautiful white stuff. 
It was cold and blustery up there but fun to experience the novelty of "winter-like conditions" so near an otherwise Mediterranean climate.
Mark & I at our turnaround point, about 5 miles and 3000 feet up from the trailhead.
The Santa Monica Mtns., where we spend most of our local trail time, are visible far off in the distance.  Pacific Ocean is off the photo to the right.  Most of the Channel Islands were visible today.
Ours were the only human tracks on this day, but we saw lots of little critters and this set of a BIG critter.  By the freshness of the prints, we didn't miss the bruin by much.
Goofing off on the rocks on the way down, out of the snow. 
Thanks for the great day, Mark, and for the snow acclimatization: we have some cold travel plans in the near future!  :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

C2M Trail Work/Run

Saturday was the first of our usual 3 annual trail work trips pre-Coyote Two Moon.  Our goal was treadwork and brush clipping on Pratt Trail, and we had a great turnout.  14 people x 6-7 hours can get a lot done.  Trail work is definitely not my favorite activity (it's hard!), but I feel strongly that as users of the trails, we have an obligation to help maintain them.
^ Chaparral is a pain.  I was making the trail W-I-D-E !! ^

We are trying to get every C2M trail to look like this (haha), but I think it will take awhile...
On Sunday morning, 7 of us did Sisar/White Ledge to the top of Topa and back.  Weather was gorgeous, with temps topping out at 82 degrees.  (In December!)  This is the same peak that was covered in snow 3 weeks earlier.  In my quest to run up all the C2M trails to the Ridge Road, I am now down 4 trails, with 3 to go.  Sisar/White Ledge was ~3500 feet of vert in ~6.5 miles, with another 1000 feet and 1.3 miles to the summit -- not easy after running 100 km. last weekend!  I did stop to rest "a few" times and wasn't exactly banging out 7 minute miles, but I didn't walk any of it.  What does this mean for race day?  Absolutely nothing!   :) 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cajun Coyote Top 10

We had a total blast at Mark's and Chris's Cajun Coyote last weekend.  I'm always impressed by those who have the ability to write long, detailed race reports because mine are usually of the "I came, I ran, I was happy... The End" variety.  The best I could come up with this time is a Top 10 list, a pathetic attempt to encapsulate the weekend's fun.  Here goes, in no particular order:

1.  Very lovely, runnable, rolling singletrack around Lake Chicot.  (Louisiana?...  Who knew?).  However, I should qualify the "runnable" part:  the first 20-mile loop was runnable, the second was hilly, and somehow by the third loop those hills had turned into little mountains that necessitated walking up...  hmm.

2.  Perfect weather:  mostly sunny, a few clouds, temps in the 70s.

3.  Quite impressive and aggressive mosquitoes...  in December!  This is a good thing only because the little b*stards kept us moving.

4.  Cypress trees, armadillos, and really cool swamp bridges (like bog bridges but about a mile long)

5.  A sweet--and flashy!--gift from Japan (thanks Tetsuro!!).  Love these shoes.   :-)

(Chris-red, Sue-blue, Tetsuro-orange)

6.  Sharing a 'deluxe' cabin pre- and post-run with 10 unique and special people.

7.  A new nickname: "Full Throttle."  (Everyone had one; check out the results.)

8.  Live music at the Cajun Smokehouse in Ville Platte.  'Shrimp Inez' at Prejeans.  Gumbo, boudin, and chitlins everywhere.  (And I do know what chitlins are:  they are damn yummy.) 

9.  "Winning" the 100 km!
Full Throttle w/coyote puppet award (and for some reason, a bunch of coffee cups) and 'n Buford, first in the 100 km.
(Photo by Mark Wieneke)

10.  Realizing yet again that there is interesting and beautiful running to be had in all corners of the country!  (I'll say it again:  Louisiana?  Who knew?)  Cajun Coyote is a great race to put on your calendars next year.  We'll be ba-a-a-ack!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cajun Coyote Weekend

(Tetsuro, Mark, et moi as apparel models too early this morning)
Nifty Ts, eh?!  We are super excited to be runnin' with the Cajuns this weekend!  I won't embarrass myself by trying to explain this weekend's craziness, the latest installment in Coyote Cohort fun, so I refer you to the Cajun Coyote website.  In our attempt to one-up the North Face's purse in San Fran this weekend, whoever breaks the 100K world record at Cajun wins a brand new Peugeot or Citreon!