Sunday, June 28, 2015

Spending A Few Days in Elias Calles, Baja Sur, Mexico

My first trip to Elias Calles was in 1997.  I met a couple who were from the tiny little village about 40 miles north of Cabo San Lucas.  Very few people actually even know it exists but I had a connection.  Over the years, I have gotten to know it quite well.  In fact, my wife and I celebrated our wedding on the beach there in 2004.



We now have a number of friends who live in the area including our good friends Jack and Harriet. We decided to take a vacation from our vacation and head down to visit them for a few days of fun. They have a beautiful house which sits right on the Pacific Ocean.  We always enjoy our time relaxing, story telling, and just hanging out with them.


After a day of playing in the waves at Cerritos Beach, we decided to have a feast.  Abuela Rosemary made chile verde from scratch, hand made flour tortillas, and rice.  Lidia, whose family sold the land to Jack and Harriet, made some outrageously delicious frijoles.  We had the makings of a feast!



This morning I finally ran up to the microwave tower that sits up on hill north of the house.  It's taunted me for some time and I needed to work off last night's meal.  In all, it's just over 7 miles round trip from the house with endless views.  Well worth the effort!




I got home from my run and my amigo Mark had stopped by to say hello.  He and I first met at the Hacienda Hotel, in Mulege, on June 28, 1997.  I remember this day so well as it was the day of The Bite Fight between Holyfield and Tyson.  What a coincidence that today was June 28th!  We had another great meal of juevos rancheros, frijoles, skillet potatoes, and fresh fruit.  We always eat well here!

After breakfast, Jack, Tracy, the kids and I decided to explore the nearby falls. The first set are pretty cool but if you are brave enough to scale the rock face, there is a lot of cool scenery and more falls above.  We enjoyed the warm water and beautiful scenery.  Each turn of the creek offered something new to see.




Tomorrow we head down to Cabo San Lucas for a few days before returning to Bahia Asuncion.  We feel so lucky to have such good friends and family.  Until the next adventure.....

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Playa San Rafael with an amigo

I promised Pancho that I would deliver a small tv/radio to him during our summer break.  I'm sure he figured I'd forget but I was certain I would follow through.  I asked the kids if they wanted to join me for a turn-around road trip and they were stoked to join.  Now to decide when to head over.....

We were about a week into our month long stay in Baja and had just finished doing some work on the casita.  Our builder and amigo was visiting with us when I mentioned PSR.  Roberto had never heard of this place nor visited the Sea of Cortez for that matter outside of the big towns likes Santa Rosalia and La Paz.  I jokingly suggested he join us and he quickly accepted.  We would leave the following day.

I quickly threw some tents, chairs, and other odds and ends in the truck.  The next morning I picked up Roberto and 8:00am and we were on our way.  The kids were ready but I reminded them we had many miles of dirt road ahead of us.  We stopped in Vizcaino, bought some food for us and to give to Pancho, stocked up on beer and ice, and were on our way.

Normally I would head out via the El Arco road but Roberto had never been to see Mission Santa Gertrudis.  It's a cool mission way out in the middle of nowhere.  I last visited it some 20 years prior with my father.  So we cut over a few miles north of Vizcaino in search of the mission.

As it would turn out, the recent hurricanes and storms had wreaked havoc on the dirt roads.  After a few hours of bouncing around and exploring some rough roads, we found the road completely washed out.  We would explore the mission some other day.

The road to PSR is normally in pretty good shape but the rains made the day slow going.  We finally arrived but Pancho was no where to be found.  We decided to take a dip as it was hot and humid.  A few hours later, Pancho arrived.  He had actually gone into Bahia de Los Angeles for supplies with some friends something he had not done in over a year.

I've known Pancho now for almost 20 years.  He is a good man who lives alone making his money from tips from visitors.  Gabriel and Mikayla love the guy and he is wonderful with them.  Roberto quickly feel in love with the place and promised to return soon with his family.





We spent one night and then made our way back to Bahia Asuncion.  It's about a six hour trip in all going through El Arco with approximately 90 miles of dirt road and 100 miles of pavement.  Another great day in Baja.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

San Diego 100, Year Two: This one's for you Dad!

With less than a week to go, I am trying to wrap my head around my fitness for next weekend's race.  I started off the year making huge strides.  Unfortunately, a late season injury slowed my progress to a halt.
My injury occurred at Lost Boys 50 mile trail run in at the end of April.  Talk about an epic, challenging race.  The point to point race, with 9,000 feet of gain, starts in Anza Borrego desert, heads up Pinyon Mountain, up Oriflamme Canyon, up to Cuyamaca Peak, over Middle Peak finishing at Cuyamaca Lake.  The race started off with Brian Gonzalez warning us about severe weather conditions.  As it turned out, we had wind gusts between 50-60 mph coming out of the desert and then windy and cold rain the for the final 20 miles of the race.

I was running in the top 20, way beyond my expectations as I hit the summit of Cuyamaca Peak.  Suddenly my left knee seized up leaving me to hobble down the hill frustrated and cold.  I still managed to finish with a time far better than I expected at the start of the day.  Unfortunately, my knee reminded me that the body consists of many parts.  I had neglected part of my body, and my knee was there to remind me about it.

I had overlooked part of my normal routine of deep tissue work on the foam roller and stretching.  As such, my tight muscles had caused my knee cap to move slightly differently thus the pain.  I was very upset with myself but at least realized that I could probably recover from this injury before SD 100.  

Since Lost Boys, I have been rolling and stretching religiously.  In doing so, my muscles have loosened up but my knee is still trying to get back in sync.  I've done some longer runs and hikes and I think I'll be okay....but then again over the course of 100 miles, anything is possible.

So in a nutshell, I am ready for San Diego.  My confidence has been knocked down a number of pegs.  Earlier this year, I was crushing some of my races and feeling very confident with my running.  Now heading into next weekend



, I am cautiously optimistic.  I have lost some fitness and strength but feel in general my body is rested and healthy.

On the plus side, my wife, Tracy, is again pacing me this year for about 30 miles.  If I can get to her in decent shape, she will give me a reason to see the sun rise.  Once that happens, it's game over...I will finish.  My buddy Pete better be ready to take me home again this year but hopefully we'll be crossing a bit earlier.  My final pacers will be Gabriel and Mika, my kids.  One of the coolest things from last year was watching them idolize me as I crossed the line.  Being a role model for them means the world to me.

Here are my totals since early January:
Total Miles:  549
Elevation Gain:  81,627 ft.
Time on Feet:  105 hours

Finally, I want to thank my wife and kids for all the support and cheering along the way.  It is a team effort.  I'm also excited that my dad will be out there to see me.  It means the world to me.  As such, I'm dedicating this race to you!

You can follow me live at:  http://www.ultralive.net/sd100/webcast.php
I'm bib number 142


Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Fun


As I entered February, my goals were to increase the distance of my long runs and allow my body time to recover.  Thus, I found myself running less days per week but doing longer weekend runs. Early in the month, I ran the Sean O'Brien 50k.http://www.strava.com/activities/86539631.  I had a fantastic day. In fact, I dropped 27 minutes from last year's result.  My legs were stronger which is a direct result of my daily lunge routine.


Another highlight this month was running 32 miles of the Secret Canyon trail my running club, San Diego Ultra Running Friends, SURF.  Many of us have invested sweat equity with  San Diego Trail Fit cleaning up local trails including Secret Canyon.

I finished the month hiking up El Cajon and El Capitan peaks.  This is a difficult hike I use as a recovery day.  With over 3500 ft of elevation gain in 11.5 miles, this is not a casual hike.

A few years back, a veteran runner explained the importance of learning to hike fast. In longer races, much of the day will be hiking steep climbs.  El Capitan is perfect place to practice.

Finally, February saw me turn a year older.  I feel much stronger and more focused than ever before. Life is good and I will continue to enjoy to its fullest.

Here are my month totals for February:
Running Miles:  98.41
Elevation Gain:  18,120
Time on Feet:  20:53 hours
Lunges:  1,120
Squats:  60

Sunday, February 1, 2015

San Diego 100 Round Two

With the blessings of my wonderful wife, I entered San Diego 100 again this year.  Last year was such a wonderful experience.  As expected, I experienced a myriad of feelings from true bliss to despair to excruciating pain.  I had a wonderful crew cheering me on and pacers guiding me along.  It really was the perfect day.  No, I did not meet my time goal but that was not a major objective.

This year, I feel I am in better shape as I ramp up my training.  I have introduced cycling and lunges into my training routine.  I believe my diet is better as well as I move closer to a plant based diet.

Here are my January numbers:

Running Miles:  96.54
Elevation Gain:  22,264
Lunges:              1080
Bike Miles:         85
Bike Trainer:      101 minutes













Wednesday, June 4, 2014

San Diego 100 Time To Go Big



Elevation Profile for San Diego 100

Five years ago I was set to sign up for San Diego 100 Endurance Run.  I was in shape, had time to train, and my wife gave me her blessings.  But life works in mysterious ways and my daughter Mikayla was due to arrive on race weekend.  While Tracy encouraged me to sign up, I realized it was not my time.

With Gabriel turning 6 in August and Mikayla turning 4 next week, I now have a bit more time to train.  I have survived a year and a half of building up my mileage including my longest race to date, Cuyumaca 100k, I decided it was my time to go for it.  So this weekend, I toe the line.

While I do not feel as if I'm in top shape physically, I feel more than prepared mentally.  I am ready to feel the joy and misery of endurance sports.  I have paid my dues, learned my lessons, and studied from the best. Unless I am pulled from the course, I will do everything in my power to finish before the 32 hour cut-off.

Here is what I have logged since January:

Count:                50 activities
Distance:             546.5 miles
Time:                  124:07:06 h:m:s
Elevation Gain:    87,610 ft.
Calories:             51,020

You can follow my progress at:  http://www.ultralive.net/sd100/webcast.php
My bib number is 120.

There will also be TV coverage at:  http://www.ultrasportslive.tv/
 

By finishing this race, I will also complete the San Diego Ultra Slam



Stayed tuned for more....

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2012

Bahia San Rafael/Bahia Asunsion Thanksgiving Trip 2012

We crossed at the new Chapparel Border crossing in San Ysidro on Saturday, 11/17, about 5am. We were sent to secondary for a quick inspection. I asked the friendly inspector about obtaining and paying for FMT. He said the immigration office and bank were open 24/7. I didn't need a permit this trip so I don't have any first hand info.



The drive down was uneventful for the most part. We stopped at Las Pasaditas in El Rosario to get some food to go. While waiting for our meal, Dern popped in to say hello. He was driving north and saw my truck outside. He suggested the road to San Rafael might be rough which was my fear. We had light rain from El Rosario until the turn off to Bahia Los Angeles.

We filled up in BoLA and headed out of town. The road started off miserable and got worse as we headed out of town. I had a full truck and drove slowly. Between the recent rains and the Baja 1000, this was the worst I had seen the road. After a few hours of driving we had driven about 18 miles and decided to camp for the night. We found a cool arroyo and made camp. My son was stoked as it was the first time sleeping under the stars with Dad. Mommy and his sister slept in the Autohome.

The next morning we packed up and continued on to Pancho's (PSR). We arrived to find our normal camp site occupied. Pancho said something about the people knew me. As it turned out, Nomad Frigate bird arrived the prior night. No worries, we set up camp on the south end of the long beach and set our sites on cleaning up the area. Pancho brought down a rake and we picked up debris left from pangueros. In the end, we felt good about our clean up efforts.

We had a great time with Pancho as usual but the highlight of the trip came via the ocean. Three kayakers appeared out of no where and were seeking water. The three were from Germany and were kayaking from Gonzaga Bay to La Paz. They ended up joining us for the night.

Bahia San Rafael/Bahia Asunsion Thanksgiving Trip 2012

We crossed at the new Chapparel Border crossing in San Ysidro on Saturday, 11/17, about 5am. We were sent to secondary for a quick inspection. I asked the friendly inspector about obtaining and paying for FMT. He said the immigration office and bank were open 24/7. I didn't need a permit this trip so I don't have any first hand info.

The drive down was uneventful for the most part. We stopped at Las Pasaditas in El Rosario to get some food to go. While waiting for our meal, Dern popped in to say hello. He was driving north and saw my truck outside. He suggested the road to San Rafael might be rough which was my fear. We had light rain from El Rosario until the turn off to Bahia Los Angeles.

We filled up in BoLA and headed out of town. The road started off miserable and got worse as we headed out of town. I had a full truck and drove slowly. Between the recent rains and the Baja 1000, this was the worst I had seen the road. After a few hours of driving we had driven about 18 miles and decided to camp for the night. We found a cool arroyo and made camp. My son was stoked as it was the first time sleeping under the stars with Dad. Mommy and his sister slept in the Autohome.

The next morning we packed up and continued on to Pancho's (PSR). We arrived to find our normal camp site occupied. Pancho said something about the people knew me. As it turned out, Nomad Frigate bird arrived the prior night. No worries, we set up camp on the south end of the long beach and set our sites on cleaning up the area. Pancho brought down a rake and we picked up debris left from pangueros. In the end, we felt good about our clean up efforts.

We had a great time with Pancho as usual but the highlight of the trip came via the ocean. Three kayakers appeared out of no where and were seeking water. The three were from Germany and were kayaking from Gonzaga Bay to La Paz. They ended up joining us for the night.

On Tuesday we said our good-byes and headed south. We were worried about the road conditions but figured we could get through. There were some tight spots on the climb out of the valley but nothing too bad. We decided to cut over to San Gertrudis instead of El Arco. In the past this road was a great option but not this trip. With all the rain, much of the initial miles required 4wd and was slow going. We had time and enjoyed the green, green desert.

We stocked up on supplies in Vizcaino and made the trip out to our place in Bahia Asuncion. After cleaning up, we walked down to enjoy the Revolution Day festivities at the community center. A number of mini-restaurants had been contructed out of wood and palms. People were dressed up and milling about. It was a great way to seen amigos and get settled in.

We pretty much went to the beach and played in the waves. My wife and I hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner at our place with some neighbors and my mother. We grilled a two big pork loins stuffed with garlic, enjoyed mac and cheese baked, a nice salad, and even had a pumpking cheesecake. It was a great evening for sure.

Another highlight came on our last night. Shari came by to tell us some friends had sailed into town and were looking for me. They were headed south and had no idea I would be in town but decided to check. They had caught a dorado so Tomas at Loncheria Mari prepared a huge feast for us. I supplied some great beers from Stone and we shared many a laughs.
ec
In all another great trip. We crossed at Tecate on Monday midday with only a 13 minute wait. Looking forward to heading back down for Christmas.

On Tuesday we said our good-byes and headed south. We were worried about the road conditions but figured we could get through. There were some tight spots on the climb out of the valley but nothing too bad. We decided to cut over to San Gertrudis instead of El Arco. In the past this road was a great option but not this trip. With all the rain, much of the initial miles required 4wd and was slow going. We had time and enjoyed the green, green desert.

We stocked up on supplies in Vizcaino and made the trip out to our place in Bahia Asuncion. After cleaning up, we walked down to enjoy the Revolution Day festivities at the community center. A number of mini-restaurants had been contructed out of wood and palms. People were dressed up and milling about. It was a great way to seen amigos and get settled in.

We pretty much went to the beach and played in the waves. My wife and I hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner at our place with some neighbors and my mother. We grilled a two big pork loins stuffed with garlic, enjoyed mac and cheese baked, a nice salad, and even had a pumpking cheesecake. It was a great evening for sure.

Another highlight came on our last night. Shari came by to tell us some friends had sailed into town and were looking for me. They were headed south and had no idea I would be in town but decided to check. They had caught a dorado so Tomas at Loncheria Mari prepared a huge feast for us. I supplied some great beers from Stone and we shared many a laughs.
ec
In all another great trip. We crossed at Tecate on Monday midday with only a 13 minute wait. Looking forward to heading back down for Christmas.