Mother's Day Run

A number of months ago, some friends and I decided to sign up for the 8km Mother's Day classic run in Sydney, as an incentive to get more fit while also for a good cause. Unfortunately for me, later I found I had to return to California for work for the two weeks around the event, but as 8:10am Sunday (the start time for the Sydney event) was 3:10pm Saturday California time, it seemed appropriate to still compete!

You can see above my approximate view for most of the trek - I followed the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail, which seems to be a pedestrian/cycleway that simple follows the creek, and there were a few cyclists/roller-bladers/runners out at the time. I started where it intersected Old Mountain View-Alviso Rd (here) and simply followed it until it reached Central Expressway - which a distance calculator gave me as  around 4.3km - then turned around and went back.

The first thing I noticed when planning the route was that it went past 'California's Great America', apparently the Bay Area's 'most exciting theme park'  - so while I was missing out on running through the Domain in sydney, this was a pretty good replacement (you can see some roller-coasters on the left).

The other thing I noticed was how little shade there was - pavement running isn't fun at the best of times, but add in a forecast 28°C and no clouds, and I made sure I ran with a full bottle of cold water (accompanying my phone, used to take these pics). Thankfully, my track also probably had more ozone over it than my Sydney counterparts, so despite being warm, it was never prohibitively, burningly so.

Unfortunately, I soon ran into the problem I often have while running - simply put, it's pretty boring when you do it by yourself, which I think is the main thing I missed out on not doing it at home; I didn't have the space to bring an mp3 player along so had to resort to my internal, mental music player (mostly Beatles it seemed), or singing out loud ("I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more..."), some stopping for random photos of the few things along the route which were worth stopping for (see right) or planning out possible plot points in a short story I plan to write. These, plus swapping encouragements while passing other random exercisers on the track was enough to get me to the end, exhausted but invigorated - and as it turns out, ending at almost the same time the rest of my team in Sydney did!

Note that I've already done a pictorial blog post of the area I think of as South-Sanfrancisco-Suburbs (Mountain View, Santa Clara, San Jose, ...) and the run didn't change my opinion of it (lots of space, good weather, but too much driving / badly laid out) so that's it from me, hopefully I can maintain at least some of the fitness gained from this... Also, a very Happy Mother's day to any mother reading this - in particular mine!

P.S - if anyone would like to help the cause of fundraising for breast cancer, contributions to our running team are welcome:

And finally, some evidence that I made it to the Central Expressway end of the trail - I'm not sure what this was for, but it looked nice, and seemed good proof of arrival:


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