Monday, February 15, 2010

100 Daily Adventures and Nathan Giveaway

We've reached a milestone in the life of my blog. This post marks my hundredth here at Daily Adventures. It's time to celebrate with a Nathan hydration vest giveaway! But first, a little more about Daily Adventures...

I started this blog back in 2006 mostly as a way to keep myself motivated to write. I used to be an avid journaler, but I hadn't journaled in years. It simply wasn't interesting anymore to write for myself. I needed an audience.

Like many of you, the first blog I discovered, and the one that inspired me to start my own blog, was Scott's "A Trail Runner's Blog." It's still the one I look to as a model when making decisions about my own blog, and I've learned a lot from Scott. (That could be another blog post: What I learned from "A Trail Runner's Blog." I like it! I bet a lot of people would contribute. Hmm...)

Blogging turned out to be a wonderful decision. I love the structure and format it provides for my writing, and I get to write about my favorite topic: running! Mostly though, I love how it has connected me to the running community. It's important in this world to seek out like-minded individuals, and I have found many here in the running blogosphere. I've made so many friends, and some of you have even crossed over into "real life" friends. Make no mistake, these friendships and connections have been the biggest reward from blogging.

The title, Daily Adventures, is still one that I like. I do love adventures in life, because we learn so much from them. However, this title was never meant to say that we should all feel pressured to have adventures every day, and if we don't, then we are living a life less full. It's more about perspective. Big adventures are awesome, but we can't have them all the time. Instead, we should recognize, and appreciate, the little adventures of daily life: walking the dog on a new trail to discover a new view, getting lost on a run and finding your way home again, meeting new friends, discovering a new recipe, learning a new skill, taking a beautiful picture, winning (or losing) an argument, riding a bike with your son/daughter/nephew/sister/husband, teaching someone something, reading an enthralling book, whatever!

So, in honor of the idea of small, daily adventures, I want to hear about your favorite daily run. You don't have to write much, just a line or two about where it is and what you like about it. I'm giving away a lightly used Nathan HPL 020 (provided by the Wilderness Running Company for a review) to one lucky commenter! It's not about how awesome your run is, or the eloquence of what you say. Just make a comment about it! I'll draw a name from all the comments and announce the winner on Sunday. I'm going to go ahead and say this giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, not just the US and Canada. I figure if I really have any readers in, like, Kazakhstan, then I can celebrate that by springing for some extra postage.

So, I'll go first. (Don't take mine as an example for length. I suck at brevity.)

My favorite daily run is The Back Loop, also known as just The Loop. It's 2-4 miles on trail, depending on where you decide to turn. I love it because I can reach the beginning from my back door. I don't have to step a foot on pavement for this one. I don't have to get in the car and drive anywhere. I don't even need leashes for the dogs. We just go.

It offers forested trails (some single-track and some wider), and occasional views. This time of year, it's a little snowy. If it's early in the day, I can run it with just Yaktrax on my running shoes. When the snow softens up in the afternoon, it calls for snowshoes. In the summer, it's the perfect, smooth path of crushed pine needles, with a few hills, and a number of fun logs for steepling.

Here are some pictures from Friday's run with Gus on The Loop.


  1. Don't enter me in the contest...I already have an HPL 020 (as well as an Intensity)...but I'll still comment:

    My current favorite daily run isn't a route, but a day of the week. I like my Sunday morning runs because I usually run them with my husband. Also there's no time pressure because I don't have to be back at a certain time to get ready for work. Because of that, we often vary our route and discover new streets and neighborhoods.

  2. Congrats on post #100! First you write a blog like SD, then you start running like him, huh? You've come a long way.

    You'll be very proud of me: I ran in SNOW today. Seriously. Post coming later this week.

  3. My favorite place to run to is "Indian Rock" in Berkeley. It is essentially a giant boulder sitting in a quiet neighborhood. From there you can see almost the entire SF Bay. I pass by here almost, well, daily.


  4. Congratulations on your 100th! I always enjoy reading about your adventures, especially during the winter when you share about your snowy experiences :).

    [I'll play along, especially since I was just about to start looking for a new hydration vest!]

    My favorite daily run is my 6.37 mile route that I came up with 3 or 4 months ago. I definitely don't do it daily, but it takes me from my house to a pathway that follows a creek until it reaches a beautiful lake, and is my go-to for a long (well, now midlength) run.

    Because I've done this run enough, it feels "shorter" than other 6ish mile runs, and it always treats me with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains reflected in the lake water. I remember one run when fall had really started to take hold, where the trails were covered with leaves and the moonrise, backed with a magenta sky, was reflected in the lake. I think I actually laughed out loud with glee, I was so excited about the beauty.

    Having written this, I think I might just have to do this run tomorrow :).

  5. Sarah - Thanks for commenting, even though you're not entering the contest. Those sound like some great reasons to appreciate Sunday morning running!

    Donald - You're comparing me to Scott on both blogging and running? You're too kind. (And totally off base, but I'm not complaining!!)
    And, snow??? Wait, you're Donald WHO? Must be a different Donald. Well, it was a really warm day. ;) I can't wait to hear about it!

    Dave - Sounds awesome! Ever go bouldering on the boulder? Just curious.

    Addy - Thank you so much! I know what you mean about the familiar runs feeling shorter than others of the same distance. It sounds beautiful!

  6. Congrats on 100! I have enjoyed recently stumbling on your blog and following along. Being in Memphis, there are not a whole lot of great daily runs, but my favorite is a 4 mile trail loop that actually has hills (although I am sure most of you would call them bumps in the trail) and its only a 20 minute drive from my house.

    - The Dude

  7. I'll play. I live in Chicago and read your blog, among many trail running blogs, to take me away from the concrete jungle from time to time. While I do get out to run on trails once every few weeks, my favorite daily run is on the flat, paved lakefront trail. The run isn't anything special, but watching the (somedays) hundreds of runners pass by, some smiling, some grimacing, reminds me that I'm not the only one crazy enough to be out when it's 20 degrees w/ a 20 mph wind.

  8. I was just about to buy a Nathan (hint hint)!

    Just outside my back door is a park with a path exactly three miles long (no pesky Garmin measurements needed) and it gets plowed before the roads (helpful here in the frozen urban wasteland). Though it's in the heart of a city, I see bald eagles and foxes in the winter and in the summer there's dozens of different migrating waterfowl. Plus, I've run the same course regularly for 35 years, so if I skip a couple of days, everyone tells me they missed me!

    I'm up to 400 posts in 2 years - but you've got me in quality.

  9. I grew up on the gulf coast, so any time I am near water I try to get a good run on the beach. It always recharges the batteries!

    One of my all-time favorite beach runs was when work had me in Santa Monica for several weeks. Not only did you have good beach scenes, but you also had a variety of other things to keep your eyes interested, like the boardwalk area and running under the pier.

  10. You know, I claim credit for ALL of your success. ;-) Honestly, your blog is a great inspiration to me as well. You have that perfect mix of curiosity, adventure, introspection, and awesome photos. Congrats on #100, and I look forward to #200!

    If you write the "things I learned from TRB" article, be sure to add "spellcheck before publishing". I still forget that one from time to time.

    I'm full up on hydration packs, but here's my favorite:

    The "coastal redwoods loop", 11 miles round trip from my house. Cut through the top of Huddart Park, say hi to the fox, then cross Skyline into Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve. Run the cliff to the Robbins Trail (watch for bunnies, quail, and bobcats), cut across the coastal thicket while watching the fog burn off over the ocean, then head down into the redwood canopy, cross a few creeks, and end with a 3-mile climb.

    I've done it a 100 times (including yesterday!), and it NEVER gets old.


  11. My favorite run is from my doorstep in Berkeley. After a 15 min run uphill past the colorful frat and sorority houses, I arrive at the base of the strawberry canyon fire trail. The seven mile (roundtrip) trail twists its way up through Strawberry Canyon, offering views of the Golden Gate Bridge, SF, Mt. Tamalpais, and of course Berkeley. Trail highlights include the infamous "Connector," a very steep 1/8 mile; "The Bench," a lovely view point with a big wooden bench. I also enjoy the long stretch after the bench where the trail stops climbing and before you know it you are at the top. There are single-track diversion options available to mix up this out-and-back. The mile markers along the way are a bonus. Strawberry Canyon trail enables me to be a dedicated trail runner, while living without owning a car, which is important to me.

  12. Hey Gretchen! What fantastic photos! I haven't run in the snow since... since we ran the Kokanee half together! Ha ha! My favorite trail by far is the one closest to my house- White's Creek Trail. I think it has become my favorite, not because of it's staggering beauty (although it has it's pretty spots!), but because of it's faithful loyalty to my shoes- it's always there when I need a quick trail run, and I know it like the back of my hand. :) Not to mention the added benefit of finding my very own special favorite rock I always say hello to~

  13. Dude - Thanks for commenting! So glad you found my blog out there in Memphis. I think there are memorable runs there. I once went on a very memorable one with the Memphis Hash House Harriers. At least, I think it was probably memorable...funny, I don't remember much...

    GRChi - Nice job on getting out there in the cold temps! Running in the midwest is not for sissies. Nope.

    Steve - When I lived in the Twin Cities, I LOVED that they plowed the bike paths in winter. So impressive! Helped me keep sane through the cold winter.

    JT - Yeah, beach running in SoCal can be some of the best. I know what you mean about a lot of other things to occupy the eyes. ;)

    Scott - Thanks! You can definitely claim some credit! A lot, actually. I do spell check already, but I learned that in high school. ;)
    Thanks for sharing your run, too. It sounds pretty awesome!

    Sarah - Awesome. I also love being able to access the trails without driving. Sounds like a tough run!

    Amber - that is totally the beauty of the favorite daily run, isn't it? It's always there, like a familiar friend. I love that.

  14. My favorite run is in a park just a couple of minutes from my door. I have been riding horses there for most of my life. Now, horseless, I run there almost everyday. On a night run there on Tuesday night, the stars were bright and the sky was clear. My friend and I stopped and turned our lights out and listened to the coyotes yelping and howling in the distance. It was an amazing run in a beautiful place.

  15. Kelly - The night run sounds beautiful. Stars and yipping coyotes are such a magical combination!

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  17. obviously too late for bootie chance, but here's where I run most frequently:

    * lots of route choices so I can easily titrate my running time and distance
    * where my kids go to preschool, so I can run after I drop them off or before I pick them up
    * trails connect from near my house along the Bay Area Ridge Trail, and connect by trail with Anothony Chabot Park (Firetrails 50 mile, Skyline 50k) and hopefully in the next few years legally south to Mission Peak (Ohlone 50k)
    * sometimes nice, happy doggies on trail
    * a little of everything. steep and gradual climbs/descents, stream crossings, wooded single track, open vistas on ridge tops with great views, including Mt. Rose (Ohlone 50k), San Fran, Peninsula Hills, Diablo. (i think you can see all this, but maybe I'm mixing it up with the views from other runs I do--heck I'm confused/it's all good and pretty.)

    congrats on 100. am I supposed to be counting mine?

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