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I never know if I’m ready for an upcoming race and I never know how to taper. I do my long runs when I can and think of scheduled training as fluid, not even guidelines. I do, however perform well in my sport but I never do speedwork. If you ever saw me on a track, I’m being ironic. If you see me on a hill that’s where I’m at and where I need to be. If you see me running downhill all you’ll see is my ass if even that cos no one can catch me on single track downhill trail.

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Recent weeks, 3 now really, have been characterized by low spirits and a struggle with angst and ennui.  Today I’m feeling the crest of it, or am I feeling the depths of these lows?  Not sure really and don’t know if I’m working through it or succumbing to it.  Depression is nothing new to me and the serrated edge of angst only cuts me with superficial perforations, leaving some wounds to seep and most skin intact, therefore I can put on appearances…  A bit of pain and the roller coaster of anxiety, an ill ride in a bemusement park, creepily clinging and preventing me from getting out.  There is no escape, the gates are closing.  Finding shelter in a run down haunted house because that is the least scariest place to spend the night.

Muscling through in the gym and for a change being able to go there for more than just a shower.  Incorporating a routine with machines and am getting some results.  The Black Metal pumping in my ears always gets me up as does the physical exertion, too bad the feeling doesn’t last and once I’m back in my flat I’m just as desultory as before.

Having a training partner does help.  It gets me out of my doldrums because I feel responsible for coaching this athlete.  I know that I learn more from teaching and I am altruistic by nature so this does feed my spirit.  Interesting to see my athlete outpacing me, must be the sign of a good coach.  Still it was difficult to keep up with feet sore  stomping around the South of Market Friday night in  high heels and drag and then the next night in the Mission in cruelly fitting motorcycle boots and full leather.

Warriors Choice Yoga on Sunday made the choice to not go because the class is being subbed. This promulgated fears of Naked Yoga For Men being subbed and so I decided not to go altogether.  On the phone with J54o and he mentions the shit I’m going through at work which I had completely forgotten about over the weekend flaring up a whole new round of frustration and anger.

But then a friend comes to the rescue and invites me to go see the Michael Schenker Group in Santa Clara later that evening.  I pick up @chefjames2 in the Contour and we drive out.  We’re not on the guest list but he soon takes care of that.  I’m watching the Legend Himself on his Flying V and there is absolutely no question about his virtuosity.  Furthermore, psychedelic and rock legend Carmine Appice is on the drums and I take a stand behind the sound board to immerse myself in his playing and to get learned.  After the gig we get backstage and I meet the whole band except for Michael because he’s artistic, moody and a Capricorn like myself and I completely understand.  Its been rough on SeaGoats ever since the eclipse in our sign when the shit started coming down.  Too dark for a picture on my iPhone with the band backstage having beers but I’m blown away by sharing their presence nevertheless.

To torn by too many plans and the best thing is to just unravel the strands and do what offers the least resistance.  In bed until 12noon cancel this, at 1 that possibility of going to Lady Ga Ga gets cancelled then I’m about done with my coffee and pick a trail to get something in that I’m trepidatious about feeling I can do.

Decided to do a loop in the Presidio starting on Lovers’ Lane.  Really had to settle down and relax in the Contour before I even hit the trail due to the utter lack of motivation that I am feeling.  Still I was at the trailhead and after settling down got myself good to go.  New playlist, ~AXIOM OF NORDIC BLACK METAL~ loaded in my Shuffle and the succor of Metal rushes in to soothe my soul.  My romantic heart so easily crushed and disappointed. My expectations so high my valor the mirror face of gullibility.  My legs trained and smarter than my brain glad for whatever intuition gave them reprieve of a downhill start and soon finding my pace and heart rate as I cruise the familiar trails of the Presidio with all of the intentions of a masochist expecting penance from tough enduring.

  • 16 August 2010
  • 3:35 – 4:59pm
  • 1:24:31
  • 12:10 avg. pace
  • 4.93 avg. speed
  • 850 feet climbed
  • 979 calories burned

Hot surf daddy in slick black neoprene, wet and stripping out of it in the flatbed of his truck.  Wetsuit peeled to white torso, broad shouldered, sculpted chest, narrow waist and a flared out bubble booty with powerful thighs still clad in fulgin rubber.  A mangy raven, cold and wet from spray.  And me existing thinking I need to work out harder.

Did the Great Highway with Cameron, got him way down in the mid 9’s.  I’m feeling great too because after a shitty recovery and unexpected drama I’m recovering from not only a Marathon but also depression and shorted expectations.  Its all good, and I’m coming back.  Plotting out a taper up and happy to be back on trail.

Had a leisurely call so followed up the trail run with a machine session at the gymnasia.  Trying to figure out a good circuit and hit an excellent upper body one today using Star Trac and TechnoGym machines.  Had to round it out with free weights and finished up with core and twirling the staff.  If I want to look like a hot trail daddy I’m gonna need to work it extra hard.

Today’s run was crappy.  Hung out in the morning waiting for the plumber and turns out he couldn’t fix the water heater.  Had to get something to eat down the street before I headed out to the trail.  An omelette.  Could have been too heavy, but better than cooking and doing dishes in cold water.  Picked up my car and staged for the trail and a shower at the gym.  Decided to do a trail in Pacifica because it is relatively close and I wouldn’t have to deal with bridge tolls.

Pulled into San Pedro Valley County Park just enough to see that I would have to pay a $5 vehicle fee so I parked on the residential street just outside.  Found trail maps and decided to do Hazelnut Trail which looked like it was about 3.7 miles with an 800 foot climb.  Picked up the trail and it was pretty steep switchbacks on a pretty shitty rutted out single track trail.  Started to get hot and took off my first layer then realized I didn’t have any music.  Was struggling with heart rate and breathing and was more run/hiking.  Got stung in the chest by a wasp just minutes after stripping to my tank.  Wasps love to sting me.  Just made a tough miserable run even more miserable.  Trudged along, eventually I got to the ridge where it leveled off and was able to make my way back down to the park entrance.  Not enjoying anything at all about this run and as an appropriate counterpoint, coming out of the park a rat scuttled off into the scraggly overgrown poison oak and blackberries on the side of the trail.  Then I get pulled over by a cop for having a busted tail light.

  • 11 August 2010
  • 2:06 – 3:11pm
  • 1:03:45
  • 3.91 miles
  • 16:19 avg. pace
  • 3.68 mph
  • 556 calories burned
  • 857 ft. climbed

Trying to get my yoga back, but with a change in instructors, maybe its time to start something new.  As I wrote previously, Ben stopped teaching Yogayama altogether and my Sunrise Yoga instructor, Anita has taken over his 7-815am Monday + Wednesday slot for the practice which @suzboop named Yoganita.  The Sunrise Yoga instructor is a new addition to the gym and although his teaching is adequate, I’m not so excited about learning a new instructor at 5:45 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I’m trying to incorporate something new on those early workday slots.  I’m drifting towards aquatics but even more available to me are weight training or morning runs before work.

Well since I’ve only done yoga one more time, getting an unpaid day off and being able to do Warrior’s Choice on Thursday.  Glad I did because I was backstage at the Scorpions concert in Sacramento the night before with @chefjames2 and got to meet the whole band and take photos with them after the show.  It was amazing!  The whole ballpark was filled with guys my age in their 40’s but I was the only one off the stage in full leather.  The rest of the guys were mostly all in cargo shorts, flip flops and band t-shirts.  James thought I looked kind of gay and I admit I do, but I’m metal that way.  @chefjames2 made some sort of comment excusing us for wearing long pants in Sacto heat, but lead guitarist Matthias Jabs pointed at my leathers and said, “I’m a member of that club!” making me feel warm, welcome and validated in Metal!

Post Marathon now back in training.  I’m now able to introduce new elements and I’m starting to incorporate weight training using machines for body building at the gymnasia.  I’m also trying to do weight training more consistently and I have been forced to do this because the water heater has been busted in my flat for the past week since I got back from Harbin and I don’t want to feel like a troll going into the gym just to shower and hang out in the steam room.  My water heater should be fixed tomorrow but I’m getting a good routine in using the Star Trac machines.  They have machines for chest, arms and legs as well as a Universal Gym set up and assisted pull up.  Not enough equipment to make a complete work out but enough to get me going and the rest I can fill in with the free weights.  Looking at my schedule I’ve been getting in weight training 2 – 3 times a week and doing a 35 -40 minute circuit.  I’m kind of forgoing Sunrise Yoga in order to do this but I’m cool with that.  I’m looking great in drag with a swimsuit on.

I got photo-boothed at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza coming to the City from J540’s.  Some panic and anxiety too because my FastTrack never beeped.  Maybe I didn’t slow down enough for it to register, but at the same time the device will sync to my license plate when they check it out.  I never heard of anybody getting a speeding ticket for going through a toll booth and I see people do it all the time.  Its CalTrans and not CHP so maybe its not in their purview to give speeding tickets, only toll violations.  I really can’t afford a speeding ticket right now.

But I made it home in time to change into my shorty, short short gym shorts and because it is cold, my Everlast track jacket and my COACH Ugg boots.  Slim and legs marathon toned I feel like a super model in this get up.  Catwalk through the Gold’s Gym and up to the studio arriving right on time for Sunrise Yoga.

The new instructor’s name is Ben, and although he isn’t as ringing the bell new-agey as I prefer, he puts together a nice practice with a unique flow.  I find that every yoga instructor has a different offering and I appreciate his.  I took class very carefully and made sure that I did the easiest modifications to avoid any sort of over extension or injury as my main goal is to stay fit, healthy and safe for Sunday’s race.  The weather forecast is not going to change.  High is predicted at 61* with 13 mph offshore winds.  Pretty much how it usually is.  I’m sure my SpeedSuit will be enough.  Pretty amazed its coming up.  Now its just up to my training which is complete.

Training all day today during a taper for a marathon that is just 4 days away and I’m trying not to do anything stoopid or get hurt.  But I failed at that in at least every activity today.  In 7am yoga, after the class a yogi tried to help me with my headstand.  I already knew what I did wrong and tried to demonstrate the wrong way.  Got a tweak in the neck.  Go on a short 2.75 mile run with my training partner, stumble over a rock but recover before I fall downhill.  Came home warmed up some leftover meatloaf and took a nap, that went off without a hitch.  Went to the gym to lift weights and twirl the staff but kicked the punching bag and that kind of tweaked my foot and leg.  I hope I’m working out any sort of accident prone clumsiness in advance so I can have a clean slate.  All I have left to do today is get a massage @forbodyandmind and then J540 is making me dinner.

Sunrise Yoga with a new instructor.  I hate to be a yoga critic, but I wish my original Sunrise Yoga instructor had kept her spot and allowed the new yoga instructor to take over Yogayama.  I kind of felt like it leaves her regulars hanging and she is moving into a class where the regulars expect too much because they had an awesome teacher in Ben.  There are a few of us who do both morning yogas, but the ones who only do Sunrise, I really felt like we got abandoned.  Ben left, Anita maybe shouldn’t have.  I am going to put this suggestion in the suggestion box and see how it plays out.  This morning yoga schedule is on a trial basis for 6 weeks, so once I finish the SF Marathon and recover I think it may be the perfect time to try the 30 Days for $30 Bikram intro at Mission Yoga until the dust settles over at the Castro Gold’s.

Active rest–what’s active rest? Its mandatory and an essential part of the training program.  Rest.  Don’t work out for one day.  As simple as that mandate seems, a lot of runners, other athletes, forget to do this.  Recovery is necessary to progress in endurance.  The day of rest is something to look forward to–a reward for sticking to the program.

What constitutes the active part?  Well, I’m doing laundry now.  I woke up at the same time that I would do a training run.  I plan on taking care of some errands this afternoon on foot, so it means, include some extra activity that you wouldn’t necessarily do;  i.e.  don’t just lay on the couch watching golf and NASCAR all day drinking vodka.

So I’ll take the rest days to check in and feel what’s going on with my body and mind.