Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: June 2009

So today I rode my bike to the hospital.  I had a rash appear underneath my armpit sometime last week.  I was going to mention it in this training journal, cos the injury report is a key factor of minding the body.  So either on Thursday or Friday this rash appeared.  It persisted through Pride week and yesterday, it was with me atop San Bruno Mountain.  Today I called urgent care and they had me come into Kaiser with my regular doctor so he could diagnose me.

So I ride my bike to Kaiser, but first my front tire is falling off of my bike.  Get my weight done and I’m at 159.5 in board shorts, track top, t shirt and black leather Nike hi-tops.  Blood pressure normal -actually really good, temp normal all that.  Go get seated in the office, my doctor comes out takes a look at me and tells me its shingles.

Dr. is all, its very common and explains that it isn’t from Pride contact, rather shingles originates in an individual who previously suffered chicken pox.  Its a post infection from an initial infection with the chicken pox.  So it makes me extremely contagious to anyone who hasn’t had chicken pox, and if you’ve had the chicken pox before, look forward to getting some shingles when you hit a certain senior age or are in your 40’s with a compromised immune system from partying, not getting enough sleep, stress, cockroaches, sunlight and subjecting your body to the extreme rigors of trail running like I do, fucken over 80 miles of trail this month.  Little stress on the body with the party?  Yes.

So I’m basically in isolation for a week.  Its not a Sash Rash from my leather bra or contact dermatitis like I originally thought.  Nor is it a flesh eating bacteria or staph infection.  Its a flare up from a childhood infection, but now I can’t go to work for a week.  I’ve got shit to do around my flat and the Universe has called me out.  I need to deal:  here is my twittascope:

My Twittascope: Capricorn

Your mind might be running around in circles with more activity and less results than you like. It could even feel like you are revisiting the very same ideas again and again. You can break out of your rut by making a radical change to your work schedule, which should shake up other things too. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to gauge the efficacy of your plan without actually putting it into motion. Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Really?  Well it wasn’t up to me, it happened.  You know, when one gets sick from being run down, it is the Universe saying, “Bitch, hold UP!”  I think I’ve been given an opportunity to address the anchors that have been sinking me, time to shore up the breaches in this existential ship named for me.  Can I do this this week, and what kind of effect will being shingled out have to do with my training?

  • Not enough sleep:  Not getting enough sleep compromises the immune system.  I’d go out till 2, wake up at 5:30 and hit the trail.  I need to observe the Ayurvedic System which recognizes that I should be in bed by 10pm and up by 6am, that translates to 8 hours of sleep.  In addition, I haven’t always been sleeping in my bed, because of stress, I’ve been camping out in the living room.  Not good.  I need a full night’s sleep in my own bed, Le Meridien or the Chinatown Hilton non withstanding until at least I scar over.
  • Stress: Oh the Hells I create for myself, being an agent of Chaos with an overwhelming tendency to DisOrder.  I tend to create from Chaos, being a Chaotic individual I need to find a little balance.  I’ve tipped the scales way deep into that Chaotic part of my psyche.  I need to draw upon the powers of balance and start observing the Law for a change.  Not to become an agent of Law.  No, whatsoever, just to balance out the bent I find myself in at the moment.
  • Sunlight: I worship the sun and spend everychance I get fully exposed to it.  The sun activates the nerves where the virus resides and stimulates it to reemerge.  I don’t know if I can ever give up tanning naked, but maybe I can do more naked indoor activities.  For trail running, that means I need to be fully protected from the sun: sunscreen, full coverage.  Sad.
  • Nutrition: I am going to have to concentrate on eating more nourishing foodstuffs.  There may be some foods that don’t make it into my diet that serve to not only boost my immunity but also serve to suppress this chicken pox.  Sux!  Well I have a week to put together a diet and I can commend myself for already minimizing if not entirely eliminating tobacco and sugar.
  • I can still train hard on the trail, that ain’t going to change.

So this also means that my Hippy Hot Spring Yoga Retreat at Harbin is not going to happen.  I’m gonna fucken paint this flat and train extra hard on that mountain, fully covered, sad.  Oh well, I’m bummed.

After the doctors, on the ride home I stopped at Safeway to pick up some produce for my sick stay and yes, my ears weren’t deceiving me there was an announcement on the PA saying to ask your pharmacist about preventing shingles for incarnates older than 60.

hmm.  Aloha Miss Universe, you must have something special in store for me if you noticing me like this so much right now.  I’m your son and I am a reflection of your power.  If I am to be tested, you know my limits and I trust you enough to know that your objective is not to set me up to fail.

Advertisements

Post Pride and ready to start a new trail up San Bruno Mountain.  Not too eager to get up on my day off at 6am like I normally would do to go trail, but allowed myself to sleep in til past noon and have some very leisurely coffees and check in on my tagged photos on facebook that my friends have posted of me at the Parade yesterday.  

I eventually got it together and drove out to Brisbane in search of the East Ridge Trail.  Following the directions to the trailhead I had downloaded at the SFMNHP realized that I had kept missing the turnoff and logically where it should have been was right when Glen Park Way intersected Kings Road.  After driving all the way down Kings Road and back I parked and started walking uphill to where a dirt road and a chained gate closed off the road.  There was a San Mateo County truck parked at the gate.

Up the steep road to where a water cistern was.  2 SM county employees where attending to a weather station at the cistern but didn’t notice me so I started up a very steep trail.  It wasn’t marked, but it was obvious.  There was alot of dessicated coyote scat on this trail and it was about a mile until I reached the top and a cairn marked the spot and there was a 2 track jeep trail that led up to the towers on San Bruno Mountain.  I finally hit a trail that I could run upon and I did so, up to about another mile I saw a figure on the outcropping and when I approached it turned out the figure was a hiker.  I approached and asked him where he had come from.  He said, “Switzerland.” I was like, “No, where did you come from on the trail?” He told me about parking lots, etc but really, I started getting a tingling sensation from over exertion and couldn’t stay to hear it, else I’d faint.  Did notice he checked me out as we were talking, I’m thinking Swiss trail romance, but hey, I gotta workout to complete.  Continued down the trail, run/hiking/tweeting/taking pics and by the time I reached the Summit Loop, he was already on my tail.

Hooking up at the Summit Loop I found that this was a good trail running course, single track with lots of foliage and poison oak growing into the trail.  Thistles.  Tough and technical.  Followed the ridge trail down to where it hooked up with an overlook.  Now I’m talking about the NE side of San Bruno Mountain under the Summit.  Continued on the Summit Loop and hit Radio Road underneath the Radio Towers. Confused by the signage, ended up trespassing down a road that was unsafe for humans due to high radio frequencies, then tracked back and caught the Summit Loop trail again.

Nice, nice trail for trail running.  Single track mountain ridge descending into a canyon.  At the bottom I felt the spirit of the dryads and had to kiss a tree and say a prayer of thanks to the God and Goddess in gratitude for existing in this incarnation that allowed me to be here at that moment.  Came to a road crossing, picked up the trail some more and found the trail head Eucalyptus Route which confirmed I had gotten the downloaded map totally wrong. Summit Trail Loop again uphill and finally getting back to the overlook, hooking up on that East Ridge to Summit Vista and back down the fire road past mile marker 1 deciding I was through and to mile marker at the cairns down Coyote Trail to my Contour.  Red Tail Hawks perched atop power towers were keening at my passing.

In all nearly 3 hours and a 9.5 mile hike/run.  Its scouting.  Here is what I need do when I take this as a trail running course to complete my second cycle.

 

  • Try to do this course as a 7 mile starting atop Radio Road, West down Summit Loop to the first mile marker on the Ridge Trail and Back to 400 Radio Road at the No Trespassing Gate
  • Do not attempt this trail with a hangover. It is extremely technical
  • Do fill hydration system to its capacity
  • Do  bring car lighter charger for the iPhone
  • Do wear running tights as trail is overgrown with thistles and poison oak
  • Do rock this summit and enjoy, you are a fucken epic trail runner.

I asked for hills, I got hills.  Now its just about putting this technical course together and running it in a respectable time.

I just got back from the Pride Parade where I cycled with Mikes On Bikes, now I’m at home having a cocktail and getting ready to get into some ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ drags with a Cleopatra wig.  First I pumped up my tires at the gas station and rode down Folsom Street to where our contingent was meeting at Spear and Market.  I wore combat boots, my Camelbak, helmet, Nike Shades and a pair of pink square cut panites that say SMACK THAT on the ass.  I had my Camelbak filled with 2 litres of iced water and had stowed a tall can of Bud in the pocket. I pulled in and my Pride costume was a hit apparently.  I got my picture taken alot and people took my slogan literally, much to my delight.

The parade route took us down Market Street and our contingent is the first one right after the Dykes on Bikes, my favorite part of the Parade.  What I usually do is go and watch the Dykes, then come home and get into drags and have my own Pride Parade down Folsom Street to the Hole in the Wall.  Today, I was able to bike behind them, now I’m at home and about to get in drag.  The festivities last all day and I’m ready to supermodel for the tourists.

Training during Pride Week is like being on a diet at Xmas.  One may slip up a little, but if you stick to it, you are doing more good than harm, and its a fucken holiday, so one should go ahead and enjoy shimself and shim’s peeps.

So I did finish the circuit in Golden Gate Park today despite partying rather hard all week, I got it did!  I found myself in the middle of the FrontRunners’ Pride Run between miles 4 and 5 and I thought to myself, wow, this is great training running in a pack.  I started to suffer some of that calf strain at the halfway point and had to walk it out on a few occasions.  I was getting passed by the pack, but I was on mile five, and they were fresh between miles 1 and 2.  Still it was interesting to be enveloped in a cloud of pheromone queer runner atomizing off of high tech fabrics, and most importantly it felt good and strong to recognize transgender, lesbian, bisexual and gay men running.  Used to get my ass kicked in school now I’m ready to kick anyone’s on the trail.

Wednesday was the day I do my volunteer work for the National Park Service at the Hyde Street Pier.  In an effort to be more ecologically sound, environmentally aware and to sustain the things that I love I ride my bike down to the volunteer gig or catch public transit.  I have been issued a parking permit and I’ve used it to park when I sailed on the Alma with the LGID, but I don’t really need the permit if I’m gonna trail run from Upper Fort Mason.

Its a really nice ride from my flat in the South of Market to Downtown San Francisco, cut directly through Union Square and into the Stockton Tunnel which lets me out in Chinatown and its all downhill through that and North Beach to the Wharf.  Coming home is a nice recreational flat ride down the Embarcadero past tourists and joggers and bikers.  Weaving ones way in and out, quite fun, especially on my little bike that everybody likes.

My volunteer gig was pretty awesome because it was my first full day in full uniform.  Still need to acquire some pants that match and the ball cap makes me look dweebish, but still it was interesting to see how the uniform made me approachable and I felt very proud and very useful to help people out and get to know their National Park and San Francisco much better.

Just registered for my first race of the year online at Pacific Coast Trail Runs.  My training is coming along great, even if on some or most days I am running with a hangover, I’m still getting out there on the trail.  The race is at Salt Point State Park in Jenner California, about a 45 minute drive from my favorite resort, the Highlands, making it like a 2 hour 15 minute drive to the race. I have entered the 11 kilometer distance and after the race I’m gonna eat a huge chicken fried steak and pancakes then go to the Highlands and lounge around the pool having cocktails naked like a civilized naturist like myself should do.

Just one more lap around the park and I’m done with this course.  Next course I’m gonna take it up to Brisbane and run some serious San Bruno Mountain State and County Park.  That looks like a run I’m not just going to be able to do on a Thursday before work.  It needs some serious scouting but I’m ready to eat it for breakfast if not this week then the next.  Sutro Mountain is just to small, but I’ll go check it out eventually.

But about today’s run: 6.01 miles in 66.06 minutes which means I’m really whittling down my pace.  I recorded my fastest split, an 8:23 between miles 3 and 4 which is where I’m peaking.  I just want to run faster!  I consciously worked on sprinting during flat sections.  I need to remember that and train to that for race day.  Impressions: a red tailed hawk was grounded and flew to perch on a branch when I passed by and I wonder what prey he had, lots of birthday parties, still nice enough to not wear a shirt.  I’m a little stoked and thinking about running it tomorrow, but I have my drag number tomorrow night so maybe waiting until Thursday to finish up at the park is the best deal, hell, I may even go explore San Bruno Mountain early early before the TLBGQ Pride Parade to make sure I get home back in time to get parking on my street.

So last night I went and did a Naked Yoga class because I was feeling so cranky yesterday morning what with crashing apps, remembering my dead dad who was murdered and being hung over with a toothache.  Alot of things were conspiring to make my mood foul, but I got over it by not only expressing it as a twitter feed but also by the support and feedback I was getting from community in response.  Its important to talk about painful things especially for someone like me who tends to bury things deep.  I got a haircut and talked about disappointing dads and their independent children with my stylist Niquenstein and afterwards did some very therapeutic retail shopping.  I ordered some Adizero XT trail running shoes, got 4 records, a beer, Terrorizer Magazine, and some Korean food at the mall.  Had fun modeling things on, but resisted the impulse to buy.  Got back just in time to go to Naked Yoga, but the substitute, although well intentioned, is still somewhat inexperienced and the class didn’t rock, but I did feel the benefits of it today on the trail.

I’m feeling a little cranky this morning, mostly because I’m having problems with my RunKeeper application and am a little hung over, and its Father’s Day and my dad was murdered.  I suppose I should be happy because of the great times we had together, be positive and all that but my dad was shot in cold blood by his best friend 13 years ago.  He was way too young to die and I was way to independent but I was just starting to come around and get back into my family and my dad and I had a very open and revealing man to man talk just before he was killed.  Actually I feel angry today, honestly I’m pissed.  Happy Fucking Father’s Day, motherfucker, you shot my Daddy you PRICK!!!

Got drunk with the girls from work last night and am feeling that too.  It was Gib’s last day and we all feel a loss from that so some drunken team building was definitely what we needed to fill the vacuum.  We came back to my house for more cocktails and one of my assistants fell asleep here.  She was just leaving my apartment when I got back from the trail.

It is so bright early in the morning I swear the sun rises at 5:30 am.  I was on the trail right at 7 just like before.  Kind of feeling anxious because I thought I left my sunglasses at the bar, but I found them underneath the bookcase back here in the office.  Forgot about Sunday road closures, did the trail without a shirt.  Can’t really say much except that I got through it and wasn’t feeling this crappy until I got my phone out to take a picture of a sculpture then my GPS application, RunKeeper failed.  I can’t get the app to load and it is distressing me.  I’m sure there are other factors contributing to this mood I’m in.

So because I’m a little pissed and only have negative things to say, I’m not going to say much.  I did 6 miles on the trail, I did it poorly, but I got it done.  I have to get a haircut, find a CD and start working on my drag number.

It was about a quarter to six this morning when I walked home from Le Meridien.   I knew I could just crunch it and get a run in on the new trail through Golden Gate Park today before I had to get to work.

Fog was building up over Twin Peaks, a stark grey finger against a clear blue sky depressing the cleavage between the two mountains, but the flag flying atop the Art Deco skyscraper was absolutely flat so I knew it was gonna be nice, sunny and no breeze.

Sun was intense through the park, but the trees overhead diffused the light and scattered sunbeams.  I started at the California Academy of Sciences, and ran down MLK using the bridle trails and cut across the Windmill behind the Polo Fields up again running the side trail on the south walkway of JFK.  Through the sculpture garden underneath the tower at the DeYoung Museum, underneath the tunnel under the Music Concourse and across the lawn behind the Academy sciences and I’m back at the Contour in 4 seconds under an hour and 6 minutes running a trail of exactly 6 miles with very minimal elevation.  Fastest split between miles 3 and 4 (halfway peaking) 9:32.

I felt mechanical, I let my legs run this course today.  Started with a stitch in my side, but was able to manage the pain.  Calf strain settled down today.  I felt determined, not really strong,  just capable.

Blustery this morning, at the beach.  The clouds over the strait were getting whipped up by that wind, as were the whitecaps in the shore break.  I suited up in shorts today, and the tank under the t.  Running with my headphones and Metal playlist.  Its good to be back.

Hung out with LGID last night and drank a bit of well Vodka, due to the Obama Economy I have to downgrade from Stoli when I go out.  I met LGID at the Hole after his tenants meeting and then we had another at the Powerhouse.  Didn’t have anything for dinner really cos I went straight out after work except for popcorn and bar snacks.  So when I woke up this morning I new I was tanked, but had to get this circuit closed and done early because the landlord was coming over and I was going to the Giants’ Game with Connie Champagne.

Not really crunchy, but knowing that I was running on reserves, I took to the trail, legs jumping at the ready like horses.  It was shortlived, however.  Going up the hill at the switchback behind Battery Chamberlain, that bitch of a calf strain decided to  come back.  I had to deal with and run through the discomfort.  Its a pain, its a strain, its some sort of muscle ache.  Its been described to me before as scar tissue from the muscle tearing from overuse.  A training injury.  Its been good for awhile and I’ve been bragging, so it probably may have do with dehydration and nutrition.  I gotta work it out.

I wasn’t going to give it up for hell, and just decided to power through. For a moment I thought to cut it short and not run the stairs down and up from Marshall’s Beach but I stuck it.  By the time I descended to Crissy Field, I had to stop and adjust layers, taking off my outer t and stretching out the strain.  The sun was breaking through the marine layer over in Tiburon and Richmond, so I knew that it was going to be a great day for baseball.

Uncomfortable, but semi-tolerable.  When I got to the bottom of the trail that leads through the Eucalyptus Grove by the National Cemetery I just walked it all the way uphill.  Some days it just ain’t gonna feel pretty.  I hopped the cemetery gate and took some shots of the graveyard discovering that everyone in that section in the upper most corner all died in 1934. The officers’ wives, when interred by their husbands’ sides have their epitaphs engraved on the backs of the tombstones.

Finished up, checked my time and realize allthough today’s run was quite sufferable, I was only about 5 minutes over a decent time.  So I have made progress despite the reemergence of that old calf strain.

The landlord called me while I was driving back home to tell me he’d be over in about an hour to do a walk through of my flat.  I’ve mentioned the problems I’ve been having around here, especially the ones with the commensal  insects, the paint, the carpet and the refrigerator.  What happened with the bugs was that when they sprayed last winter, he didn’t have a key to my apartment so I got all the bugs in the building.  It was a good visit, I got a check cos I overpaid my rent last year and he arranged an exterminator to come on Saturday.  Also he agreed to replace the carpets if I painted the walls myself.  I’m trying to get him to replace the fridge to because it leaks and makes a total mess of the kitchen floor.  I was seeing that he was being quite agreeable so I didn’t push for too much.  I love my flat, and if I can get him to help out with some of the major structural stuff, I can do the rest on my own.

So like a dick, I’m sitting there trying to get the new software update loaded on my iPhone, but of course every other geek in the twittiverse is doing the same thing at the same time.  I just had to leave the phone at home and go pick up Connie, then Doctor Bob.  Connie looked really hot in her Giants drag and we drove down to the game.  Struggled with finding parking, but ended up parking where I thought we should in the first place, behind Whole Foods because the ballpark is in my neighborhood and I have a residential sticker.  Still its a 4 or 5 very long South of Market block hike, but Connie and I shared a tall can on the way that we bought at the liquor store nearby South Park.

I am impressed by how much Connie knows about baseball and even further impressed by how much she is in love with Tim Lincecum, the face of the Giants, our star pitcher.  He pitched a great game and the giants were up 2 runs until Timmy had a meltdown in the 8th and we ended up losing by 1 run.  Thirdbaseman should have thrown to home plate instead of 1’st on two occasions, but still it was a perfect day to be at the ballpark, cheering and having beers with friends.

So to cap things off, thought I’d go and do Naked Yoga and stay committed to my practice.  Bryan was substituting that night which was great because I enjoyed his class before.  Bryan’s style is Anusurra and it focuses on using isometrics to intensify the poses.  There was none of the dreaded partner work afor which I am grateful.  There are 5 tenets to Anusurra and Bryan taught us 2, I forgot the second, but the first is “open up to grace.”  Yoga reminds me to lead with the heart, both figuratively and literally.  Figuratively: lead with love, committment and compassion.  Literally: put your heart forward and let it lead you up hills on the trail.  12 yogis including Bryan and myself, I like Wednesday nights.  I think I snored during the Shav Asana.  Bryan left us there for a long time and I quite needed that.

In preparation for my race at Salt Point in Jenner, California, I thought I’d try Monday’s trail run without my usual Metal playlist on my iPod Shuffle.  I woke up at home (!) in the bed (!!) and set off for the trail around 7ish.  Had some nice coffee and got geared up and headed out to the Beach.  I was wondering if running without music would make me any faster, as maybe if I was running to a beat then the music could be at a slower pace than what I am capable of running.   But really I’m mostly listening to Black Metal or Extreme Metal, some Techno and Pop, Rap–all of which, despite the genre and/or however you want to classify them all have pretty fast paced tempos. Especially the double bass of Cato Bekkevold from ENSLAVED.  He is one awesome drummer.  I’d buy an album of his studio tracks without the rest of the band just to get into the intricacies of his drumming style.

It was a cool overcast day with a thick marine layer, not really fog, no significant breeze to speak of when I started the trail at Battery Chamberlain, but a  breeze did pick up somewhat atop the bluff at Battery Crosby as it would do.  I layered properly, so I didn’t have to stop and take off an outer layer and get untangled from my headphone wires, a major time waster.  All in all, this was the fastest time I did this course at just seconds over 1 hour 9 minutes, good and steady, my fastest split was 10:16 between miles 3 and 4 which seems to be the distance where my speed is peaking, halfway through.  I didn’t realize I forgot my Nike Vapor sunglasses until I was in Crissy Field, but as the day was not bright at all, glare was never an issue.  Still it felt incredible to be running without the pains that were plaguing me in the beginning of this training.  Happy to know that I was able to persevere  and train through that.

One interesting thing about running without music is that I did feel as if I was running faster, but my results show that the duration of the run was most likely lowered by not having to adjust my layers.  As a practice, I’ll see how this goes for the next two courses I’m plotting.  I’ll try to run the third circuit without music as an experiment in comparison.  Cos I mentioned it, the next two courses are a flatter course from California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach and Back (aproximately 6miles) and exploring the Fairy Trail and Ridge Trails atop Mount Sutro (this should be a total adventure because I’m not familiar with that mountain).  Concluding that, I’ll do a review of all 8 courses that I put together so far and I think that will take me up to the race I have scheduled on 26 July.