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Woke up eager to do a run on most challenging San Bruno Mountain, but hit snooze and had an extra cup of coffee because lately I’ve been feeling like my maternal grandfather and am embracing the feeling of not being rushed, being old and doing things in my own time.  Saying on multiple occasions that things are disorganized around the flat are  understatements and it seems as if I have more stuff to do than I have the time to do them in and so many thing on that list of “to do,” I can’t possibly remember to do them all by the time they should be done–especially when they aren’t on a manifest.  Composing that list would be an interminable and embarassing practice, so I’ll just keep it in my head.

I had an appointment scheduled with my body worker, Scott, at 3 and was in need of a shave and a fade with my barber, Emilio.  I could cut Scott a check, but didn’t have enough cash for Emilio so I thought to save time I’d go to Target and get some money back with my purchase instead of dealing with Chase.  I didn’t get to the trailhead until about 11:30 am and knew that if I could make it to the barbershop by 2 then I’d be all good for the massage.  What do I do?  Race.  Instead of driving up to the summit to park underneath the radio towers, I parked at the trailhead and decided to hit the trail from below as to complete the run all downhill on Summit Loop.

I got out of the Contour and did some cursory yoga poses.  A little surprised by my strength and totally familiar with my lack of balance.  I pumped it up and raved to dark wave feeding into my ears from my headphones thinking how I’d work my featured dance steps in dark gothic clubs in medieval basements in Germany.   Brilliant to be running the Ridge Trail at high noon with no sunscreen and long tights.  As it turned out I even left my Nike Vapors on the passenger seat, but at least I had my Giants’ visor to shield my eyes.  I started running East on the Eucalyptus Trail, this portion of which was virgin to me.  Slight up hill and then its all up single track on the Dairy Ravine Trail where I took off an outer layer and stripped down to just tank and tights.  Connecting to the lush part of the Ridge Trail underneath the Summit Vista and then an Out and Back to the first Mile Marker on the dessicated and exposed Ridge Trail jeep track.

I was surprised that I was doing a nice clip on the uphills in the first portion of today’s trail.  I felt physically strong yet mentally shattered: my body fully capable yet my psyche scattered and fragmented.  I realize that I manifest as a corporeal reflection in 3 dimensions–an alchemical analog of influence and intention, shaped by environment and climate yet motivated by free will, desire and need.  I only have one thing to do really, in the moment it is all I need do.  Complete this trail.  Running is my escape from things I have less control over and it shows me that despite how overwhelming my responsibilities and obligations are, at least I can do one thing.  Be present.

Hit the mile marker on the Ridge Trail and tracked back, noticing grasshoppers and for whom they might be feed.  A glance to my left became a full stop gaze and then flowed into a suspicious rapport with a murder of crows.  They circled in the thermals over the valley on the Daly City side and scouted over my head.  Eventually they settled on the ridge just paces east of me.  I joined the flock: the crow with the soul and delusions of a hawk who reluctantly will indulge in carrion but has an almost comic fondness for hunting down grasshoppers and dragonflies.  The crows hopped along keeping an eye on my position then took flight to the San Bruno side, apparently alarmed and repulsed by my appetite.

Completing the mile back on the ridge, I got to the trail post for Summit Vista at 1,300 feet above sea.  The trail marker had come loose off of one screw and trying to set it aright ended up prying it off.  I stowed the plaque in my CamelBak and continued back through the lush parts of Ridge below the summit.  Crossed the road to the Summit Loop trail and it is all down hill single track, but I developed a stitch in my abs and had to minimize the jarring pain.  Also that cut in my foot was causing me trouble but not serious enough to make me want to quit, just  enough to make me want to absorb.  Holding back I was falling underneath my target heart rate, which really I’ve set a bit high.  Soon I’m at the bottom of the Loop and the Magic Tree looked a little cut up to me.

A slight ascent back up to where I parked and really, I was gassed.  Turned off my GPS App, RunKeeper to find that it totally failed to track this epic trail run and only showed me crossing the street.

  • 6 miles
  • 1:32:42
  • 15 minute pace
  • 144 avg bpm
  • 175 max bpm
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One Comment

  1. great story. I’ve had that same run, more than once.


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