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I have a best friend at work, Oscar, and I always try to get him interested in trail running.  Oscar usually goes and works out at the gym, primarily weight training, but he started working out on the treadmill and I’ve been encouraging him to run more.  I even got him to buy some trail running shoes from the Adidas Store after he came into the shop complaining about soreness and I diagnosed it as shoe.  He’s been saying that he wants to go running with me one day, and finally last Friday that opportunity presented itself.

I thought I was going to go run at like 7am so I woke up and texted him but he never texted back.  You know I’m a slow starter, so it really wasn’t until 8 and I was out the door and Oscar called and he wanted to run.  So I clean the water bottles, newspapers, plastic bags, cassette tapes and other crap that resides on the passenger floor of the Contour and drive to pick him up on 18th and Church.

He forgot water, so we stopped at a Chevron on Fell so he could pick up a liter. Drove out to the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse, parked and I described the route that we would be doing while we were getting our gear set up.  I took Oscar on my original training run in this regime: about 2.75 miles out and back to Immigrant Point.  Oscar explained how he was nervous, and I told him don’t worry about it, if you need to stop we stop.  We’ll just take it easy and get it done.  Then he was exhibiting guilt for smoking a cigarette and I did not dissuade him to stop but rather encouraged him to enjoy it.  I remember how nice those pre-run cigarettes used to be and the post run cigarettes, delicious. Coincidentally, its been just over a year since I ceased smoking by doing the drug Welbutrin to kick my addiction.  I didn’t need my iPod cos I was going to talk to Oscar for the run.  First time running with someone I know.  I found myself liking it.

When one has a pastime that they derive so much pleasure from, its hard not to feel proprietary and proud and that described me as I took Oscar on the trail.  The impressions that I usually internalize I was able to verbally share: the mist through the eucalyptus and limited visibility or the magic of a muddy course.  Oscar was impressed about how different running outside is from running in the gym and each positive comment from him further crystallized my love for my sport.  I’d describe what was coming up next on the trail so he could know how to prepare and when we got to single tracks I fell behind him letting him set a pace.  Oscar held up well, and I was really proud of him.  I thought how these first 2.75 miles were a challenge after my downtime and now just 5 months later I’m doing half marathon distances for training.  We passed the Wine Bunker and I told him how the playground reminds me of Terminator and by then we were halfway finished, at Immigrant Point.

I couldn’t help but get into personal trainer mode.  Its a mode I rather like being in seeing as I train myself and I think what I’m doing is pretty successful for me.  Coach K.  I wanted Oscar to sprint on the downhill trails on the way back and recover on the uphills.  I wanted Oscar to feel the freedom that I do descending at breakneck speeds at the limits of ability, strength and agility while screaming at Gravity in the face, denying her her attraction and keeping myself aright.  I wanted Oscar to get a taste of what I enjoy on a regular basis, hook him and addict him to the drug and joy of trail running.

  • 2.72 miles
  • 0:32:47
  • 12:03 avg. pace
  • 277 feet climbed
  • 377 calories burned

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One Comment

  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean


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