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Monthly Archives: October 2009

10717_1130625305894_1235086001_30317316_2165278_nWhat’s active rest?  Sitting on my lanai in Maui icing my throbbing chafe  and slathering my inner thigh with Desitin.  Tuning my ‘ukulele and playing it for the pretty girl next to me poolside.  An hour soaking in the treated tubs at the Terme spa, an hour signature massage followed by yet another hour long soak in my power baths.  Going into town and having a happy hour dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  Competing on the Big O Oh Yeah Orange Team Chef Cookoff Challenge and getting to announce our surf and turf presentation all hot and smoky like Barry White.  Going skinny dipping late night on the beach in front of the Grand Wailea and there’s a local guy cruising for a blow job and smoking a cigarette in front of a wooden sign.  Going on an expedition on a high speed ponotoon speedboat and snorkeling behind Molokini Crater and observing the sea caves and formations in a 400 and 600 year old lava flow.  Snorkeling naked at Little Beach at Makena and having a picnic of sushi, fried chicken, poke and cold unfiltered sake under the shade of a resort umbrella.  Going on a little naked hike on a volcano and getting off watching this guy give another guy a blow job in a kiawe (Prosopis pallida) forest.  

That’s active rest!


Woke up Thursday morning at the Kahala
in Waialae and watched the sunrise over Koko Head from the lanai of my suite. Observed the dolphins in their man made lagoon swimming within their confines, 9 stories down. Landscaped palms on the perimeter of the beach and resort were black against the waking dawn and their fronds swayed loftily in the breeze. To the west was a volcano, brown slopes turning pink in the haze of a morning glow yet a tunnel blasted into its cliff face sucked the light into its black maw and for the life of me I couldn’t recall its place name.

My traveling companion was still in bed tucked well into the comfort of the hotel’s Frenette linens, roughly asleep. I began my pre-run preparations, getting the ice for the CamelBak and filling it with a liter of Fiji water. I started with a shower but opted for the bath then used and reused the electronic Japanese toilet with the warm spray and under the rim blow dryer. Had trouble with the high tech capuccino maker. Munched on the doughy portion of a char shiu I bought the night before at the 7-11 in Makiki but the pink barbequed pork filling was too congealed to be palatable. By then Michael had got out of bed and was nice enough to help me out and make me an espresso while I programmed a Heavy Metal playlist on my iPhone. My iPod Shuffle had its last gasp at Ka’ena.

I wore my Saucony’s and my Adidas shorts with the 1.5″ inseam. North Face T and a new pair of black Adidas running glasses with electric neon green arms and vented lenses to prevent fogging. Left my visor at mom’s but then I was good to go. Was getting worried now about having a late start and asked Michael if I was ok. He said, “of course you are.” I was a little beat up and intimidated by the Hawaiian sun, but I didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity to run into the crater of Diamond Head. Took the elevator 9 floors down and walked through the Kahala’s grand lobby. Continued down the front drive and to the main entrance where I sat on a low wall of mortared lava boulders, stripped off my shirt and stowed it, started my playlist and my GPS. Hotel employees checking into work were kind enough to wish me a good morning.

I started my run which I estimated would be around 6 miles. The route is pretty basic, straight up Kahala Avenue and cut North to the crater. I was pleased to run on the well watered short lawns of the multimillion dollar estates under the shade of their palm trees, bouganvillea and plumeria. Landscape contractors were in some driveways of these properties, topless and hauling out equipment from the flatbeds of their pickups. Just a hint of weed was aloft on the drift of an ocean breeze. Felt really strong and happy and found my legs. Got the tingly sensation that is sheer pleasure from a good run. I was worried about the ascent but it turned out to be gradual. After the second mile I realized that I was starting to descend down towards Waikiki and had passed the scenic overlook on the pali. I stopped to figure out how I missed my turn to the crater and at the light house I took a piss in the bushes. I should have turned at Fort Ruger Park to connect to Diamond Head Road to get inside the crater so I backtracked and made the correct turn.

There were quite a number of joggers out, and I was happy to note that I was passing a few. From the pali it was just a mile to the entrance to the crater and I realized that the black maw I was looking at this morning when the sun was rising was the tunnel entrance into Diamond Head Crater. Diamond Head is so iconic I didn’t recognize it from the backside. Up a short trail, I realized that the park had an entrance fee, but it was a good thing I had a $50 bill in my CamelBak if need be I could get into the park. So through that blasted tunnel and into the crater itself. The fee entrance was only a dollar but I saw no need to go past the check point. I got a park brochure and took some photos at a bus-stop. I was feeling really strong, really dynamic, and I knew that I had just participated in a Polynesian pasttime that stretches to antiquity: run up a volcano as fast as you can then run back down. Coming back down the volcano was all I need do and I still had a nice supply of water.  Sweating loads, I’m beginning to experience chafe. I’m feeling good but I’m getting caught in the sun so on the way back to the resort I try to stay in the shadows on the manicured lawns and under the shade of the landscaped trees of the multi-million dollar estates that grace the beachfront of beautiful Kahala.

Heroically I run up the roadway of the resort and sprint up its driveway to dissemble on a bench near the parking valet. A resort employee offered me a bottle of water, but I declined telling him I still had some in my pack. Stopped my GPS and sent my data to RunKeeper. Went into to the lobby and to my delight saw they had put out chilled pineapple water sweetened with vanilla. Thought I would take some pictures of the dolphins, but was just too covered in sweat and all I wanted was a bath upstairs. I heard Michael’s voice as the elevator doors were shutting so I commanded them open  and ran to the lower level  to catch him . He was with Stewart, the hotel executive, finishing up their site tour. Michael said I looked tore up, but hot and Stewart was impressed by my run and offered to send up breakfast.  I asked for Ahi poke, rice and a fried egg. It was delivered shortly after my shower and I had room service set it up on the lanai.  It was so good I had a hard time getting past the perfectly cooked rice and it was the freshest poke I ever had in this lifetime.

  • 7.45 miles
  • 1:18:49
  • 10:35 avg. pace
  • 599 feet climbed
  • 1,000 calories burned

8427_1128078322221_1235086001_30311718_3576043_sI had been planning on doing this run since I knew I was going to Hawaii to visit my family who live on the island of Oahu, and I knew it would be challenging because I’ve been out to Ka’ena Point before but had never gone around it to the windward side of the island. Ka’ena Point is the westernmost tip of Oahu in the Hawaiian Island Archipeligo and a Natural Area Reserve for native plants and endangered species including the Hawaiian Monk Seal and the Laysan Albatross.  Ka’ena translates into English as “the heat” and is the name of Pele’s brother/cousin and it is truly the hottest, most exposed part of the island– like a desert on the edge of the sea. I made sure I was wel hydrated l the night before and had plenty of water for the run.  I went through 2.5 litres but still survived the 13.86 mile adventure run.

I dropped my mom of at her work in Campbell Industrial Park and drove down Farrington Highway on the Leeward side blasting ENSLAVED over my iPhone FM transmitter through my mom’s Corolla’s stereo.  Just past the encampments on the beach, stopped at the 7-11 in Nanakuli to pick up some snacks for the trek: a pack of roasted ika, 2 regular musubi and the deluxe musubi with egg for breakfast.  It felt so good to be cruising on the island again.  My family live here and I spent most of my summers on Oahu since I was 5 years old and consider it a second home.  Black Metal and Death Metal make the perfect sound track for the islands of Hawai’i; its not all little grass shacks and hula girls and cocktails with pineapple and paper umbrella garnishes– Hawai’i has a dark antiquity which resonates with me more so than does the kitschy tiki culture that it is often represented by.

Further down Farrington Highway towards Ka’ena and past an even rougher and more squalid beach and roadside encampent at Ke’au beach park.  Here people are living out of their broken down cars  under canopies of tarps and in some instances even constructing those little grass shacks that viewed in reality, give an ironic and haunting timbre to the song with the same name.  Then I’m entering Ka’ena Point State Natural Area Reserve and am excited.  The sun is still behind the mountains at 8am but ascending fast and I already know that I’m going to get into a little trouble being so exposed, but the trail looks so tasty and tantalizing that nothing could possibly dissuade me from running my plotted course.

Mom recommended that I park her Corolla by the lifeguard stand because cars that park at the trail head are always getting broken into. I staged from the trunk and stretched out in the shade cast by the car stowing my musubi and extra bottle of water I iced the night in the main storage compartment and attached my keys to the clip there. My very unecessary shirt I tied in the elastic on the outside of my CamelBak and my iPhone went in the top zipper pocket, a plastic produce bag protecting it from moisture in case of a rogue wave, falling in the water or a hydration unit failure.  Feeling set, I shouldered my pack a little surprised and confused at how heavy it was realizing this was another unexpected element that was going to add a higher degree of challenge to this run.  I estimated the weight to be about 20 pounds and thought, well by the end of the run it should be significantly lighter to carry.

Nothing do now but hele’ on as the Hawaiians say, and start the course.  Running down the side of the road past Yokohama Beach to the trailhead feeling a little spry and confident, yet the sun and the weight of my snacks and water was worrying me.  Picked up the trailhead and started on.  I could see the automated light beacon at the point from the start of the trail and it really didn’t look to far away and in reality its exactly 3 miles from the life guard tower.  The trail twists along a rocky lava coast and is inaccesible by vehicle.  The trail is rutted out into mounds by rainfall and runoff and pebbled with hard lava stones so that pretty much every time I landed I was landing on a bump and grinding my foot on a loose rock.  It was after 9am now and the sun was up doing its sun thing, attempting to dessicate anything containing moisture, especially interlopers like myself.  At about mile 2.5 I came to the part of the trail where I had to scramble to connect to the other side, its a plank jammed into the lava rock cliff face  with some old untrusty rope attached helter skelter to it resembling more of a trap than a crossing aid.  I know because the last time I hiked this trail years ago, I grappled the rope and it twisted out causing me to fall off the cliff.  It was a short drop, just about 6 feet and gave me some ego bruising so naturally,  I took it cautiously this time.

A short distance from this pass the trail starts to get sandy and is cordoned off to protect the nesting sites of the endangered birds and  protect native flora.  Adjacent to the beacon is the foundation of an abandoned cement structure, probably that of an old lighthouse.  I wanted to keep going on with my run and finish with a respectable time, but the point here was just to beautiful to not photograph.  I took off my still heavy pack and rested it in the ‘Ilima (Sida fallax) and got out the phone to take pictures of the sites there.  Got caught up by two local hikers of mixed sex and chatted with them a bit and continued down the trail to the Mokuleia side.

Now I’m heading east on the trail headed towards the Dillingham Airfield which is my goal and turn around point.  This is the Mokuleia side of the Natural Area Reserve and I am familiar with this side of the island because I frequent the beach where nude sunbathers go. That beach is further down the highway.  The trail on this part is hard core and heavily rutted with even more stones.  A rusted but polished heavy iron gate bars vehicles from entering part of the reserve I just exited and set amongst a huge lava wall constructed of rough boulders impossible to hike around.  Signs are posted forbidding dogs because they kill the seabirds. Photographs of piled up avian carcasses on both the island of Kaui and on the reserve itself graphically depict this.  Running on these mounds was like being a giant running over the ridges of mountains, but the mixed terrain really started to wear on my feet and legs. I was actually relieved when the trail closed out and had asphalt blacktop on the side of the road to run on all the way to Dillingham Airfield.

I could see a prop driven plane landing just ahead so I knew the airfield was close.  I passed the YMCA Camp Erdman and new I was almost there and soon I was coming upon the East Gate for the Airfield.  Kept on going and thought I would run inside a little bit and come back and cross the street so I would be facing the direction of traffic on the return.

Ran on the side of the road to return and the sun directly overhead was getting the better part of me.  Back on to the grounds of the State Park on my return and I  realized I ran out of water in my hydration unit.  I was getting a major chafe from my CamelBak and reaching around to my right upper hip where it was irritating me found that I had blistered there and there was no way to adjust my gear so as to not to rub me raw.  I decided to lighten the load further and ate a musubi and a banana I had stowed in the pump pocket.  Drank a little of the bottled half litre that was still cold.  Realized I had made an error and should have loaded up on water at the rest stop in the airfield, but since I had been drinking the whole time knew I didn’t run a risk of dehydration and knew how hot it got that I would make it back.  My Shuffle was shorting out and after doing a searching inventory realized I was just way to distracted by everything and I needed to center and focus.  I put the tunes away, adjusted my pack as best as I could and allowed myself to run for a short bit and walk in between.  I figured it made no sense to go all out and overheat.  My legs weren’t tired.  I did have the stamina, it was that the stones on the trail and the relentless bumps begin to tally up and wear me out.  Lava moguls is the best way to describe these and again, every step was crunching a rock.  The intensity of the sunlight continued to increase and I just had to take things incrementally: get to the next electricity pole, just make it around the next bend, one bump, two bump, grind grind grind.  Walk it out, and run.  Before I approached the turn around that would put me back on the leeward side I made a deal with myself I would just run until the next parked car.  I also had the sense of how Beauty is a glamour cast upon Treachery and although she allowed me to flirt on her edges made sure I knew she is Queen and I am powerless to not yield.  I guess what I was going through as what runners describe as “survival mode,”  I know I’m gonna finish, but I know it ain’t gonna be pretty.  Some days are just gonna be like this.

By the time I reach the Point again, I know I only have about 3 miles left to get back to the car.  I’m torn up now, but somehow still loving it.  I know that the first time I run a course the time is always going to be slow and I started too late and running in the hottest part of the day.  I know that I’ll make it back to the Corolla, so I’m not feeling failure, its all win and a cold beer is waiting for me in the cooler in the trunk.  I make a deal with myself that I will run until I reach the first parked car meaning I’m back in civilization.  The last 4 miles I’m doing 20 minute splits and I know its wrecking my time, and I’m also kind of feeling that, yes I’m not prepared for a half marathon, but i’m just about right at my limits for a 9 mile race.  I come to the crossing with the plank and rope and realize that there is a lava cave just there and in my imagination reconstruct the flow.  Peer inside and felt the spooky vibe.  Ancient/contemporary Hawaiians called Ka’ena point aLeina Kauhane (Soul’s Leap), a place where the spirits of the dead jump off of Earth into the underworld or “sea of eternity” called Po; by no means a Christian figuring of Hell, but where all of our ancestral spirits or ‘aumakua (helpful or not) reside when they pass.  In the beginning of my run I was feeling little tingles, chicken skin, that felt like love of my sport but also a tweaking from an ethereal or spiritual presence.  I run to connect to these feelings and I run in places of power.  I do this to connect with the dolphins.  I do this in love.

  • 13.86 miles
  • 3:28:22
  • 15:02 avg. pace
  • 1,209 feet climbed
  • 1,780 calories burned

Got Oscar out on the trail to complete his initiatory course this morning.  Woke up late, a little bit of a time crunch but Oscar was willing so we were good to go.  Early morning muffled fog, low visibility and still.  Told Oscar we had to run this course fast to stay on schedule and he went pretty much all out, I had to keep up with him while he set the pace.  Glad we got this in as it is my last run before going to Hawaii and I hope my training goes well there.  Found out that the XTERRA World Championships are being held down the street from our resort on Maui, so I’ll run the 10k trail portion on Friday and hopefully get to rub shoulders, or better, with some world class endurance athletes.

Coaching Oscar has been great for my training; I find myself tapering without being annoyed by it.  I’m still over the map trying to figure out what I should do, but I think its just best to let the time and the course reveal itself to me with what is available and get it done.  Next week on Oahu and Maui I need to put together about 18 miles according to my tapering configuration.  When I return I’ll continue with Oscar on the Lands End Trail.  I’m comfortable that I’ll be prepared for the 9 mile around Lake Chabot on Sunday 8 November but don’t know if it will make sense to go out and attempt the course before the actual race.

  • 2.65 miles
  • 27:09
  • 10.16 avg. pace
  • 429 feet climbed
  • 362 calories burned
  • 156.8 lbs.

It was balmy and tropical yesterday after Tuesday’s torrential and cleansing storm so I ran in the bare minimum: shorts, shoes and socks.  Of course I had my other tri-borg gear on: visor, lenses and hydration unit with a stowed gps.  Reversed the Presidio Loop again to see how I was dealing with the over use strain in the knee and really just gauge my time and blow off some steam.

Looks like I ran this course really fast on 2 October 2009 with an overall pace of 10:44 but the next day I ran it again in pain and with worn out shoes and did a 12:27 minute pace.  Although I felt good yesterday my overall pace was 12:30, slower than when I did it in pain.  I can only figure that stopping to take pictures slowed me down and that gets figured into the pace, it was a nice run anyway.

So I start at the Golf Club and run my way down to Tennessee Hollow where I ditch the shirt after getting heated up.  I kicked up a downed stick which scratched the back of my calf but didn’t draw blood.  I started out with some Salon Pas stuck to my knees where it was sore, but they wouldn’t stick for the sunscreen and sweat.  Thinking next time out I’ll try sport tape.  No incidents, I was hoping that it would be alot muddier but I guess the earth is so dry it just sucked up all 7 inches of the rain.  On Crissy Field got passed by a high school football team running laps and up past the Historic Battery, I just had to stop to take photographs because the Bridge and the Bay looked stunning.  Continuing on, I’m almost done.  So familiar with the bluffs part of the trail, its pretty much cruise.

On top of Immigration Point I saw the waves breaking off Point Bonita were so huge and I stopped to observe, then its past the Wine Bunker down the home stretch, all good.

I have to note the fragrance of a fresh trail after a rain.  Maybe it was all the downed trees getting chainsawed, or just the scent of them drying out to punk, but it smelled like pine incense on the trail, earthy and delightful and very buddha.

A thought on those new Saucony Pro Grid Trail Guide; don’t like.  One reviewer said it feels like 2″x4″s on the feet and he’s right.  Very stiff, not flexible and like a little to large, I feel my feet sliding around in the shoe and they don’t feel secure.  Believe it or not, I’m going to exchange them for a road running shoe, anything, but the fit sucks.

  • 5.88 miles
  • 1:13:29
  • 12:30 avg. pace
  • 610 feet climbed
  • 764 calories burned

Today was just about getting my training done and I was interested in doing a course that was the aggregate number of miles I had been running with Oscar.  Putting that together and wanting to do it close to home and because of my volunteer gig I thought that doing the Golden Gate Park with the added element of running past the Cliff House and down the steps from Sutro Heights Park would keep me close to schedule. Got up at 7:30 am and put myself together, counting down the hours and just reckoning I would make it to my volunteer gig at the National Park right on time by 12.  Got to the trail about 9 and was pleased to find parking right by the Japanese Tea Garden.

Earlier today I thought I’d reverse the course, but really that trail along Lincoln is a pretty intense uphill and because of my time constraints I wanted to hit what was familiar.  Smooth going, then along the promenade at Ocean Beach was rather enjoying the scene with the surfers getting ready or getting pounded in the 2 foot surf.  Red tide like I saw before.  A bleeding ocean.  Bombing it like its most familiar, checking in a little torn up with injuries but wanting to get this long run done and stay on schedule and run before the storm that is due to hit the City within hours.

  • 1:22:24
  • 7.26 miles
  • 11:21 avg. pace
  • 579 feet climbed
  • 963 calories burned

Got Oscar back out on the trail today.  Trying to keep it interesting so I thought I’d reverse the course and start from Immigration Point and run out to and back from the Presidio Golf Club.  Woke up groggy on the couch around 7:30 discomfitted but still eager to do.  Called Oscar who just woke and told him I’d be there in about an hour cos I knew I needed an extra cup of French Roast.  After I got out the shower and geared up, most of the sloughiness had rinsed away and I’m in my ride cruising to Church and 15th Street to pick up my BFW for a morning trail run.

Called Oscar on the phone when I got to his flat, parked in a driveway in front and he said he’d be right down.  Across the street a priest got out of a car driven by someone else and genuflected 3 times before entering the Russian Church.  A beautiful chapel, I got out and shot it, trying to get the whole thing in perspective but my angle only cropped it.  The church was painted a sea foam green and had windows of dark stained glass.  If I were to go to a church, I think I’d love listening to a sermon in Russian.  I’m not a Catholic, I’m a new age pagan atheist witch so I have room for and am appreciative of all ceremony and ritual as long as they don’t spread hate or invoke black magic. My love for vodka confirms that I’m Russian.  That’s no secret.  I’d go there.

Oscar came down and got in the car so we headed out to the Presidio.

Nice to talk to a buddy on the ride to the trail.  I can tell he’s getting alot out of it.  So many weekend warriors out, I almost ran a red light cruising a jogger coming down Market Street.  The Nike Women’s Marathon is next Sunday here in the City, and the number of lady athletes running about is an indicator of a really good turn out.

October chill has settled in town.  There isn’t a wind but its Alaska cold–to a Californian.  Warmed up a bit and hit the trail after Oscar finished his cigarette.  This trail is more challenging if started this way running it from West to East and it showed.  It was kicking Oscar’s ass a little bit.  I observed he had to walk it out a little more than usual.

Again I let Oscar set the pace and I also let him blaze the trail so he could develop his kinesthetic and mnemonic sense of trail on his own.  Feeling the mutual burnout of a trice run trail, even in reverse, I prepared in advance a few rewards.  I told him next time we would run this trail with our iTunes and I had a cocounut water juice box chilled and ready for the both of us at completion of the course.

Oscar wants to get me in the gym, and since he is experienced at bodybuilding I think I’ve got a good ally.  I’m conceited about gyms, just as I am about road running.  I don’t really want to go there.  My pros tell me I’m hurt from lack of cross training and I concur.  I think as we fall and it rains it will be a time to focus on more cross training.  Summer is over and I can feel the crisp frigidity of the onset of the Fall/Winter collection of good excuses to not go on trail.  My back up plan is aquatics and weight training, but hope I can delay that until I get through my next two races and get some gear that will protect me from harsh environment when the weather becomes inclement.

  • 2.66 miles
  • 30:56
  • 11:38 avg. pace
  • 241 feet climbed
  • 335 calories burned
  • 155 lbs.

I got my BFW (Best Friend at Work), Oscar back on the trails today and it felt good!  Really surprised and happy that he was willing to get up at 6 in the morning to be on the trail at 7.  The deal was I had to get him home by 8:30 am so he would time to get ready for work and I did.  I’m a good coach.

Got my  coffee at Starbucks, cos its the only option before 7 am and mildly disappointed with it, but I know what I’m getting from there and picked up Oscar just after 7:30.  We talked about our quarterly evaluations, his went well as did mine, but I was told I had an attitude, which honestly I can’t dispute and which I defended because what I was thrown under the bus for by my colleagues, or at least the instances sited where me not sugar coating it when people borrowed my tools without asking, or have borrowed them so much they felt that they owned them.  I have a pretty direct and proffessional approach which can hurt peoples feelings, but it was the way I was trained and if I were to candy coat a direct statement, it would sound even bitchier, coming from me.  At least it cleared the air.  At least I now know people talk shit.  So I have to be aware of boundaries, realize that there is some competition, and edit before I speak, and keep the best punchlines to myself.  Whatever.

Oscar doesn’t have a problem with me and appreciates my directness, or attitude, which is why he is my BFW.  I’m taking him through my original training program that I started this spring which is 4 trails, 4 times each with an incremental gain of 10% distance each new trail.  After showing Oscar the cool way to tie his shoes so they don’t come unlaced on the trail we did the Presidio Golf Course and Club to Immigration Point like we did before.  Coaching Oscar, I notice I’m developing a technique which I’ll call “Chase and Pace.”  What I do is fall behind my subject and let them establish the pace and push them when I feel like they have more to give and allow them to slow when they gave it.  Its difficult to describe how awesome I feel about my sport when I saw Oscar enjoying the trails.  I could tell he felt comfortable because his pace was really good at about 10.5 minute splits.  Seeing he had warmed up, I pushed him to accelerate on the slight downhill grade behind Amatury Loop.  He ran real strong up hill on the back trail behind Washington and let him know he could walk it out as we approached Compton.  I explained to him one of the misconceptions about running and that is that one need to run continuously the whole time.  Not the truth.  Its about the distance and however long it takes to get there is secondary.  Point to point, just finishing is killing it.

Coming around to Washington after passing the Wine Bunker I pointed out to Oscar the prominence of Lands End and explained that after we ran this one trail twice more, we’d continue on over there for a plus 3 mile out and back.  Coming to Immigration Point I pointed out the Marin Headlands across the strait and explained how I run to the summit over there.  Its crazy, now when I see mountains and ridges I’m amazed I’m scaling them and running them.  From one ridge I see another miles away and can see the miles of trail I ran on top.  Hard to imagine a better place to be a trail runner than in the Bay Area.  There are just so many options and so much preserved open space.  I love it.

Past the picnic table and up the short flight of stairs, let Oscar know that there is a gnarly set of stairs on the Lands End Trail before remembering that, oops, there is another one in Sutro Heights Park.  Told Oscar to stay off the road and stick to the trail as much as possible because road running and trail running are two different sports.  Down hill again on trail behind Washington showed Oscar how to Glide and Fly down hill focusing on getting air in the stride.  Was pleased with how these new Saucony Pro Grid Trail performed, but like the boy with good smelling hair at Fleet Feet told me, yes my right arch is a little flatter and I could feel it rubbing on the insole.  Coming out of that, only a mile to go to the Contour and was smooth.  Oscar had to rest it out a bit, but then sprinted to the dumpster and he did really well.

Got him dropped off at 8:31.  A good coach keeps his athletes on schedule.

As far as me, I feel  really great about coaching because I learn more about my sport and technique by demonstrating.  Its a proven pedagogic fact that we learn more by teaching and I could see that manifesting.  The slower pace and the shorter distance allows me to not only refine my technique but also take care of my overuse injuries from running crazy mileage without control.  At the end of the run, we were sweating, had a good workout and could feel the pump.

  • 2.65 miles
  • 28:10
  • 10:37 avg. pace
  • 286 feet climbed
  • 348 calories burned
  • 154.6 lbs.

Yesterday’s plan was to scout out the course for the 9 mile trail race around Lake Chabot hosted by Coastal Trail Runs, an offshoot of Pacific Coast Trail Runs. Its been revealed that I am a slow starter and as it was, I wasn’t out the door and in the Contour until at least 9:30 am. Thinking to myself, this is good, if I were working, I would have just gotten up about now. Still I was trying to avoid the midday sun but I wanted to be prepared for the course by printing out trail maps and getting good bearings so I wouldn’t get lost.

I had to use the Maps application on my phone as it turned out my Google Maps info I printed out last week was wrong. Drove to San Leandro and took the wrong turn into town, but found a Target and thought to come back later. Reversed my direction and headed east past a Juvenille Detention Center and an Animal Care and Control Shelter, went over a ridge and finally spotted the main gate into Lake Chabot Regional Park. Verified that there was a $5 vehicle fee, a $3 boat inspection fee and also a $2 dog fee, so made a U-turn before the Ranger Kiosk and parked on the street like all the other local users seemed to be doing.

Staged out of the trunk and passenger seat of the Contour. Took off my shirt and used the last of the Aveda sunscreen which I can’t recommend. Found out I had a hydration unit debacle as it leaked out half of its contents through the open valve in the trunk. Fortunately I came prepared with extra water and I had to dig around for something to protect my iPhone from the moisture and found some bio-hazard ziploc bags from a urine sample kit that I always neglect to fill up and drop off at Kaiser. Geared up, I crossed over to the park and tried to get my bearings, looking for a decent trail map posted but couldn’t read it for the glare so I went into the tackle shop and got a park map brochure and figured out where I was and studied it while I took a crap.

Warmed up and stretched on the grassy lawn. Was totally digging the goats grazing on the hill and the Canadian Geese squonking on the grass, but looking closely at the lawn I saw that the geese had shit everywhere and its not a good idea to let my bite valve touch the ground or lay on the grass without protection. Really eager to begin the trail I set out.

My high school buddy Leah had warned me that the trail around the lake was mostly paved. I saw that, and was glad to see that there was just a little bit of cambered bridle trail on the lake side of the blacktop pathway. In some areas the bridle trail was rutted out, so I found myself switching back on and back off from trail to asphalt. Running in my old Adidas felt kind of flat, and dealing with that knee was a constant discomfort but not a debillatating setback. Felt kind of good to actually pound it out on the trail. About a mile and a half I hit Cameron Loop and stopped to memorize the trail markers and a short bit after a left must be taken to cross a wooden suspension bridge that looks like it would single file out on race day. Then the connection is to Honker Bay Trail which is a wide fire road and then a gnarly 500 foot ascent around mile 3 to connect to the single track of Columbine which is truly delicious epic single track trail running. This portion of the course makes the race worth running. I was loving it up there. At a hairpin turn, Rangers were bulldozing the trail and I had to stop until the one in the tractor noticed me. Another shirtless trail runner came up behind with a toy poodle chasing him which got the tractor operator to notice us and let us by. I let the trail runner and his poodle pass me up. I was so impressed by that little toy poodle tearing up the trail with his little legs. So damn cute! Must have been doing 10 minute miles.

Columbine winds and grinds and then lets out to Bass Cove Trail; a wide unpaved fire road. A little bump and an ascent and a decline then its the West Shore Trail and after crossing the dam one can see the Marina and the finish line is in sight.

Running this, I didn’t know so much if I was going to actually register for the 9 mile race, but the closer I got to the finish, the better I felt about it. Worried about money, was wondering if the $30 entry fee would be better spent on new shoes. I think $30 is better spent on getting experience on the trail. As it turned out, I completed the day by getting shaved and faded at Emilio’s Barbershop, then after a fitting at Fleet Feet in the Marina by a cute boy with good, but not clean smelling curly hair ended up getting a pair of Saucony Progrid Trail at the Sports Basement in the Presidio because Fleet Feet only had 1 style of trail running shoe, Mizunos, that probably were designed for people with wider feet than me.

  • 7.97 miles
  • 1:36:10
  • 12:04 avg. pace
  • 958 feet climbed
  • 1091 calories burned

I may be pushing it just a little to hard and now I am dealing with use related injuries where the pain is located in the knees.  Both knees, but the right one especially.  I have been complaining about it to my body worker and he suggested that I do strengthening exercises, namely squats and weight training to help stabilize the knee.  I’ve done naught.  Also I have a client who until recently was the sports doctor for the Cal football team and he had me do a test which revealed that the problem isn’t with the knee, its with the hip, and the unstable movement travels all the way down and affects the knee.  Like a crooked piston.  He suggests I strengthen core.  They are both right.  I’ve been running to the exclusion of all other forms of cross training.  I’m still loathe to the idea of a gym and I think what is going to be a bit more solid for me is aquatics and more naked yoga and working out on my own, sit ups and push ups and core building bamboo twists.

So I was definitely feeling the wobbly stiffness after my run on Friday, but wanted to get in a run early on Saturday.  Yes, its true I did wake up stiffer on Saturday than the day before, but I was determined to get my training in.  So I drive out before 7am and got a shitty coffee from Starbucks and squeegeed my dusty windows on the Contour before going up to the Presidio Golf Course Club House to do the Presidio Loop I did the previous morning.  Getting out the car, stiff.  Greeted a golfer unpacking his clubs, “Great day for a game of golf!”

“Great day for a run.” He replied.

I tried to stretch it out but was a little concerned.  The pain was situated deep and wasn’t likely to stretch away.  I began my run, woah!  It was painful, but I was determined to train through it and allowed myself to take it slow and steady.  Down Ecology Trail, nice and stable.  Through the residences in the hollow, yes it is more painful to run on asphalt than it is trail.  Letterman and at the Palace of Fine Arts arrived at just the perfect moment where the dome and the colonnades were lit up in the orange glow of the sunrise with a perfect reflection rippled and distorted on the black green surface of the pond that stages as a moat.  I took the opportunity to strip off a layer and snap a picture.  Continuing through to Crissy Field, a Nike sponsored Breast Cancer walk or run or tri had registration booths set up in front of the Yacht Club and running on the promenade passed people crossing the finishing line of a fun run.  Pink dome titty tents were set up on the lawns near the warming hut, some decorated with peace sign and happy face rain flaps for easier identification by the participants in the breast cancer tri.  A runner passed by me with the most excellent and efficient form I have ever seen.  He glided by, upper body totally stable and the lower body had an amazing turnover.  I tried his stride for awhile and noticed something to it, and I looked at other runners around me and could see how energy is wasted throwing arms and legs all over the place like a broke down Raggedy Andy.

Up the steps to the bridge pounding those knees in place noticing it is less painful running uphill. Almost done, taking the Batteries.  Connect, Wine Bunker, Trail.  Ended the loop feeling the pain, not a sharp shooting pain, but a deep and wobbly ache in which stiffness rapidly settled in.

I’ve grounded myself for a few days to recover.  Yesterday, Sunday, I drugged my knees with Tylenol 3’s: 2 tabs in the morning and 2 tabs at night.  I iced a bit on Saturday and Sunday.  I’m not going to dose today unless I get bored and start drinking vodkas but I’m happy to report that the inflammation has died down a bit and I’m on my way to feeling normal.  For active rest yesterday I did the South of Market Leather Bar Loop in old school Levi’s Leather drag with a motorcycle cap, bar vest, tank top cut up to a half shirt, Jordache Jeans and motorcycle boots.  Felt really hot in my trail running body and keeping it old school the SOMA way.  Decided that bears don’t like me so I’ll just start going the other way.  Call me Daddy Z.  Previous to the ‘ho stroll I made some awesome bbq and potato salad while watching the 49’ers shut out the Rams. I need fuel to heal and I let my instinct and craving decide what to make.  I’m chilling out today, walked to the ATM on 8th Street to get some cash so I can go to Bryan Harrelson’s Naked Yoga Happy Hour on 17th and Mission at 5:45.  Hope I make it.  I really need a haircut and a shave, but I really don’t know where I’m at.  I really don’t want to be driving around today.

I need to wrap it up here by just saying that I need to develop and implement a strategy that includes cross training and is not exclusively trail running.  I’ve really increased both my mileage and distance in September and I think what I’m dealing with now are overuse injuries: my strength isn’t up to my desire.  I ran 107 miles last month, but I don’t think this month will be as crazy.  I’m training for a 9 miler at Lake Chabot on 8 November which I will register for once I run the course on Wednesday when I should be well enough recovered.  And then there is the North Face Endurance Challenge Championship on 5 December and I am going to repeat the 10k distance just to gauge how far I’ve come along in my trail running.  I find myself a recreational runner on the verge of becoming competitive and I need to get creative when it comes to pushing it up a skill level.

Well, this is what I need do: Cross Train and start limiting miles.  Oh I love running hard and running far, I just gotta be a little more restrained and work on technique and core.

  • 5.96 miles
  • 1:14:15
  • 12:27 avg. pace
  • 652 feet climbed
  • 789 calories burned