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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Its early in the morning and I’m feeling kind of beat up, stiff achilles, sore neck, tight calves but I haven’t run since Wednesday and that run was tough going, very slow start and even slower to finish. Woke up early but felt lethargic. Was eager to do my first run on my own home turf since I got back from the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Oahu. Excited I had some new cool gear to work with: my replacement Garmin 50 sports watch sent new in the box with heart rate monitor and foot pod and a pair of brand new Adidas shades with vented lenses and neon green arms. I had some busted up gear to deal with also: my iPod Shuffle a fatality and my CamelBak with no bladder. My ghetto solution was to fill up a 1 liter Calistoga bottle with water and stow it inside the compartment the bladder should reside in and just play my METAL 666 playlist on my iPhone.

I had a time figuring out how to get the foot pod to sync with the Garmin watch. Stomping my foot, jogging up and down the hall of my flat, looking at the battery, all to no avail. It was getting towards noon by then and thought it best I get out the door.

I wasted some good beach days during the heatwave that passed through Sunday and Monday. Sunday I was too jet lagged with a Halloween Hangover to do much shit but take Codeine with Tylenol and drink most of the leftover vodka in my ice box between sport naps. Monday I felt recovered and made major progress with my craziness and hoarding by  getting rid of at least fifty t-shirts and months of old mail that I recycled without looking at. None of it could possibly be relevant this late. Tuesday’s weather featured a cool down and Wednesday woke up grey. I figured even if I couldn’t lay out naked on the beach I’d bring my ‘ukulele to try to call the whales and make pictures of them using the telephoto lens of my manual film camera.

Because I had piddled away most of the morning I stopped at the Taco Bell at Linda Mar for a quick and cheap snack: a soft beef taco and a black taco. Surprised it was sunny and clear in Pacifica but felt a chill nip in the air. Saw an old daddy in a wetsuit paddle surfing close to shore and thought how I really want to paddle surf someday. My allergy to cold moisture makes me hesitant to do so but there are wetsuits and ways to deal with it. I tripped over how I was bouncing all over the Pacific in the past week.

Drove myself up and around Devil’s Slide to the parking lot at the foot of the Bunny Trail.  Only a few cars belonging to the die-hard naturists who will tough it out for the sake of a tan and freedom on a day that is partially cloudy and only in the mid 60*s were parked there. I took a series of self portraits in my Contour to feature my new shades,  got out of the car to stretch minimally then set off on the trail.

Started off feeling awkward, encumbered and out of shape. The trail had been swept clean from the last rain and looked sparkling new. My wires for my headphones were irritating me and I felt unbalanced because of the water bottle sloshing in my Camelbak. Weather started heating up as I was getting warmed up and the marine layer was cut like a shelf above the sea repelled by whatever heat was resonating from the valley. When I got to the switchbacks to take the trail up the hill I stopped to stow my long sleeve shirt and have some water. A poor solution. It felt like it was taking me so long to get up the hill and I realized that some days are gonna feel like this. The important thing is to get it done and no worries, it all evens out in the training.  Good days and bad.

Coming down was a breeze, but I held back and kept the pace steady and controlled. A mile and a half of downhill in half the time it takes to run uphill and I’m all cruise to the Contour.

It stayed warm, so I did hike down to the beach at Grey Whale Cove. There were only a few dudes there and they were all naked. Regulars. I was so happy that the marine layer got pushed back and it was sunny and warm on the beach. I stripped naked, splashed in the shore break just loving being home and on my favorite beach then went back to my spot and brought out my ‘ukulele and remembered a song I wrote about this beach and a boy with brown hair and blue eyes who I was never able to bring here with me. Played it a few times through and by then the marine layer had come to blanket me in coolness and obscure the sun. No whales were forthcoming so I took my ass to Target to get my cheap suburban thrills on.

  • 4.56 miles
  • 59:47
  • 13:08 avg. pace
  • 971 feet climbed
  • 648 calories burned


Sunday morning in Maui, chafing significantly subsided and its about 6am and I am so eager to do a run before the sun comes up.  I really have to give it to the Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea and the Terme Hydrotherapy circuit.  Its known that I love baths, and I suffer from nothing but a shower in this flat.  Imagine my glee when I found that the Spa Grande has not only the traditional bubbly and still hot tubs with cold plunges but also 5 treated baths that affect the body and soul on different levels.  Papaya enzyme, Hawaiian Sea Salt, Limu (Hawaiian Seaweed), Eucalyptus Aromatherapy, and my power bath Moor Mud.  The Moor Mud was really talking to my body in a harmonious language that I was so happy to sit back and listen to.  The mud is purported to ease inflammation, and I was a body full of that; inflamed knee, calf, chafed thigh and even my tongue and throat were inflamed from when I ate a  scalding hot Lau Lau at Helena’s 5 days ago.  I did an hour soak in my favorite baths, had a signature massage in a treatment room and then came back to soak in my power baths.  Hunger finally drove me out of the baths but I really could have stayed all day.

So thinking my training in Hawaii was done I was stoked to get in a run on Maui.  Although I plotted it, I couldn’t do the 10k course of Xterra because the title was going to be earned that day, so I ran from the resort out to Kihei.

Staging for the run I had a few awful surprises.  The North Face T somehow got unbearably stinky in my luggage and slime mold, bacteria or fungus contaminated the bladder of my CamelBak so I had to toss both of them out.  Had two 500ml bottles of water from the hotel, so knew that was good to go and I stowed them in my empty CamelBak along with my iPhone.  Walked down to the lobby all strapped up tri-fetish, not even bothering with the shirt.  Had trouble getting a GPS signal in the lobby, but did so walking down the drive.  Hit the ENSLAVED playlist, its really all I need listen to and is perfect soundtrack for Hawaii, and started my run.

Now is this trail running or road running? I hit portions of established trail and since I’m a trail runner it is always trail running even though I hit significant portions of road.  I exist in civilization so it is inevitable that I tread sidewalk.  No shame in my game. I’m a trail runner, so trail running is what I do regardless of whether it is or has been paved over.  One day it won’t be.

Straightforward, out the driveway of the resort, up Wailea Alanui Drive, cut over to Okalani Drive, and then South Kihei Drive, back the way I came.  It was cool, on the way out I was seeing Xterrans on their mountain bikes with their bib numbers on their uniforms and handlebars on their way to the starting line of their offroad tri World Championships, throwing them shakas and I knew for a second they were wondering why I was running the wrong way.

I had to stop and take a photograph of the sun rising over Haleakala.  The sunrise  looked like a slow nuclear explosion on the summit of the volcano. White hot.  Passed the boat launch were we started our snorkle tour the day before and continued on down glorious Kihei beach parks.  For some reason I started thinking that we were supposed to have breakfast at 8 am, so I turned around at the stoplight and made my way back to the resort.  When I got back, my traveling companion was passed out with the flatscreen blaring, and I couldn’t find the remote to turn it down.  I was on the lanai checking my stats when he woke up to tell me that he had booked us a flight to Honolulu and a room in Waikiki.

So that was the last of my training in the Hawaiian Islands.  I have to tell you that being a trail runner in the San Francisco Bay Area I’m better off.  We have more diversity of trail and a more temperate climate.  The sun was really kicking my ass and people who run in Hawaii know better to do it in the early morning or evening.  I haven’t trained since I got back to the mainland.  I’m ready to though.  One development is that I’m thinking of bailing on the Lake Chabot race because I’m still broke from taking a vacation and the overall turnout for the race is poor.  I can spend the Lake Chabot entry money on the North Face Endurance Challenge Championship and get a new bladder for my CamelBak and focus my training.

  • 6.26 miles
  • 1:08:15
  • 10:54 avg. pace
  • 326 feet climbed
  • 828 calories burned
  • 162.4 lbs.