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Monthly Archives: March 2010

I’m amazed that I wake up to do my early morning yoga ritual.  Today I almost considered blowing it off but it would take more energy to go back to bed than go to Sunrise Yoga.  Making it routine, put on the kettle for coffee, shower if needed and throw on something comfortable and my flip flops.  I felt really clean and fresh this morning, well rested and scrubbed from my workouts and spa yesterday.  My feet were nice and bright from the soaking in the hot pool and the sea salt exfoliation I gave myself in the Kabuki steam room.  I was feeling a little not sexy yesterday because I was being ignored by the hot guys, but I’m over that today.  I’m not fat, I think I just got to do some weight training to tighten and define my upper body.

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7am yoga questioning if I wanted to sleep in and not go today but I was up in time and with the kettle boiling for some coffee knew I just had to get through today 1 activity at a time.  No pressure, it being my day off–still alot of domestic stuff needs doing but I’d rather train and go to the spa.  So yoga was a bit of a chore, but I woke up in the middle of the session and was fully activated to go and do an exploratory run at Redwood Regional Park in the Oakland Hills.  The site of my first competitive trail race this season.

I’m kind of wondering if I’m in the right shape to do a 20k out on this course and as it was today I was only trying to do the 10k course but took an inadvertent shortcut and ended up 2 miles short.  Starting out at the Canyon Meadow Staging Area and heading up the Bridle Trail to connect with Stream I was fine but should have carried on the Stream Trail to Los Tres Sendas to connect with the French Trail instead of doing what I did today by cutting over to Mill and to French.  Was a little concerned about coming up short of miles in today’s training but really scouting the trail and the site is just as important.  This is the mental component of endurance training and racing: learning how to get to the park, learning the course, picking lines and working on race tempo.

A little concerned about how the Bridle Trail starts out as a black top road, but cutting to French Trail it is all very windy loamy single track.  The weather today was high humidity with occasional sprinkles and Redwood Regional is a lush post historic rain forest with a thick canopy of redwood and oak and deer resistant fern growing along the terraced trails so I never was showered upon.  Looking forward to revisiting it on Wednesday and trying to figure out the whole 10k course and what distance I’ll do best competing in..

After the run I had a bit of recovery at Kabuki Hot Springs in Japan Town after a sashimi/tempura combo lunch at Sapporo-Ya.  The ahi wasn’t so fresh but marinated and cooked a little in wasabi and soy was easy to get down.  Hot sake on a cold day and crispy tempura… rice– I was hungry!  Browsed Goodwill and bought a surge protector that charges a battery for spare power in the event of an apocalypse or blackout.  Kabuki had hot guys cruising and I felt a little disappointed knowing that I am so not what many gays want.  I’m still fat.  I don’t know if its because I lack a directed ethnicity, am just scary, too queer or what.  I’ve always known I was different and that is something I can’t change.  I’m sure there probably someone out there that ain’t intimidated and would even possibly be attracted to me.  I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it here one more time: Fuck those regular people.  In any event, I still have work to do.

  • 29 March 2010
  • 10:35 – 11:43am
  • 51:35
  • 4.01 miles
  • 12:51 avg. pace
  • 4.67 avg. speed
  • 717 feet climbed
  • 566 calories burned

9 and a quarter miles done in my two trail running workouts got home with just enough time to contemplate Warrior’s Choice or Naked Yoga for Men.  The flow that I got going with Josh decided me to continue with the 4oclock class at Gold’s Soma rather than the 6oclock donation based naked practice at Mission Yoga.  Also knowing me I’d probably have more than just one recovery vodka soda with lime and end up blowing both yogas.  So I had a nice long hot shower and changed into my black velvet yoga pants, black wife beater, Coach boots and a BORIS hoodie and tallied on down to Golds for @warriorschoice.

I got to the studio about 15 minutes early to grab my favorite spot near the front of the room in a puddle of sunlight.  I composed myself to meditate and stretch a bit to loosen up from today’s runs.  The class filled up steadily and before the practice Josh asked about any injuries he should know about and I didn’t pipe up but he came specifically to me and inquired.  I confessed my hip and piriformis syndrome with sciatica but assured him that the yoga and awareness was working out the tenderness and spasms.

Got through class alright, but a little tired from all the running I did earlier and still had to modify for my hip a bit, but throughout the class I was feeling good that I have a good core of yoga instructors.  At the end of the class Josh showed me a stretch specific to the hip.  This gym membership is paying off.  I am commencing my 7th straight week of yoga 5 days in a row.

Gets to sleep in a little for a 9am Sunday morning run with my activity partner Cameron.  Beautiful day for outdoor recreation and fitness with the thrill of spring in the air.  Drove out with Cameron to the Presidio Golf Club and did our loop to Immigration Point and back.  Cameron started out pretty hard and I was impressed.  His new shoes and new found endurance are paying off.  He has a little problem with his knees and buttocks I’m sure now that every lower body muscle ache has something to do with piriformis syndrome.

Coaching has its benefits for certain.  Stopped at the same Chinese Restaurant on Clement St. for some dim sum and ate most of it in the car on the way to drop Cameron off at home on Folsom Street.  Headed straight out to get my own training done parking at the end of Van Ness Street to run from Aquatic Park to Fort Point and back.  Even though NPS permit parking is only during weekdays I guess I got there early enough to get a spot where I usually do.  Out of the car and watching the open water tri guys changing into their brand new wetsuits, torsos exposed and lower bodies clad in skin tight black neo-prene.  Seeing these athletes in their topless casualness decided me to run without a shirt.  It was sunny enough but just cool enough for it to be not so uncomfortable.  Get a tan and a run in.  Multitask.

So the run was good.  So many people out.  The Chico’s slice I had last night was fucking up my tummy a bit and the pot I smoked the night before that congested my lungs earlier on the trail had cleared itself out.  So many Sunday recreators out on the Marina Green and Crissy Field and a fair number of hot runners and soccer players cavorting with no shirts.  I had to take 3 potty breaks so my time wasn’t the greatest but it was totally appropriate for a casual Sunday afternoon run.  I started wondering if I had miscalculated my mileage and ability for my upcoming 20 kilometer trail race on Sunday 9 May but I plan on checking out the course after 7am Yoga before I commit to registering at any distance.

Run complete in the middle of the Municipal Pier I walked back to the Contour to drop off my gear and then walked over to the Visitor’s Center of the San Francisco Maritime National Park where I had forgotten my black canteen on my last shift there.  Walking past the beach at Aquatic Park I saw these two young lovers sitting on the sand in a heart shaped garland of flowers and it was a beautiful thing that made every passer by smile.  One commented, “Only in San Francisco.” Yes. Only in San Francisco, indeed.

  • 28 March 2010
  • 11:22am – 12:42pm
  • 1:18:23
  • 6.74 miles
  • 11:38 avg. pace
  • 5.16 avg. speed
  • 307 feet climbed
  • 919 calories burned
  • 159.6 lbs.

Ten feet onto a graveled trail in the Presidio, my inquiry into barefoot running reached a conclusion: unsustainable except for at the beach or on loamy trails.  Although today’s training run with Cameron was the same distance as what we had run on the beach, the course consisted of a lot of gravely trails.  I tried to start barefoot but I was experiencing to much tenderness in my feet landing on a cold rocky trail.  So as far as I’m concerned I may do more barefoot running on the beach, but no way am I going to be doing it on these gravely trails that I’m used to running shod.

Cameron did well in his new pair of New Balance.  I had to run in an old pair of Adidas Daroga’s.  He stopped twice and is complaining about a pain in his knees, but I could totally see his endurance improving.  I suspect that it is the pain from the torqued nerve from over pronation that signifies piriformis syndrome.  The spasms are just an alarm from the body that the muscles have been neglected and are impinging the nerve.  Running brings up pains. Pain is a component of the sport. Its just important to be smart about it and learn effective ways to train through, rest and recover.

Sunrise Yoga, doubted I’d make it but my crazy yoga body woke up pumped for it so off to class I went.  Yesterday I went shopping for some yoga clothes and found at Community Thrift the perfect pair of home sewed black velvet pants with red satin front and back pockets and waist band. Black Baroque crosses printed on the red satin fabric make these very Faerie/Burner yoga pants.  I went to the Bombay Bazar to find a sarong to match and I did, sheer black with a red trim with points on one side.  When I put the pants on in the morning with a black wife beater and the sarong it looked just a wee bit draggy so I left out the sarong.  The black velvet pants made me feel very hippie flow in my wizardly yoga clothes.

I also packed a gym bag and changed in the locker room to continue the trail I’m doing from Aquatic Park to Fort Point.  When I parked in an NPS Permit only parking spot and got out to arrange my gear it was pouring down rain. Two open water swimmers were doing the towel striptease changing out of their wet suits trying to get dry in the downpour.  I got what I needed out of the trunk and equipped it inside the Contour.  By the time I was finished the cloudburst had spent itself.  I got through my whole run with the weather being cooperative.

Was steady but not impressively fast at all.  Yoga is strengthening my piriformis muscle and the run today was pain free.  Feeling really good about this course but it is just a bit to urban for me.  Looks like I will finish it up on Sunday afternoon after a training run with Cameron in the Presidio and before @warriorschoice yoga or Naked Yoga for Men depending on how I’m doing with time.

  • 25 March 2010
  • 7:42 – 8:54am
  • 1:11:13
  • 6.73 miles
  • 10:38 avg. pace
  • 5.64 avg. speed
  • 377 feet climbed
  • 867 calories burned

When I got to the Group X Studio for 7am Yoga the gym’s air conditioning was broken and blowing chilled air into the classroom.  A full class of yogis and yoginis walking around trying to stay warmed up and confused about the new wrinkle in their environment.  I was pleased to see @suzboop in the studio and she was concerned about the cold room suggesting that she might do a home practice instead.  I was prepared to stay, it wasn’t easy getting up for yoga and since I was already here I wasn’t going to turn back home.

I was well prepared with my Samoan lava-lava in a richer stiffer fabric than the rayon Aloha sarongs.  I was also in a nautical tattoo print cotton hoodie so I knew I could moderate my temperature in the class with the air conditioner on even though I was wearing a pair of skimpy old school Olympia Beer gym shorts over a Steamworks bathhouse jockstrap.  Ben led us in an active Vinyasa and soon the class was generating heat and the only two people left seemed like they had to do so for time constraints rather than because of the unexpectedly cool classroom.

After class @suzboop and I left the gym together and chatted on the corner of Market and Noe.  I went home to make a cup of coffee and get changed to take Cameron down for his last training run at the beach before we start a new trail together.

To change for the beach I just took off the gym shorts and jockstrap and put on a really old pair of black Adidas warm up shells to accompany the hoodie and the dirty wife beater I had already worn to yoga.  Made some coffee and took the spilling mug of it down to the Contour to go and pick up Cameron around the corner and drive to the beach.  I was still excited and impressed that he has stuck with his commitment to running trail.

It wasn’t as cold as I expected at the beach so I was a little overdressed in the track suit bottoms nor was I aerodynamic.  But these training runs with Cameron are foremost to build up his endurance and for me to continue my inquiry into barefoot running in a safer, saner and more consensual way.   There really is no need for me to keep track of timing statistics, because the paces are Cameron’s and not mine but I will put down a map at least once of each course we train together.  On Monday I didn’t think that I’d be able to do the next trail barefoot with Cameron, but now I think I will, keeping a spare pair of shoes in the storage compartment of my CamelBak just in case I get freaked out.  The distance planned is just under 3 miles so I really think I will be ok and am excited to try out multiple terrain, dirt trail, gravel trail and some road completely unshod.

As a note for Cameron, he only really had to stop once, but if he ran just a little slower and paced himself I don’t think he’d have to.  I am concerned about his shoes, and hope he gets a more suitable pair for our run on Friday at 7am.  My feet are getting tougher, I think that a mind to foot, foot to mind consciousness is developing, so even though I am not planning on running any races barefoot, I can see the improvement that barefoot cross training is doing for me over all.

In today’s Sunrise Yoga practice I felt centered like I do sometimes on the trail and found a reserve of upper body strength that I was pleased to tap into.  I had to modify my practice to accommodate the hip but I found the yoga stretches helping to strengthen the ass muscles surrounding the site of the soreness.  I confessed to my yoga instructor Anita as she was winding down the class that I was modifying on my own and if I was doing ok with it.  She said she had noticed and thought that it might be my quad but when I told her it was my hip she said, “Oh, its piriformis syndrome…” Eyebrow alert!

She said it could possibly be from running, but I know that the spasms happened in yoga class last Thursday because I was feeling really open and getting deep into my poses when I first noticed.  Just like any athlete, you don’t want to say that your sport could be the possible cause of your injury.  I know with me the piriformis syndrome or hip joint pain to be utterly clear is an ongoing chronic condition.  I think the problem comes mostly from the way I stand at work, rooted with pressure on the outside of both feet but more so on the right.  This brings tension through the knee and through the hip.  I used wikipedia to find out more about the syndrome and it pretty much diagnoses me spot on.  I found this quote there that is encouraging and letting me know that this piriformis syndrome is manifesting itself as a result of my activity. It seems the best remedy is through activity. If I continue doing what I am practicing in sport then I’m probably going to end up save my hip at an older age:

When piriformis syndrome is caused by weak abductors combined with tight adductors, a highly effective and easy treatment includes stretching and strengthening these muscle groups. An exercise regimen targeting the gluteus medius and hip adductor muscle groups can alleviate symptoms of piriformis syndrome within days.

And this quote below describes my body mechanics when I am standing behind the chair at work.  I truly do resemble this remark:

Piriformis syndrome can also be caused by overpronation of the foot. When a foot overpronates it causes the knee to turn medially, causing the piriformis to activate to prevent over-rotating the knee. This causes the piriformis to become overused and therefore tight, eventually leading to piriformis syndrome.

So it is my suspicion that I truly do suffer from this syndrome and it is coming up in my endurance training so overcoming / acknowledging / managing it will be a targeted focus of mine.  I think because of the yoga I’m doing I’m getting the strengthening and stretching.  I think I really need to see a podiatrist at Kaiser and have them design some orthotics for my combat boots that I wear as part of my uniform and see if I can try to alter my working stance.  Also, I think barefoot running is going to help a bit and so will massages with my body worker. I got the team in place.  I feel good about this diagnosis.

I had it pretty much planned out this morning but nothing happened in the predicted sequence yet all my scheduled activities got done.  Yoga came before the coffee and the NPS volunteer uniform came before the trail. Was out of coffee and went to yoga and had a very superficial practice.  Got the coffee came home realizing I was hungry and was out of rice.  Still made a breakfast of shredded pork, a baguette with butter and fried fertile free range eggs.  Mellowed out relaxing on the couch watching an episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race before getting into my NPS Volunteer Uniform.  Nice day at the park spent my time googling barefoot running, directions for tourists and BlackHawk Military Warrior Ops Boots.  Like I said earlier in today’s post MOOT, I had no intention of pushing it.  I was just gonna check in and see how the body felt and permit or deny the activity through the subjective filter of the mind and attempt to find some sort of integrative compromise between the two.

Yoga was strengthening my weak hip and I didn’t notice it much throughout the day and all that research got me kind of fired up so after my shift I changed into my gear in the front seat of my car and endeavored to do a 6.66 mile run from Aquatic Park to Fort Point and back.  I found myself in a pack of rush hour runners and the presence of all these recreators to be inspiring.  Fell in behind a girl in a blue top and bell bottomed running tights and she led all the way to the road to Fort Point before I overtook her, but she regained the lead again on the way back when I had to take a piss in the restrooms by the warming hut.  Everybody was so into their own groove it was quite amazing, realizing maybe I am that yuppie running in the Marina and being fine with that.  Lots of hot guys as always down on Crissy Field some bearing the early evening chill with no shirt but having an hour of added daylight contributing to that overall tan.

  • 22 March 2010
  • 5:32 – 6:40pm
  • 1:08:02
  • 6.67 miles
  • 10:12 avg. pace
  • 5.88 avg. speed
  • 349 feet climbed
  • 907 calories burned
  • 158.6 lbs.

Tweeted my daily aspirations, what I had planned today and noted that I felt more resistance than enthusiasm.  Coffee, Yoga, Trail and NPS Volunteer Uniform.  Out of coffee so didn’t do that, yoga was tough to get through but I felt like it was giving some attention to my sore hip joint.  Trail after yoga seemed moot and now I’m waiting for the kettle to boil and I’ll have some coffee.  I had to modify today’s practice and I’m still feeling the resistance.  I actually feel quite low energy today and will take it easy as I need to.  I’m going to keep my gym bag in the car in case I do feel like running after my volunteer gig and also take a pass to Kabuki Hot Springs if I find I’d rather have a hot tub soak.  I’m just going to see how it goes without pushing it.  I don’t know if its better to work through this hip or to totally rest it. It doesn’t hurt when I run but I don’t want to fuck it up any worse.