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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of the current iteration of Trail Running Dolphin Talker on WordPress and I spent it in a morning training run with Cameron and freshening up my garden for Spring.  I got Cameron down to a 10 minute pace on our 4 mile course on the Esplanade of the Great Highway.  I taught a class at work and drove out to Flora Grubb to pick up a Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilus) in a 4 inch pot and a Calfornia Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii) bonsai starter at Flora Craft.  With a little discounted Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)  the planter ledge outside my bedroom window is looking quite nice with its potted miniature forest and I finally feel as if the flat is coming together.

Tuesday it rained and I did my Sunrise Yoga on my Bengal Tiger yoga mat, composed and ready to fly through the mirror dimensions.  After the class I did 5 miles on the treadmill first and last mile at a 10 minute mile/6 mph and miles 2, 3 and 4 at an 8:34/7 mph.  I took walk breaks at 2 mph in between each mile walking it out for .05 miles and did the whole treadmill workout at a 1% incline.

Just got done with this morning’s Sunrise Yoga as the Full Moon set and the sun came up.  Class well attended today and I got lost in other people’s mirror bodies, sometimes not knowing which multi-dimensional yogi was my self.

I missed 7am yoga this morning, in fact I slept until 1, but I made up Monday Yoga in Studio Escape at the Bay Meadow’s Gold’s. 6 o’clock class taught by Alex Iglecia a former engineer for Jet Propulsion Laboratories.  Glad I did a little research on his background to totally get his, “…imagine if you were a NASA astronaut and you were flying to Mars and along the way you had to make a number of tiny course adjustments along the way.  That’s totally normal to correct your course when you are moving in a direction…” or other.  Took the wrong turn off and got to the fully attended class just as it was beginning and found a spot in the far back corner by the window and laid out my Bengal Tiger striped yoga mat.  Alex was already into instruction telling the class to hold a strap between your hands at shoulders’ height.  Assessing I went to the prop wall and got a blue Mexican blanket, a black strap and a block that was surprisingly light to hoist.

I was really cramped up against the wall and the practice went by pretty fast.  Learned a revolving triangle and how to use blocks in a different way.  My Bengal Tiger yoga mat served well through the practice.  I made the most of my car trip down the Peninsula and stopped at Home Depot and Target on the way back home.  I want a tree, bay laurel or oak, but they are too expensive at Home Depot.  At Target I managed to resist impulse buys.  It was a treat to have the whole day to myself and had nothing scheduled.  I was free to do as I felt.

Sunday morning run with my activity partner and what a beautiful Sunday morning it was.  At 9:30am Ocean Beach was hazy with burning off fog and the sun was out and so where the recreators.  Everyone coming down to the beach to have a good time.  Our run down the Esplanade went well, Cameron pushing himself harder running an overall 39 seconds a mile faster than he did on Friday (10:28 vs. 11:07).  We stretched out and then went to go pick up @knockout_nikki on 35th and Geary who was my date for the Giants’ game.  Cameron bought us dim sum and @knockout_nikki and we had them with some beers in my kitchen.  Then she and I walked over to TJ Maxx so she could get some fan gear and walked on to ATT park.  The weather was perfect, hot, but the Giants never scored a run and lost.  So we walked back to my flat and then she caught the bus back to the Outer Richmond.  No yoga today, but a lot of walking and pleasant active rest.

New trail at Ocean Beach for my activity partner this morning and if it weren’t for him I’d be in bed sleeping off the vodka cause I was up til late winning internet poker tournaments and woke up feeling worse for wear.  It was nice in the South of Market, yet cool and chill with coastal fog on the coast.  Cameron and I ran the esplanade, the pedestrian walkway and bridle trail that runs the length of the Great Highway.  4.06 miles on my GPS unit and no hills, just a nice gentle roll.  I must have still been a little buzzed cos I was getting pretty philosophical explaining the metaphysical aspects of running on trail and the sustainability inherent in being custodians of things that we love in order to conserve it for others to enjoy them as much as we do.

Sunrise Yoga complete and a very good and strong practice compared to how ass backwards my day went yesterday.  This morning I found myself pretty strong and balanced working a stronger yoga body.  As usual, Anita’s instruction was direct, strong and aware; in marked contrast to my Naked Yoga practice last night.  I was able to do yoga 5 days in a row this week, but because of my tranny hangover I skipped yesterday’s 7am practice and made it up by taking Naked Yoga with the sub from Sunday who has his own class on Wednesday night at 7:45pm.

Went to the CHASER 1 year anniversary party on Tuesday night in Roman Empire drag.  My bgff Monistat hosts the club.  I wore my Gladiator boots, black leather war kilt, a fishnet top and my silver trimmed black ceremonial toga.  I attached a garland of bay laurel to my head with spirit gum and weave glue.  I put my black velvet Torturer’s cape over and wore it to the side as a Centurion would do because it was a cold evening.  At the club I drank Stoli Red Bulls and had a nice pre-party buzz from drinking some vodka soda and lime at home getting ready.  Party party, couldn’t get it up for 7am yoga Wednesday morning, but at least I made the run with Cameron.

But Wednesday afternoon I had a 4 o’clock massage scheduled with my body worker Scott Henady and although I may have thought I didn’t need it just 10 days after my last, once on the table I knew that I did.  I went over my pre-race plans with him and got some advice to strategize my marathon training.  Debated about going home before going to Naked Yoga, but I know myself and I wouldn’t go back out again once I got settled.

So I drove to the Mission and got a spot right across the street from the studio.  I wanted to verify that the class started at 7:45 so I went to the Sun Room to check the schedule and the Acro-Yogis there confirmed it did.  Curious, I went to the Bikram Studio on the second floor and asked the attendant there about it.  It was kind of cultish and fanatic down there, bizarrely I thought I saw a guy letting his dog lick the sweat off from between his legs.   Guys checking in were hot and Mission Bikram may be the sexy Mission thing to do and they have an unlimited 30 day special for $30.  Whereas each drop in class is $14 this is a good deal and a good intro.  I’ll have to wait until I finish my upcoming race before I start anything new.

Outside the studio I stopped to talk to a Bikram yogini about the practice upstairs and she gave me a positive testimonial.  Her friendliness and openness further convinced me.  Looks like a good crowd up there.  So with an hour and a half left to spend before Naked Yoga I went round the corner to Valencia Street to my favorite Sci-Fi bookstore, Borderlands.

I noticed a Borderlands Cafe next door to the bookshop and when I entered Borderlands I asked the clerk if the coffee shop belonged to them.  Yes, she told me and confirmed it was new, just up in December.  Made me realize I hadn’t been there in a long time.  I told her how perfect it was because I was looking to buy a book and  read in a cafe. She’s all, “Well there you go then.”

Borderlands has stacks of used paperbacks, most of them are only $2.  I found a future fantasy epic called The Gray Prince by Jack Vance, 1974.  I browsed a bit more at Borderlands then at Paxton Gate’s bones, taxidermy and succulents then searched Valencia Street for some food but my tummy was giving me trouble.  Not a good thing to have for Naked Yoga.

So I retired to the Borderlands Cafe.  The one barista told me he’d be with me in a minute then proceeded to finish making an order.  I picked up Runners World magazine for beginning runners from the racks and when I turned around he was helping an opposite sex couple with their orders and they were taking a long time deciding so I sat and started to read the magazine.  Then other people came in, but he never acknowledged me.  I started to really dislike being invisible so I just gleaned what I could out of the magazine and left without ever an offer to be served.

It was already 7:30 by then so I went back to the Sun Room.  I talked to the Naked Yoga instructor about my interest in Bikram and he said he didn’t like the practice, the heat or the man.  Class began and it was a struggle.  For all the reasons I have described in previous posts, I now know that I never need to go to a Wednesday night Naked Yoga class again.  The instructor went so far as to stop the class and do a demo.  It was a repeat of the negative experience I had before and I have to say that although he gave me some useful tips his technique doesn’t resonate with my practice.  His weakness is that he over-explains, lacks the confidence of experience and leaves you too long in a pose when he is trying to convey information.  No flow, no more go.  No need to miss America’s Next Top Model on Wednesday night.

So, again, it was so great being back in the fold with fellow Sunrise Yoga practitioners at the Castro Gold’s.  My practice is improving, I’m getting stronger, leaner and toned.  My hip is getting stronger and I’m finding a balance.

Moving backwards in Space from the perspective of Time moving forward.  If I weren’t composed of Matter this observation would be impossible.  Still subject to retrograde energies and obstructed from my usual route by the flow of traffic I took a different way to the trail after picking up Cameron and to give Mercury his due, decided to run the trail in reverse.

We parked in the non metered lot adjacent to the main parking lot of the Golden Gate Bridge right off of Lincoln.  It took some mental gymnastics to flip it and reverse it but we headed up towards Battery Chamberlin and worked it.  When we finally crested and started making way downhill toward Battery Chamberlin I noticed the sensation that it felt as if we were about to be finished and made a comment about it to Cameron.  He felt it too.  Then its time to loop back and up the hill nice and warmed up.  Cameron took the hill strong and I watched him lead until he finally gassed out at the Sand Ladder.  Then its all cruise and I showed him how to take the Crissy Field steps in an undulating pattern down the stairs not looking back to see if he followed.  One big hill at the end to finish it up and it was a stimulating reversal.

That’s it for this course and I’m looking forward to upping the distance to 4 miles when Cameron and I start his training down on the Esplanade of Ocean Beach at the Great Highway.

As per my intentions, I fulfilled my commitment to complete my Monday run after my volunteer stint at San Francisco Maritime ended at 5pm.  During my shift I considered bottoming out and not doing it considering a storm was due but after spending the day at Aquatic Park and down on the Wharf and seeing all the runners passing by I knew that I had to.  I also had started planning my San Francisco Marathon training by finding a free program on the web written by Runner’s World Writer, Hal Higdon.  I had seen this program online years before and crunched some dates with my mileage and figured it an excellent template which I will adapt to the way I already train once I complete my first race of the season on 9 May.

The storm was coming, blowing in cool moisture but as yet no precipitation.  I changed into my running gear in the passenger seat of my Contour: shorts, my black Adidas Marathon 10s and white Reebok compression shirt.  I realized I had left my earbuds in my Adidas windbreaker but my last run up at Redwood Regional and all the work I’ve been doing with Cameron without music convinced me I’d be allright for this 6.7 miler minus the pumped in sound.  I  jogged off and was a little surprised to find latent power which I rapidly exhausted as I ran up the concrete steps towards Upper Fort Mason.

Running into headwind I just moved forward concentrating on my stride and breath knowing that the gusts would let up on the return leg.  Not very many runners on the trail at Marina Green, likely a result of the Weekend Warrior recovering on a rest day or the ensuing inclement weather.  I was able to maintain a nice steady pace and a centered focus like I do sometimes in yoga, thinking of nothing but the sensations of the body and observing yet not attending to or judging the thoughts when they bubble to the surface.  I was also trying to be easy on the water in my CamelBak in order to estimate how I’d fare running unencumbered by my hydration unit during the marathon.  By the time I got to the Warming Hut I stopped to piss then I continued on down to Fort Point still running against the wind.

The hill upon which the Southern span of the Golden Gate Bridge is anchored offers protection from the wind, but the exposed expanse of the Crissy Field promenade pitted that wind against me. On my return to the Municipal Pier the wind swept down the hills of the Presidio to buffet me. Nothing to do but run with it.  Then to my disappointment I became aware I was getting a pretty badly chafed in my left inner thigh, and I’m like-oh fuck, argh, not this again!

Nothing to do but tough it out and I tried to run without my legs rubbing against each other but my balls got in the way.  Was wondering how strategic castration or gender reassignment would improve my overall racing statistics.  My results showed that my pace didn’t really suffer but I was  rubbed raw and was in level 7/8 discomfort.  A little pissed because although I am building endurance, my skin is suffering from the miles.  I resolved to start using Body Glide and limiting the wear of my shorts to only once a run.  The chafing also made me realize it is time to taper down and only work out with Cameron so I’m not so raw I can’t compete.

Finally made it back to the Municipal Pier and checked my time.  I was stoked to see I ran the whole thing sub 10.  Had to tug my shorts up to let my thighs cool down and drove the whole way home with my cold hands tucked in my crotch to take the sting out of the inflammation.

  • 19 April 2010
  • 5:14 -6:20pm
  • 1:05:07
  • 6.67 miles
  • 9:46 avg. pace
  • 6.14 avg. speed
  • 277 feet climbed
  • 880 calories burned
  • 154.6 lbs.

Alarm chiming softly on my iPhone to alert me for Sunrise Yoga I wake gently realizing I’m good to go.  I linger in my bed, listening to the rain coming down in the darkness and debate what to wear to practice.  I get up to turn on Mr. Coffee and retreat to the covers again until I hear the new machine gurgle completeness.  The coffee tastes great and is cheap and because it comes from a can I know now that I just hit a milestone.  My grandpa drank coffee that came in a can.  I remember the smell, the tin, the logo and how it looked inside his cup but can’t remember the exact appliance he brewed it in.  I apply a balm of lavender, calendula and chamomile to my chafed thigh and follow with a medicated powder.  Pull on my white Local Motion board shorts, a white wife beater, fresh white socks and my Coach boots.  So I don’t spill coffee on my white shorts, I wrap my waist in my grandma’s light blue lava-lava with a print of red and white abstract Polynesian buds, flowers and leaves.  I put on my white USA Olympic hoodie with red trim as protection from the rain and I’m out the door and in the Contour with as little as a canteen of water and a cup of creamed and sugared coffee in my hands.

Today was the first time I attended Sunrise Yoga since April Fool’s Day.  The time I spent at Harbin over Easter let me know that I needed to slow it down.  Another issue was lack of sleep and then I realized I was on my Moon and having a very heavy cycle.  What had improved over my hiatus was maintaining a stable low weight at around 155 and the appearance of tone in my musculature.  There was also the issue of the hip, which seems to be getting stronger.  Today’s practice was awesome and I appreciate not only Anita, the instructor but also the regular yogis and yoginis whose presence in class make me feel welcome.  Room got hot and my wife beater got irritating and prickly as I started to sweat, so I took it off and felt totally comfortable.

I checked in with Anita to tell her that I was happy to be back.  She had thought that something was wrong with my foot, but I explained what I had earlier about lack of sleep, over training and my cycle.  When I passed the front desk on my way out of the gym the attendant stopped me to ask what I was wearing earlier.  I replied, “My lava-lava…” and then gestured toward it and gave it a tug as I was now wearing it as a scarf underneath my Nike Olympic hoodie, “…it is the ultimate Polynesian utility garment.”  The other attendant nodded his head in agreement and said, “I know lava-lava.”

So our yoga practice had stopped the rain and I walk to my Contour, get inside, turn the keys and the windshield wipers start and the radio comes on but she won’t turn over and I’m like -ruh roh!  Getting a battery light and an oil light so I go and check the oil and its sufficient albeit dark and there is no corrosion on the battery and I am struck that I am having a confounding post-modern moment where I actually need a pay phone and I know that one doesn’t exist.

I go back into Gold’s and the attendant asks me what did I forget.  I tell her nothing, my car won’t start.  She offers the phone and dials AAA for me.  Very helpful operator assures me that I’ll be assisted within an half hour and asks me if there is anything else I need.  “A cup of coffee,” I tell her and she tells me to be sure that I get one but I ain’t got no wallet, no money, no phone.

Its pouring down rain again when I go back to the Contour and give it one more start to confirm its not going nowhere and to kill time I start cleaning out the trunk.  First load of trash in the corner receptacle and the tow truck shows up.  Cast tow truck driver here as Meathead from All in the Family and it doesn’t get much more stereotypical than that.  I tell him the radio and wipers work and he suggests that maybe I didn’t close the door all the way and the dome light drained just enough of the battery.  Contour turns over on the first jump and the tow truck driver recommends that I drive it for at least 20 minutes to fully recharge the battery.  On a whim I decide to drive up to Twin Peaks to make a scenic use of the time.

The City looks so beautiful mantled in clouds and veiled in rain from atop Twin Peaks.  The Bay and the islands she contain are majestic.  The Ocean to the West is clearing and the Sun arches over the Storm to illuminate the horizon.  2o minutes sufficiently used I’m pulling out and I realize I have James’ digital camera in the glove box so I re-park and make photographs.

Driving home I find that my right side tail light is out and I come to the realization that Mercury Retrograde is in full effect.  I park in front of my flat and rummage through the trunk looking for a spare tail light bulb and discover all kinds of useful/non-useful items back there and as it turns out the spare is in the glove box which itself is also filled with the useful/non-useful.  Pop that little bitch in and I’m good to go.  During Mercury Retrograde I have learned it is ill advised to start any new projects, don’t count on electronics, expect to be misconstrued and misunderstood, and finish unfinished business.  Retrogrades signify the ‘do-over’ so one can expect to have to do the same task more than once.

I decided to do my run at Aquatic Park to Fort Point after I finish up my volunteer shift today at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park It made no sense to rush to the trail in morning traffic after my 7am yoga class to run then rush home to get into uniform and rush back to the park.  7am yoga was a good practice today and it was cool to see @suzboop walking down Noe Street with her yoga mat under her arm as I was getting out of my Contour in front of Cafe Flore.  Felt a little tight in class so I modified at will, which is my practice and after the class @suzboop told me she had a vision of hooking me up with her not-for-profit tech friend in DC who may resemble, but does not identify as a bear.  Hey, I’ll take it.  I like that type.  So after class I’m looking at the clock and its almost 8:30 and crunching the numbers realized I’d rather just have breakfast and relax before ironing my uniform.

But on the drive home, in cross town morning traffic, I kind of figured out where I’m at as far as preparing for my upcoming race at Redwood Regional and how it works out for training with Cameron.  With the race just being 3 weeks out: just do the miles with Cameron and go out to Redwood on the weekdays when I can.  It should serve as a taper and because I have docent duty on 3 May, then Wednesday 5 May will be my last time to rehearse on that course.

Did a 7am Sunday run with my activity partner because I had a 10am Docent training on how to interpret resources at the National Park where I do my volunteer service.  Was glad to get this run in from Battery Chamberlin and also am noticing my energy coming back.  When Cameron and I crested the hill I noticed an aid station for a running event and explained to Cameron what was most likely going on.  As we came out of the Golden Gate Bridge parking lot we could see race leaders and by the time we got to the road taking us down to Crissy Field the running horde were charging up Lincoln.  I stopped to take a photo and Cameron continued down the hill and up the Crissy Field  Steps.  I caught up to him near the top of the stairs.  The blood on the trail was still there and had darkened from oxidation since Wednesday.  We continued along the bluffs and as we were getting ready to run down into the bunkers, the lead runners had caught us and were coming at us in the opposite direction.  This portion of the trail here is narrow and I could see Cameron reacting to getting mowed over by these runners.  I instructed Cameron to hold his ground, keep a steady pace and be predictable.  I could see him wanting to stop or go to the side of the trail, but I wasn’t going to let him do it.  Then of course after the lead runners went came the horde.  We kept to the right and as inside as we could and I talked Cameron through the whole scary stampede.  By the time we reached the first drinks station we passed we were able to go back behind the road barricade and stay on the trail and avoid the runners traffic coming our way.  Was treated to quite nice views of flat abbed racers and some pretty gorgeous packages.  Runners are hot.

Had enough time to get to my training on time but it ran late until 4pm so Warrior’s Choice Yoga at Gold’s Soma was pretty much out of the question, but I had predicted that and I thought that I’d be good to go to Naked Yoga for Men.  After chilling at home, in the shower I thought that I’d just not go, but I had to put the motivation in order cos I had already had my little active rest from last week and I don’t want my hiatus to get the best of me.  Left early to give myself enough time to find parking in the Mission because on a hot day everybody goes down there and got priority parking right in front of the old hippie’s house who has a regular Sunday rummage sale.  Stereo tuners, bad art, rugs and records.  Had a bit of a gnawing hunger so I went to a cafe adjacent to the studio for a pastry, on the way passing the sub and realizing I got duped into going to Naked Yoga against my intuition and @darrenjmain wouldn’t be teaching.  Acknowledged by the sub with my yoga mat under my arm I knew I couldn’t not show up, so I just had a middling blueberry scone on a bench outside the cafe before going up to the class.  I resigned myself to get the most out of the naked practice, took off my clothes and dealt with it.  I ended up in the front of class because I guess the shy guys like to crowd the back.  In spite of my disappointment I had to put all judgment aside and focus on my  practice, realizing that mine is different than most, but really happy that I’ve got one that is uniquely my own.