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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Got some weight training in before a Memorial Day offering of Warriors’ Choice Yoga.  Now I’m off to the ballpark and get to see Tim Lincecum pitching twice in one week.  Felt pretty awesome now I’m humbled a bit.  Hungry.  Gonna get to the ballpark early to get breakfast and a free t-shirt if I’m one of the first 20,000.

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Smashed my little toe into the wall this morning and had a sore big toe yesterday so a predawn barefoot run on the beach at Fort Funston seemed moot.  Slept a couple more hours and thought I’d put together a run across the Bridge and into the Marin Headlands.  I looked up at the Tenderloin skyscraper and saw that the American flag was lying flat so knew with my weather sense that there would be no wind at the coast and already the sun was shining.  I was warming up to the heat of the day and opened all the windows in my flat after I got out of the shower to invite whatever little breeze out there into my home.   Nice enough to wear my Adidas speedsuit, my technical onesie and what I’m gonna rock for the day of the San Francisco Marathon.  Got my CamelBak refueled with water and I’m on the road out to the Presidio to park in the free lot above Fort Funston.

I love running with my activity partner but I also love my solitude on the trail.  Rare for me to be out late Saturday mornnings and there were numerous “teams in training” either running or cycling in groups.  I started my run, but about a quarter of the way on the Bridge decided to pull the top down of my speedsuit for thermoregulatory purposes.  Its a cruise across the Bridge and then under it, singing out lound to DarkWave cruising under the Golden Gate Bridge, “…all of her sweet promises… crumble… to dust…

Then I’m picking up the Coastal Trail and I’m seeing trail runners on the ridge there and I literally get chills of excitement so happy to see and be on a brand new trail in my backyard.  Now that I know how to work the Marin Headlands trail system from the City I can do my long runs for the SF Marathon and at the same time training for the North Face Endurance Challenge Championship, the penultimate race of my racing season.  The SCA trail proved to be quite tasty:  single track trail imposed upon by  overgrown flora from the recent rains ascending in switchbacks dancing like a deer in a wake of butterflies while I scattered skink.

  • 29 May 2010
  • 8:36 – 10:16am
  • 1:37:19
  • 8.02 miles
  • 12:08 avg. pace
  • 4.95 avg. speed
  • 1350 feet climbed
  • 1214 calories burned

Trail run at Ocean Beach through Lands End today with my activity partner.  We are in the process of tapering down his training runs in order to give our knees a break.  I thought to throw in some added elements so the hill up to the Cliff House was today’s first twist.  The second twist of the day was that Cameron’s knee tweaked out on him again coming down the steps on our way out to Eagle Point.  He tried to muscle through it but by the time we returned through Sutro Heights Park we had to walk it out back down to the beach.  I feel kind of bad like I’m pushing to hard but I think his body is just adjusting and picking up the unaccustomed strain in different parts.  So in any event, we’ll continue, I’m going to adjust the planned course and try to make it flatter on Sunday’s run by adding the Crossover Trail stairs when we run from the Presidio Golf Club to Battery Crosby on Sunday, plan willing.

My arms were so sore from this new weight training I’m doing preparing for the SF Marathon, also I was a bit fuzzy from partying at the game last night so I allowed myself to sleep in, skipping Sunrise Yoga.  Did a couple of downward dogs in the hallway as I was getting ready to shower and realized it was stretching out where I was sore and had a bit of remorse and felt I should have gone.  As it turned out I had a huge ass gap in my day, so after my first haircut I was able to go to the gym and do Warriors Choice Yoga with Josh Camire and even have enough time to get in some road training after I was done.

Josh’s class was excellent and with repaired knees I was finding powerful stances.  Doing yoga more regularly has really improved my concentration, strength and balance.  I’ve also not been getting injured as often as before doing a regular practice and I also recover faster.  The yoga kind of helps me center in the mind, so if I have a problem with the body, joints or muscles, I can send a yoga awareness to that area and help it along.  I need to send more yoga awareness to other parts of my life, but I’m a work in progress.  I’m glad I made the Warriors Choice because I found out Josh is hosting a special class on Monday, so I can get a yoga before the ballgame.

After the yoga went to the locker room to get on my running gear.  Had been thinking about this route for awhile because it hits part of the marathon course and was able to put it together today surprisingly well.  Starting from the gym I run down Townsend and cross over to ATT park, run behind it and take the Embarcadero.  Loop Pier 39 and out Fisherman’s Wharf and past Aquatic Park to the end of the Municipal Pier and back.  Leavenworth to Colombus and I’m running through North Beach.  Had to stop at the library on Francisco to take a piss and continued on down to Grant through ChinaTown where I ran down the street facing oncoming traffic and even stopped at a little shop to see if they had a flaming sword for my Feng Shui.  They didn’t.

So across Union Square, down Powell to Market, up Mcallister and crossing over to Civic Center Plaza where I ran counter clockwise around the Buddha 5 times.  Down Larkin to 9th and its a ho’s stroll down to the gym.  Happy it was just 10.6 miles and I felt strong through it.  Even during the rainy portions.

  • 27 May 2010
  • 1:47 – 3:39pm
  • 1:51:29
  • 10.06 miles
  • 11:05 avg. pace
  • 5.41 avg. speed
  • 381 feet climbed
  • 1385 calories burned

Starting with coffee, yesterday I had quite a bit to do.  A few minutes late for 7am yoga, the class was already in practice focusing on the pelvic lock.  Sorry I missed that, but I continued on and had a very strong practice.  In the shower that morning I was able to adjust my knee and it popped right back in place and no more pain is associated with that there.  Came home and got Cameron and we went out to Ocean Beach to run the Espalanade.  I realized that Batteries to Bluffs trail was a bit much, so we are going back doing a course review where we are running all of the courses in descending order and then we’ll try to go to Devil’s Slide.  Saw a hawk, banded, land at a gopher hole and was able to get a few shots off on my iPhone and caught up with Cameron.  Cameron is doing 10 minute paces on flats.  Good job!

After I dropped of Cameron went down to the Ballpark to get tickets for Monday’s game and stopped in at Borders to pick up a new/old issue of Terrorizer and came home to add the compilation disc to a new playlist for the gym which I call _METAL POWER LIFTER OF CREMATION_ .  Just what I need to get pumped up, and after a lite lunch, went to the gym for weight training picking up the bars and dumbbells, old skool work out.

Drove over to Mission Bay and picked up my massage therapist from his gig there and got a treatment.  Told him about the pain in my joints and he seriously worked it out and recommended glucosamine, then he discovered major tightness in my calves.  I was on the edge, I didn’t realize how much pain I’m always in until somebody actually poked it.

Home and just enough time to change and get a pre-game buzz on before meeting my bbgff Connie Champagne.  The seats were great, but Lincecum got pulled and the Giants never rallied back.

In all a great day, busy, but got shit done.

Out of all of my yogas, the one that does it best for me is Sunrise Yoga.  Had a strong practice today despite the knee.  Slept with a liter bottle of ice between my knees and it feels like it is giving it some relief.  Don’t know if I’ll be up to running tomorrow, but I just have to play it by ear.  The little weight training I did yesterday showed in my body and I experienced no soreness from it.  My shoulder seems to be alright and lets just get through today and keep on healing and feeling better.

Yesterday, as part of my Volunteer in Parks training, I was treated to, along with my fellow SFMNHP docents, a behind the scenes tour of Alcatraz Island by the lead interpretive ranger there.  Caught the 9:30 ferry and seeing all the other docents in uniform made me realize how geeky in love I am with my volunteer commitment.  We gathered and caught the 9:30 Ferry to the island and were greeted by the lead interp.  We were able to stow our gear in the Ranger office because the day proved quite mild whereas we had all geared up for weather most inclement.  One never knows in San Francisco.

The lead ranger started the tour in the barracks where the Rangers have their offices.  Immediately I was taken by the pastel lead paint of the 1905 structure realizing that I have similar colors in the insides of my flat’s cabinets and I was getting some good ideas for design.  The tour led us all over and what was scheduled as a 3 hour tour ended up running 5.  I got to scale the light house and climb on top, get locked in a cell and explore the gunnery, the place where the guards would keep watch behind wrought iron gates so that the inmates couldn’t get at them.  It was an amazing tour.  One I won’t forget.

So I was just arriving at Pier 33 after the boat docked at 3.  Warriors Choice Yoga looked like it was a miss, but I decided that I could do Naked Yoga for Men.  Had enough time to snack and nap.  Had a couple of beers and ventured off to Naked Yoga.

Class was fairly small because of the Lost finale and Darren was teaching much to my relief.  Somehow my nap had caused a significant soreness in my left shoulder and bearing weight on it was quite painful so I had to modify.  I’ve never been sick at sea, but onshore I still remember the rolling of the waves and I was getting a little sea sick from inverting and balancing.  It was obviously bad and Darren came over to see what was wrong and I explained that my shoulder hurt and inversions are making me nauseous.  Darren read the energy of the class which was low and the rest of the session became somewhat restorative.  Maybe I shouldn’t have gone.

I came home and relaxed.  Ended up falling asleep on the couch watching Doctor Who and woke up in the middle of the night to find now that my right knee is giving me pain.

Grr… there goes any hope of getting in a run on Monday.  I woke up, realized that my knee was stiff and sore, couldn’t go to 7am yoga nor my run with Santa.  I texted her I couldn’t make it but got no answer.  I took a Tylenol 3 and got back in bed.  Santa called and I explained what was going on.  I hate saying this knee is from running, but everything is connected.  Thinking the worst about the marathon and then just let it go.  Good news followed, my Aunt Teresa called to tell me she had tickets to give me for the Giant’s game.  I played an online poker tournament and had coffee until she stopped by to drop them off.

Finished up the poker tournament and I’m thinking I’ll be good to go and start doing weight training at the gym since my knee is fucked up and I want to start doing upper body regularly.  Just put on a fresh tank and went down and did a bar routine with 2 exercises going, no rest in between, 3 sets each until muscle failure.  Then I did the same with dumb bells, modifying a bit.  Then Fauxnique walked in to teach her 4:30 class.  I finished up on my workout about 4:20 and went to go talk to her about my knee and let her convince me I could hang in there to get yoga.

Went back to my Contour to get my mat and came into the studio and found a sunny spot to do yoga.  The class was smooth and gave me the confidence to know that I can go yoga tomorrow but I’m waiting for the stiffness to get out my knee before I push running.  I was just really happy to get my workout in today despite this setback.  I’m just going to keep positive, train smart and keep going.

In the background, on the street are the blaring sound systems of the human powered Frat floats for the Bay to Breakers run.  At this point the race is a howling, raging, drunken party.  The elite runners have already finished, in fact could have ran back to the start and finished again.  Its a roving costume party and I live right at the first mile.  The Contour basically serves as a urinal and the gutters of the alley I live on are flowing in piss.

Last night after a booked solid day I had the inspiration to do a 10 mile.  I figured if I got up in the morning to do a long run and then went to work, I should be able to flip it and go long in the evening.  My feet were sore from standing and being encased all day in my uniform combat boots but I showered to rinse off the hair and the day and ease my body up a bit.  I should have had a coffee.  It being so gray and windy I thought to wear my Adidas tights and short sleeve and thought to bring a long sleeved layer to cover up if that wasn’t enough.  I headed out, planning to do the Marina Safeway and across the Bridge and back but driving there I got snarled in traffic because of street closures due to the Asian Heritage Festival in the Civic Center.  This led to some tensions.  Further, coming down Franklin towards Lombard a cab driver was erratically changing lanes without signaling and I honked at him every time he did that.  Finally got into a shouting match and next time I should just take the cab number and report him.  I really don’t appreciate people not using their turn signals.

It was hella cold and windy.  Frosty air being diverted through the Golden Gate blowing straight in my face as I staged at the Yacht Club parking lot across the street from the Marina Safeway.  Realized I had grabbed a tank instead of a long sleeve layer, but fortunately was able to wear my track suit top with my Adidas tights and be all good.  Nothing much to do in a situation like this but turn your face into the wind and start trudging.  I felt light and strong and let the tensions and accretions of the day chip off and blow away behind me.

Up the stairs and onto the pedestrian walkway of the Bridge, inexplicably the wind died down.  Cruised on through to the South End and with time on my side decided to penetrate a bit into the Marin Headlands by taking the stairway under the Bridge.  I emerged at a parking area and saw the trailhead for the Coastal Trail leading towards Rodeo Beach and Tennesse Valley.  Muir Beach also.  Simultaneously I’m also on the Bay Area Ridge Trail and I’m thinking to myself , great, even though I am in training for a road race, I’m still training on trail.  Lap timer is telling me I’m just under an hour on this run so decide to follow the trail up towards the Headlands and come out on a road across the street is a trail marker for the SCA Trail and Alta Vista.  Started putting together future long trail runs right then.  Just linked a trail system.

Return trip just like the out, no wind on the Bridge, wind still obstructing me on Crissy Field and the Marina and hella cold.  Made it to the Contour, the sun had just slipped away behind the icy mist without any fanfare, letting the dominant Northern frigidity take center stage for the final curtain.  Changed out of my cold wet top and went to Safeway for a corn dog which is one thing that always cheers me up, but because of the musical festival they were all sold out of deli hot food.  They were also out of most booze so I settled on a bottle of Maker’s Mark. Got a sandwich and some Cheeto’s and ate them in my car until the cold edge wore off.  Hunter was texting me to see where I was at.  I met him and his buddies from the video crew at Basil Cantina just as they were splitting the check.  Took them to the Hole for some rock and roll and to shoot some pool.

  • 15 May 2010
  • 6:24 – 8:20pm
  • 1:52:19
  • 9:09 miles
  • 12:21 avg. pace
  • 4.86 avg. speed
  • 407 feet climbed
  • 1202 calories burned

My activity partner was due back today from a long break from his vacation and I was excited to get him to do some hillwork after a lot of work on flat terrain on the Great Highway esplanade.  I had been planning to take him up Old San Pedro Mountain above Devil’s Slide in Montara but because I had to work I thought to take him out to the Presidio because of the shorter drive.  I checked my Feng Shui horoscope and it warned Monkeys to avoid Yin places such as hospitals, graveyards and prisons because sites like these would only double my already bad luck.  Realizing that the route I had planned was the trail behind the National Cemetery I adjusted course in the shower and came up with the most absolutely gnarly, worst hill trail possible that I could think of.  Perhaps that was a bit much.

Picked up Cameron at his pad and we drove out to Inspiration Point.  We were to do the Ecology Trail down to the Main Post, down Halleck across the marsh at Crissy Field, up the steps from Fort Point to Under the Bridge, Coastal Trail toward Baker Beach and detour down the Batteries to Bluffs Trail that wend down and away from Marshall’s Beach.  Coming up at Battery Crosby, Crossover Trail to Immigration Point, Wine Bunker and Bay Area Ridge Trail Back to Inspiration Point.  Now even as I type this, it does sound ambitious.  I had planned it to be about a 4.5 mile intense hill workout.

Things were fine down the Ecology Trail and across the Marsh.  Cameron really charged up the stairs above Fort Point, but when we began through the slight downhill under the tunnel of the historic earthworks it looked as if his knee began to complain.  We carried on along the bluffs of the Coastal Trail, but coming down the steps of the batteries there it was affecting his gait.  Then I started feeling really bad because I knew what was coming up with the Batteries to Bluff’s Trail, a third of a mile of steep descent on stairs.  This part of the trail and Cameron was visibly stiffening.  Then up the Crossover and I had to blow the whistle.  That was too much too fast for Cam, so I parked him at the playground by the Wine Bunker and ran off to get the Contour.  First field rescue of my coaching career and an eager mistake on my behalf.  Now I know better.  Scale it back after a long break, that was too much.

So it seems Cameron has a pain in the outside of the knee when he is coming down hill.  I’ll have to do some research to figure out the cause of this.  It is a common complaint to runners and not one that I usually get.  I recommended he rest, ice and elevate and get more cross training in.  We have a break until next Wednesday, and I am going to modify the 4.5 miler we should be doing with something gently rolling.

Looking for a long run to put together about 12 miles after Sunrise Yoga and on the way there I thought up a pretty good course.  Woke up feeling kind of retchy with a dry cough, grr, and it has persisted all day.  Even now I kind of feel like shit.  Now my cough was no problem and no bother during the run but as soon as that was over it came back.  I’m almost convinced that I caught an airborne virus watching the Bay to Breakers from the sidewalk on my street.  I got sick from it before.  This feels familiar.

Changed into running gear at the gym, shorts, shirt and a headband.  Drove to Golden Gate Park and parked at the AIDS Memorial Grove.  Did the first part down the trail between Lincoln and MLK turned at Ocean Beach and ran down the Promenade at Ocean Beach up and past the Cliff House.  Stopped to take a piss in a port o’ pissoir at the parking lot for the Coastal Trail/Lands End Trail and then took that trail happy to be back on some real bonafide trail instead of that short snatch of sidewalk.  Really cruising and not even feeling any cough.  Meant to go the back way up to the Palace of the Legion of Honor but somehow missed the turnoff and ended up running through the golf links, which was meant to be because I saw a coyote on it.  Nice to be hitting some hills and learning to be a climber.  Circled the fountain at the Legion of Honor and ran up to the locked gate of the Palace and knelt down and gave Rodin’s “Thinker” a pose, much to the amusement of the groundskeepers there.  Then I continue to cruise on down to Clement.

Clement Street leveling out flat to a bit downhill grade and just a 8 block jog or so to 25th Avenue which is part of the course for the Marathon. 25th Avenue begins with an ascent and then is a downer to the park.  Confused by the absence of a marked trail on the northbound side, crossed over with the flow of traffic and picked up the bridle trail there.  Soon I’m back on JFK and I see a sign for Stow Lake, and my intent was to circle it, but I emerged on Hagiwara Tea Garden Lane next to the Japanese Tea Garden where I started out.  Still feeling strong and feeling a bit short of the 12 miler I thought to cruise down Haight and up Buena Vista Park to circle back on Waller.  I did so, taking the route through the Children’s Playground, circling the carousel and stomping on some new play structures there that have replaced the ones that I played upon as a child.

Through Haight was smooth and cruise as it was still early for the shops to be open so not much street traffic, just people waiting for busses.  Crossed over and started climbing the peak that Buena Vista Park sits upon, and that shit ain’t no joke.  At its apex, totally turned around, didn’t know how I was looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, but came down and hit Waller.  All the way down the back of the Haight Ashbury, crossing over at Kezar, crossing Lincoln finding another entrance of the AIDS Memorial Grove and its a sprint to the Contour waiting.

Felt amazing and strong, figured I just about did a half marathon for breakfast.  As soon as I got home, that shitty feeling and cough started coming back.  By the time I got to work and at work felt like utter crap.  Made it through the day, came home made hot toddies and slept the next day until my Feng Shui alarm chimed with just 45 minutes to make it to a dentist’s appointment.

  • 18 May 2010
  • 7:37 – 9:56am
  • 2:16:29
  • 11.61 miles
  • 11:45 avg. pace
  • 5.10 avg. speed
  • 862 feet climbed
  • 1514 calories burned