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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.

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