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Category Archives: Hiking

Active rest, what’s active rest? When one is tapering for a first marathon it means maintaining fitness whilst staying active and avoiding the long distance runs done in training.  It also means getting enough rest, fluids and nutrition.  Taking care of the body and reducing the stress.  Letting shit slide but still focusing on goal.  Knowing you got money in the bank while you are living overdrawn and on credit. Overextended but still knowing you can walk that fine line and a paycheck is in the mail.

Alarm chimes for 7am Yoga: The Practice formerly known as Yogayama.  Anita, my Sunrise Yoga instructor is on trial and taking that slot, but it may be first day jitters and I feel the class is rushed.  I know @suzboop well enough to know that she is not impressed and I’m openly hoping that Anita goes back to the Tuesday, Thursday 5:45am slot where she has her regulars.

Go home, decompress and wash cups.  Not much doing as I got an activity date with J54o at noon so rather than try to rearrange my whole life I think its much better to just relax and have some brunkfast and another cup of coffee.

Shower and change into a skinny pair of Levi’s and the tie dyed t-shirt I got out the hamper.  I already wore it to yoga this morning but I’m still feeling that vibration.  Clean pair of tube socks and Adidas Daroga’s with an open mesh.  Text J54o to let him know that I’m coming and arrive in Montclair up in Valley View to see that little gun metal Miata that looks like a drone tank parked in the driveway opposite and am fairly certain that it is the ride that we are going to take on trail.

J54o already has a lunch spread out on the table, but he had made cupcakes and I eat 2 and have some OJ and I’m really excited to get going to the volcano.

Leave my bag with my shell and go back to leave my wallet and keys.  We hop into the little gun metal tank and cruise down Valley View then up Taurus to Skyline taking the local and residential ways through the Oakland Hills.

J540 takes a wrong turn on Skyline and starts going down the hill.  He already admits that he has a problem with proprioception, as do I and I’m more amused than concerned at that as he course corrects and takes us up the hill towards the Regional Park.

I’m starting to realize that I’m so brilliant for scheduling a hike on a volcano at 12 noon.

We pull into the parking lot at the park and proceed to do a very nice hike.  J54o serves as interpreter for the self guided tour and I get to geek out over memorizing trail heads as I am wont to do.

The 1.5 hour 3.5 mile hike affords us plenty of time for me to talk about my training and for me to ask him about his breathing/rebirthing workshop.  Healing the Father Wound.

J540 asks me if I can fly and I tell him yes and relate a number of out of body experiences.  For some reason, at this time my GPS on my iPhone decides to teleport our track to Briones Regional Park and so we flew 13 miles just then with only my technology accounting for it.

He asks me if I believe in guides and I say yes.  What are guides to him? Spirits from his past.  What are guides to me? Multidimensional selves in the just so future beckoning.  He understands where I’m coming from.  Point scored J540.

Really enjoying Sibley Volcanic and our track comes around to an end.  He offers that he’d be happy to run track like this, and I’m like I’d run this track with you, but really its a beginner’s track, a 3.5 mile loop.  Because of his problems with proprioception when we get to a shaded rooty single track rut, he’s all I couldn’t do this and I’m looking at it as tastey.

Cue the dolphin talking about how he has specialized in technical downhill running and no one could catch him in that pocket, however the better climbers finished before and that why this season he is focusing on climbing…

I take a piss, J54o goes and picks up the little tank, swings around and picks me up.

Taking the back way down Skyline to Valley View, he parks in his driveway next to the Contour and we go in and he makes us lunch.  I decline another cupcake.

I read his Gay Tarot and make the disclaimer that this deck doesn’t have a history of interpretation but I am pretty intuitive so I give the suggested read according to the pamphlet included.  He hits 3 Arcana out of 5 cards.  I always pull the spooky cards, but they are always beneficial portents when I pull them that way.

Lunch is good.  I suggest we go cuddle.

J540 has to go pick up his girlfriend at the airport.  He’s got her cupcakes.  I suggest that he brings her a bottle of water because people are always thirsty when they get off the plane.  He has a cold one in the fridge.  He goes to the airport, I go to the gym to lift weights.

Have a good workout, but its rush hour.  I warm up for 13 minutes doing 3 miles on the recumbent bike then move it into the studio where I lay a Mexican blanket over a 3 lift Reebok step and work it like a bench and focus hard on the core.  Then I twist it out with the staff, not twirling it because I can already tell that my martial workout is taking place in some step class regular’s regular spot.

  • 19 July 2010
  • 12:39am – 2:28pm
  • 1:40:58
  • 3.44 miles
  • 29:19 avg. pace
  • 2.05 avg. speed
  • 467 ft. climbed
  • 450 calories burned

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Helluva morning getting ready. The leftover pizza I ate last night messed me up and then the Cytomax in solution that I had left in my CamelBak rotted in the bladder. Spilled some of the putrid solution on my shorts when I was trying to see if the bladder was salvageable (its not) and had to shower again. Managed to pick up my training partner only 1/2 hour later. He’s always cool.
Tapering for the marathon, this week my miles planned are 4, 3, 2 and maybe 2. I knocked out the 4 today on the Bunny Trail, which is above Grey Whale Cove on McNee Ranch State Park on Highway 1 between Pacific and Montara Beach. Devil’s Slide where the new tunnel is going to come through the mountain. Misty, hazy, fog burning up and cool, totally perfect for running. Ran the 4 uphill and down with no water although I used my CamelBak for my iPhone gps tracker and to hold my car keys. Felt winded and sluggish at the start, got into it halfway up and halfway down was slogging it out.
So important that I get enough rest and don’t do something stupid that is gonna cause a DNS, like drinking out of a contaminated sports bottle or tripping over running shoes on the floor ending up in a wall or crunching something on the furniture. Need to be extra wary of clumsiness and hope I’m not accident prone.
Oh btw I was thinking that 4 miles was a walk in the park, but today’s activity kinda kicked my butt. I do feel great now, however.

Location: Middletown, California

Length: 7 miles

Directions: Middletown is in Lake County CA is on Highway 29 between Calistoga and Clearlake. The run is on the property of Harbin Hot Springs Retreat Center. http://www.harbin.org

Trail Description: From the retreat’s office take the Spiritual Path (1.10 miles) to the Ridge Trail Trail head (@1625 ft.elevation).

Ridge Trail is a fire road with many dips and ascents (2.5 miles).

Connect to Dancing Deer Trail (1.20 miles) and take the cut off to the right bearing SE, it is very narrow. If you miss it you are off property.

You will be scrambling down scree at first and then be on a deer track. The trail is marked with multicolored neon ribbons at regular intervals so it is good track training. You will come to a shady copse with a canopy of stunted oak and mossy covered volcanic rock then eventually ascend to Boggs Mountain Trail (0.5 miles).

Then down onto Harbin Springs Road (1.5 miles) and cutting across the meadow to pick up the Village Paths in the camping area (0.6 miles).

Finish your run with a soak in the legendary pools of Harbin.

Added to seriousrunning.com by polynesian_metal on 7/9/10

I’ve been up to Harbin Hot Springs 4 times this year and always run on the ridges there but have never really wrote about them.  I’ve talked about Father Time, his expulsion from the tavern for practicing an unappreciated form of pyrotechnics that is less of wizardry and more of a trick, and his realization that he’s no good after 12:01am on January 1’st.  Wrote of Baby New Year’s bumpy ride over the mountains in a hastily packed Contour before the sun even rose while hung over from his birthday celebrations and arriving at the retreat grinded and crunchy.  With Bob, my bff on his birthday and with Connie, my bbgff on an unexpectedly cold Easter weekend.  Always having a good time there, always trying to master the trails, which I finally had the opportunity to do on this Independence Day week visit with EZEvie.

Not enough time to prepare properly, but what the fuck.  Coming off of Pride week and Mz. SOMA 2010’s drag attack, bathing suit and wig still where she stripped them off last week.  So busy at work and the last week of tapering up before tapering down.  Was glad I planned the retreat, as I so needed to get away.  The morning we left I brought mostly inconsequential kitchen shit, but made sure I had my running gear, poolside drag, and evening wear.  Overpacked as usual.  Fortunately EZEvie had the foresight to gather most of the food and I took care of the gas and the driving so hopefully that was equitable.  She definitely took care of more than her share.

We get up there and it is seasonably hot.  Arrived after 6, a 5 hour car trip.  We were staying in the same tent cabin in the meadow that I stayed in last time with Connie and because of the temps had no fear that I’d wake in the morning with ice on the car.  Unpacked our beddings and personal items then drove up to the communal kitchen.  Had to rummage for cupboard space and room in the fridge because the resort was full booked with guests.  A little more intense than the energy that I experienced there, but there is always a little space for a new guest.

I was off to bed early, so fatigued I don’t even remember if I took to the waters that first night. Up automatically just after dawn, pleased with myself now in the recollection that I had laid out all my gear before I retired.  Used the camper shower to wake and refresh.  Geared up, leaving EZEvie crashed out and went to Fern kitchen to make a cup of coffee and fill the bladder of my CamelBak with Cytomax in full solution.

It was my intention to take Serenity Path from behind the lodge that houses the segregated dorms and spa treatment rooms to Straight Ascent and thereby connect with the Ridge Trail near its middle.  From the Ridge Trail connect with Dancing Deer Trail and then descend down it to arrive back at our tent cabin in the meadow.

It was just after 7am then when I started tracking with my GPS and even already getting warm.  On Serenity and just out of sight of the dorms I decided right then to shuck my shorts and do the whole run naked.  Onto Straight Ascent then I’m realizing my visor is making me overheat and my heart rate monitor is ridiculous so I take all that apparatus off and am just running in socks, shoes a watch flashing a lo mem message and my hydration unit.  Cresting to the Ridge Trail and I’m fully exposed, experiencing the familiar dips and twists of a beloved trail, reminding myself its alright to stop and admire the beauty instead of crunching out for speed.  I turn behind me to see two hot air balloons loftily ascending in the distance.

Ridge Trail is extremely technical, yet it is a wide fire road.  Its exposure to the elements and lack of cover is its biggest obstacle however running it bare ass naked while being well protected with UV protectant creams and sprays is the best way to deal with it.  I’ve never come across another hiker there.  Because I started on the Ridge near it’s middle it is only a short mile until I interept Dancing Deer.

I stop at this trailhead and start a fresh GPS track knowing that I will be able to tweet my location from here because I get 3G at that elevation.  Using a cell phone for a non-emergency is not in accordance with the retreats agreements but I went up there agreeing that I’d be disagreeable but discreet.  I ended up paying for that later.  I also wanted to clearly have the trails marked in my GPS history so I could refer to them later.  I felt like a hardened trail runner reading the warning on the trail marker.  Dancing Deer is an extremely difficult trail taking 2-3 hours to complete. One is advised to not hike it alone and to bring plenty of water with electrolytes.  Electrolytes I had, 2-3 hours, no.  A hiking partner?  I wish.

So where the Ridge Trail is exposed, Dancing Deer is under canopy.  This part of the trail is actually quite lush and the canopy is of Blue Oak, Manzanita and Madrone.  The sides of the trail are peopled with poison oak and where the evergreens encroach with their twiggy branches upon the trail one has to duck, wiggle and slide in order to avoid being scratched.  The ascents are steep as are the descents.  A great opportunity for me to work on my climbing and my technical downhill.

I was trying to orient from memory and had only come up Dancing Deer once on the last visit, missing it every time in my previous ones because the trail had been erroneously marked as the Upper Village Path.  When I found Dancing Deer from its terminus on a past visit the wrong trailhead had been smashed and a correct one stood in its stead.  However, the cutoff is just right of the main path and I found myself blowing past it.  My landmark was a hill before and a fork to the side, but because of the rains the grasses now dry aided in disappearing the trail and I continued along the ridge looking for something else more familiar.  I came to a beautiful clearing with no egress and had to backtrack.  Establishing a clear trail I bordered off the false by laying out some dessicated branches from a pile nearby.  I continued down the clear trail and soon encountered horse shit a few hours old and emerged onto a wider bulldozed road and saw the markers for the telephone underground cables and thought to myself, aww shit, here I go, I missed it again.  Had to put my shorts back on cos I knew for certain that I was off property on private land.

This is Boggs Mountain Road that I came out on and up the hill will take you to Boggs Mountain State Demonstration Forest.  I’ve been quite lost up there before.  Downhill is to the New Age retreat and almost instantly encountered the two old nags chomping on dead grass in the shade of a tractor.  Always giving them wide berth I continued on downhill trying to be easy with it but strong in it as to not injure my low back, hips or hams.  Knees to, oh and yeah calves.  Soon came to the locked wood and aluminum gate that seperates Harbin from Koelling Ranch and had to climb it.  All downhill to the meadow now passing waking campers about their wake-up business sprinting to the finish putting on a good show for trail runners.  Got to the cabin dripping white salt sweat and EZEvie was still curled up on the twin.

  • 5 July 2010
  • 1:27:05-8:31am
  • 1:26
  • 18:30 avg. pace

Daunting run ahead of me today, but let me prepare for it by backtracking and talking about Wednesday’s run with my activity partner.  The day started with Yogayama at 7am and then a run with Cameron at 9.  We were finishing up our course review and ran from Battery Chamberlin to Fort Point and back.  Cameron is looking much stronger with his familiar knee pain migrating around so I added the bit extra at Fort Point as a challenge.  Tuesday night I spent some time researching blogs by amateur runners and found some good tips about gait, basically a technique where one springs from the balls of the feet in order to avoid the slowing of a heel strike.  I pointed out a few improvements Cameron can work on to improve his stride and I’m working on improving my own.  Things are shaping up well for the SF Marathon and today I’m going to do the Bridge into the Marin Headlands: SCA, Alta, Bobcat, Miwok and back via Coastal.  About 13-15? We’ll see… I am procrastinating a bit, hanging out at home and listening to the Doobie Brothers, but I wanna hit the road soon so I can make a 4pm yoga in the Castro.

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

Still dealing with the vestiges of a so called ‘spring break’ from over use and morning yoga and this Monday the body was holding out for more sleep, stumbling to take a morning piss after the alarm went off at 6am I shut the chimes down and stayed in bed till just after 10.  Not really coming up with any concrete plans just running various scenarios and the best idea was to wake up, make coffee and check out the schedule at the Gold’s in Oakland to see if they had a lunch hour yoga after which I could hit the trail up at Redwood Regional.  As it turned out they did have a class at noon so that gave me enough time for a second cup and to check out the driving directions and get a heads up from the gym about what I could expect for parking around Lake Merrit.

The Oakland Gold’s is right off the freeway, super convenient.  I avoided the parking meters right in front of the gym and drove up into a residential area behind it but couldn’t find street parking because it was street cleaning day on one side of the street.  Turned around and ended up parking in a limited to 1 hour non metered space at the park in front of the public library.  Was concerned because it was about 11:45 and the class was due to get out at 1 and thought would it save time to not change into my trail gear in the gym after class but decided essentially it wouldn’t make that much of a difference so I shlugged my gym bag and CamelBak up to the men’s locker room to store it there and went down to Studio Energy for the noon yoga class with Ashley.

Studio Energy is a bit awkward with spin bikes stored out of use on one side and the clutter of other workout paraphernalia along the other 3 walls.  Square support columns throughout the room further clutter and confine the room but I chose a spot in front of one so that I wouldn’t have a yogi fore nor aft of me.  No Mexican blankets to be had so I just grabbed a couple of foam blocks and sat kneeling on top of them on my little mat.  The instructor came to me and introduced herself as Ashley and asked if I practiced yoga before.  I told her I am a yogi and I practice at the gym in San Francisco.  She then asked me if I knew Darren Main and I told her yes, and that my regular practice is Naked Yoga for Men.  She confessed she loves Darren and I felt good for this connection, again, all different nuts hanging off the same yoga tree.

Class was nice, short and not too challenging.  Found myself missing my regular instructors, but appreciating this bit of diversity.  Then it was back up to the locker room to put on the trail gear and out to the library parking lot where, to my pleasure, no ticket festooned any one of my windshield wipers.

35th Avenue exit is not too far down the 580 from Grand and soon I was pulling into the Lincoln Town Center Safeway to take a dump in their can and pick up some fried food under hot lights in the Deli for a little road trip brunch to eat in the car on my way to Redwood Regional.  In the parking lot of the park arranged my pack and protected my iPhone in a ziploc specimen bag in case it rained.  Had a new plan to try to make this trail a 10kilometer course by running up Orchard and connecting with the West Ridge Trail and circling around back to the parking lot.

I did today’s course without music, gearing up for the rules in the race that state that no headphones are allowed on single track trail.  I found I didn’t really miss it.  Pretty much have this course down: Stream to Tres Sendas to French to Orchard up to West Ridge.  Then I had to improvise and I went the wrong way at the end.  I should have headed back to Fishway and crossed the bridge and took the road that leads into the park past the Ranger’s booth.  In any event, I made this course 6 miles and I didn’t run it famously, just cautiously still getting prepped for my race in 4 weeks time.

  • 12 April 2010
  • 1:59 – 3:33pm
  • 1:31:05
  • 6.09 miles
  • 14:57 avg. pace
  • 4.01 avg. speed
  • 790 feet climbed
  • 852 calories burned
  • 155.6 lbs

Wednesday morning 7am Yoga finding nice poses that were opening up and strengthening my sore hip.  The remarkable thing about recovering from this injury is that I feel stronger in the hips than I ever had before.  I really enjoyed that @suzboop was in class today and she likes my latest yoga outfit cos it looks tuff: baggy black Adidas track suit bottoms and a black wife beater.  After class she told me she was going to the premier of our friends’ play Scalpel! and helping out D’Arcy Drollinger, the musical’s writer and director, with publicity using social media platforms like twitter.  I told her that I’d go and she gave me a promo code for $10 off.  I have to say its going to be a huge hit and I’m glad I got to see it premiered.

Afterward I went home to get on some running gear and made sure to pack well because I had my activity partner, Cameron, to train up in the Presidio then get my own training in over in the Oakland Hills at Redwood Regional Park.  I wasn’t exactly sure if I was going to make it out to the trail but I wanted to be prepared.  It had rained on my way to 7am yoga but it had cleared up after class.  Cameron is doing well on the trail and I’m impressed with his progress.  Dropped Cameron off back at his place and since I was pointed in that direction headed straight out to Oakland.

Stopped at the Safeway Deli in the Lincoln Town Center up in the Oakland Hills and got a pizza stick, 2 jalapeno poppers and a corndog eating everything but the deep fried corn battered weenie on the drive and finished up the corndog in the Contour in the Redwood Regional Park parking lot.  The weather was holding and clear as I started my run and by the time I had gotten to the first course change realized it was going to be just enough on the warm side of cool that I really wouldn’t be needing a shirt so I took it off and stowed it in my CamelBak following the Stream Trail to Tres Sendas.

At Tres Sendas the trail forks and dips down into a stream fed rain forest under a canopy of thick redwood and moss covered oak.  Fern grows on the side of the trails and boulders in the stream bed are worn smooth by the passage of waters and passers by.  It is vast and epic and connects with French Trail dipping but mostly rising.  I felt like a fantastic faun leaping across creeks and loping along the trail but I was still taking this course slowly making sure to note every trail marked and lock it in memory.  The single track of the French Trail rises and as it winds its way down to Mill Trail I think of race strategy and trying to pass without falling or stumbling off the trail down into the ravine.  Even though my structured training gloves irritate the skin on my hands I’ll wear them for the race and the dress rehearsal a week prior to the big show.

Passing Chown which I had run previously, checked my map and decided to continue down French to Orchard.  I still felt like I was running short of 10 kilometers and by the time I came out onto the main road realized I had only run 5 miles.  I’m still trying to match my training runs in Redwood Regional to the actual trail map posted on Pacific Coast Trail Runs’ web site but having raced before know that the course is never as it is presented on the web.  My training has shifted a little bit now that I am working with Cameron.  I decided to abandon the notion of running a 20k on this course and instead have already registered for the 10k distance.  The program I laid out in TRAINING MODE will be modified.  Ultimately what I’m going to do is continue running with Cameron and hit this course in the Oakland Hills on the weekdays to avoid the weekend and holiday park fees, however this weekend I’ll be going up to Harbin Hot Springs with my BBGFF Connie Champagne so I won’t revisit Redwood Regional until next Wednesday.  At Harbin I’ll look to do one 10k run on Monday on the ridges there and also continue with my yoga 5 days in a row I’ve practiced consistently.  On Sundays and days when I can squeeze it in before work I’ll continue my course of 3’s finishing the Aquatic Park to Fort Point Loop and figuring out whats next.  7 miles barefoot on Fort Funston Beach?  We’ll see.  I’m excited and happy to be registered. By the way, I so do need the spa!

  • 31 March 2o10
  • 11:30am – 1:08pm
  • 1:34:38
  • 5.09 miles
  • 18:35 avg. pace
  • 3.23 avg. speed
  • 642 feet climbed
  • 599 calories burned

I was obsessed with personifying Time in the guise of Father Time for New Year’s and the morning following that miserable run to the Armstrong Woods I drove out with LGID to Jenner Beach to acquire the Staff of Time.  I had been gathering all of the Articles of Time but two objects were missing; both the Staff and the Sands of Time.  I knew that I would find the Staff of Time on the beach at Jenner and maybe the sands there would prove to have some magic.  I visualized this so clearly I knew the Staff of Time would manifest itself there.

I parked on a bluff over looking the beach.  The sun was out and it was one of those awesome Northern Californian days in the winter when not only does the surf break but the sun does too.  Surfers were out, notable for their foreign accents, as Mavericks was on the verge of being called.  The trail leading down to the beach was slick, steep and muddy.  Tasty to me, but LGID was discontented to break it.  He stayed up on the bluff by the car not wanting to venture.  Disappointing to me, but confirming my reason for not wanting to be his lover.  I hiked down to this wild beach, intrepid in my Coach boots, thrilled by the sun and the perfection of creation.  Because of the storms and its geographical location at the mouth of the Russian River, Jenner is strewn with driftwood.  All I had to do was divine the Staff of Time as I wandered the beach looking for the appropriate staff to select me.  I found it quite right off.  This crooked and pitted driftwood root came to the height of my face and had a nook a hand’s width from its tip; perfect for notching in an hour glass or festooning it with a banner.  I stuck the staff upright in the sand, letting it weather, seeing if it would reclaim itself as I walked northward along the beach in search of a potential other.  This end was abandoned and the sun was warming me up enough where I could have taken off my shirt, but as it was I just stripped off my Adidas track jacket, tied it around my waist and continued in my thermal.  I passed a beach condo built by a sea comber furnished with a dining room table and stump chairs on its lower floor and a rope swing on its second story deck.  Inspecting the shelter I realized it was semi-permanent and had seen regular use.

Walking down the beach alone charged with the magic of my quest I could only think how awesome it would be to be on this mission with a lover, sharing the fantasy of Time and ducking into one of those shelters to make love or just sit out on the sand near the shore break making out for a portion of eternity.  And of course that lover I imagine is Ionass, not the LGID on the bluff who plays it way too safe and doesn’t share my sense of adventure.  Nor can he ski.  Mind, I am grateful for his companionship and appreciative of how he helped to nurse my burns but really I think he realizes, as I do, that to spend time with me will prevent him from getting what he wants from another man.  Cute as he is, there is no volatility in our chemistry.  We neutralize each other rather than complement one another.

Returning to reclaim the Staff of Time with these thoughts on the periphery and the Pacific Ocean and Jenner’s dramatic coastal outcroppings more proximal I was pleased to see a small songbird perched atop the Staff of Time.  A good portent indeed because, as should be known by all, Father Time is the Consort of Mother Nature.  Hiking back up the slippery muddy slope using the Staff of Time as a walking stick I was gifted with a beautiful view of a surfer’s naked ass as he struggled into his tight fitting black neoprene wet suit.  Beautiful indeed. Quest complete.

Attacking that mountain like an addict, I’m up there for the radio static- my mission, to kill in competition.  San Bruno Mountain was scheduled again, and I only have to do it one more time, then I begin a course review of all 8 trails I’ve run up to now, peaking with this one and then descending back down.  It will be interesting to see how my race at Salt Point is going to converge with this training.  I think I gotta plan.

Feeling more intrepid than usual today, always on a budget, I thought I would try to suss out where I could pick up the fire road to the Ridge Trail.  I was just on Guadalupe Canyon Parkway, and decided to go and find Old Quarry Road.  I did a loop around the Brisbane business parks, and noted that absolutely no parking is allowed on the street.  Probably to prevent the hippies from camping out.  I did a total loop and ended up finding it.  Up a road to a pull out and there was the trail head denoting I was in County and State Park land without having to pay $5 for day use.

So I park my Contour at this turnout in front of the heavy gate barrier with all the trail prohibitions marked in pictographs and knew I was in the spot that would take me up to the gate on the Ridge Trail that I scouted on Monday.  I didn’t know how far it would be up to the Ridge, assumed it was a mile but it was straight up hill.  No sense in trying to run that, if I were more mathematically inclined, I would try to determine the angle, but it looked like an aggregate 60*.  I took precautions, because of my malady, I need to be protected from the sun, long sleeve loose fitting NF tee, and tights.  I wore my Adidas Kanadia Trail shoes because I really felt as if the Adi Zero XT’s underperformed and I’m going to see about shipping them back.  Giants’ Visor, Nike Shades.  It was steep going on this coarse quarry gravelled road.  I tried to stay to the dirt packed trail on the ridge, but it kept running out.  Eventually I got to the gate at the top, ran a few 100 feet and discovered the 1 mile marker.  Incidentally, it was .97 mile from where I parked at the trail head.

Had to stop and check my distance on my GPS unit, RunKeeper, take some self portraits and panoramic views.  Then I’m all cool, run to the Summit Loop Trail.  Crows were being considerate and tagging along and alot of the time I was running in the wake of butterflies, hummingbirds zinging in and out to keep a diversity in my periphery.  It was hot and bright on the Ridge Trail, but I could see the Radio Towers atop the Summit swathed in Daly City fog, so knew that once I got on the Summit Loop Trail I’d have some respite from the intense sun.

The single track of the Summit Loop Trail made me glad I went fully covered as the trail is lushly overgrown and encroached upon with thorny blackberry.  Nice to be in the cool drifting fog coming down off the Summit and knowing that this is all single track downhill.  I passed an older gent trail running in a Giants’ fishing cap and got passed by a trail runner behind me, with longish dark brown hair wearing black shorts and a black tank who was loping along the downhill without braking.  Observing his downhill stride made me aware of my own and how I was approaching my downhill technically.  In preparing for the gravelly downhill of the fire road I was conscious of planting and propelling with power.  Wasn’t so worried that he was so much faster than me, because this is a training mountain, however, because I’m focusing on it so much here, realize I was kind of miffed.  Just remember, I’m running my own race.

Got down to the bottom at the Magic Tree, hugged and kissed her for a moment and let her listen to some disEmbowelment through my headphones that was playing on my Shuffle.  Crossing Radio Road, I could see the dark haired, dark clothed runner loping along the other side of the Parkway on the Saddle Trail.  I continued through the Eucalyptus Grove, but got distracted and foraged for ripe blackberries on the side of the trail.

Realized then that it wasn’t so important to run all out and run so hard.  My focus on running this week, because of my ailment, is to reduce stress.  So I looked at the slope of the mountain and how on this side protected from the harsh overhead sun of the East Ridge and with the fog from the Ocean flowing down into it it is overly lush with vegetation.  Got up to the Summit again and began the Ridge Trail, powering downhill and walking when I wanted to.  At the fire road, realized it would be not only ridiculous but also dangerous to try and run down to my Contour.  I really took my time observing, exploring and even so, did slip a few times just walking down the side of the mountain.

When I checked my stats on my phone at the end I was a little surprised that it was a total of 8.37 miles.  There really is no need to go up the fire trail again.  I’ll pay the $5 bucks and just do a decent 6.5 miler starting from the top of the Mountain.