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Category Archives: Marathon Training

I got photo-boothed at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza coming to the City from J540’s.  Some panic and anxiety too because my FastTrack never beeped.  Maybe I didn’t slow down enough for it to register, but at the same time the device will sync to my license plate when they check it out.  I never heard of anybody getting a speeding ticket for going through a toll booth and I see people do it all the time.  Its CalTrans and not CHP so maybe its not in their purview to give speeding tickets, only toll violations.  I really can’t afford a speeding ticket right now.

But I made it home in time to change into my shorty, short short gym shorts and because it is cold, my Everlast track jacket and my COACH Ugg boots.  Slim and legs marathon toned I feel like a super model in this get up.  Catwalk through the Gold’s Gym and up to the studio arriving right on time for Sunrise Yoga.

The new instructor’s name is Ben, and although he isn’t as ringing the bell new-agey as I prefer, he puts together a nice practice with a unique flow.  I find that every yoga instructor has a different offering and I appreciate his.  I took class very carefully and made sure that I did the easiest modifications to avoid any sort of over extension or injury as my main goal is to stay fit, healthy and safe for Sunday’s race.  The weather forecast is not going to change.  High is predicted at 61* with 13 mph offshore winds.  Pretty much how it usually is.  I’m sure my SpeedSuit will be enough.  Pretty amazed its coming up.  Now its just up to my training which is complete.


Training all day today during a taper for a marathon that is just 4 days away and I’m trying not to do anything stoopid or get hurt.  But I failed at that in at least every activity today.  In 7am yoga, after the class a yogi tried to help me with my headstand.  I already knew what I did wrong and tried to demonstrate the wrong way.  Got a tweak in the neck.  Go on a short 2.75 mile run with my training partner, stumble over a rock but recover before I fall downhill.  Came home warmed up some leftover meatloaf and took a nap, that went off without a hitch.  Went to the gym to lift weights and twirl the staff but kicked the punching bag and that kind of tweaked my foot and leg.  I hope I’m working out any sort of accident prone clumsiness in advance so I can have a clean slate.  All I have left to do today is get a massage @forbodyandmind and then J540 is making me dinner.

Sunrise Yoga with a new instructor.  I hate to be a yoga critic, but I wish my original Sunrise Yoga instructor had kept her spot and allowed the new yoga instructor to take over Yogayama.  I kind of felt like it leaves her regulars hanging and she is moving into a class where the regulars expect too much because they had an awesome teacher in Ben.  There are a few of us who do both morning yogas, but the ones who only do Sunrise, I really felt like we got abandoned.  Ben left, Anita maybe shouldn’t have.  I am going to put this suggestion in the suggestion box and see how it plays out.  This morning yoga schedule is on a trial basis for 6 weeks, so once I finish the SF Marathon and recover I think it may be the perfect time to try the 30 Days for $30 Bikram intro at Mission Yoga until the dust settles over at the Castro Gold’s.

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

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.

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 by polynesian_metal on 7/9/10

“I’ll have you up some other time, but right now I have to get ready for work. I lean over to kiss the driver then step out of the gun metal Miata that looks like a little tank and watch it from my front gate as it speeds down my alley, gears shifting.  I call the shop to check in and find my schedule is still open so I do have time to catch a Thursday Noon Warriors Choice Yoga with Josh Camire at the gym and since I’m already well showered I just change into my board shorts and flip flops, still wearing the gold Aloha t-shirt that I was wearing the day before.

In the studio about 10 minutes early and in time to get my spot and compose myself on the Mexican blanket on top of my Bengal Tiger yoga mat and do some flexing and meditation.  The class slowly fills up around me when Josh comes in.  I find that it has been some weeks really that I’ve taken his class and I’m actually really excited because now he composes the core of my yoga instruction with one other.

Flowing in Vinyasa  and always amazed at how non-intrusive his instruction is and come to the realization that if you don’t love your yoga instructor, you are in the wrong class and wasting your time.

Wednesdays are the mornings of my regular scheduled with my training partner after a short recovery time post Yogayama, but this past past Wednesday was the last Yogayama ever as the instructor is retiring from yoga instruction to pursue a career as a CPA. More power to him and moving on. He prepared us well for his departure and he left us with a sense of closure. All the regulars showed up for the last class including @suzboop and we gave him a cross legged seated applause and a very heartfelt namaste.

My training partner is up to an impressive solid base of 6 miles now, and I wanted to challenge him by plotting an 8 mile course but because of our timing I had to modify the route to 6ish. We parked in my reserved spot at Aquatic Park and ran through Fort Mason to the hill at Long Avenue and down the stairs above Fort Point. The whole time, conceitedly, I’m boasting about how people complain that the San Francisco Marathon course is sooo hilly and how because we are trail runners, these 1 block hills are just bumps. We finished the run up strong. I’m really proud of how well Cameron has responded to my coaching.

So I go home and tweet about my workouts and find I’m really wound up without the motivation to cook anything at home so I decide to go to the mall for lunch at the foodcourt. First I stop at Border’s and see that one of my favorite Black Metal bands, WATAIN is on the cover of the June Terrorizer and have a single on the compilation disc attached to the magazine. I debate buying the magazine for the track, but end up just reading the article and it dawns on me that the CD has already been released so I decide to go to Rasputin and pick it up instead. I score the limited edition CD of Lawless Darkness, the only one left in the Metal rack. I decided I’d go and get some mackerel at Sushi Bune because I couldn’t deal with the racket or the clash of cuisines at the Westfield Foodcourt but walking up to Union Square realized that the Gold Coast was on the way so what the hell, why not stop by for a margarita before lunch?

I get a seat at the bar and the regular bartender is there and I tell her it was good to see her on Pink Saturday in the Castro. Yah, she said, I was tits out~! I get out my disc and start fanboying over the book, the art and how WATAIN is dealing with a theme of Time just as I am. Scythes, robes and hourglasses. Mercedes is there and her friend Amy and we get into chatting about racing, pronation and shoes when I find out she is running the SF Marathon half.

2 margaritas into it I’m kind of having second thoughts about going on my Naked Yoga date with J540. I already had 2 workouts this morning, no food and I’m feeling a pleasant buzz. I’m talking to the girls about this and I decide to change my plan. I text J54o and tell him that since I’m downtown already, why don’t I just come over and he can pick me up at the BART station. He actually is enthusiastic about me coming over and since Mercedes is halfway through her beer and going to Oakland I decide to order another margarita so we can go and ride the BART together.

J540 is already at MacArthur when I get off the train. We drive up to his home in Montclaire and he apologizes for not having any dinner ready. I tell him its ok and proceed to inventory his refrigerator. He heats up some frozen pizza and while that is warming goes to the cellar to retrieve me a bottle of Rose. I’ve already kicked off my Coach boots and have made myself at home. He pours us a glass and asks if I want to listen to my new CD. I’m all yes, so we put it on his semi-portable system. Really, the Black Metal is clashing with the situation and I’m not feeling it just yet so instead J540 puts on some ambient chakra stuff that is much more suitable. We have some pizza at table and I’m kind of ranting about my shortcomings of not being an A list gay and J54o is understanding and provocative, meanwhile always filling up my wine glass. We start talking about my training and massages and the next thing you know he’s offering and is downstairs setting up the table as I’m already starting to doze on the couch with one sock off.

J540 massages me professionally yet sensually. I’m feeling the strokes and my body is responding calmly letting his touch release my tensions. I don’t know this but apparently I fall asleep during my treatment, but wake up to a happy ending. I announce that it must be 10 o’clock and I’m going to sleep and manage to peel myself off the table and plop myself in his bed.

The alarm goes off at 4:30am and jokingly I say to J54o, What, are you going off to do yoga? No, he’s going to take a friend to the airport and he asks me to just stay in bed. I’m asleep as he’s putting on his clothes and no time has elapsed, it seems until he is back and taking them off again and crawling into bed with me. I already know Sunrise Yoga is shot, BART isn’t even running now, so I resign myself to actually getting a full nights rest in a comfortable bed with a little touch and comfort thrown into the mix. The sun is finally up and J54o is playing around with me and I’m trying to get as much sleep in as I can, but then he hits the right spot and I give in. He’s making me cum but I make sure he comes first and I think that really was the only way I was going to get out of his bed.

After showering up and getting dressed he asks me if I want any eggs. I ask if he has coffee and he says yes so I say I’ll stay. He makes some nice omelettes and coffee strong to my taste, but he doesn’t have cow’s milk, only soy. I’m in no rush to get to work because I know I have bookings late and have marked myself in at noon so I enjoy a rather leisurely morning for a change and I’m rather enjoying it, watching a pair of mated Red Tail Hawks circling on the morning thermals in an Oakland Hills valley. J54o offers to drive me home, I say I can take BART, but he insists and explains that he has another car, a convertible Miata. Its a stick, so I decide I can let him drive me back to the City and he does. The Miata looks like a little gun metal tank and J540 drops the top down. He puts in Lawless Darkness and drives me down into the little valley district of Montclaire then across Oakland and the Bay Bridge to my flat South of Market. Black Metal is totally appropriate for a drive like that.

Its kind of my thing lately: I sleep in and miss Sunrise Yoga, but fortunately I have plenty of other activities to do in that slot.  I’m tapering for the San Francisco Marathon now so its all about maintaining my fitness, staying healthy, staying sane and getting enough rest.  Instead of doing yoga, I warmed up on the recumbent bike, lifted weights, worked on core and twirled the staff at SOMA Gold’s between 7 and 8 which gave me the extra 2 and a half hours of sleep that I needed and a nice fitness cross training.  Got pretty fatigued quickly but am seeing results.  Had dinner last night with a colleague from my National Park volunteer gig and he commented that I look “athletic.”  Quite nice to be recognized, I do a hell of a lot of work!

Missed Yogayama today to grind one out from my front door through Golden Gate Park and back as my last long run before the San Francisco Marathon the Sunday after next.  Working it like a dress rehearsal in my SpeedSuit and red Adidas Marathon 10’s.  Worried a bit about running it absolutely stripped and relying solely on support.  I think my strategy will work out but we’ll see come race day.

Have been having problems with RunKeeper Free tracking my runs on a saved route but have been communicating with the developers and it seems they are getting to the root of the problem.  Checked my run at 16 minutes and it had stopped tracking at 6.  Unlike the other times I was able to relaunch the application and resume tracking.  When I got done with the run the course had corrected itself on the website.  Much improved.

I felt strong but a little hungry.  My legs took care of themselves and I was running pretty much without worry.  I took my only and last remaining gel on Middle Drive West on my way to the Ocean but by the time I was coming back through GGP had to stop at the McDonald’s on Haight and Stanyan for food and finished up my breakfast of a Sausage McMuffin and Hash Brown coming through the Haight Ashbury.  Lower Haight, I know its just a cruise and a kick back to my flat and was falling apart a bit on Market Street but still got this done.

Pretty amazing that I can run a half marathon for breakfast.  Now lets see how I deal with the taper and what I got in the bank come race day.

  • 12 July 2010
  • 8:06 – 10:23am
  • 2:17:09
  • 11.85 miles
  • 11:35 avg. pace
  • 5.18 avg. speed
  • 580 feet climbed
  • 1757 calories burned
  • 154.2 lbs.
  • 580 feet climbed