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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’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

Got off early from work yesterday and was able to go and do a 4 o’clock yoga class at the SOMA Gold’s with Michael Hubbard.  A little insurance for missing Warriors Choice Yoga today, which I did because I hung out around the flat watching World Cup and drinking cocktails, cooking and not feeling any overwhelming compulsion or urgency to do anything constructive.  That shit can wait.  Yesterday’s yoga confirmed that I am not an after work workout person.  I felt myself dozing off whenever I was left with my eyes closed and unattended.  The class lacked that spiritual ooziness that I’m seeking in a yoga practice, but the flow was dynamic and hit some spots that needed some work.  I find it is always good to try another instructor as it usually opens me up from the comfort zone of familiar posturing, but I have to say my core yoga instructors rock.

I did manage to get a run in with my activity partner who as of today has graduated to becoming my training partner now that he has established a solid 6 mile base.  I was an hour late for our 9am run because I was constipated, cramped and bloated from the bag of chips and salsa I had for dinner last night cos I was too tired to prepare the roast.  We did the same industrial loop that takes in the last 3 miles of the San Francisco Marathon course and he ran it quite fast.  My GPS failed on me again and I am trying to remedy it now with a reinstall but collating the numbers later, Cameron ran a 10:23 mile pace, so he is getting good.  I’m impressed.

So what’s up now is it is time to taper.  I’m feeling like I need to do a longish run tomorrow so I’m gonna try to get to the beach and back from the Castro Gold’s after Yogayama which I think will be taught by Anita, my Sunrise Yoga instructor now that Ben has had some resolution to exiting yoga instruction altogether.

Got up for my quick workout in my Saturday Morning Slot.  SOMA Gold’s opens up at 7am and I have to be at the shop at 9 so 10-15 minutes on the recumbent bike and 30-40 minutes with the free weights and core seem to do the trick.  Also I’ve started twirling the staff, getting Father Time prepared for the year’s transition when the situation in the tavern or on the street devolves to a point where martial skills play better in closer quarters than wizardly ones.  Today was 2 miles in 10 minutes on the recmubent bike and 35 minutes weights, core and staff.

I’m tapering for the San Francisco Marathon now, so all I need do is maintain my fitness level and stay healthy until race day 2 Sundays away.

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