Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sleep Running, Blue Moon and ARTPOP

There is something so deep and intense about exercising late at night when traffic is at a minimum, most normal people are home in their warm abodes and a dark quiet peace encapsulates everything. It quiets the nerves and quiet is what I absolutely need at this moment.
I had a horrible day and it all had to do with close proximity to angry, over the top hostile and hating humans. I think I'm just burning out with the pitiful, deplorable condition of having to exist in a decaying urban environment.
Aside from that I've just had a few setbacks recently and needed to get back to some reality checks in my life.
To jump ahead and not wallow in my day's conflagrations...

I remember back around 2008/2009 getting into a lot of night riding with my friends. Although maybe somewhat dangerous, there's just something about the quietness, the night air, the lack of traffic people and light just makes for a deep, may I say spiritual vibe. I feel connected with the Universe, disconnected from the vicissitudes that have weighed me down throughout the day...Freedom.

As soon as I crossed Van Ness Boulevard and entered into lower Pacific Heights it was suddenly like a warm blanket was put over my shoulders. The music in my ears and over it I could here the barely discernible pat on the pavement as my Newtons whisked me along the sidewalks and pavement. It reminded me of how my puppies run along side me which made me wish they were with me.

I crossed Divisadero and climbed out towards outer Pacific Heights and the Presidio and yet further into the quiet and darkness. Peace, finally.
As I dipped down into 25 Ave to Seacliff and the beginning climb up to the Presidio and the view of the Golden Gate bridge I understood the feeling that and UltraMarathoner feels running miles and miles in the night and the stillness. I want this. Although it was only an eleven mile run, it seemed timeless, endless at least for the time I was in the moment.

I descended from the bridge and down to the base of the bridge. I hopped a fence with a sign that said "Closed: Keep out".
and I ran some more to "Hoppers Hands" and stopped for a moment to breath in the view.
Finally I ran towards home, down along the beach in the moonlight along Chrissy field and Marina Green and my mind just wandered into that beautiful peaceful state between reality and dreams...timelessness. Even though I was really tired my feet kept moving and up back over the hills.
I think my training and base are enough that I really feel as though my legs are at the point of running by themselves and not of need for any kind of brain to micro manage them. Kind of like riding a horse. 

I stopped along Polk street to get a vitamin water and had trouble wrapping my head back around reality as I fumbled through my wallet like I was stoned.
I walked home the few blocks and drank my water. I slowly fell back into reality and as I passed the drunks, crackheads and homeless, my reality check took hold.

I don't have it that bad. I'm very lucky and I really appreciate these times to get away and escape what these poor souls can't. If only they knew about this wonderful high that is available to them...their lives would change. I know that mine has...


Just a thought that came to me and reminded me of when I had been going through a horrible depression and the moment I snapped out of it...

One of the greatest moments in my life was the moment I shut my mouth, opened my ears and eyes, stepped aside and let the giant wave of youthful artists by me to take the wheel and venture down that road with reckless abandon, as I once did...a long time ago...

I've been anticipating Lady Gaga's new album. I know some of my friends just don't get my obsession, and fascination with her but, she's really a symbol of the feeling I've stated above. No one really knows how she saved me and may never know a lot of the other reasons which I may just keep to myself that she helped me deal with.
Life is complicated and many persons, places and things hold great value to us and maybe in only a way that we understand and no on else does.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peaking With The Wrong Sport...Visit to Dr. Mike Lee

I knew Friday morning when I painfully struggled to get out of bed that I was in for a rough road ahead if I didn't do something soon for my ancient decrepit body. Since taking up running my injuries seem to be many and cumulative. What started as a work related injury to my back has now put stress on all the physical components through my him thighs, legs and so on. After a referral from a tenant in my building I decided to swing by "Dr. Mike's". A local Chiropractor who is somewhat highly regarded. I limped into the office which was 2 blocks away and as I was speaking to receptionist Dr. Mike popped his head in through the doorway and gave me a friendly greeting. After explaining my tale of woe, he had me fill out the usual pages of information and releases.

After completing the forms I was invited into his office and we started talking about my recent and past athletic exploits. As I was talking to him I gazed over his shoulder and low and behold a picture of Dr. Mike running across the finish line at the Anchorage Marathon! Nice! I said. "You're a runner"?
"I sure am"! He replied.

I then realized I was in good hands.

We talked of "IT bands, hip flexor, hamstrings and all the standard running issues runners have to deal with.
After a quick exam of my back he informed me that I have "Scoliosis". He explained how this would throw everything off kilter. After reading more about this I discovered that the great marathoner "Bill Rogers" has the same issue so, not to worry, he's still plugging along at 63 years old.

I've been to Chiropractors before so it wasn't all new to me. It was the standard fair of intense local heat on the effected areas, vibrating table with spine mas-sager. I will say the atmosphere was very relaxing with very soft spa music, quiet and typical Asian calming vibe. 

Dr. Mike is a bit slight in build so I was interested how he was going to manipulate my gangling neanderthal body around...

There were no surprises but, his technique was superb and professional. By the time he was done I felt like I had just smoked a bit of the reefer and all the pain had been vanquished! I realized at that point how bad my back had gotten.

I slept really well last night and other than having to get up at 2 in the morning to go out and break up parties in two of the buildings I manage, I felt pretty decent this morning.

I felt energetic and decided to head out on the bike and do a local high intensity ride to Daley City, around Lake Merced and back. I think I ended up getting more personal records than I can remember. If I'm feeling like this next week when I run the Santa Rosa Marathon I'll be happy. Tomorrow I'm going to try a short run and see how the hip flexors are holding up.

Back pain has arrived again. Probably over did it Saturday on the high intensity ride.
My big goal today was to spend time with my three daughters (of the canine variety). It's rare that I get a day now with just my three doggies so, I wanted to take advantage of it. We had a great time and took a mystery walk through the Western addition and up to Japan town then, returned. They were toast and went into deep nap mode on their return home. It freed me up to take a run and test the waters.

I felt pretty tired from yesterday's ride but just forged ahead and trotted off towards the Bridge. I couldn't get any speed up and the back was really painful. At mile 5 my hip flexor pain returned but since I was getting close to the bridge I figured what the Hell...just go for it.
I ended up getting 8.5 miles in and if this is any indicator of how I'll be next week then I'm kind of in deep shit. With my injuries I don't think I'll get a Boston qualifying time in Santa Rosa but, at this point I just want the medal...It's beautiful and even if I have to walk the last 10 miles I'll do it.

Probably the reason I'm in bad shape for running is I really didn't take a break after the SF Marathon and kept up the same level of training..."Stupid".
After next weekend it's 2 weeks off running and just riding the bike only. After which I begin trail running training for the Fall and plan to gain some weight and get back to the Gym...I'm getting a bit thin and starting to burn a bit of muscle that I can't afford to lose which could be the source of my running injuries. 

I'm liking the Dr. Mike visits though. Hopefully I can afford to keep it up.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Saturday Jump Start

I'm anxious to get back to a regular training schedule including more cycling. Today I kind of got the itch to maybe sign up for some races. As I started out on my Saturday ride in the cold and fog, I wasn't really enthused with riding across the bridge and decided to ride local. It was my fortune to run into one of my friends who just happens to be a Cal masters state champion competitive cyclist. He was out getting warmed up for a race coming up on Sunday.

 Accompanied by some of his riding buddies who looked pretty formidable! I rode by them and immediately turned around, caught up and asked if they didn't mind me riding along...even though I was on my one speed, they said fine.

I kind of knew I was asking for it but, surely this would be the workout I needed. I wasn't disappointed. Even though the were somewhat taking it easy the day before their race, it was still a bit of a hammer fest for me on my cannonball on wheels. At one point we rode up "Lovers Lane" which is a particular steep grind. I couldn't keep the momentum up and just got of the bike and ran up it which was actually much faster. As I've said before I really like the work out I get on a one speed. It works well with my running although it puts me at a bit of a disadvantage with the road bike guys.
I ended up having a great time and we mostly talked about running. My friend Chris comes from the running world and was just as amazing running as he is with the bike.
I like being around these guys that inspire me. I don't feel intimidated and I'm a bit older than most of my friends. It's kind of interesting that I don't have a whole lot of friends my age. I guess that's a good thing for forcing me to work harder at my athleticism.

Tomorrow I run and plan on doing some tempo work. I'm looking forward to The Santa Rosa Marathon, although the logistics and costs will be a bit of an issue, I'm really interested in seeing how I'll do for my second Marathon with less elevation than the SF Marathon. I think after this event I may concentrate on some shorter Fall races and some trail running. If I qualify for the Boston Marathon than I'll have a whole new set of plans and a new direction plotted out for my winter.

In the meantime work has been OK, although I'm taking yet another huge financial hit. I need to make it work somehow. I'm really inspired to take time and train to be an amateur athlete and see how far I can go.
I may get burned out with it all but, I can always come back to the music after all...

The dogs are so happy with their new home and the dog care has been somewhat steady and helping with the financial imbalances.The dogs are so happy with their new home and the dog care has been somewhat steady and helping with the financial imbalances.