Monthly Archives: April 2008

Between Trips

I just got back from a few days in San Francisco to visit the kids and tomorrow I’m off to Iron River in the U.P. for a memorial service on Saturday. The trip to San Francisco was lots of fun and the trip to the U.P. will be not so much fun, but it will be nice to visit with old friends and talk about the good memories we all have about our friend, Jack Sorby.

Matt and Anna spent a few days babysitting their father in San Francisco, so I guess turn-about is fair play. I fought with myself about taking running clothes with me. I knew if I took them, I would run and, with the recent injury to my left hamstring, that wouldn’t be smart. I walked a lot, sometimes alone and sometimes with Matt and Anna. The walks seemed to stretch out the offending muscle and it must have done some good ‘cuz I ran five miles Tuesday and this morning with zero pain.

One of the walks was on a trail along Alpine Lake, just north of the city in Marin County. The first two miles of the trail looked flat on the map, but it went up and down due to small ravines and ridges going down to the lake. It reminded me of the trails that some of the Trilanders will be doing this week at the Pinckney Half Marathon. After that two miles, the trail turned up the hill (I suppose it was a mountain, but it was a small one in the coastal range) and continued up for .9 miles gaining 800 feet elevation. It was chilly (mid fifties) and windy, but Matt and I were both sweating profusely by the time we reached the top.

We walked along a ridge on a fire trail for 1.4 miles before we headed straight down, giving back the 800 feet elevation we worked so hard for, to where we started. It was a total of 5.2 miles and we were both bushed by the time we got back. We had lost enough in fluids that we thought it best to head straight for Marin Brewing Company to replace fluids and have a sandwich. As we passed San Quentin prison, I waved to Scott Peterson. For what he did, he doesn’t deserve to have that nice a view.

Sunday evening, Matt, Tonya and I went to a beer dinner. No…it wasn’t a dinner made strictly out of beer…it was some very elegant food paired with some out-of-this-world beers. I hope I didn’t embarrass Matt and Tonya too much when I referred to the Citrus Cured Curraun Blue Sea Trout as raw fish, or when I tasted some of the pate-based appetizers and made an awful face like a little baby that tastes pureed peas for the first time. Actually, the food was excellent and much of it was new to me. I haven’t traveled in the circles of duck breast served rare and caviar that costs more than a good pair of running shoes, but I’m learning. I am slowly acquiring a taste for some of the sour beers and there were quite a few. The alcohol content of the pairings seemed to increase as the night went on with Avery Brewing’s The Beast Grand Cru and Lost Abbey’s Older Viscosity in the 12-14% range. Yes, we took a cab there and back.

Just (Missing The Kids Already) Jack

Another Flat Tire

Sometimes runners refer to their legs as their “wheels”, so keeping that in mind, I’ve had another flat tire. I’ve fought with that hip problem for over a year and I’m finally free from pain. I’ve been ramping up the running mileage, but not so fast that my body can’t take it. I’ve tried to be smart about it and increase the distance by small increments. And I know better than to increase the speed too fast, so I’ve kept things at a slow pace.

I had a meeting Thursday morning at 10 and decided not to get up and run early. I wanted to give my body a chance to wake up and it also gave me a chance to run some errands. The meeting lasted until noon, so by 12:30 I was out on the road. It had just started to lightly sprinkle and the wind was blowing, so it wasn’t a great day, but it was a whole lot warmer than most of the winter runs. I started off slow and didn’t increase the speed since I figured it would take a while to warm up.

About a mile into the run, on a flat stretch of city streets, I felt my left hamstring knot up with a shooting pain just above the back of my knee. I limped to a stop and walked about a dozen steps. I thought it may just be a twinge so I started to jog again. After about ten steps I knew it was injured. I thought I could walk the rest of my run route, but the more I walked the more sore it got. I started directly home and, by the time I got there, I was in pain and I could tell the muscle was knotted up.

I talked to my trainer, Bill Bradley, on Friday and he said to not run on it for a few days and schedule a massage to get the knot released, which I plan to do tomorrow. So this morning, when we met to do our Sunday morning cruise, I wrapped it in an ace bandage (the six inch kind just like Bill prescribed) and started walking. As I watched the entire group go off running, I could see devil jack sitting on one shoulder looking like a huge gargoyle and I could hear him say, “Go ahead and run a while. Bill can’t see you and you’re tough enough to get past the pain”. On the other shoulder was little tiny smart jack, barely visible, and I heard him say, “Don’t be stupid. You’re first race isn’t until July and, even if it takes a while to heal and you miss that race, it isn’t worth aggravating an injury and making it worse”. I went against my instinct and listened to smart jack.

I got back an hour earlier than anyone else and, when they did get back, I didn’t have any stories about how tough the run was or how steep the hills were. There were several of us sitting at the dining room table at Tom and Corrine’s eating the weekly brunch. You all know I don’t hear well when there is background noise, so I was off in my own little world a good share of the time. All of a sudden Becky, who was sitting on my bad ear side, said something about once having a cookie on her behind. I’m not sure why I heard that and, since people were still eating, no one wanted to hear how it got there, but she told us anyway.

That was on the heels of a conversation we had Friday evening after Becky had stopped at Fall Creek to have a couple of drinks with people she worked with. She was crocheting and talking with Jean while having a couple of glasses of wine. Again, out of the blue, she started talking about how she didn’t like the number three because it was an odd number and she only liked even numbers. She went on to say that she also didn’t like the number eight (I always thought eight was even) but did like seven (I always thought seven was odd). Tom Strumberger and I had brewed a batch of Tripel Karmeliet Ale all day and I was thinking the fumes must have gotten to me. It made perfect sense to Jean, so what do I know?

I’m off to San Francisco for a few days. I fly out on Wednesday and fly back the following Monday. I’ll be able to walk a lot and may do some light jogs around the park if it feels better. Jean has been sick with whatever crud has been going around for the past few days. She wasn’t able to go to work on Friday, but Saturday she was able to muster up enough strength to ride her bike trainer two hours followed by a transition run. She said she felt better afterward but started failing again later in the day. This morning she gritted her teeth and was able to do her two hour run in town. She must be consulting with a different trainer than mine or is only listening to devil jean.

Just (On The Mend Again And Getting Tired Of It) Jack