running (37)

New Work on Dipsea Trail

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Going up to “Cardiac” section of trail last week. The Dipsea Race, from Mill Valley, Calif, to Stinson Beach, was first run on 1905 and is the oldest cross-country race in the USA.

The second from left photo is a rock channel for water runoff.

Some agency (California Conservation Corps?) is doing some heads-up trail work. (Although I hope they don’t “improve” the root-enhanced upper section shown in photo at right.)

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Injury # 163

There’s a line in Hank Williams’s “Why Don’t You make Up Your mind,” where he says “The hide’s gettin’ scace” (pronounced “skayce”), meaning scarce. I don’t know why, but it’s stuck in my mind for years. In the song he’s moaning about difficulties with his girlfriend, but I’ve always thought of the phrase as having to do with the body getting hurt.

My latest was tearing some shoulder muscles last week. No, not again! My body feels so battered from a lifetime of activity. — sports, carpentry, adventures. Thank god I wasn’t the football star I wanted to be. Yet still — operations on both knees, right shoulder, right wrist (carpal tunnel) and the capper, a bad broken arm a year ago–all since turning 70.

OK so I’m whining here, but I’m on an up-note. After moping and gimping around for a week, dreading another operation, visiting the doc, dealing with pain, suddenly it turned a corner. Must have been the red wine in the evenings (plus big doses of Ibuprofen). But all of a sudden I could raise my arm halfway. Yeah! I’m gonna get better. Two things to convey here:

1. You always get better. Pretty much. So no matter how deeply depressed you are when injured, it’s gonna get better if you do the right stuff.

2. Don’t give up. Get right back out there on that bike, surfboard, trail, slope — maybe with more caution and care. Because you’re gonna lose it if you don’t use it.

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Close Encounters With Creatures Medium and Small on Warm Summer Night

I went on a slow 4-mile run on a coastal trail the other evening. A skunk ambled across, then cottontails, one after the other. These little rabbits seem to have proliferated. I counted 9 of them in all. A young deer stood stock still as I went by, his ears revolving and tracking me like radar antennas. At a hillside pond, swallows were swooping down to skim the water, picking up insects and leaving ripples on the smooth surface.

Driving home along the coast that night, I spotted the wily coyote that I’ve seen before, standing by the side of the road. “Let the Juke Joint Jump” by Koko Taylor was playing on the radio. I backed up so the coyote was about 20 feet from my rolled-down window and turned up the volume. He stayed right there—his first experience with the blues. Fittingly, this song is on Koko’s album titled Force of Nature.

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Coyotes Singing in Full Moon

Actually 2 days before the full moon, but it was bright last night. I headed out on my usual Tuesday night solo run—well, vigorous hike is more like it. Beach beautiful, with a 100-foot long glistening inland pond in moonlight, no one there, I had one of those almost chilling moments, surrounded by such beauty, alone, waves breaking, negative ions up the kazoo, super energizing of chi

I started out in a down parka and gloves, brrrr…I don’t feel like going out into the cold night, but as always, the heart likes to pump, and pretty soon I take off the parka and gloves and climb the hills in a t-shirt. Circulation, circulation, circulation…

As I came back down into the valley, a coyote startled me. It was so close, and so beautiful. There were 2 of them close by and another at a distance. They were singing. Totally. One did a yodel, starting high, then breaking voice down to lower sustained note. Then a distant coyote would respond. Oh my!

I heard this about Australian aborigines: the smoke signals don’t contain the message. Rather, they’re a notice to a group maybe a few miles away to tune into psychic forces and get a telepathic message. Wow!

On the way home, moonlight streaming across the ocean, on Little Steven’s Underground Garage (Sirius): “Beautiful Delilah” by the Kinks, followed by Chuck Berry doing same (his) song.
https://grooveshark.com/s/Beautiful+Delilah/2725La?src=5

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Dissing Authoritarianism

A friend of mine, an older runner, told me this story. He was heading south up into the coastal trail from the new Muir Beach parking lot last week. It was dark. He was heading on a route that he and his friends have been running for decades. There was a  new sign posted saying “No Entry After 6PM.” He saw a ranger’s SUV parked in the lot. Uh-oh.

   As he crossed the bridge, 2 rangers were approaching him with flashlights. As he got closer to them, one said, “Hey you can’t go out here.” He kept running. They probably expected him to stop, but as he pulled up abreast of them, he sprinted. “Hey, you, STOP!” — shining their lights in his eyes. He flew past them and kept running. He felt good, like he was a kid again, as their shouts receded in the distance.

   He says he’s tired of the increasingly intrusive and aggressive attempts at control by rangers. Sure, there are things you shouldn’t do in a national park, like chain sawing or dirt bike riding or disturbing seals during mating season, but a solo runner leaves no trace, bothers no one.

   He says he’s not going to submit to rangers’ questions or follow their orders anymore. He’s gonna run.

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Shoulders and Knees, Oh Please

It’s been almost 4 months since my shoulder surgery, and a few days ago, I realized the tendon was finally reconnected to the bone and strengthening. Yahoo! Yesterday I was talking to Elmer Collett, former 49er guard and neighbor, about how when you’ve got an injury, it seems like it’ll never heal and then, one day, voila! You’re on the plus side of the situation. He knew exactly what I meant.

I had a bit of a setback, let it rest, then started doing rehab exercises, and in the last few days have started using my Vasa Trainer, a pulley type device for swimmers and surfers, which approximates paddling, and it felt OK. I’m gonna be able to surf again, not just sit on the beach or cliff and wistfully watch the action.

It was a dramatic change, in both function and mood.

The recoverability of the human body is awesome. Dr. Henry Bieler, in his great book “Food Is Your Best Medicine,” has a chapter titled “The Magnificent Human Body.” And so it is.

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