running (42)

Barefoot Running/Groovin' Up Slowly

Last night I took off to meet my running buddies at Muir Beach. It was drizzling lightly as I drove along the coast. The Beatles were doing “Come Together” on Sirius radio, what a song! It’s great to hear music many years later, with a different perspective.

“Here come old flat top

He come groovin’ up slowly

He got joo joo eyeballs

He one holy rollers

He got hair down to his knee

Got to be a joker

He just do what he please…”

Ay, we miss you, John!

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100 year-old man completes marathon, started running at 89

“The most impressive performance at a Toronto marathon Sunday was turned in by the man who came in last place – and is 100 years old.

   Fauja Singh completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in approximately eight hours, making him the oldest person ever to finish one of the 26.2-mile races.

   It was the eighth marathon for Singh, who was born India in 1911 and did not start running marathons until he was 89, after he moved to England following the death of his wife and son. He says not smoking or drinking alcohol throughout his life, combined with a vegetarian diet and up to 10 miles of walking or running per day are the secrets to his health.…”

Discovered by Rick Gordon

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Foggy night on the coast

It rained bigtime Tuesday. 1½” here, real late and unusual for this time of year in California. After running along the coast a ways Tuesday night (solo these days), then splashing along in the surf on the beach, running back to the inn and jumping in all the puddles on the way hee-hee), I ducked underwater in the creek, then had a Guinness on tap with the boys, a Gemütlichkeit night in the pub, celtic music playing softly. The rain had stopped and on the way home north along the coast, the fog was so thick it was like crawling through a tunnel. Having grown up in San Francisco, the fog is a friend.

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From mountain spirit to ocean spirit

It’s been a HUGE thing for me to quit running (competitively, that is). If my knees hadn’t sent up distress signals, I’d probably still be out on the trails. But, having once given up competition, and the need to keep up with my running mates, a whole new world has opened up.
Week after week, year after year, I wanted to stay in good enough shape to run a decent 10K, and in recent years, I trained for (or obsessed over, as is the wont of true Dipsea racers) the Dipsea Race. But once I realized I couldn’t do that any more, once that obligation was lifted, I found a ton of things to do — and locally — that I’d been neglecting — beach combing, paddleboarding, surfing, fishing, clamming, harvesting seaweed. Back to the beach, which was my main focus for some 30 years, before I got into running. Coastal adventures.
Just going out on my old Montare bike last night, and walking on the beach — no aerobic training necessary. I can run on the beach, but not RUN. Running for the joy of it, no need to get a training effect. Way different.
I’ve rediscovered the ocean. From mountain spirit back to ocean spirit as my main focus in nature. Life is pretty darn rich.
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Jamie Rivers wins 101st annual Dipsea Race

That’s Jamie Rivers, who won her second Dipsea race yesterday. On the right is Jerry Hauke, who was for many years, the race director. Jamie’s club, the Pelican Inn Track Club, won the team trophy — breaking a 34-year streak for the Tamalpa Runners club.

The Dipsea is the oldest cross-country race in America. Details here.

It was with a certain amount of sadness that I watched the race yesterday. I’ve been running it for about 20 years, and last year was my last. As I explained to my friends, I want to able to walk when I’m 95. After having both knees operated on, I’ve recovered well, but more years of too-fast downhill running (to make up for slow uphills) promised continued loss of knee cartilage. I don’t want artificial knees. I want to be able to walk as long as I live.

I got up as usual at 6, had tea, and drove over the hill to Mill Valley. I didn’t jump in the cold creek under the waterfall, my former pre-race ritual — tuning into the mountain spirits. I didn’t have the butterflies-in-stomach pre-race jitters, or have to endure the pain of anaerobic distress, or worry about which shortcuts to take — but gosh darnit, I missed it. As everyone milled around at Stinson Beach after the race, I missed the burning in the quads, the muscle soreness, the feeling of accomplishment of being part of a great tradition.

Ah well, onwards and outwards. And congratulations to the red hot runners of the Pelican Inn Track Club.

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Running, squid-ink pasta, and NYC pix last night

 I headed out for dinner around 8 last night. For once I wasn’t lugging my backpack, just the fanny pack. Wearing my Asics trail running shoes, I felt light, again reflecting on the skills of running being useful in navigating city streets. Also thinking that being mobile is one of the greatest abilities to possess, being able to walk as one gets, um, older.

Running friends: pay attention to the cartilage in your knees. I quit running before I was down to bone-on-bone and I was thanking my lucky stars as I moved along at a pretty fast pace last night. I want to be able to walk as long as I’m breathing. It was a warm night and as I went up 5th Ave, there was a rosy sunset glow over the Hudson, looking west down the numbered streets.

It’s now early morning and Howlin Wolf is singing, “I’m built for comfort, ain’t built for speed…” via Sirius radio on my iPad. Last night I had Linguine Nero, pasta made with squid ink, ay Cafe Pescatore, a great Italian restaurant on 2nd and 50th and 2 glasses of Nero Davila red wine. Ummm!

Here are some shots from last night:

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