running (42)

Skateboarding, the Whole Earth Catalog at MOMA, bread and sushi in Manhattan

Photo by Walt Denson

A blast from the west coast: today I’m sitting on the bus after a long (and productive) day at Book Expo America, and I check my email on the iPad, and there’s a message from my friend Hans with a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, showing me skateboarding in a weekly column called “Healthy Obsession.”

Yesterday I went to see an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art Library on the Whole Earth Catalog and other books from the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s, including our Domebook 2. It’s a nice exhibit, with maybe 50-60 books, and it’s a blast to look back at those days and see the newsprint books we were producing about what was going on. 1st photo below is an early WEC; 2nd photo is Domebook 2 at top and Steve Baer’s Dome Cookbook (which actually preceded the WEC) at lower right.

(See Wikipedia on the WEC.)

One thing about all my years’ running is, I can navigate city streets pretty well. I’ve always told my kids, “Watch the cars, not the lights. New Yorkers cross against red lights en masse when there’s a break in traffic. I saw a mother with a kid in a stroller crossing on a red light. (Kind of reminds of a time years ago when I heard a mother in a park playground here tell her kid, “If you don’t get over heah I’m gonna break yer ahm!”)

I love this chain of restaurants here called Le Pain Quotidien. A great bakery, and breakfast and lunch. A lot of the food is organic, everything is freshly baked, and tables are broad-planked pine with one 35-foot long community table, and motif of a French farmhouse kitchen.Had fabulous sushi last night across from the Beacon Theater at Fusha. Four sushi chefs dressed in all black were putting sushi together with lightning hand speed. I said to the guy next to me at the counter, “They could make a movie of these guys,” and he said, “It’s better live.”

Post a comment (1 comment)

Our first E-Book: Marathon: You Can Do It! by Jeff Galloway

Our computermeister Rick Gordon has done a beautiful job converting Jeff Galloway’s best-selling book on marathons into E-book form. It looks way better than any other E-book on running, and in fact better, in its graphics, charts, and colors than just about anything on the iPad. It also works on the iPhone, iPod, and Kindle.
Runners who travel can take their training charts along, even on the iPhone.
Jeff Galloway’s website:
Post a comment

Layering, music, running, sk8ing

Layering for the cold: Yesterday I managed to get up at 6 AM – needed to get work done on tiny homes book before heading over the hill – dark and cold at that hour. We have very little heat in the production studio, so I wear layers. Silk t-shirt, other layers of various wool shirts*. Gloves with open fingers for typing. Yesterday I had on 7 layers. Lesley came out and draped one of her homemade coats on me. (She dyed and wove the fabric, then made the coat), So I had on 8 layers. Plus my Cowichan warmest-of-hats with ear flaps (from Hill’s Native Art).

*My favorite article of clothing of all time is my Icebreaket Sport 320 shirt, which I wear every cold day (all winter).

Music on the mountain: Took off around 9 for Mill Valley, sun was out, yahoo, powdery blue skies, sun reflecting off water in the lagoon, felt warm, John Lee Hooker singing Chill Out (Things is Gonna Change), perfect. On the road again…

As I drove, I was thinking of the “downturn:” Fact is, we (Americans) were way over-consuming. It couldn’t go on. Plus the money-savvy pricks , with Bush & Co. leading the way, caused a huge transfer of wealth to the few.

“It’s not over til it’s over,

And it’s not over yet…”

by Billy Joe Shaver came on, a great song by a great songwriter/singer. Then Lay Down Sally by Eric Clapton, next Good Old Boy (Gettin Tough) by Steve Earle, and I turned up the volume full blast as I went through the redwood trees with dappled sunlight on the mountain road. Creeks were gushing. Little seasonal waterfalls were streaming, the mountain’s alive…

Running at night: I ran by myself south along the coast from Muir Beach last night. I counted  lights of 14 crab boats out there. Best crab season in many years, they’re all over out there, creeping along the ocean bottom. Deep blue black night, here they are once again after all the rains: Orion, the glittering Pleiades, and my boy Taurus. A beautiful night. I’m running lightly, boy, when you don’t care about speed or training for races, it’s a whole different experience. Went down the ridge to a lookout spot, San Francisco across the water, 1000 feet down to the waves. Place of power.

Pic of Mt. Tam yesterday driving into Mill Valley

Oh yeah, I got on my skateboard for the first time in 4 months yesterday. Old brown eyes is back.

Post a comment (1 comment)

Wimpin out in the rain

Every Tuesday night, a group of us meet and run. Last night it was raining cats and dogs and 6-7 runners showed up (6PM). No one was complaining about the cold, or being soaked. I was warm in my 5 layers of clothing and sheepskin Ugg boots, and as we talked under umbrellas, I decided not to go. They all took off in good cheer and with headlights and I slunk into the bar and had a Guinness. I felt kinda bad. I know if I’d gone I’d have been exhilarated. Finished my beer and drove home along the coast, wind and water whipping the truck. I knew that if I waited in the bar until they came back, they’d all be bubbling with energy, as happens when you get immersed in the elements, and that would depress me. Why don’t I listen to my own experience, which is that you ALWAYS feel better after doing it. OK, if it’s raining next week I’m going.

Below, the beach in a storm a few days ago.

Post a comment (5 comments)

Rainy day/Oh Boy! Plus running and crabbing…

Lesley’s been telling me for about a week to watch this weeping cherry (Mt Fuji variety) tree, and it went full orange/yellow last night. One inch of rain in last 24 hours. Oh yes!

Last night I went running. Cold, dark night. As I was driving to our Tuesday night run rendezvous spot, I was thinking, “You could just go home and sit by the fire,” but  the fact that other guys would be showing up motivated me.

I got into my Maxit tights and shirt, and with new super headlight, headed south along the coast. Cold at first but in 15 minutes, I started to feel good. By the time I got up to the lookout spot, I had my shirt off.

I could see the lights of about 20 crab boats out in the bay. These guys are tough, working around the clock, then heading into San Francisco when they’re loaded. One real windy night I was sleeping on the beach and I saw a boat out working crab pots. It must have been pitching all over the place, and I could picture these guys swinging heavy crab pots onto the deck, dumping crabs into boxes, rebaiting traps, dropping pots back into the water. Them’s some men, fer shure.

Ran about an hour, kind of reveling in the fact that I don’t have to “train,” I can run for delight, not speed. Boy is it different. By the time I got halfway through the run, my footsteps were almost silent. I’ve been thinking about the Miwok Indians that lived here not so long ago, and how they would have run gently on the trails…

Post a comment (3 comments)

Reborn running

Skateboarding isn’t dangerous. Running is! Running has put me in the hospital twice, and bestowed upon me dozens of injuries over the years. As my knee slowly and surely heals, I’ve been rethinking my future running career. Hey, I want to run another 30 years.

Thanks largely to a pretty wonderful book, Born to Run. It’s got me into the idea of “chi running.” Running lightly with minimal foot cushion, feeling the ground. I’m gonna give up running (as) fast (as possible) in favor of running along the trails with more sensitivity, lightly.

Tuesday night was my first run since the operation a month ago. I wore these Sanuk shoes. They’re pretty close to being barefoot, just a bit of cushion, they’re made by surfers. I ran about 4 miles on coastal trails, with a bit of Ron Rahmer-type bushwhacking. It felt good to feel the trail with my feet.

Post a comment (3 comments)

Running for the joy of it…

“Thanx and a tip of the Hatlo hat…” to Stewart Brand/Kevin Kelly for turning me on to Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

“CM: The key secret hit me like a thunderbolt. It was so simple, yet such a jolt. It was this: everything I’d been taught about running was wrong. We treat running in the modern world the same way we treat childbirth—it’s going to hurt, and requires special exercises and equipment, and the best you can hope for is to get it over with quickly with minimal damage.

Then I meet the Tarahumara, and they’re having a blast. They remember what it’s like to love running, and it lets them blaze through the canyons like dolphins rocketing through waves. For them, running isn’t work. It isn’t a punishment for eating. It’s fine art, like it was for our ancestors. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle—behold, the Running Man.

The Tarahumara have a saying: “Children run before they can walk.” Watch any four-year-old—they do everything at full speed, and it’s all about fun. That’s the most important thing I picked up from my time in the Copper Canyons, the understanding that running can be fast and fun and spontaneous, and when it is, you feel like you can go forever. But all of that begins with your feet. Strange as it sounds, the Tarahumara taught me to change my relationship with the ground. Instead of hammering down on my heels, the way I’d been taught all my life, I learned to run lightly and gently on the balls of my feet. The day I mastered it was the last day I was ever injured.…”

Post a comment (2 comments)