Thursday, June 24, 2010

Running again. The Adventures of "Wrong Turn" Rick.

Since I've just now sky-rocketed over the 10 view mark on this blog (almost all from my own computer), I know I must be onto something. And since my largest audience - beyond myself - is probably immediate family and longtime friends, you all know a fair amount about me before having even read a word of this blog. For instance, most everyone here, or from Facebook knows that I had been training for the San Francisco Marathon until I strained/tore some ligaments in my left leg back in April/early May (this is all just a guess, since, as I mentioned before, I'm stubborn and don't go to doctors). Taking the necessary time off to recoop turned out to be about an 8 week process. While I was able to still go to the gym, my actual running went from about 30-40 miles a week down to ZERO.

That was until early last week. I was moving something from my car and jogged over to it realizing that for the first time in two months, I didn't feel any pain in my leg and was completely ecstatic. My first full mile came after a workout at 24 which I figured would be a nice cool-down and recovery from the lifting and cardio. It took me 11:20 and felt amazing. Granted, I was walking the first bit and took it VERY slow as a matter of precaution not to blow out my leg - again.

With the confidence of my pain free-run, my all but dashed hopes of running the marathon had returned. Of course, preparing for a marathon in just over 5 weeks is a sure fire way to injure yourself and swear off running for good. As a result, I contacted some of the administrators of the SF Marathon and was able to change the event to the HALF marathon. 13.1 miles, is a lot more feasible than the 26.2 mile, full marathon, given my lack of adequate prep time.

SO, over the last week or so I've been running every other day and getting my distance back up gradually. I'm sure it went something like this - 1 mile the first day, 2.5 the next, 3.5, 4.25, and 6.25 today. It took me just over an hour to complete the 6.25 miles today, but as I said, I'm taking it easy. Though it has been hard for me to understand, I have to come to grips with the fact that I'm not going to win the race. For me, it's now become something that I just need to prove to myself I can do - especially after an injury.

Point of this post being, I'm back to running. And as a treat to my followers, I'll be chronicling my random adventures with pictures from my wrong turns and certain mishaps along the way. Let's see what I came out with today.

This is Billy Goat hill at the top of 29th/30th in Noe Valley. There is a rad (read: dangerous) little rope swing that I will for sure be hitting sometime in the coming summer months.

Then there was this place. It was definitely somebody's home, and when I ran by - no joke - there were the sounds of somebody banging some native sounding drums. I can only hope there wasn't some sort of spirit cast on me for taking a picture.

After running to the top of Noe Valley, I turned South-East and headed back down to the Outer-Mission/Excelsior - not the best neighborhood, but whatever - I'm sort of Mexican, so I figure I got cred. I finally came out down by the Alemany Farmer's Market where I was greeted with a little "choose your own adventure" type mission:

From what I can guess, I went the Peralta way. Those yellow "houses" in the back happen to be a pretty sweet little housing project with some nice views of the Bay, and the requisite crack deals, I'm sure.

I also found this gem while getting ready to pass under the 101. On the day the iPhone 4 came out, Metro PCS is still servin' fools with the 40 buck a month plan. PERIOD.

After heading under the freeway, and seeing some rather blatant urination and human feces, I continued out into the Bayview/Industrial area for some less crowded/much more eerie running. Along the way, I found a couple of things that made me rather excited:

TILLAMOOK! I mean, I don't even really like cheese, but Tillamook is shittin' on the rest of it. Plus, they've got awesome billboards like this. I mean, "LOVE LOAF," come on...

Finally I saw this up on the hill between Bayview and Hunter's Point:

I mean, come on homie...If you were trying to let everyone know the secret to getting 30 lives in the Contra video game for Nintendo, you were WAY off. Appreciate the effort though.

After that I turned and headed the mile and a half back home, to make for a decent, albeit unorthodox 6.25 mile loop from my house with some good hills and some decent vistas. Legs felt good after a couple miles and through the remainder, so we'll see how it comes. Until next time...

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