Monday, May 23, 2005

Now, the narrative

A bowl of vegetable beef soup is out of the microwave (Campbell's Chunky--the soup so thick, it eats like a meal), and I am ready to go.

The bike ride went ok, even though I was a little disappointed by the extent of my leg soreness during it. (Yes, rides are a lot easier in Chicago than they are in San Francisco, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who is remotely familiar with the topography of those two cities, but this one was harder than my previous rides in SF.) It was my first ride in awhile, so top shape shouldn't have been expected, but I had assumed that my successes in running would carry over to the world of biking. Nonetheless, it was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon, even if I had trouble not thinking about work while I was supposed to be out communing with nature. Of course, the US 101 corridor and the crowded bayfront promenade of Sausalito don't really qualify as nature, but they at least head in that direction. At Mill Valley I started heading up Hwy 1 with the brief thought that I could ride all the way to Stinson Beach, but I soon realized I was in no condition to scale that peak and then ride all the way back. So that's one goal for the short term--be more of a badass on the bike and tack on the extra 20 miles and something like a 1,500' climb that that loop would entail.

By "successes in running," I'm referring to the fact that last Sunday I ran in the annual Bay To Breakers race with a reasonable amount of vigor for someone who hasn't been in the best shape lately and because I did not feel like collapsing at the end. So, I'm getting in shape to some degree, and I'm sort of eating better. California will do that to you. (Digression: Even though I've long been a stalwart opponent of Coastal Snobbery, I have to admit that there are number of wonderful things about life out here. I'm still not ready to concede to the east coast snobs, though.)

If you've never run in a race, I recommend it. All that running crap actually starts to get fun and you feel so very healthy at the end. It's like you're body just gets all lean within the course of an hour. Sitting at Ocean Beach at the end and listening to the waves crash was a great way to end it, too. Also, if you ever live near a road race, play some music. It's amazing how much just a few measures of some high-energy electronica can boost one's mood while running. And the other thing that works is shouted cheers. It's really hard to believe that a few trite words of encouragement from a complete stranger (e.g., "You're doin' good! Keep going!") can make a difference, but after a sufficient amount of sweat they actually start to mean something. "Yes, I really am doing well," you start to think to yourself, and your mood swings up at a high velocity.

But I'm convinced that the only way I'll be able to keep running (and thus to stay in shape) is to keep having races looming ahead. So today I went and signed up for the first half of the San Francisco Marathon on July 31st. I found this training schedule at the top of Google's list. It looks like I'm in Week 3 of the program, and thus I should find a 3.5 mile run for tomorrow. So, goal number 2: train for and complete 1/2 marathon.

I meant to write about things other than exercise, but they'll have to wait for a bit as it's getting late and I need to turn over a new leaf with this going to bed thing. I need multiple new leaves for various things, in fact, but that's for another day.


At 10:55 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Congratulations on the race! I admire your ambition. Be sure to update about your 1/2 marathon efforts.


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