Big Sur 2016

For having stopped running a race a month, my average mileage per month sure hasn’t gone down. This time last year I was at 244 miles, this year so far; 339 miles. Almost a hundred more already.

 

This race definitely had something to do with it. I don’t think I over-trained, I did what the schedule called for, however, I was still unprepared. The focus should’ve been on the hill training.

 

It’s hard to explain to somebody who hasn’t run it before because it’s hard to believe how many hills are there. Most races I’ve done strategically course out some hills, and then you kind of know where the relief is going to be. Big Sur didn’t really feel like it ever had a relief. It has a really tough part, somewhere after mile 10 for 2 miles, and then you come down for a bit, but you’re eventually going back up. And down again, and then back up. Which thrashes the legs, again and again. No relief.

 

I had stamina, I could keep going, I was prepared for that. But my legs were not. My legs hurting, I knew if tried to speed it up I would risk doing some damage. Also, the sloping streets after everything else you endure, is rough as hell.

 

Now, having done it, here’s my advice. Get your legs nice and strong, practice hills every training running. There’s all types of ways to strengthen your legs, but they need to be strong. They need to be able to take a thorough beating.

 

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The Olive Tree, pt2

I’ve been saying this for a couple Christmas’s now, but my mom’s said could really benefit from a family tree. Since when I could start remembering faces, Christmas’s were mostly fun, but kind of a mystery in the extended (actually, not extended at all) family department. Now, if i’m having a hard time this old, I can’t see the younger generation keeping up. I already hear the common, “Who the heck is that? I have no idea I she was my aunt. That’s so-and-so?!?! I haven’t seen him in yeeeaaaaaaaars”. Stuff like that. It makes me a little sad. But I’ve decided to do something about it.

 

So how do I go about this. Just make a family tree? No, too simple. Too unresponsive. I want to build something that will live and breath with the family as it grows (and dies). I want something that is functional, something that could be used as a tool for family members to find each other, get in touch with each other. Close the gap and stop using lame excuses for not knowing/seeing each other for decades. But yes, it starts with a simple family tree. With that part almost out of the way, it’s almost time to move one to the next phase. More on that later.

 

Last thing I want to talk about, going through this while process, tracking everyone down and such; I started to think about what family means to me. What does this family mean to me. Over and over again, I think about my life in Fremont, the greater Bay Area, and I was trying to figure out what might be the best way to symbolize this. And I kept thinking of an olive tree. Mission San Jose, Ohlone, Warm Springs, St. Leonard’s,  families houses, hiking, and a ton of other things. I realized I have this memory of this tree that links some of my most favorite and dreaded places together, or rather my memories of them. A messy, kind of bush like, kind of ugly, bountiful olive tree. So I thought I’d start there.

 

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My Top 10 Albums of 2015

 

The simple criteria of this list:

  1. Albums released in 2015.
  2. Albums I listen to in their entirety, lots of times (as opposed to just cherry picking tracks). But I did cherry pick some tracks here 😛
  3. Ranked from favorite to most favorite.

10.  Baroness – Purple

 

Purple got me through tons of late night work with it’s melodic sweetness. It swoons and soars with it’s intricate, complex, pounding tracks. Listen to “Chlorine & Wine”, lighten your day.

9.  Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty

 

Goofy. Fun. A little vapid. But if the goal is perk up the mood a little and lighten spirits, Cage the Elephant nailed it. “Too Late to Say Goodbye” says it all on this album. You can very easily have this one on repeat for a couple hours and not notice.

8.  Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence

 

So damn happy I got to see these guys live this year. I will now see them every-time they are around. “The Apple & The Tree” will give you a good taste.

7.  Elle King – Love Stuff

 

This ones slowly, turning me back on to that twang. I didn’t catch this one until later in the year, but it’s been playing nonstop. “Kocaine Karolina” hits the sweet spot for me.

6.  !!! – As If

 

Three times, I saw these guys this year. Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco. There might have been a fourth, I’m not exactly sure. All I have to say is this: if you can’t dance “Every Little Bit Counts”, you’re a weirdo.

5.  The Chemical Brothers – Born in Echoes

 

I generally like only parts of Chemical Brother’s albums. The albums usually build around a crescendo and then everything else is okay. Not this time. I ran half-marathons to this entire album. There’s disjunctive, anxiety driven beats here that lend itself perfectly to zoning out to a run. “Sometimes I Feel So Deserted” will MAKE you run.

4.  Raury – All We Need

 

It’s funny when an artist practically tells you why you dig them. Hint: It happens during “Woodcrest Manor II”. I REALLY dig this album, it would’ve been my album of the year if it wasn’t for a couple unexpected surprises.

3.  Du Blonde – Welcome Back to Milk

 

Her voice; I’m not sure what she’s trying to pull over on us. It’s not exactly pleasant the more I think about it. But I can’t think of a better example of somebody who just got everything else around them to work for what they were doing. It’s raspy, rough, but mostly an honest fun ride. “After the Show” would be a good example.

2.  U.S. Girls – Half Free

 

I saw a Peaches show this year. Weird. The best part about it though was seeing U.S Girls open. The album itself is a little inconsistent, but Meg Remy… damn. It’s a captivating, deep, soulful thing she does when she goes deep. Really stuck with me, “Woman’s Work” might be my favorite track of the year.

1.  BOOTS – AQUARIA

 

Just listen to it.

End of Run – 12 of 12

CIM 2015

 

Here’s what I learned from running a race a month this year:

 

  1. The more you keep it up, the easier it is to do because you never really fall out of shape. Therefore, it’s not crazy that you can keep doing it. Hence, you keep doing it.
  2. You can be in peak condition, totally physically prepared to run a marathon. But if you aren’t mentally, you’re screwed. You can be mentally prepared for a marathon and not at all physically, and still do it.
  3. I mailed in a lot of these runs, finished, and felt practically the same. The ones I actually tried at were the best.
  4. You can show up pretty hungover to a run and still do a good job. Your “body” on the other hand, will be in terrible shape and your doing yourself incredible harm. I don’t recommend it, having done it a couple times.
  5. I’ve officially graduated to fulls. Something I’d thought I never say: Half-marathons can be pretty fun, in comparison to running a full. Only exactly because you know you’re not running a full.
  6. Any idiot can run a 5k, 10k, half/full. It’s not rocket science, you pick a direction and go. There’s so many things in life you will probably never do: go to the moon, be President of the United States, make a trillion dollars. Running a marathon? Totally do-able. Tired of people saying they can “never” do it.
  7. There are some real annoying runners out there (NOT ALL OF THEM, just some of them). They kind of kill for me (and probably a lot of you).
  8. I’ll run in anything but high wind. That’s when I call it quits.
  9. I hate running in Golden Gate park and the Presidio area.
  10. Running’s always better with a partner.

 

So CIM 2015. It should’ve been my first marathon. Not SF. SF made me want to throw this whole new years resolution of the window. I was mad at running after that. But I kept on and glad I did, because it eventually led me to CIM. I’ve heard all kinds of miserable stories about CIM, mostly because of the weather. And yes, it rained. But it wasn’t as cold and the course itself was extremely forgiving. Totally see why people qualify for Boston with it. I saw parts of Sac I never knew existed and I can say I haven’t seen other cities this excited for runners as this one. If you had to choose you first marathon, make it this one. I had a genuinely good time.

 

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Bernie is a lifesaver, if it wasn’t for her a lot of this running would be a wash 🙂 It’s really, tremendously important to have a good running partner, very thankful for her.

 

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It seemed fitting this last run to begin with Sacramento’s very own !!!. Having seen them a night before for my bday, it was icing on the cake:

 

 

Am I done with running? Definitely not, but most likely done posting about it as the year is about to be up and the resolution has been fulfilled. I am running waaaaaaay less next year,  only committed to 3 races. One of them being Big Sur, which I’m very worried about and will train harder for than any other previous run. Other than those 3 races, don’t count on it.

 

Lastly, I leave you with a track that has played on repeat for some of my runs. Whole album is great, but this track…