Saturday, February 4, 2012

San Francisco: The Pacific and Death & Taxes

           SAN FRANCISCO – I ran to the Pacific Ocean this morning.

I ran under a canopy of stars, from the east end of the Golden Gate Park to the west, along Martin Luther King Drive for four miles, under giant pine trees, under a majestic dead pine with 20 crows in its crown silhouetted against a blue-black sky, past ponds of families of silent ducks and geese, past a fat-ass windmill, over the empty Great Highway, and onto the gray sand of Ocean Beach.

It felt good to stand still and to feel a slight breeze on my forehead. I thought about jumping in. I thought about running back after jumping in. I thought about time. I thought about distance. I stopped thinking and turned back. The Pacific would wait.

Running in the dark is a combination of peace and dread. Peace because of the comfort of being in the dark with no one around, no distractions, miles passing by with no markers. Dread because I could trip over a root or stumble in a pothole, and dread too because one of those running-free dogs that appeared every mile or so might run after me. I ran with my head down until I saw a running dog.

Eight straight days of running is this. I am in full push-back mode, trying to recapture my strength, my endurance, my waist of old. I don’t know how many days I will run consecutively, but it will be more than eight. I’m winded far too easily, I’m slower, I’m too fat.

Three days of San Francisco, a work trip, a getaway in the mornings when I run. Walking is almost as much fun. I stayed in a hotel east of the park, across from the famous Kezar Stadium, next to the Kezar Pub, which has big-screen TVs, basketball on all night, two vegetarian dishes, 12 beers on tap, two local, one dark porter Death & Taxes, which is damn good and damn good it didn’t keep me from running to the Pacific Ocean.

1 comment:

  1. Hi John, Spirit springs eternal - does have ups and downs - yet never grows old! Graceful acceptance of the inevitable reminders of aging goes with the territory of longevity. So, watch out for those running free dogs, and enjoy your runs without counting consecutive days. Maybe walking will have a new dynamic!! Aunt Jane