08-08-08 Virtual Olympics Race: 8.34 Miles in 2 Parts

Notes of a Non-Runner had the excellent idea of organizing an 8 mile blog race in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I wanted to hop in and join the fun.

Also, as luck would have it, I was slated to run 7 miles today, so I figured "what the hell, why not slap another one on for an even 8?"

As I Tweeted earlier in the day, I set out to run my 8 miles in the early afternoon on a beautiful San Francisco day. It was sunny and warm, which is pretty unusual for us. I figured the breeze would keep me cool enough to finish.

Boy was I wrong.

@LosBee and I hit Kezar by about 2:30pm to find the track was closed—Kezar Stadium was hosting Irish Football today, which is a fascinating sport in its own right. There's a large outside loop around the track paved in asphalt which was still open to us, so we decided to go ahead with the run.

@LosBee is recovering from finishing her first half marathon, and wasn't looking to put on any real miles—she just wanted to get out and stretch her legs a bit.

I knew I was in trouble when I had to stop for water at mile 2. It was just too warm for me, and the sun was drying me out way too fast. We both stopped when I was into my my 3rd mile and decided it would be prudent to hang it up and cool off. We had a fantastic time watching Irish Football, however, regardless of our inability to figure out the rules.

Mastodon's singer/guitar player exorcising some personal demons on stage

I still wanted to join in the 08-08-08 Virtual Olympics fun, though, so after some late-lunch tacos and watching some Olympic coverage, I set back out to finish up the 7 miles I was scheduled for and the 8 total I wanted to achieve.

But I have to admit, I was a little ticked off with having failed earlier in the day, and I tackled the miles with aggression.

Normally my runs are multi-purpose: I run to run, but I also run to "road test" the songs we have in development at Hella Sound. It's a great part of the job, and I get to take things out and see what gets me pumped, what keeps me going, and what doesn't work. I take what I learn on the road back to the studio and incorporate it into the music.

Well, like I said, I was a little peeved about having to go back out and run again. And presently we don't have anything that's ready to be road tested at Hella Sound that was aggressive enough to match my foul mood. So I cued up Mastodon's album Leviathan and hit San Francisco's Marina.

I pounded the snot out of those 6 miles. My out-and-back route is very similar to this one on Map My Run. It had cooled off quite a bit (it was about 7pm when I started), and the breeze off the bay was nice.

One of the best things about running the Marina/Crissy Field route—aside from having the Golden Gate Bridge in your sights on the way out—is that you get to take part in one of San Francisco's best running traditions: high-fiving Hopper's Hands. You can read more about Hopper's Hands here, but sufficed to say it's one of my favorite little things to do when I'm out running here.

Since so many people run with their dogs, someone also created a matching pair of paws for four-legged runners to touch when they hit the turnaround point. Interestingly, it looks like it gets some wear, although I've never seen someone touch paws to it.

Too cool.

Here's to finishing the 08-08-08 Virtual Olympics race! I had to fudge the numbers a bit—since it was split across 2 runs—but I think my 8 miles clock in at 1:24:53. Sloooooowwwwww ;)

Mastodon photo courtesy of www.mastodonrocks.com.

Hopper's Hands photos courtesy of misocrazy on Flickr.

1 Brilliant Remarks:

  1. Wooo Hoooo! Thanks for joining us and getting it done. I'm so glad you finished.

    Race results will be up soon!