Thursday, September 27, 2007

alternate workout

For those of you feeling a little bored with your routine as we head into the deep dark cold of winter (it’s a good thing I don’t live in Alaska, I’d have SAD something awful), I’ve found a great change of pace. Try to plant a tree. Discover that there’s concrete a foot under the soil surface – maybe an old patio – no wonder nothing would ever grow there. Go to the hardware store. Buy a 6-pound sledgehammer and a steel mason’s chisel. Over the course of a couple of weeks spend your spare time hammering away. It’ll probably take you about ten hours to smash a hole 18-inches wide through the 6-inch layer of concrete. Don’t worry about the strange smell coming out of the hole – it’s probably not a broken gas line. There’s a good chance you’ll experience back tightness and shaky hands throughout this weeks-long process. But, eventually, you’re bound to hit the earth down below at which point you can deservedly hobble to the surface and cry Eureka!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

back to school

Sometime during yesterday’s Brown Mountain ride Meta developed a little bit of a runny nose and I’m suddenly realizing that I have a lot to learn about suspension. I never knew there was so much to it. Since Meta arrived in my life, so have a lot of new terms and concepts like: rebound speed, sag, positive and negative air pressure, air sleeve… It should be a fun learning process, though. Thank god for the internet. If anyone has any helpful shock or hydraulic brake tips (or just general life lessons), please feel free to post them in the comments. Thanks. Have a nice ride, I mean day, I mean both.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Last Week of Summer

My goal of running 1000 miles in 2007 is still looking good. With only a few months left in the year I find myself doing a lot of calculating about how many miles I need to run per week to pull it off. I just passed 800 miles last week, so in the statistical world I’m a little ahead of schedule, but in reality there’s always other elements like sickness, injury, rain, and laziness that could all get in the way.

There’s also the more real goal of beating my best annual run mileage of 912 from 2004. 2007 is currently in second place overall. 3rd is 2005 with 755. 4th is 2006 with 689.

Of course, it’s probably best to stay grounded in all of this and remember that running is not really about numbers, but about getting out there in the world and enjoying it.

Last Week:
Run: 29 = 8+9+3+9
Bike: 53 = (8+3)+10+5+24+3
Burrito: 3 = 1+1+1 (all on the weekend)
Beer: 6 = 2+1+3
Car: 9 = 3+6

Saturday, September 22, 2007

it’s raining again…

Last night we got the first real solid rain of the season - a good amount – one and a half inches – maybe I should convert to metric this year, too – so, four centimeters. In fact, this is a huge amount when compared to last seasons total, but that really speaks to last year's super-all-time-low rainfall season of six and a quarter inches – sixteen centimeters. So, last night we got one quarter of last seasons total.

Just to make it official, I’ll go ahead and make my forecast for this upcoming rainfall season/winter: a long cool mellow season with mild rainstorms (1”-2”, 2cm-5cm, or less) nicely/evenly spread over several (seven) months with total rainfall for the season at around 23.5 inches – 59.69cm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

“please allow me to introduce myself” (part 2)

As some of you might remember, Jonah is not my given name. See part 1 of this post for more info. My given name is down there somewhere in a June post if you really must know.

The whole name change thing was pretty confusing for a lot of people. Suddenly, they didn’t know what to call me. Somehow, my words, “call me Jonah,” weren’t clear to them. So they’d continually ask me what I wanted to be called or hyphenate the old name and the new name together creating a third name which led to further confusion. So, I basically gave up on the whole idea in everyday life, but Jonah lives on inside me.

And then, about a year ago I secretly added another name to my new name to make it Jonah Skye Diamond, or for the full rhythmic effect, Jonah in the Skye with Diamonds. I only told one person about this because of the craziness I’d experienced in the first go ‘round.

I’m not a big fan of diamonds. Not the conventional variety anyway – the bedazzling jewels that people wear on rings, earrings, and the like. However, I really do enjoy the other type of diamonds – the moments, images, dreams, visions, feelings, interactions that tend to snap us out of our daily coma and reveal a deep sparkling undercurrent of pure, live, soul, spirit, reality, god, energy, shine.

We all have our own diamond doorways to this Other world. Some common portals for me include mountain peaks, the moon, twisted old trees, the first manzanita flower of the season… all framed against the backdrop of a blazing blue pacific sky.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Upside Down Mary Bars

Mindful Mule got a little present tonight so she wouldn’t feel neglected with her new little sister Meta getting all the attention. I’ve been wanting to try this setup for a few months. (I’ll move the brake levers out further as soon as I get a chance to pick up some longer cables.) Doesn’t she look sleek!

Last Week:
Run: 29 = 7+7+7+8
Bike: 70 = 3+6+3+(22+7)+29
Burrito: 2 = 1+1
Beer: 5 = 4+1
Car: 42 = 7+14+21

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Meta Meets Brown

I rode the metamorphosed bike (“Meta”) for the first time this morning – totally awesome. There are still a few adjustments to be made here and there before we’re totally comfortable with each other, but man, that bike flies. And, even more impressive, it stops - those brakes are incredible. Overall, I’m really happy with the bike. I think it makes for a safer ride, too (both for me and for other people on the trail due to better braking and handling.) I didn’t get a chance to really let her rip all out. I think we need to get used to each other for a while before we reach our full potential. It should be fun…

The other excitement of the day was seeing the Angeles Crest 100 mile runners finishing. I saw several of them running down the last few miles of the race. I was really, really impressed with them. I’ve been following their progress online since yesterday morning. I’ve thought about those runners a lot this weekend. All weekend they’ve been running through the mountains - all day and all night and all day again. It was interesting to see them arriving and blending in with the other hikers and bikers out on the trail as if they were just out for a nice Sunday morning trail run. There was no indication that these people had just completed such an incredible feat. But they knew, and I guess that’s what counts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Metamorphosis is complete!

I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend…

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

laundry, or not

I’m trying to find a good balance between doing too much laundry and owning too many synthetic running/biking clothes. This balance seems to be harder and harder to achieve as I run/bike more.

Some of you may have noticed (especially Hilary) that the specialty-wicking-drying-lightweight stuff starts smelling like a wild animal after just a few minutes of wear. In order to avoid doing laundry I’ve experimented with wearing these clothes for a couple (few) runs/rides between washings and airing them out in between, but that gets a little gnarly (even for me.)

At the same time, I don’t want to be doing laundry every week or more. So, I guess the only thing to do is get more clothes. But, then, who wants to have a giant pile of stink garments building up for two or three weeks?

And then of course, those clothes can get a little pricey (as I’m sure many of you have noticed, as well.) A “set” of these clothes might be between 30 and 50 dollars including socks, but not shoes. So, if you head out five times a week, and only want to do laundry every two weeks, and want to wear clean clothes every time, that’s a significant wardrobe investment.

Possible solutions: recyclable/disposable clothing, nudity, embracing the wild animal within…

Monday, September 10, 2007

mountain blend

Went for another ride up Brown Mountain yesterday evening. It felt like I was tracking myself from the day before. I couldn’t pick out my actual tire tracks, but there was something there. There was some memory of my travel that was quickly blending with the rest of my time up there. There’s a certain quality of timelessness that exists when you ride the same path over and over again - a blending of experiences through many seasons. Some of these moments stand out, some fade away, but each contributes to some faint knowledge that the mountain has become a part of us.

Run: 20 = 10+7+3
Bike: 59 = 3+(22+7)+27
Drinks: 8 = 3+2+3
Burrito: 2
Car: 118 = 94+8+6+10

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I don’t know why, but I haven’t been riding much at all for the last two weeks. I guess I’ll blame the heat. And, I think part of me has been waiting for “The Secret Metamorphosis Bike” to arrive (can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait), but that’s too long to wait, so I finally went up on the mountain this morning on Mindful Mule. I rode with Mr. Miller (dude, you’ve got to get that bike fixed). We took it pretty slow up half of Brown Mtn which provided some ultra slow speed balance and bike handling practice along with several unsuccessful attempts at wheelies (what’s my problem – too timid) and then took the El Prieto singletrack down and out.

El Prieto is a nice spot for a trail run, too, and now I know the mileage – about 2, plus the mile from the approach road.

In other news, fall seems to have arrived. It was 59 degrees this morning when I left the house and there are fresh green acorns dropping all around.

Friday, September 7, 2007

the call

Sometimes, even when my legs are still wrecked from running up a mountain, my shoes call out to me… and I’ll know it’s time to run again.

Monday, September 3, 2007


I woke up at 4:40 this morning. It was very dark. I sat outside drinking coffee. The air was still warm from yesterday. The sky was clear – lots of stars. At 5 o’clock I started driving to Mt baldy – 47 miles away. It was nice to drive on nearly empty freeways and look at the mountains silhouetted against the stars. There was a really bright planet rising in the east. For a long time I thought it was a plane on approach for landing, but finally realized it was totally natural.

The Mt Baldy run was a pretty tough eight miles to the top. Luckily, the temperature way up there was way cooler. The highs down in town have been around 100 degrees; the high at the top of Baldy was probably about seventy – practically freezing.

I had never been on this particular route to the top, so I really had no idea of what to expect. I started out nice and slow and pretty much kept it that way the whole way up. I had to walk more than I anticipated. I wanted to keep running, but there were a lot of sections of the trail where I just couldn’t push any harder than walking pace without wanting to puke or have a heart attack.

My time is going to sound very slow and pathetic. I finished in just under two hours (Finish Time: 1:54.49. 217th place out of 493. 25th place in division (male 30-34)) But, that’s about what I was hoping for. I wanted to finish in under 2-hours and in the top half of the field.

So, I was pretty happy with the result, but I was even more happy that I actually made it out to the race. Even as of last night I wasn’t sure if I was going to run. My head was all caught up in the heat and the early hour and the hydration and all the things that could be a problem or go wrong. So, I was happy that I was able to get out of my own way and just let Jonah run.

Last Week:
Run: 21 = 7+7+7 …(ytd: 724)
Bike: 0 (what?) …(ytd: 1922)
Burrito: 0 (so sad?)
Beer: 1
Car: 116 (eegh!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I’ve been wasting way too much time on ebay over the last couple months. I’ve been looking for a bike. A couple days ago, just before the moment I was about to fry my brain completely, I finally won an auction. So, sometime in the next few weeks I’ll have a fancy “new” bike to show off. I’ll keep it mostly secret until it actually arrives, but my hint is that it looks a little like a metamorphosed Mindful Mule. I probably paid too much, but it will be worth it if it releases me from the ebay shackles.