2018 was a high and a low for me, running wise. I started running regularly about 7 - 8 years ago. Ramping up the milage with each yeah, going from half marathons, to 30K's to full marathons.
In February of 2018 I ran my first Ultra - the Sean O'Brien 50K trail race in the Malibu Mountains. That race was everything I hoped it wouldn't be. It would be the longest anything I've ever run, and would also have the most climb (6644 feet total) I've ever run. To top it off I was dealing with a groin injury from a trail run in September of 2017. I thought I could work through the injury as I only felt it when I sprinted, or tried to zoom down hill. I wasn't planning on sprinting in a 50K, and I thought I could zoom a little less and be more controlled on the down hills.
So what happened? I started off feeling great. I don't like to consume much when I run, so I skipped the early water stations and planned on refueling at the turn around spot....only they didn't haven't water there. The temperatures spiked into the 90's (something I never experience living in San Francisco). The heat caused gi distress, my groin started hurting on flat ground. I slowly walked much of the back half just wishing for it to all be over. I was mentally destroyed.
Sitting at the airport waiting for my flight back to SFO, I was surprised that I was already thinking about the next race. I was thinking of all the things that went wrong and how I could be better the next time. But first and foremost was to get my leg back to 100%.
My first attempt was to just take 2-3 weeks off. My legs felt rested, and the pain was definitely less. But it was still there. I didn't have confidence that I could push off a curb to run across the street, let alone to run hard.
I went to my doctor, and was referred to a physical therapist. After about a month, we still didn't see much improvement. I will admit at this point I started to lose hope that I would ever be able to really run again. I started baking bread, and taking on other habits trying to think of a life that didn't have me running 6 days a week.
I was then recommended to a physical therapist who specialized in running. Working with her changed everything. Each session she would push my body in a slightly different way to deduce the issue and developed a plan to improve. And I started feeling better. Each week!
But wait, things can't go that smoothly, right? Of course not. At this point I then started getting foot pain! I had sesamoiditis.
I grew up playing soccer and sports. I had never pulled a muscle and sprained an ankle. I had never broken a bone. I wasn't prepared to deal with injuries like this. After 6 months of no running I was, again, mentally defeated.
Two podiatrists and a couple orthotics later, I was able to start slowly running, and pain free! I was getting excited. I was thinking about races I'd never had any interest in running before. For the first time I started to create running goals for myself. Before my injury I just ran to run, ran to eat, and ran the races because they were there and seemed like a fun challenge at the time. After my injury, I came to appreciate running in a way I didn't before. I wanted to be more intentional with how I'm running and what I'm running for.
In particular, I wanted to try to race. I've run a number of races, but I never actually raced. I was just trying to survive. So, in December, I ran my first race since the 50k - the Rodeo Beach 20K. I wasn't confident in my endurance yet, but I went for it anyway, and I tried to race it. I didn't win, nor did I place. But I ran much better than I had hoped. Before the race I guessed that I would finish around two hours. Instead came in at 1:49:44. I finished 15th overall and 5th in my age. Most importantly, no injuries, and I felt great the whole time.
Happy to say I'm back up to 50 miles a week, pain free in my groin and foot. And signed up for a 22k in February. I'm looking forward to 2019 and seeing what comes.
Me, coming down the last hill of the Rodeo Beach 20k
This latest mix is called "Ease Yourself and Glide” - Kick back with this selection of spectral folk, slow-simmering jazz and dub, and wistful international pop.
For the past five years, my friend Chris and myself, have been sharing strange, beautiful, and often unheralded or forgotten sounds through streaming mixes and occasional writing. We released it under the moniker Echo Ocho. In November, we can officially consider Echo Ocho a record label, releasing music that we love and which is in keeping with Echo Ocho’s open-eared celebration of eccentric and deeply-personal music.
November 2nd was the official release date of our first reissue - I Saw You by Peter Kardas.
I Saw You is the distillation of Right Belief and Right Action, heretofore unknown private issue cassettes from 1986 and 1987 by Peter Thomas Kardas. A student of Guitar Craft and accredited member of The League of Crafty Guitarists, Kardas drew inspiration from Robert Fripp’s loop-based Frippertronics, but the expansive, introspective washes of synths and repeated phrases and vocalizations are utterly their own thing, conjuring the independence, awe and isolation of the remote Northern Californian landscapes in which they were created.
This record was produced in collaboration with Yoga Records.
You can also take a listen on Spotify, or right here:
In February I helped launch the Environments app for Numero Group. Environments is a historic catalog of long form field recordings by Irv Teibel that began as an unprecedented series of vinyl records, garnering widespread acclaim and selling millions of units.
This is the first proper iOS app that I had worked on and was a great learning experience. Working in Swift and xCode brought me back to some of early days working in Flash. I hope to get back to this space again soon.
This latest mix is called “Step Into Time” - Synth-pop for shut-ins, a planetarium for one.
My latest mix is called “Santa Fe” - An endless horizon of healing new age vibrations.
In December, Chris (my partner at echo ocho) and I made a mix for Rádio Quântica. And today, I'm finally got around to posting it.
It's called "Endless Pathway" - a heady melange of cozy psychedelia and international head-nodders.
My latest mix is called “Dream Theory” - Otherworldly ambience and spiritual invocations from the fourth world.
My latest mix is called “Endless Sleep” - moody rockabilly and country tracks perfect to soundtrack your next haunted drag race.
My latest mix is called “The Mechanical Man" - Ride the short bus to Rock n Roll High School!!