I recently started an activity I call “Death by Onesies”. It’s a fun little excursion into the wonderful world of fitness. It’s only one lousy kilometer long–how hard could it be? Is what I asked until I started running up the first damn hill. My next question was, naturally, whose idea was this, anyway?
I’m in Oakland now with my wife and daughter, still touring the world. We’re right across the bay from San Francisco, a city everyone seems to love. Well, I’m going to reveal a little secret to the world now that no one, it appears, is really aware of.
Oakland is pretty nice, too.
Yes, it does have its blemishes, but what city doesn’t?
I’d been running in the hills above Oaktown for a few days when I remembered something. Back in the eighties (and nineties and beyond – did that guy ever really stop?), the best receiver in the NFL was Jerry Rice. I loved him. He was an underdog – he was small-ish and from some blip on the college football radar called Mississppi Valley Tennessee Authority College or something, and I, like most, love underdog stories.
One day I unlocked (one of) the key(s) to his greatness. Between seasons he would go to a little park in S.F. and run a four mile stretch of trail his teammates and any further athletes dumb enough to try it grew to loathe at a sub-cellular level. There were steep hills, and Jerry (and his friend Roger Craig, who showed Jerry the trail) was not walking them.
I decided to have my own fun here in Oakland. Right up the street from us is a little park where we watched the fireworks on the 4th of July and enjoyed the green green smells, if you know what I mean. It’s way up over the city, and to the west is a monstrously steep rise. To the left of it, looking toward the cities, is a smaller hill, or rather, a hill broken in two. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to run up the big hill, down the two smaller ones, then back up on the small ones to the top?
I must have enjoyed too many smells.
Here’s a video of me laboring through an attempt:
What fun! I decided to add that to the end of my shorter training runs (5-8 Km), to heavily increase the fun factor. What a crazy funster I am!
Here are my times for the punitive Km in Oakland:
Jun. 24th – 9:10
Jun. 29th – 8:44
Jul. 2th – 8:12
Jul. 9th – 7:33
It was great to make that kind of progress with something as taxing as “Death by Onesies”. I can’t wait to get to our next stop – Salt Lake City – to make more progress.