Thursday I filled up my bicycle tires at the gas station and rode to Trader Joe's. Or I tried: I apparently blew out my rear tube (and probably the front as well, since I discovered today it's flat too), locked up the bike and finished my errands. I walked through the Whipple Avenue train crossing, and noticed an insulated lunch bag off in the gravel, and a travel mug, and some weird article of clothing. Then shattered plastic from a car, pieces of bumper and rear-view mirror. Then I remembered that on Tuesday Caltrain destroyed a car there.

I was walking in my sandals, which have been fine all these years, but pretty quickly I felt something move in my foot, and got some shooting pain above the outside of the heel. I knew something had gone out of alignment, probably involving pronation (where too much weight goes on the outside edge of the foot), but feet are incredibly complicated and I don't know how they work. Over the weekend at Chillits, I was wondering what could have changed in my foot-plus-sandal configuration to cause the problem: I've been running, and my calves have been tight, but finally I realized that a couple months ago someone stepped on my foot and probably fractured one of the bones on top (I didn't go to the doctor, it was minor and seemed to heal fine after 3-5 weeks), and for that I loosened one of the straps on the sandal. This let my foot slide off the sandal's arch to the outside, angling my foot down and pronating it. Over the weekend I had to take care and not let my body get too twisted up trying to compensate, and this morning my chiropractor clicked on my ankle with the activator, instantly releasing a bunch of really tight muscles. I'm letting everything settle before I get back to running again tomorrow.

Speaking of running, I'm at Week 5 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. I did the two 8-minute runs on Wednesday, so tomorrow I'll probably just barrel through and do the 20-minute run. This is huge. I'm not sure I've ever run 20 minutes all at once. 8 minutes would put me back in 1991 or '92, certainly. I'm using Robert Ullrey's podcast to save me the trouble of tracking all the running-walking intervals.

And finally, I just got back from a great Chillits at Camp & Sons with my pals and lovely girlfriend, Anna. (Pronounced with an 'a' like "Ana"--long story.) My friends with kids generally couldn't come, because the Camps decided not to allow kids any more, for a host of reasons, and at the end of years of everyone trying to adapt to the increase of children in the community. So this was the last Chillits there.

At about 4am on Saturday morning, people in the hot tubs near where we camped started hollering and hollering. Friday night is problematic: the Camps make us turn the music off at midnight or so, and not everyone's there yet, so people tend to get drunk and rowdy. We did get to play ambient music all night one year, and that really pacified people; but that's not an option, so we get what we get. In this case, I let it go for a while, before putting on some shorts and going over to talk to them. I said, "Would you stop shouting?", the guy closest to me said "No", and it didn't really get any better from there. At one point I was talking to him and he turned away from me to look at one of his friends, and, already frustrated, I actually slapped my hand across his shoulder. The summary of the interchange was me explaining in aggressive language that yes, when it's 5am and people are trying to sleep and you're shouting outside their tents, you're being an asshole.

It's hard to describe what it takes to get me to lay hands on someone before they physically attack me, because I think it literally hasn't happened since I fought with my brothers as a kid. A bunch of really fascinating stuff came up for me; perhaps most unusual was a genuine willingness to get into a fight. I don't really want to fight anyone. Fighting is dangerous, you never know what training someone might have had, you yourself risk both getting hurt, and hurting someone more than you intend to, and rowdy drunk people have both their judgement and pain receptors impaired, and don't always give up when they should. And yet, knowing all this, I had a distinct lack of fear and was really ready to go at it if he reacted violently. It was all really interesting to watch happen in myself: these moments are exactly what practice is for.

I was awake for another 90 minutes, sorting through thoughts and emotions, and listening to the hot tub people continue talking...but they stopped hollering, and it was quiet enough and I got some rest. =)

The guy who took our picture said we were funny, because as soon as he snapped the shutter, then we were cute.