New path!

I did a lit­tle explor­ing on my run today and dis­cov­ered a walking/running path just South of Chi­na Basin, which made for a pret­ty great short loop. I’d intend­ed to go see the new sec­tion of Berry Street where it emp­ties out onto Sev­enth Street; I rode through on my motor­cy­cle the oth­er day and was very impressed with what I found. I made a note in my head to come back and run along the North side of Chi­na Basin, where it appears there is a path for walk­ing and running.

Right after I crossed the rail­road tracks I saw a path on the South side and decid­ed to explore there instead. I was con­cerned at first that the path was not going anywhere—It was­n’t that long ago the whole area was basi­cal­ly wast­ed land, and the spot where I crossed under the free­way onramp gave a lit­tle win­dow into the not-so-dis­tant past. Though I could see the new con­dos and apart­ments in the dis­tance, the side­walk soon gave way to a grav­el path and I was in the midst of a bunch of dead tall grasses.


I decid­ed that as long as there was a path I’d fol­low it. I knew exact­ly where I was; I just had­n’t been through this part before. I was not very far from where I crossed the Fourth Street bridge on my run a few days back, but com­ing from anoth­er direction.

Almost imme­di­ate­ly I came around a cor­ner and found house­boats. The path I was run­ning on was actu­al­ly used by res­i­dents on a reg­u­lar basis. That was good news. Any appre­hen­sion I had about ven­tur­ing off into the wilder­ness (metaphor­i­cal­ly any­way) dis­solved as I start­ed to pass peo­ple gar­den­ing and walk­ing dogs. To my left was Chi­na Basin and an array of house­boats, to my right Chan­nel Street.


As I start­ed to get past the house­boats it stopped being a grav­el path and turned into neat­ly-groomed and land­scaped Mis­sion Creek Park. It’s real­ly impres­sive; not a big park, but a nice smooth path in the midst of pleas­ant green­ery on the edge of the water. It’s best not to pay too much atten­tion to the water there for fear of float­ing debris spoil­ing the expe­ri­ence, but as long as you stick to catch­ing the sparkle of sun­light off the water in the cor­ner of your eye, it works.

As I approached Fourth Street Icould see there was a game on at AT&T Park (Giants beat the Astros today.) It was­n’t my plan to make it a long run today so I after I crossed on the Fourth Street bridge I crossed back on the Lefty O’Doul Bridge and went out to the Willie McCov­ey stat­ue to get a pic­ture for the blog.

The rest of the way home was famil­iar ter­ri­to­ry. I’ve been exper­i­ment­ing with a for­ward- or mid-sole foot­strike after read­ing Born to Run and I’m very intrigued. I thought it would be dif­fi­cult (actu­al­ly I remem­ber it being dif­fi­cult at some point in the past) and while it is work­ing my out­er calves hard­er I think it’s suc­cess­ful­ly reduc­ing strain on my knees, which is a darn good thing because I haven’t lost that weight that I told myself I need­ed to lose before I start­ed run­ning. For now I’m still run­ning on my Saucony Grid Omni 5 shoes which are def­i­nite­ly «sta­bil­i­ty shoes» (only mod­er­ate­ly less so than my old Omni 3s which were «ulti­mate» rather than «mod­er­ate» sta­bil­i­ty) but I’m very inter­est­ed in mov­ing to a more min­i­mal­ist shoe. I’ve still got my eye on the Nike Free, but Saucony has pro­vid­ed a good fit for years so I’m also con­sid­er­ing the Saucony Kin­vara. The Kin­vara is a 7.7 ounce shoe com­pared to Nike’s sub‑6.0 ounce Free, but even 7.7 ounces is a lot less than the 12 ounce Omni.

Run­ning shoes are an expense that aren’t in my imme­di­ate future, but my legs aren’t get­ting any younger so if a more neu­tral shoe has a good chance of help­ing me avoid injury it will be well worth it.

McCovey Statue and Cove

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