I am back home. I’m not sure why I picked such a late flight out of Oakland, but now it’s midnight and I’m exhausted. The past two days were a jumble of quick hello’s and goodbye’s and I was squeezed paper thin trying to see as many people as possible in my final hours of an already short trip to San Francisco.

Sunday I rode with Loren and Ian (as in Ian’s House of Pain) up to the highlands above the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a cloudless day right after the showers that plagued Saturday’s race, so San Francisco was crystal clear below us. I would have stood for hours staring, but Ian was quick to point out that we were "burning daylight" as he clipped in bombed down the 17% grade descent from the lookout. I think Ian’s daring speed on such a technical narrow road must have been an effort to make up for his acrobatic stunt earlier in the ride, in which he pulled a wheelie at a stop light (unintentionally) and landed on his side (the best part was the car that thought to honk at him while he was laying in the middle of the road). Got to love the Sunday drivers.

Women take off on run #1 (Jillian in front)

Monday I took a ferry into San Francisco and met up with Jillian Petersen for a super easy spin around the Alcatraz course. No falls! We did get lost, which is my fault because I decided not to load the course into my Garmin Edge 305 before heading out. We ended up about three miles off the course and a cop laughed at us when we asked him where Martin Luther King Jr Blvd was. I’m hoping Jillian is going to start blogging soon (which I’ll keep you updated on) because it should be fun to hear about her preparation for her first World cup race in Eliot, Israel on December 1st.

That night I said goodbye to Christine (a.k.a. gimpy, or the accident queen), who went back to Wesley to find her nanny job in serious jeopardy (she lost it), which gave her only a day to find a new place to live. Wow. Back to reality, eh?

This morning I gave Loren a swim lesson, told him to ditch his Zoomers for good, and showed him how to make monster ovals with his arms. He’s gone from being about as fast as plankton, to being more flounder-like. I wish I could give him lessons more often because it’s nice to teach somebody that not only wants to learn, but also listens.

After the pool I had breakfast and packed while I watched Tim Allen play Santa Claus, then filled the car and headed into San Francisco for a Burrito and a meeting with the great Richard Decker, who is kind enough to let a small group of people use his dock as a starting point for morning swims in the Lagoon. Shortly after leaving Richards office with a new book (Reversing Heart Disease by Dr. Dean Ornish) I met up with my old Columbia Teammate Reid Evans for a quick chat before heading back to Loren’s office to grab my luggage and hit up the train to Oakland.

I think I did a good job of cramming my time, but now it’s back to the old grind. I’m giving myself a week before I start obsessing about becoming a world class runner.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. While some forms of plankton are capable of independent movement and can swim up to several hundreds of meters vertically in a single day (a behavior called diel vertical migration), their horizontal position is primarily determined by currents in the body of water they inhabit. By definition, organisms classified as plankton are unable to resist ocean currents. This is in contrast to nekton organisms that can swim against the ambient flow of the water environment and control their position (e.g. squid, fish, and marine mammals).

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