Tuesday, April 13, 2010

20-Mile Running Tour of San Francisco

Training is now officially over. The taper begins. Hard to believe. I finished well, logging an 18-hour week and including a 4000 meter swim, a 100-mile bike ride (a sufferfest with 5 flats among our group), and a 20-mile run. I think I'm in pretty good shape.

The last week of training was made particularly challenging by a work conference in San Francisco. Equipped with my running shoes, a camera, and Camelbak, I set out for a 20-mile running tour of San Francisco.

My stay at the Hilton was slightly chaotic and cacophonous due to a lively 3-day union strike occurring outside the hotel entrance.


Weaving through the masses of people in Union Square and the Financial District was a mix of agility and a full-contact sport. As I darted in and out of ambling shoppers, I caught sight of a man dressed in tight, bright pink spandex on a unicycle. Turns out it was the infamous "Pink Man", a local celebrity!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Man

I made my way to the Bay Bridge and turned west along the Embarcadero. Don't know what it is about bridges but I just love their architecture. Such clean sweeping lines.

Fisherman's Wharf was a zoo of tourists, as usual. Everyone seemed to be moving in unpredictable slow motion trajectories. These erratic movements made a collision highly likely, especially on the return trip. I stuck my elbows out, prepared for impact. Somehow, a crash was avoided. All I know is that if people drove cars like they walk, we would have many more fatalities. I enjoyed the street performers, including the guys sprayed from head-to-toe in metallic spray paint and a man in a newspaper suit, including a top hat. Oh, and I can't forget the pimp and prostitute roller bladers, complete with purple sparkly blazer and hat for him and bleached blond wig and mini dress for her.

I reached Ghiradelli Square. Mmmmm. Chocolate. Wiped off the drool and gazed longingly at the swimmers in triathlon wetsuits swimming in the marina. I bet that water was C.O.L.D.!

I ran out on the pier to get a closer look at Alcatraz. One day, one day, I told myself. The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon is on my bucket list.
http://www.escapefromalcatraztriathlon.com/

I proceeded up the steep hill to Fort Mason. The crowds had thinned out, and parks lined the streets. Joggers, sunbathers, strollers, and dogs wearing no leashes frolicked in the grass. The Golden Gate Bridge was quickly appearing. I don't know what it is about the Golden Gate but ever since I was a little girl, I've always loved it. I used to get very excited every time my parents had to drive over it. I would try to hold my breath as we drove over. I decided to run over the bridge, something I had never done.


I weaved my way through the breathtaking trail in the Presidio, making my way to the pedestrian path on the Golden Gate. The views were amazing. I stopped several times on my way to the other side to stare and gawk.


I made it to the other side of the bridge and officially ran to Marin. This made me smile, for some reason, and I snapped some more pics before realizing I had to turn and run 10 miles back.


Upon completing the 20-mile run, I wandered to the closest Starbucks and wearily made it to the Barista. I announced that I had just run to Marin and back and they moved me to the front of the line. Bonus!

--ice bath back in the hotel room

20 comments:

Diana said...

I have yet to run this distance in my lifetime (sometime-soon), but if I had this scenery to look at it, it sure would be nice!
With all the beauty of this planet, it's a wonder more people aren't out there running in it.
Enjoy the rest!

Southern Cernock said...

That Escape from Alcatraz Tri sounds like fun

Christi said...

That is an absolutely beautiful run and you did a great job of describing it. I wish you the best of luck this weekend and can't wait to hear how it goes!

Go get'em girl!

Christi said...

Whoops! I guess you are not racing this weekend but will soon! No matter you will still do great!

Wes said...

I think I'm in pretty good shape.

You are an over achiever :-)

Tortuga_Runner said...

Way to make the most of your business trip, your run was a beautiful one. FYI- next time you are in the city, check out this website for a possible training swim. There are drop in rates and yes the water is cold. I used to do my swim training here when I worked in the bay area a few years back and the coach was all about no wetsuits in 50 degree water. www.swim-art.com

Nelson said...

Great run, I don't know how you managed to run in SF. I did a short 7 miler in a much less hilly area and I killed my IT band. You rock!

Marc Petrine said...

Escape sucks! I don't know why I keep doing it.

K said...

loved your description of SF.

teacherwoman said...

Nice job girl. Wonderful pics too!

I have heard of the Alcatraz Triathlon as well! :)

bunnygirl said...

That sounds like a really fun run. I'm envious!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

I need to start taking ice baths! I have iced my foot before and was a complete wimp. It probably would have been helpful for my marathon training. I need to suck it up though and do it!

Formulaic said...

Great week! That swim will be bank, actually it all sounds like a nice big fat deposit into the bank of Ironman.

Taper up and get ready for a big withdrawl!

Grey Beard said...

Marin, my old stomping grounds! Yeah!

The Marin Headlands is a wonderful place to run, on road, or off. You could take up where you left off, at the end of the bridge.

Colleen said...

What an amazing way to get get 20 miles in! :) You are so ready for this race! Enjoy the taper...

Libby said...

wow! beautiful run! I've always wanted to see the golden gate as well, I think I got in my head as a little girl that loved full house lol!!
thanks for the pics and great run! happy taper!

Leah said...

Very cool post!

Jennifer said...

Welcome to SF! It's an amazing place to run & bike... swim, not so much. I'm about to start training in Aquatic Park and yes, the water is in the 50s. Ouch. Just did my first 10k across the bridge and back and it was fantastic. Thanks for blogging; you're a good inspiration as I start my first year of triathlon!

Amy said...

That was a great tour seems you really having fun...hope i have time to do that kind of thing also...

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Amy said...

The place is great, this is the best place to relax and have fun...

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