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!
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.
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.