It’s been a solid two years and change (so I guess not so solid, after all) since I was last here for the San Fran Marathon in 2010, the one I ran freshly pregnant (as in, freshly-conceived-and-didn’t-realize-I-was-pregnant type of pregnant). I had a super pleasant experience at this race and have been itchin’ to get back here when C’s here for work, though my school/A schedule usually prohibits it.
This time around, I got lucky.
I’ve been able to run every day we’ve been here, in part because I wanted to take in and see as much of the city as I could, and also in part because I was trying to streak for the month of December. I’ve since decided to forgo the streak–not because I’m not running regularly (hello? <40 days til Houston!) but because I think it ends up being junk miles–but from Sunday on, I’ve done some pretty great running here.
Some of my runs were little baby ones, between 2-4 miles, though Monday’s was just shy of 16 and today’s (Friday) was just over 11. Both of these runs were my week’s highlights.
On Monday, I tried to replicate the first part of the marathon course by running along the Embarcadero, through Fort Mason, and up and over the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful day, and since I had my phone with me (safely nestled in my sports bra or on my hip… more on that detail in a minute), I got some great pics.
Apparently, two Masters degrees isn’t sufficient to make me realize that it’s not a good idea to keep my silly-expensive smartphone in my sportsbra (or on a hip in a pair of tights) for 15.7 because holy humidity, it gets hot in there.
My phone worked the entire time I was running, since I was snapping away pictures and rockin’ out to some music (a rarity), but later that day, as I was coming back from Alcatraz, it started wiggin’ out, and a visit to the TMobile store first thing the next day revealed the worst: that I had water-damaged my phone and thus, voided the warranty.
Of course, that meant no functioning phone from Monday afternoon onward.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem being unplugged, but not having a phone when you’re not in your home city is something of a challenge, to say the least. Anytime I’ve wanted to go anywhere (which is everyday), I’ve come back to the hotel, looked up all the directions and times I could possibly consider taking on GoogleMaps, have taken copious notes on my routes and route options, and then have gone about my business.
It has made for a lot of out-and-backs and backtracking, as you can imagine.
That said, my runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were much shorter and much closer to home–around and through SoMa, Tenderloin, and Chinatown, though I had the pleasure of getting lost in the latter in the pouring rain during morning rush hour.
Today’s run, on the other hand, took me back to the middle part of the marathon course, Golden Gate park. This was a super cool area of the marathon, even though we didn’t run it in its entirety, so I was thrilled to come do it today. I started on Haight and ran toward the ocean, saw the bison/buffalo guys that I recalled seeing from the marathon, stopped and soaked in the ocean view for a couple minutes, and then turned around and somehow managed to get “disoriented,” let’s call it, a few times before making my way back to the Academy of Science and, eventually, the same place I started (more or less).
By then, I was pretty close to the Panhandle, so I thought “let’s keep going…” and eventually, when I thought I’d stop at 10, I knew I was getting pretty close to Market (and thus, just a couple miles away from the hotel), so it didn’t make any sense to stop running and catch a bus for only a 1-1.5 mi ride.
Oh, how we distance runners rationalize things…
My run really came to an end, at 11.16 miles, once I made it back to the hotel and, with less than half a block to go, once I had the privilege of seeing a dude pissing on the sidewalk on Folsom/First, in a hugely crowded and public area, at probably 10am. I don’t usually see penis on my long runs (or any runs, for the matter), but hey, I also usually don’t see ocean or bison, either.
When in San Francisco…
This is such a great city, in and of itself, but also such a great place to run. My legs (read: quads) are tired, and my muscles surrounding my calves and shins are a bit tight when I first start running, but otherwise, no aches and pains… and I’m convinced (or, at the very least, optimistic) that this week of solid hills-running will be helpful come Houston in <40 days.
Tomorrow? Back to the midwest.