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I tend to forget how much I enjoy being in San Francisco until I’m actually there. Despite my loyalty to Los Angeles, there’s something about SF that keeps me going back for more (shhh). The layer of chill fog that always hangs in the air, the different breath-taking views of the Golden Gate bridge, the plethora of trendy and upcoming restaurants…there’s never a dull moment when I visit. But what I seem to always go back for most is running. From the Embarcadero to Chrissy Field to Palace of Fine Arts there are so many places I miss running by. So, to pump up pre-race day excitement, I embarked on a photo adventure with my sister that started at the Sutro Baths and finished at Lands End.
Although the infamous rolling hills of SF make for great photo ops, they’re not something I look forward to when part of a running course. As I mentioned above, last Sunday I ran the San Francisco Half Marathon. I hadn’t run in SF since last October when I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon, and the last time I ran the San Francisco Marathon was in 2011. So you can imagine the rude awakening that my calves and all the way up to my back had every time I hit the dreaded hills during the race. However, despite my lack of training and lack of hills to train on, I finished the half much better than anticipated :)
One of my favorite parts of running and training for a race are the small milestones you have to look forward to. Planning your long run routes, shopping for your race day outfit, sampling goodies at the expo, and glorious c a r b loading. Although to be honest, I have to admit that I don’t really believe in carb loading and I feel that I perform the same when having a salad vs spaghetti the night before the race. But who am I kidding. I love my carbs and enjoy any reason to indulge myself ;)
Come race day, my sister and I woke up at 430A to begin our morning ritual (aka eating). By 6AM we arrived at the starting line along The Embarcadero and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. A little after 8AM we had already crossed the finish line and were enjoying snacks of coconut water and muffins as the sun began to shine. Although I have run many races in SF before, I really enjoyed everything at a much granular level this time. The amazing views, the feel of the pavement under my feet, the excited runners, the supportive crowds.. It felt like my passion for running had been renewed.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time because the day after the race I began my first day of training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I’ll save the details for later but it was an incredible first day. Be sure to stay tuned for more posts on my training!
(Very left photo is clearly the work of an amateur photographer who couldn't capture my graceful leap...jerk.)