Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 22nd - 28th 2008

This was another slow week, still trying to get over the 'knee' pain. Actually, by the end of the week I started to realize that the pain was actually in my calf but was radiating to the knee area. I started massaging a sore spot on my calf on Saturday and on Sunday I was able to get in 8 miles with only mild discomfort. I took Monday the 29th off and this morning I did 11.5. The run wasn't without any discomfort though, after about 4 miles I started feeling it, and by 7 miles it had peaked, interestingly enough, somewhere after 7 miles the discomfort magically disappeared and the rest of the run felt pretty good!

Cycle - 5.5 mi

Run - 7 miles, 8:26/mi, 143bpm
The knee/calf felt great for the first 6 then really started bothering me.
Cycle - 5.5 mi

Run - 3.75 mi, 8:27/mi, 139bpm
This wasn't the planned run but the knee/calf was not cooperating.

Run - 4.22 mi, 8:24/mi, 130bpm
Nothing like starting Christmas morning with a run! Too bad I had to cut it short once again.

Off - Family in town, touring San Francisco

Off - Family in town, touring San Francisco

Run - 8 mi, 8:15/mi, 147bpm
Finally the knee/calf cooperated after some massaging. This run felt really good, I guess all this downtime gave my legs a little extra spring. The last few miles in the park felt like I was on autopilot. I was also testing out my new headphones that I got for Christmas and they are awesome! Finally a pair that stay in my ears and don't bother me. I hope these will last a while, I haven't had much luck with headphones.

Run 22.97 miles
Cycle 11 miles

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 15th - 21st 2008

Two weeks ago on Sunday the 7th, I had one of the best long runs I'd had in a long time, there was just one small thing that went wrong, near the end of the run my left knee started to hurt. I ignored it and finished the run but did slow down a bit the last few miles. After that run, my knee felt sore again for the next 3 runs but only going up hills and it felt better and better each run. A week ago on the 14th, I wanted to get in 11 or 12 miles along with a 5k. The pre-race warm up and race went well and afterwards I kept running another 6 miles to complete the run. With about 3 miles to go, the knee soreness came back. Of course, I kept running. By the time I got home it was really sore and for the rest of the day it hurt walking, bending, etc. Monday is usually a rest day which was good because my knee was still really sore. It started feeling a bit better by the evening but I decided to take Tuesday off as well just to make sure. Tuesday night it was feeling good except when walking up hills, so I took Wednesday off as well. Thursday I went to the track in the morning because I wanted to run on a flat surface. The first three miles were great, the knee was pain free. Then it started to get sore, slowly and I kept running. I ended up with 6 miles but the last three I was stopping to stretch, rub, etc. It would feel better for a lap and then start getting sore again. Friday I tried the track again and got in 2 miles before I started to feel it. Once again, I stopped, shook it out then got in one more mile before it intensified.

I had a race planned for Sunday and really didn't think I'd be able to do it. Saturday I took the day off of running on Jim's suggestion with the plan that I would go to the race and if my knee started to hurt I could shut it down and not finish the race. So on a total of 9 miles running this week, I headed to the race this morning. I warmed up with 1 mile of running and was feeling pretty good. The race turned out to be pretty hilly I thought. According to the Garmin, there was 350 feet of uphill, 1.25 miles of the race. My main focus was to keep my heart rate over 170 during the race. Here are the splits:
Mile 1, 6:37, 163 avg, 173 max
Mile 2, 6:25, 171 avg, 190 max (hit this climbing a hill, not sure if it is accurate)
Mile 3, 6:37, 171 avg, 175 max
.15, 1:03, 172 avg, 172 max (uphill finish)
This was a certified course so it was accurate, but of course since you can't always run tangent to tangent, I ended up with 3.15 for a 6:34 pace. Compared to last weeks race, I feel pretty good since this course was alot hillier. I was happy that I was able to keep my heart rate higher than the last race. I was also hurting a lot more at the end of this race. The last 1/4 mile was tough. Here is the summary from last weeks 5k:
Mile 1, 6:38, 161 avg, 169 max
Mile 2, 6:57, 167 avg, 169 max
Mile 3, 6:29, 168 avg, 178 max
.04, :16, 170 avg, 171 max
This wasn't a certified course and according to Garmin was a bit short. So I ended up with 3:04 miles at 6:41 pace.

So after the race today, I ran a mile to warm down and then I started feeling my knee a little bit, so I shut it down before it got any worse. I'm not sure what is going on with my knee, the pain is on the inside of the knee. I think it kind of feels the same way that IT band pain feels (its been a long time since I had IT band pain). But anyway, the IT band is on the other side of the knee. Nothing is swollen or sore to the touch either. So I am going to take another easy week of running and hope that it is all better by the 29th because that is when I start the 18 week marathon training plan for Avenue of the Giants. Can't wait!

A few comments about the race, I liked the course, and after finishing I headed over to get some water or a banana or something and found that they were handing out ice cream, yum :) It was funny that some people thought it was too cold for ice cream ... ummm I don't think that is ever the case ;) The temperature was in the mid 40s with light rain, but after a good run it didn't feel cold at all. After the race I met 3 other women who live in the area and are regular runners, one even works downtown in IT as well. So the four of us chatted for a bit while we waited for the awards. I finished 3rd overall and Tina finished 2nd overall, so we figured we should wait. Well, we waited and waited while they took a century to hand out the 1 mile race awards (which were really just printed certificates). We knew there were some gift certificates for the winners but we didn't know if it was just the overall winner or top three or what, plus they had door prizes, so it seemed worth it to wait a bit for the awards. Anyway, they finally finished the mile awards and then guess what??? They told us that the bibs were all hand written in ink that ran in the rain, so they had no idea what the names and ages of most of the finishers were! Ok, so I don't really care about getting an age group award (but it is nice sometimes and appreciate it when I do receive one), but the most important thing about a race is accurate timing and results! So I was a little disappointed with that. Also, since they knew that they could not announce any 5k results, they could have mentioned that right away so that those that wanted to leave could do so.

So the week summary looks like this:

0 miles running
no cycling

6 miles running

3 miles running

0 miles running

5 miles including 5k race

14 miles running
No cycling this week because it was unseasonably cold due to s storm system coming down from Canada plus a couple of days of rain, so that on top of a sore knee meant no cycling this week.

On a side note, my wonderful mother and father-in-law sent us a Wii for Christmas and we've been having loads of fun playing it! I must say that you can get quite a workout as well - especially with boxing!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 8th - 14th 2008

Running - Off
Cycle - to/from work, 11 miles

Run - 5mi, 8:35/mi, 140bpm
Cycle - to/from work, 11 miles

Run - 5.16, 8:35/mi, 138bpm
Another easy run, legs feeling OK but not very peppy
Cycle - to/from work, 11 miles

Run - Off, was very tired so uncharacteristically, I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep
Cycle - to/from work, 11 miles

Run - 7mi, 8:31/mi, 134bpm
Felt good, but the legs were not turning over very fast, in other words, I felt like I was running 8 min pace but it was actually 8:30's hmmm
Cycle - to/from work, 11 miles

Run - 5.75mi, 8:04/mi, 144bpm
Felt really good on this run, had to slow myself down since I had a race planned for Sunday.

Run - 11mi Total, warm up 2.2 miles, 5k race, then 5.8 miles to finish up.
The race was a very small race put on by a local running group, they organize races almost every weekend throughout the year. This one started at the Conservatory of Flowers so I could just jog over to the start from my apartment. The race is low key, no shirts, no awards (just ribbons) and no chip timing, they did have bananas, oranges etc at the finish which was nice. The race only costs $5 and its a good way to some racing in without having to drive somewhere, spend a lot more money, etc. While warming up I noticed there was a women there that looked like she could be pretty fast, when she lined up at the start with her racing gear on, I knew she was going to be fast. She finished the race in 18 something, 1st women. The race went down JFK then looped around the lake and back on JFK to the finish. My main goal for this race was to just get in a practice run before a race I'm running next week. I planned to focus on form and getting my heart rate over 170. My heart rate ended up being 167, 168 and 170. I think for the first time ever my third mile was the fastest of the race. I felt really good for the third mile and started picking off people. The second mile was the slowest, but I did not feel like it was because I was running out of gas because I felt fine, but that section of the race goes up and down and around the lake. Nobody passed me on the second mile and I didn't fall out of position, so I think a lot of people slowed down. The end result was a 20:22 for the race not bad considering I haven't done a 5k in a while so I am looking forward to next weekend's race to see if I can better this. I ended up as the 2nd women and came away with a fancy ribbon to commemorate the occasion :). A few minutes into the race it started raining and then it was pouring. I wanted to get my long run in so I was planning on running home after the race and changing out of my racing flats but since I was already drenched and knew if I went home I would not want to go back out, so I did my 'cool down' of about 5.8 miles in the pouring rain, it was enjoyable but at the same time bone-chilling. The nice hot shower felt really good when I was done!

33.91 miles running
55 miles cycling (commuting)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 1st - 7th 2008


1.25 warm up
6 x 400
92, 93, 94, 93, 93, 93
1 mi cool down
Heart rate monitor did not register correctly, so no data
4.87 miles

Recovery run - slow
5.25 miles

5 miles, 8.25/mi, 139bpm

2 mi warm up
3 x 1200 (wanted to do 4 but got out the door too late)
4:59(162), 4:56(165), 4:55(166)
1 mi cool down
5.75 mi

Group run
6.7 mi, 8.04/mi, 148bpm

Long run
12.08 mi, 7:36/mi, 152bpm
Happy with this run, the legs were turning over well and the first 7 miles felt effortless.
8:23 (111)
7:57 (140)
7:24 (150)
7:02 (156)
6:57 (161)
6:53 (167)
7:18 (160)
7:44 (156)
7:40 (158)
7:51 (160)
7:37 (155)
8:14 (156)

40.5 miles running
55 miles cycling (commuting)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 24th to 30th 2008

I think I'll start posting my weekly training, so here it is:

5mi, 8:12 pace, HR Avg 143
Cycle to/from work 11 miles

No running
Cycle to/from work, 11 miles

3mi, 9:00 pace, HR Avg 125 - Easy run the day before the race

1mi warmup
5.25mi race, 7:17 pace, HR Avg 160 - Turkey Trot

6mi, 8:11 pace, No HR, equipment problems

12mi, 8:15 pace, HR Avg 140 - Long run

6mi, 8:55 pace, HR Avg 133 - Trail running with Jim

38.25 miles running
22 miles cycling

Turkey Trot

Well, what can I say about the Turkey Trot? It was a fun race but I was disappointed in the way I ran it which was slow! The course was a mixture of grass, dirt trail, dirt trail with rocks and a sandy/dirt track. As a bonus, there were a couple of short steep hills, some single track and a log to jump over. The grassy areas were wet and by the second loop around it was getting muddy and slippery. I expected the course to be slow and wasn't looking for a PR, but when I downloaded the Garmin after the race, I noticed my HR was only averaged 160 for the race when it should have been around 168-170 which means I didn't run hard enough. The course also turned out to be 5.25 miles instead of the 5 miles that they advertised ... I didn't mind though. Overall it was really nice to run a race on Thanksgiving morning with the temperature about 55 and sunny skies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cycling HR

Most days of the week I cycle to work. It is about 5.5 miles each way with the trip to work being mostly downhill or flat and of course the trip home is mostly uphill or flat. If I had to guess, I would have said that my heart rate didn't average over 85 on the ride to work and 110 on the way back. I also figured that I wouldn't get higher than 135 max for the ride home. Those numbers were based on my resting and maximum heart rates which are 44 & 178.

Last week I wore my Garmin on the ride to and from work to see what my heart rate really was. Here is what the ride to work looks like.

Average HR: 106
Maximum HR: 136

Here is the ride home from work.

Average HR: 126
Maximum HR: 157
The graph shows a shorter distance because the satellite didn't lock in right away and I didn't feel like waiting for it.

So the way home is 20 BPM higher than the way to work. Should these rides be considered a workout? At first I thought not, but after riding to and from work for a few days in a row, I can definitely tell that I start getting tired because the hills start getting tougher, especially the last 1/2 mile to the apartment which is all up hill. I guess the morning ride is more like a super easy recovery run with no pounding on the legs. The evening ride is a bit like an interval workout because I usually try to power up the hills as fast as I can.

Now the question is will the cycling help my running out????

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Two years ago I used to be a regular stretcher. I did a lot of running at the gym and it was convenient to stretch on the mats after running. I started thinking that stretching didn't matter and that I didn't need to stretch - so I stopped doing static stretching and just did some dynamic stretching before running. Well, for pretty much most of 2008 I have been experiencing really tight hamstrings and as a result, most of my running started really slow until my hamstrings warmed up and then I could pick up the pace a bit. I didn't really give too much thought to why my hamstrings were sore and tight all the time, I assumed it would work itself out on its own, but it didn't.

Since I'm going to start my marathon training at the beginning of January, I started looking back at my old logs from 2006 when I was in top shape and ran my marathon PR. I was really surprised to see that that my average weekly pace was around 8 minutes per mile - compared to lately when 8:40 or so was the average, so I started to wonder how I could have slowed down so much in only 2 years! After much pondering and some reading on the web, it finally struck me, stretching!!!! I know, Jim has been preaching to me about stretching forever, but I thought that dynamic stretching was even better than static stretching, apparently I was wrong - at least for me. I know, some people don't have to stretch at all, but I'm not one of them. So about 4 weeks ago I started to stretch again, 2-3 times per day, in the morning, after a run and before bed. At first, it was hard, I was soooo tight I couldn't even get close to touching my toes. I could also tell that my right hamstring was a lot tighter than my left and even lifting my leg in the air while lying down caused pain. Here is my favorite stretch, the lying hamstring stretch. There are more great stretches to try at VeloGirls.com

I am happy to report that my hamstring tightness and soreness is pretty much gone and after 4 weeks of stretching I can tell that my range of motion has increased, I can easily touch my toes now! About a week and a half after starting to stretch regularly I also noticed that my daily pace started to pick back up and now it's averaging about 8:15 over a week instead of 8:40. Looks like I will be a regular stretcher from now on!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turkey Trot

I just signed up for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. The race is called the Turkey Trail Trot, formally known as the 'Turkey Beach Trot' since the race used to be run on the beach. Apparently races are not allowed to be held on the beach so it was moved to Golden Gate Park. The race takes place on a cross country course around the Polo Field. I am looking forward to running this race and then feasting on some holiday fare.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Running in the Rain

On Saturday, I wanted to get in a long run of 12 miles, unfortunately the radar had nothing but green all over it - meaning it was raining and there was no end in sight! Normally that would mean a treadmill run for me, but since I don't have a treadmill anymore or a gym membership, I decided to suck it up and head out into the rain. I did wait about 2 hours though until it started to taper off a bit. Once I got outside, the rain was falling lightly, but I was well protected with my hat and jacket. I decided to head up the hill on Stanyan since I had never run that way before. It turned out to be a great move, I ran through this really nice neighborhood up some windy roads and found a great lookout spot where I took the opportunity to stop for a moment and enjoy the view. That's when the rain started really coming down! But I didn't mind, I was enjoying the view and peacefulness up there too much! The hill climbing fun was not over though, and I kept heading up hill until I reached the Mt Sutro Tower. By this point, I was totally drenched, including shoes and socks so there was no point in hopping over puddles and I just started running through them! I felt like a kid splashing through the rain as I made my way down the hill! Here is a cool picture of the Sutro tower from Wiskinator on Flickr.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Ok, a little revision on the race schedule. First of all, I decided not to run the 10k back on October 12th, instead Jim and I went for a run with a local running group on Saturday, then on Sunday I did a 'long' run...I was planning on running 12 miles, but missed the street I was planning on turning down and then I found myself running along the coast in the Presidio area and then Chrissy Field. I had never been running in that area so I just went with the flow. Well, since I didn't know the area well, I didn't know what road to take to get through the park to go south to head back home. Unlike most parts of San Francisco, the roads in that area are not north-south, east-west, and alot of the roads are dead ends or go in circles...the point being that you really need to know the way if you want to cut through the park. So I kept running until I got past the park to Broderick St and ran south until I got to my neighborhood. That was adventurous too since parts of it are among the highest peaks in San Francisco. By the time I got home, the run had turned into 15 miles! Oops! It was fun though!

Anyway, back to the race schedule. I just signed up to run the Avenue of the Giants marathon on May 3rd. The race is run through the giant redwoods and is supposed to be beautiful. Jim and I will probably tack a vacation on the end of this trip and travel up to Seatle for a few days. Should be a good time and hopefully a PR as well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Running Groups

Saturday we went running with a local running group. The group meets at a restaurant called Crepes on Cole which is about a mile from our apartment. There were about 12 people that showed up for the run and everybody paired off depending on mileage and anticipated pace. Of course after group runs, just like in Ohio, it's time for breakfast! It wasn't Bob Evans, but it was really good. I had pancakes and Jim had french toast and we sat around and chatted with others from the running group. It was a good time and we will be back to join them again.

Last month when we went back to Cleveland for a wedding, we had a chance for one last morning group run with the gang, what a great morning it was for a run at the towpath with a great group of people!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Racing Schedule

Ok, time to set some goals! Here are a list of races I plan on running.

10/12/08 - Golden Gate Park 10k
11/16/08 - Polo Field 5k
12/14/08 - Conservatory 5k
12/21/08 - Christmas Classic 5k
02/01/09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
05/15/09 - Bay to Breakers 12k
06/27/09 - Double Dipsea 13.7 miles, 2200 vertical feet

The first 3 races are low key, put on by a running group in the area. The Bay to Breakers race is a huge race with 33,000 registered runners last year and an estimated 60,000 total runners! If I run a sub 19:00 or sub 21:30 5k before May 1st I can get a seeded or sub-seeded starting position rather than starting with the masses. 21:30 is doable, but it would be nice if I can get the sub 19 ... that will take a lot of work. Well, I guess I have 7 months of training and racing to try to get there, so we'll see. I'll be adding more races for 2009, just haven't picked them out yet. The Double Dipsea is a challenging run and I hope I can get in since registration is limited and sells out fast I hear. Check out this fly-by of the course.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beautiful Night for a Race

The corporate challenge 3.5 mile race was held last night at Chrissy Field. 41 Employees from my company participated, some of them coming all the way from Sacramento. The race was organized pretty well, they had busses assigned to pick up people from all over the downtown area and transport them to the start and then drop them off again after the race. Our bus picked us up at 5:45pm and we were supposed to arrive by 6pm. That should have been perfect and would have provided 45 minutes to warm up. Of course, nobody factored in rush hour traffic in downtown San Francisco! Well we ended up getting there at 6:30pm!!! Only 15 minutes before the race! Naturally the port-o-potty's all had line-ups, just like they normally do just before the start of the race. Anyway, I didn't have much time to warm up so I did what I could and then ran to find my spot in the starting corral. There were about 5000 people running/walking this race, so making my way up to the 7 minute pace marker was a challenge and I couldn't get too much closer than that so thats where I started. Unfortunately this race was not chip timed, so the closer to the front the better. On a side note, if I do this race next year I will run from the office to the start of the race since it is only about 2 miles! Anyway, as I was making my way closer to the front, I bumped into a co-worker who was going to run a similiar pace so we both headed to the front together. He then told me that last years front runner for our company was probably closer to the front. I was hopping to spot her and hang with her for the race, but couldn't find her and as I said, it was too crowded to try to get closer.

The race started and the first few minutes was spent jockeying for position and trying to avoid the slower runners who started to far ahead. The course was beautiful, it started at Chrissy Field, headed east then looped around heading west towards the Golden Gate bridge. Since the race started at 6:45, the sun was starting to dip over the horizon, glowing behind the bridge, what a beautiful sight!

The course is almost entirely flat which is also nice, they only negative about the course is that for the entire second mile (and a bit more), you are running on a loose crushed stone path which kind of slows you down. The race was a lot of fun, I wasn't expecting to run too fast and I didn't. I was the second finisher from my company, the first finisher also won the most senior women executive prize, good for her! I lucked out though and ended up winning a 50$ gift card which my company was offering up for the fastest finisher. Since our fastest finisher was an HR executive, she didn't take it so I was next in line - lucky me :D

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to AM Running

This week I started running in the mornings. I used to do this all the time before I changed my hours at the bank to start at 7am. Since I start at 9am now, I found that when I got home at 6:30 or 7pm, I wasn't really too excited about going back out to run. Especially after cycling 6 miles up hill into the wind on the way home! I actually did that a few times and found that my legs felt pretty much like cement when I started the run - which makes me admire all you triathaletes out there who do that in a race! So this week I ran Monday through Thursday at 6:30am. It's nice running in the mornings, I head down to the park and there are lots of other runners out and people walking their dogs. I've also noticed that there are lots of fitness groups that get together in the morning and are usually doing things like stretching, lunges and various other excercises, they also do some running. Seems like a good way to get out and get some excercise and I'm sure the group motivation really helps.

Well, the corporate challenge is on Wednesday and I'm not sure how I'll do since I haven't really put in too many hard workouts, so we'll see what happens. Should be a fun event, there will be 41 people from my company running and over 6000 total runners!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

7:30's ???

So today for some strange reason I had a faboulus run! I really shouldn't have since I cycled about 60 miles this week and my legs were dead on Thursday and Friday. Why did I cycle 60 miles? Well, Monday Jim and I explored the city on bike which was bout 15 miles including some good long climbs and Tuesday through Friday I took my bike to work each day which is almost 12 miles for the round trip. The trip home from work is also uphill and into the wind, so it is a little more challenging than the drive in. Anyway, Thursday after work I was planning on getting in a quick tempo before heading home but it just wasn't happening, my legs were yelling at me! So I aborted the run and headed home on the bike. So Friday I decided that I better run in the morning before work otherwise I wouldn't get it done at all. That was a average/good run, nothing special. Today I assumed my legs would still be tired, but after running the first mile, I looked at my watch and I was at about a 7:40 pace. This was weird because I felt like I was running 8:40! Anyway, I ended up running 6 of the 8 miles at 7:30 pace and it felt great! I don't know why since I haven't been running fast lately except for a weekly tempo/interval workout. I have been doing tons of hills, so maybe that is starting to pay off. Maybe the cycling is helping too. Well, about a week and a half until the Corporate Challenge race, hopefully I continue to have good workouts and a good race!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a GrandView!

On Monday morning I headed out for a run with my Sirius radio and no plan! I guess I was just going to run around the neighborhood to get some miles in. Anyway, I decided I should check out this mysterious hill not too far from my apartment. It's mysterious because it is not very wide and it kind of juts out of the surrounding landscape plus, there are some trees up there but just a few. So I ran up (I mean UP the hill) the road in the direction of this hill and quite easily located the bottom of the huge staircase that goes right to the top. I continued on running up the stairs....had to slow down a bit though as the repetitiveness of the stair climbing was making me dizzy. Anyway, finally reached the top!! WOW, this is the best view yet! You can see everything from downtown to the ocean, as far as Daly city, maybe even further! It was a perfectly clear day as well, so I could see so far into the horizon. This hill is called Grand View Park. I didn't have my camera, but here is a great shot. There is not much on top except for a bench or two, sand and trees. On the other side of the hill, there is another staircase and this one is completely tiled in a wonderful mosiac, check out these amazing pictures.

Unfortunately the camera is now broken due to a little mishap yesterday, but we are actively searching for a replacement and then Jim and I plan on heading up the hill to get some nice sunrise or sunset shots of our own!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Polo Field

Today I went running through Golden Gate Park with Jim. We headed up to Stow Lake and ran around it before heading back. We split up and 7th and Lincoln and I headed back to the park. I made my way over to JFK drive which is closed to traffic on Sundays and ran West until Spreckles Lake. I heard a lot of cheering going on close by and decided to check out what was going on. I followed the noise over to the polo field which I had not been to before and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice dirt path surrounding it. The path is about 3/4 of a mile. This path is also elevated, if you make your way down to the field, there is a paved path surrounding the field. This was interesting as there were several people roller blading and cycling around it. Apparently it is a good spot to go to get some speed work in for cyclists. I think I will be going back there for some speed workouts.

Yesterday's run didn't work out so well...note to self: do not eat pizza 2 hours before running!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


On Saturday I headed out for a long run, I had mapped out a new route the night before. I planned on heading east, going around the panhandle then heading north to run around some neighborhoods that I haven't seen yet and then head back through Richmond then to the park to see what was going on at the Land's End concert.

The morning started out foggy but as I turned the corner to head east, the sky was a beautiful shade of blue! It was a perfect day for a run, sunny and about 60 or so.

I love these long weekend runs because it gives me a chance to do some exploring while getting in some running as well.

I ran up Broderick St. and then Divisidero St. to Vallejo St. and when I mapped out the route, I had no idea what I was in for. First of all, it was pretty hilly ... I didn't mind too much though since I am getting quite accustomed to running hills around here. The final block from Broadway to Vallejo was REALLY steep, almost unrunnable. When I reached the top though, the views were unbelievable!

You can see the Golden Gate bridge, Presidio, Alcatraz and the San Francisco Bay from there! The housing in that area is also beautiful, lots of mansions and really nice homes .. you know that kind with the perfectly manicured lawns! Anyway, I had planned on continuing all the way to the bay before turning around, but the downhill portion of the road I was on was REALLY steep and I would have probably had to walk down a good portion of it until it flattened out a bit. Instead, I ran around the neighborhood a bit and found this amazing park called Alta Plaza. This park has stunning views of the entire city and is definately a place that Jim and I will have to visit often!

I then headed back towards Golden Gate Park running through the Richmond area. This is not the best place to run because the streets are crowded in some areas and there is a lot of traffic. Eventually I made it back into the park and headed towards the polo fields to see what was going on since this weekend they were holding the largest concert ever held in the park lasting 3 days with tons of bands. The concert is called Outside Lands Fest, some of the bands included Radio Head, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Beck. What was really nice was that you could enjoy the music from outside the enclosed concert areas which alot of people were doing.

I finally headed back home and topped off the run with a stop at the smoothie place! Yum!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cliff House

On Saturday I ran a little over twelve miles, I started at my place of course, then headed west on Irving. Irving is an interesting street, you can find great coffee shops, restaurants with all kinds of different foods like Sushi, Mexican, Korean, Chinese, Viatnamese, Italian, basically anything you have a taste for you will find. There are also many small grocery stores with fresh produce, some fun and wacky stores and many bargain shops. So running down Irving street is usually not boring. About 3/4 of a mile from the beach, bustling Irving turns into a quieter residential area with only a few restaurants around and a few other places like a surf shop and bicycle shop. I got to the beach and continued running north towards the Cliff House. Wow, what a beautiful view from up there! Well worth the climb! Just because I was running, I did not hesitate to stop and take in the beautiful views for a few mintues.

Continuing along, I then headed down the Lands End trail which runs along the coast and has beautiful sweeping views of the ocean and Golden Gate bridge. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and has a few obstacles like stairs going up and stairs going down as well as a couple of areas with sand on the trail. The trail comes out at El Camino Del Mar which runs into Sea Cliff Ave where China Beach is located. So I ran down to the beach, stopped to admire the view then headed back up the hill where I continued down 'Millionaire Row'. I guess that's the nick name for the homes on Sea Cliff and I can see why! Wow, they are all mansions with spectacular views of Golden Gate bridge! Apparently Robin Williams is supposed to live there...I didn't see him.

The rest of the run was nothing out of the ordinary, I just ran through the Richmond district, looped around the Panhandle then headed up the hill towards home. Overall a good run.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Running in the Park

Golden Gate park is 3 miles long, a 1/2 mile wide and borders between Ocean Beach to the west and Haight/Ashbury to the east. Yesterday I ran the circumference of the park starting at my place I headed west and enjoyed a nice gentle down hill all the way to the beach. I stopped to watch a few people surfing and then continued on heading east on the north side of the park. This was a little more challenging as there are several good climbs on this side. On the east end of the park, the panhandle juts out and there is a nice paved path running up each side. This stretch is about 1.5 miles out and back. After running 3 miles of hills, my legs were ready for some speed, so I picked it up quite a bit for this section. Overall it was a nice 10 mile run and the weather was perfect for a longer run, cool and cloudy with the sun coming out near the end.

On Sundays they shut down John F. Kennedy Blvd that runs through the park to traffic and it becomes packed with runners, cyclists, rollerbladers and walkers. It was such a beautiful day here today, the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect so I headed out to check out the interior of the park. I ran from my place to the east end to hop on JFK. What a great place to run on a nice sunny Sunday! Not only was there some great people watching, but there was also some swing dancing going on as well as some roller skate dancing in a different area. The park was filled with sun bathers and picnickers, little kids learning to cycle and rollerblade, lots of dogs out as well. I think this will be one of my favorite hangouts on nice Sunny Sundays!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Finally, Something to Train For!

My first day of work was on Monday and while going through all the basics with Kara from HR, she let me know that our company participates in the annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge!!!
Of course, I volunteered right there to run the 3.5 mile race! So since I haven't raced since May and haven't had a good race since December, I have quite a challenge to get in racing shape with only about 6 weeks to go. I am pretty excited though because it has been hard to stay motivated to run without a set goal in mind.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hitting the Hills

Friday morning I ran around the city and once again, it was a beautiful morning for running, the sun was out and the wind was minimal. I started out heading down Market Street but then decided to see how the hills felt so I turn up Powell Street and ran all the way to the peak at Broadway I then made my way down to California and Grant which starts a very steep incline up to Stockton, so I ran up that and wow, that felt great! I ended up with about 6.5 miles after running around the downtown area a bit more. I would have liked to run longer but we had to get checked out of the hotel and moved into the apartment.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Market St. to Pier 39

This morning I headed out for a run and I was expecting it to be cold and windy since the weather here has been unseasonably cold. I instead was presented with a nice cool morning with very low winds, it was perfect running weather. I headed down Market St which wasn't too crowded at 7am, then made a left on The Embarcadero and ran out to Pier 39. I stopped there to enjoy the view of Alcatraz for a minute and then turned to head back. When I got back to Market street, things started getting a little hairy as there were a lot of pedestrians and even though the side walks are very wide, I had to do a little navigating around people. A few blocks from the hotel a decided I didn't want to wait for a light, so I made a left and headed down to the next major street called Mission. This part of Mission is completely the opposite of Market street, lets just say I won't be running around the Mission / 5 th street area any time soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weekend at the Tow Path

Saturday and Sunday were two enjoyable days of running, they were the last two runs at the Tow Path with my running buddies. I sure am going to miss our weekend runs and especially breakfast at Bob Evans afterwards!

Saturday I ran 6.6, the first 3 were at an easy pace and then when we turned around, Joe and I kept picking up the pace, it was a great run.

Sunday was the same run, 6.6, but I was out of gas! I felt like I couldn't keep up with my buddies and we were running an easy pace! The second half I ran alone, so I just enjoyed the scenery and didn't worry about the pace.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Running in Place

Yesterday and today I had no choice but to run inside on the treadmill really early in the morning...5am to be exact. With all the get-togethers with friends and lunches with co-workers, there has been no time to squeeze it in at lunch or after work. I could have run outside, but at 5am when it is still dark out, you never know what critters you may run into and I certainly don't want to smell like a skunk or startle any other unexpecting wildlife. Both runs were done at an easy pace, I do find it hard to get moving first thing in the morning, but after about a mile I usually start to pick up the pace.

This weekend will be the last 2 runs at the towpath before flying out to San Francisco early Monday morning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Run gone wrong

We met at 5:30 for the typical Wednesday night hill run and before the run even started, my stomach was feeling a little iffy so I wasn't sure if I was going to push it to hard. *M* showed up for the run and I knew he was going to want to run faster than the pace the group typically starts out at. Sure enough when the run started, he immediately started at a quick pace. Of course, I can't just sit back and run easy, so off I go too. The first 3.7 miles are mostly downhill on this course and *M* and I ran the first two in 7:41, 7:18, then he wanted to slow down a bit and save some for the hills, I on the other hand was feeling spectacular, so I kept pushing it and did the next one in 7:06. By now I was into the hill portion so the 4th mile slowed to 8:22, but that's also when disaster hit! The 'iffy' feeling in my stomach was back and by 4.25 miles in, I had to stop and walk... not fun especially when I was having such a great run. I ended up walking about 3/4 of a mile before I was rescued by my hubby, but not before a torrential downpour hit completely drenching me! fun stuff :D

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

5 Days and Counting...

I went for a final lunch run today with my downtown running buddies, Salty, ESpeed and DaisyDuc. They suggested that I start a blog to share my adventures in San Francisco, so here I am with my first blog post! I must admit that I tried to blog a while ago and after 2 posts realized that I just didn't have the time or the drive to keep it updated so I dropped it. This time I think it will be different since I'm leaving in 5 days to move to San Francisco and it will be a good way to keep friends and family updated on running and other excursions in San Francisco.

The run today in downtown Cleveland was very nice, we ran about 4-5 miles including the usual run out on Marginal. It was great to get out over the lunch hour and spend time chatting about running, racing and moving with the girls.

Tomorrow I'll running the usual Wednesday night hill workout and I hope to run the hills hard and get in a negative split. This run is a 5.5 mile loop through the metropark, the first half it downhill and the second half uphill....tough!