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.