weather

47 Hills – Part 8 Mount St. Joseph & More!

The 40th tallest hill took me a while to get around to running it. I wasn’t thrilled about it, to be honest, it’s not the most scenic spot in San Francisco. In fact, if you’ve spent any time in the city, you’ve been here. At 250 feet, it’s the same height as a few other hills but what makes it different is that a shopping mall stands on top of it.

Running Blog 8-8-17

Even on a foggy day, the view is nice

Yes, there’s a Best Buy and Target on this one. The cross streets are Geary, Presidio and Masonic. It’s an extremely busy intersection. The views of Downtown are pretty nice, if you go to the top of the parking lot. Other than that, it’s not that special.

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On Geary at the base of Mount St Joseph

Because I wasn’t that thrilled with the 40th place, I’m including some pictures from my run this last Sunday at Mt Tamalpais. It was a wonderful 7 mile run from Mt Tam to Stinson Beach. I don’t get up there very often because the bus ride is long and expensive. But I’ll do it again when I can.

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Near the top of My Tamalpais

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Top part of the Matt Davis trail

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The top part of the trail is dry, yet the bottom part is so damp, like a rainforest

Life is good. Things are not perfect, but when is it? My running and workouts are the best part of my day and I can’t ask for more.

Keep Moving Forward!

 

 

 

Chocolate in the Rain

This is the fourth year the RAM Hot Chocolate race series has been in San Francisco. I’ve always enjoyed this race series. Every year it’s run with professionalism and grace, something that doesn’t always happen with these big races. But this one has always done a great job.

Some things are beyond anyone’s control .Like weather. All week long I’ve been checking the forecast for today and it said nothing but pouring rain with winds. And that’s exactly was it was most of the morning, with the hardest rain coming down just as I left the house around 6:30am.

It was a miserable morning to prepare for a race! I wouldn’t have blamed anyone for deciding to have their medal shipped to them and doing the distance on their own. But, that’s just not me, so I braved the wind and rain and took MUNI off to Golden Gate Park.

The ONLY saving grace was that is wasn’t cold. The temperatures hovered around 59 degrees so I was VERY happy it wasn’t freezing when I was soggy wet!

The 15k course was shortened to a 9k course, due to the Great Highway along the Pacific Ocean becoming part of the ocean. That happens due to high tides and winds. Sand doesn’t like to stay in place and during winter, the highway does close occasionally. I didn’t mind at all running a shorter distance, my feet were soaked before the race already. I chose to wear my race running jacket for the race, which turned out to be a really good decision. I was a little warm, but inside my jacket, I wasn’t soaked and that was a good feeling.

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The rain is coming down while we wait for the start….

My time wasn’t bad; I placed in the top half of the women in my age group and even though I would have run faster had it not been as rainy and slick, I’m still pleased with how I did.

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Here I am, trying to stay dry!!! 

Had the RAM organization not been so organized and great at communicating the course changes and weather conditions, this could have been a disaster, but as it turned out, things went through smoothly. They did a great job.

Now I need to get serious about losing this weight. I’ve been slacking and not really focusing on it as I should. That ends and my focus will be on losing 20 pounds and being a faster runner.

Cheers!

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The medal and chocolate (!!) make it worthwhile! 

 

 

RAIN RUNNERS

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I have a confession to make….. I like, no I LOVE running in the rain. I LOVE RAIN RUNNING!

Now, there’s a bit more planning before going out and I think this it what intimidates a lot of would be Rain Runners. We have to think of whether it will be light/dark, cold/warm, how long….

And then those first steps outside…..if it’s not raining yet, you’ll probably start running and hope to get some good distance in before the drops start to fall.

In my case last night, it was pouring from the time I started to the time I ended. So, once I was outside, I committed. It was run or go back inside and call myself a wimp. I know that not everyone, in fact, very few people like to run in the pouring rain, but it’s one of my greatest challenges I have in my life these days. Some people bungee jump, others lift really heavy weights, I run in the rain.

It’s been such a long time since we’re had stormy days in the Bay Area, my soaked run was nearly pure joy. I made it fun. I jumped over puddles, turned down my music and listened to the drops on my rain jacket, I enjoyed the way the water distorts the lights on all the new buildings in Mission Bay. I especially get a snicker at the way drivers and walkers rushing to get out of the rain, look at me.

“Are you crazy??” They seem to say. Yeah, maybe.

When the rain starts to pick up, and the puddles get a little bigger, that’s when the real fun happens. It gets a little harder to see, maybe the wind is blowing a bit, and there’s a GREAT BIG PUDDLE right in front of me! All of a sudden, I’m Super Woman and leap! Making it to the other side in a single bound.

The other very cool part of being a Rain Runner is when we see other Rain Runners, we acknowledge them. Sometimes it’s just a smile but other times, when it’s really coming down, a fist pump or high-five is the answer.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that coming home to dry off, have something extra delicious to eat and knowing I conquered a rainstorm wasn’t the very best part. I used to downhill ski and sometimes being at the top of the hill was intimidating and really scary. But once I settled down my fears and started edging my skis down the steep of the hill, I was OK, much like once I get going into a rainy run.

If you’ve been fearful of running in the rain, I would say try to tackle that fear and go for it. Be prepared for it first, have the right gear. A good running shell or light running-style raincoat, if it’s cold, running tights, long distance shoes, with thicker soles are the best just for the puddles, a don’t forget a hat.

With El Nino visiting Northern California this year, it seems I’ll be getting more excellent Rain Runs in soon.

Cheers!

RAIN, FINALLY!

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Rain in GGP

California has had a drought for a few years. But this is an El Nino season and time for the rain the earth so thirstily desires. I wanted to get a few miles trail running in after work and I knew that if I didn’t hurry the rain and sunset would catch up with me. The closest place to get to a trail was Golden Gate Park, so I made it just in time.

I got out there as the raindrops started. On a chilly, rainy Friday night, I had the park almost to myself. Golden Gate Park is larger in acreage than Central park in New York City, but in winter in a city made up of so many newb transplants who desire nice weather, you won’t find many who are hearty enough for anything like a rainy evening in the park.

Trail running is a good challenge for me. Even the mild and relatively easy trails in the park are enough to slow me down and take my time, especially around the tall eucalyptus trees. When the rains and winds come around, they lose not only their leaves but their branches and those get hard to notice as the shadows of nightfall get broader and darker. I nearly got tripped up over a couple of them. And, then there are their acorns, those are so easy to slip on when they get wet! Yikes!

As the darkness started overtaking the light, I knew I was getting closer to the end of my run. It’s pretty familiar running grounds for me; I’ve run in the park many times on these trails but the rain started to get a little heavier through the tree branches and I knew it was only going to get colder and wetter.

By the time I got home on the bus, it was pouring and so cold! I was one happy runner! There is NOTHING like finishing a great run, no matter the weather. Non-runners can never understand the true joy we running fanatics have after running in gnarly weather. It’ll be our private joke. *Wink Wink*

Cheers!