47 Hills – Sutro Heights Hill 45

I started my run on a clear, breezy morning. I hadn’t realized that it was the same morning as the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, a short, yet punishing tri that starts on Alcatraz with a swim to the Marina Green, then an 18-mile cycling course, finishing with an 8-mile run that returns at Marina Green. And throughout both the bike and running courses, there are hills, lots of hills.

Sutro Mansion

The original Sutro Mansion

What this meant for me, was that a lot of the area I was planning on running was going to either be cut off or a bit more difficult to get to, so I rerouted my run and enjoyed watching a bit of the tri along the way.


The view from the top

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro was born in Germany in 1830 but served as mayor of San Francisco from 1895 until 1897. He made his fortune in the Comstock Lode in Nevada and built not only a huge mansion at the top of a hill overlooking Ocean Beach, but also the well-loved Sutro Baths. The remains of the baths still exist and can be explored on foot.


Sutro Heights grounds

Sutro Heights checks in at 200 feet. It watches over the Pacific Ocean quietly and if you happen to drive past, enjoying the ocean view, you’d probably miss its tranquil setting. Adolph’s gigantic mansion is long gone, but the site remains and it is worth a visit. The hill is one of my favorites; you can run in a circle and then continue down to the beach, or go across the street to the Land’s End path. There’s plenty to see and it’s usually pretty quiet. The backside of the hill also has a fun and very sandy way to get down if you want something a little more adventurous.


I decided on the sandy back route to avoid the cyclists and ended my run watching some of the race at the end of Golden Gate Park. This hill is one of my favorites in the city. I hope you can enjoy it sometime too!

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Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Note: All the hill elevations and listings were taken from another website and used for a personal challenge so bear that in mind if there are any discrepancies.

Keep Moving Forward!


Catch Up and an Idea Spawned

I’m back into my workout routine now. I’m back into my newly revised workout routine. No more triathlon training. Now, the major focus will be on distance running, although I will not completely abandon cycling and swimming. I love them too much to do that. 

But, the price of a racing bike is too much for me, so it will have to wait for a while as I train for at least one or two halfs and then a whole marathon sometime in 2015. 

I got back into my training Friday with a great 2-mile tempo run. It felt so good to be out running in warm weather. i do love warm weather workouts. The sweat pours out and it feels like I’m ridding my body of the toxins of the day. 

Saturday morning I had a dentist appointment so I didn’t make it to the gym until that afternoon, which actually turned out to be a great time to go. I completed a great weight and core session and finished it with some time on the cycle. 

I got my long run in Sunday morning – 5 miles. It was warm out, but I really enjoyed myself. After my run, I stopped by Blue Bottle and relaxed with a great cup of coffee before heading home. 

Monday was a kick butt spin session. She really gives it to us and I love it! I come out of there knowing that I gave everything I had in those 45 minutes. “Remember why you’re here!!!” Anna, our instructor shouts. And I do, as I push hard! It’s one of my favorite workouts and when I can’t make it, I miss it. 

Tonight, a Tuesday, I just got done with 2 miles of hill work. Even though it’s been about three weeks since I’ve run 3-4 times a week regularly, I still feel stronger than I did on the hills. I haven’t lost anything. I know all the cross training I’ve been doing is really helping. All the weight and core work, the extra sleep, and the healthy eating is really helping. 

Now, about my eating. I’m getting back into eating right. I’m limiting my amounts, because I know it’s the only way I’ll shed this fat, I’ve stopped white flour and sugar (with the exception of once in a while treats), and no processed foods (as much as possible). I can’t say i’ll never have this stuff, because sometimes it happens, but in the normal course of my day, it’s not going to be there. 

Last week during my run, I was thinking to myself of an idea. I shrugged it off because it’s not something I have experience in. But the idea has been gnawing at me, whispering to me…so much so that today I made some notes and will continue to think about it some more and see if it’s even a possibility. 

It has everything to do with fitness and this blog, so I will let you know more later when I can. 

Tomorrow is swimming and weights day after work, I’m looking forward to getting some laps in the pool for the first time in a while. 

A Change of Goals

We’re always being told we can do whatever we want, we’re constantly being shown great motivational pictures telling us not to give up on our dreams. And I do believe that nearly any goal is possible if we work hard enough, no one ever bothers reading us the fine print in these bold statements.

There is always a cost. To reach one goal, we may have to give up another, or many others.

This became too apparent for me a few weeks ago when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to purchase the racing bike I so wanted this year. That’s not exactly true. I could buy it, if I gave up going to Giants games, forget about my New York vacation (AND seeing my NY Rangers) next year, and completely abandon having decent coffee in my life. But I’m not willing to do that. 

So, my goals for the next year have changed. I still want to pursue triathlons; they hold an appeal to me that nothing else does. But I live in the most expensive city in the US and I don’t make enough to save for a racing bike. It’s a depressing fact and I’ve been battling with it for a while…..

To keep me from being completely down, however, I’ve revised my goals and challenges. I’ve decided to run a full marathon. I ran one over 20 years ago, so it will be like running one for the first time. I’m nervous, scared and not sure, but I can run, I can afford the gear and it’s something I know. 

I’ll still keep my YMCA gym membership. I’ll still swim and spin; I love them too much to stop and eventually I will get my racing bike, just now in the near future. 


Too Long of a Break

Things happen in life. Unfortunately, when we say that, it’s always the bad things that happen. My very favorite hockey team, the local minor league hockey team, the San Francisco Bulls folded last week and it completely wrecked my workout schedule. We knew it was coming, the fans weren’t there, the money wasn’t there, it was sad.

But this isn’t about their demise, that’s for another day. This post is about how taking time off from workouts or not going at them full-on is hard, so hard.

And when I went back today, it felt better than I could ever imagine. Blasting Orange Goblin, one of my very favorite bands, on Spotify while on the bike felt awesome, as I sweat my way through the minutes.

Now I’m ready to tackle my workouts, to eat right again, to maintain that positive attitude. Things are leveling right-side-up again.