Girls Run Wild

Archive for August 2011

After finishing the half marathon this weekend, the first thing I did was go home and figure out when my next race was going to be.  I’ve just spent the last 2+ months preparing to be able to run 13.1 miles and I would hate to waste all of that effort and not continue training for something else.  The Giant Race went well, all things considered, and a high-five from Brian Wilson at the 5th mile kept me energized for the next 8.  Despite the real annoyance of the 5K “race” merging with the half marathon runners at our 12th mile (imagine you’ve been running at a steady pace for 12.1 miles and all of a sudden you come into a wall of walkers who have no idea that your body just wants to get to the finish line as fast as possible…), I had a great race and am ready for the next one.

Low and behold, there is no dearth of races and runs going on in the next few months here in the Bay Area – and around the state.  Runningintheusa.com is a great resource for checking out race options by city, date, and distance.  As for races within San Francisco, the following are coming up before the end of 2011:

September 11, 2011: 9-11 Heroes Run, San Francisco

Distance: 5K

Cost: $25.00

Benefitting: Travis Manion Foundation

 

September 25, 2011: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Distance: 5K

Cost:$35.00

Benefitting: Susan G. Komen for the Cure

 

October 2, 2011: Bridge to Bridge Run

Distance: 12K/7K

Cost: $40.00 (before Sept 18)

Benefitting: Northern California Special Olympics

 

November 6, 2011: US Half Marathon

Distance: Half-Marathon

Cost:$70.00

Benefitting: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

 

November 24, 2011: Turkey Trot

Distance: 3 or 5 miles

Cost: TBD (race registration hasn’t opened yet)

Benefitting: Lowell High School Track Team

 

November 27, 2011: Run Wild for a Child

Distance: 5K/10K

Cost: TBD (Registration was $30 in 2010)

Benefitting: San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program

 

Sign up today!

 

A new study by researchers at the Technical University of Munich suggests that marathon runners who imbibe in, ahem, NONALCOHOLIC beer post-race are less likely to get sick.  Beer, both of the alcoholic and non variety, contains polyphenols, which help to boost the immune system.  The study, however, suggests that even though alcoholic beer contains these chemicals, the presence of alcohol may cancel out the benefit.

 

Many thanks to Ariel Soto-Suver for the article!

 

 

While on my detour from my planned running route on Monday, I stumbled upon two more of San Francisco’s 670 stair streets in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood.  Having rarely ventured into this part of town, I learned something new about my favorite hometown.

I found the first set of stairs heading south on Montgomery after having climbed the Filbert Steps.  Montgomery is a dead-end to cars between Union and Green Streets – but not to pedestrians.  The top of the stairs provides a gorgeous view of the financial district with a direct view of the Transamerica Building.

Top of the Stairs from Union & Montgomery Streets

 

Bottom of the Stairs from Green & Montgomery Streets

One block south of Green on Montgomery is yet another set of stairs!  This set takes you from Vallejo up to Kearny.  My legs were too tired to carry me up them, but I got a picture of the well-tended steps.

Stairs at Vallejo & Montgomery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the Giant Half Marathon coming up in 18 days, I’ve decided that it would behoove me to move my shorter training runs outside and off the treadmill.  Yesterday I set out after work to see if I would be able to tolerate an evening run through the financial district and along the Embarcadero.  My long training run from a few weeks ago during which I battled thousands of tourists for sidewalk space had left a bad taste in my mouth.  But I knew that with such a runner’s playground at my doorstep, I had to at least try it once.

I headed out the office door around 7pm and the setting sun made for a shaded and cool route.  Once on the Embarcadero, there are very few places where a run can be interrupted by a passing car.  This makes for a great opportunity for keeping pace and zoning out.  The Giant’s were in town yesterday, but by the time I reached the ballpark, most of the fans were in their seats.  Pedestrian traffic wasn’t too bad, the views were amazing, and I was very happy that I gave the Embarcadero a second chance.

Yesterday’s run covered about 5 miles with a slight detour through Telegraph Hill, North Beach, and the Jackson Historic district.  The Financial District and Embarcadero are almost completely flat, but Telegraph Hill gave the run a much-needed challenge.

SF Downtown 5 Mile Run

Directions (from the foot of Market Street):

1. Head towards the Ferry Building and make a right along the Embarcadero.  Once you’ve past the Java House (NOT to be confused with Red’s Java House), stay left on the path.  This will take you to the back of the Giant’s stadium.  There will be a public bathroom on your right (this was closed yesterday, but there is an outdoor water fountain attached). This is your turn around point.

2. Head back along the Embarcadero and continue past the Ferry Building.  When you come to Pier 23 (it’s a bar), head across the street to Levi’s Plaza.  Meander your way through the plaza to Filbert Street.

3. Continue on Filbert – you will see a set of stairs up ahead.  Get your lungs and your legs ready.

4.  Head up the set of stairs.  The cement flights will turn into wooden stairs – to your left and right be sure to check out the homes that dot the hill.  This big set of stairs will break at Montgomery Street.  Look up – Coit tower will be right above you.

View of Coit Tower from Montgomery and Filbert Streets

5.  Make a left onto Montgomery.  Head up the hill (don’t worry, it’s short), and continue onto another set of stairs (this set heads down).  The Transamerica Building will be in front of you.  Follow Montgomery to Market Street.

View of Montgomery Street from Union & Montgomery

6.  Make a left onto Market and head back to the starting point.

This month’s issue of Runner’s World Magazine has a special section on half marathon training.  If you’re looking for some training ideas, pick up a copy of the magazine today.

By last weekend, my training run was up to ten miles.  After an annoying experience dodging tourists on my 9-miler the previous weekend, I decided to pound pavement that I knew would be a little less traveled (and perhaps, slightly cooler).  I set out to conquer both nearly the entirety of Golden Gate Park AND a good 4 mile stretch of The Great Highway.  A thick layer of fog greeted me as I parked my car at the South Western entrance to the Park at Lincoln Blvd and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.  This fog could not have been more needed for the next 10+ miles.

10 Mile GGP and Great Highway Run

Directions:

Start anywhere along the route – I chose to start at the western edge of GGP to get the uphill portion of the run out-of-the-way first.  The directions below are from my starting point.  There are several water fountains along the route – just keep your eyes open.  Many water fountains can be found next to public bathrooms.

1. Start at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive (MLK) off of Lincoln Blvd in San Francisco’s Sunset District.  Head into the park and follow MLK Dr. for the next approximately 2.5 miles. The first leg of this run is a slight uphill slant.

2. Once you’ve past the Music Concourse, take your next left onto Middle Dr. East.  This will take you along the back side of the Academy of Sciences and past Big Rec.  At the Y in the road, stay left on Middle Dr. East to John F. Kennedy Drive (JFK).

3. Make a left on JFK Dr.  I recommend cross the street first – the path is slightly wider and flatter.  Follow JFK for the next 3 miles back towards the Ocean.  Watch your feet on the path once you’ve crossed Crossover Dr.  The path itself is slightly uneven in areas and an ankle roll waiting to happen.  On Saturdays, the park is closed to cars on JFK Dr. between 8th Avenue and Crossover Drive.   On Sundays, JFK Dr. is closed from Stanyan to Crossover Dr.

4. At the intersection where JFK Dr. forks off to the right, make a left onto SS Fork Drive.  Follow this to MLK Dr. and make a right.  This will take you back to Lincoln Blvd.   If you’ve parked down here, this is a great opportunity to stop at the car for some water – you’ve got another 4 miles to go.

5. Cross Lincoln and make a right.  There will be a bike/walking/running path on your left that parallels the Great Highway.  Take this path and follow it for 2 miles to Sloat Blvd.  There is a bathroom and water fountain across the Great Highway where Sloat dead ends.

6.  Turn around and follow the path back to Lincoln.  The path itself moves in a rolling motion, but the “uphill” portions are very short in length (and not very steep).  The path has both a paved portion and dirt trail.

And…you’re done!  Enjoy a nice cool down – and head to Java Beach at Judah and La Playa for a post-run treat.


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