Girls Run Wild

Archive for the ‘San Francisco Run’ Category

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!

 

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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.

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.

One of the more difficult aspects of longer race training in San Francisco is plotting long distance training courses given the limitations of the city’s geography, traffic, and terrain.  Whenever I have to set out on a long run, like this past weekend’s 9 miler, I use the website walkjogrun.net to figure out the proper distance over an area of the city where I know I won’t be interacting with too many hills, cars, or people.  Finding an area that foots the bill for all three isn’t easy, but I’ll do what I can with what I’ve got.

This past weekend I scouted out a long run that meandered around Ft. Mason, the Marina, and the Embarcadero to the ball park and back.  It.was.a.long.run – and yet still 4 miles short of The Giant Race in 5 weeks.  The course was relatively flat with a steep hill around 1.25 miles and another a few blocks shy of the finish line.  My big regret is that I didn’t set out earlier for this exercise – I hit the Embarcadero around noon and found myself in a four mile battle with San Francisco’s summer tourist scene.  The Embaracadero is a wonderful place to run – it’s flat, scenic, and did I say flat?  But any time you’re trying to run and a group of 20 tourists scratching their heads appears every 10 feet, you want to scream.  I survived, though, and next week may cover some of the same asphalt for my -gasp – 10 mile run.

For anyone interested in the route I took, see my directions and map below.  I designed the route hopeful that I would be avoiding the weekend crowds around San Francisco’s waterfront.  I was overly optimistic, but I know that if I’d set out a couple of hours earlier (read: 8am-9am) my path would have been void of a lot more foot traffic.  If you try this out, don’t forget the sunscreen.  Most of the route is void of shade until the late afternoon.

9 Mile Run

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Start in the parking lot adjacent to the Ft. Mason homes (along Bay at Octavia).

2. Head west on Bay and North on Laguna.  Follow this as it turns into Marina Blvd.  Stay on Marina until you hit Casa Way – and then turn around and head back towards Ft. Mason.

3. As Marina Blvd turns into Laguna again, take the foot/bike bath to your left (uphill) through the grassy area of Ft. Mason.  Stay to the path on the left and follow this until you hit the water at Van Ness.

4. Look for the foot path on your left that follows the water around past Ghiradelli Square.  Stay on this as it becomes Jefferson St.  Make a left on North Point.

5. Follow North Point to the Embarcadero. Cross the big boulevard and stay right on the foot path, also known as Herb Caen Way.  Stay on the Embarcadero past the Ferry Building, under the Bay Bridge, and all the way to the ball park.  Once you’re at Willie Mays Plaza, make a left and follow the path around the back side of the park.  This will connect you back up with the Embaracdero.  *Note that there is a public water fountain along the Embarcadero in between the Ferry Building and Epic Roasthouse/Waterbar.  There is another one on the backside of the ballpark just outside of the public bathrooms.

6.  Follow the Embarcadero back to Bay Street.  Make a left onto Bay and stay on this until you hit Van Ness.  Van Ness and Bay will be the 9 mile marker.  It’s another .3 miles back to the starting point.

This showed up in my in-box this morning.  For those of you training for The Giant Race on August 27, August 6 is a good day to spend doing a long 10 miler.  Participants get a complimentary post run breakfast and access to Club One for the day!  And if you missed out on signing up for the race, RSVP to the August 6 run (and attend it, of course), and you might just win two race registrations.

GIANT RACE FAQ & CLUB ONE TRAINING RUN

When: Saturday, August 6th – 8am-10am*
Where: Club One at Embarcadero Center »

Join Race Director JT Service at Club One for a Giant Race Q&A Session, followed by your choice of a 4 or 10 mile training run. We’ll end back at Club One for stretching, breakfast treats and complimentary day use of the club, locker rooms, and amenities.

Added perk – we’re giving away TWO Giant Race registrations on 8/6! Just RSVP and attend for your chance to win.*

Please email rsvp@clubone.com by August 2nd with names of yourself and your guests.

With less than 2 weeks to the San Francisco Marathon (which includes 2 half-marathon routes as well as a 5K race), there’s little time to start training.  However, regardless of your running goals, the 5K option is a great way to get you out of bed and running on a Sunday morning.  And for those of you who don’t do metric, 5 kilometers is only about 3.2 miles.

According to the race organizers, the 5K race is almost sold out.  Registration fees are only $30 The race is flat and easy and starts/ends right near the Ferry Building.  The 5K race starts at 7:45am and you have 1 hour to complete the course (which equals about a 20 minute mile).  If you’ve never run a race before, this is a great chance to start!

Crissy Field is a runner’s paradise.  Flat, scenic, and expansive, not only does it serve as the gateway to the Pacific Ocean, but also provides a plethora of training options for runners, bikers, and even swimmers alike.  Although the paths around Crissy Field (and the Marina Green) are surprisingly flat for San Francisco, the area is bordered by cliffs and hills that will bring you up to greater heights – and greater views – of the north-western tip of the City.  At the edge of Crissy Field as one snakes past the Warming Hut and nears the road entrance to Fort Point lies a set of stairs.  Climb to the top and you’re at the Golden Gate Bridge.  What better way to experience the bridge than to get some exercise running to it!

This area remains one of my favorite places in the city to go for a long run.  I’ve blogged about it a couple of times, giving a 7.5 mile course idea in addition to a shorter 4-5 miler.  Whatever your distance goal, spending some time jogging around the area first and THEN running up the Crissy Field stairs will give your workout that extra umph.  Parking is generally easy enough to find in the evening hours during the week.  I’ve found that this is the best time to run in this area – during weekends you’re competing with tourists (especially on bikes) and events for space.  Depending on the desired length of your run, park a good distance away from the stairs, run there, and (try to) run back.  I usually park at Ft. Mason, which has a lot with 2 hour free parking (the lot is on the western edge of the Fort and is bordered by Bay and Octavia Streets).  Check out Walkjogrun.net to figure out a good distance before you set out on your run.

Crissy Field Stairs Entrance

The stairs are located past the Warming Hut where Marine Dr. and Long Ave meet.  Look for the stairs on your left just past the parking lot.  If you find yourself at Ft. Point you’ve gone too far.  Head up the stairs and it’s about 0.4 miles to the top.  If you don’t want to take the stairs back down, follow the bike trail instead (though be careful of cars!).  Also, don’t worry – the stairs themselves are not 0.4 miles long…at some point you will hit a walking/biking trail which will take you up to the Bridge.  If you want to challenge yourself, try running the stairs a few times before heading up to the Bridge itself!


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