Monthly Archives: April 2014

Uninvited Trail Guest

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The thing about this Brooks pic, is that I wish I could just do exactly that, and sometimes it has felt like I have done that which is awesome.  The last couple of weeks have been hard though, both with work and family stuff going on so keep the sleeping and the dessert and replace the running with working and stress and you’ve got my last 2-3 weeks.  We opened a business we have been working on, there was a close family member who passed away and a quite serious health issue that just got confirmed with a quite close family member (which I’m not quite ready to talk about yet), and then of course also my commercial painting job to keep up with, which I honestly haven’t been able to.  It’s been a lot!

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So the few times I’ve made it out for a run have been absolutely wonderful.  Tonight was my first run in a few days and it felt extremely wonderful.  There was one unexpected visitor on the trail though which I’m not too happy about.  My greatest fear in life are snakes.  I don’t want to be anywhere near them ever, at all, no matter what.  I don’t even want to look at them through glass at the zoo.  HATE them.   There is actually a great story my mom tells (who is the same as me and can’t stand them) where she pet a snake at some kind of zoo in front of me to show me it wasn’t scary in hopes that I would’t have the same affliction she has.  Well, it didn’t work, and knowing she feels the same way I do about them, I can’t believe she did that.  I don’t think I could for anyone.

Anyways, this was not a little snake, it was a few feet long, and I don’t know what kind it was and I’m kind of freaking out.  I will probably research it as soon as I’m done writing this.  I have to say, for all of Nor Cal’s amazing attributes, the two almost deal breakers for me are poison oak and poisonous snakes.  Seattle doesn’t have either.  Also, this snake was slithering right along my normal route.  The reason I say a few feet is that I could see upwards of 2 feet and it was still partially covered in the bushes so I don’t actually know where it ended.  I actually cut my run short because I was going to have to run right back by there and it was getting dark and I was kind of freaking out.  I don’t know how I will ever do my normal route again without being nervous in that area!  No joke, this is the path I run on 97% of times that I run.  Also a lot in the dark and almost always alone.

I wish I had a video of how I looked when I spotted it.  I don’t think I’ve ever run so fast!

Anyways, I am working on getting back on track with painting, writing, and running.  I hope everyone is well and enjoying life!

New Lighting

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I love running at night! Especially with my new little gadget, this was its first trial.  Now I realize this is a weird photo and you can’t see what kind of light contraption I have on so I have some follow up photos to elaborate.  Also if I really love this thing I’ll figure out where it was purchased but it was a gift so I don’t know the answer to that yet!

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Ok so here’s the close-ups. This little guy is super light weight and attaches to the bill of any hat.

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As beautifully modeled here by my run happy visor!  It wasn’t that super bright, but it is 1,ooo times more comfortable to wear than a headlamp so it’s for sure got that going for it.

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I love running on stormy night!

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And on Sunday, Adrian and I went to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit at the De Young Museum.  They are super strict about taking photos in there so we had to take one outside in the park instead.  Not that I’m complaining, it was totally beautiful out.

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We worked up quite an appetite so we went and got Parisian croissants and organic Strauss soft serve in a cone.  It was the best ever.

Anyone else have night running techniques and secrets?  Amazing light or reflective contraptions?

The Dipsea Stairs

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The Dipsea stairs are somewhat infamous at least in Marin and they are one of my favorite places to do a workout, as well as being connected to the rest of the dip sea trail which is by far my favorite hike.  The stairs are no joke.  It is set after set of stairs.   According to Wikipedia there are 688.  I should count next time.

So, I thought it would be fun to do a little photo set of all the different stairs as I made my way up.  Here is the first section, after the initial few steps there that are pavement, it turns to wood steps that are open between and there is water running below them, it’s really pretty.photo 3-10

 

Once at the top it veers left a bit.

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Then goes up this little stone section which is a bit tedious but really pretty.

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Then you have a section with nicely spaced wooden stairs, the stair spacing changes at each section and some are better than others, I like this part.

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And the last part!!  This part is the best because it has little badges all the way up that have people’s names, dedications, and motivation to make it to the top from the people who helped build this part.  It’s really fun to read while you go up.

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Before the stairs I did a quick little 3 miles just to get loosened up.  I have hardly run at all since the half marathon so I needed to get out there.  Don’t worry about the sideways view, I promise I run upright although all photos taken while running seem to have this same lean…photo 2-12

 

And then a yummy salad with my favorite dressing, I really like olives.  I can never find a salad bowl big enough so I’m always trying weird containers like tupperware to make it fit.  Also made a little garlic bread and had some peach yogurt as “dessert” (the quotes are needed because who am I fooling, that’s not a real dessert).

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Do you have a favorite hike?

Are there any stair sets where you are that everyone trains on?

How much do you run the week after a race? (why is that part not included on my training guides?)

 

 

Rock N Roll SF

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Ok, I am FINALLY writing this post.  I have really had an intense week and was not in the mindset to write this all down.

So on Sunday (April 6), I ran the Rock N Roll SF ( the second year they have done it in SF and I ran it both times).  They changed the course from last year and didn’t post the new course until after I had already signed up.

Dear RNRSF,

That was hands down the hardest course I’ve ever run.  Congratulations on making me completely exhausted/sweaty/sore/want to die all before 8 am.  If you do this same course next year, I will probably not have the strength to sign up.

Sincerely, exhausted runner number 11,000 (cause I think that’s how many people ran)

The picture below was only like mile 5 and it was cold, and I am wearing a tank top and I am completely sweaty (sorry).  Cause it was so hard.  BUT, running in the actual lanes on the bridge was super cool!! I’ve never done that before :).

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Yay! IN the lanes, not on the sidewalk.

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And one more on the bridge, kinda sideways, but trust me this is the best one I had.  At least it’s not blurry.

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Ok, so let’s talk race course.  It started out pretty and innocent enough on Ocean Beach in SF.  Here’s the coast off to the side, nice and misty and calm.  photo 1-12

Here’s the start, super exciting and fun!! (ps, see that guy in the backpack on the left? More on him in a sec)

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So, we ran through the start chute, and a little bit down the road, like 1 or 2 blocks, then turned right into the city.  And there it was.  The start of the hills that would continue for the next 4 miles almost without interruption.  I know this is a horrible picture, but it was 6:30 am and I had been up since 3 am, taking a photo of a hill that was .25 miles into the 13.1 I had to run to get back to my car and go home to put my feet up.  That causes shaky hands and blurry photos.

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This hill was immediately followed by turning left and continuing uphill.  I am not exaggerating, it was almost always uphill for the first 4 miles.  Then more. And more.

Ok, so let’s talk about that backpack guy.  He ran, I assume, the whole thing wearing that.  I say I assume, because unfortunately for my confidence, he proceeded to kick my butt and I never saw him again.  I don’t know how he did it, but I think he should automatically win some kind of prize.

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After the bridge, we had a merciful, but short, downhill to the waterfront and then a fairly flat section.  Here is the beautiful sun rising, which was beautiful except that I didn’t have sunglasses and we ran towards it for a couple miles.  I looked at my feet a lot.

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After the flat section, we again had to run uphill on and off for the last 2 miles.  That wasn’t very nice.  And at this point, I had lost all strength to take photos.  I left that baby in my pocket and focused on not dying.  I also got 2 killer side aches during this section.  After finishing, I grabbed the closest food and beverages I could, found a shady spot and sat.  I did have one exciting new discovery.  Post-Run Cheez-its are totally awesome and hit the spot.  Who knew?  I almost didn’t take them when they were handed to me.  So happy I did.

And of course what is the breakfast of champions after a half marathon?  A burrito bowl of course!! Kind of weird getting this at 9:30, but really since I had been up at 3, it was practically dinner time.  I didn’t let that stop me from eating 3 more meals though 🙂  (Not pictured, the fact that this was being eaten a cozy blanket with my feet up and watching tv, or the bag of tortilla chips I put to shame).

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Of course, as always after a race, I was excited and happy and proud I did it and am looking forward to the next one and always toying with the idea of running a full marathon. But wow, that was a tough little race course!

The Day Before the Race

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The day before a race is always fun.  There’s an expo to go to, an excuse to be lazy, carbs to eat, etc.

Usually the day before I do a quick little run, something fast, about 2 miles, to just loosen up my legs.  I went to the track on Friday night though, and did striders (lengthening your stride and having a bit of a quick pace), so I felt like I shouldn’t do more on Saturday.  So I just took it easy!  I also have read several times that since no one sleeps well the night before a race, you’re supposed to sleep as much as possible the night before to help be rested.  So I think I slept like 10 or 11 hours on Friday night and it was amazing.

I went to the expo on Saturday with my friend Alison and we took some silly pictures.  To spare you from all of them, I just picked my 2 favorite silly pictures.

Here I am as Godzilla climbing the Transamerica building.   photo 2-9

And here we are racing through the streets of San Francisco! photo 1-10

And one normal one, that shows the crazy course we would take for 13.1 miles!!  I have to admit, it was really hard.  But I’ll write all about the actual race tomorrow.

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I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat for dinner on Saturday night because I know that’s important.  I kept thinking I would make the standard simple pasta type deal, but it just wasn’t sounding good!  Alison suggested a veggie burger and at first I thought that was a bad idea.  But, as it turned out I couldn’t think of anything else that sounded good so I went for it!  I seriously love The Counter.  They have such good burgers. Oh and I got a side of regular fries, because of course potatoes are a great carb source!

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After this it was time to relax, and go to bed as early as possible for my 3 am wake up call!!  Off to the races!

I Guess I Better Carbo Load!

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What better way to eat carbs than an insanely good dinner out at one of my favorite Italian restaurants.  I finally remembered to take a photo of how happy food makes me before I have demolished what’s been put in front of me, and even of the food before I scarfed it!!  (Not pictured, the 2 baskets of warm bread that we ate through, yes that makes 1 complete basket each, they came with yummy dipping sauce and we had to put burrata on it obviously, so it was out of our hands!)  photo 4-5

Check this tomato out!  I mean could it be any more beautiful?  It is a 4 hour tomato, meaning that is how long they cooked it.  It’s on top of pesto, burrata, and olive oil, and of course was promptly smothered over the top of some warm bread.

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As crazy amazing as that tomato combo was, this gnocchi was actually the best.  It was the perfect consistency and they sautéed it, you could see the lightly browned edges.  I’ve never heard of doing that, and it was amazing.  Once again I just really want to try making gnocchi from scratch I just love it so much.photo 2-8

Sorry salad.  By yourself you would’ve been great, made of local baby gems which I love, parmesan, and homemade croutons, but when eaten in conjunction with the above amazingness, you were quite outplayed.  It’s not your fault, you had no chance!

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I’ve had a really busy and stressful week and I am so excited to go join my fellow runners for a fun half marathon adventure through the city this weekend, and sleep a lot.

What’s your favorite Italian meal?

Ever slow cooked a tomato?  It’s on my TBCBK list ( to be cooked by Kari list 🙂 )

Taper Week

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In honor of having just watched the last episode of The Walking Dead, this is quite hilarious.  (Yes I love that show, no judgement).  I love Brooks, they are so creative and funny!

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It’s my taper week before the Rock n’ Roll SF half this Sunday.  So I am being very lazy and eating lots of carbs.  It’s my favorite week.  I didn’t run at all Monday or Tuesday, and ran a really slow 4 miles last night.  I have so much more time without planning out and doing runs!  Also it creates less laundry and I don’t have to worry about what I eat before running possibly hurting my tummy, so I can eat everything all the time!  There’s lots of perks!  But, I also wouldn’t stop running for anything.  It’s my favorite thing ever.

I am getting very excited about the expo this weekend.  I am going with a friend of mine because I told her there’s free samples and we would go to lunch after, and who doesn’t love free stuff and lunch?  I mean I have to go out to lunch to get all my carbs obviously.

What do you eat before a race?  The day before? The morning of?  I always struggle with exactly the right combo.