20 Miler!

Song that kicked off the run: Umbrella, Rihanna and Jay-Z
Distance: 20 miles
Time: 3:20
Route: Haight, Castro, Mission, Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina, Crissy Field. (Out and back)

It’s been a few days… this blogging thing is new to me, but I’m excited to write about my weekend run! Today I will be baking cookies with the girls and having a gift exchange, no running, just relaxing after my long run yesterday. My long run was a 20 miler, the first one since my last race. I’m only 5 weeks away from my next marathon in Arizona and like many runners, I always seem to get nervous when I hit the first 20 in my training program. It doesn’t matter if my training has been going well, or that this is my 3rd marathon, I am still challenged by the mental aspect of “The 20 Miler”.

I woke up early, had my traditional pre-run breakfast (A Luna Bar and a Banana) and watched the weather for a break in the rain. Since I’m somewhat new to SF and have been spoiled with beautiful weather here until recently, I was convinced that there would have to be a break in the rain. I could not have been more wrong.

Around 11 AM, I finally bundled up and headed out the door, despite the weather. I ran through the Castro, the Mission, and made my way to the waterfront, south of the ballpark. So far, the rain was on and off, and totally manageable. I continued along the waterfront past ATT Ballpark, along Embarcadero, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Just as I climbed the Fort Mason Hill, the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain kicked into overdrive. I kept going down through the Marina and along Crissy Field, turning around at Sports Basement Presidio. I headed home along the same route, and for the last 10 miles, the rain would not relent. Running in the rain can be a lot of fun, and I don’t mind getting a little bit wet, BUT when it’s a 3+ hour run and my shoes are frozen like bricks, muscles tightening from the cold, it is another story. I climbed the hills through Portrero and Ashbury Heights, and by the time I made it home, I looked like a wet dog.

On the bright side, if I can endure 20 miles in the wind, rain, and on the hills of San Francisco, I am pretty sure Arizona will go well. My theory while training is to push myself, practice on the hills, in the wind, make sure I do plenty of long distances, so that when race day arrives, I am ready for anything. So far, it’s worked for me…

The week after Arizona, The San Francisco Marathon Training Program kicks off. I’m getting excited to start running with our group again, the other runners are awesome and I’ve missed having a group to run with these past few weeks. The director of the program has been working hard to find pacers, map the routes for the runs, designing shirts, etc. I have to admit, it’s a great perk of my job here to have my “personal trainer” as I call him right next to me every day to give me advice.

Well, these cookies aren’t going to bake themselves- time to get cookin’! I also baked my  famous Zucchini Blueberry Raspberry Bread this morning.  I always substitute in Whole Wheat Flour to my breads. I’ve found that it actually makes the bread more moist, sticks together better, and it’s healthier too! Just remember to add a little extra liquid to balance it out.


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