Yesterday, on a cloudy, rainy morning, I had a great run in downtown San Francisco with my friend Missy. We'd plan this run about a week and a half ago and I was really looking forward to it. Although I have a few friends who are runners, I don't really run with them because 1) they run much faster than I do and 2) schedules are just hard to coordinate. But I find that when I do have a running partner, I tend to push myself much harder and get more out of my run. All week I obsessively tracked the weather forecast, hoping for a break from the rain and luckily, the weather cooperated.
With spots of sunshine, we met at the Ferry Building and decided to start by running to AT&T Park, then loop around and head back along the Embarcadero waterfront.
I was a little worried about being too slow for Missy, but we managed to keep a good steady pace for most of the 7 miles. During the 2.5 mile loop to AT&T Park & back, there was a light sprinkle, but nothing too bothersome. I like running in that area because the sidewalk is wide so you don't feel like you're crowded and have to dodge people. There's also a lot of people running or working out which I find very motivating.
Missy and I are both big Giants fans and I secretly hoped to see something interesting going on at the Park, but sadly, there was nothing. But just being there makes me happy; its my version of Disneyland. :)
At 2.5 miles we ran past the Ferry Building again and kept running along the Embarcadero, through Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, past Ghirardelli Square, and out to the last pier before Fort Mason (I don't know what the name of it is).
We ran out to the end of the pier where we hit 5 miles, so we looped around to head back to the Ferry Building. During this part of the run, the sidewalks are much narrower, and the streets were more crowded with tourists so our paced slowed down to dodge through the people. As we ran past the Aquatic Park, I saw 2 triathletes getting ready to swim. The current was kind of rough and all I could think about was - I'm planning to do that in about 8 months - yikes!
At about this time that the rain came back, falling at a steady pace. I love running in the rain so it didn't bother me at all. But my feet did get wet and I started to get afraid of getting blisters. We stopped at exactly 7 miles and walked the last half mile back to the Ferry Building. By this time I was cold so we found a sheltered area to stretch. After we were done, I had planned to peruse the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building, but with the rain coming down and the big protest starting in the City, I just wanted to get out of there.
Missy and I said our goodbyes and I hopped in my car and headed to Sports Basement at Crissy Field. I needed to get a pull buoy for my swim workouts.
While I was there, I also stocked up on Zico coconut water. Sports Basement is the only place that I have seen to carry the Passion Fruit flavor. My Whole Foods only carries Mango and a very limited supply at that. I thought about ordering it online, but I have a personal embargo against Amazon after the Christmas shopping fiasco.
By the time I was done at Sports Basement, I was starving. I called my cousin, who was heading out to the Lobster Shack with her family. I hopped on the freeway and booked it down to Redwood City to meet them. I had been wanting to go to the Lobster Shack for years, but for some reason never made it there. I had the Rhode Island (red) clam chowder (which was perfect on a gloomy day) and a lobster club sandwich. Both were so yummy, I'll definitely be a repeat customer.
As soon as I got home, I sync'd my Garmin to see what our results were.
As expected, since I ran at a faster than normal pace of late, my heart rate was really high during the entire run. I also noticed that although I ran one mile longer than the past 2 Saturdays, I burned less calories. This validates my friend Mike's advice that when you run outside your aerobic zone, you burn less calories. It's been a long time since I calculated my heart rate zones so that's a goal for this week - to get my resting heart rate so I can calculate what bpm my heart rate zones are so I can be more effective with my training.
I'm so glad I was able to run with Missy. Not only was it nice to have someone pace me, it was nice to run a different route for my long run. And it doesn't get any better than running along the waterfront and seeing Alcatraz and the GGB.
P.S. As I gazed at the GGB during the run, I couldn't help but think about how majestic it looked in the rain. At that moment I decided that, pending no injuries, I'm going to run the first half of the San Francisco (Half) Marathon this summer! I'm so excited!