Burning Up

Yesterday was one of those great days where two of my passions come together - running and the SFGiants. 5K Run

After two heat-stroke days, the fog finally returned to the Bay, just in time for the Plate-to-Plate 5K Run at AT&T Park. Perfect running weather!

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I was excited for this race because:

1. We got to run across home plate. 2. My friend Yvette was running it with me

pre-race

Yvette and I became friends at Golds Gym. We're always next to each other in the front row of Body Pump class. She's a full-distance marathon runner and I love talking to her about running and yoga (we have the same yoga teacher too). She inspires me and always gives great advice.

I picked her up at 7 am and we headed to the park. The race was at McCovey Cove, just across the water from the park. I made sure to show her my tile. :)

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After the extreme heat we had over the weekend, I thought it would be ok to wear shorts. Wrong. It was so early when we got there and so cold. I had to loosen up so we walked around for a while, then stretched. By that time, we got a little warmer so we checked our jackets into "Sweat Check" (they hold our stuff for us) and then lined up at the start line. I told Yvette I wanted to go all out and for her to push me. She promised we'd finish within a half hour, something I hadn't done since the Spring.

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Once the race started (started by Jeremy Affeldt - SFGiants pitcher), we raced across the Lefty O'Doul Bridge and onto King Street, down the Embarcadero. I forgot how much faster Yvette was than me. Even if I was 100% healthy, she still leaves me in the dust; after all, she runs marathons in under 4 hours! Though I sprinted to keep up with her, I was always about 5-10 steps behind her. The scary thing is, she was running leisurely and slowed down for me! I ran with my Garmin and kept checking the pace. We one point, we were at an 8:38/minute pace. Much faster than my usual 10-minute mile! I thought, there's no way I can keep up this pace for the entire 3.1 miles!

[Plus, at the start, it was a free-for-all! People were pushing other people around for position. All for a free $3 mimosa promised to the first 100 finishers! I was knocked around a few times and thought I'd have to go into defensive mode of sticking my elbows out - whoever ran into me would get elbowed! (When you're short, its a great defensive move to protect yourself in crowded places against people who think they can bump you around, like at a baseball park).]

At 0.94 miles into the race, we spotted the first person headed back. We figured that guy had to be running a 5 or 6 minute mile pace. It gave me renewed energy to keep going and not slow down. I did a pretty good job of staying under or around the 9-minute mile pace, but still trailed a few paces behind Yvette. Then, just before the end of the race, we entered into AT&T Park and ran along the outfield, came around left field towards home plate. I relished this moment. It was only the second time I'd been on the field (On-Field Photo Day) and I loved it.

As we neared 3rd base, I purposely aligned myself onto the base path. All I could think about was how difficult it was for the SFGiants to advance that final 90-feet to score runs. They leave so many runners stranded at third. I think I sprinted a little faster down the line, then pulled up as we crossed home plate (for the photo op). As soon as we exited the park, we had one more turn before the Finish Line. As promised, Yvette has us finishing in under 30 minutes - 28:40 to be exact, per my Garmin.

Time: 28:40.24 Distance: 3.15 miles Ave Pace: 9:06/mile Avg Speed: 6.6 mph Max Speed: 8.9 mph

After the race, we walked to cool-down, picked up my game tickets, jackets from Sweat Check and the Randy Johnson Bobblehead, then looked for somewhere to stretch. I had to get away from the crowd so we walked to the front of the park. No one was at the Willie Mays statue so we stretch there for quite a while, then just sat there and people watched. I am always so fascinated to see the types of people who run races and wonder what their story is.

My co-worker Belina lives down the street from the park so we called her to join us for brunch. We tried to go to the Delancey Street Cafe but we didn't have reservations and it would have been a long wait. So we ended up at the South Beach Cafe. This place is terrible. The food is bad and the service even worse. I will be writing a bad review for it on Yelp. Please don't ever go there.

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After brunch, we said goodbye to Yvette, who wasn't staying for the game, then headed to Belina's so I could freshen up. Then we headed to the game vs the Rockies.

SFGiants vs Rockies

For those of you who don't follow baseball, this was a pivotal series because the teams are battling for the NL Wild Card. The Rockies were up in the standings but the SFGiants had won the first two games in the series.

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It was a little different for me because in the past 5 yrs I have only gone to games with Shari (my cousin and fellow SFGiant die-hard), Janice (the most knowledgeable SFGiant fan that I know), Dave (who has never been to a game where the SFGiants have lost) and T (who grew up an A's fan but now lives in the City and is very knowledgeable about baseball). Today I was with Belina, who told me she thought baseball was boring. Yeah.

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We had a little snack in Center field, then made our way to our seats. Seats that came with the race participation. Seats there were so high I thought I was near heaven. I had not sat that high since....probably never. I am not an upper-deck kinda girl. At least the view was great. And we did have great position so we could see everything that was going on in the infield.

I tried to explain different things to Belina - the players, playoff situation, who was hurt, etc. She had some classic quotes. I can't remember them all, but here's a couple:

"What does R, H and E on scoreboard mean?"

At a Rockies pitching change: "Oh is it break time?"

When the score was 6-5: "We really do need another point here." Me: "Runs! Not points!"

"What's the 7th inning stretch?"

Top of the 8th: "Oh so are they (the Rockies) done already?" Meaning, "is the game over already?"

If I had heard other people around me ask these questions, I would have been rolling my eyes, but I actually thought it was pretty funny coming from her. But the best part was at the end of the game when she said, "I like baseball now!" She decided she liked it even more after she saw Brian Wilson and Barry Zito (now I really am rolling my eyes - LOL!).

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It was a great, exciting game today. Even though I was exhausted (I actually fell asleep in the 4th inning), I'm so glad I went and stayed for the whole game. I couldn't believe Renteria actually hit a grand slam to push them ahead, 6-5 in the 7th inning! I take back almost every bad thing I ever said about him. After the GS, the park took on a playoff atmosphere.

This team loves the dramatics and I always get so emotionally involved that its devastating for me when they lose. I mean really devastating. I told myself that I was going to emotionally detach from the team because I couldn't handle the drama anymore. But games like yesterday make it hard to do so. Here's some video of the bottom of the 9th (taken with my Flip Camera):

The crowd chanting, "Sweep!"

The final out:

And in other news....

Congratulations to Heather and Ed who got married at Harding Park on Saturday. It was a fun reunion with some of my former co-workers!

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And while all of this was going on this weekend, a brush fire broke out on Molokai, the little Hawaiian island where I grew up. It was pretty bad and came within yards of my parents' home. They were up all night with their neighbors trying to protect the houses on their street. Here's some photos from it.

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This is just a few yards from our house: fire

Thankfully, they are all safe at the moment; we're crossing our fingers it stays that way.