Funky American Comfort Weekend

It's Labor Day weekend - the great American tradition that signals the end of summer. Except for us in San Francisco, summer is only just beginning. It's the time of the year that the weather gets funky - cooler, darker mornings, blazing hot afternoons and then cooled down temps at night. I didn't really make any Labor Day plans; mostly because I've been so busy at work that I kept forgetting it was a long weekend.

Saturday I met a friend in the City and we went for a walk at Crissy Field. We had lunch at the Warming Hut, which is right at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge - you can't get much closer. There we saw this guy stand-up paddle boarding in the crazy current under the bridge.

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{that's Alcatraz in the background}

Having taken my first SUP lesson a few weeks ago, I was mesmerized. How cool is this, SUP under the GGB, with Alcatraz and the City as your backdrop?!? Instant add to my bucket list!

We also made a stop on Union Street so I could get a treat from Pacific Puff's. Two brothers who sell a variety of cream puffs using their mom’s recipe own this place. It is one of my favorite treats so whenever I am in the area, I always try to stop and get one. The cocoa puffs are my favorite so I got 2 - one to eat on the spot and one to safe for my post-run treat!

Sunday Sunday Runday returned to the foggy confines of Golden Gate Park. This week's run was organized by Layla and themed "Cheesy Run." Now that we've had a "Donut Run" and multiple "Ramen Runs" have you figured out that Sunday Runday is almost always about food? :) It's our justification/reward for all the miles we run and a time when we can spend socializing and breaking down our workouts, planning our races, etc.

There were 9 of us this week: Layla, Audrey, Alyssa, Katie, Courtney, Marjorie and 2 new friends: Sarah and Renee!

We all set out on our own distances and paces. I had 10 on my schedule and decided to run most of it solo. I needed a long run to zone out and get deep in though so I headed down JFK Drive and ran all the way to Ocean Beach. I ran along Ocean Beach for a block, then turned and headed up MLK Drive (runs parallel to JFK Drive). MLK Drive is one long climb and about a half mile up I took a walk break. Marjorie, Sarah and Rene caught up with me and I ran with them for about a mile. I was so glad to run with them because it was a tough climb.

Once my Garmin beeped 5 miles, I turned around to retrace my route back and they continued on. Running downhill on MLK Drive felt so good, but I kept an even pace because I didn't want sore quads again. I felt pretty good until about Mile 7.5, half way up JFK Drive. I took another walk break and then continued on. I ran into Layla, Katie and high-fived Alyssa on the last mile, which gave me a nice push through the last mile.

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I finished right at the Conservatory of Flowers, our meeting spot, where Marjorie, Sarah and Rene had just finished their run as well. Shortly there after, Audrey came rolling in, wrapping up her 20-miler. Yep, TWENTY Miles! Running a 20 is no joke so huge props to her! Katie, Layla and Alyssa finished up their 50-miler (I exaggerate, but they run the most miles of all of us) and then we headed to Q Restaurant for some grub.

Q Restaurant I'd been to Q once before shortly after it was featured on Diners and Drive-ins. If you've never seen it, here's the clip from the show:

I had only been for dinner so I was excited to try the brunch menu. Being that it was "The Cheesy Run", most of us ordered the Mac and Cheese with Tots. I added bacon to mine for style points.

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The cheese they used was asiago, fontina and some other fancy-schmancy one. I rarely eat these kinds of comfort foods, only allowing myself to do so after double-digit runs, so I savored every bite. It was so scrumptious!

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{happily fed runners}

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But of course, I couldn't be in the neighborhood and not get Genki Ramen. It's only a block away from Q so I stopped by (I conveniently parked across the street from Genki) and ordered a few dishes to go.

Post-Run I got home 4 hours after I finished running and wondered if an ice bath would even be worth it. I decided it wouldn't hurt so I filled my tub up with cold water and dumped a bucket of ice in it. The thing is though, remember how I mentioned that our afternoons are blazing hot? Well it was and my cold water was lukewarm at best. So it was a cool bath versus an ice bath. But I devoured my last Pacific coco puff while sitting in it.

Later that evening I went to my second Bikram class! Yep, 2 in as many days. I situated myself in the farthest back corner. I found this to be the least warm area of the room. This class was geared mostly for beginners so it was a much slower pace than Saturday's class, and the instructor took the time to pay more personal attention to the students, correcting form, explaining the poses/benefits, etc.

I found it much easier (and the heat more tolerable) the second time around and before I knew it, the class was over. Even though it's only been 2 classes, I think the yoga is helping. I don't feel as sore as I would have expected from a double-digit run. This week I really look forward to trying some of the other non-Bikram classes.

As for the rest of this holiday weekend, I'll be spending it doing a few more workouts, eating Genki Ramen and doing chores around the house - after all, it is Labor Day :) Enjoy the last holiday before Thanksgiving! (wait...that thought just made me sad...)