Tag Archives: Travel

Feeling Nostalgic

I’ve been nostalgic all week trying to remember how I felt going into thefirst race I ever ran, five years ago this weekend. Although I had a blog, I didn’t blog that much about it, but I do remember feeling nervous excitement about the unknown. Previous to the race, I had not run more than 10 miles ever. The anticipation was all-consuming.

Five years later, not much has changed. Although I now have four marathons and twenty half-marathons under my belt  I still feel that familiar  nervous excitement.

I drove down to the Central Coast yesterday afternoon and checked into the Portola Hotel, the same hotel I stayed at the first time. It is a delightful hotel that is connected to the convention center where the race expo is at. It is also mere steps from the Start and Finish Lines, not to mention being a simply delightful place to stay.

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Once I checked in and unpacked I walked down to the old Fisherman’s Wharf, which is literally two minutes from the hotel. I couldn’t resist having seafood for lunch and perhaps over-indulged in what I would normally have saved for a post-race meal.

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Because who can resist seafood paella?

After lunch I walked back to the hotel and went to the expo.

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It was not crowded at all, and although it was relatively small with good vendors, I managed to escape with my wallet still in tact. :)

My cheer squad isn’t arriving until later this morning so I had a quiet evening, having dinner, then turning in early. After the long work week that I had I couldn’t have been more excited about this.

This morning I set out for a short 2-mile shakeout run. Because of my finicky legs (hamstring and shin splints) I hadn’t run since last Sunday. And other than a 30-minute swim on Tuesday hadn’t worked out at all. How’s that for rest?

The run went fine and I was treated to some beautiful views as I ran along the recreational trail.

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I’m looking forward to more views like this as we run along the Monterey coastline tomorrow, and celebrating just how far I’ve come!

Quiet Before The Storm

After a two hour delay at SFO, we arrived yesterday in the early evening. Alyssa and I parted ways at the airport – she to visit with friends for the evening and me to my downtown hotel.

I took a cab into the city, checked in, then promptly climbed into the hotel’s signature “heavenly” bed. Although this trip is all about running with friends, I looked forward to savoring some alone time in a hotel room. I was excited to indulge in room service, catch up on reading and watch the premiere of Scandal.

And it really was heavenly. As was my solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

This morning I woke up feeling more rested than I have in weeks. I ordered more room service and have enjoyed having uninterrupted time to do some writing (including this post!). It kinda reminds me of the SATC episode where Carrie goes to the Stanhope Hotel to getaway from all the distractions at home so she can write in peace. Its so much easier to write without feeling obligated to check and respond to work emails, or deal with the distraction of things that need to be done around the house.

I am enjoying this experience way too much to want to leave. I had planned to go for a walk and explore the downtown area, but with the threat of thunderstorms looming I requested a late check-out instead.

While I can’t wait to meet up with Alyssa and Renee (who arrives later today) in a few hours, I can’t think of a better to have gotten this running weekend started.

A Marathon Recovery Vacation

Following SFM I took a week’s worth of PTO and went on vacation to recover from the race and the months of training that led up to it.

The day after the race I had a much-needed massage, slept, and then went to the SF Giants game. My cousin Jenna hadn’t been to the ballpark since it was called Pacific Bell Park back in 2000, and she was long overdue for a visit. I had a lot of fun introducing her to my favorite foods at the park. It was the start of “Eat All Things” week.

SF Giants Game

SF Giants Game

Very early the next morning (Tuesday) we left on a 15-hour road trip to her family’s home in the Portland, OR area. The trip itself normally takes 10-12 hours but we made a few stops along the way…

First to the Golden Gate Bridge…

24-hours later I found myself at the Golden Gate Bridge again

24-hours later I found myself at the Golden Gate Bridge again

…then in Southern Oregon where lunched with our aunt who lives the cutest little town!

Jacksonville, OR

Franklin, OR

This was my first time making the drive from San Francisco to Portland. I was amazed at how beautiful the scenery was – from Mount Shasta, to the many lush green Pacific Northwest forests. After another stop in Salem to have dinner with my cousin Lauren (Jenna’s sister), we were welcomed to Vancouver, WA with rain.

As seen on the drive...

As seen on the drive…

I spent the rest of the week:

+ Hanging out with my best friend…

Chip!

Chip!

+ Trying to remember how to play the piano…

Revisiting piano lessons...

Revisiting piano lessons…

+ And going to my little cousin’s baseball games…

Throwing strikes!

Throwing strikes!

It was SO NICE not to have to worry about getting to bed early because I had to wake up early to go for a run. Or upon waking up having my first thoughts be “what’s my workout today.” Or worrying how what I ate would affect my stomach during my run.

In fact, I didn’t think about running very (other than to plot an all-family relay team) or have any desire to go for a run. I didn’t even bring my Garmin, iPod shuffle or running shoes. And the only time I wore running clothes was when we hiked Umbrella Falls trail at Mount Hood.

Hiking Umbrella Falls at Mount Hood

Hiking Umbrella Falls at Mount Hood

I had the best time sleeping in, eating Rocky Road ice cream and just hanging out with my family.

It really was the perfect recovery week – both physically and mentally.

Now that I’m home and my PTO is over I find myself feeling rejuvenated and excited for the races I have coming up in the second half of the year!