Fake Tales of San Francisco

I was promised warmth, sunshine, a respite from the cold, rainy-ness of Seattle. I was not bothered a bit on Monday when it was in the 20s and I left my house in Seattle for the airport because I knew I was heading to San Francisco where it had been warm all weekend. I got on the plane, settled back in for nap and in no time flat I was landing in rainy, cold San Francisco. Hey wait a minute, did we turn around. The weather had turned to Seattle like weather; mid 40s and pouring rain. And here I was without tights, hat, gloves or rain coat to run in. I usually can wear just a long sleeve and shorts, but gloves and hat are usually accompanying it. I told myself, at least its not 20 degrees out... but then I remember I would prefer 20 and sunny like it is in Seattle, than 40 & pouring!!

Monday Run & Meal
Sarah and I headed out in the pouring rain to do a hour + run. It was not pretty. We ran from Sausalito up the hill to the Golden Gate Bridge, across the bridge and down into the Presidio for a loop, then back across the bridge. The wind and rain on the bridge was ridiculous. I was soaked to the bone and by the time we got home in just under 1:10, I could barely use my hands. When I warmed up in the shower, my wrists burned as the blood came back to them...not pretty, nor nice.

After the run, I got all ready to go into the city to have dinner with my friend (and crew chief extraordinaire!) Hollis at my favorite vegan restaurant, Millennium which never ceases to delight the palate and introduce me to new and interesting flavors. Hollis and I opted for the tasting menu which provides you with small portions of an appetizer, a salad, two entrees and a shared dessert. They are a great restaurant and its nice to know that for the most part, I can eat everything. I simply let them know I am gluten tolerant before dinner and they selected items accordingly, as well as when they brought the plates (each of us received different selections for each course), which ones I could try and which ones to stay away from They selected for me:

Sesame Cornmeal Crusted Oyster Mushrooms

Avocado & Endive Salad Boats

Banana Leaf Wrapped Risotto with beans and lots of other goodness

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Dessert was a shared platter of small bites. It was indicated that there were about 2-3 I could try, so I tried a bite of the ones I was able to, but was pretty satisfied! I love this restaurant and never cease to be impressed.

Tuesday Run, Meals, and my favorite Buddhist

I got out for two decent runs on tuesday. In the AM, I did a 5.5 out and back on the flat in Sausalito, doing fartleks along the main road. It was nice to get some speed up. I felt strong and speedy, though I have had a really bad blister on my right heel for a few days which is still healing and that caused some discomfort. Had a similar issue on my left heal last week, so I am use to it by now.

Afterwards, I came back to the house and dove into what has been my go to breakfast this year in a pinch (that is when I can find a gluten free cereal I like):

Gluten Free Cereal (in this case Nutty Rice Cereal) 3/4 cup
Almond Milk 1/2 cup
Banana, sliced
Berries, 1 cup
Almond Butter, 2 tablespoons

It might seem odd to throw some almond butter on the top of a bowl of cereal but I know that a healthy fat is going to make this meal actually stick with me. Cereal and fruit will not do that alone, at all. Plus, I need the fat and furthermore it is absolutely delicious.

We had a meeting during the day and then I returned home and headed out for run #2, after giving my dad a list of groceries to get while I was out. I headed up to SCA trail, then connected to Alta, down morning sun and then down the demotivator (the name we gave the hill the winds through Sausalito). It was just under 6 miles, but was quite enough for the day.

Upon arriving home I threw together some food for my dad, sister and self. I make a bunch of roast veggies including brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, red bell pepper, spiced with Cayenne and Sage. I also made my mashed potatoes from Saturday. My dad had gotten a roast chicken from Whole Foods as well as some salad for them to have. I ate the potatoes and veggies and headed into the city to see my favorite Buddhist and wonderful massage therapist, Scott.

I love my girl Alison who is officially now "my massage therapist", but seeing Scott is about more than a massage. He is a good friend and we have a blast catching up, philosophizing, etc. I can't miss an opportunity to see him and have him do some work when I am in town. He did a lot of work on my back which I really needed. He has a combination of amazing exciting energy and calm presence that makes absolutely sense to me.

Wednesday (these are a few of my favorite things)

I got up not too early and headed to the city with my dad to go the gym. We hit the weights for about an hour and I worked on my single leg stuff. I had a good deal of muscle wasting last year when I lost weight and over time, I lost a decent amount of strength. This year, I have been trying to build up my leg strength so that I will be able to power up the hills and withstand WS100 brutalization... I have already noticed the difference on the uphills.

Before Lunch, my dad wanted to go up in the Headlands because he hadn't been up there in years. We drove up the treacherous road to the top of Hawk Hill and enjoyed the view. I enjoyed it more than my dad because he is afraid of height and wouldn't get near the edge. The view is absolutely amazing!
View from the top

I am perfectly comfy on the edge, I thought about jumping on the rail, but decided not to give my dad a heart attack.

This is as close as my dad would get.

For lunch, we headed to another of my all-time favorites and must visits, Cafe Gratitude. I took my dad to the one in Marin. It was his first experience with real raw foodism and Cafe Gratitude is quite an experience. He was not only blown away by the food, but by everything they are about. I had some of my favorites (their menu items are positive affirmations and that is how you order them):

I am eternally blessed: cold pressed coffee, almond milk milkshake
I am satisfied: small cafe salad with almond hummus

And for dessert:
I am cozy: fresh ginger, lemon and honey tea
I am super: raw cacao nugget with maca

Absolutely delicious. Perfect pre-run meal. We went back to the house to do more work and then about 3:30 my sister told me that her car was boxed in and she wouldn't be able to go on the 13 mile run in Ross on Mt. Tam I had planned. At that point, I figured it was too late anyways to do that loop, so I decided to do some similar distance in the Headlands. I got dressed, got my headlamp (since I figured it would get dark in an hour +) and prepared to head out. But not before my dad told me that my legs look like they have grown 1 1/2 inches (in diameter) each since the last time he saw me. Now, I tried my best not to let this hurt my feeling since I know that my body is changing shape from lifting weights, but I was also at the time having a bad body image day, so that is definitely not what I wanted/needed to hear.

I headed up the hill towards the Golden Gate Bridge and jumped onto the SCA trail. Climbing the .8 miles to the top (on top of the climb up from Sausalito just to get to SCA), get you nice and warm really quickly. I always get to the top and think that I should have brought my camera. It is so beautiful. You can see the bridge and city on one side and the Headlands stretching out on the other. I made a quick right at the top and continued climbing up Coastal. I kept on Coastal until it reached the road. I hopped over the road onto Rodeo Valley Trail, which took me down and around to Kronkite beach, where I saw a few surfers in the beautiful afternoon light. Then I started climbing back up Coastal heading towards Wolfback Ridge. The uphills felt easy and I cruised along, trying my best to dart between cold gusts of wind. Luckily it wasn't raining and the sun was partially peaking out from behind the high clouds giving a fantastic beautiful sunset display. At long last, I made it to the top and headed down Wolfback Ridge to Miwok. If I wanted to do 11-12 miles, I could have simply headed up Miwok and looped back towards home, but I was feeling good and motivated, and despite not having brought food or water, decided to take my first left and head down Old Mill Road towards Tennessee Valley horse stables. The sunlight was streaming through the clouds in what someone I know, but can't remember who, dubbed "God light". The sunlight streams through the clouds, partially veiled but the beams are visible as they reach towards the ground. The sun disappeared behind the Headlands as I reached the bottom and turned to head back up the other side in a 1.2 mile climb to the top to Miwok. I switched on my headlamp and powered up. When I reached the top, I was finally getting a sense of home, but knew I had about 5 miles left, but mostly flat or downhill. I dashed down Bobcat, then jumped onto Alta finally reaching SCA in the total darkness. I slowed as I went down SCA because I was heading down the trail so I didn't fall and kill myself. I finally reached the road and shifted my headlamp to the blinking position, took it off my head and put it around my waist (light in the back), so that speeding cars coming along the road in Sausalito could see me. I whizzed down the hill and came in with a time of 2:37.

Distance: 16 miles (if not more)
Time: 2:37
Elevation Gain: a ton
Pace: 9:38
Weather: Cold

I felt great after the run and am looking forward to running on Saturday at the Pigtails 50k. My run today should be run, my sister and I are going to down Lyon Street Stairs and Lovers Lane repeats.