Tuesday, March 30, 2010

San Francisco and Summer Plans

I spent last weekend in probably my favorite city in the US. I used to say New Orleans was my favorite, but I haven't been there since Katrina, and assume it is a whole new city now. That makes San Francisco my active favorite. It was a work trip, but a work trip visiting dear and very cool friends, which makes it feel like a pleasure trip. I always thought the question, "for business or pleasure" was funny. Actually, "pleasure" is a cool word, I'd much rather say "my pleasure" instead of "you're welcome". Oh and, this trip, I had a pretty cool run in mind!

Last year, on my friend Trish's recommendation, I stayed at the Hotel Boheme in North Beach. It's now my favorite San Francisco home. The hotel is wrapped in beat culture, pictures of North Beach in the 50's with Kerouac, Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti. They have after dinner sherry available in the lobby. Lobby is a stretch of definition, but it is a beautiful hallway. A small word of warning, while wonderfully quaint, Hotel Boheme is boutique ish....very small rooms, even smaller bathrooms and even smaller TV's. It is right on a
very noisy part of Columbus Ave. So, the upside is awesome
outdoor cafes that are open late nearby, or right underneath
you if you have a room with a street view.

Sunday morning's run, I left the hotel at 7:15 and grabbed a coffee, 2 shot 12 ounce americano with a tiny bit of cream, from Cafe Roma. Finished my coffee before I hit Fisherman's Wharf and I was off. I was headed for Tiburon in Marin County, then going to take the ferry back to the City.

There were so many runners, walkers and cyclists going through Crissy Fields and over the Golden Gate Bridge. That always makes me run faster than I intended and I got to Sausalito much quicker than I had planned. I left a safe amount of time to get there without having to worry about missing the ferry but I didn't want to get there too early. So, I took a leisurely stroll through Sausalito. I thought about stopping for a snack, but a little voice in my head said to get going.

I'm glad I listened to the voice. I had directions in my head, and they weren't very complicated. The only tricky part was having street names remembered, but actually running on multi purpose paths along side those roads. I came across a path sign pointing me toward Tiburon. I figured I should be close to where I was supposed to turn so I trusted it. I suppose it was taking me toward Tiburon but it was clearly not the way I should have been going. By the time I figured out where I'd gone, where I was and where I needed to go, I'd added about a three mile detour.

That made the last five miles a little suspenseful, but I made it to Tiburon in time to have eggs, bacon, provolone and tomatoes on a buttery croissant, while waiting for the ferry. The ride over the bay was beautiful. Clear and warm.

I had turned my 18 mile run into a 21 mile run,
but loved every mile of it, even the ones where I wasn't sure where I was going. The view coming back to the city was amazing. As a photographer, I hate to blame equipment, but this was one of the few times the camera in my iPhone was inadequate.

I think my next trip to San Francisco will include a ferry ride to Sausalito, then a long run through the Marin Headlands, then a ferry ride back.

I've got some big summer plans. A continuation of last summers run from Portland to The Dalles. This July I'll run from The Dalles to Sisters, Oregon in four days. Then in August, I'll run my first 100 mile race at the Lean Horse 100 in South Dakota. I'm sure the distance training I'll need to prepare for that will lead to a few more adventures.

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