Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year (I'm back!)

Happy New Year! It's been a crazy busy six months and I completely fell off the blog. Grad school = 6 month blogging sabbatical. The last six month shave been a crazy whirlwind of class, tests, and 12 hour clinical shifts. Even though I don't comment often, I promise I'm still reading and enjoying your blogs!

Studying red bloods cells make me crave donuts

In my last post I left you hanging about Vineman 70.3. Here's a very short race report for you: It was hard, awesome, and very fun. The weather was perfect and the course was great.

My training in the month leading up to the race could be described as a very long taper but I'm happy to say that I still finished in my goal of under 6 hours. More specifically:

Swim: 30:44
Bike 3:08
Run: 2:06
Overall: 5:58:47 (age group 21/81)

After Vineman I didn't get on my bike again until my break in September. I rode twice and then not again until mid-December. I also went hiking in Muir Woods, visited my best friend in Seattle and witnessed by brother get married in Northern Minnesota.

 Space Needle, Seattle

 Muir Woods

Muir Woods

 Minnesota Woods

I read a poem at the wedding (and cried with happiness)

Palisade Head, Lake Superior

 I have managed to swim and run regularly and did the US Half Marathon in November and the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay in December. I spent many weekend mornings running the trails in the Marin Headlands. I love trail running. It is hard and I am slow, but I an run for 2 hours and never once get bored. How could you with views like this?

I went to Connecticut and NYC for Thanksgiving. The weather was unseasonably warm and I enjoyed a long run in my old stomping grounds, Central Park.

I've had most of the month of December off from school so I've been enjoying the California "winter."

Running near the bridge, December 9th

Cycling in Napa, December 10th

Then I went to Minnesota for a real winter vacation.

We celebrated the New Year back in California with  a 40 mile ride on December 31st and a long run and Aquatic Park swim on January 1st. The water was a frigid 50.9*. I was smart enough to wear a wetsuit, but 4 of my fellow club members skinned it. BRR!

Now I'm getting geared up for the start of another quarter. This promises to be the hardest one yet with back to back 12.5 hour clinical shifts. Hopefully I'll be back again before summer :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ready or Not... Vineman 70.3

We are in Sonoma County this weekend for Vineman 70.3. We went to Windsor today to pick up our registration packet and drop off our run gear for the race tomorrow.

My training took quite a hit with school, especially the bike, but I think I will be ok tomorrow. It won't be the race of my lifetime, but it's my first half IM so I shouldn't expect too much anyhow. I've done the bike course 3 times in the past 6 weeks and I've done some strong bricks and my long runs every weekend have been 10-11 miles.

There is an abundance of spandex and calf compression sleeves...

We are staying at Le Mars Hotel in Healdsburg tonight due to an amazing screw up by Hotels.com. It is by far the nicest and most expensive hotel room I have ever stayed at and thanks to Hotels.com it was only $100 for the night! Too bad we have to leave before 5am!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Photo Tour: Presidio Trail Run (aka The Most Beautiful Run in San Francisco)

Today is my last day of “vacation.” I’ve been between work and school for the past 8 weeks, but tomorrow my official school duties start with two full days of orientation. On Monday classes will begin and I anticipate my life will become more busy than it has been in many, many years. I have 36 hours of class and clinical per week (including 8am to 8pm class on Tuesdays), plus I have to manage to fit in training, eating and sleeping. Oy veh!

To celebrate my last vacation day I did my favorite run. It is a trail run through the Presidio and it also happens to be the Escape from Alcatraz run course. I have only been running for a few years, but I will say without a doubt that this is the most beautiful run I’ve ever done. Plus, the weather today was just perfect. Bright sun, slight breeze, mid-60’s. Perfect.

I parked and started my run at Marina Green, right next to Fort Mason. Amazing views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
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The first mile or so is along Marina Green and the Embarcadaro. Then you pass the Palace of Fin Arts (the round dome) and make your way onto the gravel path through Crissy Field, also known as the Golden Gate Promenade or the Bay Trail.
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Every time I see palm trees I smile. I still can’t believe I live in California!
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Mile 2 brings you past the Warming Hut Park Store and CafĂ©. I’ve never been inside but I think they sell snacks and souvenirs. There are also nice public restrooms and drinking fountains here.
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Just past the Warming Hut you make a left and head up your first set of (many) stairs.
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Once you are at the top of your first set of stairs and switch backs you are rewarded with more amazing views.
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The trail flattens for a bit and runs along the Historic Batteries.
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Through a tunnel. The exit is very low so don’t forget to duck!
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The views never end. Continue up a steep grade and then under the Golden Gate Bridge.
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After passing under the bridge just follow all the signs towards Baker Beach.
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Baker Beach is beautiful and mostly empty. Just watch out because it also happens to be a nude beach. I had the pleasure of seeing not one, but two, very old naked men today. Don’t worry, I didn’t take a picture.
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Once you are on the beach make a right and head towards the Golden Gate Bridge. In the race we actually had to go left for awhile and then loop around, but I generally skip the extra beach running.
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Keep an eye along the shore for the infamous Sand Ladder.
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The first 200 steps or so are very steep. My strategy here is always to “walk with purpose.” I find it is impossible (and probably a little dangerous) to try to run.

I took this photo looking back down when I was about half way up.
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Finally the ladder ends and you meet up with the road. Now you hang a left and head back along the same path.
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This is another set of stairs of an abandoned military building that you run through.
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Back through the tunnel.
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Down the stairs.
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Pass the Warming Hut and run back towards the city on the Golden Gate Promenade.
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The total run from Marina Green is 7.5 miles. About 4 miles is a flat run along the Golden Gate Promenade and the other 3.5 miles is a crazy fun twist of stairs, single track trails, the beach and the tunnel. If you are ever in the city you must make time for this run. Let me know and I will happily be your tour guide!


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