Bay to Breakers – 5/18/14

Where the hell have I been!?

Well, the last few weeks have been busy, so I’ll fill you in.

We moved from our [mostly] fabulous place in NW Portland to a cute little house in SE. We packed boxes for days, rented a U-Haul, and made a weekend out of it.

I returned to the old place for a final walk-through and ended up getting a little sentimental. I hate it when I do that.

old place

“The Portland Palace” it was called, with an amazing view of Mt. Saint Helens from the kitchen. On a really clear day the view included Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. That’ll be hard to beat…but I’m looking forward to BBQs on the deck, walking Riley in an actual neighborhood, being closer to city things (let’s be honest…it’s Target I’m looking forward to!), and having our own general space rather than sharing it with other temporary guests.

new house

However, moving is awful. Everyone knows this, including Riley Bear. See how pooped he was?

moving bear

He was certain he was going to be left behind and for three days straight in the new place he followed me from room to room. His loyalty is endearing, but having him underfoot while trying to unpack? Not so cute.

I managed to get in a 4.5 mile run with a friend one weeknight, but that’s about it. Mostly my workouts were weight lifting in the form of boxes.

So, whew. Okay, moving is all over. We are mostly unpacked (i.e. we shoved everything in the garage and decided most of it can just go directly to Goodwill) and then headed to San Francisco for the weekend. We signed up for the Bay to Breakers in October and the date finally arrived. It was slightly bad timing, but the mini vacation was needed!

We flew down late Friday night and stayed with Jesse’s aunt in San Mateo. She’s so cute and has a fascinating story; I just love her. And her house is gorgeous!

Saturday morning we had an Alcatraz Island tour booked so we headed into the city. It was a really fascinating experience, albeit slightly tourist-y. The buildings were (obviously) old and decrepit; the lonely cells humbling. They had an amazing photo exhibit in one of the old work buildings of the very last day Alcatraz was open in 1963 documenting the remaining prisoners’ transport off the island. This might have been my favorite part of the tour, only slightly ahead of the escape attempt descriptions. It really would have been quite a long swim back to the city!

alcatraz

alcatraz2

view of SF from alcatraz

On Sunday morning our alarms rang at 5 AM and we caught the BART to downtown to run in the 103rd Annual Bay to Breakers event. A quick 7.46 miles starting downtown, up Hayes Hill (which is actually just a cute little half-mile incline for the trail runners), through Golden Gate Park, and ending at the beach.

We found our corral and waited for an hour and half (there was a 20 minute delay due to equipment set up and/or spectator interference).

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We engaged in some traditional ‘tortilla tossing’…

tortillas

Saw tons of crazy/modest/unique/unoriginal/confusing costumes…this one was a personal favorite. Arrested Development, anyone?

smurf

And then we were off.

hayes hill

With around 30,000 participants and 140,000 spectators, it was quite the party. Of course there were the elite runners who take it seriously and are in it to win it (first place finisher’s time was 35:01), then there’s the regular running group, and then there are the crazies. After taking in some of the finishing festivities, we were too cheap to pay the shuttle fees back so we walked the course in reverse. It was fun to see the other participants and their costumes, feel the energy of the event as a spectator, and to enjoy San Francisco at a slower pace. Although…I saw so many naked people that day, it may have been a bad idea! My favorite costume was a tiny Asian woman in a purple fat suit. Don’t ask me why, but it cracked me up!

parp

breakers

I met my goals in this event and set some speed PRs. One goal was my average pace for the run and the second…to be brave enough to run in just my sports bra. The weather was nice enough and at mile 6 the shirt came off! I realize that many women run this way regularly and it’s not actually a big deal, but it kind of was for me. So I’ll be proud of that. The photo is buried on my Tumblr page – I’m too modest to put it here. So if you’re wanting a peek, you’ll have to dig 🙂

On the walk back, we passed through a little farmer’s market and each enjoyed a peach in the sun. We bought some gorgeous flowers for Jesse’s aunt and made our way back to San Mateo.

market flowers

It was a fabulous weekend – I love our quick weekend getaways so much!

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More Miles, More Fun

A few more days of running behind me. Here’s what I was up to all week:

Monday, 4/28: Rest day, of course.

Tuesday, 4/29: 8 “easy” miles with Jesse on Wildwood after work.

Wednesday, 4/30: I was running “for fun in the hot, hot sun!”, as Dr. Seuss would say! I did 5 miles downtown and there were so.many.cyclists on the waterfront! Sometimes I think those clowns should be banned. And other times I feel jealous of their sweet rides, while I’m running along miserably, checking my watch every .2 seconds hoping to see progress. Plus…the Cinco de Mayo Festival was in set-up mode and I wasn’t able to cut up to the parking garage as I typically would, resulting in a bigger loop than normal. But it was interesting to see all the carnival-y things in their eerily dead state.

Thursday, 5/1: 5 miles on Wildwood with Jesse and Riley. Another hot day in Portland and we were certain Riley was going to combust, even though it was late evening. We were also nearly eaten alive by mosquitoes, cutting our outdoor stretch session short! Felt like summer…

Friday, 5/2: Rest day!

Saturday, 5/3: 18.5 miles. This “little” loop I mapped out had us start at Pittock Mansion and run to the Saltzman firelane where we caught Leif Erickson and ran back to NW. My friend Erin and I had been shopping all day and I talked her into joining us for the first bit, as she needed to do a 10 miler that weekend. Then her 10 miles turned into 13 miles. And then eventually we decided she’d just join for all 18, a distance PR for her as well! – I attribute the final commitment to our beef jerky offer. That stuff is so good mid-run! We finished with a decent time and had perfect running weather through Forest Park. A little drizzly and about 64 degrees. The pictures are a lie – we were running in t-shirts, I swear!

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On the drive home after the run, we were in separate vehicles and Jesse sent me a text that he had to make a quick detour. I was showered and in my pajamas by the time he made it home, but he had stopped and bought me 18 hot pink roses…one for every mile I ran that day. Could he be any f***ing sweeter!? I just love him. (He also brought Starburst jelly beans and Reese’s PB cups, but those are 2nd place by far).

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Sunday, 5/4: Rest, rest, and more rest. After our long run, my knee was really bothering me in a “I may or may not be injured” sort of way, causing me to be really paranoid about having done some real damage. So I took it easy, put some frozen brussels sprouts on it and began hoping with all my might that it was only fatigue.

Total weekly miles: 36.5

Oh, and I bought my wedding dress. “It’s all downhill from here”? Please, let it be so!