Run 5K: “Workout Completed.”

I’m going to cry when I cross the finish line on Sunday.

That was one of the many thoughts swirling through my brain as I did my last training run today. It’s not entirely shocking, since I’m a crier. I think I cried more when Michael Phelps won his last gold medal than he did. This moment still makes me well up. (Spoiler alert: I did NOT make it through this post without crying.)

But I remember a few months ago when I decided to scroll to the end of the training program in my app and saw that the last day call for me to run 30 minutes without stopping. I laughed when I saw that, knowing how much I was struggling just to run 2-3 minutes at a time. Running a 5K seemed more daunting then than ever before. I’d never really thought about how LONG it would take me to run 3.1 miles. The thought of just running, nothing else, for that long seemed ridiculous.

Week Eight was rough. I did Day One on Friday, feeling pretty good about running for 25 minutes without stopping. Again, I ran further on my trail before turning around than I ever had before and my playlist synced up great. Of course, my socks gave me a couple blisters, so it wasn’t all gravy. I had planned to run Day Two on the actual race course on which I’ll be running on Sunday, but I just didn’t have the motivation to go all the way out there. It was actually hot here in the City and I was not dressed properly for my workout. I had my armband for my phone, which worked great, but I was sweating buckets by the time I finished. My playlist didn’t sync up exactly how I wanted it to and by the time I got to the last song, I was ready to PASS OUT. I was out of gas and thought there was no way I could add another two minutes to that run today.

My body has clearly adapted to San Francisco’s weather because it was a brisk, foggy day when I got home from work, but I set off on my trail anyway. In 40 minutes, I covered 3.3 miles (including 5 minute walking warm up and 5 minute walking cool down). My playlist synced PERFECTLY (see below) and I felt like I hit my stride again. I was tired and a little breathless at the end of my run, but when my phone vibrated to tell me to stop running, I didn’t collapse. I actually had a little bit more in the tank! My calf is a little tight, but I’m hoping that continuing to stretch it out this week will help with that. And yes, I did tear up a little when my running coach’s voice said “Workout completed” for the last time.

Music is an integral part of this process, allowing me to focus on something else, so I don’t start thinking about how much running sucks. I’ll be tweaking this playlist a little before my race, but I really like how this worked. I noticed during Sunday’s run that the songs were getting longer as time went by, which wasn’t helping me get through the workout. I adjusted for today, using mostly 3 minute songs. That gave me a good variety of music (some with inspiration lyrics, some of a good beat, some with both), but no song went on too long. Enjoy!

Smuggler’s Cove and #45 in the #SummerOfDrinking!

A few weeks ago, 7×7 magazine released their 50 Cocktails to Try Before You Die list. Immediately, it seemed like a challenge that my Bay Area friends and I needed to attack.

On Tuesday night, Akemi and I ventured over to Smuggler’s Cove in Hayes Valley for a pre-dinner drink. It was my first experience at the pirate-themed bar and I enjoyed the decor almost as much as the beverages. We headed downstairs which has a fantastic water feature (I need those multicolored lights at home!). It’s quite dark inside, but that just adds to the ambiance.

We both ordered #45 on the list – Smuggler’s Rum Barrel – without the souvenir glass. Our bartender was a little preoccupied talking to some regulars, but mixed up the drinks wonderfully! I’m not a huge fan of rum, but the other flavors mask it quite well (or enhance it if you like rum). The garnishes are also divine and I may demand flowers in all my future drinks now.

I’m a lightweight, and it showed with this beverage. By the time I finished, I was feelin’ it and getting back up the stairs was a bit of an issue. Luckily, we were headed off to a delicious dinner and by the time I got on the bus to go home, I was back to normal again. I will definitely be headed back to Smuggler’s Cove to sample what else they have to offer!

UK: “That… chair… is the seat on which every king and queen has…” “It’s held in place by a large rock. I don’t care about how many royal arseholes have sat in this chair.”

Friday, May 25, 2012
Having showered the previous night, Friday morning went much smoother for me. Despite the lack of sleep, I was up and ready to go in record time. Katia was coming with me to London today, though she would be spending the day working at the British Library while I was having my adventures. We planned to meet up for dinner before our theatre plans.

We caught the 0839 bus to the train station in plenty of time. Here I have to stop to remark about the marvelous bus drivers in Cambridge (and also London). The city buses are all double-decker buses and they maneuver through medieval streets with the greatest of ease! When possible, I would sit in the front row of the upper deck and I was always amazed at the way the bus driver would take some of the tight turns and narrow streets. I wish those drivers would give all of our Muni drivers a lesson or two! (Especially when I see a Muni bus taking up two lanes just to drive down the street!) The drivers are patient in waiting for all to board and make their various payments (perhaps a function of the drivers dispensing passes as well as regular fares) and the ride is quite smooth. In addition, at least in Cambridge, the bike lanes are frequently the same as the bus lanes and given the propensity for biking in Cambridge, I was impressed by the care given to bicycles (and given by the cyclists as well!) when these large vehicles inevitably bear down upon them on narrow streets. I very much enjoyed taking the bus anywhere we had to go!

St. James’s Park Lake

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“The Unseen Sea”

Thanks to the Bold Italic and Karl The Fog for linking this fabulous time lapse video of our magnificent fog.

Just another reason I love living here!