Why I Love California (in 4 Miles or Less)

I've heard stories of other runners getting heckled by passing pickup trucks; I've personally walked through the lobby of hotels while traveling and gotten strange looks from guests and bellmen about my running clothes (and these are just normal, standard-issue running clothes—I don't bust out my Sugoi knee-highs when I'm on the road). In California, however, if you go to the hotel front desk and ask about local running routes, they just might hand you something like this (left): a map including street names and running distances, like I received yesterday.

You gotta love that. Not only did they not think it was strange that I wanted to run, they had routes already mapped out and printed, in a small-enough size that I could easily carry it and (if need be) refer to it during my run. My inner Seth Godin went on a ramble about how some businesses anticipate customer need and go the extra, thoughtful mile. But, since Seth is a biker and not a runner, I ignored his interjection and went about my run.

Last Sunday was the Los Gatos 10k; this Sunday is the San Francisco Marathon 5k. I was scheduled for a 3 miler, but the local 4 mile route colluded with my desire to stay on track for October's half marathon—I'll miss Sunday's 4 miler while doing the SFM 5k—so I set off to do 4 miles.

Warm, beautiful, sunny weather was the order of the day in Redwood City; @LosBee was down the peninsula for a conference, so I tagged along to get out of San Francisco for a bit. I swear, San Francisco is in the locus of crapitude weather-wise. The ocean, the bay, the inland area and it's tip-o-the-peninsula position band together and insure that there's almost always a thick layer of gray loitering above the city. I *hate it. It's ridiculous. Sure, I have posted many times how gorgeous the weather is out, but it's usually a short segment of the day that affords this sunshine. And all you have to do is look across the bay to see the clouds dissipate into blue skies and sunshine. Drives me crazy. Why the hell couldn't San Francisco be 15 miles north or 15 miles south?


Anyway, enough of my seasonal affected bitching.

Having grown mildly wiser recently to the ways of the run, I took these 4 miles easy. I understand there now to be 4 run-to-run factors that I can be aware of and act accordingly: surface, topography (hills), distance and speed. (In the longer haul there are more factors, like body weight, weekly mileage, etc, but the 4 above are adequate from the narrower run-to-run scope.) The route was flat but paved, and I was setting out to run slightly longer than my usual 5k, so the smart thing to do is run slower and easier. My shins were a little wigged out (especially after the last run), but all went well.

I think it's rest from here to Sunday. I'm not totally confident that my Nike+ has been accurately measuring distances, so I'm not convinced I've actually run a sub-30:00, but at this point all I can do is psych myself up and haul as much ass as possible on Sunday.

Wish me luck!

5 Brilliant Remarks:

  1. Ali said...

    Reading your blog always hypes me up to get my butt out and run some more... good thing, since I have a 10k in the morning. :)

  2. Stacy said...

    Best of luck to yah in the SFM! That's awesome that the hotel provided the running trails for you. I'd be gitty too if I got such a thing!

  3. RoadBunner said...

    PUH-LEASE! Rolls eyes. Embrace the fog :)

  4. Anonymous said...

    haha i'm with ya! head over to the east bay where the sun shines during the summer :)

  5. LOL @RoadBunner--you kill me! I can't tell you how gratifying it was to talk with your man about it. Hahahaha A kindred spirit!

    Really, I think if you come from a region that has seasons (midwest, upper east coast), SF weather messes with your head. I mean, it never really does *anything*, and you never really get a summer. Kids like me really, really miss the summer desperately. We're trained to look forward to it during the gloom.

    I doubt my seasonal affected disorder will ever be as happy as I was in San Diego. There's something about 270 days of 72 degrees and sunny that just makes a soul happy. *sigh* :)