I knew that it was going to be hilly, but when I saw how extreme the hills were, I thought that there was no way I could realistically go for a run. My hotel is in Union Square, and there is a hill next to it that has like a 25% grade. I probably would have to walk up this thing and it's long. I thought that using the hotel treadmill might be easier and safer, but my Facebook friends convinced me otherwise.
Prior to coming to San Francisco, I had scoped out this route. Some of my friends assured me on Facebook that once I got down to the water it wouldn't be hilly, so I decided to go for it. I am SO glad I did! What a beautiful run. It was so exciting to be in a brand new city, running through areas I had never seen before but had read about.
|The Bay Bridge (I didn't take this photo, but this was my view)
At about 1.2 miles, I was at the Embarcadero. I could see the water and a massive bridge. It was so beautiful and amazing. I thought it was the Golden Gate Bridge but I later realized it was the Bay Bridge. Still it was amazing. I soon realized I was in my element as plenty of other runners started to show up. This must be where everyone in San Fran runs because it's not so hilly. I followed a man in an Ironman shirt for awhile because I figured he'd keep me on the right route and prevent me from veering off accidentally. I felt like I was in a race. There was always at least one other runner in sight-- usually like 4 or 5 others, and we were all running the same route. Plus, the scenery was completely new to me.
I continued to be shocked by my pace given my easy effort level. I assumed that after the downhill it would go back to my "easy" pace of about 8:40-8:45 but it remained on the fast side. Maybe the Garmin was off, or maybe I was just so excited to be in a new area that I had extra adrenaline. My intention was to run 7 miles, but I missed the road I had to turn on to get back into the city (Market St.) so I ended up running 7.5:
Mile 1: 7:23
Mile 2: 8:30
Mile 3: 8:09
Mile 4: 8:20
Mile 5: 8:15
Mile 6: 8:25
Mile 7: 8:51 (back up the hill)
Last 0.5: 8:57
7.5 miles, 8:19 average pace. It felt easy and the scenery was amazing. Afterwards I just felt so invigorated and I was overcome by feelings of "I love running so much!" I sometimes don't get that feeling when running the same routes over and over near my house.
I'm registered for the Nike Women's marathon in October, so I will be running here again this fall. I'm planning on that race being a "fun run" without caring about my time. And now I am more excited than I was before!
Tomorrow I'm planning to run again, and then I fly back tomorrow evening. I'm so glad I didn't go for the treadmill option!