Keeping up with my workout schedule has been a little difficult now that I’m back to my regular hours at work. Still, I’ve been able to manage to go to Cardio Kick class at the YMCA as planned for the past three weeks. It’s the longest streak of consistent gym exercise I’ve had in months. Usually I just hit up a class or do a workout there once in a while. This week I got up and thought briefly about skipping, but since I had already gone to class for 2 weeks, I decided I better get up and go. I guess a point made in The Spark is true: Streaks make you want to keep going and help you succeed.
The class left me fairly sore, so I Tiger Tailed it before bed. I still felt somewhat sore on Wednesday, so instead of jumping up right away and heading out for the run I had planned to do on the Embarcadero, I hung around on the futon for a few hours, drinking coffee and netflixing “My So-Called Life”. I so miss 1994. I wish I still had my favorite plaid shirt…
At around 1:30pm, I realized that I wouldn’t be running at all unless I got up and went out soon, so I suited up and instead of heading towards the Embarcadero, I walked up to Kezar. This was a totally spontaneous decision, but something in me decided that instead of running from Pier 39 to AT&T Park or something like that, I wanted to run the length of Golden Gate Park. I had never done it before, and for some reason, running all of the way out to the beach sounded really appealing. I hadn’t been sure of the length of the park, but a quick Google search said 3 miles. I figured I’d run out to the beach and then maybe run part of the way back.
I decided to run on Lincoln, instead of inside the park due to my allergies and tendencies to get completely and totally lost when inside. This also meant I would get to stop at crosswalks, which to some people would be a negative thing. Not to me though…built in rest stops, guilt free! Before I left the house I had stuffed a pack of gummy gels in my pocket that I got as a freebie after the Run Wild for a Child 5K in November. Since I typically never run more than 3 miles, I’ve never needed them, but I thought I’d take them along just in case. I ended up popping one gummy before I set out on the run, as breakfast had been a few hours prior and a tiny pang of hunger was just coming up on my radar.
After my gummy, I was off. I had anticipated doing a lot of run/walking on the way out. I pretty much do that during every run. This run, however, was different. Though I may’ve stopped at crosswalks, I didn’t need to stop. I felt unusually strong and capable. I never whined to myself about wanting to stop. I wasn’t concentrating on how much everything hurt. It was really the strongest run I’ve ever had, mentally speaking. I was in the zone. As I began to see the ocean peeking up over the horizon, I started to feel exhilarated and even more excited to push myself to pick up the pace.
When I got out to the beach, I just felt…great. Like I was a total badass for running out there. I don’t know why it felt so epic to me, as I run 3 mile distances all of the time. It just felt different to me. More powerful.
I really didn’t want to leave the beach. I always forget how much I love it out near the water. Truth is, despite living right here on the pacific ocean for my entire life, up until recently, I had only gone out there a handful of times. My family isn’t really into hanging out at the beach, so I guess I just never got in the habit. In the last couple of years a friend of mine has been taking me to beaches and on hiking trips and I’ve found that I really love watching the water. It’s just so peaceful and good.
After standing around for several minutes, I realized that I was going to have to go. It was getting late, I was 5 miles away from home and I was getting concerned that I was going to get stormed on at any moment….
I ate another gel gummy, stopped off at the above pictured 76 Station for a new bottle of water (and a lotto ticket! I was feeling lucky!) and headed back the way I had come. I had packed my Clipper Card in my spibelt so that I could take the bus back home if I was tired. You see, the farthest I had ever run prior to this day was 4.18 miles. It was going to be a round trip total of 6.25 miles (or a 10K) if I ran back to Kezar. I really wasn’t sure if that was more than I could do.
But as I started back home, despite the soreness and stiffness in my legs, one thought crossed my mind when I considered the bus: “Nah. I got this.”
The run back was harder. There’s an ever so slight incline for half of the distance that is almost undetectable when walking, but noticeable when tired and running. Also I was starting to feel the impact of this run coupled with the previous day’s Cardio Kick class throughout my body and it wasn’t easy to ignore. Nevertheless, I never once thought I was going to give up on the way back. I allowed myself some walking/stretch breaks, but I kept going and I finished strong.
My pace wasn’t bad either. Between 12-13 minutes average pace. My goal pace for Bay to Breakers is 12m/mile. Awesomeness.
When I got back to Kezar, I stopped off to use the restroom. They were having a track meet. I couldn’t see all of the teams there, but I noticed Galileo High, Burton High and Lowell in attendance. It sort of made me feel sad I had never done sports in school. I think if I had been in better shape, I would’ve liked it.
After my stop off, I went to Whole Foods for nourishment and then walked the rest of the way home. I took a shower and I felt damn accomplished. For a reward, I settled down to more “My So Called Life” and enjoyed two of my favorite things.