Hello! Today, I had my first “real” long run of half marathon training. By real, I mean above what I might do while not training for a particular race. 6 miles is routine. 8 is half marathon training. Since school hasn’t starting and my puppy was going to be at her playgroup all day, I thought I would take the opportunity to go up to San Francisco and train on some hills.
When I ran this race 2 years ago (Nike Women’s Half), the course was different. The course this year is sort of like a backwards version of how it used to be.
If I had to guess why they changed it, it would be to not have to close the Great Highway and to make the hills a little better. Do you see that big downhill around mile 12? That 300 feet of fast elevation gain used to be a pretty brutal hill in the past. Just based on the course map, my experience today, and my experience in previous races, the hills should be not nearly as bad as in the past! I wanted to get at least one hill in from the race in my run today, so I started in Golden Gate Park and worked my way over to the Golden Gate bridge, taking the following route (about miles 5-10 of the race).
Granted I’ve been training on worse hills this summer, but the hills during this portion were not bad-I think running the reverse of this portion actually was worse.
I haven’t spent much time in Golden Gate Park besides during races, so I took lots of pictures. I was able to park on a side street right at the Western edge of the park, by the windmill.
It was an absolutely beautiful day in the city-75 and sunny! What?? I actually got to see the amazing views that I missed running this race the previous time because it was super foggy and you couldn’t even see the beach/ocean!
Golden Gate Park is nice. I should spend more time there.
First view of the bridge!
I ended up stoping regularly to make sure I was staying on track. I didn’t think I was, but I think I actually stuck to it pretty well until I reached Lincoln Highway, which I was supposed to run up, but there was no sidewalk. Instead, I cut down into a parking lot and got some good views of the bridge!
The return trip was actually better than expected, and I was surprised by how strong my legs felt with the increasing distance. I’ll take it!
Also-compression socks are magic. I put them on immediately and my legs felt great the next day. I mistakenly thought I was near Dynamo Donuts, and was thinking about them the entire second half of the run, so I decided to make the 20 minute drive there, especially since it was right by the freeway!
This time, I got a gluten free lemon buttermilk donut and a decaf iced latte.
Since my entire post-run lunch was sugar, I decided to stop for a hummus and avocado sandwich at the place across the street.
After leaving the city, I went to pick my puppy up from her play group and she was tired!
After a relaxing afternoon, my evening ended on a delicious note when we went to the Greek Festival down the street (it happens every year during Labor Day weekend) and picked up some Greek food for dinner. Spanikopita, or pastry with spinach and feta, is my favorite, but we also had Greek salad (traditional Greek salad doesn’t have lettuce) and chicken kebabs.
For dessert, I had my favorite-Galaktoboureko-which is phyllo dough filled with custard and soaked in honey. Plus, this is one of the only non-nut desserts!
Have you ever run a Nike Women’s Race?