September 2, 2014

CHI Week -6

A beautiful day for enjoying the views of the bridge, the bay, and the city.

We had a whirlwind week -- for the work-week we stayed in SF at a condo of our friends while our kitchen and house were destroyed even further.  Thursday, E flew out to Portland and I lived solo in SF 'til Friday night, when we spent one night at home before heading back north through the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge (in mad traffic) to Sausilito for a weekend getaway for a friend's wedding.

This arrangement meant that for every meal from last Sunday AM through Labor Day lunch, we ate out (except for the one blessed home-cooked Indian food dinner our friends made for us in SF).  Did I mention I miss our kitchen? 

Despite the social and work chaos of living in SF and trying to deliver tomatoes to and cram in visits with everyone we can't see when we're down on the peninsula, I still managed to hit 36.62 miles (including 8 miles of city walking) plus an additional 92 minutes of gym cardio, *and* my scale informs me I was net neutral for the week.  This, my friends, is what successful marathon training looks like for me at this point.  It ain't pretty, but it's something. 

The main high quality miles of the week were in Sausalito, where I started at sea level and encountered steep climbs no matter which direction I ran (note the golden brown grass of California -- this is where the term "golden gate" comes from -- the mountains that make up the coastline that breaks for the San Francisco bay where the Golden Gate Bridge crosses are the traditional "golden hills of California").  

The balcony on the lobby at Cavallo Point Lodge -- not a bad place for a glass of wine.
Former Fort Baker viewed from the balcony at the Cavallo Point Lodge -- note the steep hills to the base of the bridge.
It was gratifying to do 10 miles on Sunday from Fort Baker out to the Sausilito harbor and back -- it was a slog to be in full sun on the hills the day after a wedding, but it was absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and it was *only* 10 miles.  I love it when I get to the point in marathon training where 10 miles seems short.  Monday, I planned to do my 6 miler on the treadmill, but the resort had different plans for me -- the fire alarm went off after the first mile and I had to evacuate.  Not about to stop the workout, I headed up the steep hill to the Golden Gate Lookout point -- I didn't stop.  I ran the whole climb.  Without a Garmin or sunglasses.  Then I ran back to the gym, and thankfully, the fire alarm fiasco had been sorted and I could finish my run on the mill. 

Both days, I was rewarded with the satisfaction of passing cyclists who had to stop and walk on the climbs.  On the way back down to the hotel on Sunday, I was actually a bit shocked to realize just how long the descent was -- I didn't remember the climb being that brutal, and yet, there I was, just cruising down, down, down, enjoying the benefit I'd forgotten I'd earned.  On the way out, I'd run the whole thing without stopping, and, other than a few cyclists I passed who were cursing, it hadn't seemed that bad.

So, I guess there's that.  I may not be in the shape I'd love to be in for a marathon.  But, I am in decent climbing shape.  Which, frankly, at 6 weeks out, makes me feel pretty darn good.

In other news, the trail access from the touchdown point at the north end of the Golden Gate is insane.  If only I was an ultra runner with a desire to run all day in the exposed Sunday could have been so different...


Jen said...

I ran a race that started at the base of the hill going up to GGB -- it was brutal! Nice work this week - the hills pay the bills!

bt said...

@Jen -- that would be the most demoralizing start to a race!

Angela Knotts said...

GAAAH you're making me want to run trails!!

L.A. Runner said...

Nice job on the training! And you can still build your fitness at 6 weeks out; however it sounds like your endurance is pretty darn good.

bt said...

@L.A. Runner -- thanks for the encouragement. I'm hopeful there will be some more improvement, for sure, but realistically, I've never been this slow or this heavy 6 weeks before a marathon, which is a bummer, but I'm trying to remind myself that just being able to run at all is a privilege.