Sunday, August 15, 2010

Holy Hill!

Thank you for all the kind wishes on my new adventure. :) Moving to San Francisco is something I've wanted to do for a while now, so I'm elated to finally be here.

I'm not happy, on the other hand, to be running these hills ... yet! I am determined that I will grow to love them, though. I live in a neighborhood that has a few miles of easy, flat stretches, but I've gravitated toward the hills leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge, over to the trails of Golden Gate Park, and up and down the cliffs of the Coastal Trail. The views there are much more beautiful than mile after mile of city block -- but they are also so much harder.

While the scenery of San Francisco is something I always enjoy, I also think that running some hills will feel like a good idea as I step out the front door. I never think that once I start the long steady inclines over the course of a number of miles. I've never felt so out of shape (and stopped to take so many walk breaks so early on) since running a few of these San Francisco hills. I only hope that this will get easier.

My best friend Gramps, who helped me with the 30-hour drive across the country, and I headed to the Coastal Trail along the seacliff earlier this week. I headed out on a short run while he sat in some caves near the Sutro Baths to sketch some drawings. I've done a number of shorter runs on flat dirt trails around Minneapolis, but I've never done this choose-your-own adventure kind of trail running. The Coastal Trail along Lands End has so many trails to choose from, both marked and unmarked -- the "follow this if you want to live" and "stay out if you want to live" kind of paths. One could spend hours exploring this park and I plan to spend more time here.

The Sutro Bath ruins.
Coastal Trail
About 50 gajillion steps going up this hill.
And another 50 gajillion steps going down.
Running to the Lands End.
Looking down at the land's end ... hoping I don't roll my ankle here.
I keep waiting for some Jurassic Park dinosaur to peek its massive head out of the trees.
This is fun navigating. Ha!
After I finished a super slow 3-mile run along the Coastal Trail, I met back up with Gramps near the Sutro Baths and we headed on a short hike to Painted Rock.

Some new mussel and starfish friends.
I didn't imagine that Painted Rock would be as literal as it was.
Gramps contemplating which massive rock he's going to scale next.
Fog or no fog, it's going to be hard to grow tired of this.


  1. OMG, this is positively beautiful. Challenging, but beautiful!

  2. Wow these photos are amazing! You will love hills soon..I'm sure! You are lucky to live in a place of such beauty. And, I'm sure the weather there is awesome!

  3. The bay area is awesome - get used to the trails and you will become a much stronger runner. We have not run in San Fran but did quite a few trails south near Carmel. Have fun exploring!!!

  4. You have some amazing places to run now. I'm jealous!

  5. Great explorations. Keep sharing your runs with us. So neat!

  6. you are making want to move. great pix thanks for sharing.

  7. I suspect that you’ll be tearing up those trails in no time.

    There are several local groups that host some nice trail runs in the area that you might find interesting. When you have a moment you may want to check out Brazen Racing, Coastal Trail Runs & Pacific Coast Trail Runs. All three host some pretty affordable events throughout the Bay Area and most of their events offer several distances from 5K to 50K. Between the three of them, there’s no shortage of organized events to choose from and it’s a great way to get to know some of the trails around here.

    I hope you’re enjoying the Bay Area.

    All the best,


  8. Wow I am thouroughly convinced I need to to sf soon to see my friend and run some hills with my new friend! Those pictures are amazing! Come SF marathon next yr, your gonna smoke everyone!

    P.s. I never got my email :( can u send it again!

    P.P.S The "headband" is a scrap arm piece from a tye dye shirt... my hair stayed so nicley in place due to the massive amounts of sweat running from my pores... :)

  9. Hi A,
    Wow, it looks like you had a fantastic run! Gorgeous pictures too:) I am glad that you are enjoying your new home!