Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Streets: Penguins to Penguins

I started my half marathon training last week, and I'm trying something completely different this time. I'm not expecting to PR at the U.S. Half Marathon because the hills on the course are supposed to be large (no shock there), so I'm doing an advanced training program that incorporates 8x hill repeats, tempo runs, race-pace strides, 5k- and 10k-pace sprints, track-style workouts, and strength training. Unlike all the other running programs I've followed, this program removes cross-training and focuses strictly on running. Instead of training for a specific distance (e.g., Sunday's long run = 10 miles), it focuses on time (e.g., Sunday's long run = a 2-hour run at moderate intensity). I'm excited to give this new training plan a shot in hopes it'll make my first half here a little more rewarding -- in my head, a goal such a "finish 13.1 miles at a net uphill" sounds like a bigger accomplishment than what my watch reads.

My first long run of this new training program was to do a 90-minute run at 3/1 difficulty. I was to run the first 3/4 of the run at a moderate pace, then the final 1/4 of the run at a more challenging pace. Because I wanted to actually do this run without having to walk after the first mile, I knew not to head to the seacliffs or the hilly trails around my house. Instead, I headed to Golden Gate Park for an awesome gathering called Sunday Streets.

Every three Sundays or so, the city of San Francisco blocks off neighborhoods to vehicles and lets bodies take over the roads instead. Participants are allowed to do whatever they want -- run, bike, walk, skateboard, roller skate, dance, yoga, hula hoop, push strollers, throw a ball, etc. It's a great way to see new neighborhoods, meet local vendors and shop owners, scope out new stores and restaurants, listen to live music/other entertainment, and most importantly, get some free and safe outdoor exercise without the hazardous city traffic.

Today's Sunday Streets was called "Penguins to Penguins." From 10am to 3pm, the streets between the California Academy of Sciences (where they have a penguin exhibit) in Golden Gate Park, down the Great Highway, all the way to the San Francisco Zoo (where, surprise, there is also a penguin exhibit) was shut off to motor vehicles. The entire route, if one were to do it in both directions, is just over 10 miles.

A family takes a break at the silly Dutch Windmill.
Biker hangout with games, prizes, samples, and live music.
Running down the middle of the Great Highway.
This awesome circular bike thing had bubbles that shot out of the back -- hence the kids trailing behind.
Boys learning the Lindy Hop.
Girls doing the Lindy.
This was my longest run in San Francisco so far, and it'll be hard to top the fun I had today.

90(ish)-minute run splits:
1: 9:27
2: 9:14
3: 9:22
4: 9:45
5: 9:12
6: 9:15
7: 9:33
8: 9:20
9: 8:44
10: 8:50
.69: 6:03
Air Temp: 67F


  1. The Sundays Streets run looks like a blast! Oh...I'm not sure I've commented before but I've been reading your blog for awhile.

  2. I'm loving reading about your new adventures. Makes me want to move just so I can go explore new running areas on foot, but I'm too lazy to pack. :) What a great and fun way to start your training. Good Luck!

  3. Good luck with your new training plan, sounds like a great way to go on a tough course. Love all the pics of your run - you are one lucky girl living in such a beautiful city!

  4. It sounds like you are settling in nicely to your new location - a fun new adventure with lots of neat new places to check out. Are you missing MN?
    Good luck on the hill training - you will get used to it soon enough! Have you tried the fixie yet on those hills??? :-) Yikes!

  5. Hi A,
    Awesome job on your 10 mile hilly run:) You kept up a great pace too! Your training plan sounds like a winner, you should be able to have a successful half marathon! We stopped by the windmill on our way through that park! The street festival/activities look like a total blast:)

    It has been hot and humid again...the past few days have been icky ! When I was in Duluth it was so is cooler by the lake:) I wish I was running in California with you! Take care of yourself A! Keep posting the fun pictures...I love them:)

  6. That looks like a lot of fun! I hope to visit there for some ultra race one day. I’m sure that training program will improve your speed and strength a lot.

  7. Sounds like a fun training program. I get freaked out by the distance training. Beautiful pics, like always.

  8. On Super Bowl Sunday Kaiser sponsors a fun little half marathon in Golden Gate Park that is a blast.

    It certainly looks like you’re making the best of your new surroundings and I really hope you like it here.

    All the best,


  9. Hi Average A -
    I just tagged you with an award. You can see it here: