Posted by: Jen | December 13, 2009

Week 9 long run: success!

Naples Half Marathon Training
Week 9

Assigned long run: 9 miles @ 11:18
Actual time: 1:41:45 (avg 11:18)

Weather: 50*, approximately.
Gray, cold, damp, mist, occasional driving rain and winds 10-15mph
Route: Golden Gate Park to Great Highway (on the map)

Today’s run was pretty darn good, even with a few hiccups. I got started a little late but still made it to Kezar Stadium before 8:00am. I got started by heading west through the park. I made one quick bathroom stop at a gas station and hit the trails again. I stuck to the dirt trails in the park as much as I could – one, for variety; two, to give my knees a break. It seemed to help for a while. I saw a few other runners, mostly with dogs, and some people out walking in the mist. Here’s a picture of part of the trail:

Just after mile 3, I got to the Great Highway, which stretches along the ocean for about 4 miles or so if you take it from top to bottom. I came out about a third of the way down, so I knew I had less than 2.5 miles before the turnaround point at the southern tip.

The ocean!
It started out well enough and less than a mile into it, the rain started. I was so glad I had worn my waterproof New Balance hat instead of my winter hat; I would have been a lot colder with a wet hat on my head. I was pretty cold as it is; 50 degrees is warm in many places, but San Francisco has a damp cold, which seeps right into your bones. I was underdressed for the weather as I did not take that into account. I wore capris when I should have worn tights.

I ended up taking off my glasses as the rain was making it so hard to see that it was easier to just be nearsighted. The rain was driving in from the ocean so my whole right side was getting wet like crazy.

However, I kept plodding along and was starting to enjoy it for a while… then my knees started to hurt a little bit. Eventually the cold numbed my legs and I continued to the turnaround point and started heading back north. I knew I wanted to end my run at Judah St. because that’s where the light rail turnaround is as well as the Java Beach Café, a local hotspot I’d been wanting to visit for some time. I realized I needed to add on an extra mile somewhere to make it to 9, so I went back into the park and found another path to add on some distance. I saw this huge puddle along the way:

The sun was trying to come out at this point, but never made it while I was out there. I did another little out-and-back to get to 9 miles and finally I was DONE! I walked across the street to the Java Beach Café and ordered a butterscotch hot chocolate, which I had read about on Yelp. I’ll admit to being a little disappointed – it was just hot cocoa with Torani syrup. I had thought it would be a little more special than that. (I’ll have to try to make my own.) After being damp and cold for almost 2 hours, the heat felt wonderful!

Following the cocoa, I got on the light rail and headed home. I made a quick stop for Christmas cards and found some really nice ones. The mister had been kind enough to start a hot bath for me, so I jumped in, got cleaned up, did some leg draining, and cooked a nice hearty breakfast. (Leg draining is where you lie down and put your legs at 90 degrees for several minutes – I left ’em up for close to 10 min. It helps get the lactic acid out of your legs to facilitate recovery; I read about it in ChiRunning.) So far so good, my knees are annoyed but there’s nothing that can help with cartilage degeneration! I did ice both knees while eating breakfast and plan to do so again before I go to bed.

After a nice hour and a half nap, I went to Noe Valley and got a much-needed pedicure. My feet thanked me, though I’m sure the nail tech didn’t have that much fun. Haha. I found a new place that’s really reasonable ($16!) and they did a nice job. Now it’s almost time for dinner! I hope all of you had a great weekend. 🙂



  1. awesome job on the 9! and i ❤ leg draining although it always makes my legs tingle hardcore heh

  2. Way to rock the run in the nasty weather. I hate it when I hype something up in my mind and it ends up not being too good.

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