August 21st, 2005


Today's run

I should have gone six miles but I missed several runs in the last two weeks, so I only managed five. It was a cool, overcast day, perfect for running, though as usual I went out too late (after 9 a.m.) so had to contend with tourist traffic.

I started out at the Ferry Building as usual. Some Chinese drummers were there, along with the wild parrots (perhaps the same who were there at my last run) whose loud squawking carried easily over the percussion. Heading toward North Point I encountered a stream of Team in Training runners heading the opposite direction. I've considered joining their program, but I suck at fundraising and really prefer running alone.

I ran along North Point and into Fort Mason, where I saw six people in a line cruising by on Segways (hardly seen any of those since their overhyped debut a few years back). Then looped around to Aquatic Park, on the way hearing what sounded like more of those wild parrots sqauwking, but could not see them to confirm without careening into the many cyclists and other runners (one of whom sported an iPod Shuffle tucked into her hat, quite creative). At the park I saw a Team in Training tent, and also a number of swimmers in wet suits. I ran past the cable-car endpoint which is where my daily run normally ends. A colorfully-dressed singer with amplified guitar was holding the tourists hostage, serenading them with "Just a Gigolo" while they waited in line. I was grateful to be moving on.

I was actually feeling better at this point in the run than in the first few minutes. I've read that there's some physiological reason why you often feel terrible at the beginning of the run, but if you can stick to it for twenty minutes or so your body gets accustomed to the workout. As a bonus, boyziggy had picked me up a Camelbak waistpack at REI, so I could stay hydrated. My previous Camelbak is a backpack-style which is great for cycling and hiking but swings around too much for running. The new one also has a handy valve closure switch to reduce leakage, and a pocket big enough for my cell phone and keys.

Heading back to the Ferry Building I realized that my run was going to come short of six miles, and considered heading to Pac Bell Park and back to extend it. But although I was still feeling good I didn't want to push it; this was already the longest run I'd had in several years. I ended where I started at 74:32. Confirming the five mile distance via Google Maps, that worked out to a 14.9 minute/mile pace, again very slow, much slower than I felt I was moving actually. But I was doing a fair amount of walking; I stuck to my five minutes running, one minute walking intervals. Eventually my speed on the running segments will pick up. Without the walk breaks, I wouldn't be able to go for more than an hour at all.

Still nine weeks to go before the half-marathon. I hope I can keep it up.

Bridge to Bridge

I'm wondering whether I should sign up for the Bridge to Bridge run on October 2. It's three weeks before my half-marathon and I'm scheduled to do a six mile training run that day. Bridge to Bridge starts at the same place as my normal Sunday run (the Ferry Building) and goes for either 12K or 7K. Neither is six miles, and the web site says "run the 12K, run or walk the 7K" so the 7K is obviously geared more toward people of limited athletic abilities like myself.

The 7K is only a mile and a half short of the distance I'm supposed to go that week, and if I ran with the race rather than on my own I'd have the added advantage of race support (water stops etc.). I'm just worried that doing two races within a month's time might be pushing it too much. If I do sign up, I'll have to make sure to go at a slow pace.