….With the sound of my legs, weeping in pain.

After my first run in San Francisco

After my first run in San Francisco

I’ve just returned from a trip to America, where I spent time with one of my closest and dearest friends in her beautiful home town of Dahlonega, Georgia. From there, I flew to San Francisco to explore the city and watch a show. In my 11 days away from home, I’ve managed to fit in quite a few workouts, which still continues to shock me since I can’t really ever imagine the old me wanting to actually exercise while on vacation.

First of all, in Dahlonega, I went to Jazzercise. My friend teaches it, and I attended her classes. What a joy, to see her on stage doing what she loves, and very good at it she is, too. We don’t really have Jazzercise over here in the UK- it would more commonly be described as an aerobics class, I guess, but it’s a whole lot of fun. I was surprised to discover that the hour class also includes some strength training and wow, my shoulders really knew about it!

Jazzercise made me feel good; it put a smile on my face, a spring in my step, and I really worked up a sweat. It was a win-win for me, and I’d highly recommend it (or an aerobics class). If you’re looking to burn some calories while having fun.

The hills are steep but the views are worth it.

The hills are steep but the views are worth it.

On to San Francisco, and I decided to concentrate on my running, since my first 10K is only 7 weeks away (eek!). Figuring that I’d be doing quite a bit of walking, I decided to aim for a run every other day. The first day, not knowing the layout of the city, I walked from my hotel to the Embarcadero; a flat pathway that runs all the way along the front of the bay, taking in Fisherman’s Wharf. Luckily, I was up early, so really only had other runners for company. When I returned later on in the day, the place was packed with tourists.

I ran 5.19km in 32 minutes; a shorter run than I have been logging but the time keeps me on course for my sub-hour 10K goal. Any guilt I felt over not getting much exercise in that day was alleviated when I then walked a further 20km, bringing me to 15 miles covered in one day. Not bad for my little legs.

The trouble with San Francisco is, though it’s beautiful, it is hilly. Not just little hills, either. Brutal beasts that are nearly impossible to walk up (or down), much less run. But I like to explore a new area on foot, and so the next time I went for a run, I decided to take a different route. There’s leg days, and then there’s leg days when you’ve run San Fran’s hills…followed by walking all day. In fact, after my second run, which was 5.5km, I walked a further 23.5km, bringing my total mileage for the day to 17.09. By this point, I swear my legs had lost a couple of inches…off the length, though. Sadly the girth remained the same.

sf-1

I ran up there!

My final run in the city took in yet more sights, and hills, and was a total distance of 6.75K in a shocking time of 47 minutes. I guess I shouldn’t be too disappointed; the inclines and, indeed, declines, were 31 degrees, which is pretty damn tough. I ran all I could, as fast as I could, but sometimes I just had to give in and walk. If any San Francisco natives happened to see a woman, red in the face, panting her way up a hill and repeating “come on, you can do this,” to herself, that was me. Nothing like a bit of self-motivation!

During my time in the city, I covered a total distance of 64.5 miles, both running and walking. Now I’m home, with my lovely flat running routes, with their gently sloping inclines, and I’m hoping that the strength I’ve found in my legs will power me through to get some really good times in!

Started at the bottom, made it to the top! (Just.)

Started at the bottom, made it to the top! (Just.)