I really do have so much I want to share and while I will do a more in-depth recap of the San Francisco Marathon/Half Marathon itself I thought I’d share these top 10 memorable moments (and they are in no specific order).

1. Staying with Valerie and her family on their houseboat in Sausalito.

First of all Valerie and her hubby, son and cats couldn’t have been more fun and gracious to stay with. Hotels are overrated (and overpriced). Valerie spent much of the weekend being the “ferry princess” shuttling us to and from the dock to catch our boat. She baked up a batch of yummy chocolate chip-banana-almond muffins and gluten free chocolate chip cookies that were OUT OF THIS WORLD! I looked forward to a cookie and the Nespresso machine each morning. The deck of the houseboat was so peaceful and relaxing to sit out on. I enjoyed the perks of the guest quarters including her foam roller #runners. The “front yards” along the block dock were so colorful with blooms of all kinds and there was an amazing deli that I returned to for the same sandwich 2 days in a row.

Some of the neighbor's colorful "front yards"

Some of the neighbor’s colorful “front yards”

Gus the cool cat

Gus the cool cat

Gus

Gus

high tide made the entrance another HILL!

high tide made the entrance to the house another HILL!

sausalito

deck view

The Surfin Bird....my new favorite sandwich

The Surfin Bird….my new favorite sandwich

Valerie reading my blog

Valerie reading my blog one morning at breakfast

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2. Meeting Shane, The Silent Assasin!

When I began Sweat Out The Small Stuff I rarely received comments unless they were from friends or family. Then one day I received a comment from The Silent Assasin. At first I was leary. Was this spam? =) But it was quite the opposite. This dude became one of my most loyal readers. He is a positive energy with a witty sense of humor and the biggest heart and drive to be better, stronger, faster etc. We got to meet up at the shakeout run this past Saturday and it couldn’t have been more perfect. If for no other reason, I am grateful for the friends and blends (blogger-friends) I’ve made through writing this bog. Best Day Ever!

Val, Roger, me and TSA!

Val, Roger, me and TSA!

3. Traveling with Lisa

Lisa is the sole reason I discovered I loved running. And after 7+ years, she continues to be a super friend, support, running partner and great travel companion. We joined forces to work on the crossword and sip wine
in-flight. We navigated San Francisco’s public transportation with ease together. We both made tough decisions to drop down to the half to preserve our injured bodies. We laughed a lot and chatted a lot. I’d say we’re “sole-mates”.

injured halfers

injured halfers

wine, nuts, chocolate and a crossword. We're clear to fly

wine, nuts, chocolate and a crossword. We’re clear to fly

Maurice the French Bulldog

Maurice the French Bulldog tried to be my travel buddy too

flying runners

passengers 27D and 27E prepared for takeoff

4. Getting emotional just before mile 5

When I was running on Sunday I got that lump in my throat and felt some tears (of joy) stream down my face. I know that running is like a soulmate to me. After all these years and so many races under my belt I STILL feel that overwhelming sense of joy and pride and fulfillment as I tackle each mile. I’m so grateful for all that I can be and do because of running. And ironically I was just telling Lisa on the ride to the start that I hadn’t specifically dedicated any miles to anyone as I usually do with my races. Next thing I knew, while running toward Chrissy Field before entering the Golden Gate Bridge I had a lightbulb moment and realized that I WAS running for someone. My friend’s dad had just passed away a few days prior to the race. I actually went to his funeral services just before heading out to the airport. He was a member of a local Harley (motorcycle) club here in NY. Along the course there were volunteers from a local San Francisco Harley club monitoring the route and helping the runners out. I think this might have been what got me emotional. The whole notion of being adventurous and seeking out what makes you happy and thrills you. I could visualize my friend’s dad riding his bike across that bridge with the same elation I was about to have running across it.

i love bridges! west coast, east coast and all the ones in between

i love bridges! west coast, east coast and all the ones in between

San Francisco curb appeal

San Francisco curb appeal

waterworks began right here. Just watching the runners ahead of me...it was like being at a symphony

waterworks began right here. Just watching the runners ahead of me…it was like being at a symphony

5. Seeing my friend Margaret

When your friend moves across the country it’s a bummer. Getting together for dinner or drinks isn’t as easy as it used to be. So planning ahead for time to ensure we could connect was just great. From the wine we sipped while sitting on the balcony of her apartment to the delicious mexican dinner we had at the iconic ferry building…It was just so much more rewarding than text messages, email or even a phone conversation.

sally-margaret

Bay Bridge view

The view from Margaret’s balcony

Fish tacos! Sangria!

Fish tacos! Sangria!

6. Riding the ferry to Sausalito

I finally got to ride the ferry to Sausalito and it didn’t disappoint. The sun was setting as I caught views of Alcatraz and both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. And even as a native New Yorker, I still appreciated the city scape view as well.

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sunsets are magnificent

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Alcatraz

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I sat out on the deck and enjoyed the breeze. LOL! 

IMG_0071    IMG_0139  IMG_0063  IMG_0064   IMG_0135

7. Celebratory wine tasting after the race

After Lisa and I finished the half mary, we got on the shuttle bus back to the start which was also where the full marathon finish line was. We anxiously awaited Valerie crossing it to officially become a marathoner! She did it! We headed home, showered, refueled and relaxed a bit until it was time to head up to Domain Carneros, a sparkling wine winery in the southern Napa Valley region. Cheers to Val for her perserverance and completing her first 26.2 (after mastering the half! Hello miss Sub 2 halfer!!!).

domaine-carneros-wine

bubbly!

winery-barn-doors

whats behind door number wine?

cheers-to-val

Cheers to Val!

domaine-carneros

The vista! C’est magnifique. That’s French for amazeballs view!

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Sisters! Valerie’s now done 1 full marathon and her sister Lisa has 50 completed!

8. Watching friends complete running distance PRs.

Roger, (introduced to me through Lisa and also an alumni of the Dicks Sporting Goods #RunFor campaign) never stops looking for challenges. His inspiring weight loss and dedication to his niece Julia was just the beginning. He is like the energizer bunny and his challenge this weekend was the “double”. Yes, 52.4 miles! The dude just amazes me. And Valerie as I mentioned already completed her first full. Automatic PR!

DSG run for

That’s Roger in the middle. He even ran 3 the 3 mile shakeout run with us for a mileage total of 55.4 miles in 2 days.

Happy to be done and hanging on the sidewalk with her happy banana

Happy to be done and hanging on the sidewalk with her happy banana

9. A cameo by Michelle.

I was feeling bummed that we hadn’t had a chance to see Michelle yet on our trip knowing she was also traveling out to do the half. (she ran the 2nd half). And low and behold, as we waited for Valerie, we got to see Michelle at the finish! Woo Hoo! She’s also running with us in September for Ragnar Napa so I’ll have 30+ hours to chit chat with her lol!

cameo at SF Marathon

Cameo by Michelle!

10. Ghiradelli

If you know me at all you know I am a sweets kinda girl. It just so happened on Friday as I was killing time at Fisherman’s Wharf waiting for Margaret to get out of work I had the brilliant idea to skip lunch and go directly to Ghiradelli. I got the Nob Hill Chill. Best decision ever!

a chill with a view

wanna sip?

nob-hill-chill

a chill with a view! 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, mini chocolate chips.

As you can see, this trip didn’t disappoint. I guess it’s time to sign off and go unpack. Vacation over.

So how was your weekend? For the runners….do you get emotional when you run or are you just more practical about it as exercise.

 

7 Comments

  1. Love!! I am so glad you had a great time. You were a delightful house guest. See you for the next race!!

  2. Looks like you had an amazing time!! Great photos! Can’t wait to hear more about the race! =)

  3. TSA gets emotional… This time at the start during the nation anthem I was getting emotional. Shhhhhhh :)

  4. I sooooo can’t wait to get to San Francisco and Napa Valley….just too beautiful…Love your blog

  5. Love the water pics–and your crazy fun hair blowing in the wind haha!

  6. I get emotional when I’m racing and there are people who are running for a loved one and have personal t-shirts made. So sweet to dedicate a personal success to someone you love :)

  7. Pingback: The San Francisco Marathon/Half Marathon/Expo Recap |

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