We decided to take a quick trip to San Francisco this weekend to see the playoff match up between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. We are HUGE Green Bay Packer fans and we usually go to one or two games each season. With San Fran being so close, and this being such a big game, we just couldn’t pass it up! Sadly, the Packers lost, but overall, it was an amazing weekend filled with a ton of my favorite things…family, a great scenic Golden Gate Bridge run, Packers football, and even a visit with one of my best friends that lives in the city!
Something I learned last year is that you don’t have to gain weight or blow it all just because you’re on vacation! Since Matt and I travel a lot, I started to make it a point to workout or get some cardio in every morning! Working out on vacation is the best because you don’t have to
wake up at the crack of dawn to do it! I figure that you only have to sweat for about an hour and the rest of the day you can do whatever you want, because hey, you’re on vacation!
Something I like to do is incorporate the city that I’m visiting into my workout plan. I mean, why
be trapped in your hotel workout room when you can exercise outside and explore the town! I recently found a love for running and one of the things I have been doing is incorporating my “long run” into my vacations and it’s sort of like a free scenic tour of some of the most beautiful places in every city I visit.
So let me preface this next part with the fact that I am absolutely terrified of earthquakes! Last time I visited San Francisco, I couldn’t even sleep through the night because I was super paranoid that the “big one” would hit while I was there! I also have a tremendous fear of heights. I have chickened out of so many things throughout my life due to heights and I really wish I could just get over it. For those of you that have a fear of heights, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like this heavy weight just takes over your entire body and you can’t get rid of the fear no matter how much you mentally try to talk yourself through it!
While I was searching for running paths in San Francisco last week I thought that it would be really cool to do a Golden Gate Bridge run. I researched a little more about it and found out the bridge spans 1.7 miles in length. Since I’m running in the PF Chang’s Rock n’ Roll half marathon next weekend in Phoenix, I really needed to stay focused and make sure I was able to get my last “long run” in before the big race! The training plan I’m currently following planned for an 8 mile run this weekend. I mapped out my route from our hotel and figured out where I would need to start in order to complete an 8 mile run, including the total 3.4 miles of the bridge as well!
Well, Saturday morning was interesting to say the least, as finding my bearings in San Francisco was NOT easy for me. I personally like to take my runs first thing in the morning, as soon as I wake up, before having any food or coffee. I’m really not sure it was the best idea for me to
skip the coffee this time because the streets and neighborhoods were VERY confusing to me. I’m not really the best with directions as is, so in order to avoid getting lost, I took a cab to the starting point of where I mapped out my run.
I started at the entrance of the Presidio, which was absolutely beautiful! I ran through the park on a trail that took me to straight to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a pretty cool path, filled with bikers and runners.
At the entrance of the bridge were the tolls for any vehicles driving over and some sightseeing posts for pedestrians. The bridge had regular lanes for vehicles in the middle and then a walkway for pedestrians on either side. It was fairly busy with all different types of people….runners, walkers, people drinking beer, couples on a romantic stroll, and tourists on group sightseeing trips.
|End of path leading to the bridge.|
|Beginning of the bridge, on San Fran side.|
The actual bridge itself was sort of overwhelming because it was just a LOT bigger than I was expecting it to be. I continued to run over the bridge, but when I was about a quarter of the way through I looked up at the massive structure and became totally overwhelmed with my fear of heights and earthquakes all at once. I literally stopped, turned around and ran back to the start of the bridge. I thought to myself, ok Natalie, you’re being ridiculous…you came all the way here to do this, you got this far, and hundreds of thousands of people come out here and cross the bridge everyday, you can do it! I don’t know what switched, but I just did it. I started running back across the bridge, went all the way over, and came all the way back. My fear of heights helped me run over that bridge a lot faster than I normally would and looking back, I am glad I did it! I conquered my fear of heights and earthquakes, got to see some really beautiful views of the bay area, and completed my last training “long run” before my big race!
|I’m terrified right here…terrified!|
|On the other side, looking at San Francisco. I DID IT!|
So, a great way to stay on track when on vacation is to take your workout outdoors and incorporate some of the city you are visiting to make it fun, new, and exciting! Some tips for this are to do your research ahead of time and map your trail, find your park, or locate the places
that you want to see on your run, bike ride, or whatever physical activity it is that you are doing. If you’re doing it first thing in the morning, I would probably suggest that cup of coffee beforehand too! It might help you from getting lost or sidetracked in a foreign place! 😉
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