Traveling to San Fran for the Nike Women’s (half) Marathon was an absolute blast. In spite of getting off to a slow start (LA traffic) and arriving super late (midnight) at Marjorie’s place, I was up early Saturday to meet Meg (from Run. Fit. Kin.) for a few trail training miles in Tilden Park.
Marjorie had told us about this great loop in Tilden that was beautiful and fun to run and we were excited to hit the dirt. We pulled into the parking area when…what to our wondering eyes did appear…but bib numbers on trail runners galore! What awesomeness was this? Had we stumbled upon a local trail race? I’m not going to lie, I was secretly hoping it was a 5k or 10k that I could sign up for right then and there. Alas, it was the Golden Hills Trail Marathon…as well as the turn around point for a 50 miler. Still cool, though!
I had actually JUST found out the day before that the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Team In Training is starting an ultra team to train for Leona Divide! No way! At any rate, it was pretty awesome to see that the bay area has a TNT Ultra Team tearing it up on the trails!
Meg and I ran the loop, taking a detour up along the marathon route to cheer for the runners. I had SO so much fun getting to know Meg and seeing the beautiful trails that Marjorie gets to train on regularly. Lucky lady.
So, it turns out that Meg is the best person in the world. Well, aside from my husband. And my mom. So there’s my husband and then my mom and then Virginia Garner (from my TNT team) and then Meg. She has a cool job in TV and knows cool stuff about video and film, is a super fast runner and does CrossFit with her husband and is also incredibly generous. She let me stay at her BandB the night before the race and drove me around in her rental car to the expotique and barely let me pay her back.
SWEATPINK! I got only a few minutes to meet up with fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador, Nicole (from Revved Runner). She has one of the most amazing stories for her ‘Aha’ fitness moment. Nicole is also doing the WLC with me so she’s a verified badass. We talk a lot on Facebook but it’s really great to actually meet in person!
Expotique: Having never been at the NWM expo early, I can’t say whether or not it’s fun and exciting. I’ve always arrived the afternoon of the last day when it’s the most crowded (because I have a job and can’t take 5 days off for a race) and my impression remains the same. It’s not an expo. It’s an inadequately sized location for the size of the race that showcases a handful of sponsors and a crap ton of Nike product. They make this event out to be a glamorous boutique for women but I don’t have to stand in a 30 minute line to get a 5 minute makeover at the mall, so why do it here? Well anyway, I didn’t come for the expotique. I came to beat that damn half marathon course.
The line to pick up your packet circled the perimeter of Union Square TWICE before funneling you into the circus tent of elbows and snake lines. I got my packet, a picture of the Nuun booth, my Yurbuds shirt to wear for the race, and got out of there. Nothing to see but huge lines for small packets of trail mix and some sunscreen samples. This year, my name was correct on the wall! But it was also really high up – therefore, fuzzy photo.
FitFluentials and Food: Pavement Runner (or should I call him Brian now that we’ve met?) was amazing and coordinated a dinner meet up with all the FitFluential Ambassadors that were going to be in town. It was really cool to meet, in person, a lot of these great bloggers and their friends.
Aside from the actual race itself (which will be another post entirely), I didn’t see or do much in San Francisco. After the race, I DID get those pork buns in Chinatown which may have been more exciting to me than the finisher’s necklace (sacrilege!), thanks to Laura’s (Absolut(ly) Fit) generosity. She gave me an extra room key to her hotel which was only half a mile from the bakery! I was able to drop my junk at her room and then run/walk over for my post-race indulgence. I immediately ate three buns and was full but oh-so-happy. Thank you, Laura!
I spent a lot of time with Meg which was a ton of fun and also hanging out with Marjorie’s family (she has great kids who are smart and play complicated card games). It’s a joy and a relief for me to be able to spend time with and talk to people who are into fitness and running and be able to swap stories and tips and learn from each other. I learned a lot.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway this week! It ends next Monday (Oct 22nd.)