A Runner’s High – And Low

San Francisco is heaven for an urban runner like me. There is always a new road or alley to explore.

You can have flats, heights, or stairs for your thigh-buring morning. And no matter where you are, there is always a breathtaking view around the next turn.

Then again, all these hills are a real pain. Pain in my knees, my shins, my ankles. If only I were still twenty-nine for the third time.

And if only, as I tried to slow going downhill on California Street, I didn’t clip that sidewalk crack and go ass over teakettle. I would still have a working camera, I would still have a great manicure, and I would still have my ego all intact.

9 Comments so far

  1. Mark (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 10:01 am

    Is that you in the pic, Wayan?

  2. Poormojo (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

    So the gist is: SF has hills and you went jogging?


  3. Chester (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

    If you want to run flats, try the Embarcadero.

  4. tyler82 (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 7:30 am

    Yes city running is great if you like being interrupted and stopping every 100 feet for redlights, cable cars, or manhole excavating, pedestrians, etc. Nothing like running in the parks or along the water or, if you’re brave and warm blooded, the GGBridge run.

  5. cd (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 10:37 am

    Runner’s World rated SF the #1 city for running in America. I trained for the SF Marathon here, all along Crissy Field, the GGBridge, all the way over through Sausalito, down along the Embarcadero, in GG Park – there are certainly ample, long, even flat stretches of land. Here in Sacramento, we’ve got miles of river trails and flat, shady streets, but there is something to be said for running the majesty of the SF Bay.

    I never minded stopping for red lights either. That’s because I am la-zy!

  6. SEAN (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    The Embarcadero is movie setting perfect. But from a daily runner’s perspective, very less than ideal. Concrete is a *horrible* surface to run on. And it’s just way too crowded during the afternoon lunchhours. Add to that a lot of car (but overwhelmingly, truck) exhaust. Same said for miles of sidewalk running throughout the city. Plus stepping up and off sidewalk ledges or dips for ramped driveways risks some serious ankle turning.

    Stick to the trails in GG Park. Or the bike path along Ocean Beach. Gorgeous, quiet and above all, padded with dirt and pine needles. (Just dodge the occasional other kind of needles often found in the park.)

  7. wayan (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

    Concrete is horrible to run on, but I find trail running to be a little boring. I need the action, the movement, the danger of city street to keep me from thinking about the sweat and pain.

    Also, I’ve found running through a city the best way to explore it. You’re faster than walking, but you don’t have to focus on the street as much as biking, or annoy people if driving slow and rubber-necking.

  8. cd (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    Ever tried to navigate hordes of other running clubs, tourists, off-leash dogs, kite-flyers, homeless people, yuppies, and native birds?

    I assure you, Golden Gate National Recreation Area trails do NOT bore.

  9. SEAN (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

    How could you omit the cyclists who rocket down those trail hills and around blind corners (hidden by trees) – and who have nearly broken a limb or two of mine on several occasions? I’d warn against running with headphones even on the GG Park trails since you really gotta keep your radar up.

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