My Trip to San Francisco Part II – Running, Friendship and The Wine Country

June 14th, 2010

Amy and I lived together during the summer of 1993.  She was my favorite college roommate. We’ve known each other for almost 20 years.  This is Amy and me last year in Denver, Colorado.

After the conference last week I drove to Petaluma, California to visit Amy, her husband and her three daughters.

On Sunday we woke up early and car pooled with her running group to Sonoma, California.  We all participated in a run, walk that went through the Sonoma Wine Country.

At the start of the race we ran (I walked) up the hill into the vineyards.

The race gave us an up close and personal look at the grape vines.

We finished in the Sonoma Town Square on a beautiful Sunday morning.

The Girl and The Fig was the restaurant we selected for our post race brunch.

Of course we couldn’t leave Sonoma without stopping at a local vineyard for some wine tasting.

We finished the day off with yoga.  Amy teaches Baptiste Style Yoga at Renew Yoga in downtown Petaluma. I took her class and I loved it!  It was the first time I tried Baptiste Yoga.

And that was our Sunday.

The rest of the trip was spent eating out with her husband and friends, sitting by the pool with her daughters (ages 5, 9 and 13), strolling through the antique stores in downtown Petaluma and visiting a natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly green farm.

But mostly, we talked.

Amy and I speak the same language.  It’s a language that moves beyond agreeing on a lunch spot.

The conversation that connects us, even when we go long periods without seeing each other, is an attempt to peel back the layers within our individual experiences so we can grow and discover better ways of living.

Over the course of our 4-day conversations this started to surface.  I quickly latched onto to this idea, it resonated with me.  Amy is doing this and now I want to do this!

I’ve been looking for something or someplace to mark the milestone of my 40th birthday.  On race day I will be two-months shy of turning 40.  I’m thinking that training for and finishing The 2010 San Francisco Half Marathon might be just the ticket.

I admit, the Godiva Chocolate stations located throughout the course, the engraved Tiffany Necklace as the race souvenir, and the San Francisco Firefighters who dress in tuxedos to present each woman with a necklace at the finish line are all great incentives to run this race. Plus this marathon runs smack dab through the amazing city of San Francisco.

I’m told the runners come down a final hill in the October sunshine and cross the finish line.  It is an emotionally charged, awe-inspiring end for not only the runners but the spectators too.

The chocolate and jewelry might be all I walk away with, but I doubt it.  Knowing that my friend of 17 years will be in the race with me and knowing that we seem to find synchronicity, insight and deeper perspective in all our adventures adds that final bit of motivation for me to train for and run this race.

I face a couple challenges:

1.  I’m not registered.  Registration is a lottery system and it has already closed; however, people sell their race bibs and registration on Craigslist (due to injury or other reasons) so I will have to find and buy a race bib.  There’s a chance that won’t happen, but I’m keeping the faith, I really want to run this race!

2.  I’m not a runner.  I have no running base, but I met with a running coach in Denver this past weekend and he said 18 weeks is plenty of time for me to train for a half marathon (13 miles) he assured me this is very doable.  I’ve mapped out my training program, a couple weeks of The Couch-to-5K Running Plan and then I’ll begin Hal Higdon’s 12 Week Training Program.

3.  I have a bad knee.  Eight years ago I began training for a full marathon and I quit after running 10 miles one day.  My right knee hurt too much. I added miles too quickly during that training. This time I will take it much slower, but there is a lingering possibly that my knee will prevent me from running in October, however, I’m keeping the faith.  I’ve been running a little bit this past week and so far so good.  My knee feels fine.

A couple things that are in my favor:

1.  Nutrition.  I can design an eating and supplement program for myself.  I know which nutrients to add to decrease inflammation and increase recovery time.

2.  Training.  I’ll run at 5,000-7,000 feet for the next 4-months which will hopefully make running at sea level on race day a little easier.

So last week I started to take my first steps toward that October finish line and all the Healthy Discoveries that this journey is sure to offer.  I’ll keep you posted.

About the author

Jolene Park, B.A., Certified Nutrition Consultant, Yoga Teacher founded Healthy Discoveries in 2001. She facilitates health and nutrition workshops for companies large and small across the U.S., and provides wellness and nutrition coaching for individuals and multiple medical offices throughout the greater Boulder/Denver area. Learn more.

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