Waterfront to Ferry Building

It was fool­ish to tack­le a sev­en-mile course for what was pret­ty much my first run of the year, but it was great to get out and run. I took lots of walkbreaks—something I would­n’t ever have done a few years ago. But a few years ago I was­n’t over 200 pounds and a few years ago was before I broke my foot. At this point, just get­ting out there is a victory.

That is itself a strong argu­ment that it was fool­ish to go all the way to the Fer­ry Build­ing. The trou­ble with that line of think­ing is that short­er dis­tances aren’t as fun. That has noth­ing to do with feel­ing tough for han­dling a longer dis­tance. Even when I was in my best shape it took me a cou­ple miles just to get warmed up and to get into a rhythm. It’s one of the rea­sons I don’t like 5K races. A mile or two miles in I’d still be com­plain­ing about every­thing hurt­ing and how dif­fi­cult it was to keep going. A 3.1 mile race meant that just after I’d get smoothed out and real­ly start to enjoy the run, it would be all over. 

When I got to the point where I should have turned around, I was feel­ing good and want­ed to keep going. It meant run­ning along the Embar­cadero and see­ing every­one else run­ning, watch­ing the waves on the water in the Bay. It meant hav­ing the run­ning expe­ri­ence that I used to enjoy. It was a lot slow­er that I used to be, but the scenery was the same.

When I did turn around under­neath the clock tow­er of the Fer­ry Build­ing, I start­ed walk­ing back to give myself a rest. Though I haven’t been an actu­al club mem­ber in years, I wore my old GGTC jer­sey for old times’ sake and because it has pock­ets in the back like a cycling jer­sey, mak­ing it easy to stash my ID and phone. I had­n’t walked as far as Cupid’s Span when I heard a voice say, «hey, keep going Gold­en Gate!»

That got me to get mov­ing again. The fel­low who had voiced his encour­age­ment spoke with an Aus­tralian accent. He kept a very rea­son­able pace as we chat­ted down the length of the Embar­cadero to AT&T Park. I don’t know whether he was going slow­ly for my sake but it was good to have the com­pa­ny and the even pace. It was run­ners’ smalltalk—upcoming races, past injuries, how much of it all is men­tal and so on. Then at the Lefty O’Doul Bridge we shook hands and I went across the bridge while my tem­po­rary run­ning part­ner turned North towards the Willie Mays statue.

That’s what all runs ought to be. A lit­tle more dis­tance than is wise, great scenery, and some moral sup­port along the way. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, my knees were protest­ing for the next few days, which meant that the extra dis­tance got in the way of turn­ing the run into the begin­ning of a habit. As great a day as it was, I real­ly do have to stick to short­er runs and walks so that I can keep them going with greater frequency.