Sunday, May 28, 2006

File Under: Running, Planes, Trains, & Tires

There are no hills in Washington, D.C., and environs. Got that? NO HILLS.

I had the pleasure of visiting 21st Century Mom, in the outskirts of San Francisco, this weekend. She took me on a short tour (by car, thankfully) of the places she runs and bikes. Holy mother of God. Remember my incredibly hilly 10k? Um, no. Not even close. I'm embarassed to think that I called those teensy ups-and-downs "incredibly hilly." If 21CM could see that route, she would keel over laughing.

I got to 21CM's hideaway on Friday afternoon. We had a lovely time drinking tea, looking at stuff on the Internet, and generally lolling around, until we had to do some 21st C. Mom chores.

The next morning we headed out to Lafayette-Moraga trail, a beautiful paved trail that meandered through some gorgeous scenery. 21CM needed to get 12 miles in; I needed 7. We ran the first 3.5 together, yakking about kids, families, men, blogging, men, running, men, and all of you (yes, we did!) It was tough, but I held her to about 11:30 min. miles for the first 3.5. It was like holding back a race horse, but I had a job to do and gosh darn it, I was gonna do it. The miles flew by, and soon I had to turn back. 21CM pushed on. The plan was for me to run back to the parking lot and drive the car of the future back home. 21CM would run all the way home to get in her full 12 miles.

I loved the run back! Loved it!! Except for one small problem. I have some serious blisters on my bunions and this trail was seriously cambered. With every step I put tons of pressure directly on the blister of my right foot. That pretty much sucked. I pressed on though, like the good soldier I am.

I'll let 21CM tell you what happened to her. My seven miles took me 1:19, or 11:23 min. miles. (This is why it's called a Long Slow Run.) All I will say is: She was practically home before me.

It wasn't until I got back to base that I discovered I had forgotten to wear my knee brace. I put that brace on if I even think about running. I'm scared not to. But...cue spooky music...nothing bad happened!! I guess I don't need to run with a knee brace. Right now.

Soon, 21CM was back, barely out of breath. After making ourselves presentable, it was off to Berkeley to see the sights! We strolled around, wolfed down some awesome pizza, temporarily lost 21CM's flying saucer, found it, and discovered its tires looked like this:

Oh, not so good. Back where I live, on earth, it would take several hours to buy new tires. But in Orbit City (that would be the Jetson's home town), you drive up to the local tire store, which is closing in seven (7!!) minutes, and you have four tires replaced, no problem:

21CM never gets rattled

But 21CM does have one secret vice:
No, that's not Tolstoy she's reading

We were back on the skyway in no time, now headed for the big city and Pier 39. Curiously, Number One Daughter happened to be in San Francisco on Saturday, too, visiting her boyfriend. We briefly met up with them. Too soon it was time for me to head to the airport.

At 7 p.m., we said our goodbyes, and I jumped on BART, San Francisco's public transport system, to get to the airport for an 8:35 flight out. (I was wearing flip-flops again, people.) As I sat on the train, pondering the day's events, I noticed the map on the wall. And then I noticed how far away the airport was. And then I started wondering what the odds were that BART would drop me directly in front of the America West terminal? (Ha, good one.) BART finally pulled into SFO at 7:45 p.m. (god, this is starting to sound like a police report). That would be into the international terminal. For the domestic terminals, you have to switch to another train. After first walking up several flights of stairs.

The rest of the story is I was the last person to board the plane after running like a madwoman—in my flip-flops—through the terminal, up escalators, and even pushing myself to the very front of the long security line by repeating 20 times: "My plane is leaving in 15 minutes!!!" And unbelievably, people let me through (that's when I knew for sure I was no longer on the East Coast).

And the rest of that story is that I had to do that again in Las Vegas for my connecting flight.

And the rest of that story is that I now have a new blister in between the toes of my left foot, so I am now basically lame.

But a little lameness is a small price to pay for a visit with the funnest mom around, the 21st Century Mom.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you had some fun and got a fun run in too.

a.maria said...

oh yay fun, sounds like a good time!

yes. SF is hilly... a word to the wise, Nike Womens Marathon is IN SF. so... be prepared.

anyway. i'm glad you guys got to meet-up for a bit.. RBF meet-ups are all the rage these days!

21st Century Mom said...

Oh those tires! I could have killed you! I must be the only person in the world who can look so damned happy as I dole out 400 bucks for something as mundane as tires. And then I almost made you miss your plane. What a rotten hostess. you, on the other hand, are a great guest so I hope you come back some day.

ps - Hills? what hills? There are no hills.

Taunya said...

Fun, Fun!

It's very hard for me to run even 3 miles without encountering a hill! Me thinks I live in the wrong part of the country!

Well, like a.maria said, it should get (make?) me ready for Nike in October.

Anne said...

Greatly enjoyed reading about your soujourn to San Francisco. I can relate to the BART trip (I made the same time mistake once, during rush hour no less) and think it's probably actually good you had on flip flops -- imagine going through security with steel-toed boots!

matt said...

that was the best story i have read in a log time, jeanne. east coast determination wins out over west coast laid-backness every time. i am glad you pushed through on your run and to get to your plane. it sounds like you had a blast!

you put in a great run, by the way :)...blisters and all.

Anonymous said...

oh man, what an adventure!!! i love reading your adventures.

Dori said...

Sounds like a good time. Well, except for the blisters, and the hills, and racing to catch your plane. The 21CM is fast, since she's planning to run the marathon in 10:30! I'm impressed you were able to run with her.

L*I*S*A said...

Sounds like you had a blast!! Sorry about the blisters, though...

Sherri said...

What a fun story, Jeanne! I also now have a new mantra...."I pressed on though, like the good soldier I am." I love that...thank you! Looking forward to your next adventure...!

GraceD said...

Of course I discovered your blog after you left our fair region. The next time you come out, I'd be happy to take you on some of the great runs around Santa Cruz, CA.

Excellent, inspiring, fun and badass stuff you have here. I'm linking you as soon as I finish posting this.

Yours in blister free trotting,

Rae said...

Awesome!! It sounds like you guys had a great meet-up.