Thursday, May 29, 2014
That route, minus shopping, meals, wandering down piers I forgot to mark, more shopping, etc is 8 miles. Now, I did not figure that out when I first came up with that plan. I just knew that we could comfortably walk three miles at home and be good to go and the route from our home to the Ferry Building was almost three miles. Thankfully, I didn't calculate the rest of it or I might've talked myself out of it but I set the goal and there was never a time I didn't think we'd reach it. Well, except when I screwed myself over the holidays by ditching physical therapy for a month or so but I trained hard, I was diligent about my PT and knew I was as ready as I was going to be for the trip. The only major difference was we're in relatively flatter terrain and San Francisco is nothing but steep streets up or down. You're rarely level for long.
I think staying in Carmel the first week was good training for me to round out my readiness for this SF route because there is a considerable slope to the entire town and we walked everywhere there. On day two, the front of my legs (my weakest area) were sore and then the day after that, we walked 8 miles in Santa Cruz and I had to raise the white flag because I was done. That night I did heavy massage on the legs and I wasn't as sore as I thought I'd be the next day. I felt as ready as I could be for this dream of mine to come true. Unfortunately for the Mr, he had to be dragged along for the
After carbing up for breakfast, we headed to Clay Street which would be our main route to the Ferry Building. This picture doesn't convey the slope at all but trust me, it was steep and I was trying to not look like a noob at the end of each block when we'd reach riders waiting for their bus.
As steep as it was going up, it was equally steep going down and that REALLY screwed with my legs. By the time we got to Chinatown, I was worried how much it was going to throw me for the rest of the day but in the meantime, we just enjoyed strolling the empty streets before the stores opened.
By the time we reached the Financial District, both of us were feeling the pain. We'd walked 2 miles on extreme slopes (for us...hell, for anyone) and we needed to take a break to stretch. Luckily, the Transamerica Pyramid was the perfect stopping point to stretch our legs with various moves that probably made us look like dorks. I hope we gave the office peeps a good show!
You have no idea how happy we were to reach our first goal...The Ferry Building at the Embarcadero. We instantly high fived when we saw this...
We probably added another mile on just wandering the inside of the Ferry Building into each little shop or restaurant as well as the back pier area and then trying a few places like Cowgirl Creamery and Miette.
We got to sit for about thirty minutes while we were eating in the building and that helped to be off of our feet after about four miles of walking. Then it was time to walk the wharf area. I had to walk down Pier 7 to the faux restaurant location at the end of The Sweetest Thing. It had a nice view to take in, then we continued to walk toward the touristy Fisherman's Wharf area.
We did a bit of window shopping and needed sunscreen because while it was still somewhat cool, we could feel the sun beating down and needed to reapply. We walked all over the area trying to find a place that didn't sell generic looking sunscreen and ended up at a drug store, applied and went on with our day.
One thing I wanted to check out that I knew the Mr would enjoy would be this spot, Musee' Mecanique, an antique museum where you could play old video games and see antique entertainment gaming. We spent about an hour in there.
By this time, we'd walked more than half of our route for the day. I spotted three of those awesome foot vibration machines you see at zoos or amusement parks and we popped in our $.50 (twice!) and got some much needed relief to our barking dogs. The Mr said wasn't sure he would be able to make it the rest of the way without them.
We continued wandering around shops and the shore then started an upward trek toward our second to last goal for the day...Ghirardelli Square.
We bought a few things there and struck up a conversation with a guy in a boutique there who was writing down some suggestions for us. He pulled out a map and as he was writing things down, I said I knew he would tell me the truth and told him the route we walked that day and asked if that was good or is that something locals just walk all the time. He shook his head and said "wait, you walked from Pacific Heights to the Ferry Building????" I said "yeah, then we walked the wharf area to here and are about to walk back up to Pac Heights. Is that good?" He said "honey, that's f*cking INSANE! Most people would walk half the route to the Ferry Building and then take a cab where they needed to go from there!" So, that made me feel like I wasn't thinking I was walking some awesome route when locals did it all the time. It really was as insane as the Mr thought it was when I suggested it. From there, we made our way to Gough Street where we would take that all the way back home. The red arrow shows the hill we'd need to climb and then begin our downward descent about 6-7 blocks from there.
There were some SERIOUSLY steep hills, particularly those last three blocks before the sharp crest at the top but I just took it block by block and if we'd need to give it one traffic light cycle to stop in the shade before continuing on, we did. When we approached the Clay Street area, I began to cry a little, knowing we were in the home stretch.
When we took the FitBit off, we checked our steps for the route
We walked a little more just lollygagging for a total of 12 miles for the day. Needless to say, when we grabbed the leftover bag of ice for the cooler and slapped our aching feet onto it in the tub, it was welcome relief and I think it made a huge difference in how we felt the next day!
I cannot believe we did it. Well, I can because not finishing just never entered my mind. But I couldn't help but think back to what I was facing this time last year in just trying to finish the 3 mile charity walk on Kauai and the amount of horrible pain I was in. The next day, I was sore but it was this weird bone in my inner ankles and my left quad and it was nothing ibuprofen didn't help ease and was leaps and bounds better than last year with walking 4x the distance. It proves to me that keeping up with my physical therapy is something I need to continue to do and I will be able to reach almost any goal I set.
What goals have you reached that you thought the year before would've been impossible?
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