So I’m in San Francisco and looking to enjoy a few mornings – or even evenings – of exploring the City on the Bay in my running shoes. As on my last trip here in July, I was entirely jet lagged and wide awake at 3am and so, just before 4am, I hit the streets with a rough plan of a 10K loop to run from my hotel to the water and – if I didn’t get lost – hit the famous Lombard Street on the final push back home.
While here in San Francisco I want to make the most of the hills, especially with the Saintelyon being only about a month away now. I’m not going to go crazy – I want to enjoy the runs here and see a bit of the city instead of just running repeats – but I will be trying to fit in some hills on each run I do while I am here.
I left the hotel heading for Market Street. This was meant to be a pretty straight shot down Hyde Street and fairly uneventful, though it turned out to be a little shocking. After only a couple of minutes I had to cross over the road to avoid the yellow tape and flashing blue lights of a straight-out-of-Law-&-Order crime scene. And, sadly, just like a Law & Order crime scene, there was a pair of shoes peeking out from under a yellow plastic tarpaulin around some broken glass. A little disturbing for a first kilometer, I have to say.
Nonetheless, I continued down to Market, turned left and headed straight down the main drag towards the Embarcadero. I had run this section before the last time I was here and so it was familiar to me, and the only difference was that instead of turning right at the end of Market Street and heading for the AT&T Stadium, I turned left and headed in the direction of Fishermans Wharf.
Fishermans Wharf seems to be a pretty fun place to hang out and maybe I’ll head down there for dinner one night this week. I’m sure it is tourist-centric and that the prices will be higher than they need to be, but it also looks like a kinda fun place to walk around.
At the end of Jefferson Street and the Fishermans Wharf zone I turned left and found myself at the bottom of a hill. This didn’t look so bad and I started up the climb. It quickly went from a runnable 5% to a tough 10% and then a ‘I gotta power hike this’ 15% to 20% grade. Well, I wanted hills so this is what I get, right? I kept moving, ran at the cross streets, and finally made my way to the top at Lombard Street.
Lombard Street is famous as ‘The Crookedest Street in the World’ (save for Hillary Clinton’s street amirite?) even though Googling that assures the searcher that it is NOT the crookedest street in the world or even in San Francisco. Still, it is a nice residential street full of switchbacks and at 4:30am there is no traffic so I could run the road all the way to the bottom. I ran up the stairs on the side of the street to get back to the top, then bombed down a second time because, hey, why not, right?
Back at the top I snapped a picture then turned back for the hotel. Getting close to home, I realized that I would need to throw in a short loop if I wanted to get in a nice, round 10K for the morning, so I added a short jump down California to Polk and then back up the hill on Bush before clicking stop. A nice way to start the morning and some nice (and also not-so-nice) sights along the way, too.